They drive the conversation

fundamentalist

Let me have a go at the question posed by the ever-interesting Kelly Sedinger. BTW, check out his daily poetry posts this month. 

Will the media in this country EVER stop letting the right-wing just define things any way they want and drive the conversation? (Thinking of terror alerts, “family values”, the “immigrant mobs”, CRT)

At a basic level, the media during my lifetime have been fairly conservative. Maybe that’s not the right word. Conventional is the better term. It supported American wars, for instance. I imagine World War II was an easy call. But the technology that brought Vietnam into American homes made the war less defensible. Still, it was a BFD when CBS News’ Walter Cronkite, “the most trusted man in America,” gave the continued presence by the US a thumbs down.

The Shock and Awe was the “brand” for the first Gulf War in the 1990s. Wasn’t stuff blowing up really cool, the audience was supposed to conclude. When the United States fought Saddam Hussein again in 2003, all of America and the world would be behind it, right? Well, yeah, except for the literally millions, including me, who took to the streets, on February 15 of that year to oppose it. Still, Freedom Fries won the narrative war, and the media, by and large, fell in line as cheerleaders until the war wasn’t going so well.

Values voters

I was particularly peeved with ABC News, which suggested back in the early 2000s that “Christian voters” were what some refer to as “fundamentalist.” “Fundamentalist,” I think is a lazy word here. A definition I found: “Fundamentalism is defined as strict adherence to some belief or ideology, especially in a religious context, or a form of Christianity where the Bible is taken literally and obeyed in full.” I believe I try, quite imperfectly, for the former – see Matthew 25: 34-40 And I know that the latter is impossible in this culture because if one started stoning people, they’d run into law enforcement.

Still, let’s go with the term fundamentalists, as I believe most understand it. They thought they elected one of their own George W. Bush. Seeing that political muscle, it must be what most of America wanted, the media in general concluded.

Orange

When djt was running for the White House in 2015, he would alternatingly spout some bigoted remarks with language suggesting that he understood the downtrodden, including the fundamentalists, whose values were supposedly being “buried” by the mainstream media.

Since Trump was perceived as “entertaining” – he HAD been a TV star, after all, and he was rich, right?! – the media covered his campaign with kid gloves. He had suggested he was going to run before dropping out in the past, so naturally, he’ll do it again. But what was past was NOT prologue, as he found his message resonating.

Meanwhile, every other week on ABC News’ This Week, one or another pundit would explain that djt had a “ceiling” of about 30% of the Republican voters, almost until March 15, 2016, when he essentially locked up the nomination. Still, he couldn’t really BEAT Hillary Clinton, who was the experienced candidate, so the press – and specifically NBC’s Matt Lauer – pressed on about her damn emails, while asking him either broad policy questions or puff personal biography.

He was elected. The mainstream media waffled trying to show “respect” to a president who clearly had contempt for them. And it wasn’t really until the last year, 2020, with his COVID “misstatements”, the Big Lie about the election, and January 6, 2021, that they really started to push back.

You asked

There are critics of the mainstream media. One was Eric Boehlert, who unfortunately died in a bicycling accident. Mark Evanier linked to Boehlert’s final piece, “Why is the press rooting against Biden?” which you should read.

This may explain why CBS hired djt sycophant Mick Mulvaney. The Democrats are going to lose the 2022 midterms, it is assumed, and the network needs Republican “access.”

The Problem, With Jon Stewart, addressed Where Does Mainstream Media Go Wrong? on the March 18, 2022, episode. Specifically, it’s in part about Critical Race Theory. The short version: a guy goes on Fox News to bemoan CRT. Sixteen days later, then-president djt echoes the message. Of course, when he says it, it’s echo-chambered all over the place.

All the news that fits

Sometimes journalism amplifies and sometimes reflects. An article in Nation Of Change tries to explain “Why conservative parts of the U.S. are so angry. Republican America is poorer, more violent, and less healthy than Democratic America. But Republicans’ blame is misplaced.”

