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 Post subject: Re: FAIR Stuff...
PostPosted: 09 Apr 2010, 08:21 
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Leaked video mostly ignored by corporate media

4/7/10

wikileaks video stillA leaked videotape of a 2007 U.S. helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed a dozen Iraqis was unveiled on April 5 by the website WikiLeaks. To much of the corporate media, though, it was either not worth reporting at all, or an unfortunate incident to be defended.

The graphic and disturbing video includes audio of the helicopter pilots cheering their attacks. Two journalists working for Reuters--photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen and driver Saed Chmagh--were killed in the assault, which U.S. military officials had claimed was a response to insurgent activity. WikiLeaks says it acquired the video from whistleblowers within the military.

The release of the video, though, got only cursory treatment in the mainstream press. The New York Times (4/5/10) ran a relatively thorough piece, which summarized the video this way:

But the video does not show hostile action. Instead, it begins with a group of people milling around on a street, among them, according to WikiLeaks, Mr. Noor-Eldeen and Mr. Chmagh. The pilots believe them to be insurgents, and mistake Mr. Noor-Eldeen's camera for a weapon. They aim and fire at the group, then revel in their kills.

"Look at those dead bastards," one pilot says. "Nice," the other responds.

A wounded man can be seen crawling and the pilots impatiently hope that he will try to fire at them so that under the rules of engagement they can shoot him again. "All you gotta do is pick up a weapon," one pilot says.

The helicopters also fire on a van that appears on the scene to carry away some of the victims. The Times had two follow-up stories on April 7.

A leaked video that seems to show the U.S. military killing and wounding civilians should be a big news story. But most of the media seemed to think otherwise, with a search of the Nexis news database showing scant pick-up.

CBS Evening News (4/5/10) reported on the video, with anchor Harry Smith opening the segment, "In the heat of battle, things are not always as they might seem." Correspondent Bob Orr closed by offering something of a justification: "Now, it appears from the tapes that at least some of those hit on the ground were unarmed, but a journalist who was in the general area that same day says it's important for all of us to remember it was a hectic, violent and uneasy day."

On CNN's Situation Room (4/5/10), the network decided not show any of the shots that were fired "out of respect for the families of the two Iraqi employees of the Reuters news organization that were killed," explained Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr. (The photographer's father was quoted in the April 7 Times: "God has answered my prayer in revealing this tape to the world.... I would have sold my house and I all that I own in order to show this tape to the world.") Starr went on to claim:

There was an investigation of this incident. The Army found no one at fault, that the units in the air--the helicopters in the air had no reason to believe that there were journalists there on the ground with the insurgents. They say that nearby U.S. troops had come under attack and that this shooting, which we are not showing the specifics of, was justified.

While it is correct that the military conducted some sort of investigation, it is unclear how Starr could know that any of the victims were "insurgents."

And there has been little discussion of the relevant history of U.S. forces firing on and killing journalists working in Iraq, including a tank firing on journalists at the Palestine Hotel and attacks on the Baghdad offices of Al Jazeera and Abu Dhabi TV (FAIR Media Advisory, "Is Killing Part of Pentagon Press Policy?," 4/10/03). While those who defend the helicopter attacks in the video say that the U.S. forces could not have known there were journalists on the ground, these earlier incidents suggest that knowledge of the whereabouts of media workers does not necessarily prevent attacks.

There has been other coverage of the video. MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan (4/5/10), for example, hosted a lengthy discussion with former military officials, Salon's Glenn Greenwald and Julian Assange from WikiLeaks. Democracy Now! (4/6/10) hosted a discussion with Assange and Greenwald as well. National Public Radio aired two reports on April 6. But where is the rest of the media on this story?

This news comes on the heels of the revelation that a Special Forces raid in Afghanistan killed five civilians, including three women, in a house raid in February. NATO forces had originally claimed that the three women were found dead at the scene; the London Times reported (4/5/10) that according to Afghan investigators, "U.S. special forces soldiers dug bullets out of their victims' bodies in the bloody aftermath of a botched night raid, then washed the wounds with alcohol before lying to their superiors about what happened."

Both incidents, of course, demand more scrutiny. So far, U.S. corporate media are mostly ignoring them.

To view the WikiLeaks video: http://www.collateralmurder.com/

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 Post subject: Re: FAIR Stuff...
PostPosted: 09 Apr 2010, 11:01 
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NYT Erases Progressive Senate Candidate
Tasini campaign not 'fit to print'?

