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Sean Hannity and Yellow Journalism

Sean Hannity and Yellow Journalism | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it

by JOHN CASHON

 

Sean Hannity will do whatever it takes to advance his specific point of view and agenda. On his radio show that aired on July 19th, he enlightened his audience as to the real nature of the President.

 

“Now the president’s saying Trayvon could’ve been me 35 years ago,” Hannity declared, “This is a particularly helpful comment. Is that the president admitting that I guess because what, he was part of the Choom Gang and he smoked pot and he did a little blow.  I’m not sure how to interpret because we know that Trayvon had been smoking pot that night.”

 

Hannity’s comments show one area where the problem with race relations in our country rests, in the news organizations, where responsibility is not a requirement and where ‘yellow journalism‘ is alive and well.

 

To Sean Hannity and others that model their success to unprofessional and irresponsible punditry, the message is, “forget about the facts, folks, it’s how you feel that is important.” Their job is to push the right buttons to tug at their listener’s heartstrings, and in history, they would have been the ones inciting the mobs to get out their pitchforks.

 

Yellow Journalism is defined as the type of journalism that relies on sensationalism and lurid exaggeration to attract readers, and this appears to be exactly the model being used by many news organizations today.

 

With many news organization’s, their modus operandi is to spread their bombastic, non-intellectual opinions to rile up only their targeted base to stand and defend them, leading to an ‘it’s us versus them’ culture, and to show such a lack of empathy, regarding the President’s speech and the Treyvon Martin case, on a subject that is keenly felt by so many Americans, is beyond the pale for any news organization, whether it is coming from a pundit, or a real news journalist.

 

Hannity knows exactly what he is doing, and when he gets the horrified reaction from the rational and sane, his base supporters rally to his defense, which helps his numbers rise. It’s a win, win, for him, and dollar signs for those that follow the example.

 

It’s not very civilized though. The conversations that we should be having in our country today are being drowned out by scared people living in a changing world that is leaving them behind.


Via John Cashon
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ACLU accuses NSA of using holiday lull to ‘minimise impact’ of documents

ACLU accuses NSA of using holiday lull to ‘minimise impact’ of documents | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Released on Christmas Eve, the documents are heavily redacted versions of reports by the NSA to the President’s Intelligence Oversight Board
Greg Russak's insight:

Right and left don't seem capable (or interested) in agreement on much these days. I can't understand why there doesn't seem to be more agreement on the need to stop the abuse of power by the NSA.

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Tidings of Comfort

Tidings of Comfort | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
You surely haven’t heard this in the news, but 2014 was a year in which the federal government showed that it can do some important things very well.
Greg Russak's insight:

"Yet if you look back at what actually happened over the past year, you see something completely different. Amid all the derision, a number of major government policies worked just fine — and the biggest successes involved the most derided policies. You’ll never hear this on Fox News, but 2014 was a year in which the federal government, in particular, showed that it can do some important things very well if it wants to."

- Paul Krugman

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My horrible right-wing past: Confessions of a one-time religious right icon

My horrible right-wing past: Confessions of a one-time religious right icon | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
I was a religious fanatic appealing to political leaders. Today, the fanatics are the political leaders
Greg Russak's insight:

The article the ultra-conservative Christians inside the GOP don't want you to read........and the one every self-proclaimed Republican in America must read.

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‘Human Experimentation Was a Core Feature of the CIA Torture Program’

‘Human Experimentation Was a Core Feature of the CIA Torture Program’ | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
If journalists and officials began talking about the tests that CIA psychologists conducted on suspected terrorists at U.S. black sites, would Americans demand the prosecution of those responsible?
- 2014/12/18
Greg Russak's insight:

“[B]ecause the concept of torture has been so muddled and disputed,” she <Lisa Hajjar, a professor of sociology at UC Santa Barbara> concludes, “I suggest that accountability would be more publicly palatable if we reframed the CIA’s program as one of human experimentation. If we did so, it would be more difficult to laud or excuse perpetrators as ‘patriots’ who ‘acted in good faith.’ Although torture has become a Rorschach test among political elites playing to public opinion on the Sunday morning talk shows, human experimentation has no such community of advocates and apologists.”

