That the media need to differentiate products from those of competitors also limits the kinds of stories that can be reported. If adding a bias to a story is difficult because of the story's nature, the "free" press tends to ignore it. For instance, when the Iranian opposition engaged in anti-governmental demonstrations after the last election, the American press made much of it because the story could easily be presented as an oppressive government's suppression of dissent. But the demonstrations against austerity policies taking place in Iceland, Ireland, Great Britain, France, and Greece have gone unreported because those demonstrations cannot be presented as demonstrations against oppressive governments. Similarly, the killing of Christians in Iraq and Egypt have gone unreported because they cannot be slanted to make them seem justified. If slanted any other way, they would provide anti-war Americans with another reason to argue against the wars. Furthermore, it is difficult to sensationalize stories about foreigners Americans know nothing of. So, for instance, stories about the antics of Italy's Berlusconi would have little attraction to American viewers/listeners. Ever since it joined Mrs. Merkel’s German government, the fortunes of the pro-business Free Democrats have been dramatically changed from a party that won 15 percent during the federal elections of September 2009 to below 5 percent today, because of an increasing negative attitude of Germans for business since the current economic collapse began, a story that cannot easily be told to Americans because of American pro-business attitudes.
Snardfarker.ning.com claims that there are five reasons that the mainstream media is worthless. (1) Self-Censorship by journalists who are afraid to do what journalists were put on this green earth to do. "There's the intense pressure to maintain access to insider sources. . . . There's the fear of being labeled partisan if one's bullshit-calling isn't meted out in precisely equal increments along the political spectrum." (2) Censorship by higher-ups. "If journalists do want to speak out about an issue, they also are subject to tremendous pressure by their editors or producers to kill the story." (3) To drum support for war. "Why has the American press consistently served the elites in disseminating their false justifications for war? One of the reasons is because the large media companies are owned by those who support the militarist agenda or even directly profit from war and terror (for example, NBC . . . was owned by General Electric, one of the largest defense contractors in the world -- which directly profits from war, terrorism and chaos)." (4) Access. "For $25,000 to $250,000, The Washington Post . . . offered lobbyists and association executives off-the-record, nonconfrontational access to 'those powerful few' Obama administration officials, members of Congress, and — at first — even the paper's own reporters and editors." And (5) Censorship by the Government. "the government has exerted tremendous pressure on the media to report things a certain way. Indeed, at times the government has thrown media owners and reporters in jail if they've been too critical." These reasons are true to some extent, but the ultimate reason is merely the need to grow the bottom line, to make money which is, after all, the reason the media exists in America.
The consequence of all of this is that Americans have become mentally isolated. The world beyond America's borders is an amorphous, unknown land. As Zbigniew Brzezinski has recently said, "most Americans are close to total ignorance about the world. They are ignorant." What people don't realize is how much of this ignorance is the result of the American "free" press' need to slant its reporting. Brzezinski finds this "unhealthy," and he is right, since America's "foreign policy has to be endorsed by the people if it is to be pursued." And this ignorance makes it easy for the government to convince the people that some disastrous policy is appropriate.
That's from a really important article and one that reads quickly. You'll be done before you know it and I say that when I read it with a headache. The headline caught my attention and I didn't expect to like it (due to my headache). I really got into the article. At the start, he's exploring whether a free press is free and controlled press isn't.
Because I do have a headache, I think I'll use this time to note a few things, questions that come into all of the sites. We do compare e-mails.
The Center for Constitutional Rights. Loosely paraphrased typical e-mail, 'You guys used to be so high on CCR, what happened?'
Why don't you ask them what happened to them?
We were for CCR until it became Barack Obama's fan club. Vinnie didn't help there and he was an embarrassment everytime he went on a Pacifica radio program. He's the real reason we began to ignore CCR. He always had an excuse for Barack.
And add in that we find the Politico article that tells us Vinnie, on behalf of CCR, had a White House meeting with Barack but Vinnie, as he tells Amy Goodman, thinks that needs to remain private?
What the hell?
Isn't that exactly the same s**t we decried under Bully Boy Bush?
