Jan
09
2009

Ali Abunimah on Gaza, A.C. Thompson on Katrina's Hidden Race War

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The carnage in Gaza has provoked international outrage among many journalists outside the U.S., but journalists in the U.S. are largely holding on to a storyline that says that Israel is merely defending itself after Hamas broke a ceasefire. We'll talk to Ali Abunimah of ElectronicIntifada.net, for another view of the story. Also on CounterSpin today, a remarkable investigation into post-Katrina racist violence in New Orleans didn't get the mainstream media attention it deserved, but it's made its way around the web—and has forced local authorities to react. Pro Publica reporter A.C. Thompson will […]

Oct
24
2008

Devin West on 'collateral damage,' Francesca Grifo on science and free speech

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Stories about civilian casualties inflicted by the U.S. military in Afghanistan or Iraq may be moving and troubling, but you virtually always come away with the sense that, while regrettable, such deaths are certainly always unintentional and somehow unavoidable in the midst of war. A new report from the Institute for Policy Studies looks at the policies and practices that make civilian casualties so foreseeable, actually, as to seem to be an actual strategy of U.S. warfare. We'll talk to report co-author Devin West. Also this week: We've heard about the battles between the […]

Jun
13
2008

Elizabeth de la Vega on impeachment, Catherine Lutz on Iraq bases

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: It seems unlikely that media elites would deny that things like maintaining illegal torture programs, unlawfully surveilling citizens, imprisoning children in violation of the Geneva Convention and destroying evidence are serious matters. So why, when such things lead to a call to impeach George W. Bush, does the whole matter become something of a joke? We'll talk to former federal prosecutor and author Elizabeth de la Vega about press handling of impeachment charges. Also on CounterSpin today, the London Independent recently reported on a secret U.S. plan that would grant legal immunity to contractors […]

Jun
06
2008

Michael Dorsey on cap and trade, Ken Picard on Al-Jazeera in Burlington

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Media present the cap and trade legislation currently being debated in the U.S. Senate as the green alternative to the voluntary approaches of pro-industry types. But does cap and trade work at reducing global warming causing emissions? And is it the only alternative? We'll talk to Michael Dorsey, Professor of global environmental policy at Dartmouth College. Also on CounterSpin today, Al-Jazeera English has found it nearly impossible to crack the U.S. television market, with only 2 or 3 cable providers willing to offer the news channel to its subscribers. Now one of those companies—Burlington […]

Jun
01
2008

Reprivatizing Elvis

E.U. may take a half-century of music out of the public domain

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/Royce S

There aren’t many places where social activists and conservative economists agree, but copyright is one of them. Milton Friedman famously announced that he wouldn’t sign an amicus brief in the Eldred case, which challenged the extension of U.S. copyrights by 20 years, unless it included the term “no-brainer.” It didn’t, but he and 16 other economists signed anyway. The economists and activists lost that one, but their alliance showed how large and complex the battle over copyright has gotten. The latest battle is over the European Union extending the copyright for recorded performances from 50 to 95 years. It’s not […]

Jun
01
2008

Network News Blackout on Pentagon Pundits

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/gregwest98

Weeks after the New York Times (4/20/08) broke the story that the Pentagon had been feeding talking points to TV military analysts, the broadcast TV networks have remained conspicuously silent about the issue. According to the Times, the Pentagon recruited over 75 retired generals to act as “message force multipliers” in support of the Iraq War, receiving special Pentagon briefings and talking points that the analysts would often parrot on national television, “even when they suspected the information was false or inflated.” The Times even noted that at one 2003 briefing the military pundits were told that “we don’t have […]

May
30
2008

Winter Soldier Blackout

Media still freezing out anti-war veterans

In March, dozens of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars gathered in Maryland to offer their firsthand accounts of what they had seen—and in some cases done—in both war zones. The dramatic Winter Soldier hearings were well-covered in the alternative and independent media. But the corporate media mostly took a pass (FAIR Action Alert, 3/19/08)--a trend that continued when Winter Soldier came to Capitol Hill. The group that organized the first event, Iraq Veterans Against the War, was invited to Capitol Hill on May 15 to appear before the Congressional Progressive Caucus in an informal hearing. As before, the […]

May
06
2008

NYT Again Excludes Critics From Iraq War Discussion

Paper reprises one-sided panel to discuss "Mission Accomplished" The New York Times' May 4 Week in Review section featured a discussion of the state of the Iraq War with advocates of that war—-the same advocates who prompted a FAIR action alert on March 17. The following letter was sent to New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt, Op-Ed page editor David Shipley and Week in Review editor Sam Tanenhaus. Their contact information is listed below, as is FAIR's earlier alert. Clark Hoyt, public editor Sam Tanenhaus, Week in Review editor David Shipley, Op-ed page editor Dear Sirs: On March 16, […]