Saturday, November 12, 2011


Once upon a time I had the impression that PBS was a more or less center-left outfit. Appealing to would-be intellectuals and a cultured citizenry, and whose mandate, I assumed, was to cultivate an aware and educated viewer. I always thought that Robin McNeil set the tone for the thoughtful, humanistic, vaguely "liberal" (as in liberal arts) sentiment that pervaded PBS.

Of course, that was before the CPB was taken over by Republicans during the Buzsh Administration, and PBS was perennially threatened with draconian funding cuts, and when PBS went on the defensive and morphed into, essentially, FOX light. During those dark days when war mongers Donald Rumsfeld and Zbigniew Brzezinski were treated as honored guests, when Bill Moyers was the subject of an inquisition and subsequently canned, I wrote to PBS saying that as a long time contributor, PBS could henceforth count me out; that after some 25 years I no longer cared to watch the News Hour or anything it broadcast except perhaps the occasional "Frontline" (to its credit, I actually received a polite reply). But henceforth the News Hour no longer was must see tv.

And now this Paul Solmon piece that promotes what Jeffrey Brown called a 'contrarian view' to the issues raised by We the 99%ers (i.e., We the People). That Paul Solmon let pass Robert Lerman's specious claim that "inequality creates an incentive..." was bad enough, but to perpetuate a quote that Lerman claims issued from President Lincoln but is entirely specious crossed the line of jounalistic integrity.

Please, do yourself a favor and read the comments at FAIR: Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting If "The News Hour" has a shred of journalistic decency it will follow the recomendations in this piece and issue a correction, and a disclaimer. That viewers were not informed that "Epstein is also a director at Global Economics Group, a corporate consulting firm that advises on issues like financial regulation and employment law." A minor point, no doubt, unless corporations are precisely what is wrong with America. In which case it presents a fundamental challange.

Should "The News Hour" on PBS permit a long debunked, mis-attributed to Abraham Lincoln quote to be used to justify and/or 'rationalize' a position contrary to that taken by #OWS and We the 99%ers is simply unacceptable.

Indeed, the very idea that Solmon as a PBS investigative reporter would present a spokesman who holds a position contrary to that of We the People as merely the other side in an argument is unacceptable. 99 versus 1 is not good odds if you're the one versus all the rest of Us. Seriously, what can 'you' say to justify robbing the Poor to pay the Rich? Indeed, what a corporation says is merely advertizing. What other possible 'avenue' of SPEECH can a corporation pay for?

Oh, dang, totally forgot that SCOTUS Citizens United decision.

The patent falsehood that the 1%ers are the 'job creators' is a position taken by imbicils such as Paul Ryan and the GOP know-nothings who have signed no tax pledges, believe that Evolution and climate change are myths, and somehow claim to justify the fact that wages for the 99% of Us have stagnated for the past 30 years while the richest have enjoyed unprecedented tax breaks and income growth.
[Links to the original article and the comments page]

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