NYT Declares Snowden a Thief–and Journalism a Crime

6 October 2016 — FAIR

NYT: NSA Contractor Arrested in Possible New Theft of SecretsThe old “theft” the New York Times headline (10/5/16) refers to is Edward Snowden’s exposure of government crimes.

On the home page today of the New York Times, the lead story (10/5/16) bears the headline: “Contractor for NSA Charged in Possible New Theft of Secrets.” Describing the arrest of Harold T. Martin III, a contractor for the National Security Agency accused of taking classified documents, the home page teaser reports, “The arrest raises the embarrassing prospect that for the second time in three years, a contractor managed to steal secrets.”

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Big Papers Want Foreign Companies, Not War Crime Victims, to Sue US

1 October 2016 — FAIR

NYT: The Risks of Suing the Saudis for 9/11The editorial boards of the US’s four most influential newspapers joined President Barack Obama in opposition to the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, a bill that makes suing Saudi Arabia for the 9/11 attacks markedly easier:

  • Should We Let 9/11 Victims Sue Saudi Arabia? Not So Fast (Washington Post, 9/15/16)
  • An Obama Veto Worth Backing (Wall Street Journal, 9/20/16)
  • The Risks of Suing the Saudis for 9/11 (New York Times, 9/27/16)
  • Uphold Veto on 9/11 Lawsuits: Our View (USA Today, 9/27/16)

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A Cop Killed a Black Man–Then Things Got ‘Ugly’

23 September 2016 — FAIR

Protesters set fire to cargo (image: Joe Bruno/WSOC)
“Protesters are burning stuff from the trucks now”; to the New York Times, this is what “ugly” looks like. (image: Joe Bruno/WSOC)

From the New York Times (9/20/16):

About 16 police officers in Charlotte, N.C., were injured when a standoff between law enforcement and demonstrators turned ugly overnight after an officer fatally shot a black man on Tuesday afternoon.

Funny—some might say that the turn toward ugliness occurred in the afternoon, when a police officer fatally shot a black man.

Jim Naureckas is the editor of FAIR.org. You can follow him on Twitter at @JNaureckas.

You can send a message to the New York Times at letters@nytimes.com, or write to public editor Liz Spayd at public@nytimes.com (Twitter:@NYTimes or @SpaydL). Please remember that respectful communication is the most effective.

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Brazil Coup: ‘They Let Everybody Know the US Was on the Side of This Coup’

13 September 2016 — FAIR

Janine Jackson interviewed Mark Weisbrot about the ouster of Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff for the September 9, 2016, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

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‘We Are Criminalizing Transparency to Protect Illegitimate Uses of Power’

13 September 2016 — FAIR

Janine Jackson interviewed Shahid Buttar on retaliation against copwatchers for the September 9, 2016, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

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Media Undermine Democracy by Speculating Wildly About Undermining Democracy

13 September 2016 — FAIR

The relentless drumbeat of Trump–as–Russian agent takes hasn’t ceased since the news broke of a likely Russian hack of the Democratic National Committee in June—and it probably won’t stop until Election Day. One sub-genre of this line of thinking however—that Russia will literally hack our election process and throw the US into a dystopian constitutional crisis—has been slowly building over the past couple of months, culminating this past week with an FBI warning about a potential Russian threat: Continue reading this...

NYT: Corbyn Has Marginalized Labour With His Popular Positions

6 September 2016 — FAIR

Jeremy Corbyn depicted in the New York Times (photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images )
A New York Times photo caption says Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn “is popular with left-wing party members but has alienated many others.” (photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Much of the power of the New York Times derives from its ability to declare what the serious center is and who is relegated to the dismissible margins. You can see that power being exercised in a recent Times report (9/4/16) on British politics by Steven Erlanger.

The story focused on Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn—or “its left-wing leader, Jeremy Corbyn,” in the Times‘ formulation. The point of the piece is to blame Corbyn for the fact that “the Labour Party is in shambles: Its leader and its members of Parliament are in a virtual civil war, and it is deeply unpopular with the broader electorate.”

