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The Planet Keeps Warming, But U.S. Media Interest Cools

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  • The largest press delegation to Cancún, it turns out, was from the Climate Change Media Partnership, which provided fellowships to 35 journalists from 29 developing countries to the UN summit—including 10 U.S. reporters whose outlets’ own budgets couldn’t accommodate the trip.
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  • Fox News Boss Ordered Staffers To Cast Doubt On Climate Change Science
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  • An Answer for Bill O'Reilly
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  • Catastrophic Weather Events Are Becoming the New Normal
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Miranda Spencer, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)

This article is made possible with the contributions of readers like you. Thank you!

After the anticlimax of the COP-15 climate-policy negotiations in Copenhagen last year (Extra!, 2/10)—in which the more than 190 UN-member nations walked away with a non-binding statement of intent cobbled together in secret by the U.S. and a few other wealthy nations—public and press expectations for this year’s COP-16 meeting (11/29–12/10/10) in Cancún, Mexico, were low.

At least in part reflecting this pessimism, there has been a “steep slide” in climate reporting this year, Columbia Journalism Review’s science blog (Observatory, 11/24/10) noted. Few major corporate news media outlets even planned to send reporters to Cancún; as Washington Post lead environmental writer Juliet Eilperin told Observatory, “It feels like there is absolutely no momentum…. What will there even be to cover in Cancún in terms of public policy or reader interest?”

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Fox News Boss Ordered Staffers To Cast Doubt On Climate Change Science,  Jack Mirkinson, Huffington Post
A top Fox News editor sent an email to staffers and journalists questioning the science behind global warming and directing them to always point out on air that the theory has its skeptics.

An Answer for Bill O'Reilly, Al Gore, Huffington Post
Scientists have been warning for at least two decades that global warming could make snowstorms more severe. Snow has two simple ingredients: cold and moisture. Warmer air collects moisture like a sponge until it hits a patch of cold air. When temperatures dip below freezing, a lot of moisture creates a lot of snow.

Catastrophic Weather Events Are Becoming the New Normal, Bill McKibben, AlterNet

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  • For two decades now we've been ignoring the impassioned pleas of scientists that our burning of fossil fuels was a bad idea. And now we're paying a heavy price.
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  • Are You Ready for Life on Our Planet Circa 2011?
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CBS News Still Covering for Ronald Reagan?

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  • On CBS's Early Show (1/17/11), Michael Reagan repeated his denials. But what was most noteworthy about the CBS interview wasn't what Michael Reagan said, but what CBS journalist Erica Hill did not say.
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  • CBS almost reported Reagan was mentally unfit in 1986
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Steve Rendall, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)

Low Income Readers:  If you are on a tight budget, don't send cash! Just forward articles to your friends - and non-Progressives too ;) - and we need help building our Evergreene Digest community, you can invite your Facebook friends, that's a big help too. We are proud to have you with us.

In his new book, Ron Reagan says he saw early signs of Alzheimer's disease in his father, Ronald Reagan, while the late president was still in the White House. When he said as much on ABC's 20/20 last Friday (1/14/11), he infuriated many on the right, including his older brother Michael Reagan.

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Over the weekend, the older Reagan son took to Twitter, writing over the course of several messages, "My brother seems to want [to] sell out his father to sell books.... My father did not suffer from Alzheimer's in the '80s.... Ron, my brother, was an embarrassment to my father when he was alive and today he became an embarrassment to his mother."

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CBS almost reported Reagan was mentally unfit in 1986, David Edwards, Raw Story

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  • "I now believe [Reagan aides and his wife Nancy] covered up his condition, and many continued to as they wrote their memoirs. But then, the public knew something wasn't right. There were all sorts of signs. We all looked the other way," Leslie Stahl concluded in her book.
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  • Mission Accomplished: The Reagan Occupation and the Destruction of the American Middle Class
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  • How Republicans created the myth of Ronald Reagan
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The Media's Role in the Assault on Working People

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  • A common theme runs through a variety of news stories: there isn’t enough money around, and so working people must take a hit. But is that really the only solution?
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  • The War Against Public Sector Unions
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Russ Baker, WhoWhatWhy.com

This article is made possible with the contributions of readers like you. Thank you!

A common theme runs through a variety of news stories: there isn’t enough money around, and so working people must take a hit. But is that really the only solution?

