After FAIR's recent action alert (10/27/11) concerning the PBS NewsHour's reports minimizing--and even celebrating--economic inequality, NewsHour correspondent Paul Solman posted a long response on the PBS website (10/31/11) that attempted to answer the criticism. Solman began by expressing his appreciation for the "avalanche" of feedback, "hostile though most of it has been." He admits that guest Richard Epstein (10/26/11)--who made the case in favor of inequality--was incorrect to attribute this quote to Abraham Lincoln: "You do not make the poor rich by making the rich poor." But then Solman writes that the sentiment behind it is beyond dispute: But when […]
'Who would disagree' with fake Lincoln quote?
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: When Barack Obama ordered armed military advisors to central Africa to help regional officials fight the brutal Lord's Resistance Army and its leader Joseph Kony, few journalists asked why or why now. The fact that the LRA is bad seemed to be enough. But is the move against the LRA part of something bigger happening in US foreign policy with regard to Africa? Well talk to the Institute for Policy Studies' John Feffer about searching for terrorists in Africa. Also on the show: Possible cuts to defense spending could mean the loss of a […]
PBS newscast presents the upside of inequality
With protesters around the country speaking out against income inequality, public television's flagship newscast made time on October 26 for the pro-inequality side to be heard, featuring a guest who invoked a phony Abraham Lincoln quote to make his case.
Media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests started out exactly as one might expect. There was little coverage at first (FAIR Action Alert, 9/23/11), and as it expanded, much of it consisted of snide dismissals of demonstrators'' ignorance, hygiene and so on. But then something happened. Following incidents of police abuse, including the unprovoked pepper-spraying of several demonstrators on September 24, media coverage began to pick up (FAIR Activism Update, 9/29/11). NPR executive editor Dick Meyer explained that the protests were not covered early on because they "did not involve large numbers of people, prominent people, a great […]
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Did the corporate media turn on the Occupy Wall Street protests? When the protests started, the media story was a familiar one—the press ignored them, then derided activists for being leaderless, bongo pounding know-nothings. But then something happened, and suddenly anti-Wall Street activism is leading the nightly newscasts and splashed on the front page. Independent journalist and co-founder of the Occupied Wall Street Journal Arun Gupta will join us to talk about this shift--and what the media is still not getting quite right. Also on CounterSpin today: Two days after Attorney General Eric holder […]
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Yes, the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations aren't being covered much in the corporate media. But then when papers like the New York Times come down to take a look, one might wish they hadn't. We'll talk to Allison Kilkenny of Citizen Radio about the quality and quantity of media coverage of Occupy Wall Street. Also on the show: "We all know why the Postal Service is hemorrhaging cash," says the Chicago Tribune. Corporate media are clear on the causes of the Post Office's financial crisis: no one sends mail since the internet, and postal […]
Corporate media skip anti-corporate protests
In an action called Occupy Wall Street, thousands of activists took to the streets of Lower Manhattan on September 17. The protests are continuing, with demonstrators camped out on the Financial District's Liberty Street in support of U.S. democratization and against corporate domination of politics (Adbusters, 9/19/11). But you wouldn't know much about any of this from the corporate media--outlets that seem much more interested in protests of the Tea Party variety. The anti-corporate protests have been lightly covered in the hometown New York Times: One piece (9/18/11) largely about how the police blocked access to Wall Street, and one […]
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Census Bureau data showing one in six Americans live in poverty was received soberly by the press corps, but should it have surprised them? And what about next week, when the government doesn't release a report and people are still poor? We'll talk with journalist Neil deMause about media’s treatment of poverty and the poor. Also on the show: Mainstream reporting on the Palestinian bid for UN recognition regularly employs loaded language in portraying the initiative as and underhanded gambit which is threatening to the U.S. and Israel. But exactly how does the Palestinian […]