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Photo credit: Katie Druesedow Graham / New York University

This morning I went to the gym and got on the treadmill (which is usually the first thing I do), and after a few minutes, I started scanning the row of TVs conveniently positioned (hanging a few feet down from the ceiling) for perfect viewing.

As I scanned the different programs, I kept thinking about science fiction writers; about whether any of them would have been able to accurately predict or imagine a media reality that could safely be considered stranger than fiction, by a long shot.

On the rightmost screen is the dreadful CNN, featuring good-looking anchors, with a strange affectation in their fake smiles, as they showed images and videos of the terrorist attack at the mall in Nairobi, Kenya, over, and over, and over.  They kept showing the same videos of people running in panic, ducking down; the same images of terrorized people, of crying children... And in a strange cognitive dissonance, the good-looking smiling hosts with the strange affectation are shown in a little inset box on the left of the screen talking about the incident, while the horrific videos, and photos are shown over and over and over; the same video clips and images.

I was on the treadmill for exactly one hour, and this kept on for the entire time... And of course, by now I know the propaganda script; there comes the follow up report about, guess what? All the mass shooting at U.S. malls for the last few decades!  And they go state by state, mall by mall... How many people were shot dead, who shot them, the date it happened.  And then, as per the talking points, some expert is going to talk about how to "protect soft targets,", i.e., protect innocent civilians from murderous terrorists, i.e. you and your children and your family.

The whole thing is just so crass, so pathetic, so formulaic, that it really is hard to not think about "Nada" in the movie They Live.

I scan the other TV screens, and watch the truly bizarre commercials (most of them for pharmaceuticals), and the morning shows... In one the entire audience has all kinds of strange costumes, and they run down euphoric when their names are called; they start jumping up and down, running back and forth, raising their hands, "Oh my God!"

On the other screen is Kelly Ripa and her gigantic co-host, smiling, and she starts dancing.  On the other screen is Cher singing at a stage on the street, at one of the morning shows; the camera spans the euphoric, happy, smiling crowd.

Another screen is showing some of the most bizarre videos you could ever see.  There is this little old lady (she must be 75 or 80 years old), very, very angry, insulting her neighbor, while holding a cup, and making all manner of hand gestures, stomping her feet, totally enraged.  The hosts of the show are laughing their asses off as they cut back and forth to the little old lady's meltdown...  

By scanning all the multiple screens, there is a subliminal message... Everybody is smiling, everybody is happy (except the little old lady, of course), as the warnings for this or that medication are being displayed, telling you that on rare occasions the medication can actually kill you or cause internal bleeding, you see a beautiful and peaceful scenery, the lady in the commercial happy, swimming in crystal clear water.

Everything is perfect (except the infinite loops of carnage in Kenya), everybody is happy, smiling, enjoying music, eating, swimming, running back and forth, and jumping up and down when they are chosen to guess the price of the car or stove.

It's a capitalist orgy!  The world is Disneyland!  What the f#ck is wrong with YOU?  What are you complaining about it?  You see how happy these folks are, look at them!  If you're feeling down, if you're stressed out, if you are worry about paying next moth's rent, or about your $50,000 medical bill, there most be something wrong with you; it's your own fault! Or something...

This stuff is poison to the mind!  And the worst offenders are the "news" organizations.  Here's my bottom line when it comes to news: if it depends on advertising revenue it is propaganda, in the final analysis, and if so, it "[decreases] the public’s ability to develop their own critical thoughts."

The more [concentrated] the media landscape becomes the greater risk of harm there is to the public interest. As powerful corporations grow increasingly wealthier, powerful, influential, and politically affiliated the greater risk there is to the political economy on a global scale. The risk inherent with affluential transcultural media corporations is the mass homogenization of content and, thus, propagandist reinforcement of corporate and political interests serving only the dominant elites and, in turn, harming and marginalizing non-elites. One would be grossly remiss of the tangible danger and malign effects to the public to simply abridge the issue examined in this study as a case of the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer.

~Snip~

Without an awareness of the grave consequences involved with an increasingly concentrated media environment the public (i.e. non-elites) will continue to be systematically brainwashed by the propagandist arm of the government that is the mass media and will unknowingly acquiesce to the interests of the dominant elites.

-- Gonzaga University Master's Degree Thesis by Frank McCoy

The emphasis is mine

Let me clarify something at this point... The issue is not necessarily that there is something inherently wrong with entertainment, with the need we all have for a little rest and relaxation.  I love me some Game of Thrones, or True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, Madmen, Daily Show, Bill Maher, and occasionally So You Think You Can Dance (which my wife makes me watch); the problem is that the corporate media leaves out a big chunk of important topics that are very relevant to our lives, and this phenomenon is what creates the propaganda effect.  

Propaganda is a form of communication aimed towards influencing the attitude of the community toward some cause or position by presenting only one side of an argument. Propaganda statements may be partly false and partly true. Propaganda is usually repeated and dispersed over a wide variety of media in order to create the chosen result in audience attitudes.
The emphasis is mine

Here's how I deal with this situation... The most important thing is to recognize the propaganda aspects of the U.S. media conglomerate.

When it comes to news, I've determined that the truly poisonous, debased stuff are the mainstream news channels/programs, like MSNBC, FoxNews (of course), CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC.  So I basically stopped watching that trash all together unless I'm doing my "amateur" research on propaganda after a sensational event (mass shooting, terrorist attack, etc.).

That right there has improved my life enormously.  When I think that at one point I was watching three hours of MSNBC a day, I just don't know how anybody can function properly being exposed to that kind of pablum/trash on daily basis.

Next are outlets like NPR/PBS, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Los Angeles Times, The Miami Herald... And others in that category.  There is a mixed bag there; they are still at the service of the ruling class, but they do offer some real journalism as well, so the key is to learn to identify the good stuff (honest, straightforward journalism), or in many cases, the one or two paragraphs that contain the information nuggets about an important subject.

Then there is real stuff, the real journalism, like Democracy Now!, Alternet, truthdig, truthout, and The Real News Network, WikiLeaks, Bureau of Investigative Journalism Center For Public Integrity, MuckRock News, The National Security Archive, The UpTake, the Sunlight Foundation, ProPublica, MapLight, Moyers & Company,         among others.

So, my advice, in case anybody is interested?  Turn off the TV, especially when it comes to news.  As you do that and detox your mind from its extremely harmful effects, you will start noticing a very positive change your life, and I argue that you will also start to get a better grasp about the important issues of the time.  Yes, I'm saying that the more we watch, the less informed we'll be.  Not only less informed, bu misinformed.  And in addition there are many other harmful effects caused by the crass manipulation we are subjected to from TV programming, including fear-mongering and hyper-consumerism.

Tomorrow morning, if I make it to the gym, I'll take my Pablo Neruda book, Residencia en la tierra and by reading it will use it as a protection shield to keep my gaze from the trash being peddled by the U.S. media...

"He llegado otra vez a los dormitorios solitarios / (...) y otra vez / tiro al suelo los pantalones y las camisas, / no hay perchas en mi habitación ni retratos de nadie en las paredes. / Cuánta sombra de la que hay en mi alma daría por recobrarte."

UPDATE: TUE SEP 24, 2013 AT 12:05 PM PDT

As I told Bob Johnson, I ended up doing my exercise outdoors today!  A nice an quiet three-mile walk in about one hour... It was much better; the chirping birds, the murmurations, are ten thousand times better than being stuck in front of TV monitors.  Plus one has time to reflect, to think, to meditate.  How can we get a strong social justice movement going!  How can we bring thieves and crooks from the Wall Street criminal racketeering cartel to justice!  Envision one day war criminals being charged.  Thinking about the best way to expose the influence-peddling corruption that has engulfed our system of government... Peace and serenity helps you think about these important things.  And as a bonus, two times these huge hawks flew very slowly, very close (within 10 feet or so) to me... So close I could hear the sound of their wings as they propel themselves away!

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Poll

Do you watch TV news on a regular basis (MSNBC, CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN)?

19%67 votes
69%236 votes
7%26 votes
3%13 votes

| 342 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (138+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, Jim P, DeadHead, undercovercalico, OLinda, truong son traveler, Dianna, Throw The Bums Out, carpunder, i dunno, kharma, DRo, riverlover, lotlizard, Hammerhand, Chi, dannyboy1, bluesheep, rubyclaire, lostinamerica, roseeriter, Don midwest, blue in NC, sodalis, rapala, historys mysteries, arendt, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, cama2008, Jim Riggs, Kristina40, joegoldstein, temptxan, Floande, Tinfoil Hat, DeminNewJ, ozsea1, NYC Sophia, Azazello, JohnWKelly, RFK Lives, run around, caul, dRefractor, Crashing Vor, Ed in Montana, poliwrangler, SeaTurtle, Leftcandid, eightlivesleft, JDWolverton, eyo, Kevskos, harlinchi, Mary Mike, livjack, leeleedee, jbob, 420 forever, dewley notid, Deward Hastings, cybersaur, liberaldregs, pixxer, Phoebe Loosinhouse, Buckeye Nut Schell, sawgrass727, greenbastard, MKinTN, StrayCat, Sandino, Mother Mags, gulfgal98, wintergreen8694, cybrestrike, DawnN, Mentatmark, Shotput8, Don Quixote, Via Chicago, mookins, Involuntary Exile, Susipsych, CitizenOfEarth, cville townie, SME in Seattle, Sagebrush Bob, gakke, Jarrayy, tomephil, lunachickie, worldlotus, churchylafemme, Trendar, paradox, Oaktown Girl, Yoshimi, millwood, MusicFarmer, newmexicobear, annan, TheMomCat, Dissentinator, Torta, maggiejean, Icarus Diving, Shockwave, driftwood, rmx2630, Russ Jarmusch, alasmoses, Gowrie Gal, AoT, 3rock, zerelda, old wobbly, Keone Michaels, camlbacker, Lefty Coaster, Santa Susanna Kid, GeorgeXVIII, Kentucky Kid, ItsaMathJoke, ZhenRen, mconvente, cwsmoke, GreenPA, Sun Tzu, slowbutsure, legendmn, Joieau, 3rdOption, jayden, dotsright, devis1, gerrilea, priceman, spaceshot
  •  You left out (50+ / 0-)

    watching the BBC news on BBCA for people who get cable or just reading newspapers online. I read The Guardian regularly. You don't even have to read alternative/center left sources to get a glimpse at reality that is not hugely biased. There is Mother Jones/Nation/Dissent which are a bit more old school left.

    I am from Canada originally CBC's 24 hour loop news  Newsworld is still much much better than anything here because they routinely have documentaries as well.

    The thing is it really is not hard in the internet age to not watch American cable news which I do not. I watch my local news just not to be out of touch.

    What American cable news is very bad at is a) covering any international news that is not directly connected to American interests or b) adding any complexity or subtlety. When I moved here in 1996 and saw what passed for news on cable I laughed my ass off and kept on going.

  •  "KILL YOUR TELEVISION" (44+ / 0-)

    I miss that bumper sticker, stuck on the back of my long gone first car, a 1974 VW Bug.

    I am a ZERO television person.

    And proud of it.

    The periods of my life where I fell into that routine were "trance-like." And not in a good way. Passes time, but indeed numbs the brain.

    I'll take a good book, or DailyKos, over TV, any day of the week.  




    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

    by DeadHead on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 12:10:45 AM PDT

  •  Just for the record... (62+ / 0-)

    ...on that list of sources for "real journalism," one must also "learn to identify the good stuff (honest, straightforward journalism)..."

    Most of those contain a portion of poorly researched and poorly sourced stories as well as, yes, propaganda.

    Let's face it: Skepticism in all that we read is a good thing.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 12:17:37 AM PDT

    •  It's always a good rule of thumb to be skeptical (18+ / 0-)

      about any source of news.  But my first test is whether the media outlet has to answer to advertisers or stockholders (the establishment), and whether it has been captured by the large corporate media conglomerates.

      I'll start there... Regarding accuracy and "real journalism" one can put a pretty accurate narrative together by examining different sources, comparing notes, noticing if one source is engaging in distortion, etc.

      It's all about being a discerning media consumer.

      •  My life has been GREATLY improved w/NO TV (6+ / 0-)

        In addition to unabashed propaganda, the amount of sheer stress and anxiety they generate is unbelievable; a lot of it subliminal.  And then you wonder why you feel so depressed and can't sleep at night.

        It was a real awakening for me to realize that MSNBC was just another version of the 'keep em scared, keep em tuned in,' 'terrorist' network whose main goal was to scare the shit out of you and then keep you glued to them as they provided the only antidote to the terror they created by giving you the 'inside' information; all of course for ratings.( And, WHY can we not see Canadian Television?  That confounds me!  Maybe afraid that their Socialism will seep over the border?)

        So.  I have turned to the Internet.  I am in the process of sorting out what I consider 'reliable blogs and newspapers', etc.  One BIG omission on your list I believe is "Informed Comment" (Juan Cole.)  I really enjoy his writing and point of view.  It goes without saying that I won't agree with everyone on everything.

        Another thing I have done is try to crack the 3 mile water barrier on world news, and so have compiled a list of international news papers which I read on a rotating basis.   All of the English speaking countries and then several not English speaking.  I found Google Translate and use that to get a gist of an article about issues that I can't see covered here.  It is far from perfect, but gives me an overview and a clue what the rest of the world is talking about that may not be reported here, for one reason or another.  Understanding of course, that each country has its own axe to grind.

        I can say that my utter disgust about the American Propaganda Machine has also extended to my stopping watching all American television programs on tv as well.  My main source for that type of entertainment is Netflix, where I do watch selected American movies but also a lot of BBC and foreign movies.

