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wmtc: the decision "you’ll regret for the rest of your life": the reality gap in fictional abortions

The conversation around the movie “Obvious Child” has prompted me to re-visit a long-standing interest of mine, one I share with many other reproductive rights activists: the portrayal of abortion in the mainstream media.

I haven’t seen “Obvious Child” (I wait for DVD or Netflix, as always), but I’ve heard that it includes a rarity: an honest and positive portrayal of the choice to terminate a pregnancy. Considering how many women do have abortions – and considering that the choice is usually met with relief and happiness – this shouldn’t be exceptional. Yet it is.

On fictional TV (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: John Pilger on Ukraine Situation

The US is doing it again.

“In February, the US mounted one of its “colour” coups against the elected government in Ukraine, exploiting genuine protests against corruption in Kiev. Obama’s national security adviser Victoria Nuland personally selected the leader of an “interim government”. She nicknamed him “Yats”. Vice President Joe Biden came to Kiev, as did CIA Director John Brennan. The shock troops of their putsch were Ukrainian fascists.

For the first time since 1945, a neo-Nazi, openly anti-Semitic party controls key areas of state power in a European capital. No Western European leader has condemned this revival of (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: If you can’t trust Postmedia when it reports on oil and the environment, when can you trust it?

If you can’t trust your Postmedia website, who can you trust? I mean, other than Alberta Diary. Regardless, don’t blame these poor guys. They’re just trying to earn a living. Below: Economist Robyn Allen, Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey.

Industry self-regulation doesn’t work and never will for a simple reason: He who pays the piper calls the tune.

Companies that tell fibs to their customers don’t like being regulated by their own tame “watchdogs” any more than they like being told what to do by the government. The difference is, in the case of in-house regulation, they’re big enough to kick (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Just How Many BC Government Comms Staff Are There?

Below are all the job titles of all the comms staff in the BC Government Communications and Public Engagement bodies as of last week. Count with me!

There are 278 people!

278. That’s more than a few. The records include folks in these two areas:

Government Communications: which tends to the day-to-day communications functions, including strategic communications, media relations and issues management; and Strategic Initiatives Division: which largely consists of technical experts who provide corporate online and data services to government.

But don’t take my word for it; count for yourself. I might be off by a few. (Read more…)

Things Are Good: BBC Drastically Improves Science Coverage and Debate

The BBC is finally doing something that all media organizations should do – don’t let crazy people derail important debates. For this entire millennium mass media organizations have invited reality-denying people to debates on issues like climate change. This causes the issue to not actually be talked about.

No more will climate change deniers and other wackos be welcome on the BBC. Hopefully other media organizations will follow suit.

To illustrate the ridiculousness of having one fringe “expert” come in to undermine a scientific consensus, the report points to the network’s coverage of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate (Read more…)

drive-by planet: CNN infographic puts eastern Ukraine city of Slavyansk in… Crimea: American geo-illiteracy

A CNN infographic (above) that appeared during a news broadcast covering the pull-out of self-defense fighters from Slavyansk and Kramatorsk got it badly wrong. The infographic placed the city of Slavyansk, not in eastern Ukraine where it is located, but in western Crimea… which has since joined the Russian Federation.

Where Slavyansk is actually found on the map:

It wouldn’t be the first time CNN has rewritten the map. Other CNN stories have been accompanied by equally bizarre geo-bloopers… like placing Hong Kong in S. America, shifting London northward to Norfolk and locating Auckland in Australia rather than New (Read more…)

. . . → Read More: drive-by planet: CNN infographic puts eastern Ukraine city of Slavyansk in… Crimea: American geo-illiteracy

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Carol Linnitt observes that the Canadian public supports a shift from fossil fuels to cleaner energy by a 76-24% margin – even as they overestimate Canada’s economic returns from oil and gas.

- Meanwhile, Alison takes a look at the spread of (primarily oil-funded) advertorials in Canadian media.

- Kate Heartfield writes that even if the Cons’ cuts to refugee health hadn’t crossed the line into unconstitutionality, we should still consider them to be unconscionable from a policy-making perspective: Even if you come away unconvinced of the soundness of the court’s conclusion, it (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: All You Need to Know About Dr.OZ

One video, sixteen minutes equals deep insight into how American society runs. (Hint: Most likely not for your benefit.)

 

I grow tired of hearing arch-conservatives rail on about the evils of regulation and how it stifles industry. People die because of deregulation and lax standards – but somehow the profit motive trumps all that human welfare shit, almost every time.

