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Archive for the ‘mediawhores’ Category

Our completely unbiased free press

Posted by Charles II on March 5, 2014

Murtaza Hussain, The Intercept:

The Washington Post’s Feb. 19 article about the recent spate of unrest in Venezuela took a breathlessly laudatory stance towards the opposition against President Nicolás Maduro.

The piece continues in a similarly effusive manner throughout; but what’s most interesting about it are the sources which the authors choose to cite as impartial experts. Not only do they appear hostile to the Venezuelan government and supportive of the opposition, they also appear to have serious, unstated conflicts of interest….

At one point, the article quotes Michael Shifter “president of Inter-American Dialogue, a think-tank in Washington”, …Going further, the piece also quotes Moisés Naím – omitting to mention that he too is a member of the Inter-American Dialogue ….

What the authors failed to explain is that the Inter-American Dialogue is a think-tank whose members happen to include several officials from Venezuela’s previous government – the same one deposed by Hugo Chavez’s Bolivarian Revolution. Even more distressingly, the Dialogue counts among its funders organizations such as Exxon Mobil, Chevron, the U.S. government through USAID, and the embassies of Canada, Mexico and Guatemala among others.

I especially liked the part where the author says that the WaPo reporter under discussion, Nick Miroff, said that he would not grant his permission to publish an e-mail exposing how ethically bankrupt his journalistic methods are, using sources with major conflicts of interest without exposing those conflicts of interest. Said Hussain:

Contacted by The Intercept, Miroff confirmed the email was his, but said we did not have his permission to publish it. We don’t need his permission.

Really. The real media are not the Beltway media, where they publish only what sources say they may.

Posted in Media machine, mediawhores | 2 Comments »

Beating up on the disabled

Posted by Charles II on June 4, 2013

Neil DeMause of FAIR has a good piece about the revival of disabilityfrauditis among the apparatchiks of our quasi-democracy. This meme had its origins 20 years ago in darkest Arkansas:

In 1994, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (2/13/94) reported that some local residents were receiving tens of thousands of dollars a year in “crazy checks” for their mentally disabled kids. The story later spread to the front pages of the Washington Post (2/4/94) and Boston Globe (5/12/94). Eventually, ABC’s PrimeTime Live (10/13/94; Extra!, 3–4/95) declared children’s SSI to be “a government program gone haywire,” charging that children were “faking disabilities” after being coached by their parents.

Forbes Media Critic, in an article titled “A Media Crusade Gone Haywire” (9/95), soon revealed that four major studies of the SSI program—by the General Accounting Office, the Department of Health and Human Services, a congressional Disability Policy Panel, and the Social Security Administration—had all agreed that “there is no evidence of widespread fraud or abuse of the program.”

Well, this stupid meme is back, and who is pushing it but the usual suspects (deMause, continuing):

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof (12/9/12) reported that poor families in Appalachian Kentucky were pulling their kids out of literacy classes. The reason: They feared that if their kids learned to read, it would disqualify them from receiving monthly $698 disability checks from the federal government’s Supplemental Security Income program.

It was all enough to earn Kristof a public chiding from Times public editor Margaret Sullivan (NYTimes.com, 1/29/13) for making “assertions [that] were based on too little direct evidence” and using “statistical information that is, at the very least, open to interpretation.”

Yet Kristof’s column turned out to be just the opening salvo of a series of high-profile news reports exposing America’s alleged plague of skyrocketing disability benefits.

In a March series, NPR’s Planet Money [a repeat offender for peddling BS] revisited the world of SSI, this time for adults—and seemed to have learned few of the lessons of the Kristof mess. Calling the program “a hidden, increasingly expensive safety net” and “a de facto welfare program for people without a lot of education or job skills” (NPR.org, 3/13), NPR’s Chana Joffe-Walt painted a picture of soaring disability rolls and nebulous diagnoses, where a “disability industrial complex” is pushing people willy-nilly onto the dole whether they need it or not (All Things Considered, 3/25/13).

the NPR series set off a flurry of copycat articles in the mainstream press that bemoaned disability as home of the new welfare cheats.

