c.i. phoned to ask if i was having any problem with blogger/blogspot? i'm not but mike and elaine are. i told c.i. i'd get something up as quick as possible (before the e-mails pour in at the common ills about how 'no 1's writing!' - really, if you're bothered by no 1 writing, write the person you think should be writing. when i hear about that, i always feel like some 1 went running to teacher.)
so what i'm going to focus on for this entry is the latest edition of extra! i'm signed up with fair for their e-mails (and there are 2 that have come in since the 1 on extra but i'll wait to read those or i'll end up blogging on that and the issue and that would mean being online all morning).
i'm copying and pasting their entry and adding my comments. i will note that i planned to note this issue and might not be if others weren't having problems at their site because i left my issue on the backporch last night (while i was doing part ii of a roundtable - which is in polly's brew tomorrow) and i went to get it this morning and half the issue got attacked by morning dew.
New Issue of Extra!: The False Debate Over 'Broken Borders'
The June issue of FAIR's magazine Extra! is now available:The False Debate Over 'Broken Borders'
When pro-business passes as pro-immigration-- Saurav Sarkar argues that the debate in immigration coverage pits a pro-business standpoint against an anti-immigrant nativist perspective, leaving truly pro-immigrant and pro-worker voices on the sidelines.
this sounds like a good article. make a point to read it. i plan to. seriously, i haven't read that article yet. (i just got the issue thursday.)
Bush-Hating Nation Anatomy of an epithet- Steve Rendall documents and dissects the popular-among-pundits label "Bush hater."
this was the 1st thing i read. in the print edition, it's pages 10 and 11 and has a nice cartoon by tom tomorrow. faults?
i'm a new republican hater so i would have made sure to point out that fred barnes, who accuses the new republican of being 'a pretty hardcore bush-hating magazine,' spent time at the new republican. (if you're new, the rag's title is the new republic, i always refer to it as the new republican.)
why would i note that? the rag hasn't changed since fred barnes was there, it still sells war, it still offers nonsense. my point is that it's all a game to them. fred barnes knows they aren't 'bush-hating' but says it because it helps portray the new republican as the most extreme 'liberal' outlet. it reduces the debate (if that nonsense is accepted) and allows centrists to come off as leftists further constricting the range and the understanding of the range.
i'm not slamming steve rendall, by the way. if i want to slam, i slam. freely and without worry.
it's a strong article and i've read it twice. i couldn't have written it. i don't have that talent.
what i do have is an understanding of people. the people who don't read extra, the people who don't visit the fair website or listen to counterspin. i have p.r. experience and plenty of it.
so what i know (this much is true, lol) is that there are people in this country who look for their cues. they're going to hear barnes snarl 'bush-hater' and they've given no thought to anything but they know they don't agree with barnes so they'll align themselves with the new republican thinking, falsely, it must be like them.
that happens all the time and i'm really surprised that media critics don't explore that.
i can't tell you the number of people (women AND men) i know who are with a right-winger (usually just a pissed off person who's been fed lies and thinks fox 'news' is the only 1 'looking out for them') and will watch that nonsense with their partners.
that's where they'll form their opinions. they'll take from fox 'news.'
they'll watch and, since they don't identify as right-wing, they'll grab on to the opposing guest (or the idiot alan colmes) or some trashing that a foxer does of what they label as the 'left' and they'll say 'that's what i stand for.'
i'm really working the issue of iraq into all my conversations these days and i hope you are as well. 1 of the biggest surprises i've had from people who support the beliefs of the left is that they wonder why 'no 1' spoke out against the war before hand. they'll name janeane garofalo, susan sarandon and any 1 else who was attacked but they really think it was a small number.
sadly, because they also got a large helping of 'left' voices saying we had to go to war, they think that was the left opinion and that janeane and others were in the minority on the left.
tv presents an authority that print doesn't. (if that's a surprise to any 1, they need to work in p.r. and they'll quickly learn that.) you're not just reading words. you've got a person in front of you that you think is just speaking (usually, they're giving a carefully shaped performance, even on what passes for 'news'). so they're speaking and you can see them and hear their voice. it's more immediate and with few barriers.
if fred barnes, and people who watch fox 'news' know his name and face, says 'the left . . .' and gives examples, to those people that's 'truth.'
i heard time and again this week as i reconnected with a lot of people i haven't spoken to that it was 'just you and . . .' and they'd toss out some celebrity. that were speaking against the war before the illegal invasion. and this is in response to who they knew that spoke out against the war.
