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These have been the words attached to my pinned Tweet on my Twitter feed now for months.

Which is this Tweet, and what people who go look at my timeline on Twitter see first.

That image is courtesy the OccupyDemocrats.com group.

I was inspired to write and post that Tweet by a television show called The Newsroom.

For the rest of the story, please follow me below the fleur-de-kos...

This is HBO's official YouTube channel spot on Season 1 of The Newsroom.

It's NOT the eight minute opening scene to season one which I would prefer to embed, but HBO has forbidden YouTube to allow that bit (which you can see right here on Youtube) to be embedded into other sites anymore. It's their property. But it's critical to my diary. So please, don't watch this one, go watch the actual first eight minutes of the show's premier episode. I'm convinced (two years and counting now) that it is the best eight minutes of television. EVER..

Why?

Here is the transcript of that eight minutes.

Laughter from the crowd as we enter the scene already in progress…

The scene begins with overtalk between the two panelists onstage with Will McAvoy and the panel Moderator. Lewis (a conservative panelist) and Sharon (a liberal panelist). They talk back and forth and over each other as Will is sitting silently, looking between them and the crowd.

At this point both of them are sort of drowned out by each other… and the camera fades away from them and onto the face of Will McAvoy as he is thinking and looking out into the audience.

The Moderator then asks a question and opens up with a question from the audience. The very next question from the audience is from Jenny, a college student.

Jenny asks, “Can you say why America is the greatest country in the world?”

Sharon answers, “Diversity and Opportunity.”

Lewis answers, “Freedom and freedom, so let’s keep it that way.”

Will answers, “The New York Jets.”

The Moderator says, pointing at Will, “Uh, I’m gonna hold you to an answer on that. What makes America the greatest country in the world?”

Will replies, “Well, Lewis and Sharon said it. Diversity and opportunity & freedom and freedom.” At this point Will looks into the audience and sees a woman hold up a handwritten note “It’s not” and then another “But it can be”

Moderator, “I'm not letting you go back to the airport without answering the question."

Will looks back at the woman in the audience with the note, but now, she is someone else, dressed in the same clothes. As if he imagined the other woman entirely. Then he says, “Well, our Constitution is a masterpiece. James Madison was a genius. The Declaration of Independence is, for me, the single greatest piece of American writing,” and he pauses momentarily as the Moderator gives him a thoughtful gaze and continues, “you don't look satisfied.”

Moderator, “One’s a set of Laws, the other’s a Declaration of War. I want a human moment from you.”

Will glances back at the audience, and the woman with the notes is back, holding the “It’s not” page up again.

Moderator, “What about the people? Why is America the…” at this point Will interrupts him…

Will, “It’s not the greatest country in the world, professor, that’s my answer.”

The camera pans to the audience, who appear rather shocked to hear this.

Moderator, “You’re saying…”

Will, “Yes”

Moderator, “Let’s talk about…”

Will interrupts him here and begins what is, for me, the greatest television soliloquy ever…
Will says, "Fine. Sharon, the NEA is a loser. Yeah, it accounts for a penny out of our paycheck, but he gets to hit you with it any time he wants. It doesn't cost money, it costs votes; it costs airtime, column inches. You know why people don't like liberals? Because they lose. If liberals are so fucking smart, how come they lose so goddamn always?"

Sharon starts to speak, "Hey!..." but Will just keeps on going.

Will continues, and he directs his attention to Lewis as he says, "And with a straight face, you're gonna tell students that America's so star-spangled awesome, that we're the only ones in the world who have freedom? Canada has freedom, Japan has freedom, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia, Belgium has freedom. [laughs] So 207 sovereign states in the world, like a hundred and eighty of ‘em have freedom."

Moderator makes an attempt to interject here, "Alright..."

But again, Will ignores him and continues, "And yeah, you, sorority girl. Just in case you accidentally wander into a voting booth one day, there's some things you should know, and one of them is, there's absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we're the greatest country in the world. We're 7th in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, 3rd in median household income, number 4 in labor force, and number 4 in exports. We lead the world in only 3 categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending, where we spend more than the next 26 countries combined. 25 of whom are allies. Now, none of this is the fault of a 20 year old college student. But you, nonetheless, are without a doubt a member of the worst, period, generation, period, ever, period. So when you ask, "what makes us the greatest country in the world?" I dunno know what the fuck you're talking about. Yosemite?"

[Pregnant pause - and the most important part of this monologue commences...]

"Sure used to be. We stood up for what was right. We fought for moral reasons. We passed laws, struck down laws for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors. We put our money where our mouths were. And we never beat our chests.

We built great big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases, and we cultivated the world's greatest artists and the world's greatest economy. We reached for the stars, acted like men. We aspired to intelligence, we didn't belittle it, it didn't make us feel inferior. We didn't identify ourselves by who we voted for the last election. And we didn't... we didn't scare so easy.

We were able to be all these things, and to do all these things, because we were informed. By great men, men who were revered.

First step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. America is not the greatest country in the world anymore."

He pauses briefly and says to the Moderator, "Enough?"

That is what inspired me to post that Tweet.

It's why the issue of the FCC reclassifying Internet Services as a Public Utility is to me a priority issue.

Why I care about so very many issues of the day which our Nation seems to have just written off as undoable, from raising the Minimum Wage to Comprehensive Immigration Reform to Climate Change.

