Posts tagged ‘Predatory Capitalism’

NSA Report Means More Trouble For 60 Minutes


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On the same day reports circulated that the reporters behind a fatally flawed, retracted 60 Minutes story may return to CBS News’ airwaves as soon as early January, the program again faced criticism for a report that critics are calling a “puff piece” and an “infomercial.”

On December 15, 60 Minutes aired a report on the National Security Agency based on unprecedented access to its headquarters and interviews with Agency staff, including its chief, Keith Alexander, who discussed the concerns many Americans have about its operations since the disclosures by Edward Snowden.

The segment opened with reporter John Miller’s acknowledgement that he had once worked at another federal intelligence agency. It featured no critics of the NSA. Miller explained his thoughts on the story in an interview with CBS News, saying that the NSA’s view is “really the side of the story that has been mined only in the most superficial ways. We’ve heard plenty from the critics. We’ve heard a lot from Edward Snowden. Where there’s been a distinctive shortage is, putting the NSA to the test and saying not just ‘We called for comment today’ but to get into the conversation and say that sounds a lot like spying on Americans, and then say, ‘Well, explain that.'”

Miller’s report was immediately ripped apart by NSA critics and veteran journalists. Some have called the veracity of CBS News’ reporting into question. Others termed the segment a “puff piece” and an “embarrassing” “infomercial,” saying that it filmed was under guidelines that overwhelmingly favored the agency and proved the effectiveness of the NSA’s communications staff.

The NSA report is only the latest of several heavily criticized 60 Minutes stories. Most notably, the network wasforced to retract and remove from the airwaves the reporters responsible for a segment based on a supposed eyewitness to the 2012 Benghazi attacks who apparently fabricated his story. The day after the NSA story ran and less than three weeks after the leaves of absence were announced, Politico reported that those journalists, Lara Logan and Max McClellan, have “started booking camera crews for news packages” and could return to 60 Minutes as early as January. In recent weeks the program has also been criticized for reports onSocial Security disability benefits and Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos.

This series of debacles was noted by former CBS News correspondent Marvin Kalb, who was at one time the moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press, who wrote that a program that “used to be the gold standard of network magazine programs” is increasingly “under fire.” He concluded:

What’s clear from this episode is that 60 Minutes is not facing another Lara Logan embarrassment. Miller did not get his facts wrong; he just did a story on 60 Minutes that should never have been on 60 Minutes. It was a promotional piece, almost by his own admission. In addition, the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley did a story on the 60 Minutes Miller piece to help promote it, as though it were an exceptional exclusive, which it was not.

In a funny way, all of this fresh criticism can be seen as a compliment. People expect 60 Minutes to be a place on the dial for tough questioning and rigorous reporting. When it does anything less than that, it opens itself to snap judgments that may be unfair but should not be surprising. It should, though, suggest strongly that CBS has further need for continuing self-examination.

Politico‘s Dylan Byers similarly opined that 60 Minutes has had “a terrible year” and that the program “is desperately in need of a news package that earns it praise rather than criticism.It needs to put up a hard-hitting investigation, fact-checked to the teeth, that doesn’t come off as a promotional puff-piece. Because its reputation as the gold standard of television journalism has taken some serious hits of late.”

Miller referred questions from Media Matters about the segment to a CBS News spokesperson who declined to comment on the record.

America’s Deceptive 2012 Fiscal Cliff (Part 2)



America’s Deceptive 2012 Fiscal Cliff (Part 2) (via Market Shadows)

  Source: pintura.aut.org via Bonegrrl on Pinterest   Michael Hudson: America’s Deceptive 2012 Fiscal Cliff, Part II – The Financial War Against the Economy at Large Courtesy of Michael Hudson Originally published at Naked Capitalism (part 1 is here) By Michael Hudson, a research professor…

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Senators hope to end Federal Reserve’s conflicts of interest



Senators hope to end Federal Reserve’s conflicts of interest (via Raw Story )

Three U.S. Senators proposed a bill on Tuesday that would prevent the nation’s most powerful banking executives from simultaneously running the very institutions intended to keep them playing by the rules, with one of the bill’s sponsors saying that JP Morgan’s recent billions in losses are indicative…

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Maher says Republicans have same problem as the Beach Boys: ‘Their fans are dying’



Maher says Republicans have same problem as the Beach Boys: ‘Their fans are dying’ (via Raw Story )

Friday night on “Real Time with Bill Maher,” host Bill Maher addressed the Republican Party’s staggering electoral losses in this week’s elections and mused that the party may be facing virtual extinction. Maher began the segment talking about Fox News’s alert early on election day that a…

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Inspite GOP Big Donors They Were Beat Down



Deluge of Republican money made little difference (via AFP)

Despite their funding deluge from wealthy donors, Republicans failed to overwhelm President Barack Obama and Democrats at the ballot box. So was throwing all that money at the 2012 election worth it? Obama was handily re-elected, Democrats added two more seats to their majority in the Senate, and they…

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Judge temporarily blocks possible Iowa voter purge – Yahoo! News – It’s RACISM


Judge temporarily blocks possible Iowa voter purge – Yahoo! News.

Reuters) – An Iowa judge issued a temporary injunction on Friday blocking the state’s plans to verify the citizenship status of voters before the November 6 election in the Midwestern swing state.

The injunction was a setback for Iowa’s Republican Governor Terry Branstad, whose government had hoped to check on the citizenship of more than 3,500 people to purge state voter rolls of potential illegal immigrants.

Iowa District Court Judge Mary Pat Grunderson said the effort to verify the legal status of voters could not proceed while a lawsuit against the potential voter purge goes forward.

“The court concludes the harm that granting the temporary injunction may prevent outweighs the harm that may result from denying it,” the judge wrote in her 12-page ruling.

She stressed that the ruling was only provisional and did not directly address the merits of the state’s concern about voter eligibility.

But she said the pursuit of new voter verification efforts, under emergency rulemaking powers adopted by Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz, had “created confusion and mistrust in the voter registration process” in immigrant communities in Iowa.

“They have created fear that new citizens will lose their right to vote and/or be charged with a felony, and caused some qualified voters to feel deterred even from registering to vote,” Grunderson said in her opinion.

Schultz, the state’s top election official, decried Grunderson’s ruling. “Unfortunately this ruling could (open) the door for non-citizens to continue voting in Iowa elections,” he said in a statement.

“Although I am very disappointed in this ruling, this is just one of many steps in the process and I am resolved to continuing to fight for the people of Iowa and protecting the integrity of our elections.”

The legal complaint against Iowa’s voter verification effort was filed in August by the American Civil Liberties Union and the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa.

“We’re very pleased,” said Randall Wilson, legal director of the ACLU of Iowa, when asked about the temporary injunction.

“The Iowa public was getting the bum’s rush,” Wilson added.

“The law requires a real emergency before emergency laws can be promulgated,” he added.

(Reporting by Tom Brown and David Adams; editing by Todd Eastham)

TV Host Jim Cramer Says Father Will Not Be Allowed To Vote Because Of Pennsylvania Voter ID Law


TV Host Jim Cramer Says Father Will Not Be Allowed To Vote Because Of Pennsylvania Voter ID Law.

Jim Cramer, the host of CNBC’s finance program Mad Money, is seeing the effects of voter suppression laws firsthand.

This morning, Cramer tweeted about his father, a Pennsylvania resident who stands to lose his right to vote because of the state’s new restrictive voter ID law. Like thousands of Pennsylvania who could be disenfranchised in November, Cramer’s father lacks a voter ID because he’s a senior citizen and does not drive. Cramer also noted that he doesn’t have access to his citizenship documents.

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