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Eric Alterman
Eric Alterman is a Distinguished Professor of English, Brooklyn College, City University of New York, and Professor of Journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. He is also “The Liberal Media” columnist for The Nation, a senor fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC, where he writes the “Think Again” column, a senior fellow (since 1985) at the World Policy Institute at The New School in New York, and a regular contributor to The Daily Beeast. Alterman is the author of nine books, including the national bestseller, What Liberal Media? The Truth About Bias and the News (2003, 2004), and 2004). The others include: The Book on Bush: How George W. (Mis)leads America, Kabuki Democracy: The System vs. Barack Obama, When Presidents Lie: A History of Official Deception and its Consequences, (2004, 2005)m His Sound & Fury: The Making of the Punditocracy (1992, 2000), won the 1992 George Orwell Award and his It Ain't No Sin to be Glad You're Alive: The Promise of Bruce Springsteen (1999, 2001), won the 1999 Stephen Crane Literary Award, and Who Speaks for America? Why Democracy Matters in Foreign Policy, (1998). His most recent book is The Cause: The Fight for American Liberalism from Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama . Termed "the most honest and incisive media critic writing today” in the National Catholic Reporter, and author of “the smartest and funniest political journal out there,” in The San Francisco Chronicle, Alterman is the winner of the 2011 Mirror Award for media criticism. In n recent years, he has also been a columnist for: Worth, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, and The Sunday Express (London). A former Adjunct Professor of Journalism at NYU and Columbia, Alterman received his B.A. in History and Government from Cornell, his M.A. in International Relations from Yale, and his Ph.D. in US History from Stanford. He lives with his family in Manhattan where he is completing his seventh book, Why We’re Liberals: A Political Handbook to Post-Bush America, to be published by Viking in March 2008.

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Entries by Eric Alterman

Think Again: Is Obamacare the End of Liberalism? Not So Much

(31) Comments | Posted December 5, 2013 | 8:27 AM

The other day, officials in the Obama administration reported that they had fixed the software bug that apparently caused many of the problems on They say that it now works for shoppers 90 percent of the time when handling 50,000 simultaneous users--hardly perfect, though certainly...

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Think Again: Murdoch, Ailes, and Fox: Right From the Start

(4) Comments | Posted November 21, 2013 | 8:54 AM

The scoops from reporter David Folkenflik's new book, Murdoch's World: The Last of the Old Media Empires, turn out to be the kind of things one suspected of media tycoon Rupert Murdoch's style of operations but could not have known for certain until the author nailed it down. For example,...

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Think Again: A Bully Pulpit for Billionaires

(1) Comments | Posted November 14, 2013 | 9:50 AM

A recent issue of The Economist devoted to the New York City mayoral race led with the headline "New York's mayor-elect: Don't screw it up." Its kicker stated: "By choosing Bill de Blasio, New Yorkers have taken a risk with their city's prosperity." It allowed, at least initially,...

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Think Again: The Super-Rich and Their Monster

(40) Comments | Posted November 7, 2013 | 8:44 AM

As Ian Reifowitz of the Daily Kos pointed out, an article in the New York Times's business section shows that our tax system has been successfully gamed to the point where the wealthiest Americans pay a much smaller percentage of their income than salaried, middle-class taxpayers. Using 2009 IRS data...

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Think Again: The Tea Party's Forebears Are a Cavalcade of 'Rich People's Movements'

(24) Comments | Posted October 31, 2013 | 2:26 PM

It is an unfortunate irony of our age that describing academics' work as "journalism" and journalists' work as "history" risks insult to the respective authors. Each profession suffers tremendously from its prejudice against the other. Academics rarely write with sufficient clarity to communicate outside their specific disciplines and often neglect...

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Think Again: 10 Years of False Equivalence and Still Going Strong

(22) Comments | Posted October 24, 2013 | 9:04 AM

The Center for American Progress is celebrating its 10th anniversary today with a policy conference and a "progressive party." Not exactly coincidentally, this column is also 10 years old--10 years and a day, to be exact. My introductory column was called "Think Again: Who's...

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Think Again: Heads, the Tea Party Wins; Tails, the Tea Party Wins

(5) Comments | Posted October 17, 2013 | 1:20 PM

Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum recently suggested that Americans would be less apt to hold Republicans responsible for the government shutdown than they did in 1995 because of the help Republicans could expect to receive from Fox News. She was wrong about this; indeed, she and Fox News host Brit...

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Think Again: 'Who Speaks for the Jews?'

