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

Super Cuts!

Military budget, not social spending, prompts media concern

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/alsokaizen

The failure of the Congressional “supercommittee” to come up with a $1.2 trillion, 10-year deficit reduction plan means that automatic “trigger” cuts might take place in discretionary spending—roughly half of which is supposed to come from the military budget. Corporate media have given extensive time to panicked warnings about the dangerous impact of military cuts, but made little mention of the effects of cutting other spending. Under the “trigger” plan, the military budget is supposed to be reduced by almost $600 billion over the next decade—a move Republican politicians have vowed to block. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has been quoted […]

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 […]

Nov 04 2011

Costas Panayotakis on Greece, Nusrat Choudhury on FBI mapping

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: This is how ABC anchor Diane Sawyer explained the Greek crisis: “The Dow down nearly 300 points, so, what changed? Well, blame it on the country of Greece, long criticized for being undisciplined and now threatening American retirements.” With the EU bailout of Greek in danger and the government calling for a referendum, corporate media in this country are back to bashing pampered Greek workers and demanding austerity as the cure for the country’s fiscal woes. NY City College of Technology professor Costas Panayotakis will join us to talk about that. Also on CounterSpin […]