Mar 1 2013

Seizing the Airwaves

Radio by and for the people


Today, after years of activism, a new law on low-power FM (LPFM) radio is paving the way for the greatest expansion of FM radio in decades. This is a huge victory for media justice.

Jun 1 2012

New Media; but Familiar Lack of Diversity

Women, people of color still marginalized online

Recent years have seen much rallying around “traditional” journalism in the face of its supposedly imminent demise, including the mythologizing of pre-Internet news media as a force of social cohesion. Lamenting the “culture of observing events from ‘inside’ a community,” Washington Post columnist and associate editor David Ignatius (5/2/10) contended: When the information landscape was dominated by three networks and a few major newspapers, journalists were trained to report for everyone. Now, niche audiences want more intimacy and connection—even if that means less old-school independence and objectivity. Traditional outlets, of course, did not and do not report “for everyone,” but […]

Mar 1 2012

Letters to the Editor

Extra! March 2012

In Defense of Exposing Lies The complaint (printed in the February 2012 issue) against FAIR for using “the demonizing technique to whip up support for its cause” sounds like yet another disguised way of saying—if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all. A worthless policy for exposing lies. That one fundamental difference between using truth versus using lies “to whip up support” has to be deliberately ignored in order for a glib statement like “sorry, demonizing is demonizing” to seem valid. So then is exposing lies the same as telling lies? No, it can’t […]

Mar 1 2012

With Fox News Liberals, Who Needs Conservatives?

They play the left on Rupert Murdoch’s TV

Bob Beckel--Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Fox News co-host and contributor Bob Beckel has called for the assassination of WikiLeaks spokesperson Julian Assange (“A dead man can’t leak stuff”—Follow the Money, 12/6/10), for furnishing guns to school children (“If you give your kid a gun, no bullying”—Five, 1/5/12) and for militant opposition to the “War on Christmas,” which is “completely out of hand” (Five, 12/9/11). These views are anything but out of place on Fox News, where hosts and commentators are known for fantasizing about murdering progressives (FAIR Blog, 11/10/10), deifying gun ownership (Beck, 6/29/11) and courageously confronting those who would wish them happy holidays (O’Reilly […]

Mar 1 2012

Guest Perspective: Journalists Rock! Journalism Sucks!

Why media activists should love the players and hate the game

Robert Jensen--Photo Credit: CommonDreams

At an antiwar conference with predominantly left/progressive activists, I began a talk on the failures of contemporary news media by asking how the group felt about teachers. There was a resounding cheer and calls to support teachers. Then I asked how they felt about journalists— and the reaction was mixed. Some people booed, others laughed, and one person shouted out, “I like real journalists!” Those responses weren’t surprising, given the role of an uncritical corporate news media in building support for the United States’ imperial wars of the past decade. Journalism routinely has failed to hold power accountable, especially in […]

Jan 1 2012

Israel Takes Back Gaza Charge-After Attack

U.S. media fail to notice retraction of accusations

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), […]

Dec 27 2011

Occupy the P.U.-litzers!

This year has given us simply too many worthy contenders for FAIR’s annual P.U.-litzers–recognizing the stinkiest journalism of the year. A big part of the problem was that so many outlets were striving to distinguish themselves with especially awful coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement. So to note those lowlights, we bring you a special installment of P.U.-litzers: The OWS edition. –Early Warning System Award: CNN‘s Wolf Blitzer On September 19: “Protests here in New York on Wall Street entering a third day. Should New Yorkers be worried at all about what’s going on?”   –We Could Do It […]

Dec 21 2011

2011 P.U.-litzers: Journalism That Doesn’t Pass the Smell Test

It’s that time of year again–when FAIR goes through the year’s archives to collect a sampling of the worst moments of corporate media spin and malfeasance. The competition was, as always, fierce. And in special recognition of the media’s befuddled approach to the Occupy Wall Street movement, next week will see the release of a second round of OWS-related P.U.-litzers.   –Wacky Conspiracy Award: CBS‘s Steve Kroft Kroft (60 Minutes, 1/30/11) explained the apparently demented worldview of WikiLeaks‘ Julian Assange: Julian Assange is not your average journalist or publisher, and some have argued that he is not really a journalist […]