Apr 01 2011

Chris Christie, the ‘Churchill’ of New Jersey

Republican governor’s union-bashing style wins media praise

New Jersey’s most important TV star isn’t on MTV’s Jersey Shore. Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s YouTube showdowns with his critics—especially the state’s public school teachers—have made him a fast-rising Republican star, lionized by the likes of the Weekly Standard (4/26/10), National Review (8/16/10), Glenn Beck (5/14/10) and George Will (4/22/10). Mere months after his election, pundits were weighing his presidential chances in 2012, and Rush Limbaugh (2/12/10) was declaring: “Is it wrong to love another man? Because I love Chris Christie.” That enthusiasm is not confined to the right-wing echo chamber. The NBC Today show (10/20/10) told viewers that “with […]

Jan 07 2011

Bob Parry on GOP ‘info war,’ Nancy Lockhart on Scott sisters


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: the Tea Party takes power in Washington. The new Republican majority in the House of Representatives brought a certain type of political theater—giant gavels, the reading of the Constitution, and John Boehner’s tears. But there is another kind of theater to come, as Republicans vow to launch a variety of investigations of the Obama White House. Robert Parry of Consortium News will join us to talk about how these efforts are likely to play in the press. Also on CounterSpin today, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour commuted the sentences of Jamie and Gladys Scott. The […]

Apr 07 2010

NYT Erases Progressive Senate Candidate

Tasini campaign not 'fit to print'?

Over the course of the past year, the New York Times has provided ample coverage to a series of potential U.S. Senate candidates from New York–none of whom are actually running for office. Meanwhile, a candidate who is in fact challenging incumbent Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand in the September 2010 primary has been all but erased from the picture. That progressive activist Jonathan Tasini is running against Gillibrand, who was appointed to the seat in 2009, is known to Times readers who happened to catch a single January 27, 2010, story by N.R. Kleinfeld, headlined “An Underdog Who Isn’t Daunted by […]

Apr 01 2010

The Right’s Library of Fake Quotes

Putting words in dead people’s mouths


Abraham Lincoln despised class warfare, Thomas Jefferson detested bailouts and the founders of the nation were all Bible-believing Christians. These are among the historical “facts” you’ll learn as a regular consumer of talk radio, Fox News and other conservative sources. While non-conservatives have been known to misquote historical figures to add credibility to their own views, the right seems to have a special enthusiasm for putting words in dead people’s mouths. Take what has become known as the “The Ten Cannots,” a list repeatedly misattributed to Abraham Lincoln. It begins: You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot […]

Dec 01 2009

Not So Fast, Filibuster

Quietly changing the rules of democracy

The United States has made a dramatic change in its system of governance—with little debate or even attention paid in corporate media. The change is the vastly increased importance of the filibuster, a parliamentary maneuver that allows a minority of lawmakers—under current Senate rules, 41 out of 100—to indefinitely extend debate and prevent a final vote. Once a curiosity invoked a handful of times during any two-year congressional session, the filibuster became more common starting in the 1970s; in the Clinton administration and early in the George W. Bush years, the Senate had to move to take a vote on […]

Nov 01 2009

Van Jones Is Happening and You Don’t Know Who He Is

Scolding big media for not following Glenn Beck’s lead

Photo Credit: Van Jones

After a campaign led by Fox News’ Glenn Beck led to the resignation of White House staffer Van Jones, New York Times managing editor Jill Abramson offered something of an apology for being “a beat behind on this story.” “We should have been paying closer attention,” she wrote in an online Q&A (9/07/09)—even while accurately noting that “Mr. Jones was not a high-ranking official.” Later, in a column by public editor Clark Hoyt (9/26/09) linking the Van Jones story to the Times’ supposed undercoverage of another Glenn Beck obsession—the community organizing group ACORN—Abramson plead guilty to “insufficient tuned-in-ness to the […]

May 29 2009

Cheney Often Wrong, Seldom Doubted

Giving ex-VP a free ride in torture debate

“Dick Cheney seems to be everywhere,” declared ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl (World News, 5/13/09), calling the formerly reclusive former vice president “the most visible Republican in the country these days.” Cheney has been hard to miss. Since leaving office in January, in addition to broad coverage of his May 21 speech at the American Enterprise Institute, in recent weeks he has appeared on CBS‘s Face the Nation (5/10/09), Fox‘s Your World With Neil Cavuto (5/12/09), Fox‘s Hannity (4/20/09, 4/21/09) and CNN‘s State of the Union (3/15/09). Moreover, Cheney’s public profile has been amplified by heavy coverage in other media, […]

May 20 2009

Does the CIA Ever Lie?

Parsing the Pelosi torture controversy

The debate over Bush-era torture tactics like waterboarding has morphed into a full-blown Washington scandal. But the target isn’t the Bush administration officials who ordered the torture; instead, the corporate media’s focus is on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who claims that she was not fully briefed by the CIA on the use of waterboarding in late 2002. The prevailing assumption in much of the coverage is that the CIA couldn’t possibly have misled members of Congress–despite the fact that this has happened repeatedly. The media reaction has been intense. Right-wing pundits and the Fox News Channel are treating the issue […]