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Tuesday, den 28. August 2012

As much as I’d love to see Diana Prince be the subject of a movie franchise or a television show (though, of course, not one by David E.

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Monday, den 6. August 2012

Periodic commentary on current events, politics, religion , public policy, ethics, and justice, with some humor and satire. Sunday, August 05, 2012.

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Wednesday, den 1. August 2012

Two weeks ago, Saudi Arabia and the International Olympic Committee agreed to add two female athletes to the conservative Muslim kingdom’s Olympic team, marking the first time in Olympic history that women would participate under the Saudi flag. Two days ago, one of those women nearly withdrew from the Games. Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani, one of the two Saudi women, learned this week that she would not be allowed to wear her traditional hijab during competition because the International Judo Federation worried that it would threaten her safety.

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Wednesday, den 25. July 2012

By Dennis Farr “We both know this will be DC’s attempt to convince us that a second-string character is more major than he actually is, right?” When DC first announced it would be outing a major character in its universe, my straight roommate expressed his skepticism.

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Monday, den 23. July 2012

The Supreme Court may take on the Voting Rights Act of 1965 next term, if two recent legal challenges get their way. Petitions from Kinston, North Carolina and Shelby County, Alabama reached the Court Friday, pushing for the invalidation of Section 5 of the law, which requires that states with a history of discrimination “pre-clear” any changes in election procedure with the federal government

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Friday, den 6. July 2012

The big news about the Writers Guild of America West annual report is that there are fewer overall writing jobs in film and television in Hollywood, and the people who have those jobs are making less money. The number of writers in both industries who reported their earnings to the Guild fell from 4,442 in 2010 to 4,338 in 2011, down 2.3 percent, and their overall reported earnings fell from $969.2 million to $911.7 million, down 5.9 percent. The number of television writers actually rose by 0.4 percent, from 3,306 to 3,320, even as their earnings fell by 1.2 percent, from $566.2 million to $559.2 million.

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Tuesday, den 3. July 2012

By Khin Mai Aung, July 3, 2012 Beware the “model minority” stereotype about Asian-Americans. read more

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Thursday, den 14. June 2012

RNClatinos.com , the Republican National Committee’s new website aimed at Latino voter outreach, uses a stock photograph of Asian children as its banner picture. The stock photo found on Shutterstock is listed with tags including “asia, asian, cheeks, children, cool… interracial, japanese… thailand, together, trendy.” But the words ‘hispanic’ or ‘latino’ are nowhere on the page. The GOP has been making a concerted effort to reach out to Latino voters this election season — but, by any account, this particular effort was less than successful. Update GOP spokesperson Kirsten Kukowski tells TPM , “an outside vendor developed the site and it is being corrected immediately.”

