May 1 2010

Don’t Ask Gays About Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Debate on military policy excludes those most affected

After months of pressure from activists to make good on his campaign promise, Barack Obama called for a repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in his January 27 State of the Union address. Less than a week later, Adm. Mike Mullen, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate committee hearing on February 2 that repealing the policy that prevents gay men and lesbians from serving openly was “the right thing to do.” As the story made the rounds on television, the most striking thing about the conversation was who wasn’t in it: the people at the center […]

Feb 1 2010

National Equality vs. Tea Party

Which march matters for media?

Photo Credit: Human Rights Watch/PETRAS MALUKAS/AFP/Getty Images

“How do you, by and large, miss a gigantic rally?… America is waking up to the fact that our media is just not biased. They’re not giving us the truth.” —Glenn Beck (Fox News, 9/14/09) “When at least 75,000 Americans gather to protest something, you’d think it was news. But some media played down the huge anti-Obama protests on the nation’s capital this weekend.” —Bill O’Reilly (Fox News, 9/14/09) After the anti-Obama “Tea Party” protest in Washington in September, Fox News and other conservatives professed outrage that the rest of the media ignored an event that drew so many people. […]

Nov 21 2008

Kai Wright on the Proposition 8 vote, Andy Worthington on Guantánamo


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The victory of Proposition 8 in California has, at least for the moment, put the brakes on gay marriage in that state. The post-election recriminations are flying, but the main story we’re hearing is that black voters turned out in droves—to support Barack Obama, and to defeat gay marriage rights. Is that narrative correct? We’ll ask journalist Kai Wright. Also on CounterSpin today: According to the New York Times, Newsweek and NPR, for Barack Obama to keep his promise to close the Guantánamo detention camp, will be next to impossible, extremely complicated and easier […]

Aug 1 2008

Dowd Must Not Read Reviews

Columnist claims critics never called her on her sexism

Maureen Dowd--Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/Dave Robinette

“I’ve been twisting gender stereotypes around for 24 years,” Dowd responded. She said nobody had objected to her use of similar images about men over seven presidential campaigns. . . . “From the time I began writing about politics,” Dowd said, “I have always played with gender stereotypes and mined them and twisted them to force the reader to be conscious of how differently we view the sexes.” Now, she said, “you are asking me to treat Hillary differently than I’ve treated the male candidates all these years, with kid gloves.” —New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, responding to charges […]

Nov 1 2007

Transforming Coverage

Transgender issues get greater respect—but anatomy remains destiny

Transgender is hardly a new concept, but until recently it’s been considered by the media to be a topic for tabloid talkshows, not serious news programs. The tide is turning, though; as more and more public figures are coming out as having a gender identity different from their birth-assigned sex, and transgender characters are finding their way into more mainstream entertainment media (on TV shows like All My Children and movies like Transamerica), transgender stories are likewise moving from Jerry Springer to CNN at a remarkable pace. As of this writing, the major network and cable news programs had nearly […]

Aug 24 2007

NYT Smears Peace Movement, Again

Newspaper invents Obama dig

In an August 21 story posted on the New York Times website about Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s talk to a veterans group the day before, reporter Jeff Zeleny attributed to Obama a dig at the anti-war movement that the Democratic candidate did not make. After reporting that, “One of the biggest applause lines of his speech came when he pledged that during an Obama administration, veterans would not have to wait months — or years — for services at veterans hospitals,” Zeleny added, “He also said it was wrong for anti-war activists to protest at military funerals, declaring: ‘It […]

Apr 19 2007

Howard Kurtz’s Imus Amnesia

Critic forgets requests to shun racist show

The firing of Don Imus by CBS radio and MSNBC provided an opportunity for the many elite journalists who appeared on and supported his show to examine their own roles in enabling his bigotry (FAIR Media Advisory, 4/11/07). But the prospects of an honest self-examination are dim, as illustrated by this exchange on CNN‘s Reliable Sources (4/15/07) between the show’s host, Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz, and Post columnist Tony Kornheiser: KURTZ: But did anyone ever say to you on this — the things that he would say– “How can you go on this show when he’s making fun […]

Nov 3 2006

Justin Levitt on voting, Richard Kim on ‘values voters’

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The political commissar at a major TV network says if reporters treat charges of voter disenfranchisement (charges often coming from Democrats, advocates for the poor and immigrants) as being more important than charges of voter fraud (which come most often from the GOP) that’s proof of liberal bias—whether or not there is, in reality, more evidence of disenfranchisement than fraud being beside the point. With reporters having trouble seeing past the partisan to get to the public interest, we’ll talk to Justin Levitt of the Brennan Center for Justice about where concerns about the […]