Sunday, May 29, 2005

POTEMKIN POTHOLES

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General Potemkin

Several years ago, posters at Salon.com's Table Talk used to alert each other to take cameras to Bush photo ops to get the truth. We discovered the photo ops, with the collusion of the millionaire owned media, were totally fake and falsely reported. In one famous example that we posted on line at TT was the pictures of Bush doing a Habitat for Humanity press op.

He had the whole neighborhood locked down, whizzed in, used a brand new hammer to hit one nail, hit his thumb instead and then while laughing, pretended to raise a wall but didn't touch it with his hands. All this took about 15 minutes. The press reported, "The President spent the day building homes for the poor". We then showed the press these pictures and the time spent and guess what?

They told us to shut up.

Then Bush pretended to work on a trail for a day. He breezed in, we had photographers on a far hill with a telephoto lens. No one was allowed within a 1,000 yards but we got a photo of Bush using a brand new shovel with the label still on and again, he worked for 15 minutes and left.

Confrontation was hopeless.

Then we found on line the video of Bush goofing off during 9/11. We yelled about that for over a year until Michael Moore picked it up and put it in a movie.

Well, looks like we can cheer a newspaper today. The San Francisco Chronicle covered a Schwarzenegger photo op and they told the truth.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger traveled to a quiet San Jose neighborhood Thursday, and -- dogged by protesters -- filled a pothole dug by city crews just a few hours before, as part of an attempt to dramatize his efforts to increase money for transportation projects.

The choreographed press opportunity -- at least the governor's fourth recent event involving transportation issues -- seemed aimed as much at thwarting the demonstrators who have followed Schwarzenegger for weeks as grabbing new attention for his proposal.

Schwarzenegger strode toward television cameras on Laguna Seca Way to the sounds of the Doobie Brothers' "Taking it to the Streets,'' while flanked by 10 San Jose city road workers wearing Day-Glo vests and work gear. After speeches by the governor and city officials, a dump truck backed up and unloaded a mound of black asphalt and, as television cameras recorded the moment, Schwarzenegger joined the work crew, taking up a broom and filling the 10-by-15-foot hole, later smoothed over by a massive roller truck.

"I'm here today to let everyone know that we're going to improve transportation all across our state,'' said Schwarzenegger, highlighting his proposal to fully fund Proposition 42 and restore $1.3 billion in transportation money to the current state budget.

The governor's brief San Jose appearance, announced at the last minute, left some residents scratching their heads.

"For paving the streets, it's a lot of lighting,'' said resident Nick Porrovecchio, 48, motioning to a team of workmen setting up Hollywood-style floodlights on the street to bathe the gubernatorial podium in a soft glow.

Porrovecchio and his business partner, Joe Greco, said that at about 7 a.m. they became fascinated watching "10 city workers standing around for a few hours putting on new vests,'' all in preparation for the big moment with Schwarzenegger.

But their street, he noted, didn't even have a hole to pave over until Thursday morning.
Seems a typical GOP Pravda photo op for TV. They evidently dug up a whole length of roadbed for this. Note also the new shiny equipment and vests and such. The lighting, all this....spoiled by demonstrators who incidentally, also watched him and the media manufacturing a news story using props and fake doo dads.

So today I wish to salute the wonderful reporters at the SF Chronicle. Thank you for telling the truth. If all our media was like this, Culture of Life News would have to fold the tent and go off to work in the garden, instead.

DADDY WARBUCKS QUITS

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I suppose everyone has heard about the death of the Olin Foundation? Missed the keening and wailing on the right? Actually, they did a victory dance with painted faces but behind the scenes was this: "Oh my god. How am I going to pay the bills now? Maybe I can get a job in the government!" These vampires and whores working for the very rich man, Mr. Olin, are now without a patron.

The NYT does their usual clueless analysis:
In the budget offices of the right, the loss of Olin, though long anticipated, is bringing a stab of anxiety, as total annual giving of up to $20 million disappears from policy organizations, journals and academic aeries. Yet it is a measure of the foundation's success that the anxiety has not been greater. While a generation ago just three or four major foundations operated on the right, today's conservatism has no shortage of institutions, donors or brio.

At a recent farewell dinner in New York that drew a crowd of prominent thinkers and doers, James Piereson, the longtime director of Olin, recounted the 1970's threats that the foundation set out to address: economic decline, urban disorder and Soviet expansionism. By contrast, Mr. Piereson said, critics now say "the United States is too powerful" and its people "too proud."
No shortage of donors indeed. All the ruling rich have been pouring money into the maw of the professional whores flacking for the interests of the rich. This is why America is going bankrupt. This tidalwave of money has subsumed absolutely everything. The key goals of the rich: to pay no taxes and to enforce lifetime debts on the poor, have been won. Now they want all of this fake democracy stuff to just go away which is why they are pouring money into the maws that really matter: the military.

This is why the rulers of America are happily increasing the Pentagon's budget while driving us collectively into bankruptcy. Why do they do this? Well, who owns America's debts? I own part of it (public bonds). I owe no one anything. So technically, I am part of the ruling class (ahem--black sheep, though).

