Brandi Grissom on Texas death penalty, Tom Engelhardt on campaign coverage
This week on CounterSpin: For a lot of people, the Republican debate on September 9 had one memorable moment: when Texas governor Rick Perry was asked about his state’s death penalty record, the audience cheered wildly. Moderator Brian Williams wanted to know if Perry lost sleep worrying whether he’d ever executed an innocent man. Perry said no, and that’s where it was left. But what’s the record in Texas? We’ll ask Texas Tribune reporter Brandi Grissom. Also on CounterSpin today, at this point in the 2008 Republican primary season, Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson were topping GOP polls. So why the intense media coverage so early, when the field is still subject to great changes? We’ll talk to Tom Engelhardt of TomDispatch.com about that.
Neil deMause on poverty, Phyllis Bennis on Palestinian statehood
This week on CounterSpin: Census Bureau data showing one in six Americans live in poverty was received soberly by the press corps, but should it have surprised them? And what about next week, when the government doesn’t release a report and people are still poor? We’ll talk with journalist Neil deMause about media’s treatment of poverty and the poor.
Also on the show: Mainstream reporting on the Palestinian bid for UN recognition regularly employs loaded language in portraying the initiative as and underhanded gambit which is threatening to the U.S. and Israel. But exactly how does the Palestinian bid threaten anymore? And has the U.S. press always disdained unilateralism in Middle East? We’ll talk with Phyllis Bennis, the director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies.
Allison Kilkenny on Occupy Wall Street, Moshe Adler on U.S. Postal Service
This week on CounterSpin: Yes, the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations aren’t being covered much in the corporate media. But then when papers like the New York Times come down to take a look, one might wish they hadn’t. We’ll talk to Allison Kilkenny of Citizen Radio about the quality and quantity of media coverage of Occupy Wall Street. Also on the show: “We all know why the Postal Service is hemorrhaging cash,” says the Chicago Tribune. Corporate media are clear on the causes of the Post Office’s financial crisis: no one sends mail since the internet, and postal workers get too much money. If you suspect there’s a flaw in that theory, you’re on to something. We’ll talk about what’s going on at the Post Office with Moshe Adler, economics professor at Columbia University and Empire State College.
John Feffer on Africa & ‘counter-terrorism,’ Heidi Garrett-Peltier on job creation
This week on CounterSpin: When Barack Obama ordered armed military advisors to central Africa to help regional officials fight the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army and its leader Joseph Kony, few journalists asked why or why now. The fact that the LRA is bad seemed to be enough. But is the move against the LRA part of something bigger happening in US foreign policy with regard to Africa? Well talk to the Institute for Policy Studies’ John Feffer about searching for terrorists in Africa.
Also on the show: Possible cuts to defense spending could mean the loss of a million jobs! claims a recent industry study. We hear these job creation numbers all the time but where do they come from and how useful are they? We’ll hear from Heidi Garrett-Peltier of the University of Massachusetts Amherst about what to keep in mind when media and industry talk about job creation.
Cyrus Safdari on Iran/IAEA, Frances Fox Piven on poverty
This week on CounterSpin: The International Atomic Energy Agency published its latest report on Iran on November 8th, but for nearly two weeks beforehand news media were rife with leak-based stories promising the report would be “game changing.” What did it actually say, and what of that is to be believed? We’ll walk to Cyrus Safdari who is tracking the story at IranAffairs.com
Also on the show this week: As the Occupy movement continues to focus attention on economic inequality, a spate of media coverage is presenting new Census data as suggesting that poverty might not be as bad as we thought. What’s that? We’ll talk with professor and historian Frances Fox Piven about Occupy Wall Street and the “new” numbers on the poor.
Sharif Abdel Kouddous on Egypt, Hannah Gurman on Fallujah
This week on CounterSpin: Egypt just finished its first round of elections since the uprising earlier this year by democratic activists. So why aren’t the activists overjoyed? We’ll talk about the state of democracy in Egypt and the way US corporate media are covering it, with independent journalist and Democracy Now! Cairo correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous. Also on the program: US elite media provided cover for the military during the 2004 invasion of Fallujah, dismissing and downplaying reports of civilian deaths in the besieged Iraqi city. Our guest says the failure to confront what happened in Fallujah may still be having life or death effects, as media ignore present day concerns of a health crisis there that may be related to the use of chemical weapons. Hannah Gurman is a columnist for Foreign Policy In Focus, as well as assistant professor at New York University’s Gallatin School. She’ll join us to talk about The Underexamined Story of Fallujah.
Joe Torres on News for All the People, Amy Alexander on Uncovering Race
This week on CounterSpin, a special look at race and people of color in U.S. journalism. Told quickly it’s a story about under representation and exclusion, of bias… and of breakthroughs. And all along, recognition that the stories news media tell us about the world and one another are a tremendous shaping force on the state of racial and ethnic understanding and the advance of social justice. We’ll hear from Joseph Torres of the group Free Press, co-author with Juan Gonzalez of a new book called News for All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media. It’s full of history and people that have gone largely missing from most folks’ understanding of journalism in this country, and it also talks about why that is.
Vijay Prashad on Iran, Jeff Ballinger on Apple
This week on CounterSpin: U.S. media are abuzz with stories about the growing threat Iran poses to the U.S. The stories seem to embellish recent remarks by the U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who says Iran is a larger threat than al Qaeda and is prepared to carry out attacks in the Western Hemisphere, including in the US. We’ll be joined by Vijay Prashad, Director of International Studies at Trinity College to talk about Iran. Also on the show: The New York Times series on working conditions at Apple suppliers in China–conditions that have reportedly driven as many as 20 workers to suicide–is disturbing and compelling. But is it the sort of work that leads to real reform, or just journalism awards? We’ll talk about Apple and coverage of Apple with longtime workers’ right advocate and researcher Jeff Ballinger.
Jon O’Brien on contraception controversy, Richard Rothstein on segregation study
this week on CounterSpin: Another front has opened up in the long-running battle over the new health care law. As we hear the story in the media, Catholics are up in arms over being required to provide birth control, or something to that effect. Republicans are loudly criticizing the White House’s war on religious freedom. What’s the reality though? Jon O’Brien of Catholics for Choice will join us to sort fact from fiction.
Also on CounterSpin today, New research heralds the end of the segregated century, says census data show US cities most integrated they’ve been since 1910. Media took the news, from the conservative Manhattan Institute, with a grain of salt, but they took it. So how true is it, really? We’ll hear from Richard Rothstein of the Economic Policy Institute and the University of California Berkeley School of Law.
Ruth Flower on budget, John Nichols on “Uprising”
This week on CounterSpin: Much reporting on the White House’s new budget proposal focuses on tax increases, military cuts, and how it will affect the national debt. But what’s the whole story on the White House budget? We’ll hear from Ruth Flower from the Friends Committee on National Legislation about the ‘Five Things Your Newspaper Might Not Tell You About the Budget.’
Also on CounterSpin: One year ago saw a massive uprising against Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s attack on public sector workers. That citizen movement posed a direct challenge to media narratives about issues like labor unions and budget austerity. John Nichols of the Nation looks at the Wisconsin story in his new book Uprising. He’ll join us to talk about it.