Scientists discover another cause of bee deaths

Scientists discover another cause of bee deaths, and it’s really bad news:

 

 Scientists discover another cause of bee deaths, and it's really bad news


Scientists discover another cause of bee deaths, and it’s really bad news

So what is with all the dying bees? Scientists have been trying to discover this for years. Meanwhile, bees keep dropping like… well, you know.

Is it mites? Pesticides? Cell phone towers? What is really at the root? Turns out the real issue really scary, because it is more complex and pervasive than thought.

Quartz reports:

Scientists had struggled to find the trigger for so-called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) that has wiped out an estimated 10 million beehives, worth $2 billion, over the past six years. Suspects have included pesticides, disease-bearing parasites and poor nutrition. But in a first-of-its-kind study published today in the journal PLOS ONE, scientists at the University of Maryland and the US Department of Agriculture have identified a witch’s brew of pesticides and fungicides contaminating pollen that bees collect to feed their hives. The findings break new ground on why large numbers of bees are dying though they do not identify the specific cause of CCD, where an entire beehive dies at once.

The researchers behind that study in PLOS ONE — Jeffery S. Pettis, Elinor M. Lichtenberg, Michael Andree, Jennie Stitzinger, Robyn Rose, Dennis vanEngelsdorp — collected pollen from hives on the east coast, including cranberry and watermelon crops, and fed it to healthy bees. Those bees had a serious decline in their ability to resist a parasite that causes Colony Collapse Disorder. The pollen they were fed had an average of nine different pesticides and fungicides, though one sample of pollen contained a deadly brew of 21 different chemicals. Further, the researchers discovered that bees that ate pollen with fungicides were three times more likely to be infected by the parasite.

The discovery means that fungicides, thought harmless to bees, is actually a significant part of Colony Collapse Disorder. And that likely means farmers need a whole new set of regulations about how to use fungicides. While neonicotinoids have been linked to mass bee deaths — the same type of chemical at the heart of the massive bumble bee die off in Oregon — this study opens up an entirely new finding that it is more than one group of pesticides, but a combination of many chemicals, which makes the problem far more complex.

And it is not just the types of chemicals used that need to be considered, but also spraying practices. The bees sampled by the authors foraged not from crops, but almost exclusively from weeds and wildflowers, which means bees are more widely exposed to pesticides than thought.

The authors write, “[M]ore attention must be paid to how honey bees are exposed to pesticides outside of the field in which they are placed. We detected 35 different pesticides in the sampled pollen, and found high fungicide loads. The insecticides esfenvalerate and phosmet were at a concentration higher than their median lethal dose in at least one pollen sample. While fungicides are typically seen as fairly safe for honey bees, we found an increased probability of Nosema infection in bees that consumed pollen with a higher fungicide load. Our results highlight a need for research on sub-lethal effects of fungicides and other chemicals that bees placed in an agricultural setting are exposed to.”

While the overarching issue is simple — chemicals used on crops kill bees — the details of the problem are increasingly more complex, including what can be sprayed, where, how, and when to minimize the negative effects on bees and other pollinators while still assisting in crop production. Right now, scientists are still working on discovering the degree to which bees are affected and by what. It will still likely be a long time before solutions are uncovered and put into place. When economics come into play, an outright halt in spraying anything at all anywhere is simply impossible.

Quartz notes, “Bee populations are so low in the US that it now takes 60% of the country’s surviving colonies just to pollinate one California crop, almonds. And that’s not just a west coast problem—California supplies 80% of the world’s almonds, a market worth $4 billion.”

News will kill you

News is bad for you – and giving up reading it will make you happier:

News is bad for your health. It leads to fear and aggression, and hinders your creativity and ability to think deeply. The solution? Stop consuming it altogether

News is bad for your health. It leads to fear and aggression, and hinders your creativity and ability to think deeply. The solution? Stop consuming it altogether

 

News is bad for your health. It leads to fear and aggression, and hinders your creativity and ability to think deeply. The solution? Stop consuming it altogether. In the past few decades, the fortunate among us have recognised the hazards of living with an overabundance of food (obesity, diabetes) and have started to change our diets. But most of us do not yet understand that news is to the mind what sugar is to the body. News is easy to digest. The media feeds us small bites of trivial matter, tidbits that don’t really concern our lives and don’t require thinking. That’s why we experience almost no saturation. Unlike reading books and long magazine articles (which require thinking), we can swallow limitless quantities of news flashes, which are bright-coloured candies for the mind. Today, we have reached the same point in relation to information that we faced 20 years ago in regard to food. We are beginning to recognise how toxic news can be.

