Friday, August 10, 2007

Web misinformation article misleading.

SPFLD 200708100620 (Friday, August 10, 2007 at 620 a.m.)

Friday’s Heartland Magazine inserted in the Illinois State Journal Register presents a syndicated article by Bill Husted of Cox News Service titled “Avoid a Web of misinformation” which offers tips on where to find credible information on the Internet, an appallingly simplistic, misguided message.

The message is couched or framed in paranoia and assumed audience ignorance. The author first begins by describing the Internet being filled with disinformation that is prettied-up by nice looking Web pages where “they can say what they want.” Now the tension is set. We all should be more wary of the Internet than usual at this moment.

Then the author uses only one arcane and wild example of a Web site that implies that the Freemasons have found and use secret “Free energy” to fly UFOs around the planet. He finishes off with “There are plenty of sites like that.” Very plausible, but plenty does not make a majority. (Of course he didn’t say it, but it’s easily inferred by the audience, so why not imply it?)

Now for the meat of the message, the instructions.

“First, stick to brand names. Sites run by large professional organizations are more likely to have the resources to do good research” writes Husted, but we must remember that large professional organizations have what we call “Sacred Cows,” their advertisers and investors whom you will never read about.

Barry Diller created Fox Broadcasting and ran some of the world's media giants: ABC Entertainment, Paramount, Vivendi Universal. And is even now chairman and CEO of USA Interactive, itself an empire of informational services from the Home Shopping Network to Ticketmaster. Barry Diller now owns, one of the major search engines of the Internet. Although not Google, it’s still used by millions of people every day. How many search results at would result in anything outside of Berry Diller’s empire?

Bill Husted doesn’t mention, he mentions CNet, CNN, WebMB, Microsoft (MSN) and “…most newspaper sites.” Every one of which is supported by large interest groups, advertisers, and investors who can pull on the purse-strings that dictate what information gets the research and publication.

I used the Columbia Journalism Review to discover the parent companies of those mentioned by Husted.

CNN’s parent company is Time Warner. Time Warner also owns AOL, Mapquest, Spinner, Netscape,, and thousands of media outlets including Turner Cable networks, enough media coverage to satisfy the perception of variety.

CNet is its own entity, but it has plenty of it’s own problems, On October 11, 2006, Shelby Bonnie resigned as chairman and CEO as a result of stock options backdating that occurred between 1996 and 2003. Neil Ashe was named as the new CEO.[Reuters]; NEW YORK, Aug 2 () - The U.S. securities regulator has turned a probe into stock options granting practices at CNET Networks Inc. into a formal investigation, the company said. []

WebMD is owned by Emdeon Corporation which has recently changed its name to HLTH Corporation. HLTH owns ViPS which handles medical information for “services to governmental, Blue Cross Blue Shield and commercial healthcare payers.” When you use WebMD, can you truly count on your information being private?

Finally, Bull Husted ends his article by reminding us “There are times when you need absolute certainty. Maybe the future of your business depends on a correct answer, and you can’t afford a gotcha.”

Links like those offered at can help prevent being trapped within the large vertically integrated empires like those suggested.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Federal Legislators on Summer Break

Our U.S. Senators and Congressmen are on their August break. You might see them around your district. We, the people expected change after the 2006 election, and the rumors going around are that the Democrats have rolled over and have not been effective since they have become a majority.

But, we, the people rolled over. We only gave the Democrats a simple majority, not an overriding majority. For the Democrats to be effective against the onslaught of warmongering predatory capitalists, an overriding majority is needed, a better than two-thirds majority that can override a Presidential veto or some other arcane parliamentary procedure.

So we have nothing to complain about but our own inability to elect an effective majority of legislators different from those who dominated our government for the last six years.

Friday, August 03, 2007

O'Rielly blasts Daily Kos - Dodd Steps Up.


Thursday night, Chris Dodd took Bill O'Reilly to task for his unfair attacks against Daily Kos and the netroots. Watch the full interview here: