For Capitalists, Obesity Is a Sign of Marketing Success

biggest loser

Tina Dupuy: Obesity and the hidden costs behind it are a classic example of privatizing profit and socializing losses. The more successful the food industry is, the fatter we become and the more society has to absorb those costs. The military has reportedly turned away over 48,000 recruits since 2005 for being too fat to serve. And if they can’t pass the military’s standard of 26% body fat, they’re not likely to make it as a civilian first responder either.

I Will Defend My Mother’s Purity!

Paul Rudnick (Pholo: Michael Mahoney, Hat Head Studios)

Carl Matthes: What prompted TCT to produce “Fabulous”? Andy recollected, “We have always been huge fans of Paul Rudnick’s work with his play “Jeffrey” recently produced in Austin at the Arts on Real Theatre. “Most Fabulous” is a play with a lot of humor, but with a lot of heart as well. We pride ourselves in staging all types of live theatre and with much variety to every season. We always hope to appeal to the wide range of people who make up the Austin theatre community.”

Mainstream Media Swoon Over Rove’s Power Play

Michael Sigman: Karl Rove — chief political architect of George W. Bush’s presidency, the worst in modern history — is reentering frontline Republican Party politics. And the narrative-defining mainstream media have wasted no time in portraying Rove’s return as the most momentous development since Tiger Woods nearly re-mastered the Masters.

Information Terrorists Hijack Our Airwaves

birthers

Nomiki Konst: While Obama has done an admirable job ignoring the Tea Party outbursts and outlandish claims and focusing on moving his agenda forward, Maddow, Matthews, Olbermann, Colbert, Stewart, Cooper, Crowley, Sanchez and Shultz have missed an incredible opportunity to vocalize the progressive agenda while they have the floor. For eight years, progressives were unable to bring their agenda to the table and had to constantly act on the defensive.

Alert! George Will Speaks the Truth (Sometimes)

George Will

Ron Wolff: Democrats pushed health care reform, according to Will, because of liberals’ tendency to “lunge to maximize government growth.” Presumably, it was irrelevant that insurance companies were acting like bandits, taking policy-holders’ money and then withholding services when people got sick, and that millions of Americans were dying prematurely because they didn’t have access to quality medical care.

No Goldman at the End of the Rainbow?

goldman sachs

Michael Sigman: Marxist socialism may be dead, but perhaps what Marx called capital’s internal contradictions, illustrated beautifully by the desperation of Goldman and other mega-corporations for short-term profits may, by strengthening the case for fundamental financial reform, bring us closer to a more livable world.

Sarah Palin v. Bill Moyers: Take the Survey

moyers palin

Sharon Kyle: Bill Moyers 4,889. Sarah Palin 1,543,755. So what’s this, you ask? It certainly isn’t the scorecard for some ridiculous game. Nor is it their annual salaries: Sarah Palin probably makes more than that.

Who’s Who In Black Los Angeles: Who Really Wants To Know and What Is This Really About?

black-la

Anthony Asadullah Samad: Guess who discovered Who’s Who In Black Los Angeles after two years? Before you ask, I really wanted to feature a Los Angeles Times editor in Who’s Who in Black Los Angeles. Really. The problem is, there is not a single African American among those who make coverage decisions for the paper. In hindsight, it probably was a mistake not to include the one black man on the paper’s full-time Metro reporting staff. That brother deserves a special award for what I imagine he goes through everyday. Well, maybe next year.

Honorees Revolutionize Progressive Communications

wendy block

Wendy Block: Valley Democrats United’s (VDU’s) 2010 Badge of Courage honorees knew corporate media would respect progressive voices about the same time Rush Limbaugh invited Amy Goodman to guest host his radio show. So documentarian extraordinaire Robert Greenwald, and citizen journalists for the world Sharon Kyle and Dick Price, crashed the international debate.

