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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


Another progressive talker falls victim to the rightwing corporate stranglehold of our public airwaves...
By Brad Friedman on 3/13/2009 8:25pm PT  

The Peter B. Collins Show will come to an end, as of next Friday, according to an announcement by Collins on today's broadcast. After nearly five years on the air, the economic climate, and the stranglehold of rightwing corporate control over the public's airwaves has made it impossible for him to continue.

We've been a regular weekly guest, as well as an occasional fill-in host, for Peter since not long after he first began broadcasting his syndicated show, first heard on Monterey, California's KRXA 540am and, until next Friday, on stations in San Francisco, Eureka, CA, Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, Missoula, MT and on the Internet. His call to us earlier today with the news, a few hours prior to our weekly scheduled appearance during the final hour each Friday, was heartbreaking, but hardly surprising in today's climate for nearly everyone but the vast majority of rightwing whackjob radio hosts propped up by rightwing corporate interests.

After a quick segment, during our appearance on today's show, discussing a number of this week's developments in elections issues, we turned to the matter of his leaving the air, and our belief that the playing field is indisputably rigged against non-rightwing talk radio. It's not a matter of "Progressive Talk" having failed in America, it's a matter of progressives, to this day, not having been given a level playing field on which to compete. Period.

See the bottom of this article for the audio of today's hour, including Peter's announcement (and his very kind "emphatic endorsement" of us to take over the still-available 3p-6p PT daily timeslot on San Francisco's Green 960.)

As our friend and progressive talker Thom Hartmann pointed out on his show this morning, Stephanie Miller, another friend and progressive radio host, noted that she's syndicated on some 60 affiliates from 9 to Noon ET each weekday, while rightwing whack-job Laura Ingraham is on some 300 stations during that same time slot. Yet, Hartmann noted, Miller beats Ingraham in almost every single market where they air at the same time. Does that sound like fair competition, or that "Progressive Talk" has failed? We haven't failed, corporate America, however, has failed you.

More details on all of that, in the audio of today's hour posted below. It should also be noted, by the way, that PBC mentioned he'd be open to the idea of an angel from heaven dropping in to help meet his $5000 monthly nut. If someone could do so, a long shot we both realize, then one of the nation's most intelligent, informative, insightful, entertaining and important progressive voices would likely be able to stay on the public airwaves, where he belongs...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




The Most Important Conversation on Business News Journalism You'll Likely Ever See...
By Brad Friedman on 3/13/2009 2:23pm PT  

This was the most remarkable, and enlightening conversation I've seen on television in lord knows how long. Probably since Stewart's last landmark take-down of corporate broadcast media failure in 2004. The conversation here with CNBC's Jim Cramer --- unprecedented over three segments of last night's The Daily Show --- was simply remarkable.

Please take the time to watch this in full, and wonder again why it is that it's a "comic" on a satirical news show who has become America's most out-spoken, most articulate leader on these crucial issues of survival for our nation...

My take-way, though it was never spoken to directly, is that business news and business journalism --- right now more than ever --- must be about real reporting, and real accountability on behalf of the people, as opposed to simply cheerleading on behalf of the business community, as it has been for so long now

Stewart is also owed a great thanks here, in that I believe this may be (or should be) a landmark moment in discussion of this issue. Just as his remarkable October 2004 take-down of Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala on CNN's Crossfire (taken out of our misery shortly thereafter), essentially for the same reason --- using valuable broadcast time to perpetuate blood-sport and/or cheerleading, instead of actual news reporting in the public's interest --- I hope his no-holds-barred conversation with Cramer will lead to a similar re-thinking of the role of broadcast business journalism.

* * *

Stewart's similarly stunning October 15th, 2004 appearance on CNN's Crossfire is re-posted below for your convenience, the video, and highlights from the text transcript were originally posted here...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




By Brad Friedman on 3/1/2009 5:05pm PT  

You, yes you, can put us on the air, three hours a day, five days a week, originating out of San Francisco's great Green960 (KKGN)!

All you have to do is vote for us right here!

They're adding a new show in the 4p-7p PT slot, and we'd be delighted to do what we do here every day --- take names, kick asses, make you laugh, report what nobody else does and much more! --- on the worldwide airwaves every day Monday through Friday!

I'm told by a little birdie that, in this election, "stacking the deck" is encouraged. Seriously, I'm told you guys can make it happen, if you're loud enough,. So do what ya gotta do! Go vote now! Spread the word. Then go vote again!




By Brad Friedman on 2/25/2009 10:02am PT  

Sounds about right to us...