        A totally inspired purchase I made awhile ago: an all region dvd player.  I decided that I wanted to watch some of the things that the rest of the world was seeing.  Did you know that some of the most popular BBC shows have been edited for American audiences (mainly to fit into American timeslots to allow for commercials.)   So, I have very carefully researched and ended up buying a lot of history dvds, some of which are not available here or cost a lot more here.  But which have been a very satisfying form of education, as I am student of history.

        But even the 'entertainment' of the BBC is a lot more enjoyable to me than the typical Hollywood entertainment that is based on consumerism, eternal youth, power and violence.  In most American schlock programs/movies, the solution to the problem presented is who gets there first, who is the strongest, the use reliance on all the gadgetry of technology rather than human intelligence and wit, and finally the main tool: who can overpower the other with brute force.  I cannot tell you just how sick and tired I am of this constant meme: power and violence is the solution to the problems and power and violence wins.  (Of course, there are notable exceptions to this, but I am saying that this is what I see as the dominant motif.)

        As a contrast to this, just watch Sherlock: Season One (Netflix streaming,) with the inimitable Benedict Cumberpatch.  In addition to his quirkiness, he solves his crimes with logic, knowledge of human nature and knowledge about other things.  (Let me tell you that Season Two is even better than Season One.)  And for those that haven't yet watched
        Foyle's War (again Netflix streaming,) the crimes are solved by an incredibly astute detective who has a knowledge base but also is incredibly observant of the world and human nature.  To me this the real power.  Whereas in American media:  problem: apply overwhelming technology and physical force= problem solved.  No wonder we are considered such bullies.

        All of this is part of the propaganda machine.  We are brainwashed that there is one way to solve problems: MIGHT.  And you know what they say about 'might makes right.'

        And then there is the radio.  I tune into a major network radio station in the morning for 'traffic and weather'.  I cannot tell you the amount of times I have turned off that damned radio furious at the relentless drip of commercials by BigPharma/BigHospital:  "don't you know that every ache and pain and anxiety you have is abnormal and we can cure you of it.  if you don't use our product/facility you will die a horrible excruciating death'  UNBELIEVABLE propaganda.  THAT IS WHERE THE HEALTHCARE MONEY IS GOING.

        And finally, I have also returned to the time honored alternative:  reading books.  I have read more really good books since I have turned off the tubes.  This summer on vacay, for example, I read the three books by Reza Aslan (of Fox News interview fame,) and HIGHLY recommend them,
        Zealot, and No God but God and Beyond Fundamentalism.  I cannot recommend them highly enough.  Have really deepend my understanding on the impact of religion on politics and the world and have also given me a basic background in Islam so I can understand with a little greater depth all that concerns the Muslims of the world, our brothers and sisters.

        I can't imagine going back to being hooked up to the Matrix.

        So, Ray, good diary.  I agree.  Obviously, you triggered a lot of resonances with me.   Thanks for the diary and topic.

        We Must DISARM THE NRA The next life you save may be ONE OF YOUR OWN!

        by SeaTurtle on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:49:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I like Foyle's War (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          highacidity, SeaTurtle, WB Reeves

          but it's a bit too formulaic in how he catches the bad guys in the end. Pretty much all detective shows British and American seem to follow the "lead solves everything then the bad guy confesses and then all is well." I suppose that's a problem with the genre; I read mysteries and they're more or less the same.

          Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex.

          by terrypinder on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:22:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree, tp, it is formulaic in that regard (0+ / 0-)

            The new series, although still maintaining that formula, is much darker... the Cold War Era.  And it seems to me that they are at the same time making commentary on current issues, e.g. the use of torture to extract information, breaking the law to get information, etc.  I rec the new series.

            We Must DISARM THE NRA The next life you save may be ONE OF YOUR OWN!

            by SeaTurtle on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 10:01:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  George Gently broke some of those conventions (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SeaTurtle

              too.

              Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex.

              by terrypinder on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 10:05:17 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  tp, can you tell me more re what you mean? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                terrypinder

                about George Gently?  missed that one....  tx

                We Must DISARM THE NRA The next life you save may be ONE OF YOUR OWN!

                by SeaTurtle on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 10:16:40 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  it's on Netflix (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SeaTurtle

                  it's another detective type show, set in early to mid 1960s Yorkshire. it's pretty dark. The theme song reminds me of James Bond.

                  George Gently is a good guy. His sidekick/sergeant, not so much. He's constantly trying to reign him in.

                  Yorkshire Noir is a thing; there's three movies on Netflix loosely based on the story of the Yorkshire Ripper. I forget their titles, but none of them have happy endings and they're quite dark. I'm probably a bit weird but I like dark and edgy in my entertainment and it did become a big thing after 9/11. Call it 9/11-Noir. Now that Battlestar Galactica is over, there's not much of it in media--American or otherwise.

                  (strange story about detectives though. It's become a HUGE subgenre in science fiction novels lately. Really!)

                  Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex.

                  by terrypinder on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 10:20:49 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  If you have a problem, just shoot it (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          annan, SeaTurtle

          That's the message of most American entertainment.

          Can't get though the door?  Shoot it.
          Need to push a button from 200 feet away?  Shoot it.
          Everything explodes when you shoot it, except people.

          Every problem is solved by the application of shooting things until they are fixed.  I swear, I want to make a whole TV show populated by guys named Zimmerman who walk around shooting everything to turn it on, turn it off, make it go faster, slower, or stop.  Just to linger on the utter, moronic, fucking stupefaction of our national obsession with shooting things.

          •  Boy, st, that is very well put.... (0+ / 0-)

            Yeah, makes me think the NRA has captured our media!  Oh Wait....

            Best quote:

            Just to linger on the utter, moronic, fucking stupefaction of our national obsession with shooting things.

            We Must DISARM THE NRA The next life you save may be ONE OF YOUR OWN!

            by SeaTurtle on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 10:11:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Sherlock!!! How much longer must we wait... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SeaTurtle

          ...for season 3?

          Agree with your comment in general, but your mention of that wonderful incredible series made it imperative that I reply ;-)

          Have an antenna for PBS and some sports/local stuff, and a Roku box serving up lots of Netflix, BBC news, and lots more. And books always. Lots of books and music.

          The NPR program On The Media is a favorite here also.

          I'm sure there will be a lot of NPR bashing here but there's a lot of good stuff there IMVHO. like MB wrote, we must approach ALL our information sources with some skepticism.

          •  I preordered Sherlock3 as soon as AmazonUK let me (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            highacidity

            I too, cannot wait.

            Yeah, ha, I was speaking in general.  To make it more nuanced would have taken a diary length comment.  There are, as you point to, some good American options.  And some very good American films and series as well.  But I was speaking in generalities.

            The Roku Box has unlocked a portal to the world, like the Internet.  

            We Must DISARM THE NRA The next life you save may be ONE OF YOUR OWN!

            by SeaTurtle on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 10:09:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  You might like SyFy's "Haven", then (0+ / 0-)

          Quick rundown:

          Haven is a town with Troubles. The Troubles are a lot like curses: a fireman from a recent episode lost his partner, and his (misplaced and incorrect) guilt was so strong that everyone who called him a hero would, totally unknown to him, burn to a crisp as his partner did when he died. The only way to end his Trouble? Convince him he wasn't guilty for his partner's loss. The only way they know they're successful is when one of the show's main characters doesn't turn to ash after confronting him.

          Other Troubles are Godlike; another recent episode has a Troubled young woman who has the ability to resurrect the dead, provided she touches them prior to sundown, and she hasn't raised someone else that day. She and her sister are using her Trouble to hold people's second chances up for ransom (it ends well for all but one).

          Another recent episode was just plain interesting: a court clerk was unknowingly bringing Lady Justice to life. That Lady Justice is often depicted as being blind plays a strong role in the workings of this particular Trouble, in an oddly literal way.

          Some Troubles are deadly to those afflicted with them; others are deadly to those around the Troubled; some are just plain odd or even horrifying (like the veterinary office where the dogs turn into people and the woman who sews up skins ala Lambs' "Buffalo Bill" serial killer, respectively). Still others are so convoluted it takes several seasons of show to fully reveal the Trouble or how it works... or whether it exists at all.

          Good stuff if you like something a little more cerebral and thoughtful. People sometimes make hard choices on "Haven", and it's one of the network's better efforts, IMO.

    •  I don't trust Daily Kos. (17+ / 0-)

      Just sayin'.

      Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

      by Bob Johnson on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 05:09:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's called "critical thinking skills" (12+ / 0-)

      which, sadly we don't teach enough and you can't measure on a standardized test.  

      From the American Historical Association--see the section labelled "What skills does a student of history develop?"

      http://www.historians.org/...

      To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

      by dizzydean on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 06:49:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Daughter of Time" by Josephine Tey (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CanyonWren, dizzydean, nolagrl, Yoshimi

        should be required reading in history class at some point, as early as possible.

        That book more than any other, taught me to question assumptions and the goals, motivations, accuracy and distance in time and place of the writer/observer/historian, as well as to wonder, "is this the whole story, or is there more to it?" Plus, it's just such a great read on it's own.

        “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.” FDR

        by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:04:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I've come to believe that the schools are (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lunachickie, SeaTurtle, dizzydean, tacet

        actively blunting critical thinking skills and drugging and diverting pupils to a low average of thinking and a high average of data manipulation.  I use the term "pupils" as there are few students in our schools today.

        Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

        by StrayCat on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:54:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What do you mean by this? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Yoshimi, high uintas, dizzydean, StrayCat

          Explain...

          Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

          by mahakali overdrive on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:42:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'll jump on this and say (6+ / 0-)

            that teaching to a standardized test stresses "right" and "wrong" answers and leaves little time for critical thinking.

            •  I'm asking about "drugging" (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              high uintas, Yoshimi, StrayCat

              I agree about standardized tests wholeheartedly.

              Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

              by mahakali overdrive on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:56:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think (5+ / 0-)

                and I don't want to step on anyone's toes here, that StrayCat is referring to the overuse of ADD and ADHD medication. It is a problem in some spheres, especially minority-majority schools.

                Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex.

                by terrypinder on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 09:59:40 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Are the schools drugging the kids? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  dizzydean, StrayCat

                  That's what I'm confused by here. Also, I see arguments made in favor and against ADHD medication all the time. I tend to come down on the side of those in favor simply because I work with enough students, adult students, with ADHD who say the medication helps. Thus said, I wouldn't personally take it or give it to my child. But I've lent my grudging support to students who say that it helps them at this point.

                  But I've never heard that the schools make the kids take the medication other than online sometimes. From students, adult students, we have a disability center where they sometimes go just to try to get a diagnosis; I've never heard any students say they felt drugged as children, nor have I seen that in my own life with my child's schools.

                  Maybe I live in an area where it's viewed differently. This is arguably a minority-majority area in that we have an over 50% Latino population in some districts (up to 80%).

                  Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

                  by mahakali overdrive on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 11:26:27 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  They sort of are, in the sense that students will (3+ / 0-)

                    see their counselors who then have them tested which then turns into an ADD or ADHD diagnosis, leading to Ritalin et al.  Not always a bad thing, but probably too much--see here, for example:  http://www.nytimes.com/...

                    To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

                    by dizzydean on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 01:00:46 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That sounds excessive to me as well (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      dizzydean

                      one in five kids? We don't even understand ADHD. I think it's important to treat disease, but if it's an issue concerning the capitalist desire for more and better workers, well that's ethically fraught, particularly when it concerns children and their developing minds. I would point out here that the problem seems to be parents and doctors more than schools, per se, although perhaps schools fear a loss of funding due to kids underperforming, which then in turn would be a problem at the level of governmental funding for schools -- that's a serious issue in my area and why the RTTP has me aghast. This article is very distinct from the attitudes in my area about medication which border on puritanical (read: it's impossible to get a prescription for most anything included NEEDED medication, which really bites), so that's eye opening. Usually, they just shut schools down willy-nilly here. California's an interesting place in its underfunding, underperformance, and lack of good state monies and also, prioritization of funds this way.

                      All this is quite distinct from the just-adults I work with who generally are trying to seek explanations for their poor performance in school and remedy of this. So that may be the distinction I see in my daily life. What is probably underdiagnosed, in my anecdotal but wide experience, is dyslexia, which I am not allowed to discuss, but which I constantly encounter in classes.

                      Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

                      by mahakali overdrive on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 01:52:17 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  yes, this exactly. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      dizzydean

                      Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex.

                      by terrypinder on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 04:07:50 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  The use of amphetamines to help "focus" (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mahakali overdrive, dizzydean

                    children absent a true, professionally supervised diagnosis only mistreats the child who is restless and inquisitive.  I remember being in trouble during the reading period, as I always lost the place because I was 7-10 pages ahead.  I didn't intentionally do this, but as I read along with the person reading aloud, I would just keep going when they stopped to pass the baton.  Boy, what grief I got every day.  I finally learned that reading wasn't the point, but classroom engagement was.

                    Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

                    by StrayCat on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 03:50:40 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That sounds terrible (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      dizzydean

                      I'm sorry you went through this experience. As an educator, and a parent as well, it alarms me. I've mainly talked with adults who really felt their medication was helpful, but then, they are adults (well, usually 18-22 or so). That's a different situation. I see some adult students do better with medication, although I wonder what the root cause of poor focus is and honestly would simply like to see more research devoted to that. But it also does frustrate me when I hear adult student complain that they can't find medication help; I literally just talked to a student yesterday struggling with that, so it's right in mind. But the variety of human experience is amazing, particularly when it comes to responding to psychiatric medication.

                      I'm generally fascinated by psychiatry, although I wish again more neurobiological research were done here since my way of looking at this is very mechanical. Then again, we also must ask "By whose measure" and also "For what outcome"?

                      Many Kossacks with ADHD have taught me a great deal here about appreciating medication too. So I'm able to honor all perspectives about this pretty easily.

                      Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

                      by mahakali overdrive on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 04:20:48 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  There are schools where parents are less (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mahakali overdrive, dizzydean

                    than gently encouraged to put their children on Ritalin to make them more malleable. Disruption is seen as a distraction instead of an opportunity.

