Tuesday, October 11, 2005

'THE DARK, LONG AND GLOOMY NIGHT'

 

  NEWS DISSECTOR October 11, 2005

'The Dark, Long and Gloomy Night'

FALLING INTO THE EARTH
IRAQ WAR ESCALATES (AGAIN)
VOLUNTEERING FOR MEDIACHANNEL

Tragedy stalks the globe. The poorest people in the world seem to be suffering the most, from the most recent natural disasters in Central America, Kashmir, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Have a look at the arc of devastation:

news.bbc.co.uk

Sian Williams writes about it for BBC:

This is now a city almost completely destroyed. Over two-thirds of the houses are now rubble. Thousands are still without shelter and it is getting colder. There is no food, power or water. Up until now there has been very little help too. But now aid is starting to arrive. Everything is silent here now, people just sit and stare, wondering what to do.

They are not the only ones who are wondering. We all are. How do we get more people to care more, as the planet itself seems to be groaning under the burden of man’s indifference, and the difficulty we have in getting aid to those that need it most... With polar ice caps melting, with policies to retard climate change in paralysis... I will spare you the rest

Here's Sanjiv Srivastava for the BBC in Indian-occupied Kashmir:

During the last few hours the biggest problem here has been the weather. There have been heavy showers, hailstorms, thunder. It is turning very ugly and inclement here.

There is still a large number of people staying out of their homes, even those with property left intact, they are afraid to return indoors.

"This is going to be a ahead.

TENSIONS ESCALATE IN IRAQ

We seem to be living in a dark, long and gloomy night. In Iraq, tensions are escalating:

CNN: "Basra governor: British threatening vote..."

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Recent tensions between Iraqi forces and the British military are threatening the upcoming constitutional referendum, the governor of Basra province warned Monday.

British forces arrested 12 people in a raid last week, including three police officers in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. Among them was a police captain.

Gov. Mohammed Al-Waili expressed concern over the British military's actions, saying the arrests have created "chaos among the people of Basra."

"They are threatening the upcoming referendum," he said.

The best source I have found for what's happening there is Sarah Meyer’s Basra Shadowland site:

www.uruknet.info

FOR MORE ON IRAQ FROM THE OTHER SIDE

See daily Iraqi Resistance Report by Abu Nasr at
www.uruknet.info
It mentions all soldiers AND civilians affected by war in Iraq.

IN THE HOMELAND

The once-powerful Christian Coalition teeters on insolvency. Bill Sizemore of the Virginian-Pilot reports:

http://home.hamptonroads.com/stories/story.cfm?story=93369&ran=72372

DAVID FROST JOINS AL-JAZEERA INTERNATIONAL

Howard Kurtz reports:

Al-Jazeera, which is launching an English-language network with Washington as a major hub, has landed its first big-name Western journalist: David Frost. And the veteran BBC interviewer says he's perfectly comfortable with the unlikely marriage.

"I love new frontiers and new challenges," Frost, 66, said yesterday from London. He said the new network, al-Jazeera International, has promised him "total editorial control" and that he had checked out the company with U.S. and British government officials, "all of which gave al-Jazeera a clean bill of health in terms of its lack of links with terrorism."

But the Bush administration has repeatedly denounced al-Jazeera. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has accused the Qatar-based operation of promoting terrorism and "vicious lies" and has banned its reporters from Iraq. The State Department has complained about "false" and "inflammatory" reporting.

Said Frost, who will host a weekly interview program: "For all the people who think it's anti-American, there are various countries in the Middle East who think it's too pro-Western. I would say the jury's out on al-Jazeera. Obviously, we all suffer from the handicap of not being able to sit there and watch in Arabic."

Media Tenor reports:

War and Hurricanes Cloud Coverage on President Bush

War is a dominant rhetoric in the coverage on President Bush and despite coverage on relief efforts post-Katrina, military activities rank high on the media agenda. President Bush‚s ratings seemed to improve after Israel‚s withdrawal from the Gaza strip on the 12th of September as well as his Presidential address from Jackson Square in New Orleans on the 15th of September. The immediate decline in ratings seen post-Katrina, seem to be improving.

