The A22 Bush Protest here in Portland provided a stark reminder that corporate media cannot be trusted to present a story fairly or accurately. The bias against democratic action and in favor of police violence was on full display in the local press, even with the comparatively sympathetic reports provided by media outlets whose employees were attacked. The Tribune characterized the protests as a "riot", though the only riot that day was a police riot, the Associated Press couldn't count, and the Oregonian was typically slipshod with the facts. |
Dissent is becoming increasingly criminalized, legally, by the government and increasingly demonized, culturally, by the corporate media. When the corporate media repeatedly presents protesters as violent and police violence as justified, it is not reporting facts -- it is shaping perceptions. The result is a country full of people increasingly hostile to the veryidea of dissent, who will gladly give up their liberty for security, as we have seen since 9/11. The alleged "objectivity" of "professional journalism" is a sham; it is merely a style of writing or speaking that anyone can master with practice. Intelligence, integrity and creativity are not necessary. The ability to lie, however -- especially to oneself -- is a requirement. How else can these people sleep at night? They should be ashamed of the pivotal part they are playing in making the world a more dangerous place for freedom, individuality, and cooperation.
Here on portland indymedia, the corporate media lies about A22 were countered with truth. Not only did protest participants post their own first-hand accounts that showed what really happened, they also jumped on the corporate media stories and called out the errors, mischaracterizations and slurs that they found. They found many:
Here's how to contact some of the corporate media outlets that lied about A22:
Write, email and call. Just once, or over and over. Be specific about where they went wrong and point out details that you can counter from your own experience. Needle them about obvious bias. Ask them how they feel about making money by lying. Let them know that you're aware they're lazy. Say they should be ashamed. Tell them you go to indymedia, KBOO, and the Alliance for the real story.
If you write an individual "journalist" (and you definitely should), also cc: their editor and publisher. If you see corporate media on the street, stop and give them the same hassle. If you've got a video camera or audio recorder, stick it in their face; turn the dynamic around -- put them on the defensive. Let 'em know they're being watched like hawks and we don't like what they're doing, and we're gonna tell 'em every time.
phone numbers for editors, departments, etc.: http://www.oregonian.com/newsroom/connect.html
The site also says:
"Do you have a comment about fairness, accuracy or other issues in news coverage or editorial pages of The Oregonian? Contact the public editor, Dan Hortsch, at 503-221-8221 or toll-free from outside the 503 area code at 1-877-238-8221, by fax at 503-412-7060 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org."
Letters to the editor:
"We invite your letters to the editor. Send them to: Letters to the editor, The Oregonian, 1320 S.W. Broadway, Portland, Or., 97201, or email@example.com via electronic mail. They may also be faxed to (503)294-4193."
620 S.W. Fifth Ave., Suite 400
Portland, OR 97204
News Editor, Dave Kern: (503) 546-5165
online commentary: http://www.portlandtribune.com/contactus.shtml
Letters to the Editor and My View submissions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Associated Press (AP)
50 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10020
online form: http://www.ap.org/pages/aptoday/aptoday_contact.html
P.O. Box 1468
Grants Pass OR 97526
121 SW Salmon Street, Suite 1450
Portland OR 97204-2924
State Office Building
Salem OR 97310
The CNN contact info is here, sorta: http://www.cnn.com/feedback/
They want you to choose which show you saw, or who was the anchor, etc. They don't make it easy. But go for it. It's worth it.
This page has a variety of ways to contact MSNBC, including local affiliates: http://www.msnbc.com/news/435157.asp?0bb=-m1