The No News News Media

by Walter Brasch

There was a lot of news this past week.

Some of it was even reported by the news media.

First, there was a football player from Notre Dame who either did or didn’t know that his girlfriend was or wasn’t real, but died sometime during the season. Six column headlines for several days announced the fraud. Network news and talk show hosts rehashed it almost daily.

Two weeks ago, Lance Armstrong admitted he was a dope. Or maybe he just took dope. The news media kept sending urgent flashes all week of what he was going to tell Oprah. And then he told Oprah, and now we’ll be reading stories about it until Schwinn adds a jet engine to a 3-speed.

Subway is accused of making foot-long hoagies that are 11 inches, a problem that the executives wisely didn’t say was due to shrinkage in cold weather. The media seized this major fraud and, ignoring anything Congress or Wall Street was doing, slathered layers of hype on a story that should have died with three paragraphs in one day.

Of course, there was the inauguration. That became another way for bloviators and pretend-journalists to push their own agendas. They told us how unpopular this President is-attendance was way down from the first inauguration. Only 500,000 attended.  They didn’t tell us that second inaugurations always have much fewer people watching them in person than first inaugurations. And, that figure of 500,000? A little short of the actual number of one million. They said the inauguration was over-long and overpriced, although most of it was paid for by private donations. Something they didn’t mention was that the costs and day’s activities were about the same as for the previous president, and most presidents of the latter 20th century-Democrat or Republican.

Some of these pundits suggested that the President didn’t have a mandate, although he easily won by more than five million votes, and a near landslide in the Electoral College. A few of the more extreme even suggested he had stolen the election-how else could he have won over the nice businessman who bought and sold companies and helped improve the economy of Switzerland and the Canary Islands?

For the rest of the networks, the focus was on a constant blather of what would Michelle Obama be wearing. Whose dress? Whose gloves? This, of course, was mixed into all kinds of gushes and comments about her new ‘do. You know, the one that had bangs. The day after the inauguration, the media was all over the story of the BeyoncĂ© kerfuffle. Did she or didn’t she lip synch the National Anthem? Truly great news coverage there.

Hillary Clinton testified before the Congressional Inquisition of Televised Republicans trying to make their bones to either enhance their own chances for re-election or to block what they think may be her plan to run for the presidency in 2016. This would be some of the same people who thought she was faking a concussion to avoid testifying in the first place.

The Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, scheduled for Harrisburg, Pa., Feb. 2-10 was cancelled this past week. The Expo is the largest in North America, but the organizers decided that in the wake of the Newtown murders, they would put a temporary moratorium on the sale of military-style assault weapons because they believed “the presence of MSRs [military style rifles] would distract from the theme of hunting and fishing, disrupting the broader experience of our guests.” Only a dozen or so of the 1,200 vendors were affected; most were selling clothes, rifles, turkey calls, tents, and anything related to outdoor sports. But, one by one vendors, the media, and dozens of celebrities-all with NRA encouragement and support-decided not to attend, somehow believing that a hunting and fishing exhibition that didn’t allow the purchase of assault weapons was somehow anti-American and gave a message that those who did attend were opposed to the Second Amendment. The Harrisburg Patriot-News reported that the cancellation led to a loss of $43 million in the local economy.

More than 32,000 will die from gun violence by the end of the year, according to the Brady Center. This past week, 78 Americans, including four pre-teens, died from gun violence. And, during this past week, as has been the case for hundreds of previous weeks, the NRA leadership, with the egos of a gang of schoolboys who overdosed on testosterone, continue to defy all attempts to reach sensible solutions to allow the purchase of guns, yet reduce the violence.

A 38-year-old sergeant died from wounds received near Kabul, Afghanistan. The U.S. had invaded Afghanistan to find Osama bin Laden, but he became a lower priority less than a year later. The Bush-Cheney administration almost abandoned the war in Afghanistan and turned to Iraq. More than 7,600 American and allied soldiers were killed, and more than 50,000 wounded in both wars. President Obama, fulfilling a campaign promise, ended the war in Iraq and is months from ending the one in Afghanistan.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) who numerous times promised to reign in the abuse of the filibuster that blocked any meaningful legislation or presidential appointments, turned wimp this past week. He and minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who once vowed his top priority was solely to prevent Barack Obama from serving a second term, may have been last seen hugging, kissing, and preparing to be married in Massachusetts.

