Making ‘Torture’ Impossible When the Washington Post (12/9/14) described on the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the treatment of prisoners at CIA “black sites,” it said it documented “harsh interrogation measures,” “painful procedures” and even “seemingly arbitrary violence.” But what it didn’t say was that this treatment was “torture”—except when saying it was “deemed torture by program critics including President Obama.” And that was no accident. In a Post story (12/9/14) about the “old debate” about torture terminology, Philip Bump quotes the justification Cameron Barr (then national security editor, now national editor) gave to Brian Stelter (7/2/10) in 2010: “After […]
This week on CounterSpin: The current outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa is unprecedented in its scale. But while some media focus on experimental vaccines, health experts say we ought to be talking about fundamental inequities in basic healthcare delivery. We’ll talk about ebola with Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Also on the show: The largest environmental march ever brought hundreds of thousands into New York City streets, but the People’s Climate Watch was mostly ignored by the media. As was its companion action, Flood Wall Street, which targeted corporations behind climate instability with civil disobedience. Is the people’s voice on climate change being ignored by the corporate media just as it’s been ignored by corporate backed governments? We’ll speak with Anne Petermann, director of the Global Justice Ecology Project, and the Climate-Connections blog.
Beltway talk shows’ flaky climate coverage
On February 16, 2014, all three Sunday morning programs featured the climate change topic prominently. Unfortunately, quality didn’t match quantity, reflecting the “balance as bias” framework of years past, with scientists debating nonscientists and facts vying with opinions and political platforms—sometimes to the point of incoherence.
This week on CounterSpin: The COP 19 climate talks in Warsaw were filled with intrigue, secret memos and walkouts by green groups and delegations from developing nations. What was accomplished at the summit? We’ll talk with Michael K. Dorsey, the director of the Joint Center’s Energy & Environment Program.
Also on CounterSpin: Is big business breaking up with the Tea Party? Some political observers and pundits seem to think so, seeing a growing divide between the Republican Party and its corporate backers. But historian and journalist Rick Perlstein suggests this storyline isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
This week on CounterSpin: The government shutdown has pundits lamenting the same old Beltway dysfunction. But who’s actually to blame for the shutdown? And who’s affected? We’ll speak to Imara Jones from ColorLines.
Also on the show: The U.N.’s latest climate report is out, and its findings are alarming. According to the scientists, they are as certain that we are causing warming as they are that cigarettes cause cancer, and the problem is not getting any better. So why are some outlets reporting the IPCC’s findings as good news? We’ll talk to Ryan Koronowski of Climate Progress about what the report actually says.
The climate solution that dares not speak its name
Just as the mainstream media are evolving away from the era of false balance (Extra!, 11/04) to accept the reality of what scientists call “anthropogenic global warming,” a different type of denial has taken hold: a refusal to acknowledge the fact that the solution to the climate crisis requires humanity to stop depending on fossil fuels for energy. Earth’s dire atmospheric situation was confirmed by November 2012 reports from such tree-hugging pinkos as the World Bank and PriceWaterhouse Coopers. PWC’s most recent edition of its annual Low Carbon Economy Index declares, “To give our-selves a more than 50 percent chance […]