Wednesday, November 14, 2018

FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting):
"Three cheers for the moderates. Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin (11/7/18) had some familiar-sounding advice for Democrats based on the results of the midterm elections. ... 'Move to the right' is always corporate media’s advice for Democrats—win or lose. But did the 2018 midterms really demonstrate the virtues of moderation?

Well, the worst news for Democrats on Tuesday was the loss of three Senate seats held by incumbent Dems: North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp, Indiana’s Joe Donnelly and Missouri’s Claire McCaskill. As it happens, these are the Democrats who vote second-, third- and fifth-most often in line with Donald Trump’s preferences.

Heitkamp ran an ad bragging that she 'voted over half the time with President Trump.' A Donnelly spot featured Trump saying, 'Sen. Donnelly, thank you very much.'  A McCaskill ad declared that she was 'not one of those crazy Democrats.' They sound pretty 'moderate,' right? Yet they not only lost, they lost big—by 11-, 7- and 6-point margins, respectively."

-->Our mainstream media is always pushing the Democratic Party to the right, so that the corporations will be happy. It turns out that corporate sponsored Democratic candidates don't win elections. When will Hillary come back and save us from the Socialists?

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Common Dreams:
"Israel Denounced for 'Cowardly' Attack After Late-Night Raid and Bombing of Gaza Kills 7 Palestinians. Just hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted—despite the abundance of evidence to the contrary—that he wants to 'avoid' military conflict with the Palestinians, a unit of Israeli soldiers flagrantly violated a ceasefire agreement Sunday night by invading the occupied Gaza Strip and killing at least seven Palestinians before fleeing under the cover of airstrikes.

Six more Palestinians and one Israeli soldier were later killed after a firefight, which prompted the Israeli unit to call in airstrikes for cover to escape. One Palestinian witness said Gaza was slammed with as many as 40 airstrikes in less than an hour as the Israeli team fled the besieged Gaza Strip, which is in the midst of a severe humanitarian crisis due to decades of brutal Israeli occupation.

'Imagine if Palestinians crossed into Israel and killed [seven] Israelis, all hell would break loose but Palestinians are expected to just accept this,' Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, wrote on Twitter."

-->NBCNews is a good example of how our mainstream media obfuscates which side started the attack. Its headline reads: "Hamas threatens to step up attacks as Israel-Gaza border ignites." The NYT headline states "Israelis and Militants Trade Fire" and describes the Israeli assassinations as a "botched intelligence mission."

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Common Dreams:
"As conservative pundits and self-interested corporate Democrats predictably attempted to spin this week's midterm election results as a win for so-called moderates and proof that the Democratic Party should tack to the center, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) dismissed this 'absurd line' in an interview on Thursday and called the incoming crop of newly elected House members 'the most progressive freshman class in the modern history of the United States.'

'Many of these folks are not just women, not just people of color, who campaigned on Medicare for All, raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks, campaigned on making public colleges and universities tuition-free, on undoing Trump's tax breaks for billionaires,' Sanders told Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi in response to one Washington Post columnist's claim that Sanders-style progressives 'scare' voters.

'I think the Washington Post is going to be very surprised at who shows up on the first day of Congress and gets sworn in,' Sanders said. 'The political establishment notwithstanding, the future belongs to progressives.' "

-->The NYT, proving that it is stuck in the rut of corporate sponsored Democratic hacks, didn't even carry this story. Our newspaper of record never prints anything positive about Bernie, or the progressive movement either for that matter.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Common Dreams:
"The United States once again displayed its near total outlier status on Thursday after the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in favor of a symbolic resolution denouncing the 58-year U.S. embargo against Cuba.

Following the trend of how the 193-member body voted over the previous 27 years on the resolution, 189 nations voted (pdf) in favor of the 'Necessity of ending the economic, commercial, and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba' resolution, while just two—the United States and uber ally Israel—voted against it."

-->The NYT doesn't like to portray the US as an outlier when it comes to imposing an economic blockade against Cuba. Israel is doing the same thing to Gaza, so the two countries stand alone against the world. Not a message that the NYT chose to print for its readers. 

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Common Dreams:
"At the tail end of a year full of egregious data mining scandals and privacy violations by corporate giants like Facebook, Google, and Equifax—behavior that went virtually unpunished in the United States—Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced a bill on Thursday that would dramatically strengthen internet privacy protections and hit executives who violate the rules with up to 20 years in prison.

'Today's economy is a giant vacuum for your personal information—everything you read, everywhere you go, everything you buy, and everyone you talk to is sucked up in a corporation's database. But individual Americans know far too little about how their data is collected, how it's used and how it's shared,'  Wyden said in a statement.

