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Archive for the ‘Media machine’ Category

We can do this: oppose Murdoch gaining more control over US media

Posted by Charles II on December 7, 2012

The FCC thinks there isn’t any opposition to Murdoch taking over US media and turning it all into the cesspool FOX is.

Murdoch has asked the FCC to change its rules to permit him to take over the Chicago Trib and the LA Times.

The FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is about to give Murdoch what he wants.

But he hasn’t heard from you.

Let him know what you think here.

(via Ritholtz)

Posted in Media machine, Rupert Murdoch | 3 Comments »

Wikis go Astroturf: Ballotopedia, Judgepedia, WikiFOIA are Koch funded

Posted by Charles II on December 3, 2012

Sara Jerving, PR Watch via t/o:

The Lucy Burns Institute (LBI) is a Madison-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 2006 and named after a significant leader of the women’s suffrage movement. The organization sponsors three websites: Ballotpedia, which tracks elections and ballot measures at the state level; WikiFOIA, which provides Information on how to use Freedom of information laws at the state and local level; and Judgepedia, which provides information on the nation’s judges and court systems.

Lucy Burns is what one could call a front group for or subsidiary of the Sam Adams Alliance. Sam Adams receives its funding from a cut-out organization that is funded by Charles Koch, and in turn, it funds the Tea Party Patriots and other conservative groups. Lucy Burns took over the wikis from Sam Adams and receives funding from them. So the money flow goes:

Charles Koch → Claude R. Lambe Foundation → State Policy Network → Sam Adams Alliance → Lucy Burns Institute.

Why a non-profit should be able to fund another non-profit is beyond me. It becomes impossible to determine whether contributions which received a tax exemption for being charitable are used for charitable purposes. But such is the state of our tax law.

There are many other ties to the Kochs. For example:

LBI’s board of directors also includes right-wing and Koch ties. LBI’s secretary, Jack McHugh, is a senior legislative analyst for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. The Mackinac Center is a right-wing think tank, which has received some funding from the Kochs and is also a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Also, interesting to those of us who follow the blogosphere:

Erick Erickson, the Chairman of the Board and Managing Editor of Redstate, is a board member of LBI. Redstate is the “leading conservative news blog for right of center online activists.” Breitbart TV describes Erickson as a “right wing hero.”

The Kochs apparently think they can buy the truth. They have created an immense and difficult to detect propaganda apparatus that influences journalists too busy or too sloppy to do primary source research. One has to be careful to believe only what one can independently confirm, because they have well and truly polluted the well.

Posted in koch brothers, Media machine, propaganda | 1 Comment »


Posted by Charles II on December 3, 2012

So, like, more than 10 years after Media Whores Online officially took note of the fact that the corporate media were not actually reporting, Michael Grunwald of Time has discovered the same (via exTina, DK):

It’s really amazing to see political reporters dutifully passing along Republican complaints that President Obama’s opening offer in the fiscal cliff talks is just a recycled version of his old plan, when those same reporters spent the last year dutifully passing along Republican complaints that Obama had no plan. It’s even more amazing to see them pass along Republican outrage that Obama isn’t cutting Medicare enough, in the same matter-of-fact tone they used during the campaign to pass along Republican outrage that Obama was cutting Medicare.

This isn’t just cognitive dissonance. It’s irresponsible reporting. Mainstream media outlets don’t want to look partisan, so they ignore the BS hidden in plain sight, the hypocrisy and dishonesty that defines the modern Republican Party. I’m old enough to remember when Republicans insisted that anyone who said they wanted to cut Medicare was a demagogue, because I’m more than three weeks old.

we’re not supposed to be stenographers. As long as the media let an entire political party invent a new reality every day, it will keep on doing it. Every day.

Those are words that MWO could have penned…12 years ago.

Posted in Media machine, mediawhores | 3 Comments »

Murdoch lieutenants hit with new charges

Posted by Charles II on November 20, 2012

Vikram Dodd, The Guardian:

Prosecutors have announced new criminal charges against the former News International editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, this time over alleged illegal payments to public officials.

The Crown Prosecution Service announced on Tuesday that four former News International employees, and a defence official alleged to have been paid £100,000 for information, should stand trial.