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First, let’s look at the stories. There’s growing talk of letting state governments declare bankruptcy so they can get out of paying pension benefits to retired state workers. As the New York Times put it:

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Policymakers are working behind the scenes to come up with a way to let states declare bankruptcy and get out from under crushing debts, including the pensions they have promised to retired public workers.

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The War Against Public Sector Unions, Kevin Drum, Mother Jones

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  • It's pretty easy to understand how a recession would fuel growing taxpayer resentment toward public sector union benefits they're paying for. The next few years are going to be rough ones for public sector workers.
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  • Throwing Public Unions Under the Bus
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  • Let's bust the myths about public unions
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Al Jazeera English Blacked Out Across Most Of U.S.

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  • "Why in the most vibrant democracy in the world, where engagement and knowledge of the world is probably the most important, why it's not available is one of these things that would take a PhD scholar to understand," said Tony Burman, head of North American strategies for Al Jazeera English.
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  • Fear Extreme Islamists in Egypt and the Arab World? Blame Washington
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  • Democracy is Bad for US Foreign Policy
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Ryan Grim, Huffington Post

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Canadian television viewers looking for the most thorough and in-depth coverage of the uprising in Egypt have the option of tuning into Al Jazeera English, whose on-the-ground coverage of the turmoil is unmatched by any other outlet. American viewers, meanwhile, have little choice but to wait until one of the U.S. cable-company-approved networks broadcasts footage from AJE, which the company makes publicly available.

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What they can't do is watch the network directly.

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Other than in a handful of pockets across the U.S. - including Ohio, Vermont and Washington, D.C. - cable carriers do not give viewers the choice of watching Al Jazeera. That corporate censorship comes as American diplomats harshly criticize the Egyptian government for blocking Internet communication inside the country and as Egypt attempts to block Al Jazeera from broadcasting.

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A HuffPost reader emails to say that Al Jazeera programming is also being carried by the satellite channel LinkTV, which can be found on channel 9410 on Dish Network and 375 on DirecTV.

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Another HuffPost reader emails to say that Al Jazeera broadcasts over some of the Pacifica stations, including WBAI (New York, 5-6 AM, 99.5 FM), KPFA (Berkeley, 6-7 AM, 94.1 FM) and KPFT (Houston, 5-6 AM, 90.1 FM).

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Readers can demand Al Jazeera English here. Here are the contact pages for Comcast, Time Warner,  and DirecTV.

Fear Extreme Islamists in Egypt and the Arab World? Blame Washington, Jeff Cohen, Truthout

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For decades beginning during the Cold War, US policy in the Islamic world has been aimed at suppressing secular reformist and leftist movements. Beginning with the CIA-engineered coup against a secular democratic reform government in Iran in 1953 (it was about oil), Washington has propped up dictators, coaching these regimes in the black arts of torture and mayhem against secular liberals and the left.

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Democracy is Bad for US Foreign Policy, Stephen Gowans, Centre for Research on Globalization
Democracy and human rights are fine, but not when strategic and commercial interests are at stake.
Washington’s cold-eyed commitment to realpolitik and profits “sometimes involves supporting autocratic and unpopular governments — which has turned many of those young people against the United States.”

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Bradley Manning: Journalistic hack-job

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The worsening journalistic disgrace at Wired

Glenn Greenwald, Salon

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lorenzo Canizares

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Kevin Poulsen and Bradley Manning

For more than six months, Wired's Senior Editor Kevin Poulsen has possessed -- but refuses to publish -- the key evidence in one of the year's most significant political stories:  the arrest of U.S. Army PFC Bradley Manning for allegedly acting as WikiLeaks' source.

In late May, Adrian Lamo -- at the same time he was working with the FBI as a government informant against Manning -- gave Poulsen what he purported to be the full chat logs between Manning and Lamo in which the Army Private allegedly confessed to having been the source for the various cables, documents and video that WikiLeaks released throughout this year. In interviews with me in June, both Poulsen and Lamo confirmed that Lamo placed no substantive restrictions on Poulsen with regard to the chat logs:  Wired was and remains free to publish the logs in their entirety.

Despite that, on June 10, Wired published what it said was only "about 25 percent" of those logs, excerpts that it hand-picked. For the last six months, Poulsen has not only steadfastly refused to release any further excerpts, but worse, has refused to answer questions about what those logs do and do not contain. This is easily one of the worst journalistic disgraces of the year:  it is just inconceivable that someone who claims to be a "journalist" -- or who wants to be regarded as one -- would actively conceal from the public, for months on end, the key evidence in a political story that has generated headlines around the world.

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