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.
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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.

Reporters have a responsibility to help readers understand, not simply the disconnected facts of today, but how those fa...
01/07/2020
Greasing the Gears of the Armageddon Engine

Reporters have a responsibility to help readers understand, not simply the disconnected facts of today, but how those facts are dramatically connected to powerful and sometimes dangerous forces at work last week, last year, and last century.

There is a concerted, perhaps purposeful failure to acknowledge the linkages between the Canada's separatist movement and the far right.

Transcript of Janine Jackson's interview with JFREJ's Audrey Sasson on antisemitism:"Any sort of effort towards justice ...
01/07/2020
‘This Is a Moment to Be Really Vigilant Against All Forms of Oppression’

Transcript of Janine Jackson's interview with JFREJ's Audrey Sasson on antisemitism:

"Any sort of effort towards justice for all communities needs to understand all of the ways these different interlocking oppressions are working. We’re seeing it live, right now, in front of us."

"How do we address the root causes of the hate that’s coming to the surface today?”

Transcript of Janine Jackson's interview with Alex Lawson on Social Security and disability:"Less than one penny of ever...
01/06/2020
‘Say No to Stealing Our Social Security Benefits’

Transcript of Janine Jackson's interview with Alex Lawson on Social Security and disability:

"Less than one penny of every dollar that goes into the system pays for administering the entire thing. So 99 cents of every dollar paid in comes back in the form of benefits. A Wall Street hedge funder, private equity guy, looks at that and says, 'I would tack on another 25–30% as my fee, so that I could buy a golden yacht,' or another golden yacht, or whatever they do with their money. They see the efficiency of Social Security, and they want to destroy it."

"The more we can force them to defend the fact that they're proposing stealing our benefits, the less they're going to want to do it."

FAIR's Jim Naureckas quoted in Salon:"The traditional model of 'objectivity' followed by corporate media uses the two ma...
01/06/2020
Not fake news: Major study finds no "liberal bias" in media — but there are other problems

FAIR's Jim Naureckas quoted in Salon:

"The traditional model of 'objectivity' followed by corporate media uses the two major parties as the two poles that journalists are expected to drive their stories straight between. This 'both sides' approach often leaves out several other sides — either to the left or right of the two big parties, or looking at politics from a different angle entirely.

"One of the biggest biases we find in political coverage is toward seeing politics as a spectator sport. Sometimes when reporters are covering protests and other grassroots efforts to influence policy, I'm reminded of sports reporters writing about fans running onto the field."

Yes, the media is liberal — but there's no "gatekeeping bias." If anything, journalists have become too cautious

Some useful advice from Nathan J. Robinson on how to identify and avoid being captured by the narratives used to promote...
01/06/2020
How To Avoid Swallowing War Propaganda ❧ Current Affairs

Some useful advice from Nathan J. Robinson on how to identify and avoid being captured by the narratives used to promote war.

The Trump administration has assassinated Iran’s top military leader, Qassim Suleimani, and with the possibility of a serious escalation in violent conflict, it’s a good time to think about how propaganda works and train ourselves to avoid accidentally swallowing it. The Iraq War, the bloodiest ...

To mark the passing of journalist William Greider, we posted a transcript of an interview CounterSpin conducted with him...
01/05/2020
‘The Fed Is a Political Institution That Pretends Not to Be Political’

To mark the passing of journalist William Greider, we posted a transcript of an interview CounterSpin conducted with him in 2007:

"It’s a very intimidating political institution, which pretends not to be political. And the press has mostly always gone along with that. They defer to the Federal Reserve in a way they defer to nobody else in government. And Greenspan was probably the most extreme example of that, for lots of reasons, including the complexity and intimidating nature of the central bank, but also because they thought his idea of what was right for the economy was pretty much what they thought."

