NBC

CNN’s 39th Anniversary: Changing The Face Of Journalism

Today is the 39th Anniversary of Cable News Network, the first cable news channel, started by Ted Turner in 1980.

It is now hard to recall that before CNN, and later MSNBC in 1996, and the infamous Fox News Channel, also in 1996, the face of electronic journalism was only CBS, NBC, and ABC.

This author and blogger grew up as a devoted fan of CBS and Walter Cronkite and the other great journalists of that channel, with sometimes focusing to a lesser extent on NBC and ABC.

One also recalls how Richard Nixon complained about the “constant barrage” of TV news nationally 22 minutes out of the 30 minute nightly newscast, which was actually only 11 minutes out of 15 before 1963.

Now, we are overwhelmed by so much electronic news on cable channels and the internet, but at the end CNN still stands out as a quality news organization.

CNN has made mistakes and blunders, but it has also educated us mightily in the past 39 years, and has been strengthened by a tyrant named Donald Trump who claims that channel and MSNBC, along with the three major networks are “fake news”. The constant attacks as well on the NY Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, the three best print papers in America, have only made educated people realize how significant all these and other news sources as well, are in keeping us free and informed.

It is the role of journalism to speak the truth, expose scandal, and insure our freedom and democracy, and they are working hard to overcome the greatest threat to America since World War II, far greater by comparison to that presented by Richard Nixon a half century ago.

No one is trying to give Richard Nixon a pass as a major threat historically, but the present “clear and present danger” of Donald Trump is an alarm bell warning us of the danger of infiltration by a foreign power which has always wished us ill since 1917, and now reconstituted in a different manner but no less dangerous than the old Soviet Union.

So to undermine our foreign policy and our loyalty to our allies in NATO, and in East Asia is a danger to the national security of America and to the world community at large, and CNN, MSNBC and others and the print media are working full time to keep Americans alert and informed.

So Happy 39th Birthday, CNN, and many more!

A Moment To Celebrate The 167th Anniversary Of The New York Times, America’s Leading Media Source, Helping To Keep Us Free And Informed!

In the midst of the sustained attack on freedom of the press going on in 2018, today is the 167th anniversary of America’s leading newspaper, the “newspaper of record”, the NEW YORK TIMES.

Since 1851, the New York Times has published and challenged the American government, foreign governments, and powerful economic forces, who have tried to limit the ability of that paper to report the truth of the news, and the paper has won 125 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. Its motto is “All the News That’s Fit to Print”. It has the notable New York Times Book Review, the New York Times Magazine, and the Sunday Review, all part of its Sunday edition.

The New York Times has not been perfect, anymore than any institution, as it failed to report accurately the Holocaust going on in Europe in World War II; the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Middle East over the past number of decades; and has been accused of distortion about the Iraq War, and the US-Iran relationship. The newspaper also has been accused of engagement in plagiarism by certain journalists, and accusations of bias, and public perceptions of lack of credibility and accuracy, including attacks by Right Wing propaganda groups, and President Donald Trump, who talks about the “Failing” New York Times, which actually is in very good financial shape.

Any researcher in just about any field of knowledge uses the former NY Times Index, as this author has done, and now available in the TimesMachine, the Online Archive of every issue of the paper since 1851.

The New York Times was extremely significant in promotion of the truth, when it won the right to publish the Pentagon Papers in 1971, in the Supreme Court case of New York Times Company V. United States, winning over the attempt of President Richard Nixon to prevent publication of the documents that traced the US involvement in Vietnam after 1945 through the late 1960s.

So let us all applaud the courage and determination of the brilliant journalists of the New York Times, who are now, in 2018, doing their job exposing the corruption and illegal activities of Donald Trump and his Presidency, alongside the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Wall Street Journal, along with other media sources, including cable news channels CNN and MSNBC, along with ABC, NBC, and CBS.

The truth shall set us free and protect American democracy and the Constitution!

Robert F. Kennedy, The “Un Trump”? Two Wealthy, Privileged People, And Their Diverse Evolution

Two NBC/MSNBC anchors, Chris Matthews and Lawrence O’Donnell, have just published books on the life of Robert F. Kennedy, and on the Presidential Election of 1968, respectively.

Both books are well worth your attention, as they bring back a half century ago, when a wealthy, privileged person, Robert F. Kennedy, united white working class and minority working class people together in a time of tumult, making him a rare political leader.

He also attracted the support of wealthier liberals, and had the capability to unite the country in a time of the civil rights movement and the war in Vietnam.

Had he not been assassinated, RFK would likely have been the Democratic Party nominee, instead of Hubert Humphrey, and would have likely defeated Richard Nixon, and there would have been no Watergate scandal.

No one is saying that RFK would have been God, but certainly, the history of the United States would have been better with him than with Richard Nixon.

Now we have a leader of similar wealth and privilege, but with a totally different bent on every issue imaginable.

Donald Trump revels in dividing people, and using race, religion, and ethnicity to cause tumult and turmoil.

Donald Trump does not have a decent bone in his body, and sees everything in terms of the dollar sign.

Donald Trump has no concern for the average American’s life and future, and instead, promotes demagoguery and hate.

The damage he has done in the year since his election tomorrow, November 8, is so long lasting, that despite no legislative accomplishments, he has set back the nation in so many ways, often to before the years of the New Deal in the 1930s.

It is as if we are in a time warp, and back in the 1920s before the Great Depression and World War II.

And it is highly likely that the damage he has perpetrated in one year will lead to another Great Depression, social turmoil, and World War III, since he has no clue or understanding of domestic or foreign affairs, and only the top one percent will benefit from his destructive agenda.

So Robert F. Kennedy is indeed the “Un Trump”, but sadly, we have no one on the horizon at this moment who seems capable of emerging with the image and agenda of Robert F. Kennedy.

If we did find such a person, we would have optimism about the long range future of the nation, so the goal must be to find the right individual to lead the Democratic Party into the future, and return to the RFK commitment to social, economic, and political change.

Traitors In American History Might Include Donald Trump If Mueller, Congressional Investigations And News Media Prove It To Be Reality!

The subject of traitors in American history is highly controversial, even incendiary. We are not referring to spies here, or those who gave information that might have undermined America, but only to people in government and in the military. Any list would be controversial, and being a traitor is not only based on actual judicial declaration, but on the deleterious effect that government and military people had on the security and stability of the American nation.

Certainly, Benedict Arnold would be at the top of the list, having plotted to hand over West Point and thousands of American military to the British in 1780, during the American Revolution.

Also, many would say, with some qualification, that former Vice President Aaron Burr, who plotted to steal the election for President in 1800 from his own running mate, Thomas Jefferson, and was brought to trial for plotting with others to create an independent nation in the middle of the North American continent. committed treason. He was arrested, charged with treason, and put on trial, although found not guilty by Chief Justice John Marshall in the trial that he faced. Of course, Burr also killed Alexander Hamilton in a legal gun duel over the issue of honor, caused by the bitter rivalry between the two men over Hamilton’s intervention in the Presidential election of 1800, when Hamilton helped to promote the election of Jefferson, his ideological rival, but one that he trusted, while he believed Burr was a scoundrel who could not be trusted with power.

Additionally, Civil War Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, and Confederate States of American President Jefferson Davis, have become the center of accusations that they were traitors, as they worked to separate the South from the nation in the Civil War. This has led to the movement to take down many Confederate statues and monuments of these and other Confederate leaders.

Once we get past these cases already mentioned, the issue of treason and traitors is more murky, but one could say that for someone to engage in league with a foreign nation’s plot to intervene in elections that would bring a person to power, could be considered treasonous. So if the accusations of Russian collusion are proved true, as is now being investigated by the Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and several Congressional committees, and supplemented by excellent investigatory research by major news media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, NBC, CNN and others, then we may be able to declare that Donald Trump and his campaign and many of his advisers and cabinet members have engaged in a conspiracy that could be seen as treason.

The Media Created Donald Trump, And The Media Will Destroy Him, With The Truth About His Corruption And Malfeasance!

The news media created Donald Trump, giving him lavish coverage and publicity, and enabling him to gain public support with his over the top proposals, which any sane person could have realized was political hype at its worst.

Donald Trump has become the worst con man in American political history, but it is the news media that will bring him down, ultimately, through their thorough, hard hitting exposing of his corruption, and his collusion with the Russians, with more evidence every day of his transgressions.

