August 17, 2021

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The Headlines

The Edge

Coverage of the IPCC Climate Report Can’t Stop Now

Fox News’ Anti-Immigrant Fearmongering is Dangerous

Last Week in The Edge

How Media Should Counter COVID Misinformation

America’s Homeless Crisis is Being Criminalized

‘A Backdoor War on Journalists’ — Defending Rights & Dissent on Whistleblower Daniel Hale (The Edge)


Coverage of the IPCC Climate Report Can’t Stop Now

On August 9, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the first part of its sixth assessment on climate change. The report states plainly that humans have already significantly “warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land,” contributing to extreme weather events. These effects and more will exacerbate if carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current rate or intensify.

But the IPCC’s report wasn’t perfect, omitting mentions of fossil fuels and obscuring who’s to blame for the worst of climate change—as some journalists have helpfully reported, it’s large corporations. The unclear messaging has aided the greenwashing campaigns by these companies.

Media’s coverage following the climate report was thorough and prolific—it’ll have to stay that way in the coming months to make a difference.

Read the full report on The Edge.

Fox News’ Anti-Immigrant Fearmongering is Dangerous

Fox News show no signs of letting up on its alarmist and arguably racist coverage of immigration and immigrants. A recent study by Media Matters has found that, over a 12-week period from March 22 through June 11, “Fox News personalities and guests fearmongered about migrants and the immigration system in over half of all segments that discussed immigration by implying that migrants are dangerous, falsely claiming they are an economic drain, and pushing racist conspiracy theories about migrant culture.”

The revealing study comes in the wake of an unprecedented number of U.S. border apprehensions as people flee poverty, crime, and climate-related crises in their home countries. While Fox’s rhetoric is unsurprising, it remains dangerous as it spreads disinformation and, in some cases, incites violence.

Read the full report on The Edge.

More from The Edge

Countering COVID Misinformation with Science 

COVID-19 caseloads are climbing again, and the Right continues to spread virus misinformation as the government struggles with its response. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has given contradictory advice over the past months concerning mask wearing—its May 13 mask recommendation lift for the vaccinated prompted celebration, but proved premature.  

News media now has an especially important role to counteract confusing government messaging and targeted disinformation. One way to achieve this is to promote a better understanding of science while identifying and disproving false claims. Unfortunately, not all media has helped to clarify the best available information; sensationalism and ever-present disinformation has muddied recent mainstream reporting.

Read the full report on The Edge.

America’s Homeless Crisis is Being Criminalized

More than half a million people are estimated to be homeless in the United States. This alarming statistic has undoubtedly been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a “7% increase among individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness, marking the first time there are more individuals living unsheltered than in shelter,” according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

Yet despite increasing rates of homelessness, help appears to be far off. Systematic criminalization has perpetuated the cycle of homelessness that plagues the United States, and efforts to continue this cycle have only increased in recent months.

Read the full report on the Edge.

Daniel Hale Sentenced to 45 Months in Prison for Drone Leak

At the end of July, former U.S. Air Force intelligence analyst Daniel Hale was sentenced to 45 months in prison after pleading guilty to leaking a trove of government documents that exposed the inner workings and severe civilian costs of the U.S. military’s drone program.

Hale told the judge that “I couldn’t keep living in a world in which people pretend that things weren’t happening that were. Please, your honor, forgive me for taking papers instead of human lives.”

While Hale’s sentence fell short of the maximum sentence of 11 years, the nearly four-year sentence amounts to another victory for the U.S. government in an ongoing crackdown on national security leaks that has spanned multiple presidential administrations.

Read more about Hale and watch a Defending Rights and Dissent Webinar from April featuring whistleblowers Thomas Drake and Jeffrey Sterling.

And from 2010, watch PCIM host Dr. Daniel Ellsberg, who in 1971 leaked the Pentagon Papers to the press.

In Other News

1. Afghanistan news – live: Taliban leader lands in Kandahar as women’s rights to remain ‘within Islamic laws’ (The Independent)

2. So Much for a ‘Foreign Policy for the Middle Class’ (The Atlantic)

3. Detainee Says China Has Secret Jail In Dubai, Holds Uyghurs (HuffPost)

4. Biden’s speech on Afghanistan fact-checked (BBC)

5. Biggest US reservoir declares historic shortage, forcing water cuts across west (The Guardian

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The Indy Brief is edited by Jeremy Lovelett.