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Politics & Religion
Topic: Media Issues (Read 251086 times)
Reply #550 on:
July 11, 2010, 01:11:55 PM »
After hearing CNN news anchor thank Bobby Seales for explaining the "difference" (?) between his original Black Panthers he helped found and the "new" (if one calls them that) Balck Panthers for being a guest and explicitly telling him, "it is a great honor having you on the show" (could anyone imagine any CNN news anchor say that to any conservative) I have been looking aournd on line trying to get more information on Black Panthers. As a kid growing up all I can remember is blacks with large Afros holding AK 47's yelling about down with the whites, and what was her bank robber name, Angela Davis etc.
I cannot verify the objectiveness of any of the stuff I find online but here is one website. Clearly the connection between Black Panthers and Marxism is as close as two crossed fingers. Free health care, housing, food, transfer of wealth, educational revisionism, quotas etc. The liberal movement that Obama embraces is all right here. The anger at the United States expressed here (remember Michelle Obama's statement that was something to the effect, "for the first time I am not ashamed of this country?.
I would say that the only diffference is Obama not only wants to redistribute everything domestically in the US but also wants to do it on a global scale by redistributing US wealth around the world. The radical nature of Obama is so obvious. And yet the MSM continues to cover for him. And try to marginalize those who do call him on it from Fox, radio etc.
Indeed those at CNN, ("it is an *HONOR* to have you on our show" - she says to cop killing, Marxist, American hating, violent preaching Bobby Seales) could not make their views as radical hippies from the 60's any more obvious.
The Ten Point Plan
WE WANT FREEDOM. WE WANT POWER TO DETERMINE THE DESTINY OF OUR BLACK AND OPPRESSED COMMUNITIES.
We believe that Black and oppressed people will not be free until we are able to determine our destinies in our own communities ourselves, by fully controlling all the institutions which exist in our communities.
WE WANT FULL EMPLOYMENT FOR OUR PEOPLE.
We believe that the federal government is responsible and obligated to give every person employment or a guaranteed income. We believe that if the American businessmen will not give full employment, then the technology and means of production should be taken from the businessmen and placed in the community so that the people of the community can organize and employ all of its people and give a high standard of living.
WE WANT AN END TO THE ROBBERY BY THE CAPITALISTS OF OUR BLACK AND OPPRESSED COMMUNITIES.
We believe that this racist government has robbed us and now we are demanding the overdue debt of forty acres and two mules. Forty acres and two mules were promised 100 years ago as restitution for slave labor and mass murder of Black people. We will accept the payment in currency which will be distributed to our many communities. The American racist has taken part in the slaughter of our fifty million Black people. Therefore, we feel this is a modest demand that we make.
WE WANT DECENT HOUSING, FIT FOR THE SHELTER OF HUMAN BEINGS.
We believe that if the landlords will not give decent housing to our Black and oppressed communities, then housing and the land should be made into cooperatives so that the people in our communities, with government aid, can build and make decent housing for the people.
WE WANT DECENT EDUCATION FOR OUR PEOPLE THAT EXPOSES THE TRUE NATURE OF THIS DECADENT AMERICAN SOCIETY. WE WANT EDUCATION THAT TEACHES US OUR TRUE HISTORY AND OUR ROLE IN THE PRESENT-DAY SOCIETY.
We believe in an educational system that will give to our people a knowledge of the self. If you do not have knowledge of yourself and your position in the society and in the world, then you will have little chance to know anything else.
WE WANT COMPLETELY FREE HEALTH CARE FOR All BLACK AND OPPRESSED PEOPLE.
We believe that the government must provide, free of charge, for the people, health facilities which will not only treat our illnesses, most of which have come about as a result of our oppression, but which will also develop preventive medical programs to guarantee our future survival. We believe that mass health education and research programs must be developed to give all Black and oppressed people access to advanced scientific and medical information, so we may provide our selves with proper medical attention and care.
WE WANT AN IMMEDIATE END TO POLICE BRUTALITY AND MURDER OF BLACK PEOPLE, OTHER PEOPLE OF COLOR, All OPPRESSED PEOPLE INSIDE THE UNITED STATES.
We believe that the racist and fascist government of the United States uses its domestic enforcement agencies to carry out its program of oppression against black people, other people of color and poor people inside the united States. We believe it is our right, therefore, to defend ourselves against such armed forces and that all Black and oppressed people should be armed for self defense of our homes and communities against these fascist police forces.
WE WANT AN IMMEDIATE END TO ALL WARS OF AGGRESSION.
We believe that the various conflicts which exist around the world stem directly from the aggressive desire of the United States ruling circle and government to force its domination upon the oppressed people of the world. We believe that if the United States government or its lackeys do not cease these aggressive wars it is the right of the people to defend themselves by any means necessary against their aggressors.
WE WANT FREEDOM FOR ALL BLACK AND OPPRESSED PEOPLE NOW HELD IN U. S. FEDERAL, STATE, COUNTY, CITY AND MILITARY PRISONS AND JAILS. WE WANT TRIALS BY A JURY OF PEERS FOR All PERSONS CHARGED WITH SO-CALLED CRIMES UNDER THE LAWS OF THIS COUNTRY.
We believe that the many Black and poor oppressed people now held in United States prisons and jails have not received fair and impartial trials under a racist and fascist judicial system and should be free from incarceration. We believe in the ultimate elimination of all wretched, inhuman penal institutions, because the masses of men and women imprisoned inside the United States or by the United States military are the victims of oppressive conditions which are the real cause of their imprisonment. We believe that when persons are brought to trial they must be guaranteed, by the United States, juries of their peers, attorneys of their choice and freedom from imprisonment while awaiting trial.
WE WANT LAND, BREAD, HOUSING, EDUCATION, CLOTHING, JUSTICE, PEACE AND PEOPLE'S COMMUNITY CONTROL OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY.
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are most disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But, when a long train of abuses and usurpation, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.****
Whitewashing black racism
Reply #551 on:
July 11, 2010, 01:48:54 PM »
Geraldo vs Shabbaz
Reply #552 on:
July 12, 2010, 09:59:26 AM »
Kudos to Geraldo Rivera for calling out "Zulu" on his show over the weekend.
Re: Media Issues
Reply #553 on:
July 12, 2010, 10:01:08 AM »
I never watch Geraldo. What happened?
Geraldo vs. Shabazz
Reply #554 on:
July 12, 2010, 11:04:18 AM »
Shabazz called Geraldo a sell out. Geraldo told Shabazz his calling for racial war is crazy and reparations are basically what the Great Sociaety has been and it has given us a generation (or three) of dependent angry serfs. Geraldo, instead of calling for killing of white babies how about telling African Americans to pull up their pants and be fathers.
I think this is it:
Media blocked from oil spill
Reply #555 on:
July 13, 2010, 10:21:40 AM »
Team Blocks Media from Oil Spill
Posted July 12th, 2010 at 4:00pm
Last week, CNN’s Anderson Cooper reported that the federal government was blocking media access to coastal areas around the Gulf, preventing them from taking photos and reporting on the environmental damage of the oil spill. You can watch the video and see Cooper is livid that the Obama administration is treating him and his colleagues this way.
Cooper of course compares this to Katrina when media were blocked from…well we’re unsure what the media was blocked from in Katrina, since the photos and video from the Superdome, the Convention Center, the overpasses, levees, streets and neighborhoods contributed to possibly the most photographed crisis in history. (Cooper points out that they were blocked from seeing people “dying in their homes” – yeah, uh, same thing)
There are two real stories here, and we do appreciate Cooper bringing one of them to light. The media should of course not be blocked by the federal government from safely reporting on the spill and its affects. The heartbreaking images of oil soaked pelicans, turtles, tarballs and destroyed marshes achieve one important goal – to remind Americans of the disaster the federal government is ignoring. To this day, the media continue to have unnecessarily limited and prohibitive access to the disaster area, including reporters being hassled on public streets. NPR reported yesterday on a reporter who was asked to reveal the images on his camera, and his social security number by members of the local police, FBI and BP.
But there is a second story.
The second story is that while national reporters are fighting the Obama administration’s lack of transparency, they’re not reporting the Obama administration’s lack of competence. Every minute a correspondent scuba dives into the Gulf to reveal that oil is, well, murky, or an anchor shows you another tarball, we miss out on real journalistic oversight.
The Obama administration is making catastrophic decisions every day that is crippling the Gulf Coast environment and economy, yet this story is not being told. A team of experts from The Heritage Foundation, without any credentials, were able to move along the coast unfettered, interview officials, fisherman, port workers and experts to discover major mistakes being made in the response efforts. These stories do not require a pristine camera shot, but rather some old fashioned investigating.
Yes, the story that the White House is engaging in a cover-up mentality is important. As the Louisville Courier-Journal reported yesterday: “The National Press Photographers Association has sent a letter to President Obama expressing outrage at the new rules and requesting that he rescind them. The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, a union that includes broadcast journalists, is monitoring reports of denial of access and censorship.”
But as Billy Nungesser, President of Plaquemines Parish said to Anderson Cooper: “Maybe if [the Federal Government] spent more time getting things like that deployed to pick up the oil, they wouldn’t have to worry about blocking access from the media…if we did our job, and did the right thing, the news you would be reporting would be good news. You would be showing marsh being clean.”
Exactly, let’s also focus on what the government is hiding rather than just the methods they’re using to keep things hidden. And if the government is held accountable for the cleanup they are solely responsible for managing, then the media will be let in because the story will finally get better. We hope.
Re: Media Issues
Reply #556 on:
July 13, 2010, 10:35:39 AM »
"let’s also focus on what the government is hiding"
It has become quite hard to conclude it is just incompetence and not the desired goal of Bamster - blame big oil and let the spill wreck the Gulf for his greeen agenda.
Yet MSM will NEVER report this - including Cooper.
Media coverage of accidents
Reply #557 on:
July 13, 2010, 11:12:10 AM »
The above posts reminded me of this article about media coverage of the coal mine accisnt in West Virginia a few years ago. Although it focuses on the mining industry, I think there might be some parallels with the current coverage of the oil spill.
Covering Coal Mining by Accident
The horrible mining accident in Sago, West Virginia again focused the news mediaâ€™s attention on the treacherous work of coal mining.
At one point, in live, late night coverage, CNNâ€™s Anderson Cooper reminded viewers that this Appalachian region mines a lot of coal, which is used to fuel many of the power plants supplying electricity to viewers around the country. (In fact, more than half of the electricity used in the U.S. comes from coal.)
As elementary as Cooperâ€™s observation seemed, it was an important connecting of the dots between the electricity we effortlessly consume and the dangerous labor conditions of coal mining.
But, the news media have themselves to blame for our collective ignorance on the coal industry. (Imagine a reporter from Saudi Arabia feeling it necessary to tell us that this is where a lot of our oil comes from.)
A review of network and cable television news over the past four years indexed by the Vanderbilt Television News Archive suggests that the news tells us about coal mining literally by accident.
â€˘ In 2005, national television news carried a total of four reports about coal mining, including a Fox story on a deadly China coal mine flood, and a CNN â€śThen and Nowâ€ť story on the 2002 rescue of nine trapped coal miners in Pennsylvaniaâ€”a story CNN liked so much they broadcast it twice. An exception to the accident-related coverage was an ABC News package and a full Nightline report on coalâ€™s comeback as an energy source.
â€˘ It was more coverage by accident in 2004, with two reports for the year, covering mine explosions in China and Siberia.
â€˘ In 2003, the TV networks did a few reports on trapped miners in Russia, and another piece recalling the Pennsylvania mine rescue of 2002.
â€˘ Coverage of the Pennsylvania Quecreek Mine disaster and rescue accounted for nearly all of the coal mining-related reports of 2002. Here was the story so good it seemed like it came from Hollywood (and eventually was sold there). A total of 43 national TV news reports, most in just a few days in late July and early August, gave us wall-to-wall coverage of nine miners rescued from a flooded mine 240 feet underground.
Editors might argue that there is no â€śpegâ€ť for news about coal mining unless there is an accident involved.
Yet accidental coverage tells only part of the story. The news media habitually jumps from accident to accident, and misses disturbing patterns that could be the basis for a different kind of story.
First, The United Mineworkers of America (UMWA) union charged that the U.S. Department of Laborâ€™s Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA)â€”a regulatory agency whose top ranks are staffed by former coal industry officialsâ€”is lax in enforcing Mine Act safety violations, and doesnâ€™t have sufficient manpower to properly inspect the nationâ€™s 1,400 mines.
Recent accidents illustrate the problem. In the Quecreek incident, it was later discovered that the workers had been supplied with faulty maps that led them to accidentally drill into flooded, abandoned mine tunnels. In Sago, as journalists quickly discovered after the disaster, the mining company had a list of more than 200 health and safety violations last year, including several that the company knew about but didnâ€™t fix. Other mining accidents in recent years illustrate the same situation of preexisting safety problems gone uncorrected.
