Jan
01
2012

On Iran, an Unsmoking Nongun

Nuclear report doesn’t say what media want it to

The release of a United Nations report on Iran’s nuclear program in early November was, according to much of the corporate media, the long-awaited confirmation of something many outlets had already treated as established fact: Iran is working on a nuclear weapon. You would have a hard time figuring out that the report from the International Atomic Energy Agency did not actually arrive at that conclusion. As has happened with past IAEA reports on Iran, some coverage presented a sneak preview of the supposed conclusions, based on leaks from sources intent on portraying Iran in a more negative light. On […]

Oct
28
2011

John Feffer on Africa & 'counter-terrorism,' Heidi Garrett-Peltier on job creation

By

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: When Barack Obama ordered armed military advisors to central Africa to help regional officials fight the brutal Lord's Resistance Army and its leader Joseph Kony, few journalists asked why or why now. The fact that the LRA is bad seemed to be enough. But is the move against the LRA part of something bigger happening in US foreign policy with regard to Africa? Well talk to the Institute for Policy Studies' John Feffer about searching for terrorists in Africa. Also on the show: Possible cuts to defense spending could mean the loss of a […]

Oct
14
2011

Arun Gupta on Occupy Wall Street, Jasmin Ramsey on Iran plot

By

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Did the corporate media turn on the Occupy Wall Street protests? When the protests started, the media story was a familiar one—the press ignored them, then derided activists for being leaderless, bongo pounding know-nothings. But then something happened, and suddenly anti-Wall Street activism is leading the nightly newscasts and splashed on the front page. Independent journalist and co-founder of the Occupied Wall Street Journal Arun Gupta will join us to talk about this shift--and what the media is still not getting quite right. Also on CounterSpin today: Two days after Attorney General Eric holder […]

Sep
09
2011

Katie Galloway on 'Better This World,' Yousef Munayyer on Palmer Report

By

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Two men were arrested at the 2008 Republican National Convention and charged with a firebombing plot. For the FBI and headline writers, violent domestic terrorists had been thwarted before the act. The new film Better This World takes another look at the story and finds much more to say about the definition of terrorism and the U.S. legal system. We'll speak with filmmaker Katie Galloway. Also on CounterSpin today, a UN report about last year's Israeli raid on a humanitarian boat to Gaza was released this month. The main media lesson seemed to be […]

Sep
01
2011

In Norway, Footnotes to Mass Murder

Terror Suspect cited Islamophobic blog as inspiration

Anders Breivik--Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/ghostofgoldwater

After self-described "conservative Christian" Anders Behring Breivik was charged with killing 76 in a July 22 bombing and shooting spree in Norway, writers who shared the accused's virulently Islamophobic ideology heatedly denied that anything in their body of work could possibly lead anyone to violence. But Breivik seems to be one of the most articulate ideologues in the history of mass murder, writing a 1,500-page manifesto with hyperlinked footnotes that point precisely to those writings that allegedly inspired him to violence. Breivik's "total lack of respect for human life is not...something he can have picked up from me, or from […]

Sep
01
2011

Gullible Reporters, Sick Responders

Relaying offical assurances about unsafe air at Ground Zero

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons / 9/11 Photos

"Not Enough Evidence to Link 9/11 and Cancer, a Federal Report Says." The New York Times headline (7/27/11) delivered a devastating blow to many Ground Zero first responders, as well as to New Yorkers who lived and worked near the long-smoldering wreckage. After years of fighting for federal compensation to cover illnesses resulting from exposure to the toxic dust and fumes released by the destruction of the towers, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act was finally passed in 2010 and took effect in 2011 (thanks in no small part to the Daily Show's Jon Stewart, who helped shame […]

Jul
29
2011

Devin Burghart on Norway terror, Julianne Escobedo Shepherd on Strauss-Kahn case

By

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The US media narrative equating terrorism with Islam was on embarrassing display last week following the Norwegian terror attacks, a story which raised issues about right-wing extremism, and the links between violent speech and violent actions. We'll speak with Devin Burghart, the vice president of the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights, who has written about white nationalism in Norway and the US. Also on CounterSpin today, some things about the Dominique Strauss Kahn rape case are all-too familiar: a famous, powerful suspect, an anonymous accuser whose background and personal life are […]

Jul
25
2011

Seeing 'Islamic Terror' in Norway

Learning no lessons from Oklahoma City mistakes

Right-wing terror suspect Anders Behring Breivik reportedly killed 76 people in Norway on Friday, by all accounts driven by far-right anti-immigrant politics and fervent Islamophobia. But many early media accounts assumed that the perpetrator of the attacks was Muslim. On news of the first round of attacks--the bombs in Oslo--CNN's Tom Lister (7/22/11) didn't know who did it, but knew they were Muslims: "It could be a whole range of groups. But the point is that Al-Qaeda is not so much an organization now. It's more a spirit for these people. It's a mobilizing factor." And he speculated confidently about […]