Media

If You Believe the Government, ‘You’re Stupid’

Longtime CBS News correspondent Morley Safer.

Americans are taught the myth that their democracy is safeguarded by an independent press. But the government and other powerful entities have long mastered the art of manipulating the major media, even to the point of bluntly telling reporters the facts of life, as Jon Schwarz recalls.

The Blacklisting of Noam Chomsky

Author Noam Chomsky.

An odd aspect of modern American life is that even with 24-hour news and its roster of blathering pundits, many creative thinkers with valuable insights are blacklisted from mainstream media, perhaps most notably Noam Chomsky who turned 85 on Dec. 7, as Jeff Cohen reflects.

Wisdom in Restraint on Syria

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in front of a poster of his father, Hafez al-Assad.

The neocons are still beating the drums for U.S. military intervention in Syria, now supposedly for humanitarian reasons. But – as horrific as the Syrian violence is – it’s clear that President Obama’s restraint last summer averted making the mess even worse, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

What Mandela Did and Didn’t Do

President Obama Speaks at a Memorial Service for Nelson Mandela on Dec. 10, 2013. (White House photo)

While an inspiring tale of resilience and reconciliation, Nelson Mandela’s saga also marked a failure of black South Africans to transform their hard-won political power into economic equality, as domestic and foreign whites retained the reins of money, as Danny Schechter writes.

Fresh Doubts about Syria’s Sarin Guilt

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

Exclusive: A new analysis, buried in a UN report, reveals that one of the two missiles at the center of the Syrian chemical weapons crisis, which nearly led to a U.S. military attack, showed no evidence of Sarin, further undermining Official Washington’s certainty that the Syrian government was to blame, reports Robert Parry.

Racism Through Rose-Colored Glasses

President Theodore Roosevelt

Many Americans tend to whitewash their country’s ugly history of racism – all the better to feel good about “exceptionalism” – but even sophisticated writers can ignore this grim reality when praising their favored presidents, as William Loren Katz explains.

Neocons Twist Iran’s Anti-Nuke Fatwa

Washington Post's "fact-checker" Glenn Kessler. (Photo credit: Singerhmk)

Washington Post “fact checker” Glenn Kessler is infamous for palming off his political bias as a dispassionate look at the evidence, a trick that he tried again by promoting a neocon distortion of Iran’s religious renunciation of nuclear weapons, as Gareth Porter explains.

Embracing Israel’s Atrocities

Israeli author and columnist Ari Shavit.

The mainstream U.S. media is in love with a new book by Ari Shavit that acknowledges Israel’s massacre of Palestinians but embraces the atrocities as necessary for the Zionist state’s existence, a moral contradiction that Lawrence Davidson dissects.

Itching for Confrontation with Iran

Columnist and pundit George F. Will

The neocons – along with their allies in Congress and on the Washington Post’s op-ed page – remain determined to sabotage a diplomatic rapprochement with Iran, demanding that its leaders be confronted, not engaged, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar notes.

New Evidence of Contra-Cocaine Scandal

Journalist Gary Webb holding a copy of his Contra-cocaine article in the San Jose Mercury-News.

Special Report: Since journalist Gary Webb died in 2004, the story that destroyed his life has slowly come into clearer focus, revealing how President Reagan’s beloved Contras really were enmeshed in cocaine trafficking. On this ninth anniversary of Webb’s suicide, new corroboration has emerged, reports Robert Parry.