Category Archives: MSM

Rudy, Rudy, Rudy: Giuliani sets MSM Ferguson spin

A fascinating segment from RT America focuses on the deft Ferguson semantic shuffle deployed by one of America’s more prominent Republicans, former federal prosecutor and New York Mayor Rudy Giulani, who after selling out his piece of a private security contracting firm has devoted his life to lobbying and lawyering for Big Oil and Big Pharma.

That his masters also share a vested interest in keeping folks of African and Latin American heritage off the voting roles also receives no attention whatsoever.

That television news turns to people like Giuliani without mentioning that his income comes from people who have every interest in preserving the corrupt status quo is a major journalistic sin, one that not even the RT producers interviewed in this segment bother to mention.

But their key point is valid: Giuliani deflects analysis of deep structural problems by endlessly harping on one theme that plays all too well with racist Republican base.

From RT America:

Rampant media malpractice of Ferguson coverage

Program notes:

Coverage of the Ferguson, Mo. unrest spans the usual spectrum of media malpractice. With many examples of misinformation and oversimplication, just how much can viewers trust what they see and hear? RT’s Tabetha Wallace and Tyrel Ventura discuss.

Interestingly, the same thoughts about Giuliani also occurred to a member of the mainstream media, Lexington Herald-Leader editorial cartoonist Joel Pett:


A blast from the past: Paul Conrad’s Reagan

A devastating 1984 portrayal of the man now enshrined as Saint Ronnie by the editorial cartoonist so controversial the Los Angeles Times moved him from the lead editorial page to an op-ed slot:

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Branded Women: One literal, one metaphorical

Two documentaries from newspapers on opposites shores of the Atlantic Ocean focus on the forced identification of women exploited for financial gain.

The first video, from the Guardian, focuses on the shattering power of literal branding, albeit with a skin-piercing needle rather than red hot iron once used on slaves and criminals.

From Guardian Docs:

Survivors Ink: Erasing the marks of sex trafficking

Program notes:

Rebranded: how Survivors Ink is erasing the marks of the US sex trafficking industry.

Pimp-led prostitution is one of the most violent and prolific forms of trafficking found in the US, with hundreds of thousands of women sold annually for commercial gain. Many are branded with tattoos by their traffickers as a sign of ownership and control. After experiencing such an ordeal in Columbus, Ohio, Jennifer Kempton founded Survivors Ink, a grassroots project that helps formerly trafficked women to cover up their branding with their own symbols of hope and recovery. Kempton explains how she left years of abuse and drug addiction behind and is helping others to do likewise.

The second video, from the New York Times, focuses on the power of media to brand a human being, constraining identity to inflame and entice, creating a frenzy that depends on an externally imposed identity, a brand, complete with catch phrases and slogans.

The focus is an Australian media frenzy and criminally inept persecution and prosecution of a a grieving mother:

‘Dingo’s Got My Baby’: Trial by Media | Retro Report

Program notes:

In 1982, an Australian mother was convicted of murdering her baby daughter. She was later exonerated, but soon fell victim to a joke that distracted the world from the real story.

Headline catastrophes: A spell of bad journalism

Though we’re no fan of spellcheckers, the London Telegraph obviously needs to run one on their headlines given that the obvious errors in the subhead should’ve leapt off the page under an editor’s gaze:

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And then there’s this particularly egregious typo, from today’s London Daily Mail homepage:


Chart of the day: What do you want to share?

From “Public Perceptions of Privacy and Security in the Post-Snowden Era” [PDF], a new report from the Pew Research Center. Click on it to embiggen:

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James Risen eviscerates Obama’s panopticon

The Pulitzer-winning New York Times national security reporter currently facing the threat of prison unless he divulges his sources, dissects the creeping fascism of the Obama version of the national security state in a fascinating interview on CCTV’s The Heat.

There’s a certain irony in the venue, given that CCTV is the largest state television broadcaster in China, where the government maintains an even stronger surveillance and control of their media that the U.S. does [an issue that’s never raised], but host Anand Naidoo asks the right questions and gives Risen ample room to respond.

The resulting dialog reveals the administration’s utter capitulation to the to the agenda set by the Bush’s imperial enablers and the utter confusion that abdication seems to have spawned in the Department of Justice, which has sent mixed messages about the fate they intend for the reporter.

Risen also sees as heroes Edward Snowden and other leakers who have revealed some of the extent of the metastatic and increasingly punitive national security state, and he contends that Snowden took the only course possible for a concerned citizen in his position.

And as an aside we would add that you know things are getting really bad when a reporter for the Times speaks so scathingly of the direction Washington has gone.

From CCTV America:

The Heat discusses the NSA, CIA and press freedom with journalist James Risen [1]

Program notes:

James Risen is the New York Times reporter who broke the story about the secret warrantless wiretapping program by America’s National Security Agency. Now he is under pressure by the government to divulge his sources or go to jail. In his new book, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist writes about how the American government is consumed by war. Journalist James Risen joined The Heat to discuss his legal battle and his latest book, “Pay Any Price: Greed, Power and Endless War.”

And the second part:

The Heat discusses the NSA, CIA and press freedom with journalist James Risen [2]


Chart of the day: The medium is the message

From a new report [PDF] from the Pew Research Center on Americans and their media choices. One notable finding not on this chart is that local newspapers are not named as a primary news source except by a mere three percent of the most conservative, a very sour note for the medium to which we have devoted our working life: