Feb
14
2014

Sue Sturgis on Moral March, Toni Gilpin on Skills Gap Myth

moral-monday-stage-crop

This week on CounterSpin: Tens of thousands of moral marchers descend on Raleigh North Carolina, the latest and most dramatic example of a social justice movement sweeping the state. The national press is mostly skipping the story; Sue Sturgis from the Institute for Southern Studies fills us in on what's happening.

Also on the show: You may have heard that the reason we have so many unemployed people isn't because there are no jobs, but because people don't have the right skills for the jobs that are open, in part because of our failing schools. If it doesn't sound right to you, that's because it's wrong. So why say it? We'll talk with labor historian and educator Toni Gilpin about the popular myth of the "skills gap."

Apr
01
2013

It's Only the Future of the Planet

Keystone coverage treats climate change as at best a side issue

Tar Sands--Photo Credit: Jiri Rezac/Greenpeace

Issues like oil spills, land use rights, groundwater pollution etc. are all complaints made by critics of the Keystone XL pipeline. And looming over all of them is the way that tapping the tar sands will exacerbate climate change. But the media doesn't seem to care.

Mar
01
2013

SoundBites March 2013

Extra! March 2013

FireShot Screen Capture #042 - 'FAIR TV_ Obama's Liberal Inaugural_, Anonymous Iran Truth-Telling, PBS Drone Conflict' - www_fair_org_blog_2013_01_25_fair-tv-obamas-liberal-inaugural-anonymous-iran-truth-telling-

If It Weren’t for Those Meddling Iranians “This demonstrates the ever pernicious Iranian meddling in other countries in the region.” —unnamed U.S. official complaining to Reuters (1/28/13) about Iran allegedly sending arms to Yemen, where the U.S. is conducting a secret drone war   Extreme Weather, Unexplained NBC Nightly News (1/13/13) asked a serious question, then offered an unserious answer. Anchor Lester Holt remarked: “Strange winter: Why it is so cold where it should be warm, and so warm where it should be cold. What is going on with all this extreme weather?” Correspondent Kristen Dahlgren turned to the Weather […]

Jan
01
2013

Lost in Translation

The Quebec student strike in Anglo-American corporate media

"It's a Student Strike, It's a People's Struggle," reads the banner. (Photo cred.: legrandecart.net)

When Quebec students went on strike last spring in protest over an announced 75 percent tuition hike—part of a package of austerity measures by Quebec’s provincial government—U.S. media paid scant attention. The six-month-long strike was the largest and longest student strike in North American history; hundreds of thousands of Québécois repeatedly took to the streets, with thousands arrested. Yet the strike elicited not a single story from any of the three major U.S. broadcast networks, PBS NewsHour or the Washington Post. In Morning Edition’s sole story on the Quebec student movement (5/15/12), NPR’s David Greene characterized the protests against the […]

Nov
01
2012

Not for Teacher

Journalists take sides in Chicago strike

Chicago Teachers Strike Sept. 2012--Photo Credit: Firedoglake/Wikimedia Commons

Among corporate media pundits, hostility towards teachers’ unions spans the ideological spectrum (Extra!, 9/10). And in supposedly straight news reporting, the policy goals of corporate “reformers”―support for charter schools and teacher ratings based on standardized test statistical models―are treated as common sense instead of contested and controversial. So when the Chicago Teachers Union went out on strike this September, it was never in doubt which side the corporate media would take. The story of Chicago, as they framed it, was that well-paid teachers in an underperforming, cash-strapped school system wanted more money, and opposed any attempt to hold them accountable […]

Nov
01
2012

Why Do They Hate Us Back?

'Muslim Rage' is really no mystery

Time Magazine Sept. 24
Photo Credit: AMR ABDALLAH DALSH / REUTERS

U.S. coverage of Islam and Muslim-majority nations is such a carnival of distortion, double standards and bigotry that it’s sometimes hard to believe that journalists inhabit the same planet as the rest of us. This has been especially true as anti-American violence and demonstrations in Libya and other countries have put media fantasies of the U.S. as a benign force for democracy and peace in the Muslim world on full display. Immediately after the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya, which left U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others dead, U.S. media came alive with […]

Oct
01
2012

SoundBites

Extra! October 2012 Volume 25, Number 10

Deep Throat Not What He Used to Be The Washington Post’s Dan Balz (8/14/12) somehow convinced a “senior Romney advisor” to reveal a stunning secret that could only be disclosed “on the condition of anonymity”—that Mitt Romney felt good about his vice presidential pick: “He was very confident in himself, in Paul Ryan, in the campaign and in the direction of the campaign he wanted to take.” Believe it or not, the Post’s Felicia Sonmez (8/17/12) topped this scoop by talking to “a senior Republican adviser”—no doubt in a deserted parking garage—who admitted anonymously that Ryan likes Romney too: “He […]

Jun
01
2012

NATO Protesters Free to Shout Down Hole

Praising police, ignoring protesters’ message

Veterans tossed away their medals at the NATO protest--Photo Credit: Democracy Now!

If a protester shouts in a city and no one’s there to hear, does she make a sound? Police corral protesters into so-called “free speech” zones, far from their intended political targets and on streets emptied of passersby. Corporate mass media barely cover the protesters’ message. The voices of protest are heard almost exclusively by fellow protesters on the streets and readers of independent media, and corporate journalists declare it a triumph of free speech. This is the reality of American protest today, on display in Chicago during the NATO summit protests in May. The news story that emerged was […]