Joseph McCarthy

The Revolution May Never Be Televised

Joseph McCarthy
"I am entirely persuaded that the American public is more reasonable, restrained and more mature than most of our industry's program planners believe." - Edward R. Murrow, 1958

To say that George Clooney's new film "Good Night and Good Luck" is one of the most important films of this year is to be guilty of significant understatement. Not since Michael Mann's 1999 thriller "The Insider" has a Hollywood film director made a media-focused mainstream movie this important or timely.


The Wal-Martization of America and the High Cost of Low Price

As a history teacher for two decades now, the single best field trip I've ever taken with students involved a visit to a "local" Wal-Mart in Albuquerque, New Mexico. During the 1990s, when I lived and taught in the urban desert, the Duke City served as a prime example of urban sprawl run amuck, with box store chains routinely popping up on every corner like mushrooms after a late summer rain. As part of our exploration of late 20th century globalization, my sophomores and I decided we'd take an official tour of Wal-Mart. We'd been reading essays fairly critical of the Bentonville-based company, so we decided we'd get the official Wal-Mart party line straight from the horse's mouth. After calling the store to set up a visit, we walked across the mesa to have a look inside the world's largest corporation.

Diane Wilson

An Unreasonable Woman

Our mainstream press is fond of celebrating the world's great heroes. You know, people (mostly men) who make the time to cross the globe solo in a hot air balloon (Go Steve Forbes), or hit more home runs in a single year than anyone else (Where have you gone, Joe Dimaggio?), or make more money in a single year than any other family on the planet (Thanks, Wal-Mart Waltons!).

But what about ordinary folks who do something extra-ordinary? Those who get out of bed in the morning and go to work, while simultaneously managing to raise children, those who discover that the world doesn't look quite right from the front porch or the wooden comfort of the Adirondack chair?

Michael Ruppert

Crossing the Rubicon: An Interview with Michael Ruppert

Most people I know have some intuitive sense that the stories told about the way the world works in our culture of daily "news" (and I use the term loosely) are suspect. The real stories about power and the ways power is exercised lie buried beneath the surface. But how deep, to quote The Matrix's Morpheus, does this rabbit hole go? For those willing to crawl down the hole, U.S. investigative journalism has its own Morpheus, and his name is Michael Ruppert.

No Picture

Mr. And Mrs. Smith: Brangelina Blows up the Burbs

It is tempting to dismiss the new Angelina Jolie/Brad Pitt vehicle "Mr. And Mrs. Smith" as nothing more than mindless summer fun, in which Tomb-Raider Lara Kroft (sans padding), our sexy femme fatale and Girl, Interrupted, mixes it up with Fight Club's Tyler Durden, the newest incarnation of Achilles, our hero of Troy. Few folks I know would  contest the idea of throwing down ten bucks (popcorn not included) to sit in a dark room full of strangers and simply watch Brangelina (are they in love for real?) on the screen.

No Picture

Reel Reporting

Something remarkable unfolded in US art houses, homes, and multiplexes this year. Politically minded movies exploded into the public consciousness, fueled by frustrated citizens' desire to discover deeper truths about the state of the world. Tired of the "Foxification" of our corporately owned news culture, and fed up with the nonsense cranked out daily by commercial "shout shows" and "reality television" (an oxymoron if ever there was one), people have turned to independent films to satisfy their need to know.