This past week, the stock market hit new records, and it looks President Obama may receive some of the credit for helping to stop the Great Recession, something that upsets Republicans, delights Democrats, and has no meaning to anyone homeless or unemployed.

Yes, there was a lot of news this past week. Some of it may some day actually be reported.

Dr. Brasch’s latest book is Fracking Pennsylvania: Flirting With Disaster. It is available from at a pre-publication discount.]


Occupy Philadelphia

Today was the first day of Occupy Philadelphia which was held on City Hall Plaza and attracted a large number of people.  They were throughout the plaza and nothing was organized or orchestrated.  There were no speakers other than sometimes someone would stand on a wall and shout something to the gathering.  This is very organic, grassroots and attracted various people from and with various causes.  A small street band played music which attracted the largest crowd but most people walked around, held their signs and chatted with one another.  I saw Sherrie Cohen, Sharif Street, Rick Smith of The Rick Smith Show and his engineer Brett Banditelli, Joe “The Nerd” Ferraro and others.  A large group gathered along Broad Street with signs and banners attracting many honks from passing vehicles in support.  Police stood silently and bored along the edge near City Hall as nothing of any consequence to them was happening.  All the while two helicopters hovered overhead taking pictures for their news organizations.

This is a hodgepodge video I took around the plaza.  The first part isn’t work safe for language:

This interview is with a young man unable to find a job:

These two young people held signs decrying the Bush tax cuts and the lack of jobs created by the failed policy:

These three men from Teamsters Local 929 had a lot to say:

More pictures and video are under the fold:

Joanne had a lot to say about bankers:

These students are saddled with onerous student loans:


McBush will ride a downward spiral of failure

McBush will ride a downward spiral of failure. The time of failed Bush-McCain policies is over. His best bosom buddy Bush has given us, the American people, 8 miserable Republican balance of power monopoly years of incompetency, a national deficit, a corrupt, cronyistic executive branch that escapes oversight and the limits of the Constitution’s habeas corpus and transparency under a declaration of so-called ‘executive privilege,’ and a failed party agenda resulting in a washed-up, disposable Republican brand and a beyond lackluster base.

McBush has been the recipient of soft-ball, push-over favorable press, but his campaign risks a political cliffdive. Various sources have exposed that different major corporate anchormen and women, and reporters have succumbed to McSame’s press-oriented pseudo-charm, ego-stroking, party invites and free boozes to the journalists covering him. I’ve got to admit, it’s a conflict-of-interest causing approach but effective plan to propagate the free press right out of the “Compassionate Conservative” Bush-Rovian playbook. McSame has made the bed and now the corporate journalists are lying in it. However, in the morning, when it’s time for the journalists to do their jobs and inform us about McBush’s extremist views, perpetuation of the status quo, his self-admission that he is “not an expert on the economy,” his inability to feel and understand your eeconomic pains, his admission that he believes everything going okay with our economy, his gazillionaire wife’s refusal to release her tax records for the view of the American voting public, his canoodling with various corporate interest groups and 527 groups, McBush’s flip-flopping and Far-Right wing courting of “Catholic Church is the great whore…Hitler is the great hunter of God” evangelist John Hagee and “America’s mission is to destroy the Muslim religion” evangelist Rod Parsley, and McBush’s votes against every health and economic livelihood-protecting initiative that the American people had demanded Congress to pass, the press does not come through and put out information that people should know about their McPolitician-

Let’s be honest, he doesn’t have a f**king chance of getting the presidency. In a change year like this, you cannot attract moderates when you have Far-Right extremist evangelist wackos, like James Dobson, fighting your opponent for you and you base your political career voting 95% of the time for your buddy Bush and for the GOP’s old-hat, yesterday’s song-and-dance positions.

