Just a quick and dirty update… you can use Google to look up the relevant clips if you’d like 🙂

The other day, I heard a brief piece on NPR describing the G20 protests in Toronto. The correspondent described the protests as having turned violent due to the smashing of some corporate shop windows (Starbucks, Urban Outfitters) and setting fire to a police car. One can argue whether property destruction should or should not be categorized as violence. I say it shouldn’t, but that’s not the point here…

To say that the protests turned violent due to these acts and then not mention the arrest of 600 peaceful protesters and beating of many by police is an example of remarkably dishonest coverage by NPR, not that I expect anything better from them.

Contrast that with the recent Democracy Now update which spent more than twenty seconds on the story. Democracy Now covered the overwhelming violence used by police as well as the property destruction. Democracy Now always puts almost all mainstream news to shame. Imagine that – actually looking at the facts on the ground rather than passing everything through a pro-authority, pro-capitalism, pro-US-government filter. It’s amazing what results from using that technique.

To conservatives that think that all progressives look to NPR and Obama as their heroes and leaders, please know that many of us don’t.

Now that everyone and their dog is hooked up to the Internet, over-the-air radio stations don’t get much ear time, especially among my demographic of young tech workers living in big cities. But I still like it for its simplicity. You hit the power button and it is on. It also isn’t as completely overtaken with utter crap like television is.

Usually the only place that many people listen to the radio is in their car, that place where audio technology lags behind the home by a good ten years. Well, thankfully, I rarely drive. And I am not about to put ear buds in when I am on my bike. No, that wouldn’t be safe 🙂

When I was in New York City last summer for a week or so, my first Couch Surfing host had a radio in her bathroom that she kept on most of the day. I had an awesome Grundig radio sitting around that I wasn’t using, so in our new place I’ve put it to use in the bathroom.

So far I have been just listening to KQED, 88.5, San Francisco’s NPR station with some of its own local programming as well. I have been getting pretty frustrated with it lately, because of problems that I already knew existed. NPR is essentially a bull horn for the government’s propaganda machine, even though they do it while attempting to sound respectable by leaving out the yelling, the majority of ads, and the fancy sound effects and gimmicks. Surely, this is an improvement over corporate TV news, but what really matters is the substance of the broadcast, and in this area they are just as bad as corporate TV news.

In multiple mentions of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I have not heard talk of the civilian death toll, which is probably over a million combined, or the United States’ responsibility for this death toll. These things are by far the most important aspects of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (not to mention the war in Pakistan, which gets no mention). The guests interviewed or quoted for NPR’s pieces on these wars are US, Iraqi, or Afghan government and military officials, never representing or discussing the will of the people of any of these countries.

I wonder what would happen if NPR brought on Dahr Jamail, Amy Goodman, or the unthinkable – the parent of one of the countless children that had been murdered by the US war machine.

I think I will be learning how to set the station favorites on my radio and trying out KPFA and KPOO.

Update: And, of course, Pirate Cat Radio, which is what inspired this post to begin with.

Here’s an article that is a great example of why I like McClatchy Newspapers: Both McCain, Obama exaggerating Iran’s nuclear program

McClatchy was one of the few, if not the only, corporate news company to do real journalism in the lead-up to the Iraq War.

Watching Democracy Now last night, I could tell something was up with Amy Goodman. Sure enough, she has Bell’s Palsy, a temporary paralysis of the face.

Just want to give a shout out to my favorite journalist – Amy, hope you get better soon!

The past two days I have caught a few minutes of Headline News. Once was, I think, here at the newspaper. They were talking about the Michael Vick case. Today was even worse. I was in a small cafe getting a bagel before work and the topic of discussion on Headline News was dieting soap opera stars. Horrible, just horrible.

I am so glad that I now get my news from sources other than the mainstream press.

I’ve been catching up on my CounterPunch tonight. Check out this short article: Media Corrections We’d Like to See

The past two days has brought two great segments of Democracy Now.

Yesterday, they aired a segment they did with Ralph Nader in June at a conference called “Taming the Giant Corporation”. I think I am starting to realize that Nader is my man for domestic policy and Chomsky is my man for foreign policy and high-level analysis. Anyway, it is really amazing to see that at 73 years old, Ralph Nader has not lost any of his spunk, his ability to retain information, and his quick off-the-cuff speaking. Here is a snippet from the interview that really hit home with me (emphasis mine):

AMY GOODMAN: How do you think mass movements should organize themselves and hold politicians accountable, make them more accountable to citizen, civilian, non-citizen movements than corporations?

RALPH NADER: Well, let’s start with the easy things, like half of democracy is showing up. So why don’t workers who have lost their jobs or their pensions to industries that have gone to communist China with US Department of Commerce subsidy and encouragement, why don’t they mass and rally? I mean, who’s keeping them from rallying and massing? American Idol? Is that what’s doing it? I mean, let’s stop making excuses for ourselves. Let’s take the farmers, the dwindling number of farmers. They have great important causes that mesh with environmental causes at times, and the whole issue of genetic engineering and the dispossession of the small family farm by the big suppliers corporations and the big buying corporations. Why don’t they come to Washington, the way they did twenty years ago with their tractors? Show up!

I have found that to be so true the past couple of months. In my efforts to get some sort of meaningful global warming group going in the city, I’ve found lots of interested people but almost no one that is even willing to click on a link to RSVP for an event. This is a huge problem.

You can view the full transcript of the Nader segment here and the full show in video here.

And today, another great show. They dedicated most of the show to the Jena Six, an extremely disturbing and ongoing story of unbelievable racism going on in Louisiana. You can view the full transcript here and the full video here.


Any shred of respect that I had for Fox News just disappeared (I don’t think it was there to begin with). Check this out:

Found on Think Progress.

I wonder if she will get canned for this.

Alyssa and I saw two movies in the past two days. On Thursday, we say Knocked Up, which despite hearing that it got good reviews, I was a little skeptical about seeing. I guess I didn’t find the whole “beautiful woman is impregnated by unattractive man, hilarity ensues” concept to hold much comedic potential. Boy, was I wrong. It was a hilarious movie. I don’t claim to be good at analyzing things like this, but one thing that struck me was the number of really unique characters. All of the characters seemed to have a very distinct personality and were funny in their own way. I also like that for a comedy, it was pretty long. I’d Netflix it.

Last night, we saw The Lives of Others. “The thriller/drama is about the cultural scene of East Berlin, monitored by secret agents of the Stasi, the GDR’s secret police.” (Wikipedia) I think this movie was pretty unpredictable, which was refreshing, and it kind of opened my eyes to what life in East Germany was like.

I’m not a very good critic. All I can say is that I recommend that you see these movies.