Nov
05
2004

New York Times Killed "Bush Bulge" Story

November 5, 2004 Five days before the presidential election, the New York Times killed a story about the mysterious object George W. Bush wore on his back during the presidential debates, journalist Dave Lindorff reveals in an exclusive report on this week's CounterSpin , FAIR's weekly radio show. The spiked story included compelling photographic and scientific evidence that would have contradicted Bush's claim that the bulge on his back was just a matter of poor tailoring. "The New York Times assigned three editors to this story and had it scheduled to run five days before the election, which would have […]

Jun
02
2004

Ignoring Iraqi Opinion in the Name of Democracy

Despite growing calls from within the foreign policy establishment for a reconsideration of the U.S. military presence in Iraq, most mainstream pundits and commentators continue to argue that the U.S. has no choice but to tough it out. According to a survey of editorial opinion by Editor & Publisher (5/7/04), the trade publication of the newspaper industry, "the vast majority of America's large newspapers favored this approach to Iraq: Stay the course." But with resistance to the U.S.-led occupation forces showing no signs of fading away, some journalists have cast a worried glance at Iraqi public opinion. Establishing a democratic […]

Jun
01
2004

NPR Responds to FAIR's NPR Study

June 1, 2004 On May 26, NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin responded to FAIR's recent study, "How Public is Public Radio? " What follows is Dvorkin's column, followed by a response from FAIR's Steve Rendall. (NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey A. Dvorkin ) Is FAIR Being Fair about NPR? By Jeffrey A. Dvorkin Web Extra May 26, 2004 -- FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) has published a study that says NPR has gone over to the conservative side when it comes to who is interviewed and who are commentators. FAIR is a media watchdog group that describes itself as "progressive" -- i.e., […]

Apr
09
2004

Pundits to Kerry: Move Right

Every four years, loud voices in the media advise the Democratic presidential candidate to abandon progressive stances and occupy the political center. With Sen. John Kerry having emerged as the presumable nominee, the pundits are once again issuing the same prescription. Time magazine's Joe Klein wrote (4/12/04) that Kerry needs to be bold: "The ideal step would be to make [Republican Senator] John McCain his choice for vice president and announce a government of national reconciliation composed of moderate Democrats and Republicans." Klein recommended making a "radical move to the middle, a campaign that looks and sounds different from the […]

Mar
08
2004

GOP Rhetoric on Kerry's Voting Record Goes Unchallenged

After John Kerry emerged as the likely Democratic nominee for president, the Republican National Committee (RNC) began criticizing his record on military spending. The campaign against Kerry's record escalated on February 22 when the RNC released a list of weapons systems that Kerry allegedly "voted against." Republican spokespeople used this list to make sweeping claims about Kerry in the media: "I think the more that the president and the Republicans describe accurately-- they don't have to exaggerate at all; they just have to describe accurately and calmly-- what it means...to have voted against every major weapon system," Newt Gingrich declared […]

Sep
16
2003

Wesley Clark: The New Anti-War Candidate?

The possibility that former NATO supreme commander Wesley Clark might enter the race for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination has been the subject of furious speculation in the media. But while recent coverage of Clark often claims that he opposed the war with Iraq, the various opinions he has expressed on the issue suggest the media's "anti-war" label is inaccurate. Many media accounts state that Clark, who led the 1999 NATO campaign against Yugoslavia, was outspoken in his opposition to the invasion of Iraq. The Boston Globe (9/14/03) noted that Clark is "a former NATO commander who also happens to […]

Aug
22
2003

Journalists Find "Calm" When Only Palestinians Die

The deadly bus bombing in Jerusalem on August 19 was foreshadowed by a pair of suicide attacks a week earlier which killed two Israeli civilians. While U.S. media tended to portray these attacks as a return to violence after a relatively peaceful period, there were numerous killings in the weeks leading up to the suicide bombings that underscore the lack of evenhanded attention given to loss of life in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. When the two Palestinian suicide bombers each killed an Israeli civilian along with themselves on August 12, U.S. news outlets immediately depictedthe attacks as an apparent resurgence in […]

Jul
18
2003

Bush Uranium Lie Is Tip of the Iceberg

George W. Bush's 2003 State of the Union address

Five months later, the truthfulness of one claim in George W. Bush's State of the Union address has become the focus of growing media scrutiny. The attention media are paying to this single assertion should be part of a larger journalistic inquiry into other misstatements and exaggerations that have been made by the Bush administration about Iraq. In the January 28 speech, Bush claimed that "the British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." That assertion was similar to claims made previously by administration officials, including Secretary of State Colin Powell (CBS Evening […]