Sep 14 2012

Post Ombud Agrees with FAIR on Big Oil Sponsorship

Energy 'debate' needed diversity and disclosure

The Washington Post has responded to FAIR’s September 14 Action Alert, which criticized the paper for presenting a two-page energy “debate” that didn’t include critics of the industry–and didn’t disclose to readers that the discussion was sponsored by Big Oil. In his most recent column, Post ombud Patrick Pexton (9/21/12) largely agreed with FAIR’s take, acknowledging that the panel discussions (which the Post used as the basis for the print feature) should have included more diverse views and that the sponsorship of the American Petroleum Institute (API) should have been disclosed to Post readers. The Post‘s Mary Jordan, who was responsible for the energy events, told Pexton that […]

May 01 2012

PBS Responds on Dow-Funded Series

PBS ombud Michael Getler (4/27/12) agrees that the Dow Chemical Corporation’s sponsorship of a PBS series violates PBS underwriting guidelines. PBS, unfortunately, stands by its show. A FAIR Action Alert (4/23/12) pointed out that the decision to allow Dow to sponsor the series America Revealed, which deals with issues that closely track Dow’s business interests, flies in the face of PBS funding guidelines. Noting that he had received some 500 messages inspired by the alert, Getler agreed, saying that “the points raised by FAIR were fair ones, in my view, and many of the letters were quite comprehensive in their […]

Jan 10 2012

NYT Responds on Iran Alarmism

Public Editor: 'I think the readers are correct on this'

New York Times public editor Arthur Brisbane has responded to concerns raised in a FAIR action alert last week (1/6/12), agreeing that the paper wrongly suggested that the International Atomic Energy Agency has concluded that Iran is developing a nuclear weapon. In a post at his Times blog (1/10/12), Brisbane agrees that the paper was incorrect in referring to “a recent assessment by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran’s nuclear program has a military objective.” As FAIR pointed out, the IAEA report does not make such a firm conclusion, and many critics question the evidence that Agency has collected. […]

Dec 13 2011

CBS Revises Iraq Death Toll

New tally still lower than other estimates

After a FAIR Action Alert (12/2/11), the CBS Evening News has changed its count of civilian deaths–citing a new figure that is roughly twice their original count. On December 1 the CBS Evening News reported: It is estimated that more than 50,000 Iraqi civilians were killed in the war. As FAIR pointed out, this was totally inadequate–even the source for the network’s claim ( warned that this was not a comprehensive count. On December 12, CBS anchor Scott Pelley closed a segment about “how life has changed inside Iraq” with this: We looked into the human toll of the Iraq […]

Nov 03 2011

NewsHour Responds on Inequality

'Who would disagree' with fake Lincoln quote?

After FAIR’s recent action alert (10/27/11) concerning the PBS NewsHour‘s reports minimizing–and even celebrating–economic inequality, NewsHour correspondent Paul Solman posted a long response on the PBS website (10/31/11) that attempted to answer the criticism. Solman began by expressing his appreciation for the “avalanche” of feedback, “hostile though most of it has been.” He admits that guest Richard Epstein (10/26/11)–who made the case in favor of inequality–was incorrect to attribute this quote to Abraham Lincoln: “You do not make the poor rich by making the rich poor.” But then Solman writes that the sentiment behind it is beyond dispute: But when […]

Sep 29 2011

Some Breaks in the Blackout of Wall Street Protests

After a FAIR Action Alert (9/23/11) criticized the virtual media blackout of the Occupy Wall Street protests, corporate news coverage has increased–sparked largely by the escalating police brutality at the ongoing demonstration. (See FAIR Blog, 9/23/11, for a sample of the messages sent by FAIR activists to the network nightly news shows.) On ABC World News Sunday (9/25/11), anchor David Muir read this short item while playing footage of cops assaulting protesters: And here in New York, protests continued against the big banks and the bailout that helped the banks, Wall Street, they say, not Main Street. It turned ugly […]

Sep 16 2011

CNN Responds to Activists on Tea Party Alliance

Says partnership was not unusual--ignoring all the ways it was

CNN has responded to criticism from FAIR activists of its debate partnership with the Tea Party Express, rejecting the idea that there was anything questionable about its cooperation with the far-right racist organization. Asked by media columnist Richard Prince (Journal-isms, 9/12/11) to respond to FAIR’s September 12 Action Alert, a CNN spokesperson replied: During the primary debate season it’s not unusual for news organizations to partner with groups who are part of the coalition of that party…. CNN has partnered in the past with the Florida GOP (2007) and the Nevada Democratic Party (2008). CNN has also partnered with the […]

Apr 01 2011

Opening Up NewsHour’s Libya Discussion

FAIR’s March 29 Action Alert documented the PBS NewsHour‘s remarkably narrow range of debate on the Libya War, which featured an array of current and former military and government officials. On March 30, the NewsHour‘s debate on arming the Libyan rebels included Emira Woods from the progressive Institute for Policy Studies. Roughly a million Americans got to hear a perspective they might not otherwise have encountered. This is why media activism is important. You can check out the segment on the NewsHour‘s website. FAIR thanks all of the activists who wrote to the NewsHour to suggest they expand the discussion […]