Dec 07 2007

The Lou Dobbs Primary?

Immigration more an issue for media than voters

Media coverage of the 2008 presidential election identifies immigration as a key issue for the U.S. electorate–even though, according to most polling, it does not rank as a top priority for voters. CNN‘s Republican debate on November 28 opened with a full 35 minutes of the debate devoted to the issue of immigration. Washington Post columnist David Broder (11/15/07) recently referred to “illegal immigration” as one of two major “icebergs ahead for the Democrats” in the upcoming presidential race (ex-President Bill Clinton being the other one). Columnist and CBS correspondent Gloria Borger (U.S. News & World Report, 11/10/07) declared immigration […]

Sep 07 2007

Neil deMause on FAIR’s poverty study, Alex Koppelman on Lou Dobbs and U.S. Border Patrol criminals


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: a new FAIR survey of coverage of poverty on the network newscasts finds scant media interest in the topic. Weren’t the media committed to changing their ways in the wake of Hurricane Katrina? We’ll talk to the co-author of the report Neil deMause. Also on CounterSpin today, How hid U.S. Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting an unarmed suspect and covering up their involvement in the case, became heroes on cable news shows and a cause célèbre of the anti-immigrant right? Writer Alex Koppelman traced the saga for, he’ll join us to talk […]

Sep 01 2007

Fencing Off the Immigration Debate

Why workers cross the border is off the agenda

Upon the proposed omnibus immigration bill’s final defeat in the Senate, the Washington Post (6/29/07) published an editorial titled “An Immigrant’s Lament,” which told the sad story of Ernesto, “a 31-year old Salvadoran handyman” who “watched ruefully as the senators dealt their lethal blow to his prospects for a normal life on the right side of the law”: He does better here as a painter, carpenter, landscaper and electrician than he ever could in Cabañas, his hardscrabble native region of northern El Salvador, which is rich in beans and sugar cane but bereft of jobs. The Post scolded politicians for […]

May 25 2007

Deepa Fernandes on immigration debate, Laura Carlsen on trade agreements


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: what was hailed as a “bipartisan” deal on immigration was announced in the Senate earlier this month. Media usually like that kind of political coming-together, never mind the details. With Capitol Hill negotiations certain to continue, journalist Deepa Fernandes joins us to talk about the immigration conversation, and what the press is missing. Also on the program: in a similar vein, Congressional dealings on trade agreements have made headlines recently, with much talk over whether such deals should have to include “labor and environmental side agreements.” Some say if workers and the planet are […]

May 11 2007

Dobbs’ Dubious Disease Numbers

CNN host stands by faulty leprosy statistics

During a May 6 60 Minutes profile, CBS reporter Lesley Stahl asked CNN anchor Lou Dobbs about a statistic cited on his program regarding immigrants and leprosy. While Dobbs assured Stahl that his show had the facts right, he was wrong. Stahl cited an April 14, 2005 report that alleged that 7,000 new cases of leprosy, or Hansen’s Disease, have been discovered in the past three years—presumably due to increased immigration. Dobbs’ response was remarkable: STAHL: We checked that and found a report issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, saying: “Seven thousand is the number of […]

Jan 05 2007

Best of CounterSpin 2006


Download MP3 On this special Best of CounterSpin, program we look back over some of what was news for the mainstream media in 2006—and some of what wasn’t news, but should’ve been. Our guests this year included a range of activists, researchers and journalists—all of whom had an angle on events that we thought worth hearing and, more often than not, one you weren’t hearing many other places. Whether the issue was medicare or immigration, Wal-Mart or welfare policy, each in his or her way reminded us of the need to see beyond the narrow, often distorted dialog provided by […]

Nov 01 2006

Ground Zero’s Undocumented Victims

[Note: This piece is a sidebar to Gullibility Begins at Home.] On January 11, 2002, the New York Daily News reported that immigrants and labor rights groups charged that hundreds of undocumented workers were hired to clean toxic World Trade Center dust out of buildings near Ground Zero with no training in hazardous waste disposal and no warning of the potential health effects. “Most were not given respirators or other safety equipment,” reported the Daily News’ Albor Ruiz and Greg Gittrich, “and some who brought their own said bosses would snatch them away for themselves.” Some were never even paid […]

Aug 18 2006

Ian Williams on U.S. diplomacy, Daphne Eviatar on Lou Dobbs

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: American diplomacy and prestige abroad has seldom been in lower water, a situation underlined by the White House’s destructive role in the Lebanon-Israel crisis. But do US media recognize the degree of the problem? We’ll talk to Ian Williams, UN correspondent for the Nation, and author to the blog Deadline Pundit, about the state of US diplomacy. Also on the show: Lou Dobbs used to be known as the ‘money guy’ at CNN, with a long running financial news show. But if you’ve checked in recently, you know that Dobbs has morphed of late […]