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As the Daily Dish wrote today, "The revolution will not be televised--it will be YouToubed."

Cable news is too busy presenting us with the viewpoint of every passenger on the Detroit flight who saw the would-be-terrorist to keep us adequately apprised of what has been going on in Iran in the past few days.

For the past decade, the 24-hour news channels have continued to whittle away at their foreign bureaus, arguably leaving them without the manpower or resources to cover the important events occurring all over the globe. It is ironic that as globalization increases, our media becomes increasingly insular.

It is no surprise that Fox "News" has the smallest number of foreign bureaus of the three cable news networks. As we all know, Fox has no interest in "News" and is devoted 24/7 to propping up the Republican party, Teabaggers, and other conservatives; and to attacking Obama.

This explains why Fox had no foreign bureau in Africa or Latin America as of 2008; the only time Fox wants to send someone to those countries is when Obama is there and Ailes hopes to catch him bowing to someone or seeming to apologize for something. The only foreign bureau Fox has in the Middle East is in Jerusalem; and in Asia, Fox has a bureau only in Hong Kong. Who cares about Japan and Taiwan? It's not like there's anything going on in Korea these days, either.

MSNBC is not much better, with 12 foreign bureaus to Fox's 6. CNN has 33 foreign bureaus; while it is not the BBC (which had 41 in 2009--down from 45 in 2000), it is respectable.

Looking for Network coverage of Iran? Finding good coverage may be difficult. As the Nation explained in September that "The BBC's forty-one permanent foreign bureaus are more than twice the number maintained by ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS each."

U.S. news agencies simply cannot afford it. PBS receives less funding each year than it cost to make the movie Avatar:

Total federal support for American public broadcast media in 2007 was about $480 million...the BBC, which serves a nation with one-fifth the US Population...received the equivalent of $5.6 billion in government money in 2007.

When it comes to public media, the United States is decisively outspent by the governments of most other major democracies. Japan, whose population is less than half the size of the United States', spent the equivalent of $6.8 billion for public broadcasting in 2007; Germany, with one-third the size, spent about $11 billion; and Canada, a tenth the size, spent $898 million. Even Denmark and Ireland, with populations smaller than New York City, far outspent the United States per capita, with respective budgets equivalent to $673 million and $296 million.

Despite all these numbers and the lack of foreign bureaus, that is not the real reason the US media is not talking about Iran today. Consider, Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish blog has far superior coverage of what has occurred in Iran over the past few days than the public or cable news stations despite having a significantly smaller budget:

It's seasonally quiet in the West, but in Iran, this weekend could be the most important since the June Revolution began. It's Ashura, the mourning festival that begins today and culminates tomorrow. Ashura symbolizes resistance to oppression to the last drop, and because Shia Islam identifies with the oppressed in that story, any government brutality in these days could be a p.r. disaster for the coup regime.

Already there are reports of intense street fights as the Baseej try to prevent any attempt to begin the momentum for demonstrations. Tomorrow, there will be massive crowds on the streets which the legitimate government of Mousavi, Karroubi and their followers will attempt to coopt...The Dish will be following tomorrow's critical events very closely. Ayatollah Khomeini cited Ashura as the real spark for the revolution that brought down the Shah.

Sullivan provides yet another example of why traditional journalism is dying and being replaced by citizen journalism, upon which the "professionals" heap such scorn.

The Iranians are using cell phones and cameras to document what is going on in their country and sharing it with the world through social media sites like Twitter and YouTube. Sullivan and his team are combing these sites, as well as the national media and Iranian blogs, to bring as comprehensive a picture as possible of what is taking place in Iran.

The actions of a failed terrorist attempt (eg, the shoe bomber Richard Reid) are about as significant as Hurricane Mindy compared with Hurricane Katrina. Surprisingly, a Kos diarist today equated Obama's response to the failed terrorist attempt to Bush's weak response to Hurricane Katrina.

Why? Because the media has made it seem like this attempted terrorist attempt is that newsworthy. They've put it on par with Tiger Woods' sexual indiscretions, Carrie Prejean's sex tapes, and Michael Jackson's death--or the safe landing of a plane in the Hudson River.

Our media's priorities and, consequently, the public's priorities and expectations, are out of whack with the reality of what is important in the grand scheme of history.

An attempted terrorist attack is obviously serious and something wirth investigating--how did it happen and how do we prevent it from happening again?--but nobody died. The plane was not damaged. The greatest 'victim' was the would-be terrorist.

Meanwhile, Iran may be on the verge of a revolution, and the ripple effect from a regime change in Iran would be huge. It could lead to further destablilization in the Middle East, with war spreading outside its borders; or it could lead to a positive turn in relations between the US and Iran or even Israel and Iran. That just might be something worth canceling one's vacation for, and it is far more interesting than what Sarah Palin said on Facebook the other day.

From Iran, Sullivan has reports of police refusing to fire on protesters as ordered; protesters are no longer cowering from the Baseej but instead the Bassej are cowering from protesters. Protests have gone from peaceful to increasingly violent, with attacks against the Baseej and security forces, including setting fire to Baseej buildings and possibly obtaining arms. As the Daily Dish points out, it was gaining access to munitions that contributed to the success of the 1979 Iranian revolutionaries.

More than 10 protesters have been killed in the streets in the past 24 hours, including Mousavi's nephew. Protesters have spread beyond Tehran, with hundreds of thousands apparently taking to the streets.

We may be witnessing true history or we may be witnessing something destined to fizzle out into nothing more than a permanent example of courage in the face of oppression, much like Tiannamen Square.  

The other thing we are witnessing is another example of why blogs--particularly progressive blogs--are becoming far more reliable sources of news and information for the intellectually curious than the journalebrities on cable news.

As Daily Dish is proving, it does not take millions of dollars to present the news from abroad; if the major news agencies wanted to talk about the events in Iran, they have access to everything Sullivan has access to and more. Instead they choose to pursue what they think will generate ratings:

Another appeal to "American exceptionalism," with American passengers subduing a would-be-terrourist;

An appeal to fear--"There was a failed terrorist attack! Is it 9/11 all over again? Aren't you afraid?"

An appeal to political anger--"Did Obama fail to protect us?"

An appeal to anger--"We should be attacking Yemen" (courtesy Joe Lieberman).

No wonder large segments of the American population seem to be becoming increasingly stupid. Our movies have been dumbed down (Transformers, GI Joe, and Bride Wars, anyone?); our music is being dumbed down with largely talentless performers using electronic voice enhancers; our television has been dumbed down with a plethora of reality shows on people who have lots of babies (Octomom, Jon & Kate, the Duggars), for example; and you're more likely to get a novel published if you know someone (Going Rogue) than if you write one that is actually good.

Originally posted to CatM on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 04:53 PM PST.

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  •  Tip Jar (329+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skybluewater, Paolo, JekyllnHyde, Sylv, tmo, northsylvania, Bailey, Odysseus, lapin, ferg, RW, Timaeus, AaronInSanDiego, moon in the house of moe, RonV, lrhoke, Rolfyboy6, mattman, emal, Emerson, karlpk, wu ming, cotterperson, GayHillbilly, eeff, brn2bwild, varro, RFK Lives, MarkInSanFran, bumblebums, bronte17, missLotus, 88kathy, understandinglife, rhp, MD patriot, jiffykeen, DaleA, muledriver, samddobermann, taonow, javelina, TheSpike, steelman, bewert, wader, Texknight, mwk, ranger995, niteskolar, GN1927, Steveningen, lizah, defluxion10, weasel, lcrp, alizard, econlibVA, tomjones, CanYouBeAngryAndStillDream, malcontent, furi kuri, eztempo, Josiah Bartlett, xxdr zombiexx, pat208, murrayewv, Gowrie Gal, Julie Gulden, Big Tex, Brecht, redstater, tovan, sandblaster, Qui Tacet Consentire Videtur, radarlady, 3goldens, Elise, caul, subtropolis, sangemon, demimondian, Flint, claytonben, frandor55, Simplify, Clem Yeobright, ChemBob, kamarkamarka, Dobber, Turkana, boofdah, Viceroy, majcmb1, Dr Squid, EvilPaula, jimreyn, Fury, cassidy3, rb608, FunkyEntropy, minidriver, WisePiper, The Raven, FightTheFuture, coolbreeze, Tuba Les, Rogneid, Jim R, begone, DisNoir36, Audio Guy, Showman, Pinko Elephant, BlueInARedState, profundo, mr crabby, seefleur, Hear Our Voices, dougymi, mango, Naniboujou, Wary, arlene, blueoasis, MJ via Chicago, justalittlebitcrazy, Everest42, FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph, MarciaJ720, Unitary Moonbat, oxley, dirtfarmer, MBNYC, Pilgrim X, means are the ends, RantNRaven, revgerry, coolsub, Nulwee, Aaa T Tudeattack, ladypockt, tegrat, we are 138, phonegery, dotsright, Jaleh, Cat Whisperer, Loudoun County Dem, camlbacker, Dartagnan, bfbenn, NovatoBon, vets74, terryhallinan, moosely2006, Outrider, Wino, LillithMc, Nespolo, chigh, HeartlandLiberal, Matt Z, LamontCranston, DWG, gatorbot, Midwesterners, Heyroot, jhop7, RudiB, Puffin, ImpeachKingBushII, Zydekos, Desa, A Person, Neon Mama, rogerdaddy, JayC, Shane Hensinger, mconvente, lisastar, NotGeorgeWill, scooter in brooklyn, Seattle Mark, zerone, RSA TX, OleHippieChick, Brandon Friedman, Judge Moonbox, Wes Opinion, Akonitum, Lujane, pamelabrown, hwmnbn, happymisanthropy, Jeff Y, NogodsnomastersMary, ShempLugosi, Seamus D, codairem, Gemina13, luckylizard, A Man Called Gloom, Nica24, dmhlt 66, papicek, SolarMom, statsone, oldliberal, mos1133, FudgeFighter, maggiejean, cameoanne, 1BQ, dinsea, hardtoport, cybrestrike, ARS, snackdoodle, cantelow, dark daze, velvet blasphemy, Nailbanger, jck, tr GW, mkor7, zackamac, Daily Activist, lookit, beijingbetty, TKLTKL94, UnaSpenser, worldly1, elziax, MKSinSA, asym, oxfdblue, kw7777777, allep10, Losty, Massconfusion, Abelian, ArthurPoet, DaNang65, azadmanish, Sleepwalkr, nancat357, mahakali overdrive, Indieman, carmenjones, AkaEnragedGoddess, kfd313, Sarbec, Railfan, Just Bob, bronxcharlie, Norbrook, ppl can fly, powderblue, grassrootsnm, marabout40, KroneckerD, Jampacked, Johnnythebandit, drainflake77, CanaDo, gramofsam1, princss6, UTvoter, Lost and Found, puffmeister, Eddie L, TKO333, OldLady in BC, shenderson, ItsSimpleSimon, Mariken, Cure7802, JasperJohns, Yasuragi, sharonsz, Micheline, Caerus, Casual Wednesday, speedingpullet, Floande, Luis Mendoza, science nerd, bosshogg, TigerStar337, Actbriniel, Onomastic, sturunner, ozsea1, Gracian, sabo33, DemDad, kirbybruno, VoteBlue, kevin k, Nicci August, Verdun, Billdbq, Haf2Read, Cinnamon Rollover, progressiveinga, leftymama, bamabikeguy, createpeace, svboston, Joe Johnson, Archie2227, bloomin, lincoln deschain, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, KingofSpades, RLMiller, jaebone, Georgianna Darcy, MichaelNY, PrometheusUnbound, nandssmith, No one gets out alive, YaNevaNo, LibertySon, sjterrid, bfrank72, OHknighty, Alanhawaii holding the line against the siege

    by CatM on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 04:53:14 PM PST

    •  Still, here, it was "Ass Clowns" and Michael (39+ / 0-)

      Vick and dreams favoring the doomed "Public Portion" Section of the HCR Act....

      Iran is the # 1 story for 2009. Assuming you put the Obama election in 2008.

      That whole country is going to change.

      Next year the New York terrorism trials will force examinations of what is Rule of Law and what is fascism. Justice and revenge.

      I expect Eric Holder to eviscerate American fascism. Charges against Cheney ??? Not impossible. For murder.

      Angry White Males + Personality Disorder delusionals + sane Pro-Lifers


      The GOPer Base

      by vets74 on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 05:44:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sullivan has amazed me (34+ / 0-)

      His work on this has been terrific.

      You can tell you have created God in your own image when it turns out that he or she hates all the same people you do. - Anne Lamott

      by javelina on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 06:16:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The entire U.S. media is a propaganda machine of (11+ / 0-)

      The corporatists who have taken over the government.  Here's a reprint of one of my diaries where I address this issue:

      Often, when I watch the spectacle of the average FoxNews viewer being interviewed, and repeating the propaganda they get from that channel, verbatim, an image of an army of Orcs as portrayed in Lord of The Rings comes to mind.  It's as if they have been programmed by their evil master into fighting for his interests (even if it means acting against their own interests).

      The truth of the matter is not that far from this mental image.  These people are being controlled and manipulated via a scientifically-designed program (and a political philosophy) that has been evolving (and perfected) for decades.

      This fine-tuned propaganda machine has elements from the Nazi era, CIA operations on mind control, and it is backed up by the political philosophy of Leo Strauss (among others).  And it applies to most of the mainstream media in the U.S.

      I will discuss how this works, but most importantly, how it can be defeated.

      Let me state at the outset that in reality these techniques are being used throughout our entire corporate media landscape, as I pointed out on my diary titled You Are Brainwashed, And So Am I.

      However, as we move inexorably towards a new order characterized by a neo-fascist corporatist-led government, FoxNews and the rest of the right-wing media serve as an accelerator towards that Orwellian reality.

      They push the envelope of the manufactured reality further and further, until the absurdities they espouse become accepted by their target audience (the extreme right winger; the religious fundamentalist; the racist and ultranationalist; the ignorant), and ignored or derided by the rest.  This state of affairs serves to bring about an alternate and manufactured reality that ultimately benefit the ruling elite.  

      There is a lot of research on this, but I'll focus on a couple of aspects of it.  

      Right after World War II the U.S. government brought into the United States 700 Nazi scientists who were experts on mind control research.  They helped with projects like MK-Ultra, and 1950's CIA experiments in "brainwashing" techniques.  

      During the 1976 Church (Congressional) hearings: "The report identifies over 50 US journalists directly employed by the CIA, along with many others who were affiliated and paid by the CIA, and reveals the CIA’s policy to have "their" journalists and authors publish CIA-approved information, and disinformation, overseas in order to get that material disseminated in the United States."

      This is really not that surprising since it is widely known that the CIA, the military, and other secret government organizations engage in this sort of activities (to this day).

      But the interesting thing is that this research became an important tool in the hands of commercial interests, or what can be characterized as the Military Industrial Complex.  The findings and techniques that came out of this research also found their way into broader used by corporatist interests.

      Also, there has been a lot of research on actually using electromagnetic fields from monitors to manipulate the nervous system.  Here's a description of US Patent 6506148: "It is therefore possible to manipulate the nervous system of a subject by pulsing images displayed on a nearby computer monitor or TV set. For the latter, the image pulsing may be imbedded in the program material, or it may be overlaid by modulating a video stream, either as an RF signal or as a video signal."

      From a political philosophy standpoint, one of the fathers of right-wing thought is Leo Strauss.  I argue that the corporatist media (all mainstream media in the U.S.) follows his philosophy to a certain extent.

      One telling sign of this was reported in a 2004 New York Times article titled "Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush", by Ron Suskind.

      The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That’s not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

      This concept of "creating our own reality" is what the Right is all about (I include both major parties here).

      In a 2004 article by Tom Barry titled "Leo Strauss and Intelligence Strategy" he elucidates on this by commenting on a book by Shadia Drury:

      In her book Leo Strauss and the American Right, Shadia Drury elaborates on Strauss' view that a political aristocracy must necessarily manipulate the masses for their own good. The Straussian worldview, according to Drury, contends that "perpetual deception of the citizens by those in power is critical because they need to be led, and they need strong rulers to tell them what's good for them."

      The Progressive Movement Strategy

      Even if you don't believe half (or more) of what I posit here, it should be clear to the reader that the Right is very well-organized when it comes to a propaganda strategy.

      I've often argued that it pains me to see leaders and activists of the progressive movement fighting this propaganda juggernaut with one hand tied behind their backs.

      And I know that the reason behind this is because for decent people of good will who are working to help bring about a better world, a more perfect union, it is inconceivable to even consider fighting back using the same weapons the other side is using.  They believe that it is beneath them; that it is evil.

      And so I see many progressives always reacting to absurdity by explaining; by making the record straight; by defending themselves.  There is not an elaborate and well-thoughtout strategy to go on the attack; to control the message; to reach the citizen at a visceral and emotional level (like the other side does).

      It is my contention that the world is not necessarily a nice place.  Evil, and trickery, and deception, manipulation, exploitation, are rampant.  They are everywhere.

      Any measure of dignity and tolerable living conditions achieved for the average woman has been reached by incredibly hard struggles.  Justice, equality under the law, workers' rights, constitutional protections, at one level are not the historic status quo.  They are very fragile and can be gone in a blink of an eye (historically speaking).

      The Left must learn how to fight against this incredibly powerful and organized oppressive regime being put in place as you read this.  And it must untie the other hand.  It must fight to maintain hard-won rights, and to expand on them.  And the fight must be in earnest, with gusto, as if everything was on the line.  Because it is.

      If there is no struggle there is no progress - Frederick Douglass

      by Luis Mendoza on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 07:13:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Excellent, if off-topic, post (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Luis Mendoza

        One implication I take issue with is the idea that the Left is somehow off the hook in all this power-playing.  But that doesn't make any sense at all.  No one is somehow immune to their own culture (and all the "brainwashing" that culture visits on them).  While the Right is normally in favor of state action that empowers the wealthy at the expense of everyone else, the Left is usually in favor of state action that empowers the state at the expense of everyone else.  Since the state is, and has almost always been, a tool to protect the wealthy from the masses then both Left and Right are pawns in their own destruction.

    •  FoxNews is to busy with Obama bashing (7+ / 0-)

      They don't want to spend time on another topic.  Really, they don't have any reporters outside the USA.  I watch the BBC news to get the real story.  They have reporters in Iran.

      Happy Holidays!

    •  Two things about an otherwise (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul, Indieman

      excellent diary:

      1. Sully ain't no progressive
      1. (this is minor) The Hudson landing (won't call that a miracle) was a big ordeal in that the pilots saved several hundred people's lives. Does that compare to Iran? No, but does it warrant some Sunday coverage... I think so.

      But really, don't let me get in the way of your points about the infotainment industry. I'm also on your side for music, being raised on oldies and jazz and generally not adding bands that came into being after 2004 to my list.

      •  The Hudson river landing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        caul, mahakali overdrive

        was covered more than one Sunday. It was covered repeatedly, and even brought up again months after the fact.

        Yes, the pilot saved hundreds of lives, but it wasn't really history making. holding the line against the siege

        by CatM on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:03:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I didn't mean it that way (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lrhoke, CatM

          but to some degree the job of the news is to report current events, which the Hudson landing was. Iran will be more important in the long run, but doesn't mean we have to totally exclude all other topics.

        •  Legitimate news... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          No, the Hudson River landing wasn't exactly history making but it was legitimate news.  I think this is sort of an apples and oranges thing because I think the issue of Iran not being covered is an issue of distance and resources.  The cable channels and as far as I know, the national networks, aren't making the investment of keeping staffed bureaus and it also may be an issue of safety.  I know during the initial protests, professional journalists were being told to stay in their hotels and were threatened with arrest if they were caught doing their jobs.  Not sure what the situation is now.

          I'm not excusing them, but I don't think you can compare the hudson river incident with Iran.  That happened in the backyard of all the major networks.

          Otherwise, great diary, and I was glad to see it finally make the rec list last night.

          •  Sorry I don't always words things clearly (0+ / 0-)

            I agree it was news and should be covered. I just thought the amount of coverage was excessive for what it actually was.

   holding the line against the siege

            by CatM on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 11:41:27 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Sully (7+ / 0-)

        ...isn't happy about the way pilots are being treated by the airlines.
        He may not be a progressive, but he's a union man.

        "This bill appears to be legislation that the president wanted in the first place." -Russ Feingold

        by DFH on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 01:46:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  He's an anomaly (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          and that's why I like him. No one is even coming close to his coverage of Iran.

          •  I like him too (0+ / 0-)

            because I think while he is sometimes wrong and was a pompous ass about Iraq he is not at all too pompous to admit being wrong. I also think he has intellectual integrity; he does not say things just for the sake of being a partisan hack (at least not anymore) but says what he really thinks, no matter which side it falls.

   holding the line against the siege

            by CatM on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 11:42:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Sully rocks.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          If Sully is conservative, I'd sure like to see more conservatives like him.  Down side is that it would give dems more competition, but at least it would take CRAZY out of the equation.  I don't always agree with him, but I like and respect him.  He is mostly a fiscal conservative (as far as conservative goes) but he has a heart for social issues and an open mind.

        •  I just wish he had stressed that Union connection (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          more when he was being interviewed. He was the Union safety director that insisted on a high level of safety programs and training.

          We are in a time where it is risky NOT to change. Barack Obama 7-30-08

          by samddobermann on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 12:03:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Sully may be no prgressive, but he ain't (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lrhoke, CatM, beemerr90s, Jampacked

        Grover Norquist, either.

        'The work goes on, the cause endures.'

        by shpilk on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 06:25:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sure, he's no progressive, but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        wouldn't it be great to have an honest and informed opposition, rather than the bozos we have out there to deal with?  I'll go with Sully.

        I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

        by beemerr90s on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 06:59:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  We already know what Iran is about! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Don't confuse us with the facts.   Foreign bureaus are unnecessary!   We are Americans after all!

