Hasan Minhaj has another excellent show about how private equity firms are destroying the newspaper industry the way they have destroy so many other companies, by borrowing money to buy troubled companies, saddling those companies with that debt, squeezing as much money as they can by cutting jobs and selling assets and paying themselves huge fees, and then walking away leaving the companies to die.
Ah, the glorious working of capitalism!
I have been impressed at how these shows have been able to put out such good stuff while everyone is at home. Samantha Bee takes us behind the scenes to show how she and her team did it. It is interesting to see all the people involved who are normally behind the scenes explain what they do. They all look so young! No wonder the show has such energy and topicality.
The pattern should be familiar to any observer of the US media. When the US government wants to discredit the leader of a nation that it dos not like, it trumps up some charge, gets some ostensibly neutral party (that is often covertly funded by the CIA or other US government agency) to support the charge, and much of the mainstream US media obediently snaps into line and parrots the charge, providing cover for those who want to overthrow that country’s leader. Then long after the overthrow has occurred, the US media that led the charge quietly acknowledge that the basis on which they called for the overthrow was wrong. But the damage has been done.
The recent events have resulted in a lot of fake news circulating on the internet by people trying to paint the demonstrations in the worst possible light. People have been using clips of fires from the past have been posted suggesting that these were part of the current demonstrations. A news reporter said of hearing of some protests in Oakland, CA becoming unruly and so he contacted another reporter whom he knew was on the scene to ask what was going on and being told that the people were doing the electric slide. (You can listen at the 17:50 mark of this program.)
This unruliness seems to be catching on elsewhere.
The scene tonight in South Minneapolis.
I’d be lying if I said this didn’t warm my heart. pic.twitter.com/JBLeH6UsTu
— Shaquille Brewster (@shaqbrewster) June 3, 2020
I do not have an Instagram account and thus have never been to the site or used it in any way. All that I know about it comes from what people tell me and what I read in the media. It seems to be a favored platform for so-called ‘influencers’, people who use their accounts to promote products and in order to more effectively do so portray their lives in an unrelentingly upbeat way.
This morning, authorities announced that Derek Chauvin, who was the Minneapolis police officer whose knee on George Floyd resulted in his death, has been arrested and charged with third-degree murder.
Last night, protests continued in Minneapolis by people demanding that justice be done and some of those protests turned violent with buildings being set on fire.. As is often the case, the police in the US make bad situations worse by using excessive force against people who are protesting or just covering the protests even when it is clear that they could have de-escalated the situation. Last night a black CNN reporter and his producer and camera operator were arrested while covering the ongoing protests even as they politely asked the police where they should move to avoid interfering with whatever the police were doing.
In the killing of the black jogger by two white men Gregory McMichael and his son Travis that was captured on video, the role of he videographer William Bryan, Jr. was always suspicious. Clearly he was not a mere passerby who happened to have filmed it with a dashcam. He seemed to be following Arbery. He then said he had given the video to the police and local prosecutors who, despite the damning nature of the killing shown on it, did not charge the two men with the murder and indeed did nothing for two months, until the video was leaked to a local media outlet, apparently by Bryan. Bryan was reported to live in the same area and the McMichaels and they knew each other. It was all very murky but highly suspicious
In an article titled The Pessimistic Style in American Politics appearing in the May 2020 issue of Harper’s Magazine (subscription required), Thomas Frank looks at the origins of the word ‘populism’ and how it went from being used to describe a movement that embraced progressive and egalitarian goals to being deliberately distorted by the elites to make it represent the views of anarchic and reactionary views, and how that revised meaning of the term was used to stop the Bernie Sanders campaign and other reform movements, by arguing that populism unleashes the basest impulses of the mass of people. (The article is excerpted from a new book by Frank titled The People, No: A Brief History of Anti-Populism.)