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Archive for June 18, 2017

PBS Airing RW Sponsored School Privatization Propaganda

video 15:30

Thanks to an alert from the Thom Hartman radio program ( 11AM to 2PM daily) we were able to find an article at Media Matters that detailed the story of these privatization propaganda.

So let’s go to Media Matters for the story:

“Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and her department have pushed for an expansion of privatized school choice programs in the proposed budget for fiscal year 2018, particularly in the form of private school vouchers. Now a propagandistic three-part documentary series called School Inc. will help DeVos in her efforts to gain public support for expanded private school choice options. The series has already aired on PBS stations in some markets and will be shown on more this month.”

< < snip >>

In addition to School Inc.’s roots in the radical, libertarian Cato Institute, education historian and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch found that the film was funded by a number of arch-conservative foundations with ties to the “dark money ATM” DonorsTrust and the Ayn Rand Institute. Ravitch has prescreened School Inc. and provided this scathing review to The Washington Post:

This program is paid propaganda. It does not search for the truth. It does not present opposing points of view. It is an advertisement for the demolition of public education and for an unregulated free market in education. PBS might have aired a program that debates these issues, but “School Inc.” does not.

Why would a public broadcast channel air a documentary that is produced by a right-wing think tank and funded by ultra-conservative donors, and that presents a single point of view without meaningful critique, all the while denigrating public education? PBS responded in part with a statement to the Post, saying, “PBS and local member stations aim to offer programs that reflect diverse viewpoints and promote civic dialogue on important topics affecting local communities.”

However, as Ravitch notes, when a documentary fails to objectively present information about a topic that may not be well understood by the general public, the result is unlikely to “promote civic dialogue.” And when major media outlets uncritically provide a platform to right-wing ideologues, they further misinform and polarize the debate around important issues such as public education.”

editor comment:
PBS is looked to as a trusted brand. One of their calling cards is their supposed objectivity. Airing a series of programs that are little more than propaganda for a single point of view badly damages that trust with the public.

Sunday Funday: Fair And Balanced Edition

Fox News has dropped its “Fair and Balanced “ slogan. It seems the slogan is more a victim of the purge of the Roger Ailes stench than it is that they are finally recognizing what a joke it was

I was hoping there would be a contest for a new slogan. I have come up with one based on reality and supported by study after study: “Get Fox and Get Stupid.”

Meanwhile, NBC News will take a shot at ending their credibility tonight when they have former Fox icon Megyn Kelly interview alternate reality dude (and Sandy Hook denier) Alex Jones. For those who like death scenes, seeing NBC News have a collective heart attack could be “must see TV.”

I can’t even keep up with the news anymore. Can you?

1) Whole Foods got swallowed up by what mega-corporation Friday?

2) Here’s a surprise! What two huge agriculture related corporations were approved for merger by the Justice Department Friday?

3) Gov. Reynolds announce what action to solve Iowa’s continuing major revenue shortfalls?

4) Forty-five years ago yesterday five men were arrested committing burglary at what little know hotel in Washington DC?

5) Once again what female senator dare ask questions in a committee hearing, only to be interrupted by John McCain asking for her to be reprimanded?

6) Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski assured Alaskans she is committed to funding what group hated by the GOP in a health care bill?

7) Republican senate leadership tried to stop interviews of all senators in what location only to have it backfire?

8) Last weekend marches were held around the country to protest Sharia Law in the US. How many states currently have Sharia Law?

9) Steve Scalise, the congress member injured in the gun attack Wednesday, represents what state?

10) Iowa Gov. Reynolds was sued by a group of disabled Iowans concerning state policies on what?

11) Which team won the NBA title and then unanimously rejected any visit to the White House?

12) Senator Angus King of Maine had a rough Q&A with Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions. What party is Senator King?

13) Australia’s PM Malcolm Turnbull was caught on tape making fun of what other pompous world leader?

14) North Korea released American student Otto Warmbier last week. Warmbier was reported in a coma after a time in North Korean prison. Why was Warmbier in North Korea to begin with?

15) A month ago, Newt Gingrich said this man was perfect for the job. By last Tuesday Gingrich claimed the man was a partisan and unfit for the job. Who is the man and what is his job?

16) There is a special election this Tuesday to fill whose seat left vacant by a cabinet appointment?

17) This week in the US (Friday 6/09/2017 – Friday 6/16/2017) there were how many mass shooting in the US?

18) A high rise apartment fire killed at 17 with many more expected in what major world capital?

19) June 24th, 1948 began one of the hottest parts of the cold war when the Soviet Union imposed what?

20) Helmut Kohl, former German chancellor died Friday. It was under his leadership that what major project took place in Germany?

A belated Happy Juneteenth (June 15th) to everyone! If you don’t know what it is you really need to look it up!


1) Amazon {chomp, chomp}

2) Dow and DuPont – that should spur competition!

3) She will tap the emergency funds. Used to be emergency funds were for emergencies not to cover screw-ups. Branstad left her holding the bag, didn’t he?

4) Watergate

5) Sen. Kamala Harris of California

6) Planned Parenthood

7) In the hallways where reporters often interview senators.

8) none, nor does the federal government. It was a march to oppose some monster in the closet.

9) Louisiana

10) privatizing Medicaid which they say has drastically affected their lives. Branstad left he holding the bag on that one also.

11) Golden State Warriors

12) he is an independent

13) our current president

14) he went on tour with a company that advertises trips to places “your mother wants you to stay away from.”

15) Robert Mueller heading up the investigation of Russian interference in our elections.

16) former Georgia rep. Tom Price. The election uses unverifiable touchscreen voting machines.

17) 12 – see here

18) London

19) a blockade on West Berlin which at the time was deep in Soviet controlled East Germany – countered with the Berlin airlift

20) The reunification of Germany after the fall of the Soviet bloc.

Flying over Iowa in a private jet doesn’t allow our governor to appreciate the washboard quality of many of our roads. We have had several encounters with them this week. Looks like Branstad left Reynolds holding the bag on that one also. Way to dump on her, Branny!