Sep
05
2008

Heidi Boghosian on convention protests, David Moore on polling

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Most of the coverage of the political conventions focused on what was going on inside the arenas; so what about what was happening outside? Crackdowns on protests, arrests of journalists, and pre-emptive house raids could provide a very different measure of the state of American democracy. Heidi Boghosian of the National Lawyers Guild will join us to tell us what she saw. Also on the show: A new book attests to what some have long suspected: that opinion polls can distort understanding of public opinion more than illuminate it-- ginning up controversy where none […]

Jul
04
2008

Glenn Greenwald and Arianna Huffington on right-wing myths

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: a special conversation with two authors who have been producing some of the sharpest criticism of the political and media establishment during the Bush years. Arianna Huffington is founder of the Huffington Post website and author of numerous books. Her most recent is Right is Wrong: How the Lunatic Fringe Hijacked America, Shredded the Constitution, and Made Us All Less Safe. Glenn Greenwald writes a popular Unclaimed Territory blog at Salon.com. His new book is Great American Hypocrites: Toppling the Big Myths of Republican Politics. Today we'll be joined by both of them to […]

Jul
01
2008

Sidebar: The Most Liberal Senator?

[Note: This is a sidebar to "Obama the Snob?: Hanging the 'elitist' label on another Democratic candidate"] In the 2004 election, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry was crowned by an influential Beltway publication with an unexpected designation: He was, according to its calculation, the most liberal member of the Senate (National Journal, 2/28/04). The ranking was endlessly trumpeted by Republican spokespeople. Almost four years later, the soon-to-be Democratic presidential candidate had the same label attached to his record—by the same publication. On January 31, 2008, the National Journal’s annual ranking of senators placed Barack Obama as the furthest left Senate […]

Jun
01
2008

Fair Study: TV's Low-Cal Campaign Coverage

How 385 stories can tell you next to nothing about whom to vote for

The second-tier candidates, they get angry. They think that the press doesn’t focus on them, spends too much time talking about the front-runners in the debates, in the coverage day by day. But we say to them, "Well, make your mark. Start showing some growth. Start showing some resonance with the populace and you’ll get the same kind of coverage." They’ll say: "Wait a minute. How do we get resonance if we’re not covered?" It's an important issue that we have to keep examining, our own behavior.—Tim Russert (NBC Nightly News, 1/3/08) Coverage in the early phase of a presidential […]

May
09
2008

Ben Dangl on Bolivian referendum, Kate Sheppard on McCain & environment

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: When voters in the Bolivian state of Santa Cruz voted on May 4th to declare an autonomy, U.S. media largely reported it as a democratic expression of the differences between a wealthy, conservative Bolivian state, and the socialist central government of president Evo Morales. But was the Santa Cruz vote legitimate? We'll talk with Ben Dangl, author of The Price of Fire: Resource Wars and Social Movements in Bolivia. Also on the show: Is John McCain an environmentalist? If you believe the press corps, he is. But our guest says that may say more […]

May
02
2008

Justin Levitt on Supreme Court and voter ID, Sara Robinson on Texas Mormons case

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The Supreme Court rejected a challenge to Indiana's voter ID law; while the decision was difficult to parse, the debate around the law centers on the baseless fears of voter fraud often stoked by right-wing pundits. We'll talk about the issue with Justin Levitt of NYU's Brennan Center for Justice. Also on the show: The state of Texas' raid on the Yearning for Zion Ranch, resulting in the removal of more than 500 women and children, has made for weeks of sensational news coverage. But beyond the "curiosity" factor of the Mormon sect lie […]

Feb
01
2008

Humbled in New Hampshire?

Press needs to quit guessing and start reporting

Leading up to the New Hampshire primary, the storyline on the Democratic side was the disastrous state of the Clinton campaign. Her loss was a given; it seemed the only considerations were the margin of defeat and whether or not she would even continue running at all. The day of the primary, the Washington Post reported (1/8/08) that a second loss to Obama "would leave the New York senator's candidacy gasping for breath," and declared that Clinton's vow to stay in the race may be more wish than reality. By Wednesday, it may be too late. By then, Obama's campaign […]

Jan
25
2008

Glen Ford on Obama-Clinton, Rob Richie on electoral process

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: media long ago declared the Democratic race for the White House was a two-person race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The campaigns have been squaring off in recent days—on some important issues, and some decidedly less so. This has led some pundits to lament that race and gender have been "introduced" into this campaign. We'll hear what Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report has to say about this. Also on CounterSpin today, media election coverage can certainly be dispiriting, leaving you to wonder if this is really democracy in action? But one of […]