Media Tenor Research Institute compared the media presence and ratings of the President in selected media from the U.S. which included CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek and Time. This included a total of 51,328 statements that were analyzed.

Aiding and clearing up operations as well as human interest stories with the President as the subject did not get very favorable ratings, although coverage on the War on Terror was more favorable than in the past months.

Despite the fact that there were certain points at which the President‚s ratings were higher than usual, they did not correspond with instances of higher coverage volume. Low ratings coincided with increased coverage volume and this is not encouraging.

http: //www.mediatenor.com

VIDEO SPECIAL | Chris Hume: Dispatch from New Orleans
www.truthout.org

Videographer Chris Hume reports from New Orleans. Chris interviews residents who decided to stay and are organizing their own relief efforts.

Comment on this post...


Your Hurricane of E-mail

WHO DISCOVERED AMERICA?

Jennifer Walford asks: How can someone "discover" America?

How can one discover a land that is inhabited by thousands of other nations? To imply otherwise, means those who were here were not people at all.

Lynn Goya asks a profound question:

Don't you feel as if you are in a weird science fiction movie? The world is so plot driven that it is spooky: a megalomaniac clay president ruled by secret, evil forces; a government gone completely corrupt and repressive, that uses war as a propaganda arm to control the citizenry and the environment as its personal piggy bank; a fake democracy where people are pacified by being allowed to vote, while, unbeknownst to them, their votes are manipulated by same corrupt, repressive leaders; in the background a Savonarola religious fanatic keeps shouting that the world is ending; as the corrupt behind-the-scenes greedy corporate @#$%$#@s poison the citizenry and rob the poor, a small cabal of freethinkers fight for truth, justice and the American way... in a movie, I'd know how it would end. Can we turn it off, yet, and go back to the real world? I don't like this movie.

WMD NEEDED RIGHT NOW

Anne Sherwood writes from Kansas City, Mo.:

Subject: WMD -- Weapons of Mass Deception

When is this film going to be aired in theaters for the American public? It desperately needs to be seen here. I tell friends about how the media has been a planned buy-out by 6 major owners since Reagan... that it is certainly no "liberal" media... and that to really get the "news" they need to go on line and get coverage done by overseas networks... and they just cannot believe it. I tell them about the consistent funding to the neo-cons by these same 6 owners and they don't believe me. Writing letters to the editor, to major columnist and networks does no good.

Until the majority of people in this country wake up to the situation that now exist here with the media, truth will not come easily to them. Our country is on the brink of a turning point away from freedom, personal and terrifying, but few realize it. We need to see this film in theaters across America. If that is not possible, we need to be able to buy it and show it to friends and family, much like "Outfoxed". I really appreciated the makers of "Outfoxed" allowing those who bought it to make copies to send out to people. That has helped wake up quite a few, but not nearly enough. Thank you for making this film.

Marita Adair writes:

Speaking of truth and myth in reporting, here is a link to a Katrina in NO slide show created by a young man from Nicaragua who was an employee of a hotel there. See what you think about all the military presence he captures on film and where it appears to be while scandalous human suffering and neglect occurs at the Convention Center just a few blocks away. Then see what happens when he gets to the Convention Center. If his report is anywhere near accurate, something appears to have gone terribly wrong on many levels in both government and media reporting. Something that I don’t recall seeing or hearing about in all the hundreds of Katrina reports I’ve seen.

www.kodakgallery.com

TERROR WARNINGS

Rdvsr writes:

Don't see why you ignoramuses don't/won't take the Terrorist threat seriously. It appears you'd rather be dead than have a Republican President.

David Friedlander has another view:

I guess the scary question about this transparent subway nonsense here in New York is, if the scare won't produce the desired panic, perhaps the manipulators will actually stage the real thing.