The Post Office

sara-shendelman

Rabbi Sara Shendelman: In every civilization there are great days on which history turns. In the spring my two cultures come together on a great day of liberation. One day, Passover reminds of freedom, that we came out as millions fleeing the slavery to a system which took the fruits of our labor. The other, April 15th, the day our taxes are due with the government taking the fruits of our labor.

A Nuanced Look at How We Die

american standard tabby cat

Michael Sigman: There are those, Dr. Cohen himself passionately among them, who don’t see death as an evil to be avoided at all costs. They believe each individual has the autonomy to make reasonable end-of-life decisions, and that prosecuting doctors and nurses for anything short of criminal malfeasance is a travesty that will only ruin innocent lives and increase patient suffering.

What Else Can Tiger Say? Just Play

tiger media frenzy

Anthony Samad: Tiger’s always been a mass distraction to the PGA, but as long as it was favorable publicity that benefited the tour, raised purses and endorsement opportunities, it was okay. Tiger Woods is always going to be three things; Black, great and popular. I know Tiger thinks he’s Caublasian, but trust me on this one…that’s not working out real well for him.

Why CNN Fails

CNN

Randy Shaw: CNN’s chief problem is not a lack of partisanship. Instead, it is that CNN’s “news” primarily consists of opinions from partisan political hacks. Most work for CNN because no candidate wants to hire them, and it’s an easy gig because they don’t have to know much about the subjects they pontificate about. Does CNN really believe viewers are still interested in the opinions of the corporate-funded James Carville? Or that CNN will steal viewers from FOX News by hiring Erick Erickson of Redstate.com, who publicly threatened to shoot census workers? CNN is failing because it’s selling stale conventional wisdom, which viewers are rejecting.

Outrage Is All the Rage

Johnny-Mercer

Michael Sigman: It’s often momentarily satisfying to react to outrage with more outrage. For years, I’ve rooted like a sports fan for MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann when he righteously matched and even outstripped the bile of the ignorant Right. But during his recent absence from the airwaves, it’s been a tonic to follow Laurence O’Donnell’s more reasoned approach and Rachel Maddow’s measured, humorous way of skewering the opposition.

What Does Rupert Murdoch Want?

Jim Fuller: This is your duty as a citizen: Take a deep breath and try to watch and listen to Fox for a half hour or so at a time, at various times of day. More if you can stand it. You’ll rarely catch even a single story that is not twisted to fit an extreme right view of the world.

History: A Rovian Rewrite

tom-degan

Tom Degan: It’s going to be an absolute scream in the next few years watching the Bush Mob try to rewrite history with the flood of books that are sure to come out. The latest screed by Rove is merely the tip of the iceberg. They have quite a chore ahead of them no doubt. Putting a positive spin on the worst administration in American history? I imagine something that tricky would be the equivalent of trying to put a smiley face on a decomposing pig:

Cuéntame: Facebooking Teabagger Bigots

Cuentame

Berry Craig: Caballero also said that “From calling Mexicans ‘filthy, stinking animals,’ to listening the likes of Tom Tancredo and Sarah Palin deliver hateful speech after hateful speech, to the increased use of violence in their words and actions, Teabaggers have come out in full force against our community.”

“Preserving Democracy” Theme of LA Media Event This Saturday

Please join the LA Media Reform Group, California Common Cause, and the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute on March 27, 2010, at Occidental College for our third annual summit. Given the recent Supreme Court decision, the changing media landscape, and the importance of the upcoming election cycle, we’ve decided to make this year’s theme, “Preserving Democracy.”

News/PR Line Gets Blurrier

Ozzy Osbourne, dining.

Michael Sigman: Many of the thirty-thousand-plus newspaper journalists laid off in the past two years have signed on to corporate public relations gigs, further blurring the already-murky line between PR and news. When the handful of corporate chieftains who control most mainstream media hire as PR agents the journalists who used to expose them, they’re one giant step closer to commandeering the information narrative in America.