(11) Comments | Posted October 10, 2013 | 9:24 AM

Last Tuesday, the Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project published what may be the most thorough and reliable study of the political, cultural, social, and religious attitudes of Jewish Americans in many decades. Based on 70,000 screening interviews and nearly 3,500 intensive ones, the report, titled "

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Think Again: According to Politico, Ted Cruz Is the Same As Wendy Davis, 'More or Less'

(7) Comments | Posted October 3, 2013 | 11:38 AM

The government shutdown, together with the propaganda battle that led up to it, has revealed a number of ugly truths about the current political climate. One that is particularly shocking -- no matter how many times I feel compelled to write about it -- is the lengths that reporters will...

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Think Again: Bill de Blasio, 'Sandalista'

(6) Comments | Posted September 26, 2013 | 1:30 PM

Did Bill de Blasio force his friends to say "Neek-a-rog-wha" once upon a time?

The folks at the New York Times think it's front-page news that back in 1988, when he was 26 years old, Democratic mayoral candidate and current New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio spent 10...

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Think Again: Austerity Kills, and So Will the Sequester

(4) Comments | Posted September 19, 2013 | 9:22 AM

On Tuesday, the Center for American Progress released a report called "4 Ways that Austerity Demands Have Reached New Extremes," which notes that the House Republican caucus is now proposing "spending cuts ... so severe that the House Republican caucus has been unable to pass actual spending bills...

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Think Again: Rupert Makes the News -- Literally

(3) Comments | Posted September 12, 2013 | 12:48 PM

Rupert Murdoch is one of the most powerful individuals in the world and inarguably the most powerful in global media. So he can't help but make news. One day, he's asking $29.7 million for his yacht, and on another, he's divorcing his third wife, Wendi Deng. On a third day,...

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Think Again: Labor for a Day, Capital for the Rest of the Year

(4) Comments | Posted September 5, 2013 | 10:26 AM

In the mainstream media, we focus on the business world every day and on labor one day a year. This obscures the awful treatment that so many U.S. workers endure--particularly their meager vacation time.

Last week, I made a short and somewhat jocular reference to how little vacation time most...

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Think Again: The Mainstream Media and the Slowly Boiling Frog

(16) Comments | Posted August 29, 2013 | 10:19 AM

Late August is when Americans tend to take their relatively meager vacations -- workers in other social democracies tend to enjoy six paid weeks of vacation rather than just two weeks, a tendency that American news rarely recognizes. Since the vacation-bound mainstream media is preoccupied with Egypt, Syria,...

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Think Again: When 'Journalism' Became 'Liberalism': Remembering Jack Germond

(5) Comments | Posted August 22, 2013 | 5:07 PM

Veteran journalist Jack Germond died last week at age 85. Virtually all of his obituaries mourned the passing of not only a dedicated, hardworking, and "fat" fun fellow but also a political liberal. As the Associated Press obituary read, "Germond became arguably the best known of the 'Boys,'...

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Think Again: Neoconservatism on the Decline (And Ted Cruz and Rand Paul on the upswing)

(4) Comments | Posted August 15, 2013 | 10:38 AM

In a column titled "The Neocon Revival," David Brooks argues that "Neocons came in for a lot of criticism during the Iraq war, but neoconservatism was primarily a domestic policy movement." He goes on to contrast the good sense and cheer of old-fashioned neocons with the current crop...

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Think Again: Benghazi and the Wingnut Media

(5) Comments | Posted August 8, 2013 | 10:54 AM

With the sale of the Washington Post to Jeff Bezos -- which followed 80 years of stewardship by four generations of the Graham family -- it is a good moment to examine why newspapers in particular, and the mainstream media in general, matter so much to so many people.


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Think Again: The Nonexistent 'Center' Folds

(20) Comments | Posted August 1, 2013 | 12:36 PM

Back in 1968, the Washington pundit Stewart Alsop published a book, titled The Center, about his metaphorical home as an allegedly unbiased insider. The center, according to Alsop, was "the Washington which a political journalist sees with his tunnel vision." More than a place, it was a state of mind.

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Think Again: Indiana Is the Latest Skirmish in the Conservatives' War on Knowledge

(21) Comments | Posted July 25, 2013 | 11:50 AM

Mitch Daniels -- the former Republican governor of Indiana and now president of Purdue University -- and I don't have much in common, except neither one of us are big fans of the late pro-Communist historian and anti-war activist Howard Zinn. When my daughter was in middle school a few...

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Think Again: Mainstream Media Refuses to Recognize the Elephant in the Room

(11) Comments | Posted July 18, 2013 | 10:09 AM

John Cassidy wrote a nice column following a two-week vacation in which he noted, without surprise, that yes, "the Republican Party's two-decade-long descent into wacky, quasi-religious, know-nothing nativism," together with "a deep commitment to outmoded doctrines and superstitions" characterized by "extremism and nuttiness," remained its defining characteristic. Cassidy's...

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