This week on CounterSpin: The biggest fight the striking Chicago Teachers Union face is with the school district and Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel. But the story has exposed, once again, that corporate media have little good to say about organized teachers. We'll talk to Kevin Kumashiro of the University of Illinois-Chicago about what the fight in Chicago is really about. Also on CounterSpin: In a campaign in which economic issues play prominently, the issue of poverty, affecting huge numbers of Americans is almost totally ignored: A new FAIR study finds poverty has been discussed in just 0.2 percent of campaign [...]
Study finds poverty not an issue in most election coverage
"All this talk today about poverty got us wondering just how many people in America live below the poverty line,” anchor Scott Pelley announced on the CBS Evening News (2/1/12). By “all this talk,” Pelley was referring to less than 200 words, in a report CBS had just aired on GOP candidate Mitt Romney’s missteps, that discussed Romney’s remark that he wasn’t “concerned about the very poor.” Though the brief story was actually about the political horse race, it apparently struck Pelley as an unusual amount of focus on poverty. And, sadly, he was right. Poverty as an issue is [...]
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The story of DEA involvement in the killing of four civilians in Honduras on May 11, provides a compelling opportunity to look at the broader U.S. role in a country that is being torn apart by an escalating drug war. We’ll talk with historian and Honduras-watcher Dana Frank, about what’s happening there and how the media are covering it. Also on the show: Americans have become used to a media conversation in which the idea that poor people's problem is that they have too much is deemed a legitimate point of argument, and the [...]
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Another front has opened up in the long-running battle over the new health care law. As we hear the story in the media, Catholics are up in arms over being required to provide birth control, or something to that effect. Republicans are loudly criticizing the White House's war on religious freedom. What's the reality though? Jon O'Brien of Catholics for Choice will join us to sort fact from fiction. Also on CounterSpin today, New research heralds the end of the segregated century, says census data show US cities most integrated they've been since 1910. [...]
COUNTERSPIN INTERVIEW :Frances Fox Piven on poverty and Occupy Wall Street
The Occupy movement has garnered, if not the respect, at least the acknowledgement of a corporate press corps inclined for any number of reasons to ignore it. Still, coverage is centered on the protesters themselves, without necessarily engaging their ideas or allowing those ideas to shape reporting. It’s entirely possible for media to say these ideas matter and still not act as though they do. How, for example, does media’s interest in the 99 Percent affect their understanding of how poverty is defined? Or whose perspectives should be included in news on the economy? CounterSpin’s Janine Jackson explored these issues [...]
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The International Atomic Energy Agency published its latest report on Iran on November 8th, but for nearly two weeks beforehand news media were rife with leak-based stories promising the report would be "game changing." What did it actually say, and what of that is to be believed? We'll talk to Cyrus Safdari who is tracking the story at IranAffairs.com. Also on the show this week: As the Occupy movement continues to focus attention on economic inequality, a spate of media coverage is presenting new Census data as suggesting that poverty might not be as [...]
'Who would disagree' with fake Lincoln quote?
After FAIR's recent action alert (10/27/11) concerning the PBS NewsHour's reports minimizing--and even celebrating--economic inequality, NewsHour correspondent Paul Solman posted a long response on the PBS website (10/31/11) that attempted to answer the criticism. Solman began by expressing his appreciation for the "avalanche" of feedback, "hostile though most of it has been." He admits that guest Richard Epstein (10/26/11)--who made the case in favor of inequality--was incorrect to attribute this quote to Abraham Lincoln: "You do not make the poor rich by making the rich poor." But then Solman writes that the sentiment behind it is beyond dispute: But when [...]
PBS newscast presents the upside of inequality
With protesters around the country speaking out against income inequality, public television's flagship newscast made time on October 26 for the pro-inequality side to be heard, featuring a guest who invoked a phony Abraham Lincoln quote to make his case.