Feb 16 2011

Newsweek Defends Drones

Plays down civilian deaths, legal questions

Newsweek‘s February 21 assessment of the CIA’s drone assassination program in Pakistan is a largely uncritical defense of the White House policy, with little space for critics who argue the killings are illegal, counterproductive and exact a heavy toll on innocent civilians. Newsweek presents the piece as an exclusive look at the targeting decisions involved in the CIA’s drone program: “The formal process of determining who should be hunted down…has not been previously reported.” The CIA unsurprisingly does not talk publicly about these operations. But Newsweek reporter Tara McKelvey puts a positive spin on the program: “A look at the […]

Sep 22 2010

Howard Fineman: ‘The Best of the Old’ Media?

HuffPo hire is consummate insider, urging Dems to the right

One potential benefit of so-called “new media” is the chance that news outlets on the Web might offer a break from the tired old conventional wisdom of the corporate “old media.” But when Arianna Huffington (Media Decoder, 9/19/10) announced the Huffington Post‘s hiring of Newsweek‘s Howard Fineman, she described the move as a sign that her website was now “able to bring in the best of the old.” While Fineman may not exactly represent the best of old media, a case can be made that he’s one of the most old media of all political journalists. In his 30 years […]

Mar 10 2010

PBS to Replace Moyers, NOW With Newsweek Editor?

Meacham hire would send the wrong message

PBS is reportedly in final talks with Newsweek editor Jon Meacham to be co-host of its forthcoming Need to Know program (New York Times, 3/9/10). Meacham’s consideration for a show that would replace hard-hitting independent programs Now and the Bill Moyers Journal sends a clear and troubling message about PBS‘s priorities (Extra! Update, 6/05). Meacham is a fixture on commercial pundit shows in addition to his Newsweek duties. In these venues, he is a consummate purveyor of middle-of-the-road conventional wisdom with a conservative slant. After the 2008 election, Meacham (10/27/08) authored an article on America as a “center-right nation”–a conclusion […]

Jan 1 2010

Newsweek’s Name-Calling Neoliberal

Meet Mac Margolis, their man in Latin America

Mac Margolis--Photo Credit: Newsweek/The Daily Beast

Outside of an anti-Obama “tea party” demonstration, it’d be unusual to see a president being compared to Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin all at once. Crack open the November 2 issue of Newsweek magazine, though, and you’ll find these insults hurled at Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. Who would say such a thing? The magazine’s frequent Latin American correspondent, Mac Margolis, whose work regularly maligns the region’s left-wing presidents. Margolis views these leftist leaders (Newsweek International, 7/27/09) as a single, mostly detestable bloc—what he calls the Axis of Hugo, the constellation of nine states in the Andes, Central America and the Caribbean […]

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 […]

Jan 1 2002

Hail to the Chief

Newsweek's interview with the glorious leader

If there’s a propaganda hall of fame, Newsweek has surely earned a place in it with its recent interview with George W. and Laura Bush (12/3/01). Written by Newsweek senior editor Howard Fineman and White House correspondent Martha Brant, the profile of the Bushes focused relentlessly positive attention on the “First Couple’s” emotional responses to the September 11 attacks. At the time of the interview, new details about atrocities by U.S.-backed forces in Afghanistan were emerging daily, but the central question in Newsweek exclusive was: “From where does George W. Bush–or Laura, for the matter–draw the strength for this grand […]

Feb 1 1996

Newsweek Puts On a Happy Face

Newsweek‘s January 8 cover featured a piece headlined “Cheer Up America: It’s Not as Bad as You Think.” In the article, economics reporter Robert J. Samuelson argued that the source of Americans’ current dissatisfaction is our utopian notion of a society in which problems like poverty and job insecurity can be solved. These ideals should be discarded, Samuelson says, since they’re simply “too perfect to happen.” Instead, we should embrace the wonders of the society we’ve got: While it’s true, for example, that living standards aren’t increasing as they used to, “stagnation hardly describes the explosion of new products that […]