CNN's Election Center program devoted a July 25 report to mocking a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee investigating White House abuses of power. "Believe it or not, there was a congressional hearing today about impeaching the president," scoffed host Campbell Brown, who added: "It was all stagecraft, though." Brown went on to introduce the report by CNN correspondent Erica Hill by saying, "Tell us about this piece of Kabuki theater, Erica." Hill explained: "From the beginning it was pretty clear this was all just stagecraft, for what one Republican lawmaker deemed impeachment light." Hill underscored this notion by claiming: [...]
Anchor with Bush ties dismisses abuse-of-power hearings as 'stagecraft'
NYT exaggerates areas where GOP leaders "mostly disagree"
In a front-page article headlined “Is McCain Like Bush? It Depends on the Issue,” the New York Times (6/17/08) managed to locate “striking differences” between Sen. John McCain and George W. Bush on several issues—in spite of contradictory evidence reported in the very same article about the two politicians’ overwhelming similarities on these very issues. In the article, reporter Elisabeth Bumiller writes that “on the environment, American diplomacy and nuclear proliferation, Mr. McCain has strikingly different views from Mr. Bush.” Yet Bumiller offers little evidence for these supposedly striking differences. In fact, on the environment, she points out that while [...]
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: It seems unlikely that media elites would deny that things like maintaining illegal torture programs, unlawfully surveilling citizens, imprisoning children in violation of the Geneva Convention and destroying evidence are serious matters. So why, when such things lead to a call to impeach George W. Bush, does the whole matter become something of a joke? We'll talk to former federal prosecutor and author Elizabeth de la Vega about press handling of impeachment charges. Also on CounterSpin today, the London Independent recently reported on a secret U.S. plan that would grant legal immunity to contractors [...]
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: George W. Bush says a proposed trade deal with Colombia is crucial, and beneficial for all concerned. Rather than dig into that claim, corporate media are making fun of anyone who would dispute it, favoring congressional critics with headlines like, "Democrats Pander to Big Labor, Flirt With Return to Protectionism." (that's USA Today and yes they said Big Labor.) With major media singing pretty much one note, we'll get another take from Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Also on the show: The right-wing base of the Republican Party [...]
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: “Why don’t we focus on the poor children?” asked George Bush, who says he vetoed the expansion of the SCHIP children’s health insurance program because it would’ve helped the wrong people. Some outlets adopted that angle, but does it hold up? We’ll hear from Edwin Park of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Also on the show: October is awareness month for both breast cancer and domestic violence. But coverage of the two is very different, with domestic violence getting little coverage and breast cancer getting lots of coverage, though not all of [...]
Not for discussion, only for derision
Ocean Beach in San Francisco was abuzz with 1,500 people who showed up to spell out a giant “Impeach Now” with their bodies on April 28, all in the home district of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi made a splash prior to the November 2006 election by saying that a Bush impeachment was “off the table” (Washington Post, 5/12/06). Several scandals later—the Libby conviction, failing Iraq “surge,” U.S. Attorneys’ purge and missing White House e-mails—people across the nation served up their own impeachment proposals. But “impeach” is barely in the lexicon of major national media; on the rare occasion [...]
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: the White House is hailing George W. Bush's latest executive order as a strong statement against torture, but the claims have been met by a remarkably skeptical press corps. We'll talk to Georgetown law professor and author David Cole about the president's supposed torture ban and the press reaction to it. Also on the program: The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 14,000 recently and if you’re not excited well you’re just not paying attention—at least that’s corporate media’s line, and they’re sticking to it. We’ll talk to Dean Baker of the Center for Economic [...]
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: media are pondering the fate of Scooter Libby—one of the highest White House officials ever convicted of a felony—recently sentenced to 30 months in jail. But our guest says Libby's sentence, while significant, is really the least important part of the story of the investigation into the leak of CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity and the whole White House abuse of power that lay behind it. Elizabeth de la Vega is an author and a former federal prosecutor. She'll help us put the Libby trial in context. Also this week: are the media out [...]