'It's time for some sunshine on this shadowy network of information sharing,' the Oregon senator added."

-->Sadly, the NYT kept this bit of sunshine off its pages. It didn't print this story. 

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Common Dreams and The Guardian UK:
"While some of the most famous ultra-rich Americans—such as Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, and the Koch Brothers—have very public profiles and readily disclose where they stand ideologically or on key issues, new research reveals that a cabal of the U.S. billionaires largely operates in the shadows as they use their vast wealth and influence to maintain their status and undermine democracy.

In a piece published by the Guardian on Wednesday, Northwestern University professors Benjamin I. Page, Jason Seawright, and Matthew J. Lacombe lay out the findings of their 'exhaustive, web-based study of everything that the 100 wealthiest U.S. billionaires have said or done, over a 10-year period, concerning several major issues of public policy.'

The trio of researchers found that 'both as individuals and as contributors to Koch-type consortia, most U.S. billionaires have given large amounts money—and many have engaged in intense activity—to advance unpopular, inequality-exacerbating, highly conservative economic policies.' "

-->To the NYT, stories like this are just class warfare, and our newspaper of record did not print this story. All the news that fits the billionaire class. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Guardian UK:
"In a move celebrated by experts and activists who continue to raise alarm about the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance—fueled in part by rampant overuse of medicines in agriculture—the European Parliament on Thursday approved new rules for antibiotic use on healthy farm animals.

'This is a hugely important breakthrough for human and animal health and is by far the more serious attempt that Europe has ever made to achieve responsible antibiotic use in farming,' declared Cóilín Nunan, campaign manager of the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics, a coalition of EU-based medical, health, agricultural, environmental, consumer, and animal welfare groups. ...

MEP Molly Scott Cato, of the U.K., pointed out that the legislation could have broader positive impacts, explaining to the Guardian that it 'will also challenge the factory farming model where animal suffer appalling conditions and are packed together in unhealthy conditions,' because 'without the routine use of antibiotics, farmers will need to adopt better farming practices.' "

-->The pharmaceutical and Big Ag companies depend on the NYT to keep stories like this hidden. This important breakthrough wasn't covered. 

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The Guardian UK:
"Mike Africa Sr has become the second member of the Philadelphia-based group of black radicals known as the Move 9 to be released from prison, more than 40 years after they were arrested for the death of a police officer in one of the most dramatic shootouts of the black liberation era. ...

Mike Africa Sr’s release marks a big step in the struggle of black militants who are still behind bars decades after they were arrested for police killings and other violent acts in the late 1960s and 1970s. ...

Eighteen individuals, including two Move women, Janine Phillips Africa and Janet Hollaway Africa, remain in prison. Many of them insist they are innocent of the charges brought against them. In the case of the Move 9, they were convicted collectively of the death of a police officer, James Ramp, in the 1978 siege of their group home in Philadelphia even though only one shot killed him. Debbie Africa was eight months pregnant at the time."

-->Black liberation activists were framed, and some are still in prison 40 years later. The NYT conveniently spares their readers the shame of such travesties of justice. It didn't print this story.

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Common Dreams:
"During a year in which so much of the world faced deep poverty, the corrosive effects of austerity, and extreme weather caused by the worsening human-caused climate crisis—from devastating hurricanes to deadly wildfires and floods—one class of individuals raked in more money in 2017 than any other year in recorded history: the world's billionaires.

According to the Swiss bank UBS's fifth annual billionaires report published on Friday, billionaires across the globe increased their wealth by $1.4 trillion last year—an astonishing 20 percent—bringing their combined wealth to $8.9 trillion. 'The past 30 years have seen far greater wealth creation than the Gilded Age,' the UBS report notes. ...

Meanwhile, according to a June report by U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights Philip Alston, 18.5 million Americans live in extreme poverty and '5.3 million live in Third World conditions of absolute poverty.' "

-->OK, the NYT has done articles about the disparity of wealth in the US. But our newspaper of record prefers not to rub their wealthy readers' noses in it too much. It didn't cover this story.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The NYT:
"Israeli Forces Kill 7 Palestinians in Gaza Boarder Clashes." reads the NYT headline. But was it a "boarder clash," or Israeli snipers shooting unarmed protesters? Who to ask? 

The NYT reporter, Isabel Kershner, quotes seven Israeli sources for the article, and one from Hamas. Nice balance of reporting from our newspaper of record. Kershner herself has some interesting opinions as well. She blames the Palestinian Authority for the economic sanctions on Gaza, not the Israeli state. And she blames Hamas for thwarting a UN cease-fire by flying "incendiary balloons."

