Search Results for: Peter Hart, FAIR Blog

Dec
01
2013

‘The Real Story Is It’s Incredibly Hard to Qualify’

Rebecca Vallas on 60 Minutes and disability insurance

Steve Croft on 60 Minutes

CounterSpin Interview   We’re used to media scaremongering over Social Security retirement insurance, claiming that benefits must be cut because the program is about to run out of money (Extra!, 10/10). But lately media have pushed a different Social Security story, claiming that there has been an alarming and suspicious explosion in the number of people getting Social Security disability benefits. After that message was sent loud and clear by a recent CBS 60 Minutes broadcast (10/6/13), CounterSpin’s Peter Hart spoke about the reality of disability insurance with Rebecca Vallas, deputy director of government affairs at the National Organization of […]

Nov
01
2013

The Illusion of Debate Over Striking Syria

Despite antiwar public—and put-downs of Obama—media back war as usual

There was little support for war on Syria—except on US broadcast news, where most of the debates and discussions still tilted in favor of a military attack.

Oct
01
2013

See--Spying Works!

Turning counter-terror tale into 'win' for NSA wiretapping

nsa-slider

When the government proclaimed the existence of a somewhat vague but extraordinarily dangerous new terrorist threat from a branch of Al-Qaeda in Yemen, it provided an opportunity to link NSA snooping to a War on Terror “success”—and many in the corporate media were all too happy to play along.

Oct
01
2012

Guide to Election Coverage 2012

Tropes, tricks and tics of campaign journalism

Every four years, U.S. media spend untold time and energy covering the presidential campaign. And every election cycle there are certain media themes that keep coming back. Extra! has compiled a guide to the most popular recurring tropes, as well as some new additions to keep an eye on in 2012. Candidate Caricatures In 2008, journalists gave us McCain the maverick vs. Obama the snob (Extra!, 5–6/08, 7–8/08): easily digestible caricatures that the candidates’ every action could be forced into. It didn’t matter that McCain toed the party line more than your average Republican, or that Obama’s middle-class, community activist […]

Aug
01
2012

Islamophobia, Antisemitism and the Demonized 'Other'

Parallels among bigotries reflect the conspiratorial mindset

Salman Rushdie--Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/David Shankbone

Republican hopeful Mitt Romney is portrayed by online bigots as a Manchurian Candidate for a secretive cabal of Mormon elites—echoing anti-Catholic conspiracy theories about John F. Kennedy being a wind-up toy for the Vatican. Meanwhile, a chain letter currently being circulated warns that the “American Government is under the command and control of…the Freemasons and Leadership of the Catholic Church.” There are right-wing websites and blogs warning that if President Barack Obama is re-elected, hordes of scheming fanatic Muslims plan to impose Sharia law and turn America into a totalitarian socialist/Nazi theocratic state. Other websites and blogs warn that Obama […]

May
01
2012

Soundbites

April 2012

Mostly Ridiculous Many observers wrote off PolitiFact, a group that claims to rate the relative accuracy of political claims, when it declared (12/20/11) that the “Lie of the Year” in 2011 was a statement—”Republicans voted to end Medicare” —that was actually true (Political Animal, 12/20/11). The group provided more evidence that it has jumped the shark when it evaluated Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s claim that “the majority of Americans are conservatives.” PolitiFact Florida (2/14/12) cited Gallup polls showing that 40 percent of Americans describe themselves as conservative—and, based on this, declared Rubio’s statement to be “Mostly True.” The group’s Bill […]

Mar
01
2012

Letting Apple Off the Hook for Labor Abuses

Blaming consumers for not knowing what media have barely covered

“The iEconomy,” a New York Times series “examining challenges posed by increasingly globalized high-tech industries,” provides Exhibit A on how even the best attempts by corporate media to dig into international labor rights fall short. With three bylined reporters and nine months of work (Economix, 1/25/12), the first two pieces of the series provided perhaps the most in-depth look at the production of Apple products that a corporate outlet has ever published. Despite all the resources it had expended and the abuses it had documented, the Times refused to pin the responsibility on Apple. The first article (1/22/12), “How the […]

Jan
01
2012

On Iran, an Unsmoking Nongun

Nuclear report doesn’t say what media want it to

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/Erjkprunczyk

The release of a United Nations report on Iran’s nuclear program in early November was, according to much of the corporate media, the long-awaited confirmation of something many outlets had already treated as established fact: Iran is working on a nuclear weapon. You would have a hard time figuring out that the report from the International Atomic Energy Agency did not actually arrive at that conclusion. As has happened with past IAEA reports on Iran, some coverage presented a sneak preview of the supposed conclusions, based on leaks from sources intent on portraying Iran in a more negative light. On […]