News misleads. Take the following event (borrowed from Nassim Taleb). A car drives over a bridge, and the bridge collapses. What does the news media focus on? The car. The person in the car. Where he came from. Where he planned to go. How he experienced the crash (if he survived). But that is all irrelevant. What’s relevant? The structural stability of the bridge. That’s the underlying risk that has been lurking, and could lurk in other bridges. But the car is flashy, it’s dramatic, it’s a person (non-abstract), and it’s news that’s cheap to produce. News leads us to walk around with the completely wrong risk map in our heads. So terrorism is over-rated. Chronic stress is under-rated. The collapse of Lehman Brothers is overrated. Fiscal irresponsibility is under-rated. Astronauts are over-rated. Nurses are under-rated.

We are not rational enough to be exposed to the press. Watching an airplane crash on television is going to change your attitude toward that risk, regardless of its real probability. If you think you can compensate with the strength of your own inner contemplation, you are wrong. Bankers and economists – who have powerful incentives to compensate for news-borne hazards – have shown that they cannot. The only solution: cut yourself off from news consumption entirely.

News is irrelevant. Out of the approximately 10,000 news stories you have read in the last 12 months, name one that – because you consumed it – allowed you to make a better decision about a serious matter affecting your life, your career or your business. The point is: the consumption of news is irrelevant to you. But people find it very difficult to recognise what’s relevant. It’s much easier to recognise what’s new. The relevant versus the new is the fundamental battle of the current age. Media organisations want you to believe that news offers you some sort of a competitive advantage. Many fall for that. We get anxious when we’re cut off from the flow of news. In reality, news consumption is a competitive disadvantage. The less news you consume, the bigger the advantage you have.

News has no explanatory power. News items are bubbles popping on the surface of a deeper world. Will accumulating facts help you understand the world? Sadly, no. The relationship is inverted. The important stories are non-stories: slow, powerful movements that develop below journalists’ radar but have a transforming effect. The more “news factoids” you digest, the less of the big picture you will understand. If more information leads to higher economic success, we’d expect journalists to be at the top of the pyramid. That’s not the case.

News is toxic to your body. It constantly triggers the limbic system. Panicky stories spur the release of cascades of glucocorticoid (cortisol). This deregulates your immune system and inhibits the release of growth hormones. In other words, your body finds itself in a state of chronic stress. High glucocorticoid levels cause impaired digestion, lack of growth (cell, hair, bone), nervousness and susceptibility to infections. The other potential side-effects include fear, aggression, tunnel-vision and desensitisation.

News increases cognitive errors. News feeds the mother of all cognitive errors: confirmation bias. In the words of Warren Buffett: “What the human being is best at doing is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact.” News exacerbates this flaw. We become prone to overconfidence, take stupid risks and misjudge opportunities. It also exacerbates another cognitive error: the story bias. Our brains crave stories that “make sense” – even if they don’t correspond to reality. Any journalist who writes, “The market moved because of X” or “the company went bankrupt because of Y” is an idiot. I am fed up with this cheap way of “explaining” the world.

News inhibits thinking. Thinking requires concentration. Concentration requires uninterrupted time. News pieces are specifically engineered to interrupt you. They are like viruses that steal attention for their own purposes. News makes us shallow thinkers. But it’s worse than that. News severely affects memory. There are two types of memory. Long-range memory’s capacity is nearly infinite, but working memory is limited to a certain amount of slippery data. The path from short-term to long-term memory is a choke-point in the brain, but anything you want to understand must pass through it. If this passageway is disrupted, nothing gets through. Because news disrupts concentration, it weakens comprehension. Online news has an even worse impact. In a 2001 study two scholars in Canada showed that comprehension declines as the number of hyperlinks in a document increases. Why? Because whenever a link appears, your brain has to at least make the choice not to click, which in itself is distracting. News is an intentional interruption system.