About the "critics say 'the United States is too powerful...and proud'": we are actually not powerful at all. This is what really alarms me, personally. When the very rich took over thanks to people like Olin, they opened the door for others to enter: our possible enemies. When Ronnie Reagan negotiated with the Japanese over their currency and trade inversions, he said all sorts of public things where can be called "lies" designed to look as if he were representing America's interests but then it turned out he was a Japanese agent when he flew off to that country to openly collect his pay.
Feeling outmatched in the war of ideas, liberal groups have spent years studying conservative foundations the way Pepsi studies Coke, searching for trade secrets. They say that Olin and its allies have pushed an agenda that spread wealth at the top and insecurity below, and that left market excesses unchecked - and that they have done so with estimable skill.

"The right has done a marvelous job," said Rob Stein, a former official in the Clinton administration who has formed an organization, the Democracy Alliance, to develop rival machinery on the left. "They are strategic, coordinated, disciplined and well financed. And they're well within their rights in a democracy to have done what they've done."
Trade secret of the right: their goals are the goals of the owners of the media. Thus the hand in glove effect. To attract viewers and readers the media had to pretend to be at least slightly liberal. But they hated this. So they removed any interesting liberals (I am holding up my hand here) and promoted either really inept or uninteresting "liberals" who were woefully unable to debate anyone on anything, being scared of firing if they were too effective, or they hired rank right wingers as "a mix" to "balance" things.
John M. Olin knew the value of ammunition. In 1892, the year he was born, his father started a mining explosives company in East Alton, Ill., that soon began making bullets. Together, they built a manufacturing behemoth that sold 15 billion rounds during World War II and went on to make cellophane, metals, rocket fuel, paper, pharmaceuticals and sporting goods. An avid sportsman, Mr. Olin bred horses, hunted and fished; according to a biography to be published by Encounter this fall, "A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America" by John J. Miller, he sent boxes of salmon to a favorite politician, Richard M. Nixon.
Here it is. Olin is our Krupp. The military/industrial complex used money gotten from wars to fund right wing organizations that flacked for more wars making Daddy Warbucks very happy indeed. The NYT provides the raw data in the article but doesn't talk about this particular Orobouros eating its own tail. Nor how the NYT itself enables and participates in this enclosed system that liberals cannot replicate under the present capitalist system. Namely, so long as America thinks we can bully boy our way to world domination using our nuclear powers and bombs and war crimes, we will see vast power on the right since they are the ones who benefit from this disastrous system.
In 1969 when armed students took over a building at his alma mater, Cornell University, Mr. Olin was shaken. Four years later, past his 80th birthday, he began pouring time and money into the small foundation he created 20 years earlier, saying he wanted to preserve the free enterprise system that had made his own wealth possible.
Indeed.

The "free enterprise" here is 100% taxpayer money and it is no wonder this very rich Daddy Warbucks wants to keep this particular gravy train running.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

CENSORSHIP---Selling ads, selling out

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Visit John Adams of Oxford, England. Nice blog...
Ad Age.com recently scooped a story about corporate giants wanting to censor the media.
According to a copy of a memo on the letterhead of BP's media-buying agency, WPP Group's MindShare, the global marketer has adopted a zero-tolerance policy toward negative editorial coverage. The memo cites a new BP policy document entitled "2005 BP Corporate-RFP" that demands that ad-accepting publications inform BP in advance of any news text or visuals they plan to publish that directly mention the company, a competitor or the oil-and-energy industry.
A spokeswoman for MindShare refused to comment on the memo, calling it a “client matter” and referred calls to BP.


What is astonishing is the blanket prohibition, if a media talks about any energy issue, they first must clear it with BP.

Is this new?
Another magazine executive who had not heard about BP’s policy or of Morgan Stanley’s said his company has unwritten guidelines with advertisers from several industries, including auto, airlines and tobacco, to pull their ads if related negative stories are in the issue. These cases, the executive said, occur more with news magazines than lifestyle ones.
The executive is lying. Several years ago an organization investigating how cigarette companies affect specifically "lifestyle" magazines found that if a publication accepted cigarette ads or any food ads from corporate giants that sold more than tobacco items the magazine would self censor any stories about the health effects of both tobacco and bad foods.

To become a corporate whore means selling one's self on the street corner. All whores tell their clients they are studs and are wonderful. This is the job of a whore. One of the very saddest things to see is all those women's magazines that are supposedly there to help them live better lives, selling out. I personally track this stuff while standing in line in a supermarket. "Lose weight now!" shout the headlines. Next to this is a photo of some inevitably high calorie dessert. The rising tide of obesity isn't astonishing, this is cultivated carefully. The lifestyle magazine people know they have one job: to sell fattening corporate foods and diet schemes. These evil twin goals resonate with each other. The ad agencies and the magazines both hire trained psychologists who whore themselves, too, to build a trap one can't escape from unless one has steel nerves or simply doesn't buy this stuff at all.
“I think it’s OK to have systems in place to pull advertisers out, but clearly we don’t show them stories ahead of time.” The executive called BP’s policy a "stupid request. It makes you think these guys are hiding something.”
Well, duh. They are hiding something. Goes without saying. And what is the oil company hiding?

Simple. Why does Elaine Supkis write her own newspaper? Same reason. Corporate America, which used to talk to her, interview her and publish her no longer does this because they are terrified of letting people know any real information clearly presented.