      Let me get back to the cartoons.   Things were simpler under Bush!   I'm confused, where's mommy?

    •  Cher sounds like an electronic moose when (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Raven

      she uses thing. Makes me crack up.

      Vocoders can be cool, when used in the correct hands.
      See Hancock, Herbie.

      'The work goes on, the cause endures.'

      by shpilk on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 06:27:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  CNN clips (11+ / 0-)

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 04:56:17 PM PST

  •  I'm about to offend people here. (22+ / 0-)

    I haven't exactly seen the majority of Kossacks showing much if any interest throughout this Bloody Sunday in Iran.

    Give me a break, to hell with Firedoglake.

    by Setrak on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 04:57:04 PM PST

  •  News is also supposed to keep us scared (33+ / 0-)

    The Iranian regime falling to angry citizens means that we'll lose a dependable boogeyman.  That's the opposite of scary.  Not newsworthy.  Now let's talk about Iran's nuclear ambitions instead.

  •  Media Are Functioning As Our System is Designed (11+ / 0-)

    for them to function.

    There has been much wrong with media over our whole history. I think the main reason we think they're declining from a better state is that the newly invented broadcast media arose during the Depression and New Deal regulation via the FCC. News was separated from the profit side and business had to demonstrate public service work to retain their licenses.

    That in turn pressured print to compete on journalism since it could no longer compete on speed.

    But that scheme is dimensions outside the simplistic press freedom of the 1st amendment. Unfortunately it can't apply to cable or satellite, and there's no political will to reimpose or re-adapt it to air broadcast, so journalism has to pretty much disappear for the mainstream population. It's just not something the modern economy can do for most people.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 05:01:14 PM PST

    •  I question the consolidation (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RonV, caul, blueoasis, luckylizard

      How can Rupert Murdoch, for example, be allowed to control so much media? Why does anyone think that's a good idea (much like Clear Channel on the radio)?

      Is it really a good plan for Comcast to own MSNBC? On the other hand, is that any worse than GE owning MSNBC?

      I think the BBC does so well because it is so independent and is well funded. Of course, that would never fly here, and even in England, there are voices that condemn the "liberalism" of the BBC, and Rupert Murdoch's SUN attacks the BBC regularly.

      There are a lot of people who would like to see it disappear.

      PBS in our country is just so under the radar in comparison. Few people watch PBS for news compared with the major corporate-owned Networks.

      It's very frustrating! If NPR ever goes away, I'm doomed. Of course, on weekends, I find NPR is pretty terrible, too. holding the line against the siege

      by CatM on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 06:00:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let's face it-the cables are in the entertainment (17+ / 0-)

    business today.  Real news coverage is a thing of the past.

    The faces you see on the screen are mere readers of what is put in front of them---they have virtually no skill to ask serious questions; or deviate from the "script" of the mement.

    •  I agree (8+ / 0-)

      That's why when someone says something that most of us are screaming "That's wrong!" to the screen, the newscaster smiles and nods and asks another question, without bothering to counter the obviously falsehood.

      Most of us probably know more about what is going on in the world than they do.

      Sometimes I ache to interview some of these people and ask them REAL questions. I love listening to the BBC interviewers. They are so much more aggressive and they KNOW about the subject they're discussing. They aren't just microphones with makeup. holding the line against the siege

      by CatM on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 05:07:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Right About Singers (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, caul, Rogneid, ShempLugosi

    Type in Vaughn Monroe or Sarah Vaughn (har) on YouTube for some real voices.  No enhancement needed, the vocals are all them.

    Don't look back, something may be gaining on you. - L. "Satchel" Paige

    by arlene on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 05:06:59 PM PST

  •  I prefer BBC for (13+ / 0-)

    world news.  When I want 'local' news I tune into MSNBC or CNN.  

  •  Where's The CIA When You Need Them? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattman, caul, frostbite, Losty, OHknighty

    ..since the Witless Administration eviscerated the CIA. It's pretty clear to me the people of Iran are serious this time about showing the mullahs the door. It's about time. The reports of discontent are coming in a lot more frequently now, particularly this recent one from the WSJ.

    Our CIA had a hand in deposing Mossadegh and replacing him with the Shah, then taking out the Shah and (with the French) installing the mullahs. It would be nice if they went for the hat trick there. I'm not sure what's stopping them, it would make our ally Israel happier, and our adversary Russia less happy, but maybe I'm missing something here.

    Finally, what's going on in Iran, our people could take a lesson from. When they're pissed off, they take to the streets. Maybe there's an opportunity for Rupert Murdoch here to work with the mullahs; he did wonders anesthetizing the mind of the average American; no doubt in my mind he can do the same in Iran, if it's not too late.

    •  Why do you think they're sitting on their hands? (5+ / 0-)

      Simply because you see no evidence that they're active in Iran? I hope that isn't the reason. You do realise that they tend towards discretion in this sort of thing?

      In any case, the opposition (that led by Mousavi, that is) has made it clear that they do not want any outside help with this. They have repeatedly stated that this must be dealt with by Iranians. And Mousavi has not had the best of relations with the West, don't forget.

      The government, of course, is shouting that there is plenty of foreign interference already and has vowed to deal very harshly with anyone who conspires with foreign agencies against them. But they would say that.

      My point being that, aside from some of the people there is little desire on the part of the opposition leadership to have the CIA involved. At least, that's what they say. Who knows what, precisely, is going on?

      look out honey 'cause i'm using technology
      ain't got time to make no apology
      – Stooges, Search and Destroy

      by subtropolis on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 05:44:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So, the CIA deposed Mossadegh (0+ / 0-)

      than replaced him with mullahs. That's really funny, but not factual.

      •  Not factual, but that was the end result (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        caul, frostbite, mahakali overdrive

        of their, uh, meddling, so they really should take some credit. ;)

      •  Ummm...Aren't We Forgetting Something? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        caul, Dunvegan, frostbite

        Like that Pahlavi dude? Also, very few people who know me well question my historical literacy.

        The unabridged version is really not important, but what is is that everytime Iran was about to become a major player in the Middle East, we came in and destabilized the country. My Persian friends in LA, all of whom became wealthy under the Shah's rule, agree with this. Pahlavi got taken out when he got a little too independent, and the country had become too much of a regional power for the USA's comfort. He was replaced in favor of Khomeini, who they fished out of a Marseilles sanitarium.

        The CIA does not as a general rule send out engraved announcements as to when they're going to destabilize a country, but under the Witless regime, their focus was changed to a military-based intelligence model, which for practical purposes, gutted their efficiency to run operations. I just don't think neither the resources nor the assets are there to assist the demonstrators, and it's not 100% clear to me they would want to get involved anyway. Remember, the mullahs were thisclose to being out the door when Witless made that famous Axis of Evil speech.

        •  My Persian friends in L.A. (0+ / 0-)
          - who also came here in '78 after living very well under the Shah - blame the British, the CIA, Jimmy Carter, and the religious zealots for their troubles. The British for obvious reasons, the CIA because they deposed Mossaddegh and prevented the Arab states from uniting, Carter because he 'let the Shah fall,' and the religious zealots for being ignorant fools.

  •  It's not getting air because... (17+ / 0-)

    It goes directly against the case to war with Iran and we all know the networks are owned by corporations who also profit from war and wars.  

    Whether you call it "a government takeover of the private sector" or a "private sector takeover of government," it's the same thing. -G.Greenwald

    by Jonze on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 05:10:14 PM PST

    •  That's one reason I'm moderately happy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Floande, OHknighty

      with the Comcast purchase of NBC Universal, despite the potential negativity of the deal in terms of media consolidation. It can only be a good thing for GE to get out of the business of news. Less temptation for them to attempt to drum up additional warmongering business with a touch of the "yellow", so to speak.  Comcast won't shouldn't be concerned quite so much with drumming up wars.

      A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

      by dougymi on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 05:29:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Cable news?" (8+ / 0-)

    Thanks for the info.
    The news has been missing lots of stories......

    1. A woman was arrested for threatening to kill the first lady.
    1. Increasing RW violence (terrorism), pipe bomb maker nearly blew himself up here in OH ranting the usual RW talking points, the Va hostage situation same with the same RW talking points; there have been several of these stories; maybe a trend?
    1. Former Bushie arrested in Sept for carrying guns and ammo in his car near the capitol building.
    1. The ongoing crime of the "destruction of the economy thanks to Wall street".
    1. ACORN cleared.
    •  I saw 1, 3, 4, and 5 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul, vets74

      I missed 2.

      I also saw that a soldier had been arrested for writing an incendiary song inciting violence about Stop-Loss. I didn't listen to the song, so I can't say exactly what it said.

      I thought the Bush guy was not charged after all? Is that not the case? holding the line against the siege

      by CatM on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 05:17:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Cable news" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        caul, vets74

        Additionally, once the "breaking news" is done, there is no follow up.
        What happened the the "alleged" assassin of Dr. Tiller?

        What happened to the "alleged" killer from the Holocaust museum?

        Saw the Bushie arrest on the internet, nothing since.

        •  the "Bushie arrest" was a non-story (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The authorities were satisfied that he was not a threat. Besides, the weapons were unloaded, disassembled, and cased in his trunk.

          look out honey 'cause i'm using technology
          ain't got time to make no apology
          – Stooges, Search and Destroy

          by subtropolis on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 05:46:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Al Jazeera -- Protesters killed in Iran clashes (16+ / 0-)


    One thing you notice about any of the networks (BBC, France24,etc) is how much they have to rely on YouTube, Twitter, and alternative sources to get visuals out of Iran.

    The best sources for information are online.

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 05:14:35 PM PST

  •  I appreciate your point (10+ / 0-)

    but the plain fact is that the media just doesn't care about anything that might detract from their own narrative, which in this case is non-stop coverage of a boob from Nigeria who tried to burn his genitals off on a plane.  That's the story and by god, they're sticking to it.  Nothing short of a nuclear explosion in Tehran could take them off that point.  

    Well, maybe another Tiger Mistress coming forward. That would probably do it. At least as far as howard kurtz is concerned.

    The U.S. corporate media sucks.

    A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

    by dougymi on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 05:19:35 PM PST

  •  The dying of newspapers (4+ / 0-)

       will have its greatest effect on AVERAGE CITIZENS once local politicians realize they can get away with anything at City Hall and it won't be covered.

       The police reporter, for instance, once a staple news beat, rarely if ever gets to see police reports in the raw, just what morsels are grudgingly handed out.

       City Hall?  Split up among whomever's left on staff. No one knows the sources.  The sources don't trust the strange reporters just "passing through."

       There is much to be said for citizen journalism.  Yet it cannot replace professional journalists, at home or abroad.

    •  Definitely true (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cynic in seattle

      I am dismayed at the thought of seeing newspapers go away unless they are replaced by local sources online.

      I do think with the ability to put things online like police blotters and public court records, perhaps the average citizen can look at some things for him/herself.

      Of course, the police will argue that they don't have the manpower to put it all online, so people will still have to go in and file a records request, etc.

      I guess I don't think about local politics very much. holding the line against the siege

      by CatM on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 05:51:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is because our Overlords (6+ / 0-)

    haven't decided where they stand (again).

    Where as for lovers of liberty, it is a no-brainer: we are for the people getting killed, and against the people killing them.

    You can bet that if Iranian troops got lost and found themselves near a derelict Iraqi derrick, that it would be all over the news.

    Our corporate masters don't want us getting any ideas from Iranians, by the way.

    Let's Adopt the James Cameron school of politics: let the sheer quality of the product sell the ideas.

    by Paul Goodman on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 05:27:31 PM PST

  •  not to dispute your point (5+ / 0-)

    … but do keep in mind that the Iranian government has not been friendly to foreign media lately. Many foreign journalists were summarily expelled from the country and several were arrested during the election uprising.

    Repression stepped up yet again as Iran becomes world’s biggest prison for journalists

    The Islamic Republic of Iran now ranks alongside China as the world’s biggest prison for journalists. The crackdown has been intensified yet again following Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s endorsement of the result of the 12 June presidential election and the opposition’s decision to call another demonstration on 20 June.

    Iran now has a total of 33 journalists and cyber-dissidents in its jails, while journalists who could not be located at their homes have been summoned by telephone by Tehran prosecutor general Said Mortazavi.

    The BBC confirmed in the afternoonof 21 June that its Tehran correspondent, Jon Leyne, has been ordered to leave the country within 24 hours. Officials accused him of "supporting rioters". The authorities had previously accused Britain of "conspiring" against Iran.

    Iran bans foreign journalists as anti-government protesters flood streets of Tehran


    Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters packed the streets of Tehran yesterday - as Iran's hardline regime tried to keep the news from the world.

    Foreign journalists were prevented from leaving their offices to stop them reporting on the rally in the capital against the allegedly fixed election that kept President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in power.

    look out honey 'cause i'm using technology
    ain't got time to make no apology
    – Stooges, Search and Destroy

    by subtropolis on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 05:27:51 PM PST

    •  I understand that (3+ / 0-)

      at the same time, Andrew Sullivan doesn't have any correspondents in Iran, either, so if they wanted to do more extensive coverage, they could.

      CNN has done some; MSNBC is just showing lockdown; and according to someone commenting at Daily Dish, Fox is stuck on the Detroit plane incident. holding the line against the siege

      by CatM on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 05:48:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Little Green Footballs has had good coverage (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dunvegan, nautilus1700

    and it really is safe to read over there now

    Fight the stupid! Boycott BREAKING diaries!

    by VelvetElvis on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 06:08:21 PM PST

  •  when andrew sullivan (8+ / 0-)

    is doing a better job than the supposed news bureaus, you know you have a problem.

    •  sullivan (3+ / 0-)

      while great at what he does has no confirmation other than youtube clips and twitter messages...

      anyone can search iran on youtube and post clips - the thing places like CNN and the BBC do different is they work to you know - confirm things.

      •  And they could do that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gatorcog, mahakali overdrive

        They could have experts on and talk about the potential ramifications of Ali Mousavi's assassination, for example. They could show them the video clips and ask them what things might mean.

        It's unlikely all the videoclips are being staged, for example.

        The news reports unconfirmed things all the time. Why should this be an exception? I think it was the news who reported on the uranium from Nigeria, among other things. As far as I can tell, they have no problem reporting something that has not been verified. Like a boy being carried away in a helium balloon that he actually wasn't in. holding the line against the siege

        by CatM on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 08:11:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Are you referring to the yellowcake (0+ / 0-)

          uranium from Niger that Joe Wilson was checking out? Or is this something else?

          We already have "death panels". They are called health insurance companies.

          by ohiolibrarian on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:26:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I know nothing about that but if true (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            it sure would explain his weird behavior...

            A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble. - Gandhi

            by mahakali overdrive on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 12:15:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Sort of (0+ / 0-)

            I'm referring to the initial reports by the media that seemed to take as fact the Bush administration claims that Iraq was trying to obtain uranium from Nigeria. It was these reports that prompted Joe Wilson to speak out about his findings.

   holding the line against the siege

            by CatM on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 11:48:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  NY Times has been following the story (6+ / 0-)

    all day.

    A man's character is his destiny.

    by Jaleh on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 06:27:17 PM PST

  •  Because MSM are freaking out like Drama Queen (4+ / 0-)

    because of the failed terror attack

    Republicans secret dream = the impeachment of Bo the Dog LOL

    by LaurenMonica on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 06:33:03 PM PST

  •  People just want their buttons pushed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Right wing ideologues tune in their favorite button pushers. Others prefer "ballon boy" type button pushers, and others want the latest on Tiger. This is why Edward R Murrow quit CBS 50 years ago.

    What's so scary about the public using their remotes like lab rats trigger electric brain probes is the public prefers it that way.

    Maybe interactive tv could at least let you vote story by story between real news and button pushing.

  •  Typo alert (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You wrote Iraq at one point.

    if the major news agencies wanted to talk about what is going on in Iraq, they have access to everything

    Just an FYI

  •  the media landscape is half-full (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldLady in BC

    No wonder large segments of the American population seem to be becoming increasingly stupid. Our movies have been dumbed down (Transformers, GI Joe, and Bride Wars, anyone?); our music is being dumbed down with largely talentless performers using electronic voice enhancers; our television has been dumbed down with a plethora of reality shows on people who have lots of babies (Octomom, Jon & Kate, the Duggars), for example; and you're more likely to get a novel published if you know someone (Going Rogue) than if you write one that is actually good.

    Except we aren't more stupid. Because now we have Andrew Sullivan, and better access to information about what's going on in Iran than we would have 10 years ago, and more people who are well-informed about the situation...

    I guess my point is: does it matter that the media's so crappy? They've made the decision to follow the money in what is essentially a niche market ('infotainment'). They may not put out a valuable product anymore, but all of us aren't worse off for it - because now we can read blogs and foreign papers and twitter and watch youtube. On balance it's all to the good, and I think Americans are getting more well-informed because of it.

    •  We aren't ALL more stupid (4+ / 0-)

      But I think those segments of the population who never sought out information but just waited for it to be spoonfed to them as they watched the nightly news are, in fact, becoming more stupid.

      As silly as it sounds, you can also gain bits of real knowledge watching a show like House or Law and Order that you can't get watching Dancing with the Stars or American Idol.

      So, in that sense, I do think it matters that the media is so crappy. Not everyone is as "in tune" to the Internet revolution as we are. holding the line against the siege

      by CatM on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 06:47:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I think you underestimate how many incurious dummies there have always been. The people who have just been spoonfed information all along were never well-informed. But a lot more people now belong to the well-informed minority, and they are more well-informed in an absolute sense, than would have been possible before.

        On the other hand: talk radio. So I don't know. It may be that there are also a lot more misinformed (as opposed to just uninformed) people as well.

        •  There have been many periods in which (3+ / 0-)

          Americans talked about real issues in parlors, coffee shops and corner pubs and were very concerned with politics and learning more about the world. In fact, we were unusually civically active and aware not so very long ago.

          Many people just don't know who to believe, get confused about issues, and feel it's hopeless to keep up, so they've stopped trying. Many people also don't want to know too much because they feel powerless. What good is it to know what's going on if you can't affect it?  Don't we all feel that frustration?

          One of the laws of librarianship is "Save the time of the user". If we want an informed citizenry, we need to make it easier for people to learn what they need to know.

          We already have "death panels". They are called health insurance companies.

          by ohiolibrarian on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:42:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  that depends on how many are really (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson, CatM

      finding the sources.

      I live in Boston. A bastion of the lefty, educated elite. Most people I come in contact with don't know what's going on in Iran. They don't know to read Sullivan. They don't know to read foreign newspapers online.

      I think eventually your vision will play out, but we're still in the early adaptor stage. It would be interesting, for instance, to find out how many Americans read anything about Iran today.

      Or how many read reputable news sources other than the online version of the newspapers they already read before the age of the internet.

  •  Peace Keepers From Israel (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:

    Thousands of Jewish peace keepers should be flown in from Israel waving olive branches at the demonstrators and police. It would bring the riots to a halt and unify the Iranian people. With their task accomplished the peace keepers should be immediately flown out.

  •  For news from Iran (4+ / 0-)

    go to Tehran Bureau, Google, and Andrew Sullivan, and follow the links from there.

    Ignore Joe Lieberturd. What's happening in Tehran, Qom and Isfahan, that's what matters right now.

    Leftwing extremist.

    by MBNYC on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 06:49:10 PM PST

  •  Couple of things. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, littlebird33

    NY Times' "The Lede" is providing excellent coverage:

    It mixes blogging and the established press quite well.

    I don't really consider Andrew Sullivan outside of the mainstream press.  But that might be a minority view.

    That last tiny point aside...I recommended your diary because I don't understand why the cable nets aren't covering the story.  The terror plot is right in cable news' wheelhouse as its sensational and easy to cover.  But you think they'd be giving some air time to the protests.  

    •  Thanks (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson, mahakali overdrive

      I did notice that Sullivan ahd a lot of coverage from the New York Times.

      It's funny--I never thought to evaluate whether Sullivan was mainstream media or not. I guess I don't think of him as mainstream media because he tackles things they will not.

      You are right in how you describe their coverage of the terror plot. holding the line against the siege

      by CatM on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 06:59:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Way to go, Cat. (5+ / 0-)

    I've been wondering since yesterday why the silence on Kos about Iran. I mean, I know we're exceptional, but we're NOT the whole ball game. /snark

    I think you've written an excellent analysis that this community needs to hear. I wish I could have done as good a job, but I didn't need to--you picked up the ball. Thanks.

    When all is said and done, more will be said than done.

    by OldLady in BC on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 06:51:41 PM PST

    •  I was surprised there were not more posts (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      But then, it looks like I've just missed some of them. I do think it's a hard topic, which is why I did not address the political situation in Iran itself but rather addressed the lack of attention to it.

      I am certainly not an expert in Iranian affairs, and I'd probably just end up saying something silly. holding the line against the siege

      by CatM on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 07:01:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Awsome diary, though I'm no Sully fan... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Buckeye BattleCry, CatM

    ...I still remember "old" Sully...

    ...but I am in 10000000% agreement about the stupid, useless media in this country.  They're more dangerous than the Republicans, and, sadly, hold many in their sway.

    "Can I just ask a question? What is Fox News, it's just a Parade of Propaganda, isn't it? It's just a Festival of Ignorance." --Lee Camp, FOX News guest

    by twalling on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 06:53:30 PM PST

    •  I agree about them being more dangerous (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      twalling, OldLady in BC, sjterrid

      I do remember old Sully, but I really think he's changed and become quite rational. I think he regrets his old "rah rah rah" attitude toward the war and recognizes what a mistake it was--I actually think it's another example of how HE fell victim to the mainstream media.