Also charged are …the Sun’s former chief reporter John Kay, and the Ministry of Defence official Bettina Jordan Barber, who is alleged to have been paid £100,000 over a seven-year period.

Coulson also faces trial in Scotland over claims he committed perjury in a libel trial, which he denies.

Posted in crimes, Media machine, Rupert Murdoch, wiretapping | Comments Off

Good news in media!

Posted by Charles II on October 20, 2012

This is sure to improve the quality and diversity in journalism.


Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation is looking to bid for the Los Angeles Times, the paper has reported, adding Murdoch is also interested in buying its stablemate the Chicago Tribune from their parent company, the Tribune Company.

The paper said a deal might require a waiver of federal laws that block ownership of newspapers and TV stations in the same market. Murdoch’s Fox network has stations in Los Angeles in Chicago. Tribune also has interests in television stations, some of which carry programming from News Corp’s TV channels or operate as Fox affiliates.

A bid for the LA Times alone could be worth as much as US$400m, the paper said.

I’m sure that a few strategic campaign donations can gain him the waivers. But I wish he’d finish paying his fines from the latest wiretapping/computer hacking episode before further degrading our media.

Posted in Media machine, Rupert Murdoch, wiretapping | 5 Comments »

In which the Miami Herald endorses communism, fascism, and the Caliphate

Posted by Charles II on October 19, 2012

Really, the American press continues to discover new levels of stupidity.

You may remember that Republican Congressman David Rivera is under investigation for bribes, false election filings, and other criminal acts. The Miami Herald grudgingly concedes he “carries too much political baggage to be an effective member of Congress.” Yeah, like hopefully a ball and chain in the near future.

But they really don’t want to want to endorse Rivera’s Democratic opponent: “Mr. Garcia, 49, is too much of a verbal bomb thrower, a reflection of his work as a Democratic Party stalwart…. What this district needs most is a consensus-builder”

So, see, criminal or partisan Democrat? The choice is difficult!

What The Herald really wants is a one-party state. They’re the perfect newspaper for Mussolini’s Italy or the USSR. Political officials there worked in perfect harmony!

Posted in abuse of power, Media machine, totalitarianism | 1 Comment »

Your media in action/Updated

Posted by Charles II on October 11, 2012

One can learn a lot about American elections by watching how our press handles elections abroad. Venezuela Analysis pulled together articles by Michael McGehee, Murray Polner, and Greg Wilpert to present some extraordinary examples of how our media–the article focuses on the NYT– openly supports oligarchy against democracy. The NYT:

  • * Consistently claimed that the election was close when in fact Chavez was ahead by landslide proportions and everyone knew it
  • * Claimed that Venezuelans were voting for Chavez out of fear of retaliation when the voting system actually is secure and people trust that their votes are confidential
  • * Claimed that Venezuelans were voting for Chavez because of Tammany-style patronage, whereas what they are calling patronage is what we in the US call “voting your pocketbook.”
  • * Published an OpEd that used misleading statistics about child deaths while failing to mention that unemployment has improved, and poverty has decreased (but crime is up)
  • * Repeated an unverified claim that government workers who signed a petition to recall Chavez suffered retaliation
  • If our media think that benefits like old-age pensions are “patronage,” how do they see Social Security? If they are lying to us about a foreign election–calling a landslide victory too close to call!– why do we think they aren’t spinning us about our own? I guess we think that we can decode or debunk what they are saying about the US. But this is a big country, with all sorts of wrinkles and hidden action. I think we are fooling ourselves.

    Update: Mark Weisbrot has some of the economic statistics on VZ.

    Posted in Media machine, Venezuela | 3 Comments »

    The Fiscal Cliff/Bobblespeak translation

    Posted by Charles II on September 26, 2012

    Bloomberg did an edition on the fiscal cliff and what it means in detail. A lot of it is bulls–t to persuade the reader of things that are wrong. So here it is run through the bobblespeak decoder ring.

    Continues below the fold.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in economy, Media machine | 2 Comments »

    Why, hello there, Megan McArdle!

    Posted by Charles II on September 21, 2012

    Via Ritholtz, and Yves a review of the career of Atlantic/Newsweek/Daily Beast columnist Megan McArdle by Yasha Levine and Mark Ames of Project S.H.A.M.E. .

