The Way It Wasn’t: Cronkite and Vietnam

cronkite-3

Cronkite made a bold decision to step out of his familiar role as impartial anchor and to express views that he said were “speculative, personal, subjective.” Yet he was speaking for more than himself.

Walter Cronkite

cronkite

There’s only one tribute to the memory of Walter Conkrite that means anything and that would be if TV “journalists” somehow learned from his example and did their goddamn jobs!

Michael Jackson, Robert McNamara, Whatever …

hershberg-web

Three decades after the Johnson Administration plunged into war in Southeast Asia, two decades after the last helicopter fled Saigon as the communists rushed in and a conflict that had claimed the lives of more than three million Vietnamese and 58,000 Americans, McNamara has become just another celebrity passing through.


North Country Blues: Michael Jackson, Media, Community, and a Small Town Murder

Dru Sjodin

As I stood in front of Dru’s grave, I was speechless, even in prayer. I was trying to make sense of 45,000 dead in Congo–people I had no ability to help. I was hoping that if I could reconnect with the death of one person who died senselessly and through no “mistake” of her own, other than being in the wrong place at the right time for her stalker, it would mitigate the anger I was feeling about the media pomp and circumstance over a celebrity’s death.

Michael Jackson the Trail Blazer

michael-jackson-foto

I was already in a somewhat somber mood on the morning of June 25th after hearing on the radio that Farrah Fawcett had lost her battle with cancer. Of course, I didn’t know her, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t be saddened, especially after having seen the documentary she produced—“Farrah’s Story”— which provided a window [...]

Freedom Isn’t Free – We Still Aren’t Free of Sarah Palin

palins-other-shoe

Happy Independence Day, on the eve of which we’ve been reminded that we are FAR from declaring our national independence from the Sarah Palin addiction. After watching her rambling, disjointed “W-T-F Moment” as she announced she’s not only not running for reelection as Alaska’s governor but she’s bailing out now, I guess what I’m doing [...]

Spare Us the Elvis-Michael Comparisons

Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley

The cultural contributions and significance of Michael Jackson pales in comparison to that of Elvis Presley. While he made great music and sold more records, Jackson ’s place in musical history cannot be in the same pantheon of 20th Century musicians who altered everything that came after them. In addition to Elvis, that would include [...]

Missing Home on July 4

donuts

July 1 was Canada Day and, on Wednesday, The New York Times asked 11 Canadians living in the States what they missed most about their native land. Turnabout is fair play and I started thinking about what I miss about home, having lived in Toronto since 1991. Here are a few things that come to [...]

Tips for Celebrating the Fourth

fireworks

First off, get a jump on your neighbors. Don’t wait till Saturday, when “independence” will be so day-before-yesterday. Today, rush down to your neighborhood fireworks stand, grab a small family pack, and wait till dusk. Then go out to your driveway and light up a few to celebrate the 233rd anniversary the Congressional resolution of [...]

A Homegoing for My Father

father-and-son

Welcome to my father’s homegoing! He was a simple man with an extraordinary life, A Georgia boy, born and raised in a wooden shack in Augusta, In the heart of Jim Crow, With segregation all around, And with lynchings always waiting just around the corner, Born to a Black Mama, And his old man was [...]

The Politics of Mourning Michael Jackson

michael_jackson_2

With the passing of Michael Jackson, I am 12 years old again and rediscovering the subversiveness of living authentically. Now, Michael Jackson is not a “John Lennon.” He never used his celebrity status to aid controversial causes like ending a war or freeing political prisoners. He never had a corrupt US president attempt to deport [...]

What’s With Cable’s “All Jack-O All The Time” News Coverage?

michael-jackson

Yesterday’s solemn, over-the-top, wall-to-wall, commercial free coverage of Michael Jackson’s death left me wondering if Archduke Ferdinand had been shot a second time. Yes, Jackson once was an entertainment and music genius but he hadn’t done anything in years, yes, and his parents doomed him in childhood to a miserable life. But Prince is a [...]

Dylan Ratigan?! Really MSNBC, Don’t We Have Enough Ranters Already?

dylan_ratigan

On June 29th, Dylan Ratigan, the former host of CNBC’s Fast Money, will premiere his new show, The Meeting With Dylan Ratigan, to air Monday through Friday at 9 a.m. on MSNBC. The show will address a variety of topics spearheaded by Ratigan, its pugnacious fast-talking star, who as the video below will demonstrate, offers [...]

Empathy for the Common Man

Raul and Brisenia Flores

I was going to try to write something in a humorous voice about how Darth Limbaugh was directing Emperor Cheney’s imperial storm troopers, dressed as Senators Graham and Boehner, out to savage and malign Sonia Sotomayor. I figured that there must be some workable pun in the idea that they can take the white sheet [...]

