My Mental Dumping Ground

An outlet to share things that interest or amuse me….

Today, most of our media is controlled by one of six companies. [Infographic]


Courtesy of The Frugal Dad


November 24, 2011 Posted by | Media | 1 Comment

Goings on at MSNBC

When Keith Olbermann abruptly departed from MSNBC the network’s schedule was thrust into chaos. Lawrence O’Donnell was moved up two hours. Ed Schultz went from early evening to 10:00pm. Schultz’s old slot was a menagerie that eventually settled on Cenk Uygur for nearly six months.

All of this turmoil occurred at the same time that Glenn Beck was slated for an early termination of his contract at Fox News. That made much of the Fox schedule vulnerable as Beck’s audience formed the foundation for the evening news hour and primetime. So what did MSNBC do to take advantage of this opening?

Nothing – nothing at all. Their schedule barely budged. There were no new face outside of the 6:00pm slot that Schultz vacated, and even those were often familiar faces on the network. This was the best opportunity for MSNBC to challenge Fox during a period of weakness and MSNBC slept through it.

Now MSNBC is compounding their mistakes by (reportedly) replacing Uygur with Rev. Al Sharpton. The circumstances of Uygur’s departure are disturbing, but that’s a subject for another article. While Sharpton can be an aggressive advocate for lefty issues, he is hardly the banner carrier for progressive journalism. With a background predominantly in civil rights and social activism, his lack of experience in broadcasting does not portend well for MSNBC. His areas of expertise are rather narrow and he can come off as bombastic and rigid.

Although, i would rather see Rachel, and Chris (Matthews and/or Hayes) go over to Current, and in some sort of journalist utopia, have Bill Moyers come out of retirement.

More here.

July 22, 2011 Posted by | Media | , , , , | 1 Comment

All things Wisconsin

Let it be these…

Plus Ed..

February 19, 2011 Posted by | Media, Politics | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stunning film technique used on V8s in Sydney

According to V8 Supercars Australia, the Sydney Telstra 500 was the biggest and best race of the year, but looking at Sydney photographer and filmmaker Keith Loutit’s work from the race, you’d think the opposite.

Reknowned for pioneering the tilt-shift/time-lapse filming technique, Loutit is able to use the combination of time and focus to support the illusion of miniaturisation in film.

Telstra commissioned Loutit to try his amazing photographic style on the V8 Supercars at the season-ending Sydney Telstra 500 – and the outcome is outstanding.

In his scaled down and sped up realities, real world subjects become their miniature counterparts. Boats bob like toys in a bathtub, cars race like slot-cars and crowds march as toy armies.

According to Loutit, his aim is create a sense of wonder in our surroundings by “challenging people’s perceptions of scale, and helping the viewer to distance themselves from places they know well.”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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December 10, 2010 Posted by | Australia, Media, Technology | Leave a comment

Craig Ferguson — The Classiest guy in Late Night.


When Mr Ferguson tones down his usual and much loved routine to comment on an issue of the day, he does it with class and and honestly straight forward way, it can only be admired.

This clip, along with the monologue where he commented on Britney Spears, and another when his father died are other such examples.

Well done Mr Ferguson. May you continue to reign on late night.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

January 15, 2010 Posted by | Life, Media, Politics | , | 1 Comment

Still puzzled about the difference between the Fox Nutwork and actual news organizations?

I guess some folks weren’t convinced by the fact that Fox apparently feels free to simply change basic facts when they’re inconvenient and standing them on their head would be more politically advantageous. Specifically, I refer here to the Fox habit of “accidentally” labeling every politician who gets indicted, arrested or defeated as a Democrat.

But Fox’s “colleagues” among the actual news media still harbor some doubts, it seems. And if you’re in the real news business, that’s perhaps understandable. You worry about the differences, because unless they’re very clear, you think maybe you might be subject to a call-out sometime in the future, too, right?

Though the White House tried to clarify it position when questioned this week, the difference between Fox and real news networks is something best illustrated by showing you their game. And that’s just what Media Matters did:

Here’s the Fox Nutwork playbook in all its glory.

