Nov 21 2008

Washington Post Responds to FAIR on Iraq War Casualties

But paper continues to underestimate Iraqi death toll

Since FAIR sent out an action alert (10/27/08) about the Washington Post‘s weekly chart, “Iraq War Casualties,” the newspaper has ceased using the misleading term “maximum count” to refer to an Iraqi civilian death toll figure 2 to 10 times lower than the casualty figures reached by household surveys (Washington Post, 11/1/08, 11/8/08, 11/15/08). FAIR appreciates the change. However, as the Washington Post foreign desk confirmed to one FAIR activist in a letter, the newspaper is still using Iraq Body Count figures, which, as FAIR’s alert pointed out, are “almost certainly a very serious underestimation”: Iraq Body Count bases its […]

Nov 13 2008

Fox Responds to FAIR

Fox News Channel senior vice president John Moody took issue with FAIR’s action alert, “Fox News Nailbiter! Conservative Channel Pushed Notion of a Tightening Election.” But Moody’s claims–and his suggestion that FAIR “retract your article and provide an appropriate apology”–are based on a peculiar argument. As FAIR’s alert documented, Fox personalities spent an unusual amount of time in the days preceding the election suggesting that the race between Barack Obama and John McCain was “tightening.” Moody seems to dismiss the argument by suggesting the quotes are “from political pundits, whose opinions we do not attempt to control.” In fact, the […]

Sep 08 2008

Brokaw Responds to FAIR

NBC anchor Tom Brokaw responded to FAIR’s August 29 action alert, which criticized Brokaw’s warning to Democrats that they should be “careful” about how they criticize Republican presidential John McCain. As FAIR noted, Brokaw’s argument was that McCain was a “Vietnam War hero” and that Democrats “have to be careful about how you go after John McCain because of that Vietnam experience.” Brokaw’s response was as follows: Thanks for the courtesy—but your action alert is provocatively misleading. I did not advise anyone to lay off John McCain. I merely said it was a tricky issue for Democrats—and cited Jim Webb’s […]

Jul 23 2008

Washington Post Responds to FAIR’s Criticism Over Poll Question

A FAIR Action Alert on July 15 encouraged readers to ask the Washington Post why it asked a misleading poll question about Obama and McCain’s positions on the Iraq War. The question, which framed the candidates’ positions as two different “approaches” to withdrawal, led the paper to conclude that the country was “split down the middle between those backing Sen. Barack Obama’s 16-month timeline for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and those agreeing with Sen. John McCain’s position that events, not timetables, should dictate when forces come home.” Post ombud Deborah Howell dismissed FAIR’s criticism without addressing FAIR’s argument. […]

Jul 09 2008

NPR host responds to FAIR

The host of NPR’s Bryant Park Project, Mike Pesca, has responded to FAIR’s media advisory “Press Distorts Clark’s Comments” (7/2/08), which quoted Pesca (6/30/08) as likening Wesley Clark’s statements about John McCain’s Vietnam record to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth campaign to smear John Kerry’s service record. In a letter to FAIR, Pesca argued that he had been referring to “vociferous McCain critics,” not Clark. FAIR reported in the advisory: Some outlets, including the Los Angeles Times (7/1/08) and NPR (6/30/08) compared the dust-up to the 2004 Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a conservative group that peddled inaccurate stories […]

May 06 2008

NYT Again Excludes Critics From Iraq War Discussion

Paper reprises one-sided panel to discuss “Mission Accomplished” The New York Times‘ May 4 Week in Review section featured a discussion of the state of the Iraq War with advocates of that war—-the same advocates who prompted a FAIR action alert on March 17. The following letter was sent to New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt, Op-Ed page editor David Shipley and Week in Review editor Sam Tanenhaus. Their contact information is listed below, as is FAIR’s earlier alert. Clark Hoyt, public editor Sam Tanenhaus, Week in Review editor David Shipley, Op-ed page editor Dear Sirs: On March 16, […]

May 05 2008

TV News Blackout on Pentagon Pundits

Two weeks after a New York Times story (4/20/08) revealed a Pentagon propaganda campaign that had been feeding talking points to TV military analysts, many of whom also had ties to military contractors, the cable and broadcast networks that employed these analysts have almost entirely failed to report this crucial news story. Fox has even continued to feature commentary by two Pentagon-affiliated ex-generals without disclosing their conflicts of interest. In the wake of the New York Times story and resulting calls for a congressional inquiry into the Pentagon pundits scandal, the Pentagon has announced that it has temporarily halted the […]

Apr 08 2008

New York Times Explains Winter Soldier Blackout

Public editor responds to concerns raised by FAIR

New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt has offered a response to media activists who wrote to the paper about its non-coverage of last month’s Winter Soldier hearings. Hoyt’s explanation is that reporters at the Times had “not been aware of the group or its meeting,” but likely wouldn’t have covered it if they had been aware of the event. The idea that the Times was unaware of Winter Soldier is remarkable; the paper’s D.C. reporters were repeatedly sent press releases about the events, the same ones that other media outlets received that did manage to cover the event, ranging […]