May 1 2013

Comic Book Superheroes Face Their Greatest Challenge!

Stuggling to stay relevant in the 21st century

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Despite the fact that you can’t turn on the TV without being reminded about the existence of superhero movies, the original medium for superhero stories —comic books—has been in significant decline over the past few years. They’ve tried to bring in new readers by diversifying their line-up: DC Comics rebooted everything with its “New 52!” while Marvel Comics created the parallel “Ultimate Universe” where the same characters face different, more “risky” situations in a completely separate, parallel universe.  This experimentation has led to some great, progressive storylines that have moved the medium forward, but it also highlights some big problems. […]

Dec 21 2012

Dean Baker on Social Security, Laila Al-Arian on Homeland and Islamophobia

Homeland-Showtime-Cast-630x350

Dean Baker cuts through the media spin on the “fiscal cliff” and Social Security cuts. And is the hit Showtime drama “Homeland” a deeply Islamophobic show? Laila Al-Arian joins us to discuss her recent piece for Salon.com.

Nov 1 2012

Why Do They Hate Us Back?

'Muslim Rage' is really no mystery

Time Magazine Sept. 24
Photo Credit: AMR ABDALLAH DALSH / REUTERS

U.S. coverage of Islam and Muslim-majority nations is such a carnival of distortion, double standards and bigotry that it’s sometimes hard to believe that journalists inhabit the same planet as the rest of us. This has been especially true as anti-American violence and demonstrations in Libya and other countries have put media fantasies of the U.S. as a benign force for democracy and peace in the Muslim world on full display. Immediately after the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya, which left U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others dead, U.S. media came alive with […]

Sep 21 2012

Vijay Prashad on “Muslim Rage,” Imara Jones on 47 percent and race

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This week on CounterSpin: In the wake of the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and angry demonstrations in several other Muslim countries, corporate media are largely fingering religious differences and the peculiarities of Islam as the reason.

Aug 1 2012

Islamophobia, Antisemitism and the Demonized ‘Other’

Parallels among bigotries reflect the conspiratorial mindset

Salman Rushdie--Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/David Shankbone

Republican hopeful Mitt Romney is portrayed by online bigots as a Manchurian Candidate for a secretive cabal of Mormon elites—echoing anti-Catholic conspiracy theories about John F. Kennedy being a wind-up toy for the Vatican. Meanwhile, a chain letter currently being circulated warns that the “American Government is under the command and control of…the Freemasons and Leadership of the Catholic Church.” There are right-wing websites and blogs warning that if President Barack Obama is re-elected, hordes of scheming fanatic Muslims plan to impose Sharia law and turn America into a totalitarian socialist/Nazi theocratic state. Other websites and blogs warn that Obama […]

Jun 1 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 […]

Jan 1 2012

Islamophobia Still Rising-With the Right’s Help

The mainstreaming of anti-Muslim conspiracy theories

When the Center for American Progress (CAP) released the report Fear, Inc. in September (8/26/11), alleging that U.S. anti-Muslim propaganda is largely driven by a well-funded network of groups and individuals, confirmation of its claims came quickly. Just four days after publication, the Fox Business Network aired a wildly inaccurate two-part feature on Follow the Money (8/30/11) smearing the report, its authors and Muslim Americans. Rupert Murdoch-owned media outlets like FBN are among the country’s leading Islamophobic media organizations, according to Fear, Inc. The first segment featured self-styled terrorism expert Steven Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism—named by CAP […]

Jan 1 2012

Islamophobia Still Rising-With the Right’s Help

The mainstreaming of anti-Muslim conspiracy theories

Graffiti on the Islamic Center of America--Photo Credit: Center for American Progress

When the Center for American Progress (CAP) released the report Fear, Inc. in September (8/26/11), alleging that U.S. anti-Muslim propaganda is largely driven by a well-funded network of groups and individuals, confirmation of its claims came quickly. Just four days after publication, the Fox Business Network aired a wildly inaccurate two-part feature on Follow the Money (8/30/11) smearing the report, its authors and Muslim Americans. Rupert Murdoch-owned media outlets like FBN are among the country’s leading Islamophobic media organizations, according to Fear, Inc. The first segment featured self-styled terrorism expert Steven Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism—named by CAP […]