May 1 2002

The ‘Oh Really?’ Factor

Bill O'Reilly spins facts and statistics

Bill O'Reilly

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 the federal government.” But […]

May 1 2002

Afghan Famine On and Off the Screen

Aid workers mostly quoted when U.S. likes their message

During the U.S. bombing campaign in Afghanistan, international aid workers were among the few non-governmental sources with access to real-time information about how the attacks were affecting the population. In their statements, they often painted a bleak view of civilian suffering. But their ability to garner coverage for their comments seemed to depend on how their message fit with the Bush administration’s propaganda efforts. To keep a lid on dissent, Washington pressured U.N. agencies in the region to keep quiet about the impact of the bombing. “Whenever we spoke out–anytime we did comment on the way the war was impacting […]