4/7/10

Over the course of the past year, the New York Times has provided ample coverage to a series of potential U.S. Senate candidates from New York--none of whom are actually running for office. Meanwhile, a candidate who is in fact challenging incumbent Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand in the September 2010 primary has been all but erased from the picture.

That progressive activist Jonathan Tasini is running against Gillibrand, who was appointed to the seat in 2009, is known to Times readers who happened to catch a single January 27, 2010, story by N.R. Kleinfeld, headlined "An Underdog Who Isn't Daunted by a New Try for the Senate"--the only mention to date in the paper of record of Tasini's candidacy, which was launched in June 2009.

Meanwhile, the Times has treated possible high-profile candidacies as if they were real news. Former Democratic Rep. Harold Ford from Tennessee, for example, contemplated a run, which elicited substantial coverage (1/6/10, 2/15/10, 2/19/10, 2/24/10) before Ford decided against the idea. His formal decision to not run garnered him a news story and an op-ed piece on the same day (3/2/10), with a piece the next day (3/3/10) that re-capped the non-campaign. The Times has devoted at least nine articles to other Democrats who thought about but in the end decided not to run against Gillibrand.

On the Republican side, real estate investor and Daily News publisher Mort Zuckerman was a possible challenger, resulting in a series of articles (2/13/10, 2/24/10, 3/25/10). Dan Senor, a military adviser to George W. Bush best known for conducting press relations during the early part of the Iraq War, also considered running, and was also treated seriously by the Times (3/11/10, 3/25/10).

This pattern was taken to the absurd extreme with an April 3 piece headlined, "As Rivals Flee, Others Ask, What's to Fear In Gillibrand?" The article claimed that while "her poll numbers are unimpressive," Gillibrand "has only token Republican opposition" because no one is challenging her for the Democratic nomination:

Ms. Gillibrand has been under siege almost from the moment Gov. David A. Paterson appointed her to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton in January 2009. Initially, she faced the possibility of challenges from members of her own party, including the Manhattan borough president, Scott M. Stringer; Rep. Steve Israel of Long Island; and Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney of Manhattan. They all opted out.

Given that Tasini is in fact running against Gillibrand, the Times is simply wrong. But why are they neglecting a candidate who, after all, garnered 17 percent of the primary vote in 2006 against Hillary Clinton--a much better known incumbent than Gillibrand?

It's worth noting that Tasini once successfully sued the Times (and other publications) as head of the National Writers Union to ensure that freelancers be paid for electronic rights to their work. That relationship ought to make the paper wary of appearing to hold a grudge.(We should note, on the topic of disclosure, that Tasini wrote for FAIR's magazine Extra! in the 1990s.) But a more potent factor in the Times' cold shoulder for Tasini is likely the candidate's political views. As the single Times article about him noted:

He is against the healthcare bill, and wants Medicare for all. He is against the dual wars. (''I will not vote for a single penny to continue either war.'') He wants to increase the minimum wage immediately to $10 an hour and see it quickly reach $15 to $20. He wants a stronger labor movement. (''People say you're antibusiness. I'm pro-business because I want jobs. What I'm against is foolishness.'') He wants a tax on every transaction on Wall Street. He supports gay marriage and gun control.

Such positions might be considered well outside the mainstream by outlets like the Times. But why not let the voters of New York state make that decision? Given its coverage of the race so far, perhaps Tasini would get more ink from the Times if he decided not to run. Non-candidates seem to be the only ones the paper is interested in covering.

ACTION:
Contact New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt and ask him to investigate why the Times is giving so little space to an actual candidate in this year's Senate race, while giving unusually broad coverage to non-candidates.

CONTACT:
New York Times
Clark Hoyt, Public Editor
public@nytimes.com
Phone: (212) 556-7652

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 Post subject: Re: FAIR Stuff...
PostPosted: 01 May 2010, 20:53 
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Obama's DOJ vs. the First Amendment
04/29/2010 by Jim Naureckas

The Obama Justice Department--or at least one of its top prosecutors--is cracking down on investigative reporting without regard for the First Amendment.

The first disturbing development was the indictment of NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, whose leaks to the Baltimore Sun helped expose how the NSA's warrantless spying program deliberately failed to protect the privacy of U.S. citizens.

Now the same prosecutor who indicted Drake--William Welch, who stepped down from a prior post as head of the Justice Department's public integrity unit after botching the prosecution of Sen. Ted Stevens (R.-Alaska)--has opened a new front against freedom of the press. Welch subpoenaed New York Times reporter James Risen to reveal his sources for the account in his book of a CIA operation that may have given Iran important information about how to create a nuclear bomb in the course of trying to infiltrate the Iranian nuclear program. The New York Times reports today (4/29/10):

The Obama administration is seeking to compel a writer to testify about his confidential sources for a 2006 book about the Central Intelligence Agency, a rare step that was authorized by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.