Second, the mining industry likes to point out the declining fatality rate in mining â€“ 28 in 2004, compared to 133 in 1980, and more than 1,000 annually in years before the 1940s. But, the industry (as well as the industry-friendly MSHA) have ignored minersâ€™ requests to reduce unsafe levels of coal dust, which is both a hazardous explosive in the mine and dangerous to breatheâ€”more than 1,000 miners a year die from black lung disease.
As the United States steps up coal production, letâ€™s start purposefully telling more stories about coal and how it is produced. The big arguments for coal are that itâ€™s our coal, and itâ€™s cheaper than other forms of energy. But, we need to start a public discussion about all of coalâ€™s costs â€“ to the land and water where itâ€™s mined, to the atmosphere where itâ€™s burned, and to the workers who risk their health and lives to dig it up.
About those Death Toyotas, Never Mind
Reply #558 on:
July 13, 2010, 03:52:13 PM »
Crash Data Suggest Driver Error in Toyota Accidents
By MIKE RAMSEY And KATE LINEBAUGH
The U.S. Department of Transportation has analyzed dozens of data recorders from Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles involved in accidents blamed on sudden acceleration and found that at the time of the crashes, throttles were wide open and the brakes were not engaged, people familiar with the findings said.
The results suggest that some drivers who said their Toyota and Lexus vehicles surged out of control were mistakenly flooring the accelerator when they intended to jam on the brakes. But the findings don't exonerate Toyota from two known issues blamed for sudden acceleration in its vehicles: sticky accelerator pedals and floor mats that can trap accelerator pedals to the floor.
The findings by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration involve a sample of reports in which a driver of a Toyota vehicle said the brakes were depressed but failed to stop the car from accelerating and ultimately crashing.
The data recorders analyzed by NHTSA were selected by the agency, not Toyota, based on complaints the drivers had filed with the government.
The findings are consistent with a 1989 government-sponsored study that blamed similar driver mistakes for a rash of sudden-acceleration reports involving Audi 5000 sedans.
The Toyota findings, which haven't been released by NHTSA, support Toyota's position that sudden-acceleration reports involving its vehicles weren't caused by electronic glitches in computer-controlled throttle systems, as some safety advocates and plaintiffs' attorneys have alleged. More than 100 people have sued the auto maker claiming crashes were the result of faulty electronics.
NHTSA has received more than 3,000 complaints of sudden acceleration in Toyotas, including some dating to early last decade, according to a report the agency compiled in March. The incidents include 75 fatal crashes involving 93 deaths.
However, NHTSA has been able to verify only one of those fatal crashes was caused by a problem with the vehicle, according to information the agency provided to the National Academy of Sciences. That accident last Aug. 28, which killed a California highway patrolman and three passengers in a Lexus, was traced to a floor mat that trapped the gas pedal in the depressed position.
Toyota has recalled more than eight million cars globally to fix floor mats and sticky accelerators.
A NHTSA spokeswoman declined to confirm the results from the data recorders. She said the agency was continuing to investigate the Toyota accidents and wouldn't be prepared to comment fully on the probe until a broader study is completed in conjunction with NASA, which is expected to take months.
Transportation Department officials, however, have said publicly that they have yet to find any electronic problems in Toyota cars.
Daniel Smith, NHTSA's associate administrator for enforcement, told a panel of the National Academy of Sciences last month that the agency's sudden-acceleration probe had yet to find any car defects beyond those identified by the company: pedals entrapped by floor mats, and "sticky" accelerator pedals that are slow to return to idle.
"In spite of our investigations, we have not actually been able yet to find a defect" in electronic throttle-control systems, Mr. Smith told the scientific panel, which is looking into potential causes of sudden acceleration.
"We're bound and determined that if it exists we're going to find it," he added. "But as yet, we haven't found it."
Toyota officials haven't been briefed on NHTSA's findings, but they corroborate its own tests, said Mike Michels, the chief spokesman for Toyota Motor Sales. Toyota's downloads of event data recorders have found evidence of sticky pedals and pedal entrapment as well as driver error, which is characterized by no evidence of the brakes being depressed during an impact.
Some company officials say they are informally aware of the NHTSA results. But Toyota President Akio Toyoda has said the company won't blame customers for its problems as part of its public-relations response.
Toyota is still trying to repair damage to its reputation caused as much by disclosures that the company hid knowledge of safety problems with its vehicles as by the reports of sudden acceleration.
NHTSA levied a $16.4 million fine against Toyota earlier this year for failing to notify the agency in a timely manner about its sticky-accelerator issue. Toyota's handling of a rash of safety complaints involving high-profile models such as the hybrid Toyota Prius has prompted Congress to consider a far-reaching overhaul of U.S. auto-safety laws.
Last week, Toyota announced it had taken steps to improve its vehicle quality, including moving 1,000 engineers into a new group that will try to pin down problems. The Japanese auto maker also will extend development times by at least four weeks on new models to do more testing and will cut down on the use of contract engineers.Toyota showed reporters the inner workings of its labs, including how it has been testing its electronic throttle control module to find any malfunctions. The system is controlled by a main computer and has a second computer as a backup if the first fails. In either instance, failures should be noted in the car's main computer and result in engine power being cut.
The car maker also has tested its vehicles' responses to strong electromagnetic radiation, such as the waves generated by cellphones and radio towers, which some critics have said could be causing a malfunction. The only interference engineers have encountered after bombarding cars with electromagnetic waves is static on the car radio.
U.S. Reps. Bart Stupak (D., Mich.) and Henry Waxman (D., Calif.) have been critical of Toyota's efforts to track down alternative causes of unintended acceleration. They have said Toyota has been slow to react or evasive. Toyota has said it is doing everything in its power to respond to both Congress and customer complaints.
Transparency now a felony
Reply #559 on:
July 14, 2010, 08:25:01 AM »
Even CNN has gotten Baraq's d*ck out of its mouth long enough to report on this.
Media Issues: Coal accident coverage
Reply #560 on:
July 14, 2010, 11:19:29 AM »
Big Dog, I read that story and had the opposite reaction (surprisingly
). Always hard to compare loss of any life in any number without sounding callous, but it sounded to me like a small number at risk or lost and a large story relative to the fact pointed out in the story that over half of our electricity comes from coal. Parallel to the oil spill story as you mentioned, it seemed to me that the loss of eleven in the explosion and collapse was presented only later as a mere detail to the main story - oil gushing.
Meanwhile the perfect safety record of the western, carbon-free nuclear industry is almost a complete, non-story, unpublished secret. I think you would need a far right blog to discover that truth.
Coal stories also remind me of just how few of us do real work in a physical, dirty and risky sort of way, as compared with some other time like a hundred years ago. When we retire our public employees from our classrooms and and air conditioned government centers in their fifties, with pay, pension and healthcare, you would think we were finally allowing them to escape from the inhumane drudgery of coal mining.
Meanwhile we still kill 34,000 a year on our highways which means that the delivery system for potato chips and soda pop is possibly more deadly in this country than the production of half our total electrical needs with coal.
(Not to mention a million a year plus of unreported elective loss of human life in the abortion industry. Where is that headline?)
Re: Media Issues
Reply #561 on:
July 14, 2010, 11:39:32 AM »
DougMacG... just know that we will agree on something someday!!! The point I was trying make, poorly, as it turns out, was that the media have a way of waiting until sensational stories are made to report on them.. However, as has been reported widely in the wake of the BP oil gusher, there is a long history of noncompliance, incompetence, and abuses by this company. If the media chose to make a big deal about this before the oil spill, there might not be an "after the oil spill" to report.
Re: Media Issues
Reply #562 on:
July 14, 2010, 12:09:39 PM »
BD, I agree. There are so many untold stories out there all the time. Amazing how there was absolutely no investigative journalism pre-exposing the Enron, Madoff, Fannie Mae, Lehman Bros. or almost any other meltdown in the making.
"...there is a long history of noncompliance, incompetence, and abuses by this company."
Instead they were finalists to win the safety award prior to the accident.
Also unreported, except by The Rolling Stone of all places, is that there is no possible chance that the federal bureaucrats even read the false, BP risk assessment study before the Obama administration granted this license to this campaign contributor.
Yet no one in the absent, government protection agencies lost a job over this as far as I know.
Re: Media Issues
Reply #563 on:
July 14, 2010, 01:12:29 PM »
Excellent sources. Thank you for sharing! I might use one or both for classes. And see, we DO agree!
Media Issues: Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer and Eric Holder
Reply #564 on:
July 19, 2010, 12:37:42 PM »
Apparently host and show prep staff take same week off for vacations over at CBS Face the Nation or just no concern over Obama DOJ's unequal enforcement of our basic laws.
Bizarre also how Schieffer in his business confuses the terms 'news' and 'coverage'. "There hasn't been a lot of news about it ..."?? A senior Justice whistle blower resigned over it - I think he meant not much
coverage. Looking for this video, even though it is CNN, the first page of google results were all from blog coverage. Media has changed and the story is out.
Reply #565 on:
July 20, 2010, 02:00:04 PM »
Moving BBG's post to here:
Documents show media plotting to kill stories about Rev. Jeremiah Wright
By Jonathan Strong - The Daily Caller 1:15 AM 07/20/2010
It was the moment of greatest peril for then-Sen. Barack Obama’s political career. In the heat of the presidential campaign, videos surfaced of Obama’s pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, angrily denouncing whites, the U.S. government and America itself. Obama had once bragged of his closeness to Wright. Now the black nationalist preacher’s rhetoric was threatening to torpedo Obama’s campaign.
The crisis reached a howling pitch in mid-April, 2008, at an ABC News debate moderated by Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos. Gibson asked Obama why it had taken him so long – nearly a year since Wright’s remarks became public – to dissociate himself from them. Stephanopoulos asked, “Do you think Reverend Wright loves America as much as you do?”
Watching this all at home were members of Journolist, a listserv comprised of several hundred liberal journalists, as well as like-minded professors and activists. The tough questioning from the ABC anchors left many of them outraged. “George [Stephanopoulos],” fumed Richard Kim of the Nation, is “being a disgusting little rat snake.”
Others went further. According to records obtained by The Daily Caller, at several points during the 2008 presidential campaign a group of liberal journalists took radical steps to protect their favored candidate. Employees of news organizations including Time, Politico, the Huffington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Guardian, Salon and the New Republic participated in outpourings of anger over how Obama had been treated in the media, and in some cases plotted to fix the damage.
In one instance, Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent urged his colleagues to deflect attention from Obama’s relationship with Wright by changing the subject. Pick one of Obama’s conservative critics, Ackerman wrote, “Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.”
Michael Tomasky, a writer for the Guardian, also tried to rally his fellow members of Journolist: “Listen folks–in my opinion, we all have to do what we can to kill ABC and this idiocy in whatever venues we have. This isn’t about defending Obama. This is about how the [mainstream media] kills any chance of discourse that actually serves the people.”
“Richard Kim got this right above: ‘a horrible glimpse of general election press strategy.’ He’s dead on,” Tomasky continued. “We need to throw chairs now, try as hard as we can to get the call next time. Otherwise the questions in October will be exactly like this. This is just a disease.”
(In an interview Monday, Tomasky defended his position, calling the ABC debate an example of shoddy journalism.)
Thomas Schaller, a columnist for the Baltimore Sun as well as a political science professor, upped the ante from there. In a post with the subject header, “why don’t we use the power of this list to do something about the debate?” Schaller proposed coordinating a “smart statement expressing disgust” at the questions Gibson and Stephanopoulos had posed to Obama.
“It would create quite a stir, I bet, and be a warning against future behavior of the sort,” Schaller wrote.
Tomasky approved. “YES. A thousand times yes,” he exclaimed.
The members began collaborating on their open letter. Jonathan Stein of Mother Jones rejected an early draft, saying, “I’d say too short. In my opinion, it doesn’t go far enough in highlighting the inanity of some of [Gibson's] and [Stephanopoulos’s] questions. And it doesn’t point out their factual inaccuracies …Our friends at Media Matters probably have tons of experience with this sort of thing, if we want their input.”
Jared Bernstein, who would go on to be Vice President Joe Biden’s top economist when Obama took office, helped, too. The letter should be “Short, punchy and solely focused on vapidity of gotcha,” Bernstein wrote.
In the midst of this collaborative enterprise, Holly Yeager, now of the Columbia Journalism Review, dropped into the conversation to say “be sure to read” a column in that day’s Washington Post that attacked the debate.
Columnist Joe Conason weighed in with suggestions. So did Slate contributor David Greenberg, and David Roberts of the website Grist. Todd Gitlin, a professor of journalism at Columbia University, helped too.
