Let's continue from last week with media public policy. We identified TED as the global ONE WORLD media network bringing the same captured voices from each country to a global format. They are not going to contribute any media material fighting this ONE WORLD global corporate tribunal structure---they will simply MOVE FORWARD with public policy discussions written by 1% global Wall Street and global corporations. Americans want their voices in media just as citizens in those other nations want their voices taken from their 2% to the 1%. WE THE PEOPLE have far more power and resources to make this happen.
Whether local capture of mainstream media by national and global media outlets or this TED format----what has been systemic since CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA is bad information with no avenue to opposing views that hold power accountable. We are now soaked in propaganda, not investigative journalism from many viewpoints.
A DEVELOPED DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC CANNOT FUNCTION WITHOUT FREE AND FAIR MEDIA. THE FAIRNESS DOCTRINE WAS INSTALLED IN OUR FEDERAL LAWS TO PROTECT THAT AND IT NEEDS TO BE ENFORCED.
Whether conservative Republican, social Democrat, Libertarian, Socialist----we must have good information. Below is a clip from my post last week criticizing the TED media format----they simply say whatever they want.
'With the world’s easiest audience, many inaccuracies and errors go unchallenged. A talk by Terry Moore on algebra was littered with unsourced claims about Spanish language and history. Their coverage of science topics is at best superficial, and sometimes downright misleading'.
'The economic crisis is pure propaganda. Extreme policies now rule Britain, the United States, much of Europe, Canada and Australia. Who is standing up for the majority? Who is telling their story? Who’s keeping record straight? Isn’t that what journalists are meant to do'?
A developed democratic nation MOVES FORWARD from a few decades of massive Wall Street and corporate frauds with a President simply saying he sees no fraud because our media is silent.....journalists say they cannot simply keep repeating bad acts if citizens do not force change---AND THEY ARE RIGHT. After the 2008 economic crash all major US media outlets fired their investigative journalists saying they could not afford REAL JOURNALISM. These are the major media outlets now owned by global corporate billionaires.
Whether a citizen's patriotism taking him/her to supporting state secrets and espionage or not-----most citizens understand Americans are now getting the same kinds of media as any other third world nation.
Propaganda Has Triumphed over Journalism, and the Consequences Are Enormous
We need a press that teaches the young to be agents of people, not power.
By John Pilger / AlterNet
December 5, 2014
These are urgent questions. The world is facing the prospect of major war, perhaps nuclear war – with the United States clearly determined to isolate and provoke Russia and eventually China. This truth is being turned upside down and inside out by journalists, including those who promoted the lies that led to the bloodbath in Iraq in 2003.
The times we live in are so dangerous and so distorted in public perception that propaganda is no longer, as Edward Bernays called it, an “invisible government”. It is the government. It rules directly without fear of contradiction and its principal aim is the conquest of us: our sense of the world, our ability to separate truth from lies.
The information age is actually a media age. We have war by media; censorship by media; demonology by media; retribution by media; diversion by media – a surreal assembly line of obedient clichés and false assumptions.
This power to create a new “reality” has been building for a long time. Forty-five years ago, a book entitled The Greening of America caused a sensation. On the cover were these words: “There is a revolution coming. It will not be like revolutions of the past. It will originate with the individual.”
I was a correspondent in the United States at the time and recall the overnight elevation to guru status of the author, a young Yale academic, Charles Reich. His message was that truth-telling and political action had failed and only “culture” and introspection could change the world.
Within a few years, driven by the forces of profit, the cult of “me-ism” had all but overwhelmed our sense of acting together, our sense of social justice and internationalism. Class, gender and race were separated. The personal was the political, and the media was the message.
In the wake of the cold war, the fabrication of new “threats” completed the political disorientation of those who, 20 years earlier, would have formed a vehement opposition.
In 2003, I filmed an interview in Washington with Charles Lewis, the distinguished American investigative journalist. We discussed the invasion of Iraq a few months earlier. I asked him, “What if the freest media in the world had seriously challenged George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld and investigated their claims, instead of channeling what turned out to be crude propaganda?”
He replied that if we journalists had done our job “there is a very, very good chance we would have not gone to war in Iraq.”
That’s a shocking statement, and one supported by other famous journalists to whom I put the same question. Dan Rather, formerly of CBS, gave me the same answer. David Rose of the Observer and senior journalists and producers in the BBC, who wished to remain anonymous, gave me the same answer.
In other words, had journalists done their job, had they questioned and investigated the propaganda instead of amplifying it, hundreds of thousands of men, women and children might be alive today; and millions might not have fled their homes; the sectarian war between Sunni and Shia might not have ignited, and the infamous Islamic State might not now exist.
Even now, despite the millions who took to the streets in protest, most of the public in western countries have little idea of the sheer scale of the crime committed by our governments in Iraq. Even fewer are aware that, in the 12 years before the invasion, the US and British governments set in motion a holocaust by denying the civilian population of Iraq a means to live.
Those are the words of the senior British official responsible for sanctions on Iraq in the 1990s – a medieval siege that caused the deaths of half a million children under the age of five, reported Unicef. The official’s name is Carne Ross. In the Foreign Office in London, he was known as “Mr. Iraq”. Today, he is a truth-teller of how governments deceive and how journalists willingly spread the deception. “We would feed journalists factoids of sanitised intelligence,” he told me, “or we’d freeze them out.”
The main whistleblower during this terrible, silent period was Denis Halliday. Then Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations and the senior UN official in Iraq, Halliday resigned rather than implement policies he described as genocidal. He estimates that sanctions killed more than a million Iraqis.
What then happened to Halliday was instructive. He was airbrushed. Or he was vilified. On the BBC’s Newsnight programme, the presenter Jeremy Paxman shouted at him: “Aren’t you just an apologist for Saddam Hussein?” The Guardian recently described this as one of Paxman’s “memorable moments”. Last week, Paxman signed a £1 million book deal.
The handmaidens of suppression have done their job well. Consider the effects. In 2013, a ComRes poll found that a majority of the British public believed the casualty toll in Iraq was less than 10,000 – a tiny fraction of the truth. A trail of blood that goes from Iraq to London has been scrubbed almost clean.
Rupert Murdoch is said to be the godfather of the media mob, and no one should doubt the augmented power of his newspapers – all 127 of them, with a combined circulation of 40 million, and his Fox network. But the influence of Murdoch’s empire is no greater than its reflection of the wider media.
The most effective propaganda is found not in the Sun or on Fox News – but beneath a liberal halo. When the New York Times published claims that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, its fake evidence was believed, because it wasn’t Fox News; it was the New York Times.
The same is true of the Washington Post and the Guardian, both of which have played a critical role in conditioning their readers to accept a new and dangerous cold war. All three liberal newspapers have misrepresented events in Ukraine as a malign act by Russia – when, in fact, the fascist led coup in Ukraine was the work of the United States, aided by Germany and Nato.
This inversion of reality is so pervasive that Washington’s military encirclement and intimidation of Russia is not contentious. It’s not even news, but suppressed behind a smear and scare campaign of the kind I grew up with during the first cold war.
Once again, the evil empire is coming to get us, led by another Stalin or, perversely, a new Hitler. Name your demon and let rip.
The suppression of the truth about Ukraine is one of the most complete news blackouts I can remember. The biggest Western military build-up in the Caucasus and eastern Europe since world war two is blacked out. Washington’s secret aid to Kiev and its neo-Nazi brigades responsible for war crimes against the population of eastern Ukraine is blacked out. Evidence that contradicts propaganda that Russia was responsible for the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner is blacked out.
And again, supposedly liberal media are the censors. Citing no facts, no evidence, one journalist identified a pro-Russian leader in Ukraine as the man who shot down the airliner. This man, he wrote, was known as The Demon. He was a scary man who frightened the journalist. That was the evidence.
Many in the western media haves worked hard to present the ethnic Russian population of Ukraine as outsiders in their own country, almost never as Ukrainians seeking a federation within Ukraine and as Ukrainian citizens resisting a foreign-orchestrated coup against their elected government.
What the Russian president has to say is of no consequence; he is a pantomime villain who can be abused with impunity. An American general who heads Nato and is straight out of Dr. Strangelove — one General Breedlove – routinely claims Russian invasions without a shred of visual evidence. His impersonation of Stanley Kubrick’s General Jack D. Ripper is pitch perfect.
Forty thousand Ruskies were massing on the border, according to Breedlove. That was good enough for the New York Times, theWashington Post and the Observer — the latter having previously distinguished itself with lies and fabrications that backed Blair’s invasion of Iraq, as its former reporter, David Rose, revealed.
There is almost the joi d’esprit of a class reunion. The drum-beaters of the Washington Post are the very same editorial writers who declared the existence of Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction to be “hard facts”.
“If you wonder,” wrote Robert Parry, “how the world could stumble into world war three – much as it did into world war one a century ago – all you need to do is look at the madness that has enveloped virtually the entire US political/media structure over Ukraine where a false narrative of white hats versus black hats took hold early and has proved impervious to facts or reason.”
Parry, the journalist who revealed Iran-Contra, is one of the few who investigate the central role of the media in this “game of chicken”, as the Russian foreign minister called it. But is it a game? As I write this, the US Congress votes on Resolution 758 which, in a nutshell, says: “Let’s get ready for war with Russia.”
In the 19th century, the writer Alexander Herzen described secular liberalism as “the final religion, though its church is not of the other world but of this”.
Today, this divine right is far more violent and dangerous than anything the Muslim world throws up, though perhaps its greatest triumph is the illusion of free and open information.
In the news, whole countries are made to disappear. Saudi Arabia, the source of extremism and western-backed terror, is not a story, except when it drives down the price of oil. Yemen has endured twelve years of American drone attacks. Who knows? Who cares?
In 2009, the University of the West of England published the results of a ten-year study of the BBC’s coverage of Venezuela. Of 304 broadcast reports, only three mentioned any of the positive policies introduced by the government of Hugo Chavez. The greatest literacy programme in human history received barely a passing reference.
In Europe and the United States, millions of readers and viewers know next to nothing about the remarkable, life-giving changes implemented in Latin America, many of them inspired by Chavez. Like the BBC, the reports of the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian and the rest of the respectable western media were notoriously in bad faith. Chavez was mocked even on his deathbed. How is this explained, I wonder, in schools of journalism?
Why are millions of people in Britain are persuaded that a collective punishment called “austerity” is necessary?
Following the economic crash in 2008, a rotten system was exposed. For a split second the banks were lined up as crooks with obligations to the public they had betrayed.
But within a few months — apart from a few stones lobbed over excessive corporate “bonuses” — the message changed. The mugshots of guilty bankers vanished from the tabloids and something called “austerity” became the burden of millions of ordinary people. Was there ever a sleight of hand as brazen?
Today, many of the premises of civilised life in Britain are being dismantled in order to pay back a fraudulent debt – the debt of crooks. The “austerity” cuts are said to be £83 billion. That’s almost exactly the amount of tax avoided by the same banks and by corporations like Amazon and Murdoch’s News UK. Moreover, the crooked banks are given an annual subsidy of £100bn in free insurance and guarantees – a figure that would fund the entire National Health Service.
The economic crisis is pure propaganda. Extreme policies now rule Britain, the United States, much of Europe, Canada and Australia. Who is standing up for the majority? Who is telling their story? Who’s keeping record straight? Isn’t that what journalists are meant to do?
In 1977, Carl Bernstein, of Watergate fame, revealed that more than 400 journalists and news executives worked for the CIA. They included journalists from the New York Times, Time and the TV networks. In 1991, Richard Norton Taylor of the Guardian revealed something similar in this country.
None of this is necessary today. I doubt that anyone paid theWashington Post and many other media outlets to accuse Edward Snowden of aiding terrorism. I doubt that anyone pays those who routinely smear Julian Assange – though other rewards can be plentiful.
It’s clear to me that the main reason Assange has attracted such venom, spite and jealously is that WikiLeaks tore down the facade of a corrupt political elite held aloft by journalists. In heralding an extraordinary era of disclosure, Assange made enemies by illuminating and shaming the media’s gatekeepers, not least on the newspaper that published and appropriated his great scoop. He became not only a target, but a golden goose.
Lucrative book and Hollywood movie deals were struck and media careers launched or kick-started on the back of WikiLeaks and its founder. People have made big money, while WikiLeaks has struggled to survive.
None of this was mentioned in Stockholm on 1 December when the editor of the Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, shared with Edward Snowden the Right Livelihood Award, known as the alternative Nobel Peace Prize. What was shocking about this event was that Assange and WikiLeaks were airbrushed. They didn’t exist. They were unpeople.
No one spoke up for the man who pioneered digital whistleblowing and handed the Guardian one of the greatest scoops in history. Moreover, it was Assange and his WikiLeaks team who effectively – and brilliantly – rescued Edward Snowden in Hong Kong and sped him to safety. Not a word.
What made this censorship by omission so ironic and poignant and disgraceful was that the ceremony was held in the Swedish parliament — whose craven silence on the Assange case has colluded with a grotesque miscarriage of justice in Stockholm.
“When the truth is replaced by silence,” said the Soviet dissident Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.”
It’s this kind of silence we journalists need to break. We need to look in the mirror. We need to call to account an unaccountable media that services power and a psychosis that threatens world war.
In the 18th century, Edmund Burke described the role of the press as a Fourth Estate checking the powerful. Was that ever true? It certainly doesn’t wash any more. What we need is a Fifth Estate: a journalism that monitors, deconstructs and counters propaganda and teaches the young to be agents of people, not power. We need what the Russians calledperestroika – an insurrection of subjugated knowledge. I would call it real journalism.
