This post summarizes some of the problems with the media and is meant to be a basic introductory post to how left-wing (mainstream/normal/non-conspiracy-based) media operates in America. Notice, in particular, how media makes GOP seem nicer than they are, sometimes just by ignoring hard facts that involve death (which would obviously cast a negative impression on the GOP) (Stockholm syndrome?)...
Media keep calling the GOP's corporate tax bill a "win" for Trump The extraordinarily unpopular bill is built on lies and ignores what we know about economics
President Donald Trump and his Republican congressional allies are enjoying a round of praise from media commentators for finally getting a legislative “win” on the board as their tax bill closes in on passage before the end of the year. The budget-busting corporate giveaway will enrich the superwealthy and do little for Americans who have to work for a living.
Republicans finally unveiled the finished version of their tax legislation last Friday evening, and -- despite the public having just days to absorb its 1,097 pages -- both chambers of Congress plan to vote on the bill before the end of the week. If everything goes according to plan, the president will sign the bill into law just in time for members to head home for the holidays.
After a year plagued by self-destructive outbursts, failed policy changes, unprecedented legal troubles, embarrassing scandals, humiliating legislative defeats, and nationwide political upheaval, many in the press are framing the GOP tax proposal as a crucial “win” for Trump and his party.
What this is..., well, what I call this is "
kissing the asses of their GOP masters". The actual truth may be more or less (maybe stockholms syndrome?), in any case, helping the GOP by covering up for their past lies (that
Jon Stewart said should be set afloat on an ice flow for their Iraq War lies), is what the media does from time to time like with the following example of avoiding harsh stuff during election season (helps the GOP with winning, not like they need help);The Present: Iraq war lies ignored in Republican campaign coverage - Rachel Maddow sets the record straight on the deliberate lies told to support the decision to go to war in Iraq, and talks with Dan Rather of AXS TV about how political coverage of "the Iraq question" is allowing Republican candidates to re-write history.
6 key mistakes media made in covering the health care debate
In the wee hours of the morning of July 28, Democrats, activists, and three Republican senators just barely thwarted the GOP’s attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Ever since President Donald Trump pledged to make repealing the ACA one of his first priorities as president -- and Republicans retreated to secrecy to take health care away from tens of millions of people -- media have continuously made six key mistakes in their health care coverage.
Ignoring diversity and intersectionality
Focusing on process over consequences
Letting the GOP off the hook for sabotage efforts
Not challenging Republicans
Pushing unworkable solutions
Ignoring the debate all together
5 Worst Media Moments Last Week From rehabilitating W’s image to overlooking white supremacist violence in Florida, here were the media’s worst moments last week.1. Media eats up George W. Bush’s latest PR tour.2. New York Times defends its long track record of backing wars by insisting it has “raised many questions” about wars it supported.3. Critics mock Rachel Maddow’s Niger conspiracy theory.4. New York Times says US “stood by” during mass killing It actively helped organize.5. Cable news shockingly silent on neo-Nazi terror attack. Or not so shocking if you consider how casually racist our media usually is. Media Matters found that of the three major cable networks, only MSNBC covered the recent arrest of three of Spencer’s neo-Nazi supporters--Tyler Tenbrink, William Fears, and Colton Fears, who were arrested for attempted murder after firing a shot at a group of protesters in Florida. Both CNN and Fox News ignored the story entirely and MSNBC’s coverage only lasted for 1 minute and 57 seconds.
Read details here.
I've actually seen many guests on cable news white wash history with Trump, for example, ignoring all the Iraq War lies and acting like this is the first President to play with nukes (
Bush helped Iran - undercover & illegal operations have been a GOP hallmark for years - and
encouraged the nuclear breakthrough of the North Koreans). In fact, Trump ENTIRE political pitch (picking on North Korea 7 Iran with incendiary rhetoric) is LITERALLY the completion of George Bush's "Axis of Evil' speech where Bush, like Trump today, is after both Iran & North Korea. This trend of pretending there was no treason before Trump (a tactic for Pence to replace him?) is seen in this piece;
NYT Trumpwashes 70 Years of U.S. Crimes Trump washing presents Donald Trump as an aberration.
The New York Times reports that Donald Trump “holds a radically different view of the United States’ role in the world than most of his predecessors,” citing his lack of interest in “the rules-based postwar international order.”
Trumpwashing—defined as whitewashing, obscuring or rewriting the broader US record by presenting Donald Trump as an aberration (FAIR.org, 6/3/16)—was on full display Thursday in a nominally straight news report from the New York Times’ Mark Landler (12/28/17) on how Trump has reshaped US foreign policy. Buried in the otherwise banal analysis was this gem of US imperial agitprop:
Above all, Mr. Trump has transformed the world’s view of the United States from a reliable anchor of the liberal, rules-based international order into something more inward-looking and unpredictable. That is a seminal change from the role the country has played for 70 years, under presidents from both parties, and it has lasting implications for how other countries chart their futures.
There’s lots of ideology to unpack here, but let’s start with the empirically false assertion that the “world” viewed the United States as a “reliable anchor of the liberal, rules-based international order.” Poll (Guardian, 6/15/06) after poll (Pew, 3/14/07) after poll (PRI, 1/3/14) throughout the years has shown that much of the world views the United States as threat to peace, often taking the top spot as the single greatest threat. What evidence Landler has for the world viewing the US as a sort of good-natured global babysitter is unclear, as he cites nothing to support this hugely important claim (since if Trump’s cynical disregard for “human rights” is nothing new, then there’s no real story here). It’s just thrown out with the assumption the Times readership is sufficiently nationalistic and/or amnesiac to either not notice or not care. It’s designed to flatter, not to elucidate.
The US invasion of Iraq in defiance of international rules
CNN's "both sides" problem infects coverage of Trump's anti-Muslim retweets
New Book Exposes Koch Brothers' Guide To Infiltrating The Media
The book examines the influence of several of the country's wealthiest conservative donors, but it pays particular attention to the activities of Charles and David Koch, who have organized their network and spearheaded the group's political efforts. "Few had waged a more relentless or more effective assault on Americans' belief in government," Mayer wrote of the Kochs.
A key element of the Koch brothers' strategy is influencing the media. Through media, they have advanced their political and ideological goals and attacked those who stand in their way. The Koch brothers and their network have paid conservative media figures to promote their message, bankrolled front groups that run aggressive anti-environmental media campaigns, and even created their own right-wing "news" outlets. Meanwhile, they've garnered some favorable mainstream media coverage by tightly controlling reporter access to their summits and other events, while attacking and otherwise intimidating journalists who dare to shine a light on their activities.
Here is how the Koch brothers and their network have infiltrated the media:
Buying A Conservative Media Echo Chamber
Creating Their Own Media Outlets
Funding Front Groups That Run Deceptive Media Campaigns
Tightly Controlling Reporter Access To Their Events And Activities
Intimidating Journalists Who Seek To Uncover Their True Agenda
Links: The conflicts of interest and corporate interests lurking behind op-eds in 2017
Media Matters has documented this year how op-ed pieces that have appeared in newspapers and online publications have frequently failed to inform readers about their authors’ financial conflicts of interest; and when corporate-backed entities have deceived editors and readers with cut-and-paste jobs supposedly by different writers.
Here are seven examples from this year:
GOP leadership touted pro-tax plan op-eds that were deceptive cut-and-paste jobs
Procter & Gamble placed nearly identical pro-tax cut op-eds by supposedly different authors
Media outlets published anti-net neutrality op-eds from telecom-backed groups without disclosing the groups’ financial connections
Outlets across the country ran pro-pipeline op-eds without disclosing the writer’s financial ties to the pipeline industry
The Wash. Post continued to employ a lobbyist as a writer; Media Matters identified over a dozen times they didn't disclose his conflicts of interest
Newt Gingrich used his Fox position to push for-profit colleges without disclosing his conflict of interest
Former Sen. George Allen regularly appeared in the media to defend manufacturers on taxes and regulations without disclosure that he works for them
Gerrymandering is ruining our democracy. Will television news ever care?
Broadcast and cable news’ reluctance to talk about gerrymandering, let alone address the outsized impact it has in state and federal elections, has allowed American democracy to quietly become less representative. As movements build behind redistricting reform, the question remains: Will TV news ever care about gerrymandering?
A yearlong Media Matters study found that cable news shows brought up gerrymandering in only five segments between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017. During that same time period, broadcast morning news programs and nightly newscasts didn’t discuss gerrymandering at all. And this isn’t a new trend; for years, media have shown a reluctance to discuss gerrymandering and redistricting. Given the outsized influence partisan and racial gerrymandering has on American democracy, these issues deserve more coverage.Read details here.
Sunday news shows completely ignore growing Whitefish scandal in Puerto RicoWhitefish, the inexperienced, Montana-based firm that was contracted without a competitive bidding process to restore power in Puerto Rico, was charging “eye-popping” rates. Meanwhile, a month after Maria, 70 percent of Puerto Rico remains without power.
The Sunday news shows on broadcast networks and CNN all completely ignored the growing scandal over the small Montana-based firm Whitefish Energy Holdings that had recieved a $300 million contract from Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) to restore power to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. The contract, which was facing increasing scrutiny, was canceled late Sunday afternoon.
E&E News first reported on Whitefish’s contract with PREPA in stories on October 6 and October 9, revealing that PREPA decided not to take advantage of a mutual aid program among 1,100 electric companies that could have helped to quickly restore power on the island, where about 70 percent of residents still have no electricity. Instead, PREPA awarded a contract to the Montana-based firm, which at the time had only two full-time staffers.