The author, James Risen, who is a reporter for the New York Times, received a subpoena on Monday requiring him to provide documents and to testify May 4 before a grand jury in Alexandria, Va., about his sources for a chapter of his book, State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration. The chapter largely focuses on problems with a covert CIA effort to disrupt alleged Iranian nuclear weapons research....

The Bush administration had sought Mr. Risen's cooperation in identifying his sources for the Iran chapter of his book, and it obtained an earlier subpoena against him in January 2008 under Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey. But Mr. Risen fought the subpoena, and never had to testify before it expired last summer. That left it up to Mr. Holder to decide whether to press forward with the matter by seeking a new subpoena.

If a judge does not agree to quash the subpoena and Mr. Risen still refuses to comply, he risks being held in contempt of court.

The Times report alludes to the case of Judith Miller, who was subpoenaed by independent counsel Patrick Fitzgerald to reveal which Bush administration official had revealed that the Valerie Plame, the wife of a prominent Bush critic, was an undercover CIA officer. FAIR encouraged Miller to cooperate with the prosecutor in that case, because no genuine public interest was served in protecting the identity of an official who had used classified information to punish a government critic.

In both the cases pursued by Welch, on the other hand, the targets are legitimate whistleblowers who revealed information that was of vital concern to the public. Risen has announced through his lawyer that he will fight the subpoena in court, and if he gets a judge who respects the First Amendment he should succeed. If Barack Obama and Eric Holder respect the First Amendment, meanwhile, they will rein in these disturbing efforts to squelch journalistic scrutiny of the state.

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 Post subject: Re: FAIR Stuff...
PostPosted: 19 Oct 2010, 11:40 
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Taking the Public Out of Public TV
PBS fare differs little from commercial TV

10/19/10

A multi-part FAIR exposé of PBS's most prominent news and public affairs programs demonstrates that public television is failing to live up to its mission to provide an alternative to commercial television, to give voice to those "who would otherwise go unheard" and help viewers to "see America whole, in all its diversity," in the words of public TV's founding document.

In a special November issue of studies and analyses of PBS's major public affairs shows, FAIR's magazine Extra! shows that "public television" features guestlists strongly dominated by white, male and elite sources, who are far more likely to represent corporations and war makers than environmentalists or peace advocates. And both funding and ownership of these shows is increasingly corporate, further eroding the distinction between "public" and corporate television. There is precious little "public" left in "public television."

FAIR undertook the examination following news last fall that PBS was canceling Now and that Bill Moyers was retiring from Bill Moyers Journal. PBS announced that it was replacing the two shows, which exemplified the public broadcasting mission, with Need to Know, a news magazine launched in May and anchored by two journalists from the corporate media world.

FAIR's findings reveal:
* Need to Know. FAIR's study of the first three months of Need to Know's guestlist and segments finds that its "record so far provides little encouragement that it will ever serve as an adequate replacement for Now and the Bill Moyers Journal."

The program's heavily white (78 percent) and male (70 percent) guestlist failed to "break out of the narrow corporate media box." Corporate representatives outnumbered activists 20 to 12. And black people appeared overwhelmingly on stories on drugs and prisons.


* PBS NewsHour. If PBS's signature news show is any indication, the system is doing little to help us "see America whole, in all its diversity."

-- The NewsHour's guestlist was 80 percent male and 82 percent white, with a pronounced tilt toward elites who rarely "go unheard," like current and former government and military officials, corporate representatives and journalists (74 percent). Since 2006, appearances by women of color actually decreased by a third, to only 4 percent of U.S. sources.

-- Women and people of color were far more likely to appear as "people on the street" providing brief, often reactive soundbites, than in more authoritative roles in live interviews.

-- Viewers were five times as likely to see guests representing corporations (10 percent vs. 2 percent) than representatives of public interest groups who might counterweigh such moneyed interests--labor, consumer and environmental organizations.

-- While Democratic guests outnumbered Republican guests nearly 2-to-1 in overall sources, Republicans dominated by more than 3-to-2 in the program's longer format, live segments. (FAIR's 2006 NewsHour study, which examined a period when Republicans controlled the White House and Congress, showed Republican guests outnumbering Democrats in both categories: 2-to-1 among all sources, 3-to-2 in the longer live interviews.)

