David Love: The media-manufactured spectacle that is and was the Shirley Sherrod incident tells us all we need to know about Andrew Brietbart, Fox “News” and the dangers of extremist hack media – unregulated, irresponsible and unethical – run amok.
LA Progressive Aritcles: Georgianne Nienaber, Anthony Samad, Mario Solis-Marich, Tina Dupuy, Robert Reich, Diane Lefer, Seth Hoy, Randy Shaw, David Love, Joseph Palermo, Paul Hogarth, Shamus Cooke, David Swanson, Andrea Nill, Sherwood Ross, Berry Craig, Donald Price, Steve Hochstadt, Ed Rampell, Nina Zippay and Fernando J. Orozco, Sharon Kyle, and Joseph Palermo
Joseph Palermo: White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs showed poor press management skills in handling the whole Shirley Sherrod saga. He allowed the media frame to shift quickly to the missteps of the administration rather than emphasizing the underhanded, contrived, and racist actions of Andrew Breitbart and his fellow travelers at Fox News.
Steve Hochstadt: I believe that as a society we are moving away from a desire to solve problems cooperatively toward a single-minded motivation to defeat opponents. Political conflict has spread into “culture wars,” in which other people’s choice of newspaper or dinner beverage, or their attitude toward recycling or marriage makes them our enemy.
Andrea Nill: Proponents of Arizona’s new immigration law, SB-1070, have a new talking point: they are now arguing that if the Department of Justice (DOJ) is going to legally challenge SB-1070, it should also go after “sanctuary city” policies as well. “Sanctuary city” is a right-wing derisive term used to describe cities that have adopted community policing policies that prevent police from asking about the immigration status of or detaining and arresting immigrants solely for being undocumented.
Andrea Nill: Palin informed O’Reilly that she would do “whatever it takes” to secure the border, including “militarizing” the border with 10,000-15,000 National Guard troops and building a wall.
Michaelangelo Price: And what about O’Reilly’s “alone time” fantasy, fake writer Ann Coulter? Can you imagine her piggish self-interest in social climbing the dregs of Long Island society has anything at all to do with genuine patriotism?
John Amato Speaking at LA Media Reform Fundraiser in Beverly Hills on July 16: In Over the Cliff: How Obama’s Election Drove the American Right Insane, John Amato and coauthor David Neiwert show that the Tea Party “movement” was not the organic uprising it was made to appear, but rather was kick-started by FOX News and follows in a long tradition of movement conservative activism that harkens back to the street theater days of Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed, and Grover Norquist.
Robert Reich: Representative Joe Barton’s apology to Tony Hayward for what he termed a “shakedown” of BP by the White House in order to get BP’s agreement to a $20 billion escrow fund, was the best thing to happen to BP since April 20, and the best boost for the White House in months. What possessed Barton, the ranking Republican on Energy and Commerce?
Mike Price: Here is really what’s germane to the plot. I blundered, realized it, and told you about it as soon as possible, fully realizing that such a bizarre course of action goes against everything we’re accustomed to getting from Haliburton, Haliburton subsidiaries, BP executives, right-wingydings, politicians, radio blabbers, media whores, talk-show “experts,” broadcast prognosticators, blondish corporate spokesmodels, and the entire Fox News menagerie of well-coiffed ignorami.
Joseph Palermo: For example, contrary to the mythology that sometimes fogs President Ronald Reagan’s overall fiscal record, the tax burden of working Americans increased during the 1980s, as did the national debt, and the overall size of the government. By 1986, the cumulative federal debt had reached $2 trillion, which was more than the United States had accumulated in its entire previous history.
Tina Dupuy: The BP spill exposed that we’re still commuting in eight-cylinder singly occupied vehicles, hopped up on plastic goods and scoffing at high-speed rail projects. Our government is representative – we haven’t clamored to get off oil. If anything we’ve threatened to riot for having to pay too much at the pump.
Joseph Palermo: The wide dissemination of Beck’s views wouldn’t matter much if the United States were in better shape today. But the status quo that is emerging cannot help but create a highly volatile electorate for years to come. Class lines are hardening, mobility is stifled, unemployment will remain near double digits for many years, there is a sea of angry voters who are susceptible to jingoistic appeals and conspiracy theories (like the ones Beck promotes). The ongoing fiscal crisis at the local, state, and federal levels has led to the heartless rollback of public institutions at exactly the time when they are needed the most.
Joseph Palermo: So that’s what our political discourse has sunk to? Discredited figures like Brownie are on TV jockeying for partisan gain, milking a national tragedy that is probably going to change forever the ecosystem of the Gulf Coast? Brownie uses a catastrophe that threatens many of the nation’s most important waterways and will probably be a grave setback to any national economic recovery to score pitiful political points against the Democrats? Who are these people?
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.
Bob Letcher: am reluctant to go in for visioning exercises, because in my own experience such exercises almost always proceed on the basis of (to borrow my favorite of George W Bush’s malapropisms) “misunderestimating” the capacity of the opposition, and particularly those elements of the opposition who always already possess systematically asymmetric advantages in access to power and resources.
David A. Love: Those of you who remember the televised images of angry white protestors in the 1950s and 1960s know that this is nothing new. Whenever a black child tried to integrate a school in the Jim Crow South, the teabaggers of their day were out there to show their outrage. Whenever African Americans tried to register to vote or sit at a segregated lunch counter, the same crowd was out there. They came with their fists, their vulgarity, threats of violence and spitting.