Media

Thumbnail image for Voice of San Diego’s Intern ‘Irony’ is Just the Latest Insult

Voice of San Diego’s Intern ‘Irony’ is Just the Latest Insult

by Doug Porter 01.29.2015 Activism

By Doug Porter 

Earlier this week Voice of San Diego Editor/CEO Scott Lewis took the Center on Policy Initiatives, a local think tank, to task for a Facebook posting soliciting for unpaid internships to assist in a campaign aimed at increasing minimum wages. 

In the essay and subsequent social media postings, Lewis said he found the idea of volunteer interns working on this particular issue to be ironic. And he seemingly disparaged the notion that the trade-off of job experience and/or college credit as a smokescreen for exploitation.

The old saying about people who live in glass houses comes to mind when viewing the web journal of a high school student who interned with Voice of San Diego. 

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Thumbnail image for City Budget Requests, Unpaid Glitter Unicorns and Congressional Follies

City Budget Requests, Unpaid Glitter Unicorns and Congressional Follies

by Doug Porter 01.28.2015 Activism

By Doug Porter

There’s lots to report on today, starting with the annual wish lists for the coming fiscal year’s City of San Diego budget. The consensus item among the city council’s lists is finding more money for paying police.

A local non-profit’s Facebook posting seeking unpaid interns (along with paying positions) to participate in building support for increased minimum wages came under fire yesterday. But things aren’t always as they seem; I think there is another agenda at play here.

And the 114th Congress is off to a great start, unless you want to count passing meaningful legislation as part of it’s goals.

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Thumbnail image for “The Solid Citizenry of Ocean Beach are Aroused.”

“The Solid Citizenry of Ocean Beach are Aroused.”

by John Lawrence 01.20.2015 Activism

Complaints About Homeless Have Echoes

By John Lawrence / OB Rag

The solid citizenry of Ocean Beach are aroused. For some time now, there has been a virtual state of war existing between businessmen and merchants, on the one hand, and homeless on the other. The growing homeless community in OB has been met with growing alarm on the part of the established citizenry.

Those with Establishment interests want to drive the homeless out of OB since they view them as a treat to their businesses and are offended by the mores and folkways of the homeless youth culture. Homeless contribute very little economically to established businesses and tend to scare away more conventional people who would have patronized these businesses. Homeless people have been refused service at several places of business and in turn have taken revenge through acts of vandalism and theft. Because of this, insurance companies have raised the rates charged to OB businessmen.

Recently, there have been several public acts of sexual intercourse including screwing on the front lawn (an all-time first in San Diego according to some sources) which established citizens feel set a bad example for their own families.

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Thumbnail image for Sharia Law Comes To England: Hide Your Infidel Children, Pets and Jam

Sharia Law Comes To England: Hide Your Infidel Children, Pets and Jam

by Source 01.14.2015 Media

By Abby  Zimet/ Common Dreams

Okay, maybe you thought Fox News really couldn’t get any lower or loonier. But life is full of surprises.

Thus did self-appointed terror expert Steve Emerson feverishly declare that Britain has no-go stealth caliphates ruled by sharia enforcers and “there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim, where non-Muslims just simply don’t go.”

In parts of London, he went on, “there are actually Muslim religious police that actually beat and actually wound seriously anyone who doesn’t dress according to religious Muslim attire.” Umm. Actually, Steve? Actually, Birmingham, a city of about a million, is 14% Muslim. With – need it be said? – no Sharia law in sight.

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron was among those pretty surprised to hear about all this Sharia stuff; he said he was having breakfast at the time and nearly choked on his porridge. Then he proclaimed Emerson “a complete idiot.”

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Thumbnail image for In Wake of Charlie Hebdo Attack, Let’s Not Sacrifice Even More Rights

In Wake of Charlie Hebdo Attack, Let’s Not Sacrifice Even More Rights

by Source 01.09.2015 Culture

By Sophia Cope and Jillian York / Electronic Frontier Foundation Deep Links Blog

We are stunned and deeply saddened by the attack on Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical newspaper. As free speech advocates, EFF mourns the use of violence against individuals who used creativity and free expression to engage in cultural and political criticism. Murder is the ultimate form of censorship.

