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Category Archives: Media Rants

Gun Debate Free Zone

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By Tony Palmeri How much gun violence needs to occur in northeast Wisconsin before the mainstream media forces meaningful debate about the issue? Public officials openly sweep the matter under the rug, as in this statement from Governor Scott Walker after 18-year-old Jakob Wagner opened fire at Antigo High School and was then himself shot and killed by police: "It's ... Read More »

Censored in 2015

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BY Tony Palmeri Since 1976, Sonoma State University’s Project Censored has challenged the news media to meet their First Amendment responsibilities. Annually the Project compiles a volume of news stories “underreported, ignored, misrepresented, or censored in the United States.” Walter Cronkite said that “Project Censored is one of the organizations that we should listen to, to be assured that our ... Read More »

The 2015 TONY Awards

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BY Tony Palmeri Every year the Media Rants column awards a “Tony” to media acts worthy of merit. Award criteria are simple: whatever I personally found to be provocative during the year. Don’t like my choices? Write up your own “Best of 2015,” and post them on a blog or on social media. You can even submit an old fashioned ... Read More »

A Television Debate in 1860

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BY Tony Palmeri So far the Republicans have had four nationally televised presidential primary debates, and the Democrats two. Republican debates become competitions to see who can make the wackiest comment of the evening, while Democrats recite a litany of progressive ideas everyone knows they will never really fight for. Moderators play a prominent role; CNBC’s probing questions at GOP ... Read More »

The Pope Mystifies Mr. Jones

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BY Tony Palmeri Pope Francis’ late September whirlwind tour of the United States put him in the Papal Rock Star category that had been the exclusive domain of Pope John Paul II. Corporate media, conditioned to think of Popes as merely Presidents in groovy outfits, seemed ill equipped to handle Francis’ Jesus-like musings. Surely the media knew what was coming; ... Read More »

Short Takes

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BY Tony Palmeri For October let’s have a few short takes on a bunch of important media action that didn’t seem to get much play in the northeast Wisconsin press. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial Board Comes to Life: If you read the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, you know that their editorials can usually be placed somewhere between hollow and horrific on ... Read More »

Fox’s Frankenstein & the Sandman

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BY Tony Palmeri I’ve been following presidential elections closely since 1976 when I was a high school sophomore. As the first post-Watergate national election, the 1976 contest sparked our still intense infatuation with outsider candidates ready to clean up Washington. Affable peanut farmer and former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter cultivated the outsider persona perfectly against incumbent President Gerald Ford. Ford ... Read More »

Divided We Stand, United We Fall

Tony Palmeri

BY Tony Palmeri The night Scott Walker officially announced his presidential candidacy, I had a dream (nightmare?) I was watching his inaugural address on Fox News in January of 2017. In the dream Walker became the first incoming president to ride a Harley in the inaugural parade. Below are his remarks as they were spoken in my dream: Chief Justice ... Read More »

Educating for the Public Sphere

Tony Palmeri

BY Tony Palmeri A majority of American adults avoid participation in public discussion of issues. Given that so much of what passes for public discourse is infected with the twin poisons of prepackaged partisan talking points and mindless put downs of opposing views, avoidance behavior should not be surprising. Unfortunately, citizen withdrawal from the public sphere has real consequences. When ... Read More »

Mom and (Me)dia

Tony Palmeri

BY Tony Palmeri My dear mom Gertrude “Trudy” Palmeri passed away on May 11, 2015 at the age of 79. She and my Korean War vet dad Frank would have been married 60 years (!) in October. All but the last two years of her life were lived in the borough of Brooklyn, NY. She was an Italian-Catholic Brooklynite in ... Read More »

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