Michael Ratner on Bradley Manning, Neil deMause on Disability Fraud Hoax


As Bradley Manning’s court martial trial gets underway, journalists face real obstacles in trying to report on it, and they should be facing the constitutional issues the case raises. We’ll be joined by Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights and U.S. attorney for WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.

Also on the show: Are parents keeping their kids from learning how to read, so they can get a disability check from the state? The claim has come from some high places in elite media, which you won’t be surprised to learn, doesn’t make it true. We’ll speak with author and journalist Neil deMause about this not-so-new media canard.


SoundBites June 2013

Extra! June 2013


Concealing a Spy Who Hid Torture; Misremembering Thatcher; PBS’s Debate on Social Security


Social Security Cuts Are Media’s ‘Center’


The White House plan to cut Social Security benefits has been praised by major media as a brave move towards the “middle” by Obama, as well as an effort to use a more “accurate” measure of inflation. Neither claim is credible. Part of the White House plan is to change how inflation is calculated, by switching to the “chained consumer price index.” This results in a small reduction in benefits that compounds over time, so the cuts get larger as retirees get older. Many in the media depicted this as a bold centrist move. An Associated Press dispatch (4/5/13) began: […]


Taking Aim at the Elderly

'Fiscal cliff' deal spared the aged, pundits complain


Wealthy pundits didn’t like the outcome of the “fiscal cliff” tax deal– mostly because it didn’t do more to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits.


Dean Baker on Social Security, Laila Al-Arian on Homeland and Islamophobia


Dean Baker cuts through the media spin on the “fiscal cliff” and Social Security cuts. And is the hit Showtime drama “Homeland” a deeply Islamophobic show? Laila Al-Arian joins us to discuss her recent piece for Salon.com.


The ‘Raising the Retirement Age’ Scam

What they're really talking about doing to Social Security

Raising the Retirement Age vs. Cutting Benefits

It’s inevitable that “raising the retirement age” for Social Security benefits will be talked about by corporate media as an option that would save the government large amounts of money. Such talk, however, will be entirely misleading—and designed to mislead.


Samuelson vs. The Elderly

One columnist’s war on retirement programs

Robert Samuelson--Photo Credit: Washington Post

Nationally syndicated Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson began a book event in 2009 (1/13/09) with a comment that could be interpreted as either self-deprecating humor or defensiveness: I am not an economist. I’m a journalist. And so that anything I say that seems contradictory to what a freshman in college would learn in your basic Principles of Economics course, I should be absolved of any sin for that, because as I say I am not a card-carrying member of the fraternity. Despite having a name that’s fortuitously easy to confuse with prominent economic textbook writer Paul Samuelson, and despite his […]


Deficit-Obsessed Media Misinform on Causes

Nightly network news fumbles reasons for debt

At a time when the federal budget deficit is so prominently featured in the news, with pundits and “experts” (falsely) touting it as a leading concern of the U.S. public (FAIR Blog, 1/21/11), you might think corporate journalists would be well-practiced in explaining the chief causes of the deficit. Unfortunately, if you rely on network nightly news programs for your information about the economy, you are likely to be misinformed about the main causes of the current deficit—in order of importance, the economic downturn, the Bush tax cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Without the recession and these […]