Thursday, December 09, 2010

WikiLeaks New Strategy

Voice of America News online reports that WikiLeaks is following a new strategy in document release.

WikiLeaks has journalists that do journalism and they have won awards in journalism, but VOANews claims that WikiLeaks is "portraying itself as a news organization." It may not be a news organization, but it is definitely a source for news and information.

There is a lot of controversy saying that only a few of the reported documents are being published.

VOANews points out that Julian Assange, creator, thinks that WikiLeaks is a "journalistic institution" :

In a posting this week on the website CommonDreams, Assange said that WikiLeaks has invented a new type of reporting that he calls "scientific journalism" in which people can read a news story, then click online to see its veracity.

The strategy seems to be the gradual release of documents rather than releasing the documents all at once - which makes sense. There should not be complaints about this - people should want to know what the government is covering up.

VOA News continues:

Former CIA deputy director John McLaughlin says officials do not like surprises, and they are getting new ones every day.

"The fact that this is dribbling out, if you're in government now you have to wonder, 'What's next, and what am I going to have to cope with?' And it's likely to come at a bad time when you already have your hands full," said McLaughlin. "So it's another volatile factor in a world that's already too volatile."

The arrangement between WikiLeaks and the news organizations publishing the material - Le Monde in France, El Pais in Spain, the Guardian in Britain, and Der Spiegel in Germany - is unusual. It links media organizations to a group that is under what U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder calls "active, ongoing, serious investigation."

Well it is easier to click through and see a document accompanied with an article rather than have to post it all in a physical newspaper - so maybe this is where web journalism can really be kicking into gear - just thinking about the future of journalism.

Beyonce ad banned in Britain

Is this ad for her Beyonce's new fragrance, Beyonce Heat, too much? Evidently it's too much in Great Britain...

GOP suddenly pro-Earmark (or is that pro-Pork, perhaps?)

According to Citizens Against Government Waste, during the last time Republicans controlled Congress (which started in 1994, based on the "Contract With America") there were about 1300 earmarks for nearly $8 billion - at a time when we had a budget surplus under the Clinton administration. Then by the final year of GOP control a decade later (2005) their were 10 times as many earmarks totaling over $27 billion, and a record budget deficit - which the elite pundits are still trying to blame on Obama.

You can learn more about the man the Democrats call the “Prince of Pork” -- GOP Congressman Hal Rogers (KY-05) -- as he takes over chairmanship of the House Appropriations Committee by reading various articles online; he's brought so much money for Kentucky that they've renamed the former Daniel Boone Parkway the Hal Rogers Parkway.

Citizens Against Government Waste named Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) their "Porker of the Month" in August, somehow without mentioning the word nepotism.
“Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today named Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) August Porker of the Month for sponsoring legislation that could give federal funding to his daughter’s nonprofit organization, which promotes overseas wildlife protection for cheetahs.”

It's probably a coincidence that his daughter is the Grants Administrator of the Cheetah Conservation Fund.

But there's good news.  This sort of spending (millions to a fund based in Namibia) won't lead to bigger government. It's just $5 million a year to a non-government agency based overseas.

Look, I'm not saying conservation and cheetahs aren't important, it's just a question of priorities.  The GOP voted down a one-time payment of $250 to Senior Citizens... but that's another story.  My point is, it's about priorities, and once they capture a majority naturally the GOP priorities have changed to ensure their donors will help them get re-elected.

At least they haven't flip-flopped on tax-breaks for the rich.

I know, right?

Thomas Hayes is an entrepreneur, journalist, political strategist, and photographer who recently worked as the Campaign Manager on the Madore For Congress campaign in Minnesota's 2nd District. He contributes regularly to a host of other web sites on topics ranging from economics and politics to culture and community.

Carl Crawford and Red Sox

ESPN online reports that Carl Crawford has made a seven year, $142 million deal with the Boston Red Sox.

It's ironic that Red Sox have been known to complain about the spending habits of the Yankees, but now Crawford will be the first player in Red Sox history with a contract with "an average annual value in excess of $20 million."

The Boston Globe online reports that Crawford was high in demand by various teams such as The Angels, Yankees and Rangers.

Red Sox Manager has called Crawford a game changer. The Globe also reports:

Crawford is Tampa Bay’s career leader in batting average (.296), doubles (211), triples (105), stolen bases (409), and runs scored (765). Crawford, who is from Houston, was Tampa Bay’s second-round pick in the 1999 draft. He had been with the organization his entire career. With Crawford in the fold, the Red Sox could trade Mike Cameron or use the righthanded hitter off the bench, as a spare outfielder, or as a designated hitter.

This deal has made many assume that the Yankees will soon be making a deal with lefthander CLiff Lee.