Rage. Probably political rage. Maybe just personal rage. Lots of sarcasm and cynicism. Also pretty pictures.

As of November 1, Mitt Romney is one of the first presidential candidates ever to be charged with violating federal ethics law.

United Automobile Workers (UAW) and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) have just charged Romney with hiding between 15.3 to 111.5 million dollarsfrom the auto industry bailout in his wife Anne’s “blind” trust to conceal the gain and reduce taxes on it.

Mitt Romney

REPORT: 30+ Fox News Hosts And Contributors Who Are Campaigning For Republicans


Fox News hosts and contributors have campaigned for Republican candidates and organizations from coast to coast this election cycle. 

According to a Media Matters review, at least 32 Fox News figures have backed Republican efforts in more than 300 instances during the 2011-2012 election cycle. The Fox News personalities have campaigned for Republicans nationally and in more than 40 states. 

These Fox News campaigners have officially endorsed candidates; advised campaigns; played key roles in fundraisers and events; recorded advertisements and robocalls; and helped direct expenditures to support Republicans and oppose Democrats through Republican-aligned groups.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is the largest beneficiary of the Fox News campaigning. Five Fox News figures are advising Romney’s campaign, and nine have been featured in a Romney event. 

The Fox campaigning involves hundreds of millions of dollars, with participants’ activities ranging from collectively being featured in more than 100 fundraisers to advising organizations like American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS.

Media Matters previously examined Fox News personalities who have rallied for Republican causes in prior yearsFox’s active role in the GOP presidential primary, the network’s support for the Tea Party movement, and Fox’s four-year campaign to make Barack Obama a one-term president.

Media Matters produced this report based on various Internet searches and an examination of Nexis, Facebook, Twitter, and campaign finance databases such as OpenSecrets.org and FEC.gov. This report is intended to be a snapshot of Fox’s campaign activity and not an absolute count. Since many Republican events are not publicly promoted, this report undoubtedly undercounted the extent of Fox’s campaigning. 

read the full report at Media Matters

Get Informed! This *IS* huge.


This is huge: Today the FCC launched an online database revealing political ad records for stations linked to 4 big networks.



The United States has fallen 27 places in the Press Freedom Index. The reason? The many arrests of journalists covering Occupy protests.

El Salvador, which is tragically plagued with horrific violence, and Japan, guilty of censoring the press over Fukushima, placed well above the United States. Incredible.



The United States has fallen 27 places in the Press Freedom Index. The reason? The many arrests of journalists covering Occupy protests.

El Salvador, which is tragically plagued with horrific violence, and Japan, guilty of censoring the press over Fukushima, placed well above the United States. Incredible.


by Mike Masnick | Tech Dirt

from the but,-of-course dept

While the debates about SOPA/PIPA have been raging all over the internet, and appearing regularly in all sorts of mainstream newspapers, they still have been almost entirely absent from TV news. We’ve discussed this in the…


Who doesn’t like Anderson Cooper? The new daytime talk show, Anderson, reveals the anchorman’s sweeter side:

The empathy does not quite feel like an artifice; it feels honest, as if Cooper had wandered from his Manhattan apartment into some grisly scene and found himself suddenly overcome. And it can be genuinely refreshing, as it was in that moment with Mary Landrieu. But gravitas, needless to say, is not Cooper’s aim.”

Laura Bennett, “The Solipsist: What Anderson Cooper Has Done to Journalism.”

Video courtesy of SuchIsLifeVideos.


Jesus H. Christ, people.


Police pen up and mace female “Occupy Wall Street” protesters

In a disturbing scene from today’s “Occupy Wall Street” protests, a group of peaceful female protesters were rounded up in an orange-colored mesh pen by police and subsequently sprayed with mace without any provocation.

In spite of multiple reported incidents of possible police violence, major media outlets seem to be content to let the protests go by completely unreported, following the same “who-cares” attitude they have taken toward recent revelations that the NYPD has violated the Constitutional rights of American citizens by spying on them as possible terrorists and enemies of the state despite a complete absence of evidence of any crimes.

This is absolutely disturbing. Penning people up to mace them is police brutality. Period. What will it take to get the mainstream media to pay attention? If you follow the #OccupyWallStreet, you’ll find out that at least 80 were arrested today. AP and Wall Street Journal mentioned the arrests briefly today. 

Here’s a longer video that shows slightly more context. Literally, the macing of these protesters came out of nowhere. “I was on the ground sobbing and couldn’t breathe,” said Chelsea Elliott, one of the victims of the macing, who the New York Times actually interviewed in their front-page story on the protests. Elliott claimed she was arrested after shouting “Why are you doing that?” after another protester got arrested. What the heck is this? Why was this reaction called for?

The set of solutions to common information problems that we call journalism is coming unglued as different types of publications become possible on the Internet.

When the product of news is broken, the practice of democracy suffers. The relationship between news and democracy works best when journalists are given the freedom (and resources) to do the job most journalists want to do — to scrutinize, to monitor, hold to account, interrogate power, to facilitate and maintain deliberation. But freedom in this context does not simply mean freedom from censorship and interference from government so frequently associated with the term ‘freedom of the press’; it also means freedom from the constraints and limitations of a thoroughly corporate culture.

—Interesting part of Open Democracy’s story on Rupert Murdoch and news. (via hermannview)

In a modern age of mass communication, it has turned out that sophisticated propaganda and false narratives can be a more lethal threat to meaningful self-rule in America than all the armies of the world combined. If enough Americans can be deluded by clever talking points and endless spin – while many others are rendered confused and immobile – then the “consent of the governed” is made meaningless.

My advice to media consumers is to take responsibility for your behavior. Everything that they want and need is out there and they have to stop thinking that media is just cable news. You know, it’s usually when people are hysterical over something, it’s because of cable news, which has disproportionate impact for its tiny numbers. Really. And so my view is that if you don’t like cable news, you can go through your life and be incredibly informed and never watch it.

—Brooke Gladstone, host of On The Media and author of The Influencing Machine, on PBS Art Beat. (via cmonstah)

A democracy survives when its citizens have access to trustworthy and impartial sources of information, when it can discern lies from truth, when civic discourse is grounded in verifiable fact. And with the decimation of reporting these sources of information are disappearing. The increasing fusion of news and entertainment, the rise of a class of celebrity journalists on television who define reporting by their access to the famous and the powerful, the retreat by many readers into the ideological ghettos of the Internet and the ruthless drive by corporations to destroy the traditional news business are leaving us deaf, dumb and blind. The relentless assault on the “liberal press” by right-wing propaganda outlets such as Fox News or by the Christian right is in fact an assault on a system of information grounded in verifiable fact. And once this bedrock of civil discourse is eradicated, people will be free, as many already are, to believe whatever they want to believe, to pick and choose what facts or opinions suit their world and what do not. In this new world lies will become true.

Change the Channels — Stop Newsroom Consolidation (by videofreepress)

MEDIA CONSOLIDATION by Covert Conslidation…


I sometimes think that our entertainment industries are one of the most pernicious industries on our planet. Not only are we “Amusing Ourselves to Death” as Neil Postman once suggested, we’re letting these industries put a serious crimp on innovations whose impact are far more important to our society.
When we look back on the history of media in our era, we will see how, bit by bit, we gutted one of the engines of democracy in the interest of protecting and enlarging media industry profits. A very poor trade indeed.