Take Five (Odds & Sods edition)

Take-FiveONE: Season of the Which?

“Silly season” used to refer to a specific time of year when substantive news was temporarily replaced with outsized coverage of trivial events, quirky happenings, fluff, and the occasional 15-minute political or celebrity scandal. Much like “election season” before it, the term has become meaningless; both “seasons” are now essentially perpetual.

The notion of anything being recognized by huge segments of the corporate media as “important, substantive news” has of course become absurd. They don’t need to bother, since everything is already treated with the monotonous, insincere gravitas they freely bestow on the newest controversy over Justin Bieber or Black Friday brawls or minor clinical studies of caffeine toxicity in rats. Come World War III, I expect to breathe my last with Wolf Blitzer yammering some idiocy faintly at the far edges of my fading consciousness, having screwed up my part of the end of the world by turning on CNN to see what the hell was going on.

But why shouldn’t the media be mired in an endless silly season when one of the two major political parties is too? And Republicans get more ludicrous by the day. Booking Rand Paul to headline the opening of the “African American Engagement Office,” the Michigan GOP’s minority outreach center? Check. George Bush the Lesser’s Chief of Staff carping about President Obama and his administration “misleading” the American people? Check. A white Republican winning office in a predominantly African American district by conning voters into thinking he’s black? Check. Rating Ronald Reagan the nation’s greatest Chief Executive and Barack Obama its worst? Check.

I use the word “silly” with regard to Republicans only because it’s more polite than saying “completely unhinged” or “out to lunch” or “a danger to themselves and others” or “just flat-out batshit.” They embrace a shopworn collection of ideas long ago proven to be unworkable, inequitable and fundamentally anti-American. They put forward candidates with no respect for or knowledge of the political institutions they yearn to become part of. They pander furiously to old-fashioned populism while working strenuously for the elites. They loudly level accusations of class warfare whenever Democrats rightly point out how Republicans themselves declared class warfare and have waged it, brutally, for decades. They play the race card by accusing liberals of playing the race card. With the exception of a very few bravely dissenting voices in their ranks, they hold women, the poor, minorities (visible and invisible), gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons, immigrants, the New Deal, the Great Society, the Affordable Care Act, TANF, SNAP, community organizers, the Girl Scouts, the United Nations, the Peace Corps, and most of Europe, the Middle East and Asia in contempt. They’d hate Africa and South America too, if they ever thought about them much.

Republican silliness has left federal agencies hamstrung and courts unable to administer timely justice. It has severely hampered recovery from the worst downturn since the ’30s, a downturn directly caused by Republican profligacy. It has damaged the nation’s credit and credibility, strained international relations, undercut meaningful efforts to combat climate change, advance equality of opportunity, equality of rights. This kind of silliness sickens societies. Its season needs to end.

TWO: North to Alaska

My friend Linda in Anchorage, noting my unwholesome fascination with asshat Republican governors, suggested I check out Sean Parnell. Names like Scott, Snyder, Brewer, LePage, Perry, Walker, Kasich and Haley often make national headlines, but Parnell’s profile has been lower, if only because anyone succeeding Sarah Palin would seem, pending further evidence, unremarkably normal by comparison. Yet Linda’s blunt description of Parnell as a “disaster” looks pretty accurate as far as I can tell.

Case in point, Parnell recently refused to expand Medicaid under the ACA, putting his state on par with such shining exemplars of civilization as Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Kansas. He even described Medicaid expansion as a “failed experiment” and “hot mess,” which will probably wow the zero-information voters he’ll be relying on for reelection next year. Others are less than wowed:

The Anchorage and Alaska chambers of commerce, the Anchorage NAACP, the Alaska Federation of Natives, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, AARP Alaska, Anchorage Faith and Action-Congregations Together, and numerous Democratic legislators and candidates all have pushed for the new coverage.

Asked why he was going against such a diverse list of Alaska groups, Parnell said “each one of those groups you’ve named are responsible for their membership. I’m responsible for all Alaskans.”

Parnell’s definition of “responsible” is, to say the least, idiosyncratic:

Expansion would have benefited 40,000 or more Alaskans, many of them low-income adults without children who currently have no health insurance. It also would have helped hospitals and doctors by reducing the amount of uncompensated care they have to write off and would have brought billions of federal dollars into the Alaska economy.

The story gets worse. While supposedly giving prudent consideration to Medicaid expansion, Parnell’s administration commissioned a study on the subject by the Lewin Group (a subsidiary of the cuddly, community-minded folks at UnitedHealth Group). The study was delivered in April, although Parnell mysteriously claims it only got to his desk mere weeks ago. After months of public records requests for it were refused, the study was publicly released on November 15, just prior to Parnell’s announcement:

Asked whether withholding a study while he and others were thinking it over was a novel interpretation of the state law that requires state records to be made public with few exemptions, Parnell said no one asked him personally for the report. He said he would need to consult with attorneys for more explanation.

Even the Lewin study acknowledges that at least 20,000 of the state’s poor will have no health coverage absent Medicaid expansion. What to do, what to do? Could Parnell’s predecessor have the answer? Of course not, but Sarah Palin recently took time out from promoting a book she’s pretending she wrote, to offer up a synopsis of… hey, let’s just go ahead and call it Sarahcare. Ironically, just reading through it can make a person feel sick:

“The plan is to allow those things that had been proposed over many years to reform a health-care system in America that certainly does need more help so that there’s more competition, there’s less tort reform threat, there’s less trajectory of the cost increases, and those plans have been proposed over and over again. And what thwarts those plans? It’s the far left. It’s President Obama and his supporters who will not allow the Republicans to usher in free market, patient-centered, doctor-patient relationship links to reform health care.”

But the current Republican-dominated political scene in Alaska isn’t all poorly informed heartlessness and grossly uninformed pseudo-policy. Happily, after a long convalescence, Stubbs, feline “mayor” of Talkeetna, is back on the job:

The owner of Stubbs the cat, Talkeetna’s honorary mayor, says he’s settling back into his creature comforts months after being mauled by a dog and severely injured…

A number of city councils have written to Stubbs, with mayors in at least four states — both near and far — offering their sympathies since the attack.

“Even the mayor of Wasilla sent him a card,” [owner Lauri] Stec said.

Stubbs is back to spending time at the bar of Talkeetna’s West Rib Pub, mingling with the citizenry and knocking back catnip water. Stec, who manages the pub, reports that the mayor’s spirits are improving steadily:

“He’s into his routine again and probably being just a little extra-loving, because it’s so nice for him to be social again…”

It’s encouraging to know there’s at least one politician in Alaska who actually cares about people, even if he’s a cat. What a shame Stubbs can’t take on Parnell next November. Continue reading Take Five (Odds & Sods edition)

Good News Is No News

nance2As though any further proof were necessary, the reaction of the mainstream media to the launch of the Obamacare website, and its attendant glitches, has become yet another example of one overwhelming truth: if there is anything that can be used to discredit this President’s competency, motives, or ability to govern, it will be discussed 24/7 on every major news outlet ad nauseam.

Could the rollout of the Obamacare website have been smoother? Duh, do ya think? Should the website have been tested more extensively before launch? I’m leaning towards the bleedin’ obvious here. Should the website’s glitches have been anticipated and dealt with to every extent possible before its launch? I think “you’re damned fuckin’ real” sums it up nicely.

All of that being said, it is still a given that had the Obamacare website been perfect from day one, had millions of people been successfully registered without a hitch within weeks of its launch, had the site’s efficiency surpassed every expectation, no one would have heard about it – because when it comes to Obama’s achievements, the MSM is only interested in reporting perceived failure rather than any actual success.

To hear the media bobbleheads tell the tale, the website’s glitches have resulted in a disaster that ranks somewhere between the attack on Pearl Harbor and 9/11 – only much, much worse.

“The Dems are abandoning Obama in droves! This spells heavy losses for the Dems in the next election! This will be the ruination of the Obama presidency!”

If those phrases sound familiar, they should – because they are trotted out like clockwork. Thus far, the entire Democratic party, according to the Cabal of the Clueless, has abandoned Obama at least twice a week for the past four-plus years – and counting.

While we are all aware that over-the-top hyperbole has now completely replaced honest reportage, the lengths to which the MSM have gone to discredit the launch of Obamacare is only surpassed by the depths to which they are willing to sink when it comes to this administration – and sadly, those depths continue to be plumbed.

