May 01 2011

After Fukushima, Media Still Buying Nuclear Spin

Downplaying deadly dangers in Japan and at home

Fukushima Wikimedia Commons

Ever since the start of nuclear technology, those behind it have made heavy use of deception, obfuscation and denial—with the complicity of most of the media. New York Times reporter William Laurence, working at the same time with the Manhattan Project, wrote a widely published press release covering up the first nuclear test in New Mexico in 1945, claiming it was nothing more than an ammunition dump explosion. The Times and Laurence went on to boost nuclear power for years to come (Beverly Deepe Keever, News Zero: The New York Times and The Bomb). A central concern of nuclear promoters, […]

Jul 01 2010

‘You Fearmonger as a Way to Get Viewers’

Sandy Cioffi on Nigeria, the other oil disaster

Photo Credit: Sweet Crude/

It’s hard to imagine a worse situation than the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, but the Niger delta in Nigeria has by some accounts suffered spills equaling the Exxon Valdez every year for five decades. Besides the rare report, though, you wouldn’t know about that from U.S. corporate media. FAIR’s radio show CounterSpin (6/25/10) talked with filmmaker Sandy Cioffi, creator of the award-winning 2009 film Sweet Crude. Here’s an edited version of that conversation. CS: Let’s begin with your thoughts on the crisis in the Gulf. Perhaps you could describe some of the differences and similarities [with Nigeria]. […]

Jul 01 2010

Still Drill, Baby–Despite Spill

Little rethinking of oil after Deepwater disaster

Deepwater Horizon disaster (cc photo: John Masson/Coast Guard)

News coverage in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon spill downplayed the harm, reasserted the need for offshore drilling and minimized the White House’s—and the corporate media’s—recent endorsement of additional offshore oil exploration.

Jun 25 2010

Joshua Holland on Afghanistan, Sandy Cioffi on Nigeria’s oil drilling crisis


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin, Gen. Stanley McChrystal is out as commander of troops in Afghanistan after derisive remarks he and aides made about the White House and the war to Rolling Stone magazine. But in all the folderol about insubordination and civilian command, are reporters missing the real story? We’ll talk to Joshua Holland of AlterNet about what else is in that Rolling Stone piece. Also on the show, it’s hard to imagine a worse situation than the oil spill in the gulf, but the Niger Delta in Nigeria has by some accounts suffered spills equaling the Exxon […]

Jun 18 2010

Riki Ott & Tim Dickinson on BP Gulf disaster


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin, two angles on the worst environmental disaster in the country’s history, the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP is trying to control what you know about the catastrophe. What’s more, the company has enlisted federal and local government agencies to help censor information about the damage, the progress of the cleanup, and the safety of workers in polluted zones. We’ll talk about that with Riki Ott, marine toxicologist, Exxon Valdez survivor and a contributor to the Huffington Post. Also, the more you learn about BP’s track record and the governmental outfits […]

Feb 26 2010

Cyrus Safdari on Iran, Robert Alvarez on nuclear power


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen says it’s time to “fight crazy with crazy” on Iran’s nuclear policy. If that passes for discussion of diplomacy in the corporate press, maybe we should look beyond them for interpretation of the latest International Atomic Energy Agency report. We’ll be talking with analyst and blogger Cyrus Safdari. Also this week: Nuclear power in America is back. Again. The White House announcement of multi-billion dollar loan guarantees for a new plant in Georgia got plenty of media praise, with editorialists and journalists eagerly citing familiar industry-friendly talking points. […]

Feb 19 2010

Network Nukes Boosters

Reports on new nuclear plant leave key questions unasked

On February 16, ABC World News and NBC Nightly News aired incomplete and unbalanced reports following Barack Obama’s announcement of $8 billion in new loan guarantees for a nuclear power plant in Georgia. ABC reporter Jake Tapper announced that “for years leading Democrats and liberals opposed nuclear energy. No new nukes was the cry. So some may have been surprised to hear President Obama say today, essentially, yes, new nukes.” But after that nod, nuclear opponents mostly disappeared from the piece, which showed Tapper stressing industry claims about job creation for this new plant (“3,500 on-site construction jobs and 800 […]

Feb 01 2010

Sidelining Cap and Trade’s Green Critics

As with healthcare, right-wing complaints framed the debate

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/EnvironmentBlog

The sweeping bill to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions that moved through Congress over the last year received relatively scant media attention, taking a distant back seat to the healthcare reform bill and its attendant public uproar. And, much like the healthcare debate (Extra!, 10/09), coverage of climate-change legislation ended up obscuring the issues as much as it explained them, viewing a Democratic compromise bill through the lens of right-wing and corporate criticism, while marginalizing progressive critics who said the legislation was insufficient to the task at hand. The tone of coverage was set in February, when President Barack Obama issued preliminary […]