Friday, May 27, 2005

A Rant on Bias ,Blogs, Bill Moyers vs Speed Metal Smokescreens, Peace Thru Annihilation & Chomsky on The Gov't Of The Future

my news scanning pal Scotty D sent me a quote he found on the "internets" from a notable character that spins the Orwellian irony into a new idiot stratosphere. I imagine even Goebbels is laughing in his grave.


the note from Scotty:

This guy is so stupid, he loses his thought and speaks the truth.
Another take might be that he is stupid, but so arrogant that he'll
take it out and wave it in public.
-SD-

"See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and
over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the
propaganda." —
George W. Bush, Greece, N.Y., May 24, 2005

Bush displays what is in the best interests of mankind



well... welcome to another fricking blog entry...

We all know why blogs and other web based communications forms are
taking off,
(at least amongst a burgeoning broadband enabled elite on the geek globe).


We are a people seeking info transmittal that is decentralized and
created by real people and not corporations that filter it.

There's a personalization factor in that we can look up whatever we need & want on the web, and in infinite doses, not just relying on the ten or so topics & viewpoints some editor chooses for us. We are now more fully able to find out
what we want to know about, or need to know about, and then can instantly share opinions on these matters with colleagues & virtual acquaintances spread across vast distances.

We're talking about info shared by real people, not official endorsed relayers of info... not "media figures" isolated from the experiences of the average person on the street. We the people...we are basically info volunteers, not darlings & drones...

Heck even CNN now routinely keeps it's global satellite linked audience up to date on what's up in the blogosphere. This morning USA Today actually editorialized that blogs are so Anmerican they are akin to sacred symbols like apple pie & baseball & guns ( see May 27 Art, blogs bare souls of yet another fighting generation -USA TODAY


We are not carreerists sharing opinions & news because we are forced to work together for the benefit of a corporate overseer under the conglomerate umbrella. We do not head home at the exact same time when the bell rings. We do not convene at company events drinking the kool aid in the workplace cafeteria, abiding by the same email privacy policy and secretly wishing & bitching about each other hoping the other gets laid off so they could the other's title & cubicle.

For the past year, beginning with the 04 election, the mainstream media has been starting to fret over the "bloggers" & even worry about them over the air and in print...

They see their limelight being spread thin, their control over the national dialogue measurably withered.. They constantly deride the legitimacy of bloggers, as if O'Reilly, Sam Donaldson & Ann Coulter all somehow have a lock on allworthwhile coherent thought in this country.

The truth is blogs are just like zines, vanity presses, or newsletters that people have published for years in the so called obscurity of the "underground" , although nowadays no ones publishing empire is further than a click away via Google, Bloglines, Technorati or similar search. Conceivably one can reach thousands of readers a day without having to use old school newstands & out moded delivery systems.

& so excuse my long winded essay but I'm on a "master of the obvious" roll kids,

My theory on what is really what's wrong with the modern American
media
,

[ let's just say it isn't their spelling]



it's their boring blah blah blah & bias.

The real bias in the media is not the old "liberal" vs
"conservative" argument , but that people who live in glass houses cannot throw
stones. In fact they don't even have access to the stones in the first place,
much less the manual & real life training to understand how they work.


The old media model is so outdated that it is
actually sad to see it falling apart. Anyone who knows me sees me carrying three
or four newspapers around, cluttering cars & backpacks, briefcases and floor
and table space with the day's dose of info. A good issue of the Wall Street
Journal or L.A Times might suffice, but I need more...


and the old media isn't cutting it for me, or
millions of others...


Basically, the establishment media has been
running a smokescreen for decades that's actually become a class war on the citizenry,
especially the poor & disenfranchised...

The media lackeys ( i.e journalists) barely seem to
notice that they are merely lackeys, and why would they mind
anyway?


We live in a fat country where the #1 cable news network issues news alerts and among the important alerts this week "Jay Leno is testifying at Michael Jackson's trial"! -- no kidding, according to a website called Newshounds (that claims they "Watch Fox News, So You Don't Have To") reported that this week Fox had an ALERT for that. I wouldn't know , because if I'm gonna kill braincells, Sean Hannity isn't gonna be the one to do it...

But having grown up in a media centric family with ties to info brokers like Fox, Gannet & CNN, I know from experience that your average daily newspaper reporter or TV talking head sound biter lives a fairly comfortable
life that would make a clock punching repairman, fast food functionary, nuclear plant worker or delivery truck driver damn envious.

Big media wasn't built by you and me, it was built for you
and me ... by The Hearsts & GE, Rupert Murdoch, VIACOM & Oil Oligarchs &
Defense Conglomerates. It's a tool to portray their numerous commericial interests in ways that keep meaningful
analysis & dialogue out of the meaningless analysis & dialogue.


Whether you are a west coast wacko wannabee or east coast establishment values type, the belief system that is reflected, instilled & force fed into so called journalists & editors does not have anything to do with the
truth of a vast sea of citizenry, here or abroad.



When a story arises out of the murk that challenges a reporter or editor's view of the world, they
instinctively do not want to believe it or support it.


