TV Networks Should Open Up the Presidential Debates
If 10 TV networks got together and decided to nationally televise a presidential debate restricted to Donald Trump and Gary Johnson, while barring other candidates including Democrat Hillary Clinton, it would be recognized as an act of media bias or exclusion.
But what if the televised debates this fall are restricted to just Trump and Clinton? That, too, needs to be recognizeds as an intentional act of media exclusion
Saturday, July 4, 2015(4 comments)
Memo to Media: Ask Trump If He's a 'Serial Racist'
It's easy to laugh off Donald Trump's fact-free comments about Mexican immigrants being rapists. And easy to poke fun, as Jon Stewart did, at Trump's grudging admission that some Mexican immigrants might be "good people."
But there is a serious issue here, and mainstream media interviewers have neglected to ask Trump about it -- and that's Trump's history of pointing the finger of rape at innocent men of color.
Hillary's Candid Motto for Democratic Party: "Represent Banks"
In 1992, a 44-year-old attorney made the following assertion: "For goodness' sake, you can't be a lawyer if you don't represent banks."
The attorney was Hillary Clinton. She made the statement to journalists during her husband's first campaign for president. Her legal representation of a shady savings and loan bank while working at a top corporate law firm in Arkansas had erupted briefly into a campaign controversy
Monday, December 16, 2013(6 comments)
Noam Chomsky Continues to Inspire
An odd aspect of modern American life is that even with 24-hour news and its roster of blathering pundits, many creative thinkers with valuable insights are blacklisted from mainstream media, perhaps most notably Noam Chomsky who turned 85 on Dec. 7.
How Do You Know When President Obama is Lying? MSNBC Won't Tell You
With Obama in power, MSNBC talking heads reacted to the Snowden disclosures like Fox News hosts did when they were in hysterical damage control mode for Bush--with ridiculously fact-free claims and national chauvinism that we've come to expect from the "fair and balanced" channel. We need strong, independent media not enmeshed with the corporate/political power structure and not allied with one of the two corporate parties.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013(9 comments)
Snowden Coverage: If U.S. Mass Media Were State-Controlled, Would They Look Any Different?
The Edward Snowden leaks have revealed a U.S. corporate media system at war with independent journalism. Many of the same outlets -- especially TV news -- that missed the Wall Street meltdown and cheer-led the Iraq invasion have come to resemble state-controlled media outlets in their near-total identification with the government as it pursues the now 30-year-old whistleblower.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013(1 comments)
Trust me: Political Spying + Computers = Big Brother
I know the issue of political spying -- and not just because my lawful, nonviolent activism got me spied on by local, state and federal "intelligence" agencies (whose spy files on me were unearthed through successful lawsuits and partly successful Freedom of Information requests). I also spent a dozen years as a journalist, researcher and ACLU lawyer investigating the spies.
Thursday, June 13, 2013(1 comments)
Playing the Obama Bumper Sticker Game
There's no easier way to gauge the disappointment that liberals and progressives should feel toward President Obama than to look at their cars -- more specifically, their bumper stickers. I've been playing this game for years.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013(1 comments)
The Elephant in the Room: Militarism
Unfortunately, many liberal journalists who were vocal about war, human rights and civil liberties during the Bush era lost their voices as Obama continued and, in some cases, expanded Bush's "War on Terror" policies. And it says something about mainstream TV that the toughest, most consistent questioners of militarism and defenders of civil liberties are not on a news channel -- they're on the comedy channel.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Obama, Sarkozy & Taxing Wall Street
Americans, muddled & deluded by propaganda from financial sector apologists, are apparently unable to grasp the significance of "conservative" President Sarkozy's decision to tax financial traders & speculators for the damage they do to the rest of us.
Obama is NOT "Caving" to Corporate Interests
The sad truth is that Obama had arrived at the White House looking to make cuts in benefits to the elderly. Two weeks before his inauguration, Obama echoed conservative scares about Social Security and Medicare by talking of "red ink as far as the eye can see."
Fear Extreme Islamists in the Arab World? Blame Washington.
If Washington took its heel off the Arab people and ended its embrace of the dictators, that could help secularists and democrats win hearts and minds against extreme Islamists.
Democracy is a great idea. Too bad it plays almost no role in U.S. foreign policy.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
RootsAction.org: New Independent Progressive Group
In the past decade, Netroots groups have built big e-lists, raised money and hell.But some squandered their power by overly close coordination with an often spineless Democratic leadership. RootsAction will take action against Obama policies that sparked loud protests when they were Bush policies. We'll mobilize against government catering to Wall Street and the war profiteers, while the U.S. public suffers.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Christine O'Donnell and Me
O'Donnell's masturbation fetish troubles the right, but not for the reason you think.If all nudity is porn then we're All guilty as SIN!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010(4 comments)
WikiLeaks: Time to Celebrate, Time to Mourn
When Der Spiegel asked Julian Assange about being today's most dangerous man, he replied, "The most dangerous men are those in charge of war. And they need to be stopped." And correct on both points.
