Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Today I have to put a long-term project aside to write a blog. It's been simmering for a while, but when I saw a retired physician offering a year's worth of medical care free, while potential retirees try to prolong their time in the shrinking job market, that did it.
What's my gripe? CNN (for better or worse, my bell weather cable news channel), continues to play the human interest angle while offering zero substantive analysis. This is not to belittle Ali Velshi and his financial colleagues, who do an excellent job within the confines of the all-American principle of objectivity. The problem is, so-called objectivity (for there really is no such animal) edges out ideological - or even scientific - analysis every time.
Yesterday when I turned the tv back on at five o'clock my dial was still tuned to Drexel University's local channel on which I'd listened to Democracy Now over lunch. They were broadcasting a labor union meeting that took place a while back in the state of Washington. In contrast to the blow by blow account of the ways business harasses employees who try to set up a union, one speaker showed a recent Paris street scene, filled as far as the eye could see with protesters carrying huge banners and signs. The audience immediately erupted in cheers.
In five minutes, that program showed what people in other countries do routinely to defend their rights, and why we can't do the same thing in the United States.
When pictures of workers demonstrating in other countries appear on the corporate news channels, the dismissive tone of the anchor reinforces the message: we don't do that here: we use the ballot box to achieve the American Dream....(Click for remainder).