While ‘social media’ like Facebook and Twitter are forms of corporate media, it is unarguable that they and other web-based outlets have helped empower a serious challenge to traditional print and broadcast journalism. For the first time in history, uncompromised non-corporate voices are able to instantly challenge the filtered ‘mainstream’ version of events. This certainly helps explain the rise of Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, Podemos in Spain, and now Bernie Sanders in the US.
1. Moaning and praying like a drunk with his head in the toilet bowl, the US bourgeoisie in 2001 promised themselves, and their various gods, to never ever do that again– that being the capital spending pub crawl/keg party they had been on since 1993. It had been a hell of a party, with a tab running to 1.1 trillion dollars, (more than all the foreign directed investment that has been pumped into China in the last 25 years). Continue reading this...
Apparently, if you’ve seen the news, the leaked Panama Papers, from the “tight lipped” (Economist) Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca & Co, are spilling the beans on the details of what the rich, powerful and greedy “beyond avarice” get up to with unseemly amounts of dosh, in 214,488 offshore tax havens. Mossack Fonseca & Co has been under investigation and intense scrutiny for some time. Ken Silverstein contributing editor for Vice who had cased the Mossack Fonseca & Co joint, two years before the Panama Papers disclosure, writing: “If shell companies are getaway cars for bank robbers, then Mossack Fonseca may be the world’s shadiest car dealership.” True but the Mossack Fonseca shenanigans are part of the problem but not the endemic problem. The endemic problem is American financial hegemony. Mossack Fonseca’s offices have just been raided almost certainly because Panamanian politicians and their dealers (they are all in need of a fix) will be implicated in all sorts of sordid stuff. And one expected that.
The CNN story (4/6/16) that laid out the Clinton campaign’s anti-Sanders strategy: “Disqualify him, defeat him and unify the party later.”
On Tuesday, April 5, Bernie Sanders won the Wisconsin Democratic primary by double digits, and his victory speech ran for half an hour on CNN, a rare media moment when he was able to repeat the issues that have resonated with many Democratic primary voters.
After the Wisconsin loss, the Hillary Clinton campaign went into high gear, sending emails out announcing a new strategy of going negative. The next day, CNN (4/6/16) ran a piece by senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny that began, “Hillary Clinton’s campaign is taking new steps to try and disqualify Bernie Sanders in the eyes of Democratic voters.” The story laid out Clinton’s new “three-part strategy” with regard to Sanders: “Disqualify him, defeat him and unify the party later.”
The comedian Billy Connolly once observed that politicians aren’t like the rest of us. They don’t look like us, don’t sound like us, and they rarely talk about issues that matter deeply to mere voters.
Senator Bernie Sanders, candidate for the Democrat’s US Presidential nomination, on the other hand, does look and talk like ‘ordinary’ people. He is the kind of smart, straight-talking, Jewish New Yorker celebrated by shows like Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
REFUGEES, NOT TERRORISTS – Ben Ehrenreich ventures into the Jungle refugee camp in Calais, France, and finds . . . not terrorists, but troubled people who have fled their homes due to Western-backed aggression. In other, related, essays, Chris Hedges shows how we in the West are as guilty of terror as is ISIS, while Azeezah Khan wonders why our legal systems are so eager to brand Muslims as terrorists. In other stories, Adam Hochschild tells how Texaco supported fascism during the Spanish civil war, David Niddrie and Adrian de Kock look at student strife in South Africa, and Marjorie Cohn contrasts human rights in Cuba with those in the USA. Continue reading this...
A new report from FAIR looks at a year’s worth of anonymity in the New York Times, with media critic Reed Richardson taking an in-depth look at how unnamed sources were used in the paper in 2015. His research substantiates that the observation Times public editor Margaret Sullivan made in 2014 (12/29/14) is still true: “Anonymity continues to be granted to sources far more often than a last-resort basis would suggest.” Among Richardson’s findings: Continue reading this...
On the night of October 3, 2015, a United States Air Force AC-130 gunship repeatedly attacked a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. Forty-two people were killed and dozens wounded. The US military plane had conducted five strafing runs over the course of more than an hour despite MSF pleas to Afghan, US and Nato officials to call off the attack.
Journalists face numerous ethical and institutional challenges when doing their job. But none of these challenges lays bare the conflicts and compromises involved in reporting the news quite like the use of anonymous sources.
For a profession predicated on demanding transparency and accountability from others, the practice of granting anonymity serves as an inconvenient reminder of journalism’s own messy reality. The implied bargain therein—that the value of the light provided by a source’s information outweighs the cost of casting of a shadow over his or her public identity—trades upon both the judgment and authority of the reporter and his or her news organization.
1. Housmans wins Best Independent Bookshop in London Award! 2. London Radical Bookfair 2016 – May 7th 3. New Left Review and other journal runs for sale 4. Quickbooks accountant needed for one-off job Continue reading this...
Rare or Routine? Video Captures ‘Cold-Blooded Execution’ By Israeli Soldier By Jon Queally
The release of video footage showing the extrajudicial killing of a wounded Palestinian man on Thursday has led to the arrest of the Israeli Defense Force soldier who pulled the trigger, but rights groups say the documented incident only confirms their warnings regarding how the Israeli military routinely behaves in the Occupied Palestinian Territories when cameras are not rolling.