Jun
01
2013

SoundBites June 2013

Extra! June 2013

By FAIR
chucktodd

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

May
01
2013

SoundBites May 2013

Vol. 26, Number 5

By FAIR
Joe Scarborough

‘How Short Our Memory Is’ Looking back at the 10th anniversary of the Iraq invasion, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough (Morning Joe, 3/19/13) scorned media outlets and others who failed to acknowledge their responsibility for leading the country into war: “The very same people who spent years beating up George Bush were the very ones beating the drum for Iraq’s regime change and Saddam Hussein’s ouster,” he said. “The New York Times grimly warned of the threat posed by Iraq in the final years of the Clinton administration. And on the eve of President Bush’s first inauguration, the Washington Post called Iraq’s […]

Sep
01
2012

SoundBites

Extra! September 2012

Not Prone to Violence--Unless You Count Domestic Violence A New York Times piece by Lizette Alvarez (7/13/12) starts: "A wide-ranging investigation of George Zimmerman, who is charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Trayvon Martin, found a man not prone to violence or prejudice and who moved easily between racial and ethnic groups--a 'decent guy,'  'a good human being.'" Four paragraphs later, we get more detail on this "man not prone to violence": During an argument with his ex-fiancee...he slapped her in the mouth because she was chewing gum. As the two were breaking up, they pushed each other […]

Aug
01
2012

SoundBites

Strange Problems in Distant Lands Some shows have given an unchallenged platform to extremists.... Conservative clerics have used the airwaves to reinforce prejudice and even urge violence against minorities. Editorial independence is sometimes curtailed by the businessmen who own the stations and unashamedly use them to peddle their interests. Controversy also surrounds the anchors, some of whom view themselves as players on the national stage rather than impartial observers of its machinations. —New York Times (6/18/12) on how “the television revolution has...in some respects been bad news for Pakistan” A Stacked Deck for Obamacare Discussion After the Supreme Court mostly […]

Jun
26
2012

Soundbites

July 2012

SoundBites May Day Media The New York Times (5/2/12) summed up corporate media reaction to Occupy Wall Street’s May Day protests: “At May Day Demonstrations, Traffic Jams and Arrests.” ABC’s Good Morning America (5/1/12) talked about the protests causing “a potentially brutal morning commute.” “Occupy Wall Street Resurgence a Dud” was Reuters TV’s headline (5/1/12)—though after thousands marched in the afternoon, Reuters’ Twitter feed clarified: “Occupy Wall Street resurgence far from being a dud.” Don’t Worry—Be Occupied Reporting on President Barack Obama’s May 2 trip to Afghanistan, the New York Times’ Alissa Rubin (5/2/12) wrote, “The trip communicated something of […]

Jun
01
2012

SoundBites

Straight From the Horse’s Mouth Under the headline “Budget Plan’s Defeat Shows Hurdles to Compromise,” New York Times reporter Jonathan Weisman (4/3/12) bemoaned the failure of a fiscal measure modeled on the media-beloved Bowles-Simpson plan (Extra!, 1/11), in which former Sen. Alan Simpson (R.-Wyo.) and Clinton chief of staff Erskine Bowles proposed Social Security cuts, tax cuts for the wealthy and an arbitrary cap on government spending. Weisman assured readers that Bowles-Simpson “is regarded by the Washington cognoscenti as the compromise both sides will have to eventually accept before the end of the year.” He backed that up with a […]

May
01
2012

Soundbites

When Kids Die, War Is the Real Victim When a U.S. staff sergeant was accused of killing 16 civilians in an Afghan village, nine of them children, corporate media treated it as a crisis—for the war and those waging it. The massacre was “a public relations headache” (AP, 3/12/12) and “a public relations disaster” (Reuters, 3/12/12). “Killings Threaten Afghan Mission” (3/12/12) was a USA Today headline; the NPR website labeled its reports “Killings a Blow to U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan” (3/13/12) and “Afghan Shootings Could Complicate U.S. Mission” (3/12/12). The New York Times (3/12/12) talked about “a feeling of siege […]

May
01
2012

Soundbites

April 2012

Mostly Ridiculous Many observers wrote off PolitiFact, a group that claims to rate the relative accuracy of political claims, when it declared (12/20/11) that the “Lie of the Year” in 2011 was a statement—”Republicans voted to end Medicare” —that was actually true (Political Animal, 12/20/11). The group provided more evidence that it has jumped the shark when it evaluated Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s claim that “the majority of Americans are conservatives.” PolitiFact Florida (2/14/12) cited Gallup polls showing that 40 percent of Americans describe themselves as conservative—and, based on this, declared Rubio’s statement to be “Mostly True.” The group’s Bill […]