Mar
01
2007

Think Tank Sources Fall, but Left Gains Slightly

Progressive groups still a small slice

FAIR’s annual survey of think tank sources produced a surprising result for 2006: While total think tank citations decreased for the second year in a row (before then, think tank citations went up every single year), progressive think tanks bucked the trend. Overall, the 27,877 citations that the 25 most-quoted think tanks garnered was a 4 percent decline from 2005. But progressive and left-leaning think tanks increased their exposure, up by 11 percent, having for the first time two think tanks in the top 10. Nevertheless, the media landscape remains dominated by centrist and conservative think tanks. Centrists led the […]

Jan
01
2007

Victorious Dems Lectured by Media Establishment

Morning-after pundits take winners to task

Right after Democrats won back control of Congress in the 2006 midterm elections, pundits from major news outlets had, as one would expect, substantial amounts of political criticism for the party that faced major losses. What was most remarkable was the amount of tactical criticism and caution directed at the party that won major gains. The center wins Expanding upon a preferred theme of their pre-election coverage (Extra! Update, 12/06), political commentators providing the initial analyses of the election for the nation’s most influential news outlets downplayed the progressive aspects of the victory, characterizing the large new crop of Democrats […]

Dec
01
2006

GOP 'Robocall' Deception

Missing coverage of the Republican Party’s November Surprise

Toward the end of the recent midterm elections, voters in closely contested districts across the country reported getting automated calls that began, “Hi, I’m calling with information about [name of Democratic candidate].” If they listened to the rest of the message, they heard a litany of negative claims about the candidate. If they hung up—as many voters did, overwhelmed by so-called robocalls this election season—they were left with the impression that the call came from the Democrat’s campaign. And unless they listened to the entire call, the machine called them back again and again, giving them the impression that the […]

Nov
24
2006

Robert Parry on Robert Gates, Barbara Kopple on 'Shut Up and Sing'

By

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: George Bush's choice of Robert Gates to replace Donald Rumsfeld as Defense Secretary is being portrayed in the media as a sensible choice; part of a White House turn to more pragmatic policies and advisors in the wake of GOP congressional defeats. But in his report, "The Secret World of Robert Gates," investigative reporter Robert Parry of ConsortiumNews.com sees Gates differently. Robert Parry will joins us to talk about the Gates nomination. Also on CounterSpin today: In 2003, Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines declared on stage in London that she was ashamed that George […]

Nov
17
2006

Glen Ford on Barack Obama, Chris Slevin on trade & the elections

By

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Barack Obama wasn't running for anything this election season, but you may have thought that he was, judging from the media coverage he generated. Obama's appeal extends across the political and pundit spectrum; indeed, finding anything approaching critical coverage of the freshman Senator is next to impossible. So what's going on here? Glen Ford of the Black Agenda Report joins us to talk about it. Also on CounterSpin: We know that media can turn any factoid into a phenomenon when they choose: after the last election we were subjected to months of discourse on […]

Nov
17
2006

Trent Lott's Redemption Song

Coverage of minority whip election ignores racist ties

Sen. Trent Lott's return to the ranks of the Senate Republican leadership has been broadly covered as a story of political redemption. In this scenario, the once-fallen Senate majority leader, having apologized and atoned for his sins—in this case, praising the racist 1948 presidential candidacy of the late Strom Thurmond—is restored to the body's top ranks with his election to the No. 2 Republican post of minority whip. But these redemption story reports have downplayed Lott's association with and praise for racists, while greatly exaggerating his atonement. In his 2002 remarks, Lott said he was proud that his state, Mississippi, […]

Nov
10
2006

John Nichols on midterm elections, Clarissa Martinez on Latino voters

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The November 7th Democratic election victories are being credited to everything from the notion that the winning candidates were largely centrist, to the genius of congressman and democratic strategist Rahm Emanuel. But what was really behind the Democratic victories? Nation contributor John Nichols will join us to sort out the competing storylines emerging from the Democratic election victories. Also on CounterSpin: as pundits slice and dice the exit polls to figure out the big lessons of the midterm elections, one story seems to be eluding the national media: Latino voters made a significant shift […]

Nov
09
2006

Morning-After Pundits Take Winners to Task

Victorious Dems lectured by media establishment

On the day after Election Day 2006, pundits from major U.S. news outlets had, as one would expect, substantial amounts of political criticism for the party that faced major losses. What is more remarkable is the amount of criticism and caution directed at the party that won major gains. Virtually unanimously, the political commentators providing the initial analyses of the election for the nation's most influential news outlets downplayed the progressive aspects of the victory, characterizing the large new crop of Democrats as overwhelmingly centrist or even conservative. "These Democrats that were elected last night are conservative Democrats," declared CBS […]