Thursday, May 12, 2005

Democracy Now: Roundtable on PBS, Bernie Sanders; The Daily Howler; Third Wave Agenda; BuzzFlash

Democracy Now! (Marcia: "always worth watching")

Headlines for May 12, 2005
- Haitian PM Neptune on Verge of Death After 24-Day Hunger
-Strike- Iraq Attacks Kill 79, as Resistance Escalates
- Antiwar European Politicians Accused of Iraq Corruption
- Europe Condemns Turkey Over Trial of Kurdish Leader
- Fidel Castro Defends Assata Shakur, Calls for Mass Demo May 17
- US Student Tortured in Saudi Arabia Accuses FBI of Involvement
- Iraq War Resister Pablo Paredes Convicted
- Army Recruiter Threatens Recruit With Arrest

A ‘Right-Wing Coup’ at PBS & the CPB? A Roundtable Discussion on the Future of Public Broadcasting
On Wednesday, Reps. David Obey (D-WI) and John Dingell (D-MI) called for an investigation of the Corporation Public Broadcasting. This comes following accusations that the CPB has been largely taken over by conservatives who are influencing programming and hiring decisions. Obey requested that the Inspector General for the CPB, investigate whether the CPB is violating the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 that prohibits interference by federal officials over the content and distribution of public programming, and forbids "political or other tests" from being used in CPB hiring decisions.
We speak with Obey as well as PBS host Tavis Smiley, PBS board member Norman Ornstein, Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy and media analyst Robert McChesney, who is organizing this weekend’s National Conference on Media Reform.

Rep. Bernie Sanders on the Importance of Media Reform As A Political Issue
In this broadcast from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign we hear an excerpt of a speech by Rep. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vemont. He spoke at the conference "Can Freedom of the Press Survive Media Consolidation?"
Marcia asks for everyone to listen closely to note that Norman Ornstein, "great friend of the so-called left," brings out the knife for Bill Moyers.

Marcia: Norm Ornstein is digusting. I'm glad Amy Goodman had him on the panel because people who just know him from Al Franken's show may think he's "one of us." He's not. (And I agree with Rebecca on Al.) Jeff Chester does an incredible job (and refutes Ornstein). So does Tavis Smiley. Make time to listen or watch this segment. There's no transcript yet but even if there were, I'd argue listen or watch if you have the option.

At The Daily Howler, Bob Somerby advises no Howler for Thursday or Friday. (Possibly one on Saturday.) I'll dispute that because there is a post today (Thursday) that, while brief, is a post. It deals with an issue Yazz noted in the Times this morning, Hillary Clinton. Somerby has made notes of the very sad (my opinion) Margaret Carlson and Chris Matthews from the fact challenged broadcast of Hardball last night.

Maria e-mails to note Jill's latest at Third Wave Agenda:

Third Wave Agenda, as we know it, is over.
Lauren of Feministe has asked me to co-blog with her, and because she and her blog are so amazing, there was no way I could turn down that offer. I'm really excited to be posting over there, and I hope that all the great, loyal commenters will follow me!I'm not sure what the future of Third Wave Agenda will be. I'll probably keep posting on it, but posts will probably be few and far between and it will likely turn into something a bit more personal and much less political -- the interesting political stuff will go on Feministe, while the stupid crap about "feelings" and what I did today will go here.
So, it will probably be very boring to anyone who doesn't know me (and honestly, most people who do know me will probably be bored with it too). And while I hate going all Livejournal on people, hopefully when ya'll see how rad Feministe is, you'll get over it and will spend lots of time there to fill the hole in your heart that TWA's demise has certainly created. So... this is my semi-official farewell. I graduate tomorrow and will probably be sad, so I'll post something about that here so that I can start getting into the new "personal blog" format. We'll see how it all works out.

Maria asks if we can provide a link to Feministe. I've been able to reach half the panel plus one and explain Maria's argument (which I agree with): Jill passed the panel, the community likes her blog, she's stopping her blog and going to Feministe, since she's been approved, can we go ahead and provide a link to Feministe. All that I was able to reach were fine with it. So we will provide a permalink to Feministe tonight (and, as Maria requested, put it right under Third Wave Agenda's link). (I've also advised Rebecca as Maria requested and she says she'll add Feministe to Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude later today.)

Lloyd e-mails to note a BuzzFlash editorial entitled "Andrea Mitchell Has a New Book Coming Out in the Fall. It Should be Called, 'I'm What's Wrong with Journalism:'"

In an ideal world, the public airwaves used by giant corporations to help entrench the Republican Party would not be owned by private companies. They are a commodity that belongs to the citizens of the United States. But the mistake of privatizing the airwaves is long behind us.
How do we now begin to recapture control of television news so that the information necessary to make decisions in a democracy becomes the norm, not the rare exception?
And, although we can hope to put pressure on the FCC not to further deregulate the media, who is going to buy what exists and return broadcast journalism to the age of Edward R. Murrow -- or a new modern incarnation of the integrity that he symbolized?
That's a question to which no answer is forthcoming. The wealthy Americans on the pro-democracy movement side generally fund movements, activism and politicians, not efforts to democratize the media. (We know personally at BuzzFlash. We survive because of lots of relatively modest premium purchases. No one has sent us a check where we had to count the zeroes.)
As for now, Andrea Mitchell symbolizes how journalistically compromised the modern mainstream media has become. After all, she's in bed with Alan Greenspan, General Electric, and the Republican Party. That's some menage a trois.
It may be a nice glitzy frolic for her, but it's toxic for democracy.

Cedric also found something at BuzzFlash (no surprise, there's so much worth reading), "Rep. John Conyers, Jr., on Judicial Nominations, Partisanship and Preserving the Filibuster:"

Over the past several weeks, we have seen unprecedented attacks on the independent judiciary by leading members of the Republican majority. Most of the public, however, may have missed earlier efforts of the majority to "capture" the courts through the arguable abuse of both legislative and executive authority. These attempts by the administration and Republicans in Congress threaten to debase permanently the courts and undermine the stability of our legal system for mere short-term political gain.As was apparent from the message of Justice Sunday - a nationally televised Christian conservative political rally, the right-wing of the Republican party has made the appointment of judges the latest battle ground in the raging "culture" wars. The telecast's participants accused Democrats of using the filibuster to keep judges of a certain faith off the bench and essentially tarred their opponents as the enemies of God. The participation of Senator Frist in this event is troubling because the implication that any party or any senator would impose a litmus test against people of faith is not only wholly inaccurate, but irresponsible.In reality, this debate is over the nature of our democracy and respect for the independent federal judiciary. For 200 years, the Senate has used the filibuster to protect the rights of the minority in Congress and prevent intensely divisive legislation from passing. The filibuster is part of a series of Senate rules designed to encourage compromise and protect our democracy from being captured by one party or faction controlling all the branches of government, precisely the situation we have today.

For Cindy, I'll note that both of the above are BuzzFlash exclusives.

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