It’s 100 years since the First World War. Reporters then were rewarded and knighted for their silence and collusion. At the height of the slaughter, British prime minister David Lloyd George confided in C.P. Scott, editor of the Manchester Guardian: “If people really knew [the truth] the war would be stopped tomorrow, but of course they don’t know and can’t know.”
It’s time they knew.
This was John Pilger’s address to the Logan Symposium, “Building an Alliance Against Secrecy, Surveillance & Censorship”, organised by the Centre for Investigative Journalism, London, 5-7 December, 2014.
When we say the US is no longer a developed nation look at the rankings on quality of life and citizen freedoms and we will see the US outside of developing nations and into a category of failing states falling into developing nation status. This includes freedom of speech and the ability to have strong major media outlets with a government wanting to ENSURE THIS.
Nothing says extreme wealth and power than media only highlighting a 5% or 2% with talking points written by the 1%!.
Americans are being forced towards the words STATE CONTROL being WE THE PEOPLE with local citizens having real voice and voting power to 1% Wall Street and a global corporate control---so state control no longer means people's government. Authoritarian dictatorships are always simply a cabal of a 1% and their 2% ----this is their STATE CONTROLLED MEDIA----and this is what is now taking the US.
'Concentration of media ownership (also known as media consolidation or media convergence) is a process whereby progressively fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media. Contemporary research demonstrates increasing levels of consolidation, with many media industries already highly concentrated and dominated by a very small number of firms.
Globally, large media conglomerates include Viacom, CBS Corporation, Time Warner, 21st Century Fox and News Corp (the former News Corporation, split in 2013), Bertelsmann, Sony, Comcast, Vivendi, Televisa, The Walt Disney Company, Hearst Corporation, Organizações Globo and Lagardère Group.
As of 2015, Comcast Corporation is the largest media conglomerate in the US, with The Walt Disney Company, Twenty-First Century Fox and Time Warner ranking second, third and fourth respectively.
In nations described as authoritarian by most international think-tanks and NGOs, media ownership is generally something very close to the complete state control over information in direct or indirect ways'.
U.S. Plummets in Global Press Freedom Rankings
February 11, 2014
According to a new report from Reporters Without Borders, there was a profound erosion of press freedom in the United States in 2013.
After a year of attacks on whistleblowers and digital journalists and revelations about mass surveillance, the United States plunged 13 spots in the group’s global press freedom rankings to number 46.
Reporters Without Borders writes that the U.S. faced “one of the most significant declines” in the world last year. Even the United Kingdom, whose sustained campaign to criminalize the Guardian’s reporters and intimidate journalists has made headlines around the world, dropped only three spots, to number 33.* The U.S. fell as many spots as Paraguay, where “the pressure on journalists to censor themselves keeps on mounting.” (It's worth reading Max Fisher's post on why it's hard to make absolute statements about the relative data collected by Reporters Without Borders.)
Citing the Justice Department’s aggressive prosecution of whistleblowers, including its secret seizure of Associated Press phone records, the authors write that “freedom of information is too often sacrificed to an overly broad and abusive interpretation of national security needs, marking a disturbing retreat from democratic practices. Investigative journalism often suffers as a result.”
The threats facing newsgathering in the U.S. are felt by both longstanding journalists like New York Times national security reporter James Risen, who may serve jail time for refusing to reveal a source, and non-traditional digital journalists like Barrett Brown.
Brown is a freelance journalist who has reported extensively on private intelligence firms and government contractors. He now faces more than 100 years in jail for linking to stolen documents as part of his reporting, even though he had no involvement in the actual theft.
The United States’ new press freedom ranking comes on the heels of a new and dangerous campaign against Glenn Greenwald and other journalists who have reported on the documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
In recent weeks, high-ranking members of the intelligence community and members of Congress have called NSA journalists “accomplices” to Snowden’s leaks, and accused them of trafficking in stolen goods. And as Trevor Timm of the Freedom of the Press Foundation points out, these comments are only the most recent in a long line of attacks.
In 2012, after a series of high-profile journalist arrests at Occupy protests, the United States dropped 27 places in Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index, landing in 47th place. The following year saw some progress as the U.S. climbed back up to 33rd place, but the last year has erased those gains.
The Reporters Without Borders study makes it clear that the struggles for freedom of expression and freedom of the press are global in scope, and deeply connected across borders. “Countries that pride themselves on being democracies and respecting the rule of law have not set an example,” the authors write.
Our press freedom ranking is important not just as a measure of the democratic health of our press, but also because hostility toward the press at home can legitimize threats to journalists abroad. We have to work in our communities and in Washington to fight for policies that protect all acts of journalism.
*It’s worth noting, as many have on Twitter, that the ranking of the U.S. versus the U.K. raises some questions. The threats to journalists and the intimidation of sources in the U.S. are deeply troubling, as is the impact of mass surveillance on press freedom.
However, the U.K.’s surveillance efforts mirror those of the U.S. and the U.K. government’s response to the Guardian’s reporting on these issues has been far more aggressive.
Since publishing the first reports on Edward Snowden’s leaks, British authorities have placed the Guardian under immense pressure, forcing it to move its NSA reporting almost entirely to its U.S. headquarters. Under threat of legal action, Guardian journalists were forced to destroy computers containing the Snowden documents. Using an anti-terrorism statute, authorities detained journalist Glenn Greenwald’s partner and seized his electronics at Heathrow Airport. And Parliament dragged Guardian Editor Alan Rusbridger in to testify on his patriotism and love of country.
We should be concerned about press freedom in both the U.S. and the U.K. regardless of what the numbers say, and understand how intertwined anti-press freedom efforts are in both countries.
Press freedom looks different as usual with right-wing vs left wing but we can agree both wings are shouting against this loss of freedom. Republicans are the ones dismantling FAIRNESS DOCTRINE calling it LIBERAL MEDIA----Republicans are of course wealth and corporate power and that is where we are today. If we elect FAR-RIGHT 1% WALL STREET CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS and FAR-RIGHT BUSH NEO-CONS----we will have far-right, authoritarian state controlled media. Obama was worse than Bush----Clinton started the deregulation and consolidation in the march to yet more corporate industry monopolies.
“This is the most closed, control freak administration I’ve ever covered,” said David E. Sanger, veteran chief Washington correspondent of The New York Times'.
Obama appears more authoritarian because he came to office at the point global Wall Street was ready to reveal this march to colonial status for the US and Americans. He is just MOVING FORWARD this One World International Economic Zone scheme as any WALL STREET PLAYER will. He was allowed to lie/cheat/steal the Democratic election because national media painted him as a FDR social Democrat...they did the same for Clinton.
WE HAVE NO HONEST ELECTION COVERAGE BECAUSE OF THESE MEDIA CONSOLIDATIONS!