There are so many things which require our attention and time and efforts. But it's damned hard getting anyone in Congress, much less anyone on the streets, to pay attention to most of them.

You know why?

We were able to be all these things, and to do all these things, because we were informed. By great men, men who were revered.
Right there, he's referring to men like

Edward R. Murrow
Harry Reasoner
Walter Cronkite
Howard K. Smith

The men of the television Newsrooms of the mid-20th century. I'm old enough, I remember them. Mostly Walter Cronkite.

Before the Buffoons of the Airwaves began filling our dinner hour with lies and bullshit, like we regularly see from "news" anchors like Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity and the entire female, blonde, white and apparently ignorant Fox Media cavalcade of Hosts.

We had about four decades of the News broadcasts of America to INFORM us on the events of the day. Those men I listed? They changed America.

Edward R. Murrow

“This . . . is London.” With those trademark words, crackling over the airwaves from a city in the midst of blitzkrieg, Edward R. Murrow began a journalistic career that has had no equal. From the opening days of World War II through his death in 1965, Murrow had an unparalleled influence on broadcast journalism. His voice was universally recognized, and a generation of radio and television newsmen emulated his style. Murrow’s pioneering television documentaries have more than once been credited with changing history, and to this day his name is synonymous with courage and perseverance in the search for truth..

Murrow risked his career and perhaps more, to bang his metaphorical fist on the desk and tell America that Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin was a danger to us and our Republic.
Broadcast on March 9, 1954, the program, composed almost entirely of McCarthy’s own words and pictures, was a damning portrait of a fanatic. McCarthy demanded a chance to respond, but his rebuttal, in which he referred to Murrow as “the leader of the jackal pack,” only sealed his fate. The combination of the program’s timing and its persuasive power broke the Senator’s hold over the nation.
I only know Edward Murrow from history and reading. While I recall Harry Reasoner and Howard K Smith from my youth, the one of these four whom I remember most clearly is Walter Cronkite.
The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is named for the former anchor and managing editor of the “CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite,” who was often referred to as the most trusted man in America.

A pioneer broadcast journalist who began his distinguished career as a wire service reporter, Cronkite was a longtime champion of journalism values. The Cronkite School proudly carries on that tradition.

Biography.com says of Walter Cronkite:
Walter Cronkite was a lifelong news man who became the voice of the truth for America as a nighttime anchorman.

Walter Cronkite helped launch the CBS Evening News in 1962 and served as its news anchor until his retirement in 1981. The hallmarks of his style were honesty, impartiality and level-headedness, and “And that's the way it is” was his jaunty nightly sign-off. Identified in public opinion polls as the man Americans most trusted, he provided a voice of reason during the Vietnam and Watergate eras.

When Keith Olbermann became the Voice of liberalism on MSNBC's Cable 'news' during the George W Bush Administration, many saw him as a modern-day Cronkite. Myself included.

But we were wrong. Mr. Olbermann, whom I admire greatly for his courage to speak actual truth to power, was then and is again today, a GREAT sports news guy. It's his passion and it's what he is best at. All of us on the Left who raised him up as the image of what News should look like? We did so because we had been bereft of such an impassioned Voice from the position of "what are the facts" and "what should Americans know about" since the retirement of Walter Cronkite in 1981.

Which I believe did NOT coincide with the rise of the Fundamental religious Right in America by accident. I believe that the inauguration of Ronald Reagan wrought a lot more damage than merely to infuse the Federal Government with four decades of Voodoo Economics in it's bureaucratic employees and the Republicans in office in the US Congress.

It heralded the end of The People having a source of Information which could be trusted, to illuminate the machinations of such actors as Joseph McCarthy when they arise... and make no mistake, we have our very own modern versions of Senator McCarthy at work in America today.

These names are likely familiar to many of you:

US Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN)
US Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX)
US Rep Scott DesJarlais (R-TN)
US Senator Ted Cruz (R-FL)
US Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)
US Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)
US Rep. Steve King (R-IA)
US Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
US Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Speaker of the US House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)

These are the ones I can post up just off the top of my head.

While many people would not include John McCain and Lindsey Graham in that crowd, I believe they belong to the list because of their continued and endless calls for War and More War. For support of the Security State which their votes (as both US Reps and then as US Senators) enabled over the past 20-some years.

For their egregious and un-American collusion with the official leadership of the Republican Party as of January 20th, 2009 to make their "number one goal" to ensure that President Barack Obama was a one-term president.

Not to ensure that the nation, gripped in the worst economic collapse since October 29, 1929 (Black Tuesday), would recover and begin to create jobs for the millions who suffered as a result of the unregulated secondary stock market derivatives schemes which have as yet NOT been prevented by any Legislation from Congress.

Yes, it could happen again. Because the Republicans, the bug-fuck-nuts Republicans have spent the past six years doing what?

Obstructing. Shutting down the Federal Gov't for 16 days in 2013. Threatening to refuse to Raise the Debt limit (all the while telling The People via the shitty excuse for a Free Press which is all we have left, that such a vote would increase the National Debt, knowing that it was a big, fat LIE), which resulted in the US Credit Rating taking a hit for the very first time.

Refusing to renew Federally paid for Unemployment Extension this past winter - while there were STILL over two people for each and every job created. Leaving over 6 million US families without a source of money to pay rent, mortgages, buy food or other necessities of life. Oh, yeah, and they ALSO cut $40 billion from the SNAP program just before that.

