Dec 1 2000

The New York Times: Never Having to Say You’re Sorry

Jeff Gerth helped launch two major national scandals that turned out to be bogus.

The New York Times had an extraordinary editors’ note in its September 26 edition, discussing the paper’s coverage of allegations of spying at Los Alamos National Labs. Charges that China had stolen nuclear weapon secrets from Los Alamos first gained prominence in a New York Times article of March 6, 1999, written by Jeff Gerth and James Risen. And many observers point to the Times’ overheated coverage as helping to create a climate of hysteria that resulted in Los Alamos scientist Wen Ho Lee being arrested and held for nine months, often in solitary confinement, sometimes in shackles. With Lee […]

Dec 1 2000

Over 1,000 March Against Corporate Media

Protests shut out of news

On September 21, media activists from across the country converged on San Francisco for a historic protest at the annual radio convention of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), culminating in a march and rally on September 23 attended by well over 1,000 people. FAIR endorsed and played an active role in the demonstrations, as did a broad slate of media, labor and human rights groups; the San Francisco-based Media Alliance was one of the key organizers. Activists gathered to spotlight the undemocratic activities of the NAB, which is the principal lobbying and membership organization of the broadcast industry and […]

Dec 1 2000

Muffled Coverage of U.N. Vote

Media ignore broad Mideast consensus

U.S. media have been ignoring or downplaying an important dimension of the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East. On October 7, the United Nations Security Council voted 14 to 0 for a resolution condemning Israel’s “excessive use of force against Palestinians” and deploring the “provocation” of Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon’s September 28 visit to the Temple Mount. The United States was the only Security Council member to abstain from the vote, which it did after trying to soften the language of the resolution. The outcome was generally interpreted as assigning most of the responsibility for the violence to Israel. […]