It’s Ted Nugent’s (Texas Republican) party, and we just have to live with it, noted the Texas Observer — and excerpted by PDiddie at Brains and Eggs. But there were also problemas grandes para Dan Patrick last week.
StateImpact Texas highlights some of what the report shows.
“Texas’ air monitoring system is so flawed that the state knows almost nothing about the extent of the pollution in the Eagle Ford. Only five permanent air monitors are installed in the 20,000-square-mile region, and all are at the fringes of the shale play, far from the heavy drilling areas where emissions are highest.”
“Thousands of oil and gas facilities, including six of the nine production sites near the Buehrings’ house, are allowed to self-audit their emissions without reporting them to the state. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), which regulates most air emissions, doesn’t even know some of these facilities exist. An internal agency document acknowledges that the rule allowing this practice “[c]annot be proven to be protective.”
“Companies that break the law are rarely fined. Of the 284 oil and gas industry-related complaints filed with the TCEQ by Eagle Ford residents between Jan. 1, 2010, and Nov. 19, 2013, only two resulted in fines despite 164 documented violations. The largest was just $14,250. (Pending enforcement actions could lead to six more fines).”
And the state is not helping.
Also of note are the roadblocks the team faced from state regulators and the oil and gas industry itself. While these obstacles are familiar to anyone who’s ever reported on the fracking boom in Texas, they raise questions about what the state and industry are trying to hide:
“The agency responsible for regulating air emissions—the TCEQ—refused to make any of its commissioners, officials or investigators available for interviews. Instead, we had to submit questions via emails that were routed through agency spokespeople. It’s unclear if the spokespeople passed our questions along to the agency’s experts. We received answers to most of our emails, often in some detail. But some of our questions were ignored or answered with talking points on general topics. The TCEQ employees who dealt with our public records requests were helpful and responsive, however. They discussed the filing process over the phone and answered questions about our requests.”
“When a reporter called TCEQ field inspectors at their homes—a commonly used reporting technique—TCEQ spokeswoman Andrea Morrow left the reporter a message saying, “Under no circumstances are you to call our people and harass them at home.” Morrow also blocked the reporter from approaching the agency’s chairman, Bryan Shaw, at a public meeting in Austin.”
“The agency’s public records pricing system was puzzling. We were charged as little as 20 cents for one document but were asked for more than $10,000 to provide a batch of documents that had been given to another news agency years ago. We withdrew our request.”
“The Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates drilling and all other aspects of the industry, made Commissioner David Porter available for a 10-minute phone interview. The Weather Channel later scheduled an on-camera interview with Porter, but when the producers arrived at the appointed time, they were told Porter was sick and would not be available for the next month. Like the TCEQ, the Railroad Commission spokespeople refused to discuss anything on the phone, including even technical questions about the mapping data we purchased from the agency. Nor would they make Porter or other top officials available for final, pre-publication phone interviews.”
“Industry officials in Texas were as reluctant as regulators to meet face-to-face or go on camera. Most insisted that all queries be submitted in writing. No tours of Eagle Ford operations were allowed, despite several requests. No on-the-ground discussions of air pollution were facilitated. Hunt Oil was the exception. When we asked about a problem at one of its processing plants, the company set up a phone interview with an executive who answered our questions.”
While many are making money on this situation, the state included, many are suffering a human cost. The human cost is not being acknowledged and will have to be paid for in the future. Similar maybe to the cost of asbestos/mesothelioma. I’m guessing very few politicians in Texas, much less the TCEQ, what to discuss something like that any time soon.
The only thing that’s different from when Carter made that statement is the calendar. It’s now an election year and immigration cannot be allowed to, “capture the media cycle”. Economics aside, the immigration issue, is about people, families and most important human dignity. Keeping immigrants in the shadows, because it’s not good politics for the GOP in an election year, shows exactly what the GOP’s priorities are.
House Republican leaders are sending their immigration-weary base a message: We hear you, loud and clear.
After one week of fierce conservative attacks on their pro-reform blueprint, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) signaled on Thursday that the effort was going nowhere fast in the House and preemptively blamed its demise on President Barack Obama.
Their message: Reform is in peril because we can’t trust him to enforce the law.
The Speaker went on: “Listen, there’s widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws. It’s going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes.”
The remarks echo a common conservative argument for ditching immigration reform. It’s is a sign that the right’s demand to jettison the issue of immigration this year is having an effect on Boehner, despite his support for reform and recognition of its importance to his party’s electoral survival in the future.