-- On segments about the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the most frequent story of the study period, viewers were four times as likely to see representatives hailing from the oil industry (13 percent of guests) as representatives of environmental concerns (3 percent).

-- On segments focusing on the Afghan War, though polls show consistent majorities of Americans have opposed the war for more than a year, not a single NewsHour guest represented an antiwar group or expressed antiwar views. Similarly, no representative of a human rights or humanitarian organization appeared on the NewsHour during the study period.


** The NewsHour, "public TV's nightly newscast," is actually privately owned. For-profit conglomerate Liberty Media has held a controlling stake in the NewsHour since 1994. The company is run by industry bigfoot John Malone, who has declared that "nobody wants to go out and invent something and invest hundreds of millions of dollars of risk capital for the public interest." Public dollars still support the NewsHour, and former PBS president Ervin Duggan declared the show "ours and ours alone," but Liberty CEO Greg Maffei refers to the program as "not our largest holding," but "one we're very proud of."

And it's not just the NewsHour. The Nightly Business Report was sold earlier this year by public station WPBT to a private company. The details of the deal--which shifts the most-watched daily business show on television into private hands--are mostly unknown.


** The Charlie Rose Show--a show produced outside the PBS system but widely carried on public television stations--boasts a remarkably narrow guestlist. FAIR found the most common guests (37 percent) were reporters from major media outlets, and corporate guests, well-known academics and government officials also made frequent appearances. Of the 132 guest appearances, just two represented the public interest voices that public television is supposed to highlight (equaling the number of celebrity chefs who appeared). Eighty-five percent of guests were male, and U.S. guests were 92 percent white.


** Washington Week, the longest-running public affairs show on public television, suffers from similar problems--which would seem to be by design, given the show's inside-the-Beltway focus. In four months of programs (5-8/10), Washington Week presented 29 reporter guests; only one did not represent a corporate-owned outlet. Only four of 64 appearances by guests were by non-white panelists (6 percent), and the guestlist was 61 percent male.

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 Post subject: Re: FAIR Stuff...
PostPosted: 25 Oct 2010, 10:38 
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The Daily Caller is not what you'd call "honest"

October 21, 2010 10:47 pm ET by Jamison Foser

Just in case there was any doubt about whether The Daily Caller should ever be taken seriously, this paragraph from Caller political reporter Caroline May should put the matter to rest:

Even more politically liberal commentators have noted the liberal bias of NPR. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting notes that in 2004, when there was a debate over the launch of Air America, the sentiment of many pundits was, "wait, don't we already have a liberal station: NPR?"

Now, here's what the 2004 FAIR report actually said:

News of the April launch of Air America, a new liberal talk radio network, revived the old complaint, with several conservative pundits declaring that such a thing already existed. "I have three letters for you, NPR . . . . I mean, there is liberal radio," remarked conservative pundit Andrew Sullivan on NBC's Chris Matthews Show (4/4/04). A few days earlier (4/1/04), conservative columnist Cal Thomas told Nightline, "The liberals have many outlets," naming NPR prominently among them. [Emphasis added]

See the difference? FAIR said "several conservative pundits" declared that NPR is a liberal talk radio network. The Daily Caller portrayed that as FAIR noting that liberal pundits had made that claim.

And in the process, the Caller completely ignored this portion of the FAIR report:

Despite the commonness of such claims, little evidence has ever been presented for a left bias at NPR, and FAIR's latest study gives it no support. Looking at partisan sources—including government officials, party officials, campaign workers and consultants—Republicans outnumbered Democrats by more than 3 to 2 (61 percent to 38 percent). A majority of Republican sources when the GOP controls the White House and Congress may not be surprising, but Republicans held a similar though slightly smaller edge (57 percent to 42 percent) in 1993, when Clinton was president and Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. And a lively race for the Democratic presidential nomination was beginning to heat up at the time of the 2003 study.



FAIR's four-month study of NPR in 1993 found 10 think tanks that were cited twice or more. In a new four-month study (5/03–8/03), the list of think tanks cited two or more times has grown to 17, accounting for 133 appearances.

FAIR classified each think tank by ideological orientation as either centrist, right of center or left of center. Representatives of think tanks to the right of center outnumbered those to the left of center by more than four to one: 62 appearances to 15. Centrist think tanks provided sources for 56 appearances.

So the Daily Caller took a FAIR study that debunked the claims of conservatives that NPR is biased towards liberals, ignored the debunking, and pointed to the study as evidence that liberals say NPR is biased towards liberals.

In other words: No, the Daily Caller should not be taken seriously. Ever.