In the past week, I have heard the phrase “Obama’s Katrina” bandied about – and truth be told, the similarities between the aftermath of Katrina and the problems with the Obamacare website cannot be easily dismissed. How many heart-wrenching photos of people standing on their rooftops, holding up hastily-crafted signs saying, “We cannot access the website – please send help!” have assaulted our senses since October 1st? What level-headed American does not immediately see the connection between people stranded without food, water and shelter and those who are living the nightmare of not being able to log onto a website?

Offering millions of Americans access to affordable healthcare is – as our no-bullshit VP Joe Biden pointed out quite correctly – a Big Fuckin’ Deal. In fact, it is the Biggest Fuckin’ Deal the citizenry of our nation has witnessed in decades, a program that means an end to those with preexisting conditions being denied coverage, an end to life-saving measures like preventative care and early detection of disease being dismissed as unimportant, an end to hardworking Americans being bankrupted by exorbitant medical bills – an end to good health being a privilege of the wealthy rather than the right of all Americans.

In the meantime, while the all-but-brain-dead idiots who pass themselves off as “journalists” babble incessantly about website woes, the rights of millions of voting Americans are being compromised, the rights of millions of American women to exercise control over their own bodies are being gutted, and the rights of millions of Americans to find work that pays a fair wage are being jeopardized at every turn. Continue reading Good News Is No News

Giddy-up!

Last week’s Obama/Romney debate was, according to the MSM, a triumphant “win” for The Mittster – and that call was as predictable as it was inevitable.

Romney could have installed a rotisserie on his podium, roasted a live kitten on it, and glommed it down in front of millions of viewers – and the media still would have chalked up his performance in the “win” column. They had to; they needed a horse race to keep their viewers tuned in, and the first debate was going to be the game-changer they’d hoped for, no matter what.

But in the dawn’s early light, after the fact-checkers had done their work, what should have been the big news story was how many lies Romney had told during the debate – not exaggerations, nor the hyperbole we’ve come to expect from politicians, but out-and-out lies.

In fact, it should have been one of the biggest political news stories of all time: a man running for the highest and most powerful position on the planet had stood before the American citizenry and the world-at-large and lied over and over – without shame, without regret and, most importantly, without any fear of political consequences, thanks to a media that puts its ratings above journalistic integrity and its responsibility to the public.

No doubt the Romney camp was depending on the fact that today’s TV “journalists” don’t concern themselves with the truth, operating as they do in a world where a lie is as good as a fact, so long as the end result is an uptick in viewership.

In the post-debate high-fiving, several remarks were tossed around about how the fact-checkers would be weighing in before the night was out. And indeed, many of them did. But what is shockingly notable is that the mainstream media considers itself to be separate and apart from such an endeavor, as though facts have no place in real journalism. And sadly, they no longer do.

Somehow I can’t imagine Walter Cronkite praising Romney’s performance as a tour de force despite it being rife with blatant untruths. Nor can I conjure up the image of Edward R. Murrow describing Mitt’s denial of his very own words as being somehow presidential, and demonstrative of true leadership. But the Cronkites and Murrows have been replaced by the Blitzers and Hannitys – and those who show any potential similarity to the true pioneers of TV journalism never make it to the airwaves, lest their penchant for truth-telling result in a loss of audience share.

Sadly, the TV news media now consists of well-coiffed, well-outfitted bobbleheads, whose only claim to fame is an ability to tell it like they need it to be, instead of how it really is.

Let’s be clear. Romney’s debate performance was not a mere sprinkling of half-truths and exaggerations. It was instead a torrential downpour of bald-faced lies about his own previously-held positions and statements, along with “facts” and statistics that were obviously wrung from his own ass. Continue reading Giddy-up!

Us v. Them

While watching the coverage of both the Republican and Democratic national conventions over the past two weeks, I heard a lot from the political analysts, pundits and MSM bobbleheads about the ideological differences between the parties.

At this juncture in our political history, I believe the difference between the GOP and the Dems is a simple one, which the respective parties’ conventions made glaringly obvious. This is no longer a fight between groups who have different visions of America, or how those differing visions should be pursued. It is a fight between intelligent adults and childlike stupidity.

Republican adherents are not low-information voters; they are low-IQ voters. And therein lies the greatest difference between us and them.