The Republican Party continues to stall on immigration reform because of politics, not policy. In January, U.S. Rep. John Carter told Roll Call, “I personally think this is the wrong time from our standpoint to go forward on immigration. It’s an election year. I mean Texas is in the middle of primaries right now.”
The Texas Democratic Party launched automated calls into Rep. Carter’s district, contacting a universe of 15,000 constituents. Hundreds of recipients responded to demand Rep. Carter support comprehensive immigration reform now.
Texas Democratic Party Communications Director Emmanuel Garcia issued the following statement:
“Texans know that comprehensive immigration reform is supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and would lift 11 million undocumented workers out of the underground economy. Moreover, it will advance wages for every American and generate billions in additional tax revenue. Comprehensive immigration reform is good for Texas’ future and good for America’s economy. It keep families together, and give hope to so many in legal limbo. We urge the entire congressional delegation, to listen to their constituents and put the needs of Texas before election year politics.”
Of course Carter’s Democratic opponent in November, Louie Minor, is for comprehensive immigration reform.
If you read blogs in Texas that are left of center then you likely know how important it is for Democrats to expand the electorate to change Texas. Registering and getting more likely Democratic voters to the polls is key. Which is why what Battleground Texas is doing is so important. And why the wing nuts are so scared of them. The Statesman, along with other state media, continue to cover the attempts of a convicted felon to drag Battleground Texas down.
“Battleground Texas fully complies with the law,” said Ellis Brachman, a spokesman for Battleground Texas.
“Let’s be clear — James O’Keefe is an admitted criminal with a long and well documented record of misleading attacks who is trying to make sure that fewer Texans are able to vote,” said Brachman. “The real story here is that Battleground Texas volunteers are patriotically working to get more Texans involved in our democracy. O’Keefe and his Republican allies in Texas are scared of our success and are doing everything they can to interfere.”
So this allegation rests partly on the word of a proven liar, and partly on a ridiculous reading of state law. Good luck with that. Even Greg Abbott had no comment. All that’s left is the smell of fear.
The biggest threat to GOP dominance of Texas is an active, engaged, and voting public. That’s what the right has been working against forever, and what BGTX is working for. And why they’re such a threat to those currently in power. If the wing nuts are scared then BGTX must be doing something right.
Let’s hope the Gandhi quote holds true, “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.”
Ellis Brachman, a spokesman for Battleground Texas, said increasingly strident rhetoric from Republican candidates would torpedo any gains they made behind computer screens. He cited, for example, harsh anti-immigrant talk in the lieutenant governor’s race and Mr. Abbott’s recent appearance with the profanity-spewing rock musician Ted Nugent — who has called Mr. Obama a “subhuman mongrel.”
“It doesn’t matter how you sell your product if people don’t want to buy it,” Mr. Brachman said. “And what we’re seeing with Republicans is a product that frankly, more and more Texans don’t want to buy.”
It’s obvious they weren’t talking to the people in their districts because they mostly talked about things that don’t matter in the daily lives of their constituents. Schwertner is taking credit for balancing the budget, cutting taxes and “beg[inning] to address the long-term infrastructure needs of the state of Texas”. It’s a very meager beginning, to start the process of digging out from a decade of GOP neglect. He then talked about the decision not to expand Medicaid, and likely wanting to cut it in the future.
“Medicaid spending is growing at 2.5 times the rate of other aspects of the budget. That is simply unsustainable,” he said. “Eventually you’ll have to make tough decisions as to how to allocate your resources because obviously the needs of education, transportation and criminal justice have to be addressed as well.” [Emphasis added]
When it came to education Larry Gonzales wanted to make it seem like Texas has been prioritizing education.
“Funding our schools and funding our colleges is one of the most important things we do as a state. It all starts with having our students ready to go to work and ready to make a living and ready to be part of that tax structure,” he said. “As long as education remains the No. 1 part of our budget, I’m very happy about that because I think that’s where our priority should be.”
Gee, that all sounds great but I don’t know what state he’s talking about. Funding for schools is the most important thing, where education remains No. 1? That damn sure isn’t Texas. The GOP has always had it out for public eduction, and it shows in Texas. Tax cuts trump everything in importance, every good member of the Texas GOP knows that’s really No. 1 , come on!
He also spoke to the dropout rate.
