Michael Vick: Flavor Of The Week

I had no intention of weighing in on the Michael Vick dog fighting story, but some of what I’ve read around the InterTubes™ just begs for some enlightenment as to the media’s handling of this.

Lawrence O’Donnell wrote an article at the Huffington Post that he ironically titled “What’s Wrong with Killing Dogs?” The point was to suggest that compassionate people who are outraged by Vick’s treatment of dogs ought to be equally outraged by the inhumane treatment dished out by the beef and poultry industries – to say nothing of hunters and others who kill for sport. O’Donnell correctly observed that people have an irrational preference for the welfare of dogs and an indifference to the suffering of other species. This is an angle that the media has thoroughly ignored.

Let me say, unequivocally, that I think Vick’s activities are disgusting, but I think Dyson Foods is 1000 times more disgusting. I mourn for the dogs that Vick harmed, but I also mourn for every gentle, peaceful cow that ended up in some glutton’s Big Mac. And what of all the birds and fish and what are perversely refer to as “game?” I think everyone who laments the fate of these dogs and does not feel the same about all the other animal victims of mass murder in the this country, are hypocrites.

However, this news eruption is just a new flavor of the “missing pretty white girl” syndrome that our media loves so much. Vick is this week’s Paris Hilton. They’ll exploit him for ratings because of his celebrity, and ignore 100 other atrocities that occur contemporaneously. This story further reveals how the media values one type (race?) of victim to the exclusion of all others. It reeks of a disingenuous compassion with blinders on.

If I thought that the promotion of this story would lead to a deeper examination of animal cruelty in America, I might be consolable. But all the talking heads are concerned with is whether Vick will still have a place in the NFL when he gets out of jail. It’s just pathetic.

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Ted Nugent: The Motor City Jackass

You would be hard pressed to find rightest diatribes more offensive than those from the likes of Michael Savage, Ann Coulter, or Glenn Beck, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard as revolting or violent a tantrum as this one by a machine gun brandishing Ted Nugent:

Nugent: I was in Chicago last week I said, “Hey Obama, you might want to suck on one of these, you punk?” Obama, he’s a piece of sh*t and I told him to suck on one of my machine guns. Let’s hear it for them. I was in New York and I said, “Hey Hillary, you might want to ride one of these into the sunset you worthless bitch.” Since I’m in California, I’m gonna find Barbara Boxer she might wanna suck on my machine guns. Hey, Dianne Feinstein, ride one of these you worthless whore.

Republican pundits like to accuse liberals of being haters. It’s an absurd inversion of reality considering the venom that spews from conservative quarters. In fact, studies show that Bill O’Reilly, a frequent accuser, calls a person or group a derogatory name once every 6.8 seconds (see Bill O’Reilly: Propaganda Pimp). But when was the last time you heard a liberal incite lethal violence against leading presidential candidates and other office holders? (Click here to report this threat to the Secret Service).

When Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks merely said that she was ashamed that Bush was from the same state as her, the group was hounded by the media, blacklisted by radio stations, and victimized by boycotts and demonstrations. Right-wing outrage over lyrics by rapper, Ludacris, cost him a Pepsi commercial contract. George Clooney, Sean Penn, Barbara Streisand and more, have all felt the sting of the “Shut up and sing” crowd. What do you suppose would have happened if anyone of them had waved firearms in a public concert hall and hurled profanities at John McCain and Rudy Giuliani. And why hasn’t the so-called liberal media risen to assert their so-called moral outrage at this atrocity by a conservative so-called entertainer?

I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for these martinets of virtue to condemn, with equal vigor, the repellent, and possibly unlawful, rantings of the Motor City (pathologically) Madman. That would require character and consistency, qualities they long ago swapped for intolerance and hostility. Which makes Nugent an ideal spokesman for them.

For good measure, I thought you might like to see the sort of misogyny that Nugent is expressing on the cover of his new CD “Love Grenade.” A nude woman in bondage on a platter like a pig with a hand grenade in her mouth.

This affirms the obvious hatred he harbors for women. The fact that he feels comfortable offering this as a reward for those who pre-order just compounds the sickness of it all.

Note that Nugent’s recordings are currently released by Eagle Records, which Hoovers describes as the label, “where rockers of yesteryear go to retire.” (email Eagle Records)

The New Pentagon Propaganda Pulpit

Associated Press via Huffington Post: Washington, August 24, 2007.

null“Shaping the Bush administration’s message on the Iraq war has taken on new fervor, just as anticipation is building for the September progress report from top military advisers.”