The quote above was from what would be called a liberal media outlet and the article below is the conservative voice saying the same. We didn't hear these conservative voices when Bush did the same and that is why all this capture is expanding. We used to be able to expose national media capture through local media with broad voice -----but now our local media is the global media outlets.
Media Blasts Obama: Most Closed, Control Freak Administration
OCTOBER 11, 2013
You know things are really bad when the mainstream press corps trashes the Obama administration—on the record!—for its secrecy, aggressive efforts to control information and hostility towards the media when it exposes information viewed as unfavorable to the president.
This includes an unprecedented number of prosecutions of government sources, seizures of journalists’ records and even criminal investigations of reporters. As a result government sources are afraid to speak to journalists, even if it doesn’t involve sensitive national security issues but rather routine stories that help keep elected officials and government accountable. “There’s no question that sources are looking over their shoulders,” said a senior managing editor at the Associated Press, who added that “sources are more jittery and more standoffish.”
A veteran chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times, David E. Sanger says “this is the most closed, control freak administration I’ve ever covered.” Consider the source; a journalist at a powerful mainstream newspaper well known for its favorable coverage of everything Obama. The surprising lashing by the mainstream media comes this week via a special report on the Obama administration and the press from the Committee to Protect Journalists.
A former executive editor at the Washington Post wrote the analysis, which includes scary details of the Obama administration’s efforts to control and even silence the media. It also offers a forum for some of the nation’s best known journalists and editors to vent about the unprecedented animosity towards the press. The Obama administration is “squeezing the flow of information at several pressure points,” says a former CNN Washington bureau chief who directs the School of Media and Public Affairs at a university. This includes limitations on everyday access necessary for the administration to explain itself and be held accountable.
How bad is it? “The Obama administration is far worse than the Bush administration,” in trying to thwart accountability reporting about government agencies, according to Ellen Weiss, Washington bureau chief for E.W. Scripps newspapers and stations. ABC News White House correspondent Ann Compton, who has been covering presidents since Gerald Ford, reveals in the report that “there is no access to the daily business in the Oval Office, who the president meets with, who he gets advice from.” In fact, Compton said many of Obama’s important meetings with outside figures on issues like health care, immigration, or the economy are not even listed on his public schedule which makes media coverage difficult.
“I think we have a real problem,” said New York Times national security reporter Scott Shane. “Most people are deterred by those leaks prosecutions. They’re scared to death. There’s a gray zone between classified and unclassified information, and most sources were in that gray zone. Sources are now afraid to enter that gray zone. It’s having a deterrent effect. If we consider aggressive press coverage of government activities being at the core of American democracy, this tips the balance heavily in favor of the government.”
The Associated Press’s executive editor, Kathleen Carroll, said the report highlights the growing threats to the freedom of the press that’s essential to America’s democracy. “We find we must fight for those freedoms every day as the fog of secrecy descends on every level of government activity,” she said, pointing out the Justice Department’s secret seizure of Associated Press phone records. The AP’s president said it constituted a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather news and even the Obama-loving American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) called it an “abuse of power.”
While it was certainly surprising to see mainstream journalists trashing the administration in this manner, the secrecy is old news. Remember how the president promised that he would have the most transparent administration in history? He also said transparency promotes accountability and provides information for people to know what their government is doing. “It’s turning out to be the administration of unprecedented secrecy and unprecedented attacks on a free press,” according to New York Times editor Margaret Sullivan.
While many US investigative journalists fired by corporate takeover of our major media outlets went to online media and have independent media sights, so too did corporate media and now our online media outlets are overwhelmingly Clinton/Bush/Obama 1% Wall Street and DROWNING out this venue for REAL journalism. Governing is a media outlet on public policy that is just that-----is takes the US Chamber of Commerce MOVING FORWARD issues keeping citizens uninformed and provide research after the fact showing how all that Congress or a state pushed was wrong.
The 2008 economic crash brought this global Wall Street control of all media---including our public media outlets and here we see in 2012 the US Chamber of Commerce----now global Wall Street--------laying out their agenda and it is exactly what Obama and Congressional neo-liberals MOVED FORWARD----as the same done in Bush. I follow most of the online journalism to watch for those old-school reporters vs this corporate expansion to kill more citizen voice and you will do a search engine google and see almost all articles these days being front-loaded for the US Chamber of Commerce media and talking points.
REAGAN was able to start the extreme wealth ball rolling because he and Republicans do a great job selling the idea that the Chamber of Commerce knows best---and Americans have in modern times had local Chambers indeed having some voice in economies----NO MORE. Returning media to citizen voice and away from US Chamber of Commerce IS CRITICAL FOR FAIRNESS DOCTRINE returning our broad citizen voice in all public policy----
THE US CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IS GLOBAL WALL STREET AND IF THEY HAVE ALL THE VOICE IN OUR MEDIA---AND HAVE WALL STREET PLAYERS FILLING OUR GOVERNMENT---WE THE PEOPLE WILL NOT HAVE A VOICE.
I would not go to REAL NEWS for example---the global billionaire neo-liberal media outlet for photos or material because I do not want to allow them any source material in rebuilding our US media.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Lays Out Goals for 2012
In his State of American Business speech, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Donohue outlined the organization's vision and focuses for the coming year.
by Dylan Scott | January 12, 2012
The Aspen Institute/Flickr CC
In his State of American Business speech Thursday morning, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Donohue outlined the organization's vision and focuses for the coming year, zeroing in on a reduction in the regulatory framework for businesses and pursuing policies that will address the nation's unemployment rate.
The Chamber expects the U.S. economy to grow by 2.5 percent for the first half of 2012 and hopes it will increase to 3 percent by the end of the year, Donohue said, adding that it "has to grow faster than it is now" to put the 23 million either out of work or underemployed back to work. He cited the uncertainty of new regulations under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the additional requirements of the Affordable Care Act as factors that had led to uncertainty among American businesses. Donohue pointed to a Chamber survey that found 80 percent of U.S. small businesses are concerned about higher taxes and increased regulations.
The Chamber will lobby President Barack Obama and Congress to take action in the coming year on energy and infrastructure issues, innovation and a strategy for dealing with the increasingly costly entitlement programs. Donohue said, the organization's 100th anniversary. "2012 must not be a wasted year simply because it is an election year," he said.
Donohue laid out the five focuses of the Chamber's agenda for the new year:
- Producing American energy and rebuilding U.S. infrastructure. Donohue urged the Obama administration to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, construct a next-generation air traffic control system and invest in the nation's water infrastructure.
- Expanding trade, investment and tourism. The Chamber will push for the completion of a Trans-Pacific Partnership, normalized trade relations with Russia and an expansion of the visa-waiver program.
- Advancing regulatory and legal reform. Donohue stressed curbing the "regulatory overreach" of the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Labor Relations Board, adding that the Chamber would support regulations "that make sense."
- Developing an innovation agenda. He said the Chamber promotes the passage of intellectual property protection legislation, comprehensive education reform, an overhaul of the tax system with lower corporate taxes and immigration reform that provides official status to undocumented residents.
- Controlling spending and reforming entitlements. Donohue stressed the need to revamp Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security in particular. "Without reform, they will soon devour the entire federal budget," he said.
Reform to K-12 education, Medicaid and immigration would have tangible effects for states and localities. In a press conference after the speech, Donohue said that state governments, which have balanced budget requirements and are facing their own challenges with public pensions and Medicaid, should provide a model for the federal government as it seeks to cut spending and reduce its deficit. He urged governors and state legislators to petition their representatives in Congress to pass policies that will create jobs back in their home states.
The Chamber will also undertake a voter education initiative for the 2012 election, Donohue said. Although the organization doesn't endorse candidates for president, Donohue said the Chamber would be involved in congressional races, as well as elections for state supreme court justices and state attorneys general.
Despite much of the skepticism surrounding the economy and its current slow recovery, Donohue expressed optimism at the conclusion of his remarks.
"We must not lose the spirit of enterprise and risk-taking that has served the country and our economy so well," he said. "We are reaffirming our commitment to free enterprise, the greatest economic system ever devised and the driver of America's greatness."
OF COURSE FREE ENTERPRISE WAS KILLED BY CORPORATE MONOPOLY, SYSTEMIC CORPORATE FRAUD, AND CORPORATE SUBSIDY THESE FEW DECADES OF CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA.
It is very, very, very hard for the American people to find REAL information and that's the way it's supposed to be. The REAL journalists are facing all kinds of mechanisms in place to hide their articles, derail their sites, and social media has become one big propaganda machine for SAYING ANYTHING. This is why social Democrats would be building local print media---local TV and radio media and keeping social media exposure as one of many media arms outing the grassroots POSERS.
This is a Republican reporter writing about the same issues undermining REAL conservative Republicans trying to regain solid truthful media describing the craziness of the propaganda hounds. The Tea Party started simply to fight Bush neo-cons and the loss of real conservative and free market policy when national media attached Koch Brothers to this movement just as all that is real social democratic media is being sold as socialism. I'm sure the Koch Brothers do send funds to Tea Party just as I'm sure Wall Street sends funds to CLINTON/OBAMA neo-liberals. National media buried the Tea Party in floods of propaganda stopping what is a REAL Republican attempt to shake GLOBAL WALL STREET --while national media tries to kill social democrats making everything SOCIALIST OR COMMUNIST. Below you see this right-wing neo-con calling global corporate control of government SOCIALISM AND BIG GOVERNMENT. Obama was of course not helping American homeowners---he was setting them up as Bush was while creating the next economic crash.
THE ATLANTIC, THE NEW REPUBLIC, THE NATION, THE PROGRESSIVE-----SALON, ROLLING STONE---all having bloggers sounding socially progressive pushing the ONE WORLD agenda. Huffington Post was created by a right-wing Huffington to control left-leaning social media and she sold it to what was someone else doing the same.
WE CAN TELL THE POSERS BOTH CONSERVATIVE OR SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC BY THE TALKING POINTS----THE SOURCES THEY BRING TO THE ARTICLES.
'the leader and symbol of the downtrodden American masses suffering under the onslaught of 21st century socialism and big government'.
SOCIAL DEMOCRATS ARE BEING KILLED BY WALL STREET PLAYERS WHILE THE TEA PARTY ARE FIGHTING MUCH HARDER TO CONTROL THEIR PUBLIC POLICY DISCUSSIONS. WE MUST MAKE REAL SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC MEDIA OUTLETS STRONG
Below is one big play on Tea Party vs Bush neo-cons with poser bloggers and all. It is critical for social Democrats to know what the other side is doing so we must follow their struggles with media to understand how 1% Wall Street CLINTON/OBAMA are doing the same with our ability to get REAL information.
'ChicagoTeaParty.com was just one part of a larger network of Republican sleeper-cell-blogs set up over the course of the past few months, all of them tied to a shady rightwing advocacy group coincidentally named the "Sam Adams Alliance," whose backers have until now been kept hidden from public'.
'the leader and symbol of the downtrodden American masses suffering under the onslaught of 21st century socialism and big government'.
Playboy dips a toe into investigative journalism
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This morning, my twitter feed was all abuzz with this piece from Playboy purporting to prove that the Tea Party phenomenon was all a Koch-funded astroturf operation, with the implication that the initial Santelli rant that touched it off was some sort of a plant.
What's that you say? The link is dead? Indeed it is. Fortunately, as it happens, I happened to have a second browser open with the article; text below the fold.
Backstabber: Is Rick Santelli High On Koch?
By Mark Ames and Yasha Levine
Last week, CNBC correspondent Rick Santelli rocketed from being a little-known second-string correspondent to a populist hero of the disenfranchised, a 21st-century Samuel Adams, the leader and symbol of the downtrodden American masses suffering under the onslaught of 21st century socialism and big government. Santelli's "rant" last-week calling for a "Chicago Tea Party" to protest President Obama's plans to help distressed American homeowners rapidly spread across the blogosphere and shot right up into White House spokesman Robert Gibbs' craw, whose smackdown during a press conference was later characterized by Santelli as "a threat" from the White House. A nationwide "tea party" grassroots Internet protest movement has sprung up seemingly spontaneously, all inspired by Santelli, with rallies planned today in cities from coast to coast to protest against Obama's economic policies.
But was Santelli's rant really so spontaneous? How did a minor-league TV figure, whose contract with CNBC is due this summer, get so quickly launched into a nationwide rightwing blog sensation? Why were there so many sites and organizations online and live within minutes or hours after his rant, leading to a nationwide protest just a week after his rant?
What hasn't been reported until now is evidence linking Santelli's "tea party" rant with some very familiar names in the Republican rightwing machine, from PR operatives who specialize in imitation-grassroots PR campaigns (called "astroturfing") to bigwig politicians and notorious billionaire funders. As veteran Russia reporters, both of us spent years watching the Kremlin use fake grassroots movements to influence and control the political landscape. To us, the uncanny speed and direction the movement took and the players involved in promoting it had a strangely forced quality to it. If it seemed scripted, that's because it was.
What we discovered is that Santelli's "rant" was not at all spontaneous as his alleged fans claim, but rather it was a carefully-planned trigger for the anti-Obama campaign. In PR terms, his February 19th call for a "Chicago Tea Party" was the launch event of a carefully organized and sophisticated PR campaign, one in which Santelli served as a frontman, using the CNBC airwaves for publicity, for the some of the craziest and sleaziest rightwing oligarch clans this country has ever produced. Namely, the Koch family, the multibilllionaire owners of the largest private corporation in America, and funders of scores of rightwing thinktanks and advocacy groups, from the Cato Institute and Reason Magazine to FreedomWorks. The scion of the Koch family, Fred Koch, was a co-founder of the notorious extremist-rightwing John Birch Society.
