Apr 01 2012

Losing Patients

Making Medicare a story about doctors—not those they treat

Photo Credit: thinkprogress.org

For the elderly and disabled, catching up on the daily news during the latest Beltway brinkmanship—the deal to extend payroll tax cuts, unemployment benefits and current Medicare doctor fees—could be an exercise in frustration. Dodging persistent (and justified) rumors of forthcoming Medicare cutbacks, politicians and the medical lobby controlled coverage of 2012’s first serious budget debate, while the 47.5 million dependents of that program were left to eavesdrop from the wings. Lack of press scrutiny during the scramble for a payroll tax compromise meant typical Medicare users learned nothing about billions of dollars in program reductions slipped into the package […]

Mar 23 2012

Tyson Slocum on gas prices, Andrew Coates on health care debate

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The right is charging that Barack Obama is responsible for high gas prices, but it’s a given among liberals that Barack Obama has no power over the matter. Media Matters and Think Progress have published pieces chiding Fox News blaming Obama for the high prices at the pump, but could Fox News be right? (Even if for the wrong reasons?) We’ll talk to Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen’s Energy Project about gas prices and politics. Also on CounterSpin today: Remember the debate over health care reform? You might want to forget it, but it’s […]

Oct 21 2011

Todd Tucker on trade deals, Karuna Jaggar on Think Before You Pink

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The congressional passage of so-called ‘free trade’ agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama was met with applause by many in the corporate media. The cheering was not only for the corporate friendly provisions of the bills, but for what journalists insist was the bipartisan support for the legislation. Todd Tucker of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch will join us with a different view of the trade pacts. Also on the show: From pink dog toys to pink…handguns? There’s no escaping Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Sure, some of it’s crass, but it raises a […]

Sep 01 2011

Gullible Reporters, Sick Responders

Relaying offical assurances about unsafe air at Ground Zero

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons / 9/11 Photos

“Not Enough Evidence to Link 9/11 and Cancer, a Federal Report Says.” The New York Times headline (7/27/11) delivered a devastating blow to many Ground Zero first responders, as well as to New Yorkers who lived and worked near the long-smoldering wreckage. After years of fighting for federal compensation to cover illnesses resulting from exposure to the toxic dust and fumes released by the destruction of the towers, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act was finally passed in 2010 and took effect in 2011 (thanks in no small part to the Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart, who helped shame […]

Jul 01 2011

Industry Views Prevail on Radiation Risks

Health experts unheard on health effects of Fukushima

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

U.S. media coverage of the nuclear disaster in Japan contains vanishingly little serious discussion of the human health risks posed by the radiation escaping from the Fukushima nuclear facility. In place of a discussion informed by experts on these risks, journalism largely conveys vague, industry-friendly reassurances, frequently including no sources with expertise on the health effects of radiation on humans. New York Times reporter William Broad reported (3/22/11) that “health experts” deemed a radiation plume that had reached the U.S. from Japan to be harmless: Health experts said that the plume’s radiation had been diluted enormously in its journey of […]

May 13 2011

Miranda Spencer on renewable energy, Mike Ervin on Medicaid protests

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: What are renewables and why are media telling us so little about them? With energy prices rising, and a nuclear disaster still unfolding in Japan, it would seem to be the perfect time to talk about renewable energy sources, like solar, wind and geothermal. But this hasn’t been the case. Independent journalist Miranda Spencer will join us to talk about how the media dismiss alternative forms of energy that are safer, cleaner and cheaper, but apparently still less journalistically viable than petroleum, nuclear and coal. Also on the show: The arrests of more than […]

Apr 22 2011

Amanda Marcotte on Planned Parenthood, Dave Lindorff on Standard & Poor’s ‘negative outlook’

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The budget battle over Planned Parenthood’s federal funding produced more than the average dose of media misinformation. And clues, mostly missed by the media about the GOP’s actual agenda. We’ll talk with journalist and blogger Amanda Marcotte about Planned Parenthood. Also on the show: Standard & Poor’s issued a “negative outlook” report on the U.S. debt, warning that the country’s credit could be in jeopardy in the next few years. If true this could seriously threaten the ecomony. But is it? And what about S&P’s political timing? We’ll talk to journalist Dave Lindorff about […]

Feb 01 2011

Pundits Fuel the Right’s Latest Rage

‘Constitutional’ conservatives’ selective love for Bill of Rights

Right-leaning pundits play a key role in a growing fad of self-styled “constitutional conservatives” who say Barack Obama is subverting the U.S. Constitution—and brandish pocket-sized copies of the document to prove it. The pundits cite a potpourri of purportedly unconstitutional policies, including healthcare legislation, corporate bailouts and perhaps even a cover-up over where Obama was born. And they’re making an impact. A Nexis database search of U.S. newspapers and news wires using the terms “constitutional conservative/conservatism” gives some indication of the growing prominence of the trend. Rarely mentioned in the year 2000 (12 times) or even in 2009 (30), it […]