      I imagine he will never do that again, because he makes such an effort to go beyond the media for information now. holding the line against the siege

      by CatM on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 07:00:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  agreed. I think he's been a great example (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CatM, OldLady in BC, sjterrid

        of someone willing to live and learn in the public eye. Do I agree with him on everything? No. But he has gained a certain respect from me for his willingness to admit he was wrong and to shift gears.

        And his Iran coverage has been nothing short of exceptional. I hope he and Nico Pitney win awards for the work they've done to help the Iranian people get their message out to us. All those tweets and facebook and youtube entries would not have had the impact they had without the likes of Sullivan and Pitney to put them into context and give us the cohesiveness needed to bear witness for those brave souls.

  •  almost (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    twalling, frostbite, nandssmith

    right, except for this:

    They are making a choice--to go after what they think will generate ratings

    It's about propaganda. Whatever they think will scare the shit out of the most people, and keep "support" active for The War On Terror.

    Necessity is the mother of revolution...

    by o the umanity on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 06:53:41 PM PST

    •  I'm not sure (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      twalling, OldLady in BC

      I think they would turn on the "War on Terror" as soon as they sensed it was "popular" to do so.

      At the same time, I get tired of how the media does seem to buy into the whole thing about how anyone who criticizes the war's patriotism should be questioned, etc., and how they can't mention the war without making sure they throw in a line about how wonderful the troops are and how much we support them (yes, we know everyone supports the troops--criticism is not ABOUT the troops and they need to stop acting like it is in part about the troops) and how they always have to stress how "great" America is instead of just focusing on the issue at hand--is the war right or wrong? Did the administration make a mistake?

      And I'm tired of the whole false equivalency thing. holding the line against the siege

      by CatM on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 07:04:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  please reconsider (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        because they're about propping up whatever needs propped up on a given day.

        how the media does seem to buy into the whole thing

        Isn't it funny how they do that?

        how anyone who criticizes the war's patriotism should be questioned...and how they can't mention the war without making sure they throw in a line about how wonderful the troops are and how much we support them...criticism is not ABOUT the troops and they need to stop acting like it is...they always have to stress how "great" America is instead of just focusing on the issue at hand.

        Look at your list here. Just look at it. Seriously!

        ALL of these things you note have one thing in common.

        They are divisive.

        This is not driven by popularity. It's driven by need.

        Necessity is the mother of revolution...

        by o the umanity on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 07:17:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The question is which comes first (0+ / 0-)

          the chicken or the egg?

          My impression is the media does this because they feel it's damaging to their popularity not to. Given the viciousness of the Teabaggers, for example, I think they may be right.

          I don't think all the media--save Fox--started the meme that to not wear a flag pin is unpatriotic. I think an opinion columnist started that somewhere.

          The line between opinion and journalism is increasingly becoming blurred, unfortunately.

          I think the media does divisiveness because it's good for ratings. I just don't know that I agree--with the exception of Fox--that it is some sort of conspiracy to keep the "War on Terror" going.

 holding the line against the siege

          by CatM on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 07:22:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why not? (0+ / 0-)

            Why else could any of them--not just Fake News--get away with as much as they have in the last decade?

            That's the time-frame we're talking about here, btw. Post Telecommunications Act--and all during W's reign.

            So spare me the smear of the word conspiracy with such a notion. This doesn't have to be conspiracy to be so. The only thing it needs to be, when corporations own the companies whose reporters now report The News, is a memo from upstairs.

            That's it. You don't question your Boss's decisions anywhere else, without repercussion. Why not in Today's Media?

            Necessity is the mother of revolution...

            by o the umanity on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 08:14:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  The problem is that TV is driven by (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    video.  There is video, but not TV quality and not verifiable partly because foriegn journalists have been kicked out or are not allowed to film.  The result is no coverage or simply a verbal report.  We the viewers are partially to blame as well.  When we hear a news story without video we tend to unconsciously rate it as less important.  

    This is a story that works on the internet but not so well for TV.  

  •  BBC America is showing Ab Fab (0+ / 0-)

    here on the Left Coast, BBC World News doesn't repeat air until 2am, dahling.

  •  One Complaint, CatM (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fly, OldLady in BC

    No wonder large segments of the American population seem to be becoming increasingly stupid.

    "Stupid" is not a synonym for ignorant.  

    This stupid, ignorant, mostly passive information receptacle thanks you for a rare bit of real information.

    I have spent most of my time in the last 48 hours digging up small bits of information on an inland sea created by polluted industrial, municipal and agricultural wastewater that has far greater implications for survival of most species on the planet, including humans, than the threat of nuclear war.

    Stupid is denial by the faux environmentalists that dominate discussions of climaticide on dKos.  Not one can claim ignorance.

    Thank you for a brief on a very important battle that appears to be going well unlike an even more important war that appears all but lost.

    Best,  Terry

    •  No, I really meant stupid (2+ / 0-)

      I know stupid is not the same thing as ignorant.

      I think there is a big difference.

      I think there are large segments of the population--and if you are on Kos, you probably aren't one--who are ignorant in the sense that they do not seek out information but instead wait for it to fall into their laps via the nightly news, for example, or discussions with their neighbors.

      When that does not happen because the media is not paying attention to it, they don't know what's going on. And that is ignorant.

      But then, over time, they stop thinking about anything "grander" than what happens between Angelina and Brad or who is dating who in town. They stop thinking about how one thing affects something else, contemplating possible consequences to different actions, stop hearing different viewpoints and learning to evaluate them before settling on one, etc.

      And eventually they end up stupid, just repeating whatever they are told without filtering it through any sort of mental process.

      I could be wrong but I think the greatest threat to civilization in the coming decades will be a lack of drinkable water, for all sorts of reasons--climate change, pollution, overconsumption, etc. holding the line against the siege

      by CatM on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 07:12:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Intellectual Curiosity is something else again (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mahakali overdrive

        An autistic is not lacking in information but is overwhelmed with it.  He shuts down in self-defense.

        Our information age makes many of us shut down in a somewhat analogous fashion I think.

        Einstein's rage against education is wrongly portrayed as only about regimentation.  Forgotten is that Einstein incredibly was an autistic.  The man whose very name symbolizes genius was a victim of the most terrible of all learning disabilities.  

        Einstein's brilliant focus on narrow pursuits was interfered with by extraneous information.

        I believe I can say with some justification that Einstein was not stupid though sometimes he seemed so. :-)

        Take care, CatM.  Loved your diary and the information you provided.

        Best,  Terry

        •  Actually I am autistic (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          svboston, sjterrid

          It's not "forgotten" that Einstein was an autistic. You cannot diagnose someone posthumously. It is theorized that Einstein may have been autistic, but we cannot actually know this.

          And autism, I can assure you, is not the most terrible of all learning disabilities. I say this as a mother of two children with autism.

          Remember, autism is a scale, and there are severely autistic people (which is indeed terrible) and those who are less autistic, which I suppose would include me and my children.

          So, no, I don't equate autistic people with stupid people in any sense. I am seriously talking about the people who stop thinking--the people who watch Beck and because Beck says something is so, they just believe it is so. It's not that they aren't getting information or that they're shutting down. It's that they do not think about it.

          Also, you are wrong about autistic people. We do not "shut down" because of too much information. We shut down because of too much sensory stimulation--too much noise at once, sudden touches, the wrong kind of noise, etc.

          People with mild autism actualy tend to like information; they just focus it in specific areas. As a kid, I could not get enough information. I read encyclopedias, read four books a day, read shampoo bottles, conditioner bottles, the TV guide (even though I rarely watched TV), read the Bible (despite coming from a family that was not religious) and read the dictionary. I basically read everything that was readable.

          So, I'm not sure where you got the idea that autistic people shut down from too much information. Unless you mean sequencing...autistic people have a difficult time processing multiple directions at one time. For example, giving an autistic child a list of 3 things to do means that two of them are likely not to get done. You are better off giving one thing to do, then when that's done, giving the second thing to do.

          Sorry if that's too much rambling. That's another thing autistics are good at. Talking on and on about something that interests us.

 holding the line against the siege

          by CatM on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 08:06:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The diagnosis of autism has expanded greatly (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ohmyheck, mahakali overdrive

            I'm not sure where you got the idea that autistic people shut down from too much information.

            From an autistic child and numerous experts and readings.

            Bill Gates is said by some to be autistic but is not, is not, is not.

            I don't quarrel with the actual syndrome from which Bill Gates rather obviously suffers but it is not autism.  Asperger's syndrome is quite different.  Such misinformation is rife and most unfortunate.

            I can't and don't pretend to know anything about your situation and malady and that of your children. I deny nothing you say except that you have already affirmed what I wrote.

            I would love to discuss the matter with you but this is not the appropriate time or place.

            I certainly wish you and your children well.

            Best,  Terry

            •  Okay that is just not true (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mahakali overdrive

              You are right it's not the appropriate time or place, but Asperger's syndrome is not "quite different" from Autism.

              In fact, it's so not quite different that the American Psychiatric Association is considering removing it as a separate classification when they update the next manual, and experts like Tony Atwood (and others) who have studied the condition for decades say the distinction that the diagnostics manual make are simply questionable.

              The only diagnostic differences are that people with Asperger's are said to have poorer gross motor skills and delayed speech. However, there are plenty of people with an Asperger's diagnosis who have not had delayed speech or don't have really poor motor skills.

              One of my sons went through expert testing and was given a diagnosis of autism. The second time, he was given a diagnosis of Asperger's. He's actually the same kid. Whether he had delayed speech is questionable because he did speak, it's just that nobody could understand him except me until he was about 5. But I understood him quite fine.

              Finally, I would say that I am one of those who feels it is inappropriate to say someone who is dead has a certain diagnosis based on a less than thorough examination. And we really can't say what Bill Gates has or doesn't have without testing him, as well.

              I have read many many books on Asperger's and autism and talked with experts and been to several different doctors.

              I come down on the side of the many experts who believe the difference between Asperger's and high-functioning autism is a myth.

              Of course, in all my reading, I have never heard or seen that autistic people shut down from too much information--only that they shut down from too much stimulation or sensory input.

              My son shuts down when more than 2 people are talking but it's not the information. It's his inability to handle multiple sources of input at once and determine who he should be listening to (prioritization).

              Anyway, you're right that it is probably another conversation for another diary. I just don't think you should present your views as factual when there is a lot of information from recognized experts that contradicts them (such as the notion that AS and HFA are extremely different).

              From Tony Atwood:

              Having reviewed the literature, we may be able to answer the question, is there a difference between Asperger's syndrome and High Functioning Autism? The reply is that the research and clinical experience would suggest that there is no clear evidence that they are different disorders. Their similarities are greater than their differences...At present both terms can be used interchangeably in clinical

              From WebMD:

              The differences from other forms of autism have led many psychiatrists to consider high-functioning autism as similar to or the same as Asperger's syndrome.

              It all depends on which experts you trust. Those I have read the most and place a lot of faith in have decades working with children with the condition, and I concur with the notion that the two disorders are actually the same.

     holding the line against the siege

              by CatM on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:25:02 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Okay correction on one thing (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mahakali overdrive

              Regarding "too much information"--I think we are using this semantically to mean two different things.