As you read this, Big Business is pouring tens of millions of dollars into their media machines in order to destroy just about every economic campaign promise Obama has made, as reported recently in the Wall Street Journal. At stake isn't the little guy's fight against big government, as Santelli and his bot-supporters claim, but rather the "upper 2 percent"'s war to protect their wealth from the Obama Adminstration's economic plans. When this Santelli "grassroots" campaign is peeled open, what's revealed is a glimpse of what is ahead and what is bound to be a hallmark of his presidency.
Let's go back to February 19th: Rick Santelli, live on CNBC, standing in the middle of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, launches into an attack on the just-announced $300 billion slated to stem rate of home foreclosures: "The government is promoting bad behavior! Do we really want to subsidize the losers' mortgages?! This is America! We're thinking of having a Chicago tea party in July, all you capitalists who want to come down to Lake Michigan, I'm gonna start organizing."
Almost immediately, the clip and the unlikely "Chicago tea party" quote buried in the middle of the segment, zoomed across a well-worn path to headline fame in the Republican echo chamber, including red-alert headlines on Drudge.
Within hours of Santelli's rant, a website called ChicagoTeaParty.com sprang to life. Essentially inactive until that day, it now featured a YouTube video of Santelli's "tea party" rant and billed itself as the official home of the Chicago Tea Party. The domain was registered in August, 2008 by Zack Christenson, a dweeby Twitter Republican and producer for a popular Chicago rightwing radio host Milt Rosenberg--a familiar name to Obama campaign people. Last August, Rosenberg, who looks like Martin Short's Irving Cohen character, caused an outcry when he interviewed Stanley Kurtz, the conservative writer who first "exposed" a personal link between Obama and former Weather Undergound leader Bill Ayers. As a result of Rosenberg's radio interview, the Ayers story was given a major push through the Republican media echo chamber, culminating in Sarah Palin's accusation that Obama was "palling around with terrorists." That Rosenberg's producer owns the "chicagoteaparty.com" site is already weird--but what's even stranger is that he first bought the domain last August, right around the time of Rosenburg's launch of the "Obama is a terrorist" campaign. It's as if they held this "Chicago tea party" campaign in reserve, like a sleeper-site. Which is exactly what it was.
ChicagoTeaParty.com was just one part of a larger network of Republican sleeper-cell-blogs set up over the course of the past few months, all of them tied to a shady rightwing advocacy group coincidentally named the "Sam Adams Alliance," whose backers have until now been kept hidden from public. Cached google records that we discovered show that the Sam Adams Alliance took pains to scrub its deep links to the Koch family money as well as the fake-grassroots "tea party" protests going on today. All of these roads ultimately lead back to a more notorious rightwing advocacy group, FreedomWorks, a powerful PR organization headed by former Republican House Majority leader Dick Armey and funded by Koch money.
On the same day as Santelli's rant, February 19, another site called Officialchicagoteaparty.com went live. This site was registered to Eric Odom, who turned out to be a veteran Republican new media operative specializing in imitation-grassroots PR campaigns. Last summer, Odom organized a twitter-led campaign centered around DontGo.com to pressure Congress and Nancy Pelosi to pass the offshore oil drilling bill, something that would greatly benefit Koch Industries, a major player in oil and gas. Now, six months later, Odom's DontGo movement was resurrected to play a central role in promoting the "tea party" movement.
Up until last month, Odom was officially listed as the "new media coordinator" for the Sam Adams Alliance, a well-funded libertarian activist organization based in Chicago that was set up only recently. Samuel Adams the historical figure was famous for inspiring and leading the Boston Tea Party--so when the PR people from the Chicago-based Sam Adams Alliance abruptly leave in order to run Santelli's "Chicago Tea Party," you know it wasn't spontaneous. Odom certainly doesn't want people to know about the link: his name was scrubbed from the Sam Adams Alliance website recently, strongly suggesting that they wanted to cover their tracks. Thanks to google caching, you can see the SAA's before-after scrubbing.Even the Sam Adams' January 31 announcement that Odom's fake-grassroots group was "no longer sponsored by the Alliance" was shortly afterwards scrubbed.
But it's the Alliance's scrubbing of their link to Koch that is most telling. A cached page, erased on February 16, just three days before Santelli's rant, shows that the Alliance also wanted to cover up its ties to the Koch family. The missing link was an announcement that students interested in applying for internships to the Sam Adams Alliance could also apply through the "Charles G. Koch Summer Fellow Program" through the Institute for Humane Studies, a Koch-funded rightwing institute designed to scout and nurture future leaders of corporate libertarian ideology. The top two board directors at the Sam Adams Alliance include two figures with deep ties to Koch-funded programs: Eric O'Keefe, who previously served in Koch's Institute for Humane Studies and the Club For Growth; and Joseph Lehman, a former communications VP at Koch's Cato Institute.
All of these are ultimately linked up to Koch's Freedom Works mega-beast. Freedomworks.org has drawn fire in the past for using fake grassroots internet campaigns, called "astroturfing," to push for pet Koch projects such as privatizing social security. A New York Times investigation in 2005 revealed that a "regular single mom" paraded by Bush's White House to advocate for privatizing social security was in fact FreedomWorks' Iowa state director. The woman, Sandra Jacques, also fronted another Iowa fake-grassroots group called "For Our Grandchildren," even though privatizing social security was really "For Koch And Wall Street Fat Cats."
If you log into FreedomWorks.org today, its home page features a large photo of Rick Santelli pointing at the viewer like Uncle Sam, with the words: "Are you with Rick? We Are. Click here to learn more."
FreedomWorks, along with scores of shady front organizations which don't have to disclose their sponsors thanks to their 501 (c)(3) status, has been at the heart of today's supposed grassroots, nonpartisan "tea party" protests across the country, supposedly fueled by scores of websites which masquerade as amateur/spontaneous projects, but are suspiciously well-crafted and surprisingly well-written. One slick site pushing the tea parties, Right.org claims, "Right.org is a grassroots online community created by a few friends who were outraged by the bailouts. So we gathered some talent and money and built this site. Please tell your friends, and if you have suggestions for improving it, please let us know. Respectfully, Evan and Duncan." But funny enough, these regular guys are offering a $27,000 prize for an "anti-bailout video competition." Who are Evan and Duncan? Do they even really exist?
Even Facebook pages dedicated to a specific city "tea party" events, supposedly written by people connected only by a common emotion, obviously conformed to the same style. It was as if they were part of a multi-pronged advertising campaign planned out by a professional PR company. Yet, on the surface, they pretended to have no connection. The various sites set up their own Twitter feeds and Facebook pages dedicated to the Chicago Tea Party movement. And all of them linked to one another, using it as evidence that a decentralized, viral movement was already afoot. It wasn't about partisanship; it was about real emotions coming straight from real people.
