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Stories by Eric Alterman

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Murdoch, Ailes, and Fox: Right from the start

A new book from reporter David Folkenflik details how Fox News’ shady practices have been around since day one.... Read more»0

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10 years of false equivalence and still going strong

The mainstream media’s greatest failure has been its members’ inability to acknowledge the problem of false equivalence and an outdated commitment to objectivity.... Read more»0

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Labor for a day, capital for the rest of the year

In the mainstream media, we focus on the business world every day and on labor one day a year. This obscures the awful treatment that so many U.S. workers endure—particularly their meager vacation time.... Read more»0

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Neoconservatism on the decline

In an August 2 New York Times column titled “The Neocon Revival,” David Brooks argues that, “Neocons came in for a lot of criticism during the Iraq war, but neoconservatism was primarily a domestic policy movement.” He goes on to contrast the good sense and cheer of old-fashioned neocons with the current crop of conservative crazies.... Read more»0

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How to ‘ignore’ and obsess about a story simultaneously

With the sale of The Washington Post to Jeff Bezos—which followed 80 years of stewardship by four generations of the Graham family—it is a good moment to examine why newspapers in particular, and the mainstream media in general, matter so much to so many people.... Read more»0

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The nonexistent ‘center’ folds

Back in 1968, the Washington pundit Stewart Alsop published a book titled The Center about his metaphorical home as an allegedly unbiased insider. The center, according to Alsop, was “the Washington which a political journalist sees with his tunnel vision.” More than a place, it was a state of mind.... Read more»0

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America is much less conservative than mainstream media believe

Think again: It’s a well-known “fact” within the mainstream media that the country is not as liberal as journalists like to think it is. As with the consistent insistence on the prevalence of liberal bias, however, that fact is also fundamentally false.... Read more»0

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The power of money, not logic

When economic historians look back at the current moment, they will likely be shocked first and foremost by the following paradox: During an era when global and technological developments were pushing most nations toward greater economic inequality, the U.S. government did almost everything possible to accelerate these trends and further enrich its wealthiest citizens at the expense of everyone else.... Read more»0

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Blame the news for the public’s ignorance about the climate

In a blog post titled, “Scientists agree on climate change. So why doesn’t everyone else?,” The Washington Post’s Brad Plumer covers a new survey by John Cook and Dana Nuccitelli of Skeptical Science. According to the survey, “Among abstracts [of published scientific papers] expressing a position on AGW [anthropogenic global warming], 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.”... Read more»0

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Think again: Worse than Watergate?

In a new poll from Public Policy Polling, 74 percent of Republicans polled said they think the actions of the Obama administration during the crisis in Benghazi were worse than Watergate. The results, however, might be taken with a grain of salt as half of that 74 percent appear to have no idea whatsoever where—or even what—Benghazi is.... Read more»0

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Acknowledging mistakes in Iraq would prevent repeat

For better or worse, the Vietnam War proved itself to be a learning experience for Americans. In many respects, President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq was an even greater catastrophe — one that is even less morally and intellectually defensible. And yet, as a nation, we appear to have learned virtually nothing this time around.... Read more»1

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Are journalists any less gullible than they were 10 years ago?

Instead of being a government watchdog and fact checking all the assertions politicians feed them, journalists have become prone to the lapdog tendencies of repeating what those in power say without questioning whether it’s true.... Read more»0

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The terrible power of purposeful ignorance

It is true that knowledge is power. But getting American politicians to act upon that knowledge—or even convincing top pundits and reporters to pay attention to it—well, that’s another matter entirely. Just ask the millions of families of those killed, wounded, or displaced by the pointless and counterproductive American invasion of Iraq on its 10th birthday.... Read more»1

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Mainstream media gobbling up conservative crazies

The sad truth is that this nonsense is introduced into the media ecosystem by right-wing reality-denying sources, and it almost always makes its way into the mainstream media—often going unchallenged. ... Read more»1

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More Tea Party fiction

The number of Americans who call themselves members of the Tea Party is down to just 8 percent, a decline that's is entirely predictable in hindsight, considering just how much nonsense one had to believe in order to take seriously the absurdities that Tea Party leaders spouted.... Read more»1

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The top stories of 2012 - or maybe not

Eric Alterman has an alternative take on Politico’s top media stories of the past year and what those stories say about the media’s coverage of politics.... Read more»0

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