Morgan Stanley is worse. They want to precensor content because they are selling lies. Lies about the future. Lies about the economy, lies about the stock market, they want news media to be a cheerleader for things they want and the last thing they want is a truthful explanation about economic issues. Both companies know the editors don't have to call them and clear stories, the editors will kill the last feeble attempts at real news in order to pre-please corporate entities who loom over their shoulders, glaring balefully. This is why the mass media is failing us more and more. As corporate America consolidates increasingly into a hard rock entity as they merge and converge into interlocking monopolies and cartels, they have the power to strangle all and any possible counter reality.

The real news is devolving increasingly into odd places like here and a host of other on line bloggers and liberal news services. Ad Age.com's editors say the right thing here:
The primary reasons for advertisers to invest in any media product should be the bond that product has with its audience and the relevance of that audience as a marketing target. Such relationships are often based on trust and credibility. Tools such as ad-pull policies can damage that credibility. They make clear to editors and publishers that if they don't create an editorial environment friendly to a marketer's message, the money will go elsewhere.
Marketers should encourage media outlets to serve audiences first, not advertisers. Those that attract the right audience should get the ad dollars. Shame on anyone who believes otherwise.

Monday, May 23, 2005

KILLING THE MESSENGER

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Back in the run up to the Iraq invasion, Tony Blair was trying to stampede the people of England into war, pretending that Saddam might bomb London, bizarre as that sounds. "45 minute warning for an attack," he said ernestly while hiding the fact that he and Bush plotted this war for over a year and were desperately trying to find some excuse to hang their sorry hats on.

Dr. Kelly, like so many WMD inspectors and negotiators with Saddam, stood up and basically said there was no danger. Because of this, he was hounded mercilessly by the Blair and Bush people until he committed suicide. The BBC was the news agency that ran his story when he was "anonymous" and it was the entity that finally betrayed him to his masters who then tormented him literally to death. So who was punished for all of this? The illegal war, the harrassing of a man to death, the conspiracy to lie about WMD?

The BBC! Shoo the messenger! The head of the BBC resigned and then Blair took revenge on them, cutting their budget and especially attacking their news gathering abilities. Does he want a feeble, weak minded, stupified press like we have here in America?

Obviously, yes.

BBC goes on strike:
The BBC's flagship Today radio programme fell victim to a 24-hour strike by thousands of journalists and technicians today. The programme was one of many due to be disrupted by the strike, the biggest to hit the corporation for more than a decade.

The normal mix of news and high-profile interviews was replaced at 6am by a repeat of In Business, followed by a repeat of a programme made by Tory MP Kenneth Clarke about jazz music. News programmes will be badly affected by the stoppage which was being held in protest at controversial plans to axe 4,000 jobs. There was a brief news bulletin on Radio 4 at 6am in place of the usual Today broadcast, which was then followed by a pre-recorded programme.

There was a similar arrangement on Radio Five Live where the normal output of live news and sport was replaced by short news bulletins and pre-recorded programmes. On BBC television, the normal Breakfast programme screened a shortened live bulletin followed by pre-recorded items.

The National Union of Journalists, BECTU and Amicus said they expected 11,000 workers to join the walkout. Picket lines began at midnight at Bush House in central London and BBC TV Centre in Shepherds Bush.
We assume there was some bitter joking about the name of the house of the BBC. As the pall of brainless stupor blankets one of the world's greatest nations, now it is moving, like a toxic smog, over to our allies. No news service in the world rivals the BBC for depth and breadth. It is the premier news organization, bar none. Period.

And Blair intends to muzzle it. There are many who wish this. They want to live in their own reality and this is the way to do it, imitate Stalin or Hitler and have no dissenting voices and moreover, no one but the rulers bellowing over and over the same messages they want us all to robotically not only obey but believe in. This need to be propagandizing is very powerful. For if you rule minds you rule destinies. And our rulers desperately want to force us to their own conclusions.

In America, the rulers have so completely slipped controls that obvious questions and necessary answers never happen at all. Just like when the Senate rubbed out Galloway's testimony, this raised not a peep in American press gaggles. They really don't care or understand or worse, are co-conspiritors in keeping the populace at bay and ignorant.

Bush just muzzled poor little Newsweek by forcing them to not use "anonymous sources" except for his own, of course. In other words, no one can dare spill the beans anymore. And this, after Ken Starr leaked information, illegally, like he was some Titanic at sea! Now, everyone is piously saying they won't run whistleblower stories like the true story about desecrating the Koran, for fear of irritating the rulers. This most secretive of governments now has closed another outlet for information. And so it goes.

Eventually they will try to shut down even this small news service, the Culture of Life News.

Monday, May 16, 2005

The NYT Takes Bat and Ball Home, Won't Play No More

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The NYT, tired of all the critics storming the barricades and wondering why we all don't just shut up and go away already has, after a study was conducted for fixing their declining readership and declining credibility has hit on the neat idea that maybe, like the Wall Street Journal, they should charge money for access to, get this, their editorial page!

Via Atrios:
NYT.com to charge for Op-Ed, other content as of Sept (NYT) By Carolyn Pritchard
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- The New York Times Co. (NYT) on Monday said that, starting in September, access to Op-Ed and certain of its top news columnists on the paper's NYTimes.com Web site will only be available through a fee of $49.95 a year. The service, known as TimesSelect, will also allow access to The Times's online archives, early access to select articles on the site, and other features. Home-delivery subscribers will automatically receive the service, the NYT said.