This is sickening reporting by one of the most blatant defenders of Israel on the NYT staff. With deep ties to the Israeli military, Kershner can be counted on to take the Israeli side no matter what the atrocity committed against the Palestinians. The question remains, how is it that the NYT allows itself to be a vehicle of apartheid Israel's propaganda?

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Common Dreams:
"With progressives still mobilized and angrier than ever following Judge Brett Kavanaugh's successful confirmation to the Supreme Court amid credible sexual assault allegations, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) provided further cause for fury—and added to already deafening calls for new leadership in the Democratic Party—by cutting a deal behind closed doors with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) late Thursday to fast-track 15 more of Trump's right-wing judges to lifetime federal court positions.

'Make no mistake, today was yet another step in the GOP's takeover of our courts, stacking the deck against women and families at every level. Immediately following Kavanaugh's confirmation and all of the energy and despair around it, this deal is especially painful,' NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue said in a statement.

'Through this deal,' Hogue continued, 'Democrats allowed Mitch McConnell and Republicans in Congress to fast track 15 more of Donald Trump's nominees, including David Porter and Mark Norris, whose biased views and extreme anti-choice records indicate they will shape our country in Donald Trump's brutal image for decades to come.' "

-->Sellouts by establishment Democrats aren't often reported on the pages of the NYT. It didn't cover this story because the NTY has been selling out to corporate interests for a long time.

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Common Dreams:
"Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Claire McCaskill (Mo.) joined with Senate Republicans on Thursday to confirm Jeffrey Bossert Clark—a climate-denying former attorney for the fossil fuel industry—to lead the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division.

'Clark's blatant hostility toward environmental protection is good news for polluters, but awful news for the rest of us,' warned Environmental Working Group (EWG) president Ken Cook. 'The guy who defended the company that caused the worst oil spill in U.S. history is not likely to aggressively go after corporate environmental outlaws.'

The new assistant attorney general's nomination has been stalled for more than a year due to concerns about his history as a lawyer. Clark has represented B.P. in lawsuits that stemmed from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in suits attacking the U.S. government's authority to craft regulations that aim to cut greenhouse gas emissions."

-->A sad state of affairs for this country's climate. The polluters have been put in charge. No mention of this in the NYT, long in bed with the nation's oil industry.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

The Forward:
"One of the largest Jewish charities in the U.S. has been secretly funding a shadowy online blacklist targeting college students who criticize Israel.

For three years, a website called Canary Mission has spread fear among undergraduate activists, posting more than a thousand political dossiers on student supporters of Palestinian rights. The dossiers are meant to harm students’ job prospects, and have been used in interrogations by Israeli security officials.

At the same time, the website has gone to great lengths to hide the digital and financial trail connecting it to its donors and staff. Registered through a secrecy service, the site is untraceable."

-->One would think that this brazen attack on American college students would be at least covered by the NYT. The one reference to the Canary Mission in the NYT offered was written by a confirmed Zionist whose husband writes propaganda for the state of Israel. 

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FAIR:
"Three years ago, as Americans debated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran—popularly known as 'the Iran deal'—I highlighted a troubling media trend on FAIR.org (8/20/15): 'For nearly all commentators, regardless of their position, war is the only alternative to that position.' ...

To experience the full menu of US media’s single-mindedness about Iran, one need only buy a subscription to the New York Times. After Trump withdrew from the JCPOA, the Times’ editorial board (5/8/18) wrote that his move would 'lay conditions for a possible wider war in the Middle East.' Susan Rice (New York Times, 5/8/18), President Barack Obama’s national security advisor, agreed: 'We could face the choice of going to war or acquiescing to a nuclear-armed Iran,' she warned. Cartoonist Patrick Chappatte (New York Times, 5/10/18) was characteristically more direct, penning an image of Trump alongside Bolton, holding a fictitious new agreement featuring the singular, ultimate word: 'WAR.' ”

-->Yes, our national media keeps pushing for war, especially the NYT. No wonder our nation has been at war for 17 years and is fighting in over 7 countries. And assassinating "enemy terrorists" in God knows how many more. 

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Guardian UK:
"Antidepressant withdrawal symptoms severe, says new report. ... Modern antidepressants of the SSRI class, such as Prozac (fluoxetine) and Seroxat (paroxetine), were marketed in part on their safety. People were unable to harm themselves by overdosing as they could on benzodiazepines like valium and stopping the drugs was said to be easier.

'This new review of the research reveals what many patients have known for years – that withdrawal from antidepressants often causes severe, debilitating symptoms which can last for weeks, months or longer,' said Dr James Davies.

'Existing Nice guidelines fail to acknowledge how common withdrawal is and wrongly suggest that it usually resolves within one week. This leads many doctors to misdiagnose withdrawal symptoms, often as relapse, resulting in much unnecessary and harmful long-term prescribing.' "

-->The NYT is never quick to point out the evils of the pharmaceutical industry. I wonder how long it will take to print this story?

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Common Dreams:
"Imperiling People and Planet, Warnings Mount That Trump's NAFTA 2.0 Just Another 'Corporate Giveaway.' ...

[Food & Water Watch executive director] Wenonah Hauter outlined in a statement how USMCA: features deregulatory provisions that 'would have a dangerously chilling effect on food safety enforcement'; includes 'giant giveaways to the agrochemical industry,' from rolling back Mexico's GMO rules to enabling companies such as Monsanto and Dow to keep pesticide safety data secret for a decade; and bolsters Trump's industry-friendly agenda with measures that would 'encourage more pipelines and exports of natural gas and oil that would further expand fracking in the United States and Mexico.' "

-->That is not the message the public is getting from NPR and the NYT. The latter in particular has barely a bad word to say about the new trade deal, and its coverage is full of politicians' praises. The mainstream media always loves "free trade" even if it trashes the environment and screws workers.

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Common Dreams:
'Israel's use of deadly force against unarmed protesters on Friday is characteristic of its actions throughout the Great March of Return, during which more than 150 Palestinians have been killed, including 31 children, three persons with disabilities, three paramedics and two journalists,' Maureen Clare Murphy of Electronic Intifada noted on Saturday.

'More than 10,000 have been injured and required hospitalization, around half of them wounded by live fire,' Murphy added. 'There have been 77 cases of injuries requiring amputation, among them 14 children and one woman. Twelve patients have been paralyzed due to spinal cord injury and two of them have died.' 

-->The "most moral army in the world" shooting children like they were fish in a barrel. The NYT, ever the protector of Israel's good name, didn't print this story. 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Common Dreams:
"Ten years after the behavior of over-leveraged and fraudulent banks created a global financial disaster that resulted in hundreds of billions of dollars in losses; a multi-trillion bailout using public money; and millions of people losing their homes to foreclosure, but saw not one high-level financial executive go to jail, a man in Florida has been sentenced to a 20-year prison term for stealing $600 worth of cigarettes from a local convenience store.

According to the Associated Press, 'Robert Spellman, 48, received the lengthy sentence after a jury in Pensacola convicted him of burglary and grand theft last month.' 

As the Pensacola News Journal reports:
'He went into the Circle K in the 200 block of West Cervantes Street and took 10 cartons of cigarettes from a locked manager's office in the stock room. He was found nearby, matched a description of the suspect, was wearing the same clothing and had the cigarettes, according to the State Attorney's Office. ...' "

-->Sometimes the most egregious examples of our dysfunctional criminal justice system comes down to stories like this. Black man gets 20 years; white, rich men rob millions without penalty. The NYT was not interested and didn't cover it. 

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Electronic Intifada:
"The Trump administration’s top civil rights enforcer at the US Department of Education wanted students who did nothing but hold a noisy protest in support of Palestinian rights to be criminally prosecuted.

Kenneth Marcus was captured on camera during a September 2016 meeting with an undercover reporter working on Al Jazeera’s explosive documentary about the US Israel lobby ....

The above video obtained by The Electronic Intifada is the latest excerpt to leak from the documentary. It shows Marcus speaking to the undercover reporter.
At the time, Marcus was director of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, an Israel lobby group unaffiliated with Brandeis University. The Brandeis Center specializes in lawfare – the use of legal proceedings to harass and silence Israel’s critics."

-->A truly disturbing story of how the government and a top university work together to deny freedom of expression on campus. The NYT covered part of this story, but omitted Brandeis University or any mention of the Al Jazeera’s censored documentary. 

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Common Dreams:
"With wealthy corporations, state legislatures, and the federal government finding new ways to challenge Americans' right to protest, several nonprofit groups have banded together to fight back on behalf of those facing legal jeopardy for peacefully blocking pipelines or using civil disobedience to resist other fossil projects and destructive policies.

The 'Protect the Protest' initiative was established this month by 20 non-profit groups—including the ACLU, the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR), and Amnesty International—in response to lawsuits commonly filed by large companies against protesters with the goal of taking advantage of the power imbalance and exhausting activists' resources, forcing them to end their actions against the corporations.

In addition to the broader goal of 'defending dissent,' the coalition will put a focus on advising demonstrators and groups on how to avoid and handle that legal tactic known as a 'strategic lawsuit against public participation,' or SLAPP."

-->The US mainstream media doesn't care much about student free speech rights on campuses. In fact, quite the opposite. This story didn't make it into the NYT or any other media outlets.