Archive for category 4th Estate (Media)

Why We Need To Get Serious About Our Campaign Finance and Communication Laws

Can somebody tell me how the public is being served on our airwaves? I thought there were laws about this sort of thing.

Les Moonves

The CEO at CBS, Les Moonvez, had this to say about that television station’s coverage of the 2016 race, at a UBS investment bank seminar:

…we have the superbowl and we have a year of political advertising that looks like it’s shaping up to be pretty phenomenal, you know, we love having all 16 Republican candidates throwing crap at each other, it’s great! The more they spend the better it is for us and uh… GO DONALD! Keep gettin’ out there and, you know, this is fun. Let them spend money on us and we love having them in there and we’re looking forward to a very exciting political year in 2016.

You can hear the quote at this link from BradBlog’s post on 12/11/2015. [at about 30:00 minutes in]

But let’s not let ABC or all the other outlets off the hook for downright bad coverage of the election, and the debates which haven’t included even one question about climate change from the moderators.

The real story of this election season, is how a self described “democratic socialist” has become the favorite of the American public. Bernie Sanders would easily win a contest with Donald Trump if the election were held today, but except for a couple of debates, he doesn’t exist on the public airwaves:

From Media Matters:

So in terms of stand-alone campaign stories this year, it’s been 234 minutes for Trump, compared to 10 minutes for Sanders. And at ABC World News Tonight, it’s been 81 minutes for Trump and less than one minute for Sanders.

NPR reported 20 seconds for Sanders on ABC World News.

Let “the invisible hand of the market” pick your president.

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Could This Be The Future Of The Salt Lake Tribune?

This is a really bizarre story that was featured on “All Things Considered” yesterday. Nevada’s largest newspaper has been purchased, and the new owner/s won’t tell anybody know who they are.

Adding to the mystery is this:

…why would someone, anyone, buy the Las Vegas Review-Journal for $140 million in cash for about 40 percent more than it had commanded in an earlier sale just months before?

Considering the paper has an agreement with another paper, similar to the one between The Salt Lake Tribune, and the Deseret Morning News here, this could impact us locally if whoever did this succeeds in being an anonymous forth estate pioneer.

The Deseret News wouldn’t even allow industrialist, and Utahn, John Huntsman to buy out The Salt Lake Tribune here, which made me wonder who they were holding out for. Mitt Romney was floating around in my brain as a possible conflict there, and I’m certain they weren’t waiting for the public to raise enough money to create a journalistic counterbalance to themselves, since they’ve been fighting against that since biblical times around here.

I can think whatever I want, since nobody pays me to do this, but you can be sure the employees of the Las Vegas Review-Journal must be wondering what the hell they can report on, without getting told to hit the streets, but not for stories this time.

I can’t figure out if this phantom owner is really powerful or just stupid. How will he/they be able to get away with this?

David Folkenflik of NPR News, ends with:

The Review-Journal has an arrangement with the smaller Las Vegas Sun, in which the two share costs and profits. In such an agreement, the U.S. Justice Department gets to scrutinize any new owner for antitrust concerns. A Justice Department spokesman wouldn’t comment, but he acknowledged his colleagues had no idea who now owns the paper either.

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The Purity Culture’s Stew of Terror and Misinformation Boils Over

I’ve been trying to make sense of the antics on display at the Omaha Public School hearing about making changes to their thirty year old sexuality education program.

It had the hallmarks of a moral panic:

A moral panic is a public panic over an issue deemed to be a threat to, or shocking to, the sensibilities of “proper” society. This is often fanned by sensationalistselective reporting in the media and exaggerated accounts offered by “moral entrepreneur,” a category that includes politicians on the make and activists in search of a cause. Moral panics can result in what is a real phenomenon being blown way out of proportion, or in what is not a real phenomenon in the first place being widely believed to be real. Moral panics often feature a caricatured or stereotypical “folk devil” on which the anxieties of the community are focused, as described by sociologist Stanley Cohen who coined the term in his study Folk Devils and Moral Panics, which examined media coverage of the mod and rocker riots in the 1960s.[1][2]

Read the rest of this entry »

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Tea-GOPers Against ‘Free Stuff’ Unless It’s For The Rich

Monopoly man

Media Matters nails it.

