Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Democrat and Obama loyalist takes on Ed Schultz and the so-called “professional left”

After an anonymous source leaked to the Washington Post that President Obama had put Social Security on the table in the debt ceiling debate, Adam Green, Brian Sonenstein, and MSNBC Ed Schulz took the unsubstantiated story at face value and sprung into action with threats to withdraw support from the President and Democrats seeking re-election in 2012. Have they lost their collective minds?

I do not trust one single word that comes from some supposedly anonymous source in a newspaper column. Journalists today will lie, distort, concoct, and hack into people's email and phone to get something on air or in print.

Green of Bold Progressives and Sonenstein of Firedog Lake emailed their members an urgent petition to sign immediately, and by the way, send us money too. Schultz, in his usual, bombastic style threatened what is tantamount to a voter boycott of the 2012 elections. That’s just did it for me. I had heard enough, and I had had enough.

It is debatable whether they caught me on my bad day or good day, but below is my response to Ed Schultz, and I sent a variation of the same text directly to Adam Green and Brian Sonenstein.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Are pictures of his wiener more important than images of children and women forced into prostitution?

Two press conferences, interruptions of regular programming, scores of discussions, interviews and punditries, professional journalists behaving like tabloid reporters, unlimited coverage spanning weeks for a scandal involving Twitter pictures of a Congressman’s penis. “Coverage of the saga occupied 17 percent of the news hole between June 6 and June 12,” according to the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Never have we seen the mainstream media spend that much time covering the kidnapping and selling of American children and women as sex slaves. To be blunt, sex trafficking also involves a man’s penis and how much he's willing to pay, and to what extinct he's willing to go in order to satisfy his sexual perversions. Once a little girl is sold into sex slavery, a man uses his penis to force her into submission, to break her little spirit, rob her of her innocence, and crush her dreams and hopes. Scandalous, but since it does not involve a politician's penis,the scandal goes unreported or under-reported.

The media is selective about penis coverage. A politician sending pictures of his penis to women on Twitter is a more sensational story (, and by their coverage...more important), than an international criminal cartel that supplies children to perverted men in the U.S. and around the world. If the news media spent just a tenth of the time they spend on a politician's sex scandal tracking down men in America who are buying children for sex slaves, it could lead to the capture of some of these girls.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Press uses the First Amendment for Personal Destruction

The media spectacle we saw transpire this week concerning suggestive pictures that Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) sent to women he follows on Twitter was just as much about how the press uses their First Amendment right to justify the personal destruction of public people as it is about his personal failings as a human being.

The sexual transgressions of narcissistic powerful men like former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA), former Senator and vice presidential candidate John Edwards (D-NC), former Senator John Ensign (R-NV), and Congressman Weiner is typical tabloid news that belongs in the National Enquirer.  

Back in good old days when journalists were more ethical than they are nowadays, you turned to rags like the Enquirer if you wanted to pry into a public figure’s personal life.  Instead, this new opinionated news media turns every salacious regional story into a national one and sells it to the public as hard news when it has absolutely nothing to do with the public’s right to know.

News media operates like a body of predators that destroy public figures for financial gain

Nowadays the news media operates more like a body of predators that expose the personal failings of high-profiled celebrities and politicians for financial gain.  They would vehemently deny that characterization and would argue that they are doing the public a service to bring the indiscretions of public figures to the light of day.  If the public figure is the President or a candidate for president, then yes the public has a right to know. If it is about the sexual improprieties of actor Charlie Sheen or a bombastic congressman from New York City, then no.  However, the news media is not as gung-ho to investigate and report endlessly the sex scandal of someone in their own industry.  Case in point, Andrea Mackris vs. Fox News broadcaster and media personality Bill O’Reilly.

