SoundBites August 2013

Josh Marshall (cc photo: JD Lasica)

Defining George W. as a Non-Bush Jon Meacham in Time (7/1/13) tried to refurbish the Bush “brand name” in preparation for a possible presidential run by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush: Jeb long ago internalized and then lived out his family’s guiding precepts. Bushes move to new parts of the country; they work hard; they learn from their mistakes, particularly from failed campaigns; and they never, ever give up. Of course, almost none of this applies to the most famous Bush, Jeb’s brother George W. He did move from Connecticut to Texas—when he was two years old. But he famously […]


USA Today’s Social Security Scaremongering

Under the headline “Social Security Races to ‘Negative': Rash of Retirements Push Fund to Brink,” USA Today‘s February 8 front page presented an alarmist view on a story that is regularly misreported in the corporate media (Extra!, 7-8/95, 1-2/05; FAIR Action Alert, 10/19/07). Reporter Richard Wolf leads with this warning: “Social Security’s annual surplus nearly evaporated in 2009 for the first time in 25 years.” But several paragraphs later, readers are told that the program has been “accumulating a $2.5 trillion trust fund”–which certainly sounds less ominous than the headline’s warning about being on a “brink.” And by a “nearly […]


USA Today, AP Mislead on Honduran Coup

This week, ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya returned to Tegucigalpa–though not to office. Unfortunately, press accounts are still misreporting the story behind his ouster, relying on those who supported the coup to supply the explanation for their actions. Some of the most misleading coverage has appeared in the Associated Press dispatches that have run in USA Today. The paper’s September 22 edition ran this from the AP: The legislature ousted Zelaya after he formed an alliance with leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and tried to alter the nation’s constitution. Zelaya was arrested on orders of the Supreme Court on charges […]


USA Today Responds on Racist Labeling

Paper can't make judgments, editor says

USA Today Reader Editor Brent Jones responded to questions, prompted by a FAIR Action Alert (1/23/08), about the newspaper’s failure to identify a white supremacist group by arguing that doing so would have been an illegitimate “judgment” on the part of the paper. USA Today had run two stories on the Nationalist Movement, a group that marched against civil rights in Jena, La. on Martin Luther King Day, that characterized the group only by its self-description of “pro-majority.” Jones wrote: Your question — why don’t we call the Nationalists racists? — is one I’m sure many people would ask. The […]


White Supremacist Spin at USA Today

USA Today twice (1/16/08; 1/21/08) allowed racist spin to go unchallenged when it identified a white supremacist group that organized a small anti-civil rights rally on Martin Luther King Day only as a “white ‘pro-majority’ group.” The Nationalist Movement mustered about 30-50 people in Jena to protest both King Day and the 20,000-strong protest held in September in support of civil rights. Other news organizations that reported on the Nationalist Movement’s January 21 demonstration accurately identified the Nationalist Movement as a white supremacist group. An Associated Press Online article (1/22/08), published under the headline “White Supremacist Protest in Jena, La.,” […]


USA Today’s SCHIP Favor

Paper's misleading poll boosts White House veto

The White House veto of a Congressional plan to expand the SCHIP children’s health care program seemed to run against public opinion, which squarely supports the measure. But USA Today conducted a misleading poll that assisted the Bush administration’s efforts to portray the veto as an effort to help poor children. On October 16, the paper ran a story headlined “Poll: Mixed Feelings on Kids’ Healthcare Program,” which declared that “slim majorities” support White House arguments that are “at the core of the president’s opposition to the expansion.” Most importantly, majorities apparently “agree with Bush that most benefits should go […]


Norman Solomon on 9/11 hearings & Richard Clarke, John Gorenfeld on Jack Kelley

Download MP3 It’s been a bad week for the White House. In the midst of other brewing scandals, Richard Clarke, the former top Bush counter terrorism official, is charging the White House with inadequately responding to a real terror threat and taking the fight against terror off-track with the war on Iraq. Columnist and FAIR associate Norman Solomon will join CounterSpin to discuss his latest column, The Media Politics of 9/11. Also on CounterSpin today, an investigation at a major daily newspaper found that one of its star correspondents filed numerous false stories. Sounds familiar, right? But it’s not the […]