Archive for Media

Peak-A-Boo

Hello U.S. media?  Why exactly am I reading this story because of a link on Buzzflash to a blog that quotes a British newspaper?:

The good old days no more: "Come listen to a story about a man named Jed A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed, Then one day he was shootin' at some food, And up from the ground came a bubblin' crude. Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea."

The US military has warned that surplus oil production capacity could disappear within two years and there could be serious shortages by 2015 with a significant economic and political impact.

The energy crisis outlined in a Joint Operating Environment report from the US Joint Forces Command, comes as the price of petrol in Britain reaches record levels and the cost of crude is predicted to soon top $100 a barrel.

“By 2012, surplus oil production capacity could entirely disappear, and as early as 2015, the shortfall in output could reach nearly 10 million barrels per day,” says the report, which has a foreword by a senior commander, General James N Mattis.

It adds: “While it is difficult to predict precisely what economic, political, and strategic effects such a shortfall might produce, it surely would reduce the prospects for growth (emphasis mine) in both the developing and developed worlds.

They are still concerned about growth? Talk about epic delusional understatement, survival might be the more relevant consideration.  But hey, what me worry, think I’ll just drive over to the nearest java infusion station and read the local paper so I can learn which hunky guy is misbehaving with which starlet, but first  I’m going to send some money to support independent media and you should too.  Gotta have your priorities.

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Standing Up And Sitting Down For Healthcare At Humana Headquarters (Updated Analysis Of News Coverage)

More than 100 people (minimized in several media reports as “dozens”) gathered across the street from health insurer Humana, Inc. in downtown Louisville, KY on Oct. 29th to rally for meaningful health care reform.  After the rally, a smaller group “stormed”  into the lobby to hold a sit-in.  At least that is how one local television station would like you to frame it.  In reality, they walked peacefully through the door, which is exactly what the footage that accompanied the “storming” report shows.

I was at Humana for the rally. It was an honor and a privilege to stand with such dedicated activists who are not afraid to stand up and sit down for what they believe in. When I returned to my desk this afternoon, there was what has become the usual daily avalanche of emails about the health care issue. The Public Option is in. It’s out. Lieberman is in. He’s out. It’s worse than the Hokey Pokey and enough to make you ill. And actually all of this political delay is making us ill. In fact it is killing people every day.

And so today we stood up for health care for all because it it is the right thing to do. It isn’t some crazy liberal wingnut idea. It is a desperately needed change in this country we call a democracy. Full stop. Not only that, but it is DSCN0375overwhelmingly supported by the American public.

But yet the media persists in coverage such as the above that characterizes those who speak for the common good in such a way as to sound like dangerous people threatening a large corporation whose spokesman is allowed to frame the company’s position as being ‘for’ health care reform. Really? And how much exactly has Humana spent on lobbying against meaningful reform? How many people have been denied coverage for absurd ‘pre-existing conditions?’ How much more do they charge women than men? We don’t learn that on the evening news because Humana is one of Louisville’s star public citizens with a really nice building on Main Street (yes, their headquarters really is on Main Street in downtown Louisville) that makes mega bucks on Wall Street.

And so the viewing public gets a grossly distorted view of the health care debate, and the Congress that Humana and its ilk bought out dither us to death.

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This story isn’t over, protesters are spending the night inside the Humana building. We will see what tomorrow brings.

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Morning has broken and should have word soon from the Humana sleepover.

Supporters are invited to join us in the morning as we continue the sit-in. We’re inviting everyone to a solidarity celebration for a single-payer nation at the Humana building, 5th & Main, 11:30AM on Friday, October 30th.

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In the revolution will be blogged, twittered and sensationalized on television and ignored by the local newspaper department:

If you ran out to get your morning paper in Louisville hoping to read the story, you would have had to do some mighty nuanced reading between the lines because apparently the reporter that the Courier Journal would have sent to cover the story was laid off during one of the recent waves of cutbacks which were accompanied by long-winded Gannett talking head drivel about how it wouldn’t affect the quality of what was left of the paper. In otherwords, the CJ got the memo, they just ignored it and there is nothing, nada, zip in the paper this morning. (Correction–a reporter did show up early yesterday evening and they do have a piece on their website, but nothing in the print edition).

Via The Louisville Courant (oh gasp, a blogger that I’m sure the former CJ publisher would say isn’t a legit news source) has this roundup of coverage thus far:

**PageOneKentucky
**Louisville Mojo
**Reclaiming Medusa
**WFPL
**FOX 41
**WAVE 3

Will have a wrap-up later today.

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And here it is: The Humana 6, the sheroes and heroes who spent the night at Humana ended the sit-in at 11:30 this morning. The media was MIA.

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In Defense Of Pajama-Clad Bloggers

My response to Ed Manassah (former publisher of Gannett’s Louisville Courier Journal)’s “backwater, codger-esque comments about bloggers” remarks about us pajama-clad, bunny slipper shod bloggers:

Disclaimer--dont know if shes a blogger, but she could be.

Disclaimer--don't know if she's a blogger, but she could be.

Regarding Phillip M. Bailey’s “Beware of blog” (LEO Weekly, Oct. 7): Ed Manassah’s dismissive comments regarding the blogosphere are unfortunate and, to borrow his own words, jaundiced. According to the former publisher of The Courier-Journal, you may not be seeing “reality” if you believe everything you read in the blog world because the writers write from their personal perspective and not that of an institution.

Indeed. It is precisely for that reason people should read blogs. While there are certainly bloggers who deliberately misrepresent facts, there are also many hard-working bloggers who are dedicated to finding the truth, and because we are not beholden to institutions like Rupert Murdoch’s empire or Gannett, we have no vested interest and are free to speak truth to power. The notion that mainstream media always gets it right and fact-checks what it presents as truth is delusional.

While the mainstream media was busy embedding reporters with the military in Iraq and reporting the Bush administration lies as fact, the blogosphere was asking the hard questions about why we were there in the first place, what connection Saddam Hussein had with the bombing of the World Trade Center, and where were the weapons of mass destruction. If we had paid heed to the blogosphere where questions were being asked about the incestuous relationship between Wall Street and the federal government, we would have seen the sub-prime mortgage crisis coming, because that information was being blogged several years before the economy went in the toilet. The list goes on.

When supporters of mainstream media insist on belittling the blogosphere, they only show their ignorance. Instead of trivializing the substantive work done by many dedicated people working on shoestring budgets, why not be supportive and share expertise and resources and embrace the potential of expanding the paradigm of how we become informed. Considering publications like the C-J have shrunk to the point that there is barely enough left to line a birdcage, Manassah might want to rethink his arrogant attitude about the blogosphere.

–Lucinda Marshall

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