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Dissecting the News Dissector: "Blogothon: Reflections and Revelations from the News Dissector "

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"A BLOG OFTEN offers a mixture of what is happening in a person's life and what is happening on the Web, a kind of hybrid diary/guide website, although there are as many unique types of blogs as there are bloggers. "In a little more than five years, the phenomenon has gone global, with a reported 51 million participants," he reports, always generous with statistics (see below for more, on unemployment in this country)."

His initial homage to the power of the finest language is poignant as he descries what it has become in the hands of the media: "I am a lover of language, a journalist trapped in a profession where words can be wooden, predictable, and recycled endlessly. News cliches encourage conformity and co-optation."

Maybe so, but wordplay abounds in his writing: witness this May 24, 2011, blog title: "Why Are We Banking on Banks for Economic Recovery? HBO's "Too Big To Fail' Should Have Been "Too Big To Jail.'" --This blog, by the way, is a must read.

And in section IV, on the Occupation, Schechter capsizes the positive connotations the term has taken on so recently to admit that "Wall Street is occupying us."

Compare to this his brainchild: " [We]e need a jailout, not just a bailout." 

Another memorable bit of wit? "It is the banks that are robbing us." The sayings of Chairman Dan live on with such captivating creativity.

And speaking of an even more prominent Chairman, there is an ironic quote from Mao taken out of context ["to flush out critics and then destroy them"]: "let a thousand flowers bloom." Writes Schechter in praise of bloggers as he initially contextualizes their work as a powerful vehicle of the people, a "thousand flowers" in itself: "Today's citizen journalists are in part out to improve and in some cases supplant a media world that has lost credibility and is in desperate need of being shaken up from below."

Blogging is how we are fighting back most effectively, our pens mightier than any other weapon we have tried. The irony is that "they" read us--it's damn good writing for the most part--to understand us better; you must know your enemy before you vanquish them. And our wall of words doesn't stand a chance against their Wall Street, which Schechter calls the new capital of America or, as he puts it: "our growing wall of debt":

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"[T]he wall I later ran up against was more than a Street; it was a tower of indifference. I was asked: How could you be so negative about what was then an economic boom enriching so many? Was I a doom and gloomer, or an alarmist? I was told: 'your apartment has gone up in value. Relax?'

 Schechter's life in particular is one with world events. His mind is always synthesizing the external into his own thinking. He is a 24/7 blogger. We can depend on him not only for the real news but what it means at so many different levels. He does our thinking for us, but we can trust him, unlike others who aspire to this and wreak such havoc.

Mind control, no. Danny Schechter, yes.

[Blogothon] collects the work of one of the "early" bloggers who has used the medium to offer a critical counterpoint and counter-narrative to the daily news in a daily blog. (p. xix)

A counter-narrative, as explained in depth in the final blog of the collection, consists of one or more other versions of an event [usually] reported by the mainstream media, be they network or cable. Schechter is its personification.

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Online since 1986, Schechter became the News Dissector for a second time [he was initially a famous radio commentator in Boston in the seventies, when he first acquired the epithet]

"[o]n September 11, 2001, literally as the World Trade Center towers collapsed, I started writing what I thought would be a column focused on news coverage; it quickly turned into a blog, because it was updateable . . . as often as events changed."

So much is quotable; my notes are filled with direct quotations.

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A jack of some trades, writing and editing among them, Marta Steele, an admitted and proud holdover from the late sixties, returned to activism ten years ago after first establishing her skills as a college [mostly adjunct] professor in three (more...)

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