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and glorious City of Albany, New York, USA. Articles written and
disseminated from Albany's beautiful and historic South End by Daniel
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March 5 , 2006
An Unprovoked Attack By The Corporate Media
How television “news” is manufactured from thin
I think I have a right to complain.
Let me tell you about a nasty little incident that happened to me
back in February of 2003. It could have happened to anyone at all.
Even you. And there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it,
except complain bitterly.
Hopefully, after I tell this story, you will look at television “news” with
different eyes. Or better yet, begin to disregard TV "news" as
a legitimate information source. Especially the “news” manufactured
by television station WNYT Channel 13. Even better, don’t bother
to watch TV “news” at all. Why waste your time?
I was attacked without provocation by WNYT 13 at an extraordinary
public meeting that took place at the First Lutheran Church, which
is between State Street and Western Avenue below Quail. Some 250
people packed into a meeting hall to hear a distinguished panel,
introduced and moderated by then Albany Common Council President
Helen DesFosses. The mood was serious. All of us present were alarmed
by recent events, and many of us were searching for some solutions
to a very frightening problem.
The subject at hand was the recent passage of the so-called “Patriot” Act
by the U.S. Congress, a blatant and illegal attempt by the elites
to overthrow the Bill of Rights through legislation. The spineless
idiots in Congress, including our own miserable excuse for a representative,
Michael McNulty, were enthusiastically endorsing this power grab
by the executive branch of the Federal government. Both Senators
Clinton and Schumer had happily sold us out. Along with being alarmed,
we all felt betrayed by our own government.
Worst of all, the corporate media, both local and national, was
engaging in an almost complete blackout of information on the “Patriot” Act.
Only the barest mention of its passage flashed through the back pages
of the daily papers, and no discussion of the tremendous and terrifying
issues was allowed anywhere. And of course, no letters to the editor
by concerned citizens were printed about the subject, except, of
course, babblings about “the threat of terrorism” by
the badly misinformed.
Many of us were puzzled by this behavior by the media. Wouldn’t
the reporters, editors and other media workers be deeply concerned
by the illegal repeal of First Amendment protection of the free press?
Wouldn’t the media employees see it as a threat to their very
livelihoods? Yet the corporate media proved to be the prime supporters
of this unconstitutional legislation. Indeed, their treatment of
the “Patriot” Act has proven that the corporate media
is corporate first, and media second.
It was at this forum at First Lutheran that we in Albany first heard
about the Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC.) Founder Nancy
Talanian of Northampton, Massachusetts, explained to the crowd how
the BORDC had been circumventing the corporate media blackout on
the “Patriot” Act by bringing the issue to local elected
councils. At that point in time, more than fifty municipalities around
the country had soberly considered the implications of life without
the Bill of Rights, and had passed resolutions condemning the “Patriot” Act.
(Currently, 397 municipalities nationwide, including New York City,
Los Angeles and Chicago, plus eight states have passed resolutions.)
Some of us who were present came out of the forum filled with hope,
and we decided to start our own Albany Chapter of the BORDC. Perhaps
we could convince the City of Albany Common Council to pass a resolution.
And, at the same time, we could get a lot of people in Albany to
take a hard look at the "Patriot" Act. If it could be done
elsewhere, why not here?
Eventually, after many adventures, we managed to convince not only
the City of Albany, but Albany County, the City of Schenectady, Bethlehem
and Guilderland to pass resolutions against the “Patriot” Act.
Tens of thousands of people in the City and the Capital region have
learned how the Act threatens our security and undermines our prosperity.
But the heroic battles to pass these resolutions is another story.
Back in February of 2003, the forum at First Lutheran was about
to begin. Suddenly, a camera crew from WNYT 13 burst open the door.
These corporate media employees made no apologies for their rudeness,
and they did not ask us permission to interrupt. Nor did they ask
any questions or conduct interviews. They simply started filming
from the doorway, and shined a horribly bright klieg light into the
To my astonishment, no one in the room spoke. We all just sat there
staring straight ahead while these intruders stole our images and
irritated us. Even the moderator, Helen DesFosses, remained silent
and looked exasperated. I wondered why she didn’t tell the
WNYT 13 goons to back off so that the meeting could begin.
