May 25 2012

Dana Frank on Honduras, Gary Rivlin on Economic Hardship Reporting Project


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 […]

Feb 10 2012

Jon O’Brien on contraception controversy, Richard Rothstein on segregation study


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. […]

Jan 01 2012

It’s All of Us; Except the 1 Percent

COUNTERSPIN INTERVIEW :Frances Fox Piven on poverty and Occupy Wall Street

Frances Fox Piven--Photo Credit: Mediaite

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 […]

Nov 11 2011

Cyrus Safdari on Iran/IAEA, Frances Fox Piven on poverty


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 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 […]

Nov 03 2011

NewsHour Responds on Inequality

'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 […]

Oct 27 2011

NewsHour and the One Percent

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.

Sep 23 2011

Neil deMause on poverty, Phyllis Bennis on Palestinian statehood

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Census Bureau data showing one in six Americans live in poverty was received soberly by the press corps, but should it have surprised them? And what about next week, when the government doesn’t release a report and people are still poor? We’ll talk with journalist Neil deMause about media’s treatment of poverty and the poor. Also on the show: Mainstream reporting on the Palestinian bid for UN recognition regularly employs loaded language in portraying the initiative as and underhanded gambit which is threatening to the U.S. and Israel. But exactly how does the Palestinian […]

Jun 01 2010

Wealth Gap Yawns–and So Do Media

Little interest in study of massive race/gender disparities

The Insight Center for Community Economic Development (3/8/10) released a stunning report about the wealth gap for women of color: Single black women have a median wealth of $100 and Hispanic women of $120—dramatically lower than white men ($43,800), white women ($41,500) or black men ($7,900). Insight Center for Community Economic Development, March 2010 The median wealth for single white women in their prime working years, age 36-49, is 61 percent of the wealth of their male counterparts, who own $70,030. That’s terrible, but the corresponding ratio between women and men of color is nearly off the charts, at just […]