Posts filed under ‘Media – General’

About the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

White House Correspondents Associaation

I watched a bit of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on C-SPAN Saturday night…a parade of journalists corporate and governmental liaisons feting themselves.

New York Times Magazine National Correspondent Mark Leibovich, author of “This Town,” on Sunday called the White House Correspondents’ Dinner an “abomination.”

“I think that it’s morphed into this extravaganza of more than two dozen pre-parties and after parties, and we have to ask ourselves, what are we celebrating exactly?” he said on ABC’s “This Week.”

[…]

“This is a classic case of the bubble world and the unselfawareness of spending however millions of dollars over a number of days to celebrate ourselves and again I ask, why?” he said.

More…

Exactly.

And then there’s Frank Rich:

Rich said that the event is “a crystallization of the press’s failures in the post-9/11 era” because it “illustrates how easily a propaganda-driven White House can enlist the Washington news media in its shows.”

More…

Amen.

Read the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics.  Journalists are to maintain distance from those they cover.  They should “refuse gifts, favors, fees and special treatment” that “may compromise their integrity or damage [their] integrity.”

May 5, 2014 at 8:01 AM Leave a comment

Eleven Years Ago: Remembering How Insane We Were on “Mission Accomplished” Day

Remember this?

Mission Accomplished

That was eleven years ago today.

Greg Mitchell wrote an e-book about media coverage in the run-up to and the early months of the Iraq war.  Today he reminds us of how the corporate media reported Bush’s trip out to that aircraft carrier on that day eleven years ago.  It illustrates how deeply broken our media is.  Everyone quoted here should have been fired for violating the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics:

Chris Matthews on MSNBC called Bush a “hero” and boomed, “He won the war. He was an effective commander. Everybody recognizes that, I believe, except a few critics.” He added: “Women like a guy who’s president. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our president. It’s simple.”

PBS’ Gwen Ifill said Bush was “part Tom Cruise, part Ronald Reagan.” On NBC, Brian Williams gushed, “The pictures were beautiful. It was quite something to see the first-ever American president on a—on a carrier landing.”

Bob Schieffer on CBS said: “As far as I’m concerned, that was one of the great pictures of all time.” His guest, Joe Klein, responded: “Well, that was probably the coolest presidential image since Bill Pullman played the jet fighter pilot in the movie Independence Day. That was the first thing that came to mind for me.”

[…]

Maureen Dowd in her column declared: “Out bounded the cocky, rule-breaking, daredevil flyboy, a man navigating the Highway to the Danger Zone, out along the edges where he was born to be, the further on the edge, the hotter the intensity.

“He flashed that famous all-American grin as he swaggered around the deck of the aircraft carrier in his olive flight suit, ejection harness between his legs, helmet tucked under his arm, awestruck crew crowding around. Maverick was back, cooler and hotter than ever, throttling to the max with joystick politics.”

[…]

When Bush’s jet landed on the aircraft carrier, American casualties stood at 139 killed and 542 wounded.

More…

U.S. casualties as of today?  4489.  Wounded?  30,021.

 

 

May 1, 2014 at 9:27 AM Leave a comment

Listen to Us Damnit! Huge We the People Rallies Today in Spain and Chile

People acted up against austerity today (i.e., giving money to banks and starving We the People) in Spain and Chile.  Don’t expect to see coverage of these events on your local TV (they don’t want to give us any ideas).

 

Anti-Austerity Protesters Join Forces in Spanish Capital

3-22-14 Dignity March Spain via revolution-News.com

(Image via Revolution-News.com)

Tens of thousands of protesters from across Spain converged in Madrid on Saturday calling for an end to EU-imposed austerity which has deepened poverty amongst the worst-off.

The so-called “Dignity Marches” brought tens of thousands to the capital, Reuters witnesses calculated, in support of more than 160 different causes – employment, housing, health and education and an end to poverty amongst them.

Banners urged the conservative government not to pay its international debts and to tackle unemployment of 26 percent.

More…

——————————————————–

Chileans Rally to Demand Promised Reforms

Tens of thousands of protesters have marched in Chile to press Michelle Bachelet to follow through on ambitious reforms she pledged before assuming the presidency less than two weeks ago.

The protest on Saturday in central Santiago, dubbed “the march of all marches”, was the first of Bachelet’s new term and the biggest political demonstration since huge student protests in 2011.

Organisers said at least 100,000 people were present, even without core groups of student protesters active in the past. Those activists said they would not take part because they were working with Bachelet on education reforms soon be sent to Congress.

The march underscored lingering frustrations in Chile, which has one of the region’s widest inequality gaps. It also raised expectations following four years of rule by the unpopular Sebastian Pinera.

Protesters said the march was a warning sign they would not go easy on Bachelet.