Journolist members signed the statement and released it April 18, calling the debate “a revolting descent into tabloid journalism and a gross disservice to Americans concerned about the great issues facing the nation and the world.”
The letter caused a brief splash and won the attention of the New York Times. But only a week later, Obama – and the journalists who were helping him – were on the defensive once again.
Jeremiah Wright was back in the news after making a series of media appearances. At the National Press Club, Wright claimed Obama had only repudiated his beliefs for “political reasons.” Wright also reiterated his charge that the U.S. federal government had created AIDS as a means of committing genocide against African Americans.
It was another crisis, and members of Journolist again rose to help Obama.
Chris Hayes of the Nation posted on April 29, 2008, urging his colleagues to ignore Wright. Hayes directed his message to “particularly those in the ostensible mainstream media” who were members of the list.
The Wright controversy, Hayes argued, was not about Wright at all. Instead, “It has everything to do with the attempts of the right to maintain control of the country.”
Hayes castigated his fellow liberals for criticizing Wright. “All this hand wringing about just
how awful and odious Rev. Wright remarks are just keeps the hustle going.”
“Our country disappears people. It tortures people. It has the blood of as many as one million Iraqi civilians — men, women, children, the infirmed — on its hands. You’ll forgive me if I just can’t quite dredge up the requisite amount of outrage over Barack Obama’s pastor,” Hayes wrote.
Hayes urged his colleagues – especially the straight news reporters who were charged with covering the campaign in a neutral way – to bury the Wright scandal. “I’m not saying we should all rush en masse to defend Wright. If you don’t think he’s worthy of defense, don’t defend him! What I’m saying is that there is no earthly reason to use our various platforms to discuss what about Wright we find objectionable,” Hayes said.
(Reached by phone Monday, Hayes argued his words then fell on deaf ears. “I can say ‘hey I don’t think you guys should cover this,’ but no one listened to me.”)
Katha Pollitt – Hayes’s colleague at the Nation – didn’t disagree on principle, though she did sound weary of the propaganda. “I hear you. but I am really tired of defending the indefensible. The people who attacked Clinton on Monica were prissy and ridiculous, but let me tell you it was no fun, as a feminist and a woman, waving aside as politically irrelevant and part of the vast rightwing conspiracy Paula, Monica, Kathleen, Juanita,” Pollitt said.
“Part of me doesn’t like this shit either,” agreed Spencer Ackerman, then of the Washington Independent. “But what I like less is being governed by racists and warmongers and criminals.”
Ackerman went on:
I do not endorse a Popular Front, nor do I think you need to. It’s not necessary to jump to Wright-qua-Wright’s defense. What is necessary is to raise the cost on the right of going after the left. In other words, find a rightwinger’s [sic] and smash it through a plate-glass window. Take a snapshot of the bleeding mess and send it out in a Christmas card to let the right know that it needs to live in a state of constant fear. Obviously I mean this rhetorically.
And I think this threads the needle. If the right forces us all to either defend Wright or tear him down, no matter what we choose, we lose the game they’ve put upon us. Instead, take one of them — Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists. Ask: why do they have such a deep-seated problem with a black politician who unites the country? What lurks behind those problems? This makes *them* sputter with rage, which in turn leads to overreaction and self-destruction.
Ackerman did allow there were some Republicans who weren’t racists. “We’ll know who doesn’t deserve this treatment — Ross Douthat, for instance — but the others need to get it.” He also said he had begun to implement his plan. “I previewed it a bit on my blog last week after Commentary wildly distorted a comment Joe Cirincione made to make him appear like (what else) an antisemite. So I said: why is it that so many on the right have such a problem with the first viable prospective African-American president?”
Several members of the list disagreed with Ackerman – but only on strategic grounds.
“Spencer, you’re wrong,” wrote Mark Schmitt, now an editor at the American Prospect. “Calling Fred Barnes a racist doesn’t further the argument, and not just because Juan Williams is his new black friend, but because that makes it all about character. The goal is to get to the point where you can contrast some _thing_ — Obama’s substantive agenda — with this crap.”
(In an interview Monday, Schmitt declined to say whether he thought Ackerman’s plan was wrong. “That is not a question I’m going to answer,” he said.)
Kevin Drum, then of Washington Monthly, also disagreed with Ackerman’s strategy. “I think it’s worth keeping in mind that Obama is trying (or says he’s trying) to run a campaign that avoids precisely the kind of thing Spencer is talking about, and turning this into a gutter brawl would probably hurt the Obama brand pretty strongly. After all, why vote for him if it turns out he’s not going change the way politics works?”
But it was Ackerman who had the last word. “Kevin, I’m not saying OBAMA should do this. I’m saying WE should do this.”
WaPo Owns Journolist?
Reply #566 on:
July 21, 2010, 01:17:10 PM »
A follow up to the above post:
Forget the Whistleblowers! WaPo Management Owns the Journolist
Andrew Brietbart is offering a $100,000 reward to a whistleblower who will release the entire Journolist archive. Why bother? Washington Post management has control of the archive, via creator Ezra Klein, who works for the Post.
Like most companies, the Washington Post Company owns all their employees emails. This is set forth on page 10 and 11 of their Corporate Code of Business Conduct. Key sentence: "There should be no expectation of privacy in these electronic interactions."
Now that we know that Journolist has functioned as a conspiracy to intimidate people into not reporting the news, the Washington Post Company owes the nation complete transparency on the activities of this cabal.
Page Printed from:
at July 21, 2010 - 01:16:13 PM CDT
Reply #567 on:
July 24, 2010, 01:48:49 PM »
Someone with far too much time on his hands is slowly assembling a list of "journalists" known to have participated in the JournoList. They are as follows:
JournoList: 107 Names Confirmed (with news organizations)
Source List Included | 07/24/2010 | BuckeyeTexan
Posted on July 24, 2010 1:38:36 PM EDT by BuckeyeTexan
The following 107 names are confirmed members of the now-defunct JournoList listserv.
1. Spencer Ackerman – Wired, FireDogLake, Washington
Independent, Talking Points Memo, The American Prospect
2. Ben Adler – Newsweek, POLITICO
3. Mike Allen - POLITICO
4. Eric Alterman – The Nation, Media Matters for America
5. Marc Ambinder - The Atlantic
6. Greg Anrig – The Century Foundation
7. Ryan Avent – Economist
8. Dean Baker - The American Prospect
9. Nick Baumann – Mother Jones
10. Josh Bearman – LA Weekly
11. Steven Benen - The Carpetbagger Report
12. Jared Bernstein – Economic Policy Institute
13. Michael Berube - Crooked Timber (blog), Pennsylvania State University
14. Lindsay Beyerstein - (blogger)
15. Joel Bleifuss - In These Times
16. John Blevins – South Texas College of Law
17. Sam Boyd - The American Prospect
18. Rich Byrne - Playwright and freelancer
19. Ta-Nehisi Coates - The Atlantic
20. Jonathan Chait – The New Republic
21. Lakshmi Chaudry - In These Times
22. Isaac Chotiner – The New Republic
23. Michael Cohen – New America Foundation
24. Jonathan Cohn – The New Republic
25. Joe Conason – The New York Observer
26. David Corn – Mother Jones
27. Daniel Davies – The Guardian
28. David Dayen - FireDogLake
29. Brad DeLong – The Economists’ Voice, University of California at Berkley
30. Ryan Donmoyer - Bloomberg
31. Kevin Drum – Washington Monthly
32. Matt Duss – Center for American Progress
33. Eve Fairbanks – The New Republic
34. Henry Farrell – George Washington University
35. Tim Fernholz – American Prospect
36. James Galbraith - University of Texas at Austin (professor)
37. Todd Gitlin – Columbia University
38. Ilan Goldenberg - National Security Network
39. Dana Goldstein – The Daily Beast
40. Merrill Goozner - Chicago Tribune
41. David Greenberg - Slate
42. Robert Greenwald - Brave New Films
43. Chris Hayes – The Nation
44. Don Hazen - Alternet
45. Michael Hirsh - Newsweek
46. John Judis – The New Republic, The American Prospect
47. Michael Kazin - Georgetown University (law professor)
48. Ed Kilgore – Democratic Stategist
49. Richard Kim – The Nation
50. Mark Kleiman - The Reality Based Community
51. Ezra Klein - Washington Post, Newsweek, The American Prospect
52. Joe Klein - TIME
53. Paul Krugman – The New York Times, Princeton University
54. Lisa Lerer - POLITICO
55. Daniel Levy – Century Foundation
56. Alec McGillis – Washington Post
57. Scott McLemee - Inside Higher Ed
58. Ari Melber - The Nation
59. Seth Michaels – MyDD.com
60. Luke Mitchell – Harper’s Magazine
61. Gautham Nagesh – The Hill, Daily Caller
62. Suzanne Nossel – Human Rights Watch
63. Michael O’Hare - University of California, Berkeley
64. Rick Perlstein – Author, Campaign for America’s Future
65. Harold Pollack – University of Chicago
66. Foster Kamer – The Village Voice
67. Katha Pollitt – The Nation
68. Ari Rabin-Havt - Media Matters
69. David Roberts - Grist
70. Alyssa Rosenberg – Washingtonian, The Atlantic, Government Executive
71. Alex Rossmiller – National Security Network
72. Laura Rozen – Politico, Mother Jones
73. Greg Sargent – Washington Post
74. Thomas Schaller – Baltimore Sun
75. Noam Scheiber – The New Republic
76. Michael Scherer - TIME
77. Mark Schmitt – American Prospect
78. Adam Serwer – American Prospect
79. Thomas Schaller - Baltimore Sun (columnist), University of Maryland, Baltimore County (professor), FiveThirtyEight.com (contributing writer)
80. Julie Bergman Sender - Balcony Films
81. Walter Shapiro – PoliticsDaily.com
82. Nate Silver - FiveThirtyEight.com
83. Jesse Singal – The Boston Globe, Washington Monthly
84. Ben Smith - POLITICO
85. Sarah Spitz – NPR
86. Adele Stan – The Media Consortium
87. Kate Steadman – Kaiser Health News
88. Jonathan Stein – Mother Jones
89. Sam Stein - The Huffington Post
90. Jesse Taylor – Pandagon.net
91. Steven Teles – Yale University
92. Thoma - The Economist's View (blog), University of Oregon (professor)
93. Michael Tomasky – The Guardian
94. Jeffrey Toobin – CNN, The New Yorker
95. Rebecca Traister - Salon (columnist)
96. Cenk Uygur - The Young Turks
97. Tracy Van Slyke - The Media Consortium
98. Dave Weigel - Washington Post, MSNBC, The Washington Independent
99. Moira Whelan – National Security Network
100. Scott Winship – Pew Economic Mobility Project
101. Kai Wright - The Root
102. Holly Yeager – Columbia Journalism Review
103. Rich Yeselson – Change to Win
104. Matthew Yglesias – Center for American Progress, The Atlantic Monthly
105. Jonathan Zasloff – UCLA
106. Julian Zelizer - Princeton professor and CNN contributor
107. Avi Zenilman – POLITICO
Re: Media Issues
Reply #568 on:
July 26, 2010, 10:28:06 AM »
I don't know how accurate or complete this list is but I cannot deny, as a Jew, how many obviously Jewish names there are on this list (over 40).
It rather does give weight to the notion that Jews do have a unusually large influence in media. That said I am proud of our accomplishments and not disparaging them.
OTOH I just don't get the reason or even justification for the liberal bias of so many of my fellow Jews. They think they are being intellectual but I look at them as being foolish.
Media Issues: Journalists Protecting Obama
Reply #569 on:
July 26, 2010, 01:13:59 PM »
Dr. K Can't Deal with What he Dishes Out
Reply #570 on:
August 03, 2010, 12:53:44 PM »
Paul Krugman Gives Up
By Fred Douglass
A marvelous thing happened over on Paul Krugman's blog at the New York Times last week. Krugman effectively conceded defeat on a range of economic debates. Who defeated him? People who posted comments on his New York Times blog. Mere commenters.
For those who do not know, Paul Krugman is one of the few who still claim that Keynesian progressivism is the answer to America's (and Europe's) problems, not their cause. He repeats that claim many times each month. Amid these repeated expressions of his "progressive" faith, he now also repeatedly expresses grim despair because his progressive policy prescriptions are being accepted less and less in the public square, even by the Obama administration.
Krugman is an academic. He has never run a company. He has never created a job. The closest contact he evidently ever had to "business" was as an adviser to Enron, where (in his own words) he was paid $50,000 to help build Enron's "image."
This, perhaps, explains the dozen or so points that Krugman makes over and over. Here are a few: Obama's stimulus was too small. Debt is good. Austerity is bad. Deflation is coming. Ken Rogoff, Greg Mankiw, Alberto Alesina (all at Harvard), and other serious economic scientists do not understand economics as well as he does. Those who do not agree with him are "mass delusional." And perhaps Krugman's favorite line: "I was right, of course."
