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Books, Films, Arts & Education

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?]

Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

07.17 ‘Off-the-charts’ heat to affect millions in U.S. in coming decades

07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]

07.17 Billions of air pollution particles found in hearts of city dwellers

07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

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!]

07.12 These solar panels don’t just generate power—they produce drinking water

07.12 David Attenborough: polluting planet may become as reviled as slavery [1:34 video]

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.]

07.10 Molly Scott Cato: ‘It’s the wealthy who are causing climate change’

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!]

07.05 Tree planting 'has mind-blowing potential' to tackle climate crisis

07.04 On reflection: how the 'albedo effect' is melting the Antarctic

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 Deep-sea mining to turn oceans into ‘new industrial frontier’

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]

News Media Matters

07.18 In Sinclair's New 'Must-Run' Segment, Former Trump Adviser Tries to Defend Racist Attacks on 'the Squad'

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

07.18 Deadly Delays in Jail Construction Cost Lives and Dollars Across California

07.18 Inside Trump's DC hotel, where allies and lobbyists flock to peddle their interests [Also, too much ignored by media, the $millions "donated" corrupting moderate Democrats and Republicans every election cycle must stop]

07.18 This Republican's Case for Medicare for All [A well-informed Republican is rare, so let's hold him in the light so others may learn]

07.18 Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after president attacks Ilhan Omar [1:03 video shows Trump pandering to his ignorant idolaters, and together they're making America a greater shit-hole country]

07.18 "Can't Change a Corrupt System by Taking Its Money": Sanders Urges All 2020 Democrats to Reject Insurance, Big Pharma Cash [48:58 video]

07.17 Why Democrats’ oversight machine is moving so slowly against Trump

07.17 Here's the real reason Trump is attacking 'the squad': he's scared of their politics

07.17 'Good,' Says Elizabeth Warren, After Billionaire Right-Winger Peter Thiel Says She's 2020 Democrat He Is 'Most Scared By'

07.17 The American Right Defines Patriotism As Complacency About Racism

07.17 This is what today's America looks like. The squad is us

07.16 As Trump Sows Discord, Chief of Staff Mulvaney Reportedly Focused on 'Building Empire for the Right Wing' [And the South shall rise again...]

07.16 George Will's startling assessment of Donald Trump

07.16 Describing 'Future We Want to Live In' Scores of Groups Unveil New Blueprint for Reproductive Rights

07.16 'Do not take the bait': congresswomen denounce racist Trump attack [3:50 video]

07.16 Money Laundering Scandal Forces Puerto Rico’s Governor to Cut His Vacation Short — Just in Time for Another Scandal

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.]

Justice Matters

07.16 Contempt [Variations of frequent loss & theft of property title by organized legal efforts against black owners]

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!]

High Crimes
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

07.18 Corporate tax cuts blocked at least 15,000 affordable homes in California. Here’s how

07.15 China’s Economic Growth Hits 27-Year Low as Trade War Stings

International & Futurism

07.18 There are 16 million slaves around the world making our stuff

07.18 ‘No rioters, only a tyrannical regime’: Thousands of Hong Kong seniors march in support of young extradition law protesters [Most people around the world have more in common with these Hong Kong Chinese protestors than with the ignorant people at Trump rallies]

07.18 Dozens Arrested as Over 1,000 Jewish Activists and Allies Shut Down Entrances to ICE Headquarters Demanding Closure of Trump Detention Camps [Obviously these are not the immoral and less educated right-wing jews who support Netanyahu, Trump and ICE, and who slowly exterminate Palestinians when no one is looking]

07.17 Trump Murdered the Iran Deal—And Europe Isn’t Too Happy About It [Only psychopathic Saudi Arabia and Russia are U.S. ’allies’ now...]

07.17 Trump’s Unlawful Asylum Policy Is a Jab at Mexico

07.16 Trump’s race fantasy is clear: the US as home for whites fleeing Europe [1:09 video]

07.15 India’s Terrifying Water Crisis

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 Kasich: The chilling effect of British ambassador's leaked memos

07.14 'Just a matter of when': the $20bn plan to power Singapore with Australian solar

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 New Zealand Begins Gun Buyback Prompted by Mosque Attacks

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 After a Police Shooting, Ethiopian Israelis Seek a ‘Black Lives Matter’ Reckoning

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...]

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  The Politics of Media

RARE HONESTY:

The Politics of Media

by Robert Parry
Originally published in ConsortiumNews.com earlier yesterday, 24 March 2010

If you believed what you saw on Tuesday’s NBC evening news or what you read in the Washington Post’s lead editorial on Wednesday, you wouldn’t have a clue that Republicans are engaged in a scorched-earth political strategy to destroy the Obama administration.

Instead, you’d think that everyday Americans are solidly behind the congressional Republicans in their unanimous opposition to health reform (NBC) and that President Barack Obama and the Democrats have done next to nothing to bridge the partisan divide (the Post).

Let’s start with NBC’s biased coverage of Obama’s signing into law the landmark health care reform. The multi-part opening segment could have been scripted by the Republican National Committee.

“Make no mistake,” NBC anchor Brian Williams said, “for millions of Americans who were not in the East Room [of the White House] today, it was the beginning of a fight against what they see as a government health-care behemoth that they have to now live by.”

