Mar
14
2008

Robert Dreyfuss on McCain's foreign policy, Michael Jacobson on incarceration rates

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: You probably heard about Republican presidential candidate John McCain's little "joke," singing "Bomb, bomb Iran" to the tune of the Beach Boys' Barbara Ann. But our guest suggests that that incident wasn't so much a gaffe, as a pretty clear illustration of McCain's foreign policy vision. Robert Dreyfuss is an independent journalist, one of few who have actually examined McCain's record and his plans on issues of international engagement. We'll hear what he has to say. Also on the show: The number is startling: 1 in 100 adult Americans is now in jail or […]

Nov
01
2007

Enabling False Convictions

Exoneration coverage overlooks media role

"The science of DNA on Monday cleared the 200th person wrongfully convicted of a crime in the United States, a record that demands that the criminal justice system fix its serious flaws," editorialized the Philadelphia Inquirer (4/25/07), after Jerry Miller of Illinois became an American exoneration milestone. As milestones often do, Miller's exoneration gave the press an easy “news peg” to report on DNA testing and the troubled U.S. criminal justice system. And report they did. Most major news organizations filed at least one piece on Miller's exoneration, with some editorializing for significant reform and others raising specific questions about […]

Jul
20
2007

Tammy Johnson on affirmative action and the Supreme Court, Rachel Morris on Sami al-Haj

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: coverage of the June 28 Supreme Court ruling striking down a key element of affirmative action that promoted racial diversity in American schools featured opponents and supporters of the decision, but did it succeed in accurately describing the real extent of continuing discrimination? Or probing the meaning behind loaded terms like colorblindness, embraced by affirmative action opponents? We'll talk to Tammy Johnson of the Race and Public Policy Program at the Applied Research Center in Oakland California . Also on CounterSpin today, the Bush administration has lost several key legal battles over the past […]

Jun
15
2007

David Bryden on Bush & AIDS funding, Lew Koch on Padilla trial

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: perhaps it was because both Democrats and Republicans supported it, perhaps it was just an eagerness to tell some good news, but mainstream media were all together in cheering the Bush White House's renewed commitment to fighting AIDS. The only trouble was, the key numbers at the center of the conversation turn out to be not as they appear. We'll talk with David Bryden of the Global AIDS Alliance about that "Bush doubles AIDS funding" storyline. Also this week: the trial of Jose Padilla is underway, but the not-quite-a-dirty-bomber's case is hardly getting any […]

Sep
29
2006

Michael Ratner on detainee legislation, Hannah Sassaman on suppressed FCC reports

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Congress has passed legislation on military commissions and detainee treatment that will allow forms of detainee abuse recognized internationally as torture, and make secret evidence and coerced evidence admissible in court. It will also degrade habeus corpus, the traditional right of prisoners to challenge their detention. Why is the media largely ignoring the substance and historic significance of the legislation in favor the stories about the political battles over it? We'll talk about all that with Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights. Also on the show: FCC Chair Kevin Martin has called […]

Jul
01
2006

Impeachment Not on Media Radar

Adultery was serious; this is just the Constitution

There is a growing grassroots campaign demanding the impeachment of George W. Bush. Across the nation, towns and cities have been passing pro-impeachment resolutions. Websites promoting impeachment keep springing up. In several states, bills have been introduced in state legislatures that, if passed, would become formal bills of impeachment in the U.S. House of Representatives, requiring initiation of impeachment hearings under congressional rules dating back to the early 19th century. Starting last fall, several polls (Zogby, 10/29-11/2/05, 1/9-12/06; Ipsos, 10/6-9/05) reported that a majority of Americans thought Bush should be impeached if he lied the country into war in Iraq […]

Jun
16
2006

Barbara Olshansky on Guantánamo Bay, Trudy Lieberman on Medicare

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Since the suicides of three detainees at the Guantánamo Bay detention center the US military command has banned all journalists and lawyers, turning what was a remote prison revealing little news into an informational black hole. We'll talk to Barbara Olshansky, lead counsel of the Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative at the Center for Constitutional Rights. Also on CounterSpin: Now that the deadline for enrollment in the White House's new Medicare drug plan has passed, will media get beyond the "Republicans claim/Democrats disagree" approach to the story? We'll hear from journalist and author Trudy Lieberman […]

Apr
01
2006

Philly Papers Defend Non-Coverage of Mumia Victory

Late in the day on Monday, December 5, 2005, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia issued a surprise ruling in the appeal of Pennsylvania’s most famous prisoner: Philadelphia journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, who has been on the state’s death row for 24 years, following his conviction for the murder of white Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in December 1981. The ruling stated that Abu-Jamal would be granted the right to appeal his conviction on not just one but three separate grounds. This came after a federal district judge, in 2001, had ruled against Abu-Jamal on all 20 of his […]