The public, because it's not very well-represented by their elected representatives, is kept distanced from those arguments,

It’s not that journalists can’t work to get a sense of a new candidate, or to cover “radical” political ideas; it’s that...
01/04/2020
Media Leave Yang Out of Candidate Conversations

It’s not that journalists can’t work to get a sense of a new candidate, or to cover “radical” political ideas; it’s that the news organizations they work for give them no incentive to—no conspiracy necessary, just an unhealthy bias toward the political establishment.

The whole point of the primaries is to let voters get to know the candidates and decide for themselves who is electable.

There is ample reason to doubt the administration’s claims that the executive order is a good-faith effort at combating ...
01/04/2020
Trump Order Aimed at Palestine Solidarity, Not Antisemitism

There is ample reason to doubt the administration’s claims that the executive order is a good-faith effort at combating antisemitism—even putting aside the context that this is a president who declared that the marchers chanting “Jews will not replace us!” in Charlottesville included “very fine people,” and who invited a pastor who proclaims “you can’t be saved being a Jew” to the White House Hanukkah party. News media outlets, however, are providing cover for Trump’s conflation of pro-Palestine campus activism and antisemitism.

https://fair.org/home/trump-order-aimed-at-palestine-solidarity-not-antisemitism/

There is ample reason to doubt the administration’s claims that the executive order is a good-faith effort at combating antisemitism.

US corporate media have been preparing the ground for a war with Iran for many years now. This is from July 2019:
01/03/2020
Creating a Climate for War With Iran

US corporate media have been preparing the ground for a war with Iran for many years now. This is from July 2019:

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.

Media reports left readers without the most important part of the story: Not only has human activity helped lead to a wo...
01/03/2020
Australia Wildfire Coverage Is Long on Koalas, Short on Causes

Media reports left readers without the most important part of the story: Not only has human activity helped lead to a world where humans and kangaroos alike must routinely flee unprecedented wildfires, but if left unchecked, it could make matters much worse.

Media have mostly remained resistant to addressing which human policies helped lead us to Australia's fire disaster.

Corporate media's "image" of Social Security is -- at times quite literally -- a gray-haired couple stacking pennies and...
01/03/2020
Alex Lawson on Social Security & Disability, Audrey Sasson on Antisemitism

Corporate media's "image" of Social Security is -- at times quite literally -- a gray-haired couple stacking pennies and smiling. Silly in multiple ways, that image -- along with much of the accompanying reporting -- renders invisible the millions of Social Security recipients who have a disability, not all of whom are seniors. Media marginalization of disabled people partly explains the near lack of coverage when, just in time for the holidays, the Trump administration proposed a rule change that would make accessing Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income benefits even harder than it already is. The agency offered no medical or scientific justification for the departure from past practice -- but they did suggest they will get billions of dollars from it, somehow.

The Trump administration is pushing a rule change to take Social Security benefits out of the reach of millions of people with disabilities.

Transcript of CounterSpin's interview with Dorothee Benz about impeachment protests:"Rights that are just on a piece of ...
12/28/2019
‘We Need to Do Everything We Can on All Fronts’

Transcript of CounterSpin's interview with Dorothee Benz about impeachment protests:

"Rights that are just on a piece of paper are just a piece of paper; you have to actually enforce them, you have to defend them. And especially when your elected representatives are a little…meek, let’s say, it really is up to all of us to defend our rights. That’s what makes a democracy. It’s not the once-every-four-years to a voting booth–if you’re not gerrymandered into it not mattering in your district, and if you’re not voter-suppressed out of the roll–that’s not what makes democracy; that is an important part of it, but what makes a democracy is that we’re in the streets defending our rights, that we’re on the phones defending our rights, that we’re doing everything; we’re participating in our society and in our government at every level."

"If this flies, not only do we no longer have a rule of law in this country, but we are well on our way to a slide into authoritarianism."

Transcript of CounterSpin's interview with legal scholar Marjorie Cohn on impeachment:"The Republicans are going to cont...
12/28/2019
‘No Jury Ever Announces a Not Guilty Verdict Before the Trial’

Transcript of CounterSpin's interview with legal scholar Marjorie Cohn on impeachment:

"The Republicans are going to continue to say, 'This is overturning an election.' The logical extension of that argument is that there can never be an impeachment of a president who has been elected.

"And yet the Founders put impeachment into the Constitution six times; the word 'impeachment' appears six times in the Constitution. They were very, very worried about another King George, about the president becoming a king-like monarch, and that’s why they gave Congress the power of impeachment."

"If the president has the right to determine whether any witnesses can be called, that strikes at the very heart of separation of powers."

With the passing of Don Imus, it's important to remember the media colleagues who tolerated and excused his racism.
12/28/2019
Rallying Around Their Racist Friend

With the passing of Don Imus, it's important to remember the media colleagues who tolerated and excused his racism.

April 11, 2007Rallying Around Their Racist Friend Before firing, pundits defended ImusFAIRIn the aftermath of the racial outburst that got talkshow host Don Imus’ dropped from MSNBC—referring to the Rutgers women’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos”—a Washington Post editorial (4/10/0...

Featuring Carey Gillam on Monsanto’s manipulation of science, Arun Gupta on normalizing concentration camps, Sasha Abram...
12/27/2019
Best of CounterSpin 2019

Featuring Carey Gillam on Monsanto’s manipulation of science, Arun Gupta on normalizing concentration camps, Sasha Abramsky on racist immigration policy, Dorothee Benz on “Swiss cheese civil rights” for LGBTQ people, Brian Mier on Brazilian politics, Joe Uehlein on labor and the Green New Deal, Kevin Kumashiro on student debt cancellation and Brenda Choresi Carter on the electability myth.

We bring you voices you might not hear elsewhere, who can illuminate what big media are getting wrong, and what we can do about it.

The late William Greider was a repeat guest on CounterSpin -- here he is talking with us about Fed chief Alan Greenspan....
12/27/2019
William Greider on Alan Greenspan, Anthony Arnove on Iraq contractors

The late William Greider was a repeat guest on CounterSpin -- here he is talking with us about Fed chief Alan Greenspan.
https://fair.org/counterspin/william-greider-on-alan-greenspan-anthony-arnove-on-iraq-contractors/

September 21, 2007William Greider on Alan Greenspan, Anthony Arnove on Iraq contractors CounterSpin PlayStop pop out X Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: former Federal Reserve chair Alan Greenspan is back in the news. He has a memoir out in which he tries to put some space between himself and t...

The Afghanistan Papers are an excellent case study of contemporary colonial propaganda, and yet another example of corpo...
12/26/2019
WaPo’s Afghan Papers Propagate Colonial Narrative of Noble Intentions Gone Awry

The Afghanistan Papers are an excellent case study of contemporary colonial propaganda, and yet another example of corporate media criticizing US wars without opposing US imperialism.

The Afghanistan Papers still propagate the old colonial narrative of the empire’s good intentions thwarted by backwards foreigners.

As the holidays approach, corporate media issue a spirited message to readers: Pipe down about politics. Major outlets r...
12/23/2019
There’s No Place Like the ‘Center’ for the Holidays

As the holidays approach, corporate media issue a spirited message to readers: Pipe down about politics. Major outlets repeatedly warn that family gatherings are potential hotbeds of political contention, and readers must be strategic with discordant relatives in order to prevent heated debate.

As the holidays approach, corporate media issue a spirited message to readers: Pipe down about politics.

Across the spectrum, corporate media all came to the same conclusion regarding the election: Corbyn’s loss spells the en...
12/21/2019
Corporate Media Find All the Wrong Lessons for US Left in Corbyn’s Defeat

Across the spectrum, corporate media all came to the same conclusion regarding the election: Corbyn’s loss spells the end for the US left and a “crushing defeat” of the discredited policies of socialism. The press was filled with variations on the same reflexive warning to the Democrats: Don’t go left.

Corporate media all came to the same conclusion: Corbyn’s loss spells the end for the US left and a “crushing defeat” for socialism.

