May
25
2012

Dana Frank on Honduras, Gary Rivlin on Economic Hardship Reporting Project

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The story of DEA involvement in the killing of four civilians in Honduras on May 11, provides a compelling opportunity to look at the broader U.S. role in a country that is being torn apart by an escalating drug war. We’ll talk with historian and Honduras-watcher Dana Frank, about what’s happening there and how the media are covering it. Also on the show: Americans have become used to a media conversation in which the idea that poor people's problem is that they have too much is deemed a legitimate point of argument, and the […]

May
11
2012

Gareth Porter on bin Laden raid, Pamela Brown on student debt

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The one year anniversary of the NAVY Seal raid that killed Osama bin Laden brought us a prime time behind the scenes at the White House account on NBC, leaks from bin Laden intelligence files about his new terror schemes and a tiresome debate over whether Barack Obama could claim credit for the killing-- and if so, how. But there are bigger questions--namely, do the stories that surround the killing of Osama bin Laden add up? Gareth Porter challenges some of the official mythmaking in a new piece for Truthout he'll join us to […]

May
04
2012

Jonathan Chait on Paul Ryan, Brentin Mock on vote fraud

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Republican Congressman Paul Ryan, we're told over and over again, is a serious budget wonk on a mission to reduce the deficit. Not quite, says New York magazine reporter Jonathan Chait. He argues that Paul Ryan's political history doesn't really resemble the Paul Ryan you hear about in the media. He'll join us to talk about that. Also on CounterSpin today, Voter fraud is almost non-existent in the U.S. but conservatives continue to brandish it as a major threat, in order to advance voting policies that many say threaten democracy. Brentin Mock is the […]

May
01
2012

Bored With Occupy—and Inequality

Class issues fade along with protest coverage

OccupiedWallStreetJournal

Occupy Wall Street is rightly credited with helping to shift the economic debate in America from a fixation on deficits to issues of income inequality, corporate greed and the centralization of wealth among the richest 1 percent. The movement has chalked up other victories as well, from altering New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tax plan (New York Times, 12/5/11) to re-energizing activists and unions, but bringing some discussion of class into the mainstream dialogue has been one of its crowning achievements. As Occupy slowed down for the winter, though, would corporate media continue to talk about our increasingly stratified society […]

Feb
17
2012

Ruth Flower on budget, John Nichols on 'Uprising'

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Much reporting on the White House's new budget proposal focuses on tax increases, military cuts, and how it will affect the national debt. But what's the whole story on the White House budget? We'll hear from Ruth Flower from the Friends Committee on National Legislation about the 'Five Things Your Newspaper Might Not Tell You About the Budget.' Also on CounterSpin: One year ago saw a massive uprising against Wisconsin governor Scott Walker's attack on public sector workers. That citizen movement posed a direct challenge to media narratives about issues like labor unions and […]

Feb
01
2012

Ignoring Monetary Stimulus as Economic Policy

U.S. media offer austerity as nonsensical solution

With the United States now years into a crippling economic downturn, and Europe facing a looming economic crisis, media have been covering the economy more than any other issue. The two most recent annual reports on U.S. media coverage from the Pew Center for Excellence in Journalism (2009-10) conclude that “the No. 1 story of the year was the weakened state of the U.S. economy.” Despite this enormous amount of coverage, corporate media present only a narrow range of possible policy prescriptions for the economic crisis. While reducing entitlement spending and otherwise cutting the deficit tend to worsen economic downturns, […]

Jan
01
2012

It's All of Us; Except the 1 Percent

COUNTERSPIN INTERVIEW :Frances Fox Piven on poverty and Occupy Wall Street

Frances Fox Piven--Photo Credit: Mediaite

The Occupy movement has garnered, if not the respect, at least the acknowledgement of a corporate press corps inclined for any number of reasons to ignore it. Still, coverage is centered on the protesters themselves, without necessarily engaging their ideas or allowing those ideas to shape reporting. It’s entirely possible for media to say these ideas matter and still not act as though they do. How, for example, does media’s interest in the 99 Percent affect their understanding of how poverty is defined? Or whose perspectives should be included in news on the economy? CounterSpin’s Janine Jackson explored these issues […]

Jan
01
2012

Jobs Are at Stake When Profits Are at Stake

Lobbyists help media pay attention to employment

When debate heated up in November over the Keystone XL pipeline—a 1,700-mile-long structure that would carry oil from Canada’s tar sands deposits to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast—reporters soon found themselves chasing the answer to a question: How many jobs would be lost if the pipeline didn’t happen? Wall Street Journal senior editor Mary Anastasia O’Grady suggested on Fox News (10/28/11) that the pipeline would create “118,000 indirect jobs” from “feeding and housing all of these people who are going to work on the pipeline,” a number that her Journal editorial board colleague Collin Levy repeated in a Web […]