May 4 2012

Jonathan Chait on Paul Ryan, Brentin Mock on vote fraud


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 1 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 1 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 did to books, what the blogosphere did to newspapers, what the iPod did to music, what 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

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 […]

Nov 1 2011

GOP Reality TV

Running for president--or dancing with the stars?

Rick Perry--Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/eschipul

After kicking off the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination by devoting serious time to real estate developer Donald Trump’s publicity-stunt non-campaign (FAIR Blog, 4/26/11), corporate media election coverage had nowhere to go but up—right? Never underestimate the power of establishment media to make electoral coverage ever more trivial and undemocratic. Early coverage of this cycle’s Republican candidates looks less like an effort to observe and evaluate potential presidents and more like a semi-scripted reality TV show, where media “judges” pick participants according to entertainment value, express disappointment with the cast and desperately troll for new characters or storylines […]

May 6 2011

Ignoring Trump’s Record of Racism

Donald Trump (cc photo: Gage Skidmore)

Donald Trump’s efforts to delegitimize Barack Obama by suggesting he’s not a native-born citizen, and questioning his qualifications for admissions to Columbia University and Harvard Law School, have drawn fire from prominent media figures like MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell (FAIR Blog, 4/29/11), CBS News anchor Bob Schieffer (CBS Evening News, 4/27/11) and even David Letterman (Late Show, 4/28/11), who have pointed out the racism implicit in Trump’s smears. But few corporate journalists have so far put Trump’s anti-Obama efforts in the context of earlier racist episodes in the real estate developer’s career–a history that sheds light on the potential presidential […]

Oct 15 2010

Peter Stone on campaign financing, Dean Baker on TARP


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Reporters can always find many themes in election season, but some are saying this time around there’s really only one and that’s money. A new study from the Center for Public Integrity examines the fundraising going into the midterm elections; what impact is the Supreme Court’s Citizen United ruling having on the already prepossessing flow of dollars to candidates and their PR? We’ll hear from the study’s author, Peter Stone, the head of Center for Public Integrity’s Money and Politics team. Also on the show: The economic meltdown and the government response to it […]

Jul 16 2010

Adam Serwer on DOJ/New Black Panthers, Mark Weisbrot on South of the Border


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Have you heard the one about how the Obama Justice department refused to prosecute voter intimidation of white people by black people? A few days ago you could’ve missed the story just by avoiding Rush Limbaugh but now even the Washington Post is giving ink to the “political bombshell.” We’ll ask the American Prospect‘s Adam Serwer how much, if anything, there is to this latest tale and what’s behind it. Also on CounterSpin today: Oliver Stone’s new film South of the Border takes a look at the leftward shift in Latin America over the […]