The journalists and cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo have long used satire to engage in cultural critique, a form of expression strongly protected by international norms and with deep historical roots in prompting societal change and igniting discussions on controversial issues (see, for example, Jonathan Swift’s Modest Proposal and Voltaire’s).

In the age of the Internet, satire is finding fecund ground on video sharing sites, social media, and across the blogosphere as a way of engaging in discussion on political issues, social ideas, economic theory, and even poking fun at celebrities.

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Thumbnail image for Behold! An Opportunity for San Diego Democrats to Get Their Act Together

Behold! An Opportunity for San Diego Democrats to Get Their Act Together

by Doug Porter 01.07.2015 Activism

By Doug Porter
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Hours after members of its staff were murdered, the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo brought its website back online with a “Je Suis Charlie” graphic, which has become the image of social media solidarity. (See story in column inside)
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Are you sick and tired of elected Democrats who don’t act like Democrats? Does the phrase “herding cats” come to mind when assemblypersons in Sacramento can’t even get it together on things like climate change? Are you tired of voting for lesser of two evils? Can I get an “Amen?”

Well, you’re in luck. With a small investment of time this weekend Democrats in San Diego can help select delegates to the state party convention, the body that makes endorsements ( a critical step in our top-two primary system) and writes the state party platform, among other things.

Today’s column will start off by telling you how to participate and where to get information on some of the choices available. Mind you, this election won’t fix everything wrong with the party of FDR, but it’s a start.

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Thumbnail image for 10 Ways Human Rights and Democracy Won in 2014 (Yeah, You Heard That Right)

10 Ways Human Rights and Democracy Won in 2014 (Yeah, You Heard That Right)

by Source 01.05.2015 Activism

Let’s be honest: It was a brutal year for human rights. But we still have victories worth celebrating.

By Sarah van Gelder / Yes!

In 2014, we saw a lot of brutality. Unarmed black men and women were killed by police, women were raped on college campuses and in military barracks, foreign nationals were tortured, and young and mentally ill Americans were confined for extended periods in solitary confinement in U.S. prisons.

It was a violent year, but no worse than other years. What was different was the emergence of new movements of resistance—and with them new possibilities for change.

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Thumbnail image for End of the Year: Listicles of Made Up News, Brazen Lies and Centrist Propaganda

End of the Year: Listicles of Made Up News, Brazen Lies and Centrist Propaganda

by Doug Porter 12.29.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

The last few weeks of the year are like a black hole for journalists. Politicians and their media minders are on vacation. Celebrities aren’t doing celebrity stuff (unless they die). And research oriented organizations are waiting for the year to wrap up so their statistics can be complete.

This information void leads to stories with headlines like “Military Couple Relocates Wedding for Obama’s Golf Game” and airtime for a Fox News talking head speculating about confusion over the metric system as the cause of an AirAsia flight gone missing.

When stupidity won’t do the trick, stuff just gets made up, like the boy wonder featured in New York Magazine who claimed he’d made $72 million on Wall Street trades during his lunch hour at Stuyvesant High School. Or the story making the rounds on Facebook about the eight NYPD officers who were refused service in a Chipolte restaurant.

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Thumbnail image for The Most Important Stories That the Corporate Media Didn’t Tell You in 2014

The Most Important Stories That the Corporate Media Didn’t Tell You in 2014

by Jim Miller 12.29.2014 Columns

By Jim Miller

We live in troubled times but are increasingly ill equipped to deal with them. The average American is awash in a sea of ghastly, contextless headlines punctuated by inane trivia and pointless titillation. Somewhere between the latest massacre and Kim Kardashian’s most recent booty shot we got lost.

Indeed, some studies have even shown that the more news we consume the less we actually know. That’s because so much of what we have come to think of as “news” is really a form of corporate propaganda, a depthless mass of factoids designed to not interfere with the bottom line. Thus we know less as we amuse ourselves to death.

So what, more precisely, have we been missing?

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Thumbnail image for The 2014 P.U.-litzers

The 2014 P.U.-litzers

by Source 12.26.2014 Media

Some of the stinkiest reporting from the past year

Originally posted at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR)

It’s that time of year again, when FAIR looks back at the year and recalls some of the stinkiest media moments. There were, of course, many contenders– but only a select few can make the list.

