The NoVa (Northern Virginia) Writers Group hosted me Feb. 28 for a lively public discussion of Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters at the Lorton Library near Washington, DC.
The hour-long discussion in cooperation with the Washington Authors Meet-up process addressed the mysteries unraveled by the research, their relevance to top news stories today -- and how authors in the audience can beat the odds to bring their own books to public attention.
The events followed my hour-long interview on the Phil Mikan Show in Connecticut Feb. 26 in which we revealed and analyzed a new set of outrages imposed on the public by puppets on behalf of what I describe as "puppet masters."
Others have different names for such entities, such as the title of a chart below at left published by the Brookings Institution, which is itself tightly aligned with the power structure and thus more knowledgeable than most regarding specifics.
On March 7, President Obama is scheduled to speak in Selma, Alabama for the 50th anniversary of the historic "Bloody Sunday" civil rights march of 1965. Local authorities so brutally beat civil rights marchers that the nation responded by passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, thereby helping enable blacks to register and vote in significant numbers for the first time in the region's modern history.
News coverage this year will be especially strong because of the 50th anniversary and the Oprah Winfrey movie Selma, winner of an Oscar for best theme song and nominated for the best picture award.
Present also will be many civil rights advocates who have long advocated for the Obama administration to undertake far more serious reforms to the justice system than it has.
As in the past, a heavy focus will be on the plight of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman (1999-2003), who remains imprisoned for 1999 actions many experts regard as non-criminal, especially because of the gross prosecutorial and judicial misconduct during his trial on corruption charges.
We attended last year's march and related events in Selma for nearly a week, and have often reported on Selma, Siegelman and other Alabama legal controversies.
They include especially dramatic cases that are replicated across the nation and even internationally.
Our recent column on Attorney Gen. Eric Holder, was reprinted in Indonesia Feb. 27 by the Fifth Estate blog, which goes to ex-patriates and others in the Far East who follow the effectiveness of democracy in the United States.
- Create a "book proposal" covering all elements of the work, even if self-published. A successful author at any level must be pro-active, I argued, drawing from relevant experiences in the New York City book publishing world.
- Create a professional-quality website and marketing materials.
- Learn to use social media, including video, effectively.
- Seek out like-minded creators and groups, and support them. Few will care about your work if you don't care about anyone else's. And "bottom up" success is a far better strategy, especially for those independent in spirit and message, than an attempt to crack the top echelon at the start. That's highly unlikely, and even if so, every ticket has its price.
Related News Coverage
Justice Integrity Project, Big Media Helped Holder Burnish His Image, With Next Month's Selma March To Provide A New Stage, Andrew Kreig, Feb. 21, 2015. The media fail to report rampant abuses at the U.S. Justice Department: An overview of how a craven and compromised Big Media protect a Puppet President, his team, and the masters they all serve. Attorney Gen. Eric Holder polished his legacy Feb. 17 with a National Press Club speech that illustrated the sharp limits of political accountability and media curiosity in the nation’s capital. Holder received for the most part the standard deferential treatment accorded to high officials. Moderators screened audience questions, as commonly the case, thereby keeping discussion focused within comfortable parameters.
Catching Our Attention on other Justice, Media & Integrity Issues
OpEd News, Pentagon Inspector General Ignored & Rejected NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake's Claims of Retaliation, Kevin Gosztola, Feb. 26, 2015. NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake has learned that the Pentagon Inspector General's Office has rejected his whistleblower retaliation complaint, which he filed after the Justice Department's prosecution against him collapsed. As part of the Pentagon IG office's audit, Drake (shown in a file photo) provided details about waste and civil liberties abuses related to a program called TRAILBLAZER. He alleged in his complaint that he was spied upon by NSA management as he participated in this audit as a material witness. When he grew upset with the failure of the NSA to address problems, he decided to contact a Baltimore Sun reporter and reveal details related to the corruption. The complaint he submitted to the IG's office comprehensively detailed nearly ten years of retaliation by the agency for his whistleblowing. But, for no legal or statutory reason, the investigation into whistleblower retaliation only focused on five months and ignored a vast amount of other allegations made against the agency. McClatchy Newspapers reporter Marisa Taylor, who reported on the rejection of Drake's complaint, also reported that officials in the Pentagon IG's office have been "forced to blow the whistle on their own office." See Rejection of NSA whistleblower’s retaliation claim draws criticism.
CBS News, ESPN's Keith Olbermann suspended for Penn State tweets, Staff report, Feb. 24, 2015. ESPN has benched anchor Keith Olbermann, shown in a file photo, from hosting his show for the rest of the week following comments he made on Twitter regarding Penn State University. "We are aware of the exchange Keith Olbermann had on Twitter last night regarding Penn State," ESPN said in a statement on Tuesday. "It was completely inappropriate and does not reflect the views of ESPN."