“The right-wing canard that hardworking White people subsidize welfare-grubbing cities is backward. Democrat-voting counties, with 60% of America’s population, generate 67% of the nation’s personal income, 70% of the nation’s GDP, 71% of federal taxes, 73% of charitable contributions, and 75% of state and local taxes.” Tet the narrative remains.

Also, after a couple of years of COVID, with lots of uncertainty, increased violence, and the like, people are unsettled. They like the safe, the familiar, the “normal”. Certainly not the “immigrant mobs”, unless they look like them, or a potential SCOTUS justice who, it is alleged, wants to support criminals over “regular folks”.

Or probably Nixon

But it’s long been the narrative, going back at least to Reagan, about the welfare queen taking all of “OUR” money. “They” are not worthy. And members of the media are after all part of the community. As Kelly noted, America still has issues regarding race. When Black Lives Matter was “hot”, before Chauvin was convicted, some paid at least lip service to it. But as governors come out with their anti-CRT bills, the culture is perceived to have shifted.

For all the success of inclusion and fairness, there is a real pushback against it. A recent headline in one right-wing online publication was TSA to Get Gender Woke, a discussion about gender pronouns. Despite the notion that the media are “liberal” or, laughably, “leftist,” some journalistic platforms go the way the wind blows.

Modern journalism, more than ever, is tied to profit. Outlets often pinch the pennies when it comes to paying their staff, particularly editors, who are needed even MORE in the Internet age. When some push against the powerful, they risk losing access, which of course has long been true. The “noble tradition” of the fourth estate sometimes wins out. But it may be more subject to propaganda because it’s a lot cheaper to repost the press release or note what’s trending on Twitter rather than to push back against the tide.

July rambling: “Tell Us How We Did”

time to use the F-word

Misinformation
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

The U.S. could lose its top-level bond rating because of the Big Lie

Yes, this is fascism: The Atlantic’s conservative David Frum says it’s time to use the F-word; a dark warning

Military Chiefs Planned Joint Resignation To Thwart Trump’s ‘Gospel Of The Fuhrer’

Deadly Flooding Turns ‘Small’ German River Into a ‘Raging Monster’. Video by Roger Green (not me)

NBC News: Eighty years after a segregation wall rose in Detroit, America remains divided. That’s not an accident

Flight attendant harasses Muslim woman

DACA: One More Example of Broken Democracy

I lived in an airport for seven months

According to the EPA, clothes, and shoes account for more municipal solid waste than .plastic items

Now I Know:  Literally Nuts for Candy and The Problem with Lots of People Drinking Lots of Tea and  The Pink Hat of Fidelity and  The Biggest of Macs and  When It’s Better to Be in Fourth Place and The Problem With Stealing High-End Electronics and The Bugs That Make Danger Glow

Media

Inside Big Tech’s angry, geeky, often petty war for your privacy

Hank Green: Should You Abandon Social Media?

I’m Breaking Up with ZOOM

“Tell Us How We Did”. Irrefutably TRUE

An Exploration of James Baldwin’s Life and Works Through the Powerful Lens of His House Chez Baldwin in St. Paul de Vence, France

Voice actors

Emmy’s Big Problem

Ken Levine interviews author Mark Harris who wrote the book MIKE NICHOLS: A LIFE here and here.

The Marvel Sacred Timeline

At The Washington Post, Harry Rosenfeld found himself handling the most important political scandal of the 20th century – Watergate – before joining the Times Union in Albany, N.Y. “HIRSCH MORITZ ROSENFELD and his Polish immigrant parents fled the violence engulfing Nazi Germany in 1939, and found refuge in the Bronx. He never forgot the price his family paid for freedom, never took American citizenship for granted. He developed a keen eye for unaccountable power and nascent oppression and embraced his responsibility to fight for the freedoms that made America a beacon of hope.” The last time I saw him in person was in 2017.

Jackie Mason, R.I.P.

