Tag Archives: MSNBC

USA – (PBS + NPR) = WTF?

Really? We need to cut spending and this is where we start?

Why is this even a left vs. right issue anyway? Isn’t it appalling enough that your elected officials – supposedly representatives in the full sense of the word – align and vote according to party lines rather than for their constituents? Are there really communities of people who don’t want the availability of television (PBS) and radio (NPR) that is not owned and operated by a corporation’s political contributions? FOX shills for the right, MSNBC shills for the left, and those seeking unbiased reporting about America have to turn to the BBC?

PBS is a proven source of educational programming whose effects upon participants is well documented. Programs like Sesame Street and Reading Rainbow revolutionized the way television could be used to jump-start a child’s ability to grasp and learn fundamental skills. Granted, the issue is not targeting specific programs but the funneling of public money to arts channels. But those matching grants and supplemental contributions are often the difference between whether a program gets made or not. And with the economy in the toilet, public contributions are down, because people cannot afford to be as generous.

But those people aren’t buying twelve hundred dollar hammers or giving themselves lifetime perks of retirement funds and health care (that they deny to the very people who elected them to serve). These contributors are mostly people like you and me trying to heat our homes and put food on the table.

I’m sure I could find fat on the bone somewhere else. So can you.

I mean, what has to be done to convince these political dunderheads that our failing educational system is an integral part of our fall from grace (right alongside corporate greed, public indifference and the insistence on propping up governments around the world to support our corporate interests while our own population is underemployed, hungry and in need of basic human services)?

Do I have to type shorter sentences?

Do I have to sign yet another petition?

Does LeVar Burton have to appear on Community to remind us how we didn’t save Reading Rainbow?

Or can we perhaps just get it through our thick skulls that the very name “Corporation for Public Broadcasting” is an oxymoron? Maybe we don’t need to cut funding, but to fund better?

Maybe Congress should be spending some time figuring out how to better fund and manage an institution that is supposed to service the entire country by providing funding to “promote ideas and perspectives that are ignored or underrepresented in the commercial media“.

Of course that would mean Congress has less time to pointlessly witch-hunt Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, but dammit, sacrifices must be made.

If you want more information or want to get involved, click here.

Today’s topic was brought to you by the letters E-L-I.

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Happy Birthday, Jon Stewart

The quality of a man is determined by the company he keeps.

A successful man makes those around him better.

Jon Stewart must be a successful, quality guy. The Daily Show has won fourteen Emmy Awards in the category of Comedy, Music or Variety Series- six for Outstanding Writing and eight consecutive awards for Outstanding Program. He and his staff of writers have obviously been doing things right since 1999. I mean, I like Craig Kilbourn, but the only time I associate hm with the program is when consciously recounting the history of the program, even though it was his attitude behind the host’s desk that set the stage for Stewart’s success. So thanks, Craig!

Speaking of springboards to success, thanks again John. Thanks for John Oliver and Samantha Bee and Larry Wilmot and Stephen Colbert. Thanks for Steve Carell, Ron Corddry, Wyatt Cenac, Rob Riggle, John Hodgman, Rachael Harris and Ed Helms.

And – I must bow when I say this – thank you for Lewis Black.

Thanks for your blatant admission of being a comedian and not a newsman, yet presenting a more interesting, informative and well-balanced news show than all of the other networks combined. Thanks for not backing away or backing down, and especially not cracking from the sheer volumes of lunacy that surround us every day. Thanks for using humor and satire like a sword and a beacon, to cut through the fog and a to illuminate our social frailties and political illnesses.

 Thanks for constantly poking holes in the airbags that are Fox News and MSNBC and somehow making Comedy Central a far more credible source for news and information than two of the most highly funded global organizations in the news business.

Thanks for making me laugh…and think.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Stewart. Here’s your moment of Zen.

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T.G.I.F. – Ten Tips For Sanity

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” (JFK)

You’d probably guess that I’m not a staunch right-wing Republican, but if you have me pegged as a radical left-leaning Democrat you’d be just as wrong. I’ve been an Independent since the age of 18, and while that prevents me from voting in the primaries for the two major parties, it hasn’t stopped both of them from peppering my phone, my email, and my daily life with a flood of nonsensical negative advertising. Really, people – is anyone swayed by these ridiculous scare tactics? If anything it makes me want to avoid the booth on Election Day…but I suspect that’s just what they want.

How sad is it that the only rational bi-partisan discussions of the issues are occurring on a comedy channel? And how ironic is it that the most trusted newsman in America – a title long held by Walter Cronkite – is now Jon Stewart…who is not a newsman?