When a story that fits their world view arises, they are quick to seize it & squeeze it
in...

The media is a mirror, and the editors show things in the mirror that they want to refect their worldview, whether concious or not...

Instead of frontpage stories explaining where all our tax money goes, we get crime news about local lowlifes instead of the white collar criminals draining our national treasury. Instead of honest examinations of clean air & water which affect us all, we get lightweight news and consumer lifestyle pieces on hot new MP3 players and wines, what cars are hip & the soaps & shampoos that the favorite spas of "stars" use..


We constantly see news organizations rushing to repeat any rumor, allegation & accusation
of the gov't or ruling corporations, yet we find common people, activists and
outsiders unable to get exposure for their viewpoints. The Undeclared &
Uncessary Iraq War is a dangerous precedent that has shown how easily those in
power can manipulate the public through repeated lies & doublepseak. We see a complacent, even proudly patriotic media cheerleading our country into a protracted and wasteful war.
It's doubtful that a cabal of manipulators in power could ignore the opposition of the UN & numerous
allies, and hold a war for dubious political reasons without the media's endless fountain of supportive ink & airtime

. Thanx to a complacent & irrelevant media that did little but repeat the Bush admin war hawk line, surveys of Americans showed that a majority believed Saddam Hussein was directly linked to the 9-11 attacks and
controlled weapons of mass destruction, while years have gone by & no evidence of either charge has never been found.

We are entering a period that the prescient Orwell himself would likely be shocked
at...

When it comes to actual news gathering, the media parrots government officials, PR Hacks and lobbyists allowing them to set the editorial agenda. The actual news editing & writing is getting sloppier all the time, with misspellings of simple words common in daily newspapers and the factual guarantees of the info ever more questionable.

Consider the case of a man who has sued CNN and Arab-language newspaper
Asharq Al-Awsat , seeking a retraction, damages and an inquiry into how his
picture was printed as that of terrorism suspect. Asif Iqbal, a 32-year-old
Pittsford, N.Y., software engineer of Arabic background had his photo used in
place of a British citizen nearly ten years younger who was being held as a
terrorism suspect by the U.S at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.


Journalism itself has fallen by the wayside along with staffing
levels at major news organizations as they attempt to cut costs and not offend
their clients , i.e major advertisers. Recently several companies have announced
they will pull all their ads from any publishing companies that print negative
stories on their companies. Recently due to negative coverage, GM announced they
would no longer advertise in the LA Times, even announcing it via a corporate
blog to give GM that warm & fuzzy regular geek next door vibe. BP Oil and
other companies have also announced their new policy to pull ads from any
publication that supplies negative coverage. Small tech press Wiley has had all
it's titles dropped from distribution through Apple Stores on command from Steve
Jobs, for a perceived trangression in a recent book.


Imagine our media as a type of robust vehicle that is capable of collecting stories &
freely travelling around the globe in search of truth. Yet, it merely circles
the parking lot of our shopping malls looking for easy parking spots.
Unfortunately, our mass media does not park it's vehicle unless there is a
convienemnt media parking lot ( or story angle) already set up. Few media
organizations want to delve deep into anything for fear of peeling to deep into
the onion & making the the power structure cry.

Instead of a informative investigations & an exchange embodying the ideal of thoughtful
discussions, our media focuses on polls. They do drive bys of most events, and
invest little in finding out more than a soundbite to share. The media
perspective seen in this country is skewed like that from a tinted bullet proof
window in a moving limousine.


The corporate media limo is not going
to stop, open up and let in the stench of the burnt out global villages, rotting
refuse piles, and mass graves of our politically confused world. The mass
media's job is to keep on trucking, bring in the cargo of profits and leave the
stories & competition hanging in trails of exhaust.


If you want to stop & know more about the
real issues, then you need to get your own transportation because this train has
already left the station for the next hotspot or blogspot as the case may
be.


The New York Times, CBS & USA TODAY are not
going to slow down long enough for their readers/viewers to get anything more
than a quick glimpse of the day's messes before they have to focus on newer,
glitzier and more tawdry subjects like Michael Jackson, Kobe Bryant, new video
games, some starlet's pregnancy or drug problem and maybe a random school or
workplace shooting. The apologists claim it's what people want.. just like they
want high levels of PCBs, mercury & saturated fats in their blood. The media
has proved people crave sweets, irradiated meat, higher levels of effluents
& exhausts from industry and 36 hour erections. Poll data shows Americans
prefer cheap foreign oil & sweatshop goods, violence & lung cancer from
asbestos & tobacco products.


The arbiters of taste & so
called "coverage" in the mainstream media aspire to have no opinion, to provide
"balance", but the whole system is so off kilter, how the fuck would they know
what balance is while high on cotton candy & drunk with power on a spinning
tilt a whirl at their own carnival freak show.

I hate to generalize, but
the media workers of the US are mainly middle class suckers for the most part,
united by their university backgrounds and love of wine & the bourgeois
trappings of so called "success'. They are kinda like well meaning but drug
addled prostitutes that are so used to sucking johns off & giving the
proceeds to their pimps thay can no longer understand what part of the pleasure
chain they are in anymore. Self absorbed columnists with cushy commuter jobs in
climate controlled towers & trend seeking young reporters that brown nose
& grovel for scoops from PR flacks cannot really relate to the perils,
passions & plights of those living & dying in strife addled developing
nations or neglected neighborhoods across town.