 

Filed under: Media, Quackery Tagged: Alternative Medicine, Depressing PSA, Deregulation, Dr.OZ, Humour, Quackery

Alberta Diary: With floodwaters rising again, will Sun News Network renew its hysterical ‘gun grab’ attacks on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police?

Sun News Network columnist Lorne Gunter is presented an award by National Firearms Association President Sheldon Clare for his commentary on the so-called “High River Gun Grab.” (Grabbed from the NFA’s website.) Below: Floodwaters roar through High River last year. (CBC Photo)

Rain is falling and floodwaters are rising again in Southern Alberta.

A year less a day since catastrophic floods hit the nearby town of High River, population 13,000, local states of emergency were declared yesterday on the Blood Reserve, around the towns of Claresholm and Cardston, and in the areas of the cities of Lethbridge and (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: The Pope, a Kardashian and Arianna Huffington Walk into a Bar

The pope, a Kardashian and Arianna Huffington walk into a bar.

The Pope says, “Inequality is the root of social evil” as he’s trashing the global economic disorder, but since it was reported on Arianna Huffington’s website, we couldn’t help but be lured to a link photo of a Kardashian mom posting a picture of her in a bikini in Mexico because her daughter did. [I'm still not sure why this matters.]

The Pope continues, “We discard a whole generation to maintain an economic system that no longer endures, a system that to survive has to make war, (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: All By Myself – In An Airport

Here’s a very clever music video made by a Dion fan, in Vegas airport. There is some smart use of the moving sidewalk, and escalator, along with some nice video editing.

Take a pair of Canadians, mix with @Vegas and @LASairport and magic ensues. Keep 'em coming south, @WestJet. vimeo.com/97634383— McCarran Airport (@LASairport) June 11, 2014

Looks like the most fun you can have in an airport, without drawing unwanted attention from overzealous security.

WATCH: globalnews.ca/news/1387300/w… > @celinedion responds to Moncton man's airport lip-synch of 'All By Myself' http://t.co/zpCNXr4Fkn— Amanda Kelly (@AKellyGlobal) June 12, 2014

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Hide The Numbers, They Suck! #cdnpoli

Conservative Minister: “Why is that the only question that interests you?” Journalist: “Because you wont answer it, that’s why it’s interesting!” “You want the one question that I won’t answer because it changes every day. “We’ve been asking this for a year now,” Off says exasperatedly. … “click”.

That's a first: a Canadian government Minister just hung-up on Carol. Interview airs tonight.— As It Happens (@cbcasithappens) June 11, 2014

Conservative Transparency. Can’t provide a number during a year of questioning, because it always changes, or is more probably embarrassing for exposing a lie.

So mystery solved? "@ (Read more…)

Melissa Fong: I’m on the radio today at 5pm 101.9FM-Tune in

I will be on the radio with other Ricochet Media editors Jahanzeb Hussain and Derrick O’Keefe today- 5pm, CiTR radio 101.9FM (You can also stream this online here) We will […]

Alberta Diary: Newsprint ‘wraps’ – not good for fish and, as it turns out, not much good for newspapers either

The Edmonton Journal’s “wrap” Friday, showing the hidden front page inside. Below: The wrap’s uninspiring front page.

Now that nobody sells fried fish wrapped in yesterday’s edition of the local daily any more, presumably for fear the ink will leak through into your liver, the term “wrap” has come to be faintly respectable in newspaper circles.

The word nowadays is used to describe a four-page advertising feature that wraps around the entire newspaper. They’re one of the few profitable services the declining industry has left to sell in an era when fewer readers want the print product, and when ads (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Enough petulant propaganda, please: the hammer of D-Day crushed Hitler on the anvil of Russia

D-Day on Juno Beach: Canadians trudge ashore under a strange colorized sky. Below: The distinguished Canadian military historian, the late Reginald H. Roy.

It’s been 70 years today since our magnificent Canadian soldiers went ashore at Juno Beach in Normandy to play their part the grim and deadly task of sweeping Hitler and his odious empire out of Europe.

But Canadians need to remember, in the context of the present moment in history, that what the landings on June 6, 1944, by 156,000 Canadian, British, American and other Allied soldiers along the beaches of Normandy did was open a second (Read more…)

Progressive Proselytizing: Andrew Coyne assures us "Hudak’s bogus plan is no reason not to vote for him"

The media reaction to Hudak’s 8 fold screwup in his Million 75,000 Jobs Plan has been almost as ridiculous as the mistake in the plan itself. I already wrote about what the CBC’s frontpage was doing in the interest of “balance” and “nonpartisanship”. But what about the media op-eds?

