Famed TV news interviewer Mike Wallace died Saturday at the age of 93, the last giant of a pioneering era that revealed both the power of television to do good and its many failings. Danny Schechter recalls Wallace as a hard-nosed interrogator with the skills of a showman.
As Americans struggle with their tax returns, they are reminded how skewed the tax system has become, with multi-millionaires who live off investments paying a lower rate that middle-class people who go to work every day, a situation that Danny Schechter says deserves protest.
The Occupy Wall Street movement has resisted making specific proposals for reform, focusing instead on its trademark occupation of parks and its protests on behalf of the 99 percent. Some longtime activists now urge OWS to “go left,” but Danny Schechter says it also much broaden its reach to that 99 percent.
International agencies and global movements target human rights violators from small or isolated countries, but the idea of holding accountable the powerful and well-connected who cause much greater human suffering is considered unthinkable, a paradigm that Danny Schechter challenges.
The retirement of Sen. Olympia Snowe and the death of right-wing smear-master Andrew Breitbart are removing two figures who stood on opposite sides of the chasm dividing the old world of collegial collaboration between politicians and the new one of nasty destruction of political opponents, as Danny Schechter observes.
The fact that the American Left lacks the media outreach to the public that the Right has is proving decisive as conservatives consolidate their influence in blue-collar communities that, ironically, are suffering from right-wing excesses of the past three decades, as Danny Schechter explains.
Money has a way of not just talking – but corrupting nearly everything it touches, including awards purportedly meant to honor artistic quality. At this year’s Grammys, some of the less “popular” genres of music have been slashed to streamline the show, as Danny Schechter reports.
Failed businesses – like failed foreign policies – can’t or won’t see around the next corner where unexpected challenges lie. Often the myopia results from a focus on the next quarter or the next election, a shortsightedness that now risks sending the U.S. off to a new war, with Iran, writes Danny Schechter.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta sees a growing chance that Israel will attack Iran’s nuclear sites this spring – despite resistance from the Obama administration. Meanwhile, Danny Schechter attended a conference in Iran on how Hollywood spreads propaganda.
In political philosophy, the idea of a social contract is that the individual surrenders some rights for the benefits of living in a civilized society that has reasonable rules for all. However, in recent decades, the greedy rich have torn up that contract, as Danny Schechter explains.