Archive for journalism

Out of Print? New Media is all about the digital, Ba-bey.

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The day the Hearst printing presses in Washington state turned out the last edition of the famed Seattle Post-Intelligencer, a few years back. I’m all for the New Media, hell, I’m here, but I confess to a well of sadness springing up within. This marks the first newspaper of it’s size and age (146 years) to move completely online.

I’m compelled to ask, what’s next for the industry guillotine, America? Are we poised on the cusp of being a society completely Out of Print?

The fateful day The New York Times put advertising on their front page, it heralded a seismic shift in the mores and future of print journalism. Next, The Washington Post saw the need to nearly jettison the in-depth nature of the business section they’ve been producing since the 1880′s. Their Book World section bit the dust already. Folks can now download
such things to Kindle or iPad.

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WaPo was my local paper for several wonderful years, and just long enough ago that they were still considered a part of the famed biased liberal media. As a matter of fact, my mentor/professor Sec. Madeleine Albright had some fascinating stories involving her marital sticky wickets while she was married to one of the paper’s legendary editors. She was at State under
President Carter for some events her spouse felt to be of keen interest to him, but alas, his security clearance didn’t accommodate that level of pillow talk.

I confess to now getting the bulk of my news online. As bloggers we crave and seek the dérnier cri on every topic, it’s virtually part and parcel of one’s self esteem as an informed and truly proactive citizen.

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We nearly haven’t the patience for print. Instant gratification triumphs again. My European friends and acquaintances have been right since school, we drive-through life as Americans, opting for speed -- over true depth or revelry.

Then a shiny link takes our eye, and the phenomenon of the Internets add clicks in to gear … fourteen links later, you’re about to click Review Purchase/Submit for a lilac smooth-cup, balconette pushup bra On Sale for next-to-nothing at Victoria’s Secret.

So I ask, with as usual a relevant Seinfeld in mind, what is genuinely savor-worthy anymore?

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For there used to be nothing like a Sunday morning built around your local/chosen, plump with possibilities and plans, uber-gigantic print newspaper. Passing the husband my Powerbook along with seconds on raspberries simply won’t cut it.

Not only would there be créme fraiche garnishing my keyboard, I’d also have to stand on my head to navigate pull-down menus for him. And it’s just not as satisfying to get fired up about a Maureen Dowd piece, and dramatically evince a “Can you believe her? Read this!!” when you are referencing a computer screen rather than angrily passing the real thing with a satisfying paper snap.

Then the stereotypical obvious: how in the world can one hide behind the Living section at the breakfast table? Shall we see men parading into their daily bathroom multi-tasking sessions with a laptop under their arms for a good read of the sports headlines? I think not.

I do love the New Media, again, I participate a bit in variants of the same. Yet I also feel strongly that this is a rapidly morphing cultural paradigm with far-reaching and yet unanticipated ripples. Now Don’t Even Pack re the green arguments, we have mentally pre-countered them all.

I leave you with two alarming and cautionary words : Crossword Puzzles.

 

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You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato...

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Tomato-Tomato

No more tomato-tomato.  "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off."

Over the past two days, more information regarding James Foley's incarceration by ISIS and ultimate beheading has come to light. The State Department has released information that the captors had used waterboarding on Foley and others who they still hold as prisoners.

Immediately the press jumped on this with sensationalist fervor -- ISIS accused of torturing American hostages.

Really?

Where was this shock and horror when George Bush, Dick Cheney and the CIA authorized the very same horrific and shameful actions? Of course then, it wasn't called torture because we were doing it and the recipients weren't Americans. Under those circumstances it was was blissfully called "enhanced interrogations."

The games the Republicans play with words. Semantics.. And we as Americans just turned our heads to that one. Even John McCain, reportedly tortured while a prisoner of war in Viet Nam, came out against torture BUT he gave his sanctimonious approval to "enhanced interrogations." What two faced criminals these guys are.

Why the double standard? Waterboarding is torture. It was before the US started doing it and it is when/if we continue to do it.

By now most reporting of our shameful abundant usage of waterboarding has been curtailed. But accepting that practice for what it is still hasn't. Only the hypocritical outrage in the press seems to have changed.  HUFFPO:

Interestingly, while the Post has, like most mainstream outlets, typically been reluctant to call methods such as waterboarding "torture" when it was practiced by Americans, the paper had no apparent problem calling what ISIS did to Foley "torture."

That brings us back to the headline, the George and Ira Gershwin's song. The correct title of that tune is  Let's Call The Whole Thing Off. Isn't it really time we take that to heart? Waterboarding is torture. We did it. We may still do it. We shouldn't be hypocrites. It's not to say Bush/Cheney were the first to use it, but they brought it back into vogue. We shouldn't be shocked to find out it's now being done to us. Lay blame where it belongs -- on all war criminals. We reap what we sow. Poor James Foley and his fellow prisoners were made to endure such horrors. Would it have been done to them if we hadn't done it? That's a question I hope Bush and Cheney lie awake at night pondering. That, of course is assuming either of them has the capacity to think or a conscience to satisfy.

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Women Vote!

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Nicole Sandler

Welcome to August 26, 2014 - the 94th anniversary of the certification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote in the United States. Although it's dubbed "Women's Equality Day," that's actually a misnomer, as women still have no constitutional right to equality. Although the Equal Rights Amendment was written by Alice Paul in 1923, it has yet to be ratified. But women do have the right to vote. And yes, women do vote!