New York Times, For Bill O'Reilly and Fox News, A Symbiotic Relationship, Jonathan Mahler and Emily Steel, Feb. 25, 2015. When the magazine Mother Jones reported that Bill O’Reilly had engaged in self-aggrandizing rhetoric about his coverage of the Falklands war, he called one of the authors of the article “an irresponsible guttersnipe” and used his nightly show to fight back against his accusers. His bosses at Fox News, including the chief executive, Roger Ailes, rallied to his defense. Fox’s handling of the controversy says a lot about the network. It also says a lot about its most visible star, a man who perhaps more than any other has defined the parameters and tenor of Fox News, in the process ushering in a new era of no-holds-barred, intentionally divisive news coverage. Since dethroning CNN’s Larry King as the king of cable news almost 14 years ago, Mr. O’Reilly has helped transform a start-up news channel into a financial juggernaut, with estimated annual profits of more than $1 billion. He and Fox News have risen not on the back of big interviews or high-impact investigations but on the pugnacious brand of conservatism personified by Mr. O’Reilly. Reports have since emerged questioning some of O’Reilly’s other assertions. Most notably, Media Matters has challenged Mr. O’Reilly’s claims that he was outside the Palm Beach, Fla., home of an acquaintance of Lee Harvey Oswald when he killed himself with a shotgun in 1977.
Deadline.com, Jon Stewart Defends Bill O’Reilly: “No One’s Watching Him For The Actual Truth,” Lisa de Moraes, Feb. 25, 2015. Jon Stewart rose to the defense of his friend Bill O’Reilly last night, telling The Daily Show viewers that no one should expect the truth from the Fox News Channel host. “Really? We’re going after O’Reilly for exaggerating being in a war zone?” Stewart marveled at the top of last night’s The Daily Show, in re the Mother Jones article that called into question some of O’Reilly’s reporting over the years – particularly his work in Buenos Aires at the end of the Falklands War in ’82. In the wake of Brian Williams’ suspension by NBC News over claims he made about his work, the media has glommed on to the Mother Jones investigation.
Guardian via Raw Story, Another shoe drops: Bill O’Reilly’s ex-colleagues call his L.A. riot stories ‘completely ficticious,’ Jon Swaine, Feb. 25, 2015. Former colleagues of Bill O’Reilly, the Fox News host whose tales of past reporting exploits are facing renewed scrutiny, have disputed his account of surviving a bombardment of bricks and rocks while covering the 1992 riots in Los Angeles. Six people who covered the riots with O’Reilly in California for Inside Edition told the Guardian they did not recall an incident in which, as O’Reilly has claimed, “concrete was raining down on us” and “we were attacked by protesters.”
Media Matters, O'Reilly Lied About Suicide of JFK Assassination Figure, Former Colleagues Say, Ben Dimiero, Feb. 24, 2015. Bill O'Reilly has repeatedly claimed he personally "heard" a shotgun blast that killed a figure in the investigation into President John F. Kennedy's assassination while reporting for a Dallas television station in 1977. O'Reilly's claim is implausible and contradicted by his former newsroom colleagues who denied the tale in interviews with Media Matters. A police report, contemporaneous reporting, and a congressional investigator who was probing Kennedy's death further undermine O'Reilly's story. George de Mohrenschildt was a Russian emigre who befriended Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and testified before the Warren Commission investigating the Kennedy assassination. On March 29, 1977, the same day he was contacted by the House Select Committee on Assassinations, he committed suicide at his daughter's home in Florida. At the time, O'Reilly was a reporter for Dallas' WFAA-TV who regularly reported on stories related to the Kennedy assassination.
O'Reilly has bizarrely inserted himself into de Mohrenschildt's story, claiming in books and on Fox News that he was outside the house seeking to interview de Mohrenschiltd at the time of his death. O'Reilly is under heavy criticism and scrutiny for his false claims about his 1982 Falklands War reporting. O'Reilly's implausible tale was first flagged by Jefferson Morley in a 2013 post for his website JFKFacts.org. Morley has worked as an editor for the Washington Post, Salon.com, and Arms Control Today, and is a visiting professor at the University of California, Washington Center. New interviews with former O'Reilly colleagues who say he wasn't in Florida on the day of de Mohrenschildt's suicide and documents obtained by Media Matters bolster Morley's reporting. In his 2012 best-selling non-fiction book Killing Kennedy, O'Reilly writes on page 300 that as a "reporter knocked on the door of de Mohrenschildt's daughter's home, he heard the shotgun blast that marked the suicide of the Russian ... that reporter's name is Bill O'Reilly."