Journalists, so concerned with being accused of having a liberal agenda, will at times overreact by self-censoring themselves, resulting in more favorable coverage of Republicans, a new analysis of television coverage finds.

A book by two Indiana University professors details their study of the three broadcast networks' --- ABC, CBS and NBC --- presidential campaign coverage from 1992 to 2004. According to the analysis, the coverage favored Republican candidates in each election.

"We don't think this is journalists conspiring to favor Republicans. We think they're just so beat up and tired of being accused of a liberal bias that they unknowingly give Republicans the benefit in coverage," said Maria Elizabeth Grabe, an associate professor at IU, who along with Associate Professor Erik Bucy, wrote Image Bite Politics: News and the Visual Framing of Elections.
...
"Grabe and Bucy found the volume of news coverage focusing exclusively on each party --- one measure of media bias --- favored Republicans. Their research found there were more single-party stories about Republicans overall and in each election year except 1992," reads the release.
...
The authors found that Republicans were more likely to get the last word in every presidential election studied but the 2004 election.




By Brad Friedman on 2/1/2009 2:46pm PT  

The previous media excuse, during the last administration, for so many more Rs than Ds on television news, was that Republicans were in power of both the White House and Congress. Of course, now that Democrats control both, well, as ThinkProgress detailed last week the more things change...


As Media Matters has documented, during the Bush administration, the media consistently allowed conservatives to dominate their shows, booking them as guests far more often than progressives. The rationale was that Republicans were “in power.”

It appears that old habits die hard. Even though President Obama and his team are in control of the executive branch and Democrats are in the majority in Congress, the cable networks are still turning more often to Republicans and allowing them to set the agenda on major issues, most recently on the debate over the economic recovery package.
...
The media have been aiding their efforts. In a new analysis, ThinkProgress has found that the five cable news networks — CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Fox Business and CNBC — have hosted more Republican lawmakers to discuss the plan than Democrats by a 2 to 1 ratio this week:
...
In total, from 6 AM on Monday to 4 PM on Wednesday, the networks have hosted Republican lawmakers 51 times and Democratic lawmakers only 24 times.

All of that said, and with so much more irrefutable, hard data-be-damned to go with it, I've found, when out and about in the world, the "Myth of the Liberal Media" remains, to this day, among the most enduring of all unshakable, faith-based religious tenets of the Hopelessly Wingnutted Dead-Enders.

UPDATE: In related news, Eric Boehlert notices how "Right on cue, the White House press awakens from its Bush slumber," just in time for another Democrat in the Oval Office. Who could have predicted it?




Two Segments, Four Guests, All Republicans...
By Brad Jacobson on 1/29/2009 3:03pm PT  

Guest blogged by Brad Jacobson of MediaBloodhound

If you're Chris Matthews and you're attempting to regain a reputation for being "fair and balanced" after famously exhibiting excitement about Barack Obama and his presidential campaign, what do you do? How about facilitating a discussion about Obama's proposed stimulus plan with two lawmakers from the same party, the Republican Party?

That's precisely what Matthews did during a segment on his January 27 edition of Hardball, inviting only Senator John Ensign (R-Nevada) and Representative Mike Pence, the House Republican Conference Chair, to discuss the plan.


Not enough?...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




Endowment would save struggling papers from need to meet profit goals, while promoting journalistic independence, argue financial analyst authors...
By Brad Friedman on 1/28/2009 1:09pm PT  

In light of mainstream newspapers beginning to collapse around the country --- yes, the rise of the Internet is a substantial reason for the troubles they face, but their own failures, for so many long years, to meet their Constitutionally protected role as Fourth Estate watchdogs for the American people is also key to their downfall --- we're faced with a dilemma.

While they are, in many ways, responsible for their own potential/pending demise --- evidence for that critique littered throughout thousands of our very own pages here --- we also recognize the critical importance of a robust, well-funded, mainstream free press.

So what to do? In an op-ed in today's New York Times, David Swensen and Michael Schmidt (both financial analysts) suggest the nation's mainstream newspapers should go non-profit and be turned into endowed institutions "like colleges and universities" to "enhance newspapers’ autonomy while shielding them from the economic forces that are now tearing them down."

We don't yet have an opinion on this new idea, so we share it here in hopes of your thoughts on it. One point, however, in Swensen and Schimdt's argument is particularly tantalizing: the "journalistic independence" they contend we might see in such an overhaul of our nation's old media...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




By Brad Friedman on 1/23/2009 1:07pm PT  

Politico offers more filth than we can possibly shake our stick at...

"How can you spend hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives?" Boehner asked. "How does that stimulate the economy?"

