Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Media Articles Worth Reading

Two worth reading. The assault on the free press in Russia;

The murders of these Kremlin foes - journalists, lawyers and critics of Russia's security services - all have a common theme. Nobody is ever caught and punished. The trial of four men accused of involvement in Politkovskaya's murder is ongoing, but is regarded by human rights activists as a farce. Investigators have failed to catch her assassin and have also apparently been unable to work out who ordered her death. "We can't even call it a trial. The people being convicted aren't the ones who carried it out," Natalia Estemirova of the human rights group Memorial says. After Markelov's slaying last week, the offices of Russia's prime minister, Vladimir Putin, and the country's president, Dmitry Medvedev, were strangely silent. Instead, authorities sent in riot police to break up spontaneous protests in several Russian cities.

And what will happen to the US-right wing media now Obama is in power?

How can Obama achieve his desire for bipartisanship while millions of Americans continue to be turned against him by such performers? Conversely, if Obama succeeds in defusing some of the political hatred that has held sway in America for much of the past 15 years - spawned and supported in part by the rise of talk radio and TV - he will have challenged the talkshow hosts' very reason for being. It is not much of an exaggeration to say that the two sides are at war.

"If Obama turns out to be a very good and unifying president, he could make talk presenters sound petty, which they can't afford to do. If you come across as petty you have no credibility," says Michael Harrison of the talk radio magazine, Talkers.

To some degree they are already sounding petty. With millions of Americans at risk of losing their jobs and homes, Limbaugh's call for Obama to fail sounded a discordant note.


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