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Despite hysterical headlines of an “historic” storm: Irene is a Category 1 Hurricane

7:44 am in Uncategorized by Liz Berry

cross post from IfLizWereQueen

The Truth of Irene’s Strength? –not nearly that of her related headlines for the past two days from the US media.

Here is the latest report from the National Hurricane Center as of 6:03 AM Central Time and the hurricane  still has not made landfall on the US shores.

*Note:  A Category 1 is the lowest category on the Saffir-Simpson scale before a storm is classified as a tropical storm.

I guess they’ll have to dream up another distraction to keep our minds off the jobs that they are not creating, the Keystone Pipeline, and other real issues as these headlines have now proven themselves to be what they are:  Hyperboles of the first degree.  [On the plus side maybe this is their idea of stimulating the economy as no doubt millions of people went out and purchased items they might not have otherwise bought--water, flashlights, motel rooms inland, etc.  Of course this may not have been on the plus side for many of these people as they might not have been able to afford these purchases.]

But the problem and danger with this type of exaggerated and irresponsible reporting is the same as that of the little boy who cried wolf.  Maybe next time it really will be a Category 3 hurricane and thousands of people will not heed the warnings.

Addendum [added after publication of post]

This is not like it is the first time that the public have been grossly mislead by false impending apocalyptic warnings from the main stream media. Only a few months ago they were predicting that major portions of the West Coast were going to be consumed by a tsumini, resulting from the Japanese earthquake.

Tips for Citizen Journalists: What is wrong with the Reporting of U.S. Media?

8:14 am in Uncategorized by Liz Berry

At worst, mainstream media reports on pseudo events.  At best, its treatment of real issues is sensational and superficial

The same thing is true of the U.S. media that is true of the U.S. Congress:  Even at their best (which is not seen often) they address the symptoms (such as need for jobs) and ignore identification and repair of the root cause (the underlying broken economic ideology that has created unemployment).  After watching a CURRENT TV presentation last night on the subject of OxyContin, my initial impression was: “Wow! this is a story.  This is ‘real’ reporting.”  However, after spending a few hours afterwards reflecting on the show, my assessment of that presentation is: “Wow! this is half a story.”  True, even half a story is often not even told on mainstream media; however, half a story is not good enough–not to bring about real change at a root level of causation.


For example, here is at least part of the other half of the OxyContin story that was not told:

1. The role that Purdue Pharma and its investors played in actively creating this situation was  not mentioned. This Connecticut based drug company has been sued by several American States and Providences from Canada. Purdue has been charged time and time again with irresponsible marketing of the powerful pain reliever although its two highest executives, CEO Michael Friedman and CLO Howard Udell pled guilty to these marketing charges, they shout their innocents from podiums across the country and blame everyone else for the deaths of thousands.  That’s what Wall Street and the rich do best:  blame their victims.  They call it “individual responsibility” and it is part of their broken economic ideology. It was all Someone Else’s Fault [That should be the mantra of Wall Street and the Rich. That, or perhaps: "Who me?"] In this particular example, OxyContin addiction is the fault of uneducated poor people who are for the most part under the age of 25–not the sophisticated marketeers of Purdue Pharma who intentionally, by their own admission, market the drug under false pretenses.

2. Stories of how citizens are fighting back. For example, in my research I read where some pharmacies are refusing to carry OxyContin–not all out of altruistic motives: some are doing it to reduce the incidence of robberies. It is empowering for citizens to know what they can do to fight back against such injustice so responsible reporting should include suggestions for remedies to the situation that citizens can take now.


3. The disgraceful role that our current Attorney General, Eric Holder played in the current OxyContin epidemic.

In 2001 West Virginia filed a suit against the secretly held firm of Purdue Pharma alleging that the firm had intent in “coercive and deceptive” selling of OxyContin.  In November 2004, Eric Holder helped bargain a settlement. Working in the judge’s chambers in West Virginia, he put together an consent beneath that the firm would have to pay $10 million over 4 years in to drug abuse and preparation programs in West Virginia — and Purdue Pharma would not have to confess any wrongdoing!

