Wednesday, November 28, 2018

"NPR Infomercial for Its Sponsor Amazon Omits Labor and Environmental Criticisms. It would be good if a radio station, ostensibly set up to serve the public, could mention these inconvenient realities.

There are dozens of reports detailing how Amazon’s shipping policies negatively effects both the environment and workers, but one wouldn’t have any idea either was a concern after  listening to NPR’s sexed-up report (Morning Edition, 11/21/18), 'Optimized Prime: How AI and Anticipation Power Amazon’s 1-Hour Deliveries.'

The report, detailing the 'Artificial Intelligence' behind Amazon’s delivery systems, relies entirely on interviews with Amazon flacks. The only people NPR speaks to are Brad Porter, the head of robotics for Amazon operations; Jenny Freshwater, director of software development; and Amazon VP Cem Sibay. No outside parties were sought for comment, let alone anyone remotely adversarial, such as labor organizers or environmental activists."

-->Yes, that old Morning Edition, always ready to celebrate the corporate vision of America.


Common Dreams:
"Big Pharma's Worst Nightmare': Experts Champion Sanders-Khanna Bill That Could Lower Drug Costs by More Than 40%.

Decrying America's shameful status as the only industrialized nation on Earth that lets pharmaceutical giants hike drug prices without restraint, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) on Tuesday unveiled legislation that would crack down on Big Pharma's government-granted monopolies by requiring the Secretary of Health and Human Services to approve far cheaper generic competition if companies refuse to bring drug prices into line with international standards.

'No other country allows pharmaceutical companies to charge any price they want for any reason they want. Somebody in America today can walk into a pharmacy and find out that the medicine they have been using for years can double, triple, or quadruple literally overnight. That needs to change,' Sanders declared in a statement. 'The greed of the prescription drug industry is literally killing Americans and it has got to stop.' "

-->The NYT decided not to print this story of Big Pharma's greed and Bernie's bill that would lower costs. It just doesn't fit the corporate view of America.


Common Dreams:
"After years of empty promises and demands from frustrated members of Congress, the Pentagon finally conducted its first-ever comprehensive audit—and unsurprisingly failed it, Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan revealed Thursday.

Although a 1990 federal law requires all U.S. government agencies to conduct annual financial audits, the Pentagon put it off until launching this one last December. Critics of the United States' astronomical military spending said the findings were precisely why lawmakers and the public have demanded Defense Department audits for decades.

'This is exactly why we must AuditThePentagon,' tweeted Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.). 'The unchecked waste, fraud, and abuse at the Pentagon is an insult to the American people.' "

-->The NYT often avoids having to print stories like this by putting a Reuters version on the NYT webpage. That is what our newspaper of record did this time too.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting):
"Three cheers for the moderates. Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin (11/7/18) had some familiar-sounding advice for Democrats based on the results of the midterm elections. ... 'Move to the right' is always corporate media’s advice for Democrats—win or lose. But did the 2018 midterms really demonstrate the virtues of moderation?

Well, the worst news for Democrats on Tuesday was the loss of three Senate seats held by incumbent Dems: North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp, Indiana’s Joe Donnelly and Missouri’s Claire McCaskill. As it happens, these are the Democrats who vote second-, third- and fifth-most often in line with Donald Trump’s preferences.

Heitkamp ran an ad bragging that she 'voted over half the time with President Trump.' A Donnelly spot featured Trump saying, 'Sen. Donnelly, thank you very much.'  A McCaskill ad declared that she was 'not one of those crazy Democrats.' They sound pretty 'moderate,' right? Yet they not only lost, they lost big—by 11-, 7- and 6-point margins, respectively."

-->Our mainstream media is always pushing the Democratic Party to the right, so that the corporations will be happy. It turns out that corporate sponsored Democratic candidates don't win elections. When will Hillary come back and save us from the Socialists?


Common Dreams:
"Israel Denounced for 'Cowardly' Attack After Late-Night Raid and Bombing of Gaza Kills 7 Palestinians. Just hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted—despite the abundance of evidence to the contrary—that he wants to 'avoid' military conflict with the Palestinians, a unit of Israeli soldiers flagrantly violated a ceasefire agreement Sunday night by invading the occupied Gaza Strip and killing at least seven Palestinians before fleeing under the cover of airstrikes.

Six more Palestinians and one Israeli soldier were later killed after a firefight, which prompted the Israeli unit to call in airstrikes for cover to escape. One Palestinian witness said Gaza was slammed with as many as 40 airstrikes in less than an hour as the Israeli team fled the besieged Gaza Strip, which is in the midst of a severe humanitarian crisis due to decades of brutal Israeli occupation.

'Imagine if Palestinians crossed into Israel and killed [seven] Israelis, all hell would break loose but Palestinians are expected to just accept this,' Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, wrote on Twitter."

-->NBCNews is a good example of how our mainstream media obfuscates which side started the attack. Its headline reads: "Hamas threatens to step up attacks as Israel-Gaza border ignites." The NYT headline states "Israelis and Militants Trade Fire" and describes the Israeli assassinations as a "botched intelligence mission."


Common Dreams:
"As conservative pundits and self-interested corporate Democrats predictably attempted to spin this week's midterm election results as a win for so-called moderates and proof that the Democratic Party should tack to the center, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) dismissed this 'absurd line' in an interview on Thursday and called the incoming crop of newly elected House members 'the most progressive freshman class in the modern history of the United States.'

'Many of these folks are not just women, not just people of color, who campaigned on Medicare for All, raising the minimum wage to 15 bucks, campaigned on making public colleges and universities tuition-free, on undoing Trump's tax breaks for billionaires,' Sanders told Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi in response to one Washington Post columnist's claim that Sanders-style progressives 'scare' voters.

'I think the Washington Post is going to be very surprised at who shows up on the first day of Congress and gets sworn in,' Sanders said. 'The political establishment notwithstanding, the future belongs to progressives.' "

-->The NYT, proving that it is stuck in the rut of corporate sponsored Democratic hacks, didn't even carry this story. Our newspaper of record never prints anything positive about Bernie, or the progressive movement either for that matter.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Common Dreams:
"The United States once again displayed its near total outlier status on Thursday after the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in favor of a symbolic resolution denouncing the 58-year U.S. embargo against Cuba.

Following the trend of how the 193-member body voted over the previous 27 years on the resolution, 189 nations voted (pdf) in favor of the 'Necessity of ending the economic, commercial, and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba' resolution, while just two—the United States and uber ally Israel—voted against it."

-->The NYT doesn't like to portray the US as an outlier when it comes to imposing an economic blockade against Cuba. Israel is doing the same thing to Gaza, so the two countries stand alone against the world. Not a message that the NYT chose to print for its readers. 


Common Dreams:
"At the tail end of a year full of egregious data mining scandals and privacy violations by corporate giants like Facebook, Google, and Equifax—behavior that went virtually unpunished in the United States—Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced a bill on Thursday that would dramatically strengthen internet privacy protections and hit executives who violate the rules with up to 20 years in prison.

'Today's economy is a giant vacuum for your personal information—everything you read, everywhere you go, everything you buy, and everyone you talk to is sucked up in a corporation's database. But individual Americans know far too little about how their data is collected, how it's used and how it's shared,'  Wyden said in a statement.

'It's time for some sunshine on this shadowy network of information sharing,' the Oregon senator added."

-->Sadly, the NYT kept this bit of sunshine off its pages. It didn't print this story. 


Common Dreams and The Guardian UK:
"While some of the most famous ultra-rich Americans—such as Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, and the Koch Brothers—have very public profiles and readily disclose where they stand ideologically or on key issues, new research reveals that a cabal of the U.S. billionaires largely operates in the shadows as they use their vast wealth and influence to maintain their status and undermine democracy.

In a piece published by the Guardian on Wednesday, Northwestern University professors Benjamin I. Page, Jason Seawright, and Matthew J. Lacombe lay out the findings of their 'exhaustive, web-based study of everything that the 100 wealthiest U.S. billionaires have said or done, over a 10-year period, concerning several major issues of public policy.'

The trio of researchers found that 'both as individuals and as contributors to Koch-type consortia, most U.S. billionaires have given large amounts money—and many have engaged in intense activity—to advance unpopular, inequality-exacerbating, highly conservative economic policies.' "

-->To the NYT, stories like this are just class warfare, and our newspaper of record did not print this story. All the news that fits the billionaire class.