While it's clear what is at stake for the Koch oligarch clan and their corporate and political allies--fighting to keep the hundreds of billions in surplus profits they've earned thanks to pro-rich economic policies over the past 30 years--what's a little less obvious is Santelli's link to all this. Why would he (and CNBC) risk their credibility, such as it is, as journalists dispensing financial information in order to act as PR fronts for a partisan campaign?
As noted above, Santelli's contract with CNBC runs out in a few months. His 10 years with the network haven't been remarkable, and he'll enter a brutal downsizing media job market. Thanks to the "tea party" campaign, as the article notes, Santelli's value has suddenly soared. If you look at the scores of blogs and fake-commenters on blogs (for example, Daily Blog, a slick new blog launched in January which is also based in Chicago) all puff up Santelli like he's the greatest journalist in America, and the greatest hero known to mankind. Daily Bail, like so much of this "tea party" machine, is "headquartered nearby" to Santelli, that is, in Chicago. With Odom, the Sam Adams Alliance, and the whole "tea party" nexus: "Rick, this message is to you. You are a true American hero and there are no words to describe what you did today except your own. Headquartered nearby, we will be helping the organization in whatever way possible."
It's not difficult to imagine how Santelli hooked up with this crowd. A self-described "Ayn Rand-er," one of Santelli's colleagues at CNBC, Lawrence Kudlow, played a major role in both FreedomWorks and the Club for Growth.
So today's protests show that the corporate war is on, and this is how they'll fight it: hiding behind "objective" journalists and "grassroots" new media movements. Because in these times, if you want to push for policies that help the super-wealthy, you better do everything you can to make it seem like it's "the people" who are "spontaneously" fighting your fight. As a 19th century slave management manual wrote, "The master should make it his business to show his slaves, that the advancement of his individual interest, is at the same time an advancement of theirs. Once they feel this, it will require little compulsion to make them act as becomes them." (Southern Agriculturalist IX, 1836.) The question now is, will they get away with it, and will the rest of America advance the interests of Koch, Santelli, and the rest of the masters?
1) The smoking gun, to the extent that there is one, is the "chicagoteaparty" domain. But the timing doesn't work. No one in August knew that there were going to be massive bailouts and stimulus packages against which they could protest. On the other hand, if you think that taxes are going to go up, it's not crazy for founding-fathers-obsessed conservatives to start registering any domain that involves tea parties. That doesn't mean that they then orchestrated an elaborate ruse in order to give them an excuse to deploy the domain; it's just as likely that they simply leaped in when opportunity arose. Domain squatting is ubiquitous these days, particularly among political groups, and there are probably dozens out there now just waiting for the right catchphrase to make them relevant.
2) I don't see any evidence offered that Koch money funds FreedomWorks, or any astroturfing organization. They may--a lot of groups do it, including groups on the left--but there's precious little evidence of it in this article. Koch is pretty open about their connection with institutions like IHS, but from what I know of them, astroturfing doesn't really seem like their style. I've seen Koch in action at private events, and though I'll respect the privacy, I'll say that even in the company of other like-minded rich people, he displayed rather a mania for honest dealing. That's not to say that it's impossible that they do fund FreedomWorks--I'm not particularly conversant with the world of 501(c)(3) funders. But Freedomworks doesn't publish its donor list, and there's no source offered for the claim.
3) The accusation against Santelli is potentially libelous, which is, I assume, why the article disappeared this morning. If I were Santelli, I'd sue. Aside from the fact that I have absolutely no reason to question Santelli's sincerity, I find it pretty hard to believe that any private group would be willing to front enough money to make it worth a television correspondent's while to risk all his future salary payments.
4) I have no doubt that there has been involvement of various right-wing groups with the tea parties. So what? Groups--often funded by God knows who--coordinate protests. The article implies that the people who participated were therefore insincere. I know some of the people who went to these things, and trust me, they hate taxes and government every bit as much as they claimed.
5) The claim that Odom's name was "scrubbed" from the Alliance seems weak. Usually, when people leave an organization, the organization takes their name off the website. My name has been "scrubbed" from multiple sites by employers because, erm, I'm no longer associated with them. The implication of that paragraph is that Odom hasn't really quit, but is being paid to run a front group. But that's a big claim, and there's no sourcing offered.
6) Likewise, the Koch fellows program is not some dark secret. Koch funds interns to work at various market-friendly groups. The fellows application process may have been closed, or Koch may have chosen to stop funding interns at the Sam Adams alliance. But I doubt that they took the name down because it provided a shadowy link to someone who no longer works there.
I presume that the people who put this blogpost up thought they had a big muckracking scoop. But take out the innuendo, and nothing's sourced, not even to the level of "people close to the organization tell us" or "it is rumored"; they just assert major factst hat are not, so far as I know, in evidence. You can get away with that on a personal blog, because, really, is Santelli going to bother to sue you? But for a major media organization, things like this require a little more care. Investigative journalism is quite hard, and involves more than printing things you think are probably true, which is why people who are good at it, like Spencer Ackerman, are so valuable--and why organizations that do a lot of it have big legal staffs and experienced editors to make sure they can back up what they say.
This is the sort of thing that has always haunted media organizations that start blogs. It's bad enough if an employee says something that you, as an organization, regret. But paid staffers can also say things that put you on the hook for big payouts.
Of course, it will be very exciting for Playboy if it turns out their employees hit the jackpot. But given how thinly sourced it is--the entire thing mostly seems to rest on the ownership of two domain names--I wouldn't bet on it. And given that the article has been taken down, apparently, neither would they.
I think it's too late for that now, however; Playboy either needs to stand by the article and put it back up, or explain why they took it down--and why they put it up in the first place.
Full disclosure: It's pretty much an open secret in DC, but given the content of the article I'm discussing, I think I ought to mention that I live with Peter Suderman, who once worked for Freedomworks. Other than giving me the name of the right employee to email to make inquiries (no word back yet), I haven't asked him about his former employer, and he hasn't told me anything. I debated whether to write about this, but since I'm not actually defending Freedomworks, I think it's kosher.
Update: Apparently Koch used to fund Freedomworks' predecessor group, Citizens for a Sound Economy. That's still a long way from a Koch-directed plot to inundate our nation's metros with tea.
Update II: . . . but apparently there was some rift between Koch and CSE, and according to my sources, Koch may have stopped funding them long ago.
'We should be concerned about press freedom in both the U.S. and the U.K. regardless of what the numbers say, and understand how intertwined anti-press freedom efforts are in both countries'.
If one is a REAL conservative Republican they should doubt the legitimacy of a media outlet calling themselves champions of conservative journalism when they use false information like
ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, NPR=====BEING FAR-LEFT. We all know they are 1% Wall Street far-right global media outlets so when a group LIES about what is LEFT-----they will lie about what is right. This is why our organization is honest in speaking about good right journalism ---- journalists want to print the truth.
We KNOW EOAN is not the real grassroots deal for conservative news.