    The part I found most interesting:

    * McArdle received journalism training from the right-wing Institute for Humane Studies, headed by Charles Koch since the 1960s. According to the IHS, its journalism program “places talented writers and communicators—who support individual liberty, free markets, and peace—at media companies and non-profit newsrooms”...
    * In 2011, McArdle returned to her Koch alma mater as a guest lecturer and instructor at the Institute for Humane Studies’ “Journalism & the Free Society” summer internship program. The program tackled such topics as “Is an ‘objective’ press possible — or even desirable?” Other faculty members joining McArdle that year included Radley Balko, then-editor at the Kochs’ Reason magazine
    * In a sign of just how close and trusted McArdle is to the Kochs, in October 2011, she was chosen to emcee Charles Koch’s 50th Anniversary gala celebration of his flagship libertarian think-tank, the Institute for Humane Studies, featuring Charles Koch as the keynote speaker and guest of honor. McArdle and Koch were joined by hundreds of leading GOP donors and activists….The IHS attempted to hide McArdle’s involvement, scrubbing her name from the dinner announcement page. (emphases added)

    There’s more on McArdle’s comic career, her dishonesty and hypocrisy, but the point is that she’s paid, trained, and placed by the true heirs of Lenin, Charles and David Koch for the purpose of inserting propaganda into public discourse. She is an apparatchik. And The Atlantic, The Economist, Newsweek, and The Daily Beast have all been used as tools of dissemination.

    Project S.H.A.M.E. describes itself as follows:

    The S.H.A.M.E. Media Transparency Project takes the war against corporate trolls and media shills to a new and more effective level. Its goal is to expose corrupt media figures, document journalistic fraud and make life a little harder for covert propagandists who manipulate the public, degrade our democracy and help perpetuate oligarchy power.

    S.H.A.M.E. was inspired by our readers and donors, who are tired of the rampant media fraud and deception, and want some way to fight back and reclaim our democracy.

    The purpose of S.H.A.M.E. is not to merely document media crimes, nor simply to humiliate or call out hypocrisy. The project is about providing useful, fun and effective tools the public can use to protect itself from being manipulated by sophisticated public relations con-artistry.

    Think of S.H.A.M.E. as a kind of roach trap for media shills and corporate lackeys.

    Posted in koch brothers, Media machine, mediawhores, propaganda, Republicans as cancer | Comments Off

    Sauce for the gander: USAID expelled from Russia

    Posted by Charles II on September 19, 2012

    Miriam Elder, The Guardian:

    The Russian government has given the US agency for international development (USAid) until 1 October to cease all operations in the country. The agency helps fund a number of pro-democracy and human rights groups that have provoked the Kremlin’s wrath amid an unprecedented opposition movement against the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.

    In an uncharacteristically blunt statement, the Russian foreign ministry said that the decision to shut USAid was taken primarily because the agency’s work “does not always correspond to [its] stated goals”.

    “This means attempts to exert influence, via the distribution of grants, upon political processes, including elections of various levels and institutions of civil society,” it said.

    This is one of those stories that gets framed in the Western press as western democracies helping oppressed people around the world. I think we all sympathize with protestors like Pussy Riot, the band recently jailed for protesting against Putin in the cathedral, and there’s not much question that Putin is an authoritarian.

    But is what US AID is doing, however benevolent, right?

    US AID is involved in influencing elections all around the world, including in places that do not have dictators, just leaders that we don’t like. That puts us in the position of manipulating elections. Would we accept that from foreign governments? Certainly on this blog I’ve raised the concern that the Chinese government–or even the Chinese criminal syndicates– could be using Sheldon Adelson as a conduit for contributions to manipulate our system.

    US AID is widely believed to be a CIA front. For example, La Jornada, a center-left newspaper in Mexico, published this article calling USAID a front for the CIA and saying that “from Iraq to Venezuela, USAID is one of the most active mechanisms for intelligence and destabilization in the world.”

    We would regard the manipulation of our media by an outside power as a hostile act. We should be careful not to be seen as doing the same.

    Posted in media, Media machine, propaganda | 3 Comments »

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