Apr 8 2011

Harold Meyerson on Paul Ryan, Lizzy Ratner on Goldstone Report


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 1 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


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 1 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


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 1 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 […]

Jul 1 2010

The Flotilla Story U.S. Media Won’t Report

Ignoring evidence that counters Israeli claims

At a June 10 press conference (Cultures of Resistance, 6/10/10), passengers from the Mavi Marmara released new footage of the Israel Defense Forces’ deadly May 31 raid on the ship, which killed nine activists attempting to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza in defiance of the Israeli blockade. Days earlier, another video was released allegedly showing the IDF beating and then executing a U.S. citizen, although the identity of the passenger in the video has not been confirmed (Informed Comment, 6/10/10; Tikkun, 6/10/10). Obviously, two videos alone could not possibly tell the whole story of what happened that night, but they […]

Jul 1 2010

Gaza’s Ongoing Crisis Is Not News

Routine killing, hunger off TV’s agenda

Since the Islamist movement Hamas won democratic elections in the Palestinian territories in January 2006, Israel has been waging what it has referred to as “economic warfare” (McClatchy, 6/9/10) to collectively punish Gazans for their choice. The economic sanctions increased after Hamas’ June 2006 capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit; a full-blown air, land and sea blockade was imposed by Israel (and Egypt) in June 2007 after Hamas routed an attempted coup by the rival, U.S.-backed Fatah party and took control in the Gaza Strip. The blockade against the coastal strip has had devastating consequences for the one-and-a-half million Palestinians […]