Boehner said congressional Republicans are also concerned about the size of the package.

Later in the article, Reid discusses what will be "pumped into the economy" and Pelosi notes "the package...could become even larger."

We'd say it's just us, and our own juvenile mind, but Colbert noticed a similar pattern himself in yesterday's news coverage of the private second swearing in of President Obama...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




Or, The Return of Fairness...
By Brad Friedman on 1/21/2009 1:47pm PT  

Promises on the campaign trail are one thing, as are position statements posted on one's campaign website. But positions posted at Whitehouse.gov by a President are quite another and raise the bar, as far as I'm concerned, in regard to holding feet to the fire for any particular promise, statement, or posted position.

Thus, while perusing President Barack Obama's new White House website last night, there was much I found of interest. There was a bit, here and there, on issues of Election Reform --- particularly of note to this site, of course --- which I'm sure I'll get to in a bit. But, for the moment, this comment from the "Technology" page caught my eye, as posted in the section titled "Ensure the Full and Free Exchange of Ideas through an Open Internet and Diverse Media Outlets" [italics mine]...

Encourage Diversity in Media Ownership: Encourage diversity in the ownership of broadcast media, promote the development of new media outlets for expression of diverse viewpoints, and clarify the public interest obligations of broadcasters who occupy the nation's spectrum.

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




By Brad Jacobson on 1/8/2009 2:49pm PT  

Guest blogged by Brad Jacobson of MediaBloodhound

During Monday's State Department press briefing, Associated Press State Department Correspondent Matthew Lee posed the most pointed question about the conflict in Gaza and the Bush administration's position: "What’s wrong with an immediate cease-fire that doesn’t have to be sustainable and durable if, during the pause that you get from an immediate cease-fire, something longer-term can be negotiated?" Lee didn't tread lightly either when Deputy Secretary of State Sean McCormack failed to provide a sufficient answer and continued to challenge McCormack on the same point in Tuesday's press briefing.

Yet a funny thing happened on the way to print: the substance of these exchanges never made it into Lee's corresponding articles...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




If something happens in Washington and no one reports it, does it actually happen?
By Jill C. on 12/18/2008 4:08am PT  

Guest blogged by Jill C. of Brilliant at Breakfast

As much as we'd like to believe that more Americans are getting their news from blogs, the reality is that print media --- news magazines and newspapers; and television news broadcasts are where most people get their information. With the news publishing industry being right up there with the auto industry in terms of being on the ropes, those with the loudest voices are the ones who will control the agenda. In this age of cost-cutting, newspapers are cutting their Washington bureaus, as the New York Times reports:

The times may be news-rich, but newspapers are cash-poor, facing their direst financial straits since the Depression. Racing to cut costs as they lose revenue, most have decided that their future lies in local news, not national or international events. That has put a bull’s-eye on expensive Washington bureaus.

[snip]

Most papers, even those in big cities, have wagered their survival on local news, printing far fewer reports from Washington, Beijing or Baghdad, and relying more on news agencies for those articles. A survey of newspaper editors released in July by the Pew Research Center found that 57 percent said they published less national news than they did three years earlier, while 62 percent said they printed more community-level news.

Just what Americans need --- an excuse to be even more narrowly-focused and provincial than we are.

The problem with the decline in Washington news bureaus is that it gives even more clout to the Washington pundit corps that even as the economy continues to collapse, even as GM and Chrysler close factories and talk merger while Washington fiddles, even as the upcoming Alt-A mortgage adjustments loom ahead of us in March, even as Iraq threatens to explode again, Greece erupts in unrest, and the Bushistas continue to steal as much of the Treasury as they can on the way out the door, has decided to party like it's 1993. They smell blood in the Blagojevic waters and if there is less actual news reporting, they control the agenda. This is how we end up with Time Magazine deciding that photos from 1980 of Barack Obama with a doobie constitute news just as worthy of reporting as the fact that the American era is over. Because when the feces hit the fan, the corporations that control the media want to make sure that the mobs with pitchforks and shovels decide their problems are because Barack Obama experimented with drugs in college, not because their public faces gave a criminal Bush administration a free pass for eight years.




UPDATE: NY Times Adds Unique Twist in Censoring Genocidal Numbers
By Brad Jacobson on 12/2/2008 6:33pm PT  

Guest blogged by Brad Jacobson of MediaBloodhound

From the aftermath of the 2003 "shock and awe" bombing campaign all the way through Thanksgiving Day 2008, major US news outlets have nearly uniformly blacked out or downplayed reports of the Iraqi death toll. But a recent Associated Press article reveals the depths to which these outlets are still willing to delve to censor this information.

