Media

Debunking Popular Clichés About Modern Warfare

May 23, 2016

“What would a war between Russia and the USA look like?” This must be the question which I am most frequently asked. This is also the question to which I hear the most outlandish and ill-informed responses to. I have addressed this question in the past and those interested in this topic can consult the following articles: Remembering the important lessons of the Cold War Making sense of Obama’s billion dollar hammer Read

Neal Gabler – Why Hating the Media Could Make the Difference in November

May 23, 2016

As the political pundits keep reminding us, this might be called the “hate” election. Both major parties’ presumptive nominees, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, have historically high net unfavorable ratings – so high that voters are said to be casting their ballots against a candidate rather than in favor of one. The question seems to be: Whom do you hate less? The question seems to be: Who do you hate less? So Trump’s and Clinton’s ratings are the equivalent of, say, the batting averages during a baseball season in which no one is hitting very well. Americans are just in a very surly, unreceptive mood. They hate everybody. The second flaw is that the candidates’ unfavorability ratings set up yet another false equivalency: that Trump and Clinton have somehow earned their enmity in equal measure – Trump for his racist, sexist, bullying remarks, his endless prevarications and his general depreciation of the entire political process, and Clinton for… well, Clinton, apparently, for having used a private email server for communications that only later were classified. See? They’re two peas in a pod. But within this very angry electorate is another hate boiling, and it may very well alter the course

Cable Customers Beware: This Mega-Merger Just Created a ‘Price-Gouging’ Monster

May 19, 2016

The maligned merger between Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks is complete, which means the three companies have now become the country’s second-largest cable provider, despite months of warnings from consumer and open internet advocates who assailed it as the creation of a ‘price-gouging’ monster. Charter ultimately paid $55 million to purchase Time Warner Cable and $10.4 billion for Bright House Networks. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) approved the acquisition earlier this month with several caveats—including a ban on data caps and TV exclusivity deals that would harm competition—but opponents warn that the deal is still bad news. “[T]here is some solace that, if rigorously enforced, these conditions should eliminate the more egregious harms this merger could cause while creating a baseline for acceptable industry behavior,” Public Knowledge senior staff attorney John Bergmayer said at the time. Read

Emily Bell – Edward Snowden: The Media Isn’t Doing Its Job

May 13, 2016

The Tow Center for Digital Journalism’s Emily Bell spoke to Edward Snowden over a secure channel about his experiences working with journalists and his perspective on the shifting media world. This is an excerpt of that conversation, conducted in December 2015. It will appear in a forthcoming book: Journalism After Snowden: The Future of the Free Press in the Surveillance State, which will be released by Columbia University Press in 2016. mily Bell: Can you tell us about your interactions with journalists and the press? Edward Snowden: One of the most challenging things about the changing nature of the public’s relationship to media and the government’s relationship to media is that media has never been stronger than it is now. At the same time, the press is less willing to use that sort of power and influence because of its increasing commercialization. There was this tradition that the media culture we had inherited from early broadcasts was intended to be a public service. Increasingly we’ve lost that, not simply in fact, but in ideal, particularly due to the 24-hour news cycle. We see this routinely even at organizations like The New York Times. The Intercept recently published The Drone Papers, which was an extraordinary

Jefferey Jaxen – Harvard Mumps Outbreak: The Real Story Mainstream Media Won’t Tell You

May 9, 2016

Harvard University Health Services Director Paul Barreira recently stated: “I’m actually more concerned now than I was during any time of the outbreak.” Harvard isn’t the only college in the Boston area hit by mumps this spring — Boston University, the University of Massachusetts and Tufts University have also reported cases among their students. Harvard’s recent mumps outbreak has brought all the usual media suspects [2] to the forefront attempting to sweep any discussion of dangerous and ineffective vaccines under the table. NBC news is [3] calling for more people to get mumps vaccines who are attending Boston area colleges by writing: Read