Conservative media outlets are characterizing support among Democratic presidential candidates for raising the minimum wage, making college tuition affordable, and reducing income inequality as giving away “free stuff,” ignoring that tax plans favored by the GOP field are tantamount to huge giveaways for the wealthiest Americans.

In an October 14 article for The New York Times, CNBC’s John Harwood explained that the so-called “populist” tax reform proposals endorsed by most of the Republican presidential candidates are actually giveaways for top income earners. Harwood used estimates from the conservative-leaning Tax Foundation to show that tax plans put out by Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Donald Trump primarily benefit the wealthy and reflect “a party still wedded to the theories of supply-side economics 35 years after President Reagan championed them under far different circumstances”…

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Man Up, CNN

Show us the first Democratic Debate in the 2016 presidential election.

Maybe you really ARE “the Clinton news network”. I used to laugh at that designation because you guys attacked Bill Clinton with the same voracity that every other lame “news” network did during the Bill Clinton impeachment nonsense.

Hillary Clinton did pretty well in the debate. She was strong, attractive, defiant, unflappable, funny, human and all the rest. So why are you so averse to giving everybody in America, no matter their internet speed, the ability to see what happened instead of the chopped up pieces you present on your crappy internet website? Could it have something to do with “capitalism”?

I went to the union center in Salt Lake City, because I was afraid my internet connection was going to hang, but it was doubtful that the internet connection there was going to work in time there either.

I woke up early the next day to see if you had a full debate video and was unable to find one, so I went to YouTube and found one – in three parts – that was taken down a couple of hours later. There is a new one on YouTube that is in sixteen or more parts. Are you going to take this one down too, or possibly give the American people the right to see American political debates on your own domain?

I present number one of…

UPDATE: I have found an actual FULL version of the debate in one segment. The previous 17 part presentation is no longer needed. I still think CNN has enough help to offer the debate on their own website though.

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Bernie Won the Debate

CNN debate poll

I know the media are going all out to claim that Hillary Clinton won the debate. Hillary held on and did well, but she didn’t win. Bernie Sanders won the polls, raked in the campaign contributions, and reached many more voters with his message (15 million people watched the debate).

In the debate, Bernie was the only candidate who identified climate change as the number one national security threat (not Russia, not ISIS, not China).

Remember when the USA PATRIOT Act passed the Senate 99-1? Last night Bernie proudly reminded us that he was the one vote against it. Hillary is still defending the USA PATRIOT Act.

Hillary doesn’t want to bring back Glass–Steagall. Lincoln Chafee said he didn’t even know what the Glass-Steagall Act was when he voted to repeal it.

Oh, and Jim Webb killed a guy in Vietnam. That was an awkward thing to bring up in a presidential debate, but it does carry commander-in-chief cred.

More info:
Ignore the Media Pundits: Bernie Sanders Won the First Democratic Debate
DC insiders think Bernie Sanders lost the debate. Here’s why they might be wrong.
CNN Focus Group Says Bernie Sanders Won The First Democratic Debate
Frank Luntz Focus Group Agrees: Bernie Sanders Won Debate
All Marco Rubio Heard At Last Night’s Debate Was ‘Free Stuff’

UPDATE:
Bernie Won All the Focus Groups & Online Polls, So Why Is the Media Saying Hillary Won the Debate?

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NPR Does Hack Job On Bernie Sanders

I was listening to NPR the other day and heard a report about Bernie Sanders’s visit to, and speech at the very conservative Liberty University. If you think my heading is harsh, you won’t after you compare what actually happened, to NPR’s report which played a couple of portions of the speech and literally cut out the applause. You are almost left with the sense that the Sanders event was like going to a funeral excepting when the audience cheered for fetuses.

Here is NPR’s short take on the event.

And here is Sanders’s actual speech.

I don’t appreciate being made into a fool when I try to tell people about important events. I expect a lot more from Nation Public Radio then blatant censorship and shoddy reporting. :(

UPDATE: I like to have integrity and this probably helps NPR’s case, but I’m still not changing the heading, because they could have reported it and not cut out the applause. I hadn’t seen Sanders’s introduction at Liberty University and the presenter said the front rows had been reserved for his supporters. Being the cynic that I am, and knowing Falwell as I did, I’m not so sure his son wouldn’t do that just in case there were cheers for Sanders from the students. We’ll never know.