As was made evident by the speakers at the RNC, from the lesser-known personalities right up to the presidential and VP candidates themselves, they were preaching to a choir they know to be too dumb to find the church without directions written in block letters in crayon.

The speeches were delivered with the demeanor and tone of grown-ups trying to keep the kids interested with an abundance of references to mom, apple pie, Fourth of July picnics and flag-waving patriotism – all meant to elicit knee-jerk responses of applause, lest the children become bored and wander off to the snack bar.

The DNC, in stark contrast, offered adults talking to adults – big words and big ideas being presented to a group of people who have the intelligence to comprehend both. As the President himself said, “You didn’t elect me to tell you what you want to hear. You elected me to tell you the truth.” He then went on with an honest assessment of what he had achieved, what he had yet to accomplish, and what his vision for the country is on a go-forward basis.

Romney and Ryan, on the other hand, spoke in terms that only the truly stupid find compelling – “We will be the leading leaders in leadership!” – without a single detail as to what they would do if elected, or how they would go about doing what it is they still have yet to specify.

To say that the Republicans just don’t “get” we Democrats is not a matter of our party not communicating our ideas and ideals. It is a matter of low-IQ voters not having the intellectual capacity to understand them.

They don’t understand that we are strongly opposed to any of their ranks being in charge of anything – from the writing of the textbooks our children will be taught from, to the acceptance of such ridiculous notions as a woman’s body being able to shut down the process of impregnation by thinking good thoughts while she is being raped – not because we oppose their party, but because we oppose stupidity becoming an acceptable part of our national identity.

We live in a world where facts are easily accessible. They live in a world where facts are a matter of opinion – and the opinion they rely on is usually the last opinion they heard from some fella who stood at a podium and looked kinda like a grown-up, and had the suit-and-tie to prove it.

We’ve all seen the protest signs – Keep the govemint out of my Medikare, make Inglich the offical language, say NO to the pubic opshin! – proudly carried by those who are so easily misled by anyone who has enough book-learnin’ to spell correctly, anyone who tells them what they want to hear as opposed to what is actually transpiring, anyone who guests on a pretend-news network or has access to a radio show microphone.

A few days ago, Rush Limbaugh told his audience that the weather for Charlotte, N.C., was holding steady at zero precipitation on the day Obama’s nomination acceptance speech was moved to an indoor venue in anticipation of predicted thunder-and-lightning storms. I couldn’t help but wonder how many of his listeners who lived in the Charlotte area were wondering why, as they stood there drenched by a rainfall Rush insisted was a completely impossibility, we Democrats have come to believe that Republican voters are truly too stupid to come in out of the rain. Maybe it’s because they are.

The GOP voting base will believe anything and everything they are told, as a result of being just too damned stupid to think for themselves: Obama will take all your guns away, will force you to become gay, will set up drive-through abortion clinics across the country, and will remove the word “God” from our currency. The fact that none of the above has ever happened is no deterrent to those who, bereft of intelligence and common sense, continue to insist that it’s just a matter of time before such things are implemented.

This election is not about differing ideologies, divergent paths or incompatible goals. It’s about choosing between the smartest guy in the room and those too stupid to even know where the room is. It’s about adults running the country versus idiots being in charge. It’s about voters who remember the Dubya years and their consequences, and those who hear the same Republican plans being regurgitated yet again and expect a different outcome than the last time those disastrous plans were put into action. Continue reading Us v. Them

An Open Letter to Brian Williams

RE your appearance on The Daily Show, August 15, 2012

Dear Sir:

I was at once appalled and amused by your comments during your appearance on The Daily Show. But then, I am always appalled and amused when it comes to the topic of the so-called “news media” these days; appalled by the lack of actual news reporting, and amused that people like yourself continue to pretend that what you offer is even remotely connected to actual journalism.

Stewart opened the interview with, “Let’s talk about Paul Ryan. All I have heard from the news divisions across network platforms is how thrilled they are to have Paul Ryan – now they can finally talk substance. When is that going to start happening?”

Your response, “As soon as we exhaust all of our reporting on his driving of the Wiener Mobile while a young man,” was witty and laughter-inducing, as is appropriate for a “fake news” program.  The problem is the remark is much closer to the truth than it should be. And that, sir, is no laughing matter.