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 Post subject: Re: FAIR Stuff...
PostPosted: 14 Jan 2011, 19:56 
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The Martin Luther King You Still Don't See on TV
01/14/2011 by Peter Hart

As we approach the Monday holiday, we're hearing a Pentagon lawyer suggest that Martin Luther King would support the war in Afghanistan. That makes it an ideal time to recall a 1995 column by FAIR founder Jeff Cohen and longtime associate Norman Solomon (Media Beat, 1/4/95). The full column appears below, and is archived here.

The Martin Luther King You Don't See on TV

by Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon

It's become a TV ritual: Every year in mid-January, around the time of Martin Luther King's birthday, we get perfunctory network news reports about "the slain civil rights leader."

The remarkable thing about this annual review of King's life is that several years--his last years--are totally missing, as if flushed down a memory hole.

What TV viewers see is a closed loop of familiar file footage: King battling desegregation in Birmingham (1963); reciting his dream of racial harmony at the rally in Washington (1963); marching for voting rights in Selma, Alabama (1965); and finally, lying dead on the motel balcony in Memphis (1968).

An alert viewer might notice that the chronology jumps from 1965 to 1968. Yet King didn't take a sabbatical near the end of his life. In fact, he was speaking and organizing as diligently as ever.

Almost all of those speeches were filmed or taped. But they're not shown today on TV.

Why?

It's because national news media have never come to terms with what Martin Luther King, Jr., stood for during his final years.

In the early 1960s, when King focused his challenge on legalized racial discrimination in the South, most major media were his allies. Network TV and national publications graphically showed the police dogs and bullwhips and cattle prods used against Southern blacks who sought the right to vote or to eat at a public lunch counter.

But after passage of civil rights acts in 1964 and 1965, King began challenging the nation's fundamental priorities. He maintained that civil rights laws were empty without "human rights"--including economic rights. For people too poor to eat at a restaurant or afford a decent home, King said, anti-discrimination laws were hollow.

Noting that a majority of Americans below the poverty line were white, King developed a class perspective. He decried the huge income gaps between rich and poor, and called for "radical changes in the structure of our society" to redistribute wealth and power.

"True compassion," King declared, "is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring."

By 1967, King had also become the country's most prominent opponent of the Vietnam War, and a staunch critic of overall U.S. foreign policy, which he deemed militaristic. In his "Beyond Vietnam" speech delivered at New York's Riverside Church on April 4, 1967--a year to the day before he was murdered--King called the United States "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today."

From Vietnam to South Africa to Latin America, King said, the U.S. was "on the wrong side of a world revolution." King questioned "our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America," and asked why the U.S. was suppressing revolutions "of the shirtless and barefoot people" in the Third World, instead of supporting them.

In foreign policy, King also offered an economic critique, complaining about "capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries."

You haven't heard the "Beyond Vietnam" speech on network news retrospectives, but national media heard it loud and clear back in 1967--and loudly denounced it. Life magazine called it "demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi." The Washington Post patronized that "King has diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people."

In his last months, King was organizing the most militant project of his life: the Poor People's Campaign. He crisscrossed the country to assemble "a multiracial army of the poor" that would descend on Washington--engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience at the Capitol, if need be--until Congress enacted a poor people's bill of rights. Reader's Digest warned of an "insurrection."

King's economic bill of rights called for massive government jobs programs to rebuild America's cities. He saw a crying need to confront a Congress that had demonstrated its "hostility to the poor"--appropriating "military funds with alacrity and generosity," but providing "poverty funds with miserliness."

How familiar that sounds today, more than a quarter-century after King's efforts on behalf of the poor people's mobilization were cut short by an assassin's bullet.

As 1995 gets underway, in this nation of immense wealth, the White House and Congress continue to accept the perpetuation of poverty. And so do most mass media. Perhaps it's no surprise that they tell us little about the last years of Martin Luther King's life.

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 Post subject: Re: FAIR Stuff...
PostPosted: 14 Jan 2011, 19:57 
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A Whole Lot of Lone Nuts
01/12/2011 by Jim Naureckas

Right-wing pundits have come out vociferously against the idea that they, their colleagues and the political movement they identify with have anything to answer for in the wake of the Tucson massacre.

