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Alexandrea Boguhn

Author ››› Alexandrea Boguhn
  • Three Ways Conservative Media Misinform About Birth Control


    Conservative media personalities have long ignored the public's overwhelming support for wider access to birth control, instead pushing long debunked myths that birth control is cheap and easy to access, is only about preventing pregnancies, and can cause abortion.

    Here are the facts behind right-wing media's three biggest myths about birth control:

  • The Economist's All-Male List Of 2014's Most Influential Economists Points To A Larger Problem

    When Discussing The Economy, The Media Ignores Women

    Blog ››› ››› ALEXANDREA BOGUHN

    The lack of women on The Economist's list of the most influential economists in 2014 points to the larger problem of how women are severely underrepresented in economic discussions in the media.

    The Economist magazine released a list ranking the top 25 "influential economists" for 2014. The magazine's ranking was created by Appinions, a startup company, that tracked economists based on "how much attention was paid to their utterances in the mainstream media, the blogosphere and in social media over a 90-day period."

    The list was quickly met with controversy for failing to include women, with critics highlighting the exclusion of Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen. Responding to the controversy, The Economist wrote that criticism of the list "misunderstands how and why it was put together" and that it was "not a ranking of the most influential economists of 2014, but a list of those economists who got most attention in the last quarter of 2014."

    But the controversy surrounding the apparent lack of women featured in The Economist's list points to a larger problem -- the lack of gender representation featured in economic discussions in the media. The Economist's study calculated influence based on media attention, a methodology that ignores the fact that media overwhelmingly turn to male economists, leaving women severely underrepresented during economic discussions in the media.

    A Media Matters analysis of weekday evening cable news over one year found that female economists accounted for less than ten percent of total economist appearances throughout the year while male economists dominated over 90 percent of weekday evening cable news appearances. It also showed that men in general were hosted significantly more frequently than women to discuss the economy, with women accounting for only 28 percent of all guests in segments on the topic.

    Gender of economists in segments on the economyGender of guests in segments on the economy

  • The GOP Efforts To Undo Financial Reform Behind Fox News' Super Bowl Cancellation Fears

    Blog ››› ››› ALEXANDREA BOGUHN

    Fox News obscured the fact that Republican lawmakers are holding renewal of a terrorism insurance program hostage in order to continue chipping away at financial regulatory reform. 

    The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), first passed after 9/11 and subsequently renewed by Congress, allows the federal government to aid insurance companies in providing terrorism insurance to businesses. One of the biggest beneficiaries of TRIA are professional sports organizations like the NFL.  

    If TRIA is not renewed, these organizations could lose terrorism insurance coverage. Thus on the December 15 edition of Fox & Friends First, Fox Business contributor Lauren Simonetti claimed that the Super Bowl may be in danger of cancelation. According to Simonetti, "The reason is Congress," adding "unless this act is reauthorized by the end of the year," the Super Bowl could be canceled:

  • Fox's Misguided Attempt To Downplay Prevalence Of Campus Sexual Assaults

    Blog ››› ››› ALEXANDREA BOGUHN

    Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume downplayed the prevalence of campus sexual assaults by misleadingly pointing to a Justice Department study which only surveyed respondents on assaults which occurred per year. Hume's analysis ignored that studies on campus sexual assault consistently find that nearly 20 percent of college-aged women report that they have been assaulted in their lifetime -- a completely different unit of measurement than the Justice Department's study.

    During the December 8 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier, Hume highlighted a 2013 study from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that found that "the annual rate of sexual assaults on women in America declined by 58%," using the report to refute the the often-cited Campus Sexual Assault (CSA) survey used by "activists and President Obama who have been claiming for years that one in every five women will be sexually assaulted while at college," mocking it for including categories such as "forced kissing."

    But Hume's comparison is flawed. The DOJ report only cites "the estimated annual rate of female rape or sexual assault victimizations," that occur per year and includes all females age 12 or older. The CSA study specifically surveyed women in college and asked women if they had been assaulted in their lifetime, reporting that "one out of five undergraduate women experience an attempted or completed sexual assault" since entering college.

    And studies consistently echoed CSA's findings. A 2010 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that nearly 20 percent of women have been raped in their lifetime:

    Nearly 1 in 5 women (18.3%) and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) in the United States have been raped at some time in their lives, including completed forced penetration, attempted forced penetration, or alcohol/drug facilitated completed penetration.

  • Right-Wing Media Parrot Rand Paul's Absurd Assertion That Cigarette Taxes Are To Blame For Eric Garner's Death


    Conservative media parroted Sen. Rand Paul's (R-KY) claim that cigarette taxes were partly to blame in the choking death of Eric Garner by a New York City police officer following a grand jury decision not to indict the officer accused in the incident. Mainstream media outlets criticized the "fanciful" assertion, explaining Garner died due to excessive police force.

  • Fox News Injects Race Into Beating Death Of Bosnian Man In St. Louis

    Police Ruled Out Race And Ferguson Protests As Motivating Factor For The Crime

    Blog ››› ››› ALEXANDREA BOGUHN

    Fox News' Greta Van Susteren injected race into the beating death of a Bosnian man, connecting the murder to protests in Ferguson, despite multiple statements from St. Louis police department ruling out race or unrest in Ferguson as a motivating factor for the crime.

    On November 30, 32-year old Bosnian Zemir Begic was fatally beaten in St. Louis, Missouri. According to CBS News, three juveniles were later taken into custody in connection with the crime. St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said that there was no indication that Bergic was targeted because of his ethnicity.

    During a December 1 discussion of Bergic's death on Fox News' On the Record, host Greta Van Susteren and former homicide detective Ted Williams suggested that the crime may be linked to protests in Ferguson. Van Susteren admitted that police said the attack was not racially motivated, but called it "the big elephant in the room" and suggested that "we have incomplete facts" about the role of race in the attack. Williams added that Bergic's death "may very well be connected" to Ferguson, claiming the situation there is "like the war between the North and the South":

    But the attack was not connected to the protests in Missouri. As St. Louis Police spokesperson Schron Jackson told, the city's investigators "don't believe the incident is in any way related to Ferguson" and that the attack "is not being investigated as a hate crime."