Jun
01
2013

'Such Is Life' Coverage of Another Blast's Dead

When corporations kill, media turn fatalistic

Texas fertilizer explosion (photo: Mike Stone/Reuters)

Anyone could have predicted the Boston Marathon bombing would receive the high-color, saturation-style coverage it’s gotten. The April 15 attack lends itself to all sorts of narratives U.S. corporate media love to explore: the ever-present “terrorist” threat, scary Muslims and their “networks,” the potential of new security technology. Still, it was hard not to be struck by the contrast between the attention devoted to the Boston bombing and that given to a disastrous explosion two days later in a Texas fertilizer plant. TV networks especially “seemed to decide covering two big stories was covering one too many,” as Mike Elk […]

Jun
01
2013

Working Poor Shorted in Minimum Wage Coverage

Those most affected by debate weren't part of it

It’s hard to imagine news coverage of military regulations that excludes Pentagon officials, or a discussion of derivatives trading that leaves out Wall Street executives—those directly affected by policy outcomes. But that’s how corporate media cover the minimum wage story, according to a new study by Extra! that finds low-wage workers are largely excluded from the debate. The study surveyed nearly three months of coverage (1/1/13–3/24/13) in eight major U.S. media outlets, during a period when Democratic President Barack Obama was proposing an increase in the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour. Obama made his most prominent […]

Jun
01
2013

For U.S. Media, Rape Culture Is There, Not Here

Delhi has 'alarming' power structure, Steubenville 'promising' young men

The brutal gang rape of a university student in Delhi last December out-raged the establishment media, which were quick to paint India as a nation plagued by deep-seated sexism and misogyny. The New York Times opined (12/29/12) that the rape reflected “an alarming trend in India” of “tolerat[ing] shocking abuse of women” who are “shamed into silence and callously disregarded by a male-dominated power structure” and therefore “never go to the authorities to seek justice.” The Times went on to lament that “women are routinely blamed for inciting the violence against them,” which is why “India must work on changing […]

Jun
01
2013

'Terror Returns'--Along With Media Fixations

Boston bombings revive fear of 'Islamic rage'

The Boston bombings came to be understood as a return of 9/11—not in the scope of the attacks or the cost in innocent lives, but as a reminder of a certain type of danger.

Jun
01
2013

Disabled Are New Target for Charges of Cheating

NYT, NPR lead campaign to cut SSI

Nicholas Kristof at Davos (cc photo: WEF/Monika Flueckiger)

Nicholas Kristof's column was almost entirely wrong or unsupported. Yet it turned out to be just the opening salvo of a series of high-profile news reports exposing America’s alleged plague of skyrocketing disability benefits.

Jun
01
2013

SoundBites June 2013

Extra! June 2013

By FAIR
chucktodd

Concealing a Spy Who Hid Torture; Misremembering Thatcher; PBS's Debate on Social Security

May
30
2013

Immigrants Missing From Immigration Debate

Political issue or economic factor--but not human beings

DC immigration rally (cc photo: Anuska Sampedro)

When Extra! analyzed immigration reform coverage, the majority of sources from all networks were white male politicians born in the United States without personal ties to immigration. The voices of immigrants or activists were mostly absent.