                    Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

                    by StrayCat on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 03:52:58 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It sounds to me like the problem stems from (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      dizzydean

                      something like a real lack of loosey-goosey federal regulation based on crummy FDA knowledge, which I can only credit to a lack of funds for two things: 1. the study of ADHD itself, and it's root cause, and 2. (and to me this is yet more insidious), the idea that schools must produce a certain kind of thinker and then worker which can only be credited to a capitalist logic of worker bees in a technocratic world. In previous times, prior to mass mechanization, students with poor attention spans for certain types of thought could readily find decent paying, labor related jobs, farming work, and other manual and trade work which no longer pay anything compared with a different kind of work based far more on focus, productivity, and ultimately, corporate efficiency. This, as a Professor, troubles me since a lot of my students don't want to be in college at all but are due to economic terror, which is then a horrible situation of square pegs in round holes for them. I can think readily of twenty students right now who I wish could not go to college. Not because they don't deserve to (I don't privilege college at all); because they'd be happier doing something that worked better with their neuropsychological style. Things that have been replaced by automation. Classic brain drain. The motion away from labor and agrarian work to tech-type jobs.

                      Why is our largest major now Business? In 1972, my college didn't even have this major on the books at all. But back then, we had Russian studies, world folklore, all kinds of things that people would laugh at today -- because college (and all schooling that precedes it) is seen as a MEANS TO AN END. As a means to a job. It used to be seen as a means to an education. What shifted that? Capitalism, particularly in its technological and global form.

                      Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

                      by mahakali overdrive on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 04:33:39 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Exactly, but even in the burbs and rural areas, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  dizzydean

                  certain ways of learning and integrating knowledge is frowned upon as disruptive and unsettling.

                  Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

                  by StrayCat on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 03:54:38 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  The recommendation of Ritalin or the (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dizzydean

                similar amphetamine compounds at the slightest inattention, questioning of authority, or fidgeting by students in crowded and often boring classrooms is more a function of crowd control and passivity than concern for the students.  As an adult diagnosed with ADHD, I think I know the difference.  Many teachers use praise and withholding praise as a means of moving the kids toward a mean, thoughtless average.  Pun intended.

                Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

                by StrayCat on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 03:40:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  See below. Thanks for the input and the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mahakali overdrive

            questions.

            Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

            by StrayCat on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 03:55:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're welcome (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              StrayCat

              and thanks for the dialogue here too. This is something I've tried for years to understand better since I'm inclined toward cringing about the use of stimulants for children, rather strongly at that, and yet I also hear of other stories, from both students and Kossacks, which are more positive, so I try to reconcile my personal recoil with various peoples' very different lived realities.

              Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

              by mahakali overdrive on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 04:25:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Much of the problem is overuse, I think. (0+ / 0-)

                Usually prescriptions are to address medical issues with the person seeking medical advice.  Here the child is not the one the medicine is for in some cases.  Sometimes it's for the school system, and sometimes it's for the parents.  The child is often of secondary importance, but this is unaddressed, and often not even known by the actors.

                Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

                by StrayCat on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 06:59:57 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Do you work in school systems? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          StrayCat

          By all means tell us what you base your assertion that there are few students and mostly pupils (?) in our schools now.

          And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

          by high uintas on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 09:14:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Students study, pupils learn, or, more (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dizzydean

            accurately, are trained.  Teaching to a test instead of to the subject is no more education than watching TV is engaging in philosophy.

            Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

            by StrayCat on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 03:44:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  ProPublica is the only good one (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wintergreen8694, highacidity

      on that list. They make an effort to get it right. The others rarely ever do.

      That's sad, because Ray's point about the other news stations is good. They're awful.

      Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex.

      by terrypinder on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:31:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree. It depends on who is doing... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        highacidity, Aquarius40, Ray Pensador

        ...the reporting/commentary. That's why I read bylines instead of deciding based on venue. Some reporters at The Wall Street Journal, for instance, do excellent work. So do some at Alternet.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:46:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I suppose you're right (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mahakali overdrive, mconvente

          my long bugaboo is science journalism. That's something almost no one gets right but there are a few gems out there, like Eric Berger at the Houston Chronicle, Andy Revkin at the NY Times and Alexandra Witze at MSNBC (I think.)  Ed Yong and Carl Zimmer are also great.

          I've yet to find a story I've had significant issues with in ProPublica. Alternet it's bascially 2 or 3 a day. I'm almost to the point where I won't bother reading it anymore.

          Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex.

          by terrypinder on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:56:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Laurie Garrett is good on science, too. This... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            terrypinder, mahakali overdrive

            ...is a difficult field, to be sure, and it's made more difficult, I think, because stories are condensed, out of necessity, and when it's science that can be problematic.

            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

            by Meteor Blades on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 09:19:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  No idea about televised science news (0+ / 0-)

            in that I don't have TV and haven't for aeons (a choice made because I was raised without TV, and then we had it briefly, and then when I was an adult, I lived with people who had it, but it never seemed particularly compelling; same reason I'm a vegetarian).

            The news feed on Google News, which is the usual aggregator I go to each morning, has stunningly poor Science news in that every time a hypothesis is vaguely proposed based on a limited methodology, some sweeping headline comes around as if to state it as fact. This grates me very badly. I wish they would just write, "New study suggests..." rather than "Cancer has been cured!" or however it seems to relentlessly be framed. I presume this is the fault of the editors, in general, rather than the journalists.

            Still, then my FB gets cluttered up with excited stories about some researcher who studied fourteen mice near the Ural Sea. At this point, I shake my head and think, "methodology. Data insufficient."  

            Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

            by mahakali overdrive on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 09:31:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  ProPublica is terrific. (0+ / 0-)

        Agree wholeheartedly.

        We have a local non-profit news org also that we think of as our own version of PP too.

    •  Skepticism is critical when reading (4+ / 0-)

      or dealing with any sort of story and its sources; things really aren't always what they appear to be, and moreover, one could easily find themselves accidentally influenced by the strangest things if they weren't very careful.

      One way that I teach about this is to investigate an author carefully and look into his or her various biases.

      This is one of the better articles I've seen on this:

      I have my students go through the questions for news stories written in the mainstream news, various world news media channels, and finally, things written on political blogs:

      "What is the author's / speaker's socio-political position?"

      "With what social, political, or professional groups is the
      speaker identified?"

      "Does the speaker have anything to gain personally from delivering the message?"

      "Who is paying for the message? Where does the message appear? What is the bias of the medium? Who stands to gain?"

      "What sources does the speaker use, and how credible are they? Does the speaker cite statistics? If so, how were the data gathered, who gathered the data, and are the data being presented fully?"

      "How does the speaker present arguments? Is the message one-sided, or does it include alternative points of view? Does the speaker fairly present alternative arguments? Does the speaker ignore obviously conflicting arguments?"

      "If the message includes alternative points of view, how are those views characterized? Does the speaker use positive words and images to describe his/her point of view and negative words and images to describe other points of view?"

      "Does the speaker ascribe positive motivations to his/her point of view and negative motivations to alternative points of view?"

      Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

      by mahakali overdrive on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:36:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Where (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador

        does the research start?

      March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

      by 3rock on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 10:16:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think any time news is linked to an agenda or (2+ / 0-)

      even just a point of view or consistent bias, there is the risk of there being some propaganda. So all these liberal/progressive/left-leaning sources, including daily kos, have to be taken with some amount of skepticism, just as corporate and right wing sources do.

      Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

      by AaronInSanDiego on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 01:05:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  related (10+ / 0-)

    Ray, I wish I had written down what I want to say now, because I can't remember exactly what I heard.

    But, twice in the last couple of days, I noticed what was really very close to, if not actually, baby talk coming from the news announcer. It was radio, and I usually have it on my local progressive station, so it could have been a CBS news break.

    Anyway, two separate incidents, not on the same newscast, but say for example, it was bad news such as a tornado. The newscaster after telling about it said "It's a twista" in baby talk like trying to lighten up the news.

    That is not what it was, but the closest example I can come to from memory/impressions I was left with.

    The 2nd time I don't recall the subject at all. I just recall thinking, "Sh#$, there's that baby talk again."

  •  As I watch I say to myself: TV is someone elses (9+ / 0-)

    version of reality, mine is usually not seen on TV so I am just always more or less disconnected from it.  Now and again a real journalistic take on something occurs and I know it instantly because it rings true and unique, but you are so right it is few and far between or I can watch some of the stuff you point out as the "real stuff".  A further review of the "real stuff" might be in order now.

  •  This is exactly what I did, too: (7+ / 0-)
    When it comes to news, I've determined that the truly poisonous, debased stuff are the mainstream news channels/programs, like MSNBC, FoxNews (of course), CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC.  So I basically stopped watching that trash all together
    I could not have imagined the added side benefit to saying NO to the brainwashing....far less stress!  I'll never go back.
  •  US news is entertainment and none too (21+ / 0-)

    subtle propaganda since it's for ratings and hence revenue.

    My god don't make the audience think they might even go and read a book on the subject, oh dear god nooooooooooooo

    "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

    by LaFeminista on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 03:43:40 AM PDT

  •  I could agree (12+ / 0-)

    and do in general to the net result of corporate TV, but there is some really good stuff on MSNBC. I do not see how you lump Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, Al Sharpton, Larry O'Donnel, and several others -- good quality guests (and not the usual suspects), not screaming -- into the same old same old category with CNN.

    I actually watch Morning Joe, with some gritting of teeth, as I do my morning workout at home. They don't include any voices, almost ever, that I'd like to hear, but the occasional breakthrough (like Scarborough on gun control) makes it worthwhile and the humor is generally good. They had Krugman on once and never had him back, which says a lot about them, but they have Howard Dean on quite a bit who I respect.

    The battle for Helms Deep is over. The battle for Middle Earth has just begun.

    by Mithrandir on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 04:00:50 AM PDT

    •  I agree. These journalists have done real (8+ / 0-)

      work on a number of issues.  Rachel Maddow has been instrumental in exposing some of what is going on with respect to the Military Industrial Complex and in catching some of the abuses at the state level with respect to women's rights and many other issues; Chris Hayes has been good on climate change and on the economy; Al Sharpton has caught a lot on civil rights, and Lawrence O'Donnell knows the swirls and eddies of Capitol Hill very well.  They're not experts on everything, and I do get tired of all the responses to FOX - I guess it's necessary, but if I wanted to watch FOX, I would watch FOX.  

      www.tapestryofbronze.com

      by chloris creator on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 04:17:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But that's just it (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        420 forever, Dianna, Ray Pensador

        it's NOT necessary.

        all the responses to FOX
        It's not. At all.

        Just bring us facts. If you have good facts and good stories, you don't need to sit there and harp on for entire shows for weeks on end about your "competition". All that shit is good for is keeping our minds trained to the left/right paradigm.

        That's a big part of the problem, too, this "pitting us against one another". That's deliberate too, IMO.

        This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

        by lunachickie on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:29:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The right has very successfully (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dianna

          Inoculated it's listeners and viewers against facts by painting the rest of the media as being liberally biased.  Isn't it important to counteract that propaganda by pointing out how much misinformation Fox et. al. disseminate?  Most people don't understand propaganda the way we do.

          "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

          by Subterranean on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 10:12:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The best way to do that (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dianna, Ray Pensador

            is to simply present the facts as a 'standalone entity'. No need to point out that you (or your group or your org or whoever you are) are the ONLY one pushing REAL FACTS. Facts are facts.

            The only people claiming "liberal media bias" these days are "talking head media toadies" and their corporate owners who have a vested interest in keeping us all divided. People who watch nothing but that kind of garbage now are pretty well predisposed to not want to consider other points of view anyway. For the ones that might yet be open minded, prefacing your facts--actual and demonstrable though they may be--with charges of The Other Guys Are Lying, HERE is What You Need to Know about Story X will simply result in their tuning out altogether for sure, straightaway.

            So it's not necessary to put up the pretense of "They're lying to you". Simply put the shit out there and let viewers decide. There is a point where people have to see this kind of stuff on their own, without the help of anyone who understands propaganda. Not many are willing to admit they've been duped for years on end until they're no longer duped. But they have to realize that on their own.

            Otherwise, you contribute more division to the mix. That has to stop!
             

            This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

            by lunachickie on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 11:17:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Bingo! I've written a few diaries pointing out (0+ / 0-)

          exactly what you wrote in this post (about MSNBC).  Thank you.

    •  Morning Joe is an exercise (8+ / 0-)

      in teeth grinding; it might be therapeutic for some dental resurfacing but otherwise, very little of value is imparted.

      I think it's supposed to be the "can't we all get along"  No Labels world of sane Republicans and moderate Democrats. They are all full throated Austerity Mongers. Everyone always agrees that "we all know entitlement reforms are necessary". They all agree in deficit cutting and small government for the most part. They do ridicule Krugman. Most guests no matter what their persuasion gain little headway over the bombastic, egotistic Joe Scarborough.

      To me, they're Fox Lite. Their guest line-up always skews regularly to the right - Dan Senor, Nicole Wallace, etc. Ed Rendell is their model Democrat. Howard Dean has nicely homogenized his positions to fit in with the group. They push and idolize Chris Chrisite and Jeb Bush.

      Lately I just watch to see who and what soft fascism/corporatist person or policy they're pushing as a very good guide to the propaganda goal of the day/week.

      “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.” FDR

      by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 06:12:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We aren't Morning Joe's audience. (2+ / 0-)

        Their audience is the Village and Manhattan. Oh, and at hotels. Hated seeing Morning Joe whenever I would be on travel for work. Breakfast in the hotel, Joe and Mika acting the fool. Ugh.

        The Grand Bargain must be stopped at all costs to protect the 99%.

        by cybrestrike on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:52:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh definitely the Village morning (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cybrestrike

          TV. But,  I think The Hamptons more so than Manhattan. The suck-up side of the media in their 1% aspirational mode is extremely evident on this show - Joe in his pathetic sockless Topsiders and lobster red pants, etc.

