MEDIA MASH: Seattle Rocks; Violence Against Reporters; Who Runs the Country?

Seattle Is Still Hopping

Ten months after the huge demonstrations there, Seattle is still sending off strong post-WTO vibes. At a recent 10,000 person rally for Ralph Nader, Eddie Vedder of superband Pearl Jam -- normally a reluctant political endorser -- sang Steven Van Zandt's "Patriot" and introduced Nader as "someone who represents us, not corporate interests."

Nader, who by all accounts is loving campaigning, is wowing crowds (12,000 in Minneapolis and 10,500 in Portland -- and they paid to see him) Fidel Castro-style, with hour-and-a-half stemwinders deconstructing virtually every aspect of our special-interest-drenched system. And as Jim Hightower, who has been touring with Ralph, pointed out, "people are staying in their seats, listening to every word, and then they have questions..."

In Seattle, Nader and Vedder had to share the attention with a powerful new documentary produced by the Seattle Indy Media Center called "This Is What Democracy Looks Like." This flick, which may be the underground hit of the season, includes commentary from Spearhead's Michael Franti and music by Rage Against the Machine.

Journalists Under Fire In Israel

It's axiomatic that one of the casualties of war is truth. This certainly true in Israel, where recent clashes between Palestinians and Jews have claimed scored of lives and may have caused a clampdown on controversial information.

A group called the Center for Defending Freedom of Journalists, based in Amman, Jordan, released a statement on Oct. 3 stating its grave concern about violence against Palestinian journalists in Israel. The Center alleges that Israeli authorities are ignoring principles of democracy and respect for human rights, and are violating treaties and international agreements to which Israel is a signatory.

According to the CDFJ statement, independent sources have documented that a number of Palestinian journalists have been beaten and fired upon by Israeli army forces while carrying out their duties covering clashes throughout the West Bank and Gaza. Four Palestinian journalists were assaulted in the Aqsa Mosque in the first day of the recent uprisings, the CDFJ asserts. It also implies that this violence may be in retaliation for news coverage that has made Israeli forces look inhumane, such as when a Palestinian reporter wrote about "the deliberate shooting of 12-year-old Mohamed Abu Dura in his father's arms."

Regardless of what happens to journalists there, the Masher hopes that leaders in the Middle East will turn back to pursuing peace soon.

Which Paper Runs the Country?

Occasionally the Masher receives funny, insightful items that float across the Internet transom. Here is a funny media analysis that often hits the mark. Thanks to whomever the author is:

The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.

The New York Times is read by people who think they run the country.

The Washington Post is read by people who think they ought to run the country.

USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don't understand The Washington Post.

The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn't mind running the country, if they could spare the time.

The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country.

The New York Daily News is read by people who aren't too sure who's running the country.

The New York Post is read by people who don't care who's running the country, as long as they do something scandalous.

The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren't sure there is a country, and certainly have better things to think about.

The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country.

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