Apr 18 2021

The Breakfast Club (homemade peach and cherry pie)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club!

AP’s Today in History for April 18th

The San Francisco earthquake; What becomes known as ‘Paul Revere’s ride’; A suicide bomb hits the U.S. embassy in Lebanon; Physicist Albert Einstein dies; Wayne Gretzky plays his last NHL game.

Breakfast Tune Einstein the Genius – Faux Renwah

Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below

‘Divisive’: How Corporate Media Dismiss Ideas Unpopular With Elites
Each example has links. Click through to original artice at FAIR for them.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman (Twitter, 12/29/20) described a $2,000 Covid relief check as “divisive,” even though 75% of Americans (and 72% of Republicans) wanted the government to prioritize another universal payment. All too often, words such as “divisive,” “contentious” or “controversial” are used merely as media codewords meaning “ideas unpopular with the ruling elite”—what FAIR calls “not journalistically viable.”

Medicare for All is a prime example of this. At least since the issue began receiving national media attention as a result of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, a majority of Americans have supported some form of national, publicly funded healthcare system. Some polls have found nearly three in four support the idea, including a majority of Republican voters. Yet corporate media continue to disparage universal public health insurance, labeling it “divisive” (Axios, 2/14/20), “controversial” (Christian Science Monitor, 6/4/19; Time, 10/24/19; New York Times, 1/1/20) or “politically perilous” (Associated Press, 3/25/19).

In an article entitled “Medicare for All Is Divisive (in the Democratic Party),” the New York Times (3/18/19) described giving people free healthcare “immensely contentious,” framing it as a risky and enormously expensive gamble that centrists in swing districts could ill afford to take coming up to an election. The reality, of course, was the opposite: Every single Democratic incumbent in a swing district who endorsed Medicare for All won reelection in 2020. The same cannot be said for those that did not endorse it.

There can be few policies that would so directly and immediately benefit so many Americans as raising the minimum wage to $15 (though that’s still not enough to afford rent in most US states). Forty percent of the country told Reuters/Ipsos pollsters in February that they or someone close to them would be positively impacted by such a change. The same poll found that supporters of raising the minimum wage outnumbered opponents by 25 percentage points. Regardless, increasing it is often described as “divisive” (e.g., Bloomberg, 10/2/17; Politico, 3/16/21; Delaware News Journal, 3/10/21).

The Hill, for instance, published an opinion piece (9/15/17) claiming support for a living wage was “stale, misguided and divisive.” While $15 per hour sounds good on paper to people “not informed of the consequences,” the policy is a big vote loser, insisted Michael Saltsman of the corporate-funded Employment Policies Institute.

Saltsman was the brains behind crude propaganda campaigns against raising the minimum wage in California; he put up a billboard in San Francisco threatening workers they would be replaced by iPads if they demanded fairer remuneration for their work. He was described by Bay Area-based journalist Paul Bradley Carr (Pando, 7/21/14) as “the asshole behind San Francisco’s most assholeish billboard.” The “divisive” measure was approved by city voters with 77% support (CNN Money, 11/5/14).

The Green New Deal—a major jobs program that would transition the US to a clean energy economy, which has been described as the only coherent plan to save the US from climate breakdown—is also constantly written off as too contentious to work (Reuters, 3/21/19; Atlantic, 6/12/19). CNBC (3/12/19), for instance, reported on the “story” that fossil fuel executives in Houston dismissed the plan pushed by Sanders, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and co. as “unrealistic, unworkable and politically divisive.” Instead, they propose rather nebulous “market-oriented solutions” to the crisis.

Thank you for that extraordinary insight, CNBC! Perhaps you could next enlighten us on what Wall Street traders think of the idea of pursuing criminal investigations into their behavior in 2008? (Giving space to billionaire energy bosses to trash environmentalists is something of a tradition at CNBC—FAIR.org, 2/3/20).

Meanwhile, one Guardian article (12/29/18) noted that 81% of American voters back the Green New Deal plan, yet still managed to present it as a “divisive” proposal that “lacks key political support,” thereby tacitly underlining how little the will of the people matters to policymakers—or elite media.

Writing in the Washington Post (2/5/19), columnist Steven Pearlstein dismissed the left’s ideas on taxing the wealthy, free healthcare and a Green New Deal as fringe, flawed and divisive. Even when some billionaires themselves were asking to be taxed more, The Week (8/15/11) still described the idea as “divisive” in a headline. Are we really to believe that there is such a fervor among the public against the richest people in the world becoming minutely less wealthy?

All of the populist, pro-working class policies detailed above enjoy significant majority support with the public. They are not, by the dictionary definition, controversial. And yet time and time again, they are attacked as too contentious or divisive to work.

While billionaire-owned media outlets could simply come out and say, “We oppose these proposals for ideological reasons,” a much better rhetorical tactic is to present themselves as neutral observers, merely concerned about the practicality of such legislation. …

Something to think about over coffee prozac

Minnesota Deploys National Guard Ahead Of Next Week’s Police Shooting

The Onion

ST. PAUL—Activating nearly 3,000 personnel, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz deployed the National Guard to Minneapolis Friday ahead of next week’s police shooting. “We understand that tempers are flared right now, and we urge you to remain calm and demonstrate lawfully following next Wednesday’s tragedy,” said Walz, who explained that local officials would be imposing curfews throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan area within the next two weeks in response to the impending officer-involved shooting. “We have reason to believe the next shooting of an unarmed resident will be exceptionally egregious, so we’re giving the National Guard a bit of a head start. Know that I will share the same sentiment as the many of you who will pour into the streets in only a few days’ time, but peaceful protesting will be the answer.” At press time, Walz added that he was prepared to deploy another 1,000 troops to stem protests that would arise in response to the massive bloodshed resulting from police clashes with the original group of protesters.

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