Jeff Cohen

Jeff Cohen

Jeff Cohen was associate professor of journalism and the director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College, founder of the media watch group FAIR, and former board member of Progressive Democrats of America. In 2002, he was a producer and pundit at MSNBC (overseen by NBC News). He is the author of Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media - and a cofounder of the online action group, www.RootsAction.org. His website is here: http://jeffcohen.org

Articles by this author

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Thursday, September 20, 2001
Rule of Law vs. Rule of War: Are Media Missing the Lesson of Oklahoma City?
Many media voices are enlisting in the push toward war. CBS anchor Dan Rather seemed more soldier than reporter on Monday's Letterman show when he endorsed the war drive and added: "George Bush is the President... Wherever he wants me to line up, just tell me where."
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Saturday, September 15, 2001
Remembering The Last US Retaliation Against Terror
Nothing will ever be the same, we're told, after the cataclysmic terrorism of 911. Yet some things seem unchanged in the media -- such as the pundit clamor for retaliation against someone, somewhere, fast. As a talk radio host in New York put it: "Bomb somebody, goddamnit!"
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Tuesday, September 04, 2001
The CIA Goes Primetime on CBS
In a country where separation of media and state is so valued, should a TV network allow a government agency to have an editorial role in how that agency is portrayed on the air? The question is raised by the input and support CBS has accepted from the Central Intelligence Agency in producing its new weekly drama about the CIA, "The Agency," which premieres this month.
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Sunday, May 06, 2001
The Myth of the Media's Role in Vietnam
Of the many myths that mushroomed from the carnage of the Vietnam War perhaps none is more specious than the fable about how a bold, aggressive mainstream media turned America against the war. As the pundit class sinks into a new quagmire debating former Sen. Bob Kerrey's Vietnam mission, it's a good time to dissect the myth. Let's begin with the My Lai massacre of March 1968, where hundreds of Vietnamese civilians were executed by American soldiers. My Lai would later be cited as proof of a mainstream press bent on sensationalizing U.S. atrocities in Vietnam.
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Sunday, March 25, 2001
Pitching Softballs: Why are Journalists Going Easy on Bush?
Imagine that while Bill Clinton was president, Secret Service agents had gone to fetch Chelsea Clinton's boyfriend from jail, where he'd been arrested for public drunkenness. One could imagine days of righteous indignation on talk radio and pundit television about misuse of the Secret Service and the lack of dignity surrounding the Clinton family.
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Sunday, March 11, 2001
Democrats, Who Needs Them?
THE conventional wisdom is that Bill Clinton's fall from grace over the pardon hysteria has hurt the Democratic Party. In fact, Clinton's disgrace is a blessing in disguise for Democrats, at least for those who want the party to stand for social justice and economic fairness. Had Clinton exited the White House cleanly, his continued leadership would have enriched the party financially but burdened it politically and morally.
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Sunday, August 13, 2000
Ghost Of 1968 Haunts Presidential Campaign
A TIRESOME Democratic vice president seeks the top job, but his administration's policies have so alienated Democratic-oriented activists they threaten to take to the streets during the party's convention. Meanwhile, the Republicans serve up a shrewdly repackaged candidate with a surname rejected eight years earlier by the national electorate, a candidate speaking well-scripted words of moderation and compassion.
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Wednesday, June 07, 2000
Can A Man Who Has A Problem With People Of Color Be A Color Commentator On 'Monday Night Football'?
Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh may be returning to television. He recently auditioned for a job as color commentator on ABC-TV's "Monday Night Football." The tryout followed weeks of self-promotion by the self-styled "truth detector" to the millions who listen daily to his syndicated radio show on about 600 stations.
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Sunday, April 09, 2000
Democrats Suffer From a Bad Case of Clintonism
When Al Gore recently joined conservatives in supporting a special law to award Elian Gonzalez permanent U.S. residency, his maneuver was straight out of the playbook that has governed eight years of Clintonism: "Fake left, go right." If a play like this works, Clintonites get to position themselves as thoughtful moderates between congressional Democrats and Republicans. This "triangulation" strategy was the brainchild of blissful bipartisan Dick Morris, a Clinton advisor who also worked for Republicans like Trent Lott and Jesse Helms.
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Thursday, April 06, 2000
Nader Has The Numbers But Buchanan Has The Limelight
A revealing national poll of likely voters, released on April 11, found Green Party candidate Ralph Nader in third place behind George W. Bush and Al Gore - and ahead of prospective Reform candidate Pat Buchanan. So which alternative-party aspirant appeared all over national television that night? It wasn't Nader.
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