Oct
03
2014

Murtaza Hussain on Khorasan Group, Vijay Prashad on Narendra Modi

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This week on CounterSpin: When the US military attacks on Syria got underway, there was a sudden shift in the coverage: We weren't just bombing the Islamic State, but something called the Khorasan Group. But who are they and how come no one had ever heard of them before? We'll talk to reporter Murtaza Hussain of the Intercept about that.

Also this week: Indian prime minister Narendra Modi received a royal welcome when he arrived in the US for a visit on September 26. For a republic, it's always been a little strange how the US treats foreign heads of states like royalty, but with his controversial past and politics, Modi's treatment was even more curious than most. We'll talk with Trinity College history professor Vijay Prashad about Modi's American reception.

Sep
12
2014

Four Myths About Obama's War on ISIS

A reluctant warrior intervenes against a threat to the homeland--or so we're told

NBC Nightly News links ISIS, 9/11

While Barack Obama's military plan to launch strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) might impress many pundits, there are some serious questions that should be asked--about the threat posed by the Islamic State and about some of the assumptions guiding the debate.

Nov
01
2012

Why Do They Hate Us Back?

'Muslim Rage' is really no mystery

Time Magazine Sept. 24
Photo Credit: AMR ABDALLAH DALSH / REUTERS

U.S. coverage of Islam and Muslim-majority nations is such a carnival of distortion, double standards and bigotry that it’s sometimes hard to believe that journalists inhabit the same planet as the rest of us. This has been especially true as anti-American violence and demonstrations in Libya and other countries have put media fantasies of the U.S. as a benign force for democracy and peace in the Muslim world on full display. Immediately after the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya, which left U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others dead, U.S. media came alive with […]

May
18
2012

Kenyon Farrow on NC Amendment 1, Nada Alwadi on Bahrain

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Before media were saying Obama's declaration of support for same sex marriage shows how far we've come, they were saying how North Carolina's constitutional amendment banning recognition of those marriages shows how far we have to go. Both can be true, of course, but what did media miss about North Carolina's Amendment One that might've changed that 'you win some, you lose some' framing? We'll hear from activist and writer Kenyon Farrow on that. Also on CounterSpin today, U.S. media have covered the Arab Spring uprisings pretty thoroughly—if not always with the kind of […]

Dec
02
2011

Sharif Abdel Kouddous on Egypt, Hannah Gurman on Fallujah

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Egypt just finished its first round of elections since the uprising earlier this year by democratic activists. So why aren't the activists overjoyed? We'll talk about the state of democracy in Egypt and the way US corporate media are covering it, with independent journalist and Democracy Now! Cairo correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous. Also on the program: US elite media provided cover for the military during the 2004 invasion of Fallujah, dismissing and downplaying reports of civilian deaths in the besieged Iraqi city. Our guest says the failure to confront what happened in Fallujah may […]

Oct
01
2011

Remote-Controlled Reporting on Remote-Controlled War

With Pakistan drone strikes, official story is media’s story

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The New York Times (12/4/09) calls the American drone program “one of Washington’s worst-kept secrets.” This is particularly true for people in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in Pakistan that border Afghanistan, where the low humming sound which gives them their local name—machay, meaning wasps—is very familiar. Since the drone program in Pakistan began in 2004, between 1,650 and 2,880 people have been killed in as many as 295 drone attacks (New America Foundation, 8/11/11; Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 8/10/11)—with the number increasing drastically in 2009, after President Obama took office. In his first year in office alone, there […]

Jul
08
2011

Noam Chomsky on Arab Spring, Monica Novoa on Drop the I Word

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Where things stand with the Arab Spring and drive for democracy in the region. U.S. interests have always been prioritized over human rights and democratic values; the people-powered uprisings have threatened the status quo and scrambled some of the usual media narratives. But how much? We'll hear from MIT professor about longtime activist and critic Noam Chomsky about what has changed—and what hasn't—over the past few months. Chomsky's speech was part of FAIR's 25th anniversary celebration. Also on CounterSpin today, the remarkable story of Jose Antonio Vargas has brought discussions of immigration—and how it's […]

Apr
29
2011

Andy Worthington on Guantánamo files, Lucinda Marshall on Greg Mortenson

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: If you've heard much at all about WikiLeaks new disclosures about Guantánamo, you've probably noticed that US media tend to emphasize information justifying and rationalizing the U.S. actions regarding its offshore prison camp. But what should listeners really know about the new WikiLeaks revelations? We'll talk with journalist and Guantánamo expert Andy Worthington about what the latest disclosures mean. Also on CounterSpin today, the U.S. public soured on the Afghan War a long time ago. That might explain some of the popularity of Greg Mortenson, whose bestselling book Three Cups of Tea suggests that […]