Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The Stupak Amendment, a last-minute addition to the House’s recently passed healthcare reform plan, would severely restrict abortion coverage for those on the “public option” part of the plan and those buying private insurance using government money. Many House Democrats journalists and pundits have portrayed Stupak as a sacrifice that must be made to get healthcare reform. Reproductive health advocates and many others differ. We’ll talk with Jodi Jacobson, editor of the RH Reality Check website. Also on CounterSpin today, there's a lot of talk in the media about education reform. That can mean [...]
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Charter schools raise a lot of concerns for educators interested in the future of truly public education; the corporate press have tended more toward boosterism of charters and their high profile promoter, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. That's the subject of a story in the current issue of Extra! and CounterSpin discussed the phenomenon on the occasion of Duncan's nomination with education expert Alfie Kohn, author of The Schools Our Children Deserve, among other titles. We'll hear that conversation with Alfie Kohn this week. Also on the show: Press handling of the arrest of [...]
Covering the official spin on education 'reform'
There was something particularly Timesian about the New York Times’ response to an important new study on charter schools—public schools that operate under special rules, seen by some as the main engine of reform for a fundamentally dysfunctional educational system and by others as a thinly veiled effort to drain resources from existing public schools and disempower teachers’ unions. The paper demonstrated both its blinkered deference to official spin and the so-called “liberal” media’s desire to have it all ways editorially, earning conservative credits for supporting “reform” while attaching a fig leaf of concern for any harmful fallout. The peer-reviewed [...]
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: "Obama May Have To Wait for Health Reform" explained one July 22 headline. Leave it to corporate media to take a life-and-death issue for millions of Americans and reduce it to an item on a president's wish list. But if they're going to mainly cover healthcare policy as inside the Beltway politicking, how good a job are they doing even of that? We'll hear from activist and author David Swanson about the current state of play in healthcare reform efforts and what the media may have to do with it. Also on the show: [...]
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: No Child Left Behind may be up for reconsideration in Congress soon, but if current coverage of national math and reading scores is an indication, media coverage will need to get a lot deeper to be useful. We'll hear from Stan Karp of Rethinking Schools about what questions ought to be asked. Also on the show: With an online campaign, and the "real time" documentary, Rethink Afghanistan, Robert Greenwald and his colleagues at Brave New Films are trying to break through the media embargo that excludes true critics of the Afghanistan war from U.S. [...]
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: When the Senate Armed Services Committee issued a report finding former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other high officials responsible for abusive treatment of detainees in Guantánamo, Iraq and Afghanistan--with few exceptions, the media played the story down, preferring, for instance, righteous anger over embroiled Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. We'll discuss the Senate report with the Center for Constitutional Rights' Michael Ratner, whose book, The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld, was published in September. Also on CounterSpin today, Obama's pick for education secretary drew more attention than you might have expected--in large part because the [...]
President-elect Barack Obama chose Chicago schools superintendent Arne Duncan as his nominee for Education secretary after an almost entirely one-sided media discussion that portrayed the most progressive candidate in the running for the post--Stanford educational researcher Linda Darling-Hammond--as an unacceptable pick. Corporate media accounts presented the selection as a choice between "reformers who demand more accountable schools" and "defenders of the complacent status quo," as a Chicago Tribune editorial put it (12/9/08), claiming that the selection would determine whether Obama "wants to revolutionize the public education industry or merely wants to throw more money at it." The Washington Post's December [...]
Katrina Special: Colette Pichon Battle on Katrina three years later, Leigh Dingerson on New Orleans schools. Derrick Evans on the FEMA trailer tour, '
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: All eyes have been focused on Denver and the Democratic National Convention. But while the political calendar suggests the story of the day is the nomination of Barack Obama as the Democratic presidential nominee, it's hard to forget that the festivities coincide with the three-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. This week on CounterSpin we'll take a special look at where things stand in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. The federal government's response to the Katrina catastrophe was a remarkable political and media moment. That the Bush administration could manage to so thoroughly mishandle [...]