Archive for newspapers

Breast Cancer Isn't Contageous - Ignorance About It Is

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

breast cancer survivor

One week ago today, the New York Times front page garnered a lot of attention with a lead story and picture about breast cancer. Awareness to this all too common disease was the intended purpose. The controversy it caused wasn't. But in drawing such vast outcry, much for the wrong reason, it may net out at doing some major good.

If a picture is worth a 1000 words, this one's bringing down the house. From Yahoo News:

Criticism was fierce, though, both in the newspaper’s comments and letters section and elsewhere online, on blogs and in social media. People noted a variety of reasons for being shocked and offended, from the tattoo, which reminded some readers of the Holocaust, to the fact that the disembodied image did not include the woman’s face or head. But the biggest problem seemed to be that of the nearly exposed nipple, which readers called “trashy,” “inappropriate” and “risqué.” The Drudge Report called the photo a “Peep Show” in a headline, while freaked-out tweets talked about “boobs” and warned, “Areola above the fold!” The shots continued: The Daily Caller criticized the paper for using "boob shots," while Bustle noted that "the New York Times has managed to titillate and enrage the always-prim-and-proper Internet."

The truly shocking thing here is that there is a discomfiture at all. That we've become so "modest" or even juvenile in treating medical issues with silly, guilty little snickers and holier than thou stands on something that is killing women and men everyday. The guilt should be that we can do something about breast cancer in many of the cases, yet instead, some people resort to giggles or gazes in titillated awe (yes, purposeful choice of adjective). It used to be women and men all had to wear full body bathing suits because or puritanical values. We got over that. Is dealing with a life threatening disease going to become victim of the same primitive thinking? Can't we act as adults here?

There is one thing offensive to this photo. It's that it stirs up controversy at all. It only points out the ignorance of so many in this country. That's both shocking and alarming. Millions of people are dying from this disease. Grave stones and memories are all that are left for far too many.

Here's how the woman in the photo feels about this perceived "immodest" picture, as quoted in the NYTimes:

When I first saw the photo I did not find it either provocative or inappropriate. I thought it was powerful and told my story – I am a proud, young Jewish woman who had breast cancer, and I have a scar that proves it. I am not ashamed or embarrassed by the scar. Most of my breast was not exposed and the small part that was does not make the picture “cheap.” I think it’s very artistic.

Unless we get over our bigotry and educate ourselves, millions more marble headstones will be sent to the stone cutters when it's diagnosis, prevention and treatment of breast cancer that should be the focus of our attention.

Fortunately for us, the Affordable Care Act will soon allow millions to be provided with pre-screenings, early diagnosis and treatment. Early detection is the key to survival. This picture is doing what it's intended to do -- bringing about attention to prevention -- of unnecessary deaths.

So let's stop the childish prudishness. There's  nothing in the picture you can't see on regular network TV. No new ground is being plowed her. The human body is something we have to live with and accept, not snicker and hide. Certainly videos on breast self-exams are far more graphic. But they save lives. So let's step out of the closet, turn on the light. Your life may depend on it.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Fact Checking The Talking Heads? Why Fox News Is Nervous

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

truthometer

Time marches on. First we had Fox News. No checking of statements or facts. Just say whatever works for the Right wing and it will be accepted as gospel.

Then comes along PolitiFact. It's a fact checking group who's mission is to take apart widely circulated stories and do some fact checking on them. The stories are rated on their veracity. That started to keep some of the more outrageous claims to a limit -- or at least allowed for a tamping down of the total fabrications. But even the results of the PolitiFact findings were often called into question -- just ask Rachel Maddow.

Now, born November 1st, just a few days ago is PunditFact, a site dedicated to checking claims by pundits, columnists, bloggers and the hosts and guests of talk shows.

According to the source itself, PolitiFact.com:

PunditFact is a partnership of PolitiFact and the Poynter Institute, the journalism school that owns the Tampa Bay Times.

The new site will have a dedicated staff of journalists who will research claims by media figures and rate them using PolitiFact’s Truth-O-Meter. The fact-checks will be published on PunditFact.com and will often be featured on the main PolitiFact site.

This could be interesting.

Soon those nattering nabobs of negativism, the jabbering ninnies of the networks will be encouraged to do more than just read the stories handed to them. They might have to actually start listening the the balderdash that comes out of their echo chambers. These pundits will be held to veracity levels that heretofore escaped them -- just like the hot air most expel with each eye-rolled sigh and statement they made courtesy of their teleprompters.

