| 2003-07-02 15:21, by Julie Solheim-Roe|
This is my soul brother Jay Levin's latest forward about the MEDIA CHALLENG that is gaining momentum! PLEASE forward this info to all your lists!Fed up with the mainstream media's omissions, distortions and refusal to challenge lies? It's time to send them a message: we're not taking it anymore.
During Independence Day week - June 30-July 6, 2003 - join with thousands of others across the country and act to oppose corporate media and support independent media!
Media Challenge!, a project of peace and social justice groups, is joining with a number of media reform groups around the country who have initiated Media Liberty Week. We seek to turn around a corporate media dominated by pseudo-patriotic cheerleading and by megaphoning for the Pentagon and for Bush administration deceit instead of by journalism. The same TV and radio news buried pre-vote coverage of the FCC's recent decision giving giant infotainment conglomerates GE, Viacom, Clear Channel, Disney and News Corp. a green light to expand their already vast empires - and is mostly blacking out the fight to overturn the FCC vote in Congress. Schools and health-care systems are in deep trouble, increasing numbers of homeless and mentally ill haunt the streets, toxic waste and environmental plunder threaten human and species life, Attorney General Ashcroft is shredding the Constitution, and economic inequality has grown to proportions unseen since the age of the robber barons. Yet most of the media are more interested in Laci Peterson.
Now it's time to show our muscle. Here's what you can do: Click on MORE ... to read insturctions...
1. There is a real chance that Congress will overturn the FCC's June 2 deregulation vote, but most urgent is that our Senators and Representatives hear from us. Contact them this week and ask them to become co-sponsors of legislation that would overturn the FCC ruling (SB 1046 in the Senate, which backers are pushing for a vote on in July). You can identify and email them via [link] or call the Capitol Switchboard - (202) 224-3121 - or go to www.congressmerge.com/onlinedb to find phone numbers and send e-mail. Californians should put particular attention on Sen. Diane Feinstein, who is waffling. Senator Dianne Feinstein's offices: Washington (202) 224-3841; San Francisco (415) 393-0707;
Los Angeles (310) 914-7300; San Diego (619) 231-9712; Fresno (559) 485-7430.
2. Take your media activism to the doorstep of the national television networks: join Media Challenge! in calling for the resignation or firings of the TV Network News Chiefs for the distortions and omissions in their coverage of the war against Iraq. Contact them directly and/or write your local newspapers letters-to-the editors. For more information, see ww.projects4peace.org or read below.
3. Give your local paper a time-out. Suspend your subscription in a "vacation hold" for the first week of July. Most daily papers make it easy to do únowadays. You can probably do it in seconds on your paper's web site, or just call the circulation department. When you suspend your sub, send the paper a note explaining why, and send a copy to email@example.com.
4. Turn off your mainstreamTV watching for the week. Use the time you save by doing so and by not getting your daily paper to check out alternative news sources such as independent local weeklies and web sites like the Independent Media Centers (indymedia.org) or alternet.org, commondreams.org, democracynow.org, tomdispatch.org , tompaine.com, .mediachannel.org and www.zmag.org. Or go to your local library or independent bookstore and pick up a book that will give you the kind of in-depth information about issues that is sorely lacking in corporate news stories.Also, check out what's available on your local public-access channel and on pioneering alternatives like Free Speech TV (DISH Network Channel 9415 ú info at www.fstv.org) and WorldLink TV (Channel 375 on DirecTV and 9410 on the DISH Network ú info at www.worldlinktv.org). On the radio, look for a Pacifica affiliate, one of the 140 other stations that carry Democracy Now's daily news broadcast, or another independent station.
5. One more thing: the more people take part in this action, the harder it will be for the media moguls to ignore. So send a copy of this message to your friends, neighbors, and co-workers, and urge them to join in. Get organizations you're part of to endorse Indepence From Media Week or at least to send copies of this message to their members.
Independence from Corporate Media Week is brought to you by Citizen Works, CodePink, Free Press, Global Exchange, Media Alliance, Media Challenge, Prometheus Radio Project, Reclaim the Media, and others.
MEDIA CHALLENGE! is co-sponsored by: Projects4Peace, ICUJP (Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace), Neighbors for Peace and Justice, Coalition for World Peace, Global Guardianship Initiative, Code Pink for Peace, Global Exchange, Peace on the Beach, Peace Warriors, LA International A.N.S.W.E.R., Not in Our Name, Global Womenâs Strike, Southern Cal. Americans for Democratic Action, Americans Against Pre-Emptive War.
MEDIA CHALLENGE'S PREVIOUS EMAIL CALLING FOR THE RESIGNATIONS OR FIRINGS OF MEDIA HEADS
MEDIA CHALLENGE! ALERT: THE NY TIMES DID IT - WHY NOT THE TV NETWORKS?
