Yes, it’s shit like this in addition to absurd concepts such as “you pick the news” that Jon Stewart covered a while back that ensures I can only watch cable news for about 20 minutes at a time. Plus, the same news is covered over and over. I haven’t turned CNN back on since the Weiner incident.
24-hour news networks are built for one thing, and that’s (coverage of) 9/11 and the type of gigantic news event that the type of apparatus that exists in this building and exists at the other 24-hour (news networks) is perfectly suited to cover.
In the absence of that, they’re not just going to say, ”There’s not that much that’s urgent or important or conflicted that’s happening today, so we are going to gin up; we’re going to bring forth more conflict and more sensationalism because we want you to continue watching us 24 hours a day, seven days a week — even when the news doesn’t necessarily warrant that type of behavior.’
So here’s my example of what news bias is, in my mind: three networks — Fox, CNN, MSNBC — are going live to the Nancy Pelosi news conference, because they are sure, coming on the heels of Anthony Weiner resigning, that she is going to make some sort of incredible statement… and the whole time there’s hand-wringing. ‘Oh, I can’t believe we gotta go and do this. The American people don’t care about this. They care about jobs, they care about the economy… We’re about to go live to Speaker Pelosi.’
…She steps up to the podium, and says what? ‘I’m not going to comment about Anthony Weiner. I’m going to talk about jobs, and I’m going to talk about the economy.’ And what did everybody do?
(“Left,” answer Chris Wallace.)
So what’s your proof again about the ‘partisan agenda’ and what I do? That’s the embarrassment. The embarrassment is that I’m given credibility in this world because of the disappointment that the public has in what the news media does.
JON STEWART, on Fox “News” Sunday.
I’m going to re-post this tomorrow. I’d love some mainstream media reaction to what Jon Stewart says.
I recently read a good piece by Johann Hari from the The Independent on the International Monetary Fund and some of the disastrous policies they have implemented in the past for poor and struggling countries. It’s framed in the context of the Strauss-Khan case, and how his crimes which have gained such media attention pale in comparison to the group he was leading.
I only passingly knew of the IMF beforehand, but this article was certainly an eye opener and I intend to do a bit more research for myself on the issues that surround the fund.
“So when in 2001 the IMF found out the Malawian government had built up large stockpiles of grain in case there was a crop failure, they ordered them to sell it off to private companies at once. They told Malawi to get their priorities straight by using the proceeds to pay off a loan from a large bank the IMF had told them to take out in the first place, at a 56 per cent annual rate of interest. The Malawian president protested and said this was dangerous. But he had little choice. The grain was sold. The banks were paid.
The next year, the crops failed. The Malawian government had almost nothing to hand out. The starving population was reduced to eating the bark off the trees, and any rats they could capture. The BBC described it as Malawi’s “worst ever famine.” There had been a much worse crop failure in 1991-2, but there was no famine because then the government had grain stocks to distribute. So at least a thousand innocent people starved to death.
At the height of the starvation, the IMF suspended $47m in aid, because the government had ‘slowed’ in implementing the marketeering ‘reforms’ that had led to the disaster. ActionAid, the leading provider of help on the ground, conducted an autopsy into the famine. They concluded that the IMF “bears responsibility for the disaster.” “
If the IMF was only brought to your attention thanks to the Strauss-Khan case, give this a read and see if anything builds up inside you. It did for me.
A modified version of the Remembering Reagan comic, very apt.
I love this so much
ft. Bruce Springsteen, Tom Morello, Max Weinberg, the Ghost of Tom Joad, and one of the greatest guitar solos ever
The Atlantic has a great photo-set up now on the damage the crude oil industry is doing on the environment and local population of Nigeria.
For over 50 years now, the extraction of crude oil and natural gas from Nigeria’s Niger Delta has meant wealth for a privileged few but has exacted heavy costs on residents and the environment. Nigeria is the world’s 8th largest producer of crude oil, yet remains one of its poorest nations — an estimated 70 percent of its 150 million residents live below the poverty line. The environment is paying a steep price as well. An estimated 500 million gallons of oil have spilled into the delta — the equivalent of roughly one Exxon Valdez disaster per year. A number of factors have contributed to these disasters: poor construction and maintenance, lax regulation, militant attacks, and petroleum thieves, not to mention government instability and abuse of power. According to cables released by WikiLeaks, Shell Oil claimed to have planted staff in all of Nigeria’s main ministries, gaining access to key government decisions. Gathered here are some scenes from Nigeria’s long, disastrous relationship with the crude oil industry.
In 2010, the Post’s Valerie Strauss reported that the Education Department was purchasing 27 Remington Brand Model 870 police 12-gauge shotguns to replace old firearms used by Education’s Office of Inspector General, which is the law enforcement arm of the department. DoE said the guns were necessary to help enforce “waste, fraud, abuse, and other criminal activity involving Federal education funds, programs, and operations.
They just want a little of that Defense budget action, that’s all.