When attempting to defend itself, Fox insists that the most egregious examples of bias pointed to by its attackers are from its “opinion journalists” (which they are), who are an operation separate from its “news” division (which they most decidedly are not).

In fact, Fox is designed and built to exploit the traditional expectation of such divides at the other networks, but instead regularly uses its opinion shows as a vector to whitewash their bullshit for the “news” side, turning even of the most outlandish and idiotic ultra-right talking points into something that wears the disguise of news. In the evening hour opinion shows (which, poisonous though they are, Fox is perfectly entitled to broadcast), you have your Hannity types spouting their wingnut applause lines unchecked, because gosh, it’s just “opinion journalism.” So it’s all fair game when they come right out and claim Obama’s a socialist, or communist, or fascist, or whatever the flavor of the day is.

But lo and behold, come next morning, the “news” side anchors pull out the infamous “Fox Question Mark” construction, dutifully delivering their line to the audience: “Is Obama a socialist? That’s what some in Washington are saying…” Nevermind that both the “some” who are saying it and the talking heads “reporting” it take their morning memos and their paychecks from the same source.

The previous evening’s attack memes, Fox folks will tell you, are supposedly this morning’s “news,” because, well, people are saying it, and they as “journalists” have a responsibility to cover that. And in their view of it nobody’s culpable, because Hannity’s a commentator, and the “news” division is just noting that “some” are saying it. Clean hands all around!

In reality, of course, it simply cannot be considered fair game to plant memes with the opinion side so that the “news” side can claim, “Hey, it’s out there and we have a responsibility to report it” the next day.

And that, if you ask me, is one of the key difference between the Fox Nutwork and everybody else.

October 26, 2009 Posted by | Media, Politics | | Leave a comment

How about, ya quit making things up?

In the world of Palin Wack-a-Mole, you need steroids to win. Facebook press releases seem to come on Fridays. Yesterday was no different. This week’s word salad had the crazy dressing on the side; a link to Michele Bachmann’s health care rant. The crap croutons had quote marks around them; “death panel,” and “level of productivity in society.”

If you ever needed proof our current health care is deficient, or for that matter, our education system, try to make sense out of either woman’s position. For all the fear mongering and “bearing false witness” as this is:

“The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.”

As weirdly elitist as this:

“I commend her for being a voice for the most precious members of our society, our children and our seniors.”

And as “grab your torches and pitch forks” this is:

“Let’s stop and think and make our voices heard before it’s too late.”

There is a much bigger problem. Sarah Palin has a history of fudging about health care.

While being vetted by the McCain camp:

At one point, trying out a debating point that she believed showed she could empathize with uninsured Americans, Palin told McCain aides that she and Todd in the early years of their marriage had been unable to afford health insurance of any kind, and had gone without it until he got his union card and went to work for British Petroleum on the North Slope of Alaska. Checking with Todd Palin himself revealed that, no, they had had catastrophic coverage all along. She insisted that catastrophic insurance didn’t really count and need not be revealed. This sort of slipperiness — about both what the truth was and whether the truth even mattered — persisted on questions great and small.

During the vice-presidential debate, Palin stated:

About times and Todd and our marriage in our past where we didn’t have health insurance and we know what other Americans are going through as they sit around the kitchen table and try to figure out how are they going to pay out-of-pocket for health care? We’ve been there also so that connection was important.

WHAT? There are 228 federally recognized tribes in Alaska. According to the Indian Health Services website:

IHS-funded, tribally-managed hospitals are located in Anchorage, Barrow, Bethel, Dillingham, Kotzebue, Nome and Sitka. There are 37 tribal health centers, 166 tribal community health aide clinics and five residential substance abuse treatment centers. The Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage is the state-wide referral center and gatekeeper for specialty care. Other health promotion/disease prevention programs that are state-wide in scope are operated by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), which is managed by representatives of all Alaska tribes.

Todd Palin’s heritage as an Alaskan Native was a curiosity to many during the 2008 campaign.

According to public disclosure forms that Sarah Palin filed with the state of Alaska, her husband and their children are BBNC (Bristol Bay Native Corporation) shareholders, meaning they would likely qualify for the health service program.