— Alexander Reed Kelly.

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Why so many rich Americans think they’re middle class

Why so many rich Americans think they’re middle class | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Recent remarks from Treasury Secretary Jack Lew help shed light on a troubling phenomenon
Greg Russak's insight:

There are a lot of people in this country who are completely clueless to this reality:

We are governed by the rich for the benefit of the rich.

 

Add your support to the American Anti-Corruption Act at http://unitedrepublic.actionkit.com/event/cosponsor/9815/

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Despite Its Beauty, Cuba Isn't Quite Ready For Tourists

Despite Its Beauty, Cuba Isn't Quite Ready For Tourists | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
When NPR's Scott Simon has visited Cuba, he saw two economies — one for tourists and one for residents. He reflects on whether the thaw between the U.S. and Cuba can really transform that country.
Greg Russak's insight:

Worth the 3-minute listen.

"The largest hotel company in Latin America is the Grupode Tirismo Gaviota. It is owned by the Cuban military. So while I've been glad to go to Cuba as a reporter, I can't bring myself to return as a tourist.

Maybe now, more Americans will get the chance to see Cuba. And I hope they get to know what they're really seeing." 

Scott Simon

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Net neutrality under threat as part of trade talks

Add data privacy and security to the list
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Democrats Tried To Shut Elizabeth Warren Up So She Fought Them Even Harder

Democrats Tried To Shut  Elizabeth Warren Up So She Fought Them Even Harder | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
The talking point that Elizabeth Warren is the new Ted Cruz came from Democrats. Warren responded to this attempt to shut her up by fighting the Wall Street Dems twice as hard.
Greg Russak's insight:

"Let me say this to anyone who is listening at Citi. I agree with you. Dodd-Frank isn't perfect. It should have broken you into pieces."

 

I agree. The banks need to be broken up. 

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The Political Scene: The Torture Report - The New Yorker

Jane Mayer and Steve Coll join Amelia Lester to talk about the Senate’s report on the C.I.A.’s use of torture.
Greg Russak's insight:

"The stain from this scandal is one of the worst ever in the history of the C.I.A., and from my standpoint one of the worst in the country,” Jane Mayer says of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on C.I.A. interrogation tactics. Mayer joins her fellow New Yorker staff writer Steve Coll and Amelia Lester, an editor for the magazine, on this week’s Political Scene podcast to talk about the report and its political significance. They discuss the unreliability of information obtained through torture and the unlikeliness of anyone being held accountable for the treatment of detainees. “I don’t think there’s any prospect of reviving criminal investigations in the United States,” Coll says."

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Read the Comments

Read the Comments | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Riding alone on the D.C. Metro Silver Line late last Thursday night, I shut my laptop in disgust. I had just left my sister's house in northern Virginia. And now, reading some comments on a Facebook post had wiped out much of the good feeling of reconnecting with family. The...
Greg Russak's insight:

"The truth is that the people who are protesting the deaths of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and so many others are fighting against the same things that we are. I'm not just talking about corrupt politicians, soulless corporations, or a biased criminal justice system. Our real shared adversaries are fear, ignorance, and self-interest. Those are the wellsprings of both the hatred in the Facebook comments and the resistance to making our world cleaner, safer, and fairer for all, not just a privileged few."

Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club

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Senate report on CIA program details brutality, dishonesty

Senate report on CIA program details brutality, dishonesty | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
A Senate probe of the agency’s secret interrogations after 9/11 alleges the use of unapproved practices and dishonesty with the White House and Congress.
Greg Russak's insight:

The only thing more sickening to me than the fact that we tortured human beings is that some people inside and outside the CIA are trying to justify it by turning this into a debate about whether or not and to what degree torture "worked" as if obtaining intelligence - any amount and any type - somehow makes torture ok.

