Whose God Bless America Is It, Anyway?

marc anthony

Michael Sigman: Over the past half-century, the right has used “God Bless America” as an all-purpose signifier of the God-given superiority of All-American values over those of the secularists, socialists, anarchists and malcontents of the left.

Why Liberals Don’t Stand a Chance in the Corporate Media

glenn beck blind

Joseph Palermo: Our political spectrum, as refracted through the lens of corporate media, runs from center-right to far-right. No wonder the conventional wisdom in Washington holds, without evidence, that the United States is a “center-right” country. Those making that argument might not be real, informed commentators — but they play them on TV.

Media Contributes to Victim Mentality as Gulf Struggles

Grand Bayou, Louisiana, at risk

Georgianne Nienaber: Journalists have a responsibility to examine the science and it will not be easy. The public has a responsibility to learn more about their environment. It is obvious that government is not looking out for Gulf Coast residents. Communities will be forced to step in and do independent monitoring.

Oh, Bill O’Reilly — It’s “Our” Country, Too

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Tanya Acker: There are many among that celebrated group of “We the People” who are opposed to the Arizona law but who nonetheless remain deeply troubled by our broken immigration system. I am one of them and, frankly, I do not need to be lectured about the consequences of illegal immigration by Mr. O’Reilly or anyone else.

Glenn Beck Riffs on My Recent Article

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.

Glenn Beck: “Historian” for a Troubled America

glenn beck water on moon

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.

Google Isn’t (Necessarily) Making Us Stupid

google

Michael Sigman: Contemplative practices like meditation and yoga — the yin to Internet promiscuity’s yang — are also on the rise. But my own meditation practice — which facilitates clarity and focus — has benefited incalculably from Buddhist and other spiritual websites, blogs, lectures, readings, videos and guided meditations. And my meditation group’s email tree has become an interactive source for ideas, links and information about local events members might otherwise never discover.

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.

Peter Baker and David Herszenhorn: Wall Street Reform Reporting Lacking

Mitch McConnel

Joseph Palermo: The massive trading and swapping of Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs) and other abstractions cooked up by the fertile minds of sociopathic Wall Street “traders” not only did nothing to lubricate the real economy through financial intermediation, but they helped bring down the entire system and cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.

Exec Bonuses/Newsroom Outsourcing a Virtueless Circle

Michael Sigman: The decimation of the media industry, and particularly the newspaper business, has meant the elimination of health insurance benefits not only for the tens of thousands thrown out of work but also for the many writers, designers and others now forced to freelance. Media companies have to make cuts to stay in business, and some outsourcing is inevitable. But rewarding execs with big bonuses for, in effect, taking away workers’ health insurance is unconscionable.

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.

Data Bombshell Crushes Congolese Death Reports

Displaced Persons Camp on outskirts of Goma

Georgianne Nienaber: A bunker-busting academic data bomb has just been dropped on the long-suffering Congolese people after the release of a report by the Human Security Report Project at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. The mainstream press fanned the resulting firestorm of academic debate on methodology by misquoting and misinterpreting death toll numbers in headlines that have now virally spread throughout cyberspace. The resulting confusion has dealt another body blow to humanitarian efforts in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Media Coverage of Haitian Earthquake Can’t Go There

haiti's lament

Joseph Palermo: When the television cameras stop whirring and the famous correspondents leave Haiti and move on to the next Tiger Woods scandal, we should take a hard look at the power relations between the United States and Haiti that not only tolerated but helped create the Western Hemisphere’s best known economic, medical, political, judicial, educational, and ecological disaster long before the natural disaster hit.

Glenn Beck vs. Van Jones: McCarthyism Enters the 21st Century

mcbeck

What Glenn Beck, Roger Ailes, and their allies did in drumming Van Jones out of the government was an example of 21st century McCarthyism. They smeared Jones’ past political remarks and associations the same way Joe McCarthy and Roy Cohn smeared a young Boston lawyer named Fred Fisher for being a member of the National Lawyers Guild.

More Orly Taitz!

orly

No wonder even Ann Coulter — Ann Coulter! — has distanced herself from Taitz saying, in effect: “I don’t want to encourage that woman, she’s a nutjob!”

Glenn Beck Spins the Holocaust Museum Shooting

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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 [...]

Cheney, Rove, and Fleischer and the Importance of Net Neutrality

cheney

Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Ari Fleischer, and other right-wing mouthpieces are trying to frame future debates while they reinvent the George W. Bush years. Their eerie falsehoods, half-truths, revisions, and lies are given added weight because they sit atop a bed of chatter and static, often called the “echo chamber,” of Fox News and right-wing [...]

It’s Time to Resuscitate the FCC

media-victim

Channel surfing the other night, I caught a glimpse of Lou Dobbs on CNN waxing indignant about something Bill Clinton had said about the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) possibly revisiting the Fairness Doctrine. What got Dobbs’s panties in a bunch was Clinton’s suggestion that there might be needed a bit more “balance” on talk radio. [...]