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Archive for the ‘news media’ Category

A gift for climate change deniers

Posted by Charles II on June 13, 2011

A catalog of where the major scientific societies stand on global warming aka climate change aka climate chaos.

The existence of facts does not stop FOX Noise, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, or Rush Limbaugh from lying about them.

Nor prevent the supine rest of the media from acting like there’s any serious debate over the issue in the scientific community.

Posted in climate change, liars, news media | Comments Off on A gift for climate change deniers

Arrest That Woman! She’s A Journalist!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 24, 2011

Courtesy of Bluestem Prairie.

Even as Kurt Zellers and the rest of the Minnesota Republican Party caucus at the Capitol were trying to scrub the record and remove all official evidence that they invited arch-nutjob Bradlee Dean to give the opening convocation on the day an anti-marriage-equality bill — henceforth known as “The Bradlee Dean Bill” — was supposed to be passed, one of Dean’s minions had a folding table set up in front of the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Hutchinson, looking to raise money for Dean’s “You Can Run But You Can’t Hide” ministry.

Bluestem Prairie’s Sally Jo Sorensen tried to interview the kid running the table, but was rebuffed — and you’ve got to watch the video at her site to see what happens next. Suffice to say that he, like Scott Walker, seems to have confused local law enforcement officials with his own palace guard.

(Crossposted to Renaissance Post.)

Posted in blogs and blogging, Minnesota, news media, real journalism | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

The new PTSD: Papal telling-it-like-it-is shock disorder

Posted by Charles II on November 21, 2010

Pope Benedict shocked the world a lot more than with his announcement that use of condoms under certain circumstances is ok with this declaration (Sarah Delaney, Catholic News Service; full text of Benedict’s address to Pontifical Council on healthhere):

Pope Benedict XVI and other church leaders said it was the moral responsibility of nations to guarantee access to health care for all of their citizens, regardless of social and economic status or their ability to pay.

Access to adequate medical attention, the pope said in a written message Nov. 18, was one of the “inalienable rights” of man….

“Justice requires guaranteed universal access to health care,” he said, adding that the provision of minimal levels of medical attention to all is “commonly accepted as a fundamental human right.”

Governments are obligated, therefore, to adopt the proper legislative, administrative and financial measures to provide such care along with other basic conditions that promote good health, such as food security, water and housing, the cardinal said.

The governments of richer nations with good health care available should practice more solidarity with their own disadvantaged citizens and help developing countries promote health care while trying to avoid a “paternalistic or humiliating” way of assisting, the cardinal said.

I have my problems with the Catholic hierarchy, but I myself am so shocked by this declaration and its obvious needling of American “conservatives” that I didn’t call him Pope Ratzinger. Why it has taken the Catholic Church this long to enter the 20th century remains a mystery, but thank God for miracles.

Another sidelight. A quick google at this hour shows no major news organization is carrying this story. Oh, that liberal media.

Posted in health care, news media, Pope Ratzinger (mistitled Benedict), poverty | 6 Comments »

Ted Koppel Ignores How GOP, Cons Forced Murrow Off The Air

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 16, 2010

Keith Olbermann steps up to address — and destroy — Ted Koppel’s faux-history and hypocritical invocation of Cronkite and Murrow as alleged gods of “balance”:

…There was the night Cronkite devoted fourteen minutes of the thirty-minute long CBS Evening News to a report on Watergate which devastated the Nixon Administration, one so strong that the Administration pressured CBS just to shorten the next night’s follow-up to eight minutes. There was the extraordinary broadcast on Vietnam from four-and-a-half years earlier in which he insisted that nothing better than stalemate was possible and that America should negotiate its way out, “not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could.” All that newscast did was convince the 36th President of the United States to not seek reelection. The deserved and heartfelt sadness at the loss of a great journalist and a great man had been turned into a metaphor for the loss of a style of utterly uninvolved, neutral  “objective” reporting. Yet most of the highlights of the man’s career had been of those moments when he correctly and fearlessly threw off those shackles and said what was true, and not merely what was factual.

It has been the same with every invocation of Edward R. Murrow: Murrow would never have stood for the editorializing of today in his newscasts! The Murrow radio reports from London rooftops during the Blitz of 1940 are replayed – and forever should be – and their creator is offered as a paragon of “straight” reporting. Yet it is never mentioned, that as they happened, CBS was pressured to stop those searing explosions of truth, because our political leaders believed they would unfairly influence Americans to side with the British when the nation was still officially neutral and the Republican Party was still completely convinced that there was a deal to make with the Nazis. President Roosevelt did not invite Murrow to the White House to congratulate him on his London reports because they were “fair and balanced.”


Similarly, the journalism students of now seven different decades have studied the Murrow broadcasts about Senator Joseph McCarthy from 1954. These are properly lauded as some of the greatest moments not merely in the history of American Journalism; they are considered such in the history of America. The story is told that a cowering, profit-hungry press stood idly by – or even rode McCarthy’s paranoia for circulation and ratings – while the blacklist and the fear grew. And then Murrow slayed the dragon.