Because they haz a sad over the black guy in the Oval Office.

Because our modern Free Press is exemplified by one Chuck Todd, who was recently given the nod to replace the lackluster and sycophantic David Gregory as the Host of NBC's "Meet the Press", the longest running program on television, beginning in 1947. Here is what Mr. Todd had to say in recent months regarding the Free Press and The People and Truth...

dateline September 18, 2013

MSNBC host Chuck Todd said Wednesday that when it comes to misinformation about the new federal health care law, don't expect members of the media to correct the record.

During a segment on "Morning Joe," former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) speculated that most opponents of the Affordable Care Act have been fed erroneous information about the law. Todd said that Republicans "have successfully messaged against it" but he disagrees with those who argue that the media should educate the public on the law. According to Todd, that's President Barack Obama's job.

"But more importantly, it would be stuff that Republicans have successfully messaged against it," Todd told Rendell. "They don't repeat the other stuff because they haven't even heard the Democratic message. What I always love is people say, 'Well, it's you folks' fault in the media.' No, it's the President of the United States' fault for not selling it."

Chuck Todd has been in recent years: NBC News Chief White House correspondent and political director (as of March 2007), as well as the host of The Daily Rundown on MSNBC. He also serves as NBC News' on-air political analyst for NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, Today, Meet the Press, and MSNBC. He will give up his White House Chief Correspondent job when he takes over as Host of "Meet the Press" on Sept. 7, 2014.
THIS is the guy who had no problem publicly saying that when it comes to finding out the facts about things that come out of the mouths of politicians, that we should not look to the Press to confirm or decry such utterances. We should look to the politicians themselves for our information.

Can you imagine the Walter Cronkite who brought us the Watergate Hearings live on CBS in the spring and early summer of 1972 saying such a thing?

THIS Walter Cronkite:

Cronkite never stinted on coverage of the Watergate Scandal and subsequent hearings. In 1972, following on the heels of the Washington Post's "Watergate" revelations the CBS Evening News presented a 22 minute, two-part overview of "Watergate" generally credited with keeping the issue alive and making it intelligible to most Americans.
America is suffering from a lot in 2014.

White privilege has never been stronger, and it's as though the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s never happened, with nearly two black men (usually unarmed) shot and killed each week by white police officers all across the nation.

The US Congress might as well have been on perpetual vacation since 2009, having passed practically nothing other than the PPACA in 2010 and renaming a boatload of US Post Offices in the intervening years.

The economy is better, but mostly only for those who were not hurt by the Crash of 2008. Real wages are stagnant or falling and there ARE STILL at least two people for every job created.

Global climate issues are increasing in seriousness, disasters directly related to Climate Change and Co2 in the atmosphere and oceans are increasing in number and severity.

Religious fundamentalism is on the rise around the globe, increasing civil unrest in nations from the US to the Middle East and beyond.

When the world is such a terribly difficult place for humans to merely survive anymore, it's an utterly unforgivable refusal of the Free Press to do what our parents and their parents were able to rely on them for, ever since the era of Television News was created: to bring The People the News of the day, in detail where possible, and outline the risks to The People should nothing be done about it.

It's not now, nor was it ever their Job to determine what exactly should be done about any issue in particular. But those "great men" that Will McAvoy speaks of? Some of them did that too, when the need arose.

Murrow warned the nation of the true cost of McCarthyism on his program See it Now:

Murrow said of McCarthy:

His primary achievement has been in confusing the public mind, as between the internal and the external threats of Communism. We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men ...

We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world, but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. The actions of the junior Senator from Wisconsin have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad, and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn't create this situation of fear; he merely exploited it—and rather successfully.[cite]

Walter Cronkite was a supporter of the Vietnam War for quite some time, but he went back again to Vietnam on February 16, 1968 during the Tet Offensive.
Catherine Tatge documentarian and director of AMERICAN MASTERS “Walter Cronkite: Witness to History" says about Cronkite and the War in Vietnam:
He went to Vietnam in 1965 and, like many reporters, was listening to what the military was telling the press and was reporting from that standpoint. And he was also getting reports from Morley Safer, Mike Wallace, Jack Lawrence, and other journalists who were working for CBS. Cronkite, who was very smart and knew a good story, started having some serious questions. During the Tet Offensive, he went back to Vietnam, and that was when he aired his Vietnam reports. He said he felt this was a stalemate situation and that we might want to rethink how we were dealing with Vietnam. It was a big shock to President Johnson, who would eventually say, “If I’ve lost Walter Cronkite, I’ve lost America.”

One thing that surprised me is that his report after Vietnam was actually not his idea. In fact, when he came back he was quite troubled, and Frank Stanton said, “You know, Cronkite, I think you should really tell the audience what it is that you saw in Vietnam.” Cronkite had always been rigorous about maintaining his objectivity and not crossing that line, but he was encouraged to actually express himself. It really was a courageous act.

The glaring difference between the American television News viewing public of 1964 and 2014 and the consequences of that difference?

Let me repeat Will McAvoy.

First step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. America is not the greatest country in the world anymore."
"Sure used to be. We stood up for what was right. We fought for moral reasons. We passed laws, struck down laws for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors. We put our money where our mouths were. And we never beat our chests.

