Nov
01
2012

SoundBites

Extra! November 2012

Don’t Look to NYT  to ‘Litigate’ the Facts Margaret Sullivan, the new New York Times public editor (9/16/12), used the topic of “voter fraud” to illustrate the concept of “false balance”―when two sides are treated as equivalent even when one side has reality on its side. Despite Republican efforts to pass laws to prevent voting by the ineligible, research finds next to no examples of this problem―but coverage often treats the absence of fraudulent voting as a partisan assertion (Extra!, 10/12). While Sullivan rightly observed that “journalists need to make every effort to get beyond the spin and help readers […]

Apr
20
2012

Antonia Juhasz on BP anniversary, Lee Fang on Hilary Rosen

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: This week marks the two-year anniversary of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Media will be checking in on the Gulf to mark the anniversary—but what will their reporting on this ongoing environmental catastrophe look like? We'll talk to journalist Antonia Juhasz about her new report in the Nation, "Two Years Later: BP's Toxic Legacy." Also on the show: Comments CNN contributor Hilary Rosen about Mitt Romney's wife induced the punditocracy to take up questions of women’s work - and that's never pretty. But besides the silly things that were said, what about some […]

Dec
24
2010

Trudy Lieberman on health care law, Lee Stranahan on Pigford settlement

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Following a federal court ruling in Virginia finding the individual mandate provision of the 2010 healthcare act unconstitutional, there was some solid coverage of the Constitutional issues involved in a policy that will, if ultimately upheld, require every American to purchase private insurance. But what about coverage before the bill was passed? We'll talk with the Colombia Journalism Review's Trudy Lieberman about media coverage of the mandate, before and after its passage. Also on CounterSpin today, if you've caught any media coverage of the Pigford settlement, it probably sounds like good news: Black farmers […]

Feb
19
2010

Sebastian Jones on Media-Lobbying Complex, Ibrahim Hooper on Islamville TV report

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Paid-for pundits. If you've ever wondered who the so-called experts pontificating on cable news channels really are, a new investigation published in the Nation magazine gives you some answers. Reporter Sebastian Jones will join us to talk about the secret corporate PR spinners and lobbyists who pose as pundits—without viewers knowing who they're actually working for. Also on CounterSpin today: Did a local Nashville TV newscast, featuring anti-Muslim propaganda and warnings about the terrorists among us, spark a vandalism attack on an area mosque? Many Nashvillians, including many in the city's Muslim community think […]

Feb
19
2010

Network Nukes Boosters

Reports on new nuclear plant leave key questions unasked

On February 16, ABC World News and NBC Nightly News aired incomplete and unbalanced reports following Barack Obama's announcement of $8 billion in new loan guarantees for a nuclear power plant in Georgia. ABC reporter Jake Tapper announced that "for years leading Democrats and liberals opposed nuclear energy. No new nukes was the cry. So some may have been surprised to hear President Obama say today, essentially, yes, new nukes." But after that nod, nuclear opponents mostly disappeared from the piece, which showed Tapper stressing industry claims about job creation for this new plant ("3,500 on-site construction jobs and 800 […]

Feb
17
2010

Tell Cable News: No More PR Pundits

Channels disguise corporate propaganda as 'analysis'

Sign FAIR's petition

Jan
06
2010

Washington Post Lets Lobbyists Write Its Stories

Anti-Social Security outfit does propaganda, not journalism

The Washington Post's publication of a "news" article written by an organization created to advance an ideological agenda is a troubling reminder of the declining ethical standards at one of the nation's most influential newspapers. The article, headlined "Support Grows for Tackling Nation's Debt" (12/31/09), was a product of the Fiscal Times, described in an accompanying note as "an independent digital news publication reporting on fiscal, budgetary, healthcare and international economics issues." More accurately, it's a propaganda outlet created and funded by Peter G. Peterson, a Wall Street billionaire and Nixon administration cabinet member who has long used his wealth […]

Oct
01
2009

Ex-Flak Sees Industry Script in Town Hall Attacks

Interview with Wendell Potter

Wendell Potter--Photo Credit: Center for Media and Democracy

Where has the investigative reporting been on the organizing behind attacks on healthcare reform at the “town halls” members of Congress have been holding? Wendell Potter sees private health insurance industry as involved in the situation—and he should know. Until last year, Potter was head of corporate communications at CIGNA, one of the nation’s largest for-profit health insurance companies. Before that, he headed communications at Humana, another huge for-profit health insurer. Potter started as a reporter for the Memphis Press-Scimitar and worked for the Scripps-Howard bureau in Washington before going into PR. In doing PR for Humana and CIGNA, he […]