Jun 01 2012

Network TV’s Attention Deficit After Gadhafi

Libyan violence ongoing, but media have moved on

Moammar Gadhafi--Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/BRQ Network/AP Photo/Ben Curtis

Broadcast TV networks ABC, NBC and CBS combined to mention Libya a whopping 1,681 times between February 2011—when uprisings against the government began—and October, when Moammar Gadhafi was captured and killed by a combination of NATO and Libyan rebel forces. Before that, coverage of Libya was barely a blip. And by 2012, coverage was back to almost nothing. There were four mentions of Libya in January 2011—one of which was ABC anchor Diane Sawyer (ABC World News, 1/17/11) prophetically speculating about the “dominoes” falling and “toppling” Mubarak in Egypt, Gadhafi in Libya and Assad in Syria. The next month, coverage […]

Jun 01 2012

Lost in Translation

Iran never threatened to wipe Israel off the map

The menacing threat has been repeated endlessly in U.S. corporate media in recent years: Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for Israel to be “wiped off the map.” “Iran,” “Israel” and “wipe” in one form or another occur together in more than 17,000 articles in the Nexis news database over the last seven years. It plays a critical role in the case for pre-emptive war against Iran. There’s just one problem: It never happened. Mideast expert and blogger Juan Cole (Informed Comment, 5/3/06) noted long ago that Iranian leaders never called for Israel to be “wiped off the map,” but a […]

Jun 01 2012

Scott Horton on Obama’s “Kill List,” Yousaf Butt on Iran negotiations

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The New York Times story on how the White House chooses targets and executes assassinations provided a lot of new information, but it also left some pressing questions unanswered. We’ll be joined by Scott Horton, attorney and Harpers web columnist, to talk about the White House “kill list.” Also on CounterSpin today, the talks over Iran’s nuclear program are getting the usual headlines: stalled negotiations, Iranian intransigence. But is that the right way to look at this story? Yousaf Butt wrote a column for the Christian Science Monitor that looks at the sanctions on […]

Jun 01 2012

U.S. Media Duck Legality of Attacking Iran

‘Supreme international crime’ not worth discussing

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad--Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Daniella Zalcman

SPECIAL SECTION: IRAN & WAR The drums of war beat ever louder as President Barack Obama talks of “all options” being “on the table” if Iran doesn’t halt its nuclear fuel processing program, and as Israel keeps threatening an air attack on Iran’s nuclear sites. But nowhere, perhaps, is this drumbeat louder than in the U.S. media, where it’s almost impossible to find any mention of the fact that such an attack, whether by U.S. or Israeli forces, would violate international law. An unprovoked attack against another nation is a war of aggression—“the supreme international crime,” as the Nuremberg Tribunal […]

May 11 2012

Gareth Porter on bin Laden raid, Pamela Brown on student debt

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The one year anniversary of the NAVY Seal raid that killed Osama bin Laden brought us a prime time behind the scenes at the White House account on NBC, leaks from bin Laden intelligence files about his new terror schemes and a tiresome debate over whether Barack Obama could claim credit for the killing– and if so, how. But there are bigger questions–namely, do the stories that surround the killing of Osama bin Laden add up? Gareth Porter challenges some of the official mythmaking in a new piece for Truthout he’ll join us to […]

Apr 06 2012

Brendan DeMelle on fracking, David Swanson on Rachel Maddow

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: You’ve heard the gas industry PR—their ads are all over television and public radio. And the message—that gas drilling is a safe, affordable path to energy independence—is being echoed by some pundits. Anti-fracking activists sure think otherwise, and they’re challenging the media-industry line. We’ll talk about this with Brendan deMelle of DeSmog Blog. Also on CounterSpin today, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow has a new book taking a critical look at U.S. military power. But how critical? And what lessons can we draw about exactly what kind of critique the corporate media will allow? Author […]

Mar 30 2012

Vijay Prashad on war, diplomacy & media

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: What can we make of a media that seems to thrive on war? Just this week a New York Times news report lamented that the Obama administration was not doing a better job of selling the war in Afghanistan. The Washington Post featured an editorial and a column last week voicing the same regrets. Never mind Afghanistan seems to have little to do with U.S. security or that polls show that majorities of Americans have been sour on the war for years. Today, a special CounterSpin examination of war, diplomacy and the media. We’ll […]

Mar 12 2012

After Afghan Massacre, War Gets Victim Status

Media treat killings as PR problem for occupation

The news that a U.S. Army sergeant killed 16 civilians, most of them children, in southern Afghanistan early Sunday morning was treated by many media outlets primarily as a PR challenge for continued war and occupation of that country. “Afghanistan, once the must-fight war for America, is becoming a public relations headache for the nation’s leaders, especially for President Barack Obama,” explained an Associated Press analysis piece (3/12/12). Reuters (3/12/12) called it “the latest American public relations disaster in Afghanistan.” On the NBC Today show (3/11/12) the question was posed this way: “Could this reignite a new anti-American backlash in […]