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Seeing Ferguson Clearly: 12 Double Standards That Expose White Supremacy: Sonali Kolhatkar

Seeing Ferguson Clearly: 12 Double Standards That Expose White Supremacy: Sonali Kolhatkar | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
The doublethink of domination and victimhood is central to the pathology of white supremacy in the U.S. It is used to dupe and confuse us into believing that there is nuance in brutality and justice in murder.

- 2014/12/04
Greg Russak's insight:

Apparently, protests about police brutality and the lack of justice are an inconvenience to some of us. 

 

A white friend of mine recently posted a video in which demonstrators got way out of hand. Their behavior was inexcusable and included flipping off officers, spitting toward them (not 'on' them, as far as I can tell), yelling obscenities into their faces, and unforgivably throwing objects like barricade saw horses that hit officers. (https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152790165516084&set=vb.16522651083&type=2&theater)

 

Make no mistake, I do not condone any of that behavior.

 

But, as part of the post, he asked how stopping traffic was even a form of protest and, as if on cue to prove white privilege, asked, "Is it your right to infringe on mine" to get where he wants to go?

 

He went on to suggest - presumably to those in the video - that they volunteer their personal information to police so that, "...if they ever do try to dial 911, they will get a recording that says "We're sorry but since you have voiced your disgust with the police department so vehemently and do not see the value of the services we can provide, then we are unable to respond to your call for help. However, I'm sure that your fellow protesters will be over to protect you as soon as you can call all of them. Have a nice day!"

 

How is it possible that we've sunk to this? How is that we who have so much and yet refuse to acknowledge it have so little empathy for our fellow citizens and our fellow human beings who have less and who must still struggle against individual and societal bias and racism?

 

I think this TruthDig article helps to explain it. IMO, it's a must-read for all white Americans who still doubt or are in outright denial that white privilege exists.

 

It's also for those who like to play the "reverse racism" card. We whites are not the victims. To those who believe we are or that reverse racism is a thing, put down the remote and step away from Fox News.

 

We whites have never spent a single, solitary second in another skin color other than the color that has ruled this country since its founding. That makes it impossible for us to have the same understanding of what America looks like or how it  (meaning we) treats a person of color. We can never know what it's like to be anything but white. What we can do is to look clearly, honestly, and with empathy at the reasons why some of our fellow Americans lash out from under the oppression and threats they feel everyday that we never will. 

 

I'm not advocating violence or destruction of property. I'm advocating for justice and for peaceful outrage over the injustices that African Americans in particular still experience in a so-called "post-racial" America.

 

The evidence is all around us. Just read this TruthDig article and look at recent events.

 

The police officers who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner are free. Frank Phillips, a white Knox County Sheriff’s officer, was immediately fired when pictures of him choking a white college student were published. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/04/28/knoxville-cop-fired-immediately-after-photos-show-brutal-choking-of-student/)


Michael Brown's body was left in the street for hours. Eric Garner was never given any medical attention even after his last words, "I can't breath," were repeated over and over before he fell silent forever from an illegal choke hold indisputably caught on video. Except for when officer Phillips had his hands on his throat, 21-year-old white college student, Jarod Dotson, was never in mortal peril, yet Phillips was fired.


Officers Wilson and Pantaleo were not formally disciplined nor fired, and they aren't going to trial for their actions. Wilson was paid "mid to high" six figures for his interview with Stephanopoulos (http://www.alternet.org/abc-reportedly-paid-darren-wilson-six-figure-fee-interview), and reports are circulating that his supporters have raised half a million dollars for him (http://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2014/12/57852-anonymous-organizer-reveals-darren-wilsons-supporters-raised-nearly-500000/).


Meanwhile, black St. Louis County police officer, Dawon Gore, was arrested and charged with second degree assault a few months before officer Wilson shot Michael Brown. Gore faces 7 years in prison if convicted for striking a man on the hand with his baton. (http://bit.ly/1Ch5BHX)

 

This TruthDig article helped me, a middle-aged, college-educated, suburban, white guy, to gain a deeper appreciation of what the double standards of race in this country look like and feel like to others. I suggest everyone read it, especially if you "fit the description" I just gave.

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Protests Continue In Pittsburgh, Shutting Down Parkway, Oakland Streets

Protests Continue In Pittsburgh, Shutting Down Parkway, Oakland Streets | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Local demonstrators will be out again today and this weekend to protest a decision by a grand jury in New York City that cleared a white police officer in the chokehold death of an unarmed black man.
Greg Russak's insight:

Proud of my fellow Pittsburghers.

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Issa's big dud: No White House connection to IRS 'scandal'

Issa's big dud: No White House connection to IRS 'scandal' | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) wasted enormous congressional resources over the last 18 months trying to inflate the IRS " scandal " into a mountain. The release Tuesday of his final, petulant report on the affair marks what may be its final decline into a mouse.
Greg Russak's insight:

Just another blatantly obvious example of the waste, fraud, and abuse perpetrated by the GOP on the American populace.

 

The final paragraph really does sum it up:

"For Issa, who is Congress' richest member, and plutocrats from shore to shore, an intimidated and underfunded IRS is heaven. And that's what we've got."

 

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Inquiry Into I.R.S. Lapses Shows No Links to White House

Inquiry Into I.R.S. Lapses Shows No Links to White House | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
A House investigation of denials and delays of tax exemption applications by Tea Party groups has not found any coordination between the agency and the Obama administration.
Greg Russak's insight:

Our tax dollars at work....

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Tell President Obama: Keystone XL fails the climate test. Say #NoKXL now! | Oil Change International

Tell President Obama: Keystone XL fails the climate test. Say #NoKXL now! | Oil Change International | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Enough is enough. No more debate. No more oil industry-funded lies. Now is the time for leadership.
The science shows Keystone XL would be a climate disaster, and would easily fail the President's own climate test. 

President Obama has all the support he needs -- from science, and from the people -- to reject the Keystone XL pipeline.

Send a message to President Obama to stop Keystone XL now! 
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Meet Alfreda Bikowsky, the Senior Officer at the Center of the CIA's Torture Scandals - The Intercept

Meet Alfreda Bikowsky, the Senior Officer at the Center of the CIA's Torture Scandals - The Intercept | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
The "queen of torture" played a direct part in the torture of at least one innocent detainee, had a key role in misleading Congress about the agency’s use of torture, and reportedly mishandled information that could potentially have prevented the 9/11 attacks.
Greg Russak's insight:

The Intercept is naming Bikowsky over CIA objections because of her key role in misleading Congress about the agency’s use of torture, and her active participation in the torture program (including playing a direct part in the torture of at least one innocent detainee). Moreover, Bikowsky has already been publicly identified by news organizations as the CIA officer responsible for many of these acts.

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Archbishop Desmond #Tutu on #Climate Change

Archbishop Desmond #Tutu on #Climate Change | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it

Hear the clip in context; listen to the full episode: Put your money where our future it (Climate) 

Greg Russak's insight:

"Just as we argued in the 1980s that those who conducted business with apartheid South Africa were aiding and abetting an immoral system, today we say nobody should profit from the rising temperatures, seas, and human sufferings caused by the burning of fossil fuels. We can no longer continue feeding our addiction to fossil fuels as if there is no tomorrow for there will be no tomorrow."

 

"We are made for each other, part of one family, the human family, with one shared earth."

 

-Archbishop Desmond Tutu

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7 things Americans think are more plausible than global warming

7 things Americans think are more plausible than global warming | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Seventy-seven percent of the country believe in angels. Only 40 percent concede climate change is a reality VIDEO
Greg Russak's insight:

This says a lot about a certain segment of the American populace.

