This blog is all fits and starts. If I’m working in another medium or activity, my brain doesn’t function as a prose machine. During most of my two years with Occupy Wall St. and a year and half transition during home relocation I was out of the making-and-posting-stuff zone. And before that, a year in a half spent writing fiction. I rarely touched my old website and blog. During the move lots of material in various stages of completion got misplaced. So far I’ve compiled here a stream of recent work. The site is still being tweaked. Archived blog commentary is soon coming.
Here’s some important background about this NEWS GOO DISSECTION blog:
Danny Schecter, the News DIssector, who passed a couple years ago, was a very close friend and collaborator. I scored and wrote songs for many of his films, his radio show and promotional tours for his books and docs for a dozen years or more; and did graphic design for his DVDs and book covers. We concocted some fun side projects too like the News Goo compilation based on a song I wrote and produced to promote his book, The More You Watch, The Less You Know. The song is News Goo (The More You Watch, the Less You Know). We did a parody of Steven Brill’s CONTENT mag and called it disCONTENT. Danny mentored me in journalistic media.
Danny got me started writing commentary in prose when he asked me to do a media crit column. I called it PopCult Media. Some of those pieces are archived here. As my way of keeping him banging my ear and staying among us, I’m calling my new blog News Goo DIssection
Since the Harvey Weinstein mess and the lack of GOP pushback against Trump, there’s been much commentary about politicians and people in every line of work who don’t step up when they see corruption, workplace abuse and predatory behavior. There are judges who make consequential rulings that they know are unfair and inhumane due to overly rigid laws. Though justice is their occupation they don’t rule as their conscience demands and loudly proclaim their reasoning. That would put their career track in jeopardy. Virtually the only media critique of the impending disastrous war in Iraq came from military generals. Retired generals. Danny blasted the failure of his profession on that count in his doc, Media Wars. We compiled a CD with that name. You can check out my contribution – also called, Media Wars.
I recall when the Savior of Freedom, Ronald Reagan cut and ran after 241 American servicemen were killed in Lebanon. He fought back on one front: Defeating the ensuing ugly headlines by launching an invasion of the island of Granada; population: fewer than Lakewood, NJ. A glorious victory for the cause of freedom from bad PR. For the first time, press coverage in an American war zone was censored. Every network news anchor should have sat in silence – taking the knee – for the duration of that evening’s news slot in protest of the censorship. None did.
Danny ended his career as a pioneer producer of cable TV news (CNN) and the network news magazine medium (20/20) as a protest against the increasing trend of turning news into an entertainment medium and killing stories if they put corporate station owners and sponsors in a bad light. The More You Watch, The Less You Know explained his motive for tanking a lucrative career. I still have the front page of the NY Post, a Murdoch toy, that Danny brought over. Murdoch used that entire front page as an ad for his flag ship, Fox News, to announce its debut on Time Warner Cable. A fair and balanced preview of journalism in Trumplandia.
Danny Schechter lives in every post on this blog. Google his ass.
— Polar Levine, News Goo Dissection