Wednesday :: Dec 1, 2004

SCLM? Sycophantic Conservative-Leaning Media?

by pessimist

We've all heard the wrong-wing blather about how 'liberal' the media is. But after reading this item in particular, there is no way that any conservative can make this claim without crossed fingers or some other truth-negating hex sign or talisman.

S.D. Union-Tribune Vet Goldsborough Quits After Column Is Spiked
December 01, 2004 5:15 PM ET

Longtime San Diego (Calif.) Union-Tribune columnist Jim Goldsborough is quitting the paper, saying Publisher David C. Copley abruptly pulled a column scheduled to run Monday as "payback" for his criticism of President Bush.

The spike of the column was "almost like prior restraint," Goldsborough said.

"Don't criticize Bush, or your column won't be run."

I fail to follow the 'logic'. Just WHAT is so liberal about this action by the publisher, and the reason for it???

Goldsborough said the reason he was given after the fact is that the column, about why Jewish voters overwhelmingly cast their presidential ballots for John Kerry, was 'offensive'. "The publisher said it might be offensive. To whom? That's the question The column is not offensive to Jews. Maybe to Bush," Goldsborough said in a telephone interview Wednesday. "I don't think I'm 'liberal,' but I'm certainly not pro-Bush, and I think this was payback." He wrote his resignation letter Monday, Goldsborough said. "If the publisher has the notion that he can do this, well, we know where things stand," he said.

However he describes himself, Goldsborough's columns were often at odds with the conservative Republican stance taken on the editorial page. [Samples of his articles can be linked here - ed.]

Though San Diego was long regarded as a Republican bastion, Goldsborough noted that Democrat John Kerry carried the city. "The newspaper's a little out of step with the new San Diego, and that's why the community has appreciated my column," he said. The op-ed page, he said, has been a "good balance" of political views. "Now the balance is tilted back in one direction, which is what I think the publisher wants to do," he said. "My own e-mail is five to one for my column. The newsroom prefers to run the [letters] that are critical, but that's not the community's view."

"I've written columns for everybody. I've been edited, criticized. But never have I gotten a call Sunday night that the column is not running Monday, and there's no discussion," he said. "The editor explained to me publishers have that right, but it's never happened to me. This sort of came like a bolt from Olympus."

A call to Copley's office was directed to Harold W. "Hal" Fuson Jr., vice president and general counsel for The Copley Press Inc. Fuson did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Goldsborough, 66, came to San Diego 14 years ago as editorial page editor of the San Diego Tribune. When the two San Diego Copley papers were merged into the Union-Tribune in 1992, he began writing the column. Goldsborough is a former associate editor of the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News and for 12 years was a European correspondent for the International Herald Tribune. He said he has some writing projects to occupy himself, and has already been offered a spot on a daily online newspaper, Voice of San Diego.

I wasn't able to locate a link for 'Voice of San Diego', so if any of you readers have it, please post it in the comments section.

I suspect that this literary beheading of Jim Goldsborough is only the beginning. for instance, reading this article shows the direction that the allegedly liberal New York Times, now under conservative management, is likely to be heading in the near future. already marginal as a reliable source, it is only going to get worse.

But if you read some of the linked articles in the above post, you note the sort of presentation that is becoming the standard for 'liberal' journalism: "Recycling is Garbage", for example.

Here's another example of the brain-damaged crap that the conservative media moguls wish us to believe is news:

On Nov. 12, [Don] Imus engaged in an on-air discussion with a colleague during footage of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat’s funeral. “They’re stupid to begin with, but they’re brainwashed now,” the colleague said, referring to Palestinians. “Stinking animals. They ought to drop the bomb right there, kill ‘em all right now.”

On Nov. 19 an on-air personality pretended to be a “senior military affairs adviser” on the “Imus in the Morning” program. He referred to a wounded Iraqi who was shot and killed by a U.S. Marine in a mosque as a “booby-trapped raghead cadaver.”

But as if these remarks weren't bad enough, these comments are worse!

Fox, Viacom/CBS, and GE/NBC Tell Supreme Court: FCC Ownership Rules Violate Our First Amendment Rights!
November 29, 2004

Three of the country's most powerful media corporations have asked the U.S. Supreme Court for a thirty-day extension as they consider whether to submit arguments designed to eliminate media ownership safeguards. It's clear that these giants are going apoplectic over the decision by the Third Circuit US Court of Appeals last June, which sent most of Michael Powell's conglomerate love letter back for agency review.