The Wiener Mobile story is just the kind of nonsense we have come to expect from the TV news media – not in addition to actual news, but in place of it.

As Mr. Stewart pointedly asked:  “What is preventing the media from discussing more substantive issues before the introduction of Paul Ryan, and then since the introduction, and then, let’s say, you know, after the election?”

That is the very question on the minds of millions of viewers who are tired of the fact that the mainstream news has become news-o-tainment – replete with snappy graphics, eye-catching effects, and very little of anything of substance.

Your reply,  “Well, as you know, there are a lot of distractions in this world …,” was appropriately countered by Mr. Stewart’s comment:  “No, I don’t.”

More to the point, sir – “No, WE don’t.” We have difficulty understanding how the so-called news media is so easily distracted away from the actual goddamned news it is purportedly your job to report.

“Wait until people get a bite out of (Ryan’s) voting record. Wait until more people understand the vote on TARP. Wait ‘til we get down the road.”

With all due respect, sir, why should the viewing public have to wait for the facts about Ryan, or the facts about anything else? Oh, that’s right – you were distracted.

“Today, specifically, as I said tonight, was a terrible day for discourse in a democracy. With eighty-four days left to go until the election; you had Biden’s comment last night. Rudy Giuliani comes out today, says Biden isn’t smart enough to be president. You had Romney upset because of Biden last night. And you had Team Obama hitting back at Romney. We can’t, as a country, keep doing this.”

The truth of the matter is that the country isn’t doing this – you and your colleagues are. The many distractions of which you speak are of your own making. How often have we seen these types of non-stories completely overtake nightly news broadcasts?

So Rudy Giuliani said Biden isn’t smart enough to be vice president? When was the last time anyone actually cared about what Rudy had to say about anything – other than TV news journalists who treat every utterance by people like Sarah Palin and Donald Trump as though they matter?

And yet this is what we are subjected to, day in and day out, by people like yourself – sixty seconds of what went on in the world today, followed by an endless stream of opinions, comments and remarks by people only the media itself finds fascinating.

Look, Mr. Williams, it’s simple. When I tune into the news, I actually want the facts about what happened today, and just the facts. I am not the least bit interested in what any pundit, political strategist, has-been politician, or reality show fifteen-minutes-of-famer has to say.

Given the facts, I am more than capable of forming my own conclusions. But it is the facts that are invariably dismissed by the media as not sexy enough, not grabby enough, and somehow not important enough to be proffered without being jazzed up for the viewing public, who – or so you and your colleagues seem to think – want to be distracted by the he said/she said war-of-words between political camps. We don’t.

There is one event that I knew heralded the decline of TV news journalism, and that is the fact that newscasters such as yourself did not immediately distance yourselves from what Fox News was doing from its inception. I would have expected real journalists to decry the concept of an alleged “news network” skewing the news in such an obvious way, and blatantly acting as the propaganda arm of the Republican party. I would have expected journalists with integrity to state, without hesitation, that such obvious bias in reporting the news was contrary to the principles of true journalism.

Instead, the other news broadcasters looked at Fox’s numbers and began to emulate their techniques: offer opinion rather than fact, offer commentary in place of an unbiased presentation of current events, offer airtime to politicians without ever questioning their statements of alleged fact.  So much for putting journalistic integrity above ratings.

Your reference to Sy Syms, and his hallmark phrase that “an educated consumer is our best customer,” was dead on the money.  Said you: “And I thought, well good on the late Sy Syms, because he was right about being a haberdasher, but he was also right about our business.”

That begs the question, sir: just how educated are the consumers of TV news these days? Do they know what’s going on – or do they only know about the “distractions” you serve up as news? Do they know Joe Biden’s accomplishments or failures as a vice president – or do they only know what Rudy Giuliani has to say about the matter?

Was the TV news viewing audience apprised of the facts before the invasion of Iraq – or were they spoon-fed opinions by newscasters wholly-owned by corporations with lucrative government contracts that would result in increased profits if the nation was at war?

It’s said that politics makes for strange bedfellows. What makes for stranger and much more dangerous bedfellows is corporate-sponsored news programming that tailors the news to fit their own agenda. I’ve no doubt that Sy Syms would be appalled at such a state of affairs. Continue reading An Open Letter to Brian Williams

Just Sayin' Is All (Midnight Musings edition)

Republicans are incessantly ranting about things like morals, ethics, and family values.  In other words, they just can’t stop whining about the things they don’t have.

