Mitt Romney's choice of Rep. Paul Ryan as his Republican running mate has unleashed yet another torrent of fawning coverage touting Ryan's intelligence and bravery for advocating a fiscal plan of massive government spending cuts and massive tax breaks for the wealthy.
Paul Ryan according to Beltway media
In election attacks, 'working' trumps true
Sometimes the problem with corporate media’s coverage of elections is the absence of factchecking. And then there are times when the problem is more fundamental than that–when reporters suspend a minimal level of critical judgment in order to allow a political campaign to set a preferred storyline. Recent campaign coverage has focused on a supposed Barack Obama “gaffe” that was made to appear to be an attack on small business owners.
'Severe weather consultant' David Bernard is climate-change denier
What would you call someone who insists the Earth is not warming, but cooling? Or who recommends that a media outlet "cool the global warming mumbo jumbo"? On CBS Evening News, they call him an expert--the network's "severe weather consultant." Florida TV meteorologist David Bernard makes frequent appearances to talk about weather and climate on CBS Evening News and other CBS News shows. As FAIR and others have noted, recent TV coverage of weather disasters tends to downplay the effects of catastrophic climate change.
GOP tax claims should be factchecked
Barack Obama's July 9 announcement that he would extend the Bush tax cuts for income below $250,000 prompted the expected response from Republican politicians and presidential candidate Mitt Romney: This is a tax increase on "small businesses." That is false. But most news reports won't say so. The New York Times (7/10/12) told readers that Obama said that 98 percent of households and 97 percent of small businesses would receive a tax cut under his plan. But Republicans said the president’s proposal would amount to a broad tax on small businesses because many business owners report their profits as personal [...]
CBS sold 'scandal' on false premises
If you've paid much attention to media reports about the "Fast and Furious" scandal, you may be under the impression that government agencies inexplicably allowed guns to be purchased in the United States and shipped across the border to drug lords in Mexico, where they ended up being connected to the December 2010 death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. Soon after Terry's death, the story bloomed into a political scandal, with conservative lawmakers demanding to know who was behind the program. Barack Obama has claimed executive privilege to block the release of internal Justice Department communications about the [...]
NYT piece raises questions, but not a media conversation
The New York Times' lengthy report (5/29/12) on Barack Obama's drone "kill list" should provoke serious questions: Is such a program legal? How does it square with Obama's criticism of the Bush administration's "war on terror" policies? Is the White House covering up the killing of civilians by labeling them "militants"? Why is the United States continuing an assassination policy described as Al-Qaeda's top "recruiting tool"? But those questions have been raised only in fits and starts around the rest of the media. One of the co-authors of the Times piece, Scott Shane, appeared on the PBS NewsHour and on [...]
Reporter's husband's job is to influence her coverage
The New York Times' Jerusalem bureau was embroiled in controversy two years ago when news broke that bureau chief Ethan Bronner had a son who enlisted in the Israeli army (Extra!, 4/10). As Bronner wraps up his tenure, a new conflict of interest has arisen: Bureau reporter Isabel Kershner's spouse works to promote favorable coverage of Israel at an Israeli government-linked think tank that Kershner frequently quotes. As an article by Alex Kane in the May 2012 issue of Extra! reports, Kershner's husband, Hirsh Goodman, is a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), an institution [...]
PBS ombud Michael Getler (4/27/12) agrees that the Dow Chemical Corporation's sponsorship of a PBS series violates PBS underwriting guidelines. PBS, unfortunately, stands by its show. A FAIR Action Alert (4/23/12) pointed out that the decision to allow Dow to sponsor the series America Revealed, which deals with issues that closely track Dow's business interests, flies in the face of PBS funding guidelines. Noting that he had received some 500 messages inspired by the alert, Getler agreed, saying that "the points raised by FAIR were fair ones, in my view, and many of the letters were quite comprehensive in their [...]