FAIR Counterspin Radio
CounterSpin, FAIR’s weekly radio show, provides a critical examination of the major stories every week, and exposes what the mainstream media might have missed in their own coverage.
Updated: 24 min 48 sec ago
We'll talk to Mark Weisbrot about the Greek elections: Could it be that what elite media fear isn’t that Syriza will fail—but that it might succeed? And Amanda Marcotte on how shallow cover of abortion and the new Congress threatens women's rights.
What's the public to make of the exercise in political theater known as the State of the Union Address and the media's morning-after tea leaf-reading? And why aren't more journalists up in arms about a law that muzzles them as well as convicts?
We'll talk about Coverage of the recent state visit from Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, the desaparacidos and the nature of violence in Mexico. Plus: What high-profile criticisms of the movie 'Selma' say about the critics.
We're told the recent midterm elections were the "most expensive in US history," but who was buying? And what do they expect in return? And what does it all mean for the relatively unmoneyed, namely most of us? We talked with Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, about the 114th Congress. Also on the show: A reairing of an interview from July 2014 with Chicago journalist and activist Jamie Kalven about adding information to the story of police policy.
Each week CounterSpin brings you a look behind the headlines of the mainstream news. At year's end we take a look back and revisit some of the stories it's been our privilege and pleasure to bring you. We call it "best of," but the truth is we always work to shine a light on angles or perspectives on events we think you might not hear elsewhere ,and insights into why and how corporate media coverage comes to look the way it does.
his week on CounterSpin, what does the CIA torture report say about torture-- and about us? We'll talk with Rebecca Gordon, author of the book Mainstreaming Torture, about the big questions we should be asking. wall-street-june-9-2014Also this week: When you read or hear about pensions in the corporate media, one thing comes through loud and clear: There's no money to pay for workers' retirement. We'll talk to journalist David Sirota, who's been reporting a different pension story altogether-- one about how Wall Street investors and hedge fund managers see public pension plans as cash cows.
Progressive Democrats launched an unexpected attack on a Congressional spending bill, leaving some pundits complaining once more about nasty Beltway polarization. But legislators were trying to do something substantive: Stop an attempt to roll back an important part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law. Journalist David Dayen will join us to explain what was at stake. Also this week: It was two years ago that 10 first graders and 6 adults were killed by a troubled young man with an assault rifle. Media were transfixed by the disaster at Sandy Hook Elementary School, but did it affect the way they report on gun control? We'll talk about guns and the press with Ladd Everitt, communications director at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
This week on CounterSpin: It's hard to think of a time when a free press is more necessary than when the public needs to know about crimes committed in our name. So the release of a Senate report on CIA torture is a test for US media. We'll talk about the report and the media response with Baher Azmy, legal director at the Center for Constitutional Rights. Also this week: Ashton Carter will likely be the next Secretary of Defense. Press coverage tells us he's a Rhodes Scholar, a physicist, and an 'uber wonk.' But else should we know about him, and what does his selection mean for US military policy? Author and military analyst Mel Goodman will join us to discuss that.
A Rolling Stone account of a shocking gang rape at the University of Virginia got wide attention in the media for shining a spotlight on campus sexual assaults. But now critics are saying the magazine's approach was flawed, and some wonder if the whole thing is a hoax. Investigative reporter Lindsay Beyerstein joins us to talk about the piece and what the critics are missing. Also this week: 30 years ago a gas leak at the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India killed thousands of people and injured tens of thousands more. But if you think of Bhopal as a tragedy from the 80s you're missing the point. it was a crime and it's far from over. We'll talk with Amitabh Pal of the Progressive about the ongoing disaster of Bhopal.