News works like a drug. As stories develop, we want to know how they continue. With hundreds of arbitrary storylines in our heads, this craving is increasingly compelling and hard to ignore. Scientists used to think that the dense connections formed among the 100 billion neurons inside our skulls were largely fixed by the time we reached adulthood. Today we know that this is not the case. Nerve cells routinely break old connections and form new ones. The more news we consume, the more we exercise the neural circuits devoted to skimming and multitasking while ignoring those used for reading deeply and thinking with profound focus. Most news consumers – even if they used to be avid book readers – have lost the ability to absorb lengthy articles or books. After four, five pages they get tired, their concentration vanishes, they become restless. It’s not because they got older or their schedules became more onerous. It’s because the physical structure of their brains has changed.

News wastes time. If you read the newspaper for 15 minutes each morning, then check the news for 15 minutes during lunch and 15 minutes before you go to bed, then add five minutes here and there when you’re at work, then count distraction and refocusing time, you will lose at least half a day every week. Information is no longer a scarce commodity. But attention is. You are not that irresponsible with your money, reputation or health. Why give away your mind?

News makes us passive. News stories are overwhelmingly about things you cannot influence. The daily repetition of news about things we can’t act upon makes us passive. It grinds us down until we adopt a worldview that is pessimistic, desensitised, sarcastic and fatalistic. The scientific term is “learned helplessness”. It’s a bit of a stretch, but I would not be surprised if news consumption, at least partially contributes to the widespread disease of depression.

News kills creativity. Finally, things we already know limit our creativity. This is one reason that mathematicians, novelists, composers and entrepreneurs often produce their most creative works at a young age. Their brains enjoy a wide, uninhabited space that emboldens them to come up with and pursue novel ideas. I don’t know a single truly creative mind who is a news junkie – not a writer, not a composer, mathematician, physician, scientist, musician, designer, architect or painter. On the other hand, I know a bunch of viciously uncreative minds who consume news like drugs. If you want to come up with old solutions, read news. If you are looking for new solutions, don’t.

Society needs journalism – but in a different way. Investigative journalism is always relevant. We need reporting that polices our institutions and uncovers truth. But important findings don’t have to arrive in the form of news. Long journal articles and in-depth books are good, too.

I have now gone without news for four years, so I can see, feel and report the effects of this freedom first-hand: less disruption, less anxiety, deeper thinking, more time, more insights. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

News organization allows government officials to censor

The New York Times Admits That Virtually Every Major News Organization Allows The News To Be Censored By Government Officials:

The New York Times Admits That Virtually Every Major News Organization Allows The News To Be Censored By Government Officials

The New York Times Admits That Virtually Every Major News Organization Allows The News To Be Censored By Government Officials

 

 

In one of the most shocking articles that the New York Times has ever put out, a New York Times reporter has openly admitted that virtually every major mainstream news organization allows government bureaucrats and campaign officials to censor their stories.  For example, almost every major news organization in the country has agreed to submit virtually all quotes from anyone involved in the Obama campaign or the Romney campaign to gatekeepers for “quote approval” before they will be published.  If the gatekeeper in the Obama campaign does not want a certain quote to get out, the American people will not see it, and the same thing applies to the Romney campaign.  The goal is to keep the campaigns as “on message” as possible and to avoid gaffes at all cost.  But this kind of thing is not just happening with political campaigns.  According to the New York Times, “quote approval” has become “commonplace throughout Washington”.  In other words, if you see a quote in the newspaper from someone in the federal government then it is safe to say that a gatekeeper has almost certainly reviewed that quote and has approved it.  This is another sign that “the free and independent media” in this country is a joke.  What we get from the mainstream media is a very highly filtered form of propaganda, and that is one reason why Americans are turning away from the mainstream media in droves.  People want the truth, and more Americans than ever realize that they are not getting it from the mainstream media. The following quote comes from the recent article in the New York Times mentioned above and it is absolutely jaw dropping….

The quotations come back redacted, stripped of colorful metaphors, colloquial language and anything even mildly provocative.