For those of us who suspect that 9-11 wasn't what it is said to be, this is a very real possibility.

FROM DOWN UNDER

Steve Withers writes from New Zealand:

Forgive me the luxury of skepticism about the New York subway warnings.

I live in a country that thought invading Iraq was a really dumb idea and our government elected not to join this particular gangbang, though it had readily joined past gangbangs at the drop of a hat - so our virtue is a recent development.

It does seem these warnings tend to appear when Bush's poll ratings fall too far.....and the old, vague general threat had lost its power to give Mr. Bush a boost.

Was this most recent and specific warning genuine? Or just another poll-pusher trying to resemble a credible threat by being more detailed?

We will never know... even if there were to be an attack, we don't know if THIS warning was real.

Trust in the people who would warn us is all but gone. They've told too many lies.

By the way -- what use is the NY subway if you can't take a briefcase or laptop bag to / from work?

Deborah Zemin writes from New York:

First off -- terror, terror and more terror -- on the Yahoo site where I read about the subway threat a big ad for Mayor Mike was placed right next to the story. My, my, we all do live and learn, do we not? Then there were all the stories in the foreign press about how London had been warned by the Saudis, by the Iranians about the bombings but no one was home. And there is also this new book, which I have not yet read but whose title fascinates me, Marc Siegel's book, False Alarm which is about both how the government uses fear to get its way and what the effects of this fear-mongering are on us all both emotionally and physically. Sounds like it is time to get a hold of that book.

My last point about terror is just how does the President get away with making statements he never has to back up? If he could authenticate any of his comments, and would that really be asking too much of him, it might help everyone know how he has come to the conclusions he has come to. I never can follow his speeches. He says something, almost anything, and I become lost in thought trying to figure out how he has come to that conclusion and by the time I realize I haven't a clue, several other statements, again without any back up have also escaped from his lips and I begin to feel I have fallen down the rabbit hole.

BOMBERS IN NEBRASKA?

Doris Casella asks:

I read a report in the Nebraska State Paper (e-mailed) that a suicide bomber had been stopped at the gate trying to get into the OU/Kstate football game October 1st. He ran off when they wanted to examine his heavy pack and later exploded it in the parking lot, killing himself, and no one else I saw nothing of this anywhere else. Have you seen any of this????

You might log on to the Nebraska State Paper site and read the article yourself. (nebraska.statepaper.com for 10/8/05)

Mark A. Goldman writes:

God told me this: I did tell George Bush to invade Iraq and I told him to do a lot of other things too. I told him it was ok to lie and to cheat and to kill. I told him to do whatever he felt like doing, whatever it takes to win... and not to worry about the Constitution, the environment, the welfare of his people or anything else... And he did everything I told him to do. And you did what I asked you to do too... You kept your faith with me and you kept your honor... you told the truth as you understood it... you tried to stop him... you love other people and you tried to help them. You did your best against all the odds. You know, I love you both. Now we'll see what happens... we'll see who will stand with him and who will stand with you.

ON FORMER CBS PRODUCER MARY MAPES' NEW BOOK

M. Goldberg writes:

I looked up Mary Mapes' book on Amazon, using keywords "Mary Mapes Truth and Duty." The audio version of the book came up with a one-star customer rating, which is peculiar since the book hasn't been released yet.

CALL THE MAN THE MAN

Cindy Asner writes from LA:

i am suggesting to all that we no longer use any cute names for schwartzenegger. they are too warm, fuzzy, intimate and generally render him harmless.

i suggest that he is either schwartzenegger or mr. schwartzenegger or if we have to gov. schwartenegger. but certainly no more arnold, arnie or terminator etc. this would include print, radio, tv, blogging, in speaking or writing to one another. this must become habit.

PROTOCOL BLOG

Mark Levin’s new film on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion was written up in Sunday’s New York Times... He now has a blog to chronicle the responses:

www.thinkfilmcompany.com

Comment on this post...


