Dec 10 2013

CIA and Mandela: Can the Story Be Told Now?

Agency's role in Mandela capture still mostly not news

Nelson Mandela

With coverage of Nelson Mandela’s death dominating the media now, can the story of the CIA’s role in Mandela’s capture be told? Mostly not.

Nov 13 2013

Covering Christie

Reporters focus on personality instead of policy


The real elephant in the room is that Chris Christie has an actual record of governing a state, and journalists seem almost totally uninterested in discussing it.

Aug 27 2013

The Accelerating Assault on Journalism

Some media figures applaud the criminalization of investigative reporting

Fox News' James Rosen

U.S. soldier Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning’s 35-year sentence represents the harshest punishment issued to date for providing media with evidence of government wrongdoing (Forbes, 8/21/13). She is the first whistleblower to be convicted under the Espionage Act, ratifying the new reality that those who give the press information that the government wants to keep secret will henceforth be treated as spies. Manning’s sentence is only the latest example of the criminalization of investigative journalism that has greatly intensified in the Obama era (Extra!, 9/11). While whistleblowers have been the chief targets of the harsh crackdown on media challenges to official […]

Aug 13 2013

Defining Drone Deaths in Yemen

Media present dubious official claims as fact


The United States has reportedly carried out nine drone attacks in the last few weeks in Yemen, generating headlines about the targeting and killing of suspected Al-Qaeda militants in the impoverished country. But how can media know for sure who is being killed? The uptick in attacks is apparently related to the alleged terrorist chatter that prompted the U.S. government to close down embassies and diplomatic offices. To hear the media tell it, the U.S. is striking at terrorist fighters. “An American drone delivers a deadly message to Al-Qaeda,” announced the CBS Evening News (8/7/13). Correspondent Bob Orr reported, “For […]

Jun 11 2013

Pundits vs. Edward Snowden

Informing public of government spying 'self-indulgent' and 'grandiose'

Edward Snowden

There are plenty of people working in the media who don’t have much use for whistleblowers–and they’ve been having a field day going after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

May 15 2013

Justice Department Attacks the Press

AP records seizure a troubling fishing expedition


The Justice Department’s seizure of AP phone records constitutes a troubling encroachment on the freedom of the press and underscores longstanding concerns about the Obama administration’s willingness to trample the First Amendment.

May 6 2013

Syria Skepticism

Chemical claims should be investigated, not used as pretext for war


U.S. suggestions that the Syrian government could have used chemical weapons have been treated as fact by some media outlets, and are helping to fuel the case for greater U.S. military involvement.

Apr 16 2013

Social Security Cuts Are Media’s ‘Center’


The White House plan to cut Social Security benefits has been praised by major media as a brave move towards the “middle” by Obama, as well as an effort to use a more “accurate” measure of inflation. Neither claim is credible. Part of the White House plan is to change how inflation is calculated, by switching to the “chained consumer price index.” This results in a small reduction in benefits that compounds over time, so the cuts get larger as retirees get older. Many in the media depicted this as a bold centrist move. An Associated Press dispatch (4/5/13) began: […]