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07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]
07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]
07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]
07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]
07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]
07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]
07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]
07.04 US produces far more waste and recycles far less of it than other developed countries [As expected—and made worse by Trump—the U.S. is best at being the worst]07.03 Booming LNG industry could be as bad for climate as coal, experts warn
07.03 Caravan of Americans battling diabetes heads to Canada for affordable insulin [3:36 video; Like Central Americans flee for their lives from criminal drug gangs, Americans flee for their lives for affordable pharmaceutical drugs]
06.30 The US military is a bigger polluter than more than 140 countries combined [Could a world-wide moratorium of military activity dramatically slow the climate crises?]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
07.16 Turnstile teaching [The problem is NOT the color of students skin, as our fake President reflexively thinks. The problem is the lax attitude and deficient funding by government to always do a much better job for a better future.]
07.15 Sanders Accuses Biden of Parroting Pharma and Insurance Industry Script With Attacks on Medicare for All [Like Trump, Biden explains why he's unelectable every day.]
07.15 Trump Takes Pelosi's Side Against AOC and The Squad as Intraparty Fight Over Immigration Continues [Its about much more than immigration, its about the Corporate Dominance—by many of the same companies, even—over both major Political Parties. With too few exceptions, neither party has represented The Public since Nixon generously raised the minimum wage (Part D Medicare and ACA both became Frankenstein legislation due to excessive corporate price-fixing influence), and that has to change!]
07.14 Trump: People like Paul Ryan almost killed the Republican Party [Then it's too bad he didn't stay to finish the job!]
07.13 Trump's POS Labor Secretary, Acosta, Out. POS Number 2, Linked to Abramoff, to Fill Role [A willingness to perform criminal behavior seems the only competency required...]
07.15 Australia 'deeply concerned' about China's treatment of Uighur people [What are the reasons, exactly, that justify harsh imprisonment of a million people?]
07.15 Zuma tells South Africa corruption inquiry he is victim of foreign plot [Unaccountable corrupt governments are so in fashion these days...]
07.14 Warren vows to probe U.S. crimes on immigrants if elected [Can you imagine living in a nation with a working Justice System? How far we've fallen!]
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism
International & Futurism
07.15 Australia now has the highest minimum wage in the world [From 1960 to 2018 – the U.S. has fallen from 1st place to below the tenth place and off the chart]
07.14 At least 24 Yellow Vests lost eyes in violent protests. Now they're more determined than ever [Protests of all kinds will continue until systemic inequality loses political dominance]
07.13 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning [Since so-called modern humans evolved there have been 10,000 generations of people. It is extremely far-fetched to think anyone is racially pure. SO ALL THIS HATE IS INCREDIBLY STUPID.]
07.13 Brazil’s President May Appoint Son, Friend to the Trumps, as Ambassador to U.S. [Friend of the Trumps, so we know they're all brain-dead except about near-term profits. They are clear-cutting the Amazon Rain Forest to feed-then-butcher millions of methane farting cows, over and over. Yep, that's there business plan. So therefore the rest of the world will hopefully plant billions of trees elsewhere to sequester CO2 to offset what the Bolsonaro family and investors are destroying. What's wrong with this picture?]
07.13 Trump’s Cruelty and Mexico’s Duty [Our president is immoral to his core and reacts to things like a child, not understanding that his actions are often crueler than they should be. And that cruelty will never completely be excused or forgotten—the people's hatred of Trump is growing, like the Texan's hatred when President General Santa Anna laid seige to the Alamo, which was Mexico's territory at the time...]
CORPORATE MEDIA REVULSION ALERT:
McClellan Confessions Spark Media Denial
Journalists get Iraq wrong all over again as they defend pre-war reporting
McClellan accused mainstream reporters of being "deferential, complicit enablers". The reaction to this from many in the elite media demonstrates that the White House is not the only institution that resents being held accountable.
05/30/08—Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan's forthcoming book has caused a political firestorm by offering unusually blunt criticisms of the Bush White House. But McClellan has also aimed his fire at the news media, accusing mainstream reporters of being "deferential, complicit enablers" instead of challenging the White House's case for the Iraq War. The reaction from many in the elite media demonstrates that the White House is not the only institution that resents being held accountable.
