Sep 17 2010

Amitabh Pal on French austerity protests, Hye Jin Rho on Social Security

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: As French protestors take to the streets against proposed austerity measures, the U.S. media have taken sides. Expressing scorn for spoiled French workers; and cheering the grown up, responsible attitudes of those, like French President Sarkozy who seek to cut promised retirement benefits. How are these same battles covered back home in the U.S.? We’ll talk to Amitabh Pal, columnist and managing editor of the Progressive magazine. Also on CounterSpin today: When pundits talk about solutions to the country’s long-term debt and deficit problems, one apparently simple solution is to raise the retirement age. […]

May 21 2010

Helena Cobban on Iran, Mike Epitropoulos on Greece

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: When Brazil and Turkey brokered a deal to get Iran to ship much of its Uranium abroad for enriching, much of the world saw it as a positive step. But not so U.S. officials, who saw it as a threat to their efforts to impose UN sanctions on Iran—though perhaps not that much of a threat as the day after the Iran deal, the U.S. announced it had gotten China and Russia to support Iran sanctions. How has the U.S. media distinguished itself in covering all this Iran news? We’ll be joined by Helena […]

Mar 19 2004

Jeff Cohen on Spanish elections, Jonathan Landay on INC & media

Download MP3 Terror bombings in Madrid came just days before national elections, and Spanish voters delivered a surprising defeat to the Popular Party, which had supported the war in Iraq. On this side of the Atlantic, the election results made journalists wonder if Spain was going soft on the war on terror. But are the media missing the story on Spain? We’ll talk to FAIR founder Jeff Cohen. Also on CounterSpin this week: We’ll talk to Knight Ridder national security correspondent Jonathan Landay. He’s part of a reporting team that has broken many important stories; his most recent tells how […]

Jan 01 2003

Where the Gray Lady Goes Radical

The New York Times' peculiar German fixation

Election season came to Germany last fall, and in time-honored fashion, the New York Times spent the campaign bemoaning the high wages of German workers. Whether workers in a distant country are overpaid may seem like an odd fixation for an eminent newspaper, but for years the Times has treated no other factor as more crucial to the politics and economics of contemporary Europe. “It’s hard to think of a cushier place to live through a recession than Germany,” wrote Berlin economic correspondent Mark Landler in a “Week in Review” essay (9/29/02). “With Germany’s welfare payments, unemployment compensation, not to […]

Sep 01 2001

When a Media Mogul Runs the State

U.S. press unconcerned about fascist ties of Italy's Berlusconi

It’s no great wonder that much of the Italian media did not report critically on the electoral campaign of multi-billionaire Silvio Berlusconi. After all, he owns Italy’s three main private TV networks and other major media outlets. But what excuse does the U.S. press have for its flaccid coverage of Berlusconi, Italy’s richest man, who is now prime minister of that country’s 59th government since World War II? U.S. journalists repeatedly refer to the Italian TV tycoon as a “self-made” success story. George Will called the Italian TV tycoon a “gaudy self-creation” (Newsweek, 5/21/01) and a Scripps Howard editorial (5/15/01) […]

Mar 01 2000

As Europe’s Far Right Surged, U.S. Press Shrugged

Playing down the fascist ties of Austria's Haider

The electoral breakthrough of the extreme-right Austrian Freedom Party—which came in a close sec­ond with more than a quarter of the vote in that country’s national elec­tions last October—generated front-page coverage in most European news­papers. Editorial commentary empha­sized the importance of keeping the Freedom Party, led by Jörg Haider, from joining a new governing coalition. (Despite threats of siplomatic sanc­tions, the Freedom Party did form a governing coalition with the Austrian People’s Party in February.) The Times of London (10/4/99) warned that “Haider’s result has thrown [Austrian] politics into turmoil, frightened investors and brought closer to power the largest and […]

Mar 01 1999

Something Stinks

Francophobia at the New York Times

For the Times of London and the Times of New York, it is still quite proper to say the natives stink– provided they are French. When French soap merchants followed the lead of ours to persuade their public that it had B.O., the Timeses were happy to confirm it. The one in London (11/21/98) whinnied: “It’s True!: The French Really Are the Smelliest in Europe.” In fragrant New York, it was “Hygiene Poll Bares Source of the French Je Sais Quoi” (11/24/98). Craig Whitney’s lead chortled: “The French invented perfume because they had to. In the 17th Century, even Louis […]

Sep 01 1993

Importing British Censorship from Northern Ireland

An executive order bans from the BBC‘s airwaves direct statements by members and apparent sympathizers of groups the British government considers “terrorists.” The broadcast ban was applied to three legal organizations, including one whose president was elected member of the British Parliament. When soliciting pledges, U.S. public TV and radio hosts often boast about the British news programming that they bring to U.S. airwaves. What they don’t say is that such programming sometimes comes with British censorship. The British Broadcasting Corporation is a fully funded government agency, with a board of directors appointed by the Queen (under government recommenda­tion). No […]