Media Activism Update: NYT: “FAIR Had a Point” Paper’s public editor agrees with activists

13 October, 2009 — Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting

In response to FAIR’s September 22 action alert, New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt agreed (10/11/09) that the paper’s September 20 article about Medicare for all excluded supporters of a single-payer healthcare system.

FAIR pointed out that the article, written by Katharine Seelye, laid out many arguments against single-payer—it would mean a big tax increase, it would hurt doctors, and so on—without including balancing responses from supporters. Hoyt agreed:

The Times has focused its coverage on proposals that editors and reporters judge to be politically feasible, which means that tort reform, popular with conservatives, and single-payer health coverage, popular with liberals, have received relatively scant attention. Anger boiled over recently, when an article on Medicare-for-all, a version of single-payer, explained all the reasons it was dead, and arguments against it, without going into arguments for it. Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, a liberal media watchdog, urged followers to object, and I received roughly 1,000 messages.

Katharine Seelye, the reporter, said she was trying to explain why Medicare-for-all was not going anywhere and provided links online to arguments for it. “I thought the substance of it had been dealt with elsewhere many times,” she said. But the Times had not seriously explored the issue during the current debate, and I thought FAIR had a point.

Seelye’s defense is alarming; does a reporter at the New York Times really believe that single-payer has been covered “many times” by the paper? The Times, like the rest of the corporate media, has given the issue scant attention (FAIR Media Advisory, 3/6/09). FAIR is encouraged by Hoyt’s acknowledgment that the argument deserves fuller coverage; let’s hope the editors of the Times see it that way, too.

FAIR would like to thank the many people who took the time to write to the paper.

FAIR’s fall fundraising drive is underway! Times are tough, and we need your support to keep holding the corporate media accountable. Please help us out in whatever way you can.

Constitutional Hypocrisy By Joel S. Hirschhorn

13 October, 2009

Millions of Americans are politically informed, smart, active and angry. They see many wrongs in our political and government system. They are fed up with politics as usual, meaning corrosive corruption of politicians by corporate and other special interests.  They see little good in either the Democrat or Republican parties.  And they almost always share a common bond: They love and honor the US Constitution, even though they may see some flaws in it. Yet they are also constitutional hypocrites.

Why do I say this?  Because Americans are overwhelmingly ignorant or misinformed about the constitutional paths for amending the Constitution. Too many, in fact, seem to miss the profoundly important point that the Founders and Framers knew that they had not created a perfect document and blueprint for the US. That is why they placed two specific paths for amending the Constitution.

But very few Americans know that only one of these amendment mechanisms has been used in the entire history of the country.  All the current amendments were proposed by Congress. This should raise this serious question today: Considering the very low regard for Congress by the overwhelming majority of Americans, which is richly deserved, why should we have any confidence that Congress would ever propose amendments that could kill so much of the corruption that plagues our system, especially corruption of members of Congress?

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Fidel: Humanity is an endangered species

13 October, 2009 — Climate and Capitalism

‘Our duty is to demand the truth. The populations of all countries have the right to know the factors that are giving rise to climate change and what current possibilities science possesses for reversing the trend’

by Fidel Castro
(September 21, 2009)

I would have liked to talk today about the exceptional Peace without Borders concert that took place in the José Martí Plaza de la Revolución 24 hours ago, but brutal reality obliges me to write about a danger that is threatening not only peace but also the survival of our species.

The United Nations Organization, whose task is to protect the peace, security and rights of close to 200 states representing more than 6.5 billion of the planet’s inhabitants, is to initiate its General Assembly debates with the participation of heads of state on Wednesday. This time, given the exceptional importance of the issue, it is to devote Tuesday, September 22 to a high-level session on climate change, in preparation for the Copenhagen Conference in Denmark, scheduled for December 7-18 this year.

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If we want Policy instead of Speeches By Cynthia McKinney

11 October, 2009 — Global Research

Vers La Verité Speech in Paris

President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize was not the only news yesterday. And in my opinion, it’s not even the biggest news. It’s not even the saddest news. But it does provide us with some critical information as we move forward. The three-part question for us, tonight however, is “What are we moving forward TO; is that the place we want to go; and if not, what do we do about it?

In other words, “What is our vision for the future and how do we define success?”

I have been and am still in deep pain over the institutional homicide of my aunt and in my grief, I’ve considered giving up.

But then, I wiped the tears from my eyes long enough to remember communities of people that I’ve been blessed enough to get to know, from Toronto, Canada to Cape Town, South Africa; from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Valdosta, Georgia, there are people struggling through their own pain, their own deep personal disappointments to reach a better place—not just for themselves, but for the global community of man. And I know deep in my own heart, as broken as it is, that I cannot give up. My brain tells me that the struggle for truth, justice, peace, and dignity is too important to lose because of heartbreak.

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