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You’d think they would get tired being wrong and laughed at all the time, but, they get full marks for their tenacious grasp on Stupid streaked with partisan politics, of course.

 

Hey media friends, did you all just here that slight popping noise?  That was my cerebral cortex disconnecting itself from all of its higher functions after viewing this lovely clip on CNN about the missing Malaysia Airlines flight.  This is what happens when news is cobbled together out of speculation, innuendo and whatever the editors at CNN pull out of their ass.

Speaking of pulling things out of one’s anal sphincter, Fox News puts in a shiny second place performance by shamelessly fabricating nonsense about Noah’s Arc with regards to the important shipwrecked discoveries of humanity.  It is nice that Fox services its base so adroitly with its biblical bullshit as opposed to the sciency-tinfoil hat bullshit that CNN recently extruded.

Manufactured stupid stories like this is why we need private and pubic broadcasters in the market.

Sometimes news just isn’t colourful or exciting.  Those who relentlessly chase ratings will shamelessly confabulate stories in their never ending hunt for advertising dollars.  This is where a pubic broadcaster can shine as it is still necessary to know what is going on in the world without having to chase flashy phantom stories that attract eyeballs, but not intelligence.

 

 

Set phasers to bloviate!

The problem with “Climategate” and the rest of the braying noises emanating from the general direction of the climate denialist camp is that their claims are false.  Being factually incorrect is not a particularly deep concern for fox news, but in science it matters.  It matters a lot.  The ‘scandalous’ emails circulated through the media were presented stripped of context and manipulated to be viewed in the worst possible light.  If one propagandist reporter had actually bothered to do their homework they would have quickly seen the emails for what they were, mere correspondence between scientists, no booga-booga conspiracy attached.

17 minutes is a long time for a video, but well worth the view if you at all interested in the actual facts of the manufactured Climategate hullabaloo.

The American public is starved for actual news. The conservative propaganda mill that masquerades as fox news is the premier example of a society that is becoming insular and uncritical of its policy and place in the world.  For a country that purports to value the idea of freedom of speech and the marketplace of ideas, the US certainly seems to define Al-Jazzera outside the acceptable limits of discourse for the public.

“The network has been targeted by the US government since 2003, when former vice president Dick Cheney and former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld described it as tantamount to an arm of al-Qaeda.

Two of its reporters were later killed in Baghdad when US missiles hit its office. Al Jazeera and others voiced suspicions that the channel’s reporters had been deliberately targeted.

And, to this day, Al Jazeera, which, together with BBC News, has become one of the premier global outlets for serious television news, is virtually impossible to find on televisions in the US.

The country’s major cable and satellite companies refuse to carry it – leaving it with US viewers only in Washington, DC and parts of Ohio and Vermont – despite huge public demand.”

Ah, that must be the market making the correct decision about the needs and wants of its consumers.  Or perhaps it is the politics that actually drive the market as a opposed to the cherished notion of supply demand.

“The station’s US push could hardly be more necessary – to Americans. By being denied the right to watch Al Jazeera, Americans are being kept in a bubble, sealed off from the images and narratives that inform the rest of the world.  Consider the recent scandal surrounding atrocity photos taken by US soldiers in Afghanistan, which are now available on news outlets, including Al Jazeera, around the globe.

In America, there have been brief summaries of the fact that Der Spiegel has run the story. But the images themselves – even redacted to shield the identities of the victims – have not penetrated the US media stream.  And the images are so extraordinarily shocking that failing to show them – along with graphic images of the bombardment of children in Gaza, say, or exit interviews with survivors of Guantanamo – keeps Americans from understanding events that may be as traumatic to others as the trauma of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.”

Not surprising, as the forces of the status-quo do not need inflammatory images stirring up the population.  Seeing the actual face of American foreign policy and what it is responsible for might waken the good altruism in the American people and have them demand a stop to the atrocities committed in their name.

“For example, the leading US media outlets, including the New York Times, have not seen fit to mention that one of the photos shows a US soldier holding the head of a dead Afghan civilian as though it were a hunting trophy.

So, for America’s sake, I hope that Al Jazeera penetrates the US media market. Unless Americans see the images and narratives that shape how others see us, the US will not be able to overcome its reputation as the world’s half-blind bully.

Indeed, Egyptians are in some ways now better informed than Americans (and, as Thomas Jefferson often repeated, liberty is not possible without an informed citizenry). Egypt has 30 newspapers and more than 200 television channels.

America’s newspapers are dying, foreign news coverage has been cut to three or four minutes, at most, at the end of one or two evening newscasts, and most of its TV channels are taken up with reality shows.”

The people of America are good decent people, but are purposefully being kept in the dark about what their role in the world is and how their corporations and government are acting internationally.

“Americans have a hunger for international news; it is a myth that we can’t be bothered with the outside world. Maybe Americans will rise up and threaten to boycott their cable and satellite providers unless we get our Al Jazeera – and other carriers of international news.

We would then come one step closer to being part of the larger world – a world that, otherwise, will eventually simply leave us behind.”

Hey, quick, how does a internal combustion work in layman’s terms.  You have 1 minute to get in all the pertinent information.  Go!