While I’m no hardcore conspiracy theorist, I do believe that corporations have become more powerful than countries, for they are single-minded beasts focused upon their own survival and they will eat their young to accomplish this. And yes, in a world where money doesn’t talk – it screams – I firmly believe that there are many movers and shakers perfectly content to keep us fat, drunk and happy in front of our televisions and game consoles. The literacy rate in America is frighteningly low, and the isolation of our people through the very technology that was supposed to make our lives better is absolutely terrifying. And there are many who will feed on that weakness to instill fear and panic. And yes, they will eat us if we let them.

I’m amazed at how brazen some of our political crooks have been, and almost as shocked at how dim-witted some of our most popular political wanna-bes are. The job of President has changed from trusted leader to blame victim, where the rocks fly at the pedestal before the winner is even sworn in. I don’t believe that George Bush was an evil man, just a guy in way over his head who was being controlled by more sinister people on the background. And no, Obama is not the Anti-Christ, just a guy trying to solve a dozen crippling problems at once with a lack of support and not enough time. Our problems didn’t appear overnight, and it will take a while to rectify them.

But there is Fox News, spouting hyperbole through the mouths of con artists like Limbaugh and Beck and religious zealots like Hannity. And on the other side, Olbermann and Maddow swat down their foolishness with the same slanted logic and carefully chosen arguments, just from the other side of the coin. Both Fox and MSNBC trot out a legion of experts and analysts who are simply echoing the party lines, and this madness is just escalated to that much more white noise when elections draw near.

Enough!

If you made it this far, you can read and think, and that’s a lot more credit than you are getting from the panic media. So as we approach this important mid-term election, I encourage you to do just that – read and think – and make up your own mind. Refuse to honor these negative ads. Look at a candidate’s statements and accomplishments. Challenge blanket bullshit statements like “I will cut taxes” and “I will create jobs” – ask how! And then when you get in that booth, enjoy that freedom that our forefathers fought so hard to attain.

Tomorrow is the Rally To Restore Sanity and/or Fear at the Mall in Washington DC. Maybe there’s one final chance for people to stop listening to the fringe maniacs and realize what we already know – most of us are sane, logical, caring people who love our country and way of life and are tired of being lied to and taken for granted. Whether you learned the lesson 234 years ago or you learned it this decade, remember that we stand together or we perish.

Here are Ten Tasteful Themes for your rally signs…don’t fall for those political Jedi mind tricks!

Let’s keep the scares limited to Halloween where they belong.


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The Teabag Party

Maybe the way to defeat a stupid idea is with a stupider idea.

That’s what the Tea Party seems like to me. Hey, I’m no fan of lame politicians who get free lifetime health care benefits yet can’t seem to understand that affordable healthcare for the rest of us is an important issue. Or the radio zealots who twist and turn everything into an urgent problem because that’s what gets ratings and lines their pockets. I’m an Independent; I think the function of the Republican and Democrat parties has devolved to the point where they exist just to battle each other. Both have forgotten who they work for – you and me.

So the premise of flushing out lazy incumbents is a good one, but unfortunately the Tea Party is not ambivalent in their cause; they’re simply focused upon a hardcore right-wing agenda. These are the people who think Ronald Reagan was the greatest President in American history rather than an emasculated B-movie actor who consulted psychics but succeeded only because he was an actor who could read the cue cards.  (The Republicans apparently forgot the value of this gimmick in recent years.)

I just can’t believe so many people take the drivel they’re given and follow it like sheep. But no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American Public.

America has a long legacy of brilliant, inventive women leaders, yet the first female presidential candidate might be one of the most ill-informed pinheads ever to walk the Earth. And I’m not sure what’s more frightening – the fact that she could actually win or that a large percentage of the population doesn’t realize that she is as dumb as a rock when it comes to foreign policy, economics, world culture or any critical issue facing our country.

So if I’m going to wallow in political hysteria, at least I’m going to get some laughs out of it. Enter Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, who (along with a staff or crack writers and performers) probably bring more sanity to the whole damned thing despite the comedy than Glenn Beck or Keith Olbermann do with their passionate yet slanted perspectives.

So I’m going to side with what I will refer to as the Teabag Party. See you on October 30th in Washington DC! If all else fails, and we don’t restore sanity to the masses, at least the day after the rally is Halloween. Then we’ll have two reasons to have the shit scared out of us.

And as for America and the elections? We’ll get what we deserve. To paraphrase Tiny Tim…”God help us, every one“.

Jon Stewart’s Rally To Restore Sanity

Stephen Colbert’s  March To Keep Fear Alive

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