David Brooks (New York Times, 1/11/11) asserted that "the evidence before us suggests that [shooting suspect Jared] Loughner was locked in a world far removed from politics as we normally understand it," rejecting as "vicious charges" the notion that the gunman "unleashed his rampage because he was incited by the violent rhetoric of the Tea Party, the anti-immigrant movement and Sarah Palin." George Will (Washington Post, 1/11/11) bitterly denounced the "political opportunism" of "charlatans" who subscribe to the "superstition that all behavior can be traced to some diagnosable frame of mind that is a product of promptings from the social environment." Charles Krauthammer (Washington Post, 1/12/11) insisted that "there is no evidence that he was responding to anything, political or otherwise, outside of his own head," marveling that those who suggest otherwise would make a charge "so reckless, so scurrilous and so unsupported by evidence."

It's comforting to think that evil-doers exist in a vacuum, and the evil that they do has no relation to anyone else. Dismissing Loughner as a lone nut, however, is much more difficult when one considers the startling number of incidents of political violence in the last few years. From a lengthy list of violent events and reckless rhetoric compiled by the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, I've excerpted the cases that involved gunfire or other overtly deadly acts; the complete timeline includes numerous other episodes in which police disrupted violent plans before they were carried out:

July 27, 2008--Jim Adkisson shoots and kills two people at a progressive church in Knoxville, Tennessee, wounding two. Adkisson calls it "a symbolic killing" because he really "wanted to kill…every Democrat in the Senate & House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg's book," but was unable to gain access to them....

April 4, 2009--Neo-Nazi Richard Poplawski shoots and kills three police officers responding to a 911 call to his home in Pittsburgh. His friend Edward Perkovic tells reporters that Poplawski feared “the Obama gun ban that’s on its way” and “didn’t like our rights being infringed upon.” Perkovic also commented that Poplawski carried out the shooting because “if anyone tried to take his firearms, he was gonna stand by what his forefathers told him to do."...

April 25, 2009--Joshua Cartwright, 28, a member of the Florida National Guard, shoots and kills two Okaloosa County sheriff's deputies attempting to arrest him on a domestic abuse charge. Cartwright is killed in an enusing gun battle with police. Cartwright's wife reports that he was "severely disturbed" that Barack Obama had been elected president. Okaloosa County Sheriff Edward Spooner states that Cartrwight was "interested in militia groups and weapons training."...

May 31, 2009--Scott P. Roeder shoots and kills Dr. George Tiller, an abortion provider, in the foyer of Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas. The FBI lists Roeder as a member of the Montana Freemen, a radical anti-government group. In April 1996, he had been pulled over in Topeka, Kansas, for driving with a homemade license plate. Police found a military-style rifle, ammunition, a blasting cap, a fuse cord, a one-pound can of gunpowder, and two 9-volt batteries in his car....

June 10, 2009--James W. von Brunn, a convicted felon and a “hardcore Neo-Nazi,” walks into the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. and shoots and kills a security guard. Von Brunn believed that Western civilization was going to be replaced with a “ONE WORLD ILLUMINATI GOVERNMENT” that would “confiscate private weapons” in order to accomplish its goals....

July 13, 2009--Gilbert Ortez, Jr. kills a police deputy in Chambers County, Texas, with an assault rifle. Police were responding to reports that Ortez or his wife had fired shots at utility workers in the area. Police searching Ortez's mobile home after a 10-hour standoff find more than 100 explosive devices; Nazi drawings and extremist literature; and several additional firearms....

December 23, 2009--Warren "Gator" Taylor takes three people hostage at a federal post office in Wytheville, Virginia. He is armed with four guns, including a .40-caliber Glock pistol, despite a criminal record that includes convictions for lewd and lascivious behavior with a 13-year-old and attempted second-degree murder (Taylor shot his ex-wife three times in a parking lot in 1993). Taylor fires at least three rounds before the stand-off ends, including one at the station's fleeing postmaster. One of Taylor's hostages reports that he was angry about taxes and "the government taking over the right to bear arms."...

February 18, 2010--Joseph Stack of Austin, Texas, flies a single-engine plane into an office building containing nearly 200 IRS employees, killing one and wounding 13. In a suicide note, Stack lays out his grievances with the federal tax agency, stating, "The law 'requires' a signature on the bottom of a tax filing; yet no one can say truthfully that they understand what they are signing; if that's not 'duress' than what is. If this is not the measure of a totalitarian regime, nothing is ... Violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer."...

March 4, 2010--John Patrick Bedell, a California resident, travels to Arlington, Virginia, and opens fire on police officers at the entrance to the Pentagon. Bedell is armed with two semiautomatic firearms and "many [ammunition] magazines." Bedell injures two officers before he is killed by return fire. Reports reveal Bedell to be a Truther who believed that the U.S. government had been taken over by a criminal organization in a 1963 coup. In an Internet posting, he writes, "This organization, like so many murderous governments throughout history, would see the sacrifice of thousands of its citizens, in an event such as the September 11 attacks, as a small cost in order to perpetuate its barbaric control."...