Summary: No Exit – Jean-Paul Sartre

Central Warehouse

Cartoons: Human time and 10 ways to befriend a misanthropic cat and  explaining confusing things

MUSIC

Harlem – Duke Ellington. Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by JoAnn Falletta.

Run Run Run – Kurt Vile,  from the album I’ll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute to the Velvet Underground and Nico; long version

Mighty River by Errollyn Wallen.

Dragon live album concert during two weeks in an Auckland hotel for quarantine clearance

Coverville 1365: The AC/DC Cover Story III

Just A Friend– Biz Markie, RIP

The Glamourous Life – Audra McDonald from A Little Night Music

Bohemian Rhapsody in Blue – Postmodern Jukebox

He’d Have to Get Under, Get out and Get Under  (to Fix Up His Automobile) – The Peacherine Ragtime Society Orchestra

A medley of ten Hanna-Barbera theme songs performed by Alex Duquette  in two minutes

Jim Croce

The Music of the Night/Monster Mash – Big Daddy

Hope & Fury: MLK, The Movement and The Media

Not only is the promised land he glimpsed still over that mountaintop, the mountain is much higher than any of us could have imagined.

There are uncomfortable parallels between the deaths of Emmett Till and Philando Castile, as the special “Hope & Fury: MLK, The Movement, and The Media” pointed out. The special was broadcast on NBC-TV March 24, but I didn’t get a chance to watch it until a week and a half later.

Emmett Till, who narrator Lester Holt suggested every black person in America knows about – is that true? – was a 14-year-old black youth from Chicago who was visiting his uncle in rural Mississippi. He was lynched on August 28, 1955, after a white woman said that she was offended by him in her family’s grocery store. She has only recently recanted that tale.

Philando Castile was shot and killed by a local Minnesota police officer after the car was pulled over on July 6, 2016, with his girlfriend and her four-year-old daughter in the vehicle.

In the Till case, it was the decision of Emmett’s mother Mamie to allow, nay, insist on photographers to take pictures of her now-misshapen son. In the Castile case, girlfriend Diamond Reynolds had the wherewithal to livestream ten minutes of video via Facebook.

The MLK special also noted the fickle nature of the mainstream press. It was only the black press that covered some of the seminal stories of the civil rights movement, such as the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955/56.

“When MLK’s peaceful protests aren’t covered by the national media in Albany, Georgia, he organized a children’s march in Birmingham, Alabama, making for some of the most powerful, iconic imagery of the civil rights movement.”

In general, the MSM was attracted if the action included white people – the freedom riders, e.g., or they can establish a clear good guy/bad guy narrative, as in the children’s march, when dogs and fire hoses were unleashed.

“Hope & Fury” pointed out the parallels between the bloody Selma march of March 7, 1965, and the demonstrations occurring after some young black children and men, with the social media-savvy demonstrators willing to challenge the accepted narrative in the latter case.

As Arthur noted: “The USA has so very far to go before achieving Dr. King’s dream. Not only is the promised land he glimpsed still over that mountaintop, the mountain is much higher than any of us could have imagined.”

April rambling #2: Knowledge, Freedom, Democracy

The Public Library: A Photographic Love Letter


Do Not Lose Heart; We Were Made for These Times

On earth as it is in heaven: Why Jesus didn’t call his followers to be safe

The Gaslight Zone, Part 1 and Part 2

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Gerrymandering and Marijuana

Can We Get Real About Opioids? and Opioids, My Mom’s Death, and Why People Trust Science Less

How my daughter died from a simple case of flu

The Perception of Liberal Bias in the Newsroom Has Nothing Whatsoever to Do With Reality

Facebook use is a predictor of depression

The Internet Isn’t the Wild Wild West Anymore, It’s Westworld

Killing the Church with Sunday School

Girl, 2, defends her choice of doll to cashier

Carolyn Kelly, R.I.P.
Mark Evanier’s getting by, with the help of Henry Fonda

Sheryl Sandberg: ‘Everyone looked at me like I was a ghost’

