Archive for conservative media

Expert on cultural production of ignorance "watches Fox News all the time"

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ignorance via Armando Lioss smallerPhoto via Armando Lioss

One of my favorite columnists, Michael Hiltzik (scroll), along with most sane people (read: not right wing extremists), does not think ignorance is bliss. In fact, he points out how the commercialization of ignorance has not only dumbed down America, it has endangered it. Hiltzik describes how industries thrive on disseminating public misinformation while they profit off of selling harmful concepts and products, exploit a willing media, all at the expense of increasingly oblivious consumers.

He cites the work of Robert Proctor, a professor of the history of science at Stanford and "one of the world's leading experts in agnotology, a neologism signifying the study of the cultural production of ignorance."

Hiltzik's piece in the Los Angeles Times is one that should be read in its entirety, but the highlights alone will make your hair stand on end. Alcoholic beverages and/or sedatives strongly recommended prior to reading:

Robert Proctor doesn't think ignorance is bliss. He thinks that what you don't know can hurt you. And that there's more ignorance around than there used to be, and that its purveyors have gotten much better at filling our heads with nonsense. [...]

The tobacco industry was a pioneer at this. Its goal was to erode public acceptance of the scientifically proven links between smoking and disease: In the words of an internal 1969 memo legal opponents extracted from Brown & Williamson's files, "Doubt is our product." Big Tobacco's method should not be to debunk the evidence, the memo's author wrote, but to establish a "controversy."

Yes, infuriatingly, they peddle doubt and go out of their way to create controversy in order to implant big question marks in the minds of an unsuspecting, undereducated public. By inducing the media to "present both sides" when, in fact, there may not be two legitimate sides (science, anyone?), they divert focus and evade facts. For example, we've seen how they "sow doubts about the safety of childhood immunizations" (coughBachmann!cough) and deny climate change. And don't get me started on the lies about the Affordable Care Act:

When this sort of manipulation of information is done for profit, or to confound the development of beneficial public policy, it becomes a threat to health and to democratic society. [...]

And all those fabricated Obamacare horror stories wholesaled by Republican and conservative opponents of the Affordable Care Act and their aiders and abetters in the right-wing press? Their purpose is to sow doubt about the entire project of healthcare reform; if the aim were to identify specific shortcomings of the act, they'd have to accompany every story with a proposal about how to fix it.

My head couldn't stop nodding in agreement when I caught this part:

"Nonsense is nonsense, but the history of nonsense is scholarship." As part of his scholarship, Proctor says he "watches Fox News all the time."... Citing the results of a 2012 Gallup poll, Proctor asks, "If half the country thinks the Earth is 6,000 years old, how can you really develop an effective environmental policy? This sort of traditional or inertial ignorance bars us from being able to act responsibly on large social issues."

He goes on to explain how Big Tobacco exploited the tea party's obsession with what they love to call "freedom" and "choice," which of course plays into their anti-government meme, a position that consequently benefits the cigarette industry. Hiltzik emphasizes the importance of educating Americans in order to renew their trust in science. Competent journalism wouldn't hurt in that regard, now would it? He ends with this quote:

The effort needs to begin at a young age, [Proctor] says. "You really need to be teaching third-, fourth-, fifth-, sixth-graders that some people lie. And why do they lie? Because some people are greedy."

in greed we trust

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VIDEO-- How to stop the Koch Bros, take power back from corporations: "Reinvent the way media looks and acts."

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koch bros murdoch buying newspapers

In November 2012, I wrote BIG problem: Former News Corp. exec expected to head Tribune Co., Rupert Murdoch eyes LA Times, Chicago Tribune.

Back in April, I wrote The Koch Bros., who plan to buy up 8 major newspapers, “see the conservative voice as not being well represented.” Um…:

Think Progress:

Right-wing funders and business industrialists David and Charles Koch may purchase the Tribune Company newspapers, which include the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, and the Los Angeles Times. The brothers are “interested in the clout they could gain through the Times’ editorial pages,” the Hollywood Reporter notes.

Under the circumstances, saying this is a serious concern is an understatement.

I'm an L.A. Times subscriber and if these corporate conservative monsters take over, it would be disastrous. I would immediately cancel my subscription and campaign for others to do the same.

Or I could introduce a lot of people to this. Via Free the Press, Buy the Tribune Company:

Corporate media is ruining the integrity of news. Winning the Tribune Company back might just start moving the tide in a different direction. Consider this an experiment that could have an enormous positive ripple effect for democracy.

Americans have said, time and time again, that they trust public and community media much more than corporate media. What if that extended not just to their radio or TV set but their local paper again?

Together we can make history. Really.

Can't contribute? That doesn't mean you can't help take back the media!