Debates are one of the few opportunities most voters outside of the early voting states have to hear directly from the c...
12/20/2019
PBS Decides What Debate Watchers Need Is More Talk From Pundits

Debates are one of the few opportunities most voters outside of the early voting states have to hear directly from the candidates without being filtered by journalist spin. Or at least--they used to be.

https://fair.org/home/pbs-decides-what-debate-watchers-need-is-more-talk-from-pundits/

December 20, 2019PBS Decides What Debate Watchers Need Is More Talk From Pundits Julie Hollarby Julie Hollar Debates are framed by the questions the journalists who moderate them ask, and, as FAIR has shown, those questions have built-in biases. Some issues are covered more than others, some policie...

Transcript of Janine Jackson's interview with Sharon Lerner on plastic recycling:"In many cases, especially when you’re ...
12/20/2019
‘Responsibility for This Crisis Belongs on the Corporations That Have Created It.’

Transcript of Janine Jackson's interview with Sharon Lerner on plastic recycling:

"In many cases, especially when you’re talking about Coca-Cola in these remote islands, it is sometimes Coke itself, but it’s also sometimes bottled water. And many places don’t have potable water, and thus are literally forced to survive on this bottled water, which, in many cases, we’re talking about bottles that they very successfully get to these remote places, but then don’t successfully remove from these places. And then there’s also a lot of really good reporting on the fact that these companies actually drain aquifers, and then sell what ought to be a very public human resource back to people in plastic bottles, at expense, and sometimes expense that they can’t afford."

"The vast majority of the...plastic ever produced, about 80%, has ended up in landfills, or scattered around the world."

Media critics are *over* stories like the recent New York Times front pager, on what it called "different impeachment re...
12/20/2019
Marjorie Cohn, Dorothee Benz on Impeachment

Media critics are *over* stories like the recent New York Times front pager, on what it called "different impeachment realities," that used the phrase "both sides" four times, and are calling for a shakeup in leadership at the paper. It's more than a media critique: Reporting that suggests that impeachment is all about who you listen to is a profound disservice to people whose country is in crisis, who deserve a press corps invested in separating fact from fantasy and advancing democratic principles--especially in the face of efforts to vitiate them.

Corporate media present a critical story about asymmetrical power as a kinda boring, "both sides," depends-who-you-believe Beltway story.

Among the moderators of tonight’s Democratic presidential debate will be PBS NewsHour White House correspondent Yamiche ...
12/19/2019
PBS Taps Journalist With Anti-Sanders Bias to Help Moderate Debate

Among the moderators of tonight’s Democratic presidential debate will be PBS NewsHour White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor, who has a long and documented history of hostile, unfair coverage of Bernie Sanders.

Yamiche Alcindor has repeatedly used her articles, tweets and media appearances to portray Sanders in an unflattering light.

To gauge just how newsworthy the media found the $738 billion military bill, FAIR compared the volume of coverage to ano...
12/19/2019
To Corporate Media, an Exercise Bike Ad Is More Newsworthy Than 3/4 of a Trillion for the Pentagon

To gauge just how newsworthy the media found the $738 billion military bill, FAIR compared the volume of coverage to another story that broke around the same time: the Peloton exercise bike’s embarrassing ad campaign. The ad’s sexism and elitism were roundly mocked on social media, and corporate media found this worth covering. From December 4–8, the Peloton ad was mentioned 57 times total across the ten outlets studied, more than twice as often as the NDAA was brought up over a comparable period.

Almost every outlet studied gave an ad for an exercise bike more coverage than a multi-billion grant to the military industrial complex.

If the Washington Post is now publishing material demonstrating that US officials have been “following the same talking ...
12/18/2019
Afghan Papers Inadvertently Document WaPo’s Role in Spreading Official Lies

If the Washington Post is now publishing material demonstrating that US officials have been “following the same talking points for 18 years,” emphasizing how they are “making progress,” “especially” when the war is “going badly,” shouldn’t the paper acknowledge that it has been cheerleading this same line for all of those 18 years?

One question rarely discussed in the opinion pieces praising the Afghanistan Papers is what this scoop says about the Washington Post.

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