These media monkeys try to portray the stories they
are assigned, but above all, they must not make waves, always attempt to remain
"fair" and spin the topic so it appeals to an educated if uninterested
readership that has cyclical spending habits, and wants to perceive themselves
as an informed demographic. Our media system has no inherent empathy with truth
in any form, especially truth for those who might be desperate, or in despicable
detainment camps, urban ghettos or even, our own trailer parks, as they make
people uncomfortable. Front Page starvation stories do not sell furniture for
Macy's, and the world's problems are only interesting if they are are useful to
the media's momentary & monetary driven agenda.

It simply does not
behoove a modern media monkey to recognize the depth of suffering &
conflicts of interest in the stories they could or should be reporting. Their
job is not to explain the sordid history of situations long spiraling out of
control, but to simply report the so called "facts"... But remember as Reagen
once said "Facts Are Stupid Things".


If you are lucky , in a story
you see, you might get a who , what , when , & where. However, on a story
involving international incidents or corporate intrigue, notice that you rarely
get a 5th "W"... The mysterious "Why"... unless your content provider can
provide a succinct explanation approved by the W admin's unnamed source & a
favorite think tank.



Veteran journalist Bill Moyers
recently addressed a gathering focused on Media Reform in St. Louis. He
describes how Beltway journalism is guided by gov't handouts, and many issues
are only explored on air if Senators deem them newsworthy enough to talk about.


I'll quote some of the concepts he mentioned , but I also encourage you
to read the transcript of his speech: http://www.alternet.org/mediaculture/22021/


Quotes From Bill:


On his idea of balance in
America's political spectrum
: I've always
thought the American eagle needed a left wing and a right wing. The right wing
would see to it that economic interests had their legitimate concerns addressed.
The left wing would see to it that ordinary people were included in the bargain.
Both would keep the great bird on course. But with two right wings or two left
wings, it's no longer an eagle and it's going to crash.


On The Idealogues Who Wanted Him Off PBS : Who are they? I
mean the people obsessed with control, using the government to threaten and
intimidate. I mean the people who are hollowing out middle-class security even
as they enlist the sons and daughters of the working class in a war to make sure
Ahmed Chalabi winds up controlling Iraq's oil. I mean the people who turn
faith-based initiatives into a slush fund and who encourage the pious to look
heavenward and pray so as not to see the long arm of privilege and power picking
their pockets. I mean the people who squelch free speech in an effort to
obliterate dissent and consolidate their orthodoxy into the official view of
reality from which any deviation becomes unpatriotic heresy...That's who I
mean... And if that's editorializing, so be it. A free press is one where it's
OK to state the conclusion you're led to by the evidence.


Why He Became A Target : One reason I'm in hot water is
because my colleagues and I at NOW didn't play by the conventional rules of
Beltway journalism. Those rules divide the world into Democrats and Republicans,
liberals and conservatives, and allow journalists to pretend they have done
their job if, instead of reporting the truth behind the news, they merely give
each side an opportunity to spin the news.


On How The Minstream Washington Media Works : These "rules of the game" permit
Washington officials to set the agenda for journalism, leaving the press all too
often simply to recount what officials say instead of subjecting their words and
deeds to critical scrutiny. Instead of acting as filters for readers and
viewers, sifting the truth from the propaganda, reporters and anchors
attentively transcribe both sides of the spin invariably failing to provide
context, background or any sense of which claims hold up and which are
misleading.



On The Future of a People's Media : Pat
Aufderheide got it right, I think, in the recent issue of In These Times
when she wrote: "This is a moment when public media outlets can make a powerful
case for themselves. Public radio, public TV, cable access, public DBS channels,
media arts centers, youth media projects, nonprofit Internet news services ...
low-power radio and webcasting are all part of a nearly invisible feature of
today's media map: the public media sector. They exist not to make a profit, not
to push an ideology, not to serve customers, but to create a public -- a group
of people who can talk productively with those who don't share their views, and
defend the interests of the people who have to live with the consequences of
corporate and governmental power."

Moyer's Final Thought On America : We're big kids; we can handle
controversy and diversity, whether it's political or religious points of view or
two loving lesbian moms and their kids, visited by a cartoon rabbit. We are not
too fragile or insecure to see America and the world entire for all their
magnificent and sometimes violent confusion. There used to be a thing or a
commodity we put great store by," John Steinbeck wrote. "It was called the
people."





hear enjoy some sounds in reverse
chronological order....


Off Kilter Chicago Speed Metal from
Bludgeon - Smoke
Screen
(2002)


American Indian Movement Activist
John Trudell - Bombs
Over Bagdhad
( 1992)


Classic Bay Area Peace Punk
Crucifix - Peace or Annihilation (1982)


MIT's resident US foreign policy
critic -
Prof Noam Chomsky - Gov't
In The Future
(1970)


0 peanut gallery sez::