The Taming of Al Jazeera

The New York Times reports, "When a Saudi court sentenced a young woman to 200 lashes in November after she pressed charges against seven men who had raped her, the case provoked outrage and headlines around the world, including in the Middle East. But not at Al Jazeera, the Arab world's leading satellite television channel, seen by 40 million people. ...


USA Today: Pushing John Edwards Out of the Race?

John Edwards: squeezed out?A USA Today article analyzing the electability of presidential candidates running in Iowa barely mentioned John Edwards, even though Edwards is the only Democrat besides Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama who consistently polls in the double digits in Iowa, according to


FCC: Big Media Should Get Bigger

On a three to two party line vote, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to overturn "a 32-year-old ban," allowing "broadcasters in the nation's 20 largest media markets to also own a newspaper." FCC Chair Kevin Martin, who proposed the change, called it "a relatively minor loosening" of media ownership rules.


Featured Participatory Project: Add to the Congresspedia Voting Record Resource Center

Wading through the thousands of votes that Congress performs each year can be an arduous task, but the CMD staff has created the Congresspedia Voting Record Resource Center to help you get to the bottom of what your senators and representative have been doing in Washington. There you'll find step-by-step instructions on how to add information on how they voted on topics like immigration, torture and children's healthcare to their "permanent record" - their Congresspedia profile.


'Tis the Season for Push Polling

The Delaware-based group Common Sense Issues is using automated phone calls to Iowa voters to talk up Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and spread negative information about his rivals. Mitt Romney's campaign has asked the Iowa attorney general to investigate the push poll calls.


Cool Citizen Journalism: User "Artificial Intelligence" Digs into Obama's Money Train

SourceWatch/Congresspedia user Artificial Intelligence has been doing a lot of fantastic work on the wiki lately, particularly on the 2008 presidential election. She recently picked up on a common practice in politics - the easiest way for politicians to show gratitude and allegiance to each other is for the big dogs to kick some campaign contributions down to the folks on the lower rungs. The fundraising juggernaut that is Obama 2008 has apparently had a lot of gratitude to show lately. She says:

A recent analysis conducted by PoliticalMoneyLine of 2008 Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama's November 15, 2007, FEC filing revealed that Obama "has been the most aggressive of presidential candidates in using his leadership PAC to help the campaigns of state and local candidates, and not coincidentally, the funds spent that way have gone to Democrats in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. More than one-third of his leadership PAC money is being used this way."

Campaign reports show that in January 2007, when Obama launched his presidential campaign, Hopefund [Obama's PAC] fundraising all but stopped. Since June 2007 Obama has handed out more than $180,000. Additionally, FEC filings for late 2006 through October 2007 show that several recipients of Obama's Hopefund campaign contributions had also endorsed him within months of receiving funds.

Don't Forget the Falsies!

Do your civic duty -- vote for your favorite Falsies!

Groucho maskAt the end of each year, CMD issues the "Falsies Awards," to recognize the people and players that take spin and propaganda to new lows. We need you to help identify the worst of the worst hard at work in 2007. We have put together a juicy selection of nominees -- but we need you to vote and tell us who deserves the Falsies this year.


Check out our Falsies!

It's that time of year -- time to vote for your favorite Falsies!

Groucho mask2007 was a year full of deception, manipulation, prevarication, and Orwellian spin. But now it's payback time! Every day, we at the Center for Media and Democracy are up to our ankles (and sometimes higher) in the corporate spin and government propaganda that PR firms keep churning out. We are all too familiar with the many ways that our information environment gets polluted. We have our "favorites," to be sure -- but now we want to hear what YOU think!


Torturing Evidence in Iraq

According to a "privately contracted interrogator working for American forces in Iraq, near the Iranian border," U.S. intelligence activities in Iraq are skewed to find incriminating evidence against Iran. Micah Brose told The Observer that U.S. officials "push a lot for us to establish a link with Iran. They have pre-categories for us to go through, and by the sheer volume of categories there's clearly a lot more for Iran than there is for other stuff.



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