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The Fire Next Time

The Fire Next Time

By James Baldwin

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Tag: Media


Flickr / steve9567

Domestic Terrorism by Any Standard

If right-wing broadcasters don’t want to be blamed when someone murders a person they have demonized repeatedly—as in the case of George Tiller, the doctor shot dead in his Wichita, Kan., church last Sunday—then they ought to moderate their rhetoric.

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


Rush and Newt Are Winning

A media environment that tilts to the right is obscuring what President Obama stands for and closing off political options that should be part of the public discussion.

Posted on Jun 4, 2009 READ MORE


O’Reilly: ‘If I Could Get My Hands on Tiller ... ’

Back in 2006, here’s what Bill O’Reilly had to say about the recently murdered Dr. George Tiller: “[I]f I could get my hands on Tiller—well, you know. Can’t be vigilantes. Can’t do that. It’s just a figure of speech. But despicable? Oh, my God. It doesn’t get worse. Does it get worse? No.”

Posted on Jun 3, 2009 READ MORE


Petraeus
USAF / Staff Sgt. Bradley A. Lail

Replace Petraeus

Gen. David Petraeus has proven the rule that past military victories do not guarantee future success. The general has made a mess of Afghanistan and Pakistan, yet he remains dangerously popular.

Posted on Jun 2, 2009 READ MORE



Mr. Fish

Chinese Media Sour on North Korea

China takes a lot of heat for being too buddy-buddy with North Korea, but if the harsh words in one of the middle kingdom’s tabloids are any indication, Beijing is none too happy with Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions. “This is an unprecedented threat that China has never faced in its thousands of years,” says a writer in the Global Times, a People’s Daily spinoff.

Posted on Jun 1, 2009 READ MORE


Health Care Reform’s Pulse Is Fading

So it’s health care overhaul this year—or bust. If this is the bet, right now I’d put my money on bust.

Posted on Jun 1, 2009 READ MORE


America’s Changing Moral Universe

Way back in 2004, pollsters and pundits just knew that cultural and moral issues were the wave of the future. But a funny thing happened on the road to the revival tent. Updated

Posted on May 31, 2009 READ MORE


Fessing Up Has Lost Its Shock Value

It seems government and investors are now engaging in damning honesty. With these outbursts of candor so brazen and self-explanatory, the press is being bypassed.

Posted on May 28, 2009 READ MORE


The West’s Reckless Approach to Relations With Russia

The basic question is whether the United States wishes to treat Russia as a permanent enemy, even if it is not. The result of treating states as enemies is that sooner or later they become them.

Posted on May 26, 2009 READ MORE


Combating Epidemic Ignorance

Some on the right are blaming immigrants for swine flu in the U.S. Actually, the outbreak had nothing to do with immigrants and everything to do with ordinary travel and commerce.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE


Look to the Law—Not to Whether Torture ‘Works’

The calls for an independent commission to investigate torture usually argue that a congressional investigation, or a Justice Department criminal investigation, would become so politicized as to be hopelessly compromised. I am not sure this is true.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Enough With This ‘100 Days’ Nonsense

On what basis have the cable channels decided that President Obama’s first hundred days are the most important thing to happen in the history of the world? As in the case of FDR before him, much has happened in the beginning of the president’s first term—and there is much more to come.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE


NY Post
imageshack.us

Big U.S. Papers Take a Big Hit

We’ve all been hearing this refrain for some time, but this is getting even more serious, people: According to Business Week, circulation numbers for 11 of the 25 biggest newspapers in America have taken a nosedive—the worst drop yet since the mediapocalypse in the print world commenced.

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE


News Flash: Populism Is Popular

Both parties are suddenly listening to “the people” instead of the Establishment. They know the political class, however offended, can no longer stop a voter backlash.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


Europe Needs No Part in Doomed Afghan War

If Obama had wanted to give the NATO allies prudent advice about how to avoid terrorist attacks, he should have told them to have nothing to do with the American war on terror, even if it is now under Obama management.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


Stop Thinking About Yesterday’s Health Care Debate

Because of the defeat of health care reform in 1994, there will be a temptation to treat every dispute as the first step toward the collapse of the process, ignoring the fact that times and minds change.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


When Fascism Came to America

In 1935, Sinclair Lewis, the first American writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize, wrote a novel entitled “It Can’t Happen Here” to influence the 1936 presidential election. He was off by about 66 years.

Posted on Apr 21, 2009 READ MORE


Pirate Bay
thepiratebay.org

Pirate Bay Founders Get Jail Time

While not to be confused with piracy on the high seas, a Swedish court has ordered that the four founders of The Pirate Bay, the most renowned file-sharing Web site on the Internet, should be jailed for one year after being found guilty of breaking copyright law. All this for a site that provides user-submitted links to media, not storage of the media itself.