We remember when Salon.com went pay for view. Losing not only many readers but huge influence, they instituted a "watch this ad" for a daily view but even so, the site, aside from the great cartoons, is a wasteland now and is seldom cited.

Atlantic Monthly went pay for view. The raging forums there died. The citation of articles perished. We used to suscribe to that rag but when they ran the Gore as a vampire cover, we cancelled and never looked back. Seldom do we see bloggers citing that former great magazine now in its dotage.

There was, on the left, the American Prospect. Another change to pay for view. This caused a near riot and furious readers went off and, like the Atlantic Monthly crew, started their own forums.

The NYT tightened the screws on their own forums and with this will be the coup de grace. And frankly, they don't care. They know who we all are and they don't want to interact with any of us, they made this perfectly clear. We are the refusniks of the media kultur kampf.

This blog pokes at the mighty NYT on a near daily basis. But if they hide inside a burkha and show their pathetic attempts at whoring privately then it scarcely matters what they say anymore. Only a limited segment will be reading them, anyway. Movers and shakers will read them, of course. But this isn't us. We are outside the Gates, raising hell. They hope this new Green Zone and some shoot on sight barriers will protect them.

The history of the internet is people trying to make money while trying to expand and attract eyes. This is why this blog is 100% free. We wish very much to attract eyes and engage the mind. The sole purpose of Culture of Life News is to influence people and leave a clear record of events and things that happen. It is a running chronicle of the times.

Eventually, like so many others, the NYT will sail away, silently, into the internet fog. Forelorn and alone, leaving the BBC the victor in this struggle for influence.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

The NYT Notices That Blogging is Hard Work

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Oh, the mercy! Instead of simply bloviating on the editorial page after talking to a taxi cab driver or a prostitute or a "sources says" person, bloggers have to be knowledgable and write stuff a lot and use lots of links in articles and use google and other arcane tools on the internet not to mention, interacting directly with readers on a daily basis. Terrible! Awful! No way.

David Greenberg struggles to fill the shoes of a blogger only not any blogger but a right wing blogger. For some forsaken reason, Greenberg thought this would be easy. He didn't expect the tidalwave of freeper hate directed towards him much less the cruel jokes and laughter at his expense. We all know that if some right winger were to hand me the keys to his blog, I would have a field day there, running amock, fighting with everyone. Hooray! Fun, fun!

But poor David, this came as a total shock.
Last week, I had my chance. My wife and I agreed to be "guest bloggers" - the online equivalent of what David Brenner used to do for Johnny Carson - for Dan Drezner, a political scientist at the University of Chicago, who runs a popular libertarian-conservative blog, DanielDrezner.com.

How hard could blogging be? You roll out of bed, turn on your computer, scan the headlines, think up some clever analysis while brushing your teeth, type it onto your site and you're off.

Confession time here: running this blog ain't easy. It has many pages and subheaders and organizing them, clicking through them, coordinating them is time consuming. I like doing it but it isn't a joke. It is real work. Thinking of saying something is work, too. Anyone can say the obvious. This is why I sit on news like a hen on an egg for a while. Waiting for more stories to come in or pondering about the past and looking for connections or simply waiting for inspiration to strike. Usually, gardening or doing housework or best of all, running the backhoe gives me great time to ruminate.
But as I discovered, blogging is no longer for amateurs or the faint of heart. Blogging - if it's done well - has evolved into an all-consuming art.

Last Sunday, after a cup of coffee, I made my first offering, a smart critique, I thought, of an article about liberal politics in The New York Review of Books by Thomas Frank, the author of "What's the Matter With Kansas?"

Earth to David: blogging well always was an art. Anyone can stick up an ugly site and say dumb things, look at Rush Limbaugh! But most good bloggers tend to have complicated sites with good graphics and well designed interface or no one will come and visit...except for freepers who seem to not care about these esthetic matters, this is why they are...freepers.

The "what is the matter with Kansas" has been thoroughly chewed over by both the right and the left months ago. We liberals have decided the good people of Kansas are spoiled since Kansas and other red state get more tax money back than they send out and because they are all welfare queens they hate the worker bees in the cities and blue states. We can't fix them. They will pay with pain from their own leaders pissing on them. Tough love and all that.
Serious bloggers, I realized, aggressively report a pet issue, updating their sites throughout the day. They scavenge the Internet for every shard of information on a hot topic, like John R. Bolton's chances of becoming ambassador to the United Nations or Tom DeLay's ethical troubles.

Since I wasn't going to make myself expert on these subjects anytime soon, I decided to write about what I knew, history.

On Tuesday, I posted a link to a piece I'd written for the online magazine Slate, faulting President Bush for his remarks criticizing the 1945 Yalta agreement, in which he said that Europe was unjustly carved up by Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin.

This time I got a lot of responses - abusive ones. Sample: "Anyone who thinks its 'ugly' to point out what was done to millions of people at Yalta is a moral cretin."