The latest from Andrew Coyne at the National Post exemplifies much of what is wrong with politics. We are assured in the title that “Tim Hudak’s bogus Million Jobs plan is no reason not to vote for him”.

The article lists several points why we already knew the Million Jobs Plan (Read more…)

Progressive Proselytizing: Media stenography: The CBC can’t bring itself to call Hudak’s plan what it is

If you haven’t heard, Hudak’s so called Million Jobs plan is more like a 75,000 jobs plan, based on an obvious mistake that meant most of his numbers were multiplied by 8. That is the best case scenario, accepting all the numbers selectively pulled from a particular report, accepting the half million odd jobs that would be created anyways regardless of his plan, accepting the rosy predictions for economic growth, and accepting that his deep austerity cuts and layoffs don’t destroy said rosy predictions.

The plan, in short, turned out to be utter nonsense. It was utter nonsense before the (Read more…)

Melissa Fong: Ricochet: An invitation to our party and to meet me and the team

As some of you may already know I am on the editorial collective at Ricochet, a new independent media project for progressive voices. For those who know me personally or […]

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your Sunday reading.

- James Greiff makes the case against the right’s faith-based reliance on costly high-end tax cuts in place of attracting people through jobs and quality of life: (T)he recent record suggests those U.S. states that cut taxes find themselves with bigger deficits and none of the economic revival that might stop the population loss plaguing the Rust and Farm belts.

Consider Ohio, where Republican Governor John Kasich is pushing to cut the top marginal tax rate to 5 per cent or less from the current 5.92 per cent. This might save the (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning Links

This and that for your weekend reading.

- Tavis Smiley discusses the need to speak realistically about the causes and effects of poverty, rather than simply dismissing real human costs as somebody else’s fault and problem. And similarly, Tim Stacey comments on the appalling “empathy gap” – which sees upper-class mouthpieces complaining about the cost of luxuries while claiming that the poor have it easier in trying to scrape together the essentials of life.

- But for the most compelling indication as to the consequences of policies designed to attack rather than assist those in need, CBC reports on a (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: WikiLeaks: A Country’s Name To Kill

An interesting ethical debate is taking place. FirstLook Media, the controversial and adversarial media outlet owned by PayPal’s inventor, has withheld the name of the 5th country the NSA collects recordings of all phone calls from. SOMALGET and MYSTIC are Top Secret programs revealed by the Snowden leaks from the NSA. Following on the earth shaking revelations of last year starting with the “metadata” gathering in the US called PRISM, MYSTIC is again changing Americans’ views of what their spy agencies are actually working toward.

Wikileaks might cause a shitstorm this week if/when they reveal what country's communications the US (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Wednesday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Jared Bernstein discusses how fair and progressive taxes on the rich are a necessary element of any effort to improve the lot of the poor: The rising tide of inequality does more than create great economic distance between income classes. It also produces higher barriers to mobility. Increased investment in the poor’s economic opportunities and in their children, their health care, their housing and their education will be needed to overcome those barriers. To be more precise, there are three reliable ways to help or “lift” the bottom: subsidies that increase the poor’s (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: John Pilger – A World War is Beckoning

I’m frightened for the wrong reasons.

 

If I listened and believed what I was supposed to believe I would be afraid that the Russians are provoking the West into military conflict in Ukraine. The problem is that I’m more of afraid of what We are doing to destabilize the situation. John Pilger is with me on this one.

“Washington’s role in Ukraine is ­different only in its implications for the rest of us. For the first time since the Reagan years, the US is ­threatening to take the world to war. With eastern Europe and the Balkans (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Occupy, For Democracy

Journalists protest the erosion of freedom of expression in Canada on Feb. 27 in Toronto. Photo Credit: Hiba Zayadin

When I write about soft fascism, I sometimes feel too Canadian. I don’t want to be impolite and talk about hard or old school or 20th century fascism because frankly, when people read that word, they think, “hey, is he talking about Hitler kinda stuff? Ok, then, so it’s not fascism.”

It is though. You don’t have to start a genocide for someone to consider your actions fascist.

It’s a kind, gentler, Canadian-style fascism with a hit of Tom Horton’s (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: From pulp and paper to magazines to progessive politics

Harold Innis wrote the history of Canada around its succession of staple exports, first to Europe and then to the US. He then wrote the history of empires and civilizations around the succession of media of communications. One of the bridges between these two phases of his work was the study of newsprint as a Canadian staple which supplied the input for the American press, with its vast consequences for public opinion and human consciousness.

The best selling American historian Doris Kearns Goodwin has made a signal contribution to this way of thinking in her most recent book The Bully (Read more…)