THE “MODERN” WAY? – Marilyn Armstrong

#FOWC — Modern Tyranny for Modern Times


Today is the press’ day to publish editorials supporting freedom of the press, but not every newspaper is doing it. Their reasons are varied. Some simply don’t have the financial structure to take on a major issue anymore.

Those papers have already lost the war. Like New York’s Daily News, taken over by the Trump mouthpiece of Sinclair to be the “nothing much” somewhere on the internet.

Illustration: Bangor Daily Tribune

As editorials show up in my inbox, I’ll reblog or post them, as I can. Some of them are “Pay to Read” and this is one of those days when that policy is downright foolish, so modern or not, I think press editorials need to be seen and read by as many people as possible, whether or not they are subscribers.

If trampling truth and publishing only what “our leader” (not my leader, but maybe yours) wants to hear is “the modern way,” then heaven help us all.

That is tyranny and our freedom will be, as they say, toast.

Trump responds after hundreds of newspaper editorials criticize his attacks on the press – THE WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL – Reblog

August 16 at 1:32 PM

Hundreds of newspaper editorial boards across the country answered a nationwide call Thursday to express disdain for President Trump’s attacks on the news media, while some explained their decision not to do so. The same morning, the president tweeted that the “fake news media” are the “opposition party.”

The editorials came after the Boston Globe’s editorial board called on others to use their collective voice to respond to Trump’s war of words with news organizations in the United States.

Trump has labeled the news media “the enemy of the American people” and called much of the coverage “fake news.”

The Globe’s op-ed board wrote in an editorial published online Wednesday that, “Today in the United States we have a president who has created a mantra that members of the media who do not blatantly support the policies of the current US administration are the ‘enemy of the people.

“This is one of the many lies that have been thrown out by this president, much like an old-time charlatan threw out ‘magic’ dust or water on a hopeful crowd.”

The Globe’s editorial board made the appeal last week, urging newspaper editorial boards to produce opinion pieces about Trump’s attacks on the media. These boards, staffed by opinion writers, operate independently from news reporters and editors.

As The Washington Post’s policy explains, the separation is intended to serve the reader, “who is entitled to the facts in the news columns and to opinions on the editorial and ‘op-ed’ pages.”

The Globe reported Thursday that more than 300 of them obliged.

Trump responded to the editorials Thursday morning, tweeting that the Globe is “in collusion with other papers on free press” and that many of the media are “pushing a political agenda.”

The Boston Globe, which was sold to the the Failing New York Times for 1.3 BILLION DOLLARS (plus 800 million dollars in losses & investment), or 2.1 BILLION DOLLARS, was then sold by the Times for 1 DOLLAR. Now the Globe is in COLLUSION with other papers on free press. PROVE IT!

A month after taking the oath of office, Trump labeled the news media “the enemy of the American people.” In the year that followed, a CNN analysis concluded, he used the word “fake” — as in “fake news,” “fake stories,” “fake media” or “fake polls” — more than 400 times. He once fumed, the New York Times reported, because a TV on Air Force One was tuned to CNN.

Then last week, at a political rally in Pennsylvania, Trump told his audience that the media are “fake, fake disgusting news.”

“Whatever happened to honest reporting?” Trump asked the crowd. Then he pointed to a group of journalists covering the event. “They don’t report it. They only make up stories.”

In response, the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s editorial board wrote:

Let’s start with a fundamental truth: It is and always has been in the interests of the powerful to dismiss and discredit those who could prove a check on their power. President Donald Trump is not the first politician to openly attack the media for fulfilling its watchdog role. He is, perhaps, the most blatant and relentless about it.

To this president, the journalist’s time-honored role in a democracy is meaningless. Reporters present a fact-finding counter to the fanciful narrative Trump spins daily.

And the Houston Chronicle:

What makes Trump’s undermining of the press worse is that it’s not taking place in bureaucracy’s backrooms. Trump’s insults directed at reporters and news organizations, and his threats to limit press access and freedoms, are front and center at news conferences, at rallies, on Twitter. And they’re incessant.

Not only do they pose a danger to journalists’ safety — history tells us mere bias can progress to harsh words, to bullying and even to violence if society comes to accept the escalating forms of ridicule as normal — but there’s a more insidious threat. Trump’s broad brush undermines the collective credibility of thousands of American journalists across the country, and the world, who make up the Fourth Estate — so called for its watchdog role over the other three branches of government.

And also the Denver Post:

We believe that an informed electorate is critical to Democracy; that the public has a right to know what elected officials, public figures and government bureaucracies are doing behind closed doors; that journalism is integral to the checks and balances of power; and that the public can trust the facts it reads in this newspaper and those facts coming from the mainstream media.

Trump is a difficult politician to cover. His tweets and factually inaccurate statements frequently put him at loggerheads with the media. In a vacuum void of his outlandish statements, some of Trump’s policies would earn more straightforward media coverage. It has become a destructive cycle where the media covers Trump’s words and instead of self-reflection following scathing media reports, Trump cries fake news.

It’s a dangerous cry coming from the White House.

The Miami Herald’s editorial board called on Trump to end the war:

We all — as citizens — have a stake in this fight, and the battle lines seem pretty clear. If one first comes successfully for the press as an “enemy of the American People,” what stops someone for coming next for your friends? Your family? Or you?

Not even President Richard Nixon, whose original “enemies list” of the 20 private citizens he hoped to use his public office to “screw” included three journalists, tried to incite violence against reporters. While stewing privately about Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein as “enemies . . . trying to stick the knife right in our groin,” not even Nixon tagged the lot of us, Soviet-style, as “enemies of the people.” Nor did even he dare to take on the idea that our free press is worth protecting.

President Donald Trump. (Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo)

However, some newspapers decided not to run editorials on the issue, including The Washington Post. This newspaper’s editorial board has previously responded to Trump’s attacks on news organizations, but Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt said Saturday that the board would not participate in the organized response.

Neither did the Los Angeles Times.

The Chronicle’s editorial page editor, John Diaz, wrote that “It’s not that we take issue with the argument that Trump’s assault on the truth generally, and his efforts to diminish the free press specifically, pose a serious threat to American democracy.” But, he said, the newspaper values independence — a sentiment that was shared by the Los Angeles Times.

“The Globe’s argument is that having a united front on the issue — with voices from Boise to Boston taking a stand for the First Amendment, each in a newspaper’s own words — makes a powerful statement,” Diaz wrote. “However, I would counter that answering a call to join the crowd, no matter how worthy the cause, is not the same as an institution deciding on its own to raise a matter.”

The Globe’s call represents one side of a debate about how the media should view and respond to the president’s splenetic attacks on the press — or whether they should do anything at all.

Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron, who has responded directly to Trump’s attacks, said the paper’s reporting on the president is not a result of hostility. Baron told the Code Media conference in California: “The way I view it is, we’re not at war with the administration; we’re at work. We’re doing our jobs.”

Baron told interviewers that The Post would have approached a Hillary Clinton administration with the same aggressive reporting.

On Thursday the Senate unanimously passed a resolution that “affirms the press is not the enemy of the people” and “condemns the attacks on the institution of the free press.”

But at least one newspaper said that the president is not its primary concern.

The editorial board for the Capital Gazette in Annapolis wrote that the newspaper is more concerned with how its community sees it.

“It’s not that we disagree with concerns about the president’s language in speeches and on social media,” the op-ed board said. “We noted with regret the hurtful nature of his remarks last month calling most journalists dishonest even as we attended funerals for five friends and colleagues killed in the June 28 attack on our newsroom.

“We’re just not coordinating with other news organizations because the president’s opinion, frankly, is just not that important to us. We are far more concerned about what this community thinks of us.”

Seung Min Kim contributed to this report.

Read more:

Trump says he may end press briefings — here’s a breakdown of the most memorable moments

Newseum pulls ‘fake news’ shirts after outcry from journalists

Sean Spicer has resigned as White House press secretary. Let’s remember his greatest hits.

Graphics omitted due to technical issues. If you can, please see the original article at today’s THE WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL

IN DEFENSE OF YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW – EDITORIAL, SHINBONE STAR – Reblog

The first of what I hope will be many that I can share with you today. Go, you old media writers! Show them the world our truth!

THE SHINBONE STAR

Editor’s Note: The Shinbone Star today joins hundreds of America’s newspapers by participating in a call for editorials defending the vital role of a free press in our democracy. 

By  SHINBONE  STAR  EDITORIAL  BOARD

Longtime journalists expect a certain amount of abuse. We work for hours on a story or a beautiful page layout that later in the day will be trampled underfoot on a city bus or sail down a rain-washed gutter.

LogoWe’re unappreciated, but most of us understand that it comes with the territory.

We’re bearers of bad news, vultures perching outside a dead man’s home. We’re the ones asking tough questions on your darkest day, sharks in the chum, feeding hungrily and seeming to exult in your personal tragedy.

We “never print any good news,” and we’re just the kind of people who will wryly point out that you don’t remember it when we do. We like dark…

View original post 381 more words

PALADIN, PALADIN, WHERE DO YOU ROAM? – Garry Armstrong

Marilyn and I took a day off from the news with all its angst, sound, and fury. Instead, we hit the trail with some of our favorite movie and tv westerns where justice is crisply set in black and white, with nary a shade of gray. None of the confusion and conflicts of reality.

These days, simple sounds like a really good idea.

Even though the truth is never like that, but it was always like that for Paladin.

He was honorable and good. He knew The Truth. Also, he enjoyed getting paid to “deal” with the truth — and its consequences. Considering his lavish lifestyle, getting paid for work accomplished must have been a significant part of his black and white world, but oddly, I never saw anyone hand him money. Did anyone ever see him get paid?

Yet he certainly did live richly.

HAVE GUN-WILL TRAVEL, Richard Boone 1957-63

Oh Paladin, where are you when we most need you?

TO FINITY AND BEYOND! – Tom Curley

I wrote this post while back. I’m re-posting it because it’s back in the news again.  Our Twittler-in-chief announced that he wanted to create a new branch of the military, the Space Force (pronounced SPAAACE FOOORCE!!! With reverb). It was just the latest gift for late night talk shows.

But recently Vice President and whitest human being on Earth, Mike Pence had a press conference with the Secretary of Defense announcing the creation of SPAACCE FOOORCE!!!

We must be prepared to fend off illegal aliens, or  gay aliens, or something like that.

Here’s the original post. It’s supposed to be old news, but as usual, it isn’t. Look in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s SPAACCE FOORRCE!

Every week since our Fucking-Idiot-In-Chief got into the Oval Office, every news report starts with a version of “This is the worst week yet for the President.” And there’s a reason they say that. It’s true. What’s amazing is how he manages to make this week worse than the last.

There’s no floor. You can’t say, “he can’t get any worse than this” because he will just say, “Oh yeah? Hold my near-beer.” (El Presidente doesn’t drink so I had to modify the meme).

Near-beer!

For a while, he was at least funny. He says stuff so stupid you just have to laugh. He writes all the late-night show’s monologues by himself (with a big assist by Fox News). But last month, he stooped to depths of depravity so low, so disgusting all the humor got pushed aside.  Ripping children from their parents and putting them in baby/toddler jails.

In the midst of this unspeakable evil, he was still trying to give us some comic relief. We were just too appalled, disgusted and enraged to notice it.


Our Chuckle-Head-In-Chief announced that he was ordering the Pentagon to create SPACE FORCE!

A “separate but equal branch” of the military. Separate but equal? What the hell does that mean? The Air Force and the Space Force have separate drinking fountains?

Then he actually said, “There’s no place like space, there’s no place like space.”

That night, all the late show comedy writers went “Well, we can take an early lunch.”

Just one thing. There already is a Space Force! Really! It’s been around since 1958. It was a syndicated comic strip called “Sky Masters of the Space Force!” created by Wally Wood and the great comic book artist Jack Kirby.

Can they sue? Probably not because I’m pretty sure they’re both dead.

He said we need the Space Force because we not only need to be in space but we need to DOMINATE SPACE!

Now the question becomes, who do we draft into the Space Force? We can’t use all of our current astronauts. They’re all scientists and engineers who work at an international space station where people from different countries all get along and work together. We can’t dominate space with these wimps!

We need real Americans.

Americans who want to make the galaxy great again!

The only problem is, Trump only picks people for his administration who are on television. But don’t despair! We have those heroes. Heroes like the Sky Masters of Space Force!

Oh wait, that was just a comic strip, not TV. OK, what about Tom Corbett, Space Cadet! He’s an American hero! He was on TV.

 

But, wait, he’s dead.

OK, what about Colonel Ed McCauley, head of the American Space Program in the 1959 TV show “Men into Space!” He was only on the air for a year, but he was still the head of the American Space Program!

The only problem is, he’s also dead.

OK, how about Ed Norton from the Honeymooners? He was an official ranger of Captain Video and his Video Rangers.

And what about Captain Video himself?

Shit, both dead.

Captain Kirk and Captain Jean Luc Picard are both still alive, but they don’t strike me as Trump’s kind of guys.

And hell, Kirk kissed a black girl.

Wait! Darth Vader! He’s totally a Trump kind of guy.

Crap, he’s dead too.

This could be a problem. Because let’s face it, we know that aliens have already visited Earth. And what do they do? One word. Anal probes.

They’re sending rapists! We need to stop the infestation of real, actual illegal aliens! What can we do?

Build a wall. A wall in space! We’ll make the aliens pay for it!

OK, we’ll make Mars pay for it!

We need real Americans to step up. How about the real American’s at Fox News? Hannity, Coulter, Ingram, Carlson and those three stooges who do Fox and Friends.

Draft them.

Send them into space to defend America! Defend Earth! Whatever. Just send them into space and make sure they stay there.

We can make them honorary Junior Birdmen.

To Infinity and beyond!