              Based on this diary and my interpretation of information, I am using it to mean data about a subject.

              I see that some Websites use "too much information" in discussing autism, but then go onto describe it as what I am calling it--too much sensory input.

              It's "too much information" gleaned from visual or auditory senses. But it's not too much information as in too many facts.

              So, to be honest, I don't know why you brought up autism to begin with. I don't see what the kind of excessive sensory input that causes autistic people to shut down has to do with too many facts being presented on television--unless you mean too many people talking at once, like on Hardball or something?

              Anyway, that wasn't at all what I had in mind when talking about the growing stupidity.

     holding the line against the siege

              by CatM on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:35:27 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Temple Grandin, A True Autistic and A Wonderful (0+ / 0-)

                writer and authority, equates Einstein's autism with the dyslexia of Leonardo Da Vinci.

                Leonardo Da Vinci was a true renaissance man with knowledge encompassing the frontiers of knowledge of the time and beyond.

                Einstein's brilliance was arguably even greater but not remotely the same.  Einstein angrily rejected the notion of a wide-ranging education.

                In his autobiography, Epitaph, Einstein expressed his problems with formal education in his own inimitable style.  Contrary to what even a fellow physics professor wrote in the professor's biography of Einstein, Einstein confessed to cheating his way through school.  Wrote Einstein from my best recall: "Given the free time afforded me I gladly bear the burden of guilt."

                A sad truth is that the gifted often do as poorly as the mentally handicapped in school but the reasons go far beyond learning disabilities.  Simple boredom from rote learning is an obvious cause.

                I mentioned autism as in IMO germane to the subject matter of the thread.

                Best,  Terry


                •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

         holding the line against the siege

                  by CatM on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 11:32:19 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Sorry post went too early (0+ / 0-)

                  I agree that the gifted often struggle in school as much as the mentally handicapped; I recognize it in myself, in my brother (who never received a diagnosis but has followed me so closely in development that I find it hard to believe he does not have AS), and in my kids. My ex-husband who has AS went to MIT on scholarship and almost dropped out because he struggled so much with writing classes. His sister, who had perfect SAT scores and received a full scholarship to a university, could not make it past the first year.

                  I agree some of these people had problems that in retrospect we might say are similar to those people experience who have AS or autism. I just don't agree that we can issue a diagnosis posthumously, though we can speculate.

                  I have also read arguments that DaVinci had Asperger's or autism (and Michaelangelo and Jefferson and George Washington Carver). If we accept that it is so easy to diagnose that we can rely on old records or second-hand accounts or even journal entries, then why do we even need screening or formal testing?

                  That is my primary concern with just handing out diagnoses without conducting any of the tests. On the other hand, I think the tests are too geared toward younger children and are really outdated and fail to capture adequately some of the aspects of AS and they completely fail in adults.

         holding the line against the siege

                  by CatM on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 11:37:18 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Just A Last Word, CatM (0+ / 0-)

                    Certainly you are free to reject it entirely.

                    I just don't agree that we can issue a diagnosis posthumously

                    It is done every day.  Some diseases can only be diagnosed through an autopsy.

                    But first you have to define what a disease is and how it can be diagnosed.  

                    That is not possible with a syndrome because nobody knows what it is precisely.  At most we can only agree on symptoms and then use subjective tests for those symptoms.

                    But there is not unanimous agreement on even symptoms in the case of most syndromes.

                    One learning disability that is relatively easy - note, relatively - is epilepsy.  Socrates clearly had epilepsy - if Plato's writings are to be believe and if Socrates even existed (a matter of some dispute).  You may have witnessed a grand mal seizure.  If you have not, it is a most frightening thing despite being quite variable.  You don't need a neurologist to diagnose an epileptic in that case though you surely do in the more frequent mini-seizures that most will miss.

                    The diagnosis of Einstein's affliction comes from voluminous study of his life, witnesses, from Einstein himself and even his most unusual brain that has been preserved for study at Einstein's request.

                    Again, CatM, I wish you and your family all the best that life can offer.  We suffered enormous hurt in the past and have had to learn very hard lessons.

                    I will not go beyond that for reasons you should know better than anyone.

                    Take care, my friend.

                    Best,  Terry

  •  This great diary ! Tells us why we may fail in 2 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldLady in BC, ozsea1

    As CatM indicated, the revolution will be on "Youtube." CNN and even BBC are irrelevant. But we were. We were the power that brought Youtube to everyone's attention and managed to bring Obama to power in the process.

    What happened since then?

    We got discouraged, like the gifted spoiled brats that we are (as Garrison Keeler says in Praire Home Companion: "All the children are above average".)

    That is why we are no longer the main force behind the Iranian counter-revolution as we were in June. We didn't manage to pass the public option, so we got discouraged. We didn't manage to put the banker's noses into their own poop, so we got discouraged. FISA, Guantanamo, Climate Change, SEC, only minor progress if that.

    SO WHAT?

    Oh, I can hear you go: "They ran hope into the ground". Whiners! You forget that they stopped the collapse and are slowly changing the direction of the country!

    Bottom line: the revolution last year was run by a bunch of pussies that could manage one or two small struggles tops.

    If we cannot continue to struggle, and help disseminate the gospel of the new progressives, we do not deserve to be remembered for anything.

    "Not all who wonder are lost, but practically all who are lost never wonder"

    by Drawline on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 07:08:36 PM PST

  •  Hey, a guy got diarrhea on a plane today (6+ / 0-)

    Why talk about people dying in the beginning of a revolution when some guy brought the 24hr news cycle to it's knees today by having the shits?

    O great creator of being grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives. ::: Jim Morrison :::

    by Kevanlove on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 07:31:12 PM PST

  •  Iran shows limits of "citizen" reports. (0+ / 0-)

    Iran has effectively shut down the cell phone network and the internet so it prevents reports from getting out of Iran.

    Which is why you don't see any reports from the US media. There's no pix or video and no on the scene reporting.  BBC, AP, NYTimes, lots of international reporters there but no getting the stories out, at least in real time which is what the US electronic media is interested in.

    •  Yes and No (0+ / 0-)

      I mean, there are reports getting out. Sullivan has videos and pictures, for example. There is audio getting out.

      There is text getting out. I have CNN show walls of "Tweets" to its own Twitter. Why can't they show info from here?


      They will find video and pictures at these sites. They will find text.

      They don't have actual footage of the guy who did the plane thing either but they manage to find people to talk to. I am sure they could talk to foreign policy experts about Iran. They could interview educated Iranians who live in this country. They could talk to people who are experts and Islam about what it means that Ali Mousavi was killed; according to someone on Sullivan's blog, it's a big deal because he is "Ali was a seyyed ... of the line of the Imam."

      Is this true? They could ask an expert about it.

      There's just a lot they could talk about and show without actual footage of what is going on (and there is some footage avaialble). holding the line against the siege

      by CatM on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 07:46:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Instead of dragging this out for months (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    frostbite, protectspice

    putting everyone through agonizing  and entirely false "debate", can we just get on with bombing the fuck out of Iran, killing tens of thousands of those we weep for so copiously today, and get it over with?  Because everyone here knows that's exactly where this is going, and since it's going to happen anyway, I'd rather be spared the hypocrisy, lies and kabuki this time around.  Is that too much too ask, too much "purism" on my part?

    "99% of the battles and skirmishes that we fought in Afghanistan were won by our side." ~ Marshall Akhromeyev

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 07:44:55 PM PST

    •  That's really disgusting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I don't know that this is where things are going or what is going to happen, and I don't think most people think that's where this is headed.

      I actually doubt that this is where it is going.

      So we should just bomb and kill people because you have anointed yourself an expert in foreign policy and a psychic and you have a crystal ball that tells you this is 100% where it is going?

      I would say bombing Iran is MORE likely if a change in power does not happen than if it does. holding the line against the siege

      by CatM on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 07:49:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Where is Dana Carvey's Grumpy old man (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    when you need him?

    No wonder large segments of the American population seem to be becoming increasingly stupid. Our movies have been dumbed down (Transformers, GI Joe, and Bride Wars, anyone?); our music is being dumbed down with largely talentless performers using electronic voice enhancers; our television has been dumbed down with a plethora of reality shows on people who have lots of babies (Octomom, Jon & Kate, the Duggars), for example; and you're more likely to get a novel published if you know someone (Going Rogue) than if you write one that is actually good.

    You were making a great point regarding the reduction of foreign news bureaus (although I would say one reason that is happening is because can buy locally created content vs producing from a local bureau) and the lack of financing for public TV.

    But then you totally went into grumpy old man mode with the I hate reality TV and new music and book deals for people I don't like.

    "Them darn kids watchin' Jersey Shore!"

    You ever stop to think that just perhaps that networks are sellin' what we, the public, are buyin'?  If ya don't like it you can always change the channel...

    •  I think that's my point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      An Affirming Flame

      Large segments of the American public are becoming increasingly stupid, less able to think for themselves, and more easily entertained with "fake" celebrity, "fake" news, etc.

      It is all part of the same problem--having people tell you what is news or what is good or what is important instead of thinking for yourself about these things.

      Today's 24/7 news cycle is largely responsible for the creation of Paris Hilton as a celebrity, for example.

      And, for the record, I don't hate "new music." I hate talentless music. There are actually some people who can sing who are new. And book deals for people I don't like? I don't even know many authors. It's about book deals for people who can't write and cannot even attribute quotes correctly.

      You don't think that's absoultely horrifying that a major publishing house would put out a book that has quotes attributed to the wrong people and not even care because a celebrity "wrote" the book?

      You may be satisfied with the erosion of quality in the arts and the growing acceptance of programs/movies/news/books aimed at the lowest common denominator, but I'm not. holding the line against the siege

      by CatM on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 07:54:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No..I don't (0+ / 0-)

        You don't think that's absoultely horrifying that a major publishing house would put out a book that has quotes attributed to the wrong people and not even care because a celebrity "wrote" the book?

        I think that publishers are going to publish books that are going to sell.  And like it or not...Palin's book has made them alot of money.

        Of course they should actually do their due diligence and edit the damn thing.

        •  I think that's the problem (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          And part of the dumbing down. There's a problem when you can no longer read a book--no matter how lame a book--and at least trust that a quote attributed to someone was actually uttered by that person.

 holding the line against the siege

          by CatM on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 08:44:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry to disagree with you on this point (0+ / 0-)

            I work in the publishing industry, among others, and I can guarantee that editorial standards are much more exacting than they were in the past.  If you don't believe me, go to a used bookstore with a very deep stock and pick up a mainstream novel (not a famous one) from about fifty years ago and start counting the errors.
            Sure, a turd like the Palin book comes out once in awhile... but that's been happening forever.  Check out a gem by Phyllis Schlafly (sorry if this editor spelled her name wrong) called "A Choice, Not an Echo" for a brief history of neocon "nonfiction".  
            As a professional writer, I can also tell you that standards for submitted manuscripts are vastly higher than they used to be, too.    

