Tag: traditional media

Yet Another Conservative Finding The First Amendment Is Not A Shield

Our founders were brilliant people.  Really.  They were.  One of the very best things about the first amendment is the idea that we get to hold each other accountable for those things we say and do.  This isn’t civil or criminal accounting, but social accounting.

Before we showed the world what the value of expression is for society, people were limited in what they could say, “because it might disturb the powers that be”, or maybe they valued their head being attached to the rest of their body.

Free speech and tolerance are linked together in a most powerful way.  If we tolerate bigots, for example, we will live in a world filled with bigots.

Why is this?

Not everybody does the work to properly socialize, and they won’t do that, unless they feel some need, or pressure to do it, which is the core of what the First Amendment is all about.

Translation of Current Traditional Media Coverage of Health Care

Volumes have been and should continue to be written about the downfall of the traditional media. Their obsession with process questions, and their “I’m bored” feelings toward discussions of substance, is painfully obvious to those paying attention. Beyond that, their reticence to point out the truth for fear of being called “liberal” is pathetic, and does a grave disservice to our democracy.

With that in mind, I offer the following translation of the spewings from the Looney Tunes characters in the traditional media as we confront one of the most important issues of our time.

“Mr. Senator, a handful of people who are out of their freakin’ minds say that the president wants to butcher the elderly. Is this true? Are these lunatics correct? Shouldn’t our public discourse be determined by people who have zero interest in solving our problems? Shouldn’t the media spend all its’ time debating the concerns of angry, armed psychopaths? Isn’t THAT the real issue here? The concerns of a fringe that is hell-bent on preventing people from doing anything remotely responsible? Shouldn’t we avoid reasonable, grown-up debates of the issues at all costs?”

“Now let me turn to you, Mrs. Cabinet Member. Who gives a flying fuck about what matters to people outside of Washington, D.C.? I certainly don’t, and neither should you. Well, unless they’re those psychos I mentioned earlier. Other than that, the great mass of this country who simply wants to know how the policies of their government are going to affect them – who gives a shit if they’re informed? Please answer only that question, and DO NOT veer off into an answer that involves a thoughtful discussion of anything of substance. I will grow tired of such shenanigans rather quickly, interrupt you before you can get very far, and move on to the next inane question.”

“Sorry Mrs. Cabinet Member! UT TUT TUT! Stop right there! I warned you, didn’t I? Didn’t I? Take that crap and tell it to somebody who cares!

Now then, Mr. Conservative Lobbyist Who Used To Be A Representative. We all know you’re being very genuine and honest when you say that Democrats want to do nothing but turn this country into a Stalinesque, murderous regime. After all, their thirty-year record of helping Republicans fellate the corporations that run this country is proof-positive of the fact that they are communists. So given that, please spend the next five minutes telling as many lies as possible, running your opponents’ names through the mud when their only crime is wanting to help out their fellow citizens, and shilling for your own corporate masters. Keep in mind that I will not call you on any of your bullshit, and will likely repeat much of it as conventional wisdom that everybody knows to be true.”

“Very good, sir! Good show! Now then, onto the token liberal we’ve brought onto the show today. For you viewers out there who aren’t used to us having anybody on the show who has a truly progressive viewpoint, remember that our policy is not to have them on because the only viewers who matter are those in the lunatic fringe of the far-right who simply aren’t interested in opposing points of view. And the only reason we have the token liberal on today is to beat up on them, and make it look like they’re the only one out there who’s crazy enough to believe that “helping people out,” “telling the truth,” “being compassionate,” “doing the right thing” junk. We specialize in liars, crooks, and hypocrits on this show, and by God we aim to keep it that way!

Now then, Token Liberal, why are you so full of shit? You say you want to help poor people, but don’t you actually want to slaughter them wholesale for kicks? Your worldview is that we should be caring, loving, honest people, but I’m going to ignore that and assume sinister intentions.

If you’re telling the truth, what you’re advocating will bankrupt our country. NEVERMIND! that Republicans are the ones who have caused most of our debt. UT TUT TUT! NO FACTS PLEASE! The Republicans and the lunatics tell me YOU’RE the one who bankrupts us, my lying eyes and the lying deficit figures be damned! So you’re obviously hell-bent on bankrupting this country!

OR, as I had previously suspected, you’re lying and you don’t give a fuck about anyone! And you want to KILL THEM ALL!!!

Please take the next fifteen seconds to respond before I allow you to be interrupted by Mr. Conservative Lobbyist Who Used To Be A Representative, who I will then allow to take up all your speaking time to spout off more lies and bullshit. You’re welcome.”

“Thanks for tuning in, everyone! I’m sure you’ll agree that my job is not to determine fact or ficiton, or to probe deeper into how your actual life will actually be affected by actual policies.

My job is to:

A) collect a six-figure salary for orally xeroxing talking points,

B) falsely make an equivalence between one side saying that 2 + 2 = 4.1 and the other side saying 2 + 2 = cheeseburgers and diarrhea and 37,000 (after all, in such a case BOTH sides are EQUALLY off-base! And if I pointed out how full of shit one side is, I’d be branded by Rush Limbaugh as liberal, and that would be so very, very bad! He’s a big, bad scary man, and his judgments and mentally unbalanced pronouncements to his zoo crew of fools are the most important thing ever!), and

C) ignoring all discussion of policy to focus 100% on lunatics, process questions, and the politics of the matter.

Be sure to tune in next week to make sure you’re properly informed! And don’t forget to take our online poll! After all this great stuff we just threw at you, you’ve got plenty to go with when deciding where you stand on the issues! Bye-bye!”

