The Media Fails, the NSA Hacks & the Chinese Economy is No. 1: Dec. 4, 2014

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MediaFail—Women in Saudi Arabia, Alcohol Surge, Presidential Shooters, Amazon Workers by Russ Baker
In our inaugural MediaFail column, Russ Baker calls out four articles that fall flat. Read on for a look at how the media gets it wrong, fawns over its subjects or fails to check basic facts.

WHO

Who is teaming up on the Islamic State? The U.S. and Iran, but they’d like to keep it on the down-low. Also on the down-low: mounting civilian causalities from U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.

Who was killed for no reason? Chokehold victim Eric Garner.

Whose life isn’t worth a ham sandwich? According to former RNC Chairman Michael Steele … a Black man living in America.

Who’s the one person involved in the Garner case a grand jury actually did indict?

Who said police violence is “an American problem”?

Which career narcotics officer found out that violent crime declines when the war on drugs is relaxed?

Who determined that the Cleveland Police Department exhibits a pattern of “unreasonable and unnecessary use of force”?

And who can hack into cellphone networks around the world? No points for guessing it’s the NSA.

WHAT

What is the latest “American tragedy” generated by the petrochemical industry?

What’s the “inside story” of the battle over the Senate’s CIA torture report? And what are the potential legal repercussions if it’s finally released?

What’s happening to Crimea’s anti-Russia activists?

WHY

Why is China officially the world’s number one economy? And why does the American response to that matter? (For a counterpoint to China’s ranking, see here)

Why is America’s infrastructure “embarrassing”?

Why are pawnshops like banks for the poor?

Why does Amazon want you to shop when you are on the toilet?

And why doesn’t the FBI close the books on the Petraeus sex scandal? (Here’s our take on what may have been the real motivation for taking down Petraeus.)

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