Omg, I couldn’t make this up if I tried. 

Omg, I couldn’t make this up if I tried. 


If you are not watching Fox News right now, you are cheating yourself.

We’re watching Karl Rove fall apart in front of us. This will be played in classes to demonstrate how people’s biases and hopes can literally override reality for them.


If you are not watching Fox News right now, you are cheating yourself.

We’re watching Karl Rove fall apart in front of us. This will be played in classes to demonstrate how people’s biases and hopes can literally override reality for them.


Fox News once again provides the most insightful picture of the political and intellectual climate in America today.

On the one hand, we don’t know what we’re talking about. But, on the other hand, we’re also happy to lie about the things we don’t know in order to score political points.

NBC managed to confused Neil Armstrong, who walked on the moon, with Neil Young, who wrote a lot of good songs.
Good grief.
(Pic 1, Pic 2) NBC managed to confused Neil Armstrong, who walked on the moon, with Neil Young, who wrote a lot of good songs.
Good grief.
(Pic 1, Pic 2)

NBC managed to confused Neil Armstrong, who walked on the moon, with Neil Young, who wrote a lot of good songs.

Good grief.

(Pic 1, Pic 2)


The takeaway from this whole affair is that Palestinians are not worthy of defense. They’re not worthy of inclusion. They’re not worthy to speak. Mainstream media elite figures like Robert Wright and Andrew Sullivan are defending a very safe position: white, Jewish and Israeli voices should have freedom of expression and amplification. That’s nothing new.

Notably Armin Rosen, The Atlantic intern rebuked by Wright for the attack on Mondoweiss, had sharpened his teeth while a student in the Jewish Theological Seminary/Columbia University School of General Studies program. As a budding journalist, Rosen wrote several articles smearing Professor Joseph Massad (and others) and demanding that the university not give Massad tenure.

Aside from the sheer audacity of Rosen to consider himself more qualified than Columbia’s faculty to judge Massad’s scholarly contributions, Rosen recently admitted that he has not read any of Massad’s books except “small parts” of Desiring Arabs which Rosen trashed in one of his articles.

Few came forward to defend Massad’s academic freedom against the public McCarthyite campaign in which Rosen was an enthusiastic participant. Had more people paid attention at the time, no one could be surprised by the “neo-McCarthyite” tactics that Rosen brought with him to The Atlantic.

The illusion of “new media” is simply reproducing old media exclusion when it’s controlled and managed by old media personalities. The same elites simply use new the technology and new forms to extend their control of the parameters of discourse and to exclude actual stakeholders from all discussion and representation.


Benjamin Doherty on the attack on Mondoweiss from The Atlantic

One of the most important things to understanding American politics and discourse is to see who is not included in debates. That often matters more than who is included.


Speaking to an audience at the University Of North Carolina at Chapel Hill last night, Fox News boss Roger Ailes reportedly claimed that “[In] 15 years we have never taken a story down because it was wrong. You can’t say that about CNN, CBS or the New York Times.”

Like a lot of what Roger Ailes claims, this isn’t true. Just a few examples:

In 2004, posted a story with fabricated quotes from Sen. John Kerry, then the Democratic presidential nominee. Fox pulled the story from their website with an editor’s note claiming, “We regret the error, which occurred because of fatigue and bad judgment, not malice.”

Fox host Steve Doocy had to issue an on-air retraction in 2007 for repeating as fact an online news parody.  At the time Fox News Vice President John Moody warned staff that “seeing an item on a website does not mean it is right. Nor does it mean it is ready for air on FNC.”

Doocy, along with co-hosts Brian Kilmeade and Gretchen Carlson on Fox & Friends also promoted the false report in 2007 that Barack Obama was educated in a madrassa. Doocy later aired the Obama campaign’s denial of the story.

Twice in 2009 Fox reported a fake story that President Obama had watched an HBO documentary about himself instead of election returns. The second mention of the false story came afterreporter Major Garrett had issued an on-air retraction.

In August 2011 Fox Nation posted a YouTube video with the headline “Democratic Senator Lautenberg: We Got to Eliminate the Rich.” It turned out that the graphics on the video had misquoted Lautenberg, and he had actually said, “We’ve got to eliminate the waste.” Without noting their error, Fox Nation simply pulled the story.

Not to mention Fox’s deceptive and repeatedly mistaken graphics department

Erik Wemple of the Washington Post noted the false report in the aftermath of last year’s D.C. earthquake from Fox’s Megyn Kelly that “The Washington Monument may be tilting. They are concerned that the Washington Monument may be tilting.”

At the time the National Park Service told Wemple that Fox had never called them to verify the story. And it is still on a Fox News web site.

NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik pointed out two stories: Fox reported on a fake story that claimed People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals ”is trying to protect [deer] by adorning them with bright orange vests.”

