Sep
01
2013

Anti-Choice Fight Flies Under Media Radar

Without a dramatic storyline, little national attention

ABC's Jeff Zeleny interviewing Wendy Davis

While discussing abortion legislation on NBC’s Meet the Press (7/14/13), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nevada) told host David Gregory: “I think we should deal with the problems that affect this country. We need to do something to help the American working class and stop worrying about fringe issues.” A notable lack of media coverage on recent abortion legislation indicates that Reid’s not the only one who thinks of abortion as a fringe issue. National anti-choice organizations have amped up their state-by-state campaign to chip away at abortion rights; as of July 1, 17 states had introduced bills that put […]

Sep
01
2013

Aaron Sorkin’s Newsroom

A deeply flawed yet riveting lament for the news

It isn’t news to those of us interested in knowing about the world that American journalism is in crisis. With The Newsroom and its dramatic condemnation of the state of news, HBO is jumping into the center of an industry storm, and what it portrays as a national disgrace. Though Newsroom could have focused on newspapers—arguably the medium hardest hit by industry trends—or the Internet or alternative media, the program spotlights television and often fingers the medium itself, with its entertainment obsessions, as a main culprit. Ironically, the show’s creator is long-time film and TV entertainment pro Aaron Sorkin. Amid […]

Sep
01
2013

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

Powerful interests are often pundits’ real bosses

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Plenty of pundits play the role of partisan warriors in cable TV studios. But that’s not their real job—or at least not the one where they likely make their real money.

Sep
01
2013

Primetime Racism on Fox

Hannity’s long history of boosting bigots

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Hannity also acts as a sort of one-man fire brigade, rushing to extinguish accusations of anti-black racism, and defending, exonerating or rehabilitating the racists behind the words and deeds.

Sep
01
2013

‘This Is a Problem That Goes Back 150 Years’

Robin D. G. Kelley on the Zimmerman trial

CounterSpin Interview The George Zimmerman not-guilty verdict was upsetting to those who campaigned for justice for Trayvon Martin, but it wasn’t necessarily surprising to those who have seen many examples of similar killings of young people of color go unpunished. UCLA history professor and author Robin D. G. Kelley (Huffington Post, 7/15/13) wrote, “Justice was always going to elude Trayvon Martin, not because the system failed, but because it worked.” Counter-Spin’s Peter Hart spoke to Kelley for our July 19 show. CounterSpin: The acquittal of George Zimmerman for shooting and killing Trayvon Martin was, like the trial itself, big news. […]

Sep
01
2013

Profiling the Protesters

Right-wing media predict violence after Zimmerman verdict

Burning car falsely presented as Trayvon Martin riot

Right-wing media ironically, but unsurprisingly, followed George Zimmerman’s lead by using stereotypes to anticipate violence—in this case, from Trayvon Martin’s supporters, who were expected to engage in violent riots in the verdict’s aftermath.

Sep
01
2013

SoundBites September 2013

Meet the Press Release There is consumer product news tonight. The folks at Hamburger Helper say they’d like to be thought of more as just Helper, since more and more people are eating chicken, and there’s a Helper for that, too. General Mills say they just want to help dinner in America. They say a million homes at night serve some sort of Helper. —Brian Williams, ostensibly reporting the news (NBC Nightly News, 7/9/13)   It’s a Commercial and a News Report! NBC’s Today show (7/10/13)—supposedly part of the network’s news division—did a segment on a new floor-cleaning product. Company […]