So that didn't help CCR. Bill Quigley hasn't helped them with his writing which too often forgets important things like "alleged." If you're writing about Bradley Manning, the term is "alleged." Let the State try to convict him, it's not our job as leftists to do the State's job for it. But Quigley hasn't helped. He's not the reason that everyone raises an eyebrown about CCR these days. The reason is because of Vinnie's remarks, Vinnie's refusal to hold Barack accountable, etc. The ALCU has -- and Elaine's pointed this out many times at her site -- done much more to object to Barack's continued spying and Guantanamo in the last two years than has CCR and the ACLU is a more centrist organization whereas CCR is supposed to be radical.
What's going on? Refusal to call out the 'Black' man. (Barack's bi-racial. If my youngest son could see it the first time he saw Barack on TV, anyone should be able to. And remember, the vouching for him as "Black" was done by Melissa Harris-Lacewell but Liar Lacewell -- I'm not learning her new last name, that marriage is already in trouble, no surprise -- who forgot to tell Pacifica and PBS that her own mother was a White woman. Kiss my Black ass, Melissa.)
You either have standards or you don't. CCR embarrassed itself.
The National Lawyers Guild?
Marjorie Cohn was then president. She did a lot of things that were pissing people in the community off but they were all trying to let it slide. Then she let her full on crazy out and it was not pretty. We all knew she hated Hillary. That was obvious anytime you caught her on the radio. But to accuse Hillary Clinton of threatening to assassinate someone (Barack) was just beyond the pale. Marjorie was jumping on the Oblermann & MSNBC (and Barack campaign) bandwagon and attempting to rip Hillary apart. It was cute how Whores like Amy Goodman were more concerned with amplifying the claims of their fellow Whores and not at all interested in what RFK Jr. had to say. (Marjorie and the gals were supposedly clutching the pearls over the vile thing Hillary had said involving RFK.)
That was full on crazy. And as an attorney, she never should have written such a piece. I'd find it really interesting if she took a death row client and the opposing attorney brought out that piece.
That was full on crazy and she should have apologized. She knew it was hurting not just her but NLG as well. She didn't.
Point of fact, pay attention whores, in the future, if you're president of this or that, shut your damn mouth about an election. If you're supposed to represent an organization, do so. Keep your mouth shut about voting while you do.
So she never apologized for her crazy. And no one in the community trusts her anymore. She had some things to say a few months back and C.I. polled the community to see whether people were interested or not. They aren't. The feeling was she whored and she refused to apologize for doing so so we don't need her.
But because she's no longer president of NLG, C.I. can again note the organizatin (and she does, she also notes CCR). (And C.I. polled before noting NLG. She knew how outraged people were over Marjorie Cohn's crazy.)
Truthdig and Consortium News?
The Roberts. The sexist Roberts. We don't link to them. Their attacks on women in 2008 are not forgotten. Their elevation of Barack and ridicule of women in the Democratic Party primaries are not forgotten. They're both run by sexist pigs and we don't link.
I can go into more detail on those two and may in the future.
Truthout? C.I. polled and in 2009 it was "no." In 2010, it was "sparingly." How did they get on people's s**t list? Telling someone to drop out of a race. That's not democracy. You don't do "Don't run" columns, you don't tell people to drop out. You can advocate for your candidate without trying to intimidate others out of running.
BuzzFlash. Sexist Mark Karlin? Remember his little speech to the little ladies? That bad column he wrote after Hillary won New Hampshire? Killed him and his crap-ass site. They should have been killed much earlier. They originally linked to The Common Ills but when C.I. wouldn't run with the online Barack-a-thon, when she wouldn't whore, Buzz stopped linking and yet Mark would send C.I. e-mails asking her for links all the time. Which C.I. would give. She's argue that not everyone could afford to take a stand. But then Mark wrote that sexist piece of crap and got his ass pulled from The Common Ills forever.
By the way, why is it that there are so many 9-11 Truthers but they won't admit it?
C.I.'s happy to say, "I don't know what happened, I wasn't there. If that's your area of interest or expertise, good luck to you, I'm sure your work will be of value." But others -- are you guessing who I mean -- have to act publicly like they hate the 9-11 Truth Movement but will tell you (or tell C.I.) that they're 9-11 Truthers and spend all this time -- even now -- flooding the public e-mail account of The Common Ills with 9-11 Truth material. (Which she doesn't have time to read. She rarely reads any e-mails during the week, they're read by a large number of people.)