“The dropout and truancy rates of minority students is absolutely unacceptable, so what can we do to keep these kids in school? What can we do to make sure they’re not dropping out at 15 and 16 and they’re finishing and when they’re finishing at 18 years old that they’re ready to go to work?”
One of the best ways to keep kids in school is to keep their parents involved in their education, and keeping the families out of poverty. To do that making sure the parents aren’t having to work all the time just to put food on the table must be a priority. Which is happening way too much in Texas, Too Many Working Mothers in Texas Trapped in Low-Wage Jobs.
“With too many working mothers facing barriers to career advancement, Texas has the opportunity to embrace proven tools to increase education and incomes for working mothers,” said Don Baylor, Jr., senior policy analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities. “In addition to investing more resources, we should embrace strategies we know are successful, like child care for working parents, and other two-generation approaches to move these families up the economic ladder, which would not only improve the bottom line for these families, but also boost the economic and job activity throughout our state.”
While the report will not come to a surprise for many who understand the very real and desperate health care and financial security needs for Texans that our current state government has not sufficiently provided, it does set a clear trajectory of policy initiatives well within the grasp of Texas policy makers to provide real solutions for low-income working mothers in our state.
Tony Dale was all over the drilling boom in Texas.
“The cycle that we’re in now, the boom in oil is not going to stop anytime soon,” he said. “Forty-eight percent of land rigs in the United States are in Texas and we’re at the highest production in 20 years. I like to say that because of our production we’re actually outproducing Saudi Arabia at this point, so Saudi Arabia is the Texas of the Middle East.”
For Texas’ sake we better hope he’s right. Because if it wasn’t for the boom, who knows what economic shape our state would be in today. It’s good that the state is piling up money in the Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF), aka Rainy Day Fund, from the booming oil and gas drilling. While that money sits there our health, education, and infrastructure needs fester. And it must be realized that there are serious costs associated with the boom that are not being addressed. From Texas Sharon, The Fracking Big Gulp.
The “marriage” of two old technologies, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, has fueled a new, national drilling boom. But these newlywed technologies, sometimes called unconventional drilling, remain experimental. We lack sufficient science to know how to extract shale oil and gas safely while adequately protecting public health and the environment and minimizing climate impacts. What we do know is that human health, property and well-being and the environment, and the global climate are suffering because of fracking.
Complaints are widespread and have risen in tandem with a veritable gold rush of new natural gas wells – now numbering over 493,000 across 31 states. Fracking is also fueling opposition–even in Texas, a state known for supporting the oil and gas industry–that grows in direct proportion to drilling expansion.
Texans are now having to deal with issues of earthquakes, waste disposal, air pollution, and torn up roads, just to name a few.
There was no discussion of the issues that matter to most people. Affordable higher education, returning funds to public education, raising the minimum wage, inequality, transportation, and immigration reform just to name a few.
It’s no surprise that these incumbent politicians are trying to toot their horns to their donors and base. But it’s also quite striking how their concern for the people are completely missing. That’s due to the fact that so many people who are being left out by these guys decisions don’t show up to vote. In order to fix the problems of the people, the people must show up and vote. If that happens our politicians will have much more concern for the people’s problems.
Also here’s a list of local races with Democrats on the ballot.
Senate District 5: Joel Shapiro – Democrat
Charles Schwertner (i) – Republican
Shapiro looks to be another candidate inspired to run by Wendy Davis. Definitely a tough race against a well funded Republican incumbent, in a GOP drawn district.
House District 20:
Steve Wyman – Democrat
Marsha Farney (i) – Republican
Wyman is a perennial candidate. Another uphill struggle in a GOP drawn district.
House District 52: Chris Osborn – Democrat
Irene Johnson – Libertarian
Lillian Simmons – Libertarian
Larry Gonzales (i) – Republican
Osborn is a former member of the Taylor City Council. This was a swing district (Democrat Diana Maldonado won here in 2008), is it still? Also, with a Libertarian in the race they could take 3 – 5% of the vote.
House District 136: John Bucy – Democrat
Tony Dale (i) – Republican
Bucy is a first time candidate, but already seems to be running and working hard. This may be one to watch, 136 is a district where a hard working Democrat could have a chance.
County Judge: Michael Custer – Democrat
Dan A. Gattis (i) – Republican
Custer is a first time candidate. Running against and entrenched establishment Republican is a tall order.
