Daily Archive: 11/30/2012

Nov 30 2012

William Randoph Hearst Journalism

William Randolph Hearst is famously remembered for this apocryphal quote

You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.

I don’t labor under the illusion that there was a golden age of truth and nobility in the press which is why stories like this don’t surprise me a bit.

Julian Assange Refuses to Submit to Erin Burnett’s Planned Hit Job

By: Kevin Gosztola, Firedog Lake

Wednesday November 28, 2012 11:12 pm

From the beginning, Assange tried to discuss what he found to be important and not trivial or plain disingenuous and ignorant. As the clip shows, he got into how companies are working in countries to engage in widespread surveillance showing documents. Burnett reacted, “I’m curious though about this – A lot of people share this fear about being under surveillance, right? Some people might say you go way too far on it, but people do share your fear. But you are someone trying to champion and like I said benefiting by the Internet by putting out information governments don’t want people to have.”

“Some people might say” is Burnett saying what she thinks. She thinks Assange’s fear of the surveillance state goes to(o) far. She does not want to talk about this issue and, though Assange began the interview ready to talk on this topic, Burnett is prepared to steer this to Ecuador (but not before casting his agenda as something that is nefarious and shady).



Erin Burnett did not get the segment she wanted except if you go to CNN Video where they are featuring a part of the segment that makes it seem like all Assange was asked to do was come on and talk Ecuador and refused to cooperate with Burnett.

Now I’m going to stop right there because Kevin Gosztola’s link doesn’t go anywhere in particular and it took me a while to figure out what he was referencing.  I think it was this-

Edited Segment

Continuing-

Assange was clearly told he could come on and they would talk about the book. She opened with a question about his thoughts on the Internet. Then, she gradually moved the discussion into one about Ecuador because all she wanted to do was make the point that in her mind she sees Julian Assange, who she thinks is probably a criminal, seeking asylum in a country where the government has no respect for press freedom and he is being used or manipulated for their purposes.

If Burnett had her way, the interview would have been some looney segment about Ecuador exploiting him for their ends to get away with violating freedom of the press. And she would have touted it as “aggressive journalism,” when it is not aggressive at all to set someone up who is the target of one of the most powerful governments of the world and has been granted what someone would consider a refugee status to push for safe transport to Ecuador.

Kevin Gosztola very helpfully embeds the full segment and I thought I’d share it with those of you who think that there is a real journalist in it who’s analysis might interest you (hint: it’s not the one who worked for Goldman Sachs and is engaged to a Citigroup executive).

Full Segment

Nov 30 2012

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Paul Krugman: Class Wars of 2012

On Election Day, The Boston Globe reported, Logan International Airport in Boston was running short of parking spaces. Not for cars – for private jets. Big donors were flooding into the city to attend Mitt Romney’s victory party.

They were, it turned out, misinformed about political reality. But the disappointed plutocrats weren’t wrong about who was on their side. This was very much an election pitting the interests of the very rich against those of the middle class and the poor. [..]

The important thing to understand now is that while the election is over, the class war isn’t. The same people who bet big on Mr. Romney, and lost, are now trying to win by stealth – in the name of fiscal responsibility – the ground they failed to gain in an open election.

Daphne Eviatar: Ending Indefinite Detention of Americans Who Aren’t Being Detained Doesn’t Solve the Problem

Last year, Congress, through the National Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes funding for the military, expanded the category of terror suspects that could be held indefinitely by the military without charge or trial. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and others who supported the provision argued America is now the battlefield, so suspects picked up here should also be imprisoned indefinitely. This year, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) wants to require Guantanamo custody for all terror suspects. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) would force the Pentagon to plan yet another offshore prison facility for them.

There are, as always, some well-meaning lawmakers who want to restore certain basic rights and values. But the one effort gaining steam in the Senate right now — the Due Process Guarantee Act, sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) — would actually do nothing to solve the problem.

Robert Reich: Bungee-Jumping Over the Fiscal Cliff

What’s the best way to pressure Republicans into agreeing to extend the Bush tax cuts for the middle class while ending them for the wealthy?

The president evidently believes it’s to scare average Americans about how much additional taxes they’ll pay if the Bush tax cuts expire on schedule at the end of the year. He plans to barnstorm around the country, sounding the alarm. [..]

So rather than stoking middle-class fears about the cliff, the White House ought to be doing the opposite — reassuring most Americans they can survive the fall. To utilize his trump card effectively, Obama needs to convince Republicans that the middle class is willing to jump.

Richard (RJ) Eskow: If Fighting for the Majority Is ‘Radical,’ Call Me Radical

An extremist Web site called WorldNetDaily says that the Campaign For America’s Future, where I am a Senior Fellow, is “radical.” They’re worked up about our Wage Class War Web site, which documents 2012’s successful class-based political campaigns and promotes this winning strategy in future elections.

In the hallucinogenic haze that is today’s far right, apparently it’s “radical” to promote ideas and policies supported by most American voters — including, in many cases, most Republicans.

Agreeing with Republican voters isn’t really radical, of course. So who, exactly, thinks “Wage Class War” is unreasonable?

