Dec
19
2008

Michael Ratner on detainee abuse report, Alfie Kohn on education nominee

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: When the Senate Armed Services Committee issued a report finding former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other high officials responsible for abusive treatment of detainees in Guantánamo, Iraq and Afghanistan--with few exceptions, the media played the story down, preferring, for instance, righteous anger over embroiled Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. We'll discuss the Senate report with the Center for Constitutional Rights' Michael Ratner, whose book, The Trial of Donald Rumsfeld, was published in September. Also on CounterSpin today, Obama's pick for education secretary drew more attention than you might have expected--in large part because the […]

Dec
02
2008

Media Still Letting Bush Lie on Iraq Inspectors

ABC, WaPo fail to challenge president's misinformation

In a December 1 interview with ABC anchor Charles Gibson, George W. Bush gave a grossly erroneous history of the run-up to the Iraq War--a false version of events that Gibson failed to challenge and the Washington Post glossed over the following day. When Gibson asked if Bush wished he had any "do-overs," Bush responded: BUSH: I don't know--the biggest regret of all the presidency has to have been the intelligence failure in Iraq. A lot of people put their reputations on the line and said the weapons of mass destruction is [sic] a reason to remove Saddam Hussein. It […]

Jul
31
2008

CNN Scoffs at White House Critics

Anchor with Bush ties dismisses abuse-of-power hearings as 'stagecraft'

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: […]

Jun
17
2008

Manufacturing Difference Between McCain and Bush

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 […]

Jun
13
2008

Elizabeth de la Vega on impeachment, Catherine Lutz on Iraq bases

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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 […]

Apr
11
2008

Mark Weisbrot on Colombia trade deal, Rick Perlstein on John McCain

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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 […]

Oct
26
2007

Edwin Park on SCHIP, Lucinda Marshall on breast cancer

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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 […]

Aug
01
2007

Media and Impeachment

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 […]