Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting

Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting FAIR, the national media watch group, has been offering well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship since 1986. http://www.fair.org
FAIR fights censorship, challenges media’s conventional wisdom and champions independent journalism.

Since the fall of 1986, FAIR has been monitoring corporate media to document bias, government influence and skewed reporting, while championing the efforts of independent journalism.

Mission: FAIR, the national media watch group, has been offering well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship since 1986. We work to invigorate the First Amendment by advocating for greater diversity in the press and by scrutinizing media practices that marginalize public interest, minority and dissenting viewpoints. As an anti-censorship organization, we expose neglected news stories and defend working journalists when they are muzzled. As a progressive group, FAIR believes that structural reform is ultimately needed to break up the dominant media conglomerates, establish independent public broadcasting and promote strong non-profit sources of information.

Being Wall Street’s favorite is not a good look, the financial industry being deeply unpopular with voters, particular...
07/03/2019
Buttigieg Goes for Big Bucks as NYT Oversells His Small-Donor Support

Being Wall Street’s favorite is not a good look, the financial industry being deeply unpopular with voters, particularly Democratic ones. So Buttigieg is being rebranded as a fundraiser who brings everyone together, rich and not so rich alike.

July 3, 2019Buttigieg Goes for Big Bucks as NYT Oversells His Small-Donor Support Jim Naureckasby Jim Naureckas On June 25, the day before the first Democratic presidential debates, Pete Buttigieg’s average in polls of the race stood at 7.0 percent. Today, after the attention and considerable posi...

After the first round of Democratic primary debates, the line from corporate media and their overwhelmingly centrist sou...
07/02/2019
Warning to Progressive Dems: You’re Leaving Corporate Media’s Comfort Zone

After the first round of Democratic primary debates, the line from corporate media and their overwhelmingly centrist sources was clear: The Democrats are moving dangerously to the left, at their own peril.

After the first Democratic debates, corporate media's line was clear: The Democrats are moving dangerously to the left, at their own peril.

Media outlets are creating a climate for a US military attack on Iran by hyping the idea that Iran is an imminent threat...
07/02/2019
Creating a Climate for War With Iran

Media outlets are creating a climate for a US military attack on Iran by hyping the idea that Iran is an imminent threat to peace, by failing to offer evidence that calls the US’s accusations against Iran into question, by amplifying warmongers’ voices and by naturalizing America’s supposed right to spy on every country on earth.

Media outlets are creating a climate for a US military attack on Iran by hyping the idea that Iran is an imminent threat to peace.

Public Radio International documented that activists and human rights advocates are being murdered in Colombia at the ra...
07/02/2019
NBC News Whitewashes Colombia’s Right-Wing President

Public Radio International documented that activists and human rights advocates are being murdered in Colombia at the rate of one every three days—and that Duque’s political allies have longstanding ties to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, a notorious death squad. But we don’t see any questions from NBC News on these grim realities.

NBC News readers were given no indication of Ivan Duque's unpopularity or the opposition movement against him.

The phrase “government-run healthcare” was virtually nonexistent until the insurance industry and its political alli...
07/01/2019
‘Government-Run Healthcare’ Is a Product of Health Industry–Run Media

The phrase “government-run healthcare” was virtually nonexistent until the insurance industry and its political allies launched a campaign to reframe the healthcare debate.

The for-profit health industry has worked to make “government-run healthcare” the boilerplate description for a national health system.

"de Adder had his contract terminated with the Brunswick News, a privately-held publishing company that operates in New ...
06/30/2019
Canadian Cartoonist Fired After His Trump Cartoon Goes Viral

"de Adder had his contract terminated with the Brunswick News, a privately-held publishing company that operates in New Brunswick, Canada. The sole owner, James K. Irving is one of the wealthiest people in Canada and he and his family have a vast array of interests and holdings, many of them dependent on access to the United States. So, when their little newspapers published a political cartoon that went viral completely excoriating the vile and awful border practices of Trump something had to give."

Michael de Adder had his contract terminated after his cartoon depicting a callous Trump standing over the lifeless bodies of drowned migrants, Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his daughter Valeria.

Tens of thousands marching in the streets nationwide to denounce government corruption, reports of police and gang viole...
06/29/2019
In Haiti, Washington Meddling Missed by Press

Tens of thousands marching in the streets nationwide to denounce government corruption, reports of police and gang violence and murder and a downwardly spiraling economy. Calls for the government to step down.

