‘People Can Protect the Rights of Everyone in Their Community’

26 November 2016 — FAIR

Janine Jackson interviewed Sue Udry about civil liberties under Trump for the November 18, 2016, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

Sue Udry (image: MCCRC)Sue Udry: “When the keys to the empire are turned over to a President Trump, he’s going to be able to use and build on some already pretty expansive executive branch authorities.” (image: MCCRC) Continue reading this...
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Media: Lashing Out at ‘Identity Politics,’ Pundits Blame Trump on Those Most Vulnerable to Trump

21 November 2016 — FAIR

Over the past two weeks, pundits from all ends of the spectrum have been scrambling to explain Clinton’s unexpected loss, with reasons spanning from the plausible to the highly dubious; WikiLeaks, Bernie Sanders, fake news, Jill Stein, Russia, bad algorithms and the FBI have all been accused of having sole or part responsibility. Lately, however, a new, entirely bogus culprit has emerged from center and center-left circles: “identity politics” and its close cousin, “political correctness.”

Bill Maher on Real Time

Bill Maher on Real Time (8/11/16): “The Democratic Party…made the white working man feel like you’re problems aren’t real because you’re ‘mansplaining’ and check your privilege.”

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Spinning Bannon as ‘Provocateur’ Who ‘Relishes Combativeness’

19 November 2016 — FAIR

New York Times: New Strategist in White House a Provocateur From the Fringe“Provocative” is the word the New York Times (11/15/16) used to describe Steve Bannon’s website Breitbart.

There’s a difference between bad news and bad reporting. We’re seeing a lot of both these days, as each Trump Cabinet choice hurls us deeper into dystopia.

For example: How do you describe a man who propagates white supremacy, misogyny and antisemitism? If you’re the New York Times, you call him a “provocateur.”  If you’re the AP, you say his hire is evidence of Trump’s “brash, outsider instincts.”

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TV Pundits Eager to Make Trump the New ‘Normal’

19 November 2016 — FAIR

Not Helping, by Jen Sorensen (used with permission)After wrongly predicting the election, political pundits are returning to TV talkshows to explain what will happen under a Trump presidency. But these predictions aren’t like TV anchors predicting the weather; these forecasts have a profound impact on the public reception to the Trump administration and the future course of US politics.

The danger is that by normalizing Trump—a candidate distinguished by an embrace of political violence and open appeals to ethnic nationalism who boasted of getting away with sexual assaults—these commentators will make racist and sexist bullying an acceptable way to run for public office.

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Polls Showed Sanders Had a Better Shot of Beating Trump–but Pundits Told You to Ignore Them

12 November 2016 — FAIR

Slate‘s William Saletan (4/26/16) told Democrats to ignore polls showing that Sanders had a better chance than Clinton of beating Trump.

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The Comey Non-Story and the Problem of Meta-Scandals

9 November 2016 — FAIR

NYT: Emails in Anthony Weiner Inquiry Jolt Hillary Clinton's CampaignHillary Clinton has been the subject of many scandals—some legitimate, some with a mix of fact and fantasy. But last week a “scandal” emerged that was created by media entirely out of whole cloth.

On October 28, FBI Director James Comey dropped a “bombshell” on Clinton, informing congressional committee chairs that his agency had found more emails “pertinent to the investigation” of her private email server, and was looking into the matter. Just like that, chaos broke out, and the entire presidential election hung in the balance.

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‘Our Identity Is Often What’s Triggering Surveillance’

1 November 2016 — FAIR

Janine Jackson interviewed Brandi Collins about surveillance of the Movement for Black Lives for the October 28, 2016, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

Brandi Collins

Brandi Collins: “This line between mass and targeted surveillance is being erased, particularly as it pertains to communities of color.”

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NYT’s Kristof Blames Poverty on Too Many TVs, Not Too Little Money

31 October 2016 — FAIR

New York Times: Three TVs and No FoodThe New York Times‘ Nicholas Kristof (10/28/16) blames the United States’ 21 percent child poverty rate on people who buy too many television sets.

