Nov
01
2008

'Voter Fraud' Claims Unchecked by Media

Restrictive laws spread based on scant evidence

Among Republicans, it has been an “article of religious faith that voter fraud is causing us to lose elections,” declared Royal Masset, the former political director of the Republican Party of Texas (Houston Chronicle, 5/17/07). This religious faith in widespread voter fraud—or illegal voting—even in the absence of any persuasive evidence, has translated into successful campaigns in 25 states to pass restrictive voter identification laws (e.g., requiring photo ID at the polling place), with other states looking to follow suit. (Masset, a rare dissenter from this Republican creed, is an outspoken foe of what he calls “racist” and “barbaric laws”—Burnt […]

Nov
01
2008

Busted Bubble

The press fell down on the job on housing prices

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/cindy47452

Over the summer, the country's two mortgage giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, collapsed, marking the definitive bursting of the housing bubble that began in the mid-1990s. Although it was the second major economic bubble in less than a decade, most in corporate media ignored the warning signs. Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic Policy and Research (CEPR) and author of the American Prospect blog Beat the Press, told Extra!: "It continues to be this sort of bad-event story," with corporate media and the select group of economists on whom they rely acting as though "a hurricane came […]

Oct
01
2008

Top Troubling Tropes of Campaign '08

The media-created narratives that derail election coverage

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/Image Editor

I mean, there are a lot of narratives that the press bought into in this campaign. Don't forget the inevitability of the Rudy Giuliani campaign and Fred Thompson's great appeal.... I think the number of times we've been wrong in this campaign is far greater than the number of times we've been right.--Time's Karen Tumulty (CNN's Reliable Sources, 5/11/08) Corporate media coverage of election 2008 has fallen into the well-documented pattern (Extra!, 5-6/08) of reporting on the election as if it were a horse-race rather than a democratic process in which real issues were at stake. Not only do journalists […]