Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bad Days for Newsrooms—and Democracy

By Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges writes: "A democracy survives when its citizens have access to trustworthy and impartial sources of information, when it can discern lies from truth. Take this away and a democracy dies. The fusion of news and entertainment, the rise of a class of celebrity journalists on television who define reporting by their access to the famous and the powerful, the retreat by many readers into the ideological ghettos of the Internet and the ruthless drive by corporations to destroy the traditional news business are leaving us deaf, dumb and blind...

"The rise of our corporate state has done the most, however, to decimate traditional news-gathering. Time Warner, Disney, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., General Electric and Viacom control nearly everything we read, watch, hear and ultimately think. And news that does not make a profit, as well as divert viewers from civic participation and challenging the status quo, is not worth pursuing. This is why the networks have shut down their foreign bureaus. This is why cable newscasts, with their chatty anchors, all look and sound like the “Today” show. This is why the FCC, in an example of how far our standards have fallen, defines shows like Fox’s celebrity gossip program “TMZ” and the Christian Broadcast Network’s “700 Club” as “bona fide newscasts.”

"This is why television news personalities, people like Katie Couric, have become celebrities earning, in her case, $15 million a year. This is why newspapers like the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune are being ruthlessly cannibalized by corporate trolls like Sam Zell, turned into empty husks that focus increasingly on boutique journalism. Corporations are not in the business of news. They hate news, real news. Real news is not convenient to their rape of the nation. Real news makes people ask questions. They prefer to close the prying eyes of reporters. They prefer to transform news into another form of mindless amusement and entertainment---...Read it all

--->Correction re: Harley-Davidson to build bikes in India. This evidently is an arrangement where Harley bikes made in the USA will be shipped to India for assembly, for sale in India only. No Indian-made bikes will be marketed in the USA I am informed. Then again, a Search indicates something may be happening here...

--->MSNBC Wants Keith Olbermann Mea Culpa...

--->Pompeii's 'House Of The Gladiators' Collapses, Italy's Government Accused Of Neglecting World Heritage Site...

--->More actors going to go into government? This would seem to make sense if multinationals have become the de facto authorities in the world today---in that case any old puppet will do---otherwise....

--->Pitiable propaganda:... "rails" "blasted"... which today passes for reporting.

--->Updated: The Jew, Jesus, Who Changed the Life of the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Eugenio Zoller, by Sandro Magister: "...The stunning news of his conversion rocked the Roman and Italian Jewish community. And it responded with a silence that lasted for decades. Anna Foa's review [of the recent reprint of Zoller's "Il Nazareno"] in "the pope's newspaper" has definitively broken this silence. Moreover, she has acknowledged that in that book, although it was written many years before its author's conversion, there already "seemed to appear between the lines a recognition of the messianic character of Christ"...Ever since he was a child, for him, Jesus was present in all his mystery..,in a world that recalls the paintings of Chagall, the Jewish painter who was born and lived in those same Eastern lands between Europe and Russia: the village, the synagogue, the corn fields covered with snow, the Jewish school with its severe teacher, the roosters on the rooftops... And all the airborne figures in the starry sky: the characters of the Bible.

But that's just it, Jesus is there too, right away. There's the crucifix in the home of his classmate:

"Why was He crucified? Why do we children become so different in His presence? No, no, He couldn't have been bad. Maybe He was and maybe He wasn't – who knows? – the Servant of God whose canticles we read in school. I don't know anything, but I'm sure of one thing: He was good, and so... and so, why did they crucify Him?"

Right away, there are the Gospels and the New Testament:

"All by myself, I read the Gospel, and experienced measureless delight. What a surprise I received in the middle of the green lawn: 'But I say to you: Love your enemies.' And from the height of the cross: 'Father, forgive them.' The New Testament really is a covenant... brand new! Everything in it seemed to me to have an extraordinary importance. Teachings like: 'Blessed are the pure of heart' and the prayer from the cross draw a line of demarcation between the world of ancient ideas and a new moral cosmos. Yes! Here there arises a new world. Here are delineated the sublime forms of the Kingdom of Heaven, of the persecuted who have not persecuted in return, but have loved"...Read it all

Note: Another factor the chief Rabbi said in his conversion was the heroic witness of Pope Pius XII during World War II... (click)

Suffering Servant, Isa 53, our Passover I was speaking with a man the other day about Hitler's war against the weak (eugenics, medical experimentation and murder) who said that after WWII Jews in significant numbers became very angry with both God and man, and that many have become atheist. He said that another way (hardly all but many) prominent Jews have acted out their metaphysical anger is by attacking most facets of traditional Western culture, especially through media, even attacking Judaism itself... Some 40-60 million died during WWII, not just Jews. We all suffered together and need to reason together. I hope it is not the case about widespread rock-bottom despair. Jesus will ever remain a Son of Israel. "To the Jew first," the Apostle Paul wrote time and again.

--->Too, the former chief Rabbi of Rome's book, Path to Rome...

--->Revisited: The Assault on the Boy Scouts of America ---Midge Decter. [This Post Last Updated: 11.8.10]

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