Jun
01
2012

MSNBC MIA on Iran

More Obama boosterism than foreign policy examination

Photo Credit: MSNBC/Mediaite

Getting independent, skeptical coverage of official claims about Iran—from its supposed nuclear weapons program (Extra!, 9-10/05, 1/12) to its alleged plans to launch terrorist attacks across the world (Extra!, 3/12)—is essential. One place you might expect to see more critical coverage is on supposedly left-leaning MSNBC. But when it comes to Iran, in what little coverage it offers the channel largely mirrors the Democratic Party line. For the most part, it was hard to find Iran on MSNBC. From January to April, two of MSNBC’s stars, Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz, brought it up only 16 and 14 times, respectively. […]

Mar
01
2012

Upping the Ante in Iran Propaganda

A nuclear threat—and terrorism too!

Claims that Iran has a nuclear weapons program are allegations, not facts (Extra!, 1/12)—but are treated as established background material in the corporate media: “The president, as you know, has been trying to force Iran to give up its nuclear weapons program,” explains CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley (2/6/12). The Washington Post editorializes (1/11/12) that Iran’s “drive for nuclear weapons continues.” At the end of January, another provocative claim emerged: Iran was ready to unleash terrorism against the United States. ABC World News (1/31/12) featured a blatantly propagandistic report on the Iranian threat. “America’s top spy warns that Iran […]

Jan
13
2012

Cyrus Safdari on Iran, Jake Johnston on Haiti

By

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: As a covert war against Iran seems to be intensifying, the U.S. media have looked like willing partners in an anti-Iran propaganda campaign, helping US officials project dishonest claims, rs. We'll speak with Cyrus Safdari of Iran Affairs about coverage. Also on the show: The two year anniversary of the devastating Haiti earthquake is being marked as a sign of failure, as millions of dollars of aid and assistance seem to have translated to hundreds of thousands of people living in tents, and a new outbreak of Cholera. But is what went wrong with […]

Jan
06
2012

NYT Misleads Readers on Iran Crisis

Paper disappears some inaccurate reporting

In two articles yesterday (1/5/12), the New York Times misled readers about the state of Iran's nuclear program. On the front page, the Times' Steven Erlanger reported this: The threats from Iran, aimed both at the West and at Israel, combined with a recent assessment by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran's nuclear program has a military objective, is becoming an important issue in the American presidential campaign. There is no such International Atomic Energy Agency assessment. The IAEA report the Times is mischaracterizing raised questions about the state of the Iranian program, and presented the evidence, mostly years […]

Dec
03
2010

NYT's Iran Missiles Walkback

Paper discovers reasons for skepticism

Certain editions of the New York Times (12/3/10) published today an update to its reporting on Iranian weapons with a much more skeptical tone than its original article. The first article (11/29/10), headlined "Iran Fortifies Its Missilies With the Aid of North Korea," presented the case in definitive terms: Iran now possesses powerful missiles with "the capacity to strike at capitals in Western Europe." As a FAIR Action Alert noted (12/1/10), the evidence to back this up was thin. And the paper decided, "at the request of the Obama administration," not to publish the WikiLeaks cable that was the basis […]

Dec
01
2010

NYT's Iran Missile Fizzle

Paper cites WikiLeaks cable, but omits doubts

A November 29 New York Times article alleging that Iran possesses powerful missiles with "the capacity to strike at capitals in Western Europe" appears to rest on incredibly shaky evidence--amounting to a German newspaper article that did not fully corroborate the U.S. claims the Times was touting. The piece relied on one of the cables published by the website WikiLeaks. The Times did not publish the cable on its website "at the request of the Obama administration." But the paper was willing to selectively use information from that cable to bolster the U.S. claims against Iran. Doubts about the piece […]

Nov
12
2010

William Greider on G-20 & trade, Ali Gharib on Iran & Wikileaks

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Coverage of the G-20 summit in Seoul is squarely focused on trade deals and U.S. relations with China. But is the whole discussion of globalization, China and trade missing the point? William Greider makes that case in a new piece in the Nation magazine. He'll join us to talk about it. Also on CounterSpin today: There's growing talk of a U.S. military attack on Iran. And some elite journalists, who think they have found evidence of Iranian interference in Iraq, are doing their part to beat war drums. If the script sounds familiar, that's […]

May
21
2010

Helena Cobban on Iran, Mike Epitropoulos on Greece

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: When Brazil and Turkey brokered a deal to get Iran to ship much of its Uranium abroad for enriching, much of the world saw it as a positive step. But not so U.S. officials, who saw it as a threat to their efforts to impose UN sanctions on Iran—though perhaps not that much of a threat as the day after the Iran deal, the U.S. announced it had gotten China and Russia to support Iran sanctions. How has the U.S. media distinguished itself in covering all this Iran news? We'll be joined by Helena […]