Eric Holder managed to silence public awareness of Purdue Pharma and what they  had done since there would be no hearing and no public papers. Did Holder’s “hands in the pockets of Purdue Pharma” enable this widespread of OxyContin demise and obsession via the nation to perpetuate? Many people think it did.  You can count me among them.

4. Emphasis on the fact that the problem does not just impact the poor white underclass or “Hillbillies” as they are sometimes called.  Part of the program last night featured the crowded jails in Kentucky and interviews with several women, mothers of children under the age of five, were serving 7 year sentences for selling OxyContin. As I watched it I thought: HMMMM 7 years.  I wonder how much that costs taxpayers?  Another hidden price that the majority pay for crimes that are nurtured and grown for profit by Wall Street Corporations.

So I looked it up this morning and found that Incarceration costs nearly $22,000 per inmate, per year in Kentucky [SOURCE].  So one woman would cost the taxpayers of Kentucky $154,000 for her seven-year stay.  Just imagine this creative solution instead:  Allocate approximately half that amount to be used toward her education with the requirement that it be paid back through a low-interest loan. Could we possibly get past our need to punish people and work to actually turn them around into citizens who contribute to society?

5. That more of the same is coming down the pike.

Part of a whole story would include, if true, facts to indicate that the problem is far from solved.  For example, my research after viewing this show revealed that yet another Wall Street Corporation is seeking FDA approval to Market Generic OxyContin.

DOW Jones NEWSWIRES  June 14, 2011 – Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. (WPI) on Friday confirmed it is seeking Food and Drug Administration approval to market oxycodone hydrochloride extended-relief tablets for several strengths, a generic version of Purdue Pharma LP’s OxyContin.



So many of the stories on mainstream media report on pseudo events such as the Balloon Boy, Reverend Wright rants, and Weiner’s twitter escapades.

These stories should be addressed only to discredit them as not being newsworthy.

For the other stories that are reported on mainstream media, we should look closely at them and ask ourselves:  Is there more to this story than is being told?

Most often, asking this question will lead to answers such as the ones I uncovered in regard to the OxyContin story.

NOTE:  Here is an update on what the former criminal leaders of Purdue Pharma are doing today.


Who owns our so-called “liberal” media and 82 members of Congress: GE

7:01 am in Uncategorized by Liz Berry

The most “liberal” pundits on mainstream corporate media can be found on MSNBC.  These would include:  Lawrence O’Donnell; Rachel Maddow; Ed Schultz; and until recently, Keith Olbermann.  If you want to include comedians, we can add Jon Stewart and Colbert.  There you have the so-called “liberal” media of mainstream media.

General Electric own and control 80% of the NBC network family. This means that all of these people (O’Donnell, Maddow, Schultz, Olbermann, Stewart and Colbert) along with 82 member of Congress profit from the Wall Street investment in General Electric.  In other words, what is good for GE is also good for them.

General Electric is one of the largest and most influential major corporations that dominate and control American media. In 2009 its revenue was as high as $157 billion.  NBC journalists have a record of not pointing out GE’s environmental record.  In 1990, NBC Nightly News ran a fourteen minute coverage over a three day span about a breast cancer detection machine produced by GE, without mentioning the fact that it was produced by NBC’s owners.

In addition, GE has be able to influence other media sources that it does not own through its advertising and sponsorship.  For example, it cutoff a multimillion dollar deal to fund Audubon TV specials when its special on logging and ranching encouraged a campaign threatening to boycott GE products, PBS was a beneficiary of sponsorship by GE when it decided not to screen the Oscar winning documentary, Deadly Deception: General Electric, Nuclear Weapons, and Our Environment.  In 1995 GE was sued by the environmental group Ozone Action for advertising its refrigerators as “o-zone safe,” when in reality they utilized ozone depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbons. GE has portrayed itself as an environmentally friendly company despite numerous occurrences that prove otherwise. Four of its factories are on EPA’s list of most dangerous industrial sources of toxic air pollution. It has also been sued in several states for environmental destruction ranging from radioactive waste found in sewage to the dumping of PCB’s into rivers. [SOURCE FOR GE FACTS].