County Commissioner, Precinct 2: Eddie B. Hurst – Democrat
Michael Sorenson – Republican
Cynthia Long (i) – Republican
Hurst has run for Mayor and City Council in Cedar Park previously. Long has a primary challenge.
County Commissioner, Precinct 4: Tom Mowdy – Democrat
Rick Guzman – Republican
Ron Morrison (i) – Republican
Mowdy ran for Taylor City Council in 2013. Morrison is also facing a primary challenge. Many have thought in the past that Precinct 4 is winnable for a Democrat.
Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1: Nick Lealos – Democrat
Dain Johnson (i) – Republican
Lealos is a first time candidate. A local attorney running in what has been a Democratic friendly precinct in the past.
Thanks to all these candidates for stepping up and running for office.
This is a very good list of candidates for Democrats in Williamson County. It’s good to see so many Democratic candidates running for office in these local races. With the new organizing efforts, and these candidates, maybe Democrats can pull some surprises in Williamson County in 2014. Either way, we will get a good idea of how some of these districts have changed in the last several years.
But the only way to pull off some surprises, is with a lot of hard work over the next 20 plus moths. So let’s get to work. Good luck to all the candidates and their campaigns.
When I was in high school Cat Scratch Fever and Wang Dang Sweet Poontang were silly songs with good guitar riffs. But then I grew up. Most of the wing nuts still think Ted Nugent is cool. All he is now is a dirty cranky old man. Greg Abbott thinks he’s so cool that he’s campaigning with him, and feigning ignorance of all the Nugent comments that he doesn’t want to be associated with.
Republican Greg Abbott touted Ted Nugent today as a political comrade in arms. He largely avoided questions about Democrats who have singed out Nugent’s outspoken comments calling President Obama “a subhuman mongrel” and women leaders “fat pigs.” Democrats have also also noted that Nugent has acknowledged having sex with underage girls, an issue — sexual predators — that Abbott pledged as attorney general to combat. Abbott told reporters following a campaign event in Denton that he wasn’t aware of Nugent’s past statements.
Abbott trumpeted the 65-year-old rocker’s advocacy of gun rights as the reason to have him share the campaign stage today. Abbott says Democratic rival Wendy Davis’ association with Barack Obama is a bigger problem for her than his on-stage association with Nugent.
In the video below it’s humorous to watch Wayne Slater wonder aloud if the phrase may be a dog whistle? That’s exactly what it is because the “Nugent vote” isn’t up for grabs.
I commend the DMN for reminding us of this bit of The Nuge’s history, which neither the Trib nor the Chronicle mentioned. I note that unlike their canned response about Nugent’s frequently offensive rhetoric, Team Abbott had nothing to say about his sexual history. Still, the DMN story leaves out some pertinent information. Let’s go to Wikipedia to see what we’re missing:
In 1978, Nugent began a relationship with seventeen-year-old Hawaii native Pele Massa. Due to the age difference they could not marry so Nugent joined Massa’s parents in signing documents to make himself her legal guardian, an arrangement that Spin magazine ranked in October 2000 as #63 on their list of the “100 Sleaziest Moments in Rock”.
Here’s the citation for that. Nugent was 30 at the time. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the “age difference” that prevented their nuptials – which, according to Wikipedia, never happened anyway – but the fact that Ms. Massa was not yet 18. I don’t know about you, but my reaction to this is “Ick”. Too bad we don’t know what Greg Abbott’s reaction to that is. A more detailed examination of Nugent’s rhetoric and some further words from Abbott about it would be nice, too.
Abbott’s trying to brush all this off as about the 2nd amendment.
In response to the frenzy over Nugent, Abbott campaign spokesman Matt Hirsch said that Abbott does not “endorse or agree with” everything Nugent says, but added that they welcome “the support of everyone who supports protecting the Constitution.”
“He is a forceful advocate for individual liberty and constitutional rights — especially the Second Amendment rights cherished by Texans,” Hirsch said.
Nugent’s attack on the left played well with the standing-room-only crowd. “It’s pretty Republican here in Denton,” said Susan Wells, who drove in from Robson Ranch, a retirement community 15 minutes outside of town.
Constitution…right! But the Texas GOP wing nut base likes this kind of stuff and turns out to vote because of it.
Yesterday James Moore, Of Bush’s Brain fame, posted a four part exposé on his blog, Don’t Grow Texas, about how the Texas Tribune does business. It’s called The Trouble with the Trib, again it’s in four parts and will take a little while to read, but it’s worth every minute.
