John or John

Feb. 19, 2004

Is there a substantive difference between John Kerry and John Edwards? You wouldn’t know it from the issue-free media coverage. CBS touches on issues in 21.4 percent of its campaign coverage, 33.4 percent for ABC, and 32 percent for NBC, according to a study by, which must have been extremely generous in defining a story as dealing with issues.

Still, you might know that Edwards is younger and better looking, and you might get the impression that the media has read more

Steve Forbes' Snake Oil Made Me Sick

I got an Email from Steve Forbes on September 20 titled “Getting Rich is Your Best Revenge!” I found it much more distasteful than the ones I get from Nigerian and other non-U.S. royalty. The last I’d heard from Steve Forbes was when I saw him as a presidential candidate on TV proposing a Flat Tax as a solution for foreign relations, public education, housing, and weight loss. Why was he sending me this personal Email now to help me, in particular, get rich? And against whom read more

How and Why We're Working to Block the Bankruptcy Bill

April 1, 2005

“April Fools! We’re not really going to wreck the bankruptcy system and turn families over to the gentle mercies of credit card companies! We just wanted to see how extreme we could get and have the media still believe it!”

That’s what I’d like to hear the United States Senate announce today, but I won’t hold my breath.

When a majority of U.S. Senators, including 19 Democrats, voted to pass the bankruptcy bill, some of them may have thought that no read more

Media Blackout of Labor Opposition to Iraq War Continues

By David Swanson, ILCA Media Coordinator
Part of the Media Blackout series on underreported labor stories

You wouldn’t know it from reading, watching, or listening to the “mainstream” media, but many of the largest labor organizations in the United States have passed resolutions demanding that U.S. troops be brought home from Iraq and the war be ended. On July 19, the ILCA published an article on the media’s failure to cover this turn of events.

Back then the story was already read more

Liberated to Death

May 10, 2004

Also published at

How, reporters and pundits have asked, could good American heroes behave so badly as to become torturers? There are at least three answers that most of the U.S. media will not touch.

One is that many of our soldiers entered the Army or the National Guard or Reserves bringing with them all the frustration of a class-divided society running low on living-wage jobs. Many families have filed for bankruptcy as a result of extended service in Iraq, read more

Letter to a Non-Voter

Also published on

June 14, 2003

Dear Non-Voter,

I vote and you don’t, and that either makes me too gullible or you too cynical. It’s probably some of each. In a lot of general elections, you’re probably right to stay home. Any way you look at it you lose. And if some candidate offering you something you can really use is running in a third party, why bother voting for them, right?

But I want to talk to you about primaries. What do you say when someone prepared read more

Basic Income Guarantee Versus the Corporate Media

Feb. 28, 2005

A case can be made that the left in the United States is too eager to compromise, that because we have no far left, our moderate left is more easily dismissed as extreme. This contrasts with a far right that advocates — for decades if necessary — for extremely unpopular positions (such as eliminating Social Security), thus rendering the right’s goals (such as partially dismantling Social Security) respectable, moderate, and middle of the road.

But what happens when read more

Ethical Journalism and Unionism

Originally published by Guild Forum, the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, ILCA Member
By David Swanson, ILCA Media Coordinator, WBNG Member
Summer 2004

Journalistic ethics have become in many ways corporate ethics. When those ethics penetrate journalists’ unions the result is, therefore, self-destructive.

The central ethic of journalism today is balance. It is more important to include two opposing points of view than to investigate whether either of them is supported by facts or whether read more

Draft of Kerry's Convention Speech Leaked

Also published at

March 19, 2004

WARNING: Kerry does not actually talk like this. But he should.

The following was found on a CD in Boston Commons and was later verified to have originated in the John Kerry for President campaign.

Draft Convention Speech, Depending.

Thank you. And thank you for your fine speeches, Teddy, Nancy, Al, Howard, Dennis, Ralph. Thank you, Ralph, especially, for joining our effort to rid this nation of a tyrant. We haven’t overthrown a King read more

Turning Up the Heat on Bush

Also printed at Democratic Underground at

Yesterday afternoon three elderly women out of a group of 50 protesters were arrested in Illinois Republican Party headquarters in Chicago where they had settled in with blankets and declared that they were spending the night. These families, many without heat in their homes, were demanding that President Bush release money for energy assistance and not slash funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program read more