About Walter M. Brasch

Walter M. Brasch, Ph.D., is an award-winning journalist and author. He is a former multimedia writer-producer, newspaper and magazine reporter and editor, and is professor emeritus of mass communications from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. His latest book is Fracking Pennsylvania, which looks at the health, environmental, geological, and economic impact of natural gas horizontal fracturing. He also investigates political collusion between the natural gas industry and politicians. Among his 18 books--most of which integrate history, politics, and contemporary social issues--are The Press and the State, Before the First Snow: Stories from the Revolution, Sinking the Ship of State: The Presidency of George W. Bush, The Joy of Sax: A Look at the Bill Clinton Administration, and Social Foundations of the Mass Media.
He is also the author of dozens of magazine articles, several multimedia productions, and has worked in the film industry and as a copy writer and political consultant. He is the author 16 books, most of them focusing upon the fusion of historical and contemporary social issues, including America's Unpatriotic Acts: The Federal Government's Violation of Constitutional and Civil Rights (2005); Sinking the Ship of State: The Presidency of Geroge W. Bush (2008), Black English and the Mass Media (1981); Forerunners of Revolution: Muckrakers and the American Social Conscience (1991); With Just Cause: The Unionization of the American Journalist (1991); Brer Rabbit, Uncle Remus, and the 'Cornfield Journalist': The Tale of Joel Chandler Harris (2000); The Joy of Sax: America During the Bill Clinton Era (2001); and Sex and the Single Beer Can (3rd ed., 2009). He also is co-author of Social Foundations of the Mass Media (2001) and The Press and the State (1986), awarded Outstanding Academic Book distinction by Choice magazine, published by the American Library Association.

SitComs Not Always a Laughing Matter

Growing Up Fisher

Walter Brasch: The escalation of the laugh track has become the producers’ way to manipulate the audience to believe every word is a gem, every sentence uttered is golden.

Tragedy in the 24/7 News Media

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Walter Brasch: There is a major problem when the media—print or visual—become fixated upon one story, such as Flight 370. Other stories are swept aside. The mudslide near Oso, Washington, that killed 30, with at least a dozen still missing, is one of those stories that should have dominated the news media.

Anti-Fracking Fractivist Can Now Go to the Hospital

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Walter Brasch: Vera Scroggins never planned to be among the leaders of a social movement, but her persistence in explaining and documenting what is happening to the people and their environment has put her there.

An Injunction Against the First Amendment

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Walter Brasch: Where the oil and gas lobby has been able to mount a multi-million dollar media campaign, the people who proudly call themselves “fractivists” have countered by effective use of the social media and low-budget but highly effective rallies.

Lettuce Look at Some Prices

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Walter Brasch: “California and the Southwest are in the worst drought in decades. Wiped out much of the agricultural land. Drought’s almost as good as winning the PowerBall. Prices have to rise.”

Disposable Assets in the Fracking Industry

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Fracking Industry: The gas drilling industry is dependent on independent contractors who often provide little or no benefits to their workers.

No Merit Badge for This Scout

Exxon Mobile CEO and Chairman Rex Tiller

Texas Fracking: Destroying God’s world to maximize your profits is not Rex Tillerson’s right.

Communicating the Atomic Fart

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Atomic Fart: Anyone can secretly place the iPhone near an unsuspecting nebbish, quickly move to the other side of the room, and then wait.

No Honor in Killing ‘God’s Dog’

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Coyote Hunting: For whatever reason people say they kill coyotes, it has nothing to do with sport and everything to do with joy of killing.

The Propaganda Olympics

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Propaganda Olympics — For Vladimir Putin, the Sochi Olympics is a carefully orchestrated propaganda opportunity to try to showcase the nation’s athletes.

Pets Are Property Like Kitchen Chairs

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Animal Abuse — Every year, about 2.7 million healthy and adoptable pets in the United States are killed by the staff of animal shelters.

Train Derailments Another of Fracking’s Problems

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Train Derailments — Mile-long trains of tanker cars that are not designed to carry crude oil put the entire nation at risk.

