Posts tagged ‘Civil Rights And Human Rights’

NSA Report Means More Trouble For 60 Minutes


Technorati Tags:

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.

Ayn Rand First Interview 1959 (Full)


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…

Read more…

The Republican Madness On Financial Disaster



Obama ups campaign on fiscal cliff, irks Republicans (via AFP)

So much for the misty eyed, pre-election nostalgia over President Barack Obama's last-ever campaign. A few weeks on, the re-elected US leader is dusting off just retired retail politics skills, hoping to outflank Republicans over the "fiscal cliff" -- an impasse over tax hikes and spending cuts that…

Read more…

Harris-Perry on poverty: ‘Those aren’t numbers. Those are people’



Harris-Perry on poverty: ‘Those aren’t numbers. Those are people’ (via Raw Story )

MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry debut a new regular segment Sunday focusing on poverty, which she noted many people did not want to touch, even as the national poverty rate remained at 15 percent of the population last year, or just over 46 million people, with 21.9 percent of them being minors. “…

Read more…

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…

Read more…

Obama Urging An Immediate Tax Cut For The Middle Class



Obama urges immediate tax cut deal for middle class (via AFP)

US President Barack Obama urged Congress Saturday to immediately extend a tax cut for middle-class Americans, arguing the move will give 98 percent of families and 97 percent of small businesses the certainty that will lead to faster economic growth. "This is something we all agree on," the president…

Read more…

Obamacare Won’t Get Repealed States Must Now Act



Obamacare won't be repealed. States now must act. (via The Christian Science Monitor)

Mitt Romney declared many times during his campaign that he’d “repeal Obamacare on day one” of his presidency. But as House Speaker John Boehner said this week, “the election changes that.” The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – “Obamacare,” as everyone now calls it –…

Read more…

Most Pro-Life State Has 25% Increase In Abortions | Addicting Info


Most Pro-Life State Has 25% Increase In Abortions | Addicting Info.

Search our site
Info About Current Issues

unionsUnions And Government Regulation Have Made America Better For The 99% (OP-ED)
MittRomney_AP_18JulyAn Open Letter To Candidate Romney (OP-ED)
economic_recoveryThe Course Of The Recovery (INFOGRAPHIC)
strikeWeekend Reading List
guy-cashPersonhood Amendment Would Be A Boon For The Private Prison Industry
bastards-warningHouse Republicans Are Bastards
fox_racism-305x350Racism In Romney’s Statement Over Embassy Attacks Exposed
valuesIs Hate On The Agenda At This Weekend’s Values Voter Summit? (VIDEO)
Lunar_LandingWSJ Surprised To Discover That NASA Is Returning To The Moon (VIDEO)
imagesizerLetter From Guest – ‘A Personal Thought On How I, A Once-Republican, Progressed’

Read more
Historical Info

dying elephantWhen Republicans Were Great: The Once and Future GOP
warning_911Blinking Red: Remember 9/11 – OpEd
iraq-war-life-magazineBush White House Ignored bin Laden Warnings, Because They Wanted Iraq
charging elephantGOP Says Many Federal Aid Programs Are Unconstitutional
Chuck_NorrisChuck Norris Declares 1000 Years Of Darkness If Obama Re-Elected (VIDEO)
union label15 Quotes In Support Of Labor
labor20 Reasons To Thank Labor Unions
labor-dayWe All Built It…A Labor Day Salute
statute_for_religious_freedomTop Ten Thomas Jefferson Quotes On Religious Freedom
why_republicans_want_gridlock-460x307Democrats Were Not Wimps; Some Of The Bills Passed By Dems, Blocked By The GOP

Read more
Most Pro-Life State Has 25% Increase In Abortions
September 18, 2012
By Justin Acuff

Arizona is the most pro-life state in the United States, as evidenced by their new, most-restrictive-in-the-country anti-abortion laws (20 week absolute limit with no exceptions) and abstinence-only sexual education promoting director of health, Will Humble.

Jezebel reports:

To say that the 20-week ban itself was somehow causing the increase would be disingenuous; the measure has been tied up in legal wrangling since it was signed into law by the state’s governor Jan Brewer (fun fact about Jan Brewer: she doesn’t have any mirrors in her house, because she doesn’t have a reflection). And the state’s health director, abstinence-only-education proponent Will Humble, says that the 25% jump is due to enhanced reporting techniques that the state now requires, and that his “don’t do sex” method is working because the number of teen pregnancies is dropping in the state.

“But state Health Director Will Humble said he cannot say for sure that really means more pregnancies were terminated in 2011 than before. He said it may just be that his agency, armed with a new law that took effect in mid 2010, is just getting a better data.

Humble said, though, that one thing is clear: The number of teens getting pregnant in the first place continues to drop.”

But all of this is drawing attention from what’s really going on here, which is that pro-life politicians in Arizona and elsewhere have no [censored] idea why women have abortions, nor do they have interest in addressing the reasons that women choose to end pregnancies. It’s asinine. Trying to eliminate unplanned pregnancy and the desperation that accompanies it by outlawing abortions is like trying to fix a car’s muffler by turning the radio all the way up.

They’re exactly right. Republicans seem to have no idea why women get abortions, or, in fact, any ideas about women’s health in general. Evidence is provided for this in Arizona’s defunding of Planned Parenthood, and you can ask Shelby County in Tennessee how well that works. The answer is that it doesn’t.

As Jezebel also reports, “Except the state has cut taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood on the grounds that the organization provides abortions, even though state and federal law requires that no taxpayer money be used to finance abortions unless the mother’s life is in danger. They’ve effectively made it more difficult for20,000 women to access basic health care, including contraception.”

Jezebel is exactly right. Abstinence-only sexual education has been proven to be the same as no education at all, and actually increases teenage pregnancy and infectious disease rates.

I would be delighted if you joined me on Facebook for instant access to my articles.

House Republicans seek to block welfare waivers requested by GOP governors | The Raw Story


House Republicans seek to block welfare waivers requested by GOP governors | The Raw Story.

House Republicans have introduced legislation to prevent the Obama administration from allowing some states to waive certain provisions of the welfare reform law enacted in 1996.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced in July that it was seeking to provide states with more flexibility to administer the Temporary Assistant for Needy Families (TANF) program. George Sheldon, acting assistant secretary for the Administration for Children and Families, said the law contained “mind-numbing details about how to run a welfare-to-work program” and offered to waive some of those federal regulations.

The TANF program — which helps poor families with children pay for living expenses such as rent, heat, utilities and personal care items — requires those receiving payments to be employed or looking for work. Nearly four million Americans currently receive TANF payments.

Republicans have falsely claimed that the Obama administration was seeking to roll back the work requirements in the law.

“The president’s waiver scheme will roll back bipartisan welfare reforms that helped end dependency, reduce poverty, and strengthen income security for countless families,” Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) said in a statement. “We did not ask for this fight, but we will not stand by while the president runs roughshod over the law and promotes policies that will hurt families and taxpayers.”

The waivers, which have been requested by the Republican governors of Utah and Nevada, would only allow states to test pilot programs designed to improve employment outcomes in the welfare program. Pilot programs that do not increase employment will be terminated.

“This resolution is nothing more than a political stunt,” Rep. George Miller (D-CA) said in a statement. “It is based on a widely circulated lie. Nearly every conceivable independent fact-checker has debunked the Republicans’ claims. This resolution wastes precious legislative time when we should be working together to provide solutions for the real problems confronting American families, not fabricated ones.”

Death is Near (Ca