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Tuesday, den 8. May 2012

Fox’s Stuart Varney claimed that the result of the French presidential election showed that French voters “want to go backwards” because they are saying “no more austerity.” But experts have said that European austerity measures have not improved the economic situation and have warned against similar measures in the United States. Fox Reacts To French Election By Touting European Fiscal Austerity Measures Fox’s Varney: Election Is “Not Good News” And A “Danger Signal For America” Because Voters Said “No More Of This Austerity.” On the May 7 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends , Fox Business host Stuart Varney claimed that Francois Hollande’s victory in the France’s presidential election is “not good news” because French voters “think they can grow by more government spending even though they’ve got no money.” From Fox & Friends : GRETCHEN CARLSON (co-host): It seems that French President Nicolas Sarkozy voted out of office in favor of Francois Hollande, a socialist who wants to raise taxes on corporations and the rich. So what does it mean for the United States’ economy? Stuart Varney is here to explain. Good morning. VARNEY: It’s not good news. This is, in fact, a danger signal for America. Look, the Europeans are saying, “Hey, no mas. No more of these cuts, please. No more of this austerity.” The Greeks say we’re finished with this bailout. We can’t handle this bailout, and the French, as you just pointed out, they want to tax the rich. They think that they can grow by more government spending even though they’ve got no money. Even though they have to borrow a ton more money, they think that borrow it and spend it that the government will get them out of trouble. It’s exactly the same in America. That’s what we think here.   Later in the segment, Varney warned that “President Obama wants another stimulus program. More government spending to get the economy going. The danger signal is the writing on the wall. We’re going the same way as Europe is going.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends , 5/7/12] Varney: Europeans Saying “No More Austerity” Means They “Want To Go Backwards.”  From the May 7 edition of Fox News’  America Live :  VARNEY: The Europeans are saying we want to change direction — no more austerity, no more of these cuts, no. We want to start spending more government money. We want a new stimulus program. We do not wish to reform entitlement programs, we want to go backwards. That what is now politically popular in Europe. The problem is, that has grave associations of problems for us over here, because it means more debt in Europe, more debt over there means more borrowing over there. That means a longer and probably deeper recession than the one they’ve already got. So when you translate that to over here, it means that slow there means probably slowdown here. It means there’s less confidence in the global economy, that’s not good news for America. And because we are going down the same road, it points into which direction we are going in, and that is a slowdown. [Fox News,  America Live , 5/7/12 ] But Experts Have Said Austerity Measures Are Not Improving The European Economy And Warn Against Similar Measures In The U.S. Krugman: European Economic Problems Are “A Failure … Of The Austerity Doctrine.” In a January 29 New York Times column titled “The Austerity Debacle,” Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman noted that “Britain is doing worse this time than it did during the Great Depression” and that “Italy is also doing worse than it did in the 1930s.” Krugman attributed both of these situations to the “failure, in particular, of the austerity doctrine that has dominated elite policy discussion both in Europe and, to a large extent, in the United States for the past two years.” From The New York Times : Last week the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, a British think tank, released a startling chart comparing the current slump with past recessions and recoveries. It turns out that by one important measure — changes in real G.D.P. since the recession began — Britain is doing worse this time than it did during the Great Depression. Four years into the Depression, British G.D.P. had regained its previous peak; four years after the Great Recession began, Britain is nowhere close to regaining its lost ground. Nor is Britain unique. Italy is also doing worse than it did in the 1930s — and with Spain clearly headed for a double-dip recession, that makes three of Europe’s big five economies members of the worse-than club. Yes, there are some caveats and complications. But this nonetheless represents a stunning failure of policy. And it’s a failure, in particular, of the austerity doctrine that has dominated elite policy discussion both in Europe and, to a large extent, in the United States for the past two years. The infuriating thing about this tragedy is that it was completely unnecessary. Half a century ago, any economist — or for that matter any undergraduate who had read Paul Samuelson’s textbook “Economics” — could have told you that austerity in the face of depression was a very bad idea. But policy makers, pundits and, I’m sorry to say, many economists decided, largely for political reasons, to forget what they used to know. And millions of workers are paying the price for their willful amnesia. [ The New York Times , 1/29/12 ] Krugman On French Election: “[T]ime Is Clearly Running Out For The Strategy Of Recovery Through Austerity — And That’s A Good Thing.” In a May 6 New York Times column responding to France’s presidential election, Krugman wrote: The French are revolting. The Greeks, too. And it’s about time. Both countries held elections Sunday that were in effect referendums on the current European economic strategy, and in both countries voters turned two thumbs down. It’s far from clear how soon the votes will lead to changes in actual policy, but time is clearly running out for the strategy of recovery through austerity — and that’s a good thing. What’s wrong with the prescription of spending cuts as the remedy for Europe’s ills? One answer is that the confidence fairy doesn’t exist — that is, claims that slashing government spending would somehow encourage consumers and businesses to spend more have been overwhelmingly refuted by the experience of the past two years. So spending cuts in a depressed economy just make the depression deeper. [ The New York Times , 5/6/12 ] Nobel Economist Stiglitz: “More Austerity” In Europe Is “A Mutual Suicide Pact.” A January 17 Telegraph article quoted Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz calling further austerity measures in Europe a “mutual suicide pact” and pointing out that “even though they see over and over again that austerity leads to collapse of the economy,” European politicians are calling for “more austerity.” From The Telegraph : Imposing austerity measures as countries slow towards recession is a fundamentally flawed response, said Mr Stiglitz, who won the Nobel prize in 2001 for his work on how markets work inefficiently. “The answer, even though they see over and over again that austerity leads to collapse of the economy, the answer over and over [from politicians] is more austerity,” said Mr Stiglitz to the Asian Financial Forum, a gathering of over 2,000 finance professionals, businessmen and government officials in Hong Kong. Mr Stiglitz pointed out that 700,000 public sector jobs had been cut in the United States in the past four years, removing demand from the system as unemployment spikes. The UK is set to lose a similar number by 2017. Instead, Mr Stiglitz argued the best economic medicine is infrastructure spending, especially on transport and energy projects. He pointed to China as one country that had successfully combatted financial crises with stimulus packages. [ The Telegraph , 1/17/12 ] Christina Romer: “Because Of The Harsh Effect Of Budget Cutting On Growth, Debt-To-G.D.P. Ratios In Europe Have Continued To Rise.” In an April 29 New York Times op-ed, Christina Romer, University of California at Berkeley professor and former chairwoman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, noted that “austerity is uniquely destructive” in the current economic climate. From The New York Times : It has been two years since moves to austerity started, but the crisis is still with us. Growth in European gross domestic product was negative in the last quarter of 2011. Unemployment in the entire euro zone in February was 10.8 percent; in Spain it was an astounding 23.6 percent. And judging from the renewed turbulence in bond markets, investors don’t believe that prosperity is just around the corner. Fiscal austerity is normally a sensible response to a loss in confidence in a country’s solvency, as has occurred in parts of Europe. But the current situation is exceptional. Short-term interest rates are very low, so large rate reductions to offset the negative impact of budget cutting are impossible. The result is that austerity is uniquely destructive right now. Indeed, because of the harsh effect of budget cutting on growth, debt-to-G.D.P. ratios in Europe have continued to rise. [ The New York Times , 4/29/12 ] Dean Baker: United Kingdom Has “Given Us … A Beautiful Example Of How Austerity Wrecks An Economy.” In a May 1 Al Jazeera op-ed, Dean Baker, co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, noted that, in the example of the United Kingdom, “It sure looks like the austerity critics won this one.” From Al-Jazeera : We have now had almost two years to evaluate the effects of the UK’s austerity policy, which is longer than most governments get to test the results of their policy experiments. After all, President Obama got his head handed to him in the November 2010 elections, which were just 20 months after the passage of his stimulus package. It sure looks like the austerity critics won this one. While interest rates have remained low in the UK, this has been true of every wealthy country with its own currency, regardless of whether or not it was pursuing an austerity path. The UK economy does not appear to have done any better in terms of the rest of the picture. If austerity boosted business leaders’ animal spirits, it is not showing up in the data. Nearly every component of the private sector has contracted over the past two quarters with construction leading the way,  falling at a 0.8 per cent  annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2011 and a  12.0 per cent rate  in the first quarter of this year. But there are many people in positions of power who want to push austerity for reasons that have nothing to do with economic growth – and they are prepared to lie, cheat, and steal to advance this agenda. For this reason, however much we may sympathise with the people of the UK for their suffering, we should be thankful that they have given us such a beautiful example of how austerity wrecks an economy. [Al Jazeera, 5/1/12 ] Former WH Economist Jared Bernstein: Austerity “Doesn’t Work Here, It Doesn’t Work In Europe, It Doesn’t Work For State And Local Governments.” In a May 4 Rolling Stone blog post, Jared Bernstein, a former White House economist and current Center on Budget and Policy Priorities senior fellow, wrote that austerity “doesn’t work here, it doesn’t work in Europe, it doesn’t work for state and local governments.” From Rolling Stone : This just in: AUSTERITY DOESN’T WORK! It doesn’t work here, it doesn’t work in Europe, it doesn’t work for state and local governments.  I’m tempted to ask how many data points we need to recognize this crucial economic truth, but I’m afraid data points don’t have much to do with it. [ Rolling Stone , 5/4/12 ] Financial Times ‘ Chief Economics Commentator Martin Wolf: “Small [Fiscal] Contractions Bring Recessions And Big Contractions Bring Depressions.” In an April 27 blog post, Financial Times chief economics commentator Martin Wolf “examine[d] the question” of austerity and found “what I would have expected: the bigger the structural tightening, the larger the fall in GDP.” Wolf further pointed out that “small [fiscal] contractions bring recessions and big contractions bring depressions.” From the Financial Times : The result is below. It is what I would have expected: the bigger the structural tightening, the larger the fall in GDP. The estimated fit is fairly good for this sort of calculation. Every percentage point of structural fiscal tightening is estimated to lower GDP by 1.5 per cent of its 2008 level. So the 8 percentage points of structural fiscal tightening in Greece lowered its GDP by 12 per cent. In all, there is no evidence here that large fiscal contractions bring benefits to confidence and growth that offset the direct effects of the contractions. They bring exactly what one would expect: small contractions bring recessions and big contractions bring depressions. Finally, since a large number of countries are expected to tighten their fiscal positions substantially in coming years, their economies are likely to contract. How long the political glue will hold in these circumstances is a really interesting question. [ Financial Times , 4/27/12 ] Fareed Zakaria: “European Economies” That Implemented Austerity Measures “Are Finding Themselves In A Downward Spiral.” In an April 22 column, CNN host Fareed Zakaria noted that, compared to European economies, “America is booming.” Zakaria attributed the difference to “too much austerity” in European economies. From CNN.com: A new poll in the United States shows that Americans are still deeply frustrated at the slow pace of the economic recovery. That’s understandable. Unemployment stays stubbornly high. But I was just in Europe, and they think America is booming. Consider this: the U.S. economy is on track to grow between 2 and 3 percent this year. In Europe, by contrast, half the eurozone economies are going to actually shrink this year – and not one major European country will grow over 1%. Consider that data we started with. The U.S. economy, which received monetary and fiscal stimulus, will grow at well over 2% this year. European economies that have followed the path of cutting spending and raising taxes to reduce deficits are finding themselves in a downward spiral: cutting spending means laying off people, which means less demand for good[s] and services, which means the economy shrinks, which – ironically – means lower tax revenues and thus larger budget deficits. Take a look at Britain. Britain has followed a brave austerity plan, cutting government spending across the board and raising taxes. The result, British growth has stalled; the economy will grow barely 0.8% this year. And while its budget deficit was predicted to be under 13 billion dollars in February, it was in fact 24 billion dollars for that month alone. After its austerity programs, Spain has hit 20% unemployment – 50% youth unemployment – and now has a much larger budget deficit than projected. Europe needs structural reforms that will cut spending over the long term – by raising retirement ages and cutting benefits. But it also needs pro-growth reforms that open up its labor market. But most importantly for now it needs to stop imposing austerity in a depressed economy and learn from something from the example across the Atlantic. [CNN, 4/22/12 ]

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Thursday, den 3. May 2012

In recent months, BuzzFeed’s garnered a lot of traffic from, and done a public service by, publishing lists of hugely racist things that people are willing to say in public, whether it’s spotlighting the bizarre and horrifying comments on a newspaper article , the racist and homophobic reactions to the Capitals’ Joel Ward’s overtime goal against the Boston Bruins, Twitter reactions to the Tim Tebow trade , or the ugly things commenters said about black characters in The Hunger Games . But somewhere along the way, wires appear to have gotten crossed, resulting in the publication of this immensely bizarre list of reasons “why Asians are the superior race.” Now, I get that the list is supposed to be funny. The article has a subhead that signals that intent loud and clear: “By use of deductive reasoning, I have concluded that Asians are the superior race. This is scientific proof .” But as with the awful Ashton Kutcher PopChips ad we discussed earlier today, in which the actor appears in brownface to play a stereotypical Indian single man, this is an attempt at humor that has nothing to say about race, or about racists, and elicits nary a chuckle. It might be one thing if the list was full of stereotypes or things that were so blatantly untrue that the article was an attempt to parody ridiculous things racist people believe about Asians. Instead, it’s a recitation of common-to-the-point of boring statements: everything is cuter! they’re weird in ways that white folks find laughable but not contemptible! they’re a source of memes for Western audiences! This isn’t a parody of a mindset: it’s an investment in it. (Also, the piece seems to believe that, a single banh mi reference aside, “Asian” mostly means Chinese and Japanese.) This isn’t actually a list about the superiority of any given Asian country or any given Asian culture. It’s not a Tiger Mother argument. It’s about the fact that white people find some cultural practices that originate in Asian countries more entertaining to consume than, say, the sight of middle-aged dudes in Lederhosen. It’s a joke about superiority that ends up reinforcing a sense that people from Asian countries are inferior, that these cultural practices are worthy objects only of amusement rather than actual interaction. What worked about BuzzFeed’s lists of Tweets and comments is that they were intended to spotlight the ridiculousness of racist and homphobic statements. Somewhere along BuzzFeed’s edit chain, that purpose seems to have gotten lost, while the form and subject matter stayed on. Style and subject tend to drive traffic. But purpose ought to determine what’s worth publishing, and which pitches are worth rejecting as fast as possible. Especially when the evidence is clear that you can garner as many clicks and as much attention for doing something worthwhile as for ginning up controversy.

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Thursday, den 26. January 2012

A Media Matters analysis shows that as a whole, news coverage of the Keystone XL pipeline between August 1 and December 31 favored pipeline proponents. Although the project would create few long-term employment opportunities, the pipeline was primarily portrayed as a jobs issue. Pro-pipeline voices were quoted more frequently than those opposed, and dubious industry estimates of job creation were uncritically repeated 5 times more often than they were questioned. Meanwhile, concerns about the State Department’s review process and potential environmental consequences were often overlooked, particularly by television outlets. Pro-Pipeline Voices Were Quoted More Frequently All But Two Major News Outlets Quoted More Pipeline Supporters Than Opponents. With the exceptions of USA Today and the Los Angeles Times , every news outlet included in this study quoted or hosted more people in favor of the pipeline than opposed. BROADCAST: Among the broadcast networks, 79% of those quoted or interviewed were in favor of the pipeline. NBC and ABC did not quote anyone opposed. CABLE: On Fox News, 66% of those quoted or hosted were in favor and 13% were opposed. CNN featured 54% in favor and only 14% opposed. MSNBC was the most balanced, with 38% in favor and 31% opposed. PRINT: Of those quoted by the major newspapers, 45% were in favor of the pipeline and 31% were opposed. The New York Times was the most balanced, quoting 35% in favor and 27% opposed. The Wall Street Journal was the least balanced, with 52% in favor and 21% opposed. Op-Eds/Editorials Supporting Keystone XL Outweighed Those Opposed. The editorial boards of the Washington Post , USA Today , and the Wall Street Journal have come out in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline. Those three newspapers published 16 op-eds or editorials supporting the pipeline and only one opposed. All together, the print outlets published 19 op-eds or editorials in favor of the project and 10 opposed. The New York Times editorial board took a stance against the pipeline. TV News Coverage Mirrored Pipeline Proponents’ Preferred Framing Media Framed Pipeline As A Jobs Issue. Although the pipeline would lead to a small number of long-term jobs, the potential for job creation from the pipeline was mentioned in 68% of print coverage, 67% of broadcast coverage and 75% of cable coverage. BROADCAST: All three broadcast networks mentioned jobs more than any other issue we tracked in the Keystone XL debate. CBS topped the list, discussing jobs in 75% of its coverage. CABLE: Fox News mentioned jobs in 85% of its coverage — more than any other television network. Both Fox and CNN covered jobs more than all the other issues we measured combined. Only MSNBC mentioned environmental factors more often than jobs. PRINT: USA Today , The Los Angeles Times , The Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal covered jobs more than any other issue we tracked. The Los Angeles Times mentioned jobs in 86% of its coverage, topping all other media outlets included in our analysis. Media Repeated Industry’s Inflated Job Numbers Industry Job Estimates Have Been Widely Discredited. TransCanada, the Canadian company behind the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, has long pushed the message that the project would “directly create more than 20,000 high-wage manufacturing jobs and construction jobs in 2011-2012 across the U.S.” as well as “118,000 spin-off jobs,” and up to 553,000 jobs “stemming from a permanent increase in stable oil supplies.” At times TransCanada used the term “jobs” to refer to what was actually an estimate of “person-years of employment,” and the press rarely explained the difference. Some of TransCanada’s figures come from a study that independent analysts have called ” dead wrong ,” ” meaningless ,” ” flawed and poorly documented .” A Bloomberg Government analysis found that TransCanada’s estimate of direct job creation per mile is higher than what took place during construction of the pipeline TransCanada completed in 2010, indicating that the company either “intends to hire more workers [per mile] for shorter periods of time, or that the company’s construction crew and jobs figures are overstated, compared with earlier stages of the Keystone project.” The State Department estimated that “the construction work force would consist of approximately 5,000 to 6,000 workers,” and said the project “would not have a significant impact on long-term employment.” Media Uncritically Repeated Industry Job Estimates 76 Times. Every news outlet included in our analysis uncritically repeated TransCanada’s jobs numbers at least once. The major print outlets did so 34 times – in 29% of the Keystone XL articles mentioning jobs — with the Associated Press accounting for almost half of those instances. The broadcast networks repeated these figures 4 times — one third of the times jobs were mentioned. And the cable networks did so 38 times — 45% of the coverage mentioning jobs. Fox News uncritically repeated these numbers more than all the other television networks combined. By Contrast, Criticisms Of These Figures Were Rarely Mentioned. Criticisms of the industry job estimates were included a total of 6 times in the print coverage, or 5% of the print coverage that mentioned jobs. The cable outlets covered the criticisms a total of 9 times, or 11% of cable coverage that mentioned jobs. All together, the outlets uncritically passed along TransCanada’s numbers 5 times more often than they mentioned criticisms of those numbers. TV Media Downplayed Environmental Risks Keystone XL Prompted Serious Environmental Concerns. The original Keystone XL pipeline route would cross through the Sand Hills region of Nebraska, a ” sensitive ecosystem ” sitting atop the Ogallala Aquifer, a major source of drinking water for the region. Given that the existing Keystone pipeline has “experienced 14 spills since it began operation,” including a major spill of 21,000 gallons, many are concerned about the potential for groundwater contamination if the oil were to spill. This concern is amplified by reports that PHMSA, the agency responsible for overseeing pipeline safety, is chronically understaffed and toothless. Before Congressional Republicans imposed a decision deadline on the Obama administration, TransCanada, the state of Nebraska, and the State Department had agreed to consider an alternative route around the Sand Hills. Others object to the pipeline because it signifies a long-term commitment to the unconventional production of fossil fuels that drive climate change. EPA initially criticized the State Department for not fully assessing the pipeline’s impact on climate change, noting that developing tar sands oil is 82% more carbon intensive than the average crude refined in the U.S. TV Coverage Often Overlooked Environmental Risks. While the Keystone XL pipeline debate was often framed as a ‘jobs versus environment’ issue, specific environmental concerns were only mentioned in 34% of cable coverage and 17% of broadcast coverage. Specifically, the threat posed by the pipeline to the Ogallala Aquifer was mentioned in 16% of cable coverage and 17% of the broadcast coverage, while climate change was mentioned in 10% of cable coverage and 6% of broadcast coverage. BROADCAST: Of the broadcast networks, ABC mentioned environmental concerns the most — in a third (33%) of its coverage. NBC didn’t mention specific environmental concerns at all. Climate change was only mentioned once, on CBS. CABLE: MSNBC was the only cable network to discuss environmental concerns more than any other issue — in 50% of its coverage. CNN covered environmental concerns the least, in less than a quarter (22%) of its coverage. And while Fox News mentioned environmental factors in a third (33%) of its coverage, it was often to dismiss these concerns. Media Failed To Report EPA’s Criticism Of Environmental Review. The EPA repeatedly challenged the State Department’s preliminary Environmental Impact Statement. Calling the State Department’s draft review ” inadequate ,” the EPA recommended a more thorough analysis of the pipeline’s potential environmental impact. The State Department issued a Supplemental Draft EIS in April 2011 which addressed comments from EPA and other federal agencies, but again the EPA called the review “insufficient” and recommended further analysis. The State Department released its final EIS in August 2011 — prior to postponing a decision on the project — and the EPA has not commented on the document. Of the 9 television segments that mentioned the State Department’s review, none mentioned EPA’s earlier criticisms. Only 30% of print items mentioning the EIS noted EPA’s criticisms. Excluding the New York Times , this number drops to 14%. News Corp. Turned A Blind Eye To Pipeline Protests. A string of large demonstrations against the Keystone XL pipeline took place throughout the fall. These protests were mentioned in 29% of print coverage, 22% of broadcast coverage, and 21% of cable coverage. The Wall Street Journal and Fox News — both owned by News Corporation — covered the protests the least, in only 15% of their coverage. Media Advanced Claims That The Pipeline Would Bolster Energy Security Significance Of Pipeline To Energy Security Is Disputed. TransCanada has said that its pipeline would increase U.S. energy security by displacing imports from countries deemed less friendly to the U.S. According to the Congressional Research Service, “it may be possible for Canadian oil supplies to effectively ‘push out’ waterborne shipments from other countries, although this depends on a wide range of market conditions.” CRS also noted that “Apart from Keystone XL, several other pipeline proposals could help carry growing Canadian crude oil supplies to the U.S. Gulf Coast,” and pointed out that “even if Keystone XL is built, prices for the crude oil it carries” will “continue to be affected by international events.” Indeed, the benefit to American consumers of any shift in U.S. import sources that could be attributed to the Keystone XL pipeline is far from clear. As the Council on Foreign Relations’ Michael Levi has noted , “U.S. vulnerability to turmoil in the Middle East is linked to how much oil we consume, not where we buy it from.” The pipeline would do very little to shield the U.S. economy from high and volatile prices. Print Media Frequently Touted Keystone XL As A Step Towards U.S. Energy Security. The purported contribution from the Keystone XL pipeline to American energy security was mentioned in 52% of print coverage, 22% of broadcast coverage, and 28% of cable coverage. USA Today , whose editorial board supports the pipeline, mentioned energy security in 67% of its coverage, more than any other print outlet. Fox News mentioned it more than all the other television networks combined. Only items in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times questioned the energy security benefits of the pipeline. Allegations Of Bias Garnered Small Amount Of Coverage Questions Have Been Raised About State Department Impartiality. Concerns about the rigor of the State Department’s approval process arose almost a year before the Environmental Impact Statement was completed, when Secretary Clinton said that her office was “inclined” to sign off on the pipeline. In addition, the State Department’s EIS was prepared by consulting firm Cardno Entrix, which lists TransCanada as a client, raising concerns among legal experts. A series of documents obtained by Wikileaks and Friends of the Earth also revealed a cozy and collaborative relationship between some State Department officials and TransCanada, including examples of agency officials coaching the corporation on how to make the strongest case for its pipeline. The inspector general is currently investigating the State Department’s handling of the Keystone XL review. Media Rarely Mentioned Concerns About Bias, Conflict Of Interest. These issues were mentioned in 20% of print coverage, 7% of cable coverage and 6% of broadcast coverage. Among print outlets, the Wall Street Journal covered these issues the least (11%). Among the cable outlets, CNN mentioned them the least (5%), with Fox News not far behind (6%). NBC and ABC did not cover them at all. Methodology This report analyzes print and television coverage of the Keystone XL pipeline between August 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011. Our results are based on a Nexis or Factiva search of six major print outlets ( New York Times , Washington Post , USA Today , Los Angeles Times , Associated Press and Wall Street Journal ), the major broadcast networks (ABC, NBC and CBS), CNN and the primetime shows on MSNBC and Fox (daytime shows for these networks are not available in Nexis). For print outlets, we searched Nexis for “Keystone XL” and included both news and opinion items, but excluded web-only content. For television networks, we searched for “Keystone and pipeline.” Our analysis includes any article or segment devoted to the pipeline, as well as any substantial mention (more than one paragraph of an article or news transcript.) The following chart displays the coverage included in our study:

