Sep
14
2012

Brought to You by...Big Oil?

Washington Post hides industry sponsorship of energy debate

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The Washington Post had a two-page spread in its September 11 edition devoted to a "debate" on energy policy. But industry critics were missing from the picture. Why? Perhaps because the oil industry, undisclosed to Post readers, was sponsoring the discussion.

Jul
01
2012

"Hope It's in Your Backyard!"

Gushing over fracking ignores climate crisis

Fracking Operation--Photo Credit: Mother Jones/zhuda/Shutterstock

One of the difficulties of reporting on climate change is its incremental nature: It’s hard to expect every media mention of someone driving a car or running an air conditioner to include a note about its effects on the environment. Yet even when the climate impacts of an action are unambiguous and central to a story, reporters all too often avoid the subject. Take the natural-gas extraction technique of hydraulic fracturing (Extra!, 2/12). Better known as “fracking,” the process involves cracking open underground rock layers containing oil and gas deposits by blasting them with a high-pressure chemical slurry. Of the […]

Jun
08
2012

Fatima Goss Graves on wage gap, Alexis Baden-Mayer on GMO labeling

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The Paycheck Fairness Act, aimed at making it easier to fight gender-based wage discrimination, failed to muster the votes to break Republicans' filibuster in the Senate. Sadly, the measure also failed to muster journalists to address the underlying problem, rather than dismiss it all as just more partisan politicking. It seems unfairness against women, even if it's devastating and daily, just isn’t that newsworthy. We'll hear from Fatima Goss Graves of the National Women's Law Center, about paycheck fairness. Also on CounterSpin today, many people feel like there's a right to know what's in […]

Apr
20
2012

Antonia Juhasz on BP anniversary, Lee Fang on Hilary Rosen

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: This week marks the two-year anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Media will be checking in on the Gulf to mark the anniversary—but what will their reporting on this ongoing environmental catastrophe look like? We'll talk to journalist Antonia Juhasz about her new report in the Nation, "Two Years Later: BP's Toxic Legacy." Also on the show: Comments CNN contributor Hilary Rosen about Mitt Romney's wife induced the punditocracy to take up questions of women’s work - and that's never pretty. But besides the silly things that were said, what about some […]

Feb
01
2012

Natural Gas and the News

Most messages on fracking ‘brought to you by our sponsors’

When it comes to natural gas extraction via “fracking,” TV journalism has some serious competition: energy industry commercials. Like ads for political candidates that run concurrently with broadcast news coverage of the presidential race, ads promoting natural gas (and other fossil fuels) have long been running in concert with news segments about the topic, most recently touting the prospect of a “boom” made possible by the controversial extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing of the shale sprawling beneath more than 30 U.S. states. During the past three years, Extra! found, there has been exponentially more propaganda for the wonders of […]

Dec
09
2011

Michael Dorsey on COP-17, Karl Grossman on Fukushima

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The annual United Nations meeting on climate change is underway. That might be news to you if you rely on television for your information. These international conferences tend to produce stories that dwell on the lack of progress, or the unwillingness of countries like China to do more. Dartmouth environmental studies professor Michael Dorsey is on the scene in Durban, South Africa and he'll join us to talk about what's happening—and what's at stake. Also on CounterSpin today: There's no shortage of stories coming out of Japan's ongoing nuclear crisis. Radiation has turned up […]

Sep
02
2011

Lorne Stockman on Keystone pipeline, Faiz Shakir on 'Fear Inc.'

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Why have more than 700 people been arrested at the White House in recent days? Don't ask nightly news-- they've so far yet to find anything newsworthy in the largest environmental action in years: a massive protest against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. We'll get the story TV's missing from Lorne Stockman, Research Director at the group Oil Change International. Also on CounterSpin today, the Center for American Progress has published a new report on Islamophobia that looks at a prominent network of organizations and individuals who promote hatred of Islam and Muslims in […]

Aug
12
2011

Karl Grossman & Steve Wing on Fukushima

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Japan's Foreign Minister has told officials to stop claiming Japanese food is safe. This after beef contaminated by radiation from Fukushima’s No. 1 nuclear power plant was sold and consumed around the country. Meanwhile a devastating report from Associated Press reveals that a system to forecast radiation threats did function but was ignored by top officials who didn’t understand its significance. One result: the Karino Elementary School, which the system predicted would be directly in the plume coming from Fukushima’s nuclear plant, was not evacuated, but instead used as temporary shelter for people fleeing […]