They are sent by e-mail from the Obama headquarters in Chicago to reporters who have interviewed campaign officials under one major condition: the press office has veto power over what statements can be quoted and attributed by name.

Most reporters, desperate to pick the brains of the president’s top strategists, grudgingly agree. After the interviews, they review their notes, check their tape recorders and send in the juiciest sound bites for review.

The verdict from the campaign — an operation that prides itself on staying consistently on script — is often no, Barack Obama does not approve this message.

This is an article that everyone needs to read.  If you have not read it yet, you can find it right here. What all of this means is that both the Obama campaign and the Romney campaign essentially have “veto power” over any quotes from those campaigns that we see in the newspapers. According to the New York Times, virtually every major news organization has agreed to submit their quotes for “quote approval”….

It was difficult to find a news outlet that had not agreed to quote approval, albeit reluctantly. Organizations like Bloomberg, The Washington Post, Vanity Fair, Reuters and The New York Times have all consented to interviews under such terms.

This is absolutely disgusting, and it goes against everything that our media is supposed to stand for. The following is what Joseph Farah had to say when he learned about this story….

All I can say about these people I once considered “colleagues” is that I am so ashamed of them. I am mortified. They are humiliating themselves and a vital institution for any free society.

It seems the biggest threat to the American tradition of a free and independent press is not government coercion. It’s the willing submission of the press to being handled and managed by government and politicians.

Keep in mind that Joseph Farah has been working in the world of journalism for decades.  He is deeply saddened to see what is happening to a profession that he deeply loves. But he is not the only one. Just check out what Dan Rather had to say during a speech back in 2009….

“At my age and stage I’ve finally reached the point where I don’t have to kiss up to anybody,” he said. “What a wonderful feeling it is.”

Even so, his talk emphasized what he believes is the erosion of quality journalism, because of the corporatization, politicization, and “trivialization” of news. Those three factors, Rather argued, have fueled the “dumbing down and sleezing up of news” and the decline of “great American journalism.”

Likening media consolidation to that of the banking industry, Rather claimed that “roughly 80 percent” of the media is controlled by no more than six, and possibly as few as four, corporations.

And Dan Rather is right.  The control over the media in the United States is more tightly concentrated than ever before. Back in the early 1980s, approximately 50 corporations essentially had nearly total control of the media in the United States. Today, just six monolithic media corporations dominate virtually everything you watch, hear and read. These six gigantic corporations own television networks, publishing houses, movie studios, newspapers, radio stations, music labels and video game companies.  Most Americans are absolutely addicted to information and entertainment, and those six massive corporations supply the vast majority of the information and entertainment that Americans take in. The amount of control that those six corporate giants have is absolutely incredible.  For example, the average American watches 153 hours of television a month.  If you can beam 153 hours of “programming” into someone’s head each month, that gives you an awesome amount of influence over that person. The six monolithic corporations mentioned above are Time Warner, Walt Disney, Viacom, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., CBS Corporation and NBC Universal. There are some areas of the media that are not completely dominated by those corporations, but even control over those areas is becoming more highly concentrated than ever. For example, Clear Channel now owns over 1000 radio stations across the United States.  The power that Clear Channel has over the radio industry in America is absolutely staggering. Even control over the Internet is becoming much more concentrated.  Giant corporations such as Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are increasingly controlling what we see and hear online. But it really is the “big six” that dominate most of what we see, hear and read on a daily basis.

————————————————–

Today, six colossal media giants tower over all the rest.  Much of the information in the chart below comes from mediaowners.com.  The chart below reveals only a small fraction of the media outlets that these six behemoths actually own….

Time Warner

Home Box Office (HBO)
Time Inc.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
CW Network (partial ownership)
TMZ
New Line Cinema
Time Warner Cable
Cinemax
Cartoon Network
TBS
TNT
America Online
MapQuest
Moviefone
Castle Rock
Sports Illustrated
Fortune
Marie Claire
People Magazine

Walt Disney

ABC Television Network
Disney Publishing
ESPN Inc.
Disney Channel
SOAPnet
A&E
Lifetime
Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Buena Vista Theatrical Productions
Buena Vista Records
Disney Records
Hollywood Records
Miramax Films
Touchstone Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures
Pixar Animation Studios
Buena Vista Games
Hyperion Books

Viacom

Paramount Pictures
Paramount Home Entertainment
Black Entertainment Television (BET)
Comedy Central
Country Music Television (CMT)
Logo
MTV
MTV Canada
MTV2
Nick Magazine
Nick at Nite
Nick Jr.
Nickelodeon
Noggin
Spike TV
The Movie Channel
TV Land
VH1

News Corporation

Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Fox Television Stations
The New York Post
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Beliefnet
Fox Business Network
Fox Kids Europe
Fox News Channel
Fox Sports Net
Fox Television Network
FX
My Network TV
MySpace
News Limited News
Phoenix InfoNews Channel
Phoenix Movies Channel
Sky PerfecTV
Speed Channel
STAR TV India
STAR TV Taiwan
STAR World
Times Higher Education Supplement Magazine
Times Literary Supplement Magazine
Times of London
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
20th Century Fox International
20th Century Fox Studios
20th Century Fox Television
BSkyB
DIRECTV
The Wall Street Journal
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Interactive Media
FOXTEL
HarperCollins Publishers
The National Geographic Channel
National Rugby League
News Interactive
News Outdoor
Radio Veronica
ReganBooks
Sky Italia
Sky Radio Denmark
Sky Radio Germany
Sky Radio Netherlands
STAR
Zondervan

CBS Corporation

CBS News
CBS Sports
CBS Television Network
CNET
Showtime
TV.com
CBS Radio Inc. (130 stations)
CBS Consumer Products
CBS Outdoor
CW Network (50% ownership)
Infinity Broadcasting
Simon & Schuster (Pocket Books, Scribner)
Westwood One Radio Network

NBC Universal

Bravo
CNBC
NBC News
MSNBC
NBC Sports
NBC Television Network
Oxygen
SciFi Magazine
Syfy (Sci Fi Channel)
Telemundo
USA Network
Weather Channel
Focus Features
NBC Universal Television Distribution
NBC Universal Television Studio
Paxson Communications (partial ownership)
Trio
Universal Parks & Resorts
Universal Pictures
Universal Studio Home Video

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Please keep in mind that the list above is not exhaustive.  It only contains a sampling of the companies that those six corporate giants own. So are you starting to get an idea of how powerful they are? If you ever wondered why the version of “the news” that you get is so similar no matter where you turn, it is because control of the news is concentrated in just a very few hands. So who controls the “big six” media corporations? Would it surprise you to know that the boards of directors of those big media corporations have a tremendous amount of overlap with the boards of directors of large banks, large oil companies and large pharmaceutical companies? The following is from the Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting website….

Media corporations share members of the board of directors with a variety of other large corporations, including banks, investment companies, oil companies, health care and pharmaceutical companies and technology companies.

You can find a list that shows how these boards of directors overlap and interlock right here. The giant media corporations are not going to criticize the establishment because they are the establishment. The messages that these media behemoths pound into our heads are going to be the messages that the establishment wants pounded into our heads. Anyone that believes that the mainstream media is “independent” and that it does not have “an agenda” is being delusional. Of course it is also worth mentioning that much of what we get from the mainstream media is also often directly controlled by the federal government. Former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein (of Woodward and Bernstein fame) has discovered that hundreds of American journalists have worked directly for the CIA. Not that the federal government and the establishment are opposed to one another.  The truth is that they very much work together hand in hand.  But sometimes the federal government has slightly different priorities than the corporate establishment does. In any event, the key point to take away from all this is that the news and entertainment that we all enjoy on a daily basis if very highly censored and very highly controlled. It is imperative that we understand that those that own and control the media are trying to shape society in a certain way.  They want to impose their values and their vision of the future on all the rest of us. You will notice that none of the major news organizations speak out against the “Big Brother” police state control grid that is going in all around us. Instead, they insist that all of this added “security” will keep us safe even as our liberties and freedoms are being badly eroded. You will notice that none of the major news organizations speak out against the population control agenda of the global elite. Instead, they insist that more “family planning” will help the environment and make the world a more prosperous place for all of us. You will notice that none of the major news organizations speak out against the Federal Reserve and none of them are warning us about the financial collapse that is rapidly approaching. Instead, they tell us to keep having faith in the system and they promise us that everything is going to be okay. Well, you can mindlessly believe the corporate media if you want, but I believe that in this day and age it is absolutely imperative that we all learn to think for ourselves. Don’t be a mindless robot for anyone. Think for yourself and make your own decisions. The truth is out there and you can find it if you are willing to go search for it.

