Fresh from his most recent trip to the Middle East, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman returned to offer his latest rationale for Bush hatred. Appearing on yesterday's Meet the Press Friedman theorized: "What this administration has done, is actually stolen something from people. Whether it's an African or a European or an Arab or Israeli, it's that idea of an optimistic America out there. People really need that idea, and the, the sort of dark nature of the Cheneys and the Bushes and the Rices, this, this sort of relentless pessimism about the world, this exporting of fear, not... continue reading
Reporter Jad Mouawad files from a village on the Lebanese side of the border with Israel for " To Many in a Town Under Attack, Militiamen Are Defenders ." "For the past week, Israel's army has thrown everything at Kafr Kila. It has bombed it, unleashed tank fire against it, lobbed phosphorus shells into it. At least once, an Israeli airstrike hit the ridge above the village. Many residents have fled the destruction, but so far the defenders, local fighters with Hezbollah and allied factions, have held on. "'How could you stay silent when you see your land burn and... continue reading
Sen. Max Baucus' nephew, Marine Phillip Baucus, was killed in Iraq on Saturday. Online reporter David Stout covered the story and takes advantage of a rare appearance in the print edition to pose as a liberal populist philosopher and reaches for trustworthy statesman Michael Moore for back-up. "Since the Vietnam War era, it has been common to say that wars are begun by powerful men whose sons stay home, while the sons of men and women with calluses on their hands and dirt under their nails cross oceans to fight, and perhaps to die. "In his scathing 2004 documentary 'Fahrenheit... continue reading
As Congress debated sending a minimum wage increase to President’s Bush desk for signing, ABC’s Betsy Stark promised “A Closer Look” at the issue but delivered anything but. In her August 2 “World News Tonight” story, Stark stacked the deck in favor of the wage increase, using five sound bites either in favor of an increase or critical of the current $5.15 federal wage floor. What’s more, Stark left viewers with the impression that economists are unanimous in believing the wage hike would have little or no negative impact on the poor. Stark aimed to knock down that anti-increase argument... continue reading
Thursday's front-page story from Sabrina Tavernise, " Civilians Lose As Fighters Slip Into Fog of War - Lebanese Deaths Show Dilemma for Israel ," is a belated acknowledgement by the Times that yes, Hezbollah is ensconcedamong the civilian population of Lebanon. "Civilian deaths illustrate the raw dilemma of modern warfare, in which a conventional army fights an elusive militia that loads its rocket launchers in family gardens, orchards and on village streets. In Lebanon, the result has been desperate efforts to flee and military miscalculations in the fog of war." [...] "Hezbollah is woven tightly into the lives of much... continue reading
Critic-at-large Stephen Holden profiles Tony Bennett on the eve of the singer's 80 th birthday and finds broader meaning: "Careers that last as long and have been as distinguished as Mr. Bennett's have something to tell us about collective cultural experience over decades. It has been said that Sinatra's journey from skinny, starry-eyed 'Frankie,' strewing hearts and flowers, to the imperious, volatile Chairman of the Board roughly parallels an American loss of innocence. As Sinatra entered his noir period in the mid-1950's, his romantic faith gave way to a soul-searching existentialism that yielded the most psychologically complex popular music ever... continue reading
Israel-based Greg Myre's Wednesday story, " Palestinians in Gaza Find Heroes in Hezbollah as it Inflicts Harm on a Common Foe ," looks at Hezbollah from the admiring perspective of Palestinians in Gaza. "In Gaza, where the fighting has dragged on for years, the Palestinians are once again taking a drubbing. About 150 Palestinians, including militants and civilians, have been killed in the fighting that erupted after militants tunneled into Israel on June 25, killing two soldiers and seizing another. On the Israeli side, one soldier has been killed since then, mistakenly by Israeli forces. "But on the Lebanese front,... continue reading
“Stop and drop those tongs,” because salads might not be good for you after all, warned NBC’s Campbell Brown as she teased a “Today’s Consumer” segment on the morning show’s August 2 program. The latest storyline to float down the parade of diet worries that the broadcast media force-feed consumers: that salad you’re loading on your plate might be high in fat and calories! “We purchased over a dozen salads at eateries in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and New York City to find out,” consumer correspondent Janice Lieberman explained. Asides from the usual culprits: salad dressing, cheese, and add-ons like... continue reading
“Well, that noise you hear may be the sound of a bubble bursting,” said NBC’s Natalie Morales on the July 21 “Today” show. Or it could be reality pricking the hyper-inflated predictions of a bubble-happy media. Just a moment after Morales’ comment, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was shown saying, “The downturn in the housing market so far appears to be orderly.” As the Business & Media Institute has documented, the media have been warning of a bursting housing “bubble” for almost five years. And some reports are still emphasizing the negative. NBC continued its series titled “Housing on the... continue reading
Raul Castro: a free enterprise-friendly Communist? That’s how NBC’s Andrea Mitchell portrayed the 75-year old brother of Cuba dictator Fidel Castro in her report on the August 2 “Today” show. But some Cuba experts describe Raul’s concessions to capitalism as mere pragmatism meant to prop up a socialist economy otherwise doomed to failure. “Raul has been in charge of the military and the economy,” Mitchell explained to her audience, calling him “politically hard-line but more open than his brother to free enterprise, including foreign investment.” To bolster her claim, Mitchell then aired a sound bite from William LeoGrande from American... continue reading