Feb
02
2007

Won't Get Fooled Again?

NYT, networks offer scant skepticism on Iran claims

The most important lesson about the Iraq War for reporters was perhaps the simplest one: Don't assume the White House is telling the truth. It's a lesson that many reporters seem to be forgetting now that U.S. officials are escalating their claims about Iran's role in Iraq. On January 29, CBS Evening News aired a report about Iran's alleged support for Shiite militias in Iraq. Anchor Katie Couric introduced the segment by saying "the U.S. military says it has proof positive" to that effect, and Pentagon correspondent David Martin did little to undercut the official line by saying the U.S. […]

Dec
01
2006

Gary Younge on Iraq politics, Ali Abunimah on 'One Country'

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: As reports from Iraq become increasingly dire, U.S. policy makers and their media enablers are looking everywhere but at themselves for someone to blame. A Nation columnist and New York correspondent for London's Guardian newspaper writes about the finger pointing in his latest Guardian column, "They Lied Their Way Into Iraq. Now They are Trying to Lie Their Way Out." Gary Younge will join us to talk about Iraq and the political endgame. Also on CounterSpin today, politicians and pundits tend to agree that solving the Israel-Palestine conflict would go a long way towards […]

Nov
24
2006

Robert Parry on Robert Gates, Barbara Kopple on 'Shut Up and Sing'

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: George Bush's choice of Robert Gates to replace Donald Rumsfeld as Defense Secretary is being portrayed in the media as a sensible choice; part of a White House turn to more pragmatic policies and advisors in the wake of GOP congressional defeats. But in his report, "The Secret World of Robert Gates," investigative reporter Robert Parry of ConsortiumNews.com sees Gates differently. Robert Parry will joins us to talk about the Gates nomination. Also on CounterSpin today: In 2003, Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines declared on stage in London that she was ashamed that George […]

Nov
01
2006

Myth: Chávez is Anti-American

[Note: this piece is a sidebar to "The Repeatedly Re-Elected Autocrat."] New York Times Latin American reporter Larry Rohter (5/20/05) called Hugo Chávez “stridently anti-American,” one of hundreds of instances of U.S. news reporters branding the Venezuelan president with that epithet. Chávez says it’s not true; he says such reporters are confusing his distaste for the Bush administration with anti-Americanism. “The country is one thing—we have lovely relations with the people,” Chávez told the Washington Post’s Lally Weymouth (9/25/05). “We have many ties between Venezuela and the United States—economic and social,” said Chávez, clarifying his views on the Bush administration: […]

Oct
06
2006

Arianna Huffington on Woodward's 'State of Denial,' Sarah Anderson on Wal-Mart's pundits

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Veteran reporter Bob Woodward has spent much of the last two weeks on television touting his new book State of Denial, which faults the Bush White House for lying and incompetence over the Iraq War. But our guest faults Woodward for being late-to-the-party and says his new book is just an attempt to salvage his reputation. We'll talk to Arianna Huffington of Huffingtonpost.com. Also on the show: It isn't that you never see stories including criticism of retailing giant Wal-Mart, but those do tend to be here and there, while routine economic coverage is […]

Oct
01
2006

NYT Rewrites Iraq War History

To Bush—and the Times—WMDs were not just a possibility

In a September 5 New York Times online article on George W. Bush’s speech that day on terrorism and Iraq, reporters David Sanger and John O’Neil included a striking revision of Bush’s reasoning for going to war: "The possibility that Saddam Hussein might develop “weapons of mass destruction” and pass them to terrorists was the prime reason Mr. Bush gave in 2003 for ordering the invasion of Iraq." This revision of the record, maintaining that Bush only presented Iraqi WMDs as a “possibility,” threatens to erase one of the most significant chapters of recent history, in effect clearing the Bush […]

Jul
01
2006

Impeachment Not on Media Radar

Adultery was serious; this is just the Constitution

There is a growing grassroots campaign demanding the impeachment of George W. Bush. Across the nation, towns and cities have been passing pro-impeachment resolutions. Websites promoting impeachment keep springing up. In several states, bills have been introduced in state legislatures that, if passed, would become formal bills of impeachment in the U.S. House of Representatives, requiring initiation of impeachment hearings under congressional rules dating back to the early 19th century. Starting last fall, several polls (Zogby, 10/29-11/2/05, 1/9-12/06; Ipsos, 10/6-9/05) reported that a majority of Americans thought Bush should be impeached if he lied the country into war in Iraq […]

Jun
30
2006

Anthony Riddle on telecom update, Nat Parry on Bush

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: media policy watchers were focused on the Senate Commerce Committee this week, where dozens of amendments to a major telecom bill were debated. With things like net neutrality and cable access TV hanging in the balance, how did things play out? And what's next? We'll get an update from Anthony Riddle of the Alliance for Community Media. Also on CounterSpin today, The Bush White House's expansive view of its own power coupled with it obsessive secrecy and control of government information makes for a dangerous combination. Nat Parry has reported extensively on these administration […]