Jun
01
2002

U.S. Papers Hail Venezuelan Coup as Pro-Democracy Move

When elements of the Venezuelan military forced President Hugo Chávez from office in April, the editorial boards of several major U.S. newspapers, following the U.S. government's lead, greeted the news with enthusiasm. In an April 13 editorial, the New York Times triumphantly declared that Chávez's "resignation" meant that "Venezuelan democracy is no longer threatened by a would-be dictator." Conspicuously avoiding the word "coup," the Times explained that Chávez "stepped down after the military intervened and handed power to a respected business leader." Calling Chávez "a ruinous demagogue," the Times offered numerous criticisms of his policies and urged speedy new elections, […]

Jun
01
2002

Organics and Pesticides: Isn't It Ironic

A study released by Consumers Union in May found that nearly three-fourths (73 percent) of conventionally grown fruits and vegetables had traces of pesticides, while less than a quarter (23 percent) of organic produce had such residues. When organic food did have detectable levels of pesticides, the amounts were generally lower than in conventional produce, and organics were less likely to be contaminated with multiple chemicals (Food Additives and Contaminants, Vol. 19 No. 5). Consumers Union released this information, appropriately enough, in a press release headlined "Organic Foods Really Do Have Less Pesticides" (5/8/02). But that's not the story most […]

Jun
01
2002

Children of War

The Israeli-Palestinian war has a profound effect on the children of the region. As NBC's Tom Brokaw put it on the April 11 Nightly News, "All of this is making the children of war, on both sides, grow old before their time." The piece that followed, however, concerned only children on one side. Correspondent Keith Miller profiled Israeli children at a school with bulletproof glass, and others who must learn how to wear a gas mask. Viewers learned of a cancelled scout trip and heard one young person say that he can't go out to the discotheque or the mall. […]

Jun
01
2002

Hannity to Guests: Shut Up

Being the host of a show confers certain advantages in debate; for one thing, if you don't like what your opponent is saying, you can always get the show's engineers to turn off his or her microphone. Sean Hannity, the right-wing co-host of Fox News Channel's Hannity & Colmes, is well aware of this power, and has used it or threatened to use it several times. On October 20, 1999, Hannity interviewed African-American football legend Mercury Morris. When the conversation turned heated, Hannity warned: "All right, if we have to, we'll turn your mike down. That's the next step." When […]

Jun
01
2002

Things Go Better for Rose

Charlie Rose is a correspondent for CBS News's 60 Minutes II in addition to hosting his own talkshow on PBS. But those journalistic duties didn't stop him from MCing this year's Coca-Cola shareholders' meeting. Held at New York City's Madison Square Garden in New York, the star-studded extravaganza featured celebrities like Jon Bon Jovi and Muhammad Ali, along with songs and skits celebrating Coca-Cola's profitability and ostensible commitment to community values. Hosting the entire event, Rose sang Coke's praises, gushing that "few companies are able to connect as completely with consumers" and declaring it a privilege to be associated with […]