Thursday, November 26, 2009(8 comments)
Get Ready for the Obama/GOP Alliance
If Obama stands tough on more troops to Afghanistan (as Clinton fought ferociously for NAFTA), only an unprecedented mobilization of progressives – including many who worked tirelessly to elect Obama – will be able to stop him.
Thursday, September 24, 2009(3 comments)
The Mystique of “Free-Market Guy” Obama
regardless of facts, some liberal activists and leaders persist in seeing Pres. Obama as a principled progressive reformer who lives and breathes the campaign rhetoric about “change you can believe in.”
When he compromises, it's not Obama's fault– it's the opposition. Retreat is never a sell-out but a shrewd tactic, part of some secret long-range strategy for triumphant reform. Time for activists take a harder look
Will Obama Move Supreme Court Rightward?
Unfortunately, from what we've seen of Obama's general penchant for "moderate" appointees who don't inflame Republicans, it's quite possible the Court will continue trending rightward if liberals get replaced with less liberal appointees. After Souter, the seats Obama is most likely to fill are those of the two most liberal justices: Ginsburg and Stevens.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009(1 comments)
'News' Media Disgraced in Levy Case
In 2001, at a crucial moment in modern American history--as evidence was mounting of an impending al-Qaeda attack on the United States--the U.S. news media obsessed over the disappearance of Chandra Levy, a young woman who was having an affair with Rep. Gary Condit. TV news executives would like us to forget this whole bizarre episode. But we shouldn't forget. I can't, since I experienced that loony summer inside Fox News
Tuesday, February 17, 2009(1 comments)
Coming to NBC: "To Catch a Cheney"
Here's my idea. A series of NBC News primetime specials featuring spectacular ambushes of big time criminals lured into what they expect to be pleasurable surroundings.
What Indy Media Heroes Can Teach Us
Independent media outlets that contributed so mightily to the stunning election result are about to be tested as to their "independence." With Democrats in control, will these outlets be guided by principle or just partisanship? Will they speak truth to power and expose corruption and injustice over the long haul no matter who's in charge?
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Big Election Winner: Indy Media
Of all the factors contributing to Obama's victory luck, economic crisis, Bush, Palin a major factor is now so second-nature to us that we may overlook its transformative impact since just four years ago: the Internet and the progressive online boom.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Studs Terkel: He'll Never Be Silenced
The irrepressible Louis "Studs" Terkel was many things oral historian, radio and TV host, actor, activist, Bronx-born icon of Chicago, the "great listener" who was hard of hearing, Pulitzer Prize-winner. But most of all he was an inspiration. He inspired every younger activist or independent journalist who ever met him. And who among us wasn't younger than Studs.
Sunday, June 22, 2008(4 comments)
News Flash: Network Anchor Stands Against "Unfair" Campaign Spending
The bad news is that it's taken years to see an anchor make such a stand. And that Gibson (like other media voices in recent days) is making his stand for "fairness" against a candidate who has attracted 3 million contributions from 1.5 million donors giving an average donation of $91. In other words, against a candidate who is arguably less beholden to big-moneyed interests than McCain.
Friday, May 30, 2008(6 comments)
McClellan and His Media Collaborators
No sooner had Bush's ex-press secretary Scott McClellan accused President Bush and his former collaborators of misleading our country into Iraq than the squeals of protest turned into a mighty roar.
I'm not talking about the vitriol directed at him by former White House colleagues like Karl Rove and Ari Fleischer. I'm talking about McClellan's other war collaborators: the movers and shakers in corporate media
Friday, April 4, 2008(2 comments)
(The Late) M.L. King Still Silenced
Most of his last speeches were recorded. But year after year, corporate networks have refused to air the tapes showing how he campaigned against US foreign and economic policy. Last night, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams enthused over new color footage of King that adorned its coverage of the 40th anniversary of the assassination. But the same old blinders were in place.
Monday, March 17, 2008(7 comments)
Iraq Winter Soldier Hearings: Victory for Independent Media
I was glued to web & radio broadcasts of Winter Soldier II hearings on Iraq all weekend. In 1971, I'd attended the first Winter Soldier. Both now and then, corporate media mostly ignored the hearings, BUT this time thanks to Internet and independent media word could get out, live, globally.
Friday, February 1, 2008(3 comments)
Stepford Republicans: All Caught on Tape!
"The Stepford Wives"- tells the chilling story of once smart, independent women who get abducted and turned into tamed, mindless robots.
I have a theory about a similarly subversive process that turns grown men once capable of independent and reasoned thought into robotic extremists. Call them Stepford Republicans. With video proof!
Friday, October 5, 2007(1 comments)
Pundit Elite Enraptured by Hillary's "Flawless Campaign"
The reality is that Clinton and the pundit clique (with a spectrum from conservative Republican to conservative Democrat, from GE to GM) are largely in sync in holding positions that are not only unpopular among Democrats, but unpopular among the public at large.
To obscure this reality, Clinton keeps issuing doubletalk, and corporate media keep cheering.
