Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

This article is patriotic and important for everyone to read.

Sebastian Jones and The Nation just dropped a bombshell for many people that still believe we have an honest Fourth Estate speaking for us and live in a real democracy. It's not our fault for being suckers, I suppose.

But, now we know the truth and we should all stand up to the corruption in a huge way. It doesn't look like anyone else has any "incentive" to stand up for us.

The sheer quantity of appearances, by whom and the lack of shame from the people and cable networks is pathetic to me. Especially when they preach how "people ought to feel shame." Hypocrisy doesn't begin to describe what is going on.

Several networks mentioned have been addicted to their "hypocrisy story of the week" about other people who are guilty of "hypocrisy." They explain why hypocrites can't be trusted, ever. By their own definition, we can't trust them, ever.

The media is dividing the country, shattering hope and contributing to the never-ending corruption that is leading to disengagement in politics by many people.

"They all have a vested interest that's shaping public opinion." This is a reality check. It is extremely dangerous!

Before anyone ever decides to tune into these people again (any of them), you need to read this article. It explains in detail with real facts what we need to know about many TV pundits that spin around and around with their stand-by "strategists," report fact-free nonsense, report about topics that are not newsworthy or let basically anyone give their "expert" opinion with no regard as to why why these people are on their networks giving these "opinions."

We never hear a word about who the "strategists" are really representing when they lend their opinion.

It is the ugly truth that exposes the guilty truth about the characters acting in the 24/7 show called "Cable News."

I've had my suspicions and questions about these conflicts of interest, but this article left me (unusually) speechless. Wow! What a total disgrace the 24/7 media has become.

The Nation is upholding the Fourth Estate that does speak for us, journalistic ethics and they are proving that investigative journalism is still alive and well. I have to say thank you to Sebastian Jones and The Nation.

You and a few others that don't have narcissistic cable shows named after themselves seem to be the only real journalists left.

Tina Epperson

Houston, TX

Feb 23 2010 - 11:30am

Web Letter

I've written about Arthur Levitt's similar conflicts, paid by both AIG and Goldman Sachs, and yet he gets print and air time as "independent" voice for corporate governance and accounting standards.

Francine McKenna

Chicago, IL

Feb 23 2010 - 8:32am

Web Letter

Corporations buying and infiltrating the media? Of course.

In my view, the even worse reality is corporate interests' over-involvement with government. Sure, they have lobbies, and make campaign contributions... but one of the less talked-about and more egregious realities of Washington influence-peddling is the reality of ethics waivers.

Ethics waivers enable presidents to appoint people with clear and obvious conflicts of interest to key government positions. They are like a "free pass" that says, "Oh, we know so-and-so used to work for this huge corporation, or this foundation, but that's alright. S/he will serve the public interest just fine, because I say so."

Recipients of ethics waivers signed by President Obama include William Lynn, deputy secretary of defense (former lobbyist for Raytheon), and Ashton Carter, department of defense (formerly worked at Textron, Inc., a defense and intelligence corporation). There are many more.

Some government departments have seen so much exchange between government representative and corporate leader, that looser standards are now built right in to any remaining guidelines. For example, the USDA's ethical standards booklet informs applicants, "If you have a conflict of interest, above, you still may be allowed to participate in otherwise prohibited official matters where the conflict of interest is waived..." Ethics Advisor's Desk Reference, v18 U.S.C. § 208 — CONFLICTING FINANCIAL INTERESTS

We now stand with many years of inappropriate corporate advisement of Washington at our backs. For proof, all that is necessary is to research the past several heads of major government regulatory agencies. Who worked for industry before? Or directly after? Who had large corporate investments?

I don't know about everyone else, but I personally do not trust a head of the FDA who lied about the sale of stock in health corporations prior to appointment, like former commissioner Lester Crawford did, or who joined the board of directors of a major pharmaceutical company immediately after serving, like Jane Henney.

Ethics waivers need to end, and any seated president could end them immediately--if he were so inclined.

Kylie Partridge Klain

Nashua, NH

Feb 18 2010 - 4:19pm

Web Letter

More of the same from dumbed-down news outlets that have turned into corporate shills and cheerleaders for endless war.

Another generation had Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite, we have a drunk rodeo clown, a pill-popping gasbag and one who likes to fantasize about hot babes and loofah sponges.

Greg Bacon

Ava, MO

Feb 17 2010 - 6:25am

Web Letter

The Supreme Court considered a corporation to be an individual. Should a corporation then be required, when it registers to donate money to political campaigns, to list each individual who works for it and their addresses? If so, would each individual on that list have to agree to said donation?

Would people have to worry about their jobs if they disagree with the corporation's expenditure of money?

Kathleen Powell

Burr, NE

Feb 15 2010 - 12:02pm

Web Letter

Time for a million- (or 2 or 3 million-) victim march on Wall Street. A couple of million people jam Wall Street for a day or two in the middle of the week, say around Labor Day, and it might get some of the right kind of attention. I would take a rubber bullet for that.

Just sayin'.

Jim Earp

Henderson, NV

Feb 14 2010 - 3:15pm

Web Letter

The number of lobbyists appearing on cable news shouldn't be a great revelation to viewers, but I have no doubt it would be. Viewers seem to be more interested in the back-and-forth shouting match than being skeptical of the information either of the participants are disseminating. Most of the time, cable news hosts and commentators don't have the wherewithal to challenge anything being said by these lobbyists, and challenging them would probably be contrary to the cable news model. Nine times out of 10, these "guests" are allowed to come on for an interview that is uninterrupted and it ends up being an unchallenged platform for the guest to create just the picture he is paid to promote. I heard three such instances yesterday when the guest made what I knew to be factually untrue statements and the host let it stand unchallenged and thanked the guest for being there. Shouldn't these lobbyists at least be the ones thanking the cable networks?

Anyone with a skeptical mind who watches cable frequently shouldn't have a very difficult time observing these kinds of appearances. Obviously cable news isn't going to change its operating procedure since it works very well for them. Even liberal media guests like Katrina v. H., Joan W. and Ariana H. don't comment on the unethical workings of cable because they wouldn't be invited back. Frankly, every one of them is far too enamored with television appearances. Should they challenge MSNBC, the host, or the system, none of them would be invited back. That is true of all cable guests. Doesn't cable corrupt all guests to some extent?

The viewers' lack of sophistication and healthy skepticism has to bear some responsibility in this.

Pam White

Omaha , NE

Feb 12 2010 - 7:05am

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