Our biggest local newspaper is being censored by its conservative corporate owners. The Press Democrat is being told that it is not permitted to make political endorsements anymore! All the other newspapers owned by this corporate conglomerate, Halifax Media Group, are muzzled as well. Their recent acquisition of Freedom Media, whose CEO has Fox News CEO credits, makes a curious connection.
Regardless of the very real merits for either the PD endorsing or not endorsing candidates, the bottom line was buried in its iron-fist-clothed-in-velvet-glove editorial: "The company [that owns the PD] has decided to adopt a no-endorsement policy for all its member newspapers."
That is the story and should be the editorial as well: that there is no choice in this decision, no matter how one sugarcoats it. The PD should have resisted and made endorsements, because it has been ordered not to.
In this time of homogenized, conservative and corporate "news," Watergate would not have been exposed today. Now this "media group" is telling the editorial board what it can and cannot endorse, prohibiting it and the stable of other papers from making editorial decisions?
Tell them to shove it.
Then if the PD decides not to make endorsements, it is its decision, not another corporate policy preventing the public from getting real information. Why not write about the $78 billion oil companies are getting as U.S. subsidies between now and 2015? Let's talk real issues. Nah, can't do it, our hands are tied, the PD whimpers.
Have some guts, folks. Make the endorsements. I may not agree with them, but at least you have the freedom to present your thoughts. Now you don't, and you don't even resist it!
Make the PD newsworthy. Let the national press write about this censorship. Take a stand for what is right. Endorse the candidates. Also, let's read articles on who really owns the PD. And the rest of the media. Over 90 percent of talk radio is conservative. Fox is propaganda. The corporate media is extending its tentacles to our backyard.
I am canceling my subscription to the PD. Do the same and tell them why.
In Defense of Organics
I think farmworkers would prefer not to work among poisons ("Cargill's Way," Sept. 19). Higher incidences of health problems, in particular birth defects, are one of the reasons Cesar Chavez spoke out in favor of organics. Their working conditions should be better in many ways, but the benefit of working in organic fields was ignored by the Stanford study and New York Times article. After reading the Times article, my first question, as it should always be in this age of budget cuts to desperate universities, was "Who funded it?" Thanks for letting me know.
The Real Terror
While both presidential candidates seem to want to impress voters with their "tough on terror" stance, neither has mentioned a looming terror coming, not from the Mideast, but from the shores of one of our closest allies, Japan. I refer to Fukushima Daiichi, the nuclear power plant we all know was hit by the double whammy of an earthquake and tsunami in March of 2011. But isn't that under control? A thing of the past? Well, no, it isn't.
The Reactor No. 4 building was shattered by a hydrogen explosion and teeters on the brink of collapse. It contains 1,535 spent-fuel-rod assemblies cooled by a pool of water several stories off the ground. Should this building be toppled by an earthquake, an enormous amount of radioactivity would be released and picked up by ocean and air currents headed for our West Coast. Scientists say another major earthquake in the near future is inevitable.
So why don't we know about this? In a word, money. The nuclear power industry gives generously to politicians, and candidates who pose as John Wayne when it comes to nonexistent bombs in Iran turn into total wimps when it comes to protecting us from a very real danger. Shame on both their houses.
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