“This is not a protest against Bachelet or for her, it’s just an alert for the political class so they know people have demands,” said Oscar Rementeria, a spokesman for gay rights group, Movilh.

The 40 activist groups that helped fill the streets supported causes ranging from environmental protection to gay and indigenous rights.

More…

If anyone sees any coverage of this in the U.S. media, please let me know.

Thanks in advance.

March 22, 2014 at 8:05 PM Leave a comment

Politico’s Mike Allen Gets His “Conventional Wisdom” From Republicans

You know Politico’s Mike Allen.

Mike Allen via Politico

(Image via Politico.com)

He’s one of those Very Serious People who’s on television all the time talking about the “conventional wisdom” in Washington.  This is the first sentence of his post today over at “Politico’s Playbook: Mike Allen’s Must-Read Briefing on What’s Driving the Day in Washington:”

CONVENTIONAL WISDOM SHIFT: For the first time, top Republicans tell us there is a better than 50 percent chance that they’ll take the Senate.

I’ve been wondering where all the certainty about Republicans taking the Senate in November is coming from and now I know, it’s coming from ah, Republicans!

Oh, and and just in case that sentence somehow changes (wink, wink) here’s a screenshot:

Mike Allen Republicans Say...

 

 

March 20, 2014 at 9:10 AM Leave a comment

About the Republicans’ Chicken Shit Use of the Words “Resolve” and “Leadership”

John McCain via Donkeyhotey on flickr

(Image:  Donkey Hotey on flickr)

The next time you hear the likes of John McCain or his sidekick Lindsey Graham accuse Obama of a lack of “leadership” or “resolve” in all things foreign policy, remember, when they use those words, they’re counting on us presuming they have detailed, deeply considered plans of their own.

Chances are good they don’t:

The Cliches of “Leadership” and “Resolve”

It’s true that hawks typically assume that real “leadership” requires the use of force or at least the threat to use force, but it can also function as a generic euphemism for U.S. hegemony. In this usage, there is really only one kind of international leadership that qualifies, and this is one in which the U.S. is dominant, preeminent, and preoccupied with policing the globe. This tends to view leadership more as an exercise in giving orders and dictating terms.

[…]

As with its ugly cousin “resolve,” one can always get away with insisting that a particular president isn’t showing enough “leadership” in the world, because there is no way to measure these things and no way for the complaint be remedied. Because it is so ill-defined and frequently abused, it can be applied to every issue without even having to think about the specific details. “Leadership” is always the correct response, and “leadership” can’t fail, because it means everything and nothing at the same time.

More…

Too bad the “liberal media” doesn’t press them by asking, and following up on one simple question:  “What would you do?”

March 4, 2014 at 1:54 PM 3 comments

What Would You Do?

 

Check out this February 28 tweet from Sara Hussein and the understatement of the week, i.e., that the Agence France Presse (AFP) photographer, Ahmed Gharabli, “somehow manages to keep snapping.”

Terrifying.

Tweet 3-2-14

 

 

March 2, 2014 at 11:05 AM Leave a comment

Obama’s Laughable Faux Concern About Freedom of the Press in Venezuela

This is a tweet from the U.S. National Security Council, you know, the folks who are spying on everyone in the world (literally0:

National Security Council Tweet re Press freedom in Venezuela

Hahahahahahaha.

Did you see this:  Thanks Obama!  U.S. 46th in Press Freedom and Dropping Like a Stone.

The United States isn’t the beacon on the hill anymore when it comes to freedom of the press.  As a matter of fact, it’s deviated so much from that standard that it’s paved the way for countries around the world to clamp down on the freedom of speech and the press everywhere.  Not long ago (six, ten years), countries feared the U.S.’s wrath if they strayed too far afield.  Not anymore.

Per Reporters Without Borders, press freedoms are ranked below:

Finland (#1)

New Zealand (#9)

Germany (#14)

Canada (#18)

Slovakia (#20)

Namibia (#22)

Cape Verde (#24)

Ghana (#27)

United Kingdom (#33)

Spain (#35)

France (#39)

Botswana (#41)

Papua New Guinea (#44)

The United States ranks #46 in the world.  Go here for more.

So that NSA tweet above?  Laughable.

 

With POTUS 44, there’s nothing more galling than his shattered promises to make his the most transparent presidency in history, to cherish the public service offered by whistleblowers and to enshrine the American ideal of a free and unfettered press. It was all a lie, and now the people who compile the World Press Freedom Index have made it official: Our 1st Amendment rights are only a monument to American exceptionalism if you mean that we’re barely more exceptional than Haiti:
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/Thanks-Obama-US-46th-in-press-freedom-and-dropping-like-a-stone.html#mK741i5GADXTIe5M.99

February 24, 2014 at 9:07 PM Leave a comment

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