So between Todd’s union job insurance, the governor’s state coverage and the FEDERALLY FUNDED health care through Native blood, when did the Palins ever sit around the kitchen table and discuss their “out-of-pocket” health care costs? There are millions of people who don’t have ANY options to provide for the health care needs of themselves or their children, let alone THREE!

And that’s just the personal hypocrisy.

While under contract to govern the state of Alaska, Palin’s administration failed to keep up on the state’s Medicaid obligations and was ordered to cease signing up new patients. No other state in the country had been put under such a moratorium, according to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

July 14, 2009 ADN:

A particularly alarming finding concerns deaths of adults in the programs. In one 2 1/2 year stretch, 227 adults already getting services died while waiting for a nurse to reassess their needs. Another 27 died waiting for their initial assessment, to see if they qualified for help.

Doctors and other health care providers wrote to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid with concerns that the state wasn’t responsive. Some alleged that the lack of state controls “has resulted in the death(s) of the active clients,” the federal review said.

While the people served are frail and suffer from chronic health issues, the state never investigated to determine if any failure in service contributed to the deaths, the federal review found.
Seriously, when are we going to stop electing people who say “the government is bad”? Once elected, they do everything they can to prove it. It can only be one of two things; incompetency or sabotage. Either way, Alaskans have died due to a lack of health care.

The point of this post is not to point out the never ending hypocrisy of Sarah Palin. Nor is it to point out the blatant lies of one person — but how the intention, manipulation and lies of one person can affect the lives ordinary people.

Perhaps Citizen Palin should take her own advice, “honor the American soldier”, “Quit makin’ things up” and “leave the kids alone.”

August 9, 2009 Posted by | Health, Media, Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Earth to Planet Beck….

Glenn Beck did his weekly appearance on The O’Reilly Factor last night, and was waxing philosophic about the virtues of astroturfed teabaggers showing up to disrupt town hall meetings on health care. It’s all good as far as Glenn’s concerned, so long as folks are bashing President Obama.

This is because, as far as Beck is concerned, the nation under Obama is in dire straits. He keeps calling it “the most dangerous time that I have personally witnessed in my country’s history.”

Bill O’Reilly then tried to dig into this animus:

O’Reilly: Now, Clinton — moderate Democrat? Liberal Democrat?

Beck: Yeah, I think he is, because he’s a survivalist. So the country is centered —

O’Reilly: So in your opinion, he didn’t post a threat to America.

Beck: No, I think — I think he made some mistakes that were —

O’Reilly: But everybody makes those.

Beck: But everybody makes mistakes.

O’Reilly: But he didn’t post a threat, but Obama does pose a threat, in your opinion.

Beck: [Sighs]

O’Reilly: You just said that this was the worst time in the Republic. So he must pose a threat.

Beck: Yeah. I do think that.

But you know what, I can’t blame all of that on Barack Obama. I do pin some of that on George W. Bush and the Republicans. When I had a real — my first time ever, when somebody tells me they’re going to protect our country, and they care about security, and then they don’t do anything about our southern border, I say, ‘Wait wait wait. What is that?’

O’Reilly: Yeah, it was a wakeup call.

Beck: ‘You’re in bed with corporate cronies. You’re doing something.’

O’Reilly: That was bad, no doubt.

Beck: So that caused problems, that was the beginning of it. Bush did the bailouts. He started the TARP fund.

O’Reilly: Yeah, but he had to.

Beck: He starts with the TARP. Now Obama is just taking us light speed. So I don’t see this as just Obama. I see this as a political culture that is toxic to the Republic.

I think we’re all starting to see just whose political culture is the toxic one, folks. And it isn’t Obama’s.

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August 5, 2009 Posted by | Media, Politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beck tells O’Reilly he thinks President Obama poses a threat to America

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August 5, 2009 Posted by | Health, Media, Politics | Leave a comment

The Truth About Amsterdam

July 28, 2009 Posted by | Health, Media, Politics, WTF Mate? | , , | Leave a comment

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