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Thumbnail image for Stories from the Weekend: NYC Cop Killing Brings Out the Fear Mongers

Stories from the Weekend: NYC Cop Killing Brings Out the Fear Mongers

by Doug Porter 12.22.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

Two New York City policemen were gunned down in cold blood as they sat their patrol car in Brooklyn and Saturday. The gunman had a long history of mental illness and a criminal record to match. He used social media to brag about his murderous intent, saying it was revenge for police injustices.

Cable news networks and social media were all over it. It took about a half hour before I saw the first threats against Rev. Al Sharpton on Facebook. A rep for the NYPD union declared the city a war zone, blaming Mayor Bill de Blasio, saying he had blood on his hands. Former mayor Rudi Giuliani blamed the President and Attorney General. Fox News interspersed film clips of NYC protesters advocating violence with clips of an Al Sharpton speech in Washington.

The usual fear-mongers to wasted no time using these senseless deaths as an opportunity to denigrate those who’ve been protesting police shootings of civilians in recent months. There is, of course, no connection. But look for the nation’s press to back away from reporting on future protests. The taint is in the air, even if the facts don’t support the narrative.

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Thumbnail image for Video Interview with Balboa Park Protestors about Justice and Race Relations

Video Interview with Balboa Park Protestors about Justice and Race Relations

by Horacio Jones 12.19.2014 Activism

By Horacio Jones

Since the grand jury decisions in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases, Americans have had to face the issues of race and police brutality once again. Many have taken to protesting as a way to have their voices heard. On December 13, 2014 there were numerous nationwide protests and I caught up with some of the protestors in Balboa Park to get their opinions on race relations with the police and what can be done to improve them.

No matter which side you are on, freedom of speech is paramount to the successful resolution of this obvious problem regarding police killing unarmed citizens.

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Thumbnail image for Sony Pictures Cyber Attack: Pearl Harbor or Forrest Gump?

Sony Pictures Cyber Attack: Pearl Harbor or Forrest Gump?

by Doug Porter 12.18.2014 Business

By Doug Porter

Yesterday Sony Pictures did what many businesses would in similar circumstances – it assessed risks relative to reward and chose to pull the plug on a soon-to-be-released movie comedy, ‘The Interview.’

The $44 million film staring Seth Rogen and James Franco about an assassination attempt on North Korea’s leader was supposed to debut on Dec. 25, Christmas Day.

Now it’s dead in the water, with company reps saying, “Sony has no further release plans for the film.”

This decision was the end result of a hacking of Sony’s computer system by the “Guardians of Peace,” a group the US government says has links to North Korea. Unreleased films, company emails, employee information, threats to employees and their families and promises of violence against theaters and the public have all surfaced on the internet in recent days.

Today I’ll take a look at the implications of both the attack and Sony’s decision to capitulate.

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Thumbnail image for Torture Tuesday: A Study in Manufacturing Consent

Torture Tuesday: A Study in Manufacturing Consent

by Doug Porter 12.09.2014 Activism

By Doug Porter

If you are unfortunate enough to be aware of the news today, you’ll be a witness to our country’s greatest exercise in what Walter Lippmann and subsequently Noam Chomsky called ‘manufactured consent.”

I’m referring to the release of the heavily redacted summary of the the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the use of torture. By the end of the day, via the conclusions of the chattering class, the American public will know three things:

  • US policy following the 2001 Al Qaeda attacks included broadly worded permissions to engage in torture.
  • There is controversy over whether torture was effective.
  • Oversight of the intelligence apparatus in the government is a danger to our national security.
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Thumbnail image for A Day of Protests in San Diego and Around the Nation

A Day of Protests in San Diego and Around the Nation

by Doug Porter 12.05.2014 Activism

By Doug Porter

The big news in downtown San Diego yesterday, if you are a reader of the local daily newspaper, was the bomb squad being called in to investigate a discarded sex toy left on the ground near the federal courthouse.

In keeping with UT-San Diego’s historic lack of coverage, there was no mention of early morning protests temporarily causing a McDonald’s franchise in City Heights to lock their doors. Or the members of the City Council who came out at 6am to stand with the demonstrators. Or the 150 or so protesters who marched all over downtown for a three hour period mid-day, targeting not only fast food stores but federal immigration enforcement, and echoing nationwide dismay over recent killings at the hands of law enforcement officers.