          The greatest moment in Morning Joe history was when Zbigniew Brzezinski called Scarborough "stunningly superficial" to his face. The second greatest moment was when Joe looked like he would blow a vessel when Mika called him a chauvinist. Good times!

          The person I really enjoyed on the show was Willie Geist who seemed to have some real curiosity and sly wit and asked questions based on an actual desire to learn more about a topic as opposed to spouting the days talking points. I think he was "promoted" to the Today Show which is probably a step up on the corporate ladder for him. If they ever get rid of that toady David Gregory on Meet the Press, I think Willie Geist might surprise some people as to how well he would do if given that gig. I also would like to see Chris Hayes give it a shot.

          “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.” FDR

          by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:47:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  They've even got a liberal punching bag (0+ / 0-)

        Mika, I think her name is.  I cannot imagine waking up early to listen to that garbage, but I've seen youtube clips (shudder).

        "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

        by Subterranean on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 10:14:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Al Sharpton and Larry O'Donnell are propagandists (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lunachickie, Subterranean

      for the Democratic Party. You can enjoy the work they do, but to call it journalism is a big stretch. Rachel Maddow used to be very good, but the quality of her work has declined a lot since she became more mainstream. Chris Hayes had a great show during the weekends, and I haven't watched his new show ever since he moved to a new time slot, so I can't comment on that.

      “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

      by 420 forever on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:19:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think MSNBC is one of the most insidious (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      420 forever, lostinamerica

      cases of corporate media propaganda because it poses as legitimate, but at the end of the day they are peddling false narratives.

      It took me a long time to come to terms with that... But that's just my opinion, of course.

  •  what does it do to children? even PBS (13+ / 0-)

    all those hours in front of the TV, or the TV always running in the background

    need to get them outdoors

    need to get them doing things with their hands

    need to get them (children) into books

    •  I do not watch television (4+ / 0-)

      with my young son, but we read together every day.  I watched a Chris Hedges speech earlier this year in which he said that when trying to make sense of the world, people have changed from relying upon words to relying upon images, and that images were much more emotionally manipulative as a medium.

      A terrible beauty is born. --W.B. Yeats

      by eightlivesleft on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:16:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, yes, one does not have to think about an (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Don midwest, 3rock, eightlivesleft

        image, and there is no way to disect an image to find out what the structure of it is.  No logic can be applied to an image that is not inherently personally subjective and not subject to analysis.

        Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

        by StrayCat on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:02:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  blue mesmer (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Don midwest, tacet

      blue mesmer

      As endearing as some Sesame Street characters could be, it is the show that changed television programming for children for the worse. What it demonstrated is that by studying the psychology of young minds and applying what was learned one could get a complete hold on a child's attention. As well intentioned as the original creators of Sesame Street seemed to be, they (along with everyone else, I suppose) were naive to assume the "Mad Men"—those amoral profit junkies— wouldn't take notice and begin to exploit that.

      •  A guy at my gym looks just like this in front of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Don midwest

        the gym tvs.

        He'll just stand there, staring, forgetting which machine he was going to work out on next.  It makes me crazy.

        Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead -

        by FlamingoGrrl on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 09:22:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  how will the leaking conviction be covered? (13+ / 0-)

    All other presidents 3 convictions for leaking

    Obama 9 convictions and still years to go

    Latest is an FBI agent who was caught in the AP wire taps

    will the TV pundits cover this?

    do the TV pundits even know what Freedom of the Press is?

    Translation: This prosecution shows the depth of our contempt for civil liberties. Let this be a lesson to journalists and would-be leakers alike.
    Italics in the original
    There’s something profoundly despicable about a Justice Department that would brazenly violate the First and Fourth Amendments while spying on journalists, then claim to be reassessing such policies after an avalanche of criticism—and then proceed, as it did this week, to gloat that those policies made possible a long prison sentence for a journalistic source
    Welcome to the Obama Justice Department.

    Obama’s Justice Department: Trumpeting a New Victory in War on Freedom of the Press
    •  Is Obama really worse? (0+ / 0-)

      It sure looks that way, but perhaps there are more leakers? Maybe the hope of change and subsequent feelings ranging from disappointment to betrayal, have driven more people to come forward and blow the whistle.  I'm not sure how we would empirically determine the answer, and I am generally in the Sux camp, but I still can't believe Obama is more vindictive than Cheney/Bush.  We don't know how many whistleblowers from the Bush gang had small plane accidents or bizarre suicides, for example.

  •  Why not run outside instead of on a treadmill? (22+ / 0-)

    I think this whole, "I-have-to-go-to-the-gym" thing is part of the corporate propaganda machine, Ray.

    You've been assimilated.

    Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

    by Bob Johnson on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 05:07:27 AM PDT

    •  Amen, Bob! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mahakali overdrive, Ray Pensador

      We gave up television in 1976 as a waste of neurons. See it occasionally for sports at a bar or friend's house, when we visit people, etc., but our set at the 'stead is for videos/DVDs only. We do watch those two or three nights a week if we're not doing something else...

      ...and there's plenty else to do. Far more fun to watch the ducks and dogs from the back deck, or visit with friends and family around the firepit, start or finish a project. We got satellite TV when we first moved here 21 years ago, had it for a year before deciding it wasn't worth the money because we never watched it. It's all about selling you things you don't need and didn't want until the sales spiel started. I figure if they want to sell me junk that bad, they should be paying ME to have television!

      Get my news from the hourlies of my great local NPR station, from following local newspaper websites and those from where something interesting is happening, and DKos. We're pretty up on what's going on.

  •  I swear if it weren't for Foreign Films and (8+ / 0-)

    having read The Shock Doctrine I'd still be thinking we're the most advanced people in the world. WRONG!! USA wants its consumers to go back in time, literally! And the Followers are doing their best to drag us backwards.

    I totally enjoy Iranian movies, Asian Flicks and just watched Boy from New Zealand natives. (this character is fixated on Michael Jackson).

    When the Kenya Mall siege started my first 'ignorant' thought  was 'there are upscale malls in Kenya?"  Still those warped (lack of honest real world news) views of the world pop out from time to time and I consider myself a very aware human being. So I can just imagine how the Followers unawareness does keep them smiling.

    As my deceased dad use to say "Sometimes it's better to not know"- which always led to a major discussion between us....

    "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

    "It's said that the honest man has nothing to hide. Not true. The honest man has to hide himself, because honest men are the prime targets of those who lie." (TY Hannah:)

    by roseeriter on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 05:14:35 AM PDT

  •  Thanks Ray, great listing provided (11+ / 0-)

    Democracy Now
    Truthdig
    Truthout
    Propublica
    Bill Moyers
    TRNN

    I still like The Guardian. I saw a great interview with Alan Rusbridger on Democracy Now just the other day.
    Rusbridger explained they are owned by a ''trust'' and have no board of directors to answer to.
    And American readership is up over 30+ million

    In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.'' George Orwell

    by lostinamerica on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 05:14:48 AM PDT

  •  I simply don't watch television. (12+ / 0-)

    The one exception: I watch my NFL home team Carolina Panthers away games on television at friends' houses (I attend all home games). I know, even the NFL is one gigantic greed-promoting scam, but I've retained one guilty pleasure.

    I hate television. I hate its ubiquity. I hate its propaganda value (the commercials during even NFL games have me convinced that the only things one needs in life are hyper-tricked-out cell phones, bloated monster trucks, and lots and lots of beer). I hate that every waiting room, every restaurant, every (as you've pointed out) gym is infected with the video-screen cancer.

    In fact, I pretty much loathe the entire video culture. I hate it when I do a Google search, click on one of the provided links, and find that a video starts playing. If I'm in a particularly bad mood, I actually start screaming at my computer: "If I wanted to watch a fucking video I'd be watching the TeeVee goddammit! I want to READ something, goddammit!"

    I long for the emergence of video-free environments, just as we now have smoke-free environments. If I went to a gym and I were forced to have banks of TeeVees shitting in my face at all times, I would find a different gym. I think a case could be made that the psychological effects of the propaganda garbage the television industry has morphed into are every bit as socially damaging as the physiological effects of secondhand smoke.

    "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

    by blue in NC on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 05:18:46 AM PDT

    •  There really are few places to escape (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StrayCat, blue in NC, Sylv, 3rock

      Every doctor's waiting room now has a television droning.  There have been times when I was the only person there and I turned the television off, only to have staff walk in and turn it back on.

      Also car repair shops and airports.  Basically any place where you might have an extended wait.  And they are without exception very loud, making it tough to concentrate on a book.  I am reminded of the passage in Fahrenheit 451 when Montag is reading the Bible on the train.  He tries to reflect on what he has read, but his train of thought is interrupted repeatedly by the ad for "Denham's Dentifrice."

      A terrible beauty is born. --W.B. Yeats

      by eightlivesleft on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:26:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Totally agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue in NC

      the internet was so much better before YouTube.  Writing forces people to think, at least a little.  Video brings out the stupid.  

      I really get pissed when I'm looking for DIY guides and all I can find are a bunch of videos.  It is so much more efficient to read a point by point instructional guide with photos than to sit through some moron blabbering through a 15 minute video which could have been edited to 5 minutes or if written out could be read in 1 minute.

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 11:39:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, absolutely! The "instructional value" thing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Subterranean

        (or, rather, lack of instructional value) is yet another point of frustration I have with the video medium.

        I'd like to see a technical analysis (presented in writing, of course) of this phenomenon. I think it has something to do with "random access" vs. "serial access": when reading, you can flip back and forth, picking and choosing (on a "random access" basis) how to assimilate the instructions. While watching a video, OTOH, you are captive to the video producer's order, his pace, his priorities. There is no opportunity to randomly access the information; rather, the best you can do is "rewind" and view again, or try to stop-fast forward-start again in order to re-access the information.

        I hate it. My mind is simply not particularly "video-compatible" in the first place.

        "Bernie Madoff's mistake was stealing from the rich. If he'd stolen from the poor he'd have a cabinet position." -OPOL

        by blue in NC on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 01:47:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The YMCA I go to has three big TV (6+ / 0-)

    screens and for a long time they would have Fox on at least one of them. I complained every time I went and they were agreeable about switching to whatever channel I asked for (which was basically anything but Fox).

       Now they have more treadmills with individual TVs, which is another solution.

        I prefer not to read at the gym because I need reading glasses and don't want to fuss with them and reading material.  

    tell mr. godot I'm walking the dog

    by chicago minx on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 05:29:14 AM PDT

  •  We agree again, Ray: Kill Your TV (5+ / 0-)

    5 or 6 years ago, like you, I just got tired of watching 5 hours of what could possible be called news. I watched MSNBC, all of it, Olbermann, Tweety, Maddow, Schultz.
    And all of that say 5 hours a day news could be condensed down to about 15 minutes.
    I'd start watching news in the morning, then come back to it at 4:30 in the afternoon and watch it until 7:00.  All the same.
    I'll cut to the chase---I chopped it down and it was getting rid of an addiction. Now I watch 1 hour of TV news a day-- half hour of local, half hour of national, varying it from channel to channel. Sometimes this is PBS and sometimes its BBC.
    Who needs more?

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 05:36:31 AM PDT

  •  TV is so hypnotizing... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, 3rock

    Perhaps it's the flashing screen, and that we depend so much on our vision. but indeed, whenever the TV is on, our attention is riveted on it.

    There's a diary on Dkos, I think, that says, if you want good reporting, watch a foreign news report. So if you want to see good reporting about the US, watch British or Qatari or even Russian news. If you want good reporting about Russia, don't watch Russian news, watch German or French news. :-)

    1 hour on the treadmill? Have you read this? http://www.amazon.com/...

    Basically, the program says that you only need to exercise for 12 minutes, with the caveat that "exercise" means an elevated heart rate. So walking a normal walking pace is not considered "exercise". The program uses interval training, so the whole gym time is 30 minutes or so.  

    I'm still reading the book, and I'm also trying to find reviews to find out whether this is a good program or mere junk science.

  •  reminds me of Leeloo in The Fifth Element learning (0+ / 0-)

    the language and history of our culture by bingeing on television and crying in despair.

    On the other hand, years ago when I used to treadmill walk I did deliberately put on O'Reilly because it would wind me up so much I would walk much faster and get that heartbeat going. Now, though, I just walk my dog outdoors and enjoy nature's Wild Fruits.

    We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

    by nuclear winter solstice on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 05:54:54 AM PDT

  •  TV Zapper (4+ / 0-)

    Google it.

    Subversive, harmless digital monkey-wrenching.

  •  I've never been able to understand (8+ / 0-)

    how closely many Americans identify with and relate to middlebrow and even lowbrow entertainment that mainly engages one's more infantile emotions and intellect and thus keeps one at a more infantile emotional and intellectual level than I think is healthy and possible. I include most sports in this category, and the near-psychotic manner in which many Americans identify with their favorite sports teams and entertainers. It's about more than temporarily escaping from life's stresses and pressures. It's about escapism as a lifestyle.

    I mean seriously, if you watch more than a few hours of "reality" shows about bearded hillbillies, fake celebrities, trashy housewives, etc., and then spend hours talking, texting and tweeting about it, you have a problem. Seriously, I'm not joking. There's something WRONG with you: you are clinically infantile.

    I see a direct link between that and the state of our political reality, which is both infantile and psychotic, and clearly dysfunctional. In a way we've gotten the country we deserve, or at least want, a psychotic child's fantasy world. We just don't want to grow up and give up our childish distractions and fantasies. Instead we indulge in them more and more. This won't end well.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 06:31:43 AM PDT

    •  to be fair (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas

      it really isn't any different than the old society pages in newspapers here and overseas. People voraciously kept up with those too.