Jingoism Isn’t Journalism! Why I Don’t Trust CNN & Corporate Media To Cover Iran

iran-protests

As a critic of media, in particular of cable/satellite “news,” I’m troubled by American corporate-media, in particular CNN’s near non-stop coverage of the turmoil in Iran. Not because the story isn’t important. It’s critically important and warrants the personal coverage it’s getting from the Iranian people as they bypass corporate channels to tell their stories [...]

The World Should Be Thanking Nico Pitney

Nico Pitney

More than MSNBC, BBC or CNN; more than The New York Times or The Independent; more than perhaps any other news outlet, the world should be thanking Nico Pitney. For seven days, his live blogging at Huffington Post of the Iranian election uprising has kept the world informed of what is happening inside Tehran and [...]

Ticketmaster Takes Artists’ Web Content and Runs

Travis Tritt

Fans of up to 200 mid-level artists and lower tier musicians hosted by Echomusic who went to check out touring schedules on their websites in the last few days may have found a darkened site or just a note that the site was under reconstruction. What happened? In a move that is under-reported in comparison [...]

Walter Cronkite Gravely Ill

Walter Cronkite

The most trusted man in America is said to be gravely ill and nearing death. Walter Cronkite, once The Most Trusted Man In America according to a Gallup Poll at the time, is 92 and TVNewser reports that CBS, which began updating his bio last week, is preparing a special on his life and career [...]

From Analog To Digital: Nothing’s Free Anymore

tied2tv

Last week, the federal government moved forth with allowing public airwaves to be transitioned from the analog transmission to the newer, advanced digital forms of communication transmission. Now understand, we all must realize that everything must change. NOTHING remains the same. The advancement of technology has changed everything about television, making them larger, thinner and [...]

A Requiem for My Traveling Pants

old-blue-jeans

We calculate time by different methods, beyond the persistent ticking of a clock. Some measure it by seasons, when autumn leaves turn to rainbows and fall from the trees; some by the growth of their children with height marks that rise steadily up a kitchen wall; and some by the longevity of their favorite jeans. [...]

The Curious Incident of a US Extradition in the Night Time

Gary McKinnon

Gary McKinnon of Crouch End, North London, was branded a ‘cyber-terrorist’ by the US government. In 2002, he was arrested for hacking into Pentagon and NASA computers. The US Justice, Defense, and Homeland Security Departments have been fighting a seven-year-long extradition battle to the USA under the 2003 UK Extradition Act. They want him brought [...]

Right-Wing Sedition

Abigail Adams

In 1798, during the Quasi-war with France, Congress, with President John Adams’ support, passed the Sedition Act. Outraged by attacks on her husband, Abigail Adams supported the act, which was opposed by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, among others. “Let us not establish a tyranny,” wrote an alarmed Alexander Hamilton to an ally in Congress. [...]

Joan Walsh Is Right: Bill O’Reilly Is Vile

Joan Walsh, Salon.com

The good news about Fox News blubber mouth Bill O’Reilly is that he speaks to only a teeny, tiny percentage of the country; the bad news is part of that small and dwindling group actually thinks he makes sense and then goes out and kills people because they believe his vile, hate-filled rhetoric. Much as [...]

Rioting “Fans” Taint Lakers Win

As Los Angeles teeters on financial ruin, with the possibility of municipal workers being laid off or forced to take unpaid leave, unruly crowds turn a night of celebration for the city into a night of destruction following the Los Angeles Lakers’ 99 to 86 NBA Finals victory over the Orlando Magic. Witness for yourselves [...]

Glenn Beck Spins the Holocaust Museum Shooting

beck_hitler

Wednesday afternoon, Glenn Beck and two of his guests argued that Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party were “left wing”; that “political correctness” led the committed white supramacist, James Von Brunn, to shoot a security guard at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC; and that ultimately President Barack Obama is the one responsible for the [...]

Public Rejects Newspapers’ Survivalist Rhetoric

dying newspapers

arkos Moulitsas, whose DailyKos helped shift the nation’s politics leftward, once noted that newspaper circulation began its steady decline in 1993, well before the rise of the Internet, and that “what the newspaper industry is trying to save right now isn’t ‘journalism’, it’s ‘shareholder value’.” Moulitsas created a site that regularly produces critical news “missed” [...]

Hot Docs in Cool Toronto

hot-docs

Its better known, slicker cousin, the Toronto International Film Festival, attracts celebrities, glitterati, paparazzi, red carpets and searchlights arching the Canadian night sky. Held in September, TIFF kicks off the industry’s festival season that continues until Cannes, which just concluded. Coming first means that, over the years, TIFF debuted numerous major motion pictures, as Hollywood [...]

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