Feb
08
2013

Norman Solomon on Iraq War Ten Years Ago, Richard Kim on Ed Koch

Powell-UN

This week on CounterSpin: "Irrefutable" was the headline on the Washington Post editorial responding to Secretary of State Colin Powell's UN presentation making the case for war on Iraq. That was ten years ago this week; we'll talk with author and activist Norman Solomon, co-founder of RootsAction.org about how much difference there is between then and now.

Also on the show: Reading the eulogies for late New York City mayor Ed Koch, you'd think he was a universally loved figure. But for the not so adoring, Koch is remembered as an antagonist of ethnic minorities who presided over massive corruption and failed to adequately confront the emerging HIV/AIDS pandemic. We'll explore how Koch dealt with the pandemic with Nation editor Richard Kim.

Sep
01
2003

From Media War Boosters, Few Apologies

Being pro-war means never having to say you're sorry

The superstar columnist George Will has an impressive vocabulary. Too bad it doesn't include the words "I'm sorry." Last year, Will led the media charge when a member of Congress dared to say that George W. Bush would try to deceive the public about Iraq. By now, of course, strong evidence has piled up that Bush tried and succeeded. But back in late September, when a media frenzy erupted right after Rep. Jim McDermott (D.-Wash.) appeared live from Baghdad on ABC's This Week program (9/29/02), what riled the punditocracy as much as anything else was McDermott's last statement during the […]

Feb
01
2003

Spinning the Gulf War to Ignore the Cost in Lives

A dozen years after the Gulf War, pub­lic perceptions of it are now very helpful to the White House. That's part of a timeworn pattern: Illusions about previous wars make the next one seem acceptable. As George Orwell observed in 1984: "Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." It's not unusual to hear journalists and politicians say that the Gulf War had few casualties. Considering the magni­tude of media spin, that myth is hardly surprising. "When the air war began in January 1991," recalls Patrick J. Sloyan, who covered the Gulf War as […]

Mar
01
1990

Unreliable Sources: Slick Coverage of the Exxon Valdez Spill

In the aftermath of Exxon's 11-million-gallon oil in March 1989, U.S. news media described an Alaskan coast with countless dead animals, decimated plant life, and a massive black blanket covering nearly 1,100 miles of shoreline. But within a few months, a different story gained currency, as reports out of Prince William Sound took on a friendly and forgiving tone. National media began to focus on the damage not done by Exxon's blunder, heralding Big Oil's efforts to preserve Alaska's environment. Out of the jaws of catastrophe, Exxon snatched a news spin increasingly to its liking. During one week in September […]