Mar 01 2013

SoundBites March 2013

Extra! March 2013

FireShot Screen Capture #042 - 'FAIR TV_ Obama's Liberal Inaugural_, Anonymous Iran Truth-Telling, PBS Drone Conflict' - www_fair_org_blog_2013_01_25_fair-tv-obamas-liberal-inaugural-anonymous-iran-truth-telling-

If It Weren’t for Those Meddling Iranians “This demonstrates the ever pernicious Iranian meddling in other countries in the region.” —unnamed U.S. official complaining to Reuters (1/28/13) about Iran allegedly sending arms to Yemen, where the U.S. is conducting a secret drone war   Extreme Weather, Unexplained NBC Nightly News (1/13/13) asked a serious question, then offered an unserious answer. Anchor Lester Holt remarked: “Strange winter: Why it is so cold where it should be warm, and so warm where it should be cold. What is going on with all this extreme weather?” Correspondent Kristen Dahlgren turned to the Weather […]

Oct 24 2012

PBS and Iran’s ‘Nuclear Weapons’

NewsHour botches basic fact about Iran dispute

In an October 22 discussion of the foreign policy presidential debate, the PBS NewsHour‘s Jeffrey Brown stated that “Iran’s nuclear weapons program has been a particular flash point.” A few weeks earlier (10/5/12) on the NewsHour, Ray Suarez said that Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez had continued to thwart American efforts on a range of international issues, such as Washington’s attempt to convince Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to halt his country’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. As most people following this story should know, there is no intelligence that shows Iran has a nuclear weapons program. The country has long denied the […]

Jun 01 2012

U.S. Media Duck Legality of Attacking Iran

‘Supreme international crime’ not worth discussing

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad--Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Daniella Zalcman

SPECIAL SECTION: IRAN & WAR The drums of war beat ever louder as President Barack Obama talks of “all options” being “on the table” if Iran doesn’t halt its nuclear fuel processing program, and as Israel keeps threatening an air attack on Iran’s nuclear sites. But nowhere, perhaps, is this drumbeat louder than in the U.S. media, where it’s almost impossible to find any mention of the fact that such an attack, whether by U.S. or Israeli forces, would violate international law. An unprovoked attack against another nation is a war of aggression—“the supreme international crime,” as the Nuremberg Tribunal […]

Jun 01 2012

God Told Them to Lie

Richard Cohen--Photo Credit: Washington Post

The popular media theme that Iran “can’t be trusted” is often presented as being based on “intelligence” about the country. But sometimes pundits cut right to the chase, as Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen (9/29/09) did when he wrote in 2009, “These Persians lie like a rug.” The New York Times (4/14/12) fancied that idea up just a bit in an April 14 piece by James Risen about Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader. “Seeking Nuclear Insight in Fog of the Ayatollah’s Utterances” was the headline, though for many, Khamenei has been very clear: He says Iran is not pursuing […]

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

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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 […]