Tag Archives | Danny Schechter

At Year’s End: The News Dissector Looks Back At The News of 2012

Happy new year 2013The TV Networks are hard at work in this last week of the year recapping their best footage to remind us where we’ve been.  Researchers are combing the archives to find the best images for their annual greatest hits “package” which usually ends with a photo-montage driven by music of the politicians, entertainers and personalities who died in 2012.

As we watch, we ooh and ah and remember calamities that struck us like that well-named “Franken (for that movie monster Frankenstein) Storm” Sandy and the shooting of the children at Sandy Hook in Connecticut. They will replay the 2012 presidential elections that bring us to the stalemate we are stuck in, what’s been labeled the “fiscal cliff.”

Oh, you know what else they will show–the year of iPhone 5 and iPad 3, the Olympics, and Gangnam Style. We will hear about Kate Middleton’s rise and Whitney Houston’s demise and the ups and downs of the Chinese-American basketball player Jeremy Lin.… Read the rest

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OccupyWallStreet: The Police May Have Seized The Park But The Movement Moves On

It was strange, after all these weeks, to be on the outside looking in at a new set of occupiers that were there because they have the guns and we don’t.

When Mao said that “power grows out of the barrel of a gun” he most assuredly did not have anything like Occupy Wall Street on his mind, but somehow the insight applies. Liberty Square/Zuccotti Park had now been power cleaned and was pristine. More than 200 had been arrested in the takeover that included selective physical violence against resisters. Soon, all the tents were gone: Medical, Media, The Kitchen and The Library, as well as all the work group locations that I showed in my film a week earlier.

Now there were cops in command, barricades on the outside and contractors employed by Brookfield Properties, the Park’s owner, on the inside, looking all corporate and regimented. Activists with badges calling themselves the “99%” were soon watching the triumph of authority with pains in their hearts from behind the barricades while a dozen TV trucks set up their antennas to broadcast live on this latest confrontation. The tabloid media were gloating earlier in the day, “BEAT IT” was the headline in the Daily News, Rupert; Murdoch’s NY Post had been tipped in advance and covered the expulsion like a cheerleader.… Read the rest

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Where Will The Next Phase of Occupy Wall Street Take Us?

Occupy All Streets?A week ago, I produced a TV documentary on inside the Occupy Wall Street encampment in New York.

It was already somewhat obsolete by the time it aired.

The Park, once a buzzing center of debate and open-air meetings has gone residential in the sense that virtually every square inch of what was a half-acre political terrarium is now dominated by tents, an effort to insure more protection from the elements and some better level of personal security. As private spaces proliferated, public space shrunk.

Now, public health officials are raising the prospect of the spread of germs while violent incidents in other cities have police nationwide threatening to shut down the occupations in the name, of course, of preserving public safety.

The first happened in Oakland, a town with a long history of police violence that was on display when cops overran the camp, seriously hurting an Iraq veteran, and triggering a call for a General Strike.… Read the rest

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Why Are So Many in the Media Threatened By Occupy Wall Street?

#OccupyWallStreetThe other night, I ran into a veteran journalist, a writer who I always considered was among the “plugged in.” Yet when I told him I was reporting on Occupy Wall Street, he plugged out, and stared at me cluelessly.

“What do they want,” he asked, echoing the questioned raised endlessly by TV pundits and editorial commentators. He didn’t seem to know or care who “they” are, or why they have taken to living in parks to make their point. He and his colleagues seem to be saying that to understand what’s going on, it all be first compressed into a press release with bullet points they can simplify further.

“I don’t get it,” he sighed. “Its about Occupying Wall Street,” I replied, “Occupying Wall Street, challenging the power of its economic power. Another blank look …

It’s as if we need our politics to follow a predictable format characterized by legislators playing to the cameras, message points, and pithy slogans.… Read the rest

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Matt Taibbi: Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?

White CollarI have been a fan of Matt Taibbi’s work for quite some time, looks like he is asking the really “big” question in his most recent article (one that Danny Schechter, who Disinformation has worked with, has focused his work upon). I encourage you to read this article in Rolling Stone. Matt Taibbi writes:

Over drinks at a bar on a dreary, snowy night in Washington this past month, a former Senate investigator laughed as he polished off his beer.

