Wednesday, June 28, 2017
"Our friends at the Washington Post are waging a brave campaign against Medicare for All.

Over the weekend, the Washington Post editorial board took a bold stance: they argued that universal health care with single-payer financing is simply beyond reach.

That the Post felt the need to issue the editorial at this particular moment is a testament to single payer’s rising fortunes. From coast to coast, activists are on the march: against the widely loathed, upward-wealth-redistributing, health-care-stripping abomination known as Trumpcare, for sure — but also for real universal health care.
Yet the Post’s frail arguments should be confronted, because they repeat a number of common talking points that rest on flawed assumptions and that could do real harm."

-->Major media in the US hate the idea of going around the big insurance and pharmaceutical companies to establish healthcare for all Americans. The Washington Post and the NYT are simply in the pocket of the major corporations involved. This article is a must read for those who want to understand how defective our media really is when discussing US healthcare.


Physicians for Human Rights:
"Based on an analysis of thousands of pages of documents and years of research, Physicians for Human Rights shows that the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program constituted an illegal, unethical regime of experimental research on unwilling human subjects, testing the flawed hypothesis that torture could aid interrogators in breaking the resistance of detainees. 

In “Nuremberg Betrayed: Human Experimentation and the CIA Torture Program,” PHR researchers show that CIA contract psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen created a research program in which health professionals designed and applied torture techniques and collected data on torture’s effects. This constitutes one of the gravest breaches of medical ethics by U.S. health personnel since the Nuremberg Code was developed in the wake of Nazi medical atrocities committed during World War Two.

Delving into the role health professionals played in designing and implementing torture, the report uses newly released documents to show how the results of untested, brutal torture techniques were used to calibrate the machinery of the torture program. The large-scale experiment’s flawed findings were also used by Bush administration lawyers to create spurious legal cover for the entire program."

-->No mention of “Nuremberg Betrayed" in the NYT, which puts a high priority on keeping the brutal behavior the CIA out of its newspaper. 


"A recent Wikileaks document dump revealed that the CIA has been hacking wireless routers. The documents suggest it has been going on for years and as many as 25 devices from 10 different manufacturers were targeted.

This latest leak included user manuals and installation guides for a number of hacking tools. One of them, dubbed CherryBlossom, let the CIA monitor a target's internet activity, redirect their browser and scan for information.

The list of compromised router brands includes, but is likely not limited to, Asus, Belkin, Buffalo, Dell, Dlink, Linksys, Motorola, Netgear, Senao and US Robotics. Apple is not on the list, but it's unclear how many other devices might have been targeted after these documents were created."

-->To our newspaper of record, the CIA hacking into the nation's routers is not newsworthy. All the news that the CIA thinks is fit to print.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Huffington Post:
"... this month the Public Broadcasting System is broadcasting a 'documentary' that tells a one-sided story, the story that Betsy DeVos herself would tell, based on the work of free-market advocate Andrew Coulson. Author of 'Market Education,' Coulson narrates 'School, Inc.,' a three-hour program, which airs this month nationwide in three weekly broadcasts on PBS. ...

What [viewers] will not see or hear is the other side of the story. ... Advocates of the privatization movement like DeVos claim that nonpublic schools will 'save poor children from failing public schools,' but independent researchers have recently concurred that vouchers actually have had a negative effect on students in the District of Columbia, Indiana, Louisiana, and Ohio. Charters, at best, have a mixed record, and many are known for excluding children with disabilities and English language learners and for pushing out students who are troublesome.

I googled the funders and discovered that the lead funder [of the PBS documentary] is the Rose Mary and Jack Anderson Foundation, a very conservative foundation ... which advocates for vouchers. Other contributors to Donors Trust include the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity and the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation. In other words, this program is paid propaganda. It does not search for the truth. It does not present opposing points of view. It is an advertisement for the demolition of public education and for an unregulated free market in education.

-->The shame of PBS selling its airtime to the far right and its corporate think tanks that want to destroy public education. Why couldn't PBS have aired a program that really debates the issues? Is their journalism simply for sale to the highest bidder?


"Action Alert: With Sleazy Innuendo, NYT Lays Virginia Attack at Bernie Sanders’ Feet. New York Times reporter Yamiche Alcindor (6/14/17) started with a false premise and patched together a dodgy piece of innuendo and guilt-by-association in order to place the blame for a shooting in Virginia on 'the most ardent supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Sanders’ supporters are positioned as crazed religious adherents, with an 'idol' rather than a political leader. ... The sleaziest section, and one that solicited the most online outrage, uncritically echoed the conventional wisdom that Sanders fans were uniquely menacing and aggressive.

Alcindor insists Sanders supporters had 'earned a belligerent reputation' without examining whether or not this claim was supported by any empirical data whatsoever."

-->When it comes to Bernie Sanders and the social justice movement, the NYT is very close to Fox News. Both media conglomerates distort leftist positions, belittle activists seeking social change, and generally espouse the corporate agenda over the will of the people.

ACTION: Please contact the New York Times and ask for more responsible coverage of the Virginia shooting incident. Email: You can leave a copy of your message in the comments section of the FAIR website above.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Guardian UK:
"A rightwing protester who was filmed helping law enforcement in Portland arrest an anti-fascist activist has been identified as a member of a 'patriot movement' militia-style group.