In 2003, acting on concerns that the plan proposed by GE did not “provide for adequate protection of public health and the environment,” the United States Environmental Protection Agency issued a unilateral administrative order for the company to “address cleanup at the GE site” in Rome, Georgia,  also contaminated with PCBs. [SOURCE]

The reactors involved in the 2011 crisis at Fukushima I in Japan are GE designs.



I don’t know about you, but I hold all these people responsible for the company they keep and the stock that they own.

And I start right at the top with President Obama.  President Obama appointed Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric as one of his financial advisors. General Electric is among the biggest corporate freeloaders on Wall Street.   In 2009 GE netted a $10.8 billion profit.  It paid zero U.S. income tax for that tax year AND thanks to tax breaks crafted, no doubt by Congressional stock owners of GE, GE got to add a “tax benefit” of $1.1 billion back into its reported earnings.[SOURCE: CNN MONEY]  GE did even better in 2010, their profit rose 51%. {SOURCE]

I don’t have any problem with people getting rich.  I have a huge problem with people getting rich at my expense. When mega-corporations like GE pay no income tax and ordinary citizens of the USA pay on average 25% of their annual income in taxes, I have a huge problem with GE.

When the President of our nation appoints the CEO of such a corporation as one of his financial advisors, he is giving his stamp of approval to a corporation who cheats the American people.  When 82 elected officials in Congress own stock in GE, they are giving their stamp of approval to a corporation who cheats the American people.



Become an Activist Educator on the Topic of Corporate Propaganda

6:27 am in Uncategorized by Liz Berry

Note: Here is an excerpt from a new [free] PDF featured from the main menu of iflizwerequeen. Resources for Media Activists.

Media Reform Advocacy Groups:

Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR)

Media Channel

Media Access Project

Media Alliance

Center for Creative Voices in Media

Take Back the Media

Reclaim the Media

Free Press

Media Matters

Action Coalition for Media Education (ACME)

Media Watch

Media Transparency: The Money Behind the Media

Rocky Mountain Media Watch

Media Geek

Media Transparency

Media Tenor

And there are many many more Links to these sources–9 pages of them to be exact. This document provides URLs that will hook you up to many groups and information regarding citizen efforts to raise public awareness of the degree to which we are influenced by corporate-owned mainstream media.


Please, at least once a week publish an article that calls attention to the influence of propaganda in the media. We must tell the public how they can combat corporate sponsored propaganda.  We must provide them with tools. It’s not enough to rant, those who know must also educate. Become one who knows and then grow the ranks of the truth-tellers by becoming one yourself. A lot of Americans are getting on the bandwagon to stop media manipulation and more are joining every day. Until people are trained how to recognize poisoned Kool-Aid, they will continue to drink it.

Billions of dollars are spent every year to influence the minds of Americans–from 2 year olds to 100+ year olds. One of the most pathetic things about propaganda is that a lot of it comes directly from our elected officials.

“Propaganda” is the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist. In addition, it is characterized by strategies such as slander, whisper campaigns (such as the Goldman Sachs campaign to trash Bear Stearns), repetition of misinformation, and outright lies. And finally, propaganda, while furthering the desired intent of the propagandists [carnies], more often than not harms the citizens [rubes] who are the targets of this manipulation.

The PDF is free–yours for the taking and also for passing it on to your friends as well.


Iflizwerequeen – Heads would roll and the people would have more to eat than questionable table scraps tossed to them from the banquet table of the rich.