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Wednesday, den 18. January 2012

Fox & Friends  claimed that the Obama administration is using the European economic crisis as “an excuse” to explain continued economic struggles in the U.S., saying that Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod is “totally wrong” to be concerned about “what happens in Europe.” In fact, economists and experts agree that European recessions and the declining value of the euro are having a large negative impact on the U.S. economy — as did other global events, like the earthquake in Japan and the Arab Spring. Fox & Friends Claims Obama Admin. “Us[ing]” European Fiscal Crisis As “An Excuse” For Poor U.S. Economy Varney: Axelrod Is “Totally Wrong” That “What Happens In Europe” Could Be Affecting U.S. Economy. On the January 17 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends , co-host Brian Kilmeade began a segment by asking, “Are new economic downgrades in Europe setting the stage for the Obama administration to use that as an excuse for their poor record on the economy?” A clip was then aired showing Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod telling CNN’s Candy Crowley that “external factors” such as “what happens in Europe” are concerns of the campaign. Fox Business host Stuart Varney responded by saying Axelrod was “totally wrong” to be concerned about Europe and claimed that Axelrod is “setting up an excuse for the poor economy.” From the broadcast: KILMEADE: Are new economic downgrades in Europe setting the stage for the Obama administration to use that as an excuse for their poor record on the economy? [start video] CROWLEY: Somebody in your campaign told me not that long ago, when I said, what do you most worry about in terms of campaign strategy? Is it Romney? Is it Gingrich? Is it — and he said, no, it’s the economy. Is that still — hold true? AXELROD: Well, I think external factors, what happens in Europe, you know, what happens in other places in the world, and frankly, the other thing that worries me are these big super PACs that we see Governor Romney and others benefitting from right now. [end video] ERIC BOLLING (guest host): And Stuart Varney joins us. What do you think of that little interchange between the talk show host and David Axelrod? And is he right? VARNEY: David Axelrod is setting up an excuse for the poor performance of the U.S. economy as we go into the election. He’s saying it’s outside factors that lead to high unemployment, a weak economy and a housing crash. KILMEADE: Is he wrong? VARNEY: He’s totally wrong. He’s diverting attention from the failure of the president’s policies on energy, on stimulus, on government spending, on the housing market. The president has failed in those areas. David Axelrod is trying to dress it up and excuse that failure by pointing to so-called outside factors. GRETCHEN CARLSON (co-host): All right. They just go back into the bag and bring out another thing to use. VARNEY: Yeah. Give you three months, we’ll find something else to blame. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 1/17/12] Varney Also Complained Obama Administration Blamed “The [Japanese] Tsunami” And “The Arab Spring.” Also during the January 17 broadcast, Varney complained that the Obama administration “divert[ed] attention from … a failed economic policy” by blaming “the tsunami” in Japan and “the Arab Spring.” From Fox & Friends : CARLSON: Well, this isn’t the first time that they’ve done this. VARNEY: No, it wasn’t. Last year it was the tsunami and before that, it was the Arab Spring. Now, it’s Europe. It diverts attention from what has been, in my opinion, a failed economic policy. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 1/17/12] In Fact, Experts Agree The European Crisis Could Have “Grave” Effects On The U.S. AP: “Europe’s Sputtering Growth Is Already Dragging On Some U.S. Companies’ Profits And Could Further Slow The U.S. Economy.” A November 13, 2011, Associated Press (AP) article stated that the “European Union is the No. 1 U.S. trading partner.” The article went on to cite a Wells Fargo estimate that “the U.S. economy will grow 2.1 percent next year, 0.4 percentage point lower because of Europe’s slowdown” and also noted that Goldman Sachs has predicted that Europe’s “slowdown could shave a full percentage point off U.S. growth.” From the article: The tremors from Europe’s financial upheaval have reached U.S. shores, rattling consumers and companies. The consequences have been limited so far. Yet the United States and Europe are so closely linked that any slowdown across the Atlantic is felt here. U.S. makers of cars, solar panels, drugs, clothes and computer equipment have all reported effects from Europe’s turmoil. Worries that Europe’s crisis could worsen and spread are spooking investors and consumers just as the holiday shopping season nears. Some fear U.S. consumers could rein in spending. Europe’s sputtering growth is already dragging on some U.S. companies’ profits and could further slow the U.S. economy. The crisis “seems to be coming to a head right at the time the U.S. economy is at its most vulnerable,” said Mark Vitner, an economist at Wells Fargo. The European Union is the No. 1 U.S. trading partner. Nearly $475 billion in goods crossed between the regions in the first nine months of 2011. About 14 percent of revenue for the 500 biggest U.S. companies — roughly $1.3 trillion — comes from Europe. The U.S. economy is especially vulnerable to the European crisis because it’s growing so weakly and facing other risks, such as weak hiring, stagnant pay, high energy costs, a wide trade deficit and potentially steep government spending cuts. “It won’t take much to tip us into another recession,” said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at California State University, Channel Islands. “If Europe gets into any deeper trouble, it will take us and the rest of the world down, too.” Wells Fargo estimates that the U.S. economy will grow 2.1 percent next year, 0.4 percentage point lower because of Europe’s slowdown. Goldman Sachs thinks the region’s slowdown could shave a full percentage point off U.S. growth. Even if Europe doesn’t fall into a downturn, its turmoil is affecting U.S companies and consumers in several ways: Stock-market gyrations unsettle consumers and make them more cautious about spending. U.S. companies with big European operations are suffering from lower sales, prices and profits. Banks worldwide are cutting lending and hoarding cash to create more cushion for potentially deep losses on their holdings of Greek, Italian and other government debt. U.S. and overseas banks are keeping about $1.57 trillion in reserves at the Federal Reserve — a jump of nearly $580 billion in the past year. Uncertainty about how much damage Europe could cause is making corporations reluctant to spend their piles of cash to hire and invest. [AP, 11/13/11 , via MSNBC.com] Bernanke: “I Don’t Think We Would Be Able To Escape The Consequences Of A Blow-Up In Europe.” A November 13, 2011, Reuters article about U.S. efforts to “safeguard its financial system from a worsening of Europe’s debt crisis” estimated that U.S. financial institutions might have over “$4 trillion” of direct and indirect “bank exposure” to European countries. The article also noted, “A Fed survey last week showed that about half the top U.S. banks had loans to European banks or were extending credit to them. If European banks ran into trouble and were unable to repay their loans, U.S. banks could face sizable losses.” From the article: The United States is ramping up attempts to safeguard its financial system from a worsening of Europe’s debt crisis, joining nations in Asia, Latin America and elsewhere in trying to build firewalls. U.S. policymakers, alarmed by the political upheaval in Italy and Greece, are digging deep into the books of American banks to find out how exposed they might be to euro zone creditors and the plunging value of sovereign debt. Officials were stung by the implosion of Wall Street firm MF Global, which gambled and lost on European debt, and they are working on contingency plans for a worst-case scenario should another financial firm crumble. While the Treasury has been at pains to say that direct U.S. bank exposure to European countries now receiving bailout aid — Greece, Ireland and Portugal — is moderate, once the debt of Italy and Spain, plus credit default swaps, and U.S. bank indirect exposure through European banks are added, the potential sum could exceed $4 trillion. “As such, the potential for contagion to the U.S. financial system is not small,” the Institute of International Finance, the lobby group for major international banks, said last week. There is a secondary level of exposure that is potentially more worrying — through international banks lending to each other. Here the greatest risk stems from Italy and France. International bank claims on Italy total $939 billion, and French banks account for well over one-third of that, BIS data show. French banks also rely heavily on short-term loans from other international banks for their daily operations. If Italian debt slumps even further, causing deeper losses for French banks, international banks could stop lending to France. The losses would ripple through the whole global financial system. The United States learned the hard way how these indirect financial linkages work when imploding credit default swaps forced it into a $180 billion bailout of insurance giant American International Group (AIG.N) in 2008 to prevent further contagion in the banking sector. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was frank last week about the risks: “It is not something that we would be insulated from … I don’t think we would be able to escape the consequences of a blow-up in Europe.” A Fed survey last week showed that about half the top U.S. banks had loans to European banks or were extending credit to them. If European banks ran into trouble and were unable to repay their loans, U.S. banks could face sizable losses. [Reuters, 11/13/11 ] Wash. Post: “The Ripples” Of Europe’s Banking Crisis “Have Spread All The Way To The United States.” From a December 9, 2011, Washington Post article: The ripples have spread all the way to the United States. “You’re seeing banks walking away from real estate commitments here,” said a senior U.S. investment banker for real estate who asked for anonymity to protect his business relationships. “It’s like a weight loss program. Only the Germans want you to go on a fasting program right now.” Standard & Poor’s says it assigned ratings to two U.S. power plant developments that were delayed by several months because the developers were worried about lining up financing given the “choppy” European markets. A U.S. private equity firm says it pulled back from a major U.S. investment at the last moment because the company sells goods to Europe and economic conditions there are so uncertain. “It was too much exposure to Europe,” a person familiar with the deal said on the condition of anonymity to protect business relationships. That could mean months of slow lending that resembles the dearth of financing that contributed to the recession that hit in the United States in 2008. An economic slowdown in Europe could be grave. Banco Santander reported its first-ever quarterly loss for operations in Portugal, for example, and expects to shrink lending in Spain. A Citigroup report pointed to “a contraction in loans and margins” in the Iberian peninsula. [ The Washington Post , 12/9/11 ] Wash. Post: Princeton Economist Shin Says European Banks “Could Do A Lot More Damage Than Expected” To The U.S. A December 22, 2011, Washington Post article contained interviews with several leading economists about the “effect of [the] European banking crisis on [the] U.S.” While some economists remained optimistic that the effects would be limited, many others were “pessimists,” with one predicting that European banks could “do a lot more damage than expected as they pull back” and another estimating that a slowdown in the euro-zone “could shave 1 percentage point off of U.S. economic growth over the next year.” From the Post : As European banks unwind, will the U.S. recovery come undone? That’s what U.S. economists are trying to figure out as European banks, scrambling to strengthen their balance sheets, cut back on lending to American businesses and households. Princeton University economist Hyun Song Shin said in a recent paper that European banks have played a much bigger role in the U.S. economy than has been generally thought — and could do a lot more damage than expected as they pull back. Shin says European banks grew not only by making direct loans to U.S. businesses but also by sucking up vast U.S. money-market deposits and purchasing U.S. mortgage securities. During the previous decade, “European banks may have played a pivotal role in influencing credit conditions in the United States,” and that helped fuel the U.S. housing and financial bubble, Shin argued in a recent paper. But now it could hurt the U.S. recovery as European banks shrink and bolster their capital reserves. “The European crisis of 2011 and the associated deleveraging of the European global banks will have far reaching implications not only for the eurozone, but also for credit supply conditions in the United States and capital flows to the emerging economies,” Shin wrote in a paper presented at an International Monetary Fund conference in November and which has been widely read among economists. The vast extent of those European bank obligations to U.S. institutions, or counter-parties, helps explain U.S. policymakers’ anxiety as they watch European leaders try to head off a crisis like the one that followed the Lehman Brothers failure in the United States in 2008. Goldman Sachs chief economist Jan Hatzius is among the pessimists. He says the slowdown in the euro-zone economy could shave 1 percentage point off of U.S. economic growth over the next year, with about half of that a direct result of a pullback by European banks. Foreign banks’ branches account for about one-fifth of all commerical [sic] and industrial lending in the United States, Hatzius wrote in a recent Goldman Sachs report. While domestic banks are easing lending standards, a recent Federal Reserve study showed that those foreign banks are tightening standards in the United States. Hatzius wrote that “some pullback is indeed visible” already. Other U.S. economists are more sanguine. Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Economy.com, said there were signs that some European banks were tightening lending standards in the United States as well as abroad, but he said “the damage might be limited because the U.S. banks are filling the void.” [ The Washington Post , 12/22/11 ] Even The Conservative Heritage Foundation Says European Economic Woes Contribute To “Bad Uncertainty” In U.S. Heritage Foundation: “The Issue Is Global Financial Interconnectedness … A Major U.S. Trading Partner Will Be In A Slump, And So U.S. Exports To Europe Will Suffer.” From a September 23, 2011, report published by The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank: Five years ago, one might have viewed the European financial crisis, that is, the existential threat to European financial institutions and markets, as mostly a European affaire. To be sure, American financial institutions hold some of this dodgy European debt, as well. There have even been stories that super-safe money market funds have loaded up on scary levels of high-yielding Greek debt. But, on balance, one would have thought a financial contagion in Europe would be stopped at water’s edge. Five years ago, the Europeans thought the same thing about the then-rumored U.S. subprime mortgage fiasco about to unfold. The issue is global financial interconnectedness. This is where matters get murky. No one, including the participants and including the financial regulators, really knows or understands all the connections, or all the weaknesses. We know in great detail, for example, how much foreign debt by country each of our banks own. But for years the Europeans have assured the world their true exposure to sovereign debt risk was limited because they had hedged their positions with credit default swaps (CDS). Note, however, that CDS do not eliminate risk but merely shift it. To whom? No one really knows. As these events unfold, the essential consequence for the United States economy is a large dose of bad uncertainty. Bad uncertainty is analogous to bad cholesterol. It builds up and creates economic blockages. In the economic sphere, this shows up as decisions delayed or downscaled, decisions that under normal times would produce the actions that produce growth. Europe is clearly adding to the headwinds facing the economy today. The depth and length of the recession in each country will vary, but none will be immune. Many of these countries suffered poorly performing economies before the crisis. For the United States the implications if not the magnitudes are clear – a major U.S. trading partner will be in a slump, and so U.S. exports to Europe will suffer. If the U.S. economy were in good shape, a drop in exports would simply be another headwind to be overcome. In 1997, during the Asian economic crisis, the U.S. experienced an event similar in nature if not magnitude, but the U.S. economy was reasonably strong and accelerating and so the headwinds from the Asian crisis were essentially imperceptible in the aggregate. Unfortunately, rather than strengthening, the U.S. economy today is flat on its back, and facing the very real possibility of yet another recession even without the headwinds of Europe. President Obama’s economic policies have failed utterly and completely. Mounting a sustained, robust, job-creating U.S. recovery under the circumstances will prove very difficult. [Heritage Foundation, 9/23/11 ] And Last Year, Experts Agreed Tsunami, Arab Spring “Stifled” U.S. “Economic Growth” Experts Agree “Economic Growth Was Stifled By Temporary Factors” Such As Japanese Earthquake And “Arab Spring.” Experts widely agreed that global events such as the March 2011 earthquake in Japan and the Arab Spring had an effect on global economic activity. An August 2011 article on CNN Money noted, “In the first quarter [of 2011], economic growth was stifled by temporary factors, including supply disruptions stemming from the Japan earthquake and a spike in gasoline prices following the Arab Spring political uprisings.” [ Media Matters , 8/26/11 ]