Manfred Weidhorn – The Future Does Not Exist—Yet

May 5, 2016

Periodically the US government, or the West in general, faces a perceived threat to peace and security: From Germany in 1938, Russia in 1956 or 1968 or 2014, Iraq in 1991 or 2002, Syria in 2013, and ISIS in 2014. The consequent dilemma over what to do predictably produces two camps. One side says, Act and punish the bad men, and the other side says that military force rarely results in a positive outcome. The first group cites all the evil consequences of inaction, while the other cites, with equal assurance, the unintended consequences of acting with good intentions. What they have in common is selectivity with the facts and with projected outcomes, as well as willful obliviousness to the other side’s baleful predictions. But the biggest trait they share is ignorance of the future. The one immutable fact humanity can be sure of (besides death) is that no one knows the future. We are only dimly aware of that reality because in everyday life we suppress it. Did we not do so, our lives would be paralyzed, as we continually have to make decisions based on faith in cause and effect relationships: We stop at the supermarket on the way

Mark Taliano – Media Disinformation and America’s Wars: Liars Versus Truthers. The “Progressive Left” Has Been Coopted

April 30, 2016

Well-documented facts pertaining to the 9/11 wars, all supported by sustainable evidence, have barely made inroads into the collective consciousness of Western media consumers. The War on Syria is no exception.  Despite the presence of five years of sustainable evidence that contradicts the Western narratives, people still believe the “official” lies. The consensus of ignorance is sustained by what Michel Chossudovsky describes as an “American Inquisition”. Beneath the protection of this psychological operation, the engineered enemy is Islam, and the Global War On Terrorism (GWOT) has become a brand to disguise imperial wars of aggression as “humanitarian”. Thus, huge sums of public monies are diverted from worthwhile, domestic projects such as healthcare schools and roads, to support a criminal Project for a New American Century (PNAC) that is globalizing death, poverty, and destruction as the U.S led empire tries to impose a  unilateral model of control over the world. Read

Sophie Janicke – How Positive Media Can Make Us Better People

April 27, 2016

Deadpool is the highest-grossing film in the United States so far this year—and one of the most controversial. Though the film has scored points with critics and audiences for its irreverent take on the superhero genre, its extreme gore has raised some familiar questions and objections about the role of violence in films.  But look at the highest-grossing film of 2016 internationally, and you’ll find a different type of movie: Zootopia, a family-friendly animated film that has been praised for its positive messages about the harm of stereotypes and prejudice.  How does consuming these different types of films impact us as individuals and as a society? For a long time, media researchers focused almost entirely on the harmful effects of media, including the effects of media violence on aggression, the media’s role in increasing racial and gender stereotypes, and its potential to shape people’s perception of the world as a dangerous place. Indeed, since the dawn of talking movies in the 1930s, debates have raged about the potential anti-social effects of media.

Stanton Peele – While Tests Are Still Pending, It Is Possible to Draw Some Conclusions About Prince’s Drug Issues

April 26, 2016

When a famous person dies mysteriously and prematurely these days [6], we are instantly led to consider their drug use as cause of death. Prince, the multitalented musician and entertainer, who was found dead [7] at his estate outside Minneapolis last week, is a prime candidate for such speculation. We need to withhold judgment until toxicology and other autopsy data are made public, of course. But current reports suggesting that drugs played a major role in his death, and how they did so, speak to a much wider point: Americans’ lack of skill at drug use. It is unusual for a 57-year-old to die instantly, from no visible cause. Sometimes heart attacks act this way. But Prince didn’t appear to suffer a heart attack, he wasn’t known to suffer from heart disease, and he didn’t display such risk factors as smoking, obesity and lack of physical activity. But the outward signs of his death are consistent with drug poisoning, or the combined effects of various narcotic and depressant drugs. (The New York City Medical Examiner’s Office finds multiple drug use present in 97% of drug-related deaths.) Read

James DiEugenio – How CBS News Aided the JFK Cover-up

April 25, 2016

In the mid-1960s, amid growing skepticism about the Warren Commission’s lone-gunman findings on John F. Kennedy’s assassination, there was a struggle inside CBS News about whether to allow the critics a fair public hearing at the then-dominant news network. Some CBS producers pushed for a debate between believers and doubters and one even submitted a proposal to put the Warren Report “on trial,” according to internal CBS documents. But CBS executives, who were staunch supporters of the Warren findings and had personal ties to some commission members, spiked those plans and instead insisted on presenting a defense of the lone-gunman theory while dismissing doubts as baseless conspiracy theories, the documents show. Read
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