Music as a Weapon? No Joke “Britney Spears is being used as a secret weapon to fight Somali pirates,” FoxNews.com (10/30/13) reported October 30. “The singer’s hits are being blasted out by tanker crews to deter kidnap attacks.” The piece quoted a British naval officer who says, “These guys can’t stand Western culture or music, making Britney’s hits perfect.” NBC (NBCNews.com, 10/29/13) also picked up the story, telling viewers, Spears “can’t count Somali pirates among her many fans. In fact, her tunes are being used to turn the tide on high-seas crimes.” Nor could Time (Time.com, 10/28/13) pass on such […]
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Panic over testing feeds drop in creativity
No conflict seen in Jerusalem reporter's husband representing Israel
The Washington Post responded to FAIR's Action Alert about the Post's Jerusalem bureau reporter, Ruth Eglash, whose husband's links to the Israeli government pose a major conflict of interest. But the paper's response--to the extent that it has any substance at all--seems to misconstrue what a conflict of interest is.
Without a dramatic storyline, little national attention
While discussing abortion legislation on NBC’s Meet the Press (7/14/13), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nevada) told host David Gregory: “I think we should deal with the problems that affect this country. We need to do something to help the American working class and stop worrying about fringe issues.” A notable lack of media coverage on recent abortion legislation indicates that Reid’s not the only one who thinks of abortion as a fringe issue. National anti-choice organizations have amped up their state-by-state campaign to chip away at abortion rights; as of July 1, 17 states had introduced bills that put […]
A deeply flawed yet riveting lament for the news
It isn’t news to those of us interested in knowing about the world that American journalism is in crisis. With The Newsroom and its dramatic condemnation of the state of news, HBO is jumping into the center of an industry storm, and what it portrays as a national disgrace. Though Newsroom could have focused on newspapers—arguably the medium hardest hit by industry trends—or the Internet or alternative media, the program spotlights television and often fingers the medium itself, with its entertainment obsessions, as a main culprit. Ironically, the show’s creator is long-time film and TV entertainment pro Aaron Sorkin. Amid […]
Powerful interests are often pundits’ real bosses
Why can't Face the Nation face dissent on NSA spying?
The CBS Sunday morning show Face the Nation featured a discussion of NSA surveillance with the former head of the agency and two politicians who vigorously defend the agency's mass surveillance programs. The August 11 show featured a softball interview with Michael Hayden, who oversaw some of the most controversial Bush-era tactics at the NSA, including the warrantless wiretapping of American citizens (New York Times, 12/16/05). As Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald (8/12/13) observed, that eavesdropping was repeatedly found by federal judges to be unconstitutional and a felony. But the person in charge of overseeing that program was not brought on […]