Local TV stations sent cameramen to get a bit of footage of the downtown demonstrations. KUSI, KFMB, Fox5, and 10news all used a local wire service for their actual reporting on the demonstration.

Now I know these demonstrations weren’t “page one or lead story” news by contemporary journalism standards. Something is happening here in San Diego and around the country. There is a larger story about inequality and injustice. And it’s not going away.

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Thumbnail image for I’m in San Diego and I Can’t Breathe

I’m in San Diego and I Can’t Breathe

by Doug Porter 12.04.2014 Activism

By Doug Porter

The national chattering class finally found a dead black man they can get behind yesterday as a grand jury in Staten Island refused to indict the policeman who was videotaped choking Eric Garner.

Since videos exist showing both the arrest and the subsequent four minute delay before officers attempted CPR, it’s not possible to easily weasel out of the conclusion this was -at a minimum- a case of criminally negligent homicide, as concluded by Fox legal expert  Judge Andrew Napolitano.

The “best” lame excuses coming out of the flat-earther set were that Garner died because he was obese or that the “nanny state” laws taxing tobacco were to blame. Nobody’s called him a “thug”–yet.

Largely peaceful demonstrations (there were arrests for acts of civil disobedience) happened around the country, and are expected to continue into the weekend. Today I’ll share some of the reactions appearing in the news and social media.

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Thumbnail image for SeaWorld Stock Tanks As Financials Disappoint and Protests Continue

SeaWorld Stock Tanks As Financials Disappoint and Protests Continue

by Doug Porter 11.12.2014 Activism

By Doug Porter

Attendance and revenues continue to fall at SeaWorld, according to financial reports released today. The stock market reacted to the news, sending shares in the company down 10.3% by mid-day. 

Third-quarter net income fell 28%, revenues fell 8% and  attendance at SeaWorld’s parks also declined year-over-year, with attendance in the third quarter totaling 8.4 million visitors, down from 8.9 million a year ago.  According the Bloomberg’s Business Insider, the price for stock in SeaWorld has fallen 51% since the movie Blackfish premiered on July 19, 2013. 

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Thumbnail image for Parsing the Pitchmen for Plots in a Political Graveyard

Parsing the Pitchmen for Plots in a Political Graveyard

by Bob Dorn 11.06.2014 Media

By Bob Dorn

Get ready for the message: Democrats need to move toward the center. That’s it, that’s all you need to know from the political professionals whom we pay to tell us who we are and what we think.

Picture them. You have Brian Williams, the hippest of that knot of strange guys in a hotel bar who anchor the nightly news of the three traditional used-to-be’s: ABC, CBS and NBC. The truth is, these guys don’t really carry the anesthesia and toxins for our political elite; they just introduce the heavyweights who do. But they’re the most important of the traditional media.

Scott Pelley, and what’s-it over at ABC and Brian Williams are the ones in the bar who seem to know who’s got the goods. They mostly look like second-stringers, or backup singers; their too-tight suits and subtle blebs help us see they’re just like us, just folks who’ve been placed momentarily in the spotlights and the corner offices. But they’re the ones who point their fingers and start up the choruses of specialists who call out the numbers and quote the right people and bring on the soloists and the experts.

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Thumbnail image for The Answer to the Local Newspaper Dilemma

The Answer to the Local Newspaper Dilemma

by Judi Curry 11.05.2014 Media

By Judi Curry

Anyone who has been reading my articles for the past six months should know that I spend a week a month in North Dakota – Fargo, because that is where the airport is, and Blanchard, because that is where my friend the Cowboy resides.

On a recent Saturday before the election it was necessary to go to a farm equipment store for some replacement parts for Cowboy’s tractor.  While he was dealing with the owner, I was browsing the counters and came across the “Hillsboro Banner” newspaper of Friday, October 24, 2014.  And found the perfect solution to the newspaper problem we have here in San Diego.

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Thumbnail image for Don’t Read This Column If You Haven’t Voted

Don’t Read This Column If You Haven’t Voted

by Doug Porter 11.04.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

Today’s supposed to be the day I hit you with the “Get Out and Vote or I’ll Shoot This Puppy” column. It ain’t happening. I’ve already voted.

I’ve written 22 stories and columns about the November 2014 general election, and I’ll probably write a few wrap ups after the dust settles.  If you’re going to vote later, fine, read this column later. If you’re not going to vote at all, look for me to come to your house in search of a puppy.

So today, for those of you who have already voted, I’m going to cover other news, and some good news at that.  I’m perfectly aware that I will be punished by the search engine gods for not going apocalyptic about the election.

(Seriously, if you need election info…)

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Thumbnail image for Lincoln Club Plays the Sexism Card in District 6 City Council Race

Lincoln Club Plays the Sexism Card in District 6 City Council Race

by Doug Porter 10.30.2014 Business

By Doug Porter

San Diego’s Lincoln Club does a great job of proving just how racism and sexism are tools used by the wealthy to attack candidates and divide voters in elections.

The right leaning group used photographs doctored to imply mayoral candidate David Alavarez was a Mexican gang member earlier this year.

Now they’re going after District 6 City Council candidate Carol Kim, crudely photo-shopping her face into the image of woman with multiple shopping bags on her arms in New York City. Voters are encouraged to be afraid of her (non-existent) “New York City” tax plan.

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Thumbnail image for Ebola, Not Guns, is Our Biggest Threat

Ebola, Not Guns, is Our Biggest Threat

by Eric J. Garcia 10.30.2014 Cartoons
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Thumbnail image for The Continuing Decline of UT-San Diego

The Continuing Decline of UT-San Diego

by Doug Porter 10.29.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

 Another six month reporting period has passed and the UT-San Diego continues to lose readers, according to an analysis of data from the Alliance for Audited Media by the Reader’s Don Bauder.

How bad was it? On Sundays, the circulation declined by more than 13%,  Weekdays declined by 8.5%.  The numbers released yesterday include “digital” and “branded” editions. Branded editions for the UT include Enlace, the Spanish language weekly distributed free on weekends, Vida Latina, a Spanish-language entertainment magazine, TV and shopping guide and Enlace Extra, distributed in Tijuana and Mexicali.

As newspaper circulations have plummeted in recent years, the auditing-type people have changed the rules to sweeten the pot for publishers. Paid circulation now includes copies “sold” to non-profits for as little as 1 cent; these groups resell the papers at full price to users of their services (churches are a good example) and pocket the difference.

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Thumbnail image for It’s the OB Rag’s 7th Birthday!

It’s the OB Rag’s 7th Birthday!

by Frank Gormlie 10.29.2014 Culture

By Frank Gormlie

This is the 7th birthday for the online OB Rag. During the October fires of 2007, Patty Jones and I launched the OB Rag out of our small cottage on Long Branch Avenue. Many of our early articles critiqued both the mainstream media’s coverage of the fires plus how the fires were being fought.

Seven years later, much has changed, of course. We’ve gone from a little-known blog to one of the best community-based websites in Southern California, which is constantly referred to by the local mainstream media, police, and local politicians, and occasionally we make the national news. Other notes of interest: quotes from the OB Rag made it up on the ceiling of OB’s newest public “comfort station” on the beach – whose design won an Orchid Award in 2012.

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Thumbnail image for Goodbye San Francisco Bay Guardian; Hello Wankergate

Goodbye San Francisco Bay Guardian; Hello Wankergate

by Jim Miller 10.27.2014 Columns

By Jim Miller

Recently, California lost one of its last remaining, genuinely progressive weeklies, the San Francisco Bay Guardian. As [people.power.media] tells the story:

The San Francisco Bay Guardian, the prize-winning newspaper and progressive voice, was shut down immediately by the San Francisco Media Company, after 48 years of “printing the news and raising hell.” No warning for staff, just pack your boxes and get out. Boom. This historic independent newspaper, so long a pivotal force in San Francisco progressive politics and culture was suddenly treated as a corporate portfolio item, and lopped off the balance sheet . . .

Guardian editor Steven T. Jones recounted to the Chronicle, “We were told at 10 a.m. (Tuesday) that this issue would be our last. They shut down everything — our sites, our social media, our passkeys, right away. We’ve all been laid off, effective immediately…I need an escort to go to the bathroom and get back to the office to pack up my stuff.”

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