#MillionMaskMarch: Epic, Global — But Where Were the News Networks?

On November 5, 2013 tens of thousands of protestors marched in 477 locations around the globe. There were masks, chants, goofy signs, sincere view points, arrests, beatings, police opening up with non-lethal projectiles on protestors, flag burnings. There was lots of print/online coverage, but where were CNN, MSNBC and Fox News? And why weren’t they giving this global event any play as of November 6 at 9:54pm?

NBC News Worldwide did online coverage, ABC News posted a photo from Brazil and mentioned in the caption a global march, while CBS News had nothing. Al Jazeera America ran eight photos on their website.  RT.com gave the Million Mask March a big spread on their website (Oh hai, Mr. Putin and your pals in the Kremlin!) plus posted videos on YouTube; the BBC posted three stories.  CNET posted a story.

But considering the airtime the (failed) truckers’ protest got on Fox, and the amount coverage given by cable news programs–which can provide up-to-the minute, breaking news stories via affiliates–to a crack smoking Canadian mayor, Justin Bieber’s alleged brothel visit, and Google’s mystery barges, you’d think that the telegenic sight of a global protest–one set against landmarks like the White House and Buckingham Palace with cute masks and catchy slogans–would have merited 30 seconds of cable network news time. The Million Man March was happening in Europe, in Australia, in Asia, Africa, South America. It was happening here. In the US. Did you see anything on your local news channel, in your local paper?

A November 6 search of CNN, MSNBC and Fox News’ websites showed no stories about a worldwide Million Mask March protest, nor of the ones in Washington DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, or Atlanta (Though in Denver both the local  ABC station and the Denver Post ran a story after the fact, focusing on arrests, and Portland, Oregon’s KATU posted a YouTube video of police beating protestors). The map of Million Mask Marchers (below) is covered in dots indicating marches and participation.

But wait: There is no live footage by the major networks. No wrapped-with-a-bow “look at what happened” video story. Oh wait, there were two CNN ireports, but those are viewer created, and Fox Latino had two stories. En español.

There were protests across America, around the globe, all themed, organized via social media and websites, and they were ignored, overlooked, avoided–pick a verb–by the major broadcast news organizations.

Twitter #MillionMaskMarch has a running thread of press coverage, and the written word and dead tree media—the Guardian, the Independent, even the gutted and limping  Los Angeles Times all ran stories (though the LA Times’ sister TV station KTLA did not cover the Million Mask March in downtown Los Angeles)—came through where  television stations didn’t. The Washington Post covered the protests, as did the Wall Street Journal and  International Business Times, but a November 6, 2013 search of the New York Times for the terms “million mask march,” “protest” “anonymous” and “Guy Fawkes” turned up nothing about the November 5, 2013 Million Mask March, though this item from earlier this year is pretty interesting:

A decision by authorities in Bahrain to outlaw Guy Fawkes masks looks like a pretty desperate and ineffective way of crushing dissent.

And a decision by network and cable news to ignore Anonymous and its global protests is equally as desperate and ineffective.

Photos: Twitter feed #MillionMaskMarch

Late Night: Is Your Cat Registered to Vote? Rick Scott Wants to Know


Governor Rick Scott filed a lawsuit against the Obama Administration over access to a database that the Florida Secretary of State believes will provide more accurate information on the citizenship status of Florida voters, though the DHS says looking at the database isn’t gonna help him in his cockamamie hunt for ee–lee-gull voters. Here’s what Florida’s governor is spewing to justify his suing–and even Fox’s Neil Cavuto seemed awestruck by the insanity:

The Florida’s Secretary of State office will be filing a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security to give us that database.We want to have fair, honest elections in our state and so we have been put in a position that we have to sue the federal government to get this information.

Okay, Rick, we get it. In Florida, cats can’t vote. In fact, no matter where you live, cats can’t vote. Not even Mr. Bruce.

Occupy LA Joins News Corp. Protest


Friday, as the News Corp. Board of Directors held their annual shareholders meeting, close to two hundred demonstrators from Good Jobs LA, Brave New Foundation, NABET-CWA, Media and Democracy Coalition, Media Alliance, and Media Action Center joined with Occupy LA, AAVAZ.org, Free Press and Common Cause to protest the media giant’s behavior -including having politicians on their payroll as media commentators and authors, phone hacking and bribery, one-sided reporting, use of faulty statistics, bad governance, and most especially, not acting in the public interest.

Media activist Sue Wilson rallied the crowd when she told them that a local Fox channel in Florida went to court and received a ruling that a news broadcast over our public airwaves does not have to be true.

