Am I in a democracy (by which I mean free press) (by which I mean U.S.) any more?

11/27/17 update: well, there goes one of my favorite magazines:


Hey devoted readers and passersby,

Sorry for not being on top of the blogging.  On of many reasons being, you know, the election.  I took it seriously, did the homework, studied the debates.  and, you know, fucknut won anyway.  So then I went into protest mode.  and then, for various reasons and influences, the do something more mode – met with a senator, do huddles, what else.  and still try to have those conversations with people who think differently.

on that last front.  I feel I at least try.  I feel I am getting nowhere.  but I feel I at least try. (but also not enough.  I should be canvassing right now and haven’t.  I work and am either too tired after work, or the few days I have off work, it’s been raining.  so I don’t.  but I feel awful.  How the hell is she supposed to get 500 signatures in a week to just get on the ballot?  so, personalish stuff)

but, moving on, cutting to the chase as they say:

so my point for this, the media.  it’s as if I woke up one day, that day being maybe two days ago, with this thought that maybe I (an American, i.e. US) am no longer in a democracy.  in the sense that maybe there is no such thing as the free press any more.

ok, so, for starters, the Sinclair Broadcasting Group.

ok, so this conservative bias taking over local news and many outlets.  This broadcast was months ago and it’s only gotten worse.

ok too, the attackers, those who say, but the “liberal media.”  yeah, I know.  I know all too well.  I’ve done my own informal tests, and, in short, they depicted a spectrum from Breitbart to Fox News, through ABC/CBS to CNN to MSNBC to Democracy Now.  and I personally settled on NPR and BBC as the most neutral.

ideally, no news outlet would have any bent.

But ok, so Sinclair, with its conservative bias, is swallowing up local news.  And now it’s in talks to buy Chicago’s local WGN news and Chicago Tribune paper.  I personally like the Tribune.  it’s one of my last go-to’s for trusted news.  I still buy the Tribune paper.

And then there was something else about a maybe ATT Time Warner merger? or something? and it would otherwise go to anti-trust.  I didn’t know they even enforced anti-trust anymore.  But that the Trump admin. jumped in on it and said they would approve it, if they got rid of CNN.  You know, the network that has shown Trump in a not so good light (I’d argue the truth), a network that Trump has repeatedly attacked.

for starters:

and then Colbert ran a thing where he talked about how maybe CBS could buy CNN, but I’m too lazy to find the relevant clip.


ok, so Sinclair, conservative group, with “must run” propaganda, buys local news.  Even maybe the Chicago Tribune and WGN.  There is talks of buying out more news and the Trump admin. saying it could allow it if it gets rid of a station that may favor them negatively.  (not to mention the “state run” pro-Trump, digital station the Trump admin. started airing awhile back)

and now I hear that the Koch brothers, rich zillionaire conservative backers, are thinking of buying out Time magazine.  i.e. they are thinking of buying Meredith, which owns Time.  I like Time.  I haven’t thought that Time was particularly liberal.  I have always thought Time was pretty decent journalism and always read it when I get the chance. (sad to say I haven’t so much as bought a subscription, but it was my first go-to choice to must-read in a hospital waiting room type situation.  I have had subscriptions off and on.)  maybe a little left.  but I still feel it is quality work.

so to think that my go-tos, like Chicago Tribune – potentially bought out by Sinclair, and Times – potentially bought out by Koch.  so, then, where to do I go for news?

I am not going to start with the social media.  obviously facebook is crap.

so that leaves NPR.  but who, apart from me and a few sparse devotees, even listens?

and not to mention the other tactic: convincing the public not to trust


b) journalists

Where does one proceed from there?  that I can debate someone and show them all the facts, only for them to say that they basically don’t believe in science or facts.  or I can cite sources, only for them to quote “fake news,” or for them to say they don’t trust any of that, “the liberal media” or whatever.

so, sadly, kudos.  If you get your populace to distrust all journalists and all scientists.  right… so, the few rest of us.  us isolated well-read scientific types.  I can give you the data.  I have studied history and how you have to get to first-person sources and check for biases and so on.  but if people just blatantly disregard it, because..  then there is no counter, that I know of.

as I have been saying for years now, are we ushering in the new Dark Ages?

but yeah…

so… happy dreams and all?


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