Jan 23 2016

‘The Core Injustice Is Indefinite Detention’

CounterSpin interview with Omar Shakir on Obama's failure to close Guantanamo

Omar Shakir (photo: Human Rights Watch)

“At the end of the day, you have more people that have died in Guantanamo than actually have been convicted by a court. “

Feb 4 2014

NY Times Covers for Obama’s Move to the Right

Paper misrepresents inequality poll

Tax the Rich mural (photo: Tiff Chow)

President Barack Obama has decided to talk less about income inequality and more about “opportunity.” This shift to a more conservative framework to discuss economic divisions is, according to the New York Times, what the public wants. But that doesn’t appear to be the case. Reporter Jackie Calmes (2/4/14) explained that Republicans think talking about inequality “smacks of class warfare,” and suggests that the public at large thinks so too: “On this question, the president and his party have moved in Republicans’–and voters’–direction,” she wrote. The Times added that Democrats see that opportunity frame “as more appealing to middle-class voters […]

Jul 1 2013

Sharpton’s Partisan Politics

Civil rights activist, MSNBC host and Obama cheerleader

How does it serve the black community when one of its most prominent spokespersons has "decided not to criticize the president about anything"?

While supporting the president and almost exclusively attacking the GOP and the Tea Party, Al Sharpton shields the president from accountability not only as a TV host, but as a representative of black America.

May 31 2013

Pardiss Kebriaei on Terror Speech, Bob McChesney on Digital Disconnect

Barack Obama (photo: Chuck Kennedy/White House)

Did Barack Obama’s National Defense University speech signal a sea change in White House terrorism policy? That depended on who was doing the listening. We’ll talk with Pardiss Kebriaei of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

And Bob McChesney talks about his new book Digital Disconnect, and why understanding capitalism is essential to understanding the development of the internet.

Mar 1 2013

Second Term Socialist

Obama's 'starkly liberal vision' a media mirage

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew (cc photo: Jennifer Cogswell/City Year)

As he moved into his office as Barack Obama’s budget director in 2010, Jack Lew took down a portrait of Alexander Hamilton—“the father of American finance,” the Washington Post (1/21/13) told readers—and “put up paintings of New York City by jobless artists who had been hired into the New Deal’s public works program.” It was, the Post admitted, a “small gesture”—but one that friends say “speaks volumes” about Lew’s mindset. What really speaks volumes is that the Post in 2013 would offer this three-year-old office-decor anecdote as evidence that, as the headline put it, “Nominee to Lead Treasury Values Social […]

Aug 1 2012

You Didn’t Build That–or Say It

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.

Jun 1 2012

Scott Horton on Obama’s “Kill List,” Yousaf Butt on Iran negotiations


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The New York Times story on how the White House chooses targets and executes assassinations provided a lot of new information, but it also left some pressing questions unanswered. We’ll be joined by Scott Horton, attorney and Harpers web columnist, to talk about the White House “kill list.” Also on CounterSpin today, the talks over Iran’s nuclear program are getting the usual headlines: stalled negotiations, Iranian intransigence. But is that the right way to look at this story? Yousaf Butt wrote a column for the Christian Science Monitor that looks at the sanctions on […]

May 1 2011

Media Grade Obama’s Bombing

Libyan airstrikes get mixed reviews for insufficient gusto

Whether it’s called a war or a humanitarian “kinetic military action,” there are certain patterns in corporate media coverage when the U.S. is engaged in military action, and the bombing of Libya is no exception—from a parade of officials to a narrow range of debate to an emphasis on the infallible precision of U.S. weapons. Once they abandoned their early position against intervention in favor of a robust UN resolution, the administration had plenty of room to make its case. Immediately after the U.S./NATO airstrikes against Libya were launched on March 19, U.S. Joint Chiefs chair Mike Mullen appeared on […]