The Gauntlet has Been Cast: A Plea to Blogistan: Help me Fight The Conservative News Network
I sent the following email to Aaron Brown as Take Back the Media
CC: Take Back the Media
Sent: Thu Jan 16 07:41:49 2003
Subject: CNN bias
You're kidding, right?
"If I get one more note from one more viewer saying we here, all of us, are hoping for a war because it will be good for ratings, I'm going to blow."
The first Oil, er, Gulf War put the Conservative New Network on the map! The lack of in depth reporting on the atrocities carried out by the American troops in that one was amazing, and an indicator of things to come. Your non-reporting of the millions who have protested the war before it's even started was another leading indicator of your bias in this area.
The American People are sick of having WAR crammed down our throats. I suggest you try and integrate some journalistic principles into your infotainment feed.
I'll be getting my news from www.takebackthemedia.com from now on. At least they aren't afraid to tell the truth.
I just received his reply:
Lord. And where was that million person march exactly? Look, watch the program and then comment. Otherwise I see this as a lemming note. Love the internet
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld (www.BlackBerry.net)
My reply is forthcoming and shall be (hopefully) backed up by the facts and figures. The atrocities I refer to are: the counter-spin Kuwati incubator propaganda that somebody (I believe it may have been HBO) ran as fact. And the bulldozing of Iraqi and other casualties into trenches that is reputed to have taken place during
Gulf War One. The million protesters are a guesstimate of the total number of protesters over the last year or so. It is
over a million protesters, so far - by the minimal police estimates
I have tried to be somewhat genteel in my dealings with the media. I really can’t believe how perfectly his answer fits the stereotype of the Media Whore. My email mentioned a million people protesting the war, not a million man march. It also did not mention:
The clearing of any streets Drinky McDumbAss
deigns to grace with his presence. Including, of course, anyone silly enough to disapprove of anything to do with him in any way;
The busing in of his own crowd to line the streets for him
, while cordoning off the guy who lives down the street
with the anti-Smirk button in the ‘Dissidents’ zone, if he lives along the way and just might hold up a protest sign
The Unbelievable Cash Grab situation that Smirky McWarhardon
, apparently because he can;
And, definitely not last and certainly not least, the willful ignorance of these stories
. Instead of exploring them in depth, the Media Whores sweep them under the rug, and engage in counter propaganda. The Conservative News Network is one of the ringleaders in this sorry excuse for news
Since I do not feel as constrained to be polite to Aaron Brown here at the Funny Farm, yet I still remain a gentlemen, I must take issue with his personal hypocrisy and profiteering
as the head of an infotainment service whose motto should be ‘Half the news, all the time’
. You, sir, are an archetype of the situation today: an arrogant member of the elite that does not even realize how arrogant he is. I don’t need to watch the pap on the TV. The transcripts (so far) have far fewer commercials – still too many for my taste, but fewer – and one can generally read through the lines well enough to put together the mornings Repugnicant BlastFax if I wanted to. You didn’t even cover a protest at your national headquarters
- in fact you pulled the story from your web site
. Of course, I am being generous in describing the two and a half paragraphs your organization devoted to this protest
as a story. And the cute little spam tag on your email? To remind an average noodnik like me that you get to do this on your BlackBerry Wireless Handheld. Hmmmm… maybe some of my fellow bloggers – or some of my faithful minions - could find the time to send this guy a note?
Enough on my upcoming email adventure. If you can help me with links to the articles about the many war protest marches over the last year in America, specially if they come from foreign sources, and extra especially if they come from CNN itself
. I am planning on sending off my reply on Sunday night / Monday morning, so If you can get me something before then, send me a link.
Words fail me in describing the following article: Sex life may be used against judges. Key lawmaker says Virginia anti-sodomy law a factor.
I cannot be more ironic than this. Well, maybe… can anybody tell me who is planning to cast this first stone?
Definitely time for a margarita. Stay tuned for the next exciting chapter in this story!