I've always put it this way. In Katrina, the evidence was right next to us. Sadly, we saw fellow Americans, in some cases, floating past face down. We knew what had just happened. We weren't allowed that kind of proximity with the weapons inspectors. I was in Kuwait for the buildup of the war. And yes, we heard from the Pentagon on my cell phone the minute they heard us report something that they didn't like. The tone of that time was quite extraordinary.Given that the inspections process was well-documented by the United Nations--and well-covered by reporters who were interested in independent reporting (Extra!, 3-4/06)-- Williams' point is difficult to follow. It was no less obscure when ABC's Gibson made the same point on the CBS Early Show (5/28/08): "I think that the media did a pretty good job of focusing and asking the questions. We were not given access to get into the country... to go along with the inspectors."
This notion that there was no way of countering official claims is false. As FAIR pointed out shortly after Colin Powell's United Nations presentation ("A Failure of Skepticism in Powell Coverage," 2/10/03), there was plenty of information on the record that questioned Powell's claims. Associated Press reporter Charles Hanley, for example, reported two weeks prior to the Powell speech (1/18/03) that weapons inspectors were finding nothing incriminating at the sites identified by the U.S. and Britain: "In almost two months of surprise visits across Iraq, U.N. arms monitors have inspected 13 sites identified by U.S. and British intelligence agencies as major 'facilities of concern,' and reported no signs of revived weapons building."
ABC's Gibson also made a more direct defense of the media (NBC, 5/28/08):
I think the questions were asked.... You know, you go back to the Powell speech. There was a lot of skepticism raised about that. I can remember getting in trouble with administration officials because asking questions that they didn't feel comfortable with. I think the questions were asked. There was just a drumbeat of support from the administration, and it is not our job to debate them.As FAIR pointed out at the time (Press Release, 2/10/03), the overall coverage of Powell was overwhelmingly credulous. And Gibson's objection to the idea that the media should "debate" the White House is a straw man; the real issue is how badly the media covered the very active debate that was going on before the war. A FAIR study of network news coverage of that period (1/30/03-2/12/03) found a remarkable tilt towards the White House's side:
More than two-thirds (267 out of 393) of the guests featured were from the United States. Of the U.S. guests, a striking 75 percent (199) were either current or former government or military officials. Only one of the official U.S. sources-- Sen. Edward Kennedy (D.-Mass.)-- expressed skepticism or opposition to the war.The study also found that "of all 393 sources, only three (less than 1 percent) were identified with organized protests or anti-war groups." And while some have suggested that the whole country was swept up in a post-9/11 fever for war, FAIR noted that a majority of the U.S. public favored more time for weapons inspections—a position advanced by few of the people quoted by the network newscasts.
On CNN (5/28/08), Wolf Blitzer also offered up a defense of his network's reporting:
I think we were pretty strong. But certainly, with hindsight, we could have done an even better job. There were a lot of things missing in our coverage that obviously, you know, ex post facto, after the fact. Certainly we raised the important questions. I can't tell you how many times we had Scott Ritter and Hans Blix and Mohammed ElBaradei, from the International Atomic Energy Agency, on my shows, and a lot of the other shows on CNN, where they suggested, you know what, they don't see the evidence about the weapons of mass destruction. They're not convinced.Given that Blix and ElBaradei were both overseeing the weapons inspections process, it's hard to give a news outlet too much credit for reporting their views. As for the prevalence of former inspector Scott Ritter, he was on CNN with Blitzer a handful of times in the weeks leading up to the war. But CNN's treatment of Ritter in those appearances hardly provides evidence to back up Blitzer's depiction of CNN as a strong, independent news source. As FAIR pointed out (Extra!, 3-4/06):
Appearing on CNN's Sunday Morning (9/8/02), CNN news executive Eason Jordan told Catherine Callaway: “Well, Scott Ritter's chameleon-like behavior has really bewildered a lot of people.... U.S. officials no longer give Scott Ritter much credibility.” When Paula Zahn interviewed Ritter (CNN American Morning, 9/13/02), she suggested he was in league with Saddam Hussein: "People out there are accusing you of drinking Saddam’s Kool-Aid."Blitzer was similarly unimpressed when interviewing anti-war activist Dr. Helen Caldicott (11/2/02). When she blamed a dramatic rise in birth defects in southern Iraq on the U.S. use of depleted uranium in the Gulf War, Blitzer defended the Pentagon. He did the same when Caldicott brought up the effect of sanctions on Iraq, saying that "the Iraqi regime itself is to blame for all of these problems." Blitzer goes on to argue that Caldicott's questioning of U.S. policy is tantamount to "defending the Iraqi regime."
