Saturday, January 14, 2006

Thoughts On Feet of The State of The Onion and Info-tainment Industrial Complex etc

Hey didya know that the U.S media is a morally corrupt morass of instituitional laziness and corporate blather, and the frightening potential of this jaded journalistic decline has settled in... oh ya did?

Well as SBL's Weekend Update correspondent Emily Latella might opine "well, Never Mind"...

I'm just in a little Sunday Mornin' Coming down & Ranting mood, perhaps after spending a little too much time thinking about ... "Hijacking Catastrophe" a film I saw recently, plus having books like "Feet to the Fire: The Media After 9/11, Top Journalists Speak Out" out and about , really does'nt help.

Here check out some clips from the above mentioned flick

The Project for the New American Century (PNAC)

Relentless: The Bush Propaganda Drive
How Saddam Went From From Trusted Ally to Brutal Dictator
Selling the Neocon Agenda
With the Democratic Party complicit in calling for the War on Iraq, and producing at best nothing but an embarassing heap of useless political distractions, what can ya do? I hate to blame the media for the utterly lame response to unfolding events in this country, but I think I have placed unrealistic expectations on the power of the press. The media is practically the only voice we have to hope for, and yes, I know the President doesn't read the paper... in fact I have a quote from him somewhere on my desk in which he claims he has hired advisors " who probably do"...

note : Probably...

Indeed, with Bush at the helm, our nation's leadership can blithely ignore our constituitional principles, and now forges a giant corporate cash machine, indifferent to human needs & suffering.

"Fascism should more accurately be named corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini.

I guess these days, if anything, the laziness of our press is phatly rewarded.
In my last post I mentioned the Knight Ridder columnist who accepted cash flow from Monsanto while puffing up their kindly corporate image. But gosh golly it, don't stop there...

Sure, Bob Woodward had to run the camera gauntlet for a few days last fall for some ethical failures, but he didn't lose a single dollar or party invitation as far as i could tell, and isn't that his real game? Why yes, Jayson Blair's co-worker at the NY Times, Judith Miller did some jail time, but I bet her legal fees will be picked up by some friendly firm or foundation, and her new Neo-Con book deal will make her richer than ever...

Fact: Newspapers are not only devalued by potentail readers such as the president, they've fallen out of favor of Wall St as well. Gannet, America's lasrgest Newspaper companies lost 25% of it's value in 2005. The NY Times stock has lost 47% of it's value since February 2004.

Fact : Newspaper circulation, and therefore in depth current events awareness at large is declining daily.

Fact: So is the quality and diversity of the reporting, as more rely on the same recycled syndicated wire stories, and less news organizations than ever maintain news bureaus outside their hometowns.

Fact: ABC News, for example, has literally 4 foreign correspondants, that's literally les than 1 per continent. How can that begin to accurately report the stories of 6.5 billion people?

Fact: In a true tale of "The Paper of Record" emulating fake news, The guy, who laid out The Onion's website, has now been hired as Design Director of "The New York Times". Apparently the "Gray Lady" wants to look resemble the running parody that is "America's Finest News Source"...

So that leaves us TV I suppose...

In general television news reporting, which arguably is where most Americans get their news, has long prided itself on it's glossy, fast paced, balanced (i.e abysmally shallow ) editorializing and reporting. TV reporting story assignments & subjects almost always follow the pattern of placement on broadcasts based on polls and potential prurient viewer interest. Generally the result is vaguely factual pandering to what seems to be a ratings grabbing & already popular views. The death knell of a career in TV journalism is apparently having reached a conclusion on a political subject, unless you are "free market" nut like ABC's John Stossel, who in a post Katrina editorial in the WSJ wrote "price "gougers" save lives..."

Anyone who studied or lived through the divisive media environment crucible that were the Watergate & Vietnam eras, could see how the polls dictated the type of reporting that the media would give the people. Only when the opinion of the majority of the viewing public was finally confirmed to have turned invariably sour on the war or President (and this is true now with Iraq as well), then you see the media finally report the mounting negative effects of these issues. Suddenly, as the obvious error of our ways is unavoidable, the human costs of the Iraq conflict are figured into the reports, and the foggy stories of heroes gradually fade into the background.

Initially though, instead of truthful accounts of events and their implications, with multiple viewpoints and witnesses to hear from, we accept myths and military & administration press releases. Through this system, the media, tells the taxayer overt lies and fictional accounts of heroic moments to keep the populace proud and pacified with what they want to hear. Think of the "Rescue of Pvt Jessica Lynch", and the cover up of the friendly fire death of NFL player Pat Tillman as examples. Ironically the widely reported ccver stories of these events were eventually exposed as shams, but the charade continues. Headline news for days repeats a government spin doctor approved lie until it is accepted as truth, then later when the cover is blown, a new "story" is substituted, but where is the outrage over the last lie ?

