Mar
01
2013

Debunking the Debunkers of October Surprise

Magazines mangled facts to dismiss Reagan campaign collusion with Iran

America's Stolen Narrative

Editor's Note: This is an excerpt from investigative reporter Robert Parry's new book, America's Stolen Narrative. One of the book's storylines examines corporate media's role in squelching investigation into whether Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign in 1980 went behind President Jimmy Carter's back to contact Iranian officials then holding 52 Americans hostage, a controversy dubbed the October Surprise. When the possibility of a serious October Surprise investigation emerged in the latter half of 1991, an intimidating phalanx of powerful players was arrayed against it, from Ronald Reagan’s many defenders, to the sitting President George H.W. Bush, to David Rockefeller’s business and […]

Nov
01
2012

Global Disaster? Not on the Agenda

Media incurious about candidates and climate change

climate-change

Even as the devastation resulting from humanity’s ongoing alteration of the Earth’s atmosphere became more and more obvious, coverage of the 2012 presidential election campaign seemed completely impervious to the effects of climate change.

Aug
01
2012

Congress’s Missing Coverage

Local papers little help in casting an informed vote

Rep. John Murtha--Photo Credit: legis.wisconsin.gov

A well-informed electorate is perhaps the most essential ingredient for a functioning democratic system. Since the House of Representatives is intended to be the United States’ most democratic federal institution, citizens particularly need thorough coverage from local media outlets of their potential representatives to make an informed decision about who will best serve their interests. It’s unfortunate, then, that quality news on congressional elections is so hard to come by. Dan Shadoan wrote a piece for Extra! (1–2/95) demonstrating that leading papers based in three major cities—the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and L.A. Times—failed to provide substantial coverage of […]

Aug
01
2012

Gender Focus: Put Women at the Presidential Debate Podium

Two decades since last female moderator

League of Women Voters--Photo Credit: lwvia.org/Google

It’s been 20 years since a female journalist has been chosen to moderate a presidential debate. Yes, women have held the post for vice presidential debates, but that’s hardly the real deal. ABC News’ Carole Simpson was the last woman to lob questions at presidential candidates, back in 1992. What is going on? Well, I guess I get it. After all, imagine what would happen if a woman was tasked to broker a conversation between the two most important people in U.S. politics. Why, she just might ask for the candidates’ favorite pie recipes, or not know about the economic […]

May
04
2012

Jonathan Chait on Paul Ryan, Brentin Mock on vote fraud

By

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Republican Congressman Paul Ryan, we're told over and over again, is a serious budget wonk on a mission to reduce the deficit. Not quite, says New York magazine reporter Jonathan Chait. He argues that Paul Ryan's political history doesn't really resemble the Paul Ryan you hear about in the media. He'll join us to talk about that. Also on CounterSpin today, Voter fraud is almost non-existent in the U.S. but conservatives continue to brandish it as a major threat, in order to advance voting policies that many say threaten democracy. Brentin Mock is the […]

Mar
01
2012

Letters to the Editor

Extra! March 2012

In Defense of Exposing Lies The complaint (printed in the February 2012 issue) against FAIR for using “the demonizing technique to whip up support for its cause” sounds like yet another disguised way of saying—if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all. A worthless policy for exposing lies. That one fundamental difference between using truth versus using lies “to whip up support” has to be deliberately ignored in order for a glib statement like “sorry, demonizing is demonizing” to seem valid. So then is exposing lies the same as telling lies? No, it can’t […]

Feb
01
2012

The 1 Percent President

Americans Elect’s hypothetical ‘centrist’ candidate wins plaudits from pundits

Think big money and Wall Street have too much influence over national politics? Not to worry: A hedge fund-backed third-party presidential candidate will fix all of that. That’s the pitch coming from a group called Americans Elect. And some of America’s top pundits are loving it. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman (7/23/11) gushed: What Amazon.com did to books, what the blogosphere did to newspapers, what the iPod did to music, what Drugstore.com did to pharmacies, Americans Elect plans to do to the two-party duopoly that has dominated American political life—remove the barriers to real competition, flatten the incumbents and […]

Jan
27
2012

Michael Hastings on 'The Operators,' Laura Flanders on Gingrich and racism

By
Michael Hastings

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: In the summer of 2010, Rolling Stone published an explosive story about the Afghan War. Within days, U.S./NATO commander General Stanley McChrystal was out of a job. Much of the media coverage of the story focused on the blunt language McChrystal and his closest aides were using to talk about U.S. officials. The piece also caused some media figures to express alarm that a reporter would write such a story in the first place. Rolling Stone's Michael Hastings has turned his story into a book. He'll join us to talk about The Operators: The […]