Jul
01
2008

Selling the Colombia Trade Pact

Papers spin deal into a ‘no-brainer’

Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/Public Citizen

In an April 10 editorial headlined “Drop Dead, Colombia,” the Washington Post excoriated House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for holding up passage of a proposed trade promotion deal with Colombia. With the hyperbole the paper seems to reserve for this issue, the Post declared, “The year 2008 may enter history as the time when the Democratic Party lost its way on trade.” Refusing to wave the deal through without challenge is an error of historic proportion, the Post declared, because “economically, it should be a no-brainer—especially at a time of rising U.S. joblessness.” Perhaps more significantly, the deal deserves support as […]

Jul
01
2008

Fareed Zakaria, Spokesperson for the Global Elite

Newsweek pundit presents pro-corporate views as the poor’s perspective

Fareed Zakaria (cc photo: James Willamor)

Fareed Zakaria, now the highly influential editor of Newsweek International, author of The Post-American World, and host of Fareed Zakaria GPS, constructed a landmark of unintended irony when he regally pronounced that “the downtrodden beg to differ” with protesters of corporate globalization (Foreign Affairs, 12/13/99). Those who demonstrated against the World Trade Organization at the famous “battle of Seattle” in 1999, he asserted, were displaying the hubris of the “rich and privileged,” who were delivering “a familiar plea for the downtrodden of the world” by challenging the WTO’s promotion of sweatshops and environmental degradation in the impoverished Third World. In […]

Apr
11
2008

Mark Weisbrot on Colombia trade deal, Rick Perlstein on John McCain

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: George W. Bush says a proposed trade deal with Colombia is crucial, and beneficial for all concerned. Rather than dig into that claim, corporate media are making fun of anyone who would dispute it, favoring congressional critics with headlines like, "Democrats Pander to Big Labor, Flirt With Return to Protectionism." (that's USA Today and yes they said Big Labor.) With major media singing pretty much one note, we'll get another take from Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Also on the show: The right-wing base of the Republican Party […]

Feb
29
2008

Lori Wallach on NAFTA, J.H. Snider on spectrum policy

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Criticisms of NAFTA from Democratic presidential candidates Obama and Clinton made the New York Times feel a need to explain to readers that, despite appearances, the two politicans are not, actually, “hostile to free trade”. But that says less about the toughness of their criticisms than it does about the rareness in the corporate media world of ANY criticism whatsoever of what they insist on calling ‘free trade’. More on that from Lori Wallach of Global Trade Watch. Also on the show: When we talk about media policy fights over ownership rules or network […]

May
25
2007

Deepa Fernandes on immigration debate, Laura Carlsen on trade agreements

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: what was hailed as a "bipartisan" deal on immigration was announced in the Senate earlier this month. Media usually like that kind of political coming-together, never mind the details. With Capitol Hill negotiations certain to continue, journalist Deepa Fernandes joins us to talk about the immigration conversation, and what the press is missing. Also on the program: in a similar vein, Congressional dealings on trade agreements have made headlines recently, with much talk over whether such deals should have to include “labor and environmental side agreements.” Some say if workers and the planet are […]

Apr
06
2007

Phyllis Bennis on Iran & British captives, Dean Baker on trade coverage

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Iran’s release of 15 British sailors and marines is a forceful rebuke to editorialists and pundits who openly favored the long-failed policy of threats and force over diplomacy in solving the crisis. What other lessons should be learned by US media in the wake of the release? We'll talk to Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies about the British captives story. Also on the show: When corporate media start talking economic issues, many people just check out. The coverage is so filled with unexplained jargon and unexamined ideas that, for those really […]

Nov
17
2006

Glen Ford on Barack Obama, Chris Slevin on trade & the elections

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Barack Obama wasn't running for anything this election season, but you may have thought that he was, judging from the media coverage he generated. Obama's appeal extends across the political and pundit spectrum; indeed, finding anything approaching critical coverage of the freshman Senator is next to impossible. So what's going on here? Glen Ford of the Black Agenda Report joins us to talk about it. Also on CounterSpin: We know that media can turn any factoid into a phenomenon when they choose: after the last election we were subjected to months of discourse on […]

Jul
14
2006

Mark Weisbrot on Mexican election, James Zogby on Gaza crisis

Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The still-unresolved presidential election in Mexico is a lot of things to the U.S. press: a test of the appeal of trade deals like NAFTA, or a referendum on left-wing populism. It's no surprise that the consensus media favorite among is conservative candidate Felipe Calderón. But what's missing from the reporting? And when leftist candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador calls for counting every vote, why do some in the press consider that a problem? We'll ask Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Also on CounterSpin today, a major newspaper ran […]