Adam Johnson

‘Florida Man’ jokes are an excuse to laugh at the poor

“Another tedious, liberal, PC scold,” you may think as you read the headline for this piece. “Why can’t we just have fun and enjoy a hilarious meme in peace?” Well, you can enjoy “Florida man” all you want, but by any objective metric, it’s worth noting that “Florida man” memes—just like all “dumb criminal” or “weird crime” stories—are little more than a socially acceptable way of gawking at and belittling the dispossessed and indigent.

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The 'resistance' to Trump's Venezuela coup won't be found on MSNBC

After much behind the scenes angling and plotting, the Trump administration is now waging an overt campaign to overthrow the government of Venezuela — coordinating directly with the Venezuelan military, lobbying other countries to support the opposition government-in-waiting, threatening a military invasion and engaging in aggressive PR stunts under the guise of “aid.”

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MSNBC Has Done 455 Stormy Daniels Segments in the Last Year - But None on US War in Yemen

As FAIR has noted before, to MSNBC, the carnage and destruction the U.S. and its Gulf monarchy allies are leveling against the poorest country in the Arab world is simply a non-issue.

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Is Barney Frank Really a Reliable Source on Rolling Back Dodd-Frank Bank Reform? He Works for a Bank

The House of Representatives voted last week to roll back key provisions of the landmark Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a 2010 law that increased regulatory scrutiny of banks following the 2008 financial crisis. President Trump signed the new bill executing the partial rollback into law last Thursday.

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MSNBC's Big Names Completely Ignore West Virginia Teachers Strike

Eight days into the first wildcat strike by West Virginia teachers in 27 years—organized by rank-and-file union members in all 55 West Virginia counties—America’s largest liberal cable network, MSNBC, is a virtual no-show in reporting on the momentous labor unrest.

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Top NYT Editor: ‘We Are Pro-Capitalism, the Times Is in Favor of Capitalism’

Media criticism is, more often than not, a practice of inference: seeing patterns and inferring from those patterns the political make-up of media. Occasionally, however, decision-makers from major media outlets come right out and openly declare their ideology. This is what New York Times editorial page editor James Bennet—likely the most influential gatekeeper in all of media—did when he told Times staffers in a closed-door meeting last December that the paper of record was “pro-capitalism.”

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How the Media Helped Trump Push Through His Disastrous Tax Cuts

A New York Times/Survey Monkey poll last week revealed that, for the first time, a slim majority of Americans support last December’s Republican tax cuts—cuts that disproportionately benefit the rich, redistributing money from the poor to the wealthiest Americans.

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U.S. 'Stumbled Into Torture,' Says NYT Reporter

As part of a promotion for the upcoming “Look, Evil Russians!” film Red Sparrow, New York Times national security reporter Scott Shane (2/14/18) wrote a synergistic Cold War 2.0 essay about the CIA’s alleged attempt to recruit him. It included a rather jarring paragraph summarizing Shane’s years of reporting:

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Another Warmonger Gets Rewarded for Being Wrong on Iraq War

How many war-boosters does the Washington Postneed? Tuesday, the capital’s most influential paper announced that Max Boot, yet another white, pro-war, pro-Israel, blow-everything-up pundit, would be joining their opinion section. It goes to show, again, that the most certain way to move up in the media pundit universe is to consistently echo US national security orthodoxy—without pause or regret.

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6 Classic Ways Cops Spin the Media to Hide Their Abuses of Power

The linguistic gymnastics needed to report on police violence without calling up images of police violence is a thing of semantic wonder. Officers don’t shoot, they are merely “involved” in shootings; victims are not victims, but “suspects” “fleeing”; human beings become premortem cadavers as bullets “enter the torso” rather than the chest of a person; guns and bullets act on their own as they “discharge” or “enter the right femur,” rather than being fired by autonomous individuals with agency and purpose. Headlines become 14-word, jargon-heavy tangles where a simple five-word description would suffice.

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WaPo Editor Blames Lack of U.S. Leadership for Famine Caused by U.S. Leadership

“American leadership” is one of a long list of vague, seemingly benign pseudo-concepts our media throw around to justify increased spending on soft power and military adventurism. It’s a difficult concept to pin down, but it’s almost always presented as something the United States is “failing” to do when it doesn’t “engage” the world with enough war, sanctions or arbitrarily applied human rights scolding.

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Why Does the Corporate Media Include the Perspective of White Nationalists in the 'Immigration Debate'?

President Trump’s far-right immigration policies have US corporate media reaching to the white nationalist fringes of the faux-think tank world to provide “both sides” coverage on the topic.

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Think Tank-Addicted Media Turn to Regime Change Enthusiasts for Iran Protest Commentary

Since the outbreak of mass demonstrations and unrest in Iran last week, US media have mostly busied themselves with the question of not if we should “do something,” but what, exactly, that something should be. As usual, it’s simply taken for granted the United States has a divine right to intervene in the affairs of Iran, under the vague blanket of human rights and democracy promotion. (The rare exception, such as an op-ed by ex-Obama official Philip Gordon—New York Times, 12/30/17—still accepted the premise of regime change: “I, too, want to see the government in Tehran weakened, moderated or even removed.”) With this axiom firmly established in Very Serious foreign policy circles, the next question becomes the nature, degree and scope of the “something” being done.