This week on CounterSpin: Obama's executive action on immigration has rightwing Republicans calling for impeachment, or at least censure, or at least defunding of any agencies involved in implementing it. So does that mean it's good? We'll hear from media maker and organizer Maegan Ortiz on what media's overwhelmingly inside the beltway framing leaves out. Also this week: Fracking is often portrayed in the corporate media as many steps in the right direction: Energy independence, job creation, not to mention homeowners striking it rich. But a new investigation in In These Times magazine shows that poverty and drilling go hand in hand. We'll talk to journalist Hannah Guzik about environmental racism and the fight to find out the public health risks associated with fracking.
This week on CounterSpin: The imminent ruling by a St. Louis County grand jury about whether to indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, has media focused on the possibility of violent demonstrations. But the issues raised by Brown's killing won't disappear no matter what the jury decides. We'll talk with educator and organizer Mariame Kaba about the bigger story. Also this week: The White House's climate emissions deal with China was praised throughout the media as a big step in the right direction. One liberal columnist told readers not to listen to the 'yes but' naysayers. But critics of the deal are worth listening to; we'll speak with one, Daphne Wysham of the Center for Sustainable Economy.
This week on CounterSpin: Bipartisanship and free trade are two of corporate media's favorite things, so when the Washington Post editorial expressed the post midterm media consensus--"Now that Republicans have gained control of Congress, no policy area is riper for bipartisan action than trade"--you can believe they were happy to do it. But should we be happy? And is it even true? We'll hear from Lori Wallach of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch. Also this week: Republicans have been hard at work for the past few years restricting the right to vote. Did their work pay off in the midterms? We'll speak to reporter Ari Berman of The Nation, who recently wrote that "it's become easier to buy an election and harder to vote in one."
This week on CounterSpin: The disappearance of 48 student activists in Mexico has brought hundreds of thousands of activists to the streets, demanding accountability from the US-allied president who just months ago was being cheered by Time magazine as the man who would save Mexico. We'll talk to journalist Roberto Lovato about the crisis in Mexico and the reasons the story isn't getting enough coverage in the US press. Also this week: US media presented the election of Ashraf Ghani as Afghanistan's president as good news, largely because he would sign an agreement allowing US forces to remain in the country. Afghan women had different reasons to be tentatively hopeful; but then, who remembers Afghan women? We'll talk with journalist Ann Jones about her new article, The Missing Women of Afghanistan.
This week on CounterSpin: Ferguson was back in the headlines recently with leaks from an autopsy report that, we're told, seem to corroborate police officer Darren Wilson's version of events from the day he killed Michael Brown. We'll talk about the impact of those leaks along with other aspects of a story that is far from over, despite the fact that most corporate media appear to have moved on, with Chris King, managing editor of the St. Louis American. Also this week: When the New York Times refers to a politician as 'a former Marxist guerrilla who praises Hugo Chavez' you know they don't mean that in a good way. The Brazilian election saw a leftist incumbent challenged by a business-friendly candidate who we were told would grow the economy. Economist Mark Weisbrot will join us to talk about what the press was getting wrong about Brazil.
As the Ebola fear-mongering seems to be letting up a little, one thing that hasn’t changed is media inattention to the xenopobia that has gone hand in hand with the panic, and any real exploration issues of inequality and how they play out in treatment of the deadly disease. We’ll talk to medical ethicist and award winning author Harriet Washington about Ebola. syria-protestAlso this week: Polls show pretty clearly that the public isn't enthusiastic about getting involved in more wars. To many elites, this is dangerous isolationism and a retreat from America's rightful position as a superpower. Carl Conetta of the Project on Defense Alternatives has taken a deep look at public opinion and the problem with elite rhetoric about isolationism. He'll join us to talk about it.
This week on CounterSpin: In the past few years as some economic indicators have suggested a recovery is under way, US media have generally responded with celebratory reporting. But according to polls, Americans aren't so sure. According to a recent NBC poll just 18 percent say the economy is excellent or good. How can we best understand an economy that seems to be serving some but slighting others? Today we'll feature a special extended interview with economic professor Richard Wolff on how to reconcile mixed messages about the health of the economy.