If this were Venezuela, elite media journalists and commentators would be all over the story.

But this is not Venezuela. It’s Haiti.

Unlike Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro, President Jovenel Moïse is Washington’s “man in Port-au-Prince.”

New York Times reporter Sydney Ember’s articles on Sanders  often quote as neutral authorities individuals who are on ...
06/28/2019
Sidney Ember’s Secret Sources

New York Times reporter Sydney Ember’s articles on Sanders often quote as neutral authorities individuals who are on the other side of a wide ideological divide, with longstanding antipathies to Sanders’ left socioeconomic perspective. Moreover, many of these “experts” are corporate lobbyists, whose work in a particular area is not guided by academic, journalistic or other professional standards, but by the economic and political interests of their clients. Ember spins the identity of her authorities, who are themselves professional spinners.

Ember’s articles on Sanders often quote as neutral authorities individuals who are on the other side of a wide ideological divide.

Transcript of Janine Jackson's interview with Brian Mier on Brazilian election skullduggery: "What I see the big media d...
06/28/2019
‘These Revelations Really Show the Election Was Fraudulent’

Transcript of Janine Jackson's interview with Brian Mier on Brazilian election skullduggery:

"What I see the big media doing is trying to guarantee that this investigation is completely undermined, that Lula stays in jail, that the PT doesn’t rise back up in power and undo the privatizations that the post-coup governments have enacted in Brazil, that directly benefited all of these huge US companies, like Exxon Mobil, Microsoft, Boeing, Monsanto; they all benefited immensely because of this process."

"There's this kind of infantilism of Brazilians...in US news coverage, which plays into Americans’ inherent sense of superiority."

"Bernie Sanders Student Loan Debt Plan: Unworkable." "Sander's Student Loan Debt Forgiveness Plan Makes Little Sense." "...
06/28/2019
Kevin Kumashiro on Student Debt Cancellation

"Bernie Sanders Student Loan Debt Plan: Unworkable." "Sander's Student Loan Debt Forgiveness Plan Makes Little Sense." "Canceling Student Loan Debt Doesn't Make Problems Disappear." Gee, corporate media, tell us how you really feel!

While big media coverage has lots of room for arguments against proposals from presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, and others, it is remarkable that we're even having a conversation about such a radical idea. And in some ways, howling like one Fox pundit's "Hey Bernie, I've Got $500,000 in Student Loan Debt but You Can Keep Your Government Handout" seems like a sign of fear--that when it comes to access to education, people are ready to think big.

CounterSpin's guest this week says if we're thinking big, let's think really big -- about the role of education, who gets it and why, in US society.

Student-loan debt cancellation is just the beginning of a conversation about the role of education in an aspiring democracy.

Some reporters are working hard to lift the veil on the gruesome reality that some would prefer stay hidden—and outrag...
06/27/2019
On Child Concentration Camps, What’s Needed Is Not an Argument, but Action and Resistance

Some reporters are working hard to lift the veil on the gruesome reality that some would prefer stay hidden—and outrage has a vital place. But repeated exposure to outrage, with no outlet, can give the impression that lots of folks are looking, but no one’s doing anything. That’s enervating and, more importantly, wrong.

Repeated exposure to outrage, with no outlet, can give the misimpression that lots of folks are looking, but no one's doing anything.

Even though the chief actuary of Social Security says higher taxes on the wealthy would “eliminate the program’s fin...
06/25/2019
NYT Presents Social Security Cuts as ‘Solution’ to Problem of Social Security Cuts

Even though the chief actuary of Social Security says higher taxes on the wealthy would “eliminate the program’s financial shortfall,” that is never presented as a “solution”; that word is reserved for things that would be “painful” or “unpalatable but inevitable” for Social Security beneficiaries, like “reduced benefits” or slowing the growth in “real benefits promised to future recipients.”

The New York Times report failed to note the injustice of cutting Social Security benefits, in view of where the funding gap came from.

As Medicare for All supporters routinely point out, universal access means affordable access; the cost of care and the a...
06/25/2019
WaPo Doesn’t Want Voters to Know Medicare for All Will Cut Their Health Costs

As Medicare for All supporters routinely point out, universal access means affordable access; the cost of care and the availability of care are intertwined. And even candidates who aren’t pushing for full Medicare for All are talking about both access and costs. But the Washington Post tried to spin the story into a false competition between the two.