Letterman’s mom was everyone’s mom: Dorothy Mengering dead at 95

A Tribute to Carrie Fisher

The Public Library: A Photographic Love Letter to Humanity’s Greatest Sanctuary of Knowledge, Freedom, and Democracy

Dianne Bentley saved receipts, helped take down her cheating governor husband

Arts in the Parks

Not me: Two longtime artists offer stunning works in ‘Traces’ exhibition

“Let me help” (Thoughts on “The City on the Edge of Forever”)

Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in the 1960s

Ken Levine interview: Voiceover artist Randy Thomas

I wrote about helicopter parenting four and a half years ago, and someone wanted to know if I wanted to read Abandon Helicopter Parenting, Embrace Negotiation Parenting; xooloo has developed an app for that.

7 Tips for Donating Old Books Without Being A Jerk

Now I Know: The Slave Who Spied on the Traitor and The Campaign for the Other Gary and Taking “One Person, One Vote” Literally — and Accidentally

Queen Elizabeth has someone break in her shoes before she wears them

Dawn Wells: Forever Mary Ann

I keep seeing references to crushed Doritos in recipes, e.g. replacing bread crumbs on fried chicken, or as the crust for mac and cheese. Have YOU used them?

Chopped liver

Music

Just a clown singing Pinball Wizard to the tune of Folsom Prison Blues

The Beatles – Home Recordings, May 1968 (white album)

Coverville: Elton John cover story

Back in June 1980, the legendary Chuck Berry performed in the little village of Ladner, British Columbia, Canada

K-Chuck Radio: Music to help pretty plants grow

5 truly explosive performances of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture

Appreciating an Unusual Beach Boys Album

Who has opened for the J. Geils Band?

Linda Hopkins; blues singer won Tony for best actress

The Neuroscience of Singing

There is a reason to have a B# and an E#

John Coltrane Draws a Picture Illustrating the Mathematics of Music

Monkees Star Mike Nesmith Reveals All on Drugs, a Near-Crippling Illness, and Jack Nicholson ‘Bromance’ in New Memoir

Where Have All The Bob Seger Albums Gone?

Genesis Tour Manager Recalls His Role in One of Rock’s Most Embarrassing Moments

Rock’n’roll shrimp named after Pink Floyd because of its deafening vocal ability

January rambling #2: Jerks on the Loose

The Wife and I saw Something Rotten at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady.


‘Doomsday Clock’ Moves 30 Seconds Closer To Midnight

From the Barmen Declaration: 8.18 We reject the false doctrine, as though the Church were permitted to abandon the form of its message and order to its own pleasure or to changes in prevailing ideological and political convictions.

“I was a stranger and you did not welcome me.” and What the Bible Says About How to Treat Refugees

Christians’ Call to Speak Truth to ‘Alternative Facts’

Crowd statistics worldwide, 21 January 2017

If you’re looking for those climate change and LGBT rights and Native American pages on whitehouse.gov that disappeared on January 20, know that they are archived at https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/

Obama Foundation

The legitimacy and illegitimacy of 45 and A Guide to His Huge Debts—and the Conflicts They Present. Mr Brunelle explains it all

Inaugural speech was the most dreadful in history

This Is Our Most Dangerously Retrograde Government in 150 Years, including, but not limited to, intentionally lying to us and/or gaslighting us and attacks on the freedom of the press – Historically, tyrants have tried to control the press using 4 techniques and getting payments from foreign governments, though we have no idea what they are and Aides Keep Leaking Embarrassing Stories About How He Can’t Handle Embarrassment and struggles badly to pass a test of presidential maturity, while using the White House page for puffery

The “Muslim ban”, which these politicians fought, is “Immoral,” “Stupid,” and “Counterproductive” and excludes those countries from the ban that have killed Americans on US soil, while including those that have not. Quebec Mosque Terrorist Is White Christian Pro-Trump Fanatic

Not to mention: controlling Voice of America and silencing EPA and the cone of silence on USDA scientists. Is this a trial balloon for a coup?