            •  And as you can see by the multiple grammatical (0+ / 0-)

              errors in my last quick post, even an editor needs an editor sometimes :-)

              •  I have the same problem (0+ / 0-)

                As an editor, I am always self-conscious about my posts. I tend to make a lot of typos or mistakes, however. I do not edit other peoples' posts, and I hope nobody thinks because I am an editor and writer that my posts will be flawless.

                Sometimes I make real doozies! I made one earlier in this thread. I said people with Asperger's are said to have delayed speech instead of are said NOT to have delayed speech.

                smacks forehead

                I also find myself doing crazy things like substituting "right" for "write" and even "there" for "their."

                Do you ever find yourself making those kinds of inexplicable mistakes?

       holding the line against the siege

                by CatM on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 11:56:50 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  I work in publishing too (0+ / 0-)

              I think it depends where in publishing you work as to how exacting editorial standards may be.

              You would expect them to be better in this day and age when it's so much easier for the reader to fact-check.

              I just don't recall reading other books and finding that a quote attributed to someone was not only not from that person but from someone who is not even in the same field or from the same time period as that person.

              For example, I've seen quotes attributed to one philosopher that were actually first said by another philosopher, but not a quote from a philosopher that is wrongly attributed to a cabaret dancer.

     holding the line against the siege

              by CatM on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 11:54:11 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  The BBC (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ericy, CatM, kat68

    is great, professional newscasters.I give thanks daily to the people of the UK when I read their website.

    Have any of you seen Livestation, I found it through CSPAN which broadcasts live through it, as does the BBC and Al Jazeera. But You Tube is amazing,no doubt at all.

    If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. Dalai Lama

    by ohcanada on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 07:50:32 PM PST

    •  I have not seen Livestation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I will look for it.

      I love listening to the BBC interviewers. They really put people on the spot. If someone gives a hypocritical answer, they call them on it.

      I don't think most US politicians would fare well being interviewed by the BBC. holding the line against the siege

      by CatM on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 07:55:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Livestation does not work in the U.S. :( (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CatM, ohcanada

      I've looked long and hard for a live feed of the BBC World News channel with no luck. If anyone knows of one, please post it here.  I've written Time Warner asking them to carry it, but to no avail.

      Livestation (works outside the U.S., UK, and Japan)

      •  Ok thanks for the info (0+ / 0-)

        We can keep our fingers crossed anyway!

        I know this is off topic, but years ago, I bought an old 1950s radio at an antique store. It turned out that it was a short-wave radio, and I pulled in all these stations from overseas (at least I think they were; some were in Japanese). It was amazing. I even got Voice of America. holding the line against the siege

        by CatM on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 08:09:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  You can find BBC News online in the US (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If you look in the right places cough cough p2ptv cough

    •  I watch the Beeb every morning.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      They had a good story about Iran this morning, in fact.  But I wasn't quite awake at the time - I may have to play it back on the DVR :-).

  •  CNN just did quite a bit on Iranian protests (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    on its Sunday night news at 10 p.m. et

    •  Kind of late to the game (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      linnie, Jampacked

      but better late than never, I guess. holding the line against the siege

      by CatM on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 08:22:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's, um, THE HOLIDAYS (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        There's very little fresh news of any kind, anywhere, except for extreme must-do stories (the Detroit plane bomber) because almost all of the TV people except for the ones you physically see are on vacation.

        This is a replay of what happened when the tsunami hit on Christmas five years ago. TV coverage was minimal at first, not because the TV people were biased hateful ogres who were happy to hear about 100,000 people being washed out to see, but because they were mostly home eating ham or turkey.

        And, even when TV people are rushing in to try to cover stories like the Iran protest story, they are having a hard time reaching State Department experts, academic experts, etc., because a lot of those folks either are frantically busy responding to the Iran situation or are on vacation.

  •  Call me if it matters. (0+ / 0-)

    The regime has simply cracked down and ignored the protesters. Not a single thing they've done so far has helped.

    I'd rather not impose sanctions because that would help the regime and hurt the protesters, but until they actually show some success in their efforts I am not going to pay that much attention to them.

    The Raptor of Spain: A Webserial
    From Muslim Prince to Christian King (Updated Nov. 24)

    by MNPundit on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 08:20:39 PM PST

  •  Latest video and news on Iran: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Iranian protests: developing news Iranian protests: developing news

    Protests take violent turn as security forces become targets themselvesProtests take violent turn as security forces become targets themselves

  •  Nobody is stopping Obama from (0+ / 0-)

    talking about Iran and bringing the green revolution to the front pages.

    I for one is very disappointed with his silence...he's never been shy before, why now?

  •  it is such a misery watching Iran (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, Billdbq

    I am still happy that Eastern Europe's communists allowed their own collapse 20 years ago and did not fight the revolution. Iran stands for my worst night mares. It is really painful to watch. Where is the way out of this? One thing for sure - lets not start bombing Iran. If we bomb Iran, we can forget about a revolution from within. It would postpone it by 20 years. Lets be very careful not to strengthen the hardliners.

    •  Everyone faces change, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and I'm reminded of this admonition from Arundhati Roy,
      "Change will come. It could be bloody, or it could be beautiful.  It depends on us."

      Thank you for this diary, CatM.

      Tipped and rec'd.

      Strength through Peace.

      by Billdbq on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 08:58:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Want to Help the Iranian People? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    One twitterer suggested people outside Iran changing their location on Twitter to Iran, to make life more difficult for Baseej looking to silence Iranians using Twitter to get info out.

    I'm no twitter expert, just passing along the info.

  •  Great site for articles and news on Iran (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  more news (0+ / 0-)

    More videos, photos and news here

  •  Although I agree with this diary, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Iran doesn't exactly fall under the keep-'em-ignorant category. Even if the MSM wanted to cover Iran (which I agree that it doesn't) it would be pretty risky.  US Naval Intelligence reports that Iran has deployed Batteries of anti-ship missiles, primarily Chinese-designed C-801 and C-802 missiles, have been deployed on islands within the Strait of Hormuz that could be used to block the strait, which would trigger an economic crisis that could cripple the painful efforts to recover from the global financial meltdown.
    This is probably why there has been no international response to the government of Iran murdering its citizens in the streets. The US would have no useful means of retaliation if a reporter came up missing (unless we wanted to risk further global economic collapse, which would be the result of Iran closing the Strait of Hormuz)).
    Why create an enraged public if we're not going to do anything about Iran anyway? I think it's more likely that Israel will do something, if anyone, because they think Iran will strike them if they stand idly by.

  •  Iran has banned foreign media (0+ / 0-)

    from covering the protests, so it wouldn't matter how many foreign bureau's a media outlet had. Which makes the topic here a bit misleading and unnecessarily hostile. It's tough to get picture's out of Iran right now.

    •  Funny (0+ / 0-)

      Because Andrew Sullivan doesn't seem to be having any trouble getting pictures and photos from Iran.

      The Iranians are getting them out themselves.

      And having a foreign bureau would certainly be helpful. There are actually many Shia in Iraq who are closely aligned with Shia in Iran, including high level people, that would be worth talking to about their views on the situation and what they might ahve heard. holding the line against the siege

      by CatM on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:28:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Almost nobody in cable (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CatM, Remsicle

    is talking about Iran today because our news networks cover news the same way that Entertainment Tonight covers celebrities, and ESPN covers sports.  Their goal is to entertain people and maximize ratings for their corporate pimps, not to inform people.  So anything that can either be sensationalized or used to satisfy the desire for gossip makes the cut, and anything that doesn't gets left out.

    Our corporate news media, like the rest of our corporate media, is the "circuses" part of the time-tested "bread and circuses" formula.

    -7.12, -7.54 / "Health care reform will never take place until Rahm Emanuel is strangled with the entrails of Frank Luntz." - Diderot

    by Big Tex on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:47:59 PM PST

  •  Well, the cable news (0+ / 0-)

    basically gives people something to talk about. Its not meant to inform us or educate us. Cable news gives us different spins on the same stories because its simple; good vs evil, bad vs good, Democrats vs Republicans, etc. The multinational media outlets give American audiences garbage because most Americans can understand and talk about the garbage without any prior knowledge on the subject. The stories we get are easily digested and put into a mental storage boxes that we use to defend our beliefs.

    As far as Iran goes, the media ignores it because they don't know what to say about the situation. If they advocate for helping the Iranian people, yet provide no solutions, they appear incompetent and indecisive. If they get all hawkish, who will be in favor of bombing a place after we have seen their faces, oh no.

    "The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." Marcus Aurelius

    by theillusion on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 09:48:36 PM PST

  •  T&R for 2 reasons (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    Meanwhile, Iran may be on the verge of a revolution,

    Huge. Just huge.


    our music is being dumbed down with largely talentless performers using electronic voice enhancers

    No kidding. It's like the record companies all think in unison, "If we just add a vocoder here we've got a hit record," than they do their payola (indirectly of course) to force that crap out there. Which is why I listen to stuff from Sweden and Finland mostly. What's bubblegum in Finland would be pretty edgy here.

    by Dr Squid on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 10:00:50 PM PST

    •  It's called a vocoder? (0+ / 0-)

      Thank you. I didnt' know what that thing is called but I know I hate it.

      I'm a horrible singer but I could probably amke a record if I had one of those! holding the line against the siege

      by CatM on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:29:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fox News doesn't have foreign bureaus. (0+ / 0-)

    They're a domestic propaganda outfit.

    Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. - Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by number six on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:00:47 PM PST

  •  Well said. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I have nothing more to add.  Nice observations.

    On the front lines of the energy crisis.
    Peak Oil Hawaii

    by Arclite on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:03:40 PM PST

  •  News Is Storytelling (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Events in Iran don't quite fit today's storyline -- BLACK MUSLIM YEMEN YEMEN AL QAEDA!!! -- but they might become relevant again soon.

    I won't tell anyone that Reagan was a turd.

    by bink on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:46:13 PM PST

  •  So totally rec'ced and tipped (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CatM, CherryTheTart

    watched straight 9 or 10 days of the uprising before, almost couldn't leave the house thinking, that government is going to topple...

    Knew it would rear up again. Curious to see what is happening now and will begin following it once more. Thanks for this diary, Cat... I have no cable and have stopped going to the HuffPo and NYT, so I don't recall it mentioned.

    A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble. - Gandhi

    by mahakali overdrive on Sun Dec 27, 2009 at 11:50:07 PM PST

    •  The 24x7 news cycle... (0+ / 0-)

      seems to have conditioned us to expect events to unfold virtually overnight.  But the real world doesn't always work that way.  Even last summer, I was hearing some commentators talking about how the unrest could go into hibernation for a period and then re-erupt with new fervor.

      This morning they were suggesting that the demonstrators now feel no need to cover their faces, and that some of the security forces have switched sides.  But even with this news, I have no idea whether the unrest will again go into hibernation or whether the government will topple.

  •  here's an idea (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyland 8, TKLTKL94

    Change the name of Al Jazeera English to The World News Network or something like that.
    Our country desperately needs a news channel with the quality & diversity of views that AJE has.

