May
01
2002

Report from Porto Alegre

Is another media world possible?

Attending the World Social Forum at Porto Alegre, in the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, was like seeing the world upside down—or perhaps right-side up. From portrayals in U.S. mainstream media, it’s easy to see those who protest corporate globalization and “free trade” dogma as a small minority, as uninformed, as elitists. These notions were challenged by a forum that brought together some 50,000 participants from 150 countries, including people who represent millions of workers, peasants and the poor across the globe—united in criticism of global economic and environmental rules imposed by agencies such as the World […]

May
01
2002

The 'Oh Really?' Factor

Bill O'Reilly spins facts and statistics

If it's "spin" to back up your arguments with bogus facts and statistics, and to dismiss numbers that don't fit in with your preconceptions, then Bill O'Reilly's Fox News Channel show isn't, as he repeatedly claims, a "no-spin zone"-- it's Spin City. During an interview with National Organization for Women president Kim Gandy (O'Reilly Factor, 2/5/02), O'Reilly claimed that "58 percent of single-mom homes are on welfare." When Gandy questioned that figure, O'Reilly held firm: "You can't say no, Miss Gandy. That's the stat. You can't just dismiss it. . . . It’s 58 percent. That's what it is from […]