What’s Up With WikiLeaks?

“There is no such thing as bad publicity,” someone once said.  A slogan of today’s media may be “If it bleeds–it leads”.

WikiLeaks’ release of e-mails from John Podesta would on one level seem to be within their mission, but also seem to be a bit of a paradox.  Unlike the leaks released around the Democratic National Convention, which were likely an attempt to try and get Bernie Sanders as the nominee, these leaks almost seem to be an attempt to get Trump elected.

Why would WikiLeaks want to elect a person who probably not be above having SEALS, etc, raid the Ecuadorian Embassy  or perch a CIA sniper on a nearby roof?

Perhaps to get Julian Assange back into the spotlight?  With Black Lives Matter, and the DACL pipeline protests occupying the energy and attention of the left, Julian may feel a bit like a forgotten person.  A Trump presidency, and potential efforts to bring Julian to “justice” may be just  what he needs to get back onto the radar of activists.

Of course, protests and direct actions against ICE sweeps, and other attacks by Trump on people and neighborhoods of color may only push Assange and WikiLeaks further down.  Or perhaps then, finally WikiLeaks would release some “Trump Files”


Covering the Movements

On Monday, May 23, I took a day off from work to head to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to hear Amy Goodman, the host of Democracy Now! speak.  She was on a 100 city tour in support of her new book celebrating the 20th anniversary of Democracy Now!

Her brother, David Goodman, provided some introductory remarks to provide some background on Amy Goodman’s life before Democracy Now!.  After that, Amy took to the podium.

She began by giving a history of; Democracy Now!, which was only supposed to last until after the 1996 election, and the Pacifica Radio network that would be the program’s initial home.  Both Pacifica and Democracy Now have been under attack; Amy recounted how the KKK attacked the Houston, Texas, Pacifica affiliate twice, and how a Philadelphia station pulled Democracy Now! after the programmed interviewed Mumia Abu-Jamal, who at that time was on death row for allegedly killing a Philadelphia Police Officer.

She spoke of how on Election Day 2000, she received a phone call from then President Bill Clinton, and took the opportunity to ask several hard and probing questions.  She used the incidents with the KKK to criticize Donald Trump, and spoke of how silent the mainstream media has been about Bernie Sander’s campaign.

But the thrust of her speech was about the various movements that she and Democracy Now! have covered and how they seem to keep coming back; the 1999 protests at the World Trade Organization in Seattle, led to Occupy and to the Sander’s Campaign.  A student at the University of Missouri going to Ferguson gets inspired to protest that university’s president.  The Charlestown Shooting leads to a young woman to climb a flagpole and take down the Confederate Battle Flag that had flown over the South Carolina State Capital.  She spoke of the folks who have gathered at the Climate Summits.

What she did not speak on, though, was the anti-war movement of the early part of the 21st century.  Or of the current efforts of Transsexuals to gain respect.

Her words did inspire one person though; on my way back from the event, another attendee said he was inspired to create his own media.  I gave him a few sites that may be places for him to start.

Not In The Script

Sundays are usually a day for me to do very little of importance, but a lot of my Sundays center around TV.  I’ll watch “SportsCenter”, “CBS News Sunday Morning”, a NASCAR Race or other sports event, etc.

Today will be different though, as part of a “Blackout For Bernie“, my television will remain off.  I will still stream media, as that seems to be within the rules.  I may see about doing some phone banking from home as well.

I can’t help but think a lot of the media silence around the Sanders campaign stems from two potentially related things.  The first is that his campaign didn’t fit the narrative that the corporate media saw of this 2016 Election being Hillary’s “Coronation”.  The Democratic debates being at odd times and on days when most people wouldn’t be watching may give this idea credence.   A strong candidate, tapping into a progressive, populist, base wasn’t in the plans.

A second, and the related, reason may be the anti-corporate leanings of Sanders and his supporters.  Why would any media outlet want to give time to someone who is critical of not only advertisers, but the conglomerates that run so much of the mainstream media.

Of course, this could be an opportunity in disguise.  Sanders could use this to push for media reform to break up the ten or so companies that control so much of the media.


Where Might “NerdLand” Land

MSNBC has an interesting history, it began as a collaboration between Microsoft and NBC, then slowly morphed into a news channel for the National Public Radio/The Nation crowd.  After cable giant Comcast bought out NBC, the channel abandoned many of its progressive premises.

They did realize that some of those progressive voices were a part of the audience and kept a few of them on the roster, mainly in the evenings and weekends.  One of those voices may soon be leaving.  Melissa Harris-Perry seems to be taking objection to being pre-empted for coverage of the Primaries.

Now it’s possible that MSNBC and Melissa may make up.  With the GOP field being made up of, and reaching out to, many of the same people that Melissa has made a career out of criticizing, and Bernie Sanders tapping into the kind of progressives that Melissa has often celebrated, she may be able to be integrated into the coverage.

But if she does decide to leave, there may be several places on the dial for her to land.  Black Entertainment Television, CentricTv, or TVOne are all targeted at African-Americans.  Might Oprah Winfery’s O.W.N be able to find a place for her among Tyler Perry’s productions.

Another possibility might be to see if she may have appeal with Milennials; a channel like Fusion, Pivot or the soon to debut Viceland may like to have her take on events.

We can only wait.


It Starts Already

Tomorrow begins the Annual “Great American Outdoor Show”.  This National Rifle Association sponsored event was created as a replacment for the “Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show” that was cancelled after the organizers of that event, in light of the Newtown shooting, wanted to see AR-15s and other similar weapons removed from the show.

So it seems odd that PennLive.com would publish a piece mentioning the efforts of #ItStopsNowHarrisburg, a group designed to combat guns and violence.

But the 341 comments, and counting, explain why.




Making the “Dog Whistle” Louder?

January 13 brought the news that Al-Jazeera America will go off the air in April.  Ending a 3-year effort to being old-fashioned investgative reporting  back to the airwaves.

The reasons for it’s demise may have been many; the decline in oil prices, the association by many American’s of Al-Jazeera with terrorism.  I think some of it may have been a lack of a niche.  At the time it debuted; FOX News was targeting that AM-radio set, CNN staking out a middle ground, and MSNBC going after the NPR set.

My question is, what will Verizon do with that space come April. Might they pick up Al-Jazeera English, or might they consider adding a channel like Link TV or Free Speech TV.

Since at least Verizon has added channels like NewsMax, One America News, and even Glen Beck’s The Blaze channel to the lineup.  I would expect them, like PennLive.com, to further reach out to the mobile estates.

What’s Behind That Banner?

The Week of 15-22 provided many opportunities for PennLive.com to get a few clicks out of the mobile estates.  Pieces and articles on the campus protests, the attacks in Paris and Governor Wolf’s decision to allow refugees into Pennsylvania all got the “Trailer Park Caucus” to step away from their AM Radios.

There was one piece from this that stood out to me.  On November 20th, an anti-refugee rally brought about 40 people to the Capitol.  PennLive conveniently mentions at the end of the article that the group who had sponsored the event was a rebranded, racist skinhead, group.

Some local activists remarked if this had been Black Lives Matter, etc, that the headline would have made reference to their role in organizing the rally.

What I wonder, is if racist groups may see a model in a way to merge with the far right of the Republican Party.  Hide their message behind messages of fear of “the other”.