May
01
2014

Whose Recovery Is It, Anyway?

‘The market’ is doing fine—but homebuyers are still hurting

The housing crisis is reported to be over - but that doesn't mean people can afford homes.

Like much of the reporting on the rest of the economy, coverage of housing is coverage of housing markets, rather than of the circumstances that all too many people still face.

Mar
01
2014

When Transgender Is a Plot Twist

Grantland failed to treat its source as a human being

Grantland: Dr V's Magical Putter

  The first (and longest) section of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics is titled “Seek Truth and Report It.” It encourages reporters to be “honest, fair and courageous” in their work and to “test the accuracy of information from all sources.” This is what journalists do: They dig. When sports writer Caleb Hannan found out about an unusual new putter in the golf world, he decided to dig, and he discovered that its inventor, Dr. Essay Anne Vanderbilt, had fabricated some rather fantastical education and work history to help sell her supposedly scientifically superior golf club. He […]

Mar
01
2014

‘There Really Is a Double Standard’

Drew Hudson on NPR fracking coverage

NPR fracking coverage

It’s distressing enough for people concerned about the environment to hear stories on National Public Radio that present hydraulic fracking as not just a source of safe energy but also an economic boon. When that’s combined with the network airing ads from the fracking industry, the questions only multiply. One activist group expressed those concerns in a petition to NPR that collected some 45,000 signatures—but they didn’t stop there. In December, they went to NPR, expecting to meet with the ombud, and they wound up with an opportunity to speak with the CEO. Drew Hudson, executive director of Environmental Action, […]

Mar
01
2014

CNN’s Dúo Dinámico

Ana Navarro and Alex Castellanos as the voices of Latinos

Alex Castellanos

As comprehensive immigration reform continues to stall in Congress and the GOP scrambles to appeal to a growing Latino population, two seasoned Republican operatives frequent the airwaves on mainstream media as purported voices of Latinos in America. But while Ana Navarro and Alex Castellanos may give an impression of diversity on cable television, what they really show is that both cable TV and the Republican Party have a shallow bench, relying heavily on two commentators—largely out of touch with majority Latino opinion—when they need a Latino voice. Today you’ll find them all over cable TV, mostly on CNN but also […]

Mar
01
2014

Imaginary Organisms

Media tout benefits of GMOs that never were

As it turned, out, this rice couldn’t save any kids—its Vitamin A content wasn’t high enough.

Media often tout 'breakthroughs' in genetic modification that don't turn out to be breakthroughs at all.

Mar
01
2014

Hyping the ‘Chinese Threat’

Media follow official line on East China Sea dispute

Reuters: Breakout

US media have played up “the Chinese threat” to an irrational degree—by omitting context, adopting incendiary language and occasionally using simply inaccurate data.

Mar
01
2014

Jeff Bezos and the Imperial Paper

Washington Post’s prestige based on proximity to power

BezosSlider

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos paid $250 million for the Washington Post—but Amazon is being paid more than twice that by the CIA.

Mar
01
2014

TPP—‘The Largest Corporate Power Grab You’ve Never Heard Of’

Virtual media blackout of ‘NAFTA on steroids’

Corporate Mickey Mouse sells the TPP

The Trans-Pacific Partnership would seem to be a major story with significant real-world impact. But despite its apparent newsworthiness, there were no stories about TPP on the three major network news shows.