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 (iCasualties.org) 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 […]

Dec
03
2010

NYT's Iran Missiles Walkback

Paper discovers reasons for skepticism

Certain editions of the New York Times (12/3/10) published today an update to its reporting on Iranian weapons with a much more skeptical tone than its original article. The first article (11/29/10), headlined "Iran Fortifies Its Missilies With the Aid of North Korea," presented the case in definitive terms: Iran now possesses powerful missiles with "the capacity to strike at capitals in Western Europe." As a FAIR Action Alert noted (12/1/10), the evidence to back this up was thin. And the paper decided, "at the request of the Obama administration," not to publish the WikiLeaks cable that was the basis […]

Nov
19
2010

Charlie Rose Opens Up the Deficit Debate

Tonight's broadcast of the Charlie Rose Show will feature a discussion of the budget deficit with progressive economist Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.). As FAIR's recent action alert noted (11/16/10), the Rose show's discussion of the White House deficit commission has been dominated by right-leaning guests who were supportive of the plan put forward by commission co-chairs Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. FAIR pointed out that experts including Baker have argued that the co-chairs' report is fundamentally flawed. And Schakowsky, who is a member of the deficit commission, has put […]

Jul
20
2010

PBS Ombud Agrees With FAIR on Shultz Tribute

Says funding gives series a 'credibility problem'

In response to hundreds of letters from FAIR activists, PBS ombud Michael Getler (7/16/10) agreed with FAIR's criticism (Action Alert, 7/12/10) of the 3-hour PBS documentary Turmoil and Triumph, a tribute to former Reagan-era Secretary of State George Shultz funded in part by institutions and individuals with close ties to Shultz. Getler found Turmoil to be "over-the-top, in my view, with praise, but with relatively little critical appraisal of some of the more controversial actions of Shultz's tenure." He wrote: This series, for me, as a viewer and an ombudsman, created at least the appearance of a conflict of interest; […]