Category Archives: The media

The Case Against Hillary: a Compendium of 175 Articles, 2005-2016

For those of you who want to immediately begin digging, please do proceed.

This compendium consists of 175 articles from 2005-2016 taken from independent news websites, blogs, and other sources and focuses on Hillary Clinton’s record as Secretary of State (2009-2013) and as a Presidential Primary candidate in 2008 and 2016. Her Senate record (2001-2009), though also important, is barely covered, but you can search her Senate votes and sponsorships online. In addition, the twitter feed Defeat the DINOcrats includes some graphics about Clinton’s votes on major legislation.

Topics covered include the economy, trade, politics, foreign affairs, diversity, justice, ethics, the environment, health insurance, and others.

Many of the news and opinion sources for this compendium rely on reader contributions to bring us the kind of insightful and independent reporting and commentary that isn’t available in the mainstream corporate media, so please consider giving to them. These organizations include
Alternet
Truthdig
Truthout
Democracy Now!
Pro Publica
Foreign Policy in Focus
The Nation, and
OtherWords.

LINKS
Compendium: https://theciviccenter.wordpress.com/cpdm00000045
This page: https://theciviccenter.wordpress.com/2016/02/27/00000045, http://wp.me/s1XWDT-00000045

Advertisements

What the Muck?

I started this blog nearly four years ago intending to post my own original commentary, but I saw a comment on the website of NPR/WNYC’s On the Media that I could not leave buried in obscurity.

The comment criticizes the media’s lack of coverage of the plight of the lowest-wage workers in the U.S., in light of “On the Media” host Bob Garfield’s discussion on how a New York Times story about hazardous working conditions in nail salons became widely read. The commenter’s initialism “USCFM” apparently stands for U.S. Corporate-Funded Media, but I cannot decipher “ICBW”.

Garfield compares the NYT’s work on manicurists to the great muckrakers of the fin-de-si├Ęcle-beore-last, missing a *major* difference. Persons like Tarbell[1] and Sinclair[2] publicly declared their intent to fundamentally change their society and their pain when their work produced only token reforms: Sinclair famously despaired that (in The Jungle) he had aimed at his nation’s heart but merely hit it in the gut. ICBW, but I strongly suspect that the Times (and WNYC, and the rest of the US corporate-funded media) aims no higher than the nation’s toenails.

The “buried lead” (of which the NYC manicurists’ story is but a nail-clipping) is that mass migration to the US–especially illegal immigration–is driving down wages and working conditions (and increasingly living conditions) while driving up rents and housing costs, especially at the bottom of US labor and housing markets. (Mass emigration also drains energy, skills, and political oppositions from the source nations, but the discourse of “brain drain” appears to be banned from today’s USCFM.) ICBW, but I strongly suspect the NYT et al are going nowhere near that engine of inequality: it’s just too profitable for their 1% advertisers and funders. Instead of attacks on the *economics* of importing a new underclass–and especially on the bosses and landlords who profit most–the USCFM will deliver only xenophobic attacks on immigrants (but not those who exploit them) from the likes of Fox News and the Murdoch[3] press, and defenses of immigrants (but not the native-born underclass) by its more socially-liberal organs.

In 1906, President Roosevelt told the muckrakers to “know when to stop raking the muck”[4]. With increasingly few exceptions (like Seymour Hersh[5]–thanks for doing that, OTM!), the USCFM of 2015 don’t need to be told: they know to stop long before its stench afflicts the comfortable.

[1]: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ida_Tarbell
[2]: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upton_Sinclair
[3]: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rupert_Murdoch
[4]: en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Man_with_the_Muck_Rake
[5]: onthemedia.org/story/podcast-extra-seymour-hersh

The Downturn Express

Ten years ago, when I was living in Maryland and working in Washington, D.C., one of my co-workers brought a newspaper that I had not seen. He was reading the Express, a free, daily, condensed-format newspaper published by The Washington Post Company that made its debut in 2003. Since that time, circulation of The Washington Post has declined, according to a chart based on data provided by the company.

Many pundits are attributing the downturn to the availability of the Post and other news sources on the internet. I believe that the internet is only one factor and that if it were a significant one, then the chart would probably show a steeper drop around 2010, when e-readers became popular. Nevertheless, the near coincidence between the debut of the Express in 2003 and the downturn in circulation the following year points to the Express as a major culprit.

I dropped my subscription to the Post in 2009 after the paper dropped “Zippy the Pinhead” from its comics pages. However, I didn’t substitute the Post by picking up the Express every day because I found the page design unattractive and thought of its readers as being dull and passive.