Late Breaking Update: Stu and Mary
sent me this article from the Toronto Star. Thanks you guys for showing us this perspective!
Bush Tax Break Boosts 'Regal Class' by Linda McQuaig, a Toronto-based author and political commentator:
It's interesting to imagine how long it took - after the first plane hit the World Trade Center - before the Bush administration fully grasped the enormous opportunity that had just opened up. If that sounds crass, I hasten to point out that I'm not the one who has taken advantage of the anxious post-9/11 political climate, in which it's considered unpatriotic to criticize or even question the White House. The Bush administration has effectively exploited this climate to push forward dubious policies that, in more relaxed times, would be subject to considerably more scrutiny and debate.
Of course, the first policies to get a post-9/11 makeover were those dealing with Washington's ability to use force in the world. With virtually no opposition, the Pentagon's budget was pushed way up, the president began speaking openly about pre-emptive nuclear war and the White House moved plans to win control over Iraqi oil onto the front burner.
But domestic issues with even less connection to "fighting terrorism" have also been put on fast-forward, including, as we saw last week, extreme tax cuts for the extremely wealthy.(Meanwhile, homelessness is rapidly rising, even among working Americans.)
Of course, tax cuts for the rich didn't just spring up after 9/11. From the beginning of his presidency, George W. Bush was pushing for a $1.6 trillion tax cut aimed largely at the rich - the constituency that lavishly financed his presidential bid and will be counted on to finance his re-election campaign.
But Bush's tax-cut effort picked up steam after Sept. 11. Suddenly, a not-particularly-popular and not-convincingly-elected president took on the mantle of a national saviour, able to peddle just about anything. In the new political climate, the expectations of the financial elite rose, and White House efforts to satisfy those expectations became bolder.
The centrepiece of Bush's proposed $674 billion tax cut is the elimination of tax on dividend income - something that is heavily concentrated in the hands of the wealthy. The result will be huge deficits for years to come, providing fuel for those pushing for ever-deeper social spending cuts. (These deficits should at least finally put to rest any lingering illusion that the Republican party is the party of fiscal responsibility.)
The White House has only bothered to place the flimsiest fig leaf over this latest boondoggle for the rich, asserting that it will provide "stimulus" for the whole economy. But even some pro-business commentators admitted there'd be little stimulus in eliminating dividend taxes for the rich (middle class stockholders already escape tax because their stocks are in tax-sheltered retirement plans).
The tax cut is unlikely to encourage companies to invest in the economy; if anything, they'll be under pressure from shareholders to pay out tax-free dividends instead. Still, the mainstream media deferentially referred to the proposed tax cut as the "economic stimulus package."
If economic stimulus were really the goal, almost any other plan would be preferable - even handing out cash to people passing by on the street; at least they'd spend it!
What Bush is proposing is so extreme, so unwarranted, so tilted to the mega-rich, so far from dealing with real problems that it simply leaves one's jaw in a freefall.
Is there no limit to the level of benefits considered appropriate to hand over to members of America's "regal class" who, according to former U.S. Labour Secretary Robert Reich, already enjoy "more wealth and income than any aristocracy has ever had"?
Is there no point at which fatigue - from continually helping themselves to an ever-larger slice of the pie - sets in?
Bush's 2001 tax cut delivered an average 10-year saving of $342,000 each to those in the top 1 per cent. Roughly half the benefits of this year's proposed elimination of the dividend tax will go to that same top 1 per cent. After a while, one's eyes start to glaze over at yet another statistic illustrating the enormity of the benefits going to the richest citizens.
It's hard to think of how to describe what's going on without resorting to words like "plunder." With the public still in a state of confusion and anxiety - an anxiety constantly stroked by reports of dark-beige-coloured men doing suspicious things like crossing borders - the Bush administration is moving hard and fast to plunder the U.S. treasury on behalf of those who brought it to power. In the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11, it was clear that the American right would be emboldened. But who would have dreamt it would come to this - 9/11 as an opportunity for the biggest heist the rich have ever attempted.
You go, girl!