Befitting his ideology, Krugman has only one policy to propose, regardless of topic: Transfer more resources from the discipline and dynamism of markets to the inefficiency and cronyism of government.
Government-run health care. Government-controlled banks. Government bailouts. High taxes. High spending. Krugman wants it all, just like in Europe (which, in 2008, he called "the comeback continent"). And Krugman has no problems denying economic science and current events to advocate it.
With the meltdown in Europe so obviously the consequence of too much Krugmanism and U.S. unemployment near 10% after a trillion dollars in stimulus, Krugman has attracted some criticism.
For example, Robert Barro, the distinguished Harvard economist, noted that Krugman "just says whatever is convenient for his political argument. He doesn't behave like an economist." The New York Times ombudsman Daniel Okrent observed that Paul Krugman has "the disturbing habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers in a fashion that pleases his acolytes but leaves him open to substantive assaults." James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal, after listing the falsities in Krugman's latest piece on climate last week, hazarded that perhaps "Krugman makes himself ridiculous merely to make our job easy."
But no matter how low Krugman's fallacious fruit hangs, Krugman has long been comfortable among the acolytes who frequently post on his blog. A representative post is: "Paul, you are a God-send for those of us who appreciate a superior intellect with common sense! Thanks for applying your brilliance." Or this: "Paul, dig deep dude. You are brilliant." It was hardly surprising that last January, Krugman declared, "I love my commenters."
For just as Krugman was declaring his love for his blog commenters last January, people started posting serious rebuttals of Krugman's standard claims about economics. These commenters were not obviously Republican stooges. They were not obviously members of "the political class." They were not obvious ideologues.
Rather, the posters simply knew some economic science and how jobs are created and economies grow, perhaps because they were members of "the productive class." And they came prepared to support their rebuttals of Krugman's ideology and his singular policy prescription by facts and peer-reviewed economic science.
For six months, they made Krugman's blog one of the more informative and interesting places to hear economics debated. In part, this was because they gave Krugman a serious run. Their posts were long, near the 5,000-character limit set by the New York Times. They were reasoned. They were knowledgeable. They carried citations to economic science literature that one might expect in a Ph.D. dissertation.
And so their rebuttals were often decisive.
For example, when Krugman a month ago drew one of his famous "trend lines" based on a single point, a blogger named rjh immediately responded, "These trend lines you are drawing all over the place. Pardon my French, they are complete garbage." And nearly half of Krugman's commenters joined to point out that Krugman was arguing junk. Krugman was forced to make two defensive replies; both were immediately refuted.
Responding to Krugman's praise for the high taxes in Europe and his repeated denial that tax cuts might stimulate an economy enough to make up for revenues lost, a European posting under his initials jg pointed out that the low Reagan-Clinton tax rates made "being an entrepreneur interesting again. All those internet startups like eBay, Amazon or Netscape would probably never have been created if it weren't possible for the inventors to get rich." This anti-progressive notion that the "evil rich" might actually create growth if they were not taxed -- on his "personal" blog, no less -- must have made Paul spit up his morning coffee.
But things got worse for the professor. Matching Krugman's repeated claim that the "stimulus" was too small, Sean produced peer-reviewed economic science from Alesina, who examined 92 attempts at stimulus since 1970 in OECD countries and found that tax cuts, but not spending, stimulated. Krugman stammered a reply, but the damage was done; his acolytes had learned that economic science existed that contradicted Krugman's claim (central to Obama's "stimulus" legislation) that government's spending your money helps an economy.
Matching Krugman's claim that government can "create wealth by printing money," several posters cited the latest economic science showing that the "multipliers" that Keynesians use are wrong. They further noted that Krugman had used these wrong multipliers seventeen months ago to predict incorrectly that Obama's stimulus package would keep unemployment below 9%.
And so Krugman's blog presented the most unforgivable conclusion: Krugman had actually been wrong. As he had been when he advocated low interest rates and the creation of a housing price inflation in 2001, one of the causes of current economic difficulties.
Things then got still worse. When Krugman repeated his claim that Bush's tax cuts had "caused" the deficit and damaged the economy, commenters first taught Krugman how to count. They then cited two papers by the Romers showing that tax cuts help economies. Christina Romer is, of course, the chief economic advisor to President Obama.
When Krugman repeated one of his "debt is good" posts, posters linked to the economic science from Reinhardt and Rogoff showing that high debt is inimical to economic recovery.
Occasionally, Krugman attempted a reply. For example, he dissembled that Reinhardt and Rogoff had "highlighted" a single postwar American experience, which he dismissed as "spurious." The commenters did not let him get away with it. Within 24 hours, Sean had pointed out that Reinhardt and Rogoff had found similar effects of debt in six countries on three continents over four decades, including Canada, Japan, Greece, and Belgium. Krugman then struggled to find something "spurious" about each of these. Sean's rebuttal showed that Krugman was refusing to meet any burden of proof. Still worse, Samuel showed that Krugman's reasoning, if applied generally, would forever insulate Krugman's ideology from any refutation of any kind.
...Which is perhaps what Paul Krugman wants, but it is not economic science.
Krugman's blog commenters were especially relentless in pointing out his inconsistencies. In one post, Krugman admitted that "politicians will always find ways to shield the powerful." Posters piled on, pointing out that Krugman's universal policy prescription gave politicians more power under the assumption that they would defend "the proletariat." Krugman replied that he was "sure that there's a large literature" on government cronyism and corruption. Secure in his big-government ideology, he admitted that he had never read that literature. But like the ideologue that he is, Krugman then expressed his faith (the only word appropriate) that "bureaucracy will do a heckuva job" if it is not "downgraded and devalued." Bloggers responded by citing the latest economic science showing the impossibility of Krugman's "utopian dictatorship-by-bureaucracy."
Paul Krugman has spent his career as a pundit advocating that government bureaucrats and political process replace markets. He knows that there is a large literature that says that this is a bad idea. That literature is transparently relevant to Krugman's only policy proposal. And yet Krugman has not read it...and admits that he has not read it, without embarrassment.
By July, Krugman had lost his "Battle of the Blog." On July 23, Latrina commented, "Who is this Sean from Florida? He takes everything that [the] Professor [says] and shreds it, piece by piece. He shouldn't be allowed to post his comments on this blog since he seems to be winning all the debates. We progressives need to stick together and embellish our talking points without someone from the outside pointing out fallacies in our ideology."
Krugman had also had enough. On July 23, Krugman showed that he was clearly no longer "in love" with his commenters. Now he called them "ranters" and "trolls." On July 28, Krugman changed his comment moderation policy. Claiming that "ranters ... say the same thing every time," Krugman announced that he was going to throw away posts longer than "three inches." His thinking must have been thus: Three inches are sufficient to write "Krugman is brilliant," but not sufficient to present a documented and persuasive rebuttal to whichever of Krugman's standard arguments he was peddling that day.
Within 24 hours, those outside the Times had taken notice. Stephen Spruiell at the NRO noted the absurdity of Krugman's complaint that bloggers might use the same responses to rebut Krugman's repeated statements of the same ideology. Wrote Spruiell:
This [is] from the guy who has spent the entire summer rewriting the same blog post", Spruiell went on to point out that "Krugman's sycophants ... also say the same thing every time." "Krugman's policy seems geared to limit comments to "Yay Dr. K!" "Way to go!" "Keynes was right!" etc.
As indeed it has. Krugman's blog the day after the policy change had just six comments the last time I looked. "Hurray," said one. "Awesome!!" said another.
In his appearance on Sunday on "This Week," Krugman repeated his attack on Rogoff. He repeated his claim that he, a deflationista, "was right." Regulars could go to Krugman's blog and download the economic science that showed that Krugman was blowing smoke on "This Week," a gig that may pay Krugman more than even Enron.
And so after his ride back to Princeton, Krugman pulled the plug. He twice scolded "whiners," claiming that this blog under the New York Times masthead was "a personal not-for-pay venture." He claimed that he was burdened by needing to see if posts contained "obscenities" (none had, other than the "French" cited above). And he declared that he has "no obligation to provide" space for "ranters" and "whiners" who might rebut the ideology that he routinely markets.
Of course not. It is his blog. But it is newsworthy that after years of allowing 5,000-character responses consistent with Times policy, Krugman pulled the plug just as he was so obviously losing the debate. The academic world and the business world share something: They both view this as an admission of defeat.
Krugman is also "losing the audience." Eighteen months ago, Krugman's progressive ideology that was the consensus of the president, the House, the Senate, and not a few Republicans. Now, the Obama administration is evidently worried that it bought economic snake oil from Keynesians like Krugman. Even Ezra Klein is beginning to question the Keynesian economic models of Blinder and Zandi that "got it so wrong."
And so a six-month episode of enlightening economic debate has come to a close. Will Krugman respond to posts on other blogs? We do not know, but routinely in the past, he simply refuses to do so. He is clearly unable to do so, and, surrounded now sycophants and acolytes who tell him how brilliant he is, why should he even bother to try?
Fred Douglass welcomes correspondence at
Page Printed from:
at August 03, 2010 - 12:52:27 PM CDT
Re: Media Issues
Reply #571 on:
August 03, 2010, 09:01:10 PM »
Heh heh heh
Re: Media Issues
Reply #572 on:
August 04, 2010, 06:07:54 AM »
That left a mark.......
Patriot Post: Alexander on Newsweek
Reply #573 on:
August 05, 2010, 12:33:36 PM »
Alexander's Essay – August 5, 2010
The Fundamental Transformation of Newsweek and America
Common Threads of Delusion and Demise
"During the course of administration, and in order to disturb it, the artillery of the press has been leveled against us, charged with whatsoever its licentiousness could devise or dare. These abuses of an institution so important to freedom and science are deeply to be regretted..." --Thomas Jefferson
Freedom of the press is codified in the First Amendment of our Bill of Rights ("Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of ... the press") because our Founders rightly understood that a free and impartial press was a vital component of Essential Liberty.
However free, the press has rarely risen to the challenge of impartiality, not even during earliest days of our Republic. Thomas Jefferson observed as president, that the nation's newspapers "serve as chimnies to carry off noxious vapors and smoke." With the advent of the 24-hour "news" cycle, the press has never been more partisan than it is today.
Hence in 1996, when we launched The Patriot Post, one of our primary objectives was to break the mainstream media's chokehold on public opinion. Since our inception, The Patriot has devoted much-needed attention to the threat that a partial press poses to liberty, even receiving the Accuracy in Media Award for Grassroots Journalism for our efforts.
The Leftmedia's threat to liberty has been perilous in recent years, while we've been at war with a formidable adversary -- Jihadistan and its terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan and other theaters around the world.
By way of confirmation that our foreign Jihadi enemy understand the power of the American Leftmedia as an instrument of propaganda, as do domestic Leftist politicos, consider this authenticated communiqué between Osama bin Laden's chief lieutenant, Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri, to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi at the height of Operation Iraqi Freedom: "I say to you: that we are in a battle, and that more than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media."
In the midst of that critical period for OIF, one of the most egregious Leftmedia print propagandists, Newsweek, under the leadership of its (now former) editor Jon Meacham, ran defeat and surrender cover stories with headlines like "We're losing...", in which Meacham claimed the expertise to chart a retreat from Iraq before total defeat.
The unmitigated arrogance of such positions notwithstanding, surely Meacham understood that such cover stories serve only to embolden our enemy, which results in the deaths of America's uniformed Patriots on the warfront. Some call giving "aid and comfort" to the enemy, "treason." At best, it brands Meacham with the same stripes as Hanoi Jane Fonda.
Meacham, whose "golden boy" career was christened by a benefactor heiress of The New York Times, became editor of Newsweek in late 2006, 10 years into his stint with the magazine. He then promptly set about to transform the magazine into an elitist tabloid for those who want to read, in his words, "what I'm interested in."
MeachamOf that transformation, columnist Jeff Goldberg punned, "[T]he redesigned Newsweek. (Now with even more Meacham!)"
While dragging Newsweek deeper into the Leftist abyss, Meacham insisted, "We're not a partisan magazine. ... I am not a reflexive lefty. Far from it." At the same time, he editorialized, "Obama is essentially a centrist."
One trademark characteristic of most "reflexive lefty" elitists in media and politics is that their capacity for introspection is short circuited by pathological narcissism. Thus, they self-righteously believe they embody the "spirit of the people," and perceive themselves to be centrist, just much smarter than the masses whose devotion they desire.
Narcissists with Obama-like charisma can create a cult following among their devotees, which is sustainable until enough of them open their eyes and realize that the emperor has no clothes.
When asked recently, "Think of one of your least favorite people in Washington and describe what makes that person so unappealing," Meacham responded, "Total lack of self-awareness." At least he can see it in others.