Obviously, decisions are going to be made about what content to keep and how to say as much as possible with the time allotted.  Climate change is like describing an internal combustion engine in 1 minute, only that that the science behind climate change is much more complex.  Our media is guilty of not doing their homework on Climate Change.  Potholer54 gets us more up to date on what the science actually says, as opposed to media mistranslations and inaccuracies.

Sometimes it is better not to know, but the headline just draws one in.

“US man accused of shooting TV in rage over Bristol Palin’s ‘Dancing with the Stars’ routine”

How can one not continue reading?

MADISON, Wis. – A man apparently enraged by Bristol Palin’s “Dancing with the Stars” routine blasted his television with a shotgun, leading to an all-night standoff with police commandos, investigators said.

When I see commercial TV this is also my internal reaction, but I do not think I could act it out.  Others, well, they go the extra mile.

“Steven Cowan, 67, was arrested Tuesday morning after officers coaxed him out of his house in Vermont, a rural farming community near Madison. Cowan, who is accused of threatening his wife with the gun after destroying the television, appeared in a Madison courtroom Wednesday on a charge of second-degree reckless endangerment. His bail was set at $1,500.

Cowan’s attorney at the hearing, Jonas Bednarek, declined to comment.

Cowan’s wife, Janice Cowan, told investigators that her husband suffers from bipolar disorder and had threatened her life in the past.

According to court documents, Janice Cowan said her husband came home Monday from the bar and had a beer with dinner before they settled down to watch “Dancing with the Stars.”

When Palin, the 20-year-old daughter of tea party favourite and former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, began her routine, Cowan jumped up and began swearing, saying something like “The (expletive) politics.” His wife said he was upset that a political figure’s daughter was dancing on TV even though he felt she didn’t have talent.

Janice Cowan told investigators her husband left the living room and reappeared 20 minutes later with his shotgun, “raging” with his face bright red, and blasted the TV. She said he then pointed the gun at her and told her to go fetch his pistols, and threatened to kill himself if she brought anyone back”

Obviously, the brain-chemistry has something to do with entire situation, but is it not sad to note on what has incensed this individual?  A mere entertainment show.  I can remember times in my early TV watching days when people would become incensed about issues more solidly based in reality – healthcare, armed conflicts, politics etc.  Would this story be filed under the “oddities” section of the CBC website if this individual was incensed by the lack of universal public health care?  It seems that the media we have is divorcing us from the issues that really matter in society, atomizing us and fostering consumption and competition on the most basest of levels.  Considering the amazing potential that TV media has to foster debate and community, it is depressing to see how low it has sunk with regards to serving the needs of citizens in society.

 

We need more of this, because secular rationality, like syntax and grammar are highly overrated.

The religiously deluded are up to their old tricks.  The corporate media will always take the easy story as it will sell ads, and ads are what they all about.  The disproportionate amount of attention this church and pastor have received shows how completely our news agencies are failing in their duty to provide citizens with information that is  relevant to their lives.

“A Florida minister who had been considering burning copies of the Qur’an to mark the anniversary of 9/11 will not go ahead with the plan on Saturday, his son said.

“There will be no Qur’an burning tomorrow,” Terry Jones’s 29-year old son, Luke Jones, told reporters outside his father’s Gainesville church Friday. But Luke Jones said he did not know if it might happen in the future.”

Kind of anti-climactic after all the hoopla.  It is almost like they realized they were acting like douche-nozzles and decided to retreat from the stupidity of their position.

“On a confusing Thursday, Jones initially said he had decided to call off the burning because of a deal negotiated with Musri that organizers of the effort to build an Islamic centre near Ground Zero had agreed to move its location.

Musri replied that he could only set up a meeting with Rauf.

Later that night, Jones claimed Musri “clearly, clearly lied to us” about the centre being moved.”

Typical christain mendacity as the meeting with the Imam seems to only have happened in Jones’s mind.  But, blaming the other party for your failure is pretty much standard operation procedure.

The next quote is from President Obama who waded into this story, giving it undeserved legitimacy.  He pontificates about how bad this whole situation could potentially be and how it will affect America’s image abroad.  All Obama needed to do was dismiss this menagerie of clowns and continue with matters that were actually relevant to the American people.  But he does not:

“Earlier Friday, U.S. President Barack Obama said that burning copies of the Qur’an is “contrary to what [America] was

Giving unwarranted attention to the deluded.

founded on” and “the best imaginable recruiting tool for al-Qaeda.

Speaking at a news conference in the East Room of the White House, Obama referred to but did not name Terry Jones.

“The idea that we would burn the sacred texts of someone else’s religion is contrary to what this country stands for,” Obama said. “It’s contrary to what this nation was founded on, and my hope is that this individual prays on it and refrains from doing it.”

Obama had already condemned Jones’s plan, joining other political leaders, top military officials and foreign dignitaries who have said burning the Qur’an would provoke militants in Afghanistan and put the lives of international soldiers in jeopardy.”

Newsflash:  American’s reputation abroad sucks.  This particular incident, given the general foreign policy direction of the US, is minor compared to what the US currently doing.

It enlightening to watch as one group of religious crazies can derail the entire media cycle, but hey, forgoing responsible reporting and instead prioritizing profits is all we can really expect of the news media these days.  If they had only covered the story like this:

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