Aug 1 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 […]

Jul 27 2007

David Cole on torture ‘ban,’ Dean Baker on economic myths


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 […]

Jun 8 2007

Elizabeth de la Vega on Libby sentencing, Jeff Cohen on John Edwards


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 […]

May 22 2007

Illegal, Yes–But Not Newsworthy

Wiretapping testimony hardly covered

The revelations coming from a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week were startling. On May 15, former Deputy Attorney General James Comey testified about the Bush administration’s extraordinary efforts in March 2004 to gain legal approval for the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance program by visiting Attorney General John Ashcroft’s hospital room as he recovered from gall bladder surgery. The story is surprising, at the very least—but has so far attracted little media curiosity. The incident was first reported in January 2006 by the New York Times (1/1/06) and Newsweek (1/9/06), to little notice. Comey’s testimony fleshed out the details—that […]

May 11 2007

Joyce Battle on Iraq media plan, Caryl Rivers on ‘Selling Anxiety’


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: we often hear that the Iraq War relied on overly optimistic predictions from the Bush White House and its allies about how everyday Iraqis would react to a military invasion. A new report sheds light on one aspect of that pre-war planning—the Pentagon’s plans for Iraq’s media. What does the report add to what we know about U.S. propaganda efforts in Iraq? We’ll speak with Joyce Battle of the National Security Archive. Also on the show: women—are you trying to be Superwoman? failing to be Superwoman? tired of being Superwoman? Any tension women might […]

May 1 2007

Asleep at the Wheel

Press ignores congressional OK for martial law

On October 17, 2006, when George W. Bush signed the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2007—a $538 billion military spending bill—he enacted into law a section called “Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies.” In the view of many, this Act substantially changed fundamental laws of the United States, giving Bush—and all future U.S. presidents—new and sweeping powers to use the U.S. military anywhere in the United States, virtually as he sees fit—for disaster relief, crowd control, suppression of public disorder, or any “other condition” that might arise. News coverage of these significant changes in […]

Mar 30 2007

Erik Leaver on Iraq bills, Mike Farrell on ‘Just Call Me Mike’


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: what are advocates of peace to make of the war spending bill that’s just made its way through the Senate? Press accounts call it a “withdrawal bill” and a “forceful rebuke” to Bush’s war policy. Is that how it looks close up? We’ll hear from Erik Leaver, of the Institute for Policy Studies and Foreign Policy In Focus on that story. Also on CounterSpin: actor Mike Farrell has devoted himself to serious fights for social justice, working against the death penalty, Reagan-era foreign policy in Central America, and the war in Iraq. His celebrity […]

Mar 30 2007

CNN’s Impeachment ‘Reality Check’ Needs Fact Check

On March 26, CNN‘s Situation Room program presented a “reality check” of discussions of impeaching George W. Bush. Reporter Carol Costello concluded, “To sum it up, the only way President Bush can be impeached is if he violates the law.” But that summary is misleading. The CNN report took up the issue primarily in response to Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel’s recent comments about impeachment. Anchor Wolf Blitzer introduced the idea this way: “They used to be just whispers, quiet conversations about impeaching the president, but now as we just saw, they’re getting a little bit louder.” As an example, CNN […]