      I don't watch much reality TV but I really don't see it as anything new in terms of American entertainment. We've always been entertained by the lowbrow.

      Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex.

      by terrypinder on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:48:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sad, if true (0+ / 0-)

        Mind you, I don't so much begrudge peoples' occasionally indulging in such, as an escape into mindless entertainment, just the extent to and manner in which they seem to do so, overdoing it in both time spent and emotional dedication, as well as in their apparent inability and/or unwillingness to make a clear and understood separation between such entertainment, and reality.

        250lb linebackers making $10M a year, psychotic housewives wearing 3lbs of makeup, men who sleep with their girlfriends' mothers, and people who eat 10 triple bacon cheeseburgers at a sitting--these are not normal people and how they live is not in any way representative of a normal and healthy life.

        And then we wonder how a Michelle Bachman gets elected. This is how.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:45:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  First it was the Commedia (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Pensador

        del'arte's ribald street theater and the roaming jongleurs, which morphed into Vaudeville and the great movie/television clowns. Humans need some comedy in their lives so they can laugh about their own lives. The characters and their schtick have been stock since at least the middle ages - the pompous white-face, the overblown bumbling auguste, the slightly seedy but ever endearing tramp.

        Humor as an approach to politics and the always desperate state of the world is as old as human society (the 'sacred clowns' were the first community police), and helps explain why young people today get their television news from the Comedy Channel and not CNN, et al.

    •  Shakespeare (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      high uintas

      was considered lowbrow entertainment.

      Watching sports does not "keep one at a more infantile level" emotionally or intellectually.

      Neither does spending a couple of hours watching a popcorn movie or silly tv show.

      Not everything has to be serious and deep, in fact, if everything has to be so for you, then, well, judging right back atcha.

      •  Predictable response (0+ / 0-)

        that completely misreads my comment in typical knee-jerk reactionary fashion and thus confirms my point without realizing it.

        I was referring to people who obviously LIVE in such alternate realities, of which there are millions. People who can't conduct a conversation at a level above such lowbrow entertainment. I come across them all the time and while I'd never say it to their faces, they're functional morons.

        Sorry, denying reality doesn't make it not so. We're a nation of idiots.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 09:15:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yawn (0+ / 0-)

          speaking of predictable responses...you were referring to some people but "we're a nation of idiots."

          Except you of course.

          •  Not just me (0+ / 0-)

            But, yes, me too. I actually believe in reality and find faith and ignorance to be incredibly overrated. But keep apologizing for folks who vote for pols who ream them daily, because they're "good people", whatever that means.

            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

            by kovie on Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 04:05:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  so all the religious folks (0+ / 0-)

              on here are ignorant?

              I'm not religious...and I find you both ignorant and incredibly arrogant.

              And this isn't just about religion, you apparently find anyone who watches any program you don't approve of to be an idiot.

              I generally find that folks who think just about everyone but them is an idiot...is an idiot.

              •  You're either an idiot or willfully misreading (0+ / 0-)

                my comment to get some cheap moral superiority points. Either way, waste of my time. Go back to watching Jersey Shore. The Cliff Notes version.

                "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                by kovie on Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 06:07:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  irony is something you clearly (0+ / 0-)

                  have no relationship to in order to proclaim that someone else is trying to get "cheap moral superiority points."

                  Kudos, you've broken irony, and the only Jersey Shore I've watched has been on the Soup...but nice try.

      •  No, that's not actually correct (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hey338Too

        That's a bit of a myth, to be honest. About Shakespeare. While the Globe was more accessible to people of all classes than one might expect, and while it was popular culture, Shakespeare was well-attended by aristocracy in his time. Oddly, the best seats in the house were behind the stage, so that the upper classes could only see the backs of the players. This was to avoid the smell of the lower classes, many of whom didn't have regular access to baths.

        I've heard this bandied around here and again and used to think this myself, that Shakespeare was like contemporary popular culture. He was more like Broadway attracting a very mixed audience. Later, theater would become more classed as primarily for the aristocracy. But this was very mixed at the time of the Globe. During the plague years, it became somewhat abandoned by those from the upper classes (when not flat-out closed) because of the fact that many lower class folks had no way to quarantine themselves effectively from the plague, whereas those with enough money to not have to work daily would do this. When the plague was really in full swing, Shakespeare mainly would write poems and sonnets and such.

        Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

        by mahakali overdrive on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 09:25:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  shakespere wasn't lowbrow in his time (0+ / 0-)

        but agree with the rest.

        reminds of of people who complain no one reads but point out that book sales remain pretty high, they complain they're not reading literature.

        Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex.

        by terrypinder on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 09:42:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Bull (0+ / 0-)

        Shakespear was the the elites of the day.  

        "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

        by Subterranean on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 01:32:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nope. It was kind of in the middle. (0+ / 0-)

          This is Norton Anthology Intro to Shakespeare-level stuff.

          Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

          by mahakali overdrive on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 01:54:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think he operated at all levels (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mahakali overdrive

          Low, mid and high. That's why he's probably the greatest dramatist of all time. He had bawdiness for the masses, melodrama for the growing middle class, and philosophical insight for the educated class. The idea that he was lowbrow is quite ludicrous. More like unibrow. Heh, to pluck or not to pluck...

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 02:28:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Steve Jobs quotes: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kovie
      When you're young, you look at television and think, there's a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down. But when you get a little older, you realize that's not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want.
      The most corrosive piece of technology that I've ever seen is called television - but then, again, television, at its best, is magnificent.

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 01:31:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's some seriously good TV these days (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Subterranean

        There's some seriously shitty TV these days. And, as usual, there's a lot of the in-between. Clearly there's a large enough audience for the good stuff to justify making it to the business end of TV, but clearly there's an even bigger audience for the crap and middlebrow stuff, which both serves and expands its audience. As with so much else, it's that Two Americas thing again.

        I'm willing to bet, though, that the quality level of TV programming tracks pretty closely along the RW-LW axis from awful to great. I.e. many more wingnuts and the politically detached probably watch "reality TV" and Inside Edition than lefties, who probably lean more towards shows like the Newsroom, Breaking Bad and Downton Abbey.

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 02:21:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's Fahrenheit 451 come true (6+ / 0-)

    That's your SF writer to pay attention to....we're surrounding ourselves more and more with screens that involve conversations about nothing--hell Facebook is all about "friends" who are more imaginary than not.  In the meantime, don' worry about the wars being conducted elsewhere--you have to get the latest iPhone!

    To be free and just depends on us. Victor Hugo.

    by dizzydean on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 06:44:08 AM PDT

  •  I like sports on TV. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wintergreen8694, sweatyb

    No complaints there, except when they do the human-interest stuff. I hate that.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:00:28 AM PDT

    •  Unfortunately.... (0+ / 0-)

      ....as the length of sporting events increases.  It is particularly absurd in baseball, which has no halves, quarters, etc., resulting in breaks in the game to give more time to advertisers.  In most other sports, the clock is there to prevent the game from running on for ten hours.

      And it's not just the advertisements, but sports reporting that is increasingly like political reporting. (In this regard, newspapers do a much better job.)  And TV has some amazing accomplishments in sports, such as turning non-contact sports such as baseball and basketball into hockey games.

      •  I don't mind it. (0+ / 0-)

        ON the plus side, look at how much more we have to watch compared to a few years ago.

        You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

        by Rich in PA on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:42:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I like a lot of sports coverage (0+ / 0-)

          it's the only reason we still pay for cable around here, mr. luna is still a sports junkie and I like my baseball :)

          But seriously, the politics being imbued into our games is really starting to piss me off. The whole 7th-inning-stretch/mandatory-playing-of "God Bless America" was always a bit much anyway, but it seems to be getting worse as time goes by.

          This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

          by lunachickie on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:36:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Get my news from Stewart, Colbert & Internet. (4+ / 0-)

    I still watch TV, but deliberately, for certain things.  Local news when there's a local story (CO flooding, for example).  

    I took a Values in Media class my senior year in high school that taught me to be aware of advertising.  This is SUPER USEFUL.  Since then I've been able to perceive how ads try to manipulate me subconsciously, & as a result, I've been a deliberate, aware consumer my whole life.  I'm still sometimes manipulated, but I'm aware of it, & can respond to & address that manipulation.  Being aware of how TV works is critical to successfully watching it whenever one makes the deliberate choice to do so.

    For those lacking that awareness, TV is indeed a modern mind poison like processed food & added sugars are body poison.  Taking the time to deliberately watch ads & critique them is something I highly recommend to everyone; in that way, they are brought our of the shadow of subconscious influence.  

    This is also true for the structure of these programs you mention that create a bubble reality wherein everyone is happy & no one is challenging institutional authorities.  Watching these deliberately, as a learning excercise, with a critical mindset, reveals their subtle tactics & thus frees you from them.

    It's time to start letting sleeping dinosaurs lie, lest we join them in extinction by our consumption of them.

    by Leftcandid on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:08:25 AM PDT

    •  I watch quite a bit of TV, but like you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Leftcandid

      I've become more deliberate. Football when it's on (I try to tune out the ads), I wish I would watch more Stewart and Colbert. Free Speech TV and Link TV during pledge drives are great things to have. That's when the documentaries roll out. It's in-depth reporting at its finest.

      I try to avoid local news like Channel 9 like the plague, unless there's something pressing like a weather emergency (as you stated). Internet is a great source. Media Matters does a great job sifting out tabloid journalism. Sites like Addicting Info and Raw Story are good places to go. Add to that conversations with serious progressives.

      liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

      by RockyMtnLib on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:16:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One subtle but key benefit of watching TV is a (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joieau, RockyMtnLib

        sustained connection with the rest of the nation.  If they watch, & we don't, then we risk losing touch in a way that undermines a cultural connective tissue.  It's something to talk about & is on occasion a gateway to a conversation about something more relevant to us, aka politically liberal.  This is true not just for shows but for ad content.

        This is why watching NFL games is helpful to liberal causes; that's my story & I'm sticking to it:-)

        It's time to start letting sleeping dinosaurs lie, lest we join them in extinction by our consumption of them.

        by Leftcandid on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 09:51:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Meh. My family hasn't (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3rock, Ray Pensador

          watched regular television (broadcast or cable) since before there WAS cable. Do see it during visits to family or friends, football games if we go out for them, at motels when traveling. And whenever I'm spending more than a few minutes watching, I discover anew why we don't have it at home. Total waste of time and life.

          This does mean I never know who the non-movie star celebs on the tabloids and magazine covers in the checkout stand are. It means I can't hold a conversation about any series old or new, and no I probably didn't see that HBO special or Discovery critter project last week. Fortunately, that allows me to either bow out of a boring conversation or change the subject to something real. People look at us horrified upon finding out we don't watch television, ask us "what in the world do you DO when you're home?" Like they can't imagine doing anything but vegetating in front of a television. Wow.

          We have lived for decades without electric or gas heat (we use wood - no need for gyms if you're cutting and splitting 7 cords a year in the mountains). People look at us horrified, ask how on earth we can live without heat. It's like they can't fathom the notion that fire is hot or something. Very weird... I think television contributes mightily to our cultural stupidity.

          •  Joieau :) (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ray Pensador, Joieau

              In our middle lower income neighborhood, there was one family with two of the sweetest girls our age. We felt so sorry that they couldn't watch TV. A lot of kids teased them. They were always chipper & would reply Oh, "We don't like TV anyway." They got straight A+'s in school.
               When I stopped watching TV, I remembered and now send a "What a cool time vibe their way."
               Mightily indeed :)

            March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

            by 3rock on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 06:54:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Last year I posted (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Leftcandid

          on my FB status something about a particular Sunday's games, and someone proceeded to harangue me about how my watching football is all wrong and I need to just stop because I'm succumbing to propaganda blah, blah, blah. It was quite annoying.

          A valuable conversation can and must be had about the role sports plays but spare me lectures about my personal choice, mkay?! (not directed at you, left, just a general statement)

          liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

          by RockyMtnLib on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:42:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'm amazed how much better I feel when I avoid (8+ / 0-)

    the mainstream media.

    Whenever I go back to see if somehow they are losing ground in their misinformation agenda, I learn they have not.

    It's even worse now because instead of Americans just having to deal with crony capitalism, we are now facing a three-pronged assault: the capitalists, the cronies in D.C. who do their bidding, and the corporate media, that forwards their lies and misinformation to the public.  

    I wish I could see a light at the end of the tunnel.

    If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

    by livjack on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:12:44 AM PDT

  •  Not the most controversial diary posted here (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, OLinda, Sylv, 3rock, Joieau

    American television is just totally bizarre.

    Our cable system has something like 500 channels.  They all have the same crap.  It's worse than the crap spewed out by the networks 30 years ago (when everyone already regarded television as crap).

    Reality TV (something never dreamed of by novelists inventing dystopian futures) is cheap to produce, thus it is a staple of television.  

    •  Cheap to produce is the ticket. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador

      Because all of it is basically just a vehicle for delivering advertisements to a captive hypnotized audience. Primed for suggestion. All for junk nobody needs and most can't afford.

      Any old junk will do for programming. It's going to get interrupted by ads every 7 or 8 minutes anyway, so it needn't be well done. How many TV series have there been about people who spend all their home-time or public business hours watching television? THAT would be "reality TV."

      Television shows are not about people who spend their lives watching television. Yet the people who watch them never seem to notice...

  •  ... (9+ / 0-)
    We got the bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who
    Comes on at five
    She can tell you 'bout the plane crash with a gleam
    In her eye
    It's interesting when people die-
    Give us dirty laundry

    ~ Don Henley

    Blow up your TV

    ~ John Prine

    Help me to be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster

    by BOHICA on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:19:44 AM PDT

    •  more (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BOHICA, StrayCat, Hey338Too, Ray Pensador
      We can do the innuendo
      We can dance and sing
      When it's said and done we haven't told you a thing
      We all know that crap is king
      Sadly, Henley's song is as accurate today as when it first played. While it's been awhile since I've watched, I found local news particularly bad.