March 23, 2010--After Mike Troxel of the Lynchburg Tea Party and Nigel Coleman of the Danville Tea Party post the home address of the brother of Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA) and urge supporters to "drop by," someone deliberately cuts a propane gas line at the house. Rep. Perriello is targeted by the Tea Party activists because of his vote in favor of health care reform. Perriello's brother and his wife have four children under the age of eight....

April 7, 2010--Brody James Whitaker, 37, is apprehended and arrested on charges including two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, aggravated fleeing, and attempting to elude. The charges stem from an incident on March 25, 2010 in which police attempted to pull Whitaker over for a traffic violation on I-75 in Sumter County, Florida. Whitaker led officers on a high-speed chase, fired shots at them from a 9mm handgun and escaped capture. During his arraignment hearing, Whitaker questions the authority of the judge and states, "I am a sovereign. I am not an American citizen." ...

May 20, 2010--Jerry Kane, Jr., 45, and his son Joseph Kane, 16, fatally shoot two Arkansas police officers with AK-47 assault rifles during a routine traffic stop on Interstate 40 in West Memphis. The Kanes are killed during an exchange of gunfire with police in a Walmart parking lot 90 minutes later. Jerry Kane, an Ohio resident and anti-government activist, had a long history with police and had recently spent three days in jail for driving with an expired license plate and no seat belt. Kane considered himself a "sovereign citizen" and ran a business that centered on debt-avoidance scams....

July 18, 2010--California Highway Patrol officers arrest Byron Williams, 45, after a shootout on I-580 in which more than 60 rounds are fired. Officers had pulled Williams over in his pick-up for speeding and weaving in and out of traffic when he opened fire on them with a handgun and a long gun. Williams, a convicted felon, is shot several times, but survives because he is wearing body armor. Williams, a convicted felon, reveals that he was on his way to San Francisco to "start a revolution" by killing employees of the ACLU and Tides Foundation. Williams' mother says her son was angry at "Left-wing politicians" and upset by "the way Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items."...

July 30, 2010--Camp Hill prison guard Raymond Peake, 64, is charged with robbery and the murder of Todd Getgen. Peake allegedly shot Getgen to death at a local shooting range and stole Getgen's custom, silenced AR-15 rifle. Investigators follow Peake to a storage unit when they find three firearms: Getgen's AR-15 rifle, a scoped Remington rifle that had been reported stolen from the range in May, and a second AR-15 rifle. Thomas Tuso is also arrested and charged with conspiracy, receiving stolen property and other crimes. Peake tells police that he and Tuso had been stealing guns "for the purpose of overthrowing the federal government."...

August 17, 2010--Patrick Gray Sharp, 29, opens fire on the Department of Public Safety in McKinney, Texas, and unsuccessfully attempts to ignite gasoline and ammonium nitrate in a trailer hitched to his truck. Sharp is armed with an assault rifle, a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol, and a 12-gauge shotgun. He is killed after an exchange of gunfire with police arriving on the scene. Miraculously, no one else is hurt. Sharp's roommate, Eric McClellan describes him as "a great guy" and states, "We're Texans. We have a right to bear arms."...

September 1, 2010--James Jay Lee, 43, takes hostages at the Discovery Communications building in Silver Spring, Maryland, while armed with two starter pistols and four improvised explosive devices. After pointing a gun at one of the hostages, he is shot and killed by police. Lee, a radical environmental activist, had previously issued 11 demands through a webpage that Discovery was to meet "immediately." The demands involved the content of programming on the Discovery Channel. Lee had also declared on his MySpace page, "It's time for REVOLUTION!!!"...

October 22, 2010--Texas Department of Corrections officers searching for a missing person, Gill Clements, 69, are confronted by a neighbor while on Clements' property in Henderson County. Howard Tod Granger, 46, points an AK-47 semiautomatic assault rifle at one of the officers, who recalls, "He told us to get off the property or he would kill us all." Later that afternoon, officers return to Granger's home with a search warrant and an armored vehicle filled with 13 SWAT members. Granger opens fire on the vehicle, discharging at least 30 rounds before authorities shoot and kill him. Police find guns and "many rounds of ammunition" in Granger's house. They also find the body of Clements, buried in a shallow grave on Granger's property....