It was very surreal. Almost nobody moved. Most just sat and stared
straight ahead, bathed in bright, painful light. Nobody, that is,
except for me.
The light hurt my eyes, so I put up one hand as a shield. This one
hand did not shield my face, mind you, it was strategically placed
over my eyes to block the bright light emanating from the doorway.
I did not put down my hand until the corporate intruders turned off
their light and left, and the meeting began.
The next day, at least a dozen people told me what happened.
“I saw you on the news last night,” they all said to
me, tentatively, hesitantly.
It seems that WNYT 13 “News” showed a thirty second
closeup clip of me with my hand up shielding my eyes from their light!
Talking head Ed Dague and some female announcer opened the segment
by saying, “There was some sort of protest meeting tonight
There was no mention of the “Patriot” Act, or why there
was a massive turnout of concerned citizens. Ed Dague and the female
creature smirked and had a bright little exchange at my expense.
“Look at this guy,” said the female. “He’s
trying to hide his face.”
“Well,” pronounced Dague, “If he doesn’t
want to show his face, then he shouldn’t go to these public
Then these two balls of human waste laughed at me.
Now, I admit that I am angry and resentful about this. And yes,
even though this attack was random and could have happened to anybody,
I still take it personally. Go ahead, call me insensitive, but I
sincerely hope and pray that Ed Dague, the female creature, and the
WNYT 13 camera crew who shined the light in my face all develop lingering
incurable diseases and slowly die, crying and whimpering in pain.
I want them to suffer horribly. That would make me laugh with joy.
My sputtering resentments aside, take a look at what happened here.
First off, an important and vital public event was not merely censored
by WNYT 13, but openly mocked. One could plausibly state that WNYT
13 was delivering a carefully considered and deliberate message to
those of us who participated in the forum: we are powerful, and you
are not. Dare to oppose the “Patriot” Act or any other
political outrage, and we, the corporate media, will humiliate you
But consider the falseness of the "news" segment. The
entire item was about how some random guy at “some sort of
protest” was hiding his face from the cameras. To make this "news," they
shined a light in my face and I tried to shield myself from their
light. After creating the scene, they told a lie about why it happened.
It’s important to understand that almost all corporate television “news” is
manufactured in pretty much this way, out of thin air. I’ve
seen phony “news” created plenty of times over the years,
at public events, political functions, crime and disaster scenes.
The TV film footage that results from these events can be called
a lot of things, such as entertainment, political propaganda or surreal
fantasy. But it sure can’t be called an accurate picture of
reality. Nor can it be called "news."
Consider one more thing. These people who work for the corporate
media, managers, talking heads and camera crews, all know exactly
what they are doing. All day long they manufacture lies. What sort
of persons do that with their lives? What can they possibly think
How many other people have they done this to?
And yes, I did complain to the TV station. I was shunted over the
phone to a young lady who identified herself as “Beth Cullen,” who
pretended to be the station manager. She did not think that allowing
me to respond to the false segment was “appropriate,” nor
would she ask the station to issue an apology. As soon as "Beth
Cullen" figured out that I was not likely to sue, she hung up
on me. I hope she dies.
Meanwhile, thanks to the continued blackout by bottom feeding corporate
media outlets like WNYT 13, America today is still saddled with the
so-called "Patriot" Act. As long as the corporate media
practices the terrorism of political censorship, most politicians
will continue to feel safe enough from public outrage to undermine
the Bill of Rights.
Last year, I heard via email that the WNYT 13 employees had gone
on strike against their corporate owners. The local labor activists
from around Albany were calling for the public to show solidarity
with the strikers.
First, they wanted us all to stop watching channel 13. Well, I was
way ahead of them there. I stopped watching television a long time
ago, and I’m a much better person for it, thank you.
But the labor activists also wanted us to join the WNYT strikers
on the picket line. You know, support the dirt bags who filmed me
and shined a light in my eyes. Oh yeah. I actually did strongly consider
standing out in front of the TV station as the employees walked the
I was planning to yell at them, “You scumbags are gonna get
fired! You don't deserve good jobs! You’re all gonna be dipping
french fries, ha ha ha!” Unfortunately, I had the flu that
week, and didn’t get a chance to show solidarity.
Maybe next time those corporate terrorists go on strike and ask
for my support, I'll make a special point of showing them my face
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