I have replaced the original YouTube video with one that runs better and starts with at his introduction.

I’m sorry, but in my opinion, Jerry Falwell was a real swine.

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What? A Guy Can’t Cut A Deal?

Senator Rick Santorum is probably sorry one of his aides didn’t rush him off before the public had a chance to submit questions on the “Overtime” segment of the popular HBO “Real Time” political series from August 28th 2015, which takes place after the HBO cable show signs off. Americans want to know why Republicans are so upset about Obama’s recent diplomacy successes in Iran.

To those of you who are as tired of Reagan worship as I am, this might interest you. Let me try to capsulize a little American history for you here.

Near the end of the seventies, president Jimmy Carter was humiliated by Ted Koppel’s “Nightline” program, which started out every night with a countdown of how many days our second worst enemy – behind Russia – had held American hostages in that “terrorist” country. The American media still avoids touching on what Republican operatives did to gain political prominence during those times.

To make a long story short: Republicans made a secret deal to sell weapons to the “terrorists” in Iran so they could use them against our “friends” in Iraq, while at the same time, making Carter look weak by requiring Iran to detain our hostages until the very moment Reagan was sworn in. Cute. :(

That’s what Maher is alluding to in this video, which was not broadcast on his cable show. The lesson Democrats are supposed to learn, is that only Republicans can negotiate with “terrorists”. When THEY do it, it’s called a “deal”. Notice the, I got caught, look on Santorum’s face. He’ll be telling the same lie starting tomorrow.

Vote Republican. :(

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Gotta Get Me Some Of Those Baby Parts!

163217 It’s the next big thing in liberal circles across the nation. You don’t need to die now. You can get some of your youth back, but don’t delay; baby organs are gonna be sailing out the door when word gets out. Don’t worry though, when young girls find out they can make an extra 75 bucks by almost giving birth, the industry’s going to just explode!

OK, I’m sorry. There’s nothing funny about Republicans making political hay out of a very serious and private issue, but they are intent on winning in 2016, and getting rid of “Planned Parenthood” at the same time. If that means bringing bloody baby livers and tissue into the public discussion, well, that’s where we’ll have to go.

Speaker John Boehner said Planned Parenthood makes him feel like throwing up. Mike Huckabee thinks he’ll be able to use this to show up on polling results.

For some reason, this morning I turned on the Sunday morning political shows, for the first time in many years. I was shocked to see George Stephanopolis covering this story. It’s impossible not to make comparisons to the phony ACORN scandal which brought down that organization, but hey, if it worked once… Besides, if the Democrats couldn’t see fit to stand up against that scam, this one should be a breeze! We’re talking fetus’s here!

This is just more, very well financed, Breitbart style entrapment infotainment which will get a lot of people killed, allow republicans to call democrats, “baby killers” and participate in more pro-life pagentry then ever before. There couldn’t be a more cynical political strategy then this. ABC first covered this story in 2000 on 20/20, but I guess the trouble it could cause for Democrats in 2016 was just too salacious.

Sorry Boehner and Huckabee, but I think I’m the one who’s going to puke.

So far the Democratic candidates don’t seem to be taking the bait and I’m proud of them. I’m also proud of how Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood handled Stephanopolis’s phony concern beautifully. All other Democrats should have her strength:


ABC US News | World News

Please don’t cave in this time Democrats. We’re watching you. All those little children got slaugtered in the Newtown tragedy and nothing happened. You don’t have any excuse to give the Republicans a victory here. Get angry, save lives, prevent abortions and protect women’s – really everybody’s – rights.

P.S. I feel bad about using the photo shoot from the only bad idea the Bealtles ever had, but it fit my post. :) They were trying to protest the Vietnam war and save babies. It’s a good thing somebody came to their senses and pulled that album cover.

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How Could They?

Why Don't They Ever Represent Me?

Why Don’t They Ever Represent Me?

A short rant about losing one of our most important freedoms, and about the only thing you can do to keep it. Good luck.

After all these years of Americans fighting for “internet neutrality”, against the corporations who want control of the internet, and finally winning an important ruling by the FCC recently, the corporations got the house of “representatives” to sneak language into a funding bill that would stop the FCC’s ability to carry out it’s own ruling.

