Sep
01
2014

Israel, Gaza and False Balance

Media construct a symmetry of violence where none exists

ABC's 'Israeli' family

Striving for a deceptive “balance,” US media miscast the devastating violence of Israel’s attacks on Gaza and obscured the lopsided nature of the death toll.

Jul
01
2014

Spinning Away Israel 'Gaffes'

Damage control for Christie and Kerry's inadvertent honesty

John Kerry in Jerusalem (photo: State Department)

In recent months, media consumers have received a heavy dose of spin masking the reality of Israeli policy, as journalists rushed to cover Chris Christie's and John Kerry's utterances on the country.

Mar
14
2014

Miguel Tinker Salas on Venezuela, Ali Abunimah on Palestine

CNN-Venezuela

This week on CounterSpin: Venezuela's violent demonstrations, which began a month ago, have begun to wind down. Has anything been resolved between the largely middle and upper class opposition, and the democratically elected government they want to leave? We'll talk with Pomona College professor and the author of The Enduring Legacy: Oil, Culture and Society in Venezuela, Miguel Tinker Salas.

Also this week: The news from Israel-Palestine is usually quite bleak, and this week is no different. But are the Palestinians winning? That's what Ali Abunimah argues in his new book The Battle for Justice in Palestine. He'll join us to explain.

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 […]

Jan
01
2013

Hating the Oppressed in Gaza

Victims become villains in U.S. coverage

BBC journalist Jihad Masharawi's 11-month-old son Omar died after shrapnel hit the family home in Gaza; the BBC did not devote a story to Masharawi's loss until 10 days later (Photo source: AP)

Malcolm X once said, “If you aren’t careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” Nowhere is this warning more relevant than in the corporate media’s one-sided coverage of Israel’s latest assault on Gaza, which left 160 Palestinians dead, including 105 civilians and 34 children (Palestine Centre for Human Rights). In stark contrast, rockets fired into Israel claimed the lives of four Israeli civilians and two soldiers. One civilian death is one too many, no matter which side suffers, but a kill rate of nearly 27 Palestinians […]

May
01
2012

New Conflict of Interest at NYT Jerusalem Bureau

Isabel Kershner’s family tie to pro-government think tank

Photo Credit: New York Times

After the news broke that New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner had a son who enlisted in the Israeli army (Extra!, 4/10), Times public editor Clark Hoyt noted (2/6/10) that it was problematic for Bronner to continue reporting on “one of the world’s most intense” conflicts while his son took up arms for one side. Hoyt spoke to a former Times Jerusalem bureau chief, David Shipler, who stressed the importance of disclosing this relationship to readers. Bronner is now close to the end of his tenure in Jerusalem. But two years after that controversy, the New York Times […]

Jan
01
2012

Israel Takes Back Gaza Charge-After Attack

U.S. media fail to notice retraction of accusations

Benjamin Netanyahu--Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/Downing Street

When armed militants crossed the Egyptian border last August and launched a multi-pronged attack on Israeli civilians and soldiers in Eilat that killed eight people, U.S. media repeated the Israeli government line, blaming the attack on Palestinians from Gaza. Three months later, Israel itself has concluded that the attackers were Egyptian—but U.S. media have failed to correct the record. As Israelis reeled from the August 18 assault, Ehud Barak, Israel’s defense minister, declared that the “source of the terrorist attacks is Gaza.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed to a group based in Gaza called the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), […]

Jun
01
2011

The Goldstone Report's Non-Retraction Retraction

Should a newspaper op-ed cancel a UN investigation of Gaza crimes?

Richard Goldstone--Photo Credit: Fordham University

When it was released in September 2009, the United Nations Human Rights Council investigative document known as the Goldstone Report offered a detailed, shocking accounting of Israel’s 2008-09 invasion of the Gaza Strip. Hundreds of civilians were killed, scores of buildings were leveled, and water and sanitation infrastructure was attacked. The meticulous cataloguing received modest coverage in the corporate media. Then on April 3, 2011, the report’s namesake—retired South African judge Richard Goldstone, who headed a four-person investigative commission—took to the pages of the Washington Post op-ed section to announce he’d had a change of heart. (The Post, perhaps sensing […]