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

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Monday, June 16, 2008
Izzy Stone, Patron Saint of Bloggers
It was nineteen years ago this week that I.F. (Izzy) Stone died. The legendary blogger was 81. Confused? You say he died years before web blogs were invented? Well, yeah, but when I think of today's blunt, fact-based online hell-raisers, my mind quickly flashes on Izzy Stone. You may think of Josh Marshall or Glenn Greenwald or Arianna Huffington. I think of Izzy.
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Monday, April 28, 2008
Military Propaganda Pushed Me Off TV
In the fall of 2002, week after week, I argued vigorously against invading Iraq in debates televised on MSNBC. I used every possible argument that might sway mainstream viewers -- no real threat, cost, instability. But as the war neared, my debates were terminated. In my 2006 book Cable News Confidential , I explained why I lost my airtime:
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Monday, March 17, 2008
Iraq Winter Soldier Hearings: Victory for Independent Media
In 1971 at age 19, I had a life-changing experience when I met dozens of Vietnam veterans who'd descended on my hometown of Detroit to testify at the "Winter Soldier" hearings organized by Vietnam Veterans Against the War. In anguished presentations, the Vets painstakingly described the horrors against Vietnamese they'd seen or taken part in. And the attitudes of racism and bloodlust that motored the war. Many vets blamed the lies in mainstream media for convincing them to go to Vietnam in the first place.
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Friday, February 01, 2008
Stepford Republicans: All Caught on Tape!
"The Stepford Wives" tells the chilling story of once smart, independent women who get abducted and turned into tamed, mindless robots. I have a theory about a similarly subversive process that turns grown men once capable of independent and reasoned thought into robotic extremists. Call them Stepford Republicans. The nefarious transformation always occurs before the individual gets close to becoming a Republican president or vice president.
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Friday, December 21, 2007
Announcing the P.U.-litzer Prizes for 2007
Many journalists qualified for the sixteenth annual P.U.-litzer Prizes, but only a few were able to win recognition for turning in one of the truly stinkiest media performances of the year. As the judges for this un-coveted award, we have done our best to confer this honor on the most deserving. And now, the winners of the P.U.-litzers for 2007: SPINNING FOR ANOTHER WAR AWARD -- Michael Gordon of The New York Times
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Saturday, October 13, 2007
Can Al Gore Be Trusted?
This is a repint of a vintage 2006 CommonDreams column exploring an Al Gore presidential candidacy and the old Gore vs. the new Gore. "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."
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Friday, October 05, 2007
Pundit Elite Enraptured by Hillary's 'Flawless Campaign'
The satirical video short "Harlan McCraney, Presidential Speechalist" offers a comedic explanation of why George W. Bush comes off to many Americans as an inarticulate, even stupid politician. It's intentional: There's "a genius behind the stupidity" - speechalist McCraney (played by Andy Dick), a consultant who coaches Bush to come off as a misspoken, folksy everyman.
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Saturday, September 22, 2007
Senate Clown Show
This week, the U.S. Senate put on a clown show. With most Americans wanting troops out of Iraq, Democratic leaders in the Senate failed to get enough Republican votes to overcome GOP filibusters for fairly tepid change-course measures. They could get only six Republican votes even for a Jim Webb proposal simply requiring that U.S. troops spend as much time at home as they spend deployed in Iraq.
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Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Hillary Rolls On: Are Netroots a Paper Tiger?
As a longtime progressive tired of ineffective protesting, I've watched in glee as MoveOn has amassed political power by Webbing a few million of us and our dollars together. I'm a proud MoveOn member, even though I disagree sometimes with its leaders (mostly over too-cozy relations with top Democrats). And as a longtime proponent of independent media, I'm gleeful that liberal/progressive bloggers have seized a new medium to mobilize millions of activists and confront a Democratic elite that seemed unwilling to confront and beat Team Bush.
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Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Keith Olbermann: Ask Hillary About. . .
Tonight, MSNBC will telecast a Democratic presidential forum sponsored by the AFL-CIO, with an expected audience of thousands of union members at Chicago's historic Soldier Field. Although questions will come mostly from labor folks, the forum will be moderated by MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, known for his searing anti-Bush "Special Comments." Below I propose a few questions I'd like to hear tonight.
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