FAIR Counterspin Radio
CounterSpin is FAIR's weekly radio show, hosted by Janine Jackson, Steve Rendall and Peter Hart. CounterSpin is heard on more than 130 noncommercial stations across the United States and Canada. CounterSpin provides a critical examination of the major stories every week, and exposes what the mainstream media might have missed in their own coverage.
Updated: 1 hour 19 min ago
fter a 2009 coup removed left wing president Manuel Zelaya, many were watching the elections in Honduras to get a sense of where the country—and US policy—might be heading. The early results said the elections were relatively clean, and the leading conservative candidate won the vote. But is that the whole story? Azadeh Shashahani from the National Lawyers Guild will fill us in. Also on CounterSpin today, Marissa Alexander is free on bond. But the Florida woman sentenced to 20 years for firing a warning shot in an altercation with her abusive husband still faces a retrial next year. How far has our legal system, and our society, really advanced in understanding domestic violence cases and are media helping? We'll talk with journalist Esther Armah about that.
This week on CounterSpin: The COP 19 climate talks in Warsaw were filled with intrigue, secret memos and walkouts by green groups and delegations from developing nations. What was accomplished at the summit? We'll talk with Michael K. Dorsey, the director of the Joint Center’s Energy & Environment Program. Also on CounterSpin: Is big business breaking up with the Tea Party? Some political observers and pundits seem to think so, seeing a growing divide between the Republican Party and its corporate backers. But historian and journalist Rick Perlstein suggests this storyline isn't all that it's cracked up to be.
Download MP3 (right click) This week on CounterSpin: Polls show Americans overwhelmingly opposed to the government's mass surveillance programs; they find the unconstitutional spying "alarming" and don't think it's making them safer. There's legislative movement to "reform" surveillance procedures--but is it real reform or windowdressing? We'll hear from Trevor Timm of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Also on CounterSpin today: Nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers resumed on November 20, after falling apart nearly two weeks earlier. But the US press seems a little confused about why those earlier talks failed. We’ll talk with Nima Shirazi of Wide Asleep […]
This week on CounterSpin: Wikileaks has leaked a draft chapter of the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership 'free trade' agreement. The chapter, addressing intellectual property rights, favors corporations over the public, say critics. What do the corporate lobbyists and government negotiators have in mind for us? We'll talk with Peter Maybarduk of Public Citizen. Also on CounterSpin today: The monster storm that struck the Philippines has killed thousands and left hundreds of thousands homeless. This happened right before international climate change talks were getting underway. But are media making the connection between climate change and this catastrophe? We'll talk to Anne Petermann of the Global Justice Ecology Project.
Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The good news from the Democratic Republic of the Congo is that the bloody, Rwandan-backed militia M23 has laid down its arms, mostly due to pressure from the US. But what is US coverage of the story skewing, and what is it leaving out? We’ll talk with Maurice Carney of Friends of the Congo. Also on the show: The average food stamp benefit in this country is about $4.50 per person per day, but Congress has decided they can get by with less; some $5 billion worth of cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance […]
This week on CounterSpin: Media are full of reports on problems with the rollout with the Affordable Care Act, turns out insurance can be complicated. But, what don't we talk about when we talk about health care? We'll talk to Andrew Coates of Physicians for A National Health Program about what's missing from the conversation. Also on CounterSpin today, the international press went wild over stories about Roma families allegedly abducting white, blonde haired children. That's not what happened, but the media frenzy played into some very familiar stereotypes about the Roma community. We'll speak to Roma activist Margareta Matache.
This week on CounterSpin: The Justice Department looks like it might pin a $13 billion fine on JP Morgan Chase for its role in the financial collapse and ensuing recession. But are they getting off easy? Wall Street media cheerleaders are saying Chase is being punished for things they didn't even do. But is that right? We'll talk to economics blogger Yves Smith of the website Naked Capitalism. Also on CounterSpin today: CNN will air a pro-nuclear documentary on November 7. “Pandora’s Promise,” described by the New York Times as ‘as stacked as advocate movies get…a parade of like-minded nuclear-power advocates who assure us that everything will be all right.’ Why would a news channel air propaganda? The group Beyond Nuclear has been fact-checking Pandora’s Promise claims, well talk to the group’s found, Linda Gunter.
The government shutdown may be over, but there's no cause to celebrate for those hardest hit–-people already reeling from earlier austerity measures. Despite what you may have heard, the pain was not restricted to political 'losers' and those turned away from monuments. We'll hear from Sister Simone Campbell of the Catholic social justice lobby Network. Also on the show: Plan B is not an abortion drug, not medically controversial, and since it can be taken 72 hours after sex it's not even a 'morning after' pill. A new project clears misconceptions around Plan B and tests whether it's actually as accessible as the law intends. Jo Ellen Green Kaiser of the Media Consortium will talk about that.
This week on CounterSpin: 60 Minutes joins the media crowd taking aim at disability benefits. What did they get wrong? We'll speak with disability advocate Rebecca Vallas. Also on CounterSpin today: One of the speakers at a recent event on the state of U.S. journalism and its relationship to democracy was investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill, author of the book Blackwater and more recently, Dirty Wars, also a documentary film. We're going to hear part of Scahill's remarks that night.
This week on CounterSpin: The government shutdown has pundits lamenting the same old Beltway dysfunction. But who's actually to blame for the shutdown? And who's affected? We'll speak to Imara Jones from ColorLines. Also on the show: The U.N.'s latest climate report is out, and its findings are alarming. According to the scientists, they are as certain that we are causing warming as they are that cigarettes cause cancer, and the problem is not getting any better. So why are some outlets reporting the IPCC's findings as good news? We'll talk to Ryan Koronowski of Climate Progress about what the report actually says.
The centerpiece of the Affordable Care Act will launch October 1st, but do the millions of Americans who qualify for the insurance exchanges have any idea what they're facing? If they do, that's little thanks to media, who until lately have been underserving the consumer angle on this consumer story. We'll hear from health care journalist Trudy Lieberman of the Columbia Journalism Review. Also on the program: To many in the corporate media, Barack Obama's UN General Assembly speech signaled a retreat from militarism. This interpretation seems largely based on Obama's softer, more diplomatic tone regarding US-Iran relations. But was diplomacy the gist of the president's UN speech? We'll talk to peace activist and author David Swanson about that.
This week on CounterSpin: Media tell us this week marks the fifth anniversary of the financial crisis since it was in September 2008 that global financial services firm Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy. Meanwhile 6 in 10 tell pollsters they don't think the country could avoid another collapse, which the Washington Post write-up called a "pessimistic outlook." But are people pessimistic or realistic in saying they just don't think there's been sufficient action taken to really change things? We’ll hear from financial blogger Mike Konczal of the Roosevelt Institute about that. Also on CounterSpin today, a new study of the controversial gas drilling tactic known as fracking seems to be good news for the industry—no surprise, since they funded it. But are the findings about methane leaks as good as the press reports make them sound? We'll put that question to Hugh MacMillan of the group Food and Water Watch.
The confusing debate over Syria and on-again, off-again U.S. military strikes leaves out a lot—like the work of non-violent activists inside the country. Journalist Rania Khalek joins us to talk about that—and some of what they have to say about the debate over U.S. bombing. Also on CounterSpin today, writer and activist Barrett Brown faces decades in prison for linking to a WikiLeaks page. Why is he being targeted by the federal government, and what does it say that a federal judge imposed a gag order on Brown, again, a journalist? We’ll talk to Peter Ludlow, who has been following Brown’s case for the Nation magazine.