This bipartisan effort brought Americans from every political party together in staggering numbers in a common cause to protect our freedom to be heard and participate in the course of our lives. The internet provides the most exciting innovative possibilities imaginable, by allowing everybody – not just corporations – the unfettered ability to create new ideas for our future and even our survival.

Our collective congress doesn’t seem to care if our country has an open internet as long as they secure a campaign donation, or maybe they’re just tired of not being able to control it more to their liking. There hasn’t been a peep about this from the congress or our media. I’m sure ABC, NBC, CBS, print media and the politicians liked it a lot better when they had complete control over public discourse before the internet. I don’t share that sentiment.

DO THIS! It’s designed to be super fast and super easy. It even dials the phone for you! Can’t possibly take more then a couple of minutes and it might even be therapeutic. No excuses for you, Bubba!

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How To Talk To A Brick Wall

Utah Tar Sands Panel

Utah Tar Sands Panel


The Utah Department of Natural Resource’s Division of Oil, Gas and Mining held a hearing yesterday morning because a Canadian energy corporation has plans to mine large areas of Utah tar sands. Under state law, a hearing must be held if residents have objections.

I was worried nobody would be there to document the proceedings, so I took my camcorder to the event. The first part of the meeting was consumed by representatives for “U.S. Oil Sands”, defending the Calgary based company from questions about it’s protection of Utah’s water resources.

The Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret Morning News did stories on the matter, but I’m pretty sure I was the only one who filmed the meeting. Television crews sometimes cover things getting set up and then leave when important public events get underway.

I’m only presenting comments given by the Utah activists and citizens who showed up and elected to speak. Obviously I didn’t have a tripod. Nothing has been edited except for where the second speaker gives his name. My battery had to be changed.

Enjoy:

After the public comments, John Baza, who presided over the hearing said, “There are things that have been said here today that have touched me and I am sensitive to those.” My opinion is that the corporation will get everything it wants. Am I being cynical again?

UPDATE: Here is the panel discussion portion of the hearing. This is virtually the entire conversation. The short gaps were due to small camera adjustments. I’m still learning how to use it. :)

The man closest to, and facing away from my camera during the video and in the top picture of this post is University of Utah geology professor, Bill Johnson. He is fighting hard for Utah’s lands:

Please go to “Utah Tar Sands Resistance” to participate in stopping the destruction of our beautiful Utah lands or Donate!

UPDATE: Jill Merritt made up this handy list to navigate the first video. Thanks Jill!
speaker list 2

UPDATE: The Salt Lake Tribune has published two letters to the editor: From July 4th and July 5th. The paper has also published a very good editorial concerning the Tar Sands hearing:

Editorial: Tar sands extraction unproven and risky

UPDATE: As I suspected, the expansion of the “U.S. Oil Sands” project has been approved. The Salt Lake Tribune reports “a partial victory for environmentalists due to requiring the company to monitor nearby springs for potential groundwater contamination and submit documentation showing the mine is in compliance with air quality regulations. Of course none of the environmentalists wanted an expansion at all, and I have my doubts that the monitoring will be carried out sufficiently.

Here’s the latest Deseret News article.

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Are Americans Now Incapable Of Making Simple Decisions?

What Do I Do?

What Do I Do?

Some of the decision making abilities of our society have been purposefully confused by special interest groups who have misleading names. This has been a very successful strategy of right-leaning leaders in industry and government for many years because they know their interest in making more money, rarely if ever aligns with the average American’s real needs and wants, especially in the climate change arena.

A confusion strategy is used on bills introduced in congress and ballot issues too. You may know the name of a bill you want to contact your congressman about, but advertising on television and radio is sometimes dishonest. Added on, and last minute provisions, specifically designed to contradict the intent of a bill might even elude your congressman. It would be easy to introduce bills with names that simply give the aim of a bill, but that almost never happens today unless that bill is being introduced by Alan Grayson or Bernie Sanders.

But I thought of something the other day that really baffles me.

The supreme court has been arguing a case before them, concerning capitol punishment involving the agonizing death of an inmate due to an inability to obtain drugs from other countries that won’t sell them here, because of their opposition to capitol punishment.

Some states here allow assisted suicide as an end-of-life option. I haven’t heard of a single instance of that going bad. How did this get to the supreme court and why can’t the court see the obvious solution to this simple problem?

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