Saturday, September 22, 2007(4 comments)
Senate Clown Show
There is a struggle for power going on in our country between forces for peace and international diplomacy and open debate and civil liberties and social justice on the one hand and the forces of intimidation and militarism and corporatism on the other. The Democratic base is firmly in the first camp. But not all Democratic leaders are.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007(1 comments)
Keith Olbermann: Ask Hillary About. . .
onight, MSNBC will telecast a Democratic presidential forum sponsored by the AFL-CIO, with an expected audience of thousands of union members at Chicagos historic Soldier Field. Although questions will come mostly from labor folks, the forum will be moderated by MSNBCs Keith Olbermann, known for his searing anti-Bush Special Comments.
Below I propose a few questions Id like to hear tonight.
Will Healthcare Timidity Trip Up Hillary Clinton?
he dividing-line issue in the upcoming primaries may turn out to be not Iraq, but healthcare. And just like on Iraq, the Democratic base is in no mood for timidity and half-way measures and vague rhetoric. Most rank-and-file Democrats support government-provided national health insurance: enhanced Medicare for All.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Jim Webb Offers the Democratic Response... to Hillary and Obama
Webb offered a populist, anti-corporate stand on economics and a blunt attack on Bush for "recklessly" dragging our country into the Iraq war-- a sharply-worded address that must have startled millions of TV viewers accustomed to Democrat vacillation.
Monday, November 27, 2006
TV Blowhard Barks at Iran: Let's Hold CNN Accountable
Turn on CNN Headline News -- a supposed "news" channel -- on weekday nights and you'll be subjected to the lectures of a loudmouthed, factually-challenged, occasionally funny know-it-all whose shtick is that he's "just a regular American schmoe."
Friday, October 27, 2006(1 comments)
How to Turn This Election Into a Progressive Mandate
Many pundits are comparing the expected Democratic victory in the upcoming election to the Newt Gingrich-led Republican triumph of 1994, an election in which the GOP gained 52 House seats and ended 40 years of Democratic majority in that chamber. Unfortunately, the comparison may be overstated. Even if Democrats take control of the House, this will hardly be a triumph like 1994.
Is Olbermann on Thin Ice?
I fear for Keith Olbermann. So why do I fear for Olbermann? Because I know his bosses. In the run-up to the Iraq war, I too worked for MSNBC - as an on-air pundit and a senior producer on the primetime Donahue show.
Tuesday, October 3, 2006
Is Olbermann on Thin Ice?
So why do I fear for Olbermann? Because I know his bosses. In the runup to the Iraq war, I too worked for MSNBC as an on-air pundit and a senior producer on the primetime Donahue show.
Thursday, September 21, 2006(1 comments)
The Problem Began Way Before Fox News
For two decades, I've been preoccupied with one issue above all others: that both ends of the political spectrum get their say in the media. One reason (among many) that I worked so hard to retire George W. Bush in 2004 was my nightmare that a defeated John Kerry would be hired by cable news to represent "the left" day after day on a TV debate show.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Smoking Gun: Washington Post Hires Top Bush Speechwriter
Few media marching bands have beat the Iraq war drums more frantically and with more influence than the editorial pages of the Washington Post. On Monday, the Post announced the hiring of another drummer boy, one who played a key propaganda role inside the Bush White House.
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Sick Puppy Meets Media Beast
John Mark Karr is one sick puppy, and TV news in the US is one ravenous beast--abandoning any notion of journalism, proportion or decency to again prey upon JonBenet's corpse for ratings and profit...
There's no mystery about what created the media beast: corrupt government policies combined with corporate greed.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Hillary Still Hiding on War; Time Warner Provides Cover
The cover story in the new issue of TIME, the flagship publication of the Time Warner media empire, informs readers that Hillary Clinton has "virtually nonexistent opposition for her senate seat."
Hold that phrase in your head. Because at another outpost of the Time Warner empire, decisions have been made that help ensure Sen. Clinton will have "virtually nonexistent opposition."
Lamont Victory -- A Media Defeat
The defeat of Lieberman is not just a victory for grassroots politics and independent media, but a rejection of mainstream punditry.
Friday, August 4, 2006
Being a TV Expert Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry
It wasn't the news that prompted my hair-pulling (who doesn't know Iraq's a disaster?) -- but the way it was reported. On NBC News, viewers saw Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld testify that he'd "never painted a rosy picture" of Iraq and that he hadn't been "overly optimistic." And NBC allowed the claim to go unrebutted
Friday, July 21, 2006
Can Al Gore Be Trusted?
Many solid progressives want Gore to be the Democratic presidential candidate in 2008. A recent AlterNet readers' poll (in which Noam Chomsky won the MVP for "Most Valuable Progressive") showed Gore way in front of the pack -- with Russ Feingold second...
Thursday, July 6, 2006
Go to Venezuela, You Idiot
I don't usually take the advice of rightwingers. But I did this time. After receiving inflamed email messages from dozens of angry rightists that I should get the hell out of the USA and go to Venezuela, I accepted their challenge and flew to Caracas.