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The Terrorist Watch List maintained by the Transportation Security Administration has become a bloated and useless compendium of waste. The ACLU recently reported that the list contains a million names. The TSA disputes this saying that, due to duplicates and aliases, the number is actually closer to 400,000. Well, that’s comforting, but it doesn’t change the fact that…
“Members of Congress, nuns, war heroes and other ’suspicious characters,’ with names like Robert Johnson and Gary Smith, have become trapped in the Kafkaesque clutches of this list, with little hope of escape.”
The New York Post has given its endorsement for the Democratic presidential nomination to Barack Obama. However, after reading the article you'd have to ask yourself, "With friends like that, who needs enemas?" Here are some examples of what the Post considers an endorsement:
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Who knew that the Roman Catholic Church observed something called "World Communications Day"? Well they do, and the theme for the 42nd annual observance to be held on May 4, 2008, was addressed in a speech by Pope Benedict XVI. He had some interesting things to say about the media. To begin with he recognizes the massive shadow cast by modern media conglomerates.
"Truly, there is no area of human experience, especially given the vast phenomenon of globalization, in which the media have not become an integral part of interpersonal relations and of social, economic, political and religious development."
Nice start. More follows... Make the jump»
Today as we celebrate the memory and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., millions of Americans will reflect on the impact his life had. That impact, for many, is very personal. There is much for which to be grateful in the gifts of hope and justice that he left behind. For me there was a speech that was particularly transforming. It was his public entry into the anti-war movement, Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence. As a twelve year old peace activist and an aspiring artist, one sentence stood out and helped to shape the next 40 years of my life:
"We must be prepared to match actions with words by seeking out every creative means of protest possible."
In the fog of hard-fought political wars, the foot soldiers are exposed to stimulating sensations as the campaigns heat up and swirl with emotion. The ups and downs pound furiously as sweaty staffers strain to satisfy insatiable supporters and reporters.
|Major Scandal Brewing
One such reporter appears to have succumbed to the siren call of amour on the campaign trail. Sources have revealed that the fittingly macho-named Major Garrett is tied romantically with the disgraced "non-gay" senator from Idaho, Larry Craig. While there has been no confirmation at this time, the sourcing is "strong, very strong." Garrett is the reporter who covered the Craig affair for Fox News. And while the photo at the left may not be considered conclusive evidence, it raises the temperature of the scandal significantly. Make the jump»
Any fair-minded observer of American media is well aware of the intrinsic bias of Fox News. It is a bias that is recognized by journalists and scholars, analysts and amateurs. Even Fox no longer tries to pawn the euphemistic "fair and balanced" nonsense off on their viewers. They now cast themselves as "the most powerful name in news." That slogan should provoke an obvious question: Is "power" something that is desirable in a news network?
Many divergent camps in politics and media are answering that question with a resounding "NO!" Those camps may now be coalescing into a united front that shares a healthy disrespect for Fox News.
A picture sometimes really is worth a thousand words...
Rassmussen conducts a daily national tracking poll of all presidential candidates. The latest shows John Edwards picking up significantly more support, since the beginning of the year, than any candidate of either party.
The percent change for Republicans is: Huckabee 18.8% / Giuliani 13.3% / McCain 11.8% / Thompson 8.3% / Romney -6.3%.
So why isn't this news? Make the jump»
When CNN announced the hiring of radio talk jock Glenn Beck almost two years ago, they used words like "cordial," "conversational" and "not confrontational" to describe him. What they delivered was the polar opposite of that, as has been well documented by Media Matters. Despite CNN's laughable depiction of Beck as "Miss Congeniality," they knew exactly the sort of piffle they were peddling. Their programming strategy stated at the time was to...
"...build Beck into the type of TV personality that could siphon viewers from Bill O'Reilly, Joe Scarborough and other conservative hosts."
Beck's ratings for November 2007 (25-54 demo) reveal a program on life support. At this point the humane thing to do would be to pull the plug and put Beck (and innocent TV viewers) out of their misery.
As shown here, Beck loses to all of his competitors in cable news. Both his live show and his repeat come in 4th out of four programs. That doesn't leave much for him to brag about.
But that's not the end of his problems.
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A little over a year ago I wrote this article wrapping up the 2006 campaign season and showing how, no matter who wins electoral campaigns, the media is the ultimate winner:
"When all is said and done, The Media will have banked over $2 Billion [...] If a campaign can be analogized to a war, then the media are the war profiteers. Fox is the Halliburton of the press corps - GE (owner of NBC/Universal) is the…well, the GE. They benefit no matter who wins or loses. In fact, it is in their interest to incite division and to escalate the conflict."
At the time, the money raked in by media was a new record, but one that was destined to be short-lived. Make the jump»
The ongoing strike by members of the Writer's Guild against the AMPTP is an important line in the sand for rights of the creative community in Hollywood and elsewhere. The producers have thus far proven that they are far more interested in hording their profits than in sharing credit and compensation with the people most responsible for generating those profits - the creators. But there has been an unanticipated drawback to this otherwise righteous cause that could have a significant impact on our nation.
A month from now the first of the presidential primary contests will take place in Iowa. The campaigns are already at cruising speed and the media is hurtling forward with their usual fare of speculation, conflict and the inane horserace chatter that they think passes for news. What's missing is the perspective of what has become the most insightful segment of the commentator class in the 21st century - Satire.