these people know me. they don't 'know' susan sarandon or janeane garofalo or whomever. but that's the effect tv has, they feel they 'know' them. (of in sarandon's case, 'know' them because they know 'of' them - i don't think sarandon went on fox 'news.')
fred barnes is a trusted voice to some on the left. that statement may drive you crazy. it drove me crazy when i grasped it from conversations.
but there are people on the left who take what he says not to embrace it, but to find out who he is against and, since they're against his position, that must mean the 1s he bad mouths are just like them!
it's a nice little con game. and it works on non-readers. when i heard, over and over, 'well my stance now is just like the new republic's stance,' i would ask, 'what is that stance?' they'd never read the new republican (no 1 does). that's how the notion that the rag is the voice of the left is allowed to seep in day after day.
that's not my recommendation that people of the left should go on fox. i personally think no 1 should. the people you think you will reach aren't going to do anything about it. they're passive and that's how they'll likely remain. if nancy pelosi went on and did a wonderful job or a poor job, there would be a small margin of the fox 'news' audience that would be thrilled. but they're not going to do anything. they only thing it will help with is awareness. (janeane going on that crap network to try to prevent a war was noble and people who didn't do a thing about it did at least hear her.)
i was talking about this with c.i. and c.i. ended up making a comment (about peter beinhart of the new republican) that was wonderful. i said, 'that's so true, you should write that' and c.i. said, 'why? i'm going to demonstrate how the next war can be sold more effectively?' good point. but i was thinking about that conversation as well as my conversations with people that i had honestly avoided since 2003 (because they wouldn't do a thing about the war).
this apathetic america. i'm willing to talk to them about the war because i think we need them if only in the 'they might get polled for a poll' sense but i have no delusions about them ever doing anything. (1 or 2 may surprise me.) i went red in the face before the invasion. i don't need that kind of aggrevation.
but it's been interesting seeing this side. with the community and friends i've kept like t, i am around very political people. and it's interesting to now mix with those who chose to be non-political. contray to what most people think, these people aren't changing. it's not a matter of reaching them and they'll get active. they won't. they're set in their ways. they love couching. what they do is talk about what they've seen (they're not radio listeners, they're not readers with 1 exception that i'll get to in a minute). so a fred barnes convinces them that he's against the new republican (a con game, and he knows it) and they're convinced the rag stands for them. so the rag enters their daily conversations. they end up saying something like 'well my opinion is the same as the new republican.' and bit by bit, in the world around them, that becomes accepted - that the new republic (that no 1 reads) is this brave political journal standing up for peace. at some point the rag gets a reader because at some point they're going to have a conversation with, or 1 overheard by, some 1 who is desperate for something that's not right-wing and they've heard the recommendation/endorsement.
this is the crowd that is grateful when their parenter will let them (let them) watch an hour or so of cnn so they can get 'the other side.'
i think it's important to note fred barnes was once with that magazine. to some it will mean, 'oh well he changed his mind.' but not to every 1. some will see him as ungrateful. some 1 will think he's a johnny-come-lately. some may grasp that it's all a con job.
the extra readership probably knows it. i am an extra reader and i know it. but i do leave my copy in my doctor's office. and it's always interesting to see what gets taken. it gets picked up. but last month i saw a young woman put the anniversary issue into her purse after she'd been reading it. that's great. hopefully she'll read it repeatedly. maybe she'll visit the website or buy an issue at a later date.
with counterspin, my personal taste is i don't need a run down of what the nut job bill o'reilly has said. i think the regular listeners are aware of the problem with that 'news' network and i would rather hear the critiques of the so-called mainstream. i don't think it gets enough critiques. so when they do their run down of recent news stories at the top of the show, if they're going on about something on fox 'news,' i usually end up turning off the radio and doing something else. that's me. (that's why i didn't cover the show while ruth was on vacation. i told her i'd listen up until fox 'news' came on. if it came on, i wasn't discussing the show.) that's their opinion, that it's worth running down and they need to run their radio show the way they want.
but it does nothing for me. the 1s who watch, the tiny sliver that does identify as left, isn't listening to counterspin. (my opinion - if they were, i'd assume they'be using other sources all the time and not have any time to sit in front of fox 'news.') i never have a problem with extra covering it. it's a bi-monthly so that may be surprising (since it has less space). that may be due to the fact, the i'm not being served it 1st thing. (i leaf around the magazine, i don't read it in order.) (i'm that way with my eating as well. i laugh at c.i. because we're the exact opposite on reading and eating. c.i. will read all the way through to avoid missing anything the same way with eating the things that are 'good for you' 1st even if it's something that c.i. hates. i'll skip over portions and go straight to what i want.)
