Feb
03
2012

Vijay Prashad on Iran, Jeff Ballinger on Apple

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: U.S. media are abuzz with stories about the growing threat Iran poses to the U.S. The stories seem to embellish recent remarks by the U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who says Iran is a larger threat than al Qaeda and is prepared to carry out attacks in the Western Hemisphere, including in the US. We'll be joined by Vijay Prashad, Director of International Studies at Trinity College to talk about Iran. Also on the show: The New York Times series on working conditions at Apple suppliers in China--conditions that have reportedly driven […]

Dec
01
2011

Steve Jobs and the Cult of the CEO

Like Da Vinci or the Dalai Lama—only better

Several labor unions came together on October 5 in support of the Occupy Wall Street protests, leading to a march of thousands in downtown Manhattan. Populist MSNBC host Ed Schultz was live on the scene—but devoted the top of his broadcast to the breaking news that Apple Computers founder Steve Jobs had just died. It made for an incongruous TV moment: a labor-friendly host in front of a boisterous anti-corporate crowd, joining with Bloomberg pundit Jonathan Alter to pay tribute to a billionaire CEO. “He was one of the great figures of American history,” explained Alter. Schultz added: “This protest […]

Oct
01
2011

Trade, Jobs and Sales Jobs

Failing to do the math on export promises

Corporate media have spent the last few years portraying the federal budget deficit, not jobs, as the public’s consuming worry, despite poll after poll revealing people unsurprisingly more interested in getting or holding onto a paycheck (FAIR Media Advisory, 8/1/11). Only now that official Washington turns its sights to the issue have media “discovered” the unemployment crisis—George Stephanopoulos now refers matter-of-factly to “the country’s top issue, jobs” (Good Morning America, 8/16/11)—but the same skewed priorities are on display. Bad enough the glib nature of their attentions, reflected in New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof’s ingenuous “feeling” (8/27/11), based on visiting […]

Jun
03
2011

Jane Slaughter on NLRB-Boeing, Pamela Newkirk on black journalists

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: the National Labor Relations Board has told Boeing that they can't move operations from Washington to South Carolina in order to avoid union organizing. It may seem straightforward that a company can't retaliate against workers for exercising their legal rights but the ruling has anti-labor conservatives in uproar and so-called mainstream reporters aren't doing much to set the record straight. We'll hear from Jane Slaughter of Labor Notes about what the NLRB ruling means. Also on CounterSpin today: If you follow discussions about media diversity, you probably know that the efforts to make newsrooms […]

May
01
2011

ABC's 'Made in America' a Shoddy Product

Holding consumers, not corporations, responsible for missing jobs

Photo Credit: ABC World News

ABC World News’ five-part “Made in America” series (2/28-3/4/11) purported not so much to explore as to answer the question of how to create jobs for unemployed Americans, by exhorting those same Americans to buy more U.S.-manufactured products. Not just any jobs, but “America’s manufacturing workforce, our true grit,” contended anchor Diane Sawyer (2/17/11). And at near negligible cost: “If every one of us spent an extra $3.33, just $3.33 on U.S.-made goods every year,” Sawyer (estimated annual income: $12 to $15 million) told viewers, “that would create almost 10,000 new jobs in this country.” The implication that consumer choice […]

Apr
15
2011

Sharif Abdel Kouddous on Egypt, John Nichols on labor and Wisconsin

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: With the Egyptian military still firmly in power, the Egyptian revolution is still very much a work in progress. The same military that we were once told was a liberal friend of democratic activists, is reportedly continuing policies of torture, political detainment and censorship. But you wouldn't know this from the reporting of many US media outlets, who seemed to lose interest in Egypt after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak in February. We'll talk about Egypt with independent journalist and Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous. Also on the show: You can tell the […]

Apr
01
2011

Surprised by Solidarity in Wisconsin

Media erred in assuming public shared their distaste for unions

One of the early assumptions in media coverage of the Wisconsin protests against Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed anti-labor legislation was that the public wouldn’t sympathize with “overpaid” public-sector workers. But soon enough, reality intervened. The New York Times’ Matt Bai (2/27/11) recommended that “taking the fight to the unions is a good way to bolster your credentials as a gutsy reformer with voters who have been losing faith for years in public schools and government bureaucracies.” In the March 7 Time, Amanda Ripley wrote that hating public workers is a historical fact: “Since the beginning, Americans have resented government workers’ […]

Mar
04
2011

Chuck Collins on U.S. Uncut, Laura Flanders on Wisconsin

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: As politicians of both parties and pundits of various ideological stripes discuss what services and rights need to be cut and stripped from working people, the subject of raising taxes seem almost taboo in corporate media discussions. Not so here. We'll talk about raising taxes with Chuck Collins, a senior scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies, and the co-founder of U.S. Uncut, a network working to stop corporate tax dodging. Also on the show: It's not the corporate press keeping the story of Wisconsin alive; people in this country and around the world […]