Sep
20
2009

More 'News' from WaPo's 'Exciting Alternate Universe'

Under the headline "Washington Post Publishes More Information About Exciting Alternate Universe," A Tiny Revolution blogger Jonathan Schwarz (9/13/09) lets us know that, while "lots of banks had to get a bailout from the federal government," do "you know who didn't? The ultra-smart guys at BlackRock investment management, that's who"–at least according to the September 13 Post, which featured this passage: BlackRock emerged as one of their principal advisers as the agencies bailed out major companies and tried to put a price on their toxic assets. BlackRock is also managing tens of billions of dollars worth of AIG assets for […]

Sep
05
2009

PBS Sells 'Prime Demographic Groups to Underwriters'

A Tiny Revolution's John Caruso (9/5/09) caught an instance of the Public Broadcasting System "Putting the 'BS' in PBS" when they recently "took a break to blandish us thusly: 'If you are seeking a unique sponsorship opportunity for your business and want to reach a prime demographic group through multiple platforms email us today.'" Reacting to the crass appeal for a California Bay Area underwriter, Caruso reminds the broadcasters: "C'mon, guys, we're sitting right here. Can't you at least do us the courtesy of being subtle about the fact that as far as you're concerned, we're nothing but pairs of […]

Aug
05
2009

Bonuses vs. Starvation at the New York Times

A Tiny Revolution blogger Bernard Chazelle (8/2/09) thinks it's possible that "people fail to appreciate how tough it is to run the government." As evidence, he offers "two questions Treasury officials and politicians will soon have to answer": Should a Connecticut trader receive $100 million in executive pay from a bank that would be dead had it not received $45 billion in taxpayer money? Apparently, the guy's genius was to drive up the price of gas to $4 a gallon. Does he deserve 100 million bucks from you for that? Should unemployment benefits be extended for 1.5 million jobless Americans […]

Jul
14
2009

On the Limits of 'Reports and Facts' vs Propaganda

Viewing "two excellent pieces by the American News Project about the Fed's astonishing actions during the current meltdown," A Tiny Revolution's Jonathan Schwarz (7/12/09) confirms that "ANP does great work, and I commend them for taking on this subjectâ┚¬”especially since it's covered nowhere else, including on progressive blurms." But he's nonetheless reminded of a June 29 TruthDig piece in which war reporter Chris Hedges tells why "The Truth Alone Will Not Set You Free": The public is bombarded with carefully crafted images meant to confuse propaganda with ideology and knowledge with how we feel. Human rights and labor groups, investigative […]

Jul
12
2009

MSM Still Ignoring Bank Bailout Alternatives

A Tiny Revolution blogger Jonathan Schwarz (7/9/09) has posted a reminder that "back in March Phillip Swagel, who'd been assistant treasury secretary under Hank Paulson, wrote a long article about the TARP bailout called 'The Financial Crisis: An Inside View.'" Thinking that maybe "it would be news if Swagel had stated that Paulson, Bernanke and Bush's attempts to foment panic to pass the bailout have 'surely' contributed to the current recession," Schwarz lays out some quotes showing that actually "he did": "The way in which the TARP was proposed and eventually enacted surely must have contributed to the lockup in […]

Jun
30
2009

NYT Reports Honduras (Opponent Opinions) From Afar

Looking at a June 28 New York Times report that the "Honduran President Is Ousted in Coup," A Tiny Revolution blogger Bernard Chazelle (6/28/09) writes that "from the byline alone, you know this is going to be good": "Elisabeth Malkin, in Mexico City, with reporting by Simon Romero from Caracas." To Chazelle this all "makes perfect sense since, as we all know, Mexico City and Caracas are the two major cities in Honduras. (Too bad they had no reporter in Bangkok. I hope the Pulitzer committee doesn't notice.)" Moving on to the piece's actual content [since altered by the Times], […]

Jun
24
2009

Billy Graham Gets Cleaned Up by CBS

Blogger Jonathan Schwarz (A Tiny Revolution, 6/24/09) has noted that when "CBS ran a story about the latest batch of Nixon tapes made public… they included a section of a February 21, 1973 conversation with Billy Graham that showed Nixon at his psycho best," addressing anti-Semitism thus: "This has happened to the Jews, happened in Spain, it happened in Germany, it's happening, and now it's gonna happen in America if these people don't start behaving. It may be they have a death wish." But the real problem comes in CBS's quote of the Graham response: "Well, they've always been through […]

May
22
2009

Non-Disclosure: A Way of Life at the Washington Post

Jonathan Schwarz recently caught the Washington Post crediting the author of an anti-progressive tax op-ed as just "an economics professor," when in fact he sat on tax-funded bailout beneficiary "AIG's board of directors. He's also a member of the board's finance committee." Now, continuing (A Tiny Revolution, 5/21/09) to mine the Post's editorial page for insights into "Their Cozy Little Village," Schwarz writes that I don't think there's anything wrong with the Washington Post publishing op-eds by Bob Graham. But it does seem like they might mention that he's a member of the family that owns the Post, and the […]

Apr
29
2009

Pol 'Thugs' Think Twice in Age of Internet Media

Sure that Andrew Sullivan "would be horrified" by the idea that he and Cindy Sheehan agree on anything, Jonathan Schwarz nonetheless quotes (A Tiny Revolution, 4/25/09) the Atlantic.com blogger's declaration of "love" for the Internet, because "can you imagine what those thugs would have gotten away with without it?" Sheehan's similar 2005 statement–"Thank God for the Internet, or we wouldn't know anything, and we would already be a fascist state"–spurs Schwarz to celebrate the democratizing power of online media: I'm not sure we'd be a fascist state without the beautiful, beautiful tubes. But the difference they've made is gigantic. Recall […]

Apr
22
2009

Glimpsing Journalism's 'Devouring Black Hole of Corruption'

A Tiny Revolution blogger Jonathan Schwarz (4/18/09) samples the response to Mike Allen of Politico's quote of "a former top official in the administration of President George W. Bush" calling the publishing of U.S. torture memos "damaging because these are techniques that work": This, from Andrew Sullivan, is a representative example of the reaction: Allen is allowing a member of the administration that broke the Geneva Conventions and committed war crimes to attack the current president and claim, without any substantiation, that the torture worked. He then allows that "top official" to proclaim things that are at the very least […]

Feb
18
2009

Noam Chomsky Excavates the George Will Memory Hole

In a blog post about how it must have been "So Much Nicer To Be George Will Before The Internet" (2/17/09), A Tiny Revolution's Jonathan Schwarz looks back over how "on Sunday George Will made things up so he can claim global warming isn't happening" to "a funny story of Noam Chomsky's from the book Understanding Power about a column Will wrote in 1982": [A] few years ago George Will wrote a column in Newsweek called "Mideast Truth and Falsehood," about how peace activists are lying about the Middle East, everything they say is a lie. And in the article, […]