Thursday, July 08, 2010

Fantasyland Media:

Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine. News that the people in charge, the corporations and your government want keep from the public eye.


Common Dreams: Maude Barlow quoted on Democracy Now
"On the eve of this G-20 gathering, let’s look at a few facts. Fact, the world has divided into rich and poor as at no time in our history. The richest 2% own more than half the household wealth in the world. The richest 10% hold 85% of total global assets and the bottom half of humanity owns less than 1% of the wealth in the world. The three richest men in the world have more money than the poorest 48 countries. Fact, while those responsible for the 2008 global financial crisis were bailed out and even rewarded by the G-20 government’s gathering here, the International Labor Organization tells us that in 2009, 34 million people were added to the global unemployed, swelling those ranks to 239 million, the highest ever recorded...

The declarations have already been drafted, the failures already spun. Instead, this global royalty who have more in common with one another than they do with their own citizens and are here really to advance the issues and interest of their class are also here just to advance the status quo that serves the interest of the elite in their own countries and the business community or the B-20, the new term, a community that will get private and privileged access to advance their free market solutions to these eager leaders. The agenda is more of the bad medicine that made the world sick in the first place. Environmental deregulation, unbridled financial speculation, unlimited growth, unregulated free trade, relentless resource exploitation, tax cuts for the wealthy, cuts to Social Security and a war on working people. In other words, savage capitalism."

-->No corporate sponsored American media would dare offer these views. But the reality of savage capitalism is there for anyone willing to look beyond the everyday propaganda in our newspapers and on our TV.


Media Matters for America: Report by the Kennedy School of Government
"Torture Study Reveals Appalling Cowardice of America's Newspapers...

From the early 1930's until the modern (US waterboarding) story broke in 2004, the newspapers that covered waterboarding almost uniformly called the practice torture or implied it was torture: The New York Times characterized it thus in 81.5% (44 of 54) of articles on the subject and The Los Angeles Times did so in 96.3% of articles (26 of 27). By contrast, from 2002-2008, the studied newspapers almost never referred to waterboarding as torture. The New York Times called waterboarding torture or implied it was torture in just 2 of 143 articles (1.4%). The Los Angeles Times did so in 4.8% of articles (3 of 63). The Wall Street Journal characterized the practice as torture in just 1 of 63 articles (1.6%). USA Today never called waterboarding torture or implied it was torture."

-->So waterboarding is torture in the nation's media only when the US doesn't do it. There is hardly a more dramatic example of the use of America's media for propaganda. All the news that's fit to print, according to the Pentagon. 


Rethinking Schools:
"Teachers have always been devalued in the United States, but in the past months the pace and intensity of the attacks have escalated sharply....If closing the achievement gap were the goal, we would see demands for adequate, equitable resources and funding for every student in every school; demands, for example, for quality early childhood education programs, full-time librarians, robust arts and physical education programs, mandated caps on class size, and enough time for teachers to prepare and collaborate. We would also see a renewed commitment to affirmative action in university admissions; a drive to recruit and nurture teachers of color; a commitment to ensure that students come to school ready to learn because their families have housing, food, medical care, and jobs; and an end to zero tolerance discipline policies that criminalize youth.  

But if these attacks on teachers aren't about ending the systemic racism that continues to undermine our education system, what is the goal?  With forces as seemingly disparate as the Obama administration, the Walton Foundation, the late Milton Friedman, and the New York Times all pushing the same ideas, this is a complicated question, but there are at least two major goals: destroy the power of the teachers' unions, and turn the public school system from a public trust into a new market for corporate development. From the time of Reagan, who used his "welfare queen" stories to scapegoat the poor as a basis on which to destroy the welfare system, this has been a tried-and-true approach to privatization: use visceral anecdotes to whip up hysteria that a system is 'broken,' argue that only market competition can fix the situation, and then sell off pieces of the public sector to private corporations."

-->Of course, the real story here is the destruction of our system of public education by both corporate funded political parties. Our media, including The NY Times, plays an important role in obscuring this particularly dangerous assault on the public good. 

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