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Washington Post Bungles History of Gaza Blockade

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It gets the facts wrong on crucial history and context relating to the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

Alex Kane, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)

In an article (8/10/10) on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's testimony to an Israeli panel investigating the May 31 raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, the Washington Post gets the facts wrong on crucial history and context relating to the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

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Joel Greenberg writes:

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Netanyahu said that the naval blockade, imposed by the previous Israeli government in January 2009 during a military offensive against Hamas, was meant to prevent the smuggling of arms to the Gaza Strip, which he described as "a giant weapons depot and base for attacks on Israel."

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He added that 12 ships had tried to run the blockade since it was imposed, but none had reached Gaza.

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Facebook devolves into dark web of anonymous hate speech

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  • Facebook has, for reasons you'll soon see, brought out the worst in many people, devolving into a tangled web of anonymous hate speech directed to anything and everything within reach.
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  • How Facebook became a hate engine
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  • How Facebook Betrayed Users and Undermined Online Privacy
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  • Goodbye, Blog
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Mike Adams, NaturalNews.com

When broadcast television was first invented in the first half of the 20th century, it was quickly heralded as a technological breakthrough that would inspire, educate and uplift human civilization. Educational programs and useful knowledge could be cheaply and efficiently broadcast to people everywhere, it was thought. The FCC even required television stations to run news programming without commercials as a trade-off for being granted broadcast space in the electromagnetic spectrum. This TV news, it was thought, was the broadcast station's obligation to the betterment of society.

Those were the humble and well-intentioned beginnings of television, a game-changing "disruptive" technology that we now know has actually dumbed-down our population while becoming a cesspool for manipulative corporate advertising and idiotic entertainment. Far from enlightening human civilization, television has arguably enslaved it, seductively luring the population into a downward spiral of runaway consumerism, debt, disease, and mainstream stupidity.

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How Facebook Betrayed Users and Undermined Online Privacy, Allan Badiner, AlterNet

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  • Viable alternatives (to Facebook) are already springing up. A new network has been touted in the media that allows users to fully control the information they share by setting up their own personal servers, called “seeds.” Raphael Sofaer, co-founder of Diaspora<http://joindiaspora.com/>, says that centralized networks like Facebook are not necessary. “In our real lives, we talk to each other,” he said. “We don’t need to hand our messages to a hub.”
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  • Facebook Further Reduces Your Control Over Personal Information
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Write Congress Through Facebook! Congress.org

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  • You can now e-mail your lawmakers using Facebook.
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  • Learn more about how your advocacy group can get a similar tool.
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Goodbye, Blog, Alan Jacobs, Christianity Today

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  • The friend of information but the enemy of thought.
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  • Facebook devolves into dark web of anonymous hate speech
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Tell NBC: Debate the Afghanistan War

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  • Thousands have signed on to FAIR's petition--add your voice today and keep the pressure on NBC to have a real war debate!
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  • Meet the Press missing antiwar voices
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Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)

July saw more U.S. troop fatalities in Afghanistan than any month since the war began nine years ago. Gen. Stanley McChrystal was removed from his commanding post amid controversy, and WikiLeaks released a trove of classified documents that paint a picture of a failing war and unreported civilian casualties.

How has NBC's Meet the Press responded to these developments? By inviting on guests to defend the war and Obama's Afghanistan policy.

Sundays on NBC have been a steady drumbeat of pro-war sentiment: an hour-long puff piece on Gen. David Petraeus (8/15/10); a one-on-one with Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (8/1/10); and panel discussions stacked with hawks (7/27/10, 7/11/10). Over the past two months, a single strong antiwar voice has been heard on Meet the Press--California Rep. Barbara Lee (7/27/10)--but she was given little room to speak on a panel with four pro-war guests.

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Less Is Not More

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  • Why do newspapers alienate their most loyal readers?
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  • The American Media Misdiagnosis
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  • Save the Press
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Lisa Anderson, Columbia Journalism Review

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Will Shapira

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When my son’s first college roommate turned out to be from Chicago, I was delighted. His family had long subscribed to the Chicago Tribune, where I worked. I thought it gave us an immediate connection. Less than two months later, they unsubscribed. This was shortly after a drastic redesign at the paper in September 2008. The roommate’s family said there was nothing in the Tribune to read anymore.

That wasn’t quite true. There was still plenty of information in the paper. But there were fewer stories, produced by fewer reporters. The stories were relentlessly local and, increasingly, came in the form of charts, graphs, maps, statistics, large fonts, and large photos—a sort of newspaper-Internet-TV amalgam that seemed more like something to be absorbed than read. For the roommate’s family—professional people who wanted sophisticated stories that included the world beyond Chicago—it wasn’t enough.

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The American Media Misdiagnosis, Robert Parry, ConsortiumNews.com
It’s widely agreed that there are a number of factors dragging down American newspapers, but a reason rarely mentioned is that the national news media failed in its most important job – to serve as a watchdog for the people.

Save the Press, Timothy Egan, New York Times | NY
Those who revel in the life-threatening trauma that newspapers are going through miss the point. People are not deserting these complex and contradictory summaries of our collective existence. It's the business model that needs to be figured out.

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How the Media Created a Monster: Sarah Palin

The preposterous media coverage of the (few) unhappy Hillaryites at the Dem convention—which was aimed not at helping Obama but maintaining interest in the affair and the coming campaign—inspired McCain to select as his running mate someone who would virtually destroy his campaign.

Greg Mitchell, The Nation

It's often said these days that Sarah Palin is a "media creation." That is, the media promote and elevate her as one of America's most popular and influential leaders, even though her approval ratings remain in the tank, by covering every appearance and statement (whether speech or tweet) as if she is the Junior President from Alaska.

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But the "creation" part goes well beyond what's happened since the 2008 campaign to keep her constantly in the public eye. It's my view that she was created by the media even before John McCain picked her as his Veep candidate.

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It fact, it was exactly two years ago this week that a true (if rarely recognized) turning point in the 2008 race for the White House arrived. It came at the Democratic convention in Denver. No, it was not the good vibes about Obama, the ringing speeches by Teddy Kennedy, Michelle Obama, Bill and Hill, or by the candidate himself.

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