Plaudits are due to the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, CBS, CNN, and many other media sites and journalists, who are doing the detective work that will help the Special Counsel Robert Mueller collect the dots that will force Trump out of office sometime next year.

Trump is running scared, acting guilty, and his continued assaults on the news media are a threat to American democracy, but he will not win out in the end, one can be assured. He has degraded the Presidency, and it will take time and healing to recover the prestige and dignity of the office after he is forced out.

Just as Richard Nixon had his “Waterloo”, so will Donald Trump, as long as people understand it will take time and patience, but that it will happen, whether the Republican Congress wants it or not, as the American people will demand transparency and action as the evidence grows toward the inevitable step to remove Trump. One author, Frank Rich, in New York Magazine, has said we are in July 1973 in the Nixon crisis, and that in about another year, as with Nixon, Trump will be forced out.

We survived earlier constitutional crises in the Civil War era, and the Watergate era, and we will survive once again, with media having a large share of the credit, utilizing the term–“The truth shall set you free!”

And for those who fear Vice President Mike Pence becoming President, there is no question that he would be the most extreme right wing President in history, but the removal of Trump will help to temper him in his actions and statements, particularly once a Democratic House of Representatives becomes his “watchdog”. And even if we have a continued Republican Senate, which is highly likely, not much will be accomplished, with the reality that the House of Representatives controls all money bills.

As much as Pence is a problem, he is not mentally unhinged and unstable as Donald Trump has proved to be, and the way he comes to power will make it more difficult for him to accomplish many of his goals, as long as the Democrats gain the 24 or more seats needed to win control of the House, and that must be the goal in the next 16 months until the midterms in November 2018.

News Media, With All Their Shortcomings, Preserve Freedom And Democracy In Age Of Donald Trump Presidency

The news media had been, justifiably, criticized at helping Donald Trump to become President, through their focus on the faults and shortcomings of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential Election campaign.

Particularly the electronic media, the cable channels, have been attacked for giving Donald Trump a forum through phone calls and attention to his rallies, which helped him to stage an upset victory.

With the truth of those accusations, it is also reality that it is the news media, called the “enemy of the American people” by Donald Trump, which is preserving freedom and democracy in America, as they expose the corruption, scandals, and truth about Donald Trump and his administration.

Attack the news media all you want, but without it, we would not have learned about Michael Flynn, Jeff Sessions, or anyone else around Trump, along with his own hypocrisies.

It is the news media that helped to bring down Richard Nixon, particularly the Washington Post, and it is the news media, led by the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, and others that will eventually bring down Donald Trump.

This author got some notoriety for his article, available on this blog on the right from February 15 on HNN and reprinted on Newsweek on February 19, and a TV Interview on CTV News Channel in Canada on February 16; and radio interviews on the John Gaunt Show in Great Britain on February 17 and WWGH in Marion, Ohio with Scott Spears on February 22. I made the assertion that Trump would be out of office either before 199 days of James A. Garfield, or possibly as long as 392 days of Zachary Taylor, and that belief still is strongly held by this blogger.

This is not a happy assertion, as Mike Pence, while not mentally unhinged as Donald Trump is, has a greater agenda to promote Christianity and extremist right wing views, so the Trump Presidency, whether Trump remains in office or not, is a dangerous turning point to the extreme right, unseen since the 1920s.

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio: Major Screw Up, Time To Apologize And Change!

New York City’s new Mayor, Bill De Blasio, is rapidly making enemies in his handling of snow emergencies.

Failing to get out in front of snow cleanup in upper class neighborhoods; failing to close schools simply because of historic stupidity that New York City schools hardly ever close; blaming the Weather Bureau, rather than taking responsibility for your own blunders; and then closing schools early, forcing hourly wage workers who are struggling as it is to live in New York City to pick up their children; are all signs of arrogance and forgetting not only common sense, but also acting in a way that will only undermine the progressive agenda, and make many feel that progressives are no better than conservatives in showing concern and good judgment in governing the American people!

Al Roker, the meteorologist for NBC, was engaged in a Twitter war with De Blasio, and Al Roker won, and he might be right: Bill De Blasio, unless he apologizes and learns, will be a one term Mayor of New York City!

Fox News Channel: A Political Machine That Employs Journalists!

Fox News Channel and its chief executive, Roger Ailes, are a political machine for the conservative movement and the Republican Party which employs journalists who give up their principles for a big financial reward. It also employs former politicians who are in the make, to earn as much money as they can, and to hell with convictions or beliefs they had once held!

Ailes began his career in advocacy journalism under Richard Nixon, helped promote Ronald Reagan, and learned the power of advocacy journalism to promote one’s ideological agenda. And journalists and politicians have seen the money involved!

So we have such examples as:

Bill Hemmer, John Roberts, Ed Henry, Greta Van Susteren, Howard Kurtz–all formerly at CNN

Juan Williams, formerly of NPR

Former Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana; former Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich

And this is just the “tip of the iceberg”, as many former journalists for NBC, ABC, and CBS have also moved to Fox, and tried to make its distorted view of the news and of the world become standard and believed!

A new book by Gabriel Sherman is making the case that Roger Ailes is the most important journalistic giant of the past half century, a figure on the scale of William Randolph Hearst.

So Fox News Channel is a massive challenge to its cable competitors, CNN and MSNBC, and already attracts more viewers than both of them combined.

So an important thing to remember is that when one is out to promote the truth about America and the world, being ignorant or unaware of Roger Ailes and Fox News Channel’s impact is to the detriment of their rivals!

The Los Angeles Times And Climate Change Deniers: Kudos To That Newspaper!

The Los Angeles Times has decided to go on the offensive in a way that is very admirable!

It has decided it will NOT allow climate change deniers to use its website to continue to promote something that is well understood by scientists, and intelligent people in general, to be totally false, and destructive of dealing with the future of our planet.

Instead of stating that all viewpoints are equal, facts are being used, and ridiculous opinions will not see the light of day in that newspaper.

It is time for mainstream media to stop allowing extremist propaganda on science to be treated as a respectable viewpoint, and for religion to be restricted to the faiths involved, not to totally outrageous and false ideas as being fact, when they are not.

And the same applies to those who deny evolution. Let right wing media distort reality, but respectable media should NOT give any support to such viewpoints that have no basis for being considered valid.

We are in a struggle in which mainstream media has allowed the right wing to take over and poison not only science, but also history, economics, and innumerable other areas of human knowledge with their extremist propaganda. This must stop, and no attention paid to protests, as the answer is go to to other media, which have no respectability in the sensible, intelligent community, if they wish to learn falsehoods and lies!

So it is time for the New York Times, Washington Post, other prestigious newspapers, CNN, and the major television networks (ABC, NBC, CBS), and other respectable media to join together and preserve truth over lies and falsehoods!

And threats to boycott these media and threaten them economically should be defied by them as the only way to keep their legitimacy as a news source. This is a battle for the minds and hearts of future generations, and concessions to the right wing cannot be made in this eternal struggle for the truth!

The Coming Right Wing Takeover Of Most News Media: A Threat To America’s Future!

The right wing LOVES to claim that the news media are overly liberal, when that is a massive falsehood, and has been so for many years.

YES, the New York Times and Washington Post, and CBS, NBC, ABC and MSNBC are liberal, and there are others.

But talk radio has been dominated by the right wing for twenty years; Fox News Channel, owned by Rupert Murdoch and operated by Roger Ailes, has been spewing right wing propaganda for 17 years; the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post are also owned by Murdoch, and now the greatest threat to the promotion of truth over propaganda is emerging with the report that David and Charles Koch, the infamous Koch Brothers, who tried to fix the Presidential Election of 2012 with their engagement in spending hundreds of millions of their assets on Congressional races and the Presidency, allowable under the disgraceful Citizens United case of the Supreme Court, are now attempting to buy the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, and the South Florida Sun Sentinel, along with other smaller papers owned by the bankrupt Tribune Corporation!

This will mean that the Koch Brothers will be able to extend their evil influence, already affecting our political and legal system,. our educational system, and having worked against health care and labor as part of their goal to control the American future in a deleterious way!

Of course, our system allows anyone to use their wealth to purchase and use their influence in any way they wish, but it is a sad day for American journalism, nevertheless!