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I was going to title this diary, "Why Edward Snowden, Anthony Weiner, the Mayor of San Diego, and the Royal Baby can all go to Hell!" but I didn't want people to think I was really having bitter, evil feelings towards newly born George Alexander Louis Windsor of Cambridge. In fact, I'm happy for George and his parents Will and Kate and I wish them nothing but the best in their future family endeavors.  But if you're wondering why I'm linking the royal baby to Edward Snowden and Anthony Weiner, you'll probably quickly realize this is actually a rant against the mainstream media.

As I'm pretty sure most of you are aware by now, there has been a full scale assault on the civil liberties and civil rights of Americans by many forms and branches of government, whether it be on the national level with the egregious use of the PATRIOT Act to spy on Americans, or the Supreme Court striking down one of the main pillars of the Voting Rights Act, as well as numerous state governments tamping down on the rights of minorities, the elderly, and young people to vote, and the hacking of the rights of women to determine their own reproductive freedom.  These horrific actions were spotlighted in the filibuster of Texas' sweeping abortion restrictions law by Wendy Davis and the subsequent protests in the state capital, and the acquittal of George Zimmerman in his murder case involving Trayvon Martin.  Just prior to that, a contracted employee doing work for the NSA leaked information revealing the government was keeping extensive electronic records on nearly every American who accessed a cell phone or logged on to the internet.  For a while, it had Americans up in arms about unlawful spying of personal information and had government officials on edge about why they needed to monitor every American in the name of national security.

And then the unthinkable happened.  The leaker revealed himself to be Edward Snowden.

From that point on, the story shifted from being about intrusive government spying on ordinary Americans to a "Where's Waldo"-type story about the whereabouts of Edward Snowden, all but cheerleaded by a compliant news media.  Instead of getting a useful discussion about the merits of electronic surveillance in the post-911 era, we got reporters running around Moscow's airport and hopping planes to Cuba in the hope of seeing Edward Snowden on board.  Once again, the mainstream media was chasing small branches on a tree while ignoring the forest in front of them.

Occasionally, the real world would rear its ugly head from the streets of Cairo and the courthouse in Samford, Florida, and after the George Zimmerman acquittal and nationwide protests which followed, it looked as though the mainstream media would finally have to mediate a real discussion on issues of race and justice.

But then, the Duchess of Cambridge went into labor.

Boy, were the media so over this racial justice story.  It's time to talk about the British royal family.  The same monarchy we fought to get our independence from over 200 years ago.  Granted, after the very heavy news about the assault on the rights of minorities and women, sometimes it's good to take a break, but once again the media went way overboard with their coverage with round the clock coverage on CNN and Fox News, and even MSNBC went in on the royal baby action.

But just as that story was winding down, up came more tales of scandal and salaciousness from a couple of former congressmen; this time with prurient details.

First it was the mayor of San Diego, who is alleged by several of his female staffers of making inappropriate sexual advances towards them, including physically groping them in their private parts and whispering sexual innuendo in their ears.  While the mayor has admitted to having "control issues" with regard to these activities and says he is seeking treatment for these issues, he has yet to resign from office.

But almost immediately after these revelations came even more revelations from a disgraced former congressman who is seeking redemption by running for mayor of New York City.  In this case, it was Anthony Weiner, who was forced to resign from office after photos of his covered but bulging...um....namesake were revealed online.  As it turned out, he was the one who revealed those photos.   After being out of office and out of the spotlight for about two years, he announced he would run for mayor of New York City, and it appeared voters were willing to forgive his indiscretions.

But last week he hastily assembled a press conference in which he revealed that more photos of his...namesake were posted online, and this time it was not covered. Worse yet, these photos and salacious texts were posted after he had resigned from office.  Needless to say, the mainstream media had a field day with these stories, and it gave them ample opportunity to bloviate about stuff that has little relevance to anyone except those people living in the New York City and San Diego areas.  Meanwhile, the states of the Old Confederacy are passing draconian voting rights and abortion rights laws intended to hurt minorities and women, yet narry a peep is being made about these issues by the mainstream media.  Also, strikes by fast food workers demanding living wages are sprouting up across the country, yet few outlets dare report on these.

Gil Scot Heron once said, "the revolution will not be televised."  I'm not sure if he meant that the media would not be interested in it, but it appears that something is going on out there.  But it appears the revolution will literally have to crash the news desks in order for them to cover it.    

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Comment Preferences

  •  Weren't these guys just on a plane (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Gooserock

    In another diary?  

    Who got the last parachute?   I don't remember?

  •  given that congress (8+ / 0-)

    appears to be moving toward serious fisa reform, and maybe even a look at the "patriot" act, i think snowden's revelations have been extremely valuable. and maybe you haven't noticed, but in the past couple weeks the story has been much much more focused on the nsa spying than snowden.

    as for the baby, he can't help having been born into the culture he was born into. blame the adults, not him.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 07:36:18 PM PDT

    •  Well actually, they narrowly avoided (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gooserock, Dumbo, Agathena, unfangus

      serious FISA reform, but the narrowness means this may be revisited in the near future. Unfortunately the success of the Boston Marathon bombers (which technically should be counted as a failure of the National Security Apparatus) has breathed new life into the WOT. The sick thing about being "tough on terror" (just like "tough on crime") is that no matter how many times "being tough" fails, they get to keep doubling down on toughness and the public goes along.

      However, the Snowden asylum drama has given us the priceless vignette of Atty General Holder forced to promise Vladmir Putin (!!) that if Snowden were to be sent back to the US he would not be tortured or killed...

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 07:53:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that first vote (0+ / 0-)

        will not be the last. momentum is building.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 08:50:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If that helps you (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          unfangus

          If that helps you keep the faith or something. But, I am willing to bet on a cupcake that after they will keep having narrow votes and that "momentum" will keep building. Then after the election that is around the corner we'll go onto some other issue.  Same thing with all the other issues that are now in focus right now such as with the Dream act and such.  Those are just as important but look at the last few Congresses and what they did (or I should say didn't do).

      •  By implication, (0+ / 0-)

        all other extradition requests can now be assumed to be torture-ready.

        I read an editorial that suggested it might now be attorney malpractice to NOT request the special no-torture deal from the DOJ when fighting extradition.  In fact, maybe it should be boilerplate in all extradition agreements from now on.

      •  As someone on my FB feed said (0+ / 0-)

        'Promise of no torture and no death penalty? sounds like heaven."

        To thine ownself be true

        by Agathena on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 11:48:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You forget (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Agathena

      An election yr is right around the corner. Of course Snowden has been beneficial for them. They have their "it" issue and can pretend to give a damn. But remember, a lot of these same people have made this legal whether in the last Congress or previous years. Doing my research for a diary I wrote on this issue just now Wyden himself in 2001 even voted to go easier on wiretapping phone's. And now he's shocked, shocked, that it's come to where we are.

      As for the Royal shit meh it happened when Kanye West and what's her name had their kid. It happened when other celeb people did so meh. I don't watch any of it.

  •  You can be selective on what you pay attention to (0+ / 0-)

    and then you would be able to give your diaries shorter more pithy titles.

    To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 11:50:52 PM PDT

  •  My Favorite Media Quote (0+ / 0-)

    "Television is a Weapon of Mass Distraction.

    They will Only show You what the Owners want You to See.

    They refer to Television as "The Idiot Box" for a Reason".

     - George Carlin

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 08:57:36 AM PDT

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