America’s Political Twerks

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Celebrity Politicians — Maybe if politicians would stop trying to sound like some celebrities, they could raise their popularity.

OBGYNs Stir Up Controversy

Dr. Elizabeth Stier

Elizabeth Stier — It took a lot of outrage, but a gynecologist in Boston will not lose her board certification.

We Gather Together to Ask . . .

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Rosemary and Walter Brasch: May we all remember that when the basic needs are filled for all Americans, only then can we be truly thankful for the day.

No Escaping Fracking

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Walter Brasch: The New Jersey senate voted 30-5, and the assembly voted 56-19, to ban frack waste. The vote appeared strong enough to be veto proof, but, Gov. Christie vetoed it in June.

Why Do Politicians Support Animal Cruelty?

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Walter Brasch: It’s an easy answer. Politicians are ruled not by the people who elect them but by who spreads money and fear onto their souls — in this case, NRA executives.

Fracking Wars: An Injunction Against the Truth

Vera Scroggins

Walt Brasch: Before Vera Scroggins were four lawyers and several employees of Cabot Gas and Oil, who accused her of trespassing and causing irreparable harm to the company that had almost $1 billion in revenue in 2012.

Ready for Less Academics?

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Walter Brasch: Fewer people know the names of the recent Nobel laureates than the starting quarterbacks for Division I college teams. To find out why, I went to Green Valley College.

Shuffling Federal Paperwork

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Walter Brasch: Deep in an obscure federal building is Wilson P. Throckmorton, the first secretary of the Department of Administration. With him are his two key assistants, career administrators Samuel J. Stonewall and Waldo P. Rockbottom.

Standing in the Sunshine: The Answer Is Blowin’ in the Wind

"Solar Drop" aquatic complex planned for Abu Dhabi

Walter Brasch: About three-fourths of Americans want to see more development of solar and wind energy, according to a Gallup poll conducted in March. So, who doesn’t want to see renewable energy replace fossil fuel dependence?

Discriminating Taste

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Walter Brasch: Want to be a CEO for a Fortune 500 company? Make sure you’re about 6-foot tall–too tall also doesn’t work, either–weigh about 170-200 pounds, have hair, and look good in Armani suits. And, also make sure you’re a male.

Tom Corbett’s Sizzle Has Fizzled

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Walter Brasch: There is a lot that Tom Corbett could have done to improve his popularity. But, what he did was to shuffle his top advisors and change his public relations staff, a couple of whom went directly into PR agencies, where they represent the oil and gas industry.

Hurricane Katrina: It’s Obama’s Fault, by George

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Walter and Rosemary Brasch: Almost one-third of Louisiana Republicans blame President Obama for the slow and largely ineffective response to Hurricane Katrina, which hit the Gulf Coast three years before he became president.

Government Should Not Define What a Reporter Is—or Isn’t

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Walter Brasch: Under Sen. Feinstein’s belief of who and what a reporter is, Ben Franklin, who wrote hundreds of articles under the byline of Silence Do-Good, and was never paid for it, would not be considered to be a reporter.

Royal Dutch Shell: They’ve Really Got a Friend in Pennsylvania

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Walter Brasch: The Pennsylvania legislature handed over a 15-year exemption from local and state taxes, apparently without consulting local officials.

The No-News Media Cover a Royal Birth

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Walter Brasch: While the media are fixated upon the birth of a future monarch, they have cut back their incessant incoherently babbling about the lives and misfortunes of American celebrities.

Practicing Un-Medicine

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Walter Brasch: A study by the Centers for Disease Control showed that of 35 million people hospitalized last year, almost two million got worse because of exposure to unsanitary hospital procedures.

Putting People over Profits: The Fight Against Fracking

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Walter Brasch: Only 49 percent of Pennsylvanians support shale gas extraction and 58 percent of all Pennsylvanians want the state to order “time out” until the health and environmental effects of fracking can be fully analyzed.

These Prying Eyes

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Walter Brasch: With the ubiquitous use of computers, every person who ever bought anything online, or even searched for anything online—product or information—can now be identified, their web addresses stored for use in target marketing campaigns.

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