It’s an unfortunate story. Many of us had hopes that the Trib would succeed where others had failed. It starts out going through how the Trib began, and wanted to be donor funded, but quickly found that was unsustainable. From there the Trib turned to big donors and, unfortunately, corporations. And that’s where the story gets ugly.
The Texas Tribune launched in 2009 and was immediately hailed as the future of non-profit journalism. Supporters of the project failed to note that non-profits such as Consumer Reports and the Center for Investigative Journalism had been delivering great reporting for years, and ProPublica had established itself with hefty work on the potential problems of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the exploration for natural gas.
The Trib drew attention, though, with more than $1 million pledged by the Austin venture capitalist John Thornton, and a combined $750,000 in grants from the Houston Endowment and the Knight Foundation. The fact that Thornton invested some of his personal wealth might have prompted the giddiness. His financial success has been the product of exacting due diligence before investing in technology startups, and waving his golden hand over the Texas Tribune concept gave it a deep, sturdy heartbeat at launch. Plus, he committed to keep it alive for several years out of his pocket, if necessary.
Thornton had recruited Evan Smith to be CEO and executive editor and promoted him as a “rock star” of journalism. Smith, who had been the editor of the glossy and successful Texas Monthly for 18 years, did not have experience in non-profit work. Nonetheless, he knew the importance of appearances of conflict of interest in journalism (before he started ignoring them) and understood innately that large corporate donations were anathema to unbridled reporting, and just plain looked bad. Smith told Washington Post media columnist Howard Kurtz “corporate backers were limited to $2,500 to avoid the appearance of undue influence.”
The Tribune’s expenses, though, had quickly exceeded its revenues by $610,000 through 2010 and the monetary foundation provided by Thornton was in danger of eroding into oblivion if a major change did not occur. The cap on corporations and fretting about the appearance of undue influence were suddenly no longer all that important as a standard. Smith conjured up a new concept called the Texas Tribune Festival, an annual policy weekend designed to put his operations back into the black. TribFest is underwritten by policy junkies and sponsors with vital interests in the topics of the program, which, bluntly, means corporations and lobbyists.
Money quickly stopped being a problem when Smith opened his loving arms to unrestrained corporate givers. The first festival was launched with $132,500 from the American Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA), an association of the biggest natural gas companies. ANGA’s membership includes Devon Energy, a company conducting the most hydraulic fracturing in North Texas. ANGA had served often as a news source for Tribune stories and it seemed appropriate that they opened the first policy weekend with a party for reporters covering the event. Smith and the Tribune disclosed ANGA as a sponsor of TribFest but never revealed what had been given. The figure only became public through ANGA’s filings with the Internal Revenue Service.
ANGA’s cozying up to the Tribune might have simply been a pragmatic business decision for CEO Smith but for writer and activist Sharon Wilson the relationship delivered a reality check whack to the head. Wilson is a hydraulic fracturing opponent who has been blogging a long time and quite reputably under the name Texas Sharon. TribFest planners invited her to participate in a 2011 discussion on fracking but she made the observation that the panel was clearly biased toward the industry, and she was summarily uninvited.
“Maybe there is an explanation of the Tribune’s behavior that isn’t explained by financial influence of the natural gas industry,” she wrote on her blog in 2011. “But if there is, it is past time for them to make their case. And from where I sit, it better be a doozy.” The title of her article containing the criticism was, “The Texas Tribune Fracks the First Amendment.” She has concluded there is no doubt the Texas Tribune is “corrupt.”
ANGA, however, must have seen some kind of return on its donation, oh hell, let’s call it what it was, investment in Texas Tribune. ANGA very soon afterward dropped $250,000 into funding a Conservative Roundtable of Texas. The money moved through the Washington offices of ANGA to the Austin offices of Chesapeake Energy as seed money for the roundtable. Does it even need to be mentioned that Chesapeake is also a major gas producer?
In a world of screaming cable television hosts and partisan media outlets, PBS is supposed to be the last refuge for honest news. This is ostensibly why taxpayers still contribute money to the public broadcasting system. That money is appropriated to try to guarantee that there remains at least one forum for unvarnished facts, even if such facts offend those with money and power.
The problem, though, is that because our government spends so little on public media as compared to many other industrialized countries, our most prominent public media outlets are becoming instruments for special interests to launder their ideological agenda through a seemingly objective brand. Starved for public resources, these outlets are increasingly trying to get their programming funded with money from corporations and wealthy political activists — and that kind of cash comes with ideological expectations.
