Tag Archives | Media

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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On Self-Consciousness And Revolution

typeGlimpses from a fascinating interview which the New Statesman conducted with Adam Curtis on the state of our culture:

When everyone is self-conscious you are stuck in your place, because you’re always aware of everything, and you will never make the big leap like falling in love or creating a revolution or doing anything really radical because you are so aware of yourself…we think we are somewhere radical but actually we are deeply, deeply, deeply conservative at the moment. And what has a veneer of radicalism is actually possibly the most conservative force at the moment. By that I mean radical culture…[is] stuck with a nostalgia for a radicalism of the past and that’s not the radicalism that’s necessary.”

I have a theory that people might get fed up with computers, quite simply. I think the interesting thing about the Edward Snowden case is it makes you realise how much the cloud thing on the Internet is a surveillance system.

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I Experienced Complete and Utter Harmonization of the Third Eyeball With Author and Disinfonaut, Gabriel D. Roberts.

Author, fellow Disinfonaut and great beard-haver, Gabriel D. Roberts.

Author, fellow Disinfonaut and great beard-haver, Gabriel D. Roberts.

An exerpt from my interview with Author, fellow Disinfonaut and amazing beard-haver, Gabriel D. Roberts:

“… Let’s be honest, there’s a lot to hate, especially from fundamentalist perspectives… It’s hard to break out of it and once you do, you violently oppose it because you recognize that you were under a spell… I didn’t know what to do and I didn’t know where to go and directly from there, I went into a drug binge in which I was trying to bury my feelings… But, what I’ve found is whatever you want to call ‘God’ it’s much bigger than the things that are in these little books…”

You know those beautiful and rare occasions where you speak to someone for the first time and find that your personal philosophies seem to line up almost completely?  For me, Author and fellow Disinformation contributor Gabriel D.Read the rest

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CNN’s Don Lemon Asks Whether Malaysian Flight 370 May Have Disappeared Into An Inter-Dimensional Wormhole

With conventional, rational methods of investigation still coming up short, is it time to consider the paranormal in regards to the baffling disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370? A few days ago anchor Don Lemon queried a CNN panel of experts as to whether a black hole (by which he presumably meant a wormhole) may be the only explanation crazy enough to somehow make sense. Via Mediaite:

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Actual Jubilation in Crimea vs. Orchestrated Celebration in Iraq: Can You Spot the Difference?

via chycho

iraq_SQ4_thumb

I. Actual Jubilation in Crimea

The first three videos embedded below are coverage of the celebrations in Crimea regarding the referendum to join Russia. The first is news and footage from western mainstream media sources and the next two contain raw footage provided by RT, the Russian-based television network.

I thought it was prudent to supply the news from the western sources so there would be no doubt as to the authenticity of the footage, just in case anyone thought that the jubilation in Crimea and Russia were orchestrated. We can now move onto Iraq, since there is nothing more to say about Ukraine and Crimea that hasn’t already been said HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Russia Won Crimea Vote – Celebrates Victory over Joining Russia

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Is Shane Smith the next Rupert Murdoch?

Shane-SmithDoes VICE have any semblance of cool left now that it is owned in part by News Corp. and top consultant Tom Freston (once of Viacom); has a TV series on HBO; bought a corporate branding company (Carrot Creative); etc., etc.? BBC News seems to think that VICE’s head hipster Shane Smith is well on the way to becoming the next Rupert Murdoch, scary as that may sound:

Shane Smith looks like the type of man who enjoys getting into fights in rough bars.

With his beard and tattoos, the big bear of a 44-year-old Canadian can appear rather intimidating. You wouldn’t want to spill his pint.

Looks can be deceptive, however, as through brains rather than brawn Mr Smith has built up a personal fortune of $400m (£240m).

The founder and boss of New York-based Vice Media, he could very well be the next Rupert Murdoch, such is his ambition for global domination.

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Matt Taibbi Talks New Digital Magazine; ‘Toothlessness’ of Modern Media

PIC: Tony (CC)

PIC: Tony (CC)

In my opinion, Matt Taibbi has been one of the most compelling and informative journalists on the politics and culture beat for the better part of a decade. Taibbi sat down with The New Yorker magazine to talk about his new digital magazine, putting the personal touch in reporting and the public’s lack of confidence in mainstream media. It’s a rather short piece, but if you’re a Taibbi fan like me then you’ll probably enjoy it. Here’s a snippet.

Via The New Yorker:

…none of Taibbi’s anger at the “toothlessness” of the media has dissipated. “I think it’s a lost art in this country—developing that narrative voice where readers connect with you as a human being,” he says, harpooning a stray piece of scrambled egg. “They want to see how you react individually to things. And if you think something is outrageous, and you write about it in a tone without outrage, then that’s just deception, you know?”

Taibbi says his decision to leave Rolling Stone was predicated in part on the need to make a change and “keep from falling into a pattern,” and partly by his desire to “be on Glenn’s side.” Glenn being Glenn Greenwald, who, along with Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill, is currently editing another First Look property, the national-security-centric The Intercept, which has been live since February.

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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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Regarding Liz Wahl and Abby Martin, Just a Reminder That Phil Donahue Was Crucified Twice in America for Opposing War with Iraq

Pic: Alan Light (CC)

Pic: Alan Light (CC)

via chycho

With all the coverage of Liz Wahl’s resignation from RT and Abby Martin’s comments (2 ) on why she condemned Russia’s actions in Crimea, thought I would just remind everyone that Phil Donahue, “an American media personality, writer, and film producer best known as the creator and host of The Phil Donahue Show”, a show that had a “29-year run on national television in America”, a person who was “ranked #42 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time”. a person that Oprah Winfrey credits for giving birth to her show, stating that “if it weren’t for Phil Donahue, there never would have been an Oprah Show!”, was fired from MSNBC for opposing the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, “even though his show was a highly rated one on the network.”

I believe Chris Hedges put it best in an article entitled, “The Day That TV News Died”:

“I am not sure exactly when the death of television news took place.

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McGruff Crime Dog Actor Busted For Drugs, Guns

Pic: USMC (CC)

Pic: USMC (CC)

Imagine a story reporting the death of Ronald McDonald by a Big Mac-induced myocardial infarction, (known commonly as a “Big Mac Attack”).

VIA First Coast News

John Russell Morales, 41, an actor who once played the crime-fighting cartoon bloodhound, has been sentenced to nearly two decades behind bars after pleading guilty to possessing 1,000 marijuana plants and a cache of nearly 30 weapons — including a grenade launcher and thousands of ammunition rounds.

Morales was arrested in 2011 after Galveston, Texas, police and drug-sniffing dogs — real dogs, that is — stopped him for speeding, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Kusin, who later prosecuted the case.

Authorities discovered diagrams of two indoor pot-growing operations and an abundance of marijuana seeds in Morales’ Infinity, according to the Houston Chronicle newspaper.

Keep reading.

 

 

 … Read the rest

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