Priests and ministers are always encouraging us to have a “personal relationship with God”.  Wouldn’t the first step towards that kind of relationship be to cut out the middleman?

I wouldn’t mind people trying to put the Ten Commandments in public buildings if those same people would agree to follow them.

If Sarah Palin had half a brain, she’d be able to appreciate the vast emptiness that exists in the other half of her skull.

People who are glued to FOX News 24/7 aren’t necessarily a devoted audience – they’re just too stupid to know how to change channels.

Hey, remember when George W. Bush was president?  The Republicans don’t.

A day without Rush Limbaugh is like a day without an anal cyst.

I think that if the GOP wants to get intimate with my vagina, they should start with a romantic dinner, flowers, and an expensive little bauble from Tiffany’s.

If Republicans were as concerned about government spending when one of theirs was in the White House as they are when one of ours is, Obama would now be under fire for how he’s using the surplus he’d inherited.

You have to admit there’s a certain something about Republican politicians.  I don’t know exactly what it is, but it has an extremely unpleasant odor.

I remember when the TV news was delivered in an editorial-free, without comment, monotone.  I’m so glad the MSM has replaced all of that boring factual shit with dazzling graphics and mindless chit-chat!

You used to have to buy a crappy tabloid at the supermarket check-out if you wanted innuendo, speculation and gossip.  Now you just have to tune-in to the nightly “news”.

Devoid-of-talent celebrity wannabes used to vie for a five-minute spot on the local news – now they have their own reality shows (Seasons 1 through 6 now available on hi-def DVDs!)

I wonder when so-called Christians will have their come to Jesus moment – and if they’ll even recognize him when they get there.

I’d love to see Mitt Romney visit Canada – as long as someone straps him to the roof of a car for the trip.

If facts could literally bite you in the ass, not a single GOP politician would be able to sit down.

You can’t insult Republicans by calling them ignorant, ill-informed, classless bigots –  these days, they just take it as a compliment.

One can’t help but be amused when the Catholic Church takes the moral high ground on an issue.  It’s kind of like listening to a bunch of pedophiles and their enablers talking about morality – actually, it IS listening to a bunch of pedophiles and their enablers talking about morality.

Ann Coulter fans love it when her latest book hits the Top Ten on the best-seller lists – it means they can buy a copy at the local Dollarama for $1.99 the same day!

Don’t you get a kick out of Republicans insisting that Obama controls the price of gas at the pump?  It’s understandable, though – obviously he’d want to raise prices in an election year.

Those folks who got trotted off to FEMA internment camps during the Bush years, and the “true progressives” who are being trotted off during the Obama years – how are they getting along?  Anyone heard anything?

It’s said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different outcome.  That being said, why haven’t all Republican voters been institutionalized by now?

If I had a dime for every time a GOP politician told a lie, I would have been part of that infamous 1% years ago. Continue reading Just Sayin’ Is All (Midnight Musings edition)

What The Media is doing to the Wall St. Protest is What They are Paid to Do!

The Wall Street protest, which started on September 17, 2011, had been planned for months. What started as a peaceful march onto Wall Street by 2,000+ protestors last week then morphed into a sit-in, as planned. Those passionate and dedicated in their efforts to send an important populist message to Americans, as well as to Wall Street, showed up determined and prepared. However, the protest  has now been turned into a violent circus by those so good at doing such things, the American corporate media.

The Wall Street protest’s message was straightforward and could be boiled down to a calling-out of  Wall Street as a symbol of  corporations and the rich, who (with the help of politicians) protect themselves no matter what, while displaying a shocking lack of concern over the hardship faced by millions of regular people. One of the protestors on September 17th, there at the site, clearly stated,  “You need a scorecard to keep track of all the things that corporations have done that are bad for this country,” notwithstanding the fact that American corporations hold 2 trillion dollars in cash, waiting for the next election while the country suffers massive unemployment, actions that are not merely unpatriotic, but treasonous.

But right on cue, even before the march had begun the city had closed  down many sections of Wall Street near the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall. This undertaking wasn’t going to be made easy by the powers-that-be.

