Jan 01 2008

Choosing to Call Giuliani ‘Pro-Choice’

Media mislabel GOP hopeful

Media mislabel GOP hopefulNews stories about Rudy Giuliani’s campaign for the Republican nomination for president often refer to his supposed support for abortion rights. To much of the mainstream media, this is evidence of Giuliani’s admirable consistency in the face of a largely anti-choice GOP base, and a sign that Republican voters are pragmatic enough to accept a pro-choice nominee. A November 4 New York Times story, for example, declared that Giuliani “has made no serious effort to shade his positions to appeal to the social conservatives.” The same day, a Times analysis of political flip-flopping made the same point, […]

Jan 01 2008

A Million Iraqi Dead?

The U.S. press buries the evidence

The U.S. press buries the evidenceThe Iraq War was sold to Americans in part as an intervention that would benefit Iraqis, “liberating” them from the despotic rule of Saddam Hussein. In retrospect, after no weapons of mass destruction were found and the alleged links to Al-Qaeda were debunked, this supposed humanitarian mission became the central justification for the invasion. Today, it is a major pillar of what support remains among the U.S. public for continuing the occupation. If Americans are to make informed judgments not only about the invasion of Iraq and whether the occupation should continue, but also about […]

Jan 01 2008

Mark Weisbrot on the Venezuelan Referendum

'It wasn't any surprise when Chávez conceded'

‘It wasn’t any surprise when Chávez conceded’It isn’t easy to find U.S. press coverage of Venezuela that isn’t colored to some extent by the official U.S. distaste for President Hugo Chávez and his populist policies. Coverage of Venezuela’s recent referendum (12/2/07) on proposed constitutional amendments was no exception. In the wake of the narrow defeat of the reforms by a national vote, viewers could find Chris Matthews and Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC‘s Hardball (12/4/07) crowing that Chávez “getting it thrown back in his face this week” made them feel like “it’s Christmas three weeks early.” CounterSpin host Janine Jackson interviewed […]

Jan 01 2008

Get Carter

NY Times punishes an ex-president for criticizing Israel

NY Times punishes an ex-president for criticizing IsraelThough the New York Times ignored Jimmy Carter’s book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid when it was first published–it didn’t review the book until it had already been on the Times’ bestseller list for five weeks–that didn’t stop the paper from running an article about a former Carter employee who didn’t like the book. The December 7, 2006 article began by reporting that Kenneth W. Stein, a former executive director of the Carter Center in Atlanta, had resigned, “citing concerns with the accuracy and integrity of Mr. Carter’s latest book.” It quoted Stein charging […]

Jan 01 2008

Are People a ‘Special Interest’?

Media language equates citizens and money

Media language equates citizens and moneyWe are raised on the notion that people are paramount in democracy–that it’s all about citizens who, through public discussion, campaigns and elections, decide who will lead and which policies will be pursued. But that notion is often undermined by political reporting and commentary, which often seems designed to get people out of the process and into a spectator role. One way this happens is when media use labels that disparage popular political involvement, while often giving corporate and moneyed political players a pass. In the media’s lexicon of political pejoratives, “pander” and “special interests” […]