Jan
11
2013

Taking Aim at the Elderly

'Fiscal cliff' deal spared the aged, pundits complain

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Wealthy pundits didn't like the outcome of the "fiscal cliff" tax deal-- mostly because it didn't do more to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits.

Dec
28
2012

The P.U.-litzer Prizes for 2012

Recalling some of the stinkiest media moments of the year

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It's that time of year: When FAIR presents the P.U.-litzers, the "awards" for some of the stinkiest media moments of the year. Smearing Occupy Wall Street? Praising Paul Ryan's wonkery? Phony factchecking? It's all here. So, without further ado...

Dec
13
2012

Robin Hood Isn't News

Wall Street Transaction Tax Missing from 'Cliff' Coverage

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We're told that the "fiscal cliff" requires spending cuts and more revenue. But there's a simple way to get more tax dollars-- a small "Robin Hood" tax on financial transactions. So why won't the press talk about it?

Dec
04
2012

Turning Their Back on Bradley Manning

Whistleblower speaks--but press doesn't listen

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Bradley Manning is accused of leaking incredibly vital information that made headlines around the world. But the developments at his trial last week were evidently not newsworthy.

Nov
09
2012

When Is a Mandate Not a Mandate?

Different standards for different elections--and parties

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When it comes to explaining election results, there's no precise way to determine whether voters gave the winner a "mandate"--defined by Oxford as "the authority to carry out a policy, regarded as given by the electorate to a party or candidate that wins an election." That makes it interesting to see how media use the expression--and which presidents they think earned one.

Oct
26
2012

The Moderators' Agendas

What was--and wasn't--asked at debates

The establishment media figures who moderated the 2012 major-party candidate debates confined the discussion to a remarkably narrow range of topics, a FAIR analysis of debate questions finds. A wide variety of topics were never brought up in questions during the six total hours of debate. Among economic subjects, no questions were asked about poverty, income inequality, the housing crisis, labor unions, agriculture or the Federal Reserve. Social issues were similarly truncated, with no questions raised about race or racism, gay rights (including marriage equality), civil liberties, criminal justice or drug legalization. Despite the fact that four Supreme Court justices […]

Oct
18
2012

Factchecking Libya

Debate dispute sheds light on media's cockeyed standards

The September 11, 2012, attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, became a contentious issue in the October 16 presidential debate (FAIR Blog, 10/17/12). The discussion didn't do much to illuminate U.S. foreign policy, but it exposed the essential uselessness in what corporate media offer as political "factchecking."

Oct
03
2012

Moderate Debates and Debate Moderators

Debate process needs more scrutiny, not less

Jim Lehrer is hopping mad. The New York Times (10/2/12) reports that the PBS anchor "has been seething. He said he was outraged by suggestions that he was a 'safe' and uninspired choice to moderate the first of four debates." The focus of the Times piece is the fact that people have more ways to express their opinions about the presidential debate moderators: In the Twitter age, when anyone can immediately render swift and harsh judgment, the stress of hosting an event as politically charged as a presidential debate is heavier than ever. While the New York Times seems bothered by the "partisan rancor in this hyper-politicized climate," it's difficult […]