We built great big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases, and we cultivated the world's greatest artists and the world's greatest economy. We reached for the stars, acted like men. We aspired to intelligence, we didn't belittle it, it didn't make us feel inferior. We didn't identify ourselves by who we voted for the last election. And we didn't... we didn't scare so easy.

We were able to be all these things, and to do all these things, because we were informed. By great men, men who were revered.
Those ideas in that Tweet I started this out with?

Restore the Middle Class
Raise the Minimum Wage
Save Social Security
Tackle Climate Change
Repair Roads and Bridges
Reduce the Deficit
Unburden our Students
Return to Tax Fairness
They are worthy goals. They are things which ARE possible. But in order for them to happen?

The People need to wake the fuck up. They need to be Informed. They need to understand the risks to the nation of inaction. They need to quit being LIED TO by the very people whose JOB it is to inform them.

We need a FREE PRESS in America who do more than put on expensive suits and ties and pick up a microphone.

We need a few good Men and Women who still remember that their primary Raison d'être is not to make a profit for some Corporate behemoth, but to Inform the Electorate - so that our Government of, by and for The People shall not perish from this Earth.

Because without them, look how far we've fallen in a few, short decades.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Newsroom Jar (25+ / 0-)

    Because the News which a Free Press brings to The People is all the difference between a sovereign Republic and a Police State.

    Which one does America of 2014 look more like to you?

    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

    by Angie in WA State on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 06:15:22 PM PDT

    •  One nit - John Boehner is the Speaker of the House (3+ / 0-)

      and he is from Ohio, but he isn't a Senator from Ohio.

      "let's talk about that" uid 92953

      by VClib on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 06:45:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I knew there would be some edits coming (5+ / 0-)

        it's a long diary.

        Thnx. I'll correct it now.

        "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

        by Angie in WA State on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 06:47:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Journalism as we knew it isn't coming back (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          thanatokephaloides, Alhambra

          Both in print and broadcast high quality reporting is expensive and the Internet has taken away the business model for big city newspapers and the Internet and cable have changed the economics of broadcast television.

          I wrote a diary about it. You can read it here:

          http://www.dailykos.com/...

          "let's talk about that" uid 92953

          by VClib on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 06:57:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ah, but Congress and/or the FCC could require of (7+ / 0-)

            broadcast networks that they provide THE PEOPLE with an hour of advertising-free NEWS television each day in return for their being allowed to make use of the The People's airwaves to earn their profits.

            Up until the end of the Cronkite era, News Divisions WERE NOT required or expected to make profits or pay their way.

            "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

            by Angie in WA State on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 07:04:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Angie why should the news be advertising free? (0+ / 0-)

              If you want advertising free news watch PBS. The news on ABC, NBC, or CBS would be the same, even if it was advertising free. I don't know what they would do to the content, except probably cut the news budget.

               

              "let's talk about that" uid 92953

              by VClib on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 07:56:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm saying that the corporations which own the (4+ / 0-)

                broadcasting networks SHOULD be required to make their profits on things other than the news.

                They should bear the burden of the News out of the profits they make on the other 24 hours of programming.

                The fees they pay for their licensing is pitiful compared to the profits they earn on a yearly basis via the airwaves which belong to The People.

                Otherwise why allow them to use the airwaves for a pittance?

                "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

                by Angie in WA State on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 08:02:01 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Angie - that's a separte issue (0+ / 0-)

                  Congress can change the licensing fees so that when a station's license is up for renewal the Treasury would receive more fees than they do currently. I think advertising free news would hurt TV news rather than help it. As a department that was all cost and no revenue the staff would be cut to the bone.

                  "let's talk about that" uid 92953

                  by VClib on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 08:29:08 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Again, I'm talking about a Regulatory change (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Just Bob, hbk, Greenfinches

                    at the FCC level.

                    What makes you object to a very profitable corporation re-paying The People in kind for the use of their airwaves?

                    I think it a quite mete option.

                    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

                    by Angie in WA State on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 08:51:23 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Angie - having spent seven years in the MSM (0+ / 0-)

                      where we owned the maximum number of TV stations in major markets, allowed at the time, I know you would see the news become a shadow of itself if it didn't have its own revenue base, and there is no practical way to prevent it.

                      "let's talk about that" uid 92953

                      by VClib on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 04:16:47 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  REGULATION (0+ / 0-)

                        is the way to do it.

                        Make it part of the Licensing requirements for annual renewal of broadcasting licenses.

                        Regulate an hour of news each day and that it be advertising-free during that hour AND that the News division be free from revenue requirements AND that the corporate entity which owns the broadcasting license fund the News division from either general funds or allocates a special fund specifically for the News division.

                        You don't just tell them, "give us the News". Of course, they would find a way to strangle it of the ability to perform the regulated task, unless you ALSO regulate that they provide the necessary funds to do so.

                        "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

                        by Angie in WA State on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 12:44:11 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

          •  Ironically..... (5+ / 0-)

            ..... it's the Internet itself where this kind of informative reporting has moved. Done, in many cases, by unpaid reporters who are doing so out of love and hunger for the very things Angie's talking about.

            I wish I had a dollar bill for every time Daily Kos has utterly scooped most of the major commercial news media serving my locality. Just one example: ANY Daily Kos Diary with the name "Bárðarbunga" in the title! Our beloved user Rei even scooped BBC World News -- over and over again -- with on-site reporting on what is rapidly becoming the foremost geologic event this summer in the North Atlantic Ocean!