The Washington Post tries to spin the healthcare issues into a false competition between access and cost.

For US media, Iran is the only JCPOA party with commitments that can be “breached,” “violated” or “broken,” ...
06/21/2019
Iran ‘Violates’ Nuclear Deal, After US ‘Withdraws’

For US media, Iran is the only JCPOA party with commitments that can be “breached,” “violated” or “broken,” with the US free to leave them whenever it wants to, without harming its reputation as a trustworthy party to international agreements.

It’s hard to escape the impression that while Iran betrays its international agreements, the US just leaves them behind.

"In Brazil, a nerdy judge is a superstar," declared the Washington Post in December of 2015. The glowing profile was of ...
06/21/2019
Brian Mier on Brazilian Political Scandal

"In Brazil, a nerdy judge is a superstar," declared the Washington Post in December of 2015. The glowing profile was of then-judge Sergio Moro, overseeing the trials of those caught in the enormous Lava Jato or "Car Wash" anti-corruption scandal, that "has shaken some of Brazil's most important institutions, including its state-controlled oil company Petrobras and the Workers' Party that has governed the country for 12 years."

"Friends and colleagues" described Moro as "deeply moral," readers learned. He's also impartial: The Post cited Moro telling an audience, "The judge, as you all know, only judges following the law, following the facts and following the evidence."

The paper, and others, raised an eyebrow when Moro released a secretly taped phone call between then-President Dilma Rousseff and one of his targets, previous president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, in which they spoke of Lula taking a government post (only -- critics say -- to keep him from prison). And at least once the paper quoted someone calling Lava Jato a witch hunt.

But Sergio Moro and his anti-corruption crusade remained the heroes of the piece for years. Even as, Lula's imprisonment having cleared the field, fascist Jair Bolsanaro rose to take Brazil's presidency -- and then turned around and gave the famously impartial judge who made it possible an unprecedentedly powerful position in his government, with a promise of a spot on the Supreme Court.

Interesting, then, to see how US media deal with exposes reported this month by Glenn Greenwald and others at The Intercept Brasil, including internal discussions of the Lava Jato task force that do more than "suggest" that Moro and his team were far from the above-it-all ethical crusaders we were told they were. The news is not new to those following the work of CounterSpin's guest this week, Brasil Wire's Brian Mier.

The Brazilian anti-corruption crusade celebrated by US media was mostly aimed at keeping Lula's Workers Party out of power.

Transcript of Steve Rendall's interview with Sandy Cioffi on oil in Nigeria:"The idea that you fearmonger as a way to ge...
06/20/2019
‘Governments and Corporations Were Figuring Out a Way to Behave With Impunity When It Comes to Oil’

Transcript of Steve Rendall's interview with Sandy Cioffi on oil in Nigeria:

"The idea that you fearmonger as a way to get viewers, and you speak about the 'new African terror threat.' And you imply a relationship to Al Qaeda, which a pesky detail of fact is that the young men of the Niger Delta would never be in association with Al Qaeda, because they’re deeply Christian and quite anti-Muslim, which is, in and of itself, a concern for people in Nigeria. But aside from that fact, there’s plenty of evidence and sources to prove that they have nothing to do with Al Qaeda. But he went to air with a story that implied there might be an association of coordinated attacks.

"And to my mind, the connection of that, and what happened in the Gulf, is that part of that fearmongering has led to deeper and deeper ocean exploration for oil. It’s an actual strategy among oil companies, and all of the geopolitical considerations, that if you can fearmonger enough, you can get a public that says, 'Fine, even though the safety measures are not in place, we’ll drill 10 miles in the ocean if you don’t go to foreign oil,' because we keep saying 'foreign oil,' 'foreign oil' in this way, that’s all about a level of racism and fearmongering, rather than looking at the question of our relationship with oil in general."

"If you can fearmonger enough, you can get a public that says, 'Fine...we'll drill 10 miles in the ocean if you don't go to foreign oil.'”