Earth to David: all liberal posters on the net who have done battle with freepers know that bringing up historical realities causes them to go insane. It is like garlic to vampires. Eeek. These keyboard geniuses all think they could win any war any time which is why they never sign up to fight any wars just like their heroes, Bush and the others
.As I checked other sites for ideas, I now realized that I didn't need only new information. I needed a gimmick - a motif or a running joke that would keep the blog rolling all week. All of a sudden, I was reading other blogs, not for what they had to say, but for how they said it.

The best bloggers develop hobbyhorses, shticks and catchphrases that they put into wider circulation. Creating your own idiosyncratic set of villains to skewer and theories to promote - while keeping readers interested - requires as much talent as sculpting a magazine feature or a taut op-ed piece.

No shit, Sherlock. I am in awe of my fellow bloggers but even more, I am in awe of the posters who often comment on the various blogs. There is deep talent there. A great deal of intelligence. Sometimes the comments expand upon and add information to posting that really opens the eyes. This gives many of the better blogs a depth of field that is amazing to observe. Truly, a good blog is a group effort.

Ask Kos or Atrios.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Tierney of the NYT Thinks We Should Ignore the Blood

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I debated with my cats about this: should I put Tierney, the new, stupider version of Safire, on the Comix page or the Media page? He landed here...barely. His editorial today does not deserve this honor but the many people who were blown up or kidnapped or shot dead and certainly the dead soldiers all of whom died bloody deaths today deserve to not be on the funny pages.

If a man-bites-dog story is news and dog-bites-man isn't, why are journalists still so interested in man-blows-up-self stories?

I realize that we have a duty to report suicide bombings in the Middle East, especially when there's a spate as bad as in recent weeks. And I know the old rule of television news: if it bleeds, it leads. But I'm still puzzled by our zeal in frantically competing to get gruesome pictures and details for broadcasts and front pages?


You ninny. Maybe we should have left the pictures and events on 9/11 off the front pages? Guilliani could have declared NYT perfectly safe!

I suspect the public would welcome a respite from gore, like the one that New Yorkers got when Rudolph Giuliani became mayor. He realized that even though crime was declining in the city, people's fears were being stoked by the relentless tabloid and television coverage of the day's most grisly crime. No matter how much the felony rate dropped, in a city of seven million there would always be at least one crime scene for a live shot at the top of the 11 o'clock news.


Well, knock me over with a suicide bomb! Tierney does want to have great crimes not be covered! What an enterprising man! Certainly belongs in the NYT which spends an amazing amount of energy trying to avoid the truth. Better, he should be on TV and yap about runaway brides and "is the Pope dying of old age yet?" funeral watches!

Tiny Tierney picked a bad day to yap.

Insurgents have abducted the governor of one of Iraq's most dangerous provinces and called for an end to US operations close to the Syrian border.
Raja Nawaf, governor of the western province of Anbar, was seized at a roadblock between the town of Qaim and the provincial capital, Ramadi. The kidnappers demanded the withdrawal of US troops from Qaim, where the US says it has killed 100 insurgents.

In Baghdad, two car bombs exploded, killing seven and injuring 47. The dead are thought to be civilians, killed by the first blast. Six policemen were injured in the second blast, at an Iraqi river police station.

Tuesday's first car bombing hit Saadoun Street, a busy part of Baghdad's business district hit by a similar explosion on Saturday that killed 17 people.


One kidnapping, a thousand kidnappings? What's the difference? And bombs bursting in air? Should be eliminated from the National Anthem. Can't sing that high, anyway.

Just as New Yorkers came to be guided by crime statistics instead of the mayhem on the evening news, people might begin to believe the statistics showing that their odds of being killed by a terrorist are minuscule in Iraq or anywhere else.

Terrorists know the numbers are against them and realize that daily bombings will not win the war. All along, their hope has been to inspire recruits and spread general fear with another tactic, the bombing as photo opportunity. For some reason, their media strategy still works.


I wonder if Tierney would like to drive around Bagdad or better still, Anwar province, by himself. Without bodyguards. Heck, even with them. The province official had them and precious little good that did him! I know that if there were a dozen kidnappings a day and 50 to 100 NYers were being blown up every day you can bet, I would sit up and notice it. I know the somnomulators in the NYT building can't see nor hear the outside world. But if a suicide truck driven by Anne Coulter were to smash into the lobby and blow up....we should just ignore it or maybe call Time magazine and tell them that she is joking. Haha.

Maybe I should have put this in the comix section...

Monday, May 09, 2005

Newspapers Panic--Where Did the Readers Go?

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Yankees slump as badly as newsmedia


In between braggido over how great and mighty a power they are and shrieks of rage towards bloggers and upstarts and turning the back on foreign news services, the American newspapers continue to lose readers, lose status and lose thier collective minds. Why is this happening, they wail. Like crew members on a sinking Titanic, they bail water with collanders. Asking bloggers for advice and help doesn't occur to them. This is why they arrange "Blogger Ethics" symposiums and "Whither Bloggers?" meetings while carefully avoiding any contact with real life bloggers who specialize in tracking media matters and explaining how the process works.

They call on fellow media whorette, Wonkette. She is a professional who pretends to be a blogger but really is part of a publishing organization that uses "blogs" as a cover for what they really are, a classic media organization as beholden to corporate manipulation as Martha Stewart's Living or the New York Times. The Times slaver over this organization thinking "this is how we can become millionaires" forgetting that 99% of the stuff peddled by Gawker Magazine is pure tabloid/sex trash talk.

Media whores, meet Blog whores. You're welcome.

Kinsley wonders at the Washington Post:

In this great country, there are newspaper editorial pages of every political stripe, from nearly insane far-left rantings to the Wall Street Journal. But when the United States faces a danger to its most important institutions and values, Americans can count on the newspaper industry to put aside petty differences and speak with one voice.


Great way to start off, Kinney boy. Insult me directly. Since no American mainstream paper is even faintly left much less insanely left, you can find us all alive and well and kicking really hard...on line. So far, no one can censor us or intimidate us and in my case, threaten me financially. So I can say whatever pops into my lefty brain.

Now is such a moment. The enemy is invisible, indeed inexplicable, but could be fatal to all we hold dear. In short: Some evil force is causing people to stop reading newspapers! Newspaper circulation figures, which had been drifting decorously downward for years, have started to plummet. At the current rate of decline, the last newspaper subscriber will hang up on a renewal phone call that interrupts dinner on Oct. 17, 2016. And then it will be over.


I will use my cluephone here: anyone who interrupts my dinner to sell me a newspaper is lucky I don't get in the car, drive over to the publisher's home and throw rocks into his livingroom window. And toilet paper his ornamental hedges. If I ever bothered my readers like this, I expect no less from them too.

Kinsley is making fun of his own business, he being the new right wing editor of the once great Los Angeles Times. I remember reading that paper when it was good. Today, I subscribe to no newspaper. I get about 75%+ of my news from online overseas sources now since they tend to have no reason to lie to me directly. I do collect newspapers from my community recycling center. I use it to start fires in the winter and to start up my Victorian wood stove. It is great kindling although in a pinch one can simply go off into the woods and collect tons of twigs. It is just that they don't stack very neatly unlike the basket filled with newspapers.

Although Kinsley, in mock despair hiding his very real fear, is trying to laugh at his own demise, the Wall Street Journal decides it is time to gussy up the old broad and wheel her out after a face lift and some lip gloss.

Publisher Dow Jones said the first tabloid - or compact - editions, would be produced on 17 October. The US company said the move to smaller-scale newspapers reflected a growing trend across Europe, and would also help reduce production costs.

The compact size would also be more convenient and easier to read, it said.


Perhaps they will smarten up. Just print a small card. "Interest rates (up/down)...barrel oil (up/down)...stockmarket (up/down) and then the kisser: Buy/sell. This is a madcap idea. Who needs information anyway? Especially since it is carefully filtered to eliminate the most important details? Since when has the WSJ accurately predicted things that surprised us?

The true value of any information dispensing machine is, "did it warn me in time?" and "is this information important" and "will it help me live better?" The role of a pundit certainly lies in this field of action. A pundit that lies or calls bad shots or is shown to be incorrect about basic facts should be shunned. On line, bloggers who stumble fall rapidly. There is no machinery to keep them afloat no matter how off base they are or how ineptly they call the shots or anything. At this point, the pundit line up looks like this year's Yankee line up: a bunch of over the hill, over paid losers.

The NYT Whores Whine About Blogger Ethics

Culture of Life News never ceases to marvel at the main stream media press and their need to flail away at us little gadlfies. Obviously our stinging has caused them to rebuke us most strongly. The latest tool they have decided to use is "blogger ethics". I feel like I am a little old lady in hat and prim dress with an umbrella being accosted by a high heeled made up like Medusa slit skirt street whore who screams at me, "You hussy!"

The Latest Rumbling in the Blogosphere: Questions About Ethics" screeches the painted Gray Lady of the NYT.

Bloggers like to demonize the MSM (that's Mainstream Media), but it is increasingly hard to think of the largest news blogs as being outside the mainstream. Bloggers have been showing up at national political conventions, at the World Economic Forum at Davos and on the cover of Business Week. Establishment warhorses like Arthur Schlesinger Jr. are signing on to write for Arianna Huffington's blog collective. And Garrett Graff, of FishbowlDC, broke through the cyberceiling recently and acquired the ultimate inside-the-Beltway media credential: a White House press pass.


Ticked off by this slap in the face, I wrote to the NYT this editorial which you can bet they will never ever publish since it talks about the raffish underclothing the whores wear:

Every day we see in the "mainstream media" many articles and stories lamenting the fact that bloggers, most of whom are, like myself, self paid and self sustaining, don't have "ethics". This worry about our collective ethical lack is being touted by what we like to call "media whores". I suppose there is some sort of ethical stance in selling oneself to corporate masters. Can't alienate the advertisers! Especially the political advertisers who pour millions of dollars into the maw of the media every election and in between elections. The corporations give the parties money who then funnel it into the mass media who devour this money without batting a pretty eyelash.

Most of us bloggers don't get a penny of this financial flood.

Indeed, even the big players like Kos or Atrios get precious little money this way. Many of us refuse any corporate or political slush money. This, I suppose, makes us totally unethical? My blog, culturelifenewsii.blogspot.com, tracks the news on many levels. This blog can't compete with the New York Times. But it can comment on the New York Times and it is read by an audience who are intelligent readers tired of the media lies and evasions and misinterpetations. We have picked up these readers because the obfuscations the New York Times indulges in as the paper tries to shoe horn reality into a very small box is very irritating. For example, the paper of record talks about reporters getting permission to go to White House press gaggles and wonders if mere bloggers can get in yet doesn't inquire about how an online male prostitute using a false name, "Jeff Gannon" got in and even stayed overnight quite a few times. This story was broken by bloggers, not the corporate press. Indeed, to the amusement of the blogger left, to this day, the media refuses to understand they have helped hide an open whore. This whore story is a sore story that can't heal by itself. Attacking us for breaking it is beyond silly. It is sad.

