The News of the World Scandal

Richard Eskow breaks down Rupert Murdoch's News of the World scandal. Richard gives Rupert advice on how to get away with taping peoples phones.


Prop. 8 Federal Lawsuit Begins, Cue Right-Wing Media Hysteria

This week in a San Francisco Federal District Court, a legal odd couple will be on display. Attorney David Boies, who represented Al Gore before the U.S. Supreme Court in the infamous 2000 case ofBush v. Gore, and conservative attorney Ted Olson, who represented George W. Bush, are joining forces to overturn California's Proposition 8. It will be their contention that the initiative passed by voters in 2008 banning same-sex marriage in the Golden State violates the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the U.S. Constitution, singles out gays and lesbians for a disfavored legal status, and discriminates on the basis of gender and sexual orientation.

Regardless of which side prevails, experts agree the case is likely to be appealed all the way to the highest court in the land.

Cue right-wing media hysteria and homophobia.

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Futility and Self-Satisfaction of the Blogs

The wonderful thing about having George Bush as President is that a commentator can write about the same subject repeatedly and it will always be timely and fresh.
-Christopher Brauchli,, May 3, 2008

I can't agree with Mr. Brauchli's contention that repeating the same old story about George W. Bush is always "fresh," and it doesn't look much like irony, since he links to virtually the same story about the Bush administration's distortion of science that he wrote in 2006.

Bush and his friends distort the truth about everything, but the only "fresh" thing about this story is the sense of intellectual superiority it imparts to bloggers and columnists and even their readers.

This happy feeling is unfounded.

Mr. Bush and his friends got organized a long time ago, but the geniuses who criticize them are just an unruly mob. Is there a liberal program? Is there a progressive program?

Of course not! Instead, there are a hundred thousand or a million or ten million liberal and progressive programs, enough so that every liberal or progressive blogger and columnist and reader can have his or her very own program, and enjoy a happy feeling of superiority about it, because no matter how fragmentary it may be, it is absolutely guaranteed to be more intelligent than the latest nonsense from the Republicans.

So there's always a market for columnists like Mr. Brauchli, just like there's always a market for booze and everything else that imparts a warm and woozy feeling to its consumers.

In the meantime, media concentration continues and even accelerates, while Rupert Murdoch buys the Wall Street Journal and bids for Newsday, and Mr. Bush can afford to laugh at all the tiny voices on the blogs, because his friends can always make a much bigger noise.

You might expect liberal and progressive bloggers and columnists to unite against a concentration of power that guarantees their futility...

You might expect them to stop writing the same "fresh" story over and over and over, and get organized in opposition to the enormous voices of media conglomerates that drown out liberal and progressive voices the way Niagra Falls drowns out a swarm of mosquitos...

What difference does it make what you say, if your voice is always lost in the uproar?

But liberals and progressives keep fiddling the same almost inaudible little tunes, like fiddlers on a subway platform where the trains never stop roaring past... but it isn't as if those trains can't be stopped.

They were already stopped for a hundred years.

Laws against media concentration don't have to be invented...There are hundreds of them still in force, however many the FCC and Republican Congresses and Bill Clinton may have abrogated in the last twenty years.

The remaining laws governing media concentration can be preserved, and stronger laws can be written, but it isn't really a very sexy issue for bloggers and columnists. Worse yet, it requires a lot of organization and even discipline from liberals and progressives: Stop writing your own particular favorite story over and over, until you make sure that something, anything, on the blogs has a chance to make a difference.

Unless liberal and progressive bloggers and columnists unite their individual voices against the enormous voices of the media conglomerates, every article on Common Dreams and MyDD and the Huffington Post and all the other relatively tiny progressive sites will be just another exercise in self-satisfaction and futility.

(Note: Attentive readers may notice that I have written virtually this same story about a dozen times in the last couple of years, and it makes me feel very smart every time I write it.)

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Perils of Being a Jew

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project& My Left Wing

click to enlarge

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Elizabeth Edwards on Labor, Unionization, Big Business and the future Edwards Administration

With the endorsement of labor groups soon to come for John Edwards, I thought it would be a good time to post up another interview - this time with Elizabeth Edwards as she came through Denver back in July. I have to tell you that this interview was not scheduled, I just happened to be where she was going to speak, at the AFL-CIO union hall, and as luck would have it, she was nice enough to agree to talk on camera.  (it also important to note that thethe AFL-CIO has the highest rate in new membership in 2 generations. (thanks Miss Laura)

I have long been an Edwards supporter, but I was still quite pleased to find out just how personable and genuine Ms. Edwards was. Also, this was my second on-camera interview, and Ms. Edwards demeanor and professionalism made me feel at ease which helped me conduct the interview without being too nervous.

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