            So the "old-fashioned" flavor of telejournalism isn't dead. You just have to know where to find it.

            And Angie (and I!) would like everyone to know where to do so -- in no small degree, so it keeps on coming!!

            "I have to remember that while Jesus dined with publicans, there is no record of his consorting with Republicans." -- entlord

            by thanatokephaloides on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 07:12:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We have moved to a European news model (3+ / 0-)

              supplemented by the Internet. In Europe most media has a bias and the same thing is happening here. Plus the Internet fills in a lot, but it too views the world through the individual prism of the writer or blog site. The days when you really couldn't tell the political leaning of the top news people, based on how they reported a story, is long gone.

              "let's talk about that" uid 92953

              by VClib on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 07:59:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  But that issue of a divided by ideology nation (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                hbk, Greenfinches

                which you note?

                It has been developed and created and is being maintained because of the changes in the 30-40 years in the way the FCC regulates (or fails to do so) when it comes to the broadcast networks who gain their licenses to use the public airwaves, for nothing more than a pittance.

                Have any idea how small is the amount paid to get a license to broadcast? Here's an FYI for ya: It's determined and based on the Communications Act of 1934. Yeah, not a typo.

                Here's the relevant portion for 2014:

                INTRODUCTION AND EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
                1.This Report and Order concludes the rulemaking proceeding initiated to collect $339,844,000 in regulatory fees for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014, pursuant to Section 9 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the Act or Communications Act).

                1These regulatory fees are due in September 2014. This Report and Order also adopts several proposals from our June 13, 2014 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FY 2014 NPRM).
                2 Specifically the proposals adopted are: (1) ending the exemption of AM expanded band licenses from regulatory fees; (2) revising the apportionment between International Bureau licensees to reduce the proportion paid by the submarine cable/terrestrial and satellite bearer circuits by approximately five percent; (3) increasing the regulatory fees paid by earth station licensees by approximately 7.5 percent to more accurately reflect the regulation and oversight of this industry; (4) increasing our annual de minimis threshold from under $10 to $500; (5) eliminating several regulatory fee categories (218-219 MHz, broadcast auxiliaries, and satellite television construction permits) from regulatory fee requirements; and adopting a regulatory fee for each toll free number managed by a Responsible Organization. The increase in the annual de minimis threshold, the elimination of three regulatory fee categories, and the new toll free category will be effective in FY 2015, following the required notification of Congress. The other provisions adopted in this Report and Order will be in effect for FY 2014 upon publication of a summary of this Report and Order in the Federal Register and are reflected in the fee schedule attached as Appendix C.We are also seeking further comment on methods to ensure or encourage compliance with our new toll free regulatory fee requirement as well as a proposal to adopt a new direct broadcast satellite (DBS) regulatory fee category in the attached Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

                So for 2014 they are looking to collect from all broadcasting licensees, collectively in the amount of $339,844,000 with a MINIMUM annual payment currently set at under $10 to $500.

                Is it any wonder I've been asking people for years if perhaps we shouldn't require MORE from the broadcasters to whom we offer these incredible pricing opportunities to earn in return... who the hell can tell?

                ABC television is owned by Walt Disney. Here is the latest year (2011) I can find for their corporate statement to stockholders. It says that ongoing income from Disney (as a group, which is a LOT of businesses from various industries) was $40,893 (that's 40 thousand MILLIONS or 40 billions if my math is correct.)

                For which the entire industry of both TV and Radio licensing pays a sum total of $339 millions.

                I think they can afford to give us an hour of Advertising free NEWS each day.

                Or maybe we could bring the licensing fees in line with 21st century pricing.  

                "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

                by Angie in WA State on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 10:57:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I think that's the difference between US... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Angie in WA State

                ... and European reporting.

                In the European news model, each source has a bias, and the source is candid and open in revealing that bias. Thus the reader/ viewer is under no illusion as to the neutrality/ objectivity of the news source. The reader/ viewer knows that this magazine is a left-leaning one, or this TV station is a right-leaning one, and is free to take the reporting with a grain of salt.

                In the US news model, every news source is supposed to be "fair and balanced" ^_^ and is unbiased and totally, completely, neutral.

                "No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks” --Mary Shelley

                by Alhambra on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 07:39:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  What's the difference? (8+ / 0-)

    We never before had a national party that was intent on Obstruction. The Republican Party offers nothing but "Nope!"

    Obstruction is the principal plank in the platform and the are proud of it.  I really don't understand why anyone votes for Nope.

    If Money is Speech, Speech isn't Free! I wonder what it is about that that Antonin Scalia cannot understand?

    by NM Ray on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 06:33:13 PM PDT

  •  we need a 21st century new deal (7+ / 0-)

    we need a spend a years worth of GDP(about 15 trillion) on repairing America
    1 Protect our Open spaces; create 200 new national monuments, Revive the CCC, and add a Department of Conservation, with a budget of 120 billion annually. this means 20 billion per agency, or the Park Service gets as much as the EPA
    2 repair our infrastructure. Its estimated that the costs of bring our infrastructure up to par is 3-4 trillion. this will create tens of millions if new jobs, which will shore up our Medicare and Social  Security systems wuth the taxes they pay.
    3 Peg SS cap at 90% of wages and tie it to inflation. This would put it at about 186K currently.
    4 invest in research and development. towards things like finding cures for Parkinsons and AIDS and going back to the moon.

