Search Results for: David L. Wilson

Feb 1 2006

20 Stories That Made a Difference

For better or worse

FAIR was founded on the belief that journalism matters—that getting out the truth can improve the world, while news that distorts or denies reality can have terrible consequences. To illustrate this conviction, we’ve compiled a list of 20 news stories published since FAIR’s 1986 debut that had a major impact on society—for good or for ill. The list is not meant to be a comprehensive collection of the most momentous stories of the past 20 years, but rather to be illustrative of the power of media. Stories that should have led to serious changes, but were underplayed by corporate media, […]

Nov 28 2005

The Woodward Scandal Should Not Blow Over

Bob Woodward probably hoped that the long holiday weekend would break the momentum of an uproar that suddenly confronted him midway through November. But three days after Thanksgiving, on NBC’s Meet the Press, a question about the famed Washington Post reporter provoked anything but the customary adulation. “I think none of us can really understand Bob’s silence for two years about his own role in the case,” longtime Post journalist David Broder told viewers. “He’s explained it by saying he did not want to become involved and did not want to face a subpoena, but he left his editor, our […]

Oct 1 2005

Time to Unplug the CPB

Replace corrupt board with independent trust

Veterans of the battles over public broadcasting know the script by now: Right-wing Republicans denounce NPR and PBS for being too “liberal,” threatening to cut their federal funding. Public broadcasting’s defenders rally to “save” Big Bird and the like. The difference this time around, though, is significant. The right-wing Republican is not a politician per se. He’s Kenneth Tomlinson, chair of the government-funded Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), and thus the man in charge of distributing federal dollars to public broadcasters. Tomlinson’s charges about the liberal bias of public broadcasting coincided with a congressional attempt to make deep cuts in […]

Nov 1 2002

Another Day, Another Mass Arrest

Media unfazed by erosion of right to assemble

From September 25 to September 29, activists rallied in Washington, D.C. for the first large-scale U.S. protests against the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. On Friday, September 27, several hundred people–including activists, bystanders and journalists–were arrested en masse in what appears to have been an illegal and politically motivated detention. For many mainstream media outlets, the arrests were barely worthy of comment. ‘We want to leave peacefully’ The arrests occurred during the first of the weekend’s two most prominent actions, the Anti-Capitalist Convergence’s “People’s Strike.” The ACC ( called on activists […]

Jun 1 1998

‘We Paid $3 Billion for These Stations. We’ll Decide What the News Is’

Steve Wilson and Jane Akre, a husband-and-wife investigative reporting team at WTVT, Fox‘s Tampa Bay affiliate, thought they had a dynamite story: Despite promises to consumers, supermarkets in Florida were selling milk produced with rBGH, a synthetic growth hormone developed by Monsanto that boosts milk production. The use of rBGH causes udder infections in cows, requiring increased use of antibiotics, but the monitoring of antibiotic residues in milk was inadequate, Akre and Wilson found. Most ominously, the Fox reporters found that some scientists believe that rBGH-boosted milk contains heightened levels of IGF-1, a hormone associated with increased risk of cancer […]

May 1 1995

The Mexican ‘Miracle’

What U.S. media missed

On May 22, 1993, soldiers from the Mexican army accidentally ran across a guerrilla training camp in the jungles of the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. One army officer and one civilian were killed in the clashes that followed, according to the military. The incident was given prominent coverage in La Jornada, a popular, moderately leftist Mexico City daily. The reports of a skirmish were greeted with some skepticism in Mexico, but Gen. Rigoberto Castillejos Adriano, a sub-commander in the National Defense Secretariat, indignantly defended the army’s account in a letter featured on the front page of the July 11 […]

Sep 1 1994

Double Your Standard

Repudiation, Forgiveness and Martin Peretz

Martin Peretz said blacks had “cultural deficiencies” at a March 21 breakfast hosted by the American Jewish Committee. With minimal differences in phrasing, his remarks were subsequently reported in both Newsday (3/22/94) and the Washington Post (3/28/94). It seemed to me a good opportunity to play the “blanket condemnation” game in reverse. We’re all familiar with the ritual: A black person says something offensive to the ears of polite white opinion and every notable in the African-American political community is pressed to issue a sharp statement of reproof. It’s a form of social discipline which doesn’t often work the other […]

Jun 28 1994

Limbaugh Responds to FAIR

Responding to FAIR's charges printed by major print media outlets

“Reign of Error: From AIDS to ozone, from Whitewater to the Bible, Limbaugh seems to be able to dissemble and disinform on virtually any subject.” — report from Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), listing “dozens of [Limbaugh’s] statements and writings it says are inaccurate,” Associated Press, June 28, 1994. “Limbaugh’s Reign of Error” was printed in EXTRA!, the publication of Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. “FAIR” was launched in the summer of 1987 with the financial assistance of The New World Foundation (NWF) which gave FAIR a $2,500 grant that year, according to NWF’s 1987-1988 annual report. The Chair […]