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Wednesday, den 23. November 2011

In a November 20 Washington Times   column , Joseph Curl pushed the debunked attack that President Obama called Americans “lazy” and claimed that Obama “holds a special disdain for the working American.” Curl further wrote that Obama is “diss[ing] Americans while campaigning for their votes.” From the Times: While the Nobel Prize winner courts the world, looking for lost love, he holds a special disdain for the working American. Now, mind you, this from a guy who has never held down a real job: from community organizer to Illinois state senator to U.S. senator to president, taxpayers have been paying his salary since the mid-1990s. In the past three months, his real feelings about the state of the U.S. economy have come out and, more important, just who’s to blame for it. You won’t be surprised: It’s YOU. Sometimes, he even disses Americans while campaigning for their votes, as he did in September during a TV interview. “The way I think about it is, you know, this is a great, great country that had gotten a little soft and, you know, we didn’t have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades. We need to get back on track,” he said in Florida. “We’ve been a little bit lazy, I think, over the past couple of decades. We’ve kind of taken for granted. ‘Well, people will want to come here’ and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new business into America,” he said at the Asian economic summit. So, there you have it: The American worker has lost his “ambition [and] imagination,” is “lazy” and has gone “a bit soft.” Spoken like a true one-term president. Previously: Right-Wing Media’s “Lazy” Attack On Obama Called Out Fox News Still Claiming Obama Said “Americans Are Lazy” Zombie Lie: Hannity Keeps Up Discredited Attack That Obama Said “The American People Are Lazy”

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Saturday, den 19. November 2011

By Karen Narasaki and Stewart Kwoh, November 18, 2011 Our ranks have swelled by 46 percent over the past decade, making us the fastest growing racial minority in the nation and ready to wield power and influence in the 2012 election. read more

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Sunday, den 23. October 2011

Yesterday, radio host Thom Hartmann challenged guest Pat Buchanan over his recent writing about minorities and test scores. Hartmann said that “a lot of people are taking what you’re saying as code for inferior genes” and twice pressed Buchanan to disavow that theory. Buchanan did not, instead claiming that he doesn’t “know anything” about the topic. From The Thom Hartmann Program : HARTMANN: A lot of people are taking what you’re saying as code for inferior genes. Please tell me that’s not what you’re talking about. BUCHANAN: Well look, I’m not — don’t know anything about what genetics or something like that. What I’m saying is, is these are the test scores and we haven’t been able to — HARTMANN: So do you disavow that? BUCHANAN: Pardon? HARTMANN: Do you disavow that idea, that concept — BUCHANAN: Well, I don’t know anything about being — look. The Coleman Report — HARTMANN: I mean, you’re being quoted over on — BUCHANAN: The Coleman Report, and I think I’ve got in my book, the Coleman Report said what a child brings to school is far more important than what he finds in schools, in other words, heredity and home environment, nature and nurture. Do I know the differences, or what percentages, or this and that, of course not. I’m not going to get into that. I’m saying is here’s the test scores now, and this is the problem, and in our future, quite frankly, Hispanic Americans, and African Americans, because of test scores, because of the dropout rate is fifty percent, they’re going to be in the service economy and the rest of us are going to be up there in the knowledge industry and that doesn’t make for a united America. [The remarks above begin roughly 4:20 into this clip] While Buchanan didn’t disavow the idea, he’s written about the matter throughout his career and was forced to clarify a controversial memo regarding the subject he wrote to President Nixon. The Boston Globe reported in a January 1992 article that as a White House aide, Buchanan “suggested in a memo to President Nixon that efforts to integrate the U.S. might only result in ‘perpetual friction’ because blacks and the poor may be genetically inferior to middle-class whites.” At the time of the report, Buchanan was running for president and under criticism for his history of controversial racial statements. The Globe reported that “Buchanan said yesterday he does not believe blacks are genetically inferior to whites and did not have that belief in the past. Buchanan said he sent the memo to Nixon as a routine matter of intellectual curiosity.” The Globe wrote of Buchanan’s memo:

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Sunday, den 23. October 2011

