It hasn’t been probing media coverage that’s roughened the road for the corporate power grab known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership; public interest activism is the missing piece in much top-down media coverage. Plus: To hear media tell it, the EPA found that fracking doesn’t pose any widespread harm to drinking water. Is that really what the science said?
Treating BP as the primary victim of BP's negligence
One would hope that with Barack Obama talking about expanding offshore drilling, media would take seriously a judge’s conclusion that the Deepwater disaster was not a matter of accidental missteps by a few “bad apples,” but implicates business as usual for an entire industry, as well as those agencies meant to regulate it.
This week on CounterSpin: A judge has ruled BP was guilty of willful misconduct and gross negligence in the Deepwater Horizon disaster that killed 11 people and dumped millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. With Obama talking about expanding offshore drilling, you’d hope the media would take serious notice. We’ll talk about what that would look like with Antonia Juhasz, author of Black Tide: the Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill.
Also on the show: The Economist magazine recently apologized and retracted its review of ‘The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism,’ a review that faulted the author for portraying whites as slavery’s villains, and blacks as its victims. Yes. New York University history professor Greg Grandin will join us to talk about the Economist’s slavery problem.
The Supreme Court hears the Hobby Lobby case, which is about women’s health, reproductive rights and claims of religious freedom–and one more front in the right’s battle against the Affordable Care Act. And 25 years after the Exxon Valdez disaster, the Sound is still not fully recovered, and spills are still in the news.
This week on CounterSpin: The COP 19 climate talks in Warsaw were filled with intrigue, secret memos and walkouts by green groups and delegations from developing nations. What was accomplished at the summit? We’ll talk with Michael K. Dorsey, the director of the Joint Center’s Energy & Environment Program.
Also on CounterSpin: Is big business breaking up with the Tea Party? Some political observers and pundits seem to think so, seeing a growing divide between the Republican Party and its corporate backers. But historian and journalist Rick Perlstein suggests this storyline isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
This week on CounterSpin: Media tell us this week marks the fifth anniversary of the financial crisis since it was in September 2008 that global financial services firm Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy. Meanwhile 6 in 10 tell pollsters they don’t think the country could avoid another collapse, which the Washington Post write-up called a “pessimistic outlook.” But are people pessimistic or realistic in saying they just don’t think there’s been sufficient action taken to really change things? We’ll hear from financial blogger Mike Konczal of the Roosevelt Institute about that.
Also on CounterSpin today, a new study of the controversial gas drilling tactic known as fracking seems to be good news for the industry—no surprise, since they funded it. But are the findings about methane leaks as good as the press reports make them sound? We’ll put that question to Hugh MacMillan of the group Food and Water Watch.
The climate solution that dares not speak its name
Just as the mainstream media are evolving away from the era of false balance (Extra!, 11/04) to accept the reality of what scientists call “anthropogenic global warming,” a different type of denial has taken hold: a refusal to acknowledge the fact that the solution to the climate crisis requires humanity to stop depending on fossil fuels for energy. Earth’s dire atmospheric situation was confirmed by November 2012 reports from such tree-hugging pinkos as the World Bank and PriceWaterhouse Coopers. PWC’s most recent edition of its annual Low Carbon Economy Index declares, “To give our-selves a more than 50 percent chance […]