That was the focus of today's "Gliberal Goddesses" gathering. Every other Tuesday morning, GottaLaff of The Political Carnival, Amy Simon of She's History, and I get together to talk about whatever we feel like discussing.

Today, Amy took the lead as the suffrage movement plays a big part in She's History.

Today also happens to be Primary Day here in Florida; Arizona, Oklahoma and Vermont go to the polls today too.

Because I'm still a bit under the weather and because I wanted to give her one final show of support, we listened back to the July 7 interview I did with Nan Rich, the former FL state senator and Senate Minority Leader who's vying for the Democratic nomination to run against Rick Scott for Governor.

It all comes down to today. So, if you're in Florida, I implore you to get out and vote!

And finally, last week we learned the sad, sickening news that ISIS militants had executed American journalist James Foley; today I spoke with a friend of his. Tom Risen is a reporter for US News and World Report, and went to college with Foley. Tom wrote a couple of articles about his friend last week, telling about how Foley encouraged him to come to Syria to cover the stories of the people there, and how he knew the dangers of the work, but had to do it anyway.

Another journalist named Risen has been in the news lately. It turns out the Tom Risen is the son of James Risen, the NY Times reporter and author who's being targeted by the Justice Department to turn over the names of confidential sources he used for a chapter in his 2006 book, State of War.

I'll be back tomorrow, with Susie Madrak of Crooks & Liars and whatever the day brings, Radio or Not!

 

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Unrest & Disorder

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NicoleSandlerHeadshotw202h202

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Last night, the peace in Ferguson, MO was once again shattered by a standoff between police and protesters. According to the police, provocateurs in the crowd fired guns and threw Molotov cocktails at the line of police. According to protesters (as well as media representatives on my show today), the aggression came from the uniformed force of power attempting to disperse the crowd.

I'd call the actions of the Ferguson PD and Mayor, of the Missouri Governor and the rest of the "powers-that-be" a "comedy of errors" except there's nothing remotely funny about what's going on in Ferguson - from the moment Michael Brown was stopped for walking down the middle of the street to this morning when Governor Jay Nixon called in the National Guard. Nothing.

After one night of peaceful protest during which police in shirt sleeves walked and talked with protesters, the police seem to have done everything wrong.

From bringing out the heavy artillery to arresting journalists to firing tear gas to imposing a curfew to holding the name of the killer cop to releasing the convenience store surveillance video to bringing out the military gear again... and let's not forget, for one of their own shooting an unarmed teenager walking down the street in the first place, I blame the people charged with keeping the peace and protecting the community for the mess they created and keep compounding with each dim witted move.

As for all the military firepower, we no longer have to wonder who's to blame. Congressman Alan Grayson actually foresaw this problem and tried to prevent it from happening.

On June 19, 2014, Congressman Grayson introduced an amendment to the Defense Appropriations Act of 2015 that reads as follows:

None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to transfer aircraft (including unmanned aerial vehicles), armored vehicles, grenade launchers, silencers, toxicological agents (including chemical agents, biological agents, and associated equipment), launch vehicles, guided missiles, ballistic missiles, rockets, torpedoes, bombs, mines, or nuclear weapons (as identified for demilitarization purposes outlined in Department of Defense Manual 4160.28) through the Department of Defense Excess Personal Property Program established pursuant to section 1033 of Public Law 104-201, the "National Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 1997".
Purpose
An amendment to prohibit use of funds to transfer aircraft (including unmanned aerial vehicles), armored vehicles, grenade launchers, silencers, toxicological agents, launch vehicles, guided missiles, ballistic missiles, rockets, torpedoes, bombs, mines, or nuclear weapons through the DOD Excess Personal Property Program established pursuant to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997.

As Howie Klein explained to us this morning during our weekly segment, The Steve Israel Hour sponsored by Little Debbie, Congressman Grayson had lined up more than enough Republican votes to join with Democrats to pass the amendment. Unfortunately, all but 43 Democrats inexplicably voted against his bill that would have prevented the military equipment going to local police departments!

Howie followed the money, and found that the only member of Congress seeking re-election in November with over a million dollars in contributions from the military industrial complex (two others aren't returning) - Pete Visclosky (D-IN) - was responsible for killing the bill! 

Although Howie broke that news on the show this morning and will soon follow it up with at post at Down With Tyranny, he has written about the sickening reality that is the militarization of our police departments here and here.

We turned away from Ferguson for a few minutes to talk about Thomas Frank's latest column for Salon, and how Democrats could still win in 2014 - by doing the opposite of what Steve Israel is doing!

After the news from Talk Radio News Service's Justin Duckham who spent the weekend in Ferguson and filed this report, I spoke with the two members of We Act Radio's media team - Seth Jackson and Peter Callahan - who are still there covering the events in Ferguson. Find their live stream at Credo Mobile's Youtube page, or via WeActRadio.com.

And finally, we bid buh-bye to David Gregory!  I had to invite my old "Fools on the Hill" cohort and fellow Nicole -- Nicole Belle, that is -- back on the show to tell him him not to let the door hit him on the ass on his way out of Meet the Press. David Gregory won't be missed. Sadly, his replacement is Chuck Todd, who's not very different from his predecessor.

Maybe NBC might want to find someone who doesn't have two first names, or is an actual journalist. What a concept!

I'll be back tomorrow with author Rick Perlstein and @GottaLaff too... Radio or Not!

 

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