Deficit Scare Tactics Are What Citizens Should Really Be Afraid Of

No, it doesn’t–but not because it doesn’t do enough to cut Social Security and Medicare. The New York Times (5/23/17) ran a column by Maya MacGuineas, the president of the Peter Peterson–backed Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. The piece begins with the ominous announcement: President Trump entered office facing the worst ratio of debt…

Arms Deal Stories Omit War Crimes Arms Will Be Used For

Reports on the Trump/Saudi arm deals focused on who would get paid–and ignored who it would cost. The Trump administration wrapped up a weapons deal with the Saudi Arabian government this week that will be worth up to $350 billion over the next ten years. News of the deal came as Trump visited Riyadh and…

At CNN, Imagining an Absurd Iranian/ISIS Alliance

Alan Dershowitz (Anderson Cooper 360, 5/17/17) denounces Trump whistleblower as “a felon [and] a criminal.” Pro-torture legal scholar Alan Dershowitz was on CNN the other night (Anderson Cooper 360, 5/17/17) arguing that the person who told the Washington Post that Donald Trump had disclosed classified information about ISIS to Russian visitors in the Oval Office…

Chelsea Manning Is Free–but Whistleblowers Still Face Prison

Chelsea Manning, a free woman. Human Rights Watch is glad that Chelsea Manning is free. A statement from the group’s General Counsel’s office notes that Manning’s “absurdly disproportionate” 35-year sentence for passing classified documents to Wikileaks in 2010, commuted by Barack Obama on his last day in office, was prosecuted under the Espionage Act of…

Roger Ailes: No One Did More to Debase US Politics

Roger Ailes (cc photo: US Army/Christopher Tobey) Roger Ailes, the man who pioneered “alternative facts,” is dead. During the first five years of Fox News—which was built almost single-handedly by Ailes’ genius—I was a regular on-air contributor/panelist there. I dealt with his right-wing lieutenants plenty, but only met Ailes once, at a Fox News “Holiday…

Is Hannity, the Last of the Longtime Fox Stars, Looking for the Door?

Sean Hannity (cc photo: Gage Skidmore) With former CEO Roger Ailes and star anchor Bill O’Reilly gone, attention at Fox News Channel is shifting to Sean Hannity—the last of the channel’s big stars who have been with the network from the Clinton years to Trump. And it looks like network co-president Bill Shine’s departure last…

Big Media Need to Fight for the Right to Protest

Desiree Fairooz, dragged out of a Senate hearing for chuckling. (image: Ryan J. Reilly) West Virginia state police arrested Dan Heyman, a veteran reporter with Public News Service, for repeatedly asking Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price whether being a target of domestic violence would be considered a “pre-existing condition,” allowing health insurance to…

NPR Can’t Help Hyping North Korean Threat

NPR (3/23/16) UN Ambassador Nikki Haley told the UN Security Council on March 8 that “all options are on the table” regarding North Korea. Between then and April 27, NPR.org published 60 stories on US/North Korea relations. Here’s a representative exchange (Morning Edition, 4/20/17): David Greene, host: A pretty ominous-sounding warning from North Korea this…

Trump Uses Power of FCC to Pay Back Friends at Sinclair Broadcasting

This morning  Sinclair Broadcast Group, the conservative media behemoth that owns more local news stations than any other company in the country, just got even bigger.  It announced it was buying Tribune Media for $3.9 billion, creating what Bloomberg (5/8/17) calls a “TV goliath.” The purchase, which gives Sinclair a staggering reach of  nearly 69…

NYT’s 100 Day Apologism Shows Danger of ‘Both Sides’ Reporting

New York Times White House reporter Peter Baker (4/29/16) appears to have set out in earnest to write a “balanced” review of Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office. In doing so, he exposed the futility of such an exercise. Baker spins some of Trump’s worst and most dangerous traits as positives, downplays his constant…

David Ignatius’ 15 Years of Running Spin for Saudi Regime

David Ignatius on Saudi Arabia: “Reform plans appear to be moving ahead slowly but steadily”–as always. Last week, in “A Young Prince Is Reimagining Saudi Arabia. Can He Make His Vision Come True?,” Washington Post foreign affairs columnist David Ignatius (4/20/17) wrote what read like a press release for the Saudi regime. What’s more, he’s…

100 Days of Media Hoping for a New, Improved Trump

Nearly 100 days into the Trump presidency, corporate media are still struggling to reckon with the man that occupies the White House. An administration so proudly reckless in its actions and so brazenly detached from the truth has routinely overwhelmed political reporters whose accountability muscles have atrophied. And from cable news panels to newspaper op-ed…

At Reuters, ‘Not Refuting’ Is the Same as ‘Seeing’

Top US general in Afghanistan does not say what Reuters‘ headline says he said. “Top US General in Afghanistan Sees Russia Sending Weapons to Taliban” was Reuters’ headline over a April 25 story. Well, that sounds like news! Tell me more, Reuters’ Idrees Ali: The head of US and international forces in Afghanistan said on…

Karma Catches Up With Bill O’Reilly

Bill O’Reilly‘s attorney issued a statement earlier this week, saying the Fox News host was the victim of “a brutal campaign of character assassination that is unprecedented in post-McCarthyist America,” which, he has “irrefutable” evidence, is being “orchestrated by far-left organizations” for their own gain. It’s not clear if that evidence will be forthcoming, now…