Many of the commentators in the Fox News stable were outspoken advocates of the war in Iraq. They have reacted to President Obama’s announcement that all U.S. troops will leave Iraq by the end of the year by expressing disapproval and a desire to remain in Iraq for decades, despite the fact that the central justification for the war — Iraq’s supposed possession of weapons of mass destruction — turned out to be completely wrong . On the October 22 edition of Special Report , Weekly Standard writer Stephen Hayes and Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer trashed the Obama administration over the announcement. Hayes called the withdrawal “a major setback” and “a disservice to our men and women in uniform,” and Krauthammer said it was a “big, big failure.” Krauthammer also endorsed keeping tens of thousands of U.S. troops in Iraq “the same way that we retained forces in Korea, Germany, and Japan 50 years ago, to our advantage”: Hayes’ advocacy for the Iraq war is especially embarrassing, given that he wrote a book titled The Connection: How al Qaeda’s Collaboration with Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America . The 2004 book was premised on a discredited Defense Department memo, and the idea of an operational link between Saddam and Al Qaeda has been utterly debunked in the years since its release. On the October 22 edition of On the Record with Greta Van Susteren , Fox News contributor John Bolton also called the withdrawal “a mistake.” Bolton was an early advocate of invading Iraq, having signed a 1998 letter from the Project for a New American Century, a neoconservative think tank, to President Clinton calling for military action against Iraq. During the discussion, Van Susteren asked Bolton, “[A]t what point, though, do you get out, do you say, ‘Look, it’s time to go home’?” Bolton replied, “We’re still in Germany. We’re still in Japan”:

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Monday, den 5. September 2011

In a video posted on the Fox Sports website, reporter Bob Oschack did a segment purporting to welcome Colorado and Utah as they joined the Pac-12 Conference for the 2011 college football season. Oschack said, “Let’s give the conference’s two newest members a good old-fashioned all-American welcome by paying a visit to one of its oldest members,” the University of Southern California. Oschack proceeded to interview only Asian students who apparently didn’t know much about USC football: According to USC’s statistics , Asian students made up 21.6 percent of the undergraduate student body last fall, and international students made up 11.2 percent: UPDATE: Fox Sports has pulled the video off its website and its YouTube account. However, it is still accessible on Hulu . UPDATE: Fox Sports head of media relations Lou D’Ermilio has apologized for the video, according to Deadspin : We sincerely apologize to President [C. L. Max] Nikias and the entire USC community for the production and posting of the video. The context was clearly inappropriate and the video was removed as soon as we became aware of it. We will review our editorial process to determine where the breakdown occurred, and we will take steps to ensure something like this never happens again.

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Wednesday, den 3. August 2011

A story about a Department of Homeland Security video that began at a website operated by radio host Alex Jones and was then covered on Fox News is just the latest example of how Fox has been moving increasingly toward pushing the conspiratorial views of Jones. After Alex Jones Took Credit For Pushing Fox News To The Fringe… Jones: “Fox News Is An Alex Jones Wannabe.” On his radio show, Jones praised then-Fox News host Glenn Beck for helping to mainstream the conspiratorial views of Federal Reserve critic G. Edward Griffin, claiming that “Fox News is an Alex Jones wannabe,” and adding that “We’ve pushed Fox News, greedy to have the biggest market share, to tell some of the truth.” [Genesis Communication Network, The Alex Jones Show , 3/28/11 ] Jones: “Beck Goes From A Mainline Conservative To Having G. Edward Griffin On.” Jones commended Beck for doing “a great thing” in having anti-Federal Reserve author G. Edward Griffin on his show. According to Jones, his conspiracy theories are “now mainstream news” as “the train is pulling into the station.” He went on to explain Fox News’ role in bringing these theories to light: And so out comes Fox News two years ago with Dick Morris saying, “Hey, the conspiracy theorists were wrong about world government, U.N. takeover, global currency. But now they’re right.” That’s a quote. And so Beck goes from a mainline conservative to having G. Edward Griffin on for over 30 minutes Friday. [Genesis Communication Network, The Alex Jones Show , 3/28/11 ] Jones: Fox News Is “Moving More Towards What Beck Was Doing.” Discussing Beck’s departure from Fox News, Jones noted that Beck “basically said what we’ve been saying for years, that the mainstream media is imploding.” Jones added: Just three years ago, when he joined Fox — two and a half years ago — Fox said there’s no such thing as a world government, no such thing as the Council on Foreign Relations, no such thing as the Bilderberg Group, they would not speak its name. Since then, it’s all over their channels, and you see Hannity, you see all of them moving more towards what Beck was doing. So basically, they’re getting rid of Beck so they can just basically take my information, hence his information, and spin it in a Republicanoid way. [Genesis Communication Network, The Alex Jones Show , 4/7/11 ] … Fox News Is Now Turning To Alex Jones For News Jones Website Infowars: “DHS Video Characterizes White Americans As Most Likely Terrorists.” From a July 21 article on Alex Jones’ Infowars website: A new promotional video released by the Department of Homeland Security characterizes white middle class Americans as the most likely terrorists, as Big Sis continues its relentless drive to cement the myth that mad bombers are hiding around every corner, when in reality Americans are just as likely to be killed by lightning strikes or peanut allergies. The video is part of Homeland Security’s $10 million dollar “See Something, Say Something” program that encourages Americans to report “suspicious activity,” which in every case throughout history has been a trait of oppressive, dictatorial regimes. In the course of the 10 minute clip, a myriad of different behaviors are characterized as terrorism, including opposing surveillance, using a video camera, talking to police officers, wearing hoodies, driving vans, writing on a piece of paper, and using a cell phone recording application. Despite encouraging viewers not to pay attention to a person’s race in determining whether or not they may be a terrorist, almost all of the scenarios in the clip proceed to portray white people as the most likely terrorists. Bizarrely, nearly every single one of the “patriotic” Americans who reports on their fellow citizen is either black, Asian or Arab. Imagine if the video had portrayed every terrorist as an Arab and every patriotic snoop as white, there’d be an outcry and rightly so, but this strange reversal must have been deliberate on the part of the DHS, but why? Is this merely political correctness taken to the extreme or is something deeper at work? [Infowars.com, 7/21/11 ] Fox Nation Picks Up Infowars Item. A Fox Nation post reproduces the first paragraph of the Infowars article, then provides a link to the article. [Fox Nation, 7/21/11 ] Fox Host Eric Bolling Picks Up Infowars Item: “We Were Looking Over Some Stuff, And This Thing Came, It Hit Us Right Smack In The Face.” In a segment on Fox News’ The Five , co-host Eric Bolling said in his introduction to a segment on the DHS video: “We at The Five this morning, we’re looking over some stuff, and this thing came, it hit us right smack in the face.” Echoing the Infowars item, Bolling went on to say that the video shows “white male average Americans end up being the terrorists, and the people calling the terror in happen to be — all of them happen to be black, Asian or Arab.” [Fox News, The Five , 7/21/11]

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Monday, den 25. July 2011

Left @ spotify running o’night. Woke up to “PK’s Dream.” MT @originalspin: MASTER LIST OF ASIAN AMERICAN POP MUSIC: http://post.ly/2d3h4

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Monday, den 25. July 2011

HHS announces new draft standards to improve the monitoring of health data by race, ethnicity, sex, primary language, and disability status, and begins planning for the collection of LGBT health data.

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