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‘Invisibilizing the Workers Who Actually Do the Work’

5 September 2016 — FAIR

Janine Jackson assembled some of CounterSpin‘s best segments on workers and media for a special September 2, 2016, episode for Labor Day. This is a lightly edited transcript.

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This Guardian Piece Touting Bill Gates’ Education Investment Brought to You by… Bill Gates

4 September 2016 — FAIR

Bill Gates (photo: Sebastian Derungs/WEF)
Bill Gates (photo: Sebastian Derungs/WEF)

The Guardian (8/31/16) published a broadly positive report on Liberian education, which is handing over the reins of 120 primary schools to a consortium of private education companies and NGOs in a pilot program exploring privatization of the West African nation’s schools. One passage in particular was especially glowing:

The deputy minister [of Education], Aagon Tingba, is reading The Bee Eater, a biography of Michele Rhee, a polarizing educational reformist and former chancellor of Washington, DC, public schools. “She changed the lives of children in Washington, but people complained her methods were controversial. But she made a difference. So why can’t we do that here?

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PR Firm Says It Ghost-Wrote Thousands of Op-Eds in Major US Papers

1 September 2016 — FAIR

The Wall Street Journal put Bill Ingram’s name on this op-ed–but a PR firm says it actually wrote it.

Laura Bentz of Keybridge Communications describes her company as:

“a boutique PR firm—founded by a former writer for the Wall Street Journal—that specializes in writing and placing op-eds. With some of the country’s most influential trade groups and global corporations as clients, we run many of the major op-ed campaigns in the US. We place roughly 3,000 op-eds per year.”

On its website, Keybridge openly claims to be able to “brand a CEO” by putting op-eds into newspapers in “virtually every major city.”

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‘They Are Incentivized to Arrest People Because It Raises Money’

20 August 2016 — FAIR

Janine Jackson interviewed Donna Murch about for-profit punishment for the August 12, 2016, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

Donna Murch
Donna Murch: “Nearly everyone who’s being arrested or incarcerated is incurring criminal justice debt. And in many states you can be stripped of your right to vote until you pay off all of your criminal justice debt. So I talk about that essentially as a modern day poll tax.” (image: Muhlenberg College)

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Felicia Kornbluh on the Politics of Welfare

19 August 2016 — FAIR

Welfare Reform
(image: Matt Wuerker)
This week on CounterSpin: It was 20 years ago this month that Bill Clinton eliminated the federal guarantee of assistance to poor families. Corporate media played a key role in persuading the public that Aid to Families with Dependent Children—representing less than 1-and-a-half percent of federal outlay from 1964 to 1994—was somehow bleeding the country dry.

Now we’re told we’re in a moment of reconsideration—of tough-on-crime policies, of the deregulation of banks and, perhaps, of the notion that depriving needy people of assistance would lead to their gainful employment and well-being. Our guest says a true reconsideration of the 1990s welfare overhaul would require a so-far invisible recentering of the people in its crosshairs: low-income women, particularly mothers raising children on their own. Continue reading this...

NYT Touts Honduras as Ad for ‘American Power’–Leaving Out Support for Murderous Coup Regime

17 August 2016 — FAIR

New York Times: How the Most Dangerous Place on Earth Got Safer
The web version of the New York Times piece (8/11/16) offering Honduras as an example that should bolster “faith in American power.”

“How the Most Dangerous Place on Earth Got Safer” was the headline over the lead article in the New York Times‘ “Week in Review” (8/11/16), with the teaser reading, “Programs funded by the United States are helping transform Honduras. Who says American power is dead?”

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Election Meddling: Bad if Done to USA, Bad to Complain About if Done by USA

15 August 2016 — FAIR

The Washington Post (8/10/16) published what has to be one of the most naked examples of projection ever displayed by a major American paper. The Post’s editorial board, in another effort to bash Russia, lumped its President Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s increasingly autocratic ruler President Recep Tayyip Erdogan into a generic “strongman” category, and warned of their paranoia:

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