4th Estate

The new 4th Estate?

January 12, 2021

The 4th Estate refers to a Free Press in the United States, or the ‘4th Branch of Government.’ This morning the AXIOS online news organization, for-profit media, reference corporate America as the new ‘4th Estate’:

‘How CEO’s became the 4th Branch of Government’

America needs law and order — but not the kind President Trump has in mind. That’s the message being sent by a broad coalition of CEOs who are silencing Trump and punishing his acolytes in Congress, Axios’ Felix Salmon writes.

  • Why it matters: CEOs managed to act as a faster and more effective check on the power of the president than Congress could. They have money, they have power, and they have more of the public’s trust than politicians do. And they’re using all of it to try to preserve America’s system of governance.

A new political force is emerging — one based on centrist principles of predictability, stability, small-c conservatism and, yes, the rule of law.

  • “You cannot call for violence,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said yesterday in an interview with Reuters Next, explaining why she de-platformed Trump. “[T]he risk to our democracy was too big. We felt that we had to take the unprecedented step of an indefinite ban, and I’m glad that we did.” [FACEBOOK CONTINUES TO BE COMPLICIT. TEXTBOOK DEFINITION OF GASLIGHTING. Facebook is a sponsor of AXIOS. -dayle]

Between the lines: American capitalism is based on a foundation of legal contracts, all of which ultimately rely on the strength and stability of the government.

  • When a sitting president threatens that stability by inciting an insurrectionist mob that storms the legislature, corporate America will do everything in its power to restrain him.

Driving the news: Tech giants including Facebook, Google, Amazon and Twitter have worked in concert to quiet Trump and the far right. Other corporations are pulling political funding from all legislators who supported overturning the result of November’s free and fair election.

  • All of this has happened before the House can even schedule an impeachment vote.

The backstory: Axios first told you about CEOs as America’s new politicians in 2019, when they increasingly were responding to pressure.

  • Then corporate leaders mobilized last spring on coronavirus response, last summer over racial justice, and now they are joining ranks on climate change.

What’s next: After dipping toes in for the past year and a half, CEOs are now all-in.

  • They’re in a whole new league of activism — with no going back.

Remember, GOP leaders, today, announcing their agreement for impeachment are also reacting to corporate media saying their funding, donations, are suspended. It’s money, it’s power, it’s greed—those are their motivations. Always. -dayle

The virus of lies.

We have to describe things as they are. What really happened on that terrible day? “The president of the United States incited a mob to sack the Capitol to lynch the vice president — his vice president.” -Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic

Center for Action & Contemplation:

‘If our framing story tells us that we are in life-and-death competition with each other, then we will have little reason to seek reconciliation and collaboration and nonviolent resolutions to our conflicts.’

NPR:

‘How do I help people that have, unbeknownst to them, become radicalized in their thought? Unless we help them break the deception, we cannot operate with 30% of the country holding the extreme views that they do.’

CJR/Columbia Journalism Review:

‘In 2016, DT got so much free media airtime—more than $2(B) according to the the NYTimes—that he could run a national presidential campaign with a fraction of the ad budget of his competitors; amplifying him has not merely been a Fox News problem.’ ⁦

Tim Snyder:

‘The lie outlasts the liar. The idea that Germany lost the First World War in 1918 because of a Jewish “stab in the back” was 15 years old when Hitler came to power. How will DT’s myth of victimhood function in American life 15 years from now? And to whose benefit?’

For-profit media has made millions…billions?…from Donald Trump. Mainstream media, the fringes of cable news, all, all, gave DT platforms for disinformation and incited his rhetoric. No Doubt. This could, indeed, have made room for corporate America’s position as the 4th Estate [AXIOS].

I remember, what Don Lemon, CNN, and what so many pundits on news media said in 2015: “People want to see Donald Trump. You want to watch him,” Don Lemon told CNN viewers the day after Trump announced his candidacy. “At least there’s someone interesting in the race.”

NYTimes:

‘At Fox, one former staffer said, the main criterion for choosing a story is whether it will inflame the audience: “The single phrase they said over and over was ‘This is going to outrage the viewers!’ You inflame the viewers so that no one will turn away.”’

