iOS app Android app

Jeff Cohen
Jeff Cohen is a journalist, media critic and founding director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College. In 1986, he founded the media watch group FAIR. His latest book is "Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media". He was a "Donahue" senior producer at MSNBC, and an on-air commentator on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. His columns have been published in dozens of dailies, including USA Today, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe and Atlanta Constitution -- and on independent sites such as CommonDreams, Truthout and AlterNet. In the mid-1990s, he co-wrote the nationally syndicated "Media Beat" column (with Norman Solomon), which appeared in such dailies as Seattle Times, Cleveland Plain Dealer and Minneapolis Star Tribune. In 2003, he was the communications director of the Kucinich for President campaign.

Entries by Jeff Cohen

The Resurrection of Reporter Gary Webb: Will Hollywood Give Him Last Word Against the CIA's Media Apologists?

(9) Comments | Posted October 6, 2014 | 12:22 PM

It's been almost a decade since once-luminous investigative journalist Gary Webb extinguished his own life.

It's been 18 years since Webb's "Dark Alliance" series in the San Jose Mercury News exploded across a new medium -- the Internet -- and definitively linked crack cocaine in Los Angeles and elsewhere...

Read Post

Hillary's Candid Motto for Democratic Party: 'Represent Banks'

(61) Comments | Posted July 14, 2014 | 1:03 PM

In 1992, a 44-year-old attorney made the following remarkable assertion: "For goodness' sake, you can't be a lawyer if you don't represent banks."

The attorney was Hillary Clinton. She made the statement to journalists during her husband's first campaign for president. Her legal representation of a shady...

Read Post

Noam Chomsky Continues to Inspire

(12) Comments | Posted December 16, 2013 | 4:07 PM

This month, Noam Chomsky turned 85 -- and he's the subject of a new animated movie focused on his scientific and social philosophies. He has actually seen this movie, unlike other works about him: "I can't stand watching myself."

He's one of the world's best-known intellectuals and...

Read Post

My Surprisingly Inspiring Trip to the West Bank: Echoes of Our Civil Rights Movement

(23) Comments | Posted August 27, 2013 | 1:04 PM

As I prepared for a grueling fact-finding trip to Israel and the Palestinian West Bank (occupied for 46 years), Secretary of State Kerry announced that Israel and the Palestinian Authority had agreed to resume peace talks without preconditions.

On the day my delegation flew to the region, Israel...

Read Post

How Do You Know When President Obama Is Lying? MSNBC Won't Tell You

(937) Comments | Posted July 7, 2013 | 8:43 PM

I was a young person when I first heard the quip: "How do you know when the President is lying? His lips are moving." At the time, President Nixon was expanding the war in Vietnam to other countries and deploying the White House "plumbers" to commit crimes against antiwar leakers.

Read Post

Snowden Coverage: If U.S. Mass Media Were State-Controlled, Would They Look Any Different?

(374) Comments | Posted June 26, 2013 | 1:03 PM

The Edward Snowden leaks have revealed a U.S. corporate media system at war with independent journalism. Many of the same outlets -- especially TV news -- that missed the Wall Street meltdown and cheer-led the Iraq invasion have come to resemble state-controlled media outlets in their near-total identification with the...

Read Post

Trust Me: Political Spying + Computers = Big Brother

(11) Comments | Posted June 19, 2013 | 1:53 PM

I know the issue of political spying -- and not just because my lawful, nonviolent activism got me spied on by local, state and federal "intelligence" agencies (whose spy files on me were unearthed through successful lawsuits and partly successful Freedom of Information requests). I also spent a dozen years...

Read Post

Playing the Obama Bumper Sticker Game

(45) Comments | Posted June 12, 2013 | 1:42 PM

There's no easier way to gauge the disappointment that liberals and progressives should feel toward President Obama than to look at their cars -- more specifically, their bumper stickers.

I've been playing this game for years. Whenever I see a car with an Obama-Biden bumper sticker and a second bumper...

Read Post

The Elephant in the Room: Militarism

(1002) Comments | Posted April 12, 2013 | 10:02 AM

I spent years as a political pundit on mainstream TV -- at CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. I was outnumbered, outshouted, red-baited and finally terminated. Inside mainstream media, I saw that major issues were not only dodged, but sometimes not even acknowledged to exist.

