A disturbing trend has been occurring over the past decade that is the fall-out of the news media losing out to online pressures. The journalism that we have come to rely on isn’t just consolidating and shrinking, it is being taken over by monied interests with clear political ideology behind it. A recent article at Media Matters renders a scathing critique on one right-wing shop called Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. If you haven’t read the expose, it is worth checking out at http://mediamatters.org/blog/2012/07/11/how-a-right-wing-group-is-infiltrating-state-ne/187059. It’s long, but insightful, so grab a cup of coffee.
The article exposes the Franklin Center’s funding as hailing from right-wing entities, which explains its conservative slant. While that alone wouldn’t be surprising or noteworthy, several other factors make it quite troubling. For starters, the Franklin Center is trying to pawn itself off as being journalistic when it isn’t. Thankfully, it has been denied credentials for the past two years by the Capital Correspondents Association. However, the average reader won’t know that. Secondly, because typical local newspapers are so strapped for reporting sources, they often rely on the Franklin Center’s fodder: right-leaning stories that don’t cite a balance of sources.
An excerpt from the Media Matters article follows:
A 2009 American Journalism Review study found that 355 newspaper reporters and editors were covering state capitols full time, a 30% decrease at the time from 524 in 2003.
“The evidence suggests that, clearly, there has been a significant diminution of bodies from the legacy media outlets covering statehouses and state politics around the country,” said Mark Jurkowitz, associate director of the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, which tracks such trends. “Even in a city like Boston, you saw the TV bodies in the statehouse diminish quite dramatically.
“In the newspaper environment, there are just fewer bodies to go around anywhere and that has meant cutting back fairly dramatically on statehouse coverage.”
The Franklin Center claims this downturn in mainstream state reporting as one of the reasons for its existence, noting on its website: “Cash-strapped and under-staffed, local and regional newspapers often can’t provide the real information that voters need to make good decisions.”
Ya gotta love the Franklin Center’s positioning on this trend. They think they are the knight riding in on the white horse, or as what was known back in the day as the second estate. Given the way things are headed, the fourth estate will soon be swallowed entirely by the second.
Even if it weren’t a cooking show, the humor of the divine Miss Nadia Giosia, or Nadia G. as she prefers, would be reason enough to add her to the comedic line up of Comedy Central. For those of you who haven’t experienced ‘Bitchin’ Kitchen’ on the Food Network or the Cooking Channel, you are certainly missing the culinary main ingredient. Here’s an old episode from her early days: http://youtu.be/u4cOojOoLTM where she is just as sassy and funny as ever, though the set is cable-show worthy. These days, she sports a funky, Vampira-like rocker set, and still comes equipped with her 3-inch stilettos. Her recipes are inspired, but it is her verve and wit that make the show.She doesn’t take herself too seriously and that is part of her charm. Given her moxie and savvy, I find her to be the perfect post-modern feminist, if there ever was one.
Catch her latest videos and recipes at http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/bitchin-kitchen-show-page/video/index.html.
The shock to L.A.’s collective conscious was a powerful blow on April 29, 1992. While the police relations within the community have dramatically improved—something I would not have predicted even with the accompanying US Justice Dept oversight—the societal underpinnings of division are growing wider. What was 17% African-American unemployment in the South Central area has ballooned to 25% to date. The bottle keg today lies in this growing unemployment trend. It also means that another tumult may be coming because the disenfranchised are still being repressed.
I recall my father’s astonishment that L.A. would endure not just one upheaval in 1965, but also another in 1992, despite all manner of blue-ribbon panels and good intentions. That clearly was not enough. While we have conquered the police brutality of the LAPD (the jury is till out on the County Sheriff’s Dept), we have not yet stepped up to addressing the opportunities lost for so many minority residents. This includes Latinos and African-Americans, as the demographics of South-Central have shifted while the pain has not.
Tavis Smiley and Cornell West have taken upon themselves to shine a light on poverty and to bring the conversation for this year’s election to that topic. Given what is at stake—our democracy and morality—we should all take heed and do our part. “The Rich and Rest of Us” is their book on the topic, and the interview on their treatise is worth listening to for inspiration: http://www.democracynow.org/2012/4/19/tavis_smiley_cornel_west_on_the
There’s nothing like a taste of nostalgia to make one comforted. The other day I reflected on the bygone days of full-flavored bubblegum. Those were the times when the charm of a sugar-loaded mouth was enough to quell any school day strife. I cannot imagine any kid these days being satisfied without a cell phone, iPad, and Wii platform. The mere mention of sweets will likely be met with scoff.
I remember being fascinated by the packaging alone of Adams gum, imbued with colorful hues and ostentatious art. That is, the Adams packaging from the early 70s which focused on the fruit, depicting it in mouthwatering fashion. The Adams packages below are from the 60s and not as appetizing. The days of big bubblegum were born with Bubbleyum when I hit junior high. There were many a prank involving that gum. It was delicious and was easy to manipulate to make huge bubbles. I still remember a friend of mine giving me a huge pack of Bubbleyum for Christmas and thinking I had hit the jackpot. What a satisfying gum. Sigh.
My sense is if Hunter S. Thompson were around today, those asshats in Washington would be skewered in print.
“If you are not willing to look stupid, nothing great is ever going to happen to you.”
Robert Reich: The Shameful Murder of Dodd Frank -
Happy Birthday Dodd Frank,
Happy Birthday to you,
You’ve lost all your muscle,
And your teeth are gone, too.
One full year after the financial reform bill spearheaded through Congress by Christopher Dodd and Barney Frank was signed into law, Wall Street looks and acts much the way it did before….