Janine Jackson is the program director of FAIR, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, which produces the nationally-syndicated weekly radio show CounterSpin that uncovers bias in US corporate journalism.
Her articles have appeared in sources such as In These Times, and she frequently contributes articles on media, racist coverage, and labour struggle to FAIR’s magazine Extra! She’s also testified before a US Senate subcommittee that funds the American network PBS.
In today’s episode of MF GALAXY, Jackson discusses:
- How FAIR and CounterSpin pick the stories to investigate about where corporate media got it wrong or didn’t get it at all
- Why the people at FAIR and CounterSpin object to being called “journalists”
- The reasons why US media stopped reporting about the US bomber who killed Canadian troops
- Why corporate news censors itself
- How US corporate news made the case for torture, and
- Why right-wing cranks dominate US talk radio and whether US radio progressives need to change their game
We spoke at the offices of FAIR in Manhattan in the summer of 2002, for an episode of my old radio show The Terrordome that ran on CJSR FM88 the following October.
A few notes: in the second half of the episode I refer to peace-keeping forces, but while asking about Canadian soldiers during Canada’s war against Afghanistan. They and the occupation troops that followed were definitely not peace-keepers on a mission, but soldiers at war.
Also, I refer to TV host Bill Maher as having lost his career. Back in 2001, Maher lost his show for disputing George W. Bush’s characterisation of the 9-11 hijackers as “cowardly,” because in Maher’s estimation, no matter how evil the attack was, a suicide bombing, unlike launching cruise missiles from more than 3000 km away, was not cowardly. Maher, of course, got another TV show, moved further right, and has enjoyed an endless stream of money ever since.
Finally, our discussion of torture took place two years before the revelations of systematic American torture of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib.
To hear the extensive archive of CounterSpin episodes, visit FAIR.org and click on the CounterSpin links, or search for the podcast on iTunes.
To hear bonus content from my conversation with Janine Jackson, become a sponsor for a dollar or more per week.
By funding MF GALAXY, you get access to all extended editions of the show, plus video excerpts from selected interviews as they become available. Today’s bonus content includes Janine Jackson discussing:
- Michael Moore and Jim Hightower
- Right-wing TV hosts Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, and why CounterSpin hosts seemed to take particular delight in exposing the inanities of right wing 20/20 reporter Jon Stossel
- The effects of identity politics on left journalism years before the popularization of the term “intersectionality”
- The revolutionary political potential of labour-owned media on the scale of a national newspaper or network