Will it matter? Will it change anything? Probably not, but it will be fodder for more criticism and conjecture.

How truthful is O'Reilly? Chris Wallace? Joe Scarborough and Sean Hannity? Well, if PolitiFact is any guideline as to the accuracy of facts and verisimilitude of PunditFact itself, Rachel Maddow will most likely nail it as she had done in the past. They ought to be sued for their own lack of fact checking.

While it remains to be seen who the most trusted name in news will be, the act of rating talking heads promises to be a fun one. Now if we can just hook up these people to get a large, non-lethal jolt of electricity every time they lie, we'd have a lot more fun with this. If we turn up the juice, we might even have ourselves a Hunger Games of News -- and around election time, won't that be fun?

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Liz Cheney: "Newspapers are dying, and that's not a bad thing."

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

stfu lights camera

Most people know that Liz Cheney is running for a U.S Senate seat in Wyoming; of course, as with Daddy Dick, controversy has followed her everywhere, and for good reason. One recent public collision resulted in this from Alan Simpson, a response to Mommy Dearest Lynne Cheney's "shut up": "You are going to get facts without rumor & innuendo, BS & mush."

Here are a few more hot potatoes, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times:

For all her pugnacity, however, Cheney has spent much of the early campaign on the defensive.

She was late on her property tax bill because, she said, of a misunderstanding about the terms of the sale. She sparked a family squabble by declaring her opposition to same-sex marriage. "I love my sister," responded Mary Cheney, who is gay and married to a longtime partner. "But she is dead wrong."

Perhaps most significantly, it was revealed that Liz Cheney received a state fishing license 72 days after closing on her Wyoming home, a violation of the law requiring residents to live in the state 365 consecutive days.

blame game smaller

But check out who Ms. Patriotic Defender of the Constitution blamed and what she thinks of one of our most venerable, prevalent, and dependable sources of news and information:

Cheney blamed a clerical error and slammed the newspaper editor who reported that she paid a $220 fine.

"Newspapers are dying, and that's not a bad thing," she told a tea party gathering. "We're not depending on the Jackson Hole News & Guide to get the news out. We're depending on ourselves. We're going over their heads."

This from the Dickette who set out to convince America that she champions the First Amendment like nobody's business, especially if it means smearing President Obama:

Cheney claims that Obama has "literally declared war" on the First and Second amendments to the United States Constitution as well as the interests of Wyoming ranchers and energy workers who face regulations from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.[31]

Of course, the most preposterous part of that statement was "We're depending on ourselves." Yes, let's all depend on the tea party to accurately report and investigate news stories, you know, so we don't have to.

Then again, this implies that she trusts peons like me, a self-reliant blogger, to "get the news out" more than she trusts one of Rupert Murdoch's big news outfits.

Just as banks and corporations thrive on pushing laws to regulate themselves, Li'l Liz would prefer that we rely on ourselves (read: her political allies) to provide and oversee as much right wing and/or self-serving misinformation as possible.

As for those pesky newspapers, they should all just die.

Freedom of the press, my ass.

bias liberal media my ass smaller

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Sliding Scale Of Justice

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

crime busters

Make no mistake, I'm not endorsing crime, just mystified by how we punish those who commit it.

Between the Wikileaks exposés, the Bradley/Chelsea Manning leaks or the Edward Snowden releases of classified information, we're experiencing some startling reveals. And to many, these are breaches in national security. Names of people or enough identifying information has been parsed that lives have become in danger. Thousands, perhaps millions of  US tax dollars has been blown by giving up this information.

These are national security risks for sure. Based on the 'secret' information revealed, we now face risks because the Taliban or Al-Qaeda or some other terrorist group knows they've been infiltrated. Our safeguards, our methodology, our agents or double-agents have potentially been exposed.

This is heinous and endangers us all.

A few days ago, according to the NEW YORK TIMES,

Donald Sachtleben

A former F.B.I. agent has agreed to plead guilty to leaking classified information to The Associated Press about a foiled bomb plot in Yemen last year, the Justice Department announced.

Federal investigators said they were able to identify the man, Donald Sachtleben,

Mr. Sachtleben, 55, of Carmel, Ind., who was an F.B.I. agent from 1983 until 2008 and was later hired as a contractor, has agreed to serve 43 months in prison for the leak, the Justice Department said.

Forty-three months, just over 3 1/2 years. I'm not sure how that sentence was calculated considering Bradley/Chelsea Manning, through a military judge last month was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking archives of documents to WikiLeaks.