      A terrible beauty is born. --W.B. Yeats

      by eightlivesleft on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:58:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, local news is most often just the Chamber (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BOHICA

        of Commerce agitprop.  AS are some of our newspapers.  After the NYT sold the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the paper became a subsidiary or the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

        Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

        by StrayCat on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:21:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  By the time we were told our 1980 TV needed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, Joieau

    one of those little boxes to make it continue to work, we really hadn't watched it in years. It's still physically there, actually, but can't talk to the airwaves. We could watch videos on it if we had time...

  •  Has anyone ever done a study on those (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dianna

    like the Amish compared to people who have all the latest tech toys as far as mental , physical and emotional health?
    I am not Amish but I did wonder.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:25:43 AM PDT

    •  My best friend has never had cable or TV (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife

      for pretty much her whole adult life.  Her and her husband have a tv but rent movies.  It was an expense they couldn't afford and not to mention my friend understands the poison of television, but cost was the motivating factor here

      I've often thought how different we are now in terms of reality perception and psychic damage.  She's always been a soft and thoughtful person, very left-leaning to begin with

      The interesting thing was when they came back to our red state for a funeral and her sister and everyone had on Fox News all the time!  I tried gauge their reaction on that to be sure

    •  I'm not sure you're going to do much (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hey338Too

      other then prove that which isn't really in contention.

      People can lead active lives though without completely losing the TV. It's all about moderation.

  •  There is little "news" (3+ / 0-)

    and even less "news analysis" on MSM TV . . . it is all "infotainment" and propaganda.  The rare "special report" slips through, but usually where there is a "fix" for the problem that makes it look like the system is working or at least can be made to work, and when it does everything will be OK again.

    The net result is that we do not have a functioning "democracy".  It is not enough to go through the circus of "voting" if the voters don't actually know who or what they are voting for.  "Packaged" candidates spouting packaged platitudes (while not bothering to disclose who is paying for or writing the script) does not a "free country" or a "free society" make.

    If you're not pissed off you're just not paying attention . . .

    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

    by Deward Hastings on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:27:26 AM PDT

  •  I'm not sure I get how smiling is part (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hey338Too, Catte Nappe, duhban, mconvente

    of the propaganda. People have a tendency to turn off people that are not smiling. Especially in the morning. If a morning anchor is too serious the whole time they flip to something more at ease. People want news in the morning but they also want their day to start out with a smile.

    Stations have tried doing only serious news in the morning and that vast majority have lost ratings. They've found that they have to do fun and inane stories to keep people watching their station's morning news programs. I personally find morning news programming absurd but I am in the minority.

    There was a perfect example of this a few years back on the fox affiliate in Los Angeles. One of their anchors had been attacked by the police during a May Day riot. The police are what caused the riot. Yet the lead story the next day was what happened on American idol. They had an actual reporter with actual news and actuality but went with the fluff because they knew that their viewers wanted fluff.

    I wouldn't call that propaganda because that's what the viewers wanted.

    Most of the people taking a hard line against us are firmly convinced that they are the last defenders of civilization... The last stronghold of mother, God, home and apple pie and they're full of shit! David Crosby, Journey Thru the Past.

    by Mike S on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:30:44 AM PDT

    •  Of course, the medium is the message. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ray Pensador

      Propaganda goes down more easily with a smile than with a frown.  The fact that inappropriate facial expressions accompany the message alters the content of the message.  Death with a smile is propoganda.  No different than equating death with everlasting life.

      Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

      by StrayCat on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:24:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  good diary, thanks Ray (5+ / 0-)

    agree on the real news

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by greenbastard on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:32:47 AM PDT

  •  Holy Sh!t Ray- We agree on something! (6+ / 0-)
    Turn off the TV
    Took an eight pound mini-sledge to my TV some twenty plus years ago.

    Incredibly satisfying noise.  (Everybody should do it once, though I imagine these new-fangled flat screens won't be near as resonant.)

    Never looked back.

    •  My favorite "Get-rid-of-the-TV" story: (11+ / 0-)

      My best friend grew up with seven siblings. They had one TV, so there was near-constant fighting about what to watch. His dad finally had enough. He said, "The next time any of you fight about the TV, that'll be the end of the TV."

      So, of course, there was another fight.

      He picked up the TV, carried it out to the driveway, and heaved it into the air.

      After it exploded into millions of pieces, he turned to the astonished kids and said, "Now, clean it up."

      Weeks went by and one of the kids finally asked at dinner one night, "When are we going to get a new TV?" Dad said, "When you all save your pennies and buy one."

      They didn't have a TV for nearly three years until the old man finally broke down and bought one so he could watch football games.

      My wife and I didn't have a TV for more than a decade when our kids were small. As a result, they're both voracious readers.

      Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

      by Bob Johnson on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:51:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I sold my TV (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lunachickie, 3rock

    It's been years since there was anything worth watching.

    “Americans are fighters. We're tough, resourceful and creative, and if we have the chance to fight on a level playing field, where everyone pays a fair share and everyone has a real shot, then no one - no one - can stop us. ”-- Elizabeth Warren

    by Positronicus on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:38:09 AM PDT

    •  based on what standard? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aquarius40, Catte Nappe

      What would you consider "worth watching?"

      A multitude of science and history programs alone without any fictional programming would make it "worth watching."

      There are programs out there like the new Battlestar Galactica that was making social commentary about religion, suicide bombing (while it was going on in Iraq), and a whole host of other issues.

      There are all sorts of programs that have been worth watching.

      I'll be honest, I find this whole nose up attitude towards television in its entirety (as opposed to selected negative issues such as cable news or reality TV) to be just a wee bit pretentious and unjustifiably so.

      •  It could be purely economic (0+ / 0-)

        An up-to-date TV costs hundreds of dollars, and a cable subscription costs maybe $100 a month. "Worth watching" needs to clear the purely economic hurdle, "$2700 the first year, and $1200 a year after that."

        I'm sure there are programs worth watching in the sense that they're worth the time. But they also have to be worth the money.

        As of now, I'm saving my money. I do not have a TV in my house.

        “Americans are fighters. We're tough, resourceful and creative, and if we have the chance to fight on a level playing field, where everyone pays a fair share and everyone has a real shot, then no one - no one - can stop us. ”-- Elizabeth Warren

        by Positronicus on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 11:23:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The consequences of media concentration have ... (3+ / 0-)

    ...horrible for Americans who are not wealthy.  In the diarist-quoted passage, "The more [concentrated] the media landscape becomes the greater risk of harm there is to the public interest ", Mr. McCoy crystallized the basic problem.  Self government may fail when its citizens are so easily misinformed.  
       The examples of such failure involve the misuse of our military and the abuse of our economy.   Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the notion that tax cuts for the rich and austerity for everyone else would benefit anyone other than those rich would lead my list.  
       A wise man said, "If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing."  I doubt if the availability of information has improved since Malcolm's remark.  Our trouble today is media concentration and its impact on our access to information on which to base our decisions.  It is a problem and, for my money, Chuck Todd has signed up to be its face.

  •  Excellent - Book TV & DC Book Event last week (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, StrayCat, OLinda, 3rock

    watched it on CSPAN

    also available on line

    I had never heard about the noted civil liberties historian Taylor Branch

    he gave one of the most uplifting speeches I have heard in a long, long time

    about how race has always been the main way to change America

    and about how the political impasse is about race

    the coverage was all day Saturday in the history section

    finally his speech is available on CSPAN by itself

    recommend it highly

    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/....

    his new project is the three vol ML King Years into a single volume for kids

    8 year old black kids marching changed his heart and led to his life long work

  •  KPFA News Hour at 6pm Pacific is *the* best (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, StrayCat, Don midwest, 3rock

    hour of news in the country.

    They are also having a fund drive right now.

    Support them as they are one of the last independent commercial free sources of information we have.

    And they are struggling.

    I know you get this, Ray!

    collards, meat, butter, sourdough, eggs, cheese, raw milk

    by Tirge Caps on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:44:40 AM PDT

  •  I got rid of TV in my house in 1980. (7+ / 0-)

    The election of Ronald Reagan was the trigger event. Jimmy Carter's reelection campaign was the first political campaign I worked for, and he was the first national candidate that I was able to vote for. I blame the media for Carter's loss. The media's love of Ronald Reagan, and their Iran hostage drumbeat forced Carter out of office. A president who wouldn't go to war when all of America was calling for it, and a president who was willing to make sacrifices to save us from the energy crisis (it also would have saved us from being so deeply in the hole with global climate change).

    My wife and I turn on a TV now and again when we are in a hotel room. It goes off pretty quick. It is horrible. Really.

    I think that we had a much better perspective on the 9/11 attacks because we were not constantly bombarded by those horrific images. We had a trip scheduled to Egypt in mid-October of 2001, and we were able to board the plane and go without much concern because we read about 9/11 and looked at the facts objectively and much less emotionally than most people were able to (we were almost the only American tourists in Egypt at the time - it was wonderful) . TV is a big reason for the state this country is in today.

    "Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright" Curt Siodmak

    by Wisdumb on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:45:34 AM PDT

    •  I had similar experiences. I was doing a lot of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wisdumb

      traveling during that time and didn't feel all the concerned mainly because I wasn't gorging myself on TV news.

      I probably watched the TV coverage the firs couple of days after it happened, and then I stopped.

    •  The (0+ / 0-)

        biggest MASS manipulation in ALL history. I'll never forget, during the election, the before and after, the cleric shook the bone of a US serviceman from the "westmoreland" failed rescue attempt, at the camera.
         Here we are 33 years later and the players cannot grasp. WE have had enough!

      March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

      by 3rock on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 10:47:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I never watched TV News of any kind (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, StrayCat, 3rock

    My family never gathered to watch it when I was younger. I never watched it once in college. As a young adult I turned to blogs, newspapers, magazines, internet & the daily show with occasional failed attempts at MSNBC and CNN.

    Ive been surprisingly happy putting on Al Jazeera in the morning for the past couple months.

    The threat to our way of life comes from corporations, and the solution is to shrink corporations while freeing government from corporate control.

    by gbaked on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:46:23 AM PDT

  •  We pulled the plug (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, Via Chicago, OLinda, 3rock

    over three years ago when we decided not to renew our satellite subscription.  There are times when I miss some sports events, but other than that, I have not missed television at all.  In fact, it turned out to be easier than I originally anticipated.

    In particular, the absence of the constant noise from the television set has led to a much more relaxed atmosphere in our home.  Instead of tv, we read, work on projects, or watch old movies that we checked out from the library.  We make the conscious choice of what we are doing with our time, instead of our time being dictated by some arbitrary tv schedule.

    "I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West speaking to Occupy Tallahassee on January 18, 2012

    by gulfgal98 on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:53:24 AM PDT

  •  I never watch anything live (4+ / 0-)

    so I never see commercials.

    That said, increasingly, there's little on that I want to watch. Our satellite provider has roughly 400 channels that are always available and another 50 that become available during "special offer weekends." I think there's probably maybe 10 that are ever on and usually just for background noise. I'm usually gaming or reading.

    We should probably dump it entirely and get Hulu Plus to supplement Netflix and Amazon Prime.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex.

    by terrypinder on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 07:57:33 AM PDT

  •  I agree with the sentiment of this diary (11+ / 0-)

    The dumbing down of the news, horrible reality TV, infomercials for idiots. There are some good shows out there, but they're few and far between. The less TV the better.

    However, a majority of it is not propaganda driven. I've been in the industry at almost every level and if they could garner good ratings by showing George Carlin videos back-to-back, they would.  It's about money more than anything else, with a couple obvious exceptions.  I've been in the meetings.

    As an aside, I'd like to note that nearly every 30-minute infomercial for a product is faked. The delicious looking food is not prepared in the miracle oven, conventional scrubbing is done between takes for miracle cleaners, etc. Miracle 10-minute  exercise machines do NOT work, and every one contains the disclaimer that a special diet needs to be followed.  The trick is if you follow the diet, you don't need the machine.  Stuff that involves real work like P90x will work, but you gotta put in the time.

    A common tactic for "before and after" people used for exercise and diet products is they find a very athletic and fit person who for one reason or another (illness, child bearing, etc.) has temporarily put on a significant amount of weight. Getting back to their former shape is considered easier because they know what it will take getting into it.

    •  You make an important point. Is it "propaganda?" (7+ / 0-)
      The less TV the better.

      However, a majority of it is not propaganda driven. I've been in the industry at almost every level and if they could garner good ratings by showing George Carlin videos back-to-back, they would.  It's about money more than anything else, with a couple obvious exceptions.

      The use of the term "propaganda" to describe what is on most news channels at any particular time of day implies an organized effort. As you point out, the real issue is money.

      The content and ads that appear on any particular network at any given time of day reflect the make-up of the audience at that time. For example, the big pharmas run ads on CNN because the audience is made up of two groups that are heavy users of pharma products: old people and those who may not be working and may use some of the common anti-depression meds. (Don't get me started on the Clinton-era policy reversal that allowed big pharma to advertise products directly to consumers.)

      In terms of actual programming content, they run horrifying footage over and over again because the programmers know that people watch it. Pretty simple, really.

      Propaganda probably plays a role in who the networks choose to interview about world events such as retired military personnel, certain politicians, etc. who often have vested interests (disclosed and undisclosed) in the situations they are discussing.

      But in the general news reporting, they put on what attracts eyes and that's usually mayhem and destruction.

      Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

      by Bob Johnson on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 09:17:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't watch any news on TV anymore. (5+ / 0-)

    Used to watch a lot of it, but since I cut off my cable (it was really getting obnoxiously expensive for something I wasn't using much) that's all gone. Pretty much watch a lot of foreign shows on NetFlix or whatever looks good on Hulu.