In the Washington Post (4/8/13), op-ed columnist Charles Lane decried SSI as a “drain [on] the Treasury” that discourages people from working. At Time.com (4/9/13), Joe Klein called Social Security Disability “an end-run around the [welfare] system” and a “scam” that “has no work requirement.” The next day, the Wall Street Journal (4/10/13) wrote that workers who’d “piled into the Social Security Administration’s disability program [threaten] to cost the economy tens of billions a year in lost wages and diminished tax revenues.”

And, of course, it’s all based on baloney: made-up statistics like the claim that 8% of children are on disability, conflation of SSI and SSDI, and so on. The recession and its aftermath have made more people poor enough–not to mention desperate enough– to become eligible for SSI benefits. In other words, there is no crisis, just a desperate longing of rich people for more and more and more and more.

These are really awful people who are trying to take bread from the mouths of the very most helpless. They deserve to be shunned. The world should sit shiva for people like Kristof and Klein and O’Reilly and Lane who are morally dead.

Posted in abuse of power, greed, mediawhores, poverty | Comments Off

TIME goes MWO

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 »

“Romney campaign a win for Mormons”

Posted by Charles II on November 23, 2012

“Romney campaign a win for Mormons” is how Rachel Zoll‘s AP article was headlined.

The thesis is that some fundamentalist cranks no longer label the LDS a “cult” and are now acknowledging “the church’s dedication to family, charity and community service” which, uncharitably translated, means subordination of women, welfare for members, and funding anti-gay ballot propositions. Per Zoll, the best news of all: since Romney lost, people will stop paying attention to the LDS.

Yes, the article is that obtuse and that obsequious.

I think that what the election outcome will do is brand Mormons as losers, which is the greatest sin of all that a conservative can commit, and that once the enforced solidarity seeps away with the loss, the knives will come out.

So, may I wish conservative Mormon candidates many more such wins.

Posted in 2012, Associated Press, mediawhores, Mitt Romney | Comments Off

Retire the words “fact” and “truth.” They are obsolete.

Posted by Charles II on October 18, 2012

FAIR had a good take on the Romney-Benghazi-”act of terror” thing here. The so-called “fact-checkers” like Annenberg’s Brooks Jackson and Politifact‘s “main imperative … is to maintain an appearance of impartiality by making it seem like both sides are about equally dishonest.”

In other words, the policy of fact check factories is to lie.

In fact, the fact checkers (including Candy Crowley) tried to say that Romney got it half right because the Administration initially believed that the attack had been related to a protest against a film about Islam. But the NYT own reporting at the time “stressed that the attackers themselves stated they were retaliating for the anti-Muslim video.” The Times has now re-confirmed that the attackers gave as their cause of belligerence the anti-Muslim video.

BTW, if you would like to see just how deep into dishonesty the right has gotten with this, there’s always Breitbart.com, which continues to claim that Obama was not talking about Benghazi in calling the assault on the consulate an act of terror despite the fact that his remarks were for f–k’s sake titledRemarks by the President on the Deaths of U.S. Embassy Staff in Libya.” They even link it!

None so blind as they who claim to see.

(This is the CNN interview they excerpt from without linking). In it, David Axelrod schools Candy Crowley on what the president said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack. When she interrupted Romney in the debate, she was presumably trying to save him from saying something irretrievably stupid).

Posted in abuse of power, anti-truth, mediawhores, Mitt Romney, mythmaking | 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

Kellercod

Posted by Charles II on July 29, 2012

Bill Keller, editor of the NYT, was forced to deny that he had written an Op-Ed defending Wikileaks:

The fake in question was a cod Keller op-ed entitled ‘WikiLeaks, a Post Postscript’. Visually, it was immaculate – replicating perfectly the typographic style of his column down to the author’s photograph, tool kit and Times adverts. [Charles says: only the Grauniad would have missed the obvious comma sitting where a semi-colon is indicated and call it perfect. The Times is far more willing to be dead wrong about an important issue than to miss a punctuation mark.]

The fake in question said things like:

I find myself in the awkward position of having to defend WikiLeaks. During the House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on July 11th, several Republicans made it clear they also want New York Times journalists charged under the Espionage Act….

You don’t have to embrace Assange as a kindred spirit to believe that what he did in publishing those cables falls under the protection of the First Amendment.

