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0 comments | Wednesday, November 30, 2005

You've probably heard Ann Coulter posted a woman's personal information up on her website. It is my understanding that this woman (an actress and a writer) has been subjected to hate emails and calls since this occurred.

Ann Coulter, who is probably best known as the reigning champion of vitriol-filled attacks on particularly liberals, but I think just about anyone not on the hard right; should have (as a professional political 'expert') known what an outrageous act this was. I know of no one on the left who has acted this way by posting the personal information of a conservative on their site so s/he can be harassed and ridiculed in the violated privacy of his/her own home. In my view Ann Coulter should no longer receive the time of day in response to any comments of hers about anything. She has permanently ostracized herself from the world of mature grownups who engage in informed debate, and respectful exchange of ideas. Prior to this Ann and her rhetoric were good for a laugh, but she's proven an absence of a sense of humor and a callousness that goes far beyond the limits of everyday partisan antipathy.

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Wilkerson seems to be giving a lot of credence to the anti-war Iraq war arguments, but it seems like kind of a shame that he's coming out with this stuff now. I don't know what could have been done prior to the war except for leaking some of this information. Of course, we don't really know how difficult it would have been to leak some of the stuff he has been saying; so maybe we have to accept that now is better than never and live with that.

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I don't really think that having a perfectly balanced media is an attainable goal... In fact, I don't have a very good idea about how the mass media could be regulated correctly in the United States. Perhaps, limitations should be put on how many point of view/oped shows are allowed on an MSNBC or Fox, but even then networks can slant coverage by choosing to cover some things over others... I have not seen an in depth study done, but from what I've heard and seen of Fox news even the 'objective' stories that they cover are prompted by Republican talking points. A network can slant by omission and slant by commission.

What I've noticed that seems to be happening on television is that MSNBC has followed Fox's lead and they have no or little commitment to objectivity. The only strong liberal on their channel is Ron Reagan, and I don't think one should have to be the son of one of the most conservative presidents ever to be allowed to voice a liberal perspective on television. So television appears to be following the radio model of something like five conservative shows to one liberal one. It's my understanding that these Rush/Hannity et. al. shows originally sold themselves (got past the fairness doctrine) by saying that they are entertainment and not news; but the a.m. stations in my area that play these shows call themselves 'news' channels. These channels are, of course, propaganda channels (it's quite interesting that Air America and in fact no liberal host that I know of make claims to be providing news, instead they make no bones about providing perspective); and television 'news' channels, too, seem to be morphing into this same type of channel.

I think it's actually much easier for media to be slanted than to be balanced, and as I asked before how possible is perfect balance? Those of us on the left are well aware of the kind of brainwashing being perpetrated on the American public by the mass media. Anyway, in concluding my rant I think my main point is that progressives should not be overly conscious about balance. We should borrow the self-assuredness and opportunism of the right and provide progressive perspective wherever there is an opening. It should be clear when the media is actually too liberal, and at that time a re-evaluation of the goals of the progressive media movement should take place. Prior to achieving this aim progressive media activists should write, speak, or blog their way to balance and beyond.

0 comments | Tuesday, November 29, 2005

it's really hard to come to a certain conclusion about the thimersol/autism debate, but it certainly doesn't pass the where there's smoke there's fire test...

1 comments | Saturday, November 26, 2005

i don't have to much to say about this i just enjoyed reading it, and i thought maybe others would too...

0 comments | Friday, November 25, 2005

this type of article while not uncommon is very well written and worth reading... it seems to me that the goal of leftist and freethinking bloggers is basically what Pilger refers to in this piece... still one has to think about a number of the concerns in this piece... these articles pose the question of whether one should cry or rejoice at this time, which seems to be a time where the media may not be recognizable just a few years from now (or at least it will look more like the blogosphere than the NYT, Washington Post, etc)...

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I subscribe to the view of presenting all perspectives and letting each individual decide... I do not believe in the views of a lot of material that will be on websites that I provide links to... freedom of speech and thought is the only path that can lead to truth, censorship begets ignorance... I'll probably continually post a disclaimer similar to this until I figure out how to orchestrate this blog better...

0 comments | Wednesday, November 23, 2005

it will be interesting to see the Bush administration spin on this story... it had been my perception that the resistance in Iraq were terrorists (according to Bush and his surrogates)... some progressives had been calling the resistance freedom fighters and I have largely agreed with that characterization except of course with the case of actual Al-Qaeda or other fighters using terrorist tactics (bombing mosques, residences, unarmed folks, etc...)... I am a pretty avid news consumer so sometimes I don't have the best grip on the reach of a particular story, so perhaps Bush and co. will simply ignore this story and wait for the news writers to dredge up the next big item...

0 comments | Sunday, November 20, 2005

yes, the two can be mixed together... there is a pretty neat columnist name David Zirin who writes thought-provoking and inciteful pieces about all manner of sport... two of his columns that I have enjoyed recently were: http://www.edgeofsports.com/2005-10-12-158/index.html, and http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=105&ItemID=9153 if you like these columns i suggest you read him regularly because they represent his exceptional analytical capability...

0 comments | Saturday, November 19, 2005

the right wing attack machine has been going around saying what an extremist Justice Ginsburg is, recently I unearthed a couple of articles that challenge this notion... i hope they are of interest to anyone who has been hearing the same disengenuous right wing claims: http://mediamatters.org/items/200507250002, http://mediamatters.org/items/200507070002