Of his plan to fundamentally transform Newsweek, Meacham said, "It's hugely counterintuitive. The staff doesn't even understand it."
Apparently, it was so "counterintuitive" that Meacham's readers didn't understand it either.
According to Business Insider, "Newsweek's negligible operating loss of $3 million in 2007 (its first year under the Meacham plan) turned into a bloodbath: the business lost $32 million in 2008 and $39.5 million in 2009. Even after reducing headcount by 33 percent, and slashing the number of issues printed and distributed to readers each week, from 2.6 million to 1.5 million, the 2010 operating loss is still forecast at $20 million."
Consequently, Newsweek was sold this week to another Lefty, billionaire Sidney Harman (hubby to Leftcoast Rep. Jane Harman), who agreed to assume the glut of debt accumulated since Meacham took the helm. The winning bid? One dollar. No kidding. Given all the debt Harman took on, another bidder, Fred Drasner (former CEO of US News and World Report) quipped, "I think he paid a very full price."
I took note of the sale not because of Meacham's abysmal performance at Newsweek (most of the antique print media outlets are in financial trouble) but because 25 years ago I arranged payment of Jon's tuition at a very fine private high school that his family could not afford. At the time, he was a polite, adroit teenager, a Young Republican cheerleader for Ronald Reagan with a promising future.
While I had hoped that my investment in his education would produce a good return for our national heritage of Liberty and its extension to our posterity, I also realize that some seeds fall upon fertile ground and some upon the rocks. Instead of a stalwart constitutionalist, Jon, under the stewardship of various Leftmedia employers, lost his bearing and veered Left. (I recently wrote Jon and asked for a refund of that tuition, but got no response. Perhaps it was because of the salutation, "Dear Jon.")
Further, I was struck with the similarities between Jon's delusional vision to transform Newsweek as a microcosm of Obama's failed vision for the "fundamental transformation of America." Both visions reveal unbridled arrogance and an underlying contempt for those who are just not smart enough to see it their way, and both set a course for demise.
In a recent essay on Obama, Meacham wrote that if not for "a series of counterintuitive bets," he would not be president. Unfortunately for the nation, Obama's bets are meeting with the same disastrous fate as Meacham's bets at Newsweek. Fortunately for the remaining employees of Newsweek, Harman bailed them out, while Red China is bailing out (Read: "taking ownership of") America.
Thomas Jefferson concluded, "[T]he press is impotent when it abandons itself to falsehood," asserting that partisanship undermines the vital role of a free and impartial press in defense of liberty against tyranny. In the case of Newsweek, Meacham and company betrayed that trust, and his readers, like a growing number of Obama's supporters, unsubscribed.
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Publisher, The Patriot Post
Hide the motive, when the motive is leftist
Reply #574 on:
September 02, 2010, 09:21:39 PM »
Media again disappointed they can't blame Limbaugh.
POTH moves "Beyond the Facts"
Reply #575 on:
September 05, 2010, 08:10:44 AM »
In an Age of Voices, Moving Beyond the Facts
By ARTHUR S. BRISBANE
Published: September 4, 2010
WHAT some call opinion, others call interpretive journalism — a label as opaque as the practice. Call it what you will, nothing has generated more reader indignation in the past few weeks than when it has appeared on a news page.
Phone: (212) 556-7652
Address: Public Editor
The New York Times
620 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10018
The morphing of news has stuck in some readers’ craw for a long time, and all three of The Times’s previous public editors dealt with the issue. But I believe the phenomenon is accelerating and has the potential to redefine the newspaper.
It’s not that editors have decided to abandon the traditional virtues of objective journalism. But the Times news pages increasingly are home to “voices,” not merely reportage, as editors commission work bearing the author’s distinctive point of view. And it is happening during the clamor of the Internet age, when such voices are the only ones that seem to rise above the din.
“How could anyone possibly think this piece belonged in a news section?” asked one reader, Donald Johnson, about a “Political Times” column by Matt Bai.
Another reader, Vicky Bollenbacher of Boulder, Colo., had the same concern about a news-page column in Business Day. “You should move such pieces clearly to your opinion section, or exercise a great deal more editorial muscle to clean pieces like his up from being advocacy pieces,” she said.
And David Hooper, a San Francisco reader responding to a column in the A section by Jonathan Weber, said, “In my opinion, your article was, in fact, an Op-Ed piece.”
Unhappy readers, all — reacting to a change that is unsettling to readers and journalists alike, according to Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. “These norms are shifting almost invisibly beneath the seat of journalists,” Mr. Rosenstiel said. “It is even harder for audiences ... to recognize the cues and the hand gestures that indicate whether a story is one kind of story or another.”
The trend has been decades in the making, but Mr. Rosenstiel believes the online medium is an accelerant in the process: “I think we are seeing the beginning ... of a new hybrid style of writing which is a blend of opinion and news.”
When I asked Matt Bai about his Aug. 12 “Political Times” column on Representative Paul Ryan — the one Mr. Johnson criticized — he said: “I guess my column is part of a broader effort to take some chances in the paper and explore different formats for a new era. I think that represents a great and exciting trend for the paper; none of us can afford to think in old rubrics for new generations of readers.”
Bai’s editor, Richard Stevenson, the deputy Washington bureau chief, elaborated on how The Times is navigating the new norms. “We are still exploring how much of a voice you can have ... what kinds of conclusions you can draw when it comes to politics,” he said.
A news-page column like “Political Times” carries the “freedom to reach a reported conclusion,” he said. Not to “throw opinion around,” but to “express in a restrained and fact-bound way a conclusion about something.”
Mr. Stevenson’s careful language draws a line between a Times news-page column and the kind of material one looks for on the Op-Ed page. I acknowledge the distinction in theory but think it is a very fine line, one that is easy to miss and easy to transgress. And one that readers often can’t see.
To Dan Gillmor, director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University, the whole effort to demonstrate impartiality is wrong-headed to begin with. American newspapers, once home to unfettered political agendas, have labored in the modern period to cull point-of-view out of reporting with the result that “newspaper writing turned into some of the dullest prose on the planet,” in his view. He sees no conflict between “having a worldview and doing great journalism,” and points to British papers like The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph as examples.
The Times is having none of that. Instead, it chooses to play in the mosh pit under the old rules, refining them as needed. The challenge is compounded because The Times, to its credit, has taken the “innovation” bit into its mouth and run with it. New features, functions and capabilities come on stream all the time, requiring close monitoring.
The Jonathan Weber column that drew criticism, for example, appears on recently added “regional pages” that run in San Francisco. The pages are produced by The Bay Citizen, an independent nonprofit news organization, of which Mr. Weber is the lead editor.
Mr. Hooper and a second reader, Michael Rowe, were concerned about Mr. Weber’s strong point of view in an Aug. 15 column, and about the unusual provenance of the pages themselves. As Mr. Rowe put it, the pages “appear to have been outsourced with little ongoing explanation.”
It’s easy to see why these readers reacted as they did. The Weber column, which concerned union opposition to pension reform in San Francisco, stood at the very precipice of political opinion writing — analyzing union opposition while noting “vituperative” union attacks and “scorched-earth” tactics.
Times editors said they carefully edited the piece and that Weber simply analyzed the political conflict without weighing in personally on pension reform. Still, it strikes me as risky to bring on an outside entity — even one like The Bay Citizen that the Times has fully vetted — and empower it with a mandate to produce such work.
Mr. Weber’s view: “I think The Times is engaging in a number of experiments and trying to do new kinds of things. They are approaching that process with a lot of rigor. ... It is nowhere near the case that they turned these pages over to us and allowed us to do our thing.”
Indeed, it is evident that The Times sees the rise of interpretive material as desirable and manageable. To help readers with this, it offers the online “Readers’ Guide.”
“In its news pages,” the guide says, “The Times presents both straightforward news coverage and other journalistic forms that provide additional perspective on events.”
The “Man in the News” form, it says, is “not primarily analytical but highlights aspects of the subject’s background and career that shed light ... ”
While the “Reporter’s Notebook” is busy “supplementing coverage.” And the “Memo” is a “reflective article.”
The “Journal,” by contrast, is a “sharply drawn feature ... closely observed and stylishly written.” (Where do I look for the grossly observed and unfashionably written stuff?)
The “News Analysis” form “draws heavily on the expertise of the writer.”
And the “News-Page Column,” the form that Mr. Bai and Mr. Weber deploy, calls for a “distinctive point of view.”
These narrow distinctions reflect the struggle to remain impartial while publishing more and more interpretive material. How to resolve this tension?
One path is to do a much better job of labeling the work — and please don’t bother with the fine distinctions. Call it commentary or call it opinion, but call it something that people can understand.
That, or abandon the sacred cloak of impartiality.
I vote for the former but concede that the latter may offer better traction in the opinion-gorged landscape of the future.
Morning Joe for Clinton!
Reply #576 on:
September 28, 2010, 09:24:39 AM »
This guy has lost me forever:
Joe Scarborough Hints He Would Like to See Bill Clinton Run Again for President – If Only It Were Constitutional
By Matt Hadro (Bio | Archive)
Thu, 09/23/2010 - 16:19 ET
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough – who when a Republican congressman voted to impeach President Clinton – seems to believe that a former President should be able to legally run for office again after taking "a term or two off." His comments followed a gushing slew of praise for former President Bill Clinton, and he noted that many viewers "are just sitting there thinking 'Why can't [Clinton] run for President in a couple of years?'"
"It seems so short-sighted, just because the Republicans were upset that FDR was President for four terms," Scarborough complained of the 22nd Amendment, ratified during Truman's second term but passed out of Congress four years earlier in March 1947. Republicans did control both houses of Congress then, but the amendment would have excluded then-President Harry Truman and was supported by some Democrats.
Co-hosts of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski conducted a glowing interview of the former president at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City. Story Continues Below Ad ↓
Topics ranged from Clinton's charitable work around the world to the 2010 elections to Newt Gingrich. Scarborough worked in some sharp criticism of his former GOP colleague and former Speaker Gingrich, due to his recent comments about the New York City mosque.
Yet Scarborough had nothing but praise reserved for Clinton."Listening to you talk right now, you've always been known as the brightest, the first-class, however you want to put it – but you've had the ability the past decade to go all around the world, start this initiative, understand issues – you've understood issues better than anyone in Washington, when you were President."
Scarborough, treading carefully, asked the former president why it wouldn't make sense for someone to run again for President. "I'm just wondering, not for you, but doesn't it make sense for this country to say, 'Okay, let a guy serve, or a woman serve for eight years, then they can take a term or two off – but then if they have something to give back to America in the terms of leadership, give them that opportunity'?"
President Clinton agreed with Scarborough, but added that an amendment shouldn't apply to him, but to future candidates for the Presidency. "If we change the Constitution, it shouldn't apply to me. That is, it shouldn't apply to anybody that served, it should all be forward-looking, so no one would think it was personal."
The interview about Clinton's organization became a slobbering love-fest for the Democratic president, conducted by the former Republican congressman. Scarborough, in describing the conflict resolution between the GOP Congress and Clinton's Presidency in the 90's, asked Clinton this gem: "Could you explain to Washington, DC, on both sides – how did you do that? How did you rise above it? How did everybody learn to work together, even if they fought each other like hell?
A transcript of this segment, which aired on September 23 at 8:17 a.m. EDT, is as follows:
JOE SCARBOROUGH: You know, it's a unifying concept, too. Because you speak to the small-government conservative in me, because conservatives always complained that government can't do everything, that government can't – it's actually Kennedy-esque, "Ask not what your country can do for you." You're saying "We're minding the gap. We're not expecting the federal government to do everything. We're expecting you to help."
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Well I actually think the formula that you just described – not left/right, not right/wrong, and bringing people together from both sides – could apply beyond the Clinton Global Initiative. It could apply in Washington.
BILL CLINTON: I think so, too. I think that what we ought to talk about – I urged my fellow Democrats to tell the American people that the country wasn't back to work, nobody was happy, but according to all the numbers, the recession bottomed out and it was job-time, showtime. So the only real issue in this election should be what is each party going to offer to get the country moving again, which idea is most likely to work. I think that ought to be the debate. What are we going to do, who's more likely to do it? And I think – I believe they should say "Give us two more years to do this. If it doesn't work, you can throw us all out. We've got another election in two years, throw us all out. We're in a deep hole, couldn't get going in time."
That's what I – I think we ought to all be willing to be judged by what ___ does not empower other people.
