Feb 13 2004

Dean Baker on Bush budget, Eric Boehlert on Bush/National Guard

Download MP3 George Bush proposed his 2005 budget last week, declaring that– thanks largely to his tax cuts– the economy is “strong and getting stronger” and prosperity will soon “reach every corner of America.” Is media coverage clarifying the potential impact of the $2.4 trillion package, or just making a confusing issue more confusing? CounterSpin will hear from Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Also on the show: The controversy over George Bush’s extended absence from National Guard duty in the early 1970s only seems to be growing. The media’s new found interest in the story […]

Nov 1 2003

Why Progressive TV Is DOA

Editor's Note

It didn’t mean to, but the trade publication Ad Age (10/13/03) recently explained why there’s no progressive counterpart to conservative media outlets like Fox News Channel. The story was reporting on why Democrat Al Gore, who had earlier been trying to start a liberal cable news network, was now aiming to create a channel aimed at a “more aware, younger, hipper audience.” Ad Age quotes an “insider” advising Gore: “Liberal TV is dead on arrival…. You just can’t do it.” The switch to a channel targeting youth was made, according to the article “to make it more enticing to advertisers […]

Sep 11 2002

AP Clarifies Report on Florida Ballots

The Associated Press has issued a clarification to a story highlighted in a recent FAIR action alert. On September 3, FAIR alerted readers to an August 25 story about Florida secretary of state Katherine Harris. In the piece, the AP recalled the ballot recounts in Florida this way: “Some unofficial ballot inspections paid for by consortiums of news agencies showed Bush winning by varying margins.” As FAIR pointed out, the Associated Press, itself a member of the main media consortium recounting Florida ballots, had incorrectly stated its own findings. As the AP originally reported it, “A full, statewide recount of […]

Sep 3 2002

AP Rewrites History of Florida Recount

In a reference to the disputed presidential election of 2000, the Associated Press rewrote history– history that AP itself helped make in the first place. In an August 25 report on a new book by Katherine Harris, who as Florida’s secretary of state played a major role in the election controversy, AP included this attempt to provide context: “Some unofficial ballot inspections paid for by consortiums of news agencies showed Bush winning by varying margins.” Since AP was a member of the main media consortium reexamining the ballots, all it would have needed to do to get the story right […]

Jan 1 2002

Who Won the Election? Who Cares?

Florida recount consortium muffles results of months of efforts

On November 7, 2001, a reader of the political website MakeThemAccountable.com made a series of predictions about how the news media would cover a long anticipated review of uncounted Florida ballots from the 2000 presidential election: The data will show that Gore won, but the article will be written to obscure that fact…. The headline will proclaim that Bush definitively won. The headline will be on page one…. The rest of the article, which will describe, albeit opaquely, that Gore really won, will be on [the jump]. That’s pretty much what happened. The study, dubbed a “double check on democracy” […]

Apr 11 2001

USA Today Conceals Key Information in Recount Story

On April 4, USA Today announced the results of its long-anticipated re-examination of Florida ballots (done in conjunction with the Miami Herald) with the headline: “Newspapers’ Recount Shows Bush Prevailed in Fla. Vote.” The headline touting a Bush win referred to the paper’s estimate of what would have happened if the U.S. Supreme Court had not blocked the hand recount of 60 Florida counties that had been ordered by the state Supreme Court. The paper found that Bush likely would have won such a recount. But USA Today’s investigation also found something else– something it chose not to tell its […]

Apr 1 2001

Media Rush to Declare Winner in Florida–Again

On February 26, the Miami Herald and USA Today published the results of the papers’ re-examination of the presidential election ballots from Miami-Dade County. They found that the uncounted “undervotes”–ballots that registered no choice when read electronically–produced a net gain of only 49 votes for Al Gore, less than had been expected. Combined with official recount results in the other counties where Gore had requested a manual recount, the papers reported that Gore could not have won the Florida election with his strategy of asking for a limited recount. This conclusion is debatable–other media recounts have found more votes than […]

Jan 24 2001

Populist Rhetoric Unpopular with the Pundits

Press finds Gore's 'obsolete jargon' hard to swallow

This year, the normal rhythms of post-election punditry were disrupted by all the talk of dimpled chads and canvassing boards. But echoing the pre-election refrain, one message did emerge from the muffled Monday-morning quarterbacking: Al Gore’s campaign ran too far to the left. It’s a familiar charge, one that’s repeated every time a Democrat loses the presidential race. (See Extra!, 9/92.) Joe Klein, who writes about politics for The New Yorker, posited just before election day (11/6/00) that Gore’s poll numbers were suffering from “the populist rhetoric that has marked his campaign.” Klein did not offer an explanation of how […]