Spread the word, tell your social network on Facebook and Twitter. We're going to need as many people as possible to help out if we are going to meet our goal of raising $660 Million.

Also make sure to like The Other 98% on Facebook for even more opportunities to  bring down the corporatocracy.

Please watch the entire video and then link over, there is much more, including a bunch of cool graphics.

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Toilet Paper Will Be More Credible Than the Chicago Tribune Newspapers if Kochs Buy Them

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Via democurmudgeon.blogspot.com

Via democurmudgeon.blogspot.com

As I posted the other day, the Koch brothers are trying to take control of what we see, hear, and read in the Los Angeles Times and about seven other media outlets. They actually said that they want to “make sure our voice is being heard” and that “they see the conservative voice as not being well represented.” I wish I were kidding.

I've written about this a couple of times, and now my pal Mark Karlin has his own piece about it in Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout:

The creditors apparently want to sell the unprofitable newspapers but keep the lucrative television stations, radio stations, real estate and other profitable and potentially profitable divisions of the Tribune Company. [...]

Harold Meyerson writes in the Washington Post a virtual R.I.P. to the Los Angeles Times, in which he laments:

... Their purchase offer won’t be buttressed by a record of involvement in or commitment to journalism on their part. But it will come complete with a commitment to journalism as a branch of right-wing ideology….

The bankers’ men on the Tribune board likely view the sale of the papers as a financial transaction, pure and simple. But Times readers (and the Koch brothers themselves) would view a sale to the Kochs as a political transaction first and foremost, turning L.A.’s metropolitan daily into a right-wing mouthpiece whose commitment to empirical journalism would be unproven at best. A newspaper isn’t just a business; it’s also a civic trust. [...]

Indeed, the sale isn't final. In fact, negotiations are in the hush-hush/leak-leak stage. [...]

Furthermore, like the News World Media Development (a Unification Church affiliate) corporation-owned Washington Times and the Murdoch-owned New York Post, the Kochs can afford to run the papers at a loss in order to achieve their political goals through public influence. [...]

But there will be no question that with at least four major US papers potentially under the control of the Kochs, the national discourse will move even further to the right. And the Kochs can absorb the further financial losses incurred by increased cancelled subscriptions and the likely continued hemorrhaging of advertising dollars. Think of it as their "Americans for Prosperity" of the Fourth Estate. [...]

Just look what Americans for Prosperity and the recently shaken-up FreedomWorks accomplished: They put the House of Representatives under the control of a radical posse of Tea Party zealots in 2010, who block any legislation that can move the United States forward. Uh, that's about as big a return on investment as one can get – and the Kochs got it.

Please read the entire post here.

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Koch Bros., who plan to buy up 8 major newspapers, "see the conservative voice as not being well represented.” Um...

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nono

In November 2012, I wrote BIG problem: Former News Corp. exec expected to head Tribune Co., Rupert Murdoch eyes LA Times, Chicago Tribune.

I followed that up in March 2013 with If this report is true, I will cancel my subscription to the L.A. Times. That entry was in response to a report by Think Progress:

Right-wing funders and business industrialists David and Charles Koch may purchase the Tribune Company newspapers, which include the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, and the Los Angeles Times. The brothers are “interested in the clout they could gain through the Times’ editorial pages,” the Hollywood Reporter notes.

Under the circumstances, saying this is a serious concern is an understatement.

Here we are a month later and Think Progress has a follow-up that has my stomach in knots. They're reporting that Charles and David Koch are still trying to get their extremely wealthy, extremely right wing hands on up to eight (!) U.S. news outlets, per the New York Times, including including The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, The Orlando Sentinel and The Hartford Courant.

See, they want to "make sure our voice is being heard." Note to Kochs: So do the rest of us.

They also have said that “they see the conservative voice as not being well represented.” We here at TPC beg to differ, or to put it another way:

bullshit alertThis proves that there is no such thing as a so-called "liberal media."

New York Times:

Politically, however, the papers could serve as a broader platform for the Kochs’ laissez-faire ideas. The Los Angeles Times is the fourth-largest paper in the country, and The Tribune is No. 9, and others are in several battleground states, including two of the largest newspapers in Florida, The Orlando Sentinel and The Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale. A deal could include Hoy, the second-largest Spanish-language daily newspaper, which speaks to the pivotal Hispanic demographic.

As Think Progress notes, "The brothers also tried to influence the latest election by warning some 45,000 employees that there would be “consequences” if they didn’t vote for Republicans." Yes, that's exactly who should be running a big hunk of the media.

Freedom of the press is a right. Abusing it to spread their extremist propaganda would be reprehensible.

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If this report is true, I will cancel my subscription to the L.A. Times

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noooooooo

In November 2012, I wrote BIG problem: Former News Corp. exec expected to head Tribune Co., Rupert Murdoch eyes LA Times, Chicago Tribune.