Become A Mediachannel Volunteer

APPEALING FOR MEDIACHANNEL VOLUNTEERS

From our new volunteer coordinator: Jackie@mediachannel.org

My name is Jackie Newberry. I live in Texas and am a regular News Dissector reader and contributor. Danny has invited me to coordinate outreach to replace a volunteer who couldn't do the job.

I was very impressed by the response we've had and the qualifications of so many of those who have already expressed interest in working with us. We hope other readers will respond as well. We all think highly of MediaChannel and take its commitment to citizen journalism and reader participation seriously. The challenge we have is how to organize effectively so we can involve more people and have more impact.

The team at MediaChannel in New York realizes that its current approach is not financially sustainable given shifting foundation priorities; hence, the strategy of building a membership base of contributing reader-activists. Danny is right when he says, "If you want a say, you have to pay." And "paying" with free time is one great way of making MediaChannel more visible and helping its work survive. We are setting up six different "task forces" where folks can be in touch with me and each other and find the best way to move forward.

Here are some key tasks:

l. OUTREACH -- MediaChannel is not known widely enough or visible in the media and on enough other websites.

We are trying to link to more "blog rolls" and get quoted and linked to more by other sites. Collaboration is at the heart of our mission as a "network for democratic media." We are a portal, not just another organization.

We want to reach out to web groups, media groups, peace and justice organizations and change-oriented, advocacy movements and tell them about MediaChannel and invite them to participate. No matter what their issue is, concern with media is crucial.

I need someone to reach out to all the current affiliates with emails assessing what they are doing and inviting their more active participation. Unfortunately, MediaChannel no longer has an affiliate coordinator. If more sites display MediaChannel logos and links, readership will climb. We have 1,300 plus affiliates, but they need to know what we are up to and how they can help. We want to update and activate this network.

Media outreach is critical. We want to build our press lists and start informing other media -- mainstream and independent -- about what's on MediaChannel and the stories we are breaking and covering. We want to get Danny and other members of our team in the media more -- in the press, radio and TV. Can you help us do that? One way to do this is to help promote Danny's two new MediaChannel-inspired books out soon -- THE DEATH OF MEDIA (Melville House) and WHEN NEWS LIES: Media Complicity and the Iraq War. (Select Books) -- See www.wmdthefilm.com for more on this title. We also want to promote more screenings of the film WMD (WEAPONS OF MASS DECEPTION) which is based on MediaChannel work and promotes the site.

We want to create platforms for "The News Dissector" to speak -- at universities, bookstores. libraries and in our communities. He will use those events to promote the blog and MediaChannel. We need to organize a tour with "Meet the Dissector" events.

We want to use these events, in turn, to generate support for MediaChannel through articles in the press and reviews, interviews and on-air appearances. We need volunteers with PR skills, media contact lists and experience in reaching out to other media.

2. FUNDRAISING -- We need to brainstorm on new ways of raising money -- from memberships, grants, premiums, etc. While MediaChannel has a low overhead and only ONE full time person, it is still a struggle to keep the ship afloat. under "fatigue" is all too common.

If you have had experience in fundraising -- which is hard work and needs a sustained effort -- sign up for this task force. You will be briefed on budgets, contacts, proposals, past efforts, etc. This work really needs coordination and consistency with one message and mission. We need to build a real board. and do special events for fundraising.

Remember The News Dissector blog and MediaChannel are non-profit projects of The International Center for Global Communications Foundation (The Global Center) at 575 8th Avenue,#2200 New York, New York 10018) This means that donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law because the Global Center is an IRS approved 501©(3) organization.

E-COMMERCE: Danny and our readers have written a number of books and produced films that address the media crisis. We need to provide access for people to purchase these and other MediaChannel projects. How about a cool T-shirt? Any designers out there?

