Tag Archives | Journalism

Why is the New York Times Pushing Pot?

EP - Detail of a New York Times Advertisement - 1895.jpg

One has to consider that the source of this op-ed by Liz Peek is Republican Party mouthpiece Fox News, but still it’s a question worth asking given the Times’ near-maniacal support of the marijuana legalization movement:

The legalize-pot bandwagon has a new conductor. With the single-mindedness of Hillary Clinton seeking the Oval Office, the New York Times is pushing for legalization of marijuana. The paper has published no fewer than eight editorials or op-eds approving speedy decriminalization of pot in just the past few weeks. What’s it all about?

Let us dismiss conjecture that the Times is gunning for a Public Service Pulitzer, which they have not won for a decade. Instead, two thoughts occur.

First, the Times may view decriminalizing marijuana as the next great progressive wave, following on the heels of same-sex marriage and, in earlier years, abortion rights. A smaller wave, to be sure, but one that liberals (and libertarians) can ride with enthusiasm.

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As traditional media falters, hyperlocal news is on the up

Could this rise of local news by the people be detrimental? What are the side effects of “hyperlocal” news? We’ve already seen the damage that Twitter and Reddit ‘journalists’ can do, but large news networks aren’t immune to such blunders either.

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By Dave Harte, Birmingham City University

As an example of mass participatory journalism, where the voices of ordinary citizens are heard as much as public officials or PR professionals, the UK’s hyperlocal news network is second to none.

Regional newspapers continue to struggle and local TV often falters, sometimes before it’s even begun but this emerging breed of news production seems to be thriving.

Some are set up as news sites while others are blogs originally started to address a particular local issue, like a threat to close a local leisure centre or to cover a specific planning concern. They then grow to cover different topics and become the go-to site for people to find out about what is happening in their area.… Read the rest

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USA Today Whips Up Fear of Ebola In United States

With a headline that Ebola is “only a plane ride away” from the United States, the lowest common denominator newspaper USA Today sounds increasingly like a British tabloid:

The growing Ebola outbreak in West Africa serves as a grim reminder that deadly viruses are only a plane ride away from the USA, health experts say.

The outbreak is the largest and deadliest on record, with more than 670 deaths and more than 1,200 infections in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fatality rates for Ebola have been as high as 90% in past outbreaks, according to the World Health Organization.

The virus — which has an incubation period of a few days to three weeks — could easily travel to the USA through infected travelers, says Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

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Bilderberg Ejects Journalist For Talking To ‘InfoWarriors’

MarriottcopenhagendkNot only are Alex Jones acolytes (a/k/a InfoWarriors) not welcome at the Bilderberg Group’s 2014 meetings in Copenhagen, neither are journalists who deign to interview any self-styled ‘InfoWarriors,’ as British freelancer Hannah Borno discovered in Copenhagen. The Independent reports:

…Keeping a discreet eye over the exchanges will be the intelligence chiefs such as Mr [Keith] Alexander from the United States and Sir John Sawers, the head of MI6, who was pictured on Facebook in his swimming trunks in 2009.

Items on the agenda include “The future of democracy and the middle-class trap”, “The new architecture of the Middle East” and the major geopolitical crisis of the moment: “Ukraine”. The secretive nature of the Bilderberg Conference has triggered suspicions that the event is used to shape global policy at the expense of democratic oversight. The idea of the euro was said to have been spawned at one meeting in the Nineties.

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An Assault from Obama’s Escalating War on Journalism

state of warIn a memoir published this year, the CIA’s former top legal officer John Rizzo says that on the last day of 2005 a panicky White House tried to figure out how to prevent the distribution of a book by New York Times reporter James Risen. Officials were upset because Risen’s book, State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration, exposed what — in his words – “may have been one of the most reckless operations in the modern history of the CIA.”

The book told of a bungled CIA attempt to set back Iran’s nuclear program in 2000 by supplying the Iranian government with flawed blueprints for nuclear-bomb design. The CIA’s tactic might have actually aided Iranian nuclear development.