O’Reilly, a blatant hypocrite, faced his own sex scandal in 2004 when allegations of quid pro quo sexual harassment and sexually hostile work environment ended up in a lawsuit filed by his former producer Andrea Mackris.  O’Reilly first denied the allegations until Mackris revealed that she had an audio recording of his phone conversations.  He eventually settled the suit with her for tens of millions of dollars, and his lawyers demanded the return of his sex tape

The news media reported the story but did not spend near as much time on O’Reilly’s sex scandal as they did on the other poor suckers who cheated and lied then ended up in their crosshair. Bill O’Reilly broke the law and paid to cover it up, and the news media abandoned the story.

The salacious details in Mackris lawsuit were far more damaging and serious than Congressman Weiner sending suggestive pictures to women on Twitter. O’Reilly violatedNew York City law, which defines harassment as “verbal, physical or pictorial and can include sexual comments, jokes, innuendo, and pressure for dates, sexual touching, sexual gestures, and sexual graffiti.”

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Here the press goes again…another fake GOP presidential candidate

For profit and ratings, the news media permit unscrupulous characters like Donald Trump and Sarah Palin to use their news organization to promote something that is blatantly false but personally advantageous for them. 

With sufficient evidence to the contrary that Trump was not launching a presidential campaign, cable to network news to print to online disregarded the evidence and broadcasters, commentators, journalists, and pundits emphatically declared Trump a serious candidate. The most vocal exception to that long list of professionals was Lawrence O’Donnell, host of MSNBC “The Last Word.”  He consistently, in a very direct and logical manner, made the case why Trump was not running for president.  Now, a month later, here the press goes again covering Sarah Palin, the newest fake 2012 GOP presidential candidate. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Which major corporation owns your favorite news channel or network?

“. . . for news organizations to be indebted to the financial success of publicly traded corporations jeopardizes the public's right to know and threatens our democracy. 
[May 17, 2011] Every single mainstream and cable news organization in the U.S. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange as part of the business structure of a U.S. Corporation.  Your favorite news channel or network could be owned by your favorite appliance manufacturer.  Hot damn…how terrific is that?  Not terrific at all, because for news organizations to be indebted to the financial success of publicly traded corporations jeopardizes the public’s right to know and threatens our democracy.
Comcast owns 51% and General Electric (GE), 49% of NBC, which includes CNBC and MSNBC.  Therefore, the company that provides us with cable, internet, and telephone services in our homes and the company that manufactures our appliances and light bulbs also have control of our news. 
The whole idea of corporations owning news organizations violates the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics that Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public's right to know.” That means they should act independently and avoid, at all cost, any conflicts of interest, perceived or real.  That was easier for them to uphold before the conflicts of interest started signing the paychecks of news producers.
Walt Disney owns ABC News. Now come on…do you think an ABC News producer would ever approve content that could potentially damage the reputation of the company that brought us Disneyland and Disney World and family-friendly programming? For god’s sake, they brought us Mickey Mouse. No way would ABC harm their bottom-line.  Time Warner owns CNN and AOL, and AOL acquired the Huffington Post.  News Corp owns Fox News, Fox Business, New York Post, and Wall Street Journal. CBS owns CBS News. 
Before Time Warner acquired Turner Broadcasting System in 1996, which owned CNN, this media observer expected journalists to “remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.”That’s no longer the case.  Having a stake in the financial outcome of a corporation has greatly damaged the credibility of the news media.
No one believes a news organization would not compromise their integrity and risk damage to their credibility to prevent worldwide negative implications of a news story attributed to their parent company.  Besides, the parent company is not going to sit idly by and let a subsidiary cause their financial ruin.
What do you think would happen if a news organization got hold of information that depicts their parent company in an unfavorable manner…would journalists hired by that organization act ethically and put the public’s right to know first and foremost and “seek truth and report it” or would they withhold it from the public?
News that GE paid no federal taxes in 2010, which proved unfavorable to their corporate image, received no coverage on NBC, CNBC, or MSNBC until six days after the New York Times reported it.  It was as if they thought viewers would not notice that every other network was reporting the story but them. It was all over the Internet. It was apparent General Electric (GE) had silenced them. 
Fox News producers and broadcasters vigorously defended News Corp against criticism over its $1 million donation to the Republican Governors Association in order to influence the 2010 midterm election. Fox News, like MSNBC, violated the public’s right to know. Unfortunately, Americans have come to expect bias in News Corp because Rupert Murdoch support of Conservatism is very well known. Fox News was built on it.
Fox News cast GE in a negative light for not paying any corporate taxes, and MSNBC broadcasters cast dispersions on News Corp for donating to only Republicans.  It appears that it is acceptable practice to bring down your competitor’s parent company, but don’t you dare report anything that could adversely harm your own parent company. The public’s right to know does not take precedence over protecting their corporate image.
SPJ’s ethical standard of being “courageous about holding those with power accountable” only applies to celebrities and politicians. Cable news executives leave any harsh criticism of Wall Street or corporate CEOs to their opinion shows as long as they’re not criticizing a CEO of their own parent company. Would ABC vigorously investigate Walt Disney if they became ensnarled in a scandal that could damage the company’s reputation or drive down the price of its stock?  Would CNN hold Time Warner accountable for some corporate misdeed? Is Bill Maher a Christian? Hell no!
If a powerful and sophisticated weapon defense system protects us from foreign threats, what protects us from U.S. corporations that control what we read, what we see on television, or what news we hear?
That’s my yada yada and I’m sticking to it.

