Jan
27
2012

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

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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
01
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
06
2011

Ignoring Trump's Record of Racism

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

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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

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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 […]

May
01
2010

Journalists ♥ Tea Party

At last a citizen movement corporate media can love

A Tea Party activist--Photo Credit: In These Times

In the first year of the Obama administration, the corporate media suddenly overcame their general aversion to citizen movements that criticize government policies, granting the staunchly conservative Tea Party activists enormous coverage—a decision that seems likely to impact politics for the foreseeable future. Citizen movements are hardly ever front-page news, even when they have clearly identifiable political agendas and broad public support. But the Tea Party movement—an amorphous, politically incoherent umbrella designation for various strands of opposition to Obama, much of it beset with racism and backed by less-than-grassroots deep-pocket Beltway lobbying groups—has managed to buck that trend, getting the […]

Jan
22
2010

Norman Solomon on Mass. election, Glenn Greenwald on anonymous sources

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Corporate media chatter about the Republican Senate victory in Massachusetts reflects participants’ priorities: which means you're unlikely to hear advice offered to Democrats other than that they should act more like Republicans. Is that the takeaway? We'll get another angle from journalist and activist Norman Solomon. Also on the show: Anonymous news sources are a journalistic scourge, abetting some of the worst policies of our times, and allowing the powerful to escape accountability. But are they simply an occasional problem in reporting, or central to the way corporate journalism operates? We'll talk to Salon's […]

Aug
01
2009

Iran vs. Honduras

The Times’ selective promotion of democracy

When the results of the June 13 Iranian elections were decried as fraudulent (charges that were later backed up by a detailed study by Chatham House—6/21/09), U.S. media instantly became the champions of the oppressed Iranians who took to the streets in protest. Cries of righteous solidarity echoed from virtually all mainstream outlets, and the large demonstrations were front-page news on every newspaper in the country each day. The Islamic regime’s harsh suppression of demonstrations was rightfully the focus of prolific news coverage and vigorous editorial discussion. As the pages of the New York Times informed Americans, a “genuine democratic […]