Mar 1 1996

Wild in Deceit

Why 'Teen Violence' Is Poverty Violence in Disguise

In previous decades, American politicians and social scientists predicted waves of violence stemming from “impulsive” blacks, volatile Eastern European immigrants, “hot-blooded” Latin Americans, and other groups “scientifically” judged to harbor innately aggressive traits. In each case, the news media joined in vilifying whatever temporarily unpopular minority that politicians and pseudo-science had flocked to blame. And in each case, the branding of disfavored population groups as inherently violent has been disproven. (See Stephen Jay Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man for examples.) In each case, violence has been found to be a straightforward function of poverty, income disparity. Here we go again. […]

Mar 1 1996

James Reston:

The Insider's Journalist in the Service of Empire

The death of long-time New York Times reporter, editor and columnist James Reston on Dec. 6, 1995 was followed by an outpouring of accolades to the “influential,” “respected,” “giant” and “non-pareil” journalist. Even in the accolades, however, there was repeated mention of his exceptional connections to the powerful. R.W. Apple, in the New York Times (12/8/95), noted that “Mr. Reston was forgiving of the frailties of soldiers, statesmen and party hacks–too forgiving, some of his critics said, because he was too close to them.” Burt Barnes, writing in the Washington Post (12/8/95), stated that “Mr. Reston’s work was required reading […]

Mar 1 1996

The End of Racism?

Somebody tell Marge Schott

There seems to be a growing attempt by pundits both of the right and center to claim that significant racism no longer exists. The American Enterprise Institute’s Dinesh D’Souza, of course, makes this claim in his book The End of Racism, in which he asserts that racism “no longer has the power to thwart blacks or any other group in achieving their economic, political, and social aspirations.” (Racism apparently ended sometime after he was editor of the Dartmouth Review, which under his early-’80s tenure published a crude racial parody under the title “Dis Sho Ain’t No Jive, Bro”–see Washington Post, […]

Mar 1 1996

More of Limbaugh’s Wit and Wisdom

What They Did to Newt

LIMBAUGH: “Look what they did to Newt. Newt didn’t even say it. But people called my radio show today thinking Newt Gingrich predicted a stock market crash by December 15. That’s because of the way the press is reporting it…. This is the best example I can give you to show you the unfairness, the bias and the disparity that exists in reporting the truth with the mainstream press coming out of Washington.” (TV, 12/5/95) REALITY: This is Limbaugh’s “best example”? An extensive search of online databases found no stories reporting that House Speaker Gingrich had predicted a stock market […]

Mar 1 1996

Conservative Women Are Right for Media Mainstream

Media Have Finally Found Some Women to Love

After years of ignoring the expertise of women’s organizations, one women’s group has stepped into the media spotlight. Members of the conservative Independent Women’s Forum aren’t pigeon-holed in the arena of “women’s issues”–you can find them critiquing the State of the Union address on Charlie Rose (PBS, 1/23/96), ridiculing liberalism on Politically Incorrect (Comedy Central, 12/4/95) and discussing prostitution on Crossfire (CNN, 7/13/95). They’ll hold forth on human rights on All Things Considered (NPR, 9/4/95) and the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour (PBS, 9/19/95); they argue about everything from the budget to the V-chip on CNN & Company, where one of their members […]

Mar 1 1996

Let Them Eat Baguettes

U.S. Press Teaches Austerity to French Strikers

For three and a half weeks last December, hundreds of thousands of workers and students took to the streets all over France. Thousands of nonunion workers and citizens joined the protests against government “austerity” proposals that would slash benefits, increase health care costs and cut funding for education. Something important was happening, but the mainstream U.S. media, constrained by their own assumptions about labor action and economics, couldn’t capture it. Instead, corporate-owned media forced the remarkable events into their standard “strike story”: Time magazine (12/25/95) complained that strikers were “snarling traffic, fraying tempers, souring the crucial pre-Christmas shopping season and […]