Friday, November 30, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Moment of Truth at Fox News — and I Do Mean 'Moment'

I'm looking across the room right at Thomas Ricks' book "Fiasco," so I could have warned Fox News what was coming. Not that I ever would have.
Oopsy. Interview's suddenly over.
The next day, Fox News lied about receiving an "apology" from Ricks. Naturally.
""What's telling is that Ricks' claim about Fox operating as a wing of the Republican Party barely caused a media stir. While the comments have been widely covered, no one in the press is leaping to defend the channel or criticize Ricks. Even conservative bloggers and pundits haven't really bothered to push back on Ricks' central claim that the top-rated cable 'news' channel works in tandem with a political party," observed media analyst Eric Boehlert.".
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Trapped in a Tube

Saturday, November 24, 2012

'How Ironic,' As They Say in the Comic Books

By Dan Hagen
The national surveillance police state devours its own CIA head, and the Republicans' relentless media propaganda machine helps destroy the GOP's election chances. 
To me, it all echoes the Penn State situation, something I use in journalism ethics class as an example of the benefits of real journalism even to authoritarian organizations that hate it. Because that school effectively controlled and shut down all real independent, honest news coverage, the child sex scandal was never exposed, and was permitted to grow hideously until it blew up the entire organization. You can be so greedy for power that you choke yourself on it. 
"Ironic," the comic books said. And they were right. The villains do fall into their own traps. I never would have believed it.

The Wonder of Worry

My thanks to Zach Yates for heping inspire this post.

Three o'clock in the morning. Time for you to awaken and worry. Don’t rise, don’t shine. Ill met by moonlight. Set for the fashionable hour to fret.
What if you become destitute? What if you never really grow up? What if you get cancer?
What if you, yes, die? Take the dirt nap? Drop off the twig? Join the Choir Invisible? Become no more?
News flash. No need to speculate on that score.
What if you lose your loves? What if you are left alone? What if the changing climate, or a Pentagon-engineered virus, or a nuclear detonation wipes us all out? What about that tedious project that’s due next month? What if you forget to go to the dry cleaners today? What then?
Future indefinite. Retreat to the past, back to the certainties. No escape there, amid the imagined slights and the real recriminations and the failures unforgotten. Open the old wounds, pour a little fresh acid on them. Romp among the unchanging ruins. What fun.
To hell with it. Drink a glass of water, refreshingly elemental, reassuringly here and now. Aphorisms afford some comfort. Worry, the economists say, is a dividend paid to disaster before it’s due. Worry, the artists say, is using your imagination to create something you don’t want.
Zennish, anyone? Center yourself in the only reality there ever is. Breathe, slowly and deeply. Listen to the night sounds, be the night sounds, the wistful train whistles, the stately courthouse bells, the steady muted metronome of the alarm clock.
Travel from the brain where you merely imagine you sit down the spinal column into the evolutionary past, a set of electro-chemical impulses in search of itself, somehow actually aware of itself, there’s the wonder.
And somewhere there, below that awareness, you are, wonder of wonders, somehow there still. Conscious or unconscious, the breaths continue.
So count them. 
In. One. 
Out. Two. 
In. Three. 
Out. Four. 
To be or not to be, you mean a lot to me. Knit one. Purl two. Two pearls. Pearls of wisdom, knitting up that old, raveled sleeve of care. Receive what cheer you may. The night is long that never finds the day.

Friday, November 23, 2012

When Only the Jester Speaks Truth

It says that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, in their passion for and seriousness about real journalism, are far more important and serious journalists than most of those who operate under that title in the corporate media. 
They understand that without open, honest, factual information, we've had it, and their satire makes that point day after day. 
The fact that they must deliver it in the guise of clowns is not a reflection on them, but on the deep corruption of our society, now a land of corporate feudalism in which only the jesters may speak the truth to the king.

Under a Cheever Sky

“The world that was not mine yesterday now lies spread out at my feet, a splendor. I seem, in the middle of the night, to have returned to the world of apples, the orchards of Heaven. Perhaps I should take my problems to a shrink, or perhaps I should enjoy the apples that I have, streaked with color like the evening sky.” 
 John Cheever
A coveted Dan Hagen No-Prize if you spot the pun.

Rush, Rush, Rush

By Driftglass
— Liberals, who already know what a toxic shitbag he is.
Conservative Limbaugh fans, who are no longer capable of being affected by any facts that conflict with their idolatry.
Mainstream media clowns, who will use Limbaugh's comments as a goad to get the black and and red ants fighting on-camera, but don't really give a shit about him past that:  after all, these are the same people who have let Newt Gingrich get away with verbal murder for decades and have never, ever called him on it on the air.
Cringing Centrists, who deal with every critique of people like Rush by whining that "Both sides do it!" and stuffing their ears with old David Brooks columns.
Finance and money people who, like German industrialists in the 1920s and 1930s, find Limbaugh's ability to motivate a crowd much more important than the fact that he is a hatemongering, racist thug.