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Health Care & Environment

11.18 How Extreme Weather Is Shrinking the Planet

11.18 Air pollution levels ‘forcing families to move out of cities’ [like from desertification, lack of drinkable water and rising oceans, there will also be pollution-caused immigration until humans fix things]

11.17 Policies of China, Russia and Canada threaten 5C climate change, study finds [Climate catastrophe is increasingly likely without worldwide organization, funding and commitment to winning THE WAR AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING.]

11.16 Scotland was first Industrialized Country to Run wholly on Wind in October

11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]

11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]

11.15  The long read:  The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]

11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]

11.15 Trump administration to cut air pollution from heavy-duty trucks

11.14 Backed by Ocasio-Cortez, Youth Climate Activists Arrested in Pelosi's Office Demanding Democrats Embrace 'Green New Deal'

11.13 What would a smog-free city look like?

11.13 Global report highlights Australia’s renewables potential amid mixed signals for coal

11.13 Interior department whistleblower: Ryan Zinke hollowed out the agency

11.12  This Land is Your Land:  The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]

11.12 Planned Parenthood's new president warns of 'state of emergency' for women's health

News Media Matters

11.19 The Biggest Threat to Free Speech No One Is Talking About

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

11.19 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 11/18/2018 (HBO) [29:26 video]

11.19 Michael Bloomberg: Why I’m Giving $1.8 Billion for College Financial Aid

11.19 Trump’s Diminishing Power and Rising Rage

11.19 Trump Says He Was 'Fully Briefed' and Also 'Not Briefed Yet' But Either Way Saudi Crown Prince 'Absolutely' Not Involved Because Trump Knows 'Everything That Went On' Without Listening to Tape of Khashoggi Murder

11.19 'We Need New Leaders, Period': Progressive Newcomers Urge Democrats to Embrace Bold Agenda or Face Primary Challenges [Current Democrat leaders are highly compromised by corporate donations]

11.19 SNL explains Jeff Bezos and Amazon’s HQ2 strategy: trolling President Trump [2:55 SNL video]

11.18 Trump says Pelosi deserves speakership, offers Republican votes [An affirmation of Pelosi's unsuitability]

11.18 Khanna to Pelosi: Don't Just Create Green New Deal Select Committee, Make Ocasio-Cortez Its Chair [Will Pelosi earnestly change, or end her career in disgrace?]

11.18 Chuck Schumer, Feckless Hack [Neoliberal Democrats must go!]

11.18 What the State of the VA Tells Us About Trump’s War on Welfare [Privatizing often results in outright fraud and higher costs by private prisons, privatized health insurance and health care, privatized public schools and online "colleges" like Trump University]

11.17 What the State of the VA Tells Us About Trump’s War on Welfare

11.17 As Energy for Medicare for All Explodes, Steny Hoyer's Plan Includes Waiting for Trump to Help Make Obamacare Better [Another who is unfit to be Democrat leader]

11.17 'A Staggeringly Bad Idea': Outrage as Pelosi Pushes Tax Rule That Would 'Kneecap the Progressive Agenda' [Unfit to be Democrat leader]

11.17 Trump Is Starting to Panic

Justice Matters
High Crimes?

11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]

Economics, Crony Capitalism

11.19 Bankrupt Sears wants to give executives $19 million in bonuses [blatantly immoral and sick to richly reward those who led the company into the bankruptcy]

11.18 Big Pharma Bankrolled Pro-Trump Group As Trump Pushed Pharma Tax Cut [Corruption Central!]

11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]

11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]

International & Futurism

11.18 New Evidence Emerges of Steve Bannon and Cambridge Analytica’s Role in Brexit

11.18 France demands UK climate pledge in return for Brexit trade deal [Excellent!]

11.17 Saudi crown prince's 'fit' delays UN resolution on war in Yemen

11.17 Thousands gather to block London bridges in climate rebellion [We're losing WWIII because the enemy is invisible while we're like frogs slowly cooking. We aren't informed enough to be alarmed, but must get organized and motivated to fight back. We need a War Plan to ruthlessly pursue the fight of our lives!]

11.17 CIA finds Saudi crown prince ordered Jamal Khashoggi killing – report

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  GE Muzzles Olbermann about Fox
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PROFESSIONAL JOURNALISM IN JEOPARDY FROM RABID CAPITALISTS:

Olbermann-O'Reilly 'Truce' Frays

by Robert Parry
Originally published on ConsortiumNews.com earlier today, 7 August 2009

The agreement between top brass at General Electric and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation – to tamp down the war of words between MSNBC host Keith Olbermann and Fox News star Bill O’Reilly – has broken down after the truce was revealed by the New York Times last weekend.

Stung by criticism of caving in to corporate pressure, Olbermann gave a runner-up “Worst Persons in the World” award to “Bill-O the Clown” and the top prize to Murdoch for having “muzzled Bill-O, kept him from speaking his mind.”

That prompted O’Reilly to go after GE chief executive Jeffrey Immelt about a $50 million fine that GE paid to settle a Securities and Exchange Commission complaint.

Olbermann also attacked the New York Times story for not reflecting his denial of any deal. Olbermann added in a comment to Salon.com’s Glenn Greenwald that "there's no 'deal.' I would never consent, and, fortunately, MSNBC and NBC News would never ask me to."

But it’s been apparent to some watchers of Olbermann’s “Countdown” and other liberal-oriented shows on MSNBC that there had been a toning down of the taunts toward right-wing Fox News following the reported truce that was initiated by Immelt and Murdoch in the spring.

As Washington Post media writer Howard Kurtz noted on Friday, “a GE spokesman [was] quoted as saying the corporation was ‘happy’ about the new ‘level of civility.’”

Also, it fell to Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart to highlight the Fox News role in promoting and praising the disruptive protests at “town hall” meetings of Democratic lawmakers trying to discuss health care reform with their constituents. MSNBC’s attention to the hooliganism focused on the medical industry ties of protest backers.

Despite Olbermann’s umbrage over suggestions that he had been muzzled, the process as described in the New York Times story is not unusual in the mainstream news media. I’ve personally witnessed similar behavior at major media companies where I’ve worked.

For instance, in the 1980s at the Associated Press, we would occasionally cite stories that had appeared in the right-wing Washington Times and often we would note – as a warning to readers – that the newspaper was founded by South Korean religious leader Sun Myung Moon.

After all, not only was Moon a controversial cult leader who was accused of “brainwashing” young Americans but he had been cited in a congressional investigation as an agent of South Korean intelligence, had access to vast reservoirs of mysterious cash that led to a tax fraud conviction, and had bankrolled the Times explicitly to bolster his political influence in Washington.

The AP also wasn’t picking on Moon and his newspaper. We would often note relevant connections of publications, such as “semi-official” news outlets of foreign governments or sponsorship by special interests.

However, when the Washington Times signed up for the AP wire service (in AP parlance becoming “a member” of the news cooperative), Moon’s executives demanded that AP reporters and editors forgo any references to Moon’s connection when citing Times news articles.

The demand led the AP’s assistant bureau chief to post a letter on the office bulletin board prohibiting references to Moon except in business stories about the Washington Times. The prohibition quickly stopped any warning to readers about the curious ownership of the newspaper or the possibility that its stories had a propaganda purpose.

By the nature of such edicts, some editors soon expanded the restriction and deleted Moon references even from business stories about the Times. Better to be safe, the thinking went, than sorry.

The AP’s decision to treat the Washington Times as a legitimate American newspaper, rather than a propaganda sheet that was tied to a foreign cult leader with an overt political agenda, enhanced the Times influence in Washington. Its stories and reporters came to be treated respectfully on C-SPAN and other news programs.

That meant that Americans – tuning in and hearing the Washington Times’ harsh attacks on critics of Republican policies – weren’t alerted to the propaganda distortions that often pervaded Times articles. [For details on Moon and his propaganda, see Robert Parry’s Secrecy & Privilege.]

Protecting Reagan

Even earlier in the 1980s, AP executives had cracked down on staff reporters and editors when we tried to fact-check false or misleading claims made by President Ronald Reagan.

After his first presidential press conference, the Washington bureau produced a story citing factual errors and other distortions in Reagan’s answers. The article prompted a counterattack from the White House and complaints from Reagan’s many supporters in the U.S. news media, including owners of some AP “member” newspapers.

Since AP’s own general manager Keith Fuller also was an ardent Reagan admirer, the AP's Washington bureau was on shaky ground when we sought to fact-check Reagan’s next news conference, which also was filled with misstatements and unsupported claims.

As the fact-checking article was being compiled, the AP's New York brass brought down the hammer, making clear that no further challenges to Reagan’s fact-challenged statements would be tolerated.

Soon, nearly the entire Washington press corps had joined the AP in ignoring Reagan’s many errors, as author Mark Hertsgaard later noted in his book, On Bended Knee.

I witnessed similar pressures brought to bear inside Newsweek (where senior editors made clear their displeasure over my continued investigation of the Reagan administration’s Iran-Contra cover-up) and at PBS “Frontline” (where Republicans applied pressure via the budget process and through ideological appointees to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting).

In all these cases, the news organizations surely would deny they had bent to political pressure, either internal or external. But that is simply the way of the world in media enterprises that lack financial independence from the people who write the checks.


Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth' are also available there. Or go to Amazon.com.

This article is republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published on August 7, 2009.

 

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