With news from Iraq continuing to reflect deteriorating security and a crumbling government, the Pentagon is embarking on another surge, this time in public relations, to better shape the administration’s lies …er … message. The result is a Baghdad operation that might be called a media war room.

To be sure, there is an abundance of news percolating around Baghdad and Washington. General Petraeus is about to deliver the report written for him by the White House. The National Intelligence Estimate was just leaked to the media. The General Accounting Office has an upcoming release. And with Congress back in session next month, there are sure to be some fireworks over these reports and the results of their own investigations (I hope).

So it is not all that surprising that the administration would seek to construct a new and improved platform from which to preempt the anticipated bad news from Iraq, Capital Hill, and Reality.

Dorrance Smith, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, working under Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England, will manage this new facility that will be tasked with creating…

“…a central clearinghouse of information so we can pull in all that is coming out of Baghdad and Iraq and have it come into one point, so we can better be able to share it with people who are interested.”

When asked, Defense officials denied that the program was a “propaganda tool.” I wonder if the questioner expected them to say, “Of course it’s a propaganda tool. Next question.” They also denied that it was “set up to respond to the eroding public support for the war.” Now that’s an interesting statement because, while it deflects the accusation that the program’s purpose is to shape public opinion, it also concedes that public support for the war is eroding. That sort of accidental release of the truth can get a Bush flack fired post haste.

A little background: Dorrance Smith was a former ABC News producer and a media adviser to Paul Bremer, the administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq. He received a recess appointment to replace Victoria Clarke as State Department spokesperson and was later confirmed by the Senate.

Gordon England, also a recess appointee, replaced Paul Wolfowitz at the State Department, whereupon he promptly hired Robert L. Earl as his Chief of Staff. Earl’s resume includes an immunized appearance before a grand jury where he testified that he had destroyed and stolen national security documents while working for Oliver North during the Iran-Contra scandal.

I can’t think of a better team to mislead the public and the press as we move into another political season of deception and obfuscation and despair for Iraqis and for America’s soldiers and their families.


Bill O’Reilly’s Trespassing Producer
A Hillsborough sheriff’s deputy issued trespass warnings to O’Reilly Factor producer Jesse Watters, and staff Brian Lyle and Colin Kelly, when they tried to ambush interview Circuit Judge Manuel Lopez. O’Reilly aired Watters harassing the judge but failed to broadcast any of the encounter with the sheriff.

Non-Freedom of Information Act
In a motion filed yesterday, Justice Department lawyers argued that the Office of Administration is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Their reasoning: the office is not an “agency,” by the definition of FOIA. This contradicts the White House’s own web site that says the Office of Administration is subject to FOIA. But it affirms the White House’s commitment to excessive secrecy.

Censorship at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Department administrator, Nicole R. Nason, has adopted a policy that has blocked virtually all of her staff – including the communications office – from providing any information to reporters on the record, which means that it can’t be attributed. What are they trying to hide? Nason, a Bush appointee, must be making her secrecy obsessed boss very happy.

Fox/CBC Democratic presidential debate “postponed”
Fox News and a black political group say they will not hold a Sept. 23 Democratic presidential debate in Detroit, which the leading candidates already were planning to skip. Right, and I canceled my date with Angelina Jolie.

The Road to War: Iraq
On August 27, the National Geographic Channel will air a documentary on the events that led up to the invasion of Iraq. NGC is majority-owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. I don’t want to prejudge this film, but it seems to be populated with interviews of a bunch of Bushies like Andy Card, Richard Armitage, and Mary Matalin. We’ll see where it goes.

News Corpse Sells Out

Beginning today, News Corpse is a member of the Liberal Advertising BlogAd Network. The LBAN is a group of progressive blogs that have coalesced under this banner to support, through advertising, blogging and bloggers who promote “the national progressive zeitgeist”.

For the New Media revolution to remain a viable challenger to the corporate-dominated Conventional Media, we need to be able to sustain our ourselves and our operations. Businesses and other enterprises can participate in this mission by including New Media in their marketing strategy. In addition to advancing the progressive dialog, advertisers would gain access to a uniquely engaged and motivated audience.

If you have a product, service, campaign, or other enterprise, please consider advertising on News Corpse via LBAN, the News Media Blog Network or individually. It’s a great way to help both your business and your country. You don’t hate America, do you?

To kick off today’s inauguration activities, please take a few minutes to fill out my Blog Reader Project survey. This will help us to define our audience and, thus, to better serve them and our advertisers as well.