Alan MacLeod's interview with Noam Chomsky on the continued relevance of Manufacturing Consent:"Take the last German ele...
06/19/2019
Still Manufacturing Consent: An Interview With Noam Chomsky

Alan MacLeod's interview with Noam Chomsky on the continued relevance of Manufacturing Consent:

"Take the last German elections, for example. There was a lot of talk about potential Russian interference, that the Russians would undermine the election and so on. It turns out there was interference in the election. It was not Russian. It was from the United States. A media company that works for nice guys like Trump, Le Pen and Netanyahu got together with Facebook, and the Facebook office of Berlin provided them with extensive details of the kind they have on German voters, so then the media company could microtarget ads to specific voters to try to influence them to vote in a certain way. For whom? For Alternative für Deutschland, the neo-fascist party! Which probably is a factor in their surprisingly high vote.

"This was reported in the business press, so you can read about it in Bloomberg Businessweek. But try to find a report in the mainstream press. It is not the kind of electoral manipulation we like to talk about."

Chomsky discusses Manufacturing Consent, Google and Facebook, Donald Trump and Russia, fake news and Syria.

Transcript of Janine Jackson's interview with Riki Ott looking back on the Exxon Valdez spill:"I would like to see us ta...
06/19/2019
‘Now We Know Oil Is More Toxic Than We Thought’

Transcript of Janine Jackson's interview with Riki Ott looking back on the Exxon Valdez spill:

"I would like to see us take a good look at what we’ve done with these big corporations. We have given them, through the Supreme Court, rights that were only intended for humans. We have created, literally, a monster in our midst; we have created a way to consolidate wealth and power and privilege that is destroying our ability to hold these companies accountable."

"I was shocked to see how easily Exxon could make its story the dominant story."

In the Writers Guild’s drive for unionization in digital media,  the union is looking beyond bread-and-butter provisio...
06/18/2019
At Vox Media, Workers Win a Voice Beyond Wages

In the Writers Guild’s drive for unionization in digital media, the union is looking beyond bread-and-butter provisions in its wage agreements and attempting to give workers more control over the editorial voice.

June 18, 2019At Vox Media, Workers Win a Voice Beyond Wages Ari Paulby Ari Paul Vox Media Union organizing flyer The collective bargaining agreement between Vox Media and the Writers Guild of America East puts an end to one of the more contentious unionization battles that have gone on in US digital...

Reuters represents the idea that US sanctions work as they are intended to do—in other words, that they hurt the Venez...
06/14/2019
Study Linking US Sanctions to Venezuelan Deaths Buried by Reuters for Over a Month

Reuters represents the idea that US sanctions work as they are intended to do—in other words, that they hurt the Venezuelan economy—as an allegation made by President Maduro or his government.

Reuters continues to portray the severe impact of US sanctions as an allegation that only Maduro and other Venezuelan officials have made.

A recent report in the Guardian--based on internal documents from the Mobil Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Mobil o...
06/14/2019
Sandy Cioffi on Nigerian Oil, Riki Ott Looking Back at Exxon Valdez Spill

A recent report in the Guardian--based on internal documents from the Mobil Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Mobil oil company--show how the Foundation named a certain Dr. David Page in its decision to fund a Marine Research Lab at Bowdoin College, writing that it could "assure rapid response to any possible Mobil spill events."

Five years later, after a Mobil "spill event" in Nigeria, Dr. David Page was being quoted in the New York Times, identified as a professor and "American oil spill expert," offering such pearls as, “Between Mother Nature and Mobil’s highly effective and targeted response, the shoreline was spared what could have been a very serious environmental event.”

Foundation documents stress the benefits of such funding, one of which is to create "a counterpoint to so-called 'public interest' groups." Oil companies in Nigeria are also hoping to counter people like filmmaker Sandy Cioffi, who went to Nigeria to make a documentary about a community library, but came away with *Sweet Crude*, a hard-hitting look at industry-incurred devastation and violence in the Niger Delta. CounterSpin's Steve Rendall spoke with Sandy Cioffi nine years ago this month.

Two deep conversations, about oil and much more.

If Japan continues on its current course, its debt service burden will turn negative in two years. The country has  nega...
06/13/2019
Japan Facing Nightmare Scenario of Longer Lives, Low Unemployment, Less Crowding

If Japan continues on its current course, its debt service burden will turn negative in two years. The country has negative (nominal) interest rates; lenders pay the Japanese government to borrow their money. As a result, the interest burden on Japan’s “highest ever recorded” debt is no burden whatsoever.

Running out of people might seem a strange concern for a country that is ten times as densely populated as the United States.

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