Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Regarding the front page article on the Midlands section yesterday about Lee Terry:
After an "intense, frustrating week" debating important issues such as health care and energy, Terry dropped the F bomb in an altercation with a DC cab driver while crossing a street. Why the editors of the OWH decided to highlight Terry's lamentable outburst instead of focusing on the issues he voted on this past week, including his "Nay" vote for the Markey-Waxman American Clean Energy and Security Act, is beyond me and speaks volumes about the type of "journalism" taking place at the World-Herald. Regardless of Terry's "Nay" vote, and the rest of Nebraska's House members, the bill passed, 219-212. Terry has been in Congress for too long to not have accomplished any meaningful energy reform, or anything of substance for that matter. Terry and Nebraska's other House members have legitimate concerns with the bill, including the possibility of rising energy costs associated with the "cap and trade" proposal of the recent bill. It would be responsible and appropriate for the OWH to cover these issues and the positions of our elected leaders rather than gossip pieces.
Monday, June 29, 2009
In today's Omaha World-Herald, an interesting article regarding the US Representative of Nebraska, Lee Terry, a Republican, appeared on the front page of the Midlands section. The World-Herald has long been known to cover meaningless stories, but today's article may have topped them all. The article explained how Terry, after a particularly frustrating and intense week of work on the Hill, dropped the F bomb on a cab driver who thought Terry was jay-walking. The World-Herald, in their infinite wisdom, decided to run this story on the front page, ignoring that Terry, and the rest of the Nebraska Congressional delegation, recently voted against the Markey-Waxman American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. This bill, which aims to reduce our dependence on non-renewable resources, take positive steps towards reducing global warming, and address our energy needs, passed the House by 219 votes to 212. Establishing a carbon credits system, known as cap and trade, that allows large companies to trade their carbon emissions is a major part of this bill and a major reason why Terry and Nebraska's other two Representatives, Adrian Smith and Jeff Fortenberry, voted against the bill. They believe that creating this type of system will push costs of energy onto consumers, raising prices and hurting working people. These may be legitimate concerns, and this issue must be debated. However, the World-Herald chose to run a story about Lee Terry cussing at a cab driver. What kind of journalism is that?
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Throughout history, there have been enormous struggles undertaken by courageous people for a litany of issues. Equal rights, racial and ethnic justice, and countless other issues have and are currently being advocated by organizations and individuals all over the world. Indeed, these issues require a constant struggle to advocate for justice and equality. The greatest struggle of the 21st century is proving to be between large corporate power and interests- mining, natural resources, financial, ect.- and environmental and social justice activists seeking to end the cycle of capitalist exploitation of the earth's natural resources and people. The activists have their work cut out for them, especially since large corporate power is so closely aligned with the state virtually everywhere in the world. This struggle is ubiquitous, with recent examples in Peru, Nigeria and even this country. In the United States, there have been many instances demonstrating the capture of the federal government by private interests over the past few months. The recent bailout of the financial sector is an obvious example of state capture and many important and respected people- including Senator Dick Durbin- have highlighted this fact. The most ironic- and Orwellian- part about all of this is the complicity of the mainstream media which largely controls the political discourse that is taking place around us. It is important to point out and criticize the complicity that so-called "journalists" and producers have in maintaining the status quo, blocking accountability of our most senior political leaders and advancing corporate interests. Which side of this struggle will you be on?