Tastes Almost Like Free Speech

Free Speech ZoneAlmost like the real thing.

We live in a substitute society. Our consumer culture has produced numerous products that are only meant to emulate other products that, for one reason or another, we seek to avoid. There is mock meat and faux fur and sodas sweetened sans sugar. Now, courtesy of BushCo, we have fake free speech.

In response to litigation, the White House was forced to reveal the existence of a secret manual used to manage the public events of the President. Many of the tactics outlined in the Presidential Advance Manual are well known to activists, but now, for the first time, we can see the actual policy from the Oval Office handlers.

The Washington Post reports that:

“A White House manual that came to light recently gives presidential advance staffers extensive instructions in the art of “deterring potential protestors” from President Bush’s public appearances around the country.”

“Among other things, any event must be open only to those with tickets tightly controlled by organizers. Those entering must be screened in case they are hiding secret signs. Any anti-Bush demonstrators who manage to get in anyway should be shouted down by “rally squads” stationed in strategic locations. And if that does not work, they should be thrown out.”

The White House doesn’t view these measures as suppression of lawful dissent. They believe that they are in compliance with the spirit of free speech if they…

“designate a protest area where demonstrators can be placed, preferably not in the view of the event site or motorcade route.”

The primary goals of the directives in the manual are not to protect the President or to maintain civil order, but to shield the President from the unpleasant reality that he is universally despised, and to prevent the media from witnessing, and potentially reporting, any outbreak of democratic redress of grievances. It goes so far as to say that if demonstrators are unlikely to be noticed by the press, they should be ignored. That instruction makes perfect sense for the administration because, if protesters are not observed by the media, they will be ignored by the nation.

Despite our cultural acceptance of fakes and knockoffs, there really is no substitute for free speech and other Constitutional liberties. And while a designated free speech zone may have the appearance and texture real freedom, the aroma has the stench of a cowardly administration that is afraid of its own constituents. In other words, it still tastes like chicken.

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Fox News Declares War On Iran

A video (posted below) from FoxAttacks really tells the story of what a corrupt tool for propaganda Fox is.

Fox News

It also should tell people that our battle lines do not end with Bush and other Republicans. Christiane Amanpour’s comment succinctly describes the real threat:

“My station [CNN] was intimidated by the administration and the foot soldiers at Fox News.”

The media is manufacturing fear and misleading the country and the world. And it all begins with Fox. We must resolve to stop being accomplices in our own downfall. This is a good time to revisit my exhortation that Fox must be shunned.

Detox from Fox: Starve The Beast

As I said before, with extensive documentation, appearing on Fox is not only pointless, it is overtly harmful to progressive causes. It is long past time for Democrats and progressives to recognize this simple fact and resolve to stop allowing themselves to be used for target practice by disingenuous pseudo-journalists whose purpose is to defame and defeat them in politics and public opinion.

No more capitulation by our representatives and Fox’s competitors. It cannot, and must not, be tolerated. Do not cooperate with Fox in any way. Just say no!

News Corpse Presents: The ALL NEW 2nd volume of
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Fox Buries Iraq War News

The Project for Excellence in Journalism just published the results of their study of news coverage for the second quarter of 2007. Continuing the trend from the first quarter, Fox News had far less coverage than its cable competitors. Proving that it simply doesn’t consider the war in Iraq a priority, Fox’s coverage trailed CNN and MSNBC by about half.

Percent of Newshole Devoted To Iraq War on Cable News
Apr. 1, ‘07 – Jun. 29, ‘07

Network % Iraq War News
CNN 17.8
MSNBC 15.1
Fox News 7.9

Last quarter Bill O’Reilly responded to the relative neglect by Fox of what is indisputably the top story in the country by saying that…

“CNN and MSNBC are actually helping the terrorists by reporting useless explosions.”

He further justified Fox’s deficient coverage by asking:

“Do you care if another bomb went off in Tikrit? Does it mean anything? No! It doesn’t mean anything.”

The callous disregard for human life exhibited by O’Reilly’s comments is more than evident and requires no response. But the fact that he employs such revolting language to defend his network’s journalistic malpractice reveals the lengths to which he and Fox will go to avoid providing their audience with a truthful account of events in the world.

By failing to properly cover the most important issues of the day, Fox is demonstrating why studies show that Fox viewers are so woefully ill-informed. They can’t decide – if Fox will not report.

Nuke Iraq And Make Bush President For Life

The wisest course would have been for President Bush to use his nuclear weapons to slaughter Iraqis until they complied with his demands, or until they were all dead.

