Search Results for: CounterSpin

Oct
01
1992

Counterspin No. 14: October 1, 1992

A Memo on Campaign Coverage From FAIR

GOOD MORNING, MR. PRESIDENT: How did ABC get President Bush to agree to do three live interviews on Good Morning America? By allowing him to pick what subjects he wanted to talk about and declare certain issues off limits, according to a report by Cox News Service (9/28). The setup was that Bush would be interviewed on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of this week, with the subjects limited to taxes, crime and healthcare. While at least the first two topics are favorite Republican themes, an issue Bush is more vulnerable on, the economy, is not featured, even though voters consistently […]

Sep
22
1992

Counterspin No 13: September 22, 1992

A Memo on Campaign Coverage From FAIR

DEBATE EVASION: Bush’s debate-avoiding strategy extends to public television--and PBS is letting him get away with it. Last night, PBS ran the second part of an innovative two-part special called Voices of the Electorate, based on town meetings in black and Latino communities, where voters indicated the issues they wished candidates would address. The producers of the program then presented these concerns to the two major candidates, and offered them a chance to respond. Clinton took them up on the offer, and was taped in two segments totaling seven minutes; Bush declined the offer to participate. From a journalistic perspective, […]

Sep
18
1992

Counterspin No. 12: September 18, 1992

A Memo on Campaign Coverage From FAIR

WORKING THE REFS: Asked by the Washington Post (8/20) about Republican complaints about the media, Republican national chair Rich Bond helpfully explained: “There is some strategy to it. I’m the coach of kids’ basketball and Little League teams. If you watch any great coach, what they do is work the refs. Maybe the ref will cut you a little slack next time.” Judging by recent coverage of Bill Clinton’s draft record, the Republican strategy of “working the refs” may be paying off. PLAYING THE DRAFT CARD: Clinton’s draft avoidance has been a major theme of election coverage since the primaries; […]

Aug
21
1992

Counterspin No. 11: August 21, 1992

A Memo From FAIR on Campaign Coverage

KEEPING POLITICIANS HONEST: After the 1988 election, journalists promised themselves that they would no longer, in the name of “objectivity,” allow candidates to get away with blatant falsehoods. Speeches and commercials were to be scrutinized for accuracy, with reporters serving as referees who would blow the whistle when politicians crossed the line between campaign rhetoric and lies. One reporter who seems to be doing a good job at this is Andrew Rosenthal of the New York Times. Covering President Bush, he has not hesitated to point out the candidate’s bogus claims. After Bush promised disabled veterans that he would veto […]

Jul
20
1992

Counterspin No. 10: July 20, 1992

A Memo on Campaign Coverage From FAIR

MANAGED DEMOCRACY: One got the impression from the coverage of the Democratic Convention that democracy is something that many in the national press corps are uncomfortable with. CBS’s Richard Threlkeld (7/13) put it this way: “Americans are going to be watching to see how Bill Clinton manages this convention to see how he can manage the country.” Again and again, Clinton won praise for “managing” to stifle any substantive discussion of issues, which raises the question of how the press would respond to similar “management” of the country. “Are you annoyed that you have to deal with people like Jerry […]

Jul
14
1992

Counterspin No. 9: July 14, 1992

A Memo on Campaign Coverage From FAIR

ANTI-DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION: It’s fashionable to bemoan the networks’ lack of gavel-to-gavel coverage of the conventions. Even Peter Jennings (Washington Post, 7/12)  said it was “a little sad” that the networks were passing up “a chance to present the democratic process in the purest sense.” Of course, the modern stage-managed conventions are anything but a democratic process--and the media bear a lot of the blame. In the last few Democratic conventions, anything that resembled democracy--a debate over a pressing issue, a resolution that wasn’t pre-approved--was denounced as “mischief” from “special interests.” This year is supposed to be different: “Certainly the portents […]

Jun
26
1992

Counterspin No. 8: June 26, 1992

A Memo on Campaign Coverage From FAIR

CLINTON’S HORTON: Bill Clinton’s remarks about Sister Souljah were part of a clear, if somewhat peculiar, political strategy: identify those voting blocs most likely to support you, and alienate them. (It’s an approach that’s especially odd in a three-way race, where 35 percent of the vote could provide victory.) This strategy was outlined in a Broder/Edsall Washington Post piece (6/12) just before the Rainbow Coalition conference: “Some top advisers to Clinton argue that...he must become involved in highly publicized confrontations with one or more Democratic constituencies.” Clearly, the Souljah flap was one of these deliberately staged provocations, and Clinton’s spin […]

Jun
18
1992

Counterspin No. 7: June 18, 1992

A Memo on Campaign Coverage From FAIR

PEROT FOR REAL: News media seem to have realized that H. Ross Perot might, in fact, become president, and the prospect has prompted some good journalism. Associated Press (5/7) examined the cozy relationship between Perot and Nixon, as revealed in White House memos, such as the document indicating Perot offered to buy a TV network and newspaper for Nixon. CNN (6/10) reported on how his insider government connections enabled Perot to make billions off of welfare programs. Michael Tomasky in the Village Voice (5/26) compiled several episodes of shady dealings that benefited Perot’s EDS. But there seems to be a […]