    What do I follow?
    Alternet
    The Real News Network
    Democracy Now!
    Black Agenda Report
    Al Jazeera
    BBC
    Le Monde
    The Guardian UK
    Virtually Speaking Sundays

    And a few others (bloggers like Digby, Ian Welsh, etc). American entertainment media is simply a joke these days. They're a band on unaware clowns pretending they're actual serious journalists. Not all of them, but enough for me to completely abandon it for better high quality sources.

    The Grand Bargain must be stopped at all costs to protect the 99%.

    by cybrestrike on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:01:02 AM PDT

  •  whether they planned it or not (5+ / 0-)

    the if it bleeds it leads,  violence, crime,  is not merely propaganda, it is terrorism.   It makes people afraid, nervous, edgy, and it short circuits thinking, not just by a lie,  but by spreading fear.   It may have started out innocently enough, cheap and brings viewers, but now it seems to be purposeful as it works to cow the population into compliance.

  •  My bank has special programming (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, Ray Pensador, 3rock

    It's weird. A series of random news headlines about sports, politics, the stock market, weather, that make it "feel" like you're doing something, but it's really just pablum.

    I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

    by CFAmick on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:15:13 AM PDT

  •  Like HBO and Netflix (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, Ray Pensador, jayden

    for entertainment at home.  Have a well read, thoughtful pre-teen who is a singer and loves The Voice.  The Big Bang Theory is good after a 14-hour work day -- as we cannot be serious all the time.

    PBS for the mind, and Cooking Channel for folding laundry.

    We are big readers -- we watch a show, and then we shut it off.  

    "Since when did obeying corporate power become patriotic." Going the Distance

    by Going the Distance on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:31:35 AM PDT

  •  Repetition (4+ / 0-)

    and it isn't just CNN, it's all of the American networks:

    the dreadful ("News Outlet"), featuring good-looking anchors, with a strange affectation in their fake smiles, as they showed images and videos of the terrorist attack at the mall in Nairobi, Kenya, over, and over, and over.  They kept showing the same videos of people running in panic, ducking down; the same images of terrorized people, of crying children... And in a strange cognitive dissonance, the good-looking smiling hosts with the strange affectation are shown in a little inset box on the left of the screen talking about the incident, while the horrific videos, and photos are shown over and over and over; the same video clips and images.
    Propaganda from top to bottom. Desensitizing, mind-numbing, fearmongering bullshit.

    Keep up the good work, Ray!

    This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

    by lunachickie on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:42:47 AM PDT

  •  Why do you make statements about medication (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    duhban, 3rock, serendipityisabitch

    in your diary about propaganda? What is a reader meant to infer by this? Do you have specific medications in mind, or is this all medication that you think is a concern? Thanks for explaining this further.

    Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

    by mahakali overdrive on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:44:20 AM PDT

    •  And might I add: TV-free for 15 years (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3rock, undercovercalico

      It's pleasant. It's definitely given me the chance to read a lot more, cook more, and think more.

      Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

      by mahakali overdrive on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:45:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I read this as (7+ / 0-)

      We are being medicated, in more than one way, to lull us into complacency.  Pharmaceutical ads (which should be banned again, IMHO) aren't about treating your medical condition: they're about making you want to pay money to have a condition treated, even if the treatment is 1. mostly useless, 2. possibly dangerous, and 3. completely not necessary.

      Most new medicines these days are "me-too" drugs and big pharma has really reduced itself to mere rent-seeking, as opposed to innovating actual treatments that help.  The metformin I'm supposed to take (but am trying to use diet & exercise to get off because it fucks your liver up) is the same drug I took 13 years ago, but with a time-release mechanism.   And how many hard-on pills are there out in the market?  How many cholesterol medications that exist only to offset the shitty diet we eat?

      One great big festering neon distraction.

    •  I don't know about propaganda (8+ / 0-)

      but I really don't like how pharmaceuticals advertise directly to us. I've never been comfortable with it.

      Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex.

      by terrypinder on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 08:57:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know much about it (0+ / 0-)

        since I don't have TV and haven't for ages and ages.

        I'd like an answer from the diarist, specifically, because if we start trying to read into his inclusion of this piece of information, that process of filling in the blanks and projecting our own perspectives into what was stated in a somewhat ambiguous manner could be seen as a process of being propagandized in and of itself. So I want to avoid that by asking the diarist directly to explain.

        And hi! Hope you've been excellent!

        Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

        by mahakali overdrive on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 09:01:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Because the Big Pharma advertising (9+ / 0-)

      is propaganda. The US is the only country in the world that allows pharmaceutical companies to advertise on TV, the internet and print media.


      "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
      TheStarsHollowGazette.com

      by TheMomCat on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 09:13:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  if I may reply (0+ / 0-)

        after not watching TV for 14 years 1970 to 1984, the first time I watched TV news, I could feel electric shocks going through my body. The news no longer panned the entire event, different people. It was one image & the commentator interpreting how you were to understand that image. Now they do it with GINORMOUS big BOOBS! The stupification is ludicrous!
         The answer to your ? The big bang shock, was after the topic, the commercials were all for the NEWEST medication. Like you can FIX what YOU just saw but you, NEED our medication...

      March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

      by 3rock on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 10:59:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Still curious to hear Ray's take here. (0+ / 0-)

        I can appreciate what you're saying. I sometimes see TV when traveling and staying at motels or hotels -- it's strange.

        I didn't grow up with it. We didn't have TV until sometime in elementary school, and then, our viewing was limited. As a teenager, I did watch it, having purchased a television set myself, but I pretty much just watched a few shows like Star Trek (big fan of the original series in particular). I did and do watch movies and see these as an art form in many cases. As an adult, I simply chose to not have TV in my life at all; it takes away from time to read and is a waste of time, by and large. I have other ways of getting the news that are more selective.

        I also teach at a University, and one of the things I have to teach is media literacy and especially assessing sources for bias. That's interesting. The students are very involved in popular culture, although oddly, a recent conversation about Trayvon Martin yielded little. I'd taken it to be a big story. Most said little was played on TV about it. So there must be a huge disjunct between TV and online news. When I've bothered watching TV news, sometimes streaming online, it seems too asinine to watch. No comment on the programs people play on TV. I guess I don't go places where television is played in the background either. In fact, I cannot think of any... but when I do get out, I tend to hike, go to poetry readings, go to cafes, or meet a friend for dinner. That sort of thing.

        But now I'm getting off track.

        I was curious to hear why Ray included this and what he meant by it since it was only included in passing.

        Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

        by mahakali overdrive on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 11:12:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But he is ignoring my query (0+ / 0-)

          despite reading it and uprating responses.

          So one can only reasonable infer that he'd rather not further discuss what he, himself, has written.

          Got it.

          Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

          by mahakali overdrive on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 12:11:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Perhaps his comment recommendations (3+ / 0-)

            are the best answer you'll get.


            "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
            TheStarsHollowGazette.com

            by TheMomCat on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 01:42:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Why? n/t (0+ / 0-)

              Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

              by mahakali overdrive on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 01:43:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Why not? n/t (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Ray Pensador, ek hornbeck


                "Information is power. But like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves" Aaron Swartz, 1986 - 2013
                TheStarsHollowGazette.com

                by TheMomCat on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 02:10:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Perhaps because it seemingly contradicts (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mahakali overdrive

                  the claim to welcome "spirited debate."

                  Refusing to address, or even acknowledge, reasonable queries doesn't inspire confidence in the credibility of such.

                  Nothing human is alien to me.

                  by WB Reeves on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 02:50:22 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Because diarists usually welcome (0+ / 0-)

                  questions when the questions will help further illuminate the meaning of their diaries for their readers. This is generally true of all writing; writers write for an audience. The audience responds to the writing, usually internally, but in the case of blogging, there is the benefit of actual exchange. That is a facet of the genre of blogging itself: the reader and writer are able to further converse.

                  To not converse then seems curious in the context and genre of political blogging since, what then, is the purpose or function of the writing?

                  There are exactly four reasons to write in common rhetorical theory: to educate, to persuade, to honor or dishonor, and to entertain. Arguably, a fifth reason is to express oneself. In the genre of political blogging then, we have not only the usual (and here I will bring up someone the diarist himself has referred to) Searle-style linguistic imperatives of turn taking, which can be flouted, wherein lies some meaning according to Searle, but we also have the usual combination of either education and persuasion in the majority of blogs.

                  In other words, a political blog post generally is an educational or persuasive attempt wherein the author is in dialogue with the reader. Anything else is a standard linguistic deviation from both speech act theory as well as the pragmatics of the genre outself.

                  Thus my question of "Why?" In other words, one would now normally question, even without the formal terms for these rules and such, based on the expectations of a reader based on the social norms and recognitions of a type of genre which are entirely implicit, why deviations would occur. One would ordinarily then be placed into the position of formulating a hypothesis about it. However, I personally refuse to do that because I find it far more interesting to simply ask. Still, in the absence of firm answers and in the presence of obvious flouting (the actual term for this), it is normal to be placed into a position of wondering. And in the context of a blog, wondering out loud is the normal response.

                  That's why not.

                  Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

                  by mahakali overdrive on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 02:54:52 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  If there are responses ... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            priceman, TheMomCat, Nada Lemming

            ... and he has evidently read them, as evidenced by up-rating them, the most reasonable conclusion is that the comments already in place have already covered the ground that his comments would have covered.

            It is a bit rude to your fellow commentators to suggest that only reponses from the original diarist "count" as further discussion of what the diarist has written, and a bit narcissistic to suggest that the measure of whether someone is interested in further discussing what they have written is only whether they discuss it with you.

            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

            by BruceMcF on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 12:50:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm sorry if you feel my questions (0+ / 0-)

              were "rude" and "narcissistic." I was coming at this from the perspective of someone who teaches media sourcing and propaganda and bias and that sort of thing, so I was very curious about the basic "flouting" of a rule that the diarist himself states open admiration for, which is the deviant turn-taking in linguistics as per Searle.

              I can see your argument well enough, but I can also see mine too, one which is informed by disciplinary, rather than personal, knowledge or concern.

              Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

              by mahakali overdrive on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 10:05:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Your curiosity in ... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Nada Lemming, TheMomCat, priceman

                ...

                the basic "flouting" of of rule that the diarist himself states open admiration for, which is the deviant turn-taking in linguistics as per Searle.
                ... does not thereby give you a privileged position at the front of the comment response line, putting you in a position in which you can demand a response.

                And it certainly does not give you a privileged position in insisting that the only replies to your comments that count are those of the diarist. There really is no explicit or implicit rule that a diarist as one participant in the discussion must make a response if they feel that some other participants have already made appropriate responses.

                And here is the thing about "seeing" my position as coming from a petty personal concern and therefore implicitly of no account and "seeing" your position as coming from a lofty academic concern: irrespective of the claim of privilege you claim is your right due to your position is coming from a lofty academic concern ... you cannot create that privileged position from thin air.

                Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                by BruceMcF on Wed Sep 25, 2013 at 11:03:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's a lot of words (0+ / 0-)

                  I haven't insisted that the only replies which count are those of the diarist. Not at all. I phrased the query to the diarist, have engaged those who have talked with me, and have repeated my query to the diarist. That is what has actually occurred.

                  What is a "lofty" academic concern?

                  Granted, I don't particularly care for your tone and engaging with you, should you continue to speak in a surly manner, will not result in a very long conversation at all. So if you do reply, avoid flinging insults in my direction unless you are seeking a soliloquy rather than an exchange.

                  Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

                  by mahakali overdrive on Thu Sep 26, 2013 at 06:25:26 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Is there "real stuff" out there acceptable to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador

    conservatives?

    Then there is real stuff, the real journalism, like Democracy Now!, Alternet, truthdig, truthout, and The Real News Network, WikiLeaks, Bureau of Investigative Journalism Center For Public Integrity, MuckRock News, The National Security Archive, The UpTake, the Sunlight Foundation, ProPublica, MapLight, Moyers & Company
    Or does reality truly have a liberal bias?  

    Nuance is lost upon those who choose not to look.

    by poliwrangler on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 09:03:31 AM PDT

  •  Great analysis (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, 3rock, undercovercalico

    I disagree that MSNBC is entirely trash and pablum, since Hayes and Maddow offer such great shows.  But sans commercials those are only an hour and a half a day.

    One other point about the idealized existence promulgated in ads and other TV shows: it reenforces capitalism indirectly.  People associate more things with tranquil happiness, and thus believe the government is interfering with their happiness by making them pay taxes.  "If only they could buy that new thing in that one ad it would finally be enough, but big government is stealing my money to give to other people!"  The ads suggest most obscene selfishness, while right wing media like Rush and Fox work to turn that selfishness into a virtue.

    It's probably not a coincidence that we have the most advertising of any developed nation.  Not only on the TV Machine, but also in everyday life.  Drive a ways in Canada and one is struck by the virtual absence of billboards defiling the landscape.

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 09:09:47 AM PDT

  •  I watch TV the way an biologist watches... (5+ / 0-)

    ...a culture on a petri dish.

    I am interested in the endemic brainwashing going on.  TV is a window into the mind of the corporate/political meta-organism that runs America now.

    Still, the popular backlash against the Syria unilateral attack gives me some hope.  The powers to be in the military/intelligence/industrial/corporate/political meta organism took the American people for granted.  Obama had to speak at the UN finally.

    There are exceptions and your list of good news sources is useful.

    I agree, there is a lot of brainwashing going on.  Perhaps it no so planned and conscious but it is there.

    Good diary Ray.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 09:30:42 AM PDT

  •  I dropped out of the programming world (3+ / 0-)

    back when the digital conversion happened.  I never bothered getting a converter box....it just seemed silly and not worth my time.  I had a few good movies and just watched those occasionally or rented one.  I mostly read a lot!

