Aug
19
2011

Jim Hightower on Rick Perry, Glen Ford on Somalia

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: 'Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be elected president of the United States, please pay attention.' That was late columnist Molly Ivins' advice near the end of the George W. Bush era. But lo and behold another Republican governor of Texas is running for president, and from the tone of the coverage so far Rick Perry is some kind of job-creating machine. What else should we know about Rick Perry? Texas columnist and commentator Jim Hightower will join us to talk about the real Rick Perry record. Also on the […]

Feb
01
2011

It's the Politics, Stupid

Ask not what elections will do for climate change

Of all the issues at stake in the midterm congressional elections of 2010, the one that hung most in the balance may have been the fate of the world’s climate. It was clear from early in the election cycle that incoming Republicans were uniformly in agreement that no government action to control carbon emissions was desirable, or indeed necessary: Of Republican Senate candidates, “19 of the 20 who have taken a position say that global climate change is unproven or actually a hoax,” the National Journal’s Ron Brownstein said on ABC’s This Week (9/26/10). Several prominent GOP leaders had gone […]

Jan
01
2011

Media Don't Bite the Ruling That Feeds Them

Citizen United fills airwaves—and corporate coffers

As major participants in and beneficiaries of the influence-buying orgy, it’s hardly surprising that television outlets did not seriously examine the impact of the Citizens United decision.

Dec
01
2010

Hoover Wins!

Media spin election as victory for austerity

While we had to wait until Election Night to find out that John Boehner eclipsed Nancy Pelosi, and that Harry Reid withstood Sharron Angle, one politician’s success was pre-ordained by corporate media long before the votes were cast: Herbert Hoover. Although pundits rarely if ever named the long-dead former president as a winner of the midterms, the way they framed the election made it inevitable that his once-discredited policy of responding to economic crisis with austerity would come out on top on Election Day. That framing was perhaps best summarized the day after the election by the New York Times’ […]

Nov
05
2010

If Olbermann's Donations Are Bad, What About GE's?

MSNBC host Keith Olbermann has been placed on indefinite suspension without pay in the wake of a Politico report (11/5/10) that revealed Olbermann had donated $7,200 to three Democratic candidates, in violation of NBC's standards barring employees from making political contributions. A journalist donating money to a political candidate raises obvious conflict of interest questions; at a minimum, such contributions should be disclosed on air. But if supporting politicians with money is a threat to journalistic independence, what are the standards for Olbermann's bosses at NBC, and at NBC's parent company General Electric? According to the Center for Responsive Politics, […]

Nov
05
2010

Jim Naureckas on elections, Chris Kromm on ''vote fraud''

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The midterm tidal wave. As it stands, and as you've no doubt heard by now, Republicans have retaken the House and picked up seats in the Senate. The corporate media consensus is pretty clear: Voters wanted to send a message to Barack Obama and the Democrats, and that message is something along the lines of, "You went too far, you tried to do too much." Which fits perfectly with the standard media line on the Democrats needing to move to the right. Does the actual vote match up to the post-election media spin? We'll […]

Nov
04
2010

Media Misreading Midterms

As usual, press urge a move to the right

With the Democrats suffering substantial losses in Tuesday's midterms, many journalists and pundits were offering a familiar diagnosis (Extra!, 7-8/06; FAIR Media Advisory, 2/3/09): The Democrats had misread their mandate and governed too far to the left. The solution, as always, is for Democrats to move to the right and reclaim "the center." But this conventional wisdom falls apart under scrutiny. For months, the problem for Democrats was correctly identified as the "enthusiasm gap"--the idea that the progressive base of the party was not excited about voting. The exit polls from Tuesday's vote confirm that many Democratic-tending voters failed to […]

Nov
06
2009

Failing the Midterms

Press overplays election results

Republican candidates won gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia on Tuesday; meanwhile, Democratic candidates won two special elections for the U.S. House of Representatives in New York and California. But it was very clear which set of elections corporate media wanted to portray as sending an important message about national politics--that voters were discontented with the White House and wanted Democrats to move to the right. "By seizing gubernatorial seats in Virginia and New Jersey, Republicans on Tuesday dispelled any notion of President Obama's electoral invincibility," declared the Los Angeles Times (11/4/09)--as if Obama had previously been confused with […]