So hopefully that gives you a little overview. And, by the way, anyone who takes accountability? The minute they do, C.I. is advocating for them in the gina & krista round-robin and noting how few people ever take accountability. But we're not all as forgiving as C.I. and many of us still use our vote to vote "No."
Lastly, got to do one more. Chip Berlet. Chip will never be linked to. He is pure trash. I really got that after I moved into C.I.'s home. A number of rockers come through (C.I. knows everyone) and it's amazing how many of them, like C.I., hate Chip Berlet. Because while they were raising money to try to save the Chrisinic Institute, Chip Berlet (the one-time employee of the institute) was publicly stabbing it in the back. Law & Disorder got no mention this week by C.I. because Chippy was their guest.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):
While the US continues sending troops to Iraq, Sweden continues forcibly deporting Iraqis. DPA reports, "Swedish police Wednesday briefly detained 25 activists who attempted to block the entrance to an asylum centre to prevent a pending repatriation of some 20 Iraqi refugees. About 50 activists took part in the protest, police said. The Iraqi asylum seekers were taken to Stockholm's Arlanda Airport." Iraq is not safe and the United Nations has repeatedly called out forced deportations. Yesterday in Geneva, UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming stated:
UNHCR is very concerned by reports that Sweden plans to send around 25 Iraqis back to Baghdad tomorrow, Wednesday 19th January. We understand that a number of those scheduled for return belong to religious and ethnic groups targeted by violence in Iraq. They, and others slated for return, appear to have profiles that would warrant protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention or the European Union's Qualification Directive.
We are troubled that our advice, including on the situation of minorities in Iraq, is not sufficiently taken into account by Sweden when reviewing negative decisions that were made in 2008 and 2009. We believe that the recent deterioration in the situation of minorities in Iraq has not been adequately taken into account.
UNHCR has frequently appealed to states to ensure that asylum applicants originating from Iraq's central governorates of Baghdad, Diyala, Ninewa and Salah-al-Din, as well as from Kirkuk province, benefit from international protection in the form of refugee status under the 1951 Convention or another form of protection depending on the circumstances of the case. We understand that many of those being returned on Wednesday come from these areas.
Our position reflects the volatile security situation and the still high level of prevailing violence, security incidents, and human rights violations taking place in these parts of Iraq. UNHCR considers that serious – including indiscriminate – threats to life, physical integrity or freedom resulting from violence or events seriously disturbing public order are valid reasons for international protection.
UNHCR offices in Syria, Jordan and Turkey have recently registered a number of Iraqi refugees who left Iraq after they have been forcibly returned by European countries. One Christian man fled again after he narrowly escaped an attack on a church in Baghdad in October 2010, shortly after being sent back by Sweden. We are pleased that Sweden has now agreed to re-admit him.
Reasons to protest when Tony Blair is recalled to give evidence to the Iraq Inquiry on 21 January:
- What happened last time Tony Blair appeared at the Iraq Inquiry
- My Iraq war crimes - the missing chapter from Tony Blair's book
- Tony Blair - war criminal running scared of protests
- Dear Tony Blair... Former UN assistant secretary Hans von Sponeck writes
- Iraq Inquiry: Normalising an epic crime by John Pilger
- Money, money, money... It just keeps rolling in for Tony Blair
JOIN THE PROTEST 21 JANUARY
QEII Conference Centre 8am-2pm
London SW1P 3EE
Scott Horton: Right. Agreed.
- Saturday, March 19th - actions to mark the anniversary of the Iraq War, TBD
- Sunday, March 20th - MFSO meet-up and issue-area trainings
- Monday, March 21st - lobbying, media, and organizing trainings
- Tuesday, March 22nd - opportunity for lobby visits, and we will be delivering 20,000 postcards to members of Congress with the message "Bring our troops & tax dollars home!"
- Housing - we are working to find homestays and affordable housing for as many Military Families and Gold Star Families as possible. Please indicate below if you need housing, can offer housing in DC, or already have a place to stay.
- Travel - Please indicate below if you need financial assistance to get to DC. We will have limited scholarships available for Military Families and Gold Star Families.
- Trainings - the trainings are being organized by FCNL for a small fee of $20 (this price includes lunch and refreshments on Sunday and Monday)