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Journalism as Subversion

  • "The journalism of dissent is the richest journalism we have. And the Third World and ex-colonial countries have far richer traditions than Europe. In the colonies, journalism was the child of the freedom struggle." --P. Sainath
  • Howard Zinn and Paula Giddings, "I Plead Guilty" (to Insubordination)

Chris Hedges, Truthdig

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dotCJR-blog480.jpgA detail from an illustration for an article on the purpose of journalism in the Columbia Journalism Review. Credit Sarah Coleman/CJR

Mar 22, 2015 | The assault of global capitalism is not only an economic and political assault. It is a cultural and historical assault. Global capitalism seeks to erase our stories and our histories. Its systems of mass communication, which peddle a fake intimacy with manufactured celebrities and a false sense of belonging within a mercenary consumer culture, shut out our voices, hopes and dreams. Salacious gossip about the elites and entertainers, lurid tales of violence and inane trivia replace in national discourse the actual and the real. The goal is a vast historical amnesia.

The traditions, rituals and struggles of the poor and workingmen and workingwomen are replaced with the vapid homogenization of mass culture. Life’s complexities are reduced to simplistic stereotypes. Common experiences center around what we have been fed by television and mass media. We become atomized and alienated. Solidarity and empathy are crushed. The cult of the self becomes paramount. And once the cult of the self is supreme we are captives to the corporate monolith.

Chris Hedges, a weekly columnist for Truthdig, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has reported from more than 50 countries, specializing in American politics and society. 

Full story … 

Related:

Howard Zinn and Paula Giddings, "I Plead Guilty" (to Insubordination), Howard Zinn and Paula Giddings, TomDispatch.com

The Many Ways Congress Could Mess Up Net Neutrality

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  • Now that the FCC’s historic Net Neutrality rules are out in the world, the real drama in Congress is about to get underway. In fact, anti-Net Neutrality mania is taking over Capitol Hill for the rest of the month (March, '15).
  • Ensuring Net Neutrality Has a Long Tail

Candace Clement, Free Press

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Amelia Kroeger.

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Evergreene Digest Editor's Note: The price of net neutrality is eternal vigilance. Just because we've won the war, does't mean peace is ours forever.

Net-neutrality-meme-e1398433124309.jpgMarch 16, 2015 | Here’s a quick rundown of the biggest threats we see coming in Congress.

Who introduced it: Rep. Marsha Blackburn

What it does: Forbids the FCC from reclassifying broadband service under Title II and from ever doing so again without further congressional action. The bill has 31 co-sponsors, and all but two have gotten campaign money from the same companies trying to kill the open Internet.

  • Resolution of Disapproval

Who will introduce it: Rep. Doug Collins

What it does: A resolution of disapproval (RoD) is a procedural move Congress can use under the Congressional Review Act to block the FCC’s rules from taking effect. Like the Blackburn bill, it would bar the FCC from reclassifying unless Congress acts to allow it. Congress can’t introduce an RoD until the rules are published in the Federal Register, which should happen some time in the next few weeks. 

  • Five more actions … 

Candace Clement directs Free Press’ campaigns to restore Net Neutrality and stop government and corporate surveillance. She also directs our in-district organizing and online engagement and runs our internship program.

Full story … 

The Washington Post Will Kill Us All

When you're starting wars … on the grounds that if you don't start a war now someone else could theoretically start one later, you have set up a logic of Armageddon. And it may kill us all. ... But we won't all die, I feel fairly certain, without the Washington Post cheering death through the door.

davidswanson, davidswanson.org

 

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16 March 2015 | "War with Iran is probably our best option." This is an actual headline from the Washington Post.

Yes it's an op-ed, but don't fantasize that it's part of some sort of balanced wide-ranging array of varied opinions. The Washington Post wouldn't print a column advocating peace to save its life -- as such an act just might help to do. And you can imagine the response if the headline had been: "Racism is probably our best option," or "Rape is probably our best option," or "Child abuse is probably our best option." Nobody would object: "But they've probably had lots of columns opposing child abuse. Surely they can have one in favor, or do you want to shut down debate?" No, some things are rightly considered beyond the range of acceptability. War, in Washington, is not one of them.

Now, war propaganda is illegal under the International Covenant on Civic and Political Rights. War itself is illegal under the Kellogg-Briand Pact and the United Nations Charter. But the Washington Post isn't one to worry about legal niceties.

