Aug
26
2011

Faiza Patel on NYPD surveillance, Rena Steinzor on regulatory reforms

By

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: An Associated Press report about how the New York City Police Department is working with the CIA to carry out domestic spying operations on minorities in cities across the U.S., is making some waves, and raising questions about ethnic and racial profiling. NYPD has tried to deny aspects of the August 25th story, and on August 26th, a news conference by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was cut short when a reporter asked about it. We'll be joined by Faiza Patel, the co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at New York University’s […]

Jun
24
2011

Susan Saladoff on Hot Coffee, Suki Hawley and Michael Galinsky on Battle for Brooklyn

By

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin we're talking about two new films which, while journalism is not their central subject, directly engage news media's influence and real world impact as a critical part of the stories they tell. First up: You've heard the one about the old woman who sued McDonalds for MILLIONS just because her coffee was hot! A new documentary tells the real story about that infamous case— starting with how almost everything you know about it is wrong. The film Hot Coffee explores the real political fight over the past few decades, not about runaway juries and […]

May
23
2011

Libya and the Law

Media Show Slight Interest in War Powers, Geneva

Media debates over the U.S./NATO war in Libya have often amounted to proponents arguing for "humanitarian" intervention while conservative critics worry about Barack Obama's management of the war. But the question of the war's legality should be a front and center concern. Obama's decided to wage war on Libya without seeking congressional approval. Under some interpretations of the War Powers Act, a president can do this for 60 days, a deadline that passed on Friday, May 20. After this, according to the law, military action without Congress's authorization is illegal. The approaching deadline attracted little media coverage. The most prominent […]

Apr
01
2011

Stephen Zunes on Libya, Karen Greenberg on 'America's Growing Intolerance'

By

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The U.S.-led NATO bombing of Libya was supposed to last just a few days. It was supposed to just protect Libyan civilians. And, according to the White House, we weren't supposed to think of it as a war at all—it is a "kinetic military action." But the war in Libya has unmistakably expanded, with serious talk of arming anti-Qaddafi rebels and removing the Libyan dictator from power. Stephen Zunes from the University of San Francisco will join us to talk about it. Also on CounterSpin today: We'll talk to Karen Greenberg, the director of […]

Jan
07
2011

Bob Parry on GOP 'info war,' Nancy Lockhart on Scott sisters

By

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: the Tea Party takes power in Washington. The new Republican majority in the House of Representatives brought a certain type of political theater—giant gavels, the reading of the Constitution, and John Boehner's tears. But there is another kind of theater to come, as Republicans vow to launch a variety of investigations of the Obama White House. Robert Parry of Consortium News will join us to talk about how these efforts are likely to play in the press. Also on CounterSpin today, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour commuted the sentences of Jamie and Gladys Scott. The […]

Dec
03
2010

Robert Naiman on WikiLeaks-Honduras, Richard Prince on the Scott sisters

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: WikiLeaks strikes again, this time with the release of 250,000 diplomatic cables that shed considerable light on how U.S. foreign policy is conducted. The headlines so far are about Iran's weapons and the perilous situation in Pakistan. But one story hasn't received enough media attention: how the U.S. embassy really saw the 2009 coup in Honduras. How did this cable conflict with official U.S. pronouncements and corporate media spin? We'll talk to Robert Naiman of Just Foreign Policy. Also on CounterSpin today: Two women are serving double life sentences in Mississippi for the alleged […]

Aug
01
2010

'Spotlight' on Police Violence Fails to Illuminate

Media connection sparks interest, not introspection

Seattle freelance videographer Jud Morris thought he saw news April 17 when he found a police officer standing over a man lying on the sidewalk, telling him, “I’m going to beat the fucking Mexican piss out of you, homey. You feel me?” and kicking him in the head. Morris captured the incident, including the next moment when a second officer stomped on 21-year-old Martin Monetti’s leg—and the next, when the officers realized they had the wrong guy and let Monetti up, bloodied, without offering medical assistance—and brought it immediately to local Fox affiliate KCPQ (known as Q13), where he was […]

Aug
01
2010

Stolen Books

Great works that should belong to you but don’t

Think of the great robbery teams: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid...Bonnie and Clyde...Bill Clinton and Orrin Hatch? Yes, Clinton and Hatch pulled off one of the greatest robberies of all time—stealing billions of dollars worth of cultural treasures from the public for the benefit of corporations via the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act—written by Sen. Hatch (R.-Utah) and signed into law by President Clinton in 1998. (The bill was given the name of the variety show host-turned-lawmaker after he died in a skiing accident.) Roughly speaking, the Bono Act lengthened copyright terms by 20 years: New corporate works […]