US healthcare reform-18 Sep 09 - Part 1
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Uploaded on Sep 18, 2009
On the Listening Post this week, the US media divide over Obamas proposed healthcare reforms, and double standards for foreign and local journalists in Afghanistan.
We begin this week by taking a look at Barack Obamas healthcare reform debate that is still raging through The American airwaves. It is less of a media debate than it is an all-out dogfight. The opposing views seem irreconcilable, the middle ground is shrinking to non-existent, and the mainstream media are not helping. Buzzwords like death panels, government takeover and slippery slope to socialism are all over the corporate media but where are the voices that helped get Obama elected and how are the big money lobbyists from the private health care interests and insurance companies using the media to get their views across? And what of the American public, who are caught up and confused in the crossfire?
In part two Listening Posts Meenakshi Ravi reports on Afghanistan, and the dangers of reporting there, for journalists both foreign and local. On September 9th, a NATO team rescued a New York Times correspondent, Stephen Farrell, from his Taliban kidnappers. Farrells Afghan colleague, Sultan Munadi did not make it out live - and his body was abandoned by his would be rescuers. The story has been reported two ways in the west the focus was on the Times reporter and the British soldier who died in the shootout in Afghanistan, the story was about the reporter who died and whether the military raid was a good idea.
In this weeks Newsbytes: trust in the American news media has plunged to its lowest level in almost 30 years; 4 radio stations are taken off-air in Uganda; the President of the Republic of Guinea and his nightly TV show; the fight between media and politics in Argentina; and a test between broadband and a carrier pigeon in South Africa.
Finally, here at the Listening Post weve been known to call out media outlets when they over-simplify important issues or blow arguments out of proportion. So we need to take another quick look at what passes for the health care debate in the US mainstream media. This viral video cartoon mocks conservative media's extreme distrust of President Obama's ideas, and like all good satire, contains some disturbing elements of truth. This video like the president is taking a lot of hits on the net
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