…the demise of msm, the rise of blogs and new media?…

…if not demise, at least increasing irrelevance? Some interesting articles from mainly non-traditional sources, with some quick ‘two cents’ worth.

Clearly, the Guardian newspaper has been doing, and doing very well, what the US corporate MSM has tended to studiously avoid: present facts with sound analysis, and to not accept as truth immutable any release (or ‘leak’) from a government in evident disrepute; nor be intimidated into acquiescence or compliance. Representing (and promoting) corporate and state interests is not quite what news media should be doing.

Greenwald: US, British media are servants of security apparatus To put some of this into context, one note and example. The US businessman reported as missing in that ‘terrible’ Iran since 2007, turns out to be not a businessman. AP would report earlier this month that he was CIA agent, something the NYT had long known but chose not to report. Nothing like competition from the blogs and new media, and the dire thought of increasing irrelevance to have such a notable defection by AP from the loyal establishment herd. And who can forget the horrid Iraq debacle, the continuing horrific consequences of which are now very much ignored by the very war-promoting MSM? 

Swartz, Fracking, Manning, GMO: 13 most underreported news stories of 2013 Swartz would be one of the first to highlight concerns about attempts to stifle internet freedoms, and would be prosecuted and persecuted, to suicide. Fortunately his many supporters had included some unintimidated ‘heavyweights’ who continue his fight. Such newsworthy stories, news ‘unfit to print’ – until the consequences burst out as ‘surprises’?

Pope Francis: Why are Deaths of the Homeless not a Headline but a 2-point Dow Jones rise is? (Germanos). Of course, forthcoming elections in the US would provoke that very predictable (and very comical) attempt to co-opt and defuse the Pontiff’s message by one of sparse accomplishment claiming equivalence of views and even action – despite the abundant contradictory evidence. Pope Francis says it nicely and in a post over at Juan Cole’s blog,

I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor 

APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION EVANGELII GAUDIUM OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS TO THE BISHOPS, CLERGY, CONSECRATED PERSONS AND THE LAY FAITHFUL ON THE PROCLAMATION OF THE GOSPELIN TODAY’S WORLD ]

James Petras: Oligarchs, Demagogues and Mass Revolts . . . Against Democracy. This covers a span of history from the Roman Empire to present day. Some snippets,

…All the color-coded “mass revolts” in Eastern Europe and the ex-USSR featured popular leaders who exhorted the masses in the name of ‘independence and democracy’ but were pro-NATO, pro-(Western) imperialists and linked to neo-liberal elites.  Upon the fall of communism, the new oligarchs privatized and sold off the most lucrative sectors of the economy throwing millions out of work, dismantled the welfare state and handed over their military bases to NATO for the stationing of foreign troops and the placement of missiles aimed at Russia.

[snip]

Chile is the best-known case of CIA-financed mob violence leading to a military coup.  In 1970, the democratic socialist Dr. Salvador Allende was elected president of Chile.  Despite CIA efforts to buy votes to block Congressional approval of the electoral results and its manipulation of violent demonstrations and an assassination campaign to precipitate a military coup, Allende took office.

During Allende’s tenure as president the CIA financed a variety of “direct actions” –from paying the corrupt leaders of a copper workers union to stage strikes and the truck owners associations to refuse to transport goods to the cities, to manipulating right-wing terrorist groups like the Patria y Libertad (Fatherland and Liberty) in their assassination campaigns… 

…no immersion in international or Latin American political or economic affairs is necessary to identify similar patterns in Venezuela and Argentina, as Petras would show...

2014, the dawn of the new enlightenment? A better informed general, more discriminating public? The ignoble end, or irrelevance, of the MSM era? That coming event has long cast its shadow.

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