Tag: News Media

Feb 07

Why Networks Should All Uninvite Kellyanne Conway

It seems that Kellyanne “Con Job” Conway has spouted one too many alternative facts for CNN after she totally blew any remaining credibility she might have had over the repeated claim that there was a terrorist massacre in Bowling Green, Kentucky that the media didn’t report. The reason they didn’t report it was that it …

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Mar 27

The Death of TV News

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

In the aftermath of 9/11 and the run up to the invasion of Iraq, the world was glued to television news, especially cable. Here in the US the news is dominated by three networks. CBS, ABC, and NBC and three major cable channels, CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. Most of the them spewed the Bush administration spin that Sadaam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, was building a nuclear weapon and had ties to Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda and 9/11, all lies and they knew it. This war was about the control of the oil reserves in Iraq, it always from the moment that the neocons got their hooks into the White House with Ronald Reagan’s election. It was under Reagan that the free press started to die with the end of the Fairness Doctrine and the loosening of regulation that allowed the likes of Rupert Murdoch to gobble up the airways, Fox news, and print media. It culminated in the 90’s with the corporate acquisition of NBC by General Electric and CBS by Viacom and CNN by Time Warner.

During the lead up to Iraq there was one voice on the airways that stood out against the hype, Phil Donahue, whose liberal voice focused on issues that divide liberals and conservatives in the United States, such as abortion, consumer protection, civil rights and war issues. His feud with another MSNBC host, Chris Matthews over the Iraq War led to the cancellation of Donahue’s popular show. Matthew’s involvement in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame is never mentioned.

The Day That TV News Died

by Chris Hedges, Truthdig

I am not sure exactly when the death of television news took place. The descent was gradual-a slide into the tawdry, the trivial and the inane, into the charade on cable news channels such as Fox and MSNBC in which hosts hold up corporate political puppets to laud or ridicule, and treat celebrity foibles as legitimate news. But if I had to pick a date when commercial television decided amassing corporate money and providing entertainment were its central mission, when it consciously chose to become a carnival act, it would probably be Feb. 25, 2003, when MSNBC took Phil Donahue off the air because of his opposition to the calls for war in Iraq.

Donahue and Bill Moyers, the last honest men on national television, were the only two major TV news personalities who presented the viewpoints of those of us who challenged the rush to war in Iraq. General Electric and Microsoft-MSNBC’s founders and defense contractors that went on to make tremendous profits from the war-were not about to tolerate a dissenting voice. Donahue was fired, and at PBS Moyers was subjected to tremendous pressure. An internal MSNBC memo leaked to the press stated that Donahue was hurting the image of the network. He would be a “difficult public face for NBC in a time of war,” the memo read. Donahue never returned to the airwaves.

Phil Donahue on His 2003 Firing from MSNBC, When Liberal Network Couldn’t Tolerate Antiwar Voices

In 2003, the legendary television host Phil Donahue was fired from his prime-time MSNBC talk show during the run-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The problem was not Donahue’s ratings, but rather his views: An internal MSNBC memo warned Donahue was a “difficult public face for NBC in a time of war,” providing “a home for the liberal antiwar agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity.” Donahue joins us to look back on his firing 10 years later. “They were terrified of the antiwar voice,” Donahue says.

Transcript here

Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman confronted Matthews on Donahue’s firing outside NBC headquarters in New York City on the 10th anniversary of the invasion.

Buzzfeed unearthed the videos of the vitriolic exchanges between Matthew and Donahue revealing how much they despised each other. Matthews was the driving force that got Donahue fired and MSNBC was not eager to promote the anti-war point of view. Thank the internet for You Tube, here are the videos of the episode from Donahue’s show with guest Matthews:

Mar 16

The Decline and Near Fall of the Mainstream Media Empire

Finally confirming a trend that many have long noted, the Los Angeles Times on Monday concluded that yes, more people now get their news from the internet than from newspapers.  To bloggers and purveyors of New Media alike, this should come as no surprise whatsoever.  Prior to this announcement, newspapers often closely guarded inside secrets like declining circulation, decreases in advertising revenue, forced buy-outs within individual papers, and an overall drop in quality of reporting.  I suppose that now, even mulish, intractable newspapers are having to concede that the handwriting has been on the wall for years.        

Nov 25

Short Attention Span Theater and the decline of Journalism

Thomas Jefferson on Politics & Government

Freedom of the Press

“I am… for freedom of the press, and against all violations of the Constitution to silence by force and not by reason the complaints or criticisms, just or unjust, of our citizens against the conduct of their agents.”

— Thomas Jefferson to Elbridge Gerry, 1799

So Freedom of the Press, protects even the stuff, we disagree with.

You don’t have to like it, what someone says, writes, or legislates … or tactlessly expresses.

But they have a Right to do so none the less, according to our historic icon Thomas Jefferson.  

The pen, should trump, the sword.

Funny how “Money” got all lumped in with Free Speech, though?

Must of been all those Gieco “googley eyes” commercials

Jan 18

Boston Globe reports: “Nearly half polled say Obama not delivering on promises.”

According to the Boston Globe, nearly half of Americans polled believe that U.S. dictator Barack Obama is not living up to his campaign promises.

Nearly half of the Americans surveyed said Obama is not delivering on his major campaign promises, and a narrow majority had some or no confidence that he will make the right decisions for the country’s future.

More than a third saw the president as falling short of their expectations, about double the proportion saying so at the 100-day mark of Obama’s presidency in April. At the time, 63 percent said the new president had accomplished a “great deal” or a “good amount.” The percentage saying so in the recent poll dropped to 47 percent.

Although the article does not mention the loss of left-wing support as reason for the drop-off, choosing instead to focus on right-wing discontent, the overall attitude indicated by surveys is that he is either incapable or unwilling to make good on public expectations of change away from the institutionalized horrors of the Bush-Cheney regime.

The signs are everywhere that at least one chamber of Congress will revert back to Republican rule, though the public is unlikely to notice the difference.  Obama really shot himself in the foot by raising people’s expectations without having any intention of meeting them.  No one thought he would be able to work miracles, and no one has claimed that he would end eight years of devastation overnight.  But with a year now behind his dictatorship, Obama has not made even token efforts to undo the policies of the Bush-Cheney regime – and in some cases, such as government secrecy and illegal spying on Americans, he has exceeded them.  The public is not stupid.  We do not enjoy being lied to, used, taken for granted.  And we will punish those who do so.