If NY Times news chiefs could lose their jobs for supporting a minor-league liar, reporter Jason Blar, the TV executives must be held accountable for their infinitely greater betrayal of public trust. They have turned TV news into a propaganda farce guilty of outrageous journalistic lapses. (See below for details). The quickest way to get reform of the networks is to make a public splash of helping them out the door. Join us in demanding a New Era of Journalistic Accountability.
ACTION 1: Write or call the network news heads and, citing the Times as a precedent, ask for their resignations. Refer to the Sins and Omissions list below and anything you want to add. For maximum effect, please be polite. (Tip: Do one network a day if you are pressed for time.)
ACTION 2: And/or write or call the corporate CEOs and ask for the firing of the news chiefs. You might back this up with an email to the general viewer comment email address of the network.
ACTION 3: Write your local newspaper letters-to-the-editor sectioin and raise the issue of the TV news head ouster. Also ask your local paper to report regularly on the journalstic malfeasance of TV news.
MSNBC: PRESIDENT Erik Sorenson. Direct line: 201-583-5050. Erik.Sorenson@MSNBC.com ; 1 MSNBC Plaza, Secaucus, N.J., 07094. General MSNBC viewer email: firstname.lastname@example.org
NBC: NEWS CHIEF Neil Shapiro. Direct line: 212.664.4773. fax: 212.664.2264; email@example.com; 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY, 10112...General NBC viewer email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTHEIR BOSS: Robert Wright, chairman, NBC Television. Switchboard: 212-664-4444; email@example.com; 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112
CNN: NEWS CHIEF Eason Jordan. 404.827.5111. fax: 404.827.4215. mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org ; 1 CNN Center, Atlanta, Ga., 30303. HIS BOSS: Jim Walton, president, CNN Newsgroup. Direct line: 404-878-1720. email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org; 101 Marietta Street, 7th Floor, Atlanta, GA 30303...General CNN viewer email: email@example.com
FOX CABLE NEWS: PRESIDENT Roger Ailes. Switchboard: 212-310-3000. firstname.lastname@example.org; 1211 Avenue of the Americas, NY, NY, 10036. HIS BOSS: Peter Chernin, President, NewsCorp.; Switchboard: 212-852-7000 1211 Avenue of Americas, New York, NY 10036...General Fox viewer email: email@example.com
CBS: NEWS CHIEF Andrew Hayward. Direct line: 212.975.7825. fax: 212.975.7429. firstname.lastname@example.org; 524 W.57th St., New York, NY, 10019. HIS BOSS: Leslie Moonves, president, CBS Television Corp., Direct line: 212-975-4546; 51 W. 52nd Street, New York, NY 10019...General CBS viewer email: email@example.com
ABC: NEWS CHIEF David Westin. Direct line: 212.456.6200. fax: 212.456.4292; 77 W. 66th St, .New York, NY, 10023. (no email available). HIS BOSS: Alex Wallau, president, ABC Television. Direct line: 818-460-5500; 500 S. Buena Vista Street, Burbank, CA 9152....General ABC viewer e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Journalistic Sins and Omissions
For example, both cable and broadcast networks
Beat the drums ferociously for war and parroted administration points of view.
Denied air time to knowledgeable critics of Bush Iraq policies. One FAIR study found that, out of 267 Iraq experts interviewed by the networks, only ONE was U.S. citizen critical of the administration's war plans.
Buried pre-invasion reports refuting administration claims of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and links between Iraq and Al Qaeda.
Withheld information about the pressure that was put on U.S. intelligence agencies to "cook the books" on Iraq.
Recently allowed heavy domination of Republicans in comments on forged and other unreliable documents.
The lies and omissions extend far beyond Bush policy on Iraq. Forsaking basic journalistic ethics involving a citizen's right to know, cable and broadcast networks have failed to report:
Widespread resistance to the Patriot Act by state and local governments and citizens.
The impact of budget cuts in education, social services, transportation, veterans' benefits and housing.
Bush administration ravages to environmental protection laws.
Enron-style scandals linked to the administration.
The impact of such twisted news coverage is extraordinary. By focusing unremittingly and uncritically on only what the administration says and not what it does, TV has brought on a state in which 34% of the public believes the US discovered biological and chemical weapons in Iraq (24% actually believe they were used during the war) and 48% believe Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attack. When asked why they held these beliefs when surveyed by the Program for International Policy Attitudes, an astounding 92% said it was because they heard the president or another high ranking Administration official say so repeatedly. This is dangerous ignorance on the part of a huge segment of the public (58%) who get their information solely from TV and acknowledgement that the administration understands that repeated lies will not be challenged by so-called TV "journalists" and therefore will actually work.
Media Challenge! encourages you to by writing or calling the news heads and their corporate bosses. Corporate media with its Pentagon ties and its irresponsible propaganda and entertainment as "news" is destroying meaningful democracy and must be stopped.