Todd Kelsay confirmed he was the man captured in photographs and video assisting three officers from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as they pinned down and apprehended the masked protester.

The footage, which shows Kelsay kneeling alongside the DHS officers, and then removing cuffs from the back of one officer, has fueled debate over the policing of the event last Sunday."

-->Collusion between right wing, racist thugs and the nation's police forces is a major indication of fascism on the rise. The failure of our media, including the NYT to cover this story is an indication that this emerging fascism will remain unchallenged.


Common Dreams:
"U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning has given her first interview since being released from prison last month in which she explains her motivations for making public thousands of military documents. ...

Asked about why she leaked the trove of documents, she says, 'I have a responsibility to the public … we all have a responsibility.'

'We're getting all this information from all these different sources and it's just death, destruction, mayhem. ... We're filtering it all through facts, statistics, reports, dates, times, locations, and eventually, you just stop,' she adds. 'I stopped seeing just statistics and information, and I started seeing people.' "

-->Yes, we all. have a responsibility to the public. Well, all accept the NYT which didn't't think Chelsea Manning's words were fit to print. Our newspaper of record avoided the interview completely, while a Reuters story focused on Chelsea's transgender experience. 

UPDATE: Manning will be featured in the NYT Sunday Magazine.


The Guardian, UK:
"Progressive politicians in the US have hailed Jeremy Corbyn’s performance in the British general election 'an inspiration' that could shift the Democratic party to the left in the run-up to the 2018 midterms.

Bernie Sanders was among those to praise Labour’s result, saying it showed 'people are rising up against austerity and massive levels of income and wealth inequality,' while left-leaning members of Congress said the victory would have major implications for the future of Democrats. ...

Corbyn’s achievement was part of a 'global trend,' said Pramila Jayapal, a US congresswoman from Washington, 'towards recognising that progressive policies are the answer to a lot of the inequality, and a lot of the issues that young people and working families across the globe are facing.' ”

-->To the NYT, all this shift to the left is more baffling than hopeful. The newspaper doesn't acknowledge a "global trend" at all, but instead quotes disillusioned English voters: “Britain doesn’t feel stable anymore.” Unwilling as ever to see a left movement in either country, the NYT warns that, "Britain is increasingly confusing and unpredictable." Blind to Burnie Sanders, and now blind to the Labour victory in Britain.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Common Dreams:
"The years-long, Indigenous-led fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) briefly captured the nation's attention last fall as images of peaceful resisters being sprayed with water canons and surrounded by police in tanks and other military-grade equipment were spread widely, fueling global outrage and a fierce protest movement against the oil pipeline.

Now that the pipeline is operational and already leaking, internal documents obtained by The Intercept and reported on Saturday reveal the deep collusion between local police forces, the pipeline company, and defense contractors as they executed 'military-style counterterrorism measures' to suppress the water protectors.

TigerSwan, described as a 'shadowy international mercenary and security firm' that 'originated as a U.S. military and State Department contractor helping to execute the global war on terror,' was hired by Energy Transfer Partners to spearhead 'a multifaceted private security operation characterized by sweeping and invasive surveillance of protesters,' The Intercept wrote."

-->This merging of private and public police forces didn't bother the NYT, which failed to print this story. 


Common Dreams:
"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) did not adequately account for safety hazards when approving certain upgrades to nuclear sites around the U.S., meaning the risk of a Fukushima-like disaster caused by a reactor fire is still high, according to an article published in the journal Science on Friday.

Researchers from Princeton University and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) argued that the NRC 'relied on faulty analysis to justify its refusal to adopt a critical measure for protecting Americans from the occurrence of a catastrophic nuclear-waste fire at any one of dozens of reactor sites around the country.'

The risk is especially high in the sites' cooling pools—basins that are used to store and reduce the temperatures of used radioactive fuel rods. Spent-fuel pools came into the international spotlight after the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi site in Japan, in which an earthquake-triggered tsunami disabled the electrical systems needed for the cooling process, leading to meltdowns at three of six reactors."

-->Amazingly, the NYT didn't print this story either. The nuclear catastrophe waiting to happen just north of NYC wasn't judged news fit to print, even though the Indian Point power plant uses these risky spent fuel pools.


Common Dreams:
"Thursday, on what would have been his 24th birthday, an intersection in the Bronx was renamed in honor of Kalief Browder, the 16-year-old African-American boy flung into New York's grisly Rikers Island Prison in 2010 after he was wrongly accused of stealing a backpack and his family couldn't raise bail. 

At Rikers, known as a de-facto 'penal colony' for its brutal conditions, Kalief endured three years of 'documented torture,' including two years in solitary, at the hands of both guards and fellow inmates. He was repeatedly beaten, assaulted, starved; he attempted suicide at least five times, and was punished each time; he faced unending legal delays until he became 'an unheard voice,' as though he "didn't exist." 

Throughout his harrowing ordeal, documented at length by Jennifer Gonnerman in The New Yorker, he maintained his innocence and refused all plea deals. In June 2014, the charges were suddenly dropped and he was freed. After struggling for two years with post-Rikers trauma, depression and paranoia, Kalief hanged himself outside his family's Bronx home in what Gonnerman calls an 'American tragedy almost beyond words.' He was 22."

-->No mention of this story in the NYT, which prefers presenting articles with a positive view of law enforcement.