• Categories

  • The Golden Rule

    “That which is hateful to you do not do to another ... the rest (of the Torah) is all commentary, now go study.”

    - Rabbi Hillel
  • Best Way To Subscribe Via Email

  • Lists of posts and videos

    Feedburner listing the last 25 posts

    Dandelion Salad Videos

    Dandelion Salad Posts

    Don’t Enlist, But Don’t Just Take My Word For It by Lo
    Please pass this on to anyone you know who may be considering enlisting as a soldier (mercenary).

  • Amendment I

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
  • Disclaimer:

    The views and/or opinions posted on all the blog posts and in the comment sections are of their respective authors, not necessarily those of Dandelion Salad.

    All content has been used with permission from the copyright owners, who reserve all rights, and that for uses outside of fair use (an excerpt), permission must be obtained from the respective copyright owner.

  • US Deaths in Afghanistan: Obama vs Bush. Click here to learn more.

Serious News: In Low Supply From Mainstream Media by Ralph Nader

"LIES"

Image by oban B. via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

by Ralph Nader
The Nader Page
Feb. 1, 2013

On January 30, 2013, an unusual front-page story appeared prominently in The Washington Post about a small D.C. charity called Martha’s Table that serves meals to 1,100 people a day, has early-childhood and after-school programs, and provides other community-enriching programs. Among its distinctions is a giant volunteer corps of, according to the Post, “10,000 school kids, poor people and the occasional president who chops vegetables and builds sandwiches.” Fascinating!

The only reason for the Post writing and front-paging the article is that the new, full-time, volunteer president is Patty Stonesifer, ex-Microsoft megamillionaire, ex-chief executive of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and ex-chairperson of the Smithsonian Institution’s Board of Regents. Amazing!

The Post’s million readers also got to see Ms. Stonesifer say, “I was amazed at how there is a city within a city here…. This idea that the District [of Columbia] has so much child hunger, it’s mind-boggling.”

The Post, the local television stations and cable shows often do not showcase the District’s big dirty secret. That, among its glittering affluent class (mostly shorn of noblesse oblige), half-dozen major universities and governmental departments, there is widespread, deep poverty, unhealthy and afflicted children, and higher rates of cancer and diabetes, for example, than most states.

What is important to the Post and other local media are local professional sports, local entertainment, visiting celebrities, and endless gossip or other permutations of such page- and time-fillers. The Post obviously believes that the injured knee of rookie sensation, Robert Griffin III and its impact on the Redskins’ organization are too big for its sport pages, and required multiple front-page stories since RGIII injured himself during playoffs in January.

The Post has been cutting back – ending its separate daily business section and its separate Sunday Book Review section. But its (spectator) sports section remains large with numerous reporters, columnists, feature writers, editors and gossip-mongers frantically scurrying around.

The Post’s front page features an article by sports columnist Sally Jenkins, but not one by their recently retired, superb business columnist Steve Pearlstein, who tells readers how and why their living standards are being mauled by big business. I doubt that readers would be upset were Ms. Jenkins to have written that column back in the sports pages instead.

When one of America’s leading newspapers decides to lighten up or stupefy – take your pick – its content at a time of grave developments and degradations in our society – local, regional, national and international, “We the People” need to be part of the conversation. It is not sufficient to be told vaguely about the illusive “surveys” of reader opinion that do not convey the availability of real choices.

Space and time for serious matters are also increasingly limited in other news outlets. Over 90 percent of commercial radio is music and advertisements. Commercial TV entertainment and ads are not far behind. There are fewer examples of serious, compelling programming by the national afternoon entertainment shows than there were in the Phil Donahue, Mike Douglas and Merv Griffin shows. These shows found some time to inform readers about auto safety, unsafe medicines and other consumer and environmental subjects. Now, it is nonstop sadomasochism, reality show family drama or other similar kinds of cheating and betrayals in relationships. Forget about local television shows – most are long gone, having been displaced by these syndicated shows.

Bear in mind, much of this modern Sodom and Gomorrah is conducted on our public airwaves used by broadcasters for free. When I called Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, the leading bloviated soliloquists on radio, “corporate welfare kings,” they were nonplussed as if profitably using our public airwaves without payment is their birthright.

This week, the media buildup is for the Superbowl. Endless articles, features and gossip, with huge photographs, swarm superficially over the pages and airwaves and cable networks. There is simply no such restraint. Enough is enough! Soon, the buildup will be for Hollywood’s Oscars on February 24, and all the “players” will be profiled and psycho-analyzed.

In the meantime, valiant Americans are striving to reduce or prevent the pain, anguish and costs of preventable tragedies – poverty, repression, marginalization, exclusion and the chronic indifference to posterity in favor of vested pressures for instant gratification. The press releases, reports, accomplishments and testimonies of those striving for justice receive very little coverage from the mass media.

Groups with compelling causes come from around the country to the National Press building for well-prepared news conferences only to find no one there from the press, except an occasional indie reporter. NPR and PBS do not come close to wanting to fill some of this void.

Without media coverage, the civic community cannot, even if it demonstrates in the streets and squares, expand its audience of concern. Citizen morale struggles to persist in the face of powerful opposition. Gone is the wisdom of famed newspaper publisher, Joseph Pulitzer who advised his reporters “to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”

People in the colony of the District of Columbia march, protest, and host important news conferences to press for statehood so that they can have a voting representative and senator(s) in Congress. They regularly get shut out of the local media. After all, it’s only electoral democracy they’re working to install.

Maybe a blend is necessary. How about Robert Griffin III becoming the full-time chair of the D.C. statehood association, in the off-season? Or would that give the editors of the Post too much cognitive dissonance?

see

Obama’s Record Belies Inaugural Words by Ralph Nader

The real invasion of Africa is not news and a licence to lie is Hollywood’s gift by John Pilger

International Media Coverage of Bahrain Revolution + Inside Bahrain

Mickey Huff: Which Key Stories Did the US Media Ignore?

The Omissions of “Mainstream” Journalism: “History in the Un-Making” by John Pilger

John Pilger: The Media–Censorship By Omission

About these ads

3 Responses

  1. […] Serious News: In Low Supply From Mainstream Media by Ralph Nader […]

  2. I really do not envy the lot of the “average” American, or US citizenry as a whole.
    Frankly, the lunatics are running this asylum. If you doubt me, read this article by Canadian John Bart Gerald whose work focuses on suppressed news, and the prevention of genocide.
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/on-u-s-intelligence-predictions-for-2030-its-vision-of-the-future-threatens-everyone/5318647
    US “intelligence” is NOT intelligent. It is barely even literate, not to mention culturally imbecile.

Please add to the conversation.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s