Dave Saldana, the communications director of Free Press, explained to the crowd that political parties –be they Republican or Democrat, conservative or progressive– should not be in bed with the media because that can cause a distortion of the news. Saldana read a list of demands to News Corp. shareholders which he and Wilson delivered to a representative of News Corp., who said he would deliver it to the shareholders (at 23:00 in video). Saldana explained that Fox News is a symptom of corporate consolidation. (33:30)

News anchor icon Bree Walker was also there and told FDL’s Ustream that she has seen the creeping influence of corporate interests in news programming over the past thirty years. (43:00)

Early on I ran into an intern from NPR who was taking pictures of some of the more colorful folks protesting. He basically admitted that they are looking for catchy, extreme things to capture interest. (Cue the drum circles!) So I kinda told him that as public radio they should be serving the public, and maybe he should take a look at the stories of the people who are at Occupy LA and why they are there, like Michelle the kitchen manager who has been battling ovarian cancer for nine years. Despite the cancer metastasizing to her liver and having to undergo 6 hours of chemotherapy several times a week, she is down at Occupy LA daily making sure that food for over 300 people is prepared to health department standards and arrives on time.

As usual the cute Occupy LA kids who wear bandanas over their faces and dance behind speakers with their signs were outside Fox positioning themselves to try go get as much camera time as possible. Their cam-ho antics are a bit tiresome by now, but I appreciated their enthusiasm. Since Real World’s Occupy casting won’t be out of Zucotti Park, maybe they should apply!

The event was widely covered by local, national and international news. It will be interesting to see how it’s spun.

LAUSD Teacher Fired for Being a Racist Moran

Moran: a super stupid individual. From the 2003 pro-Iraqi war protest sign that read “Get a brain, morans!

Patricia McAllister, the ignorant LAUSD substitute math teacher bigot who was

representing herself

at Occupy Los Angeles by saying

the Zionist Jews who are running these big banks and the Federal Reserve, which is not run by the Federal Government, they need to be run out of this country

has joined the ranks of the 12.7% of Angelenos who are unemployed. Tuesday the Los Angeles Unified School District fired McAllister. LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy issued the following statement:

As Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), I want to emphasize that we condemn the remarks made recently by Patricia McAllister.Her comments, made during non-work time at a recent protest rally, were her private opinions and were not made in the context of District services. At LAUSD, we recognize that the law is very protective of the freedom of speech rights of public employees when they are speaking as private citizens during non-working time.

I further emphasize to our students, who watch us and look to us for guidance, to be role models and to represent the ideals by which LAUSD lives, that we will never stand for behavior that is disrespectful, intolerant or discriminatory.

As a day-to-day substitute teacher, Ms. McAllister was an at-will employee. As of today, she is no longer an employee of the LAUSD.

Meanwhile, Fox News LA gave McAllister’s views plenty of airtime after spotted her at the LAUSD rally Tuesday, and tried to tar Occupy with a bigot brush, attmepting get someone from Occupy to speak for all of Occupy about fringe groups , free speech and the rare un-PC signage at Occupy. The reporter got frustrated when the opinions expressed were not group speak; meanwhile, back at the Fox studio, the anchors were outraged and disgusted by McAllister.

Late Night FDL: Fred Karger, Composer and Fred Karger, Candidate


I am very fascinated by the controversy surrounding GOP presidential candidate Fred Karger and the GOP’s fear of him. And for me it’s personal.

My stepfather, Fred Karger was a film composer and musical supervisor at Columbia, MGM, for Elvis Presley’s goofball oeuvres (Harum Scarum, Kissin’ Cousins, Frankie and Johnny, etc.) and later for a series of campy independent films like Riot on Sunset Strip. He’s best known for the theme songs he wrote: From Here to Eternity, Magnificent Obsession, Gidget, Gidget Goes Hawaiian, and for his love life: He dated Marilyn Monroe for a number of years and was married twice to Jane Wyman. And once to my mom. Fred, who died in 1979, was super cool and a great stepfather. Every day I give thanks for having him in my life, for all the amazing people I met through him, and for showing me you can live life by following your creative dreams.

So when the name Fred Karger first popped up in my inbox during the Proposition 8 campaign, I did a huge double take, it’s a pretty unusual name. Well, this Fred Karger was the founder/director of Californians Against Hate and would send emails detailing his work on four boycotts against the Mormon Church and formal ethics violation complaints leading to investigations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormon Church) and the National Organization for Marriage in California and Maine. This Fred Karger was a Republican, while my stepfather had supported the Kennedys– though he banned them from Marilyn Monroe’s funeral, as the family story goes, telling Joe DiMaggio

None of those sons of bitches are welcome

Since then, Republican Fred Karger–who worked on nine presidential campaigns and served as a senior consultant on campaigns for Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and Gerald Ford–has become a frequent correspondent since he’s running for president as a Republican.

But Fred Karger has been excluded from the debates by a constantly shifting series of rules put in place by debate organizers. But it seems more like the other candidates and GOP Powers That Be want him excluded because of his political and social stances. He’d like to make the Republican party more open and inclusive. He is also openly gay, supports same-sex marriage, and

Oh and he’s Jewish, not that religion should be an issue in any campaign because the Constitution states that Congress should establish no religion; to run the country under Christian law is the same principle as running the country under sharia law.

Fred Karger, Republican candidate, has been shut out of the Fox GOP debates and the CNN GOP debates, and now:

NBC News will broadcast a GOP presidential debate…And still Fred Karger won’t be permitted to participate. Please sign this petition to get Fred Karger on the GOP stage

My stepfather, composer Fred Karger, never wanted to be president of the United States. But I love seeing someone with his name running. And I would like to hear from a GOP candidate who is not bigot, who doesn’t pander to people’s religious mania, and who doesn’t push xenophobic, homophobic buttons while claiming God is all mad at America. I’d to see the GOP allow a qualifying candidate to speak rationally about the issues that are important: The economy, energy, and getting out of the War-in-’Stans (which would actually solve the other two matters!).

You can sign the petition here.

[Thanks Teddy!]


Buh-bye Rupert! Jude Law Claims Phone Hack in New York


An alleged 2003 News of the World phone hack of actor Jude Law and his personal assistant Ben Jackson while the duo were in New York is the first specific case of Rupert Murdoch’s law-breaking reporters operating in America.

Because the mobile phones were operating on American networks, United States law applies. Hacking into phones is a violation of Federal law and could also involve civil suits. Both Jude Law and Ben Jackson have retained counsel.

The FBI has already announced it is opening a preliminary investigation into claims that allegations that the scandal-ridden scandal mongers tried to hack into the phones of victims of the September 11 attacks.

The Telegraph reports a source close to the actor and Jackson said:

The allegation that they may have been hacked while on private visit in the United States is of great concern to them both.

It should also be of great concern to politicians, citizens, and to Fox News whose media commentators admitted last week that they wouldn’t touch the News Corp hacking debacle

with a ten-foot turban

Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck Support Alec Baldwin Run for NYC Mayor


Alec Baldwin’s so-far theoretical run for mayor–which is based on a a “pal” talking to the Daily (something that may or may not have been okayed by Baldwin, since “friends” leaking stuff can be a classic tabloid move engineered by the subject)–has gotten its first celeb power couple endorsement, weirdly via Fox & Friends.

Jennifer Garner guested on FNC three stooges’ morning show Thursday to discuss Save the Children’s early education initiative, and when asked about her fellow thespian’s mayoral dreams said:

I think he would give us all a run for his money. He’s awesome, I love Alec. I think he should go for it. He could run and let people vote!

Garner,told F&F that she supports Baldwin’s run. as does Affleck:

Yes, I stand up for Alec Baldwin!…

When asked if Affleck would support Baldwin,the actress at first politely declined to speak for her husband, then laughed:

Oh have no idea what Ben would say, he would… Yes, Ben stands up for Alec Baldwin too!

adding that she didn’t see her spouse running for office anything soon.

Ooooh, let’s hope Alec Baldwin does run, if only for the who’s wearing what/fashion do’s and don’ts at the various fundraisers (and hopefully the inaugural ball)!

Sarah Palin Revs Some Engines

Former lots-of-things Sarah Palin rode on the back of motorcycle driven by a woman (Todd rode his own) at the Rolling Thunder motorcycle run which began at the Pentagon and featured four hundred thousand hog riders. Rolling Thunder supports the efforts to find those missing in action. Ahis was not an official Palin bus stop Sarah did not give a formal speech when the ride ended at the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial though she did tell Fox

I love the smell of emissions

Conflict at Fox over Birtherism

Glenn Beck comments on the new passport form, which may go into effect for people who don’t have birth certificates:

Why don’t you just put nipple clamps on Americans over this?

Actually, the proposed “biographical form” is intended for those people who are unable to provide the usual proof of citizenship required for a US passport – namely, a birth certificate, consular report of birth abroad or naturalization certificate.

Glenn, do you see anything about “certificate of live birth” on there? Nooooo.

Glenn, can’t you see this is an effort on your side’s part to corral Obama? To catch him and prove he is not a US citizen?

And as your compatriot Monica Crowley points out, the birther movement has traction because, well, Obama does “un-American” things that give the impression he is not “one of us.”

Fox News Goes All Infomercial with Marlon Wayans

It kinda made sense for Fox and Friends to have Marlon Wayans on Thursday morning to talk about Lindsay Lohan, celebrity, and Jennifer Lopez’s rise from the Fox Network’s original 1980s series In Living Color to platinum recording artist/American Idol judge.

Marlon’s gum chewing was kinda weirding me out and thanks to F&F co-host Steve Doocey, it all became clear: The comic’s appearance was a tragically forced attempt to promote a brand of gum. Just the gum. Not how the chewing gum company is donating to <insert cause here> or promoting <good deeds here>. Just that they sell gum.

That doesn’t seem very fair or balanced to the advertisers…

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