E. J. Dionne: Ignore Grover (and Learn From Him)

Here’s the first lesson from the early skirmishing over ways to avoid the fiscal cliff: Democrats and liberals have to stop elevating Grover Norquist, the anti-government crusader who wields his no-tax pledge as a nuclear weapon, into the role of a political Superman.

Pretending that Norquist is more powerful than he is allows Republicans to win acclaim they haven’t earned yet. Without making a single substantive concession, they get loads of praise just for saying they are willing to ignore those old pledges to Grover. You can give him props as a PR genius. Like Ke$ha or Beyonce, he is widely known here by only one name. But kudos for an openness to compromise should be reserved for Republicans who put forward concrete proposals to raise taxes.

The corollary is that progressives should be unafraid to draw their own red lines. If you doubt this is a good idea, just look at how effective Norquist has been. Outside pressure from both sides is essential for a balanced deal.

Joe Baker: Don’t Cut Medicare Benefits — Tackle Drug Prices

As the approach of the so-called “Fiscal Cliff” nears, many advocates nationwide are making this message clear: Medicare benefit cuts are not an option. In a letter to the president and Congress, AARP states, “As we move forward, it is clear that older Americans want the focus of the debate to be on reducing overall health costs and not simply targeting Medicare and Medicaid for budget cuts.” Just days after the election, a collective of the largest and most powerful progressive voices ran a Washington Post advertisement to the president and Congress that included, “No cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security benefits or shifting costs to beneficiaries or the states,” as one of five guiding principles for reducing the federal deficit. Medicare Rights Center joined 146 national organizations in support of this very same message. [..]

The federal government already negotiates with pharmaceutical companies for drug rebates in the Medicaid program. Up until the creation of Medicare Part D — Medicare prescription drug coverage offered by private plans — these Medicaid rebates applied to those dually eligible for the Medicare and Medicaid program. A 2011 report by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform found that the cost of the top 100 drugs for dually eligible beneficiaries was 30 percent higher under Medicare than it would have been were Medicaid rebates still applicable.

Nov 30 2012

On This Day In History November 30

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

November 30 is the 334th day of the year (335th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 31 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1886, the Folies Bergère in Paris introduces an elaborate revue featuring women in sensational costumes. The highly popular “Place aux Jeunes” established the Folies as the premier nightspot in Paris. In the 1890s, the Folies followed the Parisian taste for striptease and quickly gained a reputation for its spectacular nude shows. The theater spared no expense, staging revues that featured as many as 40 sets, 1,000 costumes, and an off-stage crew of some 200 people.

In 1886, the Folies Bergère went under new management, which, on November 30, staged the first revue-style music hall show. The “Place aux Jeunes,” featuring scantily clad chorus girls, was a tremendous success. The Folies women gradually wore less and less as the 20th century approached, and the show’s costumes and sets became more and more outrageous. Among the performers who got their start at the Folies Bergère were Yvette Guilbert, Maurice Chevalier, and Mistinguett. The African American dancer and singer Joséphine Baker made her Folies debut in 1926, lowered from the ceiling in a flower-covered sphere that opened onstage to reveal her wearing a G-string ornamented with bananas.

The Folies Bergère remained a success throughout the 20th century and still can be seen in Paris today, although the theater now features many mainstream concerts and performances. Among other traditions that date back more than a century, the show’s title always contains 13 letters and includes the word “Folie.”

Located at 32 rue Richer in the 9th Arrondissement, it was built as an opera house by the architect Plumeret. It was patterned after the Alhambra music hall in London. The closest métro stations are Cadet and Grands Boulevards.

It opened on 2 May 1869 as the Folies Trévise, with fare including operettas, comic opera, popular songs, and gymnastics. It became the Folies Bergère on 13 September 1872, named after a nearby street, the rue Bergère (the feminine form of “shepherd”).

Édouard Manet‘s 1882 well-known painting A Bar at the Folies-Bergère depicts a bar-girl, one of the demimondaines, standing before a mirror.

The painting is filled with contemporaneous details specific to the Folies-Bergère. The distant pair of green feet in the upper left-hand corner belong to a trapeze artist, who is performing above the restaurant’s patrons.

The beer which is depicted, Bass Pale Ale (noted by the red triangle on the label), would have catered not to the tastes of Parisians, but to those of English tourists, suggesting a British clientèle. Manet has signed his name on the label of the bottle at the bottom left, combining the centuries-old practice of self-promotion in art with something more modern, bordering on the product placement concept of the late twentieth century. One interpretation of the painting has been that far from only being a seller of the wares shown on the counter, the woman is herself one of the wares for sale; conveying undertones of prostitution. The man in the background may be a potential client.

But for all its specificity to time and place, it is worth noting that, should the background of this painting indeed be a reflection in a mirror on the wall behind the bar as suggested by some critics, the woman in the reflection would appear directly behind the image of the woman facing forward. Neither are the bottles reflected accurately or in like quantity for it to be a reflection. These details were criticized in the French press when the painting was shown. The assumption is faulty when one considers that the postures of the two women, however, are quite different and the presence of the man to whom the second woman speaks marks the depth of the subject area. Indeed many critics view the faults in the reflection to be fundamental to the painting as they show a double reality and meaning to the work. One interpretation is that the reflection is an interaction earlier in time that results in the subject’s expression in the painting’s present.