The problem/conflict comes in when the media outlet does not disclose to the audience their financial ties to the issues and players involved.
Case in point is the Public Broadcasting Service, as evidenced by the major report we published this week at PandoDaily. In that story, we meticulously documented how PBS’s flagship affiliate, WNET of New York, solicited funding from former Enron trader John Arnold. The $3.5 million Arnold contributed was earmarked for a “Pension Peril” series now airing in PBS NewsHour broadcasts on stations throughout the country.
If that was the entire story, it might not be much of a story. However, at the same time the billionaire Arnold is funding PBS’s pension-related coverage, he is also sponsoring the nationwide legislative push to slash public employee pension benefits. Indeed, with his massive contributions to Super PACs, think tanks and local front groups, Arnold is financing a national movement to convince legislators to, in the words of his foundation, “stop promising a (retirement) benefit” to public workers.
This is likely why the Arnold-backed PBS pension series has loyally echoed the billionaire’s anti-pension themes.
It is not, though, great for those viewers. PBS’s behavior, which appears to violate its own disclosure and conflict-of-interest rules, effectively turns the network into just another outlet whose journalism is stealthily shaped by monied puppet masters.
It doesn’t have to be this way. To preserve some modicum of independent journalism, Congress could simply provide the same amount of resources for public media as other advanced democracies do. Congress could then bar PBS from accepting corporate and special interest funding.
If it doesn’t, though, then we will get what we now have: a PBS that increasingly removes the “public” from its mission and becomes the Plutocrats Broadcasting Service.
But it also shows up in the silence of other media outlets on the subject, which Moore points out so well at the end of his piece.
No one has written about the Tribune’s hypocrisies and contradictions with any detail simply because they feared sounding petty or self-serving. Texas newspapers, some of which use the Tribune’s stories, can hardly be expected to criticize an editorial service they use or to publicly whine about unfair competition. The Quorum Report and Capitol Inside could expect its lobby and legislative information sources to go quiet because they, too, must function in a culture of cooperation that is implicit in the way business is conducted by the Texas Tribune.
Politics is a cruel game. Journalism is not supposed to play it, though. Reporters are expected to cast little lights into dark corners and illuminate the way government works and who has influenced its decisions. The Texas Tribune rarely lives up to that mandate and, instead, takes big cash from the people and institutions it is supposed to hold accountable. Money is coming in the door as fast as integrity and credibility are running out.
In less than five years, the Texas Tribune has gone from being an exciting startup to a hypocritical, money-grubbing promotional operation wearing a coat of many colors that it wants desperately to convince everyone is actual journalism. But it is not. There is no reason to any longer take the Tribune seriously as a news organization. They simply cannot be trusted.
The big brains of the Texas Tribune were supposed to save journalism. Instead, they are busily speeding up its extinction.
And they ought to be ashamed.
There is no sustainable business model for doing the kind of journalism and reporting that the public needs in a democracy. Corporations and the wealthy will not buy advertising on media outlets that doggedly expose their malfeasance and corruption. The publicly funded model we once had did a pretty good job of supporting the kind of journalism and reporting we need. But when the same money that’s buying public and non-profit media, is also buying our politicians, it’s unlikely they’d be willing to ramp up funding for public media. One that would be independent enough to expose their political corruption.
One other interesting note is how often the right wing blogs in this state accuse the Trib of being a left wing media outlet. It just goes to show how far to the right our politics has shifted. Where a corporate funded media outlet is thought to be left wing. As PDiddie points out.
If the TexTrib wants to be a mouthpiece for the corporations, much as what has become of NPR, then so be it. Let’s not kid ourselves about it, however. And if the looniest of conservatives think the Tribune is “leftist media”, you better know that the remaining load is to be dumped on top of your head in short order.
At this point in time it’s got to suck to be a journalist. They need to be able to earn a living, but it’s hard for them to do that and keep their integrity in today’s media landscape. Nobody wants to be a corporate shill when they start out. But this is where we are. The only things that have value in our country today are things that make money. If it doesn’t make money it might as well not exist.
Over two million Texas voters from the 2008 Democratic primary — and eight million who were registered to vote in 2012′s general election — have not shown up to cast a ballot. Texas is NOT a conservative state; it’s a non-voting state. PDiddie at Brains and Eggs has the details on what it will take for Texas to turn blue, and the numbers don’t offer much encouragement.