    After my wife and I got together we still never bothered with regular tv progamming.  I have a 40" tv now in the living room (given to us).  It might play 1 or 2 kids shows a day (from dvd or blue-ray) for the kiddo, and we might watch a movie in the evening occasionally, or a few episodes from West Wing (all 7 seasons on DVD), but even that's not very often.

    The only programming I ever see is being out in the public somewhere or at a friend's house.  The insanity of CNN (2 straight weeks of Syria "let's go to War, yeah 'Merica!" coverage every time I walked through the lobby at work) or watching a commercial just sickens me to my stomach.   I stay current with events via online newspapers and blog sites - or occasionally NPR on the radio (even then you can smell the propaganda sometimes, brought to you by this & that law firm, or Monsanto).

    If someone wants to talk to me about Duck Dynasty, or some other crap show out there, I'm almost always clueless.  Sure, I've heard of them, but I've never once watched that crap.  It doesn't bother me in the least.  I pass by a large, garish billboard on the way to work in the morning, advertising some show called "HomeLand" in big, bold lettering.  What are we, Mother Russia now?!?  I'm waiting for the telescreens to start reporting  all of our movements, looking at our facial expressions for disloyalty.

    No thanks, I'd rather churn some butter, read my kid a story, do some dishes, work in the garden, call a friend, read a book, plow a field, cut some firewood, grill some burgers, watch the fireflies, play with the dog, etc....

    Tuning out of the propaganda medium known as television programming has been one of the best decisions of my life, and I don't regret it in the least!

    We can NOT pretend to be a democracy when we have secret laws, with secret courts, with secret verdicts, with secret prisoners, in secret prisons!

    by MusicFarmer on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 09:31:34 AM PDT

  •  to clarify something (0+ / 0-)

    Drug companies are required by law to report any and all possible complications that arise in drug trials.

    And no that's not a defense of drug companies or ads. I personally find the ads one of the biggest bloats in the health care industry but even without the ads drugs would still be required to report any and all possible complications.

    •  Too late for me. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      duhban

       It would have saved me 2 trips to the hospital and thousands of $ in medical bills when I had a known (by the drug co's) bad reaction to an over-the-counter med.   But back in those days they didn't broadly disseminate that information to the public because they didn't want to hurt sales of previous prescription-only drugs that had just hit the open market.

      Drug companies are required by law to report any and all possible complications that arise in drug trials.

      My Karma just ran over your Dogma

      by FoundingFatherDAR on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 11:48:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Try Aljazeera America .... (0+ / 0-)

    I don't get it anymore on the computer since they started Aljazreea America but when they had Aljazeera English it was by far the best source of unbiased news.  Not perfect, but heads and shoulders above our media in terms of honest reporting.

    I must say I disagree with their decision to shut down the computer output in English.  At the present they are being repressed by the powers that be.  It is unlikely that they will be able to fully break into the US market unless there are changes.

    •  people whose cable or satellite systems (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Keone Michaels

      still have Current listed have Al Jazeera America. For now.

      Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex.

      by terrypinder on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 10:28:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In case the folks at Aljazeera are listening.. (0+ / 0-)

        You are spending money to run after a television system that is shrinking.  Online television is the new distribution system that is growing and will eventually be the dominant system.  Why not put your development energy into online strategies.  

        The present system will not allow you to produce honest, accountable journalism.  No way.  It is a losing bet.  The only way you will be able to compete directly with them is to dilute the quality of your product which I understand you have already done.

        Please put Aljazeera English back online!

  •  I keep the TV on when I'm on the computer (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, undercovercalico

    but most of the time I'm only dimly aware of what's on. Often I'll realize a show I dislike or an infomercial  has beenon for 40 minutes because I'm focused on the cyber world.

    Now I got the Manchurian Candidate on.

    "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 10:11:32 AM PDT

  •  I'm curious at the avg. age of people here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Pensador, Joieau

    Not only commenting in this diary, but on Daily Kos in general.

    There seems to be an encompassing distaste for television here at Daily Kos.  I can't figure out if that's due to the average age of members here, the fact that people skew very progressive and intellectual here, or both.

    A lot of television is garbage, but I imagine if you polled a group of people my age (i.e. - Millennials), you wouldn't find nearly a distaste for television/video/etc. as you see reflected in this diary and comments.  Probably since we're the Internet and technology generation.

    Personally, I just can't sit still for long enough to read books.  I don't know why, but I just can't.  I get unsettled and have to get up and do something else.  Magazines aren't much better - I have a subscription to Wired, but I have a pile from April 2013 that I haven't even picked up yet.  The computer/Internet and TV take up most of my free time, plus some outdoors and around the town.  Plus being a cell and molecular bio grad student takes up a lot of my time.

    It's why I never even step foot into Peter's "What are you reading?" diaries.  How the hell anyone reads 4-5 books at the same time is beyond my comprehension.  And I just feel deficient and sullen since I don't read, even though I try to but I just can't sit still, so I just give my quick tip and rec (since Peter is awesome) and just leave it at that.

    OK, I'm entering rambling mode, so I'm out for now.  Good diary.

    "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

    by mconvente on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 11:45:35 AM PDT

    •  Thank you. I would venture to say that most (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mconvente

      people commenting in this diary, and participating int he poll are over 35 or even 40 years old.

      To me is very valuable that you share your honest perspective about your reading habits, given your age (BTW, I'm in my late 40s).

      This is kind of sensitive, and I don't want you to think I'm criticizing you or your generation, but I think that part of what's going on has to do with "conditioning."

      Here's my bottom line question: Do you think that unease, that sense of boredom when it comes to just slowing down to take the time to read a book, contributes to young people's ability to carefully reflect on the causes of social dysfunction?

      If so (and I would love to hear your answer), then who benefits from that?

      •  Have to do some experiments now, but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Pensador

        will answer this in full later (since a comprehensive and complete answer will take a while).

        Just commenting to make sure you don't think I'm blowing you off.

        Cheers.

        "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

        by mconvente on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 12:09:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Here's my response to your question (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ray Pensador

        I'm going to answer this in two parts - one about me, and one about Millennials in general.  It's pretty long, so sorry in advance.

        First, about me.  I wouldn't say I have a sense of boredom while reading.  In fact, the things I do read engage me quite well.  It's just that I can't sit and read for really longer than ~45 minutes without checking my iPhone, checking Facebook/Twitter/etc., unless those things are unavailable to me (like on an airplane).  I don't know why this is so.  I can get easily distracted with a lot of things, and I enjoy watching television programs, particularly sports programming.  I've never been diagnosed with anything like ADHD (and if I've gone almost 27 years without so, I doubt anyone would believe that anyway), because even despite getting distracted easily I'm generally smart enough to get away with it, even in grad school.

        For me, since I'm pretty damn smart and more importantly, self-aware, I say it doesn't affect me that much in regard to reflecting on social dysfunctions and complex problems.  Again, brag mode here, but I'm able to critically think better than a lot of people, plus my college education and experience at Rutgers University exposed me to a lot of real diversity - not just sitting with black/LGBT/Hispanic/etc. people at the dining hall kind of stuff, but taking 400-level courses like "The Intersection of Sport and Sexuality" with my Psychology minor.  Some really good stuff.

        The only thing that may impact me is that it can be hard for me to do background reading on issues that I am unfamiliar with.  I just sort of skim and not really pay attention unless I'm SUPER engaged in something.  As an aside, that's another feature about me - unless I'm INSANELY engaged in something, I toss it to the side quickly.  So something better grab my attention mad quickly, and then I'll be 1,000% in, or else I just get apathetic about it.

        About Millennials in general - bear in mind this viewpoint is coming from a privileged view point, having grown up in a middle-class area (interweaved with upper-middle-class families, like $1,000,000+ home values and such).  In any event, I think that young people as a whole are way more distracted.  I'm at an insane level of distraction, but even your average teenager has an iPhone, videogame systems, movies, music, the Internet, Reddit, etc. etc.  There's too much entertainment options and blind absorbance of media and content for kids these days.  This means less reading in general.

        Plus schools are getting screwed over because we're teaching to the test rather than critical thinking skills.  The super smart kids will always find a way to learn these skills, but we need everyone to learn them.

        Finally, I think the self-gratification element of Millennials muddles our ability to reflect on social dysfunction.  Some of us mean well, but when you deeply analyze the foundation of our supposed good deeds, you will find that we are doing it merely for our own personal satisfaction instead of actually trying to make a difference in the world.  Some may not even consciously realize this is what they are doing.

        Teju Cole wrote about this almost two years ago in one of my favorite articles of all time - The White-Savior Industrial Complex - when the whole Kony 2012 movement was going on.  People shared Kony 2012 all over Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, as a way to generate attention for Joseph Kony, the Ugandan war lord and his use of child soldiers.  The online movement lasted about 2 weeks and then it disappeared almost instantly, and 18 months later nobody gives a fuck about it or the child soliders.  To my Millennial generation, tweeting or reposting on Facebook got them retweets and "Likes", so it made them feel personally gratified.  But it did literally nothing.

        So that's the greatest injustice of our modern technological world and my generation - we're just too damn selfish.  I accept this, and I even live up to this often.  It is what it is.

        But I hope you can see that I am able to critically think, but I attribute that to my overall intelligence, my education, and yes even my progressive upbringing.  As I said above, the smart ones will always find a way through the noise.  The problem we face is the Bell Curve - the super smart ones are way outnumbered by your average folks, and we need them to be able to critically think.  Good luck with that.

        Wow, this was a lot of words.  I was as thorough as I could be.

        "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

        by mconvente on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 03:18:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you very much your candor. That was (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mconvente

          very insightful; to me one of the most important characteristics a human being being can have is having a developed sense of self-awareness.

          It is something I've worked on all my life, and will continue to do... I'd like to think that if one is able to accurately describe our ten worst characteristics we'll be wiser than most.

          "There is a reason..."  I don't know if you've seen this video, but anything I would write in response would be perfectly encapsulated in this 3-minute video:

          George Carlin - "The American Dream"
          http://www.youtube.com/...

          The "owners of this country don't want that."  The power elite doesn't want people to be able to develop critical thinking skills; they don't want people to be able to sit around the kitchen table an figure out exactly how the system is fucking them over; who's behind it; the conditions that got us here; the mechanism used to manipulate, subjugate, and oppress the population...

          Hence, the conditioning, the propaganda, the appealing to our lower instincts instead of cultivating our highest ideals.

          My personal opinion is that all these things, Facebook, Twitter, the seemingly infinite amount of electronic distractions, it all contributes to the conditioning of entire generations so they end up acting in favor of the utterly corrupt ruling class, unwittingly.

          I will be doing a lot of writing very focused on these issues. One of my main themes is going to be the importance of being able to set aside all distractions (video games, iPhones, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and make time to meditate, contemplate, think, reach out to others, compare notes, etc.

          That is precisely what the ruling class doesn't want you to do; and that has been so in every historical era, whether 50, 75, 500, or 1,000 years ago.

          Now, and finally, this is not about some Junta sitting around colluding to help bring about these conditions.. The come about as a result of share interests, and then it becomes a cultural phenomenon, the spreading of a certain ethos of greed, selfishness, ignorance, etc.

          •  "You have to be asleep to believe it" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ray Pensador, 3rock

            I've seen that Carlin clip around 20 times, and it pisses me off more every time I watch it.  Because Carlin is 100% right.

            Though, it's interesting what the YouTube comment says right below it.  I'll blockquote:

            It was amazing how Carlin could just lecture his audience about politics and how screwed things really are in America, and they would just sit and listen and hang on every word, as long as he threw in a joke once in a while to break up the seriousness of it all. I think he was a political and religious speaker of truth first and a comedian second......he wanted his voice to be heard and most people will only listen if they are entertained, unfortunately. I miss George.
            I think that's right on point, but the interesting thing, at least in the context of your diary here, is that the audience needed a bit of humor and entertainment to stay with Carlin and really get the message.  As an average, we need to keep people's attention for them to get the message.  That requires more than just boring facts and lectures.  Again, every individual is different, but on the whole you need that hook to stay engaged.  So keep that in mind when thinking about the role the mainstream media plays.  US media is overboard with the entertainment side, but you still need some to grab people's attention.

            You make a fantastic point about needing time for mental clarity.  We are sooooooo damn busy in modern times that we have no time for reflection on complex issues, no time to reflect on our we're all getting fucked over by corporations (and sometimes the government), even if we have the critical thinking skills to do so.  I will be looking forward to those diaries of yours.

            To finish with another topic, I think the top traits anyone can have is to be self-aware, fair, thoughtful, and caring.  It's no secret that I have disagreed with a lot of your articles in the past, but I tipped and rec'd this one because I try to be fair.

            "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

            by mconvente on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 04:22:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Quantcast says mainly over 50 or 55 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mconvente

      Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

      by mahakali overdrive on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 12:17:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  post thought (0+ / 0-)

      I posted earlier about electric shocks I felt after viewing TV news after not watching for 14 years. I like my tin foil hat, that said, the electric shocks are people like myself who are sensitive and notice/feel when ones body tenses, one minds abruptly changes, veers and it's physical effect.
      I've learned that it takes all kinds and I am so appreciative of people that can filter TV as I then can grasp what's goin on.
       My wonderment is THE BALANCE or the twitter, though I know not of or whatever. I.e. if the program is awful, turn off and on to the internet.
       My wonderment is do people know their balance? Alternatives?

    March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

    by 3rock on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 01:35:23 PM PDT

    •  and (0+ / 0-)

        the people who want to dump, get a hook in because you are not charged. I'm like "well, I've never seen or heard that before... or how to handle it "My you are inner ugly." Oh yes that delete file is full, there's room for you, like not. It's a delete not a file (excuse me I'm venting) assholes :)

      March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

      by 3rock on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 01:44:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  57 channels and nothing on (0+ / 0-)

    Interesting diary, and thanks for the pictures, Brother Ray.  Was that the East Bay shoreline?

    “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    by 6412093 on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 10:38:12 PM PDT

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