  •  necessities (7+ / 0-)
    Restore the Middle Class
    Raise the Minimum Wage
    Save Social Security
    Tackle Climate Change
    Repair Roads and Bridges
    Reduce the Deficit
    Unburden our Students
    Return to Tax Fairness
    all in very deed, to which I would add:
    Restore the American Industrial Base
    Restore Fair Trade, not Laissez-Faire "Free" Trade
    Regarding "Unburden Our Students", I respectfully submit that this goal has two equally important components:

    Affordable Post-Secondary Education and Training; and
    Middle Class Employment for High-School Graduates.

    These two are related, of course. But the gist of all of that is to make it possible for those Americans who belong in college to be able to afford to be there, while eliminating the overhead and burden to all parties of making college a necessity for any hope of a reasonably well-paid livelihood. In addition, having our high school grads fully qualified for reasonably well-paid employment would create an alternative to the ungodly debt peonage our college undergrads face now.

    An excellent Diary, Angie!  Tipped and recced!

    "I have to remember that while Jesus dined with publicans, there is no record of his consorting with Republicans." -- entlord

    by thanatokephaloides on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 06:56:02 PM PDT

    •  I especially like "Restore Fair Trade" (7+ / 0-)

      as I am a firm believer in the fact that there is NO FREE TRADE in this world.

      The past two and a half decades of Trade Treaties/Agreements which the US has signed onto? They require of the US and her workers many concessions and of nations without our standards of environmental and worker safety? Not so much of anything.

      If our Trade goals included requiring the RAISING of standards in other nations in addition to our lowering our barriers to their goods and services? We would all be a lot better off.

      It gains nations desiring those jobs no good if they get the jobs and none of the protections that the workers in those jobs need to ensure a safe and healthy life in return for their labor.

      "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

      by Angie in WA State on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 07:01:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why not free higher education? (2+ / 0-)

      With the benefits that education accrues to society, why not? Public education through high school is (supposedly) free, why do we stop there?

      "No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up." --Lily Tomlin

      by paulex on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 08:30:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The California University system WAS free (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hbk, paulex, thanatokephaloides

        to California residents.

        Up until Ronald Reagan became the Governor of California, that is.

        Another idea whose time has also come round again.

        "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

        by Angie in WA State on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 08:54:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Indeed, paulex! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        paulex, Angie in WA State
        With the benefits that education accrues to society, why not? Public education through high school is (supposedly) free, why do we stop there?
        Damn good question!

        Especially when you consider that we ARE going to have to restore a situation where folks can get a middle-class, family-supporting position on education they can get without having to pay for it themselves. It's what our school tax payers are paying for, but they're not getting now, because employers insist on far more formal education than most jobs will ever honestly demand. There's no reason we can't have our secondary schools turn out graduates which are fully qualified for adult life in every regard. With employability requiring more technical knowledge than it used to, this may mean high school lasting to the Associate's degree level (14th year); but this is doable, and is being done in many places. So we should, indeed, be doing it -- everywhere, nationwide.

        "I have to remember that while Jesus dined with publicans, there is no record of his consorting with Republicans." -- entlord

        by thanatokephaloides on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 02:01:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Bill of Rights PRevents a Free Press. (3+ / 0-)

    The Free Press itself is a prehistoric concept that could never work the way the framers envisioned except occasionally due to accidents of circumstances. In the main, the concept that corporations, owned and sponsored by other corporations, Constitutionally free to lie about the most important matters and with the people having no fundamental right to know nor to check or balance those corporations, is the most sociopathic aspect of the entire American system.

    If this worked we could address climate and racism, and gun violence. But with our public square the Constitutionally protected organ of global corporatism, we haven't either the place nor the knowledge to conduct debates on a scale larger than a few million scattered like minded souls with the ability to govern one or possibly two states.

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

    by Gooserock on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 06:58:37 PM PDT

    •  I just read your comment in VClib's diary (3+ / 0-)

      The Golden Age of Journalism

      It was quite interesting.

      Broadcast was in its infancy as the Depression hit, so it grew up in the New Deal world of regulation. The airwaves only had room for a few signals in any location so channels were licensed. There was a public service requirement for the licenses, and the terms were only a few years long.

      Broadcasters felt that entertainment was much more profitable than news so they offered journalism as their public service duty. Thom Hartmann was broadcasting in the 70's and has spoken about this often on his show.

      We know that print quickly lost its ability to compete for breaking stories to broadcast; it's my feeling that our print media turned to in-depth reporting and investigative reporting because broadcast couldn't deliver that amount of reporting in the same time people could read it. In any case during that era that was common wisdom, broadcast for timeliness and print for depth.

      Now that whole era the top of the entire economy was severely bounded by anti trust regulation. Broadcast had ownership limits, and you'd know better than I but I think there were local monopoly preventions for all media. In any case there was a large amount of non-concentrated local ownership and local programming because of both media and business regulations.

      Of course, that's just part of it, but I urge people to pop over and read the whole thing - it's worth the time spent to do so.

      "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

      by Angie in WA State on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 07:09:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  actually, we're guaranteed a Free Press. (4+ / 0-)

      Why we don't have one is documented perfectly by none other than yourself, Gooserock:

      In the main, the concept that corporations, owned and sponsored by other corporations, Constitutionally free to lie about the most important matters and with the people having no fundamental right to know nor to check or balance those corporations, is the most sociopathic aspect of the entire American system.
      The difference between our Constitutionally guaranteed press freedom and what we have today is in your one word: SOCIOPATHIC.

