Tag Archive: Media


Brave New Films has put Robert Greenwald’s anti-Fox News documentary Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism online in its entirety.

The film charts the rise of Fox News, outlining the marketing-based techniques that make the channel such “compelling” viewing — the “Fox News Alert,” the blurring of journalism and commentary, and the deceptive use of the chyron, i.e. the lower third of the viewing area on a typical television screen. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-12k – Michael’s Blog

Claiming to be acting under the bloody “banner of Liberty and Truth,” Jerad Miller and his wife Amanda, entered CiCi’s Pizza in Las Vegas on Sunday right before noon and executed two local policemen on their lunch break. Authorities say Jerad approached one officer while he was refilling his soda cup and shot him in the head from behind, before he and Amanda opened fire on his partner.

While patrons scrambled to safety, one of the shooters reportedly shouted that the “revolution” had begun. The duo then stripped the officers of their weapons and ammunition and badges, and covered them with cloth that featured the “Don’t tread on me” Gadsden flag, which has recently been adopted as a symbol of the tea party movement. The couple also left a swastika on one of the officers. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-122 – Michael’s Blog

John Mellencamp first heard his 2003, antiwar, anti-Bush song on the radio while driving around his home state of Indiana with one of his sons. The DJ played “To Washington,” his update of the Woody Guthrie protest anthem, and asked listeners to call the station to report their reaction. One angry caller captured the mood: “I don’t know who I hate more, Osama bin Laden or John Mellencamp.” Mellencamp’s son asked his dad how he felt about having a freshly painted bull’s-eye on his back for right-wing venom, and he dispensed some fatherly wisdom, “Sometimes when you stick your neck out, your head gets cut off.”

For the first couple of days after the publication of my essay criticizing military worship, “You Don’t Protect My Freedom,” I certainly felt like my head was resting in the guillotine. On the day of publication I woke up to check my email and found thousands of messages, ranging from the mild (“I hope you die and burn in hell”) to the touching (“If I ever see you on the street, I will kill you.”) [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-11I – Michael’s Blog

Talk show host and activist Montel William tried without success on Monday to get a group of Fox News hosts to have an honest discussion about why race was at the heart the protests over the recent killings of black men by police.

Out Numbered began its Monday coverage of the protests over a grand jury’s decision not to indict the New York City Police officer who killed Eric Garner by showing white rioters in Berkeley, California, followed by a video clip of President Barack Obama talking about racism within the law enforcement community. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-10w – Michael’s Blog

After any police controversy involving black people, the right-wing media turns to an exercise in brainstorming excuses synonymous with “the fog of war”. Maybe Mike Brown actually was a demon. Maybe the 911 caller who said that 12-year-old Tamir Rice’s gun might have been a toy was actually part of an elaborate conspiracy to get the cop shot with a real gun disguised as a toy gun because “kids will be kids”. You can never be sure with these people.

Except Eric Garner. The trouble with his death, at least for the right-wing media’s instinctual denial complex, is that there’s video. You don’t need to do your Rust Cohle impression and reconstruct Ferguson grand jury evidence into something like a working crime scene. You can watch Eric Garner, and you can watch the men who made him die, and the men who made him die were police. After weeks of explaining away Ferguson as Mike Brown’s fault, outlets like Fox News faced a quandary: How do you make the unambiguous go away? [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-102 – Michael’s Blog

The Rolling Stone piece “A Rape on Campus” is a huge story in all senses of the word. It is long and expansive, documenting a culture at the University of Virginia that seems to shrug off sexual assault. It has also helped kick off a broad national conversation about fraternity culture, rape on campus, and whether our colleges and universities are equipped to adjudicate alleged sex crimes. At its heart, though, Sabrina Rubin Erdely’s article is about a single event: an orchestrated gang rape of a woman named Jackie. In the course of 9,000 words, Erdely chronicles an administration’s tepid response to a terrible crime. But what the piece is missing is one small thing: that single, standard sentence explaining that the alleged perpetrators of the crime deny it, or don’t deny it, or even that they could not be reached for comment. It’s often a boring sentence, one that comes off as boilerplate to readers, but it’s absolutely necessary, because it tells readers you tried your best to get the other side of the story. You notice when it isn’t there.

