Jun 1 2014

Advertising, Death Anxiety and Speculative Black Holes

Media's obsession with the missing Malaysian plane

Flight 370, MH370, Malaysian plane

The inexplicable disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 on March 8 provided a golden opportunity for commercial news outlets to score eyeballs and raise profit margins.

Jun 1 2014

Even GOP Attention Can’t Make Media Care About Poor

50 million in poverty get a fraction of the coverage of 482 billionaires


With poverty at 15 percent, inequality rising and Republican politicians talking about addressing the problem by cutting federal programs that help the poor, one might expect poverty to occupy a solid spot on media agendas.

Jun 1 2014

Beyond ‘Boring Hand-Wringing’ on Newsroom Diversity

Changing the institutions that make journalism so white and male

Newsroom (cc photo: David Sim)

What needs to happen in order to never have a conversation about race and gender diversity in newsrooms ever again?

Jun 1 2014

Letters June 2014

Russian Misapprehension Peter Hart’s parsing (Extra!, 5/14) of Putin’s “major geopolitical disaster of the century”—the collapse of the Soviet Union—is faulty. Putin did not use either “a” or “the,” as there are no articles in Russian. The “official translation” is of no import. He clearly meant the disaster, not that it was in the top 20. I am not accusing Hart of membership in the Putinform, my neologism for the Stephen Cohens, Robert Parrys, John Pilgers et al. who can’t tell a revolution by masses of fed-up Ukrainians from a “US neocon coup,” and would rather criticize the MSM instead […]

Jun 1 2014

GENDER FOCUS: Why Muslim Feminists Aren’t Celebrating Hirsi Ali

Islamophobia is not a defense of women's rights

Megyn Kelly, Ayaan Hirsi Ali

After an outcry from students, faculty and civil rights groups in early April, Brandeis University withdrew its invitation to honor notorious Islamophobe Ayaan Hirsi Ali at its 2014 commencement.

Jun 1 2014

Capital Punishment

A book that takes on inequality rallies friends of the 1 Percent

Thomas Piketty, Capital

Who would have thought that the way to kick off a media discussion about inequality in the United States would be to publish an English translation of a nearly 700-page book by a French economist?

Jun 1 2014

Schools ‘Failing’—but for Which Students?

Missing the issue of charters' selective enrollment

MSNBC, Morning Joe, charter schools

The issue of marginalized student groups underrepresented in charter schools went largely unreported in the pages of the Times before the election of Mayor de Blasio.

Jun 1 2014

SoundBites June 2014

The Reagan Playbook’s Bloody Pages Washington Post columnist David Ignatius (4/8/14) wrote that Russia’s Vladimir Putin may in fact be taking a page out of the United States’ playbook during the Ronald Reagan presidency, when the Soviet empire began to unravel thanks to a relentless US covert-action campaign. Rather than confront Moscow head-on, Reagan nibbled at the edges, by supporting movements that destabilized Russian power in Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Angola and, finally, Poland and Eastern Europe. Ignatius credits this idea to a former CIA paramilitary covert-action officer, who argues that what Putin is doing in Ukraine is similar to what he and […]