so with the magazine, i'm able to read it when i want. but i turn off counterspin all the time. it just doesn't speak to me when i'm thinking about something i saw on tv or in the paper and i'm hearing about bill o'reilly or whomever instead.
i'll give an example. the so-called war on christmas. i know that some people enjoyed counterspin's coverage of that. they felt it was needed. so it obviously spoke to an audience (and an audience that makes up their listenership) but for me, it was a waste of time. i didn't need counterspin to tell me it was made up and how. that probably comes from spending so long in p.r., i can usually tell a manufactured story which is really just marketing at it's most basic.
other people, who listen to the show, enjoyed that. so it's probably my background. but i'm signed up for media matter alerts and it's a rare day when they haven't highlighted five lies on fox 'news.' and they aren't highlighting everything. if they were, they'd be sending out 100 alerts a day. my point is that there's so much crap on fox 'news' and i expect it. i don't watch because it's marketing masquerading as news and i'm really not that interested in their being disproven on the radio. (i do read the stuff up at the fair website, but, again, i'm able to pick and choose based on my mood.)
maybe it has to do with the fact that those items not only come 1st in the radio program but are so brief? the rest of the show is an interview or two interviews. so that brief opening is important. i remember when they had the dexter filkins pushing propaganda (revealed by the washington post) and they noted that and then turned it around to say 'and guess who is airing military propaganda, fox "news" broadcast . . .' and i just turned off the program right there. dexter filkins is caught, by a washington post reporter, and you want to talk about fox 'news'?
to me the perspective was all wrong. listeners know fox is a liar. the news value was in the fact that dexter filkins had been exposed. anything else was just wasting my time. it seems like an easy way to make a point and to me that point is so minor because it's so obvious (fox 'news' lies). which is why, week after week, i start listening to the show and end up turning it off.
i'm reading over the article again because something occurred to me. see the fox 'news' angle is a problem even in print. the article's not just about fox 'news' - it's about quite a bit more. but how do you talk about nicky k (nicholas kristof) and his attacks on the left and never mention that he has slammed feminism repeatedly. every time he can find some anti-feminist group of religious fundamentalists, he's rushing into print with 1 of his, 'feminists who say they care about women have never bothered to draw attention to ...'
that's not mentioned. to me that's much more serious than anything fox 'news' does because fox 'news' is watched by the apathetic left. the 1s who will say 'paper, not plastic' at the grocery store and then turn and smile to you to prove just how 'left' they are. that's about all they're ever going to do. ('radical' would be the notion that use a canvas bag for their groceries.)
if i wasn't talking about the article, i wouldn't have noticed it. but i think so much time is spent treating fox 'news' as a serious 'news' organization that it ends up marketing that idea even when that's not the desired effect.
where do you challenge and where does a challenge actually become (unintentional) marketing?
i don't know.
Study Finds First Drop in Think Tank Cites
Progressive groups see biggest decline-- In his annual think tank study, Michael Dolny finds that all think tank citations are down--but especially those of progressive groups. No left-leaning think tanks appeared in the top ten, which is composed of five conservative and five centrist think tanks.
i loved this article. i loved rendall's as well (i'm not some 1 who raves. i'm also not doing your cliff notes' version here. if you want a synopsis, go somewhere else.) its pages 24 & 25. if you're wondering, the highest ranking think tank labeled progressive was at number 13: economic policy institute. (it saw a 47% decrease from 2004 to 2005 - of on air time and print exposure.) i'm ignoring 'center-left' because those are centrists.
Articles only available in print:
Stossel’s 'Stupid' Schools
A beginner’s course in deceptive reporting By Peter Hart & Janine Jackson
fair's covered this topic before but i would've made this available online if i were fair. john stossel has a weight that fox 'news' doesn't have. he's on 'mainstream' so he's thought to be some 1 non-partisan. his whole act also plays well with uninformed people who are disgusted.
it's a con job (like fred barnes).
i don't know. maybe it's an issue of intent or purpose? to me there's more value in this report. i'm not referring to the writing, it's well written, but to the subject matter. there are people who watch 20/20 (because there's nothing else on or for whatever reason) and think they're getting news. john stossel presenting crackpot 'reporting' matters a little more to me than bill o'reilly doing his monologues.