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U.S. TV Provides Ample Platform for American Torturers, But None to Their Victims - The Intercept

U.S. TV Provides Ample Platform for American Torturers, But None to Their Victims - The Intercept | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Ever since the torture report was released last week, U.S. television outlets have endlessly featured American torturers and torture proponents. But there was one group that was almost never heard from: the victims of their torture, not even the ones recognized by the U.S. Government itself as innocent, not even the family members of the ones they tortured to death.
Greg Russak's insight:

Let this passage sink in....

 

"Whenever America is forced to confront its heinous acts, the central strategy is to disappear the victims, render them invisible. That’s what robs them of their humanity: it’s the process of dehumanization. That, in turns, is what enables American elites first to support atrocities, and then, when forced to reckon with them, tell themselves that - despite some isolated and well-intentioned bad acts – they are still really good, elevated, noble, admirable people. It’s hardly surprising, then, that a Washington Post/ABC News poll released this morning found that a large majority of Americans believe torture is justified even when you call it “torture.” Not having to think about actual human victims makes it easy to justify any sort of crime."


Not having to think about actual human victims makes it easy to justify any sort of crime.


That's where this country and the proponents of torture are today.


Not having to think about actual human beings.


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5 Awful Things Hidden In The Budget Deal That Just Passed The Senate

There are some things in the new budget you should be aware of.
Greg Russak's insight:
Here are just a few of the most outrageous elements of the deal:Defense lobbyists scored $479 Million for defense contractors to make warplanes the Pentagon did not ask for. Sound expensive? They’re paying for it by…Cutting $93 Million from the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program. Ignore the will of 70% of Washington, D.C. residents by overruling their recent vote to reform D.C. marijuana laws.Put taxpayers back on the hook for big bank bailouts by repealing laws that were put in place after the 2008 financial collapse.Give billionaires a giant loophole so they can give up to 1.5 Million to political parties. That’s TEN TIMES the current limit.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! We want a government that represents US and not just lobbyists and special interest groups. The deal has already passed the House and Senate, and is on its way to the President’s desk. The time to speak up and take action is right now!

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Searching for Responsibility in the Senate Torture Report

Searching for Responsibility in the Senate Torture Report | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
The tragic resonance of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s report on C.I.A. torture will not, and probably should not, fade any time soon.
Greg Russak's insight:

"When Dick Cheney and the rest chose to cower in bunkers instead of, say, leading Wall Street workers across the bridges and back to work, unafraid; when polemicists and editorialists spoke the language of revenge and reprisal instead of the wiser language of recovery and resilience; when the thick cloud of fear was not dispelled by increased understanding but held in place by panic—when all of these things happened, the move toward the violation of all the norms of decency was almost certain to follow. Our collective fear made bad things happen that we can now hardly believe took place."

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Being a cop showed me just how racist and violent the police are. There’s only one fix.

Being a cop showed me just how racist and violent the police are. There’s only one fix. | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
We don't need more training. Bad cops need to be punished.
Greg Russak's insight:

As a kid, I got used to being stopped by the police. I grew up in an inner-ring suburb of St. Louis. It was the kind of place where officers routinely roughed up my friends and family for no good reason.

 

I hated the way cops treated me.

 

But I knew police weren’t all bad. One of my father’s closest friends was a cop. He became a mentor to me and encouraged me to join the force. He told me that I could use the police’s power and resources to help my community.

 

So in 1994, I joined the St. Louis Police Department. I quickly realized how naive I’d been. I was floored by the dysfunctional culture I encountered.

 

I won’t say all, but many of my peers were deeply racist.

 

By Redditt Hudson December 6

Redditt Hudson, a former cop, works for the NAACP and chairs the board of the Ethics Project. The views expressed here are his own.

 

Read more at http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/12/06/i-was-a-st-louis-cop-my-peers-were-racist-and-violent-and-theres-only-one-fix/

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How To Win A Debate With Conservatives About The Eric Garner Case

How To Win A Debate With Conservatives About The Eric Garner Case | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Sick to death of arguing with conservatives determined to justify Eric Garner's death at the hands of the NYPD, I created the following guide.
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