Posted on Apr 17, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Ahn Young-joon

Up, Up and Away: The West’s Hysterical Reaction to North Korea

North Korea has come under strong international criticism and sanctions for its missile launch, but as a signatory to the 1966 Outer Space Treaty, it is legally permitted to pursue space launch activity. Besides, where is the pandemonium when Japan, Pakistan, Israel, India, Russia and the U.S. refine, test and launch their own ballistic missiles?

Posted on Apr 17, 2009 READ MORE


Tea and Ignorance

There is little anyone can do about the tax-protest rants except worry they will be believed by a wider public. So, on the theory that the truth will set us free, it is worth examining exactly what we’re all paying, and what for.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 READ MORE


Pacifica Radio at 60: A Sanctuary of Dissent

The oldest independent media network in the United States turns 60 years old this week as a deepening crisis engulfs mainstream media.

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 READ MORE


Running on Fumes

Share
Posted on Apr 12, 2009 READ MORE



What You Dig

What do you get when you mix drugs, greed, God and a splash of Bristol Palin’s baby-daddy? The five most popular Truthdig stories from the last seven days.

Posted on Apr 10, 2009 READ MORE


Getting to Zero Starts With One Man

If Obama is successful in reducing our nuclear stockpile, it could make a monumental difference to the world’s security. Nuclear arms proliferation will never be stopped so long as the U.S. insists on maintaining a privileged position of global nuclear domination.

Posted on Apr 10, 2009 READ MORE


It’s Now a ‘Soft War’ in Afghanistan, but It’s Still a Disaster

President Obama appears to have fallen for the oldest false dichotomy in the Pentagon repertoire, and the easiest one to sell to the American public. It goes like this: The world is divided between the Evil Folks and the Good. The Good Folks, being what they are, are naturally pro-American, once they get to know us.

Posted on Apr 7, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Susan Walsh

Resist or Become Serfs

If we do not immediately halt our elite’s rapacious looting of the public treasury we will be left with trillions in debts, which can never be repaid, and widespread human misery which we will be helpless to ameliorate. The stimulus and bailout plans are not about saving us. They are about saving them.

Posted on Apr 6, 2009 READ MORE


Silence Meets Despair of Afghan Women

Afghanistan’s women are no longer in vogue. President Karzai has just signed a law that forces them to obey their husbands’ sexual demands and in general again consigns them to lives of brutal repression.

Posted on Apr 2, 2009 READ MORE



roamagency.com

Amy Goodman on ‘Standing Up to the Madness’

The “Democracy Now!” host talks about her book, the state of activism and why “the media are the most powerful corporations on Earth—more powerful than any bomb, more powerful than any missile.”

Posted on Mar 31, 2009 READ MORE



roamagency.com

Amy Goodman on ‘Standing Up to the Madness’

The “Democracy Now!” host talks about her book, the state of activism and why “the media are the most powerful corporations on Earth—more powerful than any bomb, more powerful than any missile.”

Posted on Mar 31, 2009 READ MORE


Where’s the Outrage Over Workers Getting the Shaft?

The AFL-CIO spent $250 million in last year’s elections on behalf of Obama and other Democrats, yet a waffling president and a handful of senators have managed to kill the proposed Employee Free Choice Act, a cruel defeat for labor.

Posted on Mar 30, 2009 READ MORE


Newspapers’ Self-Inflicted Wounds

Most newspaper postmortems insist that decreased ad revenues brought on by the Internet and the recession caused journalism’s problems, but a look at the vapid celebrity-obsessed pages of the nation’s ever-thinner rags tells a different story.

Posted on Mar 26, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / NCinDC

NPR Is Booming

Since the year 2000, National Public Radio has increased its audience by 47 percent, with an 8.7 percent jump in the last year alone. That might have something to do with the collapse of the news media over the same period. While newspapers try to compete with Craigslist, NPR has acquired more foreign bureaus—and a bigger morning audience—than the major network news divisions.

Posted on Mar 24, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

‘The American Way of War’ in 2009

We certainly saw evidence that President Eisenhower’s famous warning about the dangers of an insatiable U.S. “military-industrial complex” rang true during the Bush administration, but how about now?

Posted on Mar 23, 2009 READ MORE


Salim el-Hoss
secint50.un.org

Human Rights Defenders Have It Tough in the Mideast

Dr Salim el-Hoss is 80 now but remains a staunch defender of human rights and democracy, an opponent of the death penalty and an outspoken supporter of Palestinians. When I recommended to him a long article on American torture, he read it right through to the end and then put the paper down with a slap on his knee. “Terrible, terrible,” he muttered.

Posted on Mar 21, 2009 READ MORE


Sarkozy’s Courtship of NATO Defies Rationality

France’s president has lived up to the stereotype that his people, fond as they are of home vacationing and generally convinced of their own superiority, not infrequently fail to know what they are talking about when dealing with foreign countries.

Posted on Mar 17, 2009 READ MORE



Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn

The False Idol of Unfettered Capitalism

The Ten Commandments were for the ancients, and are for us, the core rules that, when honored, hold us together, and when dishonored lead to alienation, discord and violence. The worship of the free market has turned out to be an idol, and like all idols it has now demanded its human sacrifice.

Posted on Mar 16, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Tony Platt on Wall Street Terror Attack

Beverly Gage’s new book exhumes a nearly forgotten tale of class warfare—call it 9/16.

Posted on Mar 13, 2009 READ MORE


Put Single-Payer on the Table

Obama promises health-care reform, but he has taken single-payer health care off the table. While single-payer reduces the administrative costs and removes the profit that insurance companies add to health-care delivery, such solutions get almost no space in the debate.

Posted on Mar 10, 2009 READ MORE



State Dept. / WikiMedia Commons

Clinton Scores a Hit With Talk-Show Diplomacy

Hillary Clinton’s media savvy was on full display Saturday during an appearance on the Turkish equivalent of “The View.” Dishing on family and fashion, Clinton was by all accounts a hit in a country where only 9 percent view the U.S. favorably. Update: Video

Posted on Mar 8, 2009 READ MORE


Why Did So Few Americans Give a Damn?

Justice Department documents that demonstrate the Bush administration’s view of the president’s constitutional power in a “state of war” tell us things we suspected but didn’t want to know.

Posted on Mar 5, 2009 READ MORE


Jon Stewart Is Mad as Hell

What’s more offensive than CNBC reporter Rick Santelli’s rant against Barack Obama’s supposed intention to throw only a table scrap of bailout money to foreclosed homeowners? His network’s laughable coverage of the biggest economic news story since the Great Depression.

Posted on Mar 5, 2009 READ MORE


Rushing Toward Irrelevance

Once, conservatives liked to say that “ideas matter.” Although many of their theories later proved flimsy, they at least attempted to address real problems with fresh thinking. But ideas no longer matter—and in fact they’re dangerous, according to the maximum leader of the right.

Posted on Mar 5, 2009 READ MORE


Friends In High-Tech Places

The FCC has incredible power over the health of our democracy, from how we get our information to the technology we use to freely express ourselves—and the billions of dollars made in between—yet we tend to know little about the people who wield that power. The latest technocrat nominated to take charge of the commission is Julius Genachowski, an old school chum of the president.

Posted on Mar 4, 2009 READ MORE


Are Video Games Violent Enough?

With dark times on the horizon, the Onion’s “In the Know” panel takes a satirical stab at whether violent video games are “adequately preparing children for the apocalypse.”

Posted on Mar 2, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / commorancy

Gamer Says Microsoft Banned Her for Being Openly Gay

Anyone who’s ever worn a headset while on Xbox Live, Microsoft’s multiplayer gaming-chatting-shopping nexus, knows that it’s dominated by adolescent bigots. It’s bad enough that Redmond hasn’t cleaned things up, but a gamer named Teresa says she was actually banned from the service for being openly gay and allegedly offending the bigots who were harassing her.

Posted on Feb 26, 2009 READ MORE


U.S. Fear, U.S. Folly in Afghanistan

Except for the brief NATO intervention in Kosovo and Serbia, all of the significant U.S. military expeditions since the Cold War have been fought against Asians, and we have lost nearly all of them.

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE


America’s Confused Cause in Central Asia

Exactly what do we think we are doing in Afghanistan and Pakistan? Are we there to liberalize their forms of religious observance, or conduct a war over theology, or establish permanent NATO bases there, or are we searching for Osama bin Laden? It seems that we are doing all of these things at the same time. But why?

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Aaron Escobar

Coping With Corporate Media

The Truthdig Podcast is back and better than ever. This week the panel tackles our obsession with imperfect athletes, the first days of the Obama administration and the decline of media. Special guest Megan Tady, campaign coordinator for Free Press, joins James Harris and Josh Scheer.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE



Hollywood Battles Swedish Pirates

The founders of The Pirate Bay, one of the biggest names in file sharing, face up to two years in a hard-core Swedish prison if they can’t convince a judge that their unfortunately named Web site isn’t legally responsible for 115 million kronor worth of media piracy.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009 READ MORE


Addicted to Fake Outrage

One thing is obvious after Michael Phelps’ marijuana “scandal”: Our society is addicted to fake outrage—and to break our dependence, we’re going to need far more potent medicine than the herb Phelps was smoking.

Posted on Feb 13, 2009 READ MORE


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