With Super Bowl Sunday approaching, expect plenty of media reports on the projected economic windfall for host city Glendale, Arizona. Last year, when the NFL announced that its big game would provide a $600 million boost to the New York/New Jersey economy, that figure promptly became a fixture in news coverage of the event (CNN, 1/24/14; Newsday, 1/22/14; FoxNews.com, 5/21/14). In one typical article, the New York Daily News (1/20/14) reported that city business owners were scurrying to grab a piece of the Super Bowl pie, quoting a local limo-service owner: “Nothing comes close to this. Everyone in New York […]
Why media fall for sports industry's bogus economic claims
Much of the world is tuned into the World Cup. And while the drama on the field is on our TV screens, what about the wrenching political and economic upheaval in host country Brazil that has inspired millions to protest? That's the World Cup story Dave Zirin has been reporting, he'll join us to talk about it.
Also this week: The Supreme Court rulings in Hobby Lobby and Harris, though reportedly narrow, may have far-reaching impacts. Particularly as both almost exclusively affect working women. We'll talk with Sarah Jaffe of In These Times.
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Journalistic access to the unfolding crisis in Syria is dangerous and sparse. But that hasn't kept Western officials from insisting that the situation is black and white, with the Syrian regime of Bashir al Assad the bad actor, and rebel Syrian militias the good guys. How accurate is that? We'll be joined by Conn Hallinan, former head of the journalism school at UC Santa Cruz and a columnist for Foreign Policy in Focus. Also on the show: Gearing up to host the Olympic Games means ribbon-cuttings at newly built venues and international media attention. […]
TV deals give networks billions of reasons to root for owners
When it comes to reporting on labor disputes, corporate media don’t exactly have a track record of even- handedness. (See, e.g., Extra!, 4/11.) Throw in a $4 billion media investment, and you’ve got a story ripe for misreporting: the recent dispute between the NFL Players Association and the owners of what Forbes magazine (9/13/07) called “the richest sports league in the world.” The NFL labor conflict dates back to 2006. In March of that year, the owners—desperate to avoid a work stoppage—voted at the 11th hour to accept a new six-year collective bargaining agreement with the players. Two years later, […]
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: As the corporate media would have it, the new Wall Street reform bill is the most "comprehensive" overhaul of financial regulation since the Great Depression, and a huge victory for President Obama who it is said squared off with Wall Street in order to deliver the "sweeping" reforms. We'll talk to University of Massachusetts professor Thomas Ferguson about the reality of the bill and how it was made. Also on the show: Americans are often said to be uninterested in soccer but recent excitement around the World Cup might suggest that Americans can get […]
Critics of Native American sports symbols are sidelined
On April 8, 2010, the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education let stand its May 2009 vote to retire the University of North Dakota’s “Fighting Sioux” nickname and logo over the 2010-11 academic year. The decision marked the end of a bitter debate on the athletic use of Native American culture at the 13,000-student university. As expected, students, alumni and citizens of the university’s eastern Dakota host city, Grand Forks, expressed shock and rage over what one resident called the board’s “duplicitous” and “cynical” decision (Grand Forks Herald, 4/12/10). North Dakotans were not alone in their despair over the […]
Vancouver protests give way to games as 'unifying force'
For many people, the Olympics rank high on the Happy Meter, right up there with cuddly kittens and free beer. But those who take a closer look at the Olympics’ political-economic underbelly often end up seeing less feline and more freight train, a corporate juggernaut whizzing through town at taxpayer expense and leaving public debt and social dislocation in its wake. Early on, activists in Vancouver, Canada, identified the perils of the Olympic industrial complex, beginning their organizing even before the city was granted the bid by the International Olympic Committee in 2003. Anti-Olympic activists put forth spirited, wide-ranging criticism: […]
When an official enemy is targeted, media take notice
For once, mainstream media have found an anti-government protest to embrace. When the Olympic torch arrived in San Francisco on April 9 and thousands of demonstrators took to the streets to decry human rights abuses by the Chinese government, journalists descended on the scene like ants at a picnic. CNN led the feeding frenzy. The cable network gave the torch and related stories more than 40,000 words of coverage throughout the day, according to a Nexis search, and it frequently played as the top story of the hour. During the three hours of Wolf Blitzer’s Situation Room, five different correspondents […]