How to Get Your Own News

Social-media

Sharon Kyle: In a book entitled, Just How Stupid Are We?, author Rick Shenkman asks, “Are America’s voters prepared to shoulder the responsibility of running the most powerful nation on earth? Do a majority know enough?” These questions are not new but the current economic crisis brings to the fore the urgency of an answer.

Corporate Media: All the News that Suits the Suits

Media Control

Tom Hall: One reason that there has been so little outcry about this complete abandonment of the capitalist ideals of the Reagan years is that there is no longer any press competition in the United States. All the broadcast and cable networks are now owned by about five multinational corporations. And in every major city, the same corporations own all of the television and radio stations and the cable systems. Most cable systems have no competition at all.

More than Merely Counting Medals

Hockey

Bob Letcher: Simply to “count medals” egregiously ignores the importance players on both sides of the “GOLD MEDAL” game ascribed to winning that game. And not without reason: the Government of Canada—Team Canada’s Government—had undertaken as a matter of national pride, if not national policy, its own “own the podium” program.

Help Provide Missing Haiti Coverage

Haiti-Georgianne

Dick Price: Next week, Georgianne Nienaber departs on a 12-day investigative research trip to Haiti where she will look to fill in gaps in the mainstream media’s news coverage while also providing emergency medical assistance to rural Haitians. As she works with Haitian human rights organizations to develop story ideas, she also invites LA Progressive readers to contribute their thoughts on where else she might look.

“Uncle Tiger’s” Not Out of the Woods Yet

tiger-woods

Ed Rampell: Fair play demands that if Woods is sincere about doing a mea culpa, he should start by apologizing to African Americans for his record of turning his back on them in his unbridled, selfish pursuit of money, glory and sexual gratification by currying favor with the dominant majority culture.

Can the White House Control the News?

Barack Obama and Robert Gates

Sherwood Ross: If an imperial Presidency is defined as one in which an autocratic president can pretty much do as he pleases waging wars around the world, all that a more intensive media environment does is to provide him with heightened supporting coverage. Fox News may attack Obama for his management style but it does not dispute his basic imperialist direction, which is a continuation of the Bush-Cheney wars of aggression. Media dissent these days flickers only on the Internet. Thus the White House succeeds in controlling the news—especially as it derives so much help from the mainstream media.

On Curling, U.S.-Canada Relations, and Tiger Woods

tiger simpsons

Randy Shaw: The worldwide recession deepens, the impacts of climate change worsen, and health care costs continue to skyrocket — yet people are primarily discussing other matters. Chief among them is why curling is an Olympic sport, since it is the on-ice equivalent of bocce or shuffleboard, two games that do not require much athletic talent.

Evan Bayh and Partisan America

evan-Bayh

Robert Reich: The real problem isn’t partisanship. Bold views and strong positions are fine. Democratic debate and deliberation can be enhanced by them. The problem is the intransigence and belligerence that has taken over Congress and much of the rest of the public — a profound distrust of people “on the other side,” an unwillingness to compromise, a bitterness and anger disproportionate to issues being discussed.

Will Jonathan Karl Confront Cheney’s Crimes In His “This Week” Interview?

Linda Milazzo: This morning, ABC’s Jonathan Karl will audition to replace George Stephanopoulos on the network’s flagship Sunday morning program, This Week. Karl’s exclusive “get” for his hosting debut is former Vice President Dick Cheney, whom Karl last interviewed on December 16, 2008 – a month after Barack Obama was elected President, and a month after Jonathan Karl was named ABC’s Senior Congressional Correspondent.

Avatar: Beauty & the Beastly Ideas

Avatar Oscars

Tom Hall: Cameron is a closet Republican. While mouthing anti-corporate platitudes, he embraces the “Party of No” stance that all social strife can be solved with more force, less thought, simple sloganeering and appeals to fear and anger. And, like his Republican compatriots, he rakes in the dough with a stirring yarn which evades, rather than deals with, real social problems.

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