I’ve said repeatedly, in print and in a variety of public forums, that I would regard an attempt to criminalize WikiLeaks’ publication of these documents as an attack on all of us, and I believe the mainstream media should come to his defense. Obama has clearly not lived up to his 2008 campaign promises to protect whistleblowers, rather his policy is more like China’s treatment of dissidents.

I wish these were my final words on the existential drama that is WikiLeaks, but don’t get your hopes up. With an ongoing grand jury, extradition ruling, and Bradley Manning’s court martial, the WikiLeaks Postscript has only just begun. I fear I am condemned to a life in Sartre’s No Exit (or is it Kafka’s The Trial?).

Personally, I think that the Keller who works at The New York Times is the fake, and the fellow writing at Opinion-NYTimes is for real.

Apparently “cod” is British for “fake”

_______
For those still searching for the comma in question, it occurs in the phrase, “promises to protect whistleblowers, rather his policy”

Posted in Just for fun, Media machine, mediawhores | 3 Comments »

I give Fox Business a chance of survival

Posted by Charles II on July 13, 2012

“No self-respecting man should ever be seen in a beret” –Mandy Drury, CNBC

Thing is, Mandy and especially her partner, Brian Sullivan, make brainless comments like this all the time. But since those comments have to do with finance and the economy, their audience (minus myself) doesn’t notice. Given how bad CNBC is getting, Fox Business might actually survive.

Posted in eedjits, Media machine, mediawhores | 2 Comments »

Fallows finds an acorn: the end of the American Republic

Posted by Charles II on June 29, 2012

James Fallows was not much help when it was happening, having been among the Gore bashers, but at least he has this right:

when you look at the sequence from Bush v. Gore, through Citizens United, to what seems to be coming on the health-care front; and you combine it with ongoing efforts in Florida and elsewhere to prevent voting from presumably Democratic blocs; and add that to the simply unprecedented abuse of the filibuster in the years since the Democrats won control of the Senate and then took the White House, you have what we’d identify as a kind of long-term coup if we saw it happening anywhere else.

Via Scott Horton.

A coup is when one faction in a society usurps the function of one or more branches of government to seize power illegitimately. Military coups are the most common. Paraguay is in the midst of a congressional coup. I called the Starr investigation a judicial coup, and Bush v. Gore was its culmination. That coup placed the Republican Party in control of all three branches of government. We now are experiencing a second coup, this time by billionaires, who aren’t satisfied with exerting indirect control.

Fallows has found his acorn, 18 years too late.

Posted in Constitutional crisis, corporatists, corruption, mediawhores | 2 Comments »

Worst person award: The Takeaway/WNYC for firing an actual journalist/correction

Posted by Charles II on November 1, 2011

Correction: I was in such a hurry in posting this that, after correctly giving the name of this journalist as Caitlin Curran, I twice made an error on her name deeper in the post. Apologies.

(Via Ritholtz)

The Takeaway “is a co-production of WNYC Radio and Public Radio International, in collaboration with The BBC World Service, New York Times Radio and WGBH Boston.”

The Takeaway fired Caitlin Curran for holding a sign at Occupy Wall Street.

As you see, she is holding a sign saying: “It’s wrong to create a mortgage-backed security filled with loans you know are going to fail so that you can sell it to a client who isn’t aware that you sabotaged it by intentionally picking the misleadingly rated loans most likely to be defaulted upon.”

The quote is from an article in The Atlantic.

The law of all states and the United States of America also, by the way, says this. Fraud is not legal. And, by the way, Connor was expressing this sentiment on her own time.

But Curran’s boss did not see it that way:

The next day, The Takeaway’s general manager fired me over the phone, effective immediately. He was inconsolably angry, and said that I had violated every ethic of journalism, and that this should be a “teaching moment” for me in my career as a journalist. The segment I had pitched, of course, would not happen. Ironically, the following day Marketplace did pretty much the exact segment I thought would have been great on The Takeaway, with Kai Ryssdal discussing the sign and the Goldman Sachs deal it alluded to in terms that were far from neutral.

You can write to them at listenerservices@wnyc.org

Please try to say something more polite than “You are a bunch of corporate whores.” Aside from the point that it’s an insult to honest sex workers, WNYC is more likely to listen if they think that you are a potential contributor. Curran deserves to be vindicated, and public journalism needs to be informed that shilling for corporations is not what they get paid for.

Posted in Media machine, mediawhores | 2 Comments »

 
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