In a joint filing by Fox, NBC/Telemundo, and Viacom, the networks continue their long-running disinformation campaign and abuse of the First Amendment. In their November 19th petition, the gang of three tell the Court that Congress was so "skeptical of the continuing need" for media-ownership rules that "the 1996 Congress enacted Section 202(h) of the Telecommunications Act, which directed the FCC to 'review…all of its ownership rules biennially," to 'determine whether any of such rules are necessary in the public interest as the result of competition,' and to 'repeal or modify any regulation it determines to be no longer in the public interest.'" The 202(h) provision has been cited repeatedly by the networks and other media moguls as the key legal rationale for all media ownership rules to be swept away (except those they favor, of course).

But the networks didn't tell the Supreme Court that one of them had placed the provision in the 1996 legislation as a "poison pill," designed to be a sort of "Manchurian Candidate" legal provision that would--as it has--helped them in their campaign to destroy media ownership safeguards. It shouldn't come as a surprise that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. was responsible for placing the 202(h) language in the 1996 Telecom Act.

According to a 2003 Cable World article, Put the Blame on Peggy, Boys, News Corp. lobbyists were frustrated because Congress would not agree to drastically weaken the ownership "cap" on the number of TV stations a company could operate. So the lobbyists "devised a plan to keep the cap issue in play after the bill…passed." "You have to think long term," said former News Corp. congressional lobbyist Peggy Binzel, who devised the strategy. "…[W]hen dealing with Congress, the front door may be locked, but there's always a window open somewhere."

Cable World reporter Alicia Mundy reported that Binzel and her News Corp. colleagues understood that the provision would serve as a "launching pad for a court challenge." And that's what they did. News Corp. immediately challenged the FCC for failing to adequately meet the provisions of 202(h). As the article notes, FCC Chairman Powell has been citing the 202(h) provision as his principal legal mantra for justifying why ownership safeguards should be scrapped.

The networks also told the Court they are considering whether to ask it to "revisit Red Lion's scarcity doctrine." All along, the networks have declared that the media ownership "rules unduly limited their freedom to engage in constitutionally protected speech, in violation of their rights under the First Amendment." Media General, the newspaper and broadcast conglomerate, told the Supreme Court in its application that the scarcity "doctrine is obsolete in light of the telecommunications revolution…."

The broadcast lobby is now privately debating the wisdom of seeking a Supreme Court decision. By arguing that scarcity is no longer a valid framework for broadcast policy, the industry stands to lose billions of dollars worth of special interest policies it has successfully lobbied for, including favorable cable and satellite access. But undoubtedly the networks and other broadcasters will offer the Court some self-serving argument that will allow them to continue to receive federal corporate welfare.

The U.S. Department of Justice also requested an extension, as it decides whether to pursue an appeal. Petitions to the court will be due January 3, 2005.

Additional Links In Original Post:

NBC/Telemundo, Fox, and Viacom's Application to the Supreme Court for Extension of Time within which to File Writ of Certiorari [PDF]

Media General's Application to the Supreme Court for Extension of Time within which to File Writ of Certiorari [PDF]

Department of Justice's Application to the Supreme Court for Extension of Time within which to File Writ of Certiorari [PDF]

It's becoming clear that the media is still too free for the desires of Bu$hCo to mold our consciousness of the world and what goes on in it daily. Efforts to limit the news reaching us through the existing news media will be extended to every other avenue of information transfer, such as the Internet which makes this very blog available to the world. Other countries already control and limit the sites that their citizens are allowed to access, and can there be any doubt that sites such as al-Jazeera infuriate those who wish us to 'see things ONLY their way'?

People are only as educated as their resources can provide. Limit that providence, and the 'knowledge' of the people can be tightly controlled. Read 1984 for a great example. Read Rise and Fall of the Third Reich for another. Read Confessions of an Economic Hit Man to understand WHY this is so important to Bu$hCo and their supporters.

Think this isn't important? OK - it's your world to lose. Just don't be surprised if I'm not too pleased - if not downright hostile - if you allow this to happen.

I'm trying to prevent it.

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pessimist :: 5:53 PM :: Comments (17) :: Digg It!