Jewish money owns Corporate Media

Dan Rather Says ‘Big Money Owns Everything … Including the News’:

Jewish Illuminism

Jewish Illuminism

One of Bud Benjamin’s dreams was to expand the CBS Evening News to a full hour. And Bud wasn’t thinking of filling it with helicopter shots, celebrity gossip and punditry. He imagined an entire hour brimming with investigative reporting, exposés and dispatches from around the world. It was a different time in journalism. A time when professional duty was patriotic, and the freedom of the press motivated and inspired newsrooms. I know it is hard to believe – but it’s true – newsrooms were not supposed to turn a profit. Frankly, news was considered an acceptable loss on the balance sheet. To keep our FCC license and the public trust, we had to use the public’s airwaves in the public interest. Yes, that’s a whole lot of “public.” But that’s the way it was. It’s the way it should be again. Today, how we look and how we “present” information has become far more important than how we gather it. It’s upside down and backwards. And, the worst part is … we have gotten used to it. The caretakers of the Fourth Estate have, at times, left the building unattended. Public interest be damned. It was Thomas Jefferson who noted in 1799 that, “Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived; but as long as the presses can be protected, we may trust to them for light.” Jefferson trusted the press – not to stir up heat, but to deliver insight. Of course freedom of the press and of speech both come with pitfalls. People can peddle opinions as if they were facts. Those armed with the big, expensive megaphones drown out those blowing whistles. But now, we see our fellow citizens taking to the streets. And, that my friends, is our cue to get back to work. As the People of our nation begin rising up, they expect the business of news to be about inquiry and accountability. And, luckily for us, we can still do that … but it may not be within the confines of big corporate media. As you know, we are living in an age when big money owns everything … including the news. That cash bought a lot of silence for a long time. Enough time for unchecked power to get this country tangled into messes all around the world. We all know that money talks. But, so do the people. They tire of conflicts at home and abroad … conflicts that avert our eyes from the corruption and callowness that does little more than spill our blood and misspend our treasure. “We had fed the heart on fantasies,” wrote William Butler Yeats, “the heart’s grown brutal from the fare.” In other words, we have gotten used to it. What happens to a country when the press helps divide people into Us and Them? When it fans the flames of conflict and calls it reporting? We need to restore, at some point, the teaching of the craft of journalism. The best way to protect journalists is to teach them how to do journalism and, therefore, protect themselves from becoming irrelevant. I am reminded of the finest speech I ever heard on the subject of television journalism. It was given by Ed Murrow in 1958. Murrow said, “This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But, it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends … otherwise, it is merely wires and lights in a box.” Dear friends, we must untangle the wires from the lights. We must halt the steady decline of broadcast journalism and the endless compromises to the boardroom. Some say it is too late. That Congress wrote our epitaph in 1996 when they all came together and passed the Telecommunications Deregulation Act. Since then, the lights in a box have gotten brighter and flashier … but the truth dimmer and dimmer. And … we have gotten used to it. The late, great Molly Ivins used to tell a story about what happens when fear grips a country. Molly liked to tell the story about her late friend, the celebrated Texas civil libertarian John Henry Faulk, who, as a boy of six, went with his seven-year-old friend, Boots Cooper, to rid the family henhouse of a harmless chicken snake. From its high perch, the boys found themselves eyeball to eyeball with the snake. Growing up in Texas, it’s not uncommon to see a chicken snake … but being close enough to spit in the snake’s eye must have been quite disconcerting. As Molly would tell the story, the two boys ran out of the henhouse so fast they nearly tore off the henhouse door … not to mention doing damage to themselves in the process. When Faulk’s mother reminded the boys that chicken snakes are not dangerous, Boots Cooper responded, “Yes, ma’am, but some things will scare you so bad, you’ll hurt yourself.” That is what we have been subject to as a country. We have been so afraid; so hell bent on destroying enemies … both foreign and domestic … we have hurt ourselves and our democracy. You are probably asking yourself now what you should do. Well, it may take courage. There are so many wrongs to make right, it is going to get messier before it gets better. We have to begin asking the hard questions once again.We have to demand and earn back the respect that gave us the right to ask them.We must protect whistleblowers by using our megaphones to make their risky admissions even louder.We must demand access to all those risking their lives to challenge power. We must refuse to simply read press releases and rely on official sources. And we must begin to enforce our own professional code of ethics. Refuse to compromise. Going along to get along is getting us nowhere. Tonight, if I can convince you of anything, it is to buck the current system. Remember anew that you are a public servant and your business is protecting the public from harm. Even if those doing harm also pay your salary. To once again quote Ed Murrow, “There is a great and perhaps decisive battle to be fought against ignorance, intolerance and indifference … this weapon of television could be useful.” And wouldn’t it be great if our country could get used to that.

