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On Korea, Here We Go Again

If American journalism should have learned one thing over the years, it is to be cautious and skeptical during the first days of a foreign confrontation like the one now playing out on the Korean Peninsula. Often the initial accounts from the “U.S. side” don’t turn out to be entirely accurate.

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Robert Parry, consortiumnews.com

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While you can delve back through history for plenty of examples, today’s U.S. journalists might remember events like the Gulf of Tonkin clash that opened the door to the disastrous Vietnam War and the misplaced certainty about Iraq’s WMD that led to a bloody U.S. invasion and occupation.

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In both cases, contrary claims from the "enemy side" were discounted and mocked as U.S. journalists puffed out their chests and waved the flag.

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Maddow: Fox Uses 'Flagrantly Bogus Stories' to Provoke White Racism

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow called out Fox News for its role in promoting reports about Shirley Sherrod and ACORN that proved to be distorted.

David Edwards and Muriel Kane  Raw Story/AlterNet

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MSNBC's Rachel Maddow called out Fox News on Thursday (July 22) for its role in promoting reports about Shirley Sherrod and ACORN that proved to be distorted. She charged that the network "continually campaigns on flagrantly bogus stories designed to make white Americans fear black Americans."

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"I showed up in the weirdest place last night," Maddow began. "I was on The O'Reilly Factor. It was very spooky."

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When Maddow accused Fox during her appearance on Bill O'Reilly's program of playing an active role in "the fake ACORN controversy," the show's host responded by sneering that Fox "kick[s] your network's butt every single night."

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Special Comment: Koppel, False Equivalence, and his part in the real “death of news”

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The kind of television journalism he (Koppel) eulogizes failed this country because when truth was needed, all we got were facts - most of which were lies anyway. The journalism failed, and those who practiced it failed, and Mr. Koppel failed.

Heather, Crooks and Liars

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Thomas Sklarski

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\r\nKeith Olbermann's Special Comment last night (Nov 15) was a response to Ted Koppel's "Death of Real News" op-ed, wherein Koppel writes:

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We live now in a cable news universe that celebrates the opinions of [Keith] Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly – individuals who hold up the twin pillars of political partisanship and who are encouraged to do so by their parent organizations because their brand of analysis and commentary is highly profitable.

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Keith responds by asking Ted Koppel after reporting night after night on the Iranian hostage crisis, why he remained silent in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq.

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Here's transcript from Keith's post at Daily KOS.

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When Walter Cronkite died sixteen months ago, he was rightly lionized for the quality of his work, and the impact he effected on television news. He was praised for his utter objectivity and impartiality, and implicitly – and in some cases explicitly – there was wailing that this objectivity had died with him.

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Opponents of Comcast-NBC Merger Speak Out in Congress

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  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) submitted a letter to the Federal Communications Commission Tuesday calling on the agency to deny approval for the proposed merger between Comcast and NBC Universal based on a failure to meet public interest requirements, the likely harm to competition, and the anticipated rise in cable rates.
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  • Comcast Can't Be Trusted to Self-Regulate
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Jenn Ettinger, Free Press

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) submitted a letter to the Federal Communications Commission Tuesday (Nov 16) calling on the agency to deny approval for the proposed merger between Comcast and NBC Universal based on a failure to meet public interest requirements, the likely harm to competition, and the anticipated rise in cable rates. The letter also criticized Comcast for moving to restructure NBC while the deal is still pending before the FCC and Justice Department.

Joel Kelsey, political adviser to the Free Press Action Fund, made the following statement:

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"Comcast is already rearranging the deck chairs at NBC with little regard for the antitrust review in progress at the Department of Justice and the FCC, and we are glad to see leaders in the Senate like Bernie Sanders speaking out. Comcast would like to pretend this is already a done deal and hope no one else notices what a disaster this merger would be for the public -- but that won't work."

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Comcast Can't Be Trusted to Self-Regulate, Jenn Ettinger, Free Press
As the Federal Communications Commission crafts rules to safeguard the open Internet and considers whether to approve a $30 billion mega-merger between Comcast and NBC, the nation’s largest cable and Internet company claims it doesn’t need any oversight.

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Media Misreading Midterms

As usual, press urge a move to the right

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Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)

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Credit: CBS/AP

With the Democrats suffering substantial losses in Tuesday's midterms, many journalists and pundits were offering a familiar diagnosis (Extra!, 7-8/06; FAIR Media Advisory, 2/3/09): The Democrats had misread their mandate and governed too far to the left. The solution, as always, is for Democrats to move to the right and reclaim "the center." But this conventional wisdom falls apart under scrutiny.

For months, the problem for Democrats was correctly identified as the "enthusiasm gap"--the idea that the progressive base of the party was not excited about voting. The exit polls from Tuesday's vote confirm that many Democratic-tending voters failed to show up. How, then, does one square this fact with the idea that Obama and Democrats were pushing policies that were considered too left-wing? If that were the case, then presumably more of those base voters would have voted to support that agenda. It is difficult to fathom how both things could be true.

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