Always left out, sadly, is the fact that within hours of speaking truth based on facts, Murrow was attacked as a partisan. The Republicans, and the Conservative newspapers, and the Conservative broadcasters described – in what they would have insisted was neutral, objective, unbiased, factual reporting – that in smearing the patriotic McCarthy, Murrow was a Democrat, a Liberal, a Socialist, a Marxist, a Communist, a traitor. Always left out, sadly, is the fact that these attacks worked. Within 12 months, Murrow’s “See It Now” program had lost its sponsor and been reduced from once a week to once a month. Within 18 months it had been shifted from every Tuesday night at 10:30 to once in awhile on Sunday afternoons at 5 — becoming, as one CBS producer put it “See It Now And Then.”


Mr. Koppel does not mention – nobody ever does – that the year in which Edward R. Murrow helped save this democracy by including his own editorial judgment in “The News,” was the last year of his life throughout which Murrow appeared on a regular prime-time news broadcast. He would be eased out of CBS entirely in seven years and would be dead in eleven.

The great change about which Mr. Koppel wrings his hands is not partisanship nor tone nor analysis. The great change was the creation of the sanitized image of what men like Cronkite and Murrow – and H.V. Kaltenborn and Elmer Davis and John Charles Daly and H.R. Baukhage and Howard K. Smith and Eric Sevareid and Dan Rather and Peter Jennings and George Polk and even Ted Koppel – did. These were not glorified stenographers. These were not neutral men. These were men who did in their day what the best of journalists still try to do in this one. Evaluate, analyze, unscramble, assess – put together a coherent picture, or a challenging question – using only the facts as they can best be discerned, and their own honesty and conscience. And if the result is that this story over here is a Presidential chief of staff taking some pretty low-octane bribes and the scandal starts and ends there, you judge all the facts, and you say so. And if the result is that that other story over there is not just a third-rate burglary at a political office, but the tip of an iceberg meant to sink the two-party system in this country, you judge all the facts, and you scream so.

Insist long enough that the driving principle behind the great journalism of the television era was neutrality and objectivity — and not subjective choices and often dangerous evaluations and even commentary — and you will eventually leave the door open to pointless worship at the temple of a false god. And once you’ve got a false god, you’re going to get false priests. And sooner rather than later, in a world where subjective analysis is labeled evil and dangerous, some political mountebank is going to see his opening and seize the very catechism of that false god, words like “objective” and “neutral” and “two-sided” and “fair” and “balanced,” and he will pervert them into a catch-phrase, a brand-name. And he can create something that is no more journalism than two men screaming at each other is a musical duet.

Thanks, Keith.

Posted in GOP/Media Complex, Keith Olbermann, media, Media machine, mediawhores, news media, speaking truth to power | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

How To Fool NPR

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 7, 2010

This morning on NPR, I got to hear a story about how the French have linked IHH, the Turkish aid group that organized both the Gaza flotillas, to (gasp!) al-Qaeda!!!!!

(Pause for Dramatic Prairie Dog.)

This is a rehash of the same June 2 IDF allegations that the IDF had already partially rolled back four flipping days ago but which NPR’s crack staff apparently didn’t know or care were rolled back. Here’s the skinny on that:

Not content to believe that night vision goggles signal membership in Al Qaeda, reporter Lia Tarachansky of The Real News Network and I called the IDF press office to ask for more conclusive evidence. Tarachansky reached the IDF’s Israel desk, interviewing a spokesperson in Hebrew; I spoke with the North America desk, using English. We both received the same reply from Army spokespeople: “We don’t have any evidence. The press release was based on information from the [Israeli] National Security Council.” (The Israeli National Security Council is Netanyahu’s kitchen cabinet of advisors).

“But but but what about the French intelligence report!”, you may ask. Turns out that there was no such thing — just another example of IDF disinfo, one that was planted and then “laundered” via several steps to look like actual fact, and depending on the laziness and/or fearfulness of American journalists to survive.

Here’s the long and twisted tale of how it came to be:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in evil, France, frauds, israel, media, Media machine, mediawhores, news media | 10 Comments »

The Great ACORN fraud

Posted by Charles II on March 11, 2010

Andrew Breitbart has posted transcripts of the O’Keefe encounters with ACORN. As FAIR says, the transcripts tell a very different story than the heavily-edited tapes that were released do. For example, in the Baltimore case, O’Keefe says he is a law student and implies that his girlfriend is a prostitute, but confesses they haven’t been paying taxes. The ACORN employee says that they will have to talk to a tax advisor. O’Keefe and his girlfriend whisper “tax fraud” to one another. But of course telling potential tax cheats that they will need to talk to a tax advisor is not tax fraud.

So, what has the New York Times (not to mention FOX) done? Sensationalize it all, refuse to retract falsehoods they’ve published, and otherwise behave exactly like FOX. The paper’s so-called public editor, Clark Hoyt, has been cheerleading the bulls–t.

