Features

Study details mainstream media's biased reporting on ACORN

Sue Sturgis, Institute for Southern Studies

Independent research from two university professors raises important questions about the way major news outlets frame stories -- and offers hard evidence that ACORN has been treated unfairly. The report describes how "opinion entrepreneurs" (primarily business and conservative groups and individuals) set the story in motion as early as 2006, how the "conservative echo chamber" orchestrated its anti-ACORN campaign in 2008, how the McCain-Palin campaign picked it up, and how the mainstream media reported these allegations without investigating their truth or falsity.

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Mt. Vernon says NO to Glenn Beck's media hate

Reclaim the Media

UPDATE: check out the action in Mt. Vernon via Youtube, Flickr, or Twitter.

On Saturday, Sept 26, right-wing broadcaster Glenn Beck visited Western Washington--keynoting a conservative rally at Safeco Field in Seattle, then heading to his childhood home of Mt. Vernon, where Mayor Bud Norris presented him with the key to the city. Norris' decision to honor Beck was instantly controversial with local residents who reject Beck's history of on-air extremism and racist commentary. An online petition asking Norris to reconsider tarnishing the name of his city quickly gained over 16,000 signatures, and Mt. Vernon residents organized a protest against the honoring of Beck, with the theme "Hate is not a Skagit Valley value." The action took place at 5:30 pm Saturday, Sept. 26 outside McIntyre Hall at Skagit Valley College (2501 East College Way, Mt. Vernon).

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From the blog

Broadband views separate Seattle Mayoral candidates

Seattle Mayoral hopefuls Mike McGinn and Joe Mallahan concur on many progressive issues; their highest-profile disagreement being whether to replace the aging Aurora viaduct with a tunnel or with a combination of surface streets and transit upgrades.

However, during a labor-sponsored political debate last week, Seattle's broadband future emerged as another dividing line, with Mallahan downplaying the idea of public investment in a citywide broadband network extending affordable, high-speed connectivity to low-income neighborhoods, as McGinn has proposed. As reported in the Seattle Post-Globe, Mallahan instead suggested that poor people can use the internet in libraries.

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Groups nationwide urge FCC to support media diversity

On Wednesday, more than 50 civil rights, public interest and grassroots organizations sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission and congressional leaders supporting Mark Lloyd, the associate general counsel and chief diversity officer of the FCC, and the agency's longstanding mission to promote localism, diversity and competition in the media.

In recent weeks, Mr. Lloyd has been unfairly attacked on cable TV and radio talk shows with false and misleading information about his role and responsibilities at the FCC. A respected scholar and public servant, Lloyd was hired by the agency to expand media opportunities for women, people of color, small businesses, and those living in rural areas.

The full text of the letter and a list of signatories is below.

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Latinos to CNN: Dump Dobbs now

Roberto Lovato, Huffington Post

This week, Lou Dobbs is broadcasting his radio show from a national lobbying conference sponsored by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), an organization founded by a white nationalist and designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. At a time when studies document the growing link between anti-immigrant hate speech and increased violence against Latinos, Dobbs' appearance at FAIR generates especially profound concerns among those targeted by his almost daily attacks: immigrants and Latinos.

For years, Dobbs and CNN banked on the fact that many of the Latinos who bear the brunt of his systematic media assaults--Spanish-speaking immigrants--were unaware of the threat that Dobbs posed. But all of that is changing; Latinos are increasingly making the connection between racism in the media and discrimination in their hometowns, and coming to a simple, yet historic conclusion: Lou Dobbs is the Most Dangerous Man for Latinos in America. That's why Presente.org is joining with Latino organizations throughout the United States demanding that CNN get rid of Dobbs. And we are not alone. In the coming weeks, CNN President Jon Klein will be inundated by a growing national chorus of calls to stop promoting Dobbs' brand of "news."

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The New shape of the culture war: Glenn Beck, Yosi Sergant, Van Jones, and hip-hop

Jeff Chang, Can't Stop Won't Stop

Are you mad yet? You should be. Glenn Beck has now taken down Yosi Sergant, the second hip-hop activist to be forced to leave the Obama administration in a week.

Last night the 34-year old communications director at the National Endowment for the Arts was asked to resign. Why? Because he was trying to organize artists to support President Obama’s national service program, United We Serve. If your next question is: so what? That was ours too. But Glenn Beck compared the effort to "Nazi propaganda." (Just sick–especially since Sergant, a Jewish American, has worked as an activist for peace in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.)

This was the same logic paleocons used to batter Obama’s school speech. If he does it, it’s indoctrination. If they do it, it’s "journalism." But there’s much more to this story…

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When will this White House learn you cannot negotiate with terrorists?

Baratunde Thurston, Jack and Jill Politics

After a brief respite, the most accessible American political discourse --the national broadcast media--has returned to fearful, hate-filled, ignorant rants of a high-volume, low-intellect minority.

In such an environment, how does one govern? Does one try to “balance” such concepts as contradictory as a “public option” on one hand and “fear of death panels” on the other? Or does one realize that this is a false spectrum and to try to find a center in such a sea is a worthless and foolhardy expedition?

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From the blog

Expand Low-power FM in 2009!

Now is the time to expand Low Power FM radio! Once again, Congress is taking up the Local Community Radio Act, which would dramatically increase community access to the public airwaves by allowing for thousands more low-power noncommercial radio stations to pop up across the country.

People across the country have been waiting patiently for Congress to take action to expand LPFM. This could be the year that it happens! Read more on how you can help support Local Community Radio.

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From the blog

KBCS announces expanded public affairs lineup

On August 24, KBCS Community Radio in Seattle will dramatically increase its weekday public affairs offerings, the station announced this week. The planned programming changes will broaden and diversify the station's news and information programming, and make weekday morning music an eclectic mix of jazz, Americana and international music.

Under the new schedule, the morning broadcast of Democracy Now! will move from 6 to 8am, and Hard Knock Radio will air daily at 6pm. New programs include the Michael Eric Dyson Show, Sound of Young America, and GRITRadio. Read more for details!

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Community broadband and digital justice for Seattle

Seattle Digital Justice Campaign

A recent study found that the US has fallen to 20th place internationally in household broadband use. Many suburban and rural communities have limited or no access to affordable, high-speed Internet. Even in tech-savvy US cities (including Seattle), local residents pay too much for too little speed and bandwidth, our consumer "choice" for broadband services limited to choosing between the phone company and the cable company.

Thanks to broadband stimulus funds in the Recovery Act passed this spring, rural and urban communities across the US will soon be able to expand local community access to affordable, high-speed Internet. It's a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shift our tech infrastructure into high gear—benefiting our democracy, our culture, our economy, our healthcare, our public safety, our educational system and our environment.

Seattle may soon move forward with plans to connect the city's neighborhoods with high-speed broadband. If you're in the Seattle area, come to a meeting on Community Broadband and Digital Justice for Seattle, 6pm Mon, Jul 13 at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, to learn about the details--and help articulating our technology needs for the next generation! Special guest: Seattle Chief Information Officer Bill Schrier; hosted by Reclaim the Media and the NW Media Action Grassroots Network.

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The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. - John Dewey