Thankfully, that didn't happen, but something else did. Things just got worse.

Dear L.A. Times,

If you do what the report below says you may do, we will cancel our subscription, and we will suggest to everybody we know that they cancel theirs.

Sincerely,

Laffy

Via Think Progress:

Right-wing funders and business industrialists David and Charles Koch may purchase the Tribune Company newspapers, which include the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, and the Los Angeles Times. The brothers are “interested in the clout they could gain through the Times’ editorial pages,” the Hollywood Reporter notes.

Because, you know, the Koch brothers just don't have enough clout.

Via daromano

As I said back in November, feel free to contact the L.A. Times with a letter to the editor or their “convenient comment form.” For questions about journalistic standards, practices and accuracy, contact the Readers’ Representative Office by e-mail, phone (877) 554-4000 or fax (213) 237-3535.

help2

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VIDEO-- Bob Schieffer: Major Garrett to replace Norah O'Donnell as CBS Chief White House Correspondent

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Major Garret used to be a White House correspondent for Fox, and on "Face The Nation" Bob Schieffer announced that Garret is now replacing Norah O'Donnell as the Chief White House Correspondent for CBS News. 

Norah O'Donnell has done some good work, most recently in her interview with Grover "Poopy Head" Norquist:

Grover Norquist:

The president was committed, uh, elected on the basis that he was not Romney and Romney was a poopy head and you should vote against Romney and he won by two points. But he didn’t make the case that we should have higher taxes and higher spending, he kind of sounded like the opposite.”

Norah O’Donnell:

Well, I’m not sure that’s what the president called Mitt Romney, Grover. That’s not the debate that was had … He said very clearly throughout the debate that the wealthiest Americans should pay more, and he won eight of the nine battleground states, um, and Republicans failed to reclaim the White House or the Senate.”

And who could forget Norah O’Donnell Pummels Boehner on “Repeal and Replace”?

Unfortunately for "fair and balanced" news coverage, Foxers, former and current, are infiltrating as many outlets as they can: Former News Corp. exec expected to head Tribune Co., Rupert Murdoch eyes LA Times, Chicago Tribune

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BIG problem: Former News Corp. exec expected to head Tribune Co., Rupert Murdoch eyes LA Times, Chicago Tribune

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UPDATE:

And he actually tweeted this, too:

 

I'm heartsick. I am watching the painful demise of my home paper, the L.A. Times, the paper I've subscribed to for decades, the paper I insist on holding in my hands the old fashioned way as I read it daily, blurry-eyed, as I emerge from my early-morning comatose state, the paper I rely on to bring you stories that I can't find anywhere else, the paper from which I share excellent letters to the editor to post on this blog, the paper that, for the most part, provides thorough and fairly even-handed news coverage.

And now, as my stomach sinks to the floor, as my mouth goes dry and tears start forming in my still-blurry eyes, I'm reading in my morning L.A. Times that Peter Liguori, a former top executive at News Corp. is expected to be named chief executive of Tribune Co... and that Tribune's new owners could very well sell the Times and the Chicago Tribune.

And who wants to buy them? None other than the media's sleaziest right wing hackmeister, Rupert Murdoch. He's been dying to buy both papers for some time now. And despite occasionally reading about his greedy, nasty little desire, I never thought it would really happen.

As for Liguori, he's an adviser to the private equity firm Carlyle Group (remember them?) and held senior programming positions at News Corp.'s Fox Broadcasting, among other networks. Of course, News Corp. also has its conservative grip on the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post.

Welcome to my nightmare.

L.A. Times:

Liguori is in advanced conversations with incoming owners, according to people who requested anonymity. An official announcement is expected after Tribune emerges from bankruptcy and names a new board of directors, which could occur as early as next month. [...]

The FCC's staff issued the waivers of its so-called cross-ownership rules, which restrict newspapers from combining with television and radio stations in the same market.

The waivers cover Tribune newspaper and broadcasting units in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, South Florida and Hartford, Conn. [...]

Tribune, which has been in bankruptcy for almost four years, owns the Los Angeles Times and KTLA-TV Channel 5 in Los Angeles, along with the Chicago Tribune, WGN radio and television stations and other newspapers and television stations throughout the country. The 23 TV stations are considered the most valuable part of the company.

Needless to say, should this go through, I will no longer be a subscriber.

Feel free to contact the L.A. Times with a letter to the editor or their "convenient comment form." For questions about journalistic standards, practices and accuracy, contact the Readers' Representative Office by e-mail, phone (877) 554-4000 or fax (213) 237-3535.

To make matters worse, here's what John Dean tweeted earlier:

Hope we're not on a dying planet called Twitter: http://daltoncaldwell.com/twitter-is-pivoting

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