Jul
04
2014

Dave Zirin on World Cup, Sarah Jaffe on Supreme Court

worldcup

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.

Mar
09
2012

Conn Hallinan on Syria, Tom Tresser on the Olympics

By

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. […]

Aug
01
2011

On Lockout, NFL and Media Play on Same Team

TV deals give networks billions of reasons to root for owners

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/RMTip21

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, […]

Jul
23
2010

Thomas Ferguson on Wall St. reform, Michael Messner on women's sports and TV

By

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 […]

Jul
01
2010

Cheerleading for 'Abusive' Mascots

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 […]

May
01
2010

Dissent an Olympic Non-Event

Vancouver protests give way to games as 'unifying force'

Alissa Westergard-Thorpe--Photo Credit: Straight.com

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: […]

Jul
01
2008

Carrying a Torch for Anti-China Protests

When an official enemy is targeted, media take notice

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/mermaid99

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 […]

Mar
01
2006

Not a Man, Not a Story

No coming out party for Swoopes

When women’s basketball star Sheryl Swoopes publicly came out of the closet on October 26, she became one of the first openly gay athletes in professional team sports, and by far the most famous. It was a groundbreaking step made all the more remarkable by Swoopes’ star power: The WNBA’s only three-time MVP and a three-time Olympic gold medalist, Swoopes even has a Nike shoe in her name. She’s also the first prominent African-American athlete ever to come out. But while Swoopes’ act may reflect—and produce—a slight lessening of the homophobia that has long afflicted professional sports, the media reaction […]