Murdochs News corp under Investigation

Murdochs, News Corp Face Big Week Of Investigations:

Murdochs, News Corp Face Big Week Of Investigations

Murdochs, News Corp Face Big Week Of Investigations

 

This is a big week for Rupert and James Murdoch. The father and son face more questions from a wide-ranging judicial investigation into press abuses at British units of News Corporation: tabloid phone hacking, computer hacking and a police bribery scandal. Monday marked yet another embarrassing day for News Corp and the Murdochs as Sky News acknowledged it had hacked into the email of the target of two stories, despite explicitly telling the inquiry in September it had not been involved in any hacking. The allegations keep coming of illegal behavior by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. Today, an investigation was announced into email hacking by Sky News. News Corp’s British operations already stand accused of phone hacking, along with bribing police officers.

As NPR’s David Folkenflik reports, the new investigation comes just before Murdoch is scheduled to testify on the sandal.

DAVID FOLKENFLIK, BYLINE: The British media regulator called OfCom announced it would investigate two instances of email hacking by reporters for Sky News. Murdoch’s News Corp has a controlling minority stake Sky News’ parent company, BSkyB.

During his testimony earlier today, Sky News chief John Ryley was pressed by the presiding judge in that wide-ranging inquiry, Brian Leveson.

JUDGE BRIAN LEVESON: None of this is relevant, is it? Because what you were doing wasn’t merely invading somebody’s privacy, it was breaching the criminal law?

JOHN RYLEY: It was.

LEVESON: Well, where does the OfCom broadcasting code give any authority to a breach of the criminal law?

RYLEY: It doesn’t.

FOLKENFLIK: Sky News told the inquiry last September that it had not been involved in any hacking. Ryley apologized today, saying the company was intending to respond only to questions of criminal mobile phone hacking.

The judicial investigation was set up by Prime Minister David Cameron last July, a week after the report that a Murdoch tabloid had hacked into the cell phone messages of a murdered schoolgirl in a famous case.

One part of the inquiry is into the culture, practices, and ethics of the media; another, into the relationship of the press with police officials and politicians.

A series of newspaper owners – those controlling the rival Telegraph, Evening Standard and Independent – are also testifying this week. But Murdoch and his son James will come in for special scrutiny. The younger Murdoch is to testify tomorrow and Rupert will appear Wednesday and possibly Thursday.

CHRIS BRYANT: Because Rupert Murdoch has had 40 percent of the newspapers and the lion’s share of the ownership of BSkyB, he’s used the one to protect the other.

FOLKENFLIK: Labor MP Chris Bryant has been a critic and a target of the Murdoch press and other tabloids.

BRYANT: He’s used fear and favor with politicians to ensure that in exchange for the support of his newspapers, the politicians would provide legislative support for his cash cow, which was BSkyB, the broadcaster. And when people tried to question that, then sometimes his newspapers would be used to attack with remorseless vigor.

FOLKENFLIK: But, of course, power and influence flow in two directions. And it’s not known yet what hidden exchanges Rupert Murdoch may reveal about the favors sought from him, from those who have held the nation’s highest offices, such as the very prime minister who created this inquiry last summer.