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 […]

May
20
2011

Ali Abunimah on Palestinian protests, Glenn Greenwald from FAIR's 25th Anniversary

By

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The Israeli defense minister says that major protests like those on Israel's borders May 15th require new responses; but what if anything is new about US journalists' approach to Palestinian protests and rights? Journalist Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada will join us to talk about that. Also on the show: We'll play part of Glenn Greenwald's address at FAIR's recent 25th Anniversary celebration at Symphony Space in New York City. The Salon writer shared his thoughts on the media with a standing room only crowd; he shared the stage with Amy Goodman, Noam Chomsky […]

Apr
08
2011

Harold Meyerson on Paul Ryan, Lizzy Ratner on Goldstone Report

By

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin:. Republican Budget Committee chair Paul Ryan unveiled his party's budget plan this week. Media consumers learned that Ryan is gutsy, that he's serious as a heart attack, that the plan is bold and sweeping... but what would it mean for peoples' lives? And what would reporting look like if it stayed focused on that. We'll talk to Harold Meyerson of the Washington Post and the American Prospect about the 'vision' in the Ryan budget, which Meyerson says isn't really about the deficit at all. Also on CounterSpin today, seemingly out of nowhere media were […]

Apr
01
2011

Anonymous Soldiers as Medical Experts?

Only when the NYT covers Israel killing a Palestinian

Jawaher Abu Rahmah--Photo Credit: Electronic Intifada/Oren Ziv/ActiveStills

U.S. media coverage of the death of Jawaher Abu Rahmah reflected how the corporate press routinely covers high-profile civilian deaths caused by Israel. The Israeli government, it seems, can count on U.S. media to print its anonymous claims—no matter how baseless. Two days after Abu Rahmah, a Palestinian woman from the West Bank village of Bil’in, died from tear-gas inhalation during a December 31 demonstration against the separation wall, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) went into spin mode. Anonymous “senior officers” in the Israeli army pushed a number of theories about her death—Abu Rahmah wasn’t at the demonstration, she had […]

Jan
28
2011

Laila El-Haddad on Palestine Papers, Robert Weissman on Obama and Big Business

By

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Al Jazeera and the Guardian newspaper are publishing what are being called the Palestine Papers, leaked documents relating to the Israel-Palestine negotiations. The revelations, mostly of significant Palestinian concessions, are mostly being ignored in the U.S. media, dismissed as things we already knew. But are they? And what are Palestinians thinking of all this? We'll speak with journalist and author Laila El-Haddad. Also on CounterSpin today, pundits scoured Barack Obama's State of the Union address for many things, but one concern that seems to be abiding is whether Obama makes sufficient overtures to the […]

Dec
01
2010

Unfrozen Settlements in Palestine

Portraying Israeli ‘PR stunt’ as peace offer

Corporate media coverage of the Israel/Palestine conflict does not suffer from a lack of creative use of language: the “generous” offer the Palestinians rebuffed at Camp David in 2000, for example (Extra!, 7-8/02), or references to illegal West Bank colonies as “neighborhoods” (Extra! Update, 8/02). The current round of U.S.-backed negotiations brought a new kind of misdirection: the Israeli “freeze” or “moratorium” on settlement building, a move ostensibly intended to help lay the foundation for negotiations. But if you thought “freeze” meant “stop,” think again. The settlement “freeze” was announced in December 2009 as a 10-month time frame during which […]

Sep
10
2010

Josh Ruebner on Mideast peace talks, Diane Ravitch on grading teachers

By

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The theme in coverage of the current Mideast peace negotiations going on in Washington between Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas appears to be skepticism. But does being critical of this process mean you don't want peace? We'll hear from Josh Ruebner, the national advocacy director for the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. Also on the show: Grading teachers based on how well their students perform on tests is a popular practice with so-called education reformers, White House policy makers and journalists. You almost wouldn't know that the […]

Jul
01
2010

Hamas and 'Israel's Destruction'

This article was originally published as a sidebar with "Reporting Israeli Assault Through Israel's Eyes."   In the aftermath of the deadly Israeli assault on the international flotilla bringing humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, the establishment press has repeatedly distorted the political positions of Hamas, the Islamist movement that governs Gaza. The New York Times’ Ethan Bronner (6/5/10) reported that Hamas “rejects Israel’s existence.” USA Today’s Oren Dorell (6/7/10) wrote that “Hamas has been designated a terrorist group by the United States and European Union and seeks the destruction of Israel.” A New York Daily News editorial (6/5/10) referred […]