“Everything’s fucked up, and nobody goes to jail,” he said. “That’s your whole story right there. Hell, you don’t even have to write the rest of it. Just write that.”

I put down my notebook. “Just that?”

“That’s right,” he said, signaling to the waitress for the check. “Everything’s fucked up, and nobody goes to jail. You can end the piece right there.”

Nobody goes to jail. This is the mantra of the financial-crisis era, one that saw virtually every major bank and financial company on Wall Street embroiled in obscene criminal scandals that impoverished millions and collectively destroyed hundreds of billions, in fact, trillions of dollars of the world’s wealth — and nobody went to jail.

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Is America ‘Yearning for Fascism’?

Cynthia McKinney

Cynthia McKinney

To add to the discussion started by Danny Schechter’s post Does Fascism Lurk Around The Corner In The USA?, here is the beginning of Chris Hedges’ column from March of last year, Is America ‘Yearning for Fascism’?:

The language of violence always presages violence. I watched it in war after war from Latin America to the Balkans. The impoverishment of a working class and the snuffing out of hope and opportunity always produce angry mobs ready to kill and be killed. A bankrupt, liberal elite, which proves ineffectual against the rich and the criminal, always gets swept aside, in times of economic collapse, before thugs and demagogues emerge to play to the passions of the crowd. I have seen this drama. I know each act. I know how it ends. I have heard it in other tongues in other lands. I recognize the same stock characters, the buffoons, charlatans and fools, the same confused crowds and the same impotent and despised liberal class that deserves the hatred it engenders.

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Danny Schechter on The Secret Wall Street Bailout

Wall Street GreedThe U.S. doled out $12.3 trillion dollars to finance bailouts, a figure far higher than what was previously stated. Danny Schechter writes in Al Jazeera:

Go, Wall Street, Go!

Never mind the rise in unemployment and foreclosures. Never mind the folks waiting to know if they will get the benefits they need before they are cut off. Never mind the growing gap between rich and poor, and the rapid spread of poverty. (Did you know that inequality in the US is at the highest level of any industrialised country?)

Does any of this matter?

The idea of equality as a social goal is apparently passé. Christmas has a special meaning on Wall Street: It’s bonus time.

Just five too big to fail bankster companies have stashed $90 billion for payouts to prized employees. They know that the beat on The Street is fading, so it seems to be take the money and run time.

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Good Holiday Reads In A Dark And Depressing Time

Stock Exchange Practices and the Causes of the 1929 Wall Street CrashMy 12 Best Books of Chanukah, Christmas and Kwanzaa About the Economic Crisis That Has Defined Our Times

Back in 2007, just as the markets began their meltdown, I started writing a book I called Plunder to investigate the then emerging economic calamity. I had a well-known agent representing me, and, at that time, had published ten books. My agent warned me that I was ahead of the curve but agreed that the subject couldn’t be timelier.

Before we were through, the manuscript went to and was returned by 30 publishers. I was told that there is only one person that a book like mine had to pass muster with, not an economist, not a book editor—but the book buyer who handles business books for Barnes and Noble. If she/she didn’t like it, forget it. (This was before the bottom dropped out of that company that was later nearly sold.)

So much for their business savvy.… Read the rest

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Obama’s Burden

With the midterm election less than a month away and the economic crisis unabated, the Obama Administration may be at a crossroads.

The President’s own advisor, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker says the financial system is “broken.” High unemployment is not dropping and home foreclosures are up. The Obamacrats are being blamed for the economic downturn and the economy has become ‘the issue’ of the November midterm elections.

The signs of an economic recovery are hard to see, and tensions with China, a leading trade partner, may be on the cusp of a trade war. Add to this the trillions poured into two wars we are not winning, and you have the elements of a perfect storm that some fear could lead to a depression or even a systemic collapse.

With the President’s popularity slipping and his opposition surging, (at least in the media if not in the streets) the Democrats are expected to lose many seats, if not, control of the Congress.… Read the rest

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