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"Outsiders" Media Watch (3/2/2012): What a Month

It has been quite a year on the Media Front. I begin by remembering Andrew Briebart. He helped begin the Huffington Post and went on to create a persona for himself as a Conservative Advocate. Just like all of us, he made mistakes. But, I think he was a visionary and was courageous in what he believed in. His death at the age of 43 reminds us all of how fragile life is and how we should savour every moment. In the heat and passion of the moment, we seem to forget it. I pray for his soul and and hope that his family finds comfort as they deal with this loss.

I have also been assessing the continued challenges faced by News Corps British Arm, News International. I was particuarly struck by the testimony of Sue Akers, the Senior London Met Police Officer noting how the culture of corruption was how business was done. It now has apparently engulfed the Sun. Rupert Murdoch just launched Sun on Sunday that sold over 3 Million copies on its' first release. I saw the retweet from the Guardian on it from Rupert Murdoch. The issue is whether Murdoch will escape the wrath of the US Justice Department for potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. It is one of those stories truly worth watching.

Beyond the predicament of News Corp, the other story that has been given Scant Attention by the US Media has been the story of the monitoring of Muslims in New Jersey by the New York City Police Department. New York City Mayor Bloomberg was unapologetic about despite the potential numerous constitutional violations that this has caused. What I found especially disturbing was the fact that the City seems not to have money to keep schools open. Yet, it somehow has found the money to send officers to New Jersey to spy on Muslims. The AP broke the story, but only Keith Olberman's Countdown on Current gave it the time of day.

The other significant development has been Wikileaks. As the campaign against it continues, Wikileaks again pulled off a major coup. It published millions of emails from the security firm Stratfor that some have dubbed the "Shadow CIA". I have reviewed some of the dispatches they have published and it is pretty much run-of-the mill stuff. It appears, though, that they have been quite involved with corporate espionage and of course at the forefront of the continued privatization of intelligence gathering by Governments. It was amazing to me that they were able to pull it off with no money and the campaign against it being launched by the US Government.

It is bound to be a very interesting March.

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