Intelligence Manipulation at the Washington Post
Editorial page ignores facts to back Bush
By Peter Hart
this is pages 12 through 13. this is about the paper's editoral board slanting and cherry picking to argue that joe wilson 'wasn't so right!' was he wrong? no. they sold a war. at some point, people are going to ask why. danny schechter's 1 of the few besides amy goodman that's regularly addressed this. i think there's a larger reason (and i'm guessing goodman and schechter do as well) but when you're stuck explaining the fundamentals over and over (because you're the only 1s addressing it), it's hard to move on to the next point. (that's not a slam at goodman or schechter. i am noting that they have seriously addressed some aspects of why the war was sold. not just how. and i'm not seeing a great deal of that elsewhere. if i were, i'm sure they'd move on to the next phases of why it was sold. but when you're a lonley voice on an issue, you have to stress the most easy to grasp sections over and over until people start grasping them. read amy goodman's the exception to the rulers for a broader explanations of the how and danny schechter has many books, but i'll go with the death of the media because fly boy just finished that and is interested in reading more of schechter's books - i have them all, please, all c.i. and i do for christmas is give each other books.)
Fight for Your Right to Be Fired
U.S. media to French youth
By Peter Hart
i finished katha pollitt's excellent collection of essays entitled virginity or death! and intend to comment on it next week. but i've now started greg palast's armed madhouse. the article's good for understanding how the riots were portrayed (this was 1 series of riots, there were also riots in france over the treatment of young muslims). armed madhouse will add to this article.
Globalization vs. Growth
NYT op-ed omits stats that debunk pro-corporate claims
By Jim Naureckas
worthy target, worthy read.
CNN’s Immigration ProblemIs Dobbs the exception--or the rule?
By Julie Hollar
Fair Use It or Lose It
read it and wonder why lou dobbs is still on cnn. (why? because the message is pleasing to corporate owners.)
Copyright owners' threats erode free expression
By Marjorie Heins
this was interesting but i actually don't have a comment. there was an interview that michael smith did on law and disorder with his son and a musician that has me rethinking copyrights. that was several months ago, actually. i'm still rethinking it. largely wondering why we even need 1? there should be some form of return on investment for development, for instance,e but do we need eternity copyrights - that's really what they've become. read the article because it will get you thinking. don't read it if you don't want to be on a months long journey the way i am. naomi klein has covered a lot of this in various writings and the book no logo. i recommend reading klein. but there's another level of disgust i have over the issue as i've been following up on it in conversations and readings since law and disorder had their discussion. i also was unaware, until c.i. walked me through some basics in april, of how hard it was being pushed on other countries. beyond the disney doesn't want any 1 to draw mickey mouse and post it on a billboard aspect. it's a huge leveraging tool, the copyright laws the u.s. wants other countries to pass, and it's a huge impediment. it's also become something of a racket.
Wall Street Does Not Like Newspapers
Ben Bagdikian on the Knight Ridder Sale
i haven't read this. i did catch the interview because ruth recommended it highly. here's the thing, newspapers aren't in trouble. they're still turning a profit. why doesn't wall street like them? for the same reason that awhile back, wall st. insisted a company that made good products sell off their distribution. the company (i'm being vague because i'm using a real life example of a company that was a p.r. client) made a quality line of food products. they sold nicely. no 1 was starving at the company. it had a solid income and, once upon a time, that would be enough. more than enough, that would be a success. analysts would steer you to the company because it was a safe investment. but it's not about safe or success anymore. it's about roller coaster rides (i think they, wall st., enjoys the highs and lows and think a study should be done on the people working in investment - it was once a button downed, closed mindset, it's now a bunch of joy riders). so a successful company that had been built up solidly and could expect to survive even in tough times ended up being nothing but a stamp on products. it was 'sexy' to investors if they were going to sell off their production, that would drive up investments. that's part of the reason (though not the full reason) that manufacturing in this country is gone and not coming back unless there are real changes made.
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i'm including the above because maybe you've read and thought, 'sounds like an interesting magazine' (it is) and wanted to subscribe.
my cycle has been completely off for the last 2 months and i'm cramping like crazy. i was going to go back in and add links but i'm going to lay down with a heating pad. i'll steal from wally's site to grab some links to things you should read. and if the list is short, i have 10 in mind, it just means that the cramps got to me, it's not a comment on any of the other sites. oh, and read elaine's post today if it ever goes up.
"NYT: Dexy puts on the redlight (yet again)"
"And the war drags on . . . (Indymedia Roundup)"
'THIS JUST IN! JOHN BOEHNER HEADED FOR THE FRONT LINES IN IRAQ!'
'THIS JUST IN! IN THE CHURCH OF THE BULLY BOY ...'
"Guns & Butter, the war hawk Hillary"
"The Beat of Black Wings"
"Law and Disorder, Dahr Jamail & Amy Goodman on Falluja, the death of two Iraqi women, Ramadi and more, and Jason Leopold"
"A difference of opinion"