We used to bother with Fox TV, for example, but that is a hopeless cause. We concentrate on the Times because we assume there are people of some intelligence working there who can be reached somehow despite the need to massage corporate powers.

Alas, this is becoming a futile project. The New York Times gets way too much money for advertising $500 shoes and $20 million dollar condos in Midtown and of course the Northrup ads selling military high tech equipment. Obviously, the readers of the New York Times are buying jets. This obvious conflict of interest is considered normal only because all American mainstream media makes money this way.

I feel, since I have no bone to chew but my own, my ethics are about as clean as they can possibly be. I do have a point of view. Everyone has one. I am a liberal. There is no hiding this. I don't pretend to be "neutral" which is what the New York Times likes to pretend. No one sane is neutral. It is physically impossible to be neutral.

Even Gods aren't neutral.

If the New York Times wants us to be like them there would be no need for us to even exist since we would then be working for the same companies who have an agenda that is lovingly protected by the mainstream media. Like Janis Joplin sang, "Freedom is another word for nothing left to lose".

I hope to see the major media renounce taking money for advertisements and I do hope they all clean house and become as pure and clean as Culture of Life News and other blogger papers.

Thank you,

Elaine Supkis
editor and publisher
Culture of Life News

209 Greenhollow Rd
Petersburgh, NY 12138
518-658-9023 (call any hour)

STOP THE PRESSES!

prost
World Charter for Prostitute's Rights

This is truly "hahahaha" news! Way back in the Stone Age when the media still talked to me but were getting really annoyed, I did a series of comic articles within the NYT which looked like the real thing. Each article was peppered with "sources say" and it was truly a great joke because no one could tell them apart from the real thing.

This was deep in the middle of that unholy mess, the Clinton impeachment push.

My, times have changed...NOT. But tired of us bloggers laughing at them, the mainstream news media is reduced to begging, yes, begging Bush to stop the "sources say" off the record stuff. Maybe they will ask about Gannon's sleep overs, too. Naw.

D.C. Bureau Chiefs Launch Push to End On-Background Briefings

By Joe Strupp

Published: May 03, 2005 11:45 AM ET
NEW YORK Washington bureau chiefs have launched a new effort to stop off-the-record and background-only White House press briefings with a campaign aimed at getting fellow D.C. journalists to demand that more briefings be on the record.

Among other efforts, they pressed the demand with White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan on Friday. "We tried to make the point that readers are sick to death of unnamed sources," said Ron Hutcheson, a White House correspondent for Knight Ridder. "Scott listened and he said he would chew on it for a few weeks, but everybody felt like he would give it consideration."

McClellan could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday morning.


I can see them now, at the Press Club dinner, laughing with Bush as he smirks, "No WMD here" as he pokes fun at his criminal unprovoked and illegal attack on Iraq. Ho ho ho...now that they are done laughing as Laura lies about Bush yanking the tool on a stallion (stallions are very dangerous especially when they get aroused, trust me, I trained some such) they are back to business as usual: whining about their whore status. "Please, treat us like Condi," they whine. "Treat us as if we are serious journalists, not paid hacks who write meaningless drivvel".

Poor babies. I wish I could help them. I tried and tried and for my efforts, was kicked in the teeth.

"We'd like to make a more concerted effort among the media during the month of May to raise objections as soon as background briefings are scheduled by any government official, whether at the White House, other executive agencies or the Hill," the e-mail said, in part. "Please ask your reporters to raise objections beforehand in hopes of convincing the official to go public -- ask them to explain why the briefing has to be on background. If that doesn't work, object again at the top of the briefing -- at least those objections will be part of the transcript. The broadcast networks will also press for briefings to be open to camera and sound."

The e-mail went to more than 40 D.C. bureau chiefs. Those who signed the e-mail were: Susan Page of USA Today, Clark Hoyt of Knight Ridder, Andy Alexander of Cox Newspapers, Robin Sproul of ABC News, Doyle McManus of the Los Angeles Times, Philip Taubman of The New York Times, and Sandy Johnson of Associated Press.


I note that none of the NYT or WP signed this email. They wouldn't dare. It might upset future dinner plans. And interfer with them laughing at Laura's jokes.

"The briefers show up on TV a day later after giving us a group grope on background," Johnson told E&P. She added, "We are obviously under pressure from our bosses who don’t like anonymous sources."


Oh, the Gannoning of the press! "Group grope" indeed. I thought they all did it doggie style. No wonder Gannon the Male Prostitute didn't stand out. They thought he was just nifty and indeed, he was...in his own style, to each their own, whatever floats your paperboat.

Taubman said he would direct more of his reporters to respond to background briefing rules with such protests. "We will make it a more systematic practice of challenging the background press rules," he told E&P.

But none of those involved were ready to boycott such background briefings. "We think this is an appropriate first step," Johnson said. "We have been successful in working with press spokesmen and we'll see where this route gets us."


