Jan 1 2014

Nuclear Stalemate

When will PBS air exposé on deadly Pacific bomb tests?


When the US started using the Marshall Islands as a nuclear weapons testing site in 1946, did the US government intentionally expose Marshall Islanders to extremely toxic levels of radiation? It remains to be seen if PBS will be sharing the answer to that question with anyone anytime soon.

Jan 1 2014

Why Aren’t Big Bankers in Jail?

Why ask why, say their enablers in financial press


While there have been substantive inquiries into the wrongdoing of investment banks and auditors, those calling for jail time are often dismissed as irrational, driven by “blood lust,” “anger” or “vengeance.”

Jan 1 2014

SoundBites January 2014

britney pirates

Music as a Weapon? No Joke “Britney Spears is being used as a secret weapon to fight Somali pirates,” FoxNews.com (10/30/13) reported October 30. “The singer’s hits are being blasted out by tanker crews to deter kidnap attacks.” The piece quoted a British naval officer who says, “These guys can’t stand Western culture or music, making Britney’s hits perfect.” NBC (NBCNews.com, 10/29/13) also picked up the story, telling viewers, Spears “can’t count Somali pirates among her many fans. In fact, her tunes are being used to turn the tide on high-seas crimes.” Nor could Time (Time.com, 10/28/13) pass on such […]

Jan 1 2014

CNN’s Pro-Nuclear Bias

Cheerleading documentary followed by more stacked commentary


CNN aired the pro-nuclear power documentary Pandora’s Promise, a film that brooked virtually no dissent from the views of its seven principal “stars”—one-time anti-nuclear environmentalists who now say the planet can only be saved from the ravages of fossil fuels by a rapid, large-scale investment in new, supposedly fail-safe “fast reactors.”

Jan 1 2014

Trying to Slay Goliath

Media campaign against book critical of Israel


Max Blumenthal’s first book, Republican Gomorrah: Inside the Movement That Shattered the Party, was praised in the US corporate media. His deep dive into the Christian right was lauded in the New York Times (1/7/07) and CNN (9/10/09), and featured on NPR’s Fresh Air (9/10/09). The award-winning journalist’s second tome, though, has been met with a much chillier reception. Blumenthal’s Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, published by Nation Books, is a tour de force through Israeli society. (Disclosure: Blumenthal and I have written for the same website, Mondoweiss, and he is a friend.) It documents the hard-right turn […]

Jan 1 2014

Rob Ford’s Crack Faux Pas

Media fascination with white Toronto mayor’s drug of choice

The "detail" about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's drug use that most seemed to fascinate media was that it involved a drug associated with "black underclass" stereotypes.

It’s important to note what pushed this episode into the spotlight in a culture desensitized to political scandals: A white Canadian mayor smoked crack. And our collective jaws were expected to hit the floor when we saw the “evidence”: video of Ford smoking with a group of black men in a Toronto housing project.

Jan 1 2014

Media Whitewash US Role in Congo

Getting credit for promoting peace without blame for fueling war

This New York Times piece gave the US credit for pressuring Rwanda to rein in its violent proxies, but failed to note how US aid had supported violence in the region.

Corporate media overlooked the long-term role the US and other Western nations have played in protecting and funding the sponsors of a bloody insurgency in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Jan 1 2014

Nelson Mandela, 1918–2013

Remembering—or not—a revolutionary


Watching the corporate media tributes to former South African leader Nelson Mandela, you had to assume that certain aspects of Mandela’s life would be forgotten or downplayed.