CJR/Columbia Journalist Review

From journalist Maria Bustillos:

Media, too Must be held Accountable. [ALL MEDIA]

‘Real accountability, for MSNBC, means a clear and distinct demand for each of its hosts to come clean about his or her own complicity in building and enabling the increasingly violent and extremist Republican Party that led, inexorably, to the ruinous Trump administration. Joe Scarborough, for example, who on Thursday called for the president to be arrested, was not so long ago a frequent guest at Mar-a-Lago, and a staunch ally of Trump the candidate in 2016, as CNN reported at the time:

Scarborough has spoken about Trump in increasingly glowing terms, praising him as “a masterful politician” and defending him against his political opponents and media critics. The Washington Post has noted that Trump has received “a tremendous degree of warmth from the [Scarborough] show,” and [said] that his appearances on the show, in person and over the phone, often feel like “a cozy social club.”

True to form, Chuck Todd brought the most openly cynical and dim-witted take to the party. On Meet the Press Thursday, he spoke with Andrea Mitchell and Katy Tur about the possible motivations of Elaine Chao, Trump’s transportation secretary, who had announced her resignation. “I’m sort of torn on the effectiveness,” he began.

But let’s put yourself… I’m going to try to put myself in her shoes. And maybe you don’t have enough people to do the Twenty-fifth Amendment.… And you want to stand up, and do something, and say something.… But at the end of the day, is it still better symbolically to publicly rebuke him, even if it’s in the last thirteen days, even if it does look like you’re trying to launder yourself a bit, so that maybe you’ll be invited to a better law firm or a better cocktail party, but the rebuke may be still necessary anyway?

I have nothing whatsoever to add to that.’

 

Epic fail.

September 14, 2020

“If at any point I had thought there’s something to tell the American people that they don’t know, I would do it.”

-Bob Woodward, ‘journalist’

 

Massive egoism.

 

The position of a journalist is to present the information gathered, a conduit of news and information, not a determinant of what the people have the right to know, or should, should not, learn.

 

“What do journalists stand for? They uphold the public’s right to know, a spirit of openness and honesty in the conduct of public business, the free flow of information and ideas, along with truthfulness, accuracy, balance, and fair play in the news.” -Jay Rosen, What are Journalist For? (p. 281)

 

#COVID19

 

A vision of global healing.

September 22, 2019

And a new paradigm for center-based spirituality for all of our guiding institutions.

Imagine, for a moment, living in a world born from spirituality. Visionary Matthew Fox embraces a concept of a creation-centered spirituality, in which all that exist are a blessing and bring ancient wisdom to solve current issues.

Fox embraces a sacred relationship between humanity and the Earth.

“Fox’s prophetic vision of good for all people everywhere, combined with an experience of mystical unity, became the hallmark of his work.” [Science of Mind/October]. He embraces the ancient wisdom of Creation Spirituality, adapted to present-day concerns.

Creation Spirituality affirms a common ground among all the world’s faith traditions. Juline explains: “It is a theology that respects the sacredness of nature and the holy relationship humanity has with it. Centuries-old mysticism melds with current concerns about damage to the environment, social injustice, and all forms of destruction and exploitation.”

Radical compassion [mine], ‘where the harvest is compassion, unity, love, inclusion, creativity and good for everyone.’

-Kathy Juline is an author and former editor of “Science of Mind” magazine.

Fr. Richard Rohr: “When we carry our small suffering in solidarity with humanity’s one universal longing for deep union, it helps keep us from self-pity or self-preoccupation. We know that we are all in this together. It is just as hard for everybody else, and our healing is bound up in each other’s. Almost all people are carrying a great and secret hurt, even when they don’t know it. This realization softens the space around our overly defended hearts. It makes it hard to be cruel to anyone. It somehow makes us one—in a way that easy comfort and entertainment never can. Some mystics go so far as to say that individual suffering doesn’t exist at all and that there is only one suffering. It is all the same…”


 

‘Risks in pursuit of greater truths.’

