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 […]

Jun
28
2011

CBS Skips Bachmann Factcheck

Website notes inaccuracy, but viewers left in dark

CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer seemed well-prepared for his June 26 interview with Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann. But he didn't go nearly far enough in challenging Bachmann's misinformation. On the program Schieffer told the Minnesota representative: "A lot of your critics say you have been very fast and loose with the truth. You know, PolitiFact, which is a website that won a Pulitzer, did an analysis of 23 statements that you made recently. Of these 23, only one they said was completely true." Unfortunately, Bachmann had already re-told one of those falsehoods--and Schieffer did little to correct […]

Jun
02
2011

Petition: Open the Budget Debate to the People

Media boost Ryan plan, ignore People's Budget

Thanks to the corporate media, you probably know all about Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan. After he unveiled his proposal to slash Medicare funding and cut taxes for the wealthy--all in the name of fiscal discipline--he was interviewed on all the network Sunday morning shows: NBC's Meet the Press (4/10/11), Face the Nation on CBS (4/17/11) and ABC's This Week (5/1/11). Ryan also was given one-on-one interviews on the PBS NewsHour (4/5/11) and ABC's Good Morning America (4/13/11), and was profiled by ABC World News (4/5/11). Ryan's plan was discussed in a number of segments on the nightly newscasts […]

Mar
29
2011

Public TV's Libya Limits

Narrow war debate on PBS NewsHour

If public television's mission is to bring diverse viewpoints to the airwaves, the discussions about the war in Libya on the PBS NewsHour haven't lived up to that standard. Over the past two weeks, the NewsHour has featured an array of current and former military and government officials in its discussion segments--leaving little room for antiwar voices, U.S. foreign policy critics and legal experts. -On March 18, the NewsHour interviewed the Obama administration's UN Ambassador Susan Rice. -On March 21, anchor Jim Lehrer decided to get "perspective on the Mideast turmoil from two former U.S. national security advisers"--Carter's Zbigniew Brzezinski […]

Mar
02
2011

ABC's 'Made in America' Hypocrisy

Focusing on consumers, not corporations like Disney

ABC World News With Diane Sawyer kicked off its "Made in America" series on February 28, encouraging consumers to buy U.S.-made products in order to spur job growth. But why focus on consumers and not major corporations like ABC parent Disney, who are the ones who actually choose to manufacture products overseas? The February 28 report consisted of reporter David Muir touring one family's home, discovering that the vast majority of the family's possessions are not made in the United States. Muir even checks the children's toys, only to discover that they are mostly made in China. Consumers, of course, […]

Mar
01
2011

Why Does USA Today Hate Public Workers?

Paper's Dennis Cauchon continues misleading spin

On today's front page (3/1/11), USA Today alleges that public workers in Wisconsin earn more than private sector employees--a finding at odds with much of the research on public/private compensation. Under the headline "In Wisconsin, Private Sector Pays Less," reporter Dennis Cauchon argues that "Wisconsin is one of 41 states where public employees earn higher average pay and benefits than private workers in the same state." This "USA Today analysis" suffers from the same fundamental error as Cauchon's previous attempts (Extra!, 1/11) to paint public workers as overpaid: the failure to control for factors like the type of work performed, […]