David Swanson is an American activist, blogger and author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union."

Full story … 

Did Bill O’Reilly Cover Up a War Crime in El Salvador?

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  • Brian Williams isn’t the only one telling fibs. 
  • Did Bill O’Reilly Cover Up a War Crime in El Salvador?
  • CBS Has Released the Falklands Protest Footage Bill O'Reilly Asked For. It Doesn't Support His Claims.

SOA Watch

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grandin42577_mp4.pngFebruary 24 | It's a shame how the media has chosen to cover the issue of Bill O'Reilly's war zone reporing.

This whole issue arose because of an article by Greg Grandin (http://www.thenation.com/…/did-bill-oreilly-cover-war-crime…) which looked at O'Reilly's coverage of the Mozote massacre in the context of US coverage of the Salvadoran civil war.

David Corn then cribbed from the article, moving on to the question of where O'Reilly was during the Falklands.

But all this misses the point.

The problem with O'Reilly's record as a war reporter is that he appears to have covered up the SOA graduate-led Mozote massacre -- a tragic and scarcely known crime, for which the US shares culpability. When we become obsessed with the question of O'Reilly's personal bravery, we throw more dirt over that crime.

SOA Watch, founded by Fr. Roy Bourgeois in 1990,  is an independent organization that seeks to close the U.S. Army School of the Americas, under whatever name it is called, through vigils and fasts, demonstrations and nonviolent protest, as well as media and legislative work.

Full story … 

Related:

Did Bill O’Reilly Cover Up a War Crime in El Salvador? Greg Grandin, the Nation

Before Bill O’Reilly was, well, Bill O’Reilly, he worked for a time as a foreign correspondent for CBS Evening News, anchored by Dan Rather. O’Reilly talks about that period of his career in two of his books, and in both mentions that in early 1982 he reported from northeastern El Salvador, just after the infamous El Mozote Massacre. When the CBS News bureau chief asked for volunteers to check out an alleged massacre in the dangerous Morazán Territory, a mountainous region bordering Nicaragua, I willingly went.”

El Mozote is a small, hard-to-reach hamlet. The massacre took place on December 11, 1981, carried out by US-trained Atlacatl Battalion, which was not just trained but created by the United States as a rapid response unit to fight El Salvador’s fast-spreading FMLN insurgency. The killing was savage beyond belief: between 733 and 900 villagers were slaughtered, decapitated, impaled and burned alive.

Greg Grandin is the author of Empire's Workshop, Fordlandia, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history and the National Book Award, and, most recently, The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World.   He teaches at New York University.

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CBS Has Released the Falklands Protest Footage Bill O'Reilly Asked For. It Doesn't Support His ClaimsDavid Corn and Daniel Schulman, Mother Jones

The Fox News host says he was in a "war zone" where police gunned down civilians. The video doesn't show that.

Mon Feb. 23, 2015 | CBS News today posted its reports from Buenos Aires at the end of the Falklands war, in response to a request from Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, who has been seeking to counter reports that he mischaracterized his wartime reporting experience. But rather than bolstering O'Reilly's description of the anti-government protest he says he covered as a "combat situation," the tape corroborates the accounts of other journalists who were there and who have described it as simply a chaotic, violent protest.

On his Monday night show, O'Reilly broadcast clips from the CBS video and maintained that the footage proved "I reported accurately the violence was horrific." But the issue has not been whether violence occurred at the demonstration. O'Reilly had previously claimed this protest—triggered when Argentines angry at the ruling junta's surrender to the Brits in the 1982 war gathered near the presidential palace—was a massacre, with Argentine troops gunning down civilians. O'Reilly has relied on that description to support his claim that he was in a "war zone…in the Falklands." The video does not show civilians being mowed down.

David Corn: Washington Bureau Chief,  Corn has broken stories on presidents, politicians, and other Washington players. He's written for numerous publications and is a talk show regular. His best-selling books include Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War.

Daniel Schulman: Senior Editor, Mother JonesBased in DC, Dan covers politics and national security. His work has appeared in the Boston Globe Magazine, the Village Voice, the Columbia Journalism Review, and other publications. He is the author of the new Koch brothers biography, Sons of Wichita (Grand Central Publishing).

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