But back to Sachtleben. By his revealing how we were able to foil the bombing plot, he gave away a secret plan and potentially the identity of the agent working for us. And the reporters who broke this story refused to give up their source.

DOJ went to work to find out who this leaker was and in doing so, tapped the phone records of the reporters at AP. Now that Donald Sachtleben has been revealed, the whole situation has caused quite an uproar. Mining phone data is a big issue as it goes to the heart of news reporters freedom of the press.

Yet this case took an even more obscure turn this week when the DOJ revealed the man's identity

...only after secretly obtaining A.P. reporters’ phone logs, a move that set off an uproar among journalists and members of Congress of both parties when it was disclosed in May.

The Justice Department cross-referenced his phone calls with those of the Associated Press reporters who had written a story that indicated a terrorist attempt was thwarted because of an "inside" source. That news story also let the terrorists know they had a mole on the inside.

Much has been made of the reveal, but not so much has been made of the reason the justice department had access to Sachtleben's private data to start with. His personal computer had been confiscated because he was under investigation for another crime at the time. Possession of child pornography.

Now here's the interesting thing, the part that gets me wondering which crime is worse? A man costs this country millions of dollars in cash, training, assets, time, and potential lives -- crime one; or he has possession of banned material, a non-violent offense -- crime two . Both are awful. Both are clearly criminal. Both are felonies.

So, how do we punish these offenses?

Mr. Sachtleben has separately agreed to plead guilty and serve 97 months in the pornography case.

Sachtleben has agreed to serve 43 months in prison for the leak.

So possession of pornography, in the justice department's eyes, is more than twice as bad as betraying his country -- revealing secrets and putting our whole national security at risk?

Again, I'm not saying either should go unpunished, but is the balance of justice a little askew here? This man is not accused of directly harming a child. This isn't a rape case. It's a possession case. He wasn't making or selling pornographic material. For that he gets over 8 years in prison.

Yet he puts all of our entire country's lives in jeopardy and his punishment for that seems to be a comparative wrist slap.

Should the punishment fit the crime? I could understand those sentences being reversed, but there sure seems to be some unbalanced prison stays being handed out.

Just ask Chelsea Manning.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Doonesbury: "Where's the newspaper?" "It folded."

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

reading newspaper

Doonesbury newspaper folded

"Where's the newspaper?"

"It folded."

See what Garry Trudeau did there?

And see what the newspaper industry is doing? It's folding, too, to my dismay. Maybe it will thrive online-- eventually-- and maybe billionaires like Jeff Bezos will be the ones to save them, but if so, save them at what cost to journalism?

How much (more) political influence will the Bezoses of the world exert, if any? How will journalism of the future look? Will objective reporting survive, or will opinion news swallow up what's left of real news? Will commercializing the news business even more doom it completely, or will the pendulum eventually swing back in favor of what many of us yearn for: quality, accurate, truthful reporting?

To quote Michael J. Doonesbury, "Gaaaah!"

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

News Making Nudes in C-Sharp

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Amanda Palmer

I love music. And I love parody. When you mix them together, you can end up with with clever and witty, or stupid and sh##ty. Amanda Palmer is someone who can pull it off, as well as take it off as you'll see in this video.

If you don't know Amanda, suffice to say she has the voice of a Katy Perry and the attitude of a Janis Joplin or Bette Midler. She rose to fame as the lead singer in a group called "The Dresden Dolls." She grew up in my very own Massachusetts, so I can't help be be partial to her wonderful song stylings. She's the kind of girl I knew and went to high school with. She can and will say and do just about anything, so watch yourself.

She is clearly not a woman to cross. After the Daily Mail claimed she had "made a bit of a boob of herself" with a Glastonbury "wardrobe malfunction", the singer got her own little revenge  by writing a song mocking this sexist, misogynistic rag.

Palmer proclaims during her performance below that "The Daily Mail clearly don't know who I am if they're writing a story about my breasts being exposed," pointing out that her "entire body had escaped" on stage in the past.

Amanda, you're my hero. You sure showed them, and us, how stupid it can be to write about the shock and horror of an unintentional flash of skin--  and you did it with the acrid bit of wit and intentional fun your fans have come to expect. I'm with you, sister. Thank you for such a fun, bawdy performance. As she point out, Mick Jagger can go without a shirt and they write about his concert and performance. She accidentally flashes a boob and all they write about it here boob. Well, now there's more to write about. Amanda makes a stand against debasing women -- and oh what a stand it is.


Caution: Nudity.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

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

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

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.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare