A radio show decades ago is misremembered as having caused widespread panic on Halloween; Congress has become just another form of legalized bribery; and the left-wing San Francisco Chronicle has been covering that city’s Occupy movement like a right-wing paper. These discoveries and more below.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

The links below open in a new window. Newer ones are on top.

The Halloween Myth of ‘The War of the Worlds’ Panic Mass panic and hysteria swept the United States on the eve of Halloween in 1938, when an all-too-realistic radio dramatization of “The War of the Worlds” sent untold thousands of people into the streets or heading for the hills.

America’s ‘Oh Sh*T!’ Moment Has the U.S. deleted the very things that made it great? Niall Ferguson on how America can avoid imminent collapse.

Tea Party and OWS If politics is show business for ugly people (which, by the way, it’s not, not this time, not the ugly-people part anyway, not with a cast of characters as glossy as Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin’s ghost, and Barack Obama), is Occupy Wall Street the tea party for liberal people?

Are Elite Colleges Worth It? Kurt Vonnegut’s son, Mark, wrote in his memoir, “The Eden Express,” that the best thing about graduating from college is that you can say what a pile of crap college is and “no one can accuse you of sour grapes.”

The Importance of Protests The most frequently asked question Glenn Greenwald has encountered has been: but what can we do about all of this? The reason he finds the Occupy movement to be one of the most important, exciting and inspiring political developments of the last decade is that it provides the definitive answer to that question.

Congress as Legalized Bribery Thomas Friedman finally got something right: “Our Congress today is a forum for legalized bribery.”

Artists in the Workforce Research offers industry-specific, regional and demographic data on the 2.1 million artists working in the U.S.

The San Francisco Chronicle’s Occupy SF Problem In America’s most left-wing city, pundits for the San Francisco Chronicle, the city’s daily newspaper, are coming across like the smarmy voice of the Chamber of Commerce.

60 Elvises Flee Hotel During Fire Alarm Maybe fools rush in, but one group of Elvises rushed out.

Surveying the Occupiers Zuccotti Park in New York’s financial district is decked out with posters and signs for the wide array of political viewpoints of the Occupy Wall Street protesters.

Your support matters…

Independent journalism is under threat and overshadowed by heavily funded mainstream media.

You can help level the playing field. Become a member.

Your tax-deductible contribution keeps us digging beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that unearths what's really happening- without compromise.

Give today to support our courageous, independent journalists.