Feb 01 2011

The Delicate Tightrope of Supporting a Dictator

U.S. media gloss over Washington's role in Egyptian repression

U.S. media gloss over Washington’s role in Egyptian repressionThe political context of the current Egyptian uprising is clear: The United States has steadfastly supported dictator Hosni Mubarak, whose rule has been marked by sham elections and the jailing and torture of dissidents, propping up his regime since 1981 with some $60 billion in aid, most of it military. But since U.S. corporate media are accustomed to viewing international affairs through the lens of U.S. elite interests, much of the current coverage elides Washington’s role, or presents it as a “tightrope” balancing act for the Obama administration. As one New York […]

Aug 28 2009

Spencer Ackerman on CIA torture documents, Ed Herman on Lockerbie


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: A few months ago it seemed like Dick Cheney wouldn’t get off your television screen, insisting that secret CIA documents would prove that Bush torture policies saved the United States from further terrorist attacks. Well those documents have surfaced, along with a 2004 CIA inspector general’s report. So what’s in these documents? And has Cheney been vindicated? We’ll speak with reporter Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent about that. Also on CounterSpin today, “Outrageous and disgusting” is how White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs described scenes in Tripoli where Abdel al-Megrahi was greeted on his […]

Aug 28 2009

Cheney’s ‘Fodder’

Cheney's torture claims debunked; will the media say so?

Cheney’s torture claims debunked; will the media say so?The release of a 2004 CIA inspector general’s report on the agency’s “enhanced interrogation” techniques, along with two other previously classified memos, has thrown a harsh spotlight on former Vice President Dick Cheney’s oft-repeated pro-torture arguments. But corporate media seem intent on deflecting much of that glare. Earlier this year, Cheney spent weeks on the airwaves, explaining that these CIA memos would back up his argument that torture provided valuable intelligence that helped thwart attacks against the United States (FAIR Media Advisory, 5/29/09). But the heavily redacted documents don’t appear to do […]

Jun 08 2009

NY Times Ombud Agrees with Activists

Paper failed to question Pentagon propaganda on Gitmo prisoners

Paper failed to question Pentagon propaganda on Gitmo prisonersCiting a FAIR Action Alert (5/27/09), New York Times ombud Clark Hoyt agreed with media activists who asked him to challenge the Times‘ unskeptical coverage of a leaked Pentagon report on former Guantánamo prisoners. In his column “What Happened to Skepticism?” (6/6/09), Hoyt called the Times‘ May 21 front-page story on the report “seriously flawed.” He wrote that the article provided “ammunition” for Dick Cheney’s campaign against Obama’s plan to close the offshore prison camp, and compared the piece to the Times‘ uncritical coverage of leaked intelligence on WMDs in the lead-up […]

May 29 2009

Cheney Often Wrong, Seldom Doubted

Giving ex-VP a free ride in torture debate

Giving ex-VP a free ride in torture debate“Dick Cheney seems to be everywhere,” declared ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl (World News, 5/13/09), calling the formerly reclusive former vice president “the most visible Republican in the country these days.” Cheney has been hard to miss. Since leaving office in January, in addition to broad coverage of his May 21 speech at the American Enterprise Institute, in recent weeks he has appeared on CBS‘s Face the Nation (5/10/09), Fox‘s Your World With Neil Cavuto (5/12/09), Fox‘s Hannity (4/20/09, 4/21/09) and CNN‘s State of the Union (3/15/09). Moreover, Cheney’s public profile has been […]

May 27 2009

NYT’s Pentagon Propaganda

Misleading report on Guantánamo and terrorism

Misleading report on Guantánamo and terrorismWhile former Vice President Dick Cheney has been front and center in the media debate over the current White House’s national security policies, he’s not the only one trying to challenge the White House’s message. The New York Times published a front-page article (5/21/09) that bolstered the notion that former Guantánamo prisoners “return” to terrorist activity. The remarkably credulous Times story, under the headline “1 in 7 Freed Detainees Rejoins Fight, Report Finds,” was based on a Pentagon report leaked to the paper before its release yesterday evening. The article emphasized the notion that former […]

May 22 2009

Mike Lillis on climate bill, Joy-Ann Reid on Cheney & torture


Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Climate change legislation is making its way through Congress, but weirdly, that might not be good news. Some environmentalists are saying that in this case, no law might be better than this bill–that started out as a call to reduce carbon emissions but seems to be turning into something else. We’ll talk with Mike Lillis, who covers Congress for the Washington Independent. Also on the show: Did top Bush officials instruct interrogators to torture detainees, not for national security reasons, but to obtain statements to justify the Iraq War? The answer seems to be […]

May 20 2009

Does the CIA Ever Lie?

Parsing the Pelosi torture controversy

Parsing the Pelosi torture controversyThe debate over Bush-era torture tactics like waterboarding has morphed into a full-blown Washington scandal. But the target isn’t the Bush administration officials who ordered the torture; instead, the corporate media’s focus is on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who claims that she was not fully briefed by the CIA on the use of waterboarding in late 2002. The prevailing assumption in much of the coverage is that the CIA couldn’t possibly have misled members of Congress–despite the fact that this has happened repeatedly. The media reaction has been intense. Right-wing pundits and the Fox News Channel […]