Search Results for: Peter Hart, FAIR Blog

Jan
01
2012

On Iran, an Unsmoking Nongun

Nuclear report doesn’t say what media want it to

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 […]

Oct
01
2011

Samuelson vs. The Elderly

One columnist’s war on retirement programs

Robert Samuelson--Photo Credit: Washington Post

Nationally syndicated Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson began a book event in 2009 (1/13/09) with a comment that could be interpreted as either self-deprecating humor or defensiveness: I am not an economist. I’m a journalist. And so that anything I say that seems contradictory to what a freshman in college would learn in your basic Principles of Economics course, I should be absolved of any sin for that, because as I say I am not a card-carrying member of the fraternity. Despite having a name that’s fortuitously easy to confuse with prominent economic textbook writer Paul Samuelson, and despite his […]

Jun
01
2011

'Waterboarding Worked'?

After bin Laden’s death, media push pro-torture message

A waterboarding demonstration in Coney Island.--Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/Salim Virji

To hear some tell it, the intelligence clues that ultimately led to Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan were generated by the use of torture. But the evidence available so far does not bear this out. Torture advocates on the right are claiming vindication. On Fox News Channel’s O’Reilly Factor (5/2/11), Rep. Peter King (R.-N.Y.) announced that we obtained information several years ago,vital information about the courier for Obama [sic]. We obtained that information through waterboarding. And so for those who say that waterboarding doesn’t work, to say that it should be stopped and never used again—we got vital information […]

Apr
01
2011

Anonymous Soldiers as Medical Experts?

Only when the NYT covers Israel killing a Palestinian

Jawaher Abu Rahmah--Photo Credit: Electronic Intifada/Oren Ziv/ActiveStills

U.S. media coverage of the death of Jawaher Abu Rahmah reflected how the corporate press routinely covers high-profile civilian deaths caused by Israel. The Israeli government, it seems, can count on U.S. media to print its anonymous claims—no matter how baseless. Two days after Abu Rahmah, a Palestinian woman from the West Bank village of Bil’in, died from tear-gas inhalation during a December 31 demonstration against the separation wall, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) went into spin mode. Anonymous “senior officers” in the Israeli army pushed a number of theories about her death—Abu Rahmah wasn’t at the demonstration, she had […]

Sep
01
2010

'Race to the Top' and the Bill Gates Connection

Who gets to speak about what schools need?

Race to the Top (RTTT), announced by President Barack Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on July 24, 2009, is a $4.4 billion grant program generating more conversation than its relatively small money amount might suggest. What has people talking is its competitive structure that forces cash-strapped states to make radical changes in education in order to stay in the running—changes a National Research Council report (10/7/09) warned were not backed by research. Instead of dispersing grant money on the basis of greatest need, RTTT chooses a few winners based on the degree to which the states deliver what […]

Jun
01
2010

Wealth Gap Yawns--and So Do Media

Little interest in study of massive race/gender disparities

The Insight Center for Community Economic Development (3/8/10) released a stunning report about the wealth gap for women of color: Single black women have a median wealth of $100 and Hispanic women of $120—dramatically lower than white men ($43,800), white women ($41,500) or black men ($7,900). Insight Center for Community Economic Development, March 2010 The median wealth for single white women in their prime working years, age 36-49, is 61 percent of the wealth of their male counterparts, who own $70,030. That’s terrible, but the corresponding ratio between women and men of color is nearly off the charts, at just […]

Apr
16
2010

Ben Lilliston on genetically engineered foods, Barbara Miner on Teach for America

By

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: A New York Times report gives the impression that the debate over genetically engineered foods is largely over; the paper's writeup of new research says that, despite some caveats and critics' warnings, GE crops are good for the environment and the economy. Others come away with more questions than answers though. We'll hear from Ben Lilliston of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. Also on CounterSpin today: On the surface, Teach for America sounds like a great idea: sending bright young college grads into needy schools to teach. But there's much more to […]

Mar
09
2010

Meacham to PBS Would Send the Wrong Message

According to a report on the New York Times website (3/9/10), PBS is in talks with Newsweek editor Jon Meacham to be co-host of its forthcoming Need to Know program. If the report proves accurate, it gives viewers little hope for the kind of critical, uncompromising programming that public television was created to foster. Meacham's consideration for a show that would replace hard-hitting independent programs Now and the Bill Moyers Journal sends a clear and troubling message about PBS's priorities. Meacham is a fixture on commercial TV pundit shows in addition to his Newsweek duties. In these venues, he is […]