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 […]

Nov
03
2011

NewsHour Responds on Inequality

'Who would disagree' with fake Lincoln quote?

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 […]

Oct
28
2011

John Feffer on Africa & ‘counter-terrorism,’ Heidi Garrett-Peltier on job creation

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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 […]