It’s hard to imagine a worse situation than the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but the Niger delta in Nigeria has by some accounts suffered spills equaling the Exxon Valdez every year for five decades. Besides the rare report, though, you wouldn’t know about that from U.S. corporate media. FAIR’s radio show CounterSpin (6/25/10) talked with filmmaker Sandy Cioffi, creator of the award-winning 2009 film Sweet Crude. Here’s an edited version of that conversation. CS: Let’s begin with your thoughts on the crisis in the Gulf. Perhaps you could describe some of the differences and similarities [with Nigeria]. […]
Sandy Cioffi on Nigeria, the other oil disaster
‘Are you going to reconstruct the country without a state?’
Much of the reporting on Haiti disaster relief has portrayed the U.S. as doing its best, under near-impossible circumstances, to bring food, water and medical aid to earthquake-stricken Haitians. And indeed, many American efforts have given aid and comfort to Haitians—but Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, says the U.S. is in many ways hindering relief. FAIR’s radio show CounterSpin interviewed Weisbrot for its January 29 show. CounterSpin: Americans, including many U.S. journalists, have been showing their compassion for Haitians in this latest hour of need, and you come along in this feel-good moment—at least […]
Download MP3 On this special CounterSpin program we’ll take a look back at some of the stories of the past year, and hear again from a few of the many journalists, activists, researchers and critics that brought those stories to us, or helped us make sense of them. CounterSpin: Writer and investigative historian Gareth Porter joined us back in April to talk about the big picture questions still mostly missing from the media discussion of the Afghanistan war, especially the very rational for the war itself. Gareth Porter: There's not been a single story that I have seen that really […]
Arianna Huffington & Glenn Greenwald on media accountability
From Iraq to Enron, from Hurricane Katrina to No Child Left Behind, from torture to civil liberties to healthcare and much more, it would be hard to overstate the role the U.S. media played in enabling many of the policy debacles of the Bush years. And yet media accountability rarely goes beyond the half-hearted internal investigation, followed by, if we’re lucky, the half-hearted mea culpa. That the media are not prone to self-criticism isn’t a new thing. As crusading journalist George Seldes said decades ago, “The most sacred cow of the press is the press itself.” CounterSpin talked to […]
‘The images don’t show up on TV news’
On June 5, the Independent newspaper in London reported on secret negotiations between the U.S. and Iraqi governments over a plan that would grant legal immunity to U.S. soldiers and private contractors, give the U.S. control over Iraqi airspace and allow for 50 military bases to be built in the country. Lawmakers in Iraq expressed outrage at the details of the report. Here in the United States, the story got only cursory attention from the press. CounterSpin talked to Catherine Lutz, a professor of anthropology at Brown University and the Watson Institute for International Studies, author of the book Home […]
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin, a special year-end look behind the headlines of the mainstream news. On this program, we’ll take a look back at some of the stories covered by the corporate media in 2007, but not always covered so well. As usual CounterSpin tried to bring you guests—activists, researchers and journalists—that had an angle on events that we thought worth hearing and, more often than not, one you weren't hearing many other places. Our guests responded to media coverage of U.S. foreign policy from Iraq to Darfur, as well as press attention or inattention to domestic issues […]
'It wasn't any surprise when Chávez conceded'
It isn't easy to find U.S. press coverage of Venezuela that isn't colored to some extent by the official U.S. distaste for President Hugo Chávez and his populist policies. Coverage of Venezuela's recent referendum (12/2/07) on proposed constitutional amendments was no exception. In the wake of the narrow defeat of the reforms by a national vote, viewers could find Chris Matthews and Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC's Hardball (12/4/07) crowing that Chávez "getting it thrown back in his face this week" made them feel like "it's Christmas three weeks early." CounterSpin host Janine Jackson interviewed Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center […]
'It's the exact opposite of a coup'
In November 2004, a New York Times article on Palestinian elections (11/14/04) stated, “The post-Arafat era will be the latest test of a quintessentially American article of faith: that elections provide legitimacy even to the frailest institutions.” The "faith" that elites in the press and in government have in such elections is tested when the results cut against U.S. wishes, as happened when Hamas prevailed over Fatah in Palestinian elections in 2006. As a result, the White House pursued a policy of punishing Palestinians for their disobedience by attempting to prevent Hamas from participating in the Palestinian government. That only […]