Jul
17
2009

Gerald LeMelle on Obama in Africa, Katha Pollitt on Caitlin Flanagan in Time

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Barack Obama's recent trip to Africa gave the press corps a chance to opine predictably on Obama's "unique role" as a "son of Africa" who was specially suited to "tell African leaders hard truths". It should've also been a chance for a serious look at the substance of U.S. Africa policy. How'd they do on that score? We'll hear from Gerald LeMelle of Africa Action. Also on the show: In her Time magazine cover story, "Why Marriage Matters," Caitlin Flanagan argues for "intact" marriage because there is "no other single force causing as much […]

Mar
01
2009

Parroting Propaganda on Family Planning

The right successfully spins stimulus coverage

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/spentpenny

Of all the supposed “pork” in the proposed economic stimulus bill, perhaps none got so much media attention as the provision to extend family planning to more low-income women. As the House struggled to pass the legislation, Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) issued a press release (1/23/09) claiming that the plan “includes taxpayer funding for contraceptives and the abortion industry.” Two days later, Boehner railed on NBC’s Meet the Press (1/25/09), “Spending...over $200 million for contraceptives, how [is] this going to fix an ailing economy?” It didn’t take long for media to pile on. Cal Thomas—one of the most widely […]

Feb
06
2009

Ken Silverstein on Daschle, Miranda Spencer on breast cancer

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: "If it weren't for those darn tax problems, Tom Daschle was the perfect choice as Obama's Secretary of Health & Human Services," seems to be the establishment refrain over the rise and fall of the Daschle nomination. "No one knows the healthcare issues, or could do a better job pushing through the promised Obama healthcare plan than the former senator," say many pundits. Ken Silverstein begs to differ. The Washington editor of Harpers and the magazine's Washington Babylon blogger will join us to talk about that. Also on the show: Breast cancer affects huge […]

Jan
01
2009

Beyond Clinton & Palin

Coverage of women in election misses real women’s issues

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/sskennel

With Sen. Hillary Clinton’s historic bid for the presidency and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s subsequent VP nomination on the GOP ticket, women were in the national spotlight in the 2008 election as never before. But while Clinton and Palin generated a good deal of media discussion around the problems facing female candidates, coverage of women voters remained narrow and mired in stereotype, shedding remarkably little light on the issues important to them. During the Democratic primaries, the Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton matchup led corporate media to discover the existence of black women voters and race and gender as election issues—superficially, anyway. […]

Nov
01
2008

Huffington Post Mutes Women's Voices

New media, same gender imbalance

Women's voices have long been lacking in corporate media. As Internet outlets compete more and more with traditional media as a source for news and opinion, will women's voices be heard there more frequently than in print publications? If the Huffington Post, one of the most prominent and successful blogs today, is an accurate barometer, the answer is no. The Huffington Post is a left-leaning site that features opinion pieces by the site's founder and editor-in-chief, Arianna Huffington, as well as by a wide assortment of guest bloggers. According to the blog-tracking website Technorati, it is the single most-linked-to blog […]

Aug
01
2008

Dowd Must Not Read Reviews

Columnist claims critics never called her on her sexism

Maureen Dowd--Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/Dave Robinette

"I've been twisting gender stereotypes around for 24 years," Dowd responded. She said nobody had objected to her use of similar images about men over seven presidential campaigns. . . . "From the time I began writing about politics," Dowd said, "I have always played with gender stereotypes and mined them and twisted them to force the reader to be conscious of how differently we view the sexes." Now, she said, "you are asking me to treat Hillary differently than I've treated the male candidates all these years, with kid gloves." —New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, responding to charges […]

Jul
11
2008

Robert Dreyfuss on Obama's foreign policy, Amanda Marcotte on 'pregnancy pact' story

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Barack Obama's image as a harbinger of change has many hoping his election will bring change in foreign policy. He certainly differs from George Bush on the need for diplomacy. But what about issues such as the projection of American power and so-called humanitarian intervention? Does Obama's thinking really represent a departure from, say, Bill Clinton's views, or from the bipartisan thinking of the Cold War period? We'll talk to journalist Robert Dreyfuss about his Nation magazine report, "Obama's Evolving Foreign Policy." Also on CounterSpin today, a story that proved too good to be […]

Jun
01
2008

Misogyny's Greatest Hits

Sexism in Hillary Clinton coverage

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/rachel_bunting

It may have been the first time an audience heckler yelled “Iron my shirt!” at a United States senator (AP, 1/7/08), as well as the first time a presidential candidate has had a pair of nutcrackers fashioned in her likeness (New York Post, 9/7/07). Sen. Hillary Clinton’s run for the Democratic nomination has been fraught with sexism, exposing an ugly streak within the American press. There were several repeat offenders—MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, the New York Times’ Bill Kristol—but degrading, misogynist and ageist attacks on Clinton spanned from print to radio, from the Web to television. The level to which media […]