Thoughts on the relationship between corporate America and the U.S. mainstream media.
I began to suspect the media in 2000, after W. was installed as President by a bare majority of the Supreme Court, some of which justices were appointed by Bush the father.
But it was after the fiasco in Ohio’s Presidential election of 2004 that I completely gave up on the mainstream media as a credible source for information. Something terrible had happened in Ohio in November 2004. Like, blatant voter fraud and illegal shenanigans. But the media didn’t get it or it refused to get it.
A group of my friends and acquaintances throughout the U.S. felt as I did and we began to look for alternative sources for news.
We discovered a whole new world of on line information and we would email one another articles or clips from various sources we located here in the U.S. and in the U.K.
It got to the point that we discovered so much information to share that we didn't know how to manage it. A friend suggested I start a blog to create a permanent record and archive.
And so I set up Libby Shaw (after my son told me what a blog is) for the explicit purpose of sharing news that is not normally seen or heard within the U.S. mainstream media.
Almost three years later, and after having worked as a volunteer for a Texas candidate for U.S. Senate in 2006, I now merely glance at the front pages of the New York Times and Houston Chronicle every morning. I subscribe to both but read little of the Chronicle. Why don’t I read the Chronicle? Well, for starters, it most unfortunately endorsed the incumbent Texas candidate for U.S. Senate in 2006, Kay Bailey Hutchison. Hutchison is an exemplary rubber stamp for the worst Presidency in U.S. history.
For me, reading a newspaper that endorsed the nation’s worst of elected officials is pretty much the same as reading tabloids at the check out stands in the grocery story.
I’d cancel the Chronicle entirely were it not for my husband who reads the sports sections.
Regarding TV news, if I hear the slightest echo from the right wing scream machine when listening to CNN or MSNBC news in the morning, I immediately switch to CSPAN's Washington Journal. At least I might learn something from the Washington Journal. As far as I can tell, the corporate media has not corrupted CSPAN as it has the other media stations.
I do really enjoy the nerdy Washington Journal for a number of reasons. The information is solid. Invited guests are credentialed experts in particular areas. Some are elected officials. Normally if a member of one political party is an invited guest, a representative from the other party will follow soon afterwards. Discussions are reasoned and dispassionate. No one screams, there are no loud and vacuous commercial breaks about sexual performance medications, miracle diets, or baby boomer’s dreams. Nor is a guest rudely cut off by an anchor who is fixated like a dog on a bone on a specific message or agenda.
The Washington Journal invites listeners to call in to question the invited guests. There are specific phone lines for Democrats, Independents and Republicans. I especially love to listen to Americans call in from all over the country. It is amazing (but not really) how much anger there is out there. We Americans are far from stupid. We know something is terribly, terribly wrong with the Bush Administration. We are keenly aware that we've been had and the mainstream media and press have all too willingly allowed it to happen. Of course there are a handful of callers with lizard brains, which vent, rant and squawk and will support W. to their graves.
I call this group the unfortunate and misinformed Neanderthal wing of the GOP. Thankfully there are not too many of them.
I think the mainstream media is beginning to understand that it has been caught with its collective pants down since Bush took power. And yet the manner in which the MSM has all too readily jumped on the "let's beat up on Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Syria" band wagon tells me the MSM has a long way to go before I will consider it remotely fair, balanced and unbiased.
The recent and well deserved toasting and roasting of Imus for his reprehensible remarks about female minorities and women in general may have given the mainstream media the kick in the derriere it has needed for years. And yet, at the same time, it seems both hypocritical and disingenuous for Imus to be singled out when there are so very many other spewers of blatant racism and misogyny who occupy radio and TV's bully pulpits. What about Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Mike Savage and a host of others?
Well, it seems that major corporations such as Proctor and Gamble, Dietech, and the Ford Motor Company, among others, have pulled the plug on their advertising for the Imus Show.
Such spelled the death knell for Imus for is no longer a cash cow for his corporate owners.
After 30 years of Imus and his routine and thinly veiled racist and misogynist comments, suddenly the corporations “care” about content?
If it truly cares about content, when will corporate America pull their advertising from ALL of the shows of the purveyors of racism, sexism, political propaganda, hate and disinformation?
Who is asking what is in it for Rush types and FOX to kiss up to the Bushies?
When will corporate America pretend to care about truth, democracy, and forget about its bottom line for one mere nano second to do what is right and ethical? What are corporate America’s true intentions with regard to the media?
And what about the “fair, balanced and unbiased” mainstream media, owned by none other than huge corporate America?
Where is the media’s fair and unbiased coverage of the blatant corruption and lies engendered by the Bush Administration?
Where was the outrage when it became clear that W. lied us into a war based on fake intelligence? How come the Downing Street Memos on the intelligence on Iraq were summarily shoved through the journalistic buzz saw instead of having been splashed across our nation’s front pages and screamed from every talking head’s mouth on TV?
Where was the outrage when the Bush Administration fired U.S. attorneys for purely partisan reasons?
Where was the outrage when Attorney General Gonzales lied about his knowledge of the firings?
The media and press seems to care not a flip that the Bush Administration had attempted to politicize our judicial system to protect Republicans during future contested close elections.
How come? Where is the wall-to-wall coverage of Bush's lies 24/7 since we went to war with Iraq?
It all comes down to IMUS because some of corporate America pulled its advertising?
If we want to save our fleeting Democracy, we the people need to pull the plug on corporations and the media. Stop buying for awhile. Stop watching the idiot box (as my beloved late father would call the TV) for "news." Cancel newspapers if you can live without sports sections. For our own rational well being, sanity and safety we should read more, both from print and on line sources, rely more on CSPAN and on our own instincts and brain power to determine what is true and what is false.
Moving on to news not covered by the corporate owned right wing mainstream media. LS
A hideous, deplorable, reprehensible and heart breaking story one won’t find anywhere in the U.S. mainstream news on Iraq.
"Once I was called to an explosion site," Saad, a humanitarian worker, is quoted as saying in the report.
"There I saw a four-year-old boy sitting beside his mother's body, which had been decapitated by the explosion. He was talking to her, asking her what had happened. He had been taken out shopping by his mum."
The report also highlights the following problems:
• Iraq's healthcare facilities face critical shortages of staff and supplies. Many doctors, nurses and patients no longer dare to go to hospitals and clinics because they are targeted or threatened
• much of Iraq's vital water, sewage and electricity infrastructure is in a critical condition
• food shortages have been reported in some areas and malnutrition is said to have increased
From the BBC News.com
Iraqis face 'immense' suffering.
West Point Grades Opt Out of Their Commissions
From Boston.com News via The Randi Rhodes Show:
West Point Grads Opt Out
White House Uses Alternative Email Addresses to Avoid Public Scrutiny and Accountability.
From the Huffington Post
White House Staff Use GOP Political Email Addresses When Conducting U.S. Business
But UH OH! Seems that the White House has "lost" thousands of U.S. government emails sent from RNC computers.
U.S. Government Emails Deleted from RNC Server? Guess. S
Iraq War Spawned New Terror
Found on truthout.org
Iraq War Spawned New Terror
Gross Mismanagement of Iraq Funds
Also from truthout.org
Gross Mismanagement of Iraq Funds