Weekly Torture Action Letter 10 – Time For The Media To Call It Torture

Good Morning and welcome to the tenth in the Dogs letter writing campaign series. Every Monday ( Well except for last week. Sorry the Dog was in training and could not post) the Dog writes a letter trying to move accountability for the Bush era State Sponsored Torture program forward. These letters can be cut and pasted or used as the jumping off point for the readers own letter. The goal is to remind decision makers on a weekly basis there are citizens who will not let this issue be lost, who will insist on the rule of law being followed.  

Schneier on the media information clampdown around Mumbai

This fear is exactly backwards. During a terrorist attack — during any crisis situation, actually — the one thing people can do is exchange information. It helps people, calms people, and actually reduces the thing the terrorists are trying to achieve: terror. Yes, there are specific movie-plot scenarios where certain public pronouncements might help the terrorists, but those are rare. I would much rather err on the side of more information, more openness, and more communication.

He gets it.

I was going to post a reply to his previous blog on the subject that said the same thing, but then – especially having realized that he wasn’t buying the Associated Press bullshit erm, disinformation piece which claimed there were “only 10 terrorists” either – I realized that 1) I was preaching to the choir and 2) he’d probably find a way to say the exact same thing I wanted to, and say it better. He did.

My 20 year career in IT has revolved around the use of technology to ensure that people can communicate, especially in a time of crisis. I’ve lived through two such crises in which there was a major disruption of communications: the Flugtag/Ramstein Air Show disaster of 1988, and the attacks on the WTC. I’ve provided mission critical IT support during the first Gulf War. What I’ve learned from these experiences is that it’s far better to have a well-informed citizenry who are on your side, untrained civilians though they might be, than to worry about giving away information to a small number of enemies. Our government is supposed to be of the people, by the people, for the people. In such a crisis I, for one, would never hesitate to give any civilian – perhaps a fellow citizen soldier – the best possible fighting chance, even if their only desire was to get away unharmed.

So yes, as clinical as I might sound, there actually is a shred or two of compassion in there. Indeed, I find the willingness of the media to outright lie to the folks who need them the most to be one of the foulest manifestations of the lack of compassion displayed by the mindless and yes, heartless servants of the military/industrial complex.

Schneier seldom, if ever, disappoints. I really hope the coming administration will take his advice seriously.

Fifty days until sanity…

The American citizen: programmed to hell and gone



Sleeping with a Secessionist …

My beat around here is Global Warming and Energy.  And, the choice come November could not be starker in these arenas  (that is, at least in fact not media framing).  The contrast could not be starker … across a wide range of issues.

Among these, John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin has added a searing issue to the table:  

Do we want a separtist with easy access to the centers of power in the nation?

What would it mean to have a Vice President (likely President) sleeping with a separtist?

This question is essentially absent from the pages of traditional media.  

Imagine if Michelle Obama were a registered member of the Black Panthers until 2002?  Imagine the drumbeat of outrage that all Americans would hear.  About Todd “My Guy” Palin’s separtist credentials?  Crickets chirping in the night …  

Liberal Media Bias? Progressive insight the Not-So-Liberal Media missed…

We continue to hear from the strains of Right Wing Hate Radio programming to the musings in conservative rags such as the Washington Times that the media has a Liberal Bias to the stories they cover.  

The Neo-Con’s whine and cry and complain that the New York Times (to a conservative, synonymous with George Soros’ personal newspaper), CNN, The Washington Post, USA Today, BBC News, NPR, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and on and on, are nothing more than the mouthpieces of the dangerous liberal movement in our country!  The Wingnut set decries these media outlets for only giving us one side, TEH LIBERAL SIDE, of any story.

According to the Konservative Kidz, only fair and balanced news outlets such as Fox News, The Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Times, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and on and on, are able to tell the REAL side of the story.

Today, we will begin a series of diaries that takes on this well worn right-wing-talking-point and see if there is really any truth to this meme, or is this just another Republican Bumper Sticker Slogan that is meant to enrage the 20%’ers that still Love ’em some George Bush and Pals?

Let’s see!

Shaming the Devil: Nolan’s Lippmann vs. O’Reilly’s Briskin

I was surprised to learn on Tuesday about the dismissal of Barry Nolan by Comcast for his quiet, persistent protest against the selection of Bill O’Reilly for the Governor’s Award by the Boston/New England Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), Boston/New England Chapter.

As fortune would have it, I was able to touch base with Nolan as well as read up on the events surrounding his dismissal. The result is a piece appearing over on ePluribus Media today called Newsman Fights Clown As Thieves and Pimps Look On.

Feel free to check it out over there. If you’d like to comment here, or learn where the title is derived from without having to go read the piece, make the jump below the fold.

Chris Matthews HEARTS Hillary Clinton on Valentine’s Day


(Alternate title: Ratings and Relevance – Why the Media Elite Need Hillary to Stay in the Race)

Like many of you, I am fascinated by our Elite Media’s collective reaction to the Obama surge. They appear to be tripping over themselves to minimize the importance of his victories this week. They are muddling the delegate count to make it appear like we have a neck-and-neck horse race, rather than an obvious clear leader today. Tim Russert has to stand on his head wearing those 3-D colored glasses in order not to sound like a complete idiot when he says ‘As I read the results, there is no clear picture in the race today, Chris’. Matthews, Andrea Mitchell, and the rest are all saying how uncertain things are, when in fact we have a darn good idea of what is happening.

So what’s going on here? Aren’t these the same people who couldn’t wait to trash Hillary Clinton from the moment she announced her candidacy? Weren’t these folks practically wetting themselves when it looked like she had a legitimate challenger in the Democratic primary? Yet now, you get the sense they are all cheering her on behind the scenes, although of course they can’t be so blatant as to say so on national TV.

What’s changed?