SCARBOROUGH: I've talked to you about this before. We go out and give speeches all across the country, and sometimes to progressive crowds, and I always start with when I ran in '94, I couldn't stand Bill Clinton's image on TV! And they'll all rustle out there. I'll say "I came up to Washington, DC," and I'll go through this, and as I explain the story away, well he didn't really like us that much, either. But look what we accomplished together. Look what we – we learned. I learned so much from those five years, and they were tough, tough years for you, and for Hillary, and for a lot of people. Balance – Terry was talking about this. We balanced the budget four years – for four years, the first time that happened since the 1920's, reformed welfare, created 22 million new jobs. And those were two sides that didn't exactly love each other. Could you explain to Washington, DC, on both sides – how did you do that? How did you rise above it? How did everybody learn to work together, even if they fought each other like hell?
BILL CLINTON: Well first of all, you've got to know the difference between something that's real and something that's show. I remember one day, Senator Lott – who was a Republican senator – was on one of these Sunday morning shows. And he called me a "spoiled brat," or something like that. And one of our guys in the staff called and said "You know what Trent Lott said?" I said, "Don't worry about that." He said, "How could you say that?" I said, "Let me tell you what happened. Trent Lott agreed to be on a Sunday morning show, before he thought about it. He was exhausted all weekend, because we had been working long hours. He got up early in a bad mood, and somebody goaded him, and he took the bait." That's all. And I called Lott, and he said 'Oh, my God you're calling me.' I said, "No, I'm calling to tell you I've already forgotten about this." He said, "Why?" I said, "Because you shouldn't have done this show, you were too tired. And you woke up exhausted, you were mad you did this show, somebody goaded you, and you took the bait." He said "That's exactly what happened."
That's what happens when you know somebody as a person, as well as a political opponent. When you cut people a little slack, and you realize that doesn't have anything to do with the job, and you just work on getting the job done. When we hung Lott's portrait in the Capitol, Newt Gingrich and I spoke for him. And we talked about the fights, but then we talked about what we achieved. That's what I think we have to do. We've got to get back into "We're all hired hands here." And we've got to – it's a good think to have a philosophy. I could give you – if you look at the stuff we're debating here, I could give you a more conservative and a more liberal position about how to deliver health care in Haiti, or re-set-up the schools, or promote economic growth. But in the end, what matters is half the kids have never been to school – do they go to school or not? They've never had a health care system at all – will they have one? They've never had a government that functions, 17 percent of the government was killed on earthquake day – are they going to have one? And that's – somehow we need to drive our political debate toward that.
SCARBOROUGH: But we seem to be losing ground. You brought up Newt Gingrich. I talked to your wife and you and others about what I learned – that you can disagree without being disagreeable – I made a lot of mistakes in the 1990's, I think a lot of people did. But you brought up Newt Gingrich. Here's a guy that should know better. And yet he's going out there comparing one of the great religions of the world to Nazism, Kathleen Sebelius to Stalin – it's really disappointing that in some ways we seem to be losing ground.
CLINTON: Well, but I think part of that is – you saw what happened in these Republican primaries, he might want to run for President, and frankly, it's a version of what he did in '94, as opposed to what he later came to do after we had the huge fight over the government shutting down and then we all calmed down and went to work. And I think, at least I know he knows better. And that's not a good thing.
SCARBOROUGH: Doesn't that make it worse?
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I think that does make it worse.
SCARBOROUGH: I think that's what depresses me about it is, he's such a bright guy, and he's got so many gifts –
CLINTON: But he sees all these other people being rewarded for it, and so I think that's what –
BRZEZINSKI: He sees the payoff.
SCARBOROUGH: Let me ask you a Constitutional question. Because sitting here listening to you talk – I know there are a lot of people that are opinion leaders and shapers that watch this show, that are just sitting there thinking "Why can't he run for President in a couple of years?"
CLINTON: There's a little Constitutional –
SCARBOROUGH: I know. I was just going to say, does it make sense – because listening to you talk right now, you've always been known as the brightest, the first-class, however you want to put it – but you've had the ability the past decade to go all around the world, start this initiative, understand issues – you've understood issues better than anyone in Washington, when you were President. But to go around the world for a decade, all of this knowledge – and I'm just wondering, not for you, but doesn't it make sense for this country to say, "Okay, let a guy serve, or a woman serve for eight years, then they can take a term or two off. But then if they have something to give back to America in the terms of leadership, give them that opportunity. It seems so short-sighted, just because the Republicans were upset that FDR was President for four terms.
CLINTON: Well, that's what I believe the rules should be. But it isn't what it is. I think if I were writing – there's a very strong argument for telling – for saying you shouldn't serve three terms in a row. Because by the time you've appointed everybody, there's just – people get relaxed, there's too much opportunity for people, even if not for corruption, just for bad things happening for the taxpayers. (Unintelligible) But with life expectancy being so long, and people being alert until they're in their seventies, and sometimes in their eighties – look at Paul Volcker – he's mid-eighties, you know, he might as well be 40 years old, in some ways. I think there's an argument for that. But if we change the Constitution, it shouldn't apply to me. That is, it shouldn't apply to anybody that served, it should all be forward-looking, so no one would think it was personal. But, you know, that's kind of what I think it should be.
SCARBOROUGH: It makes so much sense.
—Matt Hadro is News Analysis intern at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.
Re: Media Issues
Reply #577 on:
September 28, 2010, 09:37:30 AM »
Well, this is MSLSD, which a whopping 12% of the public turns to for news.
Green Money for Black Ink
Reply #578 on:
September 30, 2010, 07:29:33 PM »
Well isn't this special:
Mark Tapscott: When journalists become Big Green's spinmeisters
By: Mark Tapscott
Editorial Page Editor
September 29, 2010
Many Gloucester, Mass., residents depend on commercial fishing, so it's not surprise they have little patience with the almost uniformly negative media coverage in recent years suggesting the entire marine ecosystem is about to collapse due to the industry.
Nancy Gaines, a Gloucester Times reporter who recently analyzed that coverage, made some shocking discoveries about a cozy little Iron Triangle among well-known reporters, Big Green environmental scientists whose findings they regularly report, and funding by foundations that share the movement's ideological agenda.
"The journalists are wined and dined by the advocates and hired to train the scientists to use the media to advance their message," Gaines reported. "The journalists, in turn, call on those same scientists as sources when writing about the advocates and their agenda."
In 2002, for example, the Pew Charitable Trust flew a group of elite scientists and reporters from the New York Times, the Economist, Time, U.S. News & World Report, and other prestigious publications to the island of Bonaire in the Caribbean for five days of fun in the sun.
Once there, they could "loll on the island's fine beaches, sip cocktails at the Tipsy Seagull and perhaps marvel at the flamingoes for which Bonaire is famous," Grimes wrote.
But there was an agenda for the gathering, too. Among the attending scientists was Daniel Pauly, author of "Aquacalypse Now: The End of Fish," and head of a fisheries center at the University of British Columbia that received $15 million from Pew.
Following the Bonaire junket, Tom Hayden (no relation to the radical activist formerly married to Jane Fonda) of U.S. News & World Report, wrote a cover story in the magazine, "Fished Out," that strongly supported the idea that commercial fishing is destroying the oceans' fish populations.
The article quoted 14 sources, including Pauly and another Pew-funded scientist who went snorkeling with Hayden on Bonaire, according to Pew's scheduled program. Thirteen of the 14 sources Hayden quoted in the article received Pew funding, directly or indirectly. The other quoted source was a restaurant chef.
Hayden did not disclose that Pew paid for his trip to the Caribbean or that Pew funded all but one of his sources. Even so, his article continues to influence debate on commercial fishing's alleged impact on the environment. In March of 2009, the Pew Charitable Trust started a nationwide public relations campaign against overfishing.
One of the scientists whose research was cited by the Pew PR campaign and in Hayden's article was Oregon State University professor Jane Lubchenco. a Pew fellow, member of the Pew Oceans Commission and of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative that evolved from it. Obama appointed her as director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 2009.
The Packard Foundation gave $2.1 million for Lubchenco's Aldo Leopold Leadership Program, which she started in 1997. She says scientists must lead politicians and the public to create a world that is "ecologically sound, economically feasible and socially just."
Her ALLP trains selected scientists to use talking points with reporters. Among the trainers for ALLP are current and former newspaper and broadcast journalists, as well as current and former White House and congressional staff members.
Mark Tapscott is editorial page editor of The Washington Examiner and proprietor of Tapscott's CopyDesk blog on washingtonexaminer.com
Media Issues: Gallup mis-titles polls and big stories are lost
Reply #579 on:
October 01, 2010, 10:33:54 AM »
In the August 14, 2009 poll, conservatives outnumbered liberals in virtually all of the fifty states, even in hotbeds of radicalism like Massachusetts and Vermont. What was the title of that poll? "Conservative Label Prevails in South." On February 3, 2010, Gallup repeated the poll. The results were the same (every state was more conservative than liberal), but what was the title of that poll? "Three Deep South States Are Most Conservative" (not something like "Conservatives Still Outnumber Liberals in Every State"). On August 2, 2010, Gallup tested the waters again. This time, there were more liberals than conservatives in one state, Rhode Island, leading Gallup to give this poll the reasonable title of "Wyoming, Mississippi, Utah Rank as Most Conservative States."
Reply #580 on:
October 01, 2010, 07:06:00 PM »
The tweets started arriving in August, and they did not mince words. One of the first accused the South Korean government of being "a prostitute of the United States." The Twitter account, under the name "uriminzok," or "our nation," seemed to be part of a sprawling North Korean digital operation that included a Facebook account (registered as a man interested in "meeting other men," but solely for "networking purposes") and a series of YouTube videos meant to celebrate the might of the North Korean military.
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.A spokesman for the North Korean government quickly denied any involvement with the Facebook and Twitter accounts, but he acknowledged that they were the work of government supporters living in China and Japan. The owner of the Facebook page (which the Palo Alto, Calif., company eventually deleted, citing violation of its terms of service) told a South Korean news agency that it was run by a Pyongyang-based publishing outlet affiliated with the government. Apparently, even the notoriously isolated rulers of North Korea know how to practice what the U.S. State Department calls "21st-century statecraft."
While authoritarian governments continue to censor the Web and crack down on bloggers—a few days ago, Iran sentenced the controversial blogger Hossein Derakhshan to 19˝ years in prison for "insulting sanctities," among other charges—they are also increasingly using the Internet for their own propaganda. Officials are pouring resources into social media and hitting the blogs to disseminate pro-government views and undermine their critics. And they're succeeding: The decentralized nature of online conversations often makes it easier to manipulate public opinion, both domestically and globally. Regimes that once relied on centralized systems of media control can now deliver ideological messages more subtly, with the help of little-known intermediaries like anonymous commenters on websites.
Chinese authorities have established a formidable online propaganda operation, much of it geared to internal needs. Not only do they train and pay bloggers to try to steer dissenting online discussions in a more favorable direction, they also send text messages with inspirational Maoist quotes, promote computer games in which players fight corrupt officials, and design patriotic ring tones. (On National Day in 2009, millions of customers of state-controlled China Mobile woke up to discover that their ring tones had been replaced with a nationalistic tune sung by the actor Jackie Chan.)
The Kremlin is not far behind. It relies on the services of several high-profile bloggers who promote the government's talking points, helping the Kremlin to reach the hip digital audiences who avoid its masterful propaganda on TV. But the authorities haven't given up on television altogether. Some of the Kremlin's Internet cardinals even get to co-host their own shows during prime time. Russian authorities are also embracing new platforms. In early 2010 the Duma announced a proposal to give tax breaks to firms that feature patriotic themes in their computer games.
The North Korean case is unusual, of course. Ordinary citizens have no access to the Web, so the tweeting is presumably meant to tease South Koreans, who aren't allowed to visit North Korean websites without permission from their own government. In August, Seoul quickly blocked access to the North Korean tweets, probably to the great delight of the North Korean authorities, who seem to relish any opportunity to highlight the South's undemocratic regulations.
Tweets From the Top
@uriminzok: South Korea is 'a prostitute of the United States' (North Korea, regime supporters)
@chavezcandanga: 'The squalid ones said they won. Well, let them keep winning like this!' (Hugo Chávez)
@KremlinRussia_E: 'My congratulations to @BarackObama on his birthday' (Dmitry Medvedev)
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.North Korea's Internet presence has traditionally been limited to a handful of official sites, but the situation is slowly beginning to change. Earlier this year, South Korean authorities accused the North of penetrating South Korean blogs and forums to spread rumors that the sinking of the Cheonan warship in March 2010—one of the thorniest issues in recent relations between the two countries—was orchestrated by Seoul in order to blame the disaster on Pyongyang.