"We shall overcoooooome," the reporters sing. Hey, why isn't this protest REPORTED???? Eh? Too personal? Did it have to leak to a very obscure, in house publication, which, by the way, has published the editor of Culture of Life News in the past. I will update this story as the stirring events happen. I bet they will all sit down at a lunch counter together and refuse to leave. Or maybe a bar. Better a bar. Bartender! A drink. On the house.

Finally the NYT Decides to Do Something About "Sources Say"

d
Okrent, "reader's advocate" (sic)

In "Stop the Presses" the Culture of Life News editor mocks the major media for using "sources say" all the time. I patiently explain this is a device the GOP uses to attack us liberals and others and it should cease. When Democratic shills are attacking liberals they use this magic cloaking device. It isn't to protect whistle blowers, it is to protect noxious attackers who don't want to have to pay for what they say since they are being smarmy or filthy.

So the NYT just announced today that they are joining the Associated Press in refusing to keep GOP operatives anonymous! about time. Geeze.

Credibility is also why many reporters will now acknowledge that the profession's worst habits must be broken - the vague descriptions of phantom sources, the readiness to disregard their motivations, the willingness to let them say what they wish without public accountability. White House correspondent David E. Sanger, much of whose recent work has been in the extremely sensitive area of nuclear proliferation, told me, "In the post-Iraq world" - the world in which artful leakers convinced reporters and their readers that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction - "using identifiers like 'intelligence officials' or 'officials with access to intelligence' just doesn't hack it."

But getting to the point where journalists incorporate this awareness into their work isn't easy. The psychic rewards a newsroom can bestow still go to the reporter who publishes something the competition doesn't have. Valuable sources, insisting on anonymity, continue to dangle tantalizing details as if they were biscuits offered to hungry dogs. Even background briefings have their appeal, when the alternative is a two-dimensional view of policy. Assistant secretary of state Richard A. Boucher told me that he and other officials are compelled to go on background "when describing views of other governments that are important to understand but for which we are not authorized to speak. Other governments might take exception when their views are characterized by our official spokesmen, but they can't object as easily when we're anonymous."


Work isn't easy as Bush likes to whine. The pretense that the NYT is desperately trying to "break stories" continues. Well, what happened to the Brit revelation about Bush and Blair conspiring to attack Iraq a year before they claimed they were alarmed about Iraq? Obviously, both men lied. I wait breathlessly for the NYT to run a serious series of articles about that. Yawn.

About nuclear proliferation: the only time the NYT should quote anonymous sources here is when they are uncovering crimes or lies within our super secret, lying nuclear bomb activities areas. I still am waiting for the NYT investigation about the $600+ million Bush spent on bomb shelters for himself and Cheney. Yawn.

The fiction that these anonymous clap trap is due to bomb sniffing reporters cornering people with information and forcing them to cough it up but hiding the identity so they can be safe is the silliest fairy tale the NYT has concocted yet. Even in the first paragraph they admit the GOP holds "off the record" sessions all the time. And all the media attend these dirty little tet-a-tets. And since all the media is there, it isn't an exclusive anymore, is it? Pure logic here. I wonder why this ability to reason x+y=0 eludes the well educated staff of the NYT. Where do they troll for employees?

David Leavy, who was National Security Council spokesman during the second Clinton term, agrees: "It's the law of political physics. You'll be a lot more forthcoming and rely on a lot less diplomatese if your name isn't attached to what you're saying." And, presumably, reporters (and readers) will learn much more. But policy makers want to get their story out, and even without the anonymity of a backgrounder, I bet they'll find a way.


Lordy. One thing America is short on is "diplomatese". Like "finesse" this Frenchie concept eludes us. We want to be the bull in the shit shop and so off we go, stampeding through the tulips crushing everything. Why does "learning more" require hiding behind the reporter's skirts? If this fools anyone it sure isn't the victim of the "sources say" stuff. They usually know who is saying it and why and wonder why the reporters funnel it. The hidden person and his or her enabler know perfectly well, the person being fooled is the reader. And fooling readers is hyper important to these players in the DC game.

Unfortunately for them, we have the internet. And instead of slogging along in the forums fighting with the NYT and getting banned if you annoy the staff there, we run our own news services on line, there is a host of us and we all are mad for various reasons at the NYT and the media in general. Only they refuse to understand who we are and why we do this.

They equate intelligent critics like myself with people who have an agenda like supporting Israel no matter what. Since they get attacked for not being a total Volkischer Beobachter, the Nazi official organ, or Pravda, they imagine attacks from people like myself are done only because I want the NYT to manipulate reality to suit my limited vision.

Nothing could be further from the truth and they know this. Over the years in various conversations I have had with the editors of the NYT they acknowledge that critics like myself are different from run of the mill critics. It is just, as they told the Brill Report after banning me from ever being printed on the editorial page again, "We won't have access to President Bush if we don't do this".

Craven even today when it is literally life and death for the NYT to get a spine! I wish they would print this article. It might help them recover some of their pride in their work.

Welcome to the Culture of Life Media News page!

Since this topic is topical but not breaking news most of the time, we will now put all such news concerning news media in the new blog page, here...whew.

Enjoy!

Elaine Supkis
Editor and publisher