Monday, November 11, 2002

Non-partisan commentary from PBS, the taxpayer-subsidized network

…for the first time in the memory of anyone alive, the entire federal government — the Congress, the Executive, the Judiciary — is united behind a right-wing agenda for which George W. Bush believes he now has a mandate…

It includes using the taxing power to transfer wealth from working people to the rich.

It includes giving corporations a free hand to eviscerate the environment and control the regulatory agencies meant to hold them accountable…

Above all, it means judges with a political agenda appointed for life. If you liked the Supreme Court that put George W. Bush in the White House, you will swoon over what's coming…

Don't forget the money. It came pouring into this election, to both parties, from corporate America and others who expect the payback. Republicans outraised democrats by $184 million dollars. And came up with the big prize — monopoly control of the American government, and the power of the state to turn their ideology into the law of the land. Quite a bargain at any price.

That's it for this week.

For NOW, I'm Bill Moyers.

via Andrew Sullivan

UPDATE: A reader copied me on a letter he has written to PBS management demanding that Bill Moyer's association with PBS be terminated. My own view is that rather than terminate Moyers, PBS should cease to accept taxpayer funding. In that way freedom of speech and of the press is preserved without obligating taxpayers to pay for political broadcasts with which they may disagree. Moyers is merely a symptom of the problem.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing
Lillian Swanson, ombudsman for The Philadelphia Inquirer, reports on special “basic training” for journalists assigned to war zones. According to Clark Hoyt, Washington Editor for Knight Ridder (which owns The Inquirer), “we were not going to send anyone into a war zone who had not gone through the training.”

Given the likely fate of American journalists captured by Islamic terrorists, probably the most realistic part of the training came on the second day, when:

There was a boom and a flash of fire. The bus stopped and masked men, wearing fatigues and pointing rifles, got on board, screaming.

Hoods were placed over the journalists' heads, and they were led off the bus. They were forced down on the grass and stripped of their valuables - watches, wallets and wedding rings.

According to Swanson, ”The International Federation of Journalists says more than 50 journalists have been killed this year covering conflict in the world's trouble spots.” She doesn’t say how many would have been saved by this five-day, $2,535 “training.”

After reaching a sizeable round number of sales, supermarkets like to create publicity by rewarding a surprised customer with free groceries. Ian Murray, ombudsman for The Guardian, recently rewarded the reader registering this year’s ten-thousandth complaint with a copy of his riveting new book, More Errors and Corrections, which is the sequel to his original hit, Errors and Corrections. Winner John Parker was informed that he would be receiving the book, “whether you wanted it or not.”

Ian helpfully reminds Guardian readers that they, too, can obtain both volumes, for the sum of ₤6.99 each, by calling 0870-066 7850. Sounds like an ideal stocking stuffer for that special obsessive-compulsive someone in your life.

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