From Occupy Wall Street to shows like the Thom Hartmann Show, Mike Malloy Show, Randi Rhodes, Stephanie Miller and other lefty shows, there has been an increase of independent news sources gracing the airwaves and Inter-web, as much as the big four corporate/monopolized network. So what makes independent news sources more of a commodity? No corporate control.
I am a writer for this site and I am obliged to PoliticusUSA for allowing me to write. The only two rules I was told were: no libel and no cross posting of entire articles from other sites that I write for. I can basically write what I feel, so long as I can back it up. And everything I have written, I am willing to go to jail. That is how dedicated I am to my writing. There are many of my sources I keep anonymous because they are in fear of retribution from their bosses, but the comments I do get, I follow up on it to confirm, but it’s usually no comment because if they lie, then they too can lose and future elections, get fired or imprisoned if the truth comes out.
But sometimes, the silence is deafening when the no-comment comes from the media. When the media is either too lazy or worse, too embedded into a corporation their silence is a detriment to the truth. NBC for example is owned by G.E. With few exceptions, no one is talking about the disaster in Fukushima which is owned and designed by G.E. If a local affiliate of G.E. were to comment on the destruction in Fukushima, G.E. would fall upon them like a ton of bricks. I can or any independent media can and not get sued for libel or fired.
While sitting on a chair listening to the band Rush, my thoughts went back to New Years Eve 2004, Alex Zivojinovich AKA Alex Lifeson, guitarist for Rush was arrested for a drunken brawl at a Ritz Carlton in Naples Florida in Collier County by the Collier County Sheriff’s Department Deputies. At first it made no sense and as a fan, everything that was posted on Zivojinovich, I read. From the local Toronto newspaper where the band originally hailed to Florida. Every rock magazine, rock radio station were in shock.
Even fans were sending email to the Sheriff’s office telling the Sheriff to release Zivojinovich or Lifeson, and the Sheriff told the local paper Naples Daily News that he was receiving emails like Free Alex to We’re going to vote you out of office. Apparently there were no threats. But the newspaper followed the story to the end. And on day one from the arrest both fans and critics were going back and forth on comments. The fans would say: Boycott the Ritz while the critics would call Zivojinovich a drunken rock star.
Yet the disagreement ended when it was found out in court, the manager of the Ritz lied to the 911 operator, saying that Zivojinovich’s son Justin was destroying the place. According to the Naples Daily News:
Lawsuit With Rush Guitast’s Son: “A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit involving a rock band Rush guitarist’s son who was punched and hit with Tasers at a 2003 New Year’s Eve party at the Ritz-Carlton, Naples, after attorneys agreed to a settlement. U.S. District Judge John E. Steele, who sits in Fort Myers, recently dismissed the lawsuit. Attorney Michael R.N. McDonnell of Naples, who represented Zivojinovich, declined comment, saying only, ‘it’s resolved. Everything is confidential.’…In a separate lawsuit filed in Collier Circuit Court, Stanford sued Alex Zivojinovich in July 2005, citing permanent and progressive injuries that included neurological and dental damage that required implants. She and her attorney, Paul Finizio of Fort Lauderdale, went through mediation with Zivojinovich and attorney Paul Weekley, but reached a ‘total impasse’ in February. In March, court records show, they settled and Zivojinovich paid her $75,000 for her injuries. Stanford’s signed ‘release of claims’ says the settlement is the ‘compromise of a doubtful and disputed claim and that the payment is not to be construed as an admission of liability on the part of Zivojinovich.’ Although it wasn?t sealed in the court file, the three-page release says the terms are confidential and not to be disclosed to the public or media without consent of the parties involved. Finizio declined comment, citing the confidentiality clause.” – Naples Florida News, August 22, 2008
Both Zivojinovich and his family settled, but something remained unanswered, what of the manager who lied and caused this mess? After repeated phone calls and email to the editor-in-chief, no response was given as to why the manager of the Ritz was never charged with making a false report, which according to Florida State law is a crime. And why the newspaper never followed through? Was the newspaper lazy or was it because Naples Daily News has some sort of vested interest in the Ritz Carlton?
Though the battle may seem like two giants fighting it out and both sides seemed to have fought a long and arduous battle, the source of the problem, the manager, seemed to not have been addressed. Yes, the Zivojinovich family were compensated a nice sum of money, but the criminal side was never addressed. It gives an impression that if one has money and the corporation do commit a crime, it can be resolved by a token reparation (cost of doing business) and the media turns its head. No mention of arrest was printed to this day.
Either way, it’s not responsible journalism and where the MSM leaves off, the independent continues on and covers the story to the end…just like how students are taught in Journalism 101.