Media National Issues

The Fall of News Corp?

The commentary I’ve read suggests the answer to this question is most likely “no,” but the events unfolding in the U.K. resulting from the phone-tapping scandal has already resulted in numerous arrests, including that of former News Corp executive Rebekah Brooks, and the fall of one of Rupert Muroch’s largest U.K. newspapers, the News of the World. And as the effects of this scandal continue to be seen in the U.K., questions have begun to be asked here in the U.S. and the FBI has announced the opening of an investigation into allegations that News Corp may have also at least attempted to hack into the phones of victims of the September 11th attacks. All of this has resulted in a growing discussion about the effects of consolidated media, its power, and its influence on public debate, and on government, which suits me just fine.

Earlier this month, the London newspaper, The Guardian, reported the head of Britain’s Labour Party, Ed Miliband, has called for the dismantling of Murdoch’s media empire.

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How Progressives Can Effect Change with Obama as President

Originally written for the Progressive Democrats of Hawaii blog on July 25, 2011

It has been suggested that the previous post should have been geared more along the lines of this topic. After thinking about, it, I decided that instead of rewriting it, I should simply write a follow-up post. For starters, I think it is important to say, again, and with no equivocation, that Obama isn’t progressive, even though there are those who believe he is, “in his heart of hearts.” Using this notion as a starting point for action is, in my opinion, a mistake and progressives will serve their causes much better if they first abandon it.

I’ll be referring to PDH for my examples, but the concepts will obviously apply to other organizations, as well as individuals.

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Obama Is Not Progressive

Originally written for the Progressive Democrats of Hawaii Blog, July 17, 2011

Thinking or hoping otherwise will not make this statement any less true. Barack Obama is not progressive. For my part, I never believed he was and one only need look at his time in office thus far for evidence.

Let’s start with health care, if only because the issue is at, or near, the top of my priority list. While it’s true there are some good things in the Affordable Health Care Act, like extending to 26 the age under which parents can choose to continue to cover their children, or eliminating the ability of insurance companies to deny coverage because of a preexisting condition, there’s no denying that when it’s all said and done, it is little more than a massive handout to health insurance companies.

While on the campaign trail, Obama said he’d prefer a single-payer-type system of health care if he had his choice, but when the debate on health care reform was in full swing in 2009, he denied making any such statement. And while there was some lip service from the White House paid to a “public option” to compete with private insurance, no such option was remotely considered seriously, despite polls which consistently showed a majority of Americans supported such an option.

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For My Part

Written for the Equality Hawaii blog on June 6, 2011

I thought I’d take an opportunity to share a bit about my experience with Equality Hawaii, how I got involved in the gay-marriage battle, and what I’ve learned.

When the House Committee on Judiciary, in 2007, had a public hearing on a civil unions bill, I was in attendance. I had been politically active in Hawaii for a little over a year and it was the first time I attended a public hearing at the Capitol. I was there to support my friends Bill Woods and Lance Bateman and the atmosphere was largely positive, as was the testimony. Being new and politically naive, I left the hearing when the Committee recessed for decision-making; I assumed since there had been so much support for the bill (at least in the room), the bill would pass. I woke up the next date to read the disheartening news that the Judiciary Chair had decided to defer decision-making on the bill, essentially “killing” it for the rest of the session.

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Obama Supports Gay Marriage?

Written for the Equality Hawaii blog on May 21, 2011

The other day I saw an article from On Top Magazine suggesting the President will support Gay Marriage.” After glancing at the article, I posted this on Facebook:

Good for him… Still, I find the timing a bit suspect (shortly after the launch of his reelection campaign) and while this is a promising development, people shouldn’t take him at his word during the campaign. Supporters of marriage need to CONTINUOUSLY PUSH Obama on this ┬áissue. We’re definitely winning the fight and the tide is turning and this is reflected in Obama’s “evolution,” but we mustn’t rest on our laurels….

I’ve been thinking about this more and just went back to take a second look at the short article. Obama’s support isn’t explicit in the article. In fact, his position could easily be described as nondescript;