Jul
01
2003

The Great WMD Hunt

The media knew they were there--but where are they?

By the time the war against Iraq began, much of the media had been conditioned to believe, almost as an article of faith, that Saddam Hussein's Iraq was bulging with chemical and biological weapons, despite years of United Nations inspections. Reporters dispensed with the formality of applying modifiers like "alleged" or "suspected" to Iraq's supposed unconventional weapon stocks. Instead, they asked "what precise threat Iraq and its weapons of mass destruction pose to America" (NBC Nightly News, 1/27/03). They wrote matter-of-factly of Washington's plans for a confrontation "over Iraq's banned weapons programs" (Washington Post, 1/27/03). And they referred to debates […]

Jul
01
2003

Spectrum Narrows Further in 2002

Progressive, domestic think tanks see drop

The center-right slant in media citations of think tanks continued in 2002, with conservative groups receiving 47 percent of last year’s citations, centrists 41 percent and progressives 12 percent--the least representation for the left since 1998. The top 25 think tanks in 2002 received 25,897 citations in major newspapers and broadcast transcripts, according to a search of the Nexis media database. This is an 8 percent decrease from 2001, bucking the trend of increasing think tank citations since the survey began in 1996. The centrist Brookings Institution maintained the top spot, garnering about one-sixth of the survey’s citations, while another […]

Jul
01
2003

Savage Anti-Semitism

Radio host takes ethnic aim at Jewish enemies

Though racism, sexism and immigrant bashing have long thrived on American radio, one had to go back to the days of Father Coughlin and Gerald L.K. Smith in the 1930s to find mainstream broadcasters railing against the Jewishness of their political enemies. But no longer. Welcome to the Savage Nation, the radio show hosted by Michael Savage. Well-known for his bigotry against non-whites, immigrants, women, gay men and lesbians (see Extra!, 3-4/03), Savage is virtually the only national talk jock targeting progressive Jews with ugly ethnic slurs and stereotypes. Consider Savage’s December 6, 2002 attack on Jerry Springer. Best known […]