Jul
13
2007

Bob Dreyfuss on Iraqi politics, Ken Silverstein on 'Their Men in Washington'

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: the political debate over the Iraq War is heating up in Washington again, as the White House attempts to shore up support for continuing the occupation and some Democrats are vowing to press harder to end the war. Absent from much of the media coverage, though, is an understanding of Iraqi politics. We'll talk to journalist Robert Dreyfuss about the question the press isn't asking about Iraq. Also on CounterSpin today: the power and influence of lobbyists is one of the most important stories in Washington without a doubt. So how come when a […]

Jun
29
2007

Don McCanne on 'SiCKO' & single payer, Stuart Ewen on health care propaganda

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Michael Moore's new film SiCKO is premiering around the country, delivering a blunt message: the U.S. health care system is broken. But Moore doesn't just want to fill movie theaters; he wants to spur a debate about health care policy—namely, getting rid of the private health care system in favor of a public, government-financed one. That'll be a tough sell to the mainstream media; we'll talk to Don McCanne of Physicians for a National Health Program about SiCKO and the debate over health care. Also on CounterSpin today, why doesn't the United States have […]

May
01
2007

Sidebar: Charity Cases

[Note: This piece is a sidebar to Bono, I Presume?] Even when it’s not an entertainment celebrity that brings the cameras to Africa, nearly as many TV news Africa stories are about Americans or other Westerners “making a difference” in Africa. Whether it’s a high-profile figure like Bill Gates fighting malaria (ABC, 10/31/05), a 12-year-old American boy raising money for AIDS orphans in Africa (NBC, 12/8/06) or the wife and daughter of an NFL football coach missing his big day in the Super Bowl to volunteer in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (ABC, 2/3/06), these segments tell the story […]

Mar
23
2007

Diane Farsetta on Nuclear Front Groups, E.J. Graff on 'The Opt-Out Myth'

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The growing media popularity of nuclear power as a solution to global warming and energy woes is not about the environment, says Diane Farsetta of the Center for Media and Democracy, but the result of a well-funded and stealthy corporate campaign to promote the flagging US nuclear energy industry. We'll talk to her about her new report, "Moore Spin: Or, How Reporters Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Nuclear Front Groups." Also on the show: “The Opt-Out Revolution” was how the New York Times memorably described it a few years back, but the storyline […]

Mar
01
2007

Media on Medicare

Don’t mess with success—or corporate profits

With the new Democratic Congress promising to let the Medicare prescription drug program negotiate lower prices from drug companies, those companies have gotten their friends in the media to find some reason—any reason—why this would be a bad idea. The Washington Post, happy to defend corporate profits, declared in the lead paragraph of a front-page November 26 article that Democrats were in danger of “wrecking a program that has proven cheaper and more popular than anyone imagined.” “Anyone” clearly doesn’t include Congress, which barely passed the program in 2003 based on the White House’s 10-year cost projection of less than […]

Jan
05
2007

Best of CounterSpin 2006

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Download MP3 On this special Best of CounterSpin, program we look back over some of what was news for the mainstream media in 2006—and some of what wasn't news, but should've been. Our guests this year included a range of activists, researchers and journalists—all of whom had an angle on events that we thought worth hearing and, more often than not, one you weren't hearing many other places. Whether the issue was medicare or immigration, Wal-Mart or welfare policy, each in his or her way reminded us of the need to see beyond the narrow, often distorted dialog provided by […]

Oct
27
2006

Gloria Tristani on Benton media studies, Diane Farsetta on RTNDA and video news releases

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Four academic studies about the effects of media concentration on media content have been published by the Benton Foundation and the Social Science Research Council. Appropriately, the studies come as the FCC is holding hearings about consolidation and whether broadcast corporations should be able to have even more broadcast licenses. We'll talk with Benton Foundation president and former FCC commissioner Gloria Tristani. Also on the show: Research earlier this year revealed that TV stations around the country are passing off video news releases produced by PR firms as their own news. The FCC launched […]

Oct
06
2006

Arianna Huffington on Woodward's 'State of Denial,' Sarah Anderson on Wal-Mart's pundits

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Veteran reporter Bob Woodward has spent much of the last two weeks on television touting his new book State of Denial, which faults the Bush White House for lying and incompetence over the Iraq War. But our guest faults Woodward for being late-to-the-party and says his new book is just an attempt to salvage his reputation. We'll talk to Arianna Huffington of Huffingtonpost.com. Also on the show: It isn't that you never see stories including criticism of retailing giant Wal-Mart, but those do tend to be here and there, while routine economic coverage is […]