This doesn't mean that there are hordes of North Korean government officials who spend their days surfing indie rock blogs. Such latitude might undermine the morale of government bureaucrats: Once they got on Facebook, they might start learning about capitalism by playing FarmVille. Such operations are probably executed much as they would be by any other government, by outsourcing them to the private sector or, at minimum, encouraging those who sympathize with the government
North Korea aside, most authoritarian governments have already accepted the growth of the Internet culture as inevitable; they have little choice but to find ways to shape it in accord with their own narratives—or risk having their narratives shaped by others. Once they realize that censorship doesn't work in an environment where new blogs can be set up in a matter of seconds, they turn to propaganda. Instead of blocking the views that they don't like, they seek to marginalize them, often by undermining the credibility of critics. Accusing them of being Western stooges often does the trick.
For all the supposed omnipotence of China's censorship apparatus, even Chinese leaders acknowledge that online spin can be more effective at diffusing online tensions. Wu Hao, a local official who's become the godfather of China's Internet propaganda, said last year that "public opinion on the Internet must be solved with the means of the Internet." It's for this reason that the government has nurtured a digital army of online commentators—known as the 50-Cent Party for the scant pay they receive for each comment—who eagerly perform damage control on the Chinese Internet.
Fifty-centers are only rarely used to promote some genuinely new party position, but rather as a means of containing the online reaction to sensitive political issues, predominantly by seeding doubt. The governments of Azerbaijan and Nigeria have experimented with similar schemes. For all their supposed fear of the Twitter Revolution, the Iranian clerics in Qom have been running blogging workshops—mostly targeting religious women—since 2006. Their goal is to influence online discourse about highly sensitive issues like the role of women in Iranian society.
There is also a more pragmatic reason for authoritarian governments to go online: Many of their opponents are already active in this space. Countless Facebook groups in support of Gamal Mubarak—who may soon succeed his father at the helm of Egypt—sprouted up after many young Egyptians took to the site to vent their criticisms and publicize antigovernment protests. (The junior Mr. Mubarak claims no relationship to his online boosters.)
Something similar is happening in Venezuela, where Hugo Chávez, after seeing the opposition use Twitter to mobilize campaigns against him, jumped on the bandwagon, gaining nearly 900,000 followers in five months. Using the name Chavezcandanga (in Spanish, candanga means "the devil," but Venezuelans also use the term to describe someone naughty and wild), Mr. Chávez has been avidly tweeting his way through the recent parliamentary election campaign. His Twitter response to the results of last weekend's election: "The squalid ones said they won. Well, let them keep winning like this!" Given his designs for a transcontinental revolution, Mr. Chávez may also see Twitter as a way to mobilize supporters in other Spanish-speaking countries, who don't always have the privilege of watching "Aló Presidente," his Sunday TV show.
In many of these propaganda fights, the quality of one's arguments often matters far less than their quantity. Victory often comes down to who can construct the most impressive online persona by adding new friends and writing witty tweets. Incumbents, who have state resources at their disposal, usually enjoy a significant advantage. A few months into his Twitter adventure, Mr. Chávez announced a plan to allocate 200 staffers and state funds to boost his Twitter presence.
As the public sphere has grown decentralized and media based in the West have lost their dominance in setting the global agenda, it has become easier for governments—as well as for corporations, fringe movements and anyone else with an ax to grind—to promote their agendas. Bribing 100 bloggers is often much easier than bribing the editorial board of one newspaper.
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.In doing this, of course, anxious authoritarians are simply following wider market trends. Helping clients to establish effective control online has already become a lucrative industry. Australia's uSocial offers to place a story of your choice on the front page of popular social news sites like Digg.com, as well as to sell you new Facebook friends (1,000 for just $197) or new Twitter followers (1,000 for just $87). Although most Internet companies frown on such abuse of their services, they cannot root them out completely—and, as existing brands try to master the digital space, the demand is poised to grow.
Or consider Megaphone, a desktop tool designed by a group of Israeli activists and released during the 2006 war between Israel and Lebanon. Megaphone identifies any new online polls about Israel and immediately prompts its users to visit the poll's website and cast their votes. It also tracks favorable articles about Israel in the international press, urging users to push such stories to the "most emailed" lists on websites by sending them to all their friends. Moscow and Beijing would presumably love to have a Megaphone-like tool the next time that the international press accuses them of starting yet another war in the Caucasus or suppressing the rights of Tibetans.
Can supporters of democracy in the West stop or at least thwart the growth of authoritarian influence on the Internet? Maybe. Should they try? That is a much harder question to answer. Western governments could fight this insidious new form of state propaganda by creating, for example, some kind of website for rating the authenticity of Russian or Chinese online commentators. Alternatively, all comments from one IP address might be aggregated under a unique online profile, thus exposing the operatives working from the offices of the government's propaganda department.
But in most cases, such Western interventions would also erode online anonymity and put dissidents' lives on the line. The best that Western governments can do is to educate—in person or remotely—those running important political websites about how to build communities, keep their content visible despite all the spin and avoid being overwhelmed by pro-government intruders.
In the meantime, as long as it helps to embarrass its enemies in the South, a tweeting North Korea is also a stronger North Korea. American officials, still giddy with enthusiasm for digital statecraft, have been a little too quick to welcome North Korea's entry into the world of social media. "The Hermit Kingdom will not change overnight, but technology once introduced can't be shut down. Just ask Iran," tweeted the U.S. State Department's Philip Crowley in August. Maybe—but technology, once introduced, can also be co-opted to serve ends very different from free expression. Just ask the Kremlin or China's 50-centers.
—Evgeny Morozov is a visiting scholar at Stanford University, a fellow at the New America Foundation and the author of "The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom," due out in January.
Re: Media Issues
Reply #581 on:
October 02, 2010, 12:55:32 PM »
Rick Sanchez replaced with ..... Elliot Spitzer???
Re: Media Issues
Reply #582 on:
October 02, 2010, 01:06:07 PM »
Good news for bars and prostitutes!
Photos from the one nation rally you won't see in the MSM
Reply #583 on:
October 03, 2010, 01:28:35 PM »
Identical buses lined unloading people with matching shirts. Signs promoting socialism, marxism, terrorism. Litter strewn. About a 6 or 7 year old girl promoting socialism for the 21st century.
Why wouldn't the media show these?
Re: Media Issues
Reply #584 on:
October 03, 2010, 01:49:34 PM »
Contrast and compare the crowds. What you won't see on the MSM.
Re: Media Issues
Reply #585 on:
October 04, 2010, 10:25:48 AM »
Old Media Buries the Lede — Communists and Socialists Dominated ‘One Nation’ Rally
I’ve always liked getting to the heart of the matter—something the activist old media has no interest in doing during this election cycle.
November 2 is a mandate on whether America will remain a country based on the Constitutional values of Liberty and freedom, or whether we are headed to the dregs of communism and socialism embraced by the American left and its Democrat Party. Too extreme you say?
Re: Media Issues
Reply #586 on:
October 04, 2010, 12:25:39 PM »
"What you won't see on the MSM"
You are so right!
I notice the MSM could only say "thousands" showed up.
That was later in the day changed to "tens of thousands".
CNN is gving up on politics and becoming a politically correct *nutritionist* show.
Re: Media Issues - Juan Williams
Reply #587 on:
October 21, 2010, 09:50:21 PM »
I hate defending Juan Williams. But here goes.
He said something like: People dressed up in Muslim garb on airplanes make him nervous.
This means people dressed up like mass murderers make him nervous in a situation identical to those mass murders.
I wondered if "garb" is disrespectful. Defined as: a fashion or mode of dress, esp. of a distinctive, uniform kind: in the garb of a monk. Not judgmental but descriptive, so fitting here.
This does not mean all Muslims are terrorists. We need to do some math processing here. Islamic radicals are Muslims. Islamic radicals are mass murderers. Other Muslims are not. It is easy to see the difference. Just watch them carefully and with fear and worry for their whole life and see if they commit mass murder. Then you will know if they are they radical extremists or the peaceful ones. If someone especially a peaceful Muslin knows another way of telling the difference please let Juan Willians and the rest of us know.
If Juan's statement is true about his own reaction, should he have not said what was true or should he have pre-resigned for having those feelings?
Re: Media Issues
Reply #588 on:
October 21, 2010, 10:24:05 PM »
I like Juan Williams. As far as liberals go, he not a bad guy. He actually will concede a point now and then.
As far as moderate muslims go, here is a good example of one we invited into the pentagon:
Anwar al-Awlaki - the radical spiritual leader linked to several 9/11 attackers, the Fort Hood shooting, and the attempted Christmas Day bombing of an airliner - was a guest at the Pentagon in the months after 9/11, a Pentagon official confirmed to CBS News.
Awlaki was invited as "...part of an informal outreach program" in which officials sought contact "...with leading members of the Muslim community," the official said. At that time, Awlaki was widely viewed as a "moderate" imam at a mosque in Northern Virginia.
At the same time, the FBI was also interviewing Awlaki about his contacts with three of the 9/11 attackers - Nawaf al-Hazmi, Khalid al Midhar and Hani Hanjour - who were all part of the crew of five that hijacked the American Airlines jet that hit the Pentagon.
In the days after 9/11, Awlaki told FBI officials he remembered meeting al Hazmi but recalled little else about him. It is believed Awlaki met both al Hazmi and al Midhar in 2000 when Awlaki was the imam at a mosque in San Diego. Awlaki later moved to Northern Virginia and al Hazmi was seen at the Virginia mosque as well. However, there are scant details about Awlaki’s actual contacts with al Midhar and Hani Hanjour.
In 2001, the FBI did not share this investigative information with the Pentagon, but officials say there was no reason to - Awlaki was not a suspect and was not believed to be connected to the 9/11 attacks. Instead he was viewed as a valuable liaison to the Muslim community and a potential investigative source. As one official put it, "he was a much different guy back then."
Still, it's not clear what kind of vetting or background check was done by the Defense Department before Awlaki was allowed into the building.
Re: Media Issues
Reply #589 on:
October 21, 2010, 10:31:42 PM »
Of course, that would never happen now.
Mohamed Elibiary was one of the speakers at a December 2004 conference in Dallas entitled "A Tribute to the Great Islamic Visionary," Ayatollah Khomeini. When Rod Dreher of the Dallas Morning News called him on this, he threatened Dreher, telling him: "Expect someone to put a banana in your exhaust pipe."
Fox Guarding Henhouse Alert: "Secretary Napolitano Swears in Homeland Security Advisory Council Members," from the Department of Homeland Security, October 15 (thanks to Jeff):
Washington, D.C. - Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano swore in three new members of the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) during her latest tri-annual meeting with HSAC, which took place at DHS headquarters this week. The HSAC is comprised of experts from state, local and tribal governments, emergency and first responder communities, academia and the private sector who provide recommendations and advice to the Secretary of Homeland Security on a variety of homeland security issues.
The new members include: former New York City Police Commissioner and Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton, who will join as vice-chair to former CIA and FBI Director Judge William Webster; Massachusetts General Hospital Director of Police, Security and Outside Services Bonnie Michelman; and Freedom and Justice Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Mohamed Elibiary. [...]
Re: Media Issues
Reply #590 on:
October 22, 2010, 03:03:24 PM »
I think a rather productive firestorm has been ignited by JW's firing by NPR.
Re: Media Issues
Reply #591 on:
October 23, 2010, 06:40:40 PM »
"I think a rather productive firestorm has been ignited by JW's firing by NPR."
There was a question on the board of whether the media had turned at all (from worship to just bias).
This grilling by Chris Mathews of Rand Paul's opponent may surprise you:
Re: Media Issues
Reply #592 on:
October 23, 2010, 06:59:49 PM »
Returning to ordinary bias, Here is Newsweek Editor Jonathon Alter's latest, entitled:
"The GOP’s agenda has to be stopped."
Day by Day: Oh say can you see?
Reply #593 on:
October 29, 2010, 01:04:05 PM »
Time blames hyperinflation on tea party
Reply #594 on:
November 11, 2010, 02:31:13 PM »
If hyperinflation arrives, Time Magazine wants its readers to know who the real culprits are. It won’t be the federal government that hiked annual spending by 38% in three years and began running trillion-dollar deficits. It won’t be the Congress that kept raising debt limits to allow for that spending spree. And it won’t be the Federal Reserve that, in desperation over the government’s spending and debt spree, began printing money to artificially keep interest rates low. No, the real culprit will be the political movement that opposes all of the above, according to The Curious Capitalist:
Re: Media Issues
Reply #595 on:
November 16, 2010, 03:17:28 PM »
POLITICO2 Dems claim Arianna Huffington stole website ideaMain Content
2 Dems claim Arianna Huffington stole website idea
Two consultants say Huffington and her partner violated a handshake agreement. | AP Photo Close
By BEN SMITH | 11/15/10 7:02 PM EST Updated: 11/16/10 6:56 AM EST
Two Democratic consultants are accusing Arianna Huffington and her business partner of stealing their idea for the powerhouse liberal website Huffington Post.
Peter Daou and James Boyce charge that Huffington and partner Ken Lerer designed the website from a plan they had presented them, and in doing so, violated a handshake agreement to work together, according to a lawsuit to be filed in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.
