Aug 1 2010

Who Gets to Review and Be Reviewed?

Authors, book critics drawn from narrow pool

When it comes to political books, the New York Times Book Review and the C-SPAN book show After Words share an exceedingly narrow view of whose books deserve review—and who is fit to discuss them. A FAIR study found that these important media venues for discussion of newly published books were overwhelmingly dominated by white and male authors, reviewers and interviewers. FAIR’s study examined every episode of After Words from March 2008 to January 2010, and the reviews of politically themed books in the New York Times Book Review from January 2009 to February 2010. In total, the study counted […]

Jun 1 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 […]

Mar 12 2010

Lynn Paltrow on Utah miscarriage law, Susan Linn on Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: A new law in Utah says women who miscarry, in some cases, should go to jail. You may have seen some coverage, but are journalists asking the right questions about the law’s implications, and is there a bigger story here that’s being missed? We’ll hear from executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, Lynn Paltrow. Also on CounterSpin today, with a name like the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, you’d expect such a group is going to upset some big corporations. And they have, including launching a very successful campaign against media giant […]

Sep 11 2009

Mark Cook on Honduras, Diana Duarte on ‘Saving the World’s Women’


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The media lie that will not die about the Honduras coup is that ousted president Manuel Zelaya was attempting to change the Honduran constitution in order to extend his time in office. But there is nothing new about this current set up; the same lie was used 45 years ago to remove another democratically elected president from office. Journalist Mark Cook has written about the eerie parallels in the September issue of FAIR’s magazine Extra!. We’ll talk to Mark Cook about his piece and the latest on Honduras. Also this week: ‘Saving the World’s […]

Jul 31 2009

Sonali Kolhatkar on Afghan women and the war, Dedrick Muhammad on Obama’s NAACP speech and ‘tough love’


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Some prominent feminist and liberal voices have recently lent their endorsement to the ongoing U.S. war in Afghanistan, based on the idea that the war is an effort to improve the lives of Afghan women and girls. That was a major argument at the war’s onset, but how does it stand up 8 years later? We’ll talk with Sonali Kolhatkar, co-director of the group Afghan Women’s Mission and host/producer of Uprising Radio. Also on the show: Have you noticed how President Barack Obama always seems to be delivering a “tough love” message to certain […]

Jul 17 2009

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


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 1 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 6 2009

Ken Silverstein on Daschle, Miranda Spencer on breast cancer


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 […]