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.
Civil rights activist, MSNBC host and Obama cheerleader
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.
Obama's 'starkly liberal vision' a media mirage
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Al Jazeera and the Guardian newspaper are publishing what are being called the Palestine Papers, leaked documents relating to the Israel-Palestine negotiations. The revelations, mostly of significant Palestinian concessions, are mostly being ignored in the U.S. media, dismissed as things we already knew. But are they? And what are Palestinians thinking of all this? We'll speak with journalist and author Laila El-Haddad. Also on CounterSpin today, pundits scoured Barack Obama's State of the Union address for many things, but one concern that seems to be abiding is whether Obama makes sufficient overtures to the […]
Media marvel at Obama's move to the right
With increasing vehemence since the midterm elections, pundits and journalists have recommended Barack Obama move to the right--and now are citing recent polling to suggest that the president has benefited from following their advice. But there is little evidence that Obama's current approval ratings have anything to do with a rightward shift, and the entire conversation rests on the premise that Obama was governing from the left in the first place. This is nothing new; there is a long corporate media tradition of urging Democratic presidents to move to the right in order to capture the "center." After the midterm […]