The complaint is a direct challenge to the left’s most important media property from two stalwarts of the progressive movement. And it challenges Huffington’s own oft-told story of coming up with the idea in conversation with Lerer and other friends.
“Huffington has styled herself as a ‘new media’ maven and an expert on the effective deployment of news and celebrity on the Internet in the service of political ends,” says the complaint. “As will be shown at trial, Huffington’s and Lerer’s image with respect to the Huffington Post is founded on false impressions and inaccuracies: They presented the ‘new media’ ideas and plans of Peter Daou and James Boyce as their own in order to raise money for the website and enhance their image, and breached their promises to work with Peter and James to develop the site together.”
The suit against Huffington, Lerer, and Huffington Post also sheds light on the very political aims of the left’s most powerful – and valuable – online voice.
Democrats need “to develop a dominant position within the Internet,” Daou said during an early meeting about the site, according to the complaint. “It is a system [for] pushing the message, not just for fundraising,” he allegedly said.
Huffington called the charge of stolen ideas and broken deals “a completely absurd, ludicrous supposition” from men whom she’d turned down for jobs on the site.
“We have now officially entered into Bizzaro World. James Boyce and Peter Daou, two political operatives who we rejected going into business with or hiring 6 years ago, and who had absolutely nothing to do with creating, running, financing, or building the Huffington Post, now concoct some scheme saying they own part of the company,” she and Lerer said in a written statement to POLITICO, writing that the two “tried to cash in” before filing suit and “said they’d go away for just a little money.”
“For months now they have been trying to extract money from us. They are filing the lawsuit of course because we did not agree to any payment,” they wrote.
Boyce and Daou said they are filing suit now only for recognition and vindication: They will, the two said in a statement, use any proceeds beyond legal fees and expenses “to support progressive causes and citizen journalists and bloggers who are active in support of those causes.”
“How noble,” Huffington and Lerer said in their statement.
The lawsuit touches on the same legal frontiers of intellectual property and deal-making as did a famous lawsuit Facebook settled in 2008. The success of the suit, which seeks unspecified damages, will hinge on whether Daou and Boyce can prove they had offered “something more specific than a generalized notion” and that Huffington had agreed to make them part of the deal, said Dan Kornstein, a prominent New York litigator.
Huffington Post has emerged as a juggernaut since its launch on May 9, 2005. The site’s front page offers a leftward tilt on political news, a sort of mirror image of the Drudge Report. A cadre of bloggers contribute analysis for free and a growing staff provides original content on politics and whatever other content – notably, celebrity – drives traffic and buzz.
Reply #596 on:
November 16, 2010, 03:23:42 PM »
As one who has been robbed of hundreds of song lyrics and seen them sold all over the place and lines used in advertising, commercials, cartoons, sitcoms, and all over the entertainment industry the above allegation about Huffington, another entertainment hawk doesn't surprise me. I don't believe her for one second. There is no doubt to me she is lying. Why she has a history of stealing. Right off of Wikepedia:
Huffington was accused of plagiarism for copying material for her book Maria Callas (1981); the claims were settled out of court in 1981, with Callas biographer Gerald Fitzgerald being paid "in the low five figures."
Lydia Gasman, an art history professor at the University of Virginia, claimed that Huffington’s 1988 biography of Pablo Picasso, Picasso: Creator and Destroyer, included themes similar to those in her unpublished four-volume Ph.D. thesis. "What she did was steal twenty years of my work," Gasman told Maureen Orth in 1994. Gasman did not file suit.
Maureen Orth also reported that Huffington "borrowed heavily for her 1993 book, The Gods of Greece."****
Nonetheless, I doubt the accusers will be able to do a darn thing about it. As a victim of such things I can feel their pain. Most people wouldn't.
Re: Media Issues
Reply #597 on:
November 17, 2010, 11:30:18 AM »
Even a legend in his own mind can be right sometimes.
Some folks on "our" side acted irresponsibly on this one:
Too Good to CheckBy THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: November 16, 2010
On Nov. 4, Anderson Cooper did the country a favor. He expertly deconstructed on his CNN show the bogus rumor that President Obama’s trip to Asia would cost $200 million a day. This was an important “story.” It underscored just how far ahead of his time Mark Twain was when he said a century before the Internet, “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” But it also showed that there is an antidote to malicious journalism — and that’s good journalism.
In case you missed it, a story circulated around the Web on the eve of President Obama’s trip that it would cost U.S. taxpayers $200 million a day — about $2 billion for the entire trip. Cooper said he felt impelled to check it out because the evening before he had had Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, a Republican and Tea Party favorite, on his show and had asked her where exactly Republicans will cut the budget.
Instead of giving specifics, Bachmann used her airtime to inject a phony story into the mainstream. She answered: “I think we know that just within a day or so the president of the United States will be taking a trip over to India that is expected to cost the taxpayers $200 million a day. He’s taking 2,000 people with him. He’ll be renting over 870 rooms in India, and these are five-star hotel rooms at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. This is the kind of over-the-top spending.”
The next night, Cooper explained that he felt compelled to trace that story back to its source, since someone had used his show to circulate it. His research, he said, found that it had originated from a quote by “an alleged Indian provincial official,” from the Indian state of Maharashtra, “reported by India’s Press Trust, their equivalent of our A.P. or Reuters. I say ‘alleged,’ provincial official,” Cooper added, “because we have no idea who this person is, no name was given.”
It is hard to get any more flimsy than a senior unnamed Indian official from Maharashtra talking about the cost of an Asian trip by the American president.
“It was an anonymous quote,” said Cooper. “Some reporter in India wrote this article with this figure in it. No proof was given; no follow-up reporting was done. Now you’d think if a member of Congress was going to use this figure as a fact, she would want to be pretty darn sure it was accurate, right? But there hasn’t been any follow-up reporting on this Indian story. The Indian article was picked up by The Drudge Report and other sites online, and it quickly made its way into conservative talk radio.”
Cooper then showed the following snippets: Rush Limbaugh talking about Obama’s trip: “In two days from now, he’ll be in India at $200 million a day.” Then Glenn Beck, on his radio show, saying: “Have you ever seen the president, ever seen the president go over for a vacation where you needed 34 warships, $2 billion — $2 billion, 34 warships. We are sending — he’s traveling with 3,000 people.” In Beck’s rendition, the president’s official state visit to India became “a vacation” accompanied by one-tenth of the U.S. Navy. Ditto the conservative radio talk-show host Michael Savage. He said, “$200 million? $200 million each day on security and other aspects of this incredible royalist visit; 3,000 people, including Secret Service agents.”
Cooper then added: “Again, no one really seemed to care to check the facts. For security reasons, the White House doesn’t comment on logistics of presidential trips, but they have made an exception this time. He then quoted Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, as saying, “I am not going to go into how much it costs to protect the president, [but this trip] is comparable to when President Clinton and when President Bush traveled abroad. This trip doesn’t cost $200 million a day.” Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, said: “I will take the liberty this time of dismissing as absolutely absurd, this notion that somehow we were deploying 10 percent of the Navy and some 34 ships and an aircraft carrier in support of the president’s trip to Asia. That’s just comical. Nothing close to that is being done.”
Cooper also pointed out that, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the entire war effort in Afghanistan was costing about $190 million a day and that President Bill Clinton’s 1998 trip to Africa — with 1,300 people and of roughly similar duration, cost, according to the Government Accountability Office and adjusted for inflation, “about $5.2 million a day.”
When widely followed public figures feel free to say anything, without any fact-checking, we have a problem. It becomes impossible for a democracy to think intelligently about big issues — deficit reduction, health care, taxes, energy/climate — let alone act on them. Facts, opinions and fabrications just blend together. But the carnival barkers that so dominate our public debate today are not going away — and neither is the Internet. All you can hope is that more people will do what Cooper did — so when the next crazy lie races around the world, people’s first instinct will be to doubt it, not repeat it.
Reply #598 on:
November 27, 2010, 10:46:32 AM »
MOSCOW — A well-known television personality on Thursday used the occasion of an awards ceremony to deliver a blistering critique of Russian television, saying its journalists had bent so completely to the will of the government that they were “not journalists at all but bureaucrats, following the logic of service and submission.”
Leonid G. Parfyonov’s speech was especially remarkable because of its venue: an elegant dinner organized by Channel One, Russia’s leading channel, to honor the memory of a television host who was gunned down in 1995. Looking out at a glittering crowd that included many of the most powerful figures in the Russian media, Mr. Parfyonov said they had taken on the docile posture of the Soviet-era Central Television.
On federal channels, he said, one cannot hear “critical, skeptical or ironic discussions” of either President Dmitri A. Medvedev or Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin.
“The highest authorities are beginning to look like the dear departed, of whom one says good things or nothing at all,” said Mr. Parfyonov, who was visibly nervous as he accepted his award. “This, despite the fact that the audience is obviously demanding different opinions; what a furor arose around that single exception, the televised dialogue between Yuri Shevchuk and Vladimir Putin.”
Mr. Shevchuk, a Russian rock star, exchanged views with Mr. Putin at a dinner for the Russian cultural elite, capitalizing on the occasion to lecture the increasingly irritated prime minister on press freedom, government corruption and police abuse, among other things.
Mr. Parfyonov was accepting the first annual Vladislav Listyev television award, which comes with a prize of one million rubles, or about $32,000. Video of the speech, which could be found on Channel One’s Web site, was viewed many thousands of times on Friday, particularly in media circles. A prominent blogger, Rustam Adagamov, called it “an epitaph for modern Russian television.”
Mr. Parfyonov sketched out the recent history of Russian broadcasting, starting with Mr. Putin’s ousting of media moguls whose channels were critical of the government and the demand for national unity that came in the wake of terrorist attacks. Journalists in Russia saw their work shearing into two categories: suitable for television, or not suitable for television. While newspaper reporters can still occasionally confront Mr. Putin with uncomfortable questions, television newscasters “guess the authorities’ goals and aims, their moods, their friends and enemies,” when tackling delicate subjects, he said.
“I have no right to blame any one of my colleagues, since I am not a fighter and I do not expect heroic deeds from others, but it is necessary to call things by their names,” he said. As media independence drains away, Russians are increasingly contemptuous of journalism in general and shrug their shoulders when journalists are beaten for their work, he said.
“People do not understand that journalists take risks because of their audience,” he said. “They do not attack journalists because they wrote something, or said something, or filmed something, but because people read it, or heard it, or saw it.”
Vladimir V. Pozner, a veteran television host who was serving as the event’s master of ceremonies, said the speech was startling precisely because Mr. Parfyonov is a cautious man who “has always been part of the corporate structure.”
“It’s not as much criticism of television as criticism of what the government has done to television,” Mr. Pozner said. “Everyone knows that’s the way things stand. Ever since Putin came in, the big channels have been tightly controlled, and everyone knows what you can say or not say.” But, he added, they do not say so in public.
“It’s a little bit like our friend Hans Christian Andersen, and the little boy who said, ‘But the king is naked!’ ” he said.
The Worst Reporting In the World?
Reply #599 on:
November 28, 2010, 07:25:30 PM »
Friday, November 26, 2010
The Worst Reporting In the World?
Posted by: Hugh Hewitt at 2:50 PM
On Thanksgiving the New York Times ran a story with the headline "G.O.P. and Tea Party Gains Are Mixed Blessing for Israel".
The story contained this blunt assertion: "Scores of Tea Party-backed candidates are entering Congress, many of whom favor isolationist policies and are determined to cut American foreign aid, regardless of its destination." (emphasis added.)
Many paragraphs later the article notes that "the Israeli government was viewed by some as one of the big winners of the midterm elections," but then adds "the Tea Party-backed lawmakers remain something of a mystery" and goes on to cite Senator-elect Paul again as holding views that trouble supporters of Israel.
Given the headline and the fact that the reporters say that "many" of the "scores of Tea Party-backed candidates" are backing isolationist policies, shouldn't the article cite someone other than Paul? I am unaware of any other Tea Party-backed candidate entering the Congress who is other than very supportive of Israel, but perhaps I missed ten, five or even a couple of anti-aid-for-Israel candidates? Surely the Times had something to back up the reporters' assertions and the headline?
Or not. The article seems a transparent attempt to persaude readers that Israel has something to fear from the new Congress when in fact Israel's greatest concern comes from the president. The obvious hostility to Israel that has marked the president's public statements and policies from the day he took office is clearly threatening the Democrats' grip on the votes of Jewish-Americans, so the left-wing Times has helpfully launched a wholly misleading meme that Israel has something to fear from the new GOP majority when in fact the triumph of the GOP is the best thing to happen to Israel in American politics in two years.
Really, are there no editors at the Times? One senator's statements versus the overwhelmingly pro-Israel views of the new GOP members?
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