Feb 04 2011

Adil Shamoo on Egypt, Fawaz Gerges on Muslim Brotherhood

By

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The massive uprising in Egypt has been covered as a story of violent clashes and an awakening on the so-called ‘Arab Street.’ As we record this program, some pro-Mubarak forces are attacking journalists. Plenty of U.S. coverage focuses on the U.S. foreign policy position—with plenty of euphemisms about a ‘tightrope’ and ‘delicate balance’ for a U.S. government that has propped up the Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak for three decades. We’ll talk about that with Adil Shamoo Also on CounterSpin today: It’s an obsession for Fox News Channel, and an area of concern for other […]

Jan 21 2011

Helena Cobban on Tunisia, Wayne Au on teacher testing

By

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Tunisia is hardly ever in the US news, but when demonstrations by a largely secular movement led to the ouster of the country’s long-ruling, American-backed dictator, US elite media took notice. We’ll talk with Helena Cobban of JustWorldNews about what is happening in Tunisia. Also on the show: There’s been some pushback to so-called educational reform efforts with their emphasis on standardized tests as the preeminent measure of educational value, for students and teachers. The resistance isn’t just about the limited nature of tests, there’s also evidence that they just aren’t that useful. Wayne […]

Aug 04 2010

Does the NY Times Factcheck Op-Eds?

Bogus evidence showing Arab apathy towards Palestinians

On August 2, the New York Times published an op-ed arguing that Arabs do not care much about Palestinians–and that this is a good thing, especially for Palestinians. But the argument relied on a “poll” of the Arab world that does not exist. The piece, by historian Efraim Karsh, intended to show that the “conventional wisdom” about the Israel-Palestine conflict–that Arabs “are so passionate about the Palestine problem”–is wrong. His main evidence is this: “What, then, are we to make of a recent survey for the Al Arabiya television network finding that a staggering 71 percent of the Arabic respondents […]

Jan 08 2010

Sam Husseini on Gaza Freedom March, Dean Baker on WaPo & Fiscal Times

By

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: It had the elements of a nightly news story: Protestors, including some Americans, being abused by officials in an Arab country. But this story was a non-starter with U.S. media. We’ll talk to Sam Husseini of the Institute for Public Accuracy, who just left Egypt where a delegation of human rights activists were abused by Egyptian police when they protested that country’s refusal to let them cross the Egyptian border into Gaza for a Freedom March. Also on the show: The Washington Post has been on the deficit hawk beat for some time, so […]

Mar 01 2008

Perilous Journalism in the Persian Gulf

Strait of Hormuz incident's uncritical coverage

HMS Middleton in the Straight of Hormuz--Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/Defence Images

Given that one of the stated goals of George W. Bush’s January 8-16 Mideast trip was to “remind” allies in the Persian Gulf that “Iran is a threat” (New York Times, 1/9/08), it should have at least struck journalists as a strange coincidence when a January 6 encounter between the U.S. Navy and five small Iranian speedboats in the Strait of Hormuz, the entrance to the Persian Gulf, was characterized by the Pentagon as “evidence that Iran is unpredictable and remains a threat” (CNN, 1/7/08). Yet several news media outlets swallowed the White House’s alarmist account of the incident hook, […]

Dec 01 2007

Coverage of Syria Airstrike Strikingly Familiar

When an apparent airstrike by Israel against Syria on September 6 was eventually linked to accusations of a secret Syrian nuclear program, the striking thing about the often muddled reporting was how much the credulous reaction to unsubstantiated claims resembled the similarly uncritical reporting about Iraq’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction. When the airstrike was first disclosed, the New York Times (9/12/07) quoted an unnamed U.S. military official saying “it was still unclear exactly what the jets hit.” The best guess from other unnamed officials was that the building housed “weapons caches” of arms from Iran, ultimately destined for Hezbollah […]

Jul 01 2007

CounterSpin Interview: Ali Abunimah on Gaza

'It's the exact opposite of a coup'

In November 2004, a New York Times article on Palestinian elections (11/14/04) stated, “The post-Arafat era will be the latest test of a quintessentially American article of faith: that elections provide legitimacy even to the frailest institutions.” The “faith” that elites in the press and in government have in such elections is tested when the results cut against U.S. wishes, as happened when Hamas prevailed over Fatah in Palestinian elections in 2006. As a result, the White House pursued a policy of punishing Palestinians for their disobedience by attempting to prevent Hamas from participating in the Palestinian government. That only […]

Mar 11 2005

As`ad AbuKhalil on Mideast democracy, Laurie Garrett on exit memo

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Was the Bush administration right all along? That’s the question the media are asking nowadays, with democratic uprisings happening across the Middle East that many say are all thanks to the White House. Much of the coverage focuses on Lebanon; but what’s really happening there? We’ll ask As`ad AbuKhalil, professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus. Also this week: Folks concerned about the future of journalism are discussing why a veteran journalist left their post this week. No, it’s not Dan Rather. Pulitzer-Prize winning reporter Laurie Garrett said she won’t be going […]