Jan
06
2012

NYT Misleads Readers on Iran Crisis

Paper disappears some inaccurate reporting

In two articles yesterday (1/5/12), the New York Times misled readers about the state of Iran's nuclear program. On the front page, the Times' Steven Erlanger reported this: The threats from Iran, aimed both at the West and at Israel, combined with a recent assessment by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran's nuclear program has a military objective, is becoming an important issue in the American presidential campaign. There is no such International Atomic Energy Agency assessment. The IAEA report the Times is mischaracterizing raised questions about the state of the Iranian program, and presented the evidence, mostly years […]

Dec
02
2011

CBS Undercounts Iraqi Deaths

Rewriting Iraq War history

A December 1 CBS Evening News report about the Iraq War managed to mislead viewers about the start of the war and severely diminish the loss of civilian lives. Reporting on the handover of the U.S. military headquarters to Iraqi forces, anchor Scott Pelley announced: What began in 2003 as an effort to overthrow Saddam Hussein became a vicious religious war, pitting Iraqi against Iraqi--with the U.S. caught in the middle. Of course, the United States invaded Iraq with the stated aim of disarming Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, which did not exist. ("The opening stages of the disarmament of […]

Oct
27
2011

NewsHour and the One Percent

PBS newscast presents the upside of inequality

With protesters around the country speaking out against income inequality, public television's flagship newscast made time on October 26 for the pro-inequality side to be heard, featuring a guest who invoked a phony Abraham Lincoln quote to make his case.

Oct
25
2011

NPR vs. Free Speech

Opera show dropped by NPR to punish host's political activism

On Friday NPR decided it would no longer distribute an opera program because of the political activism of the program's host--who does not work for NPR. Together we can send a message to NPR about this appalling decision. A controversy erupted over freelance radio host Lisa Simeone's participation with an activist group occupying a park in Washington, D.C. Simeone was promptly fired as host of the documentary program Soundprint (AP, 10/20/11), which cited NPR ethics guidelines. NPR claims it had nothing to do with that firing (Poynter.org, 10/20/11). On Thursday, North Carolina station WDAV, which produces World of Opera, announced […]

Oct
04
2011

CNN's Factcheck Failure on Occupy Wall Street

Former CNBC reporter Erin Burnett's CNN show OutFront debuted Monday night (10/3/11) with a failed attempt to factcheck the Occupy Wall Street protests. The show kicked off with Burnett explaining that she went to Wall Street today to see those protests for myself. I saw dancing, bongo drums, even a clown.... I asked several protesters what it was that they wanted. Now, they did not know.... They did know what they don't want. Burnett added that "it seems like people want a messiah leader, just like they did when they anointed Barack Obama." That segued into an interview with center-right […]

Sep
23
2011

What if the Tea Party Occupied Wall Street?

Corporate media skip anti-corporate protests

Occupy Wall Street sign

In an action called Occupy Wall Street, thousands of activists took to the streets of Lower Manhattan on September 17. The protests are continuing, with demonstrators camped out on the Financial District's Liberty Street in support of U.S. democratization and against corporate domination of politics (Adbusters, 9/19/11). But you wouldn't know much about any of this from the corporate media--outlets that seem much more interested in protests of the Tea Party variety. The anti-corporate protests have been lightly covered in the hometown New York Times: One piece (9/18/11) largely about how the police blocked access to Wall Street, and one […]

Sep
12
2011

CNN Throws a Tea Party

Network aligns with controversial far-right activists

Tonight's Republican debate might look familiar, with a well-known journalist posing questions to a stage full of candidates. But CNN's event is actually a co-production of sorts with the far-right Tea Party Express, raising serious questions about a journalistic outlet's decision to formally partner with a controversial political group. As CNN explained the relationship (9/8/11): CNN and the Tea Party Express, along with more than 100 local Tea Party groups from every state across the country, will team up Monday, September 12, to present a first-of-its-kind debate from the site of the 2012 Republican National Convention. The CNN statement adds: […]

Aug
02
2011

David Gregory's Social Security Nonsense

Misinforming viewers about deficit's causes--and public's solutions

Corporate media coverage of budget deficits and debt often turns to blaming Social Security and Medicare for being the real problem. NBC's Meet the Press host David Gregory is especially fond of passing off such misleading claims as facts. In a question to Republican Sen. John Thune, Gregory put it this way (7/31/11): Senator, what's really ludicrous to the American people, even when the American people don't always speak with one voice on this matter, is that Washington is not really dealing with what really drives the debt, that's entitlement spending. It's been going on this way and was a […]