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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

Should Progressives Unify with the Democratic Party Establishment? Hell No!

(416) Comments | Posted May 19, 2016 | 2:39 PM

In countless ways over the last 35 years, our society has become less economically equal and more dominated by corporate power. Less just and more jailed. Vast urban and rural areas decline as government subsidizes economic elites. Funds for education and social services are under constant threat while funding for...

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Reality Check for Democrats: Would Martin Luther King Be Supporting Bernie?

(0) Comments | Posted February 11, 2016 | 3:00 PM

Corporate mainstream media have sanitized and distorted the life and teachings of Martin Luther King Jr., putting him in the category of a "civil rights leader" who focused narrowly on racial discrimination; end of story.

Missing from the story is that Dr. King was...

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Hillary Clinton Turns Stand-Up Comic: "I'm a Progressive Who Gets Things Done."

(286) Comments | Posted February 4, 2016 | 11:33 AM

In her speech claiming victory after the Iowa caucuses, Hillary Clinton proclaimed herself "a progressive who gets things done." I had to laugh. And it wasn't just because former President Bill Clinton -- the centrist Triangulator-in-Chief -- was standing behind her, beaming and clapping.

A quick review of Hillary...

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Ask CNN: Why Do Conservatives Get to Question Candidates -- but Not Progressives?

(7) Comments | Posted October 9, 2015 | 1:23 PM

At the CNN-sponsored Republican Party debate last month at the Reagan Library, one of the three panelists CNN selected to question the candidates was conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, affiliated with the proudly right-wing Salem Radio Network.

But at Tuesday's upcoming Democratic Party debate, CNN is not planning to include...

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Memo to Media: Ask Trump if He's a 'Serial Racist'

(33) Comments | Posted July 3, 2015 | 3:43 PM

It's easy to laugh off Donald Trump's fact-free comments about Mexican immigrants being rapists. And easy to poke fun, as Jon Stewart did, at Trump's grudging admission that some Mexican immigrants might be "good people."

But there is a serious issue here, and mainstream media...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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.

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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