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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lying Republicans Shape All US Media; Racist Roots of Modern Republican and Tea Party (great video); Middle of the Road ISN'T a Place Worth Being; Most American's Want to be Swedish!

- The Republican/Tea Party history of Racism:

- Republican/Tea Party candidate, who claims to LOVE LOVE LOVE the Constitution, doesn't even know what the Constitution says:

- Major FAIR Exposé of PBS: Taking the 'Public' Out of Public TV A multi-part FAIR exposé of PBS's most prominent news and public affairs programs demonstrates that public television is failing to live up to its mission to provide an alternative to commercial television, to give voice to those "who would otherwise go unheard" and help viewers to "see America whole, in all its diversity," in the words of public TV's founding document.

- Psychiatrists: Glenn Beck Conspiracy Show Raises Concerns About Viewer Reaction Three veteran psychiatrists who viewed a portion of a Glenn Beck program repeatedly cited by alleged gunman Byron Williams are raising concerns about the effect that the conspiracy theory-filled clip might have on viewers.

- What PBS Thinks You Need to Know FAIR (3/9/10) issued a statement expressing concern that Meacham's hire "sends a clear and troubling message about PBS's priorities," given that the then-editor of Newsweek was a fixture on commercial TV pundit shows and a consummate purveyor of middle-of-the-road conventional wisdom with a conservative slant--not exactly a face or a perspective that needed yet another media platform, particularly not on public television

- Will Sanity Be Restored and Fear Be Kept Alive? Jon Stewart's Call of Whitewashing Reality If you don't think the country or the world is in such dire straights that urgent and passionate advocacy is called for, if you reject the international scientific consensus on the dangers of environmental collapse, if you find nuclear energy and weaponry unconcerning, and if you believe the bankrupting of the nation to pay for illegal wars that slaughter human beings by the hundreds of thousands need not come to an immediate end, then you are "sane." You're not sane because you have the facts right. You're sane because you avoid facts that are too unpleasant.

Americans Vastly Underestimate Wealth Inequality, Support 'More Equal Distribution Of Wealth': Study
When Americans were asked how much the top 20% should have, 92% said they'd rather live in a country with Sweden's wealth distribution.
By William Alden
Published 09-23-10 on Huffington Post

Americans vastly underestimate the degree of wealth inequality in America, and we believe that the distribution should be far more equitable than it actually is, according to a new study.

Or, as the study's authors put it: "All demographic groups -- even those not usually associated with wealth redistribution such as Republicans and the wealthy -- desired a more equal distribution of wealth than the status quo."

The report (pdf) "Building a Better America -- One Wealth Quintile At A Time" by Dan Ariely of Duke University and Michael I. Norton of Harvard Business School (hat tip to Paul Kedrosky), shows that across ideological, economic and gender groups, Americans thought the richest 20 percent of our society controlled about 59 percent of the wealth, while the real number is closer to 84 percent.

More interesting than that, the report says, is that the respondents (a randomly selected 5,522-person sample, reflecting the country's ideological, economic and gender demographics, surveyed in December 2005) believed the top 20 percent should own only 32 percent of the wealth. Respondents with incomes over $100,000 per year had similar answers to those making less than $50,000. (The report has helpful, multi-colored charts.)
The respondents were presented with unlabeled pie charts representing the wealth distributions of the U.S., where the richest 20 percent controlled about 84 percent of wealth, and Sweden, where the top 20 percent only controlled 36 percent of wealth.

Without knowing which country they were picking, 92 percent of respondents said they'd rather live in a country with Sweden's wealth distribution.

As the new Forbes billionaires list, released Wednesday, testifies, the richest Americans are getting richer, even as the country as a whole gets poorer. After 2005 income inequality continued to balloon.