Initially our corporate media placed small news stories about the peaceful protest here and there, miniscule in breadth of  coverage and misleading when they did occur. The media worked slowly but surely to portray people trying to make a difference as wild-eyed incoherents who were aimless and unorganized. As of this week, what was  found reported in the media was, overall, negative, dismissive and superficial, and then – BINGO – came the arrests.

With those arrests came a sigh of relief from media offices around the nation, as the media had finally found its “hook”.  They would now be committed to turning the public against the Wall Street protest, rather than ignoring it or simply talking the whole project down. Believe you me, they will not be letting go of this tantalizing overall theme any time soon, and it will work.

To understand media math, one only has to sum up  that it takes 2,000 “Occupy Wall Street” participants  to equal a tiny fraction of discontented Tea Party members at a townhall event.   In fact, the bias of the reporting of the Wall St. protests, when compared to the Tea Party advertising campaign underwritten by the majority of the corporate media owners, should give anyone an additional clue that the media has, for years now, not been our friends, nor will they ever be. More important to note, what is reported is seldom by accident, but by design.

The Tea Party phenomenon, in stark contrast to the Wall Street protest, was brazenly built-up and slickly marketed by the corporate media itself.   It’s debut starred Wall Street media figure Rick Santelli, who initiated a rant on the corporate media channel he worked for, CNBC. The rant he became famous for encouraged a protest centered around the fact that the Obama Administration had dared propose measures offering a lifeline to help ordinary citizens on Main Street, who were losing their homes due to the mortgage financial meltdown.  Although some mistook the Tea Party rant as a call to protest the bank bailouts (which occurred in 2008), that was never its intent, and Santelli made that clear at time. Continue reading What The Media is Doing to the Wall St. Protest is What They are Paid to Do!

Would a Modern Day Martin Luther King Jr Get Press Coverage?

I’ve been watching coverage of the Martin Luther King Jr. monument dedication this week. I’m eager to visit DC again to see it.

While news networks are . . . → Read More: Would a modern day Martin Luther King Jr get press coverage?

ENOUGH!

To the Republicans: ENOUGH! Enough with the great over-reach of 2011 (hat-tip to Rachel Maddow). Enough with the union-busting, land-grabbing, kick-the-people-when-they’re-down crap.

What is happening in Benton Harbor, Michigan, is a prime example of land-grabbing and people-kicking. Thanks to Governor Rick Snyder’s actions, Joseph Harris, the Emergency Manager there, has “seized control over the duties and responsibilities held by Benton Harbor’s elected officials, its commissions, and its financial resources.” One of the specific things Harris has done is take an area on the lakefront, part of which is a public park that was deeded to the city “in perpetuity”, and handed it over to a group called Harbor Shores, which plans to turn it into a high-end golf resort with annual dues of $5,000. This in a city with an average annual income of $10,000.

Oh, and did I mention that the majority of the population of Benton Harbor is black? I’m sure that’s no coincidence.

Enough with giving more and more tax breaks to corporations and their rich buddies, while the rest of us have to carry the majority of the burden of those tax breaks on our backs. I think you believe we all live in Wonderland, where down is up, back is forward, and the Tea Party is running things. Most of us, except those who drink the swill you serve them daily, live in the real world. Most of us live paycheck to paycheck. Most of us don’t have lobbyists to fight for us (hat-tip to the President). Enough!

To the “news” outlets: ENOUGH! Enough with the infotainment you serve up daily as “news.” It’s not news. It’s scandal-mongering. It’s misleading headlines and stories full of lies. It’s paying a whole lot of attention to a gathering of a few hundred Tea Baggers and mostly or completely ignoring large protests against the Great Over-reachers of 2011. Enough with giving the Republicans and Teapublicans significantly more time on the air than you give Democrats and other sane people.

Don’t believe me? Check out the line-ups for most of the Sunday talk shows (This Week, Meet the Press, and Face the Nation). On February 13, 2011 alone, there were 7 Republicans spread among those three shows, and zero Democrats. Harry Reid was supposed to be on Face the Nation, but was bumped for the umpteenth appearance by John McCain (a Republican, in case you weren’t aware). I won’t even bother with Fox; they are blatantly anti-Democratic. Continue reading ENOUGH!