Blitzer wasn't the only journalist with a self-serving recollection of his own work. MSNBC host Chris Matthews seemed to congratulate his own program's record (5/28/08):
For months and years now, Hardball told the two-part story of how the Iraq war was sold under the false pretense that Saddam Hussein posed a nuclear threat to the United States, and the people in the Bush administration sought to destroy those who unmasked the plotting.While Matthews might wish to recall his performance that way, the actual record isn't so flattering. On April 9, 2003, Matthews gushed over the news that a Saddam Hussein statue fell in Baghdad:
We're proud of our president. Americans love having a guy as president, a guy who has a little swagger, who's physical, who's not a complicated guy like Clinton or even like Dukakis or Mondale, all those guys, McGovern. They want a guy who's president. Women like a guy who's president. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our president. It's simple. We're not like the Brits.It should be noted that some reporters echoed McClellan's charge. CNN's Jessica Yellin, who previously worked at ABC and MSNBC, had this exchange with CNN host Anderson Cooper (5/28/08):
I think the press corps dropped the ball at the beginning. When the lead-up to the war began, the press corps was under enormous pressure from corporate executives, frankly, to make sure that this was a war that was presented in a way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation and the president's high approval ratings.But many journalists seemed to express bewilderment, if not contempt, at McClellan's switch from water-carrier to whistleblower. Current CNN reporter Ed Henry (5/28/08) asked:
So, you do have to wonder... just who is the real Scott McClellan, the one who was constantly pushing back on the media back then, and doing a lot of the White House talking points, or the one who now thinks that those talking points were not true?Boy, that's a puzzler: Was McClellan expressing his real views when he was paid to represent the Bush administration, or when he wrote a book under his own name? Posing the question at all seems to suggest an unfamiliarity with what press secretaries do, which is repeat their bosses' talking points, true or not. Reporters are supposed to treat such talking points with skepticism, as one would any official government source. The fact that some reporters seem confused by this is a significant concern—-evidence that this White House, or any other, will have little trouble misleading the corporate press.
Above all, exercising a vigilant form of skepticism in the run-up to the Iraq War should have been the obvious position for the media to take—whatever one made of the supposed intelligence on Iraq's weapons. As FAIR pointed out on February 10, 2003:
Journalists should always be wary of implying unquestioning faith in official assertions; recent history is full of official claims based on satellite and other intelligence data that later turned out to be false or dubious.The day before Powell's presentation, FAIR noted that "the media's intensive coverage of the U.N. inspections has repeatedly glided from reporting the allegation that Iraq is hiding banned weapons materials to repeating it as a statement of fact." The Media Advisory ("Iraq's Hidden Weapons: From Allegation to Fact," 2/4/03) went on:
Through constant repetition of phrases like "the search for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction," the media convey to the public the impression that the alleged banned weapons on which the Bush administration rests its case for war are known to exist and that the question is simply whether inspectors are skillful enough to find them. In fact, whether or not Iraq possesses banned weapons is very much an open question, one which no publicly available evidence can answer one way or the other.As former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw put it on May 29, "All wars are based on propaganda." If every journalist took that lesson to heart, reporting on the drive to war would have looked very different.
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting is a nonpartisan media watchdog organization. Visit http://fair.org for more information, or share your opinion about this story by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. Republished in the Chronicle with permission from F.A.I.R.
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This story was published on May 30, 2008.
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