3. EDITORIAL MONITORING -- We are thinking about a readers' blog and more media monitoring reports from people with specialized interests -- the economy, military, media companies, the news business, media reform efforts, education, climate change, election reform, human rights, the criminal justice system, etc.

We need people who can research, track and report on how issues are covered and track prominent individuals and groups in a more methodical way than we can with our limited staff who, at the moment, are actively carrying out other crucial MediaChannel tasks.

It would be wonderful to have a strong team of MediaChannel members who could spend time fact checking and preparing other writers' contributions for publication.

Tell us what you read and perhaps we can find a better way to get your insights and interests represented on MediaChannel.

We are interested in encouraging MediaChannels in other languages. We had started an Africa MediaChannel for example but when our editor got sick, we weren't able to replace him. Regional MediaChannels would be so important to building a global media and democracy movement. We need to know about the media in Africa. Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. There are many groups engaged on media issues world wide. We want to know what they are doing for them to know about our work.

4. ACTION CAMPAIGNS -- On-line activism is the vogue and can be effective. Groups like Free Press and MoveON use expensive software packages to mount their campaigns. Our readers want to get involved. (See our Keep the Light on Injustice campaign in the aftermath of Katrina) -- but we need folks to take this on and help us get better tools for follow-up. MediaChannel's Media For Democracy arm had 75,000 members during the 2004 election.

5. SPECIAL PROJECTS -- MediaChannel already sponsors public events. We should also have our own radio show and produce podcasts. We can organize more joint projects with other groups. Is there anyone who can take this on?

6. WEB TECH SUPPORT -- We are looking for someone who is tech savvy with skills to create web sites and pages. We need people with web security skills because as MediaChannel becomes more visible, it attracts those who want to silence us. This is happening now. HELP!

INTERNS WELCOME -- MediaChannel needs interns -- usually students who work for free for college credit or in a specific arrangement and schedule at our offices in New York. Ask interested persons to write David@mediachannel.org with their resumes, interests and time availabilities.

These are the areas that you can plug into right now if I had a clear sense of what competencies you can bring and how you would propose structuring your time and effort. If you have other suggestions, share them with me. If you know of others with skills and interest in the state of the media who might like to be involved in our effort, please pass this on.

In all of these areas, we need to delineate specific tasks and divide them up. The more we can decentralize this effort the better. There is a lot to do -- and the crisis of the media and in our societies demands we do it.

Can we work together? Can we build a citizen "army" to press the press and move the media?

I think we can, and so does Danny.

Please get back to me with well-considered suggestions, and let's get started.

Onward,

Jackie


WHY DO WE DO IT?

Jacki’s sister Terri is part of the Fighting Newberrys (my title) and also wrote an eloquent statement called “Why We do It” as a declaration of conscience. Here’s part of it:

Why We Do It

We are women who stand on street corners holding signs declaring our beliefs, our disbeliefs about current events, the Bush administration. We stand in the hot sun, the pouring rain; we cheer when people honk in support, take abuse from those who vehemently disagree.

We oppose Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld and Rice; the WTO, Clear Channel, the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act, the invasion of Iraq, the exploitive recruitment of young people with no choices. We mourn and rage. We march in protest, rally and chant, sing and drum. We wear wild pink outfits and silly hats to draw attention to ourselves. We collect signatures, register voters, distribute information, meet with congressional delegates, organize.

Why do we do it? What keeps us going back out week after week amid all the discouraging news?

We do it because we have to, because to do nothing is unthinkable. Because we are witnessing the dismantling of the best parts of America -- compassion, justice, democracy, integrity, hope. Because we have a responsibility to the next generations, to our communities, our families, our selves.

We do it because we cannot remain silent, complicit, cannot allow the abuses to occur in our names, cannot allow one more young man or young woman to be sacrificed at the altar of oil and greed.

WHY WE DO IT

We do it because we can publish content like we do on MediaChannel. If you value it, get involved.

I will be in Washington, D.C., tomorrow on a film shoot.

Letters to: Dissector@mediachannel.org

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