Last week, we invited Erdely on the DoubleX Gabfest to talk about the story. I asked her in several different ways if she knew anything about the seven men whom Jackie accused of committing this crime, or if she had talked to them. In the story, Jackie’s roommate at the time, Rachel Soltis, tells Erdely, “Me and several other people know exactly who did this to her.” Jackie says she still sees “Drew,” the guy she alleges orchestrated the gang rape, walking around campus sometimes. (Jackie is the alleged victim’s real first name. Drew is Erdely’s pseudonym for the alleged perpetrator.) Drew was on Jackie’s lifeguard shift at the university pool. He’s a junior and a member of the fraternity Phi Kappa Psi. An open campus is relatively friendly terrain for a reporter, and students’ email addresses aren’t difficult to track down. He couldn’t be that hard to find. And yet, based on Erdely’s answers, we couldn’t tell how hard she’d tried. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-ZY – Michael’s Blog

It has been more than two years since The New York Times revealed that “Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties” of his drone strikes which “in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants…unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.” The paper noted that “this counting method may partly explain the official claims of extraordinarily low collateral deaths,” and even quoted CIA officials as deeply “troubled” by this decision: “One called it ‘guilt by association’ that has led to ‘deceptive’ estimates of civilian casualties. ‘It bothers me when they say there were seven guys, so they must all be militants. They count the corpses and they’re not really sure who they are.’”

But what bothered even some intelligence officials at the agency carrying out the strikes seemed of no concern whatsoever to most major media outlets. As I documented days after the Times article, most large western media outlets continued to describe completely unknown victims of U.S. drone attacks as “militants”—even though they (a) had no idea who those victims were or what they had done and (b) were well-aware by that point that the term had been “re-defined” by the Obama administration into Alice in Wonderland-level nonsense. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-Zd – Michael’s Blog

President Obama has announced that he is sending 1,500 troops to Iraq to bolster the international efforts against ISIL. These troops will be used to “train, advise and assist” Iraqi and Kurdish forces, and will bring the total of US forces there to 2,900.

Naturally, Fox News seized on the “assist” portion of their mission: [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-VN – Michael’s Blog

In his farewell address to the American people in 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower delivered what turned out to be his most memorable public utterance, famously warning Americans about the perils of the growing “military-industrial complex.” He went on to say: “Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the … industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

Although it was the “military-industrial” bit that most folks remember, it was the “alert and knowledgeable” part that also needed to resonate. Unfortunately, instead of an “alert and knowledgeable citizenry,” which Ike suggested was the only bulwark against the continued growth, power and influence of this monster within, much of the American citizenry remained oblivious to it all. They either fell asleep at the democratic wheel or chose to remain ignorant of the already disturbing implications of the military-industrial complex’s encroaching reach into every aspect of the American demos and polity. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-TP – Michael’s Blog

Joni Ernst is an Iowan, born and bred, an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran, and the Republican nominee for the Senate in Iowa. She has also flirted seriously with wacky conspiracy theories, especially Agenda 21, which takes off from an innocuous, voluntary UN resolution and turns it into a sinister plot which, as the John Birch Society says, “seeks for the government to curtail your freedom to travel as you please, own a gas-powered car, live in suburbs or rural areas, and raise a family. Furthermore, it would eliminate your private property rights through eminent domain.” And she has made comments about Americans totally dependent on government that make Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” observations look almost populist by comparison.

Tom Cotton, who is the Republican nominee for the Senate in Arkansas, is a congressman, a graduate of Harvard Law School, and a decorated veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has also said, at a town-hall meeting, “Groups like the Islamic State collaborate with drug cartels in Mexico who have clearly shown they’re willing to expand outside the drug trade into human trafficking and potentially even terrorism. They could infiltrate our defenseless border and attack us right here in places like Arkansas.” [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-TB – Michael’s Blog

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