Nov
01
2005

SoundBites

A Republican Problem After Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay was charged on September 28 with illegally funneling corporate money to Texas Republicans, CBS’s Face the Nation (10/2/05) covered the indictment by convening a panel of three Republican congressmembers: David Dreier of California, John Shadegg of Arizona and Jim Leach of Iowa. Why the curious booking decision? Host Bob Schieffer explained midway through the interview: “Let me just point out, I didn’t invite any Democrats to be on this morning because I thought this was a Republican problem and wanted to give you a chance to talk about it.” Funny, you’d […]

Nov
01
2005

Suspect Sources

Behind Tales of Mayhem

With a dearth of reliable information coming out of flood-ravaged New Orleans, many unsubstantiated accounts of violence and mayhem surged through mainstream media outlets in the first days of the crisis. As the waters receded, some of the sources for these stories seemed as slippery as the post-flood slime that covered the city. Peggy Hoffman, executive director of the assisted-living facility Bethany Home, for example, claimed in an Associated Press article (8/31/05) that the facility’s evacuation vehicle had been hijacked and its food and water stores looted in the first days of the disaster. Hoffman stated that “we had enough […]

Nov
01
2005

Demonizing the Victims of Katrina

Coverage painted hurricane survivors as looters, snipers and rapists

By September 1, residents of flood-ravaged New Orleans had been trapped for nearly 72 hours in a city with little shelter, food, drinkable water or dry clothing. As much as 80 percent of the city was under water as the Federal Emergency Management Agency seemed unable to respond to the situation. Police and first-responders abandoned their posts, while the National Guard’s efforts were sapped by forces and equipment deployed to Iraq. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer summed up the crisis in the opener to his daily news show, The Situation Room: It’s just after 3 p.m. in New Orleans, where thousands of […]

Nov
01
2005

Deducing the Definition of 'Demonizing'

When people claim to find a liberal bias in corporate media, one has to wonder: Are they getting some kind of special news, unavailable to regular people? Or have they so internalized the liberal media canard that they simply presume the existence of a liberal slant? The Note, ABC News’ daily email news digest, often accuses the mainstream media, of which ABC News is a major part, of having a leftward slant—as in this item (9/19/05): The press and the Democrats are still demonizing Karl Rove’s involvement in anything and everything, expressing shock and horror that a deputy White House […]

Nov
01
2005

The Op-Ed Assassination of Hugo Chávez

Commentary on Venezuela parrots U.S. propaganda themes

After televangelist Pat Robertson publicly called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez Frias (700 Club, 8/22/05), the editors of several major newspapers were quick to denounce his outrageous incitement to violence. However, in criticizing the conservative televangelist, the prestige press overlooked its own highly antagonistic treatment of Venezuela’s president, which surely contributed to the heated political climate in which Robertson made his threat. Even so-called “moderate” columnists have contributed to the deterioration of U.S.-Venezuela relations by distorting the Venezuelan government’s domestic and foreign policy record. Robertson may indeed be “just a garden-variety crackpot with friends in high places,” […]