Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mute Mainstream Media a Corporate Christmas Constant

As I watched our public broadcasting station, the CBC, plug yet another product (I never thought we'd hear the end of the American owned "Tim Hortons")
it occurred to me that our own media in both the USA and Canada have become our enemies.

The Hanoi Hannah of America,
Corrupt Corporate "News"

How the Bush Administration Intimidates the Mainstream U.S. Media

IN 1984, at the height of Reagan’s militarism, the editor of a Texas suburban newspaper where I had worked as a reporter for two years right out of college told me the paper could not publish a feature article I wrote on a local woman who began a nuclear weapons freeze organization. The reason: My story would “upset” advertisers. After all, many of those advertisers worked for the U.S. military/industrial complex. After all, many of those advertisers were closely aligned with the Republican Reagan regime. So, I did what I thought most any freedom-loving, principled American would do: I quit my job in protest and gave the story to a competing newspaper, which published it. This indirect form of government and corporate intimidation is sadly more common in today’s media environment than it was in the year of George Orwell’s 1984. In 2003, there was an alarming increase in the number of mainstream reporters fired or reprimanded for simply exercising their Constitutional rights. The result was just what the Bush-Cheney New World Odor [yes, I mean, “Odor,” as in these heartless elitists stink like crap] wanted: A working environment of fear in which people goosestepped behind their political and corporate leaders or remained silent because they were afraid for their jobs or even their lives. I feel for these reporters. As much as progressives like to complain about the media - and I do my share - I also realize the constraints of the profession. It’s hard to quit a job in protest - or even mildly go against the grain - when you have to feed a family in a tough job market. Members of the Bush-Cheney New World Odor know this. It’s all part of the plan. It’s why we have a tough job market today. That’s right, the New World Odor wants a tough economic market to better control us.

Reporter fired for participating in demonstration

In the face of this environment, the convictions and courage of some mainstream journalists continue to inspire me. Henry Norr, a former technology columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, was fired in April 2003 for participating in a demonstration against the U.S. invasion of Iraq. That came despite that newspaper having no policy that reporters or columnists could not participate in demonstrations at that time, and despite the fact that Norr covered areas largely unrelated to politics and war. After Norr’s firing, the paper implemented such a hypocritical policy against employees taking part in actions against the war that had a chilling effect on the newsroom. But corporate bigwigs were still free to engage in whatever political activity they wanted. Norr filed several complaints with state commissions, including the California State Labor Commission, which prohibited employers from interfering with the political activities of employees. But as he wrote, at least one media corporation in another state got around a similar law by saying - in a bit of Orwellian doublespeak that Bush-Cheney would be proud of - that the First Amendment gave newspaper owners the right to limit the free speech of employees. Norr continued to take action - he was shot in the leg with a wooden dowel in Oakland and arrested for civil disobedience outside the gates of Lockheed-Martin, the world’s largest arms manufacturer, in ensuing months. “I intend to continue exercising my constitutional rights and my moral obligation, as I see it, to oppose the Bush administration’s reckless and illegal imperial adventures,” he wrote in a statement published in the San Francisco Bay Guardian. “Someday I may have grandchildren who ask my daughters what our family did in the face of this madness. At least they’ll be able to say we all tried to make our voices heard - my wife and both of my daughters have also been arrested in civil disobedience this month. And I’m glad to know they won’t have to say that I just stood on the sidelines for fear of retaliation from my employer.” 1 In Jan. 2004, the Chronicle gave Norr an undisclosed financial settlement. Chronicle managing editor Robert Rosenthal said in a statement,

“When a reporter brings about that ethical conflict, as occurred here, the unfortunate but necessary result is a separation.”

Norr responded to Reuters, “Nobody had seen a conflict between being a personal technology writer and being against the war. It's not like some exotic activity to go to an anti-war demonstration, at least not around here.... Where is the conflict? To say that you're against the war, that somehow biases your coverage of personal technology?" 2

..Here we have Karlheinz Schreiber, the former CEO of Thyssen Canada strolling with Frank Moores, the head of GCI a lobbying firm who successfully bribed the Mulroney government into buying Air Bus. Over ten million dollars was spent oiling the skids of the
conservative government of the day and yet for years we did not hear a thing about it in our mainstream media in Canada. Our census is now contracted to Lockheed Martin and most of the Canada Pension fund is vested in Canadian and American military industrial stock, which would be completely against the opinion and desires of the average Canadian. We have a government in lockstep with the USA, a government who has shamed Canada, taking us backward in the world to the 16th century.

...Well and here we are just in time for Corporate Christmas, I mean it MUST be for them isn't it???

When did Jesus ever dress up? Everything I read about him says he took a vow of POVERTY and kicked the money changers from the TEMPLE.

Now I believe in Jesus and think he was a great prophet and surely hope and pray that he will return to earth this corporate Christmas and
close the malls after booting the war profiteers, money launders and false prophets from here to Mars.

Ohhmm, blessed be....may it be so and may the burden of cowardice be lifted from the shoulders of the well paid journalists of the nation that they might be freed to truly speak their minds in the land of the free and home of the brave. Lest they become another plastic, nonbiodegradable reptile, like the managment they represent.


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