For the past couple of weeks, social media sites and vigilant bloggers alerted us to a phenomena known as the Occupy Wall Street Movement. It seems that tens of thousands of ordinary Americans are fed up with the trickery practiced by financial institutions as top executives reward themselves with bonuses, while service fees on checking accounts/debit purchases/loans and so forth increase inexplicably and unreasonably, and all this perfectly legal thanks to the successful efforts of powerful lobbyists, lax oversight by government regulators, and (until a few a weeks ago?) a general reluctance on the part of the American public to voice dissatisfaction at this state of affairs. Was it the Arab Spring movement(s) in the Middle East and parts of the African continent, or the deepening debt crisis around the world; was it rising unemployment as well as spiraling living costs here at home that spurred middle-class voters and tax-papers to take to the street in dissent? Certainly the huge debt now carried by ourselves and future generations as we undertook a bailout of big banks made apathy a less desirable alternative to sitting by as the sh*t hit the fan--and cleanup at our expense.
Whether in deference to misguided editorial policies or the objections of certain advertisers, major newspapers and television networks choose not to report on the Occupy Wall Street movement until well into the second week, during which time social media sites had seized the mantle of ground-breaking and on-the-spot reporting. The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New York Observer, The Boston Globe, and Mother Jones, panned the movement as unorganized and misdirected, or ignored the small but growing protest(s) as irrelevant and unworthy of coverage. Since the movement's inception on the 17th of September, Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter has buzzed all day and night with updates, photos, and calls for action, and thousands of individuals from all walks of life have responded in kind in other major cities, as well as other world capitals and banking centers. Enough is enough, seems to be the shared message, as well as demands for redress and a fairer distribution of our shared assets and resources. And who can argue with this?
Never has the need for balanced and fair reporting been more critical, reasoned award-winning investigative journalist Robert Parry in establishing consortiumnews.com, an internet-based investigative news magazine (in 1995). Parry writes that, ' the site was meant to be a home for important, well-reported stories and a challenge to the inept but dominant mainstream news media of the day. As one of the reporters who helped expose the Iran-Contra scandal for the Associated Press in the mid-1980s, I was distressed by the silliness and propaganda that had come to pervade American journalism. I feared, to, that the decline of the U.S. press corps foreshadowed disasters that would come when journalists failed to alert the public about impending dangers. '
He notes that, ' We have written extensively about the U.S. media imbalance, tilted by a well-funded right-wing media machine. Indeed, a founding idea of our Web site was that a major investment was needed in journalistic endeavors committed to honestly informing the American people about important events, reporting that truly operated without fear or favor. Regrettably, the distortion of information remains a grave problem with millions of Americans brainwashed by the waves of disinformation coming from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the hordes of other right-wing media outlets – distortions often reinforced by the careerist mainstream press. Because of this media dynamic, many average Americans have bought into a propaganda frame that seeks fewer regulations on powerful corporations, lower taxes on the wealthy, tighter restrictions on unions, and fewer programs to help working Americans with problems ranging from educating their children to caring for the elderly.
Meanwhile, Official Washington is basing international decisions on a false narrative that excludes the real history of the past several decades. Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush are hailed as honorable leaders, rather than viewed as politicians who countenanced gross abuses of power. Even in the Age of Obama, government decisions are being made with only limited knowledge of what was really done by Republican presidents who have dominated the modern era. This ignorance represents not only a threat to a meaningful democratic republic but a danger to the world, as the “last remaining superpower” lurches about, half-blinded by its own propaganda. '
Peeps, Robert Parry is my kind of superhero. More real than the celluloid he-men who catapult across the silver-screen, and more relevant than the designer-clad crooners of the lounge set, or the over-paid athletes on the court, as well as the so-called movers and shakers of the cocktail circuit, and the so-called captains of industry whose motives are ethically ambiguous, and without any doubt, the elected officials of every stripe and color whose interests seem to stop just short of their own door-step. Please visit his web-address at www.consortiumnews.com to learn more about this note-worthy online investigative journal.
Thanks for being a devoted blog reader, and enjoy today's visual treat.
PS: Robert Parry's books entitled: Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush