Jan 01 2012

Super Cuts!

Military budget, not social spending, prompts media concern

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/alsokaizen

The failure of the Congressional “supercommittee” to come up with a $1.2 trillion, 10-year deficit reduction plan means that automatic “trigger” cuts might take place in discretionary spending—roughly half of which is supposed to come from the military budget. Corporate media have given extensive time to panicked warnings about the dangerous impact of military cuts, but made little mention of the effects of cutting other spending. Under the “trigger” plan, the military budget is supposed to be reduced by almost $600 billion over the next decade—a move Republican politicians have vowed to block. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has been quoted […]

Jan 01 2012

It’s All of Us; Except the 1 Percent

COUNTERSPIN INTERVIEW :Frances Fox Piven on poverty and Occupy Wall Street

Frances Fox Piven--Photo Credit: Mediaite

The Occupy movement has garnered, if not the respect, at least the acknowledgement of a corporate press corps inclined for any number of reasons to ignore it. Still, coverage is centered on the protesters themselves, without necessarily engaging their ideas or allowing those ideas to shape reporting. It’s entirely possible for media to say these ideas matter and still not act as though they do. How, for example, does media’s interest in the 99 Percent affect their understanding of how poverty is defined? Or whose perspectives should be included in news on the economy? CounterSpin’s Janine Jackson explored these issues […]

Jan 01 2012

On Iran, an Unsmoking Nongun

Nuclear report doesn’t say what media want it to

The release of a United Nations report on Iran’s nuclear program in early November was, according to much of the corporate media, the long-awaited confirmation of something many outlets had already treated as established fact: Iran is working on a nuclear weapon. You would have a hard time figuring out that the report from the International Atomic Energy Agency did not actually arrive at that conclusion. As has happened with past IAEA reports on Iran, some coverage presented a sneak preview of the supposed conclusions, based on leaks from sources intent on portraying Iran in a more negative light. On […]

Jan 01 2012

Islamophobia Still Rising-With the Right’s Help

The mainstreaming of anti-Muslim conspiracy theories

When the Center for American Progress (CAP) released the report Fear, Inc. in September (8/26/11), alleging that U.S. anti-Muslim propaganda is largely driven by a well-funded network of groups and individuals, confirmation of its claims came quickly. Just four days after publication, the Fox Business Network aired a wildly inaccurate two-part feature on Follow the Money (8/30/11) smearing the report, its authors and Muslim Americans. Rupert Murdoch-owned media outlets like FBN are among the country’s leading Islamophobic media organizations, according to Fear, Inc. The first segment featured self-styled terrorism expert Steven Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism—named by CAP […]