December 11, 2018

[CNN Business]

“For taking great risks in pursuit of greater truths, for the imperfect but essential quest for facts that are central to civil discourse, for speaking up and for speaking out, the Guardians” are the Person of the Year, Time editor Ed Felsenthal wrote.

“As we looked at the choices, it became clear that the manipulation and abuse of truth is really the common thread in so many of this year’s major stories.” he said.

DT, not coincidentally, was the runner-up for this year’s Person of the Year title. Special counsel Robert Mueller ranked No. 3.

Karl Vick, the author of the Time’s cover story about “The Guardians,” wrote that   “this ought to be a time when democracy leaps forward, an informed citizenry being essential to self-government. Instead, it’s in retreat.”

 

[Washington Post]

And “the story of this assault on truth is, somewhat paradoxically, one of the hardest to tell,” he added. Asked last month whom he thought Time would name, he consulted his well-thumbed narcissist’s handbook:

“I can’t imagine anybody else other than Trump,” he responded to a reporter’s question. “Can you imagine anybody else other than Trump?”

Well, yes, the editors responded, and with inspiration.

 

[ACLU]

“The freedom of the press is one of our most core democratic principles. Today and always we are reminded about the importance of that freedom. And to the journalists fighting to protect it: We’ve got your back.”

The Fourth Estate

November 11, 2016

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The Atlantic published a piece today this Veteran’s Day, a day to honor the veterans who fought for our freedoms like the 1st Amendment, to help explain why our contemporary media are unprepared and will not be able to report on the Trump presidency. Not only are they unprepared, but they are funded by the very corporations who need to be watched. A free press is the backbone of any Democracy, it typically serves as a watchdog a country’s politics, almost an additional branch of government, hence, the 4th Estate.

The bigoted, racist, autocratic demagogue who, by anti-democratic and antiquated Electoral college will be (barring a Divine intervention) our next president. His disdain for the media is not a secret, ironically the very corporate led entity that enabled his campaign and presidency. As president-elect of the United States, he’s back to tweeting and this is what he wrote during the protests last night (Nov. 10th):

“Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!”

What is happening now, this new order of government and process forming in Washington post election led by an autocratic demagogue, is not rooted in our history. And we may not have a media, a free press, that can help us navigate our future.

Donald Trump and his surrogates have shown an uncanny ability to lie in the face of objective facts. They will now have the power of the federal government to help them.

[…]

During the 2016 presidential campaign, reporters marveled at the ability of Donald Trump and his surrogates to create an alternate reality in which statements made by the candidate had not been made at all—from his view that global warming is a hoax, to his nonexistent opposition to the Iraq War, to his refusal to say he would concede in the event of a loss, to his remarks about his relationship to Russian strongman Vladimir Putin. These are people who could argue that the sky is green without a blink. They were able to win a presidential election while doing so. Now they will have the entire apparatus of the federal government to bolster their lies, and the mainstream press is woefully unprepared to cover them.

[…]

For Trump administration mouthpieces, both public and anonymous, lies will now come with an officiality that will be difficult to contest. The total Republican control of government means that Democrats will struggle to get their objections to carry much weight, much as they did prior to the Iraq War.

[…]

With Trump, the United States has elected a president who has shown a complete disregard for free speech, arguing that his detractors do not have a “right” to criticize him. He believes the First Amendment’s protections for the press are too strong. He has a thirst for vengeance against those whom he perceives as having wronged him, and now he has the power of the federal government to pursue his vendettas. The Bush administration’s ability to manipulate the press, and the media’s willing acquiescence in the name of relating to its audience, led to catastrophe.

I want to emphasize that all administrations lie. The Lyndon Johnson administration successfully snowed the press on Vietnam. The Obama administration continually underestimated the strength of ISIS. With Trump, however, we are entering an era in which a president, prior to taking office, has already shown an ability to be entirely unbound by facts, with no political consequences.

ADAM SERWER – – The Atlantic

Full article:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/11/the-american-media-is-completely-unprepared-to-cover-a-trump-presidency/507476/?utm_source=atltw

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