You can write to Clark Hoyt at If you do, be polite, if only to deprive this petty little man of a sense of unjust persecution. It doesn’t take a lot to be bigger than people like Hoyt.

Posted in Media machine, mediawhores, news media, poverty, Republicans as cancer, rightwing moral cripples | 10 Comments »

NPR: Half the news

Posted by Charles II on February 24, 2010

Thanks to Phoenix Woman, this link to NPR on the OAS report, which criticizes Venezuela. I ran through the Executive Summary, and responded as follows (drawn from comments in an earlier thread:

The IACHR (i.e., OAS) report on Venezuela is troubling, even though what it reports pales in comparison to Honduras. Among the troubling findings:
1. Venezuela refused to allow IACHR observers to enter Venezuela.
2. Venezuela does not allow human rights observers to operate freely. Six human rights defenders have been killed since 1997. Some human rights workers have been targeted for prosecution.
3. Some government opponents have been disqualified from elections.
4. Some elected opposition figures have had their powers curtailed.
5. Dissenters have been intimidated, attacked, and even prosecuted, either by officials or by civilian thugs….”criminal charges have been brought against more than 2,200 people in connection with their involvement in public demonstrations”…”between January and August 2009 alone, six people were killed during public demonstrations, four of them through the actions of the State’s security forces”
6. Half of Venezuelan judges lack tenure entirely and are therefore susceptible to political pressure.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Media machine, news media, Venezuela | 4 Comments »

Snuffing out the press candle

Posted by Charles II on December 11, 2009

Normally I don’t pay much attention to Project Censored on the grounds that it should be called News We Think is Important But Was Only Covered by the Left Media. But this is important news:

Award Winning Flashpoints Radio Show Under Threat by KPFA Management

By Peter Phillips and Mickey Huff


The Flashpoints radio program is being directly threatened with closure by station management. Budget cuts implemented by KPFA management; reduce staff time for Flashpoints by some 75 hours per week. Flashpoints, an award winning national radio program, originates at KPFA in Berkeley, California, and reaches some thirty cities in the US and serves an on-line audience worldwide.

Nora Barrows-Friedman wrote on December 9, “KPFA has effectively destroyed Flashpoints this week, beginning with the layoff of our technical producer position. Just hours ago, they called me into a meeting and casually informed me that my hours will be reduced by 50%. I cannot afford to keep this job if I’m on 20 hours a week.”

Ms. Barrows-Friedman is a long time investigative reporter specializing in Israel-Palestine issues and is one of the few reporters in the country who covers this sensitive issue in a straightforward manner. She taught herself Arabic and often reports from the ground in the Middle East. Along with Flashpoints producers Dennis Bernstein and Miguel Molina, Ms. Barrows-Friedman was the recent recipient of a lifetime achievement Media Freedom Award from Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored.

“Nora Barrows Friedman has seniority over at least a dozen more recent and less experienced staff people. She has done an outstanding job at Flashpoints, showing a special dedication and talent. She has top professional qualifications and standards, tested by time and performance,” stated long standing political commentator and author Dr. Michael Parenti.

Flashpoints is, as far as I know, the only electronic media to consistently cover developments in the Americas, notably Haiti and Mexico, as well as Palestine and other under-covered places. They have some tremendous, very brave journalists, like Kevin Pina and Nora Barrows Friedman. If Flashpoints goes down, it will be substantially harder to get news about the hemisphere.

Posted in media, news media, world news | 2 Comments »

Not About Racism At All, Nope

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 30, 2009

Even as the news media rushes to defend the Boston-area cop who illegally arrested Professor Henry Louis Gates from charges that his actions were in part racially motivated, and to attack anyone (such as President Obama) who dares criticize the arrest, this little fact is uncovered:

An officer in the Boston Police Department has been suspended after allegedly writing a racially charged e-mail about Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. to colleagues at the National Guard, a law enforcement official said.

The law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Officer Justin Barrett referred to the black scholar as a “jungle monkey’’ in the letter, written in reaction to news coverage of Gates’s arrest July 16. Barrett was suspended Tuesday, pending a termination hearing.

I can’t wait to see the groundswell of support for this guy from fellow racists claiming that neither he nor they are racist. Paging Lou Dobbs! Paging Glenn Beck!

Posted in GOP/Media Complex, news media, racism, rightwing moral cripples | Comments Off on Not About Racism At All, Nope

NYT Irrelevancy Watch: Helene Cooper Edition

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 26, 2009

The New York Times‘ Helene Cooper claimed Obama was attacking straw men. Except that, as Publius of Obsidian Wings notes, every single one of the “straw men” Cooper cites is very real indeed, as fifteen minutes with Lexis-Nexis or even plain old Google would have shown her.

Even better: as Robert Waldmann points out here, Cooper is a repeat offender — she tried this garbage six weeks ago — and had to butcher an Obama quote to do it.


Posted in GOP/Media Complex, media, Media machine, mediawhores, news media, President Obama | 2 Comments »

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