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 24, 2009
The Mystique of 'Free-Market Guy' Obama
No matter what the facts are, some liberal activists and leaders persist in seeing President Obama as a principled progressive reformer who lives and breathes the campaign rhetoric about "change you can believe in." When he compromises, it's not Obama's fault - it's the opposition. Retreat is never a sell-out but a shrewd tactic, part of some secret long-range strategy for triumphant reform. He's been in the White House eight months. It's time for activists take a harder look at Obama. And a more assertive posture toward him.
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Thursday, July 30, 2009
Are Liberal Netroots Groups Helping Obama Fail?
I’ve started deleting them as spam. I’m not talking about the enlarge-your-penis emails or “You’ve Won the Lottery” notices. I’m talking about the increasingly-urgent emails coming for weeks from liberal Netroots groups calling for a “public option” for healthcare – a government insurance plan citizens could choose to PAY FOR instead of private insurance.
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Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Will Obama Move Supreme Court Rightward?
I learned long ago, while working at the media watch group FAIR, to be wary of New York Times headlines. Hearing news that President Obama has a shortlist of candidates to replace David Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court, I dug up a front-page New York Times Week in Review piece written soon after Obama’s inauguration about his possible impact on the Court. It was headlined: “To Nudge, Shift or Shove the Supreme Court Left.”
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Monday, February 23, 2009
Will TV News Ever Apologize for Condit Hoax?
For four months beginning in May 2001, major U.S. media outlets, including all three cable news channels, took the American public for a ride -- perpetrating a hoax that a married congressman was somehow involved in the disappearance of a female intern. As I witnessed the farce from inside cable news, I could see it was all about ratings and had nothing to do with journalism. This week -- with these same outlets reporting a "break" in the 8-year-old murder case -- would be a good time for TV news executives to look back and give the public a big, fat apology.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Coming to NBC: 'To Catch a Cheney'
I have a plan to get NBC out of last place in the ratings. I'm promising blockbuster audience and international buzz. As a once disgruntled ex-employee, I now just want to be positive and help NBC, which needs all the free advice it can get.
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Thursday, December 18, 2008
Announcing the P.U.-litzer Prizes for 2008
Now in their seventeenth year, the P.U.-litzer Prizes recognize some of the nation's stinkiest media performances. As the judges for these annual awards, we do our best to identify the most deserving recipients of this unwelcome plaudit. And now, the P.U.-litzers Prizes for 2008:
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Friday, November 14, 2008
What Indy Media Heroes Can Teach Us
Independent media outlets that contributed so mightily to the stunning election result are about to be tested as to their “independence.” With Democrats in control, will these outlets be guided by principle or just partisanship? Will they speak truth to power and expose corruption and injustice over the long haul – no matter who’s in charge?
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Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Big Election Winner: Indy Media
Of all the factors contributing to Obama's victory – luck, economic crisis, Bush, Palin – a major factor is now so second-nature to us that we may overlook its transformative impact since just four years ago: the Internet and the progressive online boom.
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Sunday, November 02, 2008
Studs Terkel: He’ll Never Be Silenced
The irrepressible Louis "Studs" Terkel was many things – oral historian, radio and TV host, actor, activist, Bronx-born icon of Chicago, the "great listener" who was hard of hearing, Pulitzer Prize-winner. But most of all he was an inspiration. He inspired every younger activist or independent journalist who ever met him. And who among us wasn't younger than Studs The self-described "guerilla journalist" died Friday at 96. He was almost 70 when I first met him, more than twice my age. But I couldn't keep up.
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Sunday, June 22, 2008
News Flash: Network Anchor Stands Against 'Unfair' Campaign Spending
There was real emotion in his voice when ABC News anchor Charles Gibson used Friday night's newscast to stand up for little-guy McCain against online-fundraising-powerhouse Barack Obama. By opting out of public financing, Gibson intoned, the Democrat could obtain "two times, three times, four times, as much money as John McCain."
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