EOA News, a division of EOA Network is a conservative news and opinion site and a leader in grassroots journalism. The Main Stream Media is to “objective journalism” as Snooki is to Mensa. ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, NPR, and the list goes on and on, but they have all have been fully co-opted by the Far Left. Sadly, however, some of the online alternatives have become more obsessed with getting “hits” than they are with offering solid and consistent investigative journalism. That’s where we come in. EOA News is THE antidote to left wing media bias, not just because we’re “from the right”, but because we do journalism right.
We believe in individual liberty, fiscal conservatism, personal responsibility, limited government, and economic freedom for all Americans. We are concerned citizen journalists who are tired of all the political rhetoric and we are here to get to the bottom of the news. We are a coalition of concerned Pavement Patriots joining forces to bring you political news and to hold our elected officials accountable. We are the go-to resource for investigative, grassroots journalism. We are America.
MSNBC and MOVE ON were created in the 1990s just to make the Clinton's look left-leaning ----not the Wall Street far-right neo-liberals they intended to be. MSNBC did this until these few years when they started shifting to the CORPORATE SOCIALISM----far-right Libertarian Marxism so now they have 'neo-liberal bashing' -----we are allowed to bash neo-liberalism in media because 1% Wall Street is MOVING FARTHER RIGHT----TO LIBERTARIAN AND PRETENDING IT IS FAR-LEFT SOCIALISM.
'In March, a Pew Research Center study -- yes, Pew -- found that 85 percent of MSNBC's programming is dedicated to "opinion," versus 15 percent that is dedicated to "news."'
What makes this media post even worse is that POLITICO has always been an insider Washington DC media outlet. Yes, MSNBC and FOX NEWS has always been propaganda.
Is MSNBC worse than Fox News?
By Dylan Byers
12/09/13 12:34 PM EST
This is the quickest way to turn a pleasant dinner party into a shouting match: Posit that MSNBC is not as bad as Fox News, but rather worse than Fox News.
"How can you say that!? Fox News is practically an arm of the Republican party! Biased as MSNBC may be, it doesn't try to take an active role in presidential elections! It doesn't live in a choose-your-own-reality cocoon where the facts don't matter!"
The effort to defend MSNBC against comparisons to Fox News is always telling, because there was a time before MSNBC when liberals recoiled at the notion of agenda-driven programming in general. The acceptance of MSNBC was, like the acceptance of Super PACs, an acknowledgement that the rules on the ground had changed.
"I know it's biased, but how else to combat the misinformation on Fox!"... which is funny, because that's how Fox News started, as a counterbalance against perceived liberal biases in the mainstream media.
But here's the thing, and I hope it doesn't ruin your dinner: MSNBC is certainly as bad as Fox News, in terms of presenting ideologically biased information and demonizing the opposition. If you want to console yourself with the fact that Phil Griffin never tried to get someone to run for president, fine, you can have it.
In March, a Pew Research Center study -- yes, Pew -- found that 85 percent of MSNBC's programming is dedicated to "opinion," versus 15 percent that is dedicated to "news." Fox News dedicated just 55 percent of its programming to "opinion" and 45 percent to "news." (CNN dedicates 46 percent to "opinion" and 54 percent to "news.") During the 2012 election, the ratio of unfavorable to favorable treatment in stories on Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on MSNBC “was roughly 23-to-1; the negative-to-positive ratio on Fox News was 8-to-1.”
Ok, fine. But MSNBC's opinions are rooted in fact, whereas the Bill O'Reillys and Sean Hannitys willingly peddle misinformation!
But see, that's the thing. Many of MSNBC's opinions aren't rooted in fact. Many of them are rooted in unfounded speculation. Melissa Harris-Perry's recent claim that Obamacare is a racially loaded term conceived of "by a group of wealthy white men who needed a way to put themselves above and apart from a black man" is based on... what? The fact that the term was first used by a woman? The fact that, from Reaganomics to Hillarycare, we've always ascribed names to signature policies and legislation?
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. In a new essay for The National Review, Charles C. W. Cooke explains how MSNBC routinely demonizes the opposition to the point of absurdity:
“Biased” doesn’t cut it. To watch MSNBC for an afternoon is not so much to be given a slanted account of what is happening here in America, but instead to witness a series of discussions about current events in parallel America II... America II, as anyone who watches the channel will discover rather swiftly, hosts a supermajority of well-meaning multi-culti, progressive types whose foolproof plans for explosive economic growth, uniform social justice, and general human utopia are constantly being undone by a blossoming white-supremacist movement, split apart by neo-secessionists, and existentially threatened by traitors whose defining characteristic is a never-quite-explained hatred for progress. America II features no gray areas whatsoever: All local variation is apartheid, each and every identification requirement is the second coming of Jim Crow, all criticism of the government is sedition. It’s exhausting. ...
Perhaps the most startling thing about the network is that one doesn’t need to even infer or twist anything in order to wallow in the gratifying stupefaction that its hosts just said what they just said.... But with MSNBC, no such mendacity is necessary. No clever editing. No false contexts. One can just read the transcripts. They meant to say that. ... After all, what would one possibly add to Martin Bashir’s suggestions that someone should defecate in Sarah Palin’s mouth, that conservatives are using the acronym “IRS” as a stand-in for “n***er,” or that Ted Cruz is the “David Koresh” of the Republican party? What could be achieved by sexing up Chris Matthews’s conviction that tea partiers “still count blacks as three-fifths” of a person, or that the perpetrators of 9/11 “just have a different perspective”? What might a worker bee charged with feeding the outrage machine do to make more impressive Joy Reid’s asseveration that Republicans are “resentful” of “post-1964 America,” or to improve upon Ed Schultz’s faith that “God supports Obamacare,” or to render more absurd Michael Eric Dyson’s contention that Eric Holder is “the chief lawgiver” and the “Moses of our time”?
For a display in extreme verbal calisthenics, ask an MSNBC type to defend these remarks. What you will witness is a slow crumbling of intellectual integrity, a defense that would never be offered on behalf of someone from the other side who practiced a similar flawed logic.
(WATCH - On Media: MSNBC leans backwards)
And that's the other thing: By now, an MSNBC defender reading this piece surely assumes I'm a pro-Fox News conservative. Because if you actually see America as America I and America II -- if you actually believe that every action taken against Obama's policies is inherently racist -- then you probably believe that I'm part of America II. Because, despite what Obama said in Boston in 2004, there are only two Americas: there's us and there's them, which leaves little room for independents.
One of the great media stories of the 21st century is the rise of MSNBC as a counterbalance to Fox News and a powerful platform for the progressive agenda -- an evolution that has done many great things for the Democratic party. The lesser told story is how the network, in a bid for ratings, repeatedly tempts its base away from the thing they had always prided themselves on when looking across the chasm at the conservative echo-chamber: facts.
PROGRESSIVELY GETTING RICHER IS FAR-RIGHT----SOCIALLY PROGRESSIVE ANTI-WEALTH IS LEFT.