In a year when James Hansen, NASA scientist and top expert in the study of the global warming pandemic, says that the earth needs drastic action to avoid cataclysmic ecosystem destruction, further sea level rise and mass extinction in the next two decades we cannot afford Bush-McCain tent-preaching the archaic cult philosophies of maintaining the status quo- like off-shore drilling and further environmental pollution.

Not to mention that McSame has said on a conference call that he is justifying a military draft if he saw the Iran war situation as a World War III scenario. It’s a direct continuation of Bush’s wet dream of total war. He wants to play Shoot-Em-Down Battleship with our young children’s lives. He’s f**king nuts. An overwhelming majority of American citizens want our troops home in under a year, and the Bush-McCain policies have already drained our economy and had us borrowing money from China and posting the bill on our children’s heads. The American people see where this is going, and in this year it is critical we vote for a different path.

Why has McBush been sucking up to media?

The media is soft-peddling around Mcsame…and there may be a reason. He is courting the media, especially a good amount of corporate anchormen and women on the two other major news stations other than Fixed News. They have been trying to evade the fact that McBush is a Far-Right extremist that has voted with Bush and his party 95% of the time.

Howard Kurtz, CNN reporter, admits in May on the Washington Post that the press has had a ‘cozy relationship’ with McBush and their coverage of him. In fact, they have had ‘cozy’-ier coverage of Mcsame going back to while Sen. Obama and Clinton were still duking it out..and farther. According to the Nation, issue July 7, 2008 reports, “Chris Matthews of MSNBC’s Hardball refers to McBush as ‘the perfect candidate to deal with what challenges we face as a country’ and Miki Brzezinski of MSNBC’s Morning Joe glowingly remarks that McBush, ‘rises from the pack…eloquent, as only a prisoner of war can be’.” And many sources note that this may be a carefully laid-out plan to propagate the journalists into giving positive news and get them to soft ball the questions that should focus on his tight allegiance to his party, his unyielding continuance of his Bush-McCain politics of 100-years war with your children’s lives, his hard-line and medieval stance on birth control and women’s reproductive choice and issues and his continuance of the failed policy of the Bush-McCain era and regime.  

McCain is desperate for a wedge issue to change the subject and he needs your help!

John McCain is in Nevada talking about pork-barrel spending. He is scared about the fact that Scott McClellan just came out with a book that will open American eyes about what he and the Bush Administration are trying to pull. And he needs you to help change the subject. He needs Democrats to divide themselves up and attack each other, so that he can have a chance to sneak himself through the process and get into the Oval Office. He doesn’t want you to notice that he is aligning himself with out of the mainstream people like John Hagee, who calls Hitler “the hunter” and celebrates his attack on 6 million Jewish people and called the Catholic Church “The Great Whore” or Rod Parsley, the evangelist who declared that it was America’s mission and “intention” to destroy the Islamic religion. McCain can’t wait to take away your rights, including women’s reproductive rights and right to possess birth control…or employer-based health care, by appointing backwards judges that will laugh at you when you expect the Constitution to protect you. McCain is desperate for any progressive subject to talk about to change the subject and keep progressives and the American people from noticing he’s trying to rob us blind from potential change in the fall. He needs you to bring the smokescreen and fight among each other about all of your differences and not unite behind the Democratic nominee, so that he can have a chance to continue 4 more years of Bush’s policies, continue the war and deny you worker’s rights. McCain needs you to hate the nominee because he is African American, or female, or has a funny name, or big ears, or can be labeled with hollow words like a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey game. That’s why McCain is seeing Bush in the middle of the night to talk about his need for his support, without any cameras around to catch him red-handed. He needs you to give up your chance at freedom and democracy, so that he can continue the endless occupation of Iraq for 100 years and deny your children college education and send them in Iraq. McCain also does not want you to know that he has voted with Bush 90% of the time, and if you knew that it would interfere with his ‘maverick’ image and style. Can you distract the Democrats from uniting behind their nominee? John McCain and George W. Bush need you to help them distract the American people, like Bush-McCain did during the Iraq War.