Today there's an elephant in...

Read Post

My Visit to a London Embassy Under Threat

(51) Comments | Posted August 19, 2012 | 2:08 PM

LONDON -- On Friday, I visited Ecuador's embassy here in the capital of the former British empire and saw a building surrounded by a phalanx of cops, with several of them at the front door. The embassy is in an upscale neighborhood near Harrod's department store. The intimidating police presence...

Read Post

2012 and Beyond: Progressive Election Strategy and the Norman Solomon Campaign

(19) Comments | Posted May 7, 2012 | 4:11 PM

We can't devise a successful electoral strategy for "The Left" -- meaning the forces of peace, social/economic justice and sustainability -- unless we face a simple fact: We're getting our asses kicked.

For three decades, our country's politics have moved steadily rightward and become more corporate-dominated. With few exceptions...

Read Post

Obama, Sarkozy and Taxing Wall Street

(250) Comments | Posted January 11, 2012 | 11:50 AM

With U.S. media obsessing on the fight here at home among conservatives vying to become president, most of them missed some big news about France, which already has a conservative president. This week, French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced that he would take the lead -- even go it alone within...

Read Post

Will ABC News' Made in America Series Avoid Their Boss, Disney?

(27) Comments | Posted February 27, 2011 | 9:19 AM

This weekend ABC News is heavily promoting its special Made in America series that will run all week. From the promotions, it looks like the series will focus partly on what happens when a U.S. household seeks to remove all furnishings and other items from its home that are not...

Read Post

Fear Extreme Islamists in the Arab World? Blame Washington

(18) Comments | Posted January 29, 2011 | 10:11 AM

In the last year of his life, Martin Luther King Jr. questioned U.S. military interventions against progressive movements in the Third World by invoking a JFK quote: "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."

Were he alive to witness the last three...

Read Post

A Time for Action -- Not Servility

(3) Comments | Posted January 19, 2011 | 6:06 PM

Written by Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon

While Washington pundits are talking up a new civility, many progressives are bracing for the old servility -- a bipartisanship that is servile to a corporate elite that is unquenchably greedy and more powerful than ever.

But this is not a time...

Read Post

President NAFTA Backs President SHAFTA

(776) Comments | Posted December 11, 2010 | 9:32 AM

It was a stunning spectacle yesterday afternoon when former President Clinton took the podium from President Obama in the White House briefing room to help shove the Obama-GOP tax deal down the throats of Democratic activists and Congress members.

It was a fitting spectacle too (carried...

Read Post

Colbert Annoys Press Corps . . . Again

(112) Comments | Posted September 25, 2010 | 3:06 AM

Let's face it: Some in the Washington press corps still resent Stephen Colbert because he so brilliantly lampooned them to their faces at the 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner over their coziness with the Bush White House.

Yesterday, some elite journalists couldn't contain their anger after Colbert...

Read Post

Christine O'Donnell and Me

(362) Comments | Posted September 15, 2010 | 6:14 PM

I knew Christine O'Donnell as an ideologue of uptightness -- with a fervent position on every issue under the sun. I saw her up close when we debated during one of her several Phil Donahue show appearances in 2002-03 on MSNBC, where I worked as an on-air contributor and Donahue...

Read Post

Colbert 1, U.S. State Department 0

(58) Comments | Posted August 5, 2010 | 11:54 AM

On last night's Colbert Report, an amazing moment occurred when Stephen Colbert raised a major social issue that U.S. mainstream media assiduously ignore: the huge U.S. prison population. The issue quickly disappeared due to the apparent ignorance of Colbert's guest: Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner, in charge of "Democracy,...

Read Post

WikiLeaks: Time to Celebrate, Time to Mourn

(183) Comments | Posted July 27, 2010 | 11:26 AM

It's time to celebrate.

It's a big win for Internet-based indy media that posted its "Afghan War Diary," which is based on 90,000 leaked U.S. military records and details a failing war in which U.S. and allied forces have repeatedly killed innocent civilians. This on-the-ground material...

Read Post