    By the way, did you know you can stream AJE on your phone for free (there's also an iPhone app) ?

    "This bill appears to be legislation that the president wanted in the first place." -Russ Feingold

    by DFH on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 01:40:31 AM PST

  •  New & Improved Industrial-Strength Stupidity (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is the only thing Amerika seems capable of producing anymore.  We're going down for the count because of it.

    •  Oh, come on. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      People have been saying this since the time of the ancient Greeks and longer-  the new generation is dumber, cannot think for themselves, we're all doomed, etc.
      We may or may not be doomed, but I hardly think we're dumber than we used to be.  Consider not only what  education was like a hundred or two hundred years ago (authoritarian, scattershot) but also, more importantly, the context in which the information was learned (our knowledge of science, medicine, etc etc etc is vastly greater than it was) and it can hardly be seriously argued that we are dumber.  I would agree that peoples' knowledge tends to be narrower, but this is only because the breadth and depth of what can be known is so much greater than it used to be... and yet, we have pretty much the same bodies and brains as we had way back when.
      I'm not saying that the media isn't trying to dumb us down, or that there isn't a ton of stupid BS on TV and in the bookstores.  What I am saying is that we're not ignorant fools... and thus, we have few excuses if we fail.

  •  Excellent diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    ..explains why they're fighting health care reform tooth and nail... access to mental health professionals would absolutely demolish their movement. AppeaseThis

    by niteskolar on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 04:20:15 AM PST

  •  If they accurately covered what was happening (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    it would make it difficult for the state to tell us a bogus story later about why we took action or declined to take action.

    Knowledge is power and you can't handle the truth.

    "The Universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it." Marcus Aurelius

    by Mosquito Pilot on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 04:38:09 AM PST

  •  excellent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    All true. Thanks for writing.

  •  Where are all the tweets from people (0+ / 0-)

    stuck in long(er) security lines at airports...?

    I'm not seeing anything like that in Bing's "hottest topics on Twitter."

    In alpha order, here's what's "hot:"

       * Avatar
       * Colts
       * Coming Today
       * Dallas
       * Happy New Year
       * How Many Ideas Do
       * I Love You
       * Iran
       * Karachi
       * Kardashians
       * Lady Gaga
       * Motivate Employees
       * NYE
       * Palm Pre Users
       * PTF
       * Redskins
       * ReTweets
       * Sherlock
       * Tehran
       * Wii

    Only "Tehran," "Iran," and "Karachi" are remotely grounded in serious reality.

    Twitter Search shows this list of trending topics:


    Where are the Blackberry, iPhone, Droid tweets from people standing in long lines at the airport, post-pants bomber?

    FDR: "Yes, I'm for it. Now make me do it."

    by arubyan on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 05:16:11 AM PST

  •  Well this much is true, (0+ / 0-)

    No wonder large segments of the American population seem to be becoming increasingly stupid.

    Slipping away, moving away and not even knowing it, not even caring even when they do know it. Willful, intended ignorance. Why would they want to know? What could they do about it? Vote differently? That doesn't make any difference, none at all.

    Nope. Ignorance is good. The happiest people I know are the most ignorant.

  •  In Iraq Foxnews has a bad rep (0+ / 0-)
    for never covering the stories the Army wants to showcase.

    No, really.

    Say, you are local commander and you just found a cache of hundreds of rocket propelled grenades thanks to cooperation with local sheiks and their supporters.

    Al-Jazeera, Al-Hurra and the other Arabic networks would cover it for sure.

    Also, this just happens to be what Iraqis watch.

    (They are not that into watching FoxNews or CNN.)

    But...FoxNews knows this.

    So when the call comes to send a camera crew out, they put up a fuss. Oh, what about security? We want to film the damage that local terrorists and insurgents (their language and framing not mine) have done.

    Answer comes back - uh, we got three crews here and waiting on another out in the open. We are all drinking tea and got a nice buffet set up. You'll be fine. You coming or not?

    Fox again - uh, we'll get back to you. (Click).

    That is the gist of it. :)

  •  one needs to remember the distinction... (0+ / 0-)

    between cable news and network news. Generally, I find network news to be much better and cable "news" often time mere punditry. Not news at all.

    Though remember when CNN was regularly getting the story first? Especially in overseas stories. Of course, during the BushCo years, that went out the window. Ammanpour, Cooper and Sanchez do very decent work, but things go south for CNN when one realizes their daily hard news face is that clown Blitzer. And Tom Foreman's show rivaled that of Beck. I don't even know if it's still on. Hope not.

    Real televised news is still most likely to be found on the networks rather than cable. Or (and I hope you're sitting down) in print!

    Plus ça change we can believe in.

    by papicek on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 05:54:22 AM PST

    •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I did not include print journalism in my diary because I admire some of the efforts made by publications even in the face of smaller budgets. I worry about what happens when print journalism dies completely. holding the line against the siege

      by CatM on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 11:59:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cable news--Just like the Iranian Regime (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Both are out of touch and losing control to a people-powered shift.

    Yet as they are drowning, both are pretending that all is right, and nothing's changed.

    I yield my remaining five seconds.

    by Sylvester McMonkey Mcbean on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 06:12:32 AM PST

  •  Cheaper to stick gasbag tweet in a studio (0+ / 0-)

    and let him spit and be obnoxious along with his clique of policy wonks and political hacks and call it journalism, or news, or opinion or whatever.

    I call it a joke.

    "Bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out."-Carlin

    by gereiztkind on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 06:13:32 AM PST

  •  Today's News about the Airlines (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They are failing to mention that the security checks for both flights occurred, I believe in AMSTERDAM, not here in America.

    Why is the media NOT focusing in on foreign air travel and how their security is handled?

    So, let's scare the crap out of Americans even more.... Because FEAR CONTROLS THE MASSES.  Something Terrorists know too, btw.

    -6.13 -4.4 Where are you? Take the Test!!!

    by MarciaJ720 on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 06:19:20 AM PST

    •  That is exactly what my bf asked (0+ / 0-)

      he keeps wanting someone to address the security procedures in Amsterdam and how they might have contributed to this, but nobody seems interested in doing so. holding the line against the siege

      by CatM on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 11:59:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  There's very little analysis in the American (0+ / 0-)

    news cycle - most of it concentrates on titillation, violence and symbolism.

    The little actual analysis you get from PBS/NPR and shows like 60 minutes is hardly enough, and does not approach the needs required to address overarching issues.

    The planetary climate emergency alone is a 24/7 issue, and reporting on it should be dominating all news and journalism. It's barely covered, at all.  

    It appears that the Iranian resistance movement is going to morph from street protests to an insurgency, and most of American media isn't even looking at it as newsworthy or analysis worthy.

    'The work goes on, the cause endures.'

    by shpilk on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 06:23:49 AM PST

  •  Thanks for bringing attention to this (0+ / 0-)

    very important struggle. The people of Iran are amazing, and are demonstrating a courage, resiliency and political awareness we can only hope to emulate in the United States. As a nation, we don't have 'eyes to see' what is going there, how democratic the popular thrust is, and how revolutionary. Azar Nafisi's excellent "Reading Lolita in Tehran", or Haleh Esfandiari's "My Prison, My Home" can help open eyes.

  •  Indeed - I am going to try to buy (0+ / 0-)

    Idiocracy today.  And watch it again.

    Prophecy or Humor?

    ... with liberty and justice for straight white Christians

    by DrWolfy on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 07:06:28 AM PST

  •  What would the US do about Iran? (0+ / 0-)

    Sorry I have to run to the Senate floor to abolish torture.

    by bten on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 07:35:34 AM PST

  •  Ahmanpour, Zakaria on CNN (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Both Christianne Ahmanpour and Fareed Zakaria have very good weekly programs on CNN, with in-depth coverage of global affairs.

    For the rest of the news programming on CNN, coverage is superficial. John King's State of the Nation program is not bad.

    Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person. -Jan Edwards

    by SoCalSal on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 07:39:44 AM PST

  •  In this magic kingdom of instant access to (0+ / 0-)

    absolutely every form of communication imaginable why are this website's users  so totally obssessed with the old and outre message of inane cable television?  Get satellite folks, there is a world out there and you can access it.  Get your news from the source it originates on-line.

    Forget cable, its irrelevant and old fashioned. Gone like newspapers, the way of the dodo bird.

    We now live in the era of designer news. You can design your own news from a myriad sources of people who know as little as you do and certainly mirror the ignornance of the cable robots and talking mouths.

    Cable has NO access  to news within these nations such as Iran, it has to rely ont eh same sources youi  do. People need to start getting more sophisticated about how news is both gathered and disseminated and taking some responsibility for their own education and illumination.

  •  Myth: television was meant to provoke thought. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    People need to stop thinking that television has any purpose other than entertainment.   That includes news broadcasting.  There have been shining moments, but the truth is that real journalists have been sidelined or never make it to the big time.  Blogs are the new news.  Current events happens and the blogs cover it.  People send twitter messages or text through cellphones, we are connected in ways the cable media cannot be because of the profit motive, not the need to be informed.  And when you consider that much of our current state of affairs impacts the corporations either owned or affiliated with the media companies, how can you reasonably expect to be truthfully informed of anything?

    The news can be found in the silence.  They are not reporting about Iran, not because of incompetance, but because of duplicity.  How many companies/politicos are actually invested in the current status quo?  Would a Democratic Iran threaten that?  A Democratic Iran would bring more transparency in business dealings. Far to much money to be made off corrupt regimes.  

  •  BUT there was a terrorist attack by a (0+ / 0-)

    london  amsterdamned yemeni arab MUSLIN Terraristical dude on a plane! And He's BLACK! Just like Barry!

    And you know what that means!  

    By the way, where's his birth certificate, anyway?

    - - -

    In all seriousness, Sec. Napolitano did herself, and the administration, no favors with her stupid Sunday talking heads appearances.

    What on earth did she mean when she said, "The cystern worked"?  OF course it did not work. and it will not work. A perfect system will mean shutting all travel to and from the US, shutting all public facilities within this country. Shutting all sports venues. Shutting all churches, restaurants, city halls, and shopping centers.  THEN we can be 100% safe.
    And die of an overprotective Uncle Sam, but at least we are protecting our freedoms.


    It would have been much better for her to say:

    No system is perfect, and will never be perfect. We have to balance the privacy rights of all individuals, while protecting the greatest number of people's safety. It is not easy. We will make mistakes. and we will learn from them. We will always strive to do the best we can, relying on the best trained people and technology to work 100% of the time.  

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 08:48:34 AM PST

    •  to add fool to the fire, (0+ / 0-)

      this has become a local story, so our MSMediots can afford to send their video troops out in force, and show us pointless pictures of airliners landing & taking off, of Detroit Airport, and of diagrams of the inside of the plane. As though that were the story.

      Iran simply is too complex. Too fact based. Too historical. Much easier to waste time on an airplane event which caused no problems.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 08:51:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  everything I need to know about Iran (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'll probably wind up learning from the Daily Show.


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