News Articles By Lisa Graves

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Tribune Plans Millions in Exec Bonuses while Reporting Gets Cut

A U.S. federal bankruptcy court is expected to rule this week on whether the bankrupt Tribune media company can pay its executives big bonuses despite the cuts to its reporting staff. According to Business Insider, the Tribune is seeking to pay out over $45 million to its executives (down from $70 million this summer). The Tribune company probably owns a paper near you: the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, Sun Sentinel (South Florida), Orlando Sentinel, Hartford Courant, Morning Call and Daily Press and 23 TV stations and more.

Talk about bankster envy! What's a failing media conglomerate that has slashed staff and frozen salaries doing giving such golden parachutes to management, while ad revenues plummet? It must be hard for the top dogs to take a critical look at the big bankster bonuses when they are pressing hard to line their own wallets. I must confess that I do have a bias, having seen some great investigative reporters I know laid off by the Tribune's "cost-saving" measures, which apparently do not including saving millions of dollars at the top.

Citizens United Is a Radical Rewriting of the Constitution by Pro-Corporate Supreme Court

Five Republican appointees to the U.S. Supreme Court just struck down critically important laws regulating corporations' influence on election and public policy. The Center for Media and Democracy strongly opposes this radical decision by a bare majority of the Supreme Court to rewrite the First Amendment and give corporations even greater influence in elections and public policy. With this decision, huge corporations like Goldman Sachs and AIG will be able to use their enormous wealth to run campaigns against the president or any person who might oppose their agenda.

In our view, this decision is terrible for our democracy. The corruption of policy development we have already seen by the big insurance companies in the health care debate, by the big banks opposing regulations to protect our economy, and the big oil companies slowing efforts to address global warming, even under the current rules that the Court just struck down, show this decision will make things worse. We cannot sit on the sidelines and let this radical decision stand.

Americans Before CorporationsYou can help us stand up to the Court by casting your vote against this judicial activist decision and sending a strong rebuke. Please sign our petition and help put Americans before corporations. Please tell your friends, family and colleagues about this important issue and urge them to sign the petition. We also have a new "Corporate Rights portal" we are launching in SourceWatch to help educate the general public about these issues and provide a gateway for getting more involved. You can bookmark this link to the Corporate Rights portal to stay up-to-date on the latest news about this issue.

Thank you for Demanding a Full Investigation of AHIP's Double-Dealing

Thank you for demanding a full investigation into the health insurance industry's expensive double-dealing.

We, the people, deserve to know the true extent of the double-dealing of the insurance industry. And, we deserve to know how much of our health insurance premiums have been spent not on providing health care but on underwriting ads and lobbying against health care reform.

We'll deliver this petition to Congress and let you know about it.

Please share this [] with your friends.

Sign Our New Petition to "Repo the Dough" and Put Wall Street to Work Rebuilding Main Street

This Holiday Season, for too many Americans, "It's Not Such a Wonderful Life." Reckless Wall Street gambling collapsed the economy. The big bankers, like Mr. Potter, got theirs – an unbelievable $3 trillion in government help! It worked so well that Wall Street will pay out some $140 billion in bonuses this year.

But what about George Bailey and the rest of us? Where is the help for the 16 million Americans who are now out of work? The millions of unemployed facing foreclosure? The millions more teetering on the brink of personal bankruptcy?

New Letter from Wendell Potter to the Senate on Aetna and Corporate Spin

Here is a letter the Center for Media and Democracy's Wendell Potter recently sent to the Senate about the health care reform efforts and corporate spin:

My name is Wendell Potter, the former insurance industry insider speaking out about how insurance companies have hijacked our health care system in service of Wall Street's relentless profit expectations. I am joined in this letter by Andrew Kurz, a former chief financial officer for Wisconsin Blue Cross and Blue Shield who shares these concerns.

We stand together for immediately reforming the plainly broken U.S. health care system with its spiraling premium costs and harmful loopholes. Business as usual is taking a terrible toll on Americans, on government budgets, and on our nation's ability to compete in the global marketplace. This is unacceptable and unsustainable.

Frank Capra: Great Movie Maker, Brilliant Financial Analyst

The Center for Media and Democracy's BanksterUSA campaign released a new video today, "It's NOT Such a Wonderful Life," saluting the classic film by Frank Capra. Our short video takes footage from the 1946 black and white film to make a point about today's financial crisis and the need for Congress to step up efforts to regulate banks so that this type of catastrophic financial meltdown never happens again. You can view our video at our BanksterUSA website or on our new YouTube channel. We hope you'll share the video with your friends.

Wendell Potter in Arkansas: Real World Fears v. the Boogeyman

This Thanksgiving season, I am thankful for so many things: my life, family, friends, freedoms, and new job at the Center for Media and Democracy. I feel lucky to be working with a team devoted to making a real difference in people's lives as we out spin and press for change. And, with the broken health insurance system, I am thankful to work at CMD with a real-life hero, Wendell Potter, who is fighting tirelessly for families across the country so that parents and children and grandparents and grandchildren can have real access to needed health care to save their lives and thrive.

Because Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) is a key swing vote on health care reform, CMD's Wendell was in Arkansas Thanksgiving week. As noted in Thanksgiving Day's Arkansas News: