Search Results for: Miranda C. Spencer

Mar 1 2005

America’s Broken Electoral System

Get over it, says mainstream press

Throughout 2004, the “swing state” of Ohio was in the media spotlight. Prior to the election, it was a site of alleged voter fraud and sup­pression; as Extra! reported (12/04), the news media tended to portray the charges as partisan ploys rather than significant threats to the electoral process. Then, on November 2, Ohio became this election’s Florida: Once again a tight race hinged on the electoral votes of a state too close to call. At the end of the night, with only about 130,000 votes sep­arating Democrat John Kerry and Republican George W. Bush, Kerry refused to concede. The […]

Jan 1 2005

Suppressing the Vote, Suppressing the News

Stories on pre-election manipulation took false balance to absurd lengths

In the run-up to the pivotal 2004 presidential election, reports of an unprecedented flood of new voter registrations (especially in electoral vote-rich swing states like Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania) filled papers and newscasts in local media and the national mainstream press. But looming over this exercise in democracy was the shadow of the disputed 2000 election. Irregularities were alleged among some of the new registrations—such as multiple forms bearing the same name, or monikers like “Jive Turkey”—prompting pledges to purge the rolls and even challenge specific voters at the polls on November 2. There were also reports of flyers and […]

Jan 1 2003

‘Making the Invisible Visible’

Antipoverty activists working to make their own media

“We’d like to thank the mainstream media for showing up,” quipped Cheri Honkala, adjusting her baby son on her jeans-clad lap. The executive director of the Philadelphia-based Kensington Welfare Rights Union, a multiracial organization of, by and for poor and homeless people, Honkala was opening a Saturday press conference last October in a claustrophobic classroom at Temple University. The occasion: “Break the Media Blackout: A Conference on Media Democracy and the Struggle to End Poverty,” of which KWRU was a co-sponsor. The absence of mainstream reporters only reinforced one reason the meeting was taking place: to address and remedy what […]

Jul 1 2000

Pulp Facts

Paper, pollution & the press

When people think of the most environmentally devastating industries, the print media may not come immediately to mind. But unfortunately for everyone who gets their news this way, the cost of the morning paper that lands on our stoop—and even the magazine you are now reading—may include “denuded landscapes, toxic rivers, foul air, bulging landfills and belching incinera­tors,” according to Paper Cuts: Recovering the Paper Landscape, a 1999 World Watch Institute report. About 5.8 billion magazines and 24 billion newspapers are published each year, according to trade figures. And the report, which culled statistics from such mainstream sources as industry […]

Nov 1 1995

TV Nation

A Show for "The Rest of Us"

Michael Moore likes to ask the question: “What if the rest of us had a TV show?” We might want an amiably unkempt, roly-poly everyman in a baseball cap for an anchor. We’d want to fly a kite with suicide-assisting doctor Jack Kevorkian, and run a convicted felon for president under the slogan, “From the Big House to the White House.” We’d poll audiences on which country the U.S. should invade next–Belize or France?–and then ask a White House spokesperson to compare invasion costs and strategies. Or we might see what happens when we try to smuggle Canadians over the […]

Jul 1 1993

The New York Times and Environmental Cleanup

Green is the color of money

There’s good news and bad news, America. The good news is that toxics in the environment are much less dangerous than once thought; the bad news is the government’s exorbitant over-regulation of chemicals. The solution? Wait patiently for more definitive data and then apply strict cost/benefit analysis. That’s the growing consensus among a new “third wave” of environmental philosophy–according to the New York Times. The Times‘ 239-paragraph, five-part series “What Price Cleanup?” appeared the week of March 21, timed for the eve of renewal of major environmental initiatives including the “Superfund” toxic clean-up program. Prominently placed (three of the articles […]