Make of this what you will: his mother was a Scottish immigrant. And his father’s middle name was Christ, pronounced Krist, the surname of Fred’s mom; Fred said he was Swedish, when his parents were German.


(From here)

Kellyanne Conway on Donald Trump, BEFORE he hired her

I Was Trained for the Culture Wars in Home School, Awaiting Someone Like Mike Pence as a Messiah

Possibly the worst news of the month: Steve Bannon Gets A Seat At The NSC Table

Steven Mnuchin Unmasked By Samantha Bee – he’s the Treasury Secretary nominee

Joy Reid of CNN: “We have to think about how do we, a free press, operate with an increasingly authoritarian regime and change everything we’re doing. We can’t just report what he says and live on his Twitter feed.”

1984 climbs the bestseller list — almost 70 years after it was published

How to lose the war on terror

Out Here, No One Can Hear You Scream – The dangerous culture of male entitlement and sexual hostility hiding within America’s national parks and forests

Something Rotten (Boston Globe review) – When the Wife and I saw it at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady earlier in the run, we laughed uproariously.

PK Miller, an Albany original and colorful character, dies at an uncertain age – I’d see him often at our monthly concerts at my church, among other places. we’re FB friends, and a couple weeks after he died I got one of those cloned invitations to Friend him.

When I posted on Facebook that Miguel Ferrer had died of cancer at the age of 61, people kvetched about what shows Variety noted. NCIS: Los Angeles (his current gig, which I’ve never seen) and Crossing Jordan (which I watched regularly), as opposed to Twin Peaks and Robocop and Star Trek.


John Hurt: 1940-2017

Della Street, er, Barbara Hale, R.I.P.

Dick Gautier, R.I.P.

Dan Savage speaks frankly about Savage Love

Mark Evanier: Rejection – a wilderness guide for writers

John Oliver returns February 12

Historic Albany Foundation Inventory – An attempt to document the oldest structures in Albany, NY

News anchor sets off Alexa devices around San Diego ordering unwanted dollhouses

Now I Know: New Jersey’s Shockingly Dangerous Water Slide and How Pride Makes Basketball Players Worse

Fortune teller who uses ASPARAGUS to predict the future

NOT ME (guy in Australia) WHEN Roger Green was nominated for the Clarence Valley Local Hero Award, he had raised more than $64,000 in 12 years.

Music

Gimme Some Truth- David J

Get Up Stand Up – Bob Marley

Ladies First – Queen Latifah

“Kellyanne Conway” cover Chicago’s “Roxie” on SNL

I saw the Roches a couple of times and got several of their albums. So I was sad to hear about the passing of Maggie Roche, at the age of 65, from cancer. Listen to We and Hammond Song and Hallelujah Chorus and Keep On Doing What You Do/ Jerks On The Loose and about 100 more tunes. Also Was a Sunny Day – Paul Simon featured Maggie and Terre Roche; Liquid Days (Part I) – Philip Glass Ensemble has Maggie and Terre and Suzzy; Forgetting – Philip Glass Ensemble has Linda Ronstadt and the Roches.

Derrick Boudwin: For Utah Father, Music Eases the Pain of Going Blind

Jeanne Mitchell: America’s First Young Lady of the Fiddle

Butch Trucks, Allman Brothers Band Drummer and Co-Founder, Dead at 69

The passing of Soul Survivors vocalist Richie Ingui

Coverville 1156: The Warren Zevon Cover Story II – he would have been 70 this month

Orion, The Would-Be Elvis

Paul McCartney sued Sony/ATV, the massive music publishing company that owns, among other things, all of The Beatles’ songs written by Lennon and McCartney. Paul wants his 50 percent share of the songs back.

Buddy Greco, Jazz Pianist, Vocalist and Las Vegas Mainstay, Dies at 90

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