      In this case, what corporations have done to our Enlightenment Age guarantee of information freedom is literally a mental disease of society itself. But that's not the Bill of Rights' fault; the First Amendment's intent was exactly opposite.

      It's the distortion caused by asshats who are so effing rich that they can abuse their money power to everyone else's detriment. And the Founders couldn't have foreseen how bad that was possible to get. (Mr. Jefferson might well have died a suicide, while still a British Subject, if he had foreseen it. So we're all better off....)

      "I have to remember that while Jesus dined with publicans, there is no record of his consorting with Republicans." -- entlord

      by thanatokephaloides on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 07:26:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Different Time (4+ / 0-)

    Let's look at the Hoover Dam.

    At the time it was something that technically hadn't even been done on that scale, was in the middle of no where, and was done in the kind of heat that kills people (before Air conditioning).

    Even in the face of technical challenges, labor turnover and a mountain of other problems they finished the project in 5 years (2 years early) for a cost of $49 million ($833 million in today's dollars).

    If we tried to do a project on the scale of the Hoover Dam today it would costs billions and billions of dollars, and would take probably a decade even with the infinitely better technology we have at our disposal (compared to what was available in 1931. There would be tons of litigation and environmental concerns most likely, and it would cripple it before it even began.

    The Empire state building (tallest building in the world at the time) was constructed in 15 months for $41 million ($635 million today).

    One World Trade center just recently constructed took well over a decade to come together and cost roughly $4 billion according to wikipedia.

    There was a time this country could do big technologically ground breaking projects quickly and for a reasonable price.

    Now everything costs an insane amount of money and takes forever......and that is with superior technology.

    There was a "can-do" attitude that seemed to exist back then that largely is missing today where we are often immobilized by our collective paralysis by analysis.  

    •  Let's not get too sanguine here. (3+ / 0-)

      The construction of the Hoover Dam also included union-breaking and the deaths of 112 workers.

      Americans wouldn't accept that fatality rate for any large-scale construction project nowadays, and that's not because we lack a "'can-do' attitude"—it's because progressives and unions fought for laws and regulations that would make building companies value workers' lives more than they valued the money they'd save by cutting corners.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 08:25:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I remember Edward R. Murrow (3+ / 0-)

    We didn't have a TV until I was 13 (my parents being sort of Luddites) but we did listen to the radio, and when Murrow's newscast came on, we kids were expected to be quiet and listen. Questions might be asked afterwards, either by us of our parents, or the other way around. They wanted to be sure we understood what was going on in the world. We might listen to other news broadcasts, but that was the only one that was taken seriously.

    Being "pro-life" means believing that every child born has a right to food, education, and access to health care.

    by Jilly W on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 07:42:22 PM PDT

  •  newsroom (2+ / 0-)

    I saw that episode of newsroom, but had the opposite reaction.  We used to be great?  Everyone loves to lionize the "Greatest Generation", but this is the group that got us into the Depression and dragged the rest of the world down with us, then ignored the rest of the world until it was too late and got us into WW2.  They did a great job winning the war, but then what?  What's this "we didn't scare so easy?"  this is the generation that brought us the Red Scare and McCarthyism, which led us directly into one if their greatest failures, the Vietnam War.  They also brought us Jim Crow laws and the KKK.  Thanks Greatest Generation!

    Yes, we're not on the top of the leader board for global statistics, but that's something that the previous generations can actually be proud of.  America's not getting worse, the rest of the world is getting better.  After WW2 we helped rebuild Europe and Asia and put in place global institutions that have for the most part kept the peace and built the kims of global prosperity that enables the rest of the world to catch up to our standard of living.  That's something to be proud of.

    Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

    by Sky Net on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 08:17:38 PM PDT

    •  It's tv rhetoric, what can I say? It appeals to (0+ / 0-)

      the better nature in me, and my hope is that it will speak to others here, too.

      Do you believe that because in the past our country has failed great swathes of the population, the africans brought here in chains as slaves, the waves of immigrants treated with disdain and pushed down for generations (from Norway, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, The Eastern Bloc nations, Asians from China, Japan, Korean and more), that we should close up shop and ignore what is possible?

      The world, as I noted, appears to be going to hell in a handbasket, quite quickly. But there are things which can be done - only they require that a great bulk of The People in this land push their Governmental representatives all in the same direction to get anywhere.

      Especially when at least a third of our fellow Americans answer polling questions indicating they would be much happier if we could somehow turn the clocks all back to 1814?

      Perhaps America never was "the greatest country in the world". But I would love to see her attain that lofty position someday, before I die. The promise of much is still here, if we would only wake up and reach out for it.

      "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

      by Angie in WA State on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 09:11:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Angie in WA State

        There's a lot of promise left and no reason whatsoever that the current generation can't take America to an even better place.  And that's part of what set me off on the McAvoy soliloquy.  After listing America's failings that previous generations are responsible for and admitting that the 20-year old on the show had no responsibility for those failings, he proceeds to label her generation as the worst ever and extols the virtues of a generation that never existed.

        Better just to be honest.  We had some great successes and horrible failures, giving the next generation a lot of clean up work to do but possibly also the tools to accomplish it.

        Cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre.

        by Sky Net on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 09:37:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  some of those stats ought to shame (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Angie in WA State

      the incarceration rate for one, and the 'angels are real'... and the infant mortality... I could go on.

      I say Hail to Aaron Sorkin, if he gets you thinking, and setting aside the unthinking and generalised 'America is No 1' obsession/delusion, and encourages you to no longer be so wary of those with intelligence.  Damn good programme, that Newsroom.

  •  Excellent Diary! (2+ / 0-)

    I loved this!

    My only suggestion would be to include the tag, "Rant". Because this was an epic one.

    Well done!

    "No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up." --Lily Tomlin

    by paulex on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 08:24:08 PM PDT

  •  Point of order: (0+ / 0-)
    We stood up for what was right. We fought for moral reasons. We passed laws, struck down laws for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors. We put our money where our mouths were. And we never beat our chests.
    When did "we" ever do that?  I say never, really.  Members of the Democratic party have tried to do that, but have never succeeded, according to Will McAvoy, because they are "losers."

    William R. Murrow may have helped to bring down McCarthy, but not before McCarthy wasted millions of taxpayer dollars and destroyed thousands of lives.

    Walter Cronkite may have turned against the Viet Nam war in 1968, but it went on for another five years.

    No, "we" are a country that knows what the right thing, the moral thing to do is, but that does the wrong thing, the immoral thing, about 99% of the time.  And it's wrong to blame the media for what "we" do, when "we" know better.

    "What are we afraid of, and why are we holding back, when nobody's gonna listen to this shit anyway?" -- magic mitch

    by oldmaestro on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 08:41:09 PM PDT

    •  While my aging mind has grown to understand that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Diana in NoVa

      the Camelot version of America was nothing more than a good PR campaign which began the day the Founders signed the Declaration of Independence which proclaimed:

      We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.-
      and moved directly after to draft a Constitution which allowed, under Article I, Section II:
      Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states which may be included within this union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.

      [emphasis added]

      I remind myself that a people with nothing but shame and bad acts to remind themselves of the good which may be done, have no hopes for a better future.

      Yes, some of that rhetoric should be viewed through the lens of history. But there have been men (and women) of good will in our nation, whose goals were ever to increase the 'blessings of Liberty' to all and sundry. Some exist today, and you'll find them here on the pages of Daily Kos and elsewhere online and even in your own community.

      It behooves us all to recognize that appealing to the 'better nature' of people is always like to result in a good outcome, rather than to berate and punish and expect a smile in return for your work.

      "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

      by Angie in WA State on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 09:03:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with most of your views here, but I think (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sky Net, Angie in WA State

        that we're talking about two different things:  I'm talking about our nation's history, while you're talking about our nation's potential.

        Camelot might have had the potential to be more than a good PR campaign, but we'll never know because President Kennedy was assassinated.  This country has done a very good job of making martyrs out of people of good will.  And then there's the American Equation that we've all been taught:  martyrs = losers.

        It does behoove us all to appeal to the better nature of people, regardless of the expected outcome.  That's a given.  But it also behooves us to realize that there is a true reality and a true history that we should honor, and a false reality and a false history that we should avoid at all costs.

        "What are we afraid of, and why are we holding back, when nobody's gonna listen to this shit anyway?" -- magic mitch

        by oldmaestro on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 09:39:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  There is still a place for good reporting. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Angie in WA State

    There was a time when television news was the conscience of the nation. In 1960 CBS and Edward R. Murrow created a documentary entitled Harvest of Shame.

    In 2014 Propublica did a modern day version:
    http://www.propublica.org/...

    A Modern Day ‘Harvest of Shame’

    Today’s blue collar temp laborers face abuses similar to those of migrant farmworkers depicted in iconic 1960 CBS documentary.

    by Michael Grabell
     ProPublica, March 10, 2014, 11:24 a.m.

    You'll find a link to the original there as well.

    I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

    by Just Bob on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 09:25:28 PM PDT

  •  A deliberate product: Murdock, Ailes & no Fairness (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Angie in WA State

    Doctrine.

    The present state of 'journalism' was deliberately created.  Its genis is in Potter-Stewart's memo to Big Business. The necessary components were 1) ABC-Arliedge's decision to make news a profit-maker, where before it had been a loss-leader, by 'sportifying' news reportage (adopting the sports-reporting model for news, e.g. treating everything as essentially meaningless as who wins or loses a game, indeed, making everything just a game, making it all about personalities rather than their actions (celebrity news and tabloid-nization), turning every story into play-by-play of tribal rivalries, etc.), and 2) Murdock and Ailes' creation of Fauxspews intentionally to spread non-news, indeed anti-news, by reformatting TV journalism from factual reporting to punditry and opinion and dedicated to actualizing the goals of Potter-Stewart's memo (big business domination and marginalizing all non-capitalist concerns).   The essential bridge between the two was repeal of the Fairness Doctrine, without which Fauxspews model could not work.

    Chuckie, and so so many of his 'journalist' siblings, are merely the Rosemary's Babies.

  •  The deficit is going down in spite of the Do(War) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Angie in WA State

    How about the trade imbalance which has contributed to the destruction of the middle class.

    Less war more butter.
    Less police more butter
    Better school & more butter
    Less white supremacy & more butter

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 02:46:49 AM PDT

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