Our mass disinterest in the true condition of humanity and it's political struggles can no more be defined by the now acceptable concept of "embedded" war reporting that we've grown accustomed too. We seem to simply accept the conditions of our intellectual captivity...

For decades the American news media has seemingly narrowed it's focus away from international issues, to a lightweight and narcissistic collective psychosis full of celebrity distractions and meaningless psuedo debate. We are increasingly isolationist in our global awareness, while our government is increasingly involved in events abroad.

We ignorantly pay our taxes that in turn pay for "regime changes" and "destabilization" in other countries while our attention is aparently focused on Michael Jackson's personal travails, and "hot" actress weddings, affairs & pregnancies. Despite the potential for access to instant information over the internet, the use of this medium is mainly lost on it's users. Today as i troll and review the web, it appears the top user created searches on the web are for subjects like Vegas Vacation Deals, Video Game & I-Pod accessories, sexy pictures and yes, Yahoo's top viewed news story involves a Rubik's cube that was solved in 11 seconds.

Sadly, probably because no one cared anyhow, during the post 9-11 run up to the war on Iraq, we couldn't even get the media to report on the basic truthfulness of the claims made by Bush and the Neo-Cons. It's a well known fact to most observers that since 1991 the Iraqi military capablity was absolutely decimated and denuded. Weapons analysts such as Scott Ritter, David Albright, Hans Bix, Joseph Wilson and others could all tell you that the US story of a massive nuclear threat in Iraq was a fabrication. But where were those stories in the mainstream press? Even after the Cheney/Bush Iraq WMD lies have long been confirmed, the US media has largely ignored the false reasons we went to war, and has long moved on. Where is the reporting on the ongoing issues of government credibility?

Now as the radically Neo-Conservative "The Project For A New American Century", arrogantly steamrolls through our Democracy, International Law and creates H.W "Daddy" Bush's long promised "New World Order", the Deocratic party and our corporate controlled media stand idly by.

In fact, i suppose our media do more than standidly by... the cheer them on, such as Hearst publishing attack dog , MSNBC TV host and G Bush cheerleader Chris Matthews who told his audience last week that breaking the law is "maybe part of the job" of the President. On his November 28th program he referred to anyone who did not like the President as "
real whack-jobs".

Sure our Presidentially ordered, and therefore NBC condoned, CIA-operated Predator drones circle villages and release Hellfire missiles at a mud-walled huts and kill a couple dozen civilians. Sure I can already hear Bush saying that "we're safer..."


references & stories for y'all

"Bush's Perfect Propaganda Machine,"

Somehow I know that all my ranting does no good... but hey, I had to get i off my chest ... and leave some stuff for he Bush admin's equivalent of the Stasi to put in my file...

so anyhow...

would ya like yer damn MP3z already ... I bet ya would... here ya go kiddoz...

Boxcar Racer - Watch The World

The Bobs - Fluffy's Master Plan For World Domination

Mike Watt - Little Man With A Gun In His Hand ( live 2000)

(in memory of Robert Palmer)

Dave Von Kleist - Addicted to War

and hey why not some extra bonus tracks:

Coldplay - Ring of Fire ( from Austin City Limits )

Brit rock faves cover Merle Kilgore & June Carter Cash's timeless country classic

Cripple Creek Fairies - Fire In Your Hole

Cripple Creek Fairies - We Are The Bomb

Cripple Creek Fairies -
Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World ( Ramones cover)

Cripple Creek Fairies -
I Won’t (Pay Your Price) ( Motorhead cover )

Calgary Alberta based raw rock ala Soundgarden / AC/DC etc

Ludacris - Pimpin' Al Over The World

Apparently the ATL's King of Pimpin' is influencin' everyone from L.L to Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh - Women As Eye Candy

and last but not least...

Naim Amor - Taproom ( from Soundtracks Vol 2 )

Fussy French instrumental fusion freak based in Tucson AZ on Howe Gelb of Giant Sand's label that is currently starting a tour, he rolls through SF CA on February 16th @ The Hotel Utah

anyhow... my next post will be less gnarly and obsessive, and more of an update for ya on a musical event I'm helping co-host this coming weekend here in SF CA USA... so hang tight...see ya roundon the rebound...

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