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

Views
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Fear Extreme Islamists in the Arab World? Blame Washington
In the last year of his life, Martin Luther King Jr. questioned U.S. military interventions against progressive movements in the Third World by invoking a JFK quote: "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." Were he alive to witness the last three decades of U.S. foreign policy, King might update that quote by noting: "Those who make secular revolution impossible will make extreme Islamist revolution inevitable."
Read more
Views
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
A Time for Action - Not Servility
While Washington pundits are talking up a new civility, many progressives are bracing for the old servility -- a bipartisanship that is servile to a corporate elite that is unquenchably greedy and more powerful than ever. But this is not a time for despair. It's a time for new activism -- built upon one of the great achievements of the last decade: the rise of independent media.
Read more
Views
Saturday, December 11, 2010
President NAFTA Backs President Shafta
It was a stunning spectacle yesterday when former President Clinton took the podium from President Obama in the White House briefing room to help shove the Obama-GOP tax deal down the throats of Democratic activists and Congress members. It was a fitting spectacle too (carried live on CNN) -- since Bill Clinton paved the way in teaching how a Democratic president can win battles through the votes NOT of his own party but the Republicans.
Read more
Views
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Colbert Annoys Press Corps . . . Again
Let's face it: Some in the Washington press corps still resent Stephen Colbert because he so brilliantly lampooned them to their faces at the 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner over their coziness with the Bush White House.
Read more
Views
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Christine O’Donnell and Me
I knew Christine O’Donnell as an ideologue of uptightness -- with a fervent position on every issue under the sun. I saw her up close when we debated during one of her several Phil Donahue show appearances in 2002-03 on MSNBC, where I worked as an on-air contributor and Donahue senior producer.
Read more
Views
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Colbert 1, U.S. State Department 0
On last night's Colbert Report, an amazing moment occurred when Stephen Colbert raised a major social issue that U.S. mainstream media assiduously ignore: the huge U.S. prison population. The issue quickly disappeared due to the apparent ignorance of Stephen's guest: Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner, in charge of "Democracy, Human Rights and Labor."
Read more
Views
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Wikileaks: Time to Celebrate, Time to Mourn
It's time to celebrate. It's a big win for Internet-based indy media that WikiLeaks.org posted its "Afghan War Diary" based on 90,000 leaked U.S. military records detailing a failing war in which U.S. and allied forces have repeatedly killed innocent civilians. This on-the-ground material is vaster than the Daniel Ellsberg-leaked Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War, and was much faster in reaching the public.
Read more
Views
Saturday, March 27, 2010
We Won a Robust Public Option . . . on College Loans
We won! When President Obama signs the healthcare reconciliation bill on Tuesday, we can crow about a robust public option - en route perhaps to a more inclusive, cost-effective single-payer system. Soon, private profiteers (and subsidies to them) will be sidelined, and the government will save taxpayers billions by providing service directly to Americans in need. I'm not hallucinating. We should savor this victory. Unfortunately, it's not a healthcare victory.
Read more
Views
Sunday, February 21, 2010
I Support Terry Nichols’ Hunger Strike
As a lifelong progressive committed to nonviolence, I have little sympathy for a man who conspired in the most heinous act of domestic rightwing terrorism in U.S. history. For his role in the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing that killed 168 people (including kids at childcare), Terry Nichols is serving life-without-parole sentences. And that's a good thing, But I don't want him to "rot in jail." That's why I support his hunger strike and lawsuit, and hope he doesn't rot to death inside the federal Supermax prison in Colorado.
Read more
Views
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
New Year’s Resolution: Don’t Apologize for Democrats
For the new year, let's resolve: Don't defend Democrats when they don't deserve defending. And that certainly includes President Obama. Let's further resolve: Put principles above party and never lose our voice on human rights and social justice. When we mute ourselves as a Democratic president pursues corporatist or militarist policies, we only encourage such policies.
Read more

Pages