January 8, 2011--Jared Lee Loughner, 22, shoots U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and 19 others at a "Congress in Your Corner" event at a Safeway supermarket in Tucson, Arizona. He kills six, including federal Judge John Roll, and wounds 14, including Giffords, who is shot in the head. Loughner has an extensive history of mental illness and substance abuse, yet is able to purchase two handguns and a high-capacity ammunition magazine legally at Sportsman's Warehouse on November 30, 2010. In a YouTube video posted in December 2010, Loughner states, "You don’t have to accept the federalist laws.... Nonetheless, read the United States of America's Constitution to apprehend all of the current treasonous laws."

These individuals no doubt have a range of relationships to reality, and their ideologies may likewise vary from Tea Party orthodoxy to idiosyncratic conspiracy mania. (One person on the list appears to be a genuine ecoterrorist.) But it's hard to deny that this seems like a remarkable amount of political violence in a little more than two-and-a-half years. (This impression is bolstered statistically by reports that the Secret Service has had to deal with a 400 percent increase in threats against the president, that U.S. Marshals are facing double the number of threats against judges and prosecutors, and that Capitol Police found that threats against congressmembers tripled in the first quarter of 2010.)

Even more strikingly, this violence corresponds to a period that has seen a major change in the boundaries of political rhetoric from both pundits and politicians. A major media figures like Glenn Beck (Fox News, 2/20/09) can now fantasize about "citizen militias in the South and West taking up arms against the U.S. government"--and he could declare that government officials bent on forcibly vaccinating his children are going to "meet Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson." People with regular slots on major networks didn't use to talk this way. Nor did major-party Senate candidates declare that "people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies." (See the Coalition's complete list for many other examples of media and political figures evoking violence in explicit, non-metaphorical statements.)

People who insist that the Tucson massacre has nothing to do with any of this are engaged in a desperate and dangerous denial.

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 Post subject: Re: FAIR Stuff...
PostPosted: 01 Jul 2011, 09:34 
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Quote:
CBS Skips Bachmann Factcheck
Website notes inaccuracy, but viewers left in dark


6/28/11

CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer seemed well-prepared for his June 26 interview with Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann. But he didn't go nearly far enough in challenging Bachmann's misinformation.

On the program Schieffer told the Minnesota representative: "A lot of your critics say you have been very fast and loose with the truth. You know, PolitiFact, which is a website that won a Pulitzer, did an analysis of 23 statements that you made recently. Of these 23, only one they said was completely true."

Unfortunately, Bachmann had already re-told one of those falsehoods--and Schieffer did little to correct the record. Speaking about the new healthcare law, Bachmann said the following:

BACHMANN: The Congressional Budget Office estimated Obamacare will cost economy 800,000 jobs, probably the--

SCHIEFFER: Again, that is data that other people would question.

BACHMANN: Well, that's the Congressional Budget Office, that's not Michele Bachmann, that's Congressional Budget Office figures saying that we're--we have the potential of losing 800,000 jobs.

Bachmann's comment is highly misleading. The jobs figure in question relates to a segment of the workforce that, according to the CBO, is continuing to work solely for the sake of employer-provided healthcare. The CBO analysis is that these workers will leave their jobs, or work fewer hours, thanks to more attractive options available as a result of the law. Most if not all of these jobs could be refilled by other workers who need them. That is nothing like Bachmann's claim that the law will "cost" the country 800,000 jobs.

This was all covered by PolitiFact on June 14. Given that Schieffer appeared to be aware of the website's record of factchecking Bachmann, one would think that he would have been better prepared to press her when she repeated the same bogus claim.

The CBS website (6/26/11), meanwhile, features a fact-check of Bachmann's Face the Nation appearance:

Bachmann uses the 800,000 number to suggest that employers would trim 800,000 jobs as a result of health reform. The CBO is not suggesting that at all, and in fact, the report does not make any projection on the effect of health reform on the unemployment rate.

CBS should share this with the millions of viewers who were exposed to Bachmann's misinformation.

This has happened before. Bachmann appeared on Face the Nation last year (3/28/10) and touted a non-existent New England Journal of Medicine survey to criticize the Obama health care plan. Schieffer didn't challenge Bachmann, but a story on the CBS website attempted to set the record straight (FAIR Action Alert, 4/1/10).

Those efforts are, of course, laudable--and valuable to those surfing the network's website. But why not warn your much larger television audience as well when your guest is trying to convince them of known inaccuracies?

ACTION:
Tell CBS Face the Nation to share its website factcheck of Michele Bachmann with its TV audience.


CONTACT:
CBS Face the Nation
ftn@cbsnews.com
(202) 457-4481

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