Dec
21
2007

Josh Silver on FCC ruling, John Conroy on Chicago police torture

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The FCC voted recently to eliminate the cross-ownership ban that was intended to prevent the same company from controlling tv stations and newspapers in the same market. Pretty par for the course for the industry-friendly agency, but this time, after years of activism, there's more pushback than perhaps was expected. What exactly happened and what happens next? We'll hear from Josh Silver, executive director of the media reform group Free Press. Also this week: The particulars of the cases are the kinds of things you might wish weren't true—the explicit torture of suspects by […]

Jul
06
2007

Mark Lloyd, Hannah Sassaman, Dory Graham and Bruce Dixon on the state of radio

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin, we're talking all about radio. Perhaps the most democratic medium—cheap to produce and to access—U.S. radio is nevertheless not the most democratic in its content, whether that's music and culture or, especially, political ideas and discussion. How did that happen? What would it take to alter that landscape, and are we seeing an opening for change right now? We'll discuss the political lay of the land with Mark Lloyd from the Center for American Progress. They've just released a study, along with the group Free Press, saying the conservative domination of talk radio is […]

May
25
2007

Coup Co-Conspirators as Free-Speech Martyrs

Distorting the Venezuelan media story

The story is framed in U.S. news media as a simple matter of censorship: Prominent Venezuelan TV station RCTV is being silenced by the authoritarian government of President Hugo Chávez, who is punishing the station for its political criticism of his government. According to CNN reporter T.J. Holmes (5/21/07), the issues are easy to understand: RCTV "is going to be shut down, is going to get off the air, because of President Hugo Chávez, not a big fan of it." Dubbing RCTV "a voice of free speech," Holmes explained, "Chávez, in a move that's angered a lot of free-speech groups, […]

Mar
09
2007

Robert Parry on Libby verdict, Paul Porter on Payola settlements

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: former White House aide Scooter Libby was found guilty of 4 counts of perjury and obstruction of justice in the Valerie Plame leak investigation. The case might be over, but the chatter about what it means for reporters, the White House and the debate over the Iraq War will continue. Veteran reporter Bob Parry of Consortium News will join us to talk about the verdict, and the limits of what trials like this reveal to the public. Also this week: settlements over the latest payola scandals will force four large radio companies to pay […]

Mar
01
2007

Net Neutrality and the Supermedia Monopolies

Deregulation’s history of empty promises

Internet's Univere, by CLUC

The leaders of the nation’s largest cable and telephone companies are telling lawmakers something familiar: New national policies are required to connect everyone to what they call a “superbroadband” Internet highway. If Washington supports their political agenda, the companies vow that the nation will benefit from advances in healthcare, improvements in the quality of life for senior citizens, and major boosts for jobs and the economy. But, say corporate executives, we are stymied by rules, regulations and local and state policies. Congress, the FCC and the White House must get government out of the way. They claim that the emergence […]

Dec
22
2006

Antonia Juhasz on Iraq and oil, Jenny Toomey & Peter DiCola on radio consolidation

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: If you wanted to be dismissed by elite pundits and reporters before the Iraq War began, all you had to do was mention oil. Suggesting that Iraq's massive petroleum reserves had anything at all to do with US interest in regime change was a good way to get branded a kook or conspiracy theorist, at best. But years later, Iraq's oil is still coming up conversations about the Iraq War. Are the media finally catching up with this story, or not? Antonia Juhasz, author of the book The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One […]

Oct
27
2006

Gloria Tristani on Benton media studies, Diane Farsetta on RTNDA and video news releases

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Four academic studies about the effects of media concentration on media content have been published by the Benton Foundation and the Social Science Research Council. Appropriately, the studies come as the FCC is holding hearings about consolidation and whether broadcast corporations should be able to have even more broadcast licenses. We'll talk with Benton Foundation president and former FCC commissioner Gloria Tristani. Also on the show: Research earlier this year revealed that TV stations around the country are passing off video news releases produced by PR firms as their own news. The FCC launched […]

Oct
20
2006

Daniel Davies on the Lancet study, Peggy Charren on the FCC and indecency

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: When a study in the British Medical journal the Lancet found that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have died as a consequence of the war, the Lancet was dismissed by George W. Bush, who called its methodology flawed. American media outlets also cast doubt, calling the peer-reviewed findings "disputed" and pointing to lower, less scientific numbers as more reliable. Daniel Davies, a writer for the Comment is Free blog on the website of London's Guardian, will join us to explain why the critics are wrong. Also on the show: The FCC’s war on what […]