On October 23, The Washington Post reported that Whitefish is based in the hometown of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, that Zinke and Whitefish CEO Andy Techmanski know one another, and that Zinke’s son worked for the company during one summer. Zinke’s office said he had no role in Whitefish securing the contract. BuzzFeed further reported on October 24 that a major donor to President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and the Republican National Committee, Joe Colonnetta, is the head of one of Whitefish’s major funding sources, private equity firm HBC Investments. However, the report noted, “It’s unclear whether Colonnetta, who did not respond to a request for comment, has specific connections to Whitefish, or whether his stake in Whitefish Energy is simply a business investment.”
says it has “significant concerns” with the deal, which was
canceled this afternoon hours after Puerto Rico’s governor urged the utility to cancel the contract. CNN and MSNBC gave the Whitefish story
significant attention this week amid the rise of serious questions and discrepancies that have been flagged. But the Sunday political shows, which are influential in Washington and which can help hold government agencies and lawmakers to account, barely discussed Puerto Rico at all, and they ignored the deal completely.Sunday political talk shows barely cover Hurricane Maria’s devastation of Puerto Rico The entire island is without power, a dam is in danger of bursting, and Sunday political talk shows talked about it for less than a minute Sunday political talk shows completely ignored Trump White House officials' use of private email accounts ABC’s This Week, CBS’ Face the Nation, CNN’s State of the Union, Fox’s Fox News Sunday, and NBC’s Meet the Press all failed to mention Jared Kushner and other Trump officials used private email accounts
On September 25, The New York Times reported that at least six White House advisors, including Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus, had used personal email accounts to conduct official government business. The Times’ story followed a Politico report that Jared Kushner, a senior advisor and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, had used a private email account to conduct correspondence related to White House matters. Even though the story that White House advisors used personal email accounts for official business was reported several days ago, ABC’s This Week, CBS’ Face the Nation, CNN’s State of the Union, Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday, and NBC’s Meet the Press all failed to discuss it during their Sunday morning broadcasts.
As the Times notes, “Officials are supposed to use government emails for their official duties so their conversations are available to the public and those conducting oversight.” According to Politico, the National Security Agency (NSA) had “warned senior White House officials in classified briefings” against the “improper use of personal cellphones and email,” as it “could make them vulnerable to espionage” by foreign entities. By failing to discuss the news of the officials’ use of private accounts, Sunday political talk shows ignored a significant story and failed to inform their audiences of yet another example of the lack of transparency that has been an endemic in the Trump administration. The Sunday shows’ failure to report on officials’ use of personal email accounts is particularly shocking given the media’s obsessive focus on Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time as Secretary of State throughout the 2016 election.
Of all the Sunday shows, only Dana Bash on CNN asked a GOP senator about changes to 401(k) contributions
CNN’s Dana Bash was the only host of a Sunday morning political show to ask a Republican lawmaker or official about a potential tax reform provision that is reportedly being considered that would limit pre-tax 401(k) contributions. Such a move would limit how much money millions of middle class Americans would be able to set aside for retirement.
The New York Times reported that Republicans are considering a proposal to put limits on how much American workers can contribute to their 401(k) accounts before taxes, potentially decreasing caps from $18,000 a year (or $24,000 for workers over 50) to “as low as $2,400.” The Times noted that this move would likely cause “a vocal backlash from middle-class workers who save heavily in such retirement accounts.” As CNBC reported in 2015, over 13 million people have 401(k) retirement plans.
While several Republican lawmakers and officials made the rounds on the Sunday morning political shows to discuss tax reform, Bash was the only host to ask one of them about the 401(k) proposal. In an interview with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on State of the Union, Bash asked what he plans to do if Republicans were to take this path, which, she pointed out, “could mean higher taxes on the middle class.”
2017 was a disastrous year for local news
Local news matters now more than ever -- and it’s also in unprecedented peril.
In the midst of an unparalleled presidential war on the press, people still trust and rely on their local news. This year we’ve watched local journalists contribute invaluable on-the-ground reporting that helps communities and saves lives -- whether it’s about natural disasters, a mass shooting, or a public health crisis -- while adding valuable local context to national stories.
Although the decline of local news certainly did not begin this year, 2017 has dealt the industry some particularly heavy blows. And right-wing corporations are already swooping in to fill the voids that dying local outlets leave behind. As conservative media expert Will Sommer theorized recently, 2018 may become “the year that every media market in the country gets its own Fox News-style voice at the local level.”
If that terrifying prospect comes to pass, it will be directly because of the damage done in 2017.
Sinclair quietly pushed pro-Trump propaganda on local news stations across the country -- and it’s only going to get worse
Billionaire Joe Ricketts bought, then shut down, a conglomerate of hyper-local digital outlets
Local news on the West Coast is rapidly disintegrating, and it hurts Spanish-speaking communities most
Local media newsrooms are downsizing and shutting down across the country, creating local “news deserts”
Read details here.
A compliant press helped bring Alliance Defending Freedom's anti-LGBTQ hate back into the mainstream in 2017 The hate group led the fight against queer and trans equality this year, but many in the press fell for its "free speech" narrative
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) began 2017 by being designated as an anti-LGBTQ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and finished the year arguing before the Supreme Court in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commision. Throughout that time, ADF fervently op