Then, after dismissing the White House signing ceremony as a political pep rally of “giddy supporters” – and after explaining none of the new law’s features – NBC lovingly interviewed Republicans about their determination to roll back this government overreach.

NBC correspondent Kelly O’Donnell gave Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, his say without mentioning DeMint’s foiled scheme to make health reform President Obama’s “Waterloo” to “break” him. Normally, that would seem like a natural question to ask, but NBC apparently didn’t want to cast the GOP’s stalwart opposition to the new law as part of any partisan strategy.

NBC’s reporting also featured comments from Sens. Mitch McConnell, John McCain and John Barrasso explaining their high-minded goals. O’Donnell also checked out the flood of anti-reform calls coming into two GOP Senate offices. (No mention was made of the views of Democrats, and there was the usual silence about criticism of the health-reform bill from the Left.)

O’Donnell’s report was followed by a similarly uncritical look at anti-reform lawsuits from Republican state attorneys general. Then, NBC did what is called a vox populi, the voice of the common man, except in this case it amounted to tracking down one couple living near Oklahoma City who recited more Republican talking points about the Democrats playing politics and ramming the law through.

NBC's coverage included no one who either liked the new law or who felt it didn’t go far enough, even though polls show that most Americans either favor the new law or fault it for failing to include a single-payer system or some other form of “public option.”

Yes, I know, some MSNBC hosts have addressed those positions as part of the cable network’s experiment of having a few liberal voices in the evening. But not only does the NBC evening news reach a much wider audience than MSNBC, but NBC’s other cable channel, the business-oriented CNBC, has beaten a steady drum against health reform, even predicting a stock market dive if the bill became law.

Instead on Monday and Tuesday, the U.S. stock markets surged, another case of CNBC’s remarkable record of giving out ideological market advice that could cost its listeners money. As Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart joked last year, that if he’d listened to CNBC’s bullish advice before the 2008 crash, "I'd have a million dollars today. Provided I started with 100 million dollars."

It may be coincidence but General Electric, which owns NBC and its sister networks, has been running a flurry of ads that amount to paeans to right-wing Republican President Ronald Reagan. GE, where Reagan once served as the company’s spokesman, is sponsoring next year’s gala celebration of the centennial anniversary of Reagan’s birth.

The WPost’s Blindness

If you followed up watching NBC by turning to the Washington Post’s editorial page on Wednesday morning, you’d find a similar blindness to the Republican strategy of obstructionism.

Anyone who followed the debate on health care would know the Democrats made extraordinary efforts to bring Republicans onboard, including time-consuming negotiations within the Senate Finance Committee and Obama’s political courtship of Olympia Snowe, R-Maine.

And, even though many of the GOP demands were met, including adding many Republican amendments and subtracting the “public option,” Snowe and the other Senate Republicans wouldn’t even allow an up-or-down vote, forcing the Democrats to line up their 60-member caucus to shut down a filibuster on Christmas Eve.

However, that’s not how the Post’s editorialists saw matters.

“The bill could have been improved with the inclusion of more Republican ideas – by giving consumers more ‘skin in the game,’ for example, to promote cost control, or by reforming the nation's crapshoot of a malpractice system,” the Post’s  lead editorial said on Wednesday.

“Neither party has all the answers. Most of the country agrees with us on this point, not with the apostles of ideological purity. A plurality of Americans are independents. They want pragmatic cooperation, and they want sensible ideas acknowledged regardless of which party promotes them.

“Fundamental reform passed on party-line votes has less credibility with them and less chance of quickly weaving itself into the American social fabric.”

Then, the Post added: “We're purposely not apportioning blame to one side or the other.”

But what if one side is more to blame than the other? This “both-sides-are-equally-at-fault” notion of “centrist” journalism fails to recognize that sometimes the truth doesn’t rest comfortably in the middle.

Nor do the Post’s editorialists really believe that it does. On many other issues, the Post has concluded that the truth lies close to the neoconservative pole, such as the Iraq War (which the Post enthusiastically supported) or the Middle East conflict (where the Post almost always sides with Israel).

But the Post isn’t willing to acknowledge that the Republicans embraced a strategy from the start of the Obama administration to take the knees out from under the new President, a game plan very similar to what worked against President Bill Clinton in 1993-94.

The slanted coverage at places like NBC and the Washington Post makes sense if you understand the mix of ideology and careerism that influences mainstream news judgments.

The slanted coverage at places like NBC and the Washington Post makes sense if you understand the mix of ideology and careerism that influences mainstream news judgments.

At high levels, the owners and top executives have their pet favorites, whether the Post’s neoconservatism on foreign policy or GE’s fondness for Reagan’s anti-government ideology. At working levels, reporters and editors know that their livelihoods are protected if they tack in those directions.

It’s also important to avoid offending the Right, which has invested heavily in attack groups created to go after and "controversialize" wayward journalists. [For details, see Robert Parry’s Lost History.]

Even if a working journalist realizes how corrupting this process is to the integrity of the news, he or she can personally justify going along under the rationale that it’s up to someone else – politicians, other journalists or even citizens – to somehow straighten the mess out.

That’s where independent journalism comes in. Without strong news outlets willing to tell the truth on important topics, the U.S. democratic Republic has little hope of climbing out of the pit of political ignorance where many Americans find themselves mired.


Robert Parry

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 March 25, 2010.

 

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