Follow me on Twitter: @smaxxmahaffey
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Friday, May 13, 2011

Meghan McCain and her Selective Outrage

Glenn Beck mocked Meghan McCain on his radio show Wednesday for appearing partially nude in an ad for skin cancer. Beck made sounds pretending that he was vomiting while looking at the ad.  "Put some extra clothes on," he said. "Like, lots of extra clothes...has she thought about a burqa, just to be extra safe?"  Meghan was highly offended and took to Twitter to blast Beck for his hurtful comments, and so did her mother, Cindy McCain.
If you think this post is in support of Meghan, then you are wrong. Not even close. Glenn Beck is an idiot and his days are numbered. So, enough said about him.  However, Meghan McCain is getting EXACTLY what she deserves. I have absolutely no empathy for her hurt feelings, and here’s why.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Obama gets the bump. Where’s the news coverage?

President Obama approval rating hits 60 percent, a two-year high, in the AP-GfK poll*.  Fifty-two percent (52%) of Americans give him credit dealing with a stubborn economy, and the numbers get better when it comes to national security.

Seventy-three percent (73%) of Americans trust him to handle terrorist threats.  Forty-five percent (45%) say the country is headed in the right direction. That’s up from thirty-five percent in March.  Fifty-three percent (53%) now say he deserves re-election, which is the same percentage that got him elected. 

AP-GfK poll* finds that 69 percent (63%) say he will keep America safe, 65 percent (65%) say he is a strong leader, 63 percent (63%) believes he understands the problems of ordinary people and 63 percent (63%) say he cares about people like them, and 63 percent (63%) view President Obama favorably. Sixty-one percent (61%) disapprove of his handling of gas prices, even though there is nothing he or any President can do about it.

What is so significant about the AP-GfK poll* is that it included landline and cellphone interviews.  Young people ages 18-34 are not always included in national polls because their primary number is a cellphone.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Response to Criticism for celebrating death of Osama bin Laden

IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN'S PIERS MORGAN, Liberal activist Michael Moore sounded more like someone on the far-right when he loudly proclaimed that those who celebrated and cheered when learning of bin Laden's death were un-American. Really? Well Michael, that is exactly how Fox News and the far-right attacked Moore and others like me for our anti-war stance during the Bush Administration.
When the extremes on the right want to silence Liberals who disagree with the Republican agenda or Conservative principles, they label them unpatriotic or un-American. No one wants that label put on them, but it's a cheap way of beating back their critics.  Michael Moore is doing the same thing to supporters of the raid on bin Laden's compound. 
He believes bin Laden should have been brought back to the U.S. and tried in a civilian court, which was never going to happen. Therefore, since the Navy Seals shot him instead of trying to transport him, Moore concludes bin Laden was assassinated.  He looked into the camera and said, "You're not American."


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