Fox also aired a story where correspondent Geraldo Rivera claimed he had prayed over “hallowed ground” in Afghanistan where servicemen had been killed in a friendly fire incident. It turned out that Rivera had never visited the site.

In 2009 an internal memo from Fox News management addressed the issue of “quality control,” discussing “the latest in a series of mistakes on FNC in recent months.”

Maybe it’s time for another memo.

The tweets of Gendelman and Badawi came during a four-day flare-up of violence that ended on Tuesday. Israel’s military killed 25 Palestinians in airstrikes, including at least four civilians. Palestinian militants fired more than 100 rockets at Israeli cities, disrupting the lives of 1 million Israelis and wounding several civilians.

Somehow, the writer of this managed to forget the million living in Gaza who have to live under the daily fear of being killed by Israel’s much more precise and bigger bombs.

This is a symptom of a larger problem in writing about Israel and Palestine: reporters love to act as if everything is balanced. There are two very unequal combatants here. By disguising that fact, reporters propagandize on Israel’s behalf.

The rest of the article is also an example of the travesty that passes for reporting on the Israel Palestine conflict. Somehow, an Israeli official tweeting an inaccurate photo is seen as being equivalent to a private Palestinian activist tweeting an inaccurate photo.

"Anthony died as he lived — determined to bear witness to the transformation sweeping the Middle East and to testify to the suffering of people caught between government oppression and opposition forces. He has spent much of his storied career chronicling the Mideast; his empathy for its citizens’ struggles and his deep understanding of their culture and history set his writing apart. He was their poet and their champion. His work will stand as a testament."
Jill Abramson, New York Times executive editor, in her memo to the New York Times newsroom announcing the death of their colleague, Anthony Shadid (via soupsoup)


BY ⋅ FEBRUARY 12, 2012 

Since the outbreak of revolution/uprising/road to 2012 in Tunisia over a year ago, several tropes have emerged in the never ending discussion of the painfully and problematically referenced ‘Arab Spring.’ From rationalizing the perceived sudden burst of people power to the question of foreign military bombardment, subjects for incessant publishing opportunities on the topic cease to be scarce. In more recent months, however, one particular trope has the caught the attention of many journalists: the Salafis. Here are some tips for you wannabe-published folks out there.

Egypt —- A young girl, left, behind a curtain where women have to sit watches a boy hand out election material during a campaign event for Egypt’s Salafist al-Nour party prior to parliamentary elections in the Giza neighborhood in Cairo, Egypt. —- Image by Shawn Baldwin/Corbis 12/6/2011
  1. Don’t be silly in portraying and offering a gradient on opinion and approach when it comes to these literalists; it is commonly accepted and known that all Salafis think and act the same in every respect. If vertically blessed facial hair and God talk are involved, the title of ‘Salafi’ is a good enough moniker for all future reference.
  2. In reference to the above point, never refer to the Salafi in question by name, always refer to him as ‘The Salafi’ or some variant of that (i.e. ‘the Salafi member of Parliament’ etc). Mentioning the name once is fine, but focus on the ideologically derived noun-adjective please.
  3. And yes, they seldom exist in the female form. If women are seen with a Salafi, they are the mehram decor equivalent of a doormat. But a doormat kept inside the house. Not outside. Haram.
  4. ‘Salafist’ is a good replacement for ‘Salafi’ if you want a realpolitik feel to your article. It can also be interchanged with ‘Islamist’ if you wish to further destroy any breadth of nuance you may otherwise have somewhat unknowingly been providing.
  5. Muslim Brotherhood is Salafi. Al Qaeda is Salafi. Saudis are Salafi. Muslims who wish to not participate in Christmas are Salafi. Any Muslim offering dissent on the structures that currently govern the contemporary geopolitical status quo by offering a worldview ridden with a different ideology or ethos is a Salafi. There’s your crash course in identifying Salafis – go, have fun.
  6. Make mention of his beard once as either a descriptive measure or, preferably, the primary proof of his demonic nature.
  7. Sufis are the cool ones. They, too, exist in a non-nuanced vacuum and can often be found at White House dinners, in the Huffington Post or in white liberal journalists’ Twitterfeeds.
  8. Always use a picture of a man or a group of men with beards who, as it is always extremely preferable, are screaming/shouting with excessive hand movements. If you can find a covered woman in the background, then +1. If you find a scantily clad woman in the foreground then+2.
  9. Even if it’s just a cough, make sure to make it into a breaking news story that underscores the impending Salafist takeover of something or other. Oh, and the return of the Caliphate. That too.
  10. Be ready to accept any absurd rumor about a random, unknown ‘Salafi’ as true and propagate it as such to prove the point that they are all, indeed, cray cray.
  11. Just write something like this guy’s last few paragraphs and you’re well on your way to being published.
  12. …and don’t write this.