Thursday, July 14, 2005

MEDIA BLACK HOLE

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From Buzzflash.com

The biggest giants of the news world are stumbling and falling, as they implode, it reminds me of slow motion pictures of the World Trade Center.

I am in a gloomy mood tonight because whenever Bush is on the ropes, people die.

So I googled my own past tonight. Old names of dead people who crossed swords with the rulers slithered across my screen, bringing floods of thoughts and some considerable pain.

From Reuters:
Publisher Knight Ridder Inc.on Thursday said quarterly earnings fell 14 percent due to circulation declines, while rival Tribune Co. (TRB.N) relied on cost cutting to help it post higher profits.

Circulation declines at both media companies underscored the problems the industry has faced in subscription drives since do-not-call lists began blocking telemarketers. At the same time, more readers are getting their news from new media such as the Internet rather than traditional newspapers.

Knight Ridder shares fell 30 cents to $62.11 while Tribune shares rose 29 cents to $35.69 on the New York Stock Exchange.

``With Tribune's very tight cost controls, we found some encouragement in that,'' said A.G. Edwards analyst Mike Kupinski. ``A little glimmer of hope in there.''

Tribune, owner of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune and operator of 26 television stations, reported profit rose to $233.4 million from $96.4 million, helped by the cost cutting.

But the swing was heavily influenced by special items in both periods. Revenue fell to $1.46 billion from $1.50 billion a year ago. Morgan Stanley analyst Douglas Arthur described cost controls at the media company as ``very impressive.''

But he added in a research note that there remained ``brutal'' pressure on its revenues ``from massive circulation declines and a disappointingly choppy ad environment, coupled with significant ratings and ad woes in TV.''
Here is a letter to the editor I got past the censors way back in 2000, talking about the failing election even as it was going over the cliff. From the Monitor magazine:
The Unexamined Man

Thank you for the article about Bush's free pass with the press and the refusal of the press to cover the missing AWOL years.

I was part of a team of people who used the platform provided by Salon.com's Table Talk folders to work on research and dissemination of hard facts to the press. We covered every single possible base, all large, medium and even small news organizations. We did open battle with the NYT and George Magazine. We used one fact after another.

They refused to understand the story or they claimed that since the Bushes and the Bush supporters were stonewalling them that this means no one can ask questions.

I demanded they put in headlines saying, "Bush refuses to talk about missing years...Questions are raised about possible criminal activities during this time".

This, we patiently explained, would force Bush to cough up his full military record which we were unable to access. Even the NYT refused. They said that it wasn't that interesting. Worse, one of the reporters for George Magazine told us, "Yeah, he probably was arrested for cocaine trafficking but they won't talk so we had to ignore this". I said, "Why didn't you say this in your story?" He refused to answer me (no doubt, imitating Bush perfectly).

We now have a bonafide criminal for President. Americans might ignore this but I seriously doubt the rest of the planet will ignore this.

Elaine Supkis
My battle with George Magazine was hilarious and brutal. They kept editorializing about me and misspelled my name in three different ways! I won my fight only they surrendered secretly in a phone call, telling me the magazine was going under and that I was right all along and they were forced to lie. Alas, I couldn't get that published by anyone.

The fight over the Bush AWOL issue lasted for years. Subterranean, occasionally a fin would cut the water surface and the populace at large would wonder what is going on, then back down below, a battle that was pretty bloody. Here is a recent example of this alternative action at work on a blog. From Kevin Drum's Washington Monthly:
In a George Magazine article of October 19, 2000, Peter Keating and Karthik Thyagarajan identified the "torn document" as a "an Air National Guard statement of days served by Bush that is torn and undated but contains entries that correspond to" "an April 23, 1973 order for Bush to report to annual active duty training the following month."

http://web.archive.org/web/20001019063017/www2.georgemag.com/bush.html
Someone mentions the torn document. It should be famous but is unknown except to web denizens who watched our online battles with the Bushes and the media giants. This document which showed Bush went AWOL was coughed up one fine Sunday when Marty and I were busy baiting the George Magazine reporters and they suddenly put on line, for a minute, a replication of this document which we captured and began to analyze. This started a very furious fight with me declaring victory, as I recounted here, on this much later forum of Kevin Drum;
Hi, everyone. Read the READER'S COMMENTS about the George Magazine article. Note that the reporters talk about Marty and myself (misnaming me, naturally!).

The "torn document" documents a CRIME: when Bartlett went with Bush to the records room in Texas and "scrubbed" the reports.

In the WH, Bush blubbers that "people SCRUBBED my records" as if this meant "Handed over to people like Marty, Rogers and (Elaine)" when his subconscious self was screaming "we destroyed the reports about my drug abuse!"

Posted by: Elaine Supkis on February 8, 2004 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK
This really happened on the Sunday before the last week during the 2000 election. We knew we witnessed a crime. We spent a frantic week trying to call a press conference and we got McCain and Kerrey to appear in DC on C-span to demand an investigation of Bush.

It was canned. McCain refused to talk to the press and slithered off for he was offered great goodies if he shut up. I was furious.

None of this made the news! Not a peep. And I was yelling nonstop! I went to DC and yelled all over the place!

There are so many exciting things going on...underwater. Like we see in the news, occasionally the sharks rip off legs or torsos of people and it makes the news but most of the time they lie low in the water and watch. Right now, today, we are seeing the fins of the sharks as the media circles Rove. No shark is going to connect all the many dots. They won't talk about the stuff I obsess over. They will pretend to be innocent even if they end up telling me the truth...secretly. They will revert to lying in public or worse, pretending to know little while sniggering about being in the know.

The press is dying.

Long live the blogs!

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