In the November 27 article "Iraqi Parliament OKs US Troops for 3 More Years," by Christopher Torchia and Qassim Abdul-Zahra, AP editors approved the following characterization of Iraqi deaths suffered since the US invasion:

The war has claimed more than 4,200 American lives and killed a far greater, untold number of Iraqis, consumed huge reserves of money and resources and eroded the global stature of the United States, even among its closest allies.

How's that for a statistically rigorous accounting? With the exactitude of a third-grader's book report cribbed from a novel's dust jacket copy, the AP --- America's #1 wire news service --- blankets US news outlets with a quantification of Iraqi casualties that would've made Stalin proud.

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




Repeating Misreported Facts on Pre-War Intel Gets Both of Them Off the Hook...
By Brad Friedman on 12/2/2008 10:35am PT  

In truth, the worst of it isn't Rightwing Radio and other such outlets which we expect to be GOP shills. Far more insidious --- as we discussed recently on the Gregory Mantell Show --- is the lazy, enabling, complicit, rightwing slant of actual news outlets, such as AP, WaPo, NYTimes, etc., which are generally believed by the public to be credible, down the middle, unbiased, and legitimate. They aren't. As proven time and again over the last eight years. And they're still at it, even in the waning days of Bush. They're now helping him to prop up a phony legacy as phony as the last eight years of the phony illusions of "success" they helped him invent in the first place.

Greg Sargent elucidates the latest round of corporate mainstream media misreporting which, conveniently, helps both Bush and --- perhaps more to the point --- themselves by justifying their own failure to report the story of the unnecessary War on Iraq accurately, as they did, straight from the jump...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




Milwaukee's Dan Shelley Exposes How 'Conservative' Talkers Create Their Phony Narrative on the Publicly-Owned Airwaves...
By Brad Friedman on 12/1/2008 3:36pm PT  

This article in Milwaukee Magazine was published last week, but I only had the chance to read it today. It was written by Dan Shelley, the former news director/program manager at one of Milwaukee's largest and most powerful radio stations, WTMJ. The article offers a lot of inside skinny on how Rightwing Radio chooses its slanted topics, marches in lockstep with GOP talking points, sets up its "conservative" listeners as victims, and shuts out all but the most artfully selected opposing viewpoints.

Shelley points to the popular Charlie Sykes, who hosts one of the shows he'd produced for years at WTMJ, and some others by way of examples of how the scam works.

"There is no way to win a disagreement with Charlie Sykes," writes Shelley. "Calls from listeners who disagree with him don’t get on the air if the show’s producer, who generally does the screening, fears they might make Charlie look bad. I witnessed several occasions when Sen. Russ Feingold, former Mayor John Norquist, Mayor Tom Barrett or others would call in, but wouldn’t be allowed on the air."

I'll take this moment to mention, yet again, that this is all being done on the publicly owned airwaves, which we grant license to out of the kindness of our public hearts, and which the wingnuts enjoy as public welfare queens to bludgeon Americans into voting against their own self-interest.

There's a reason guys like Hannity, Limbaugh and O'Reilly are so frightened of some form of restoration of the Fairness Doctrine. It's not because it would remove them from the air, as they like to lie about to their listeners, but because it would actually require them to be fair by carrying opposing viewpoints. Ya know, that balance thing you've heard so much about on Fox "News" where they're just kidding about it. If they weren't kidding about it, why would they be so terrified about restoring what Reagan did away with in 1987, which then allowed for the Hannitys, Limbaughs and O'Reillys to go on air, on virtually every single station, in every single market, to freely lie to the public via its own airwaves?...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




By Brad Friedman on 11/30/2008 10:45am PT  

Have been taking a few much-needed down hours over the last few days, as per my notice a few days ago. Has been good, if nothing else, for my wrist (which needs the rest, as noted, and as per doctor's orders). Hope to continue same for a while, though will be jumping in as needed and unavoidable, even as more Guest Bloggers will hopefully be coming aboard in the days ahead.

For your holiday weekend viewing pleasure in the meantime, I taped this show a few weeks ago, for airing on public cable channels in Los Angeles, New York and elsewhere. The topic, incredibly enough: "Is there a liberal bias in the media?" As you can imagine, I had a thought or two on that, as did the other guests who joined me on the panel.

Full show, appx 26 mins, I'm in the first and last, of the three segments...


Note: A week or so later I was invited back to do another episode, this time on election issues, on which I was the only guest. I'll try to get that posted here as well as soon as Gregory makes it available on the Internets.




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