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for giving “voice to the voiceless” on international social justice issues, wrote an op-ed in yesterday’s Times (10/30/16) arguing for increased government action on poverty. His calls for heightened attention to economic deprivation, though, were buried in a larger message that was familiar to longtime Kristof-watchers: that the poor aren’t actually poor because they lack enough money, but because of their own moral failings.

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At DAPL, Confiscating Cameras as Evidence of Journalism

29 October 2016 — FAIR

Interccpt footage of riot police at DAPL protest
Riot police confront demonstrators over the Dakota Access Pipeline. (image: The Intercept, 10/25/16)

While elite media wait for the resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline to go away so they can return to presenting their own chin-stroking as what it means to take climate change seriously, independent media continue to fill the void with actual coverage.

One place you can go to find reporting is The Intercept  (10/25/16), where journalist Jihan Hafiz filed a video report from North Dakota, where the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies continue their stand against the sacred site–trampling, water supply–threatening project.

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Media Roll Out Welcome Mat for ‘Humanitarian’ War in Syria

27 October 2016 — FAIR

Hillary Clinton (Gage Skidmore)
Hillary Clinton told Goldman Sachs that a no-fly zone is “going to kill a lot of Syrians.” (cc photo: Gage Skidmore)

As she marches toward the US presidency, Hillary Clinton has stepped up her promotion of the idea that a no-fly zone in Syria could “save lives” and “hasten the end of the conflict” that has devastated that country since 2011.

It has now been revealed, of course, that Clinton hasn’t always expressed the same optimism about the no-fly zone in private. The Intercept (10/10/16) reported on Clinton’s recently leaked remarks in a closed-door speech to Goldman Sachs in 2013:

To have a no-fly zone you have to take out all of the air defense, many of which are located in populated areas. So our missiles, even if they are standoff missiles so we’re not putting our pilots at risk—you’re going to kill a lot of Syrians.

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‘Drug Dependence Hasn’t Been Stopped by 45 Years of the War on Drugs’

27 October 2016 — FAIR

Janine Jackson interviewed Tess Borden about drug criminalization for the October 14, 2016, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

Tess Borden

Tess Borden: “Every 25 seconds, someone is arrested for possessing drugs for their personal use, and that’s a human being every 25 seconds.  

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‘Nothing to See Here’ Is Pundit Takeaway on DNC Leaks

18 October 2016 — FAIR

Atllantic: What the WikiLeaks Emals Say About Clinton

The Atlantic‘s Russell Berman (10/13/16) says you “shouldn’t be surprised” by what’s in the leaked Clinton campaign emails.

Leaks from Hillary Clinton’s campaign emails have been trickling in for the past week. The leaks—along with previous DNC emails—provide intimate details about the inner workings of the campaign that may well soon elect the most powerful person on Earth.

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Charges Dropped Against Amy Goodman–No Thanks to Corporate Media

18 October 2016 — FAIR

Amy Goodman announcing the dismissal of charges against her outside the Morton County Courthouse in Mandan, North Dakota.Amy Goodman announcing the dismissal of charges against her outside the Morton County Courthouse in Mandan, North Dakota (Democracy Now!, 10/17/16).

North Dakota District Judge John Grinsteiner stood up for the First Amendment by dismissing “riot” charges against Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!, 10/17/16). That’s more than you can say for most of Goodman’s corporate media colleagues.

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Hiding US Role in Yemen Slaughter So Bombing Can Be Sold as ‘Self-Defense’

15 October 2016 — FAIR

To hear US corporate media tell it, the US was dragged into a brand new war on Wednesday

US destroyers in the Gulf of Aden launched airstrikes against Houthi rebels, a Shia insurgent group currently withstanding a massive bombing campaign from a Saudi-led coalition in a year-and-half conflict between largely Shia rebels and the Saudi-backed Sunni government in Yemen. The Pentagon insisted that cruise missiles had been fired onto the USS Mason on Sunday and Wednesday from Houthi-controlled territory, and called the airstrikes a “limited self-defense” response.

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