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NYT Trumpwashes 70 Years of U.S. Crimes

The New York Times reports that Donald Trump “holds a radically different view of the United States’ role in the world than most of his predecessors,” citing his lack of interest in “the rules-based postwar international order.”

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NY Times Frets About Russian Propaganda, Ignores the Massive Troll Farms Run By America and Its Allies

An op-ed by the president of the right-wing human rights group Freedom House, published in the New York Times Monday (12/11/17)—later boosted by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker—warned of the menace of “commentators, trolls, bots, false news sites and propaganda,” and their negative effects on democracy. Missing from its analysis was any account of how the government that funds its organization ( 86 percent of Freedom House’s budget comes from the US government, primarily the State Department and USAID) uses social media to stir unrest and undermine governments worldwide.

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Why Doesn't the Corporate Media Say Roy Moore Is Accused of Teen Sexual Abuse in Their Headlines?

Headlines typically attempt to draw in readers by including the most relevant or pertinent information, but in the case of breaking news Monday that President Trump had endorsed Roy Moore in next week’s Senate special election in Alabama, the single most important fact of the case—that Moore faces multiple sexual abuse charges—was omitted by the majority of outlets altogether.

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5 Worst Media Moments of Last Week

Saudi Arabia gets some top-shelf public relations help from U.S. media, alt-right chuds have meltdown over Twitter ban, and the most incompetent administration in history still manages to openly manipulate the media. We dissect these and more in this week’s five worst media moments.

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The NY Times' Campus Free Speech Coverage Focuses 7-to-1 on Right-Wing Demagogues

Over the past 18 months, the New York Times has dedicated 21 columns and articles to the subject of conservatives’ free speech on campus, while only three covered the silencing of college liberals or leftists. A review of Times articles, columns, op-eds and reports shows a clear emphasis on documenting and condemning perceived suppression of conservative voices at American universities, while rarely mentioning harassment campaigns against leftist professors and/or the criminalization of leftist causes such as the pro-Palestinian BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) movement.

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Why Did NBC Broadcast a Puff Piece on a White Supremacist Group?

As FAIR noted last year, the rise of Trump has lead to a corollary rise in softball profiles of the most vulgar, racist extremes of the American far right. For some reason, news managers feel the need to highlight, with little if any criticism or context, pro-Trump extremists who’ve been emboldened by his campaign and subsequent election. The most recent iteration of this genre was byNBC News (11/2/17), which ran a four-minute-58-second segment on a racist men’s movement calling itself “Proud Boys”:

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The Corporate Media Should Stop Using ‘Woman in Chador Walks by Anti-U.S. Mural’ Stock Photo for Every Article About Iran

The general mindlessness in choosing a stock photo is what makes them so pernicious. Editors reach for an image that captures the overall theme of the article while drawing the eye of distracted media consumers—typically as an afterthought, something that accents a piece rather than defines it. It’s not an easy task, but it’s one that, left unexamined, can become a form of propaganda independent of any written text.

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Whaddya Know, the Bezos-Owned Washington Post Is Publishing Amazon Press Releases and Pretending It's Journalism

A matter of huge political import is taking place in scores of cities throughout the country. From Chicago to Charlottesville, San Diego to St. Louis, metropolitan areas big and small are making their best pitches to Amazon to move its second headquarters to their towns. These pitches typically involve some combination of groveling by city officials (New York City lit the city up orange) and massive tax breaks (New Jersey is offering $7 billion), all in hopes of reaping a massive economic bonanza from the relocation.

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Why Does the NYT Take Such Pains to Pretend It's Not a Mouthpiece for Imperial War?

Corporate media have a long history of lamenting wars they themselves helped sell the American public, but it’s rare so many wars and so much hypocrisy are distilled into one editorial. On Monday, the New York Times (10/22/17) lamented the expansion of America’s “forever wars” overseas, without once noting that every war mentioned is one the editorial board has itself endorsed, while failing to oppose any of the “engagements” touched on in the editorial.

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5 Worst Media Moments Last Week

1. Media eats up George W. Bush’s latest PR tour.

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5 of the Biggest Corporate Media Disasters This Week

From NBC's cover up of Harvey Weinstein's horrendous actions, to Keith Olbermann's whitewashed Twitter statement, here’s how the  corporate media disappointed us this week:

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5 of the Biggest Media Meltdowns Last Week

1. New York Times invents anti-Bush tax cut Republicans

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These Are Some of the Biggest Media Meltdowns in Recent Days

1. The return of the single-payer deficit trolls.

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These Are 3 of the Most Dangerous Opponents of Universal Healthcare

With momentum building for single-payer healthcare among Democratic voters and a growing number of 2020 hopefuls, Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled a “Medicare for All” bill last week. Immediately, a number of pundits denounced the legislation as an “unrealistic” “bloated” “disaster” full of “magic math.”

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6 of the Biggest Media Meltdowns This Week

1. Hillary Clinton promotes dubious, culty media outlet Verrit, internet proceeds to destroy it.

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The New York Times Grovels for the Right Wing, and Other Despicable Media Moments This Week

1. ABC and NBC ignore climate change’s role in extreme weather events.

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