Believe it or not, this is exactly what Family Security Matters, a organization made up of prominent conservatives, is advocating, along with making Bush President For Life (h/t Digby). Acting as a front group for the Center for Security Policy, a right-wing think tank that promotes American world dominance through military strength, FSM features authors like Phillip Atkinson, a Contributing Editor who has written what is one of the most grotesque dissertations on American Democracy I have ever read.

But it seems that FSM has been busy scrubbing Atkinson, and perhaps other controversial articles, from their web site. Thanks to Google cache, they cannot so easily cover their repulsive tracks.

FSM describes themselves as the National Security Resource for American Families. But I’m not sure how families will benefit from trading in Democracy for tyranny. Grit your teeth and read these excerpts:

Conquering the Drawbacks of Democracy

If President Bush copied Julius Caesar by ordering his army to empty Iraq of Arabs and repopulate the country with Americans, he would achieve immediate results: popularity with his military; enrichment of America by converting an Arabian Iraq into an American Iraq

He could then follow Caesar’s example and use his newfound popularity with the military to wield military power to become the first permanent president of America, and end the civil chaos caused by the continually squabbling Congress and the out-of-control Supreme Court.

Then who would be able to stop Bush from emulating Augustus Caesar and becoming ruler of the world? For only an America united under one ruler has the power to save humanity from the threat of a new Dark Age wrought by terrorists armed with nuclear weapons.

The Barbarians Are Coming

The culture of the white Americans is being displaced by their mainly Hispanic invaders; peace and wealth created by the white American culture are being replaced by poverty and crime brought by the invaders.

The very least that must be done to halt the Hispanic invasion is the mass enslavement, or execution, of the invaders, which must be followed by an American invasion of Mexico to enforce American language and values upon the Mexicans.

The Dangers of the Liberal-Islamist Connection

[T]he Left has contempt for the average American. That is why most of the Left speaks of America as bringing immeasurable misery and sadness to the world and, essentially, as deserving attacks on it.

While it is true that the hedonistic life style of Leftists runs counter to Shariah law, many Leftists are drawn into supporting the Islamist movement. It should also be noted that Bible-believing Christians and Jews do not support Leftists’ hedonistic lifestyle.

This revolting treatise was not penned by some outlandish neo-Nazi militia group holed up in the hills of Kentucky hording guns. No, it was published on the website of an organization asserting family values and run by many of our nations most prominent mainstream conservatives.

Contine reading

The Daily Show: Reporting From Iraq

The Daily Show is going to war. The show whose star, Jon Stewart, condescendingly refers to it as “fake news” is sending their very own correspondent on assignment to Iraq next week. Rob Riggle will anchor Operation Silent Thunder from, as the press release puts it, “actual Iraq, not greenscreen Iraq.”

Two years I ago, I wrote that The Daily Show does a better job of representing honest journalism than many of the organizations that they mock (see The Real Fake News). It was not an attempt to be cute or dismissive. There is evidence to support the argument:

The show has won five Emmys. It won a Peabody award for election coverage. The Columbia Journalism Review included Stewart on its list of the nation’s 10 most influential political reporters. Newsday placed Stewart on their list of the 20 media players who will most influence the 2004 campaign.

Most of those awards were not bestowed for entertainment, they were honoring the program for its news content. That said, it is still still a comedy program, not a news program. But it also performs the function of a media watchdog, alerting us to the hypocrisy, collaboration, and contrivance of the corporate-dominated media.

Now with Riggle joining his colleagues in the war zone, the lines between reality and satire (satirealityâ„¢) are becoming ever more blurred. It is important to note that Riggle is not just a comedian doing shtick on a new stage. He is a decorated veteran whose service as a U.S. Marine can inform his “reporting” in unique and invaluable ways. He is a comedian with “more than 19 medals and ribbons, including the Combat Action Ribbon,” for service in Liberia, Kosovo and Afghanistan.

A correspondent who has had tours of duty in both Operation Enduring Freedom and the Rubber Chicken Circuit, is a rare asset for any media outfit. I predict that, once again, the fake news will trump the real news on substance. And at the same time they will entertain our weary troops (something the real news can never claim to do) as this trip is being undertaken in conjunction with a USO tour that will also include comedians Horatio Sanz, Rob Huebel and Paul Scheer.

Good luck Major Riggle. Not that you need it. We all know that a Rubber Chicken can beat a Chicken Hawk any day of the week.