Jan 26 2010

PBS Responds to FAIR Petition

More than 14,000 have called for hard-hitting public journalism

FAIR presented a petition with more than 11,000 names to PBS on January 13, calling for worthy replacements for the exiting programs Bill Moyers Journal and Now. In all, 14,462 people signed the petition, including names added after it was delivered to PBS. In a January 22 response, PBS described its new Friday night offering, Need to Know, but gave no indication of whether the program will continue the hard-hitting tradition of its predecessors. Corporate Communications director Jan McNamara wrote that “PBS is committed to maintaining the highest level of news and public affairs programming” and that “changes to our […]

Jan 13 2010

WaPo Ombud Responds on Fiscal Times

Alexander denies article was 'propaganda,' but acknowledges flaws

Responding to complaints by FAIR activists and others (FAIR Action Alert, 1/6/10), Washington Post ombud Andy Alexander (1/10/10) denied that a Post article (12/31/09) underwritten by an anti-Social Security crusader constituted “propaganda,” but he acknowledged that the piece contained serious flaws. The Post had come under fire for running a piece from the Fiscal Times, a for-profit news outlet launched by Peter Peterson, a billionaire who has spent millions promoting cuts in entitlement spending (Extra!, 3-4/97). Alexander maintained that it was “false” to say that by publishing the Fiscal Times story–about the possible creation of a bipartisan commission that would […]

Oct 13 2009

NYT: ‘FAIR Had a Point’

Paper's public editor agrees with activists

In response to FAIR’s September 22 action alert, New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt agreed (10/11/09) that the paper’s September 20 article about Medicare for all excluded supporters of a single-payer healthcare system. FAIR pointed out that the article, written by Katharine Seelye, laid out many arguments against single-payer–it would mean a big tax increase, it would hurt doctors, and so on–without including balancing responses from supporters. Hoyt agreed: The Times has focused its coverage on proposals that editors and reporters judge to be politically feasible, which means that tort reform, popular with conservatives, and single-payer health coverage, popular […]

Sep 23 2009

Helping to Fill the Gap in the Healthcare Debate

Dear FAIR Supporter, FAIR loves being able to bring you recent successes we’ve had in standing up to the corporate media. On July 28, FAIR led an inspiring activist action where we delivered our petition signed by more than 13,000 physicians, activists and concerned citizens to ABC News headquarters in New York, demanding that the TV network open up the debate on healthcare reform to include advocates for single-payer proposals. Single-payer, or Medicare for all, is supported by 59 percent of the public and an equal percentage of physicians, but corporate media have almost entirely silenced such supporters. But our […]

Jul 31 2009

Media Take Notice of FAIR’s Healthcare Petition

On Tuesday, FAIR successfully delivered our petition demanding a broader debate on healthcare reform to ABC News, and already the media are taking notice of our efforts. The L.A. Times covered our petition delivery and acknowledged that there has been a “gaping hole in much of the media coverage — caused by the failure to investigate practices around the rest of the world, particularly European-style, single-payer programs.” And the buzz continues to grow…. Check out these links to see some of the coverage the petition has received so far: Common Dreams (7/30/09) L.A. Times (7/29/09) Democracy Now! (7/29/09) Paper Tiger […]

Jun 08 2009

NY Times Ombud Agrees with Activists

Paper failed to question Pentagon propaganda on Gitmo prisoners

Citing a FAIR Action Alert (5/27/09), New York Times ombud Clark Hoyt agreed with media activists who asked him to challenge the Times‘ unskeptical coverage of a leaked Pentagon report on former Guantánamo prisoners. In his column “What Happened to Skepticism?” (6/6/09), Hoyt called the Times‘ May 21 front-page story on the report “seriously flawed.” He wrote that the article provided “ammunition” for Dick Cheney’s campaign against Obama’s plan to close the offshore prison camp, and compared the piece to the Times‘ uncritical coverage of leaked intelligence on WMDs in the lead-up to the Iraq War. Hoyt also noted that […]

Apr 09 2009

Frontline Responds on Sick Around America

In the wake of a FAIR Action Alert (4/6/09), Frontline has responded to critics of its documentary Sick Around America, defending the film’s focus on mandatory private health insurance and its exclusion of the single-payer option. (Frontline‘s full response follows.) In an email response to FAIR (4/7/09), Frontline characterized FAIR’s charge that the documentary presented mandatory for-profit healthcare as the only alternative to the current U.S. healthcare system as “untrue” because the film’s narrator acknowledged that “other developed countries bar health insurance companies from making profits on basic care and cap their administrative costs.” While it’s true that FAIR’s alert […]

Mar 02 2009

More Hot Air from George Will

Columnist defends errors in climate change column

Syndicated Washington Post columnist George Will and the Post‘s ombud Andrew Alexander are still failing to address the majority of the inaccuracies in Will’s February 15 column on climate change. Facing down critics (including FAIR–Action Alert, 2/18/09), Will claimed in a new column (2/27/09) that his original “column contained many factual assertions but only one has been challenged.” Taking up that “one” challenge, Will continued to insist that his summary of research done by the University of Illinois’ Department of Atmospheric Sciences was correct–despite the researchers’ repudiation of Will’s argument. Of course, critics had pointed out two other inaccuracies: Will […]