When a bootlegged copy of State of War reached the National Security Council, a frantic meeting convened in the Situation Room, according to Rizzo. “As best anyone could tell, the books were printed in bulk and stacked somewhere in warehouses.” The aspiring censors hit a wall.… Read the rest

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Obama Threatens Pulitzer Prize-Winner

pic: public domain (cc)

pic: public domain (cc)

Matthew Rothschild writes at the Progressive:

James Risen, a Pulitzer Prize-winner at the New York Times, may face jail time on a federal contempt of court charge if he doesn’t release the identity of one of his confidential sources.

The Bush Administration’s Justice Department tried to pry the information out of him, but ultimately relented.

Now President Obama, who vowed to restore our civil liberties when he ran for the White House in 2000, is letting his Justice Department pursue Risen even more aggressively than Bush did.

The information concerns a source for a chapter in Risen’s terrific 2006 book, “State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.” That chapter dealt with a scheme to give the Iranians faulty blueprints for a nuclear weapon.

The U.S. government alleges that the source was Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA employee, whom the Justice Department is prosecuting under the Espionage Act.

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Why We Need Media Critics Who Are Fiercely Independent

Picture of the cover of volume IX of edition 22 of In Fact, An Antidote for Falsehood in the Daily Press, a newsletter by George Seldes. (C) A. Orange.

Picture of the cover of volume IX of edition 22 of In Fact, An Antidote for Falsehood in the Daily Press, a newsletter by George Seldes. (C) A. Orange.

The most renowned media critics are usually superficial and craven. That’s because — as one of the greatest in the 20th century, George Seldes, put it — “the most sacred cow of the press is the press itself.”

No institutions are more image-conscious than big media outlets. The people running them know the crucial importance of spin, and they’ll be damned if they’re going to promote media criticism that undermines their own pretenses.

To reach the broad public, critics of the media establishment need amplification from . . . the media establishment. And that rarely happens unless the critique is shallow.

The exceptions can be valuable. The New York Times publishes articles by a “public editor” — an independent contractor whose “opinions and conclusions are her own” — and the person now in that role, Margaret Sullivan, provides some cogent scrutiny of the newspaper’s coverage.… Read the rest

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Russia Today’s Beast Of Burden: Shoot the Messenger and Obscure The Message

Liz_Wahl_on_RT_AmericaJames Kirchick is just the neutral reporter the Daily Beast would assign to report on the ideological controversy surrounding the Russian backed RT-TV Channel’s coverage of the crisis in the Ukraine.

The Beast lives up to its name by sending a hardcore polemical ideologue to uncover what he predictably labels as ideological media bias.

Kirchick is a veteran of the anti-communist wars, now revived as the anti Putin wars, not some neutral journo crusading for democracy.

According to Wikipedia, he is a fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington,  prior to this he was writer-at-large for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. He is a graduate of the New Republic, Murdoch’s Weekly Standard and writes for Azure, a magazine that described itself as pro-Zionist and free market.

Ok, just so we know who are dealing with here.

And now, to bolster his “credibility” he presents himself as a victim in his latest article that exposes himself, far more than his target, asserting that his rights as a journalist were somehow compromised because of a gutsy quest for truth.… Read the rest

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Mess With Glenn Greenwald At Your Own Risk

Glenn_greenwald_portrait_transparentClearly, there’s an officially sanctioned, if not supported, backlash underway to cast doubt on the those who are disseminating the information that Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers are exposing to the global public.

What better way to respond to the evidence of government overreach and criminality in the spying by the NSA and other agencies than to try to change the subject by smearing the people who are funding the reporting on it to us.

This latest round of the media battle should not be surprising. In fact, it’s all too predictable.

In the latest round, lawyer and journalist Glenn Greenwald, the point person/interpreter for the majority of the Snowden disclosures, came under attack by indirection with a high profile smear on Pierre Omidyar, the eBay billionaire funding his new venture, First Look Media.

Leading the charge publicly is one MarkAmes, who writes for Pando Daily, a rival news agency funded by another Silicon Valley tech moneyman.… Read the rest

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