In the past few weeks, the shooting death of Trayvon Martin exploded on the national stage. George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who shot and killed Martin, kept his head down and did not do any interviews. Few spoke on his behalf, until Joe Oliver, a calm, compelling public speaker took to the national airwaves, prompting the question who is Joe Oliver?
Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) was on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace talking about his new GOP budget plan. After the disastrous roll out of last year's budget plan, widely panned for its $6,000 Medicare voucher, Ryan has polished up his approach. He says the new plan would simplify the tax code, "broaden the tax base," and close tax loopholes. You can watch the interview here.
In an interview with Fox News legal eagle Greta Van Susteren, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says his upcoming recall election will be a "Waterloo" moment for national unions that will "invest everything possible to try and take me out to send a message."
Van Susteren fell for Walker's Emperor Napoleon spin, giving him ample time to describe how he is being unfairly persecuted by big-money, out-of-state unions who apparently imported all the protestors last year who surrounded and occupied the Wisconsin State Capitol. "When that started to happen, when you see the buses of people come in, the charter planes coming in -- and the money they spent. I mean, they dumped $4 million to $5 million even before any campaigns last year," Walker said.
In honor of "Sunshine Week," a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information, the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) would like to recognize Wisconsin's champions of backroom deals, secret pledges and cloaked campaign contributions.
Fox Business News recently ran a segment criticizing a collective bargaining agreement struck between workers and management in New York City's hotel industry. Analysts on the program called the deal "a nightmare," singling out the provisions raising wages for housekeepers as "shocking." Fox's reaction is consistent with its past coverage of worker's issues, which has portrayed union efforts to secure higher wages and benefits for the working class as an affront to capitalism.
It was just another balmy-frigid February 28 for Andrea Musher. She stood outside the Wisconsin State Capitol with a green parasol, a pink frangipani, and a sign with palm fronds rising forth.
Madison's former poet laureate, Musher was one of about 25 protesters who gathered on what they called "Palm Tuesday" to celebrate the emergence of a new Wisconsin state tree, which could be dubbed the "O'Reilly Palm."
The event commemorated the anniversary of the day Fox News ran video of violent "Wisconsin" protesters, with palm trees waving in the background. Musher's palm was intended to help people understand that Fox "pretends to be a news source. Instead they are a source of propaganda and fabrication."
The Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College has selected the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) for its annual "Izzy Award," which recognizes outstanding achievement in independent media. CMD was recognized for its ALEC Exposed project, and shares this year's award with Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous, who was recognized for his exceptional reporting from Tahir Square. The award is named for the legendary I.F. Stone, the maverick investigative journalist who challenged Joe McCarthy's scare campaign and was the first to question the Gulf of Tonkin hoax.
It was not a happy Valentine's Day for the Heartland Institute's climate change denial campaigns. First, Heartland's plans for a $75,000 K-12 reeducation curriculum to turn America's children into climate change deniers was leaked to the DeSmog Blog along with Heartland's fundraising plan, which reveals support from the Charles G. Koch Foundation and a "free Koch summer intern."
Last week, the Center for Media and Democracy reported on the amusing mistake made by a Politico reporter who misidentified the blue Wisconsin state flag as a "union flag" that signaled President Obama's support for the Wisconsin labor struggle. The story rocketed around the state and caused many chuckles.
President Obama visited Wisconsin today to speak at Master Lock, a union firm that that has brought 100 manufacturing jobs back from China to the United States. Because it was the President's first visit to the state since the historic fight over collective bargaining broke out over one year ago, everyone was watching to see if he would address the controversy or signal his support. Some saw signals where none were intended.