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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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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Thursday, May 31, 2007
Are Media Out to Get John Edwards?
Give me a break about John Edwards' pricey haircut, mansion, lecture fees and the rest. The focus on these topics tells us two things about corporate media. One we've long known - that they elevate personal stuff above issues. The other is now becoming clear - that they have a special animosity toward Edwards .
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Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Don't Think of a U.S. Soldier, Unarmed, Abandoned in Iraq's Civil War!
One need not be a linguist like George Lakoff to know that it's hard to win a debate on the other guy's assumptions. Or worse, the other guy's lies. For years Team Bush has sought to shroud their devastating and deepening Iraq occupation in the myth of troop protection.
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Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Falwell and Me
It was fitting to see so much gushing on TV news about Rev. Jerry Falwell in the hours after his death. He and TV news held the same things sacred: fame, soundbites and uninformed fear-mongering. At the beginning of his rise 25 years ago, it was mainstream media complicity and gullibility that helped build Falwell's Moral Majority and the myth of its clout. As documented in Tina Rosenberg's 1982 Washington Monthly piece, "How the Media Made the Moral Majority," Team Falwell repeatedly violated the Ninth Commandment by misleading journalists about their numbers and power.
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Wednesday, April 04, 2007
The Martin Luther King You Don't See on TV
It's become a TV ritual: Every year on April 4, as Americans commemorate Martin Luther King's death, we get perfunctory network news reports about "the slain civil rights leader." The remarkable thing about these reviews of King's life is that several years — his last years — are totally missing, as if flushed down a memory hole.
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Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Jonah Goldberg’s Gambling Debt: Will Tribune Company Pay It?
There are many shades of rightwing punditry in our country. Among the shadiest is Jonah Goldberg. With arrogance seemingly matched only by his ignorance, Goldberg was just being Goldberg when he offered this wager two years ago:
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Friday, February 02, 2007
Will Healthcare Timidity Trip Up Hillary Clinton?
It's conventional wisdom that if Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign falters with Democratic activists in places like Iowa and New Hampshire, it will be over the issue of the Iraq war. And her vacillations on the war.
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