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Media conference misses inconvenient lesson: coverage of Arkansas oil spill is coming from illegals

DENVER, COLO.- It’s day three of the 2013 NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON MEDIA REFORM and I haven’t heard one mention of perhaps the media story most pertinent to this gathering: the tar sands oil spill in Mayflower Arkansas that is and isn’t in the headlines. Because the media is being denied access to the story, because the media isn’t making a story of that censorship, and because most relevant to the media reform crowd, the scarce images that are emerging are coming from activist video streamers breaking the law to get the story. I’m especially excited by that development because it renders my exhortations mute, that journalists look with skepticism on the oath of “objectivity” which binds them to the corporate spun narrative. “You can’t be neutral on a moving train” was Howard Zinn’s entreaty. “Neutrality helps the oppressor never the victim” said a Zionist without irony. But when reporting means having to break the law, then wanting to tell the story means becoming an activist.
 
I use the expression “illegals” in accordance to the AP’s new stylebook, to connote an illegal act, and to poke fun. “The I-word” is no longer acceptable to describe undocumented immigrants, but speaker after speaker at the conference heralded the announcement as if it had not just been explained by the previous. It was apparently “the applause line” of this year’s conference. Too bad, because in a year of unending Obama betrayals, the victory is meager cause for celebration.

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