While the nation is getting more progressive by the day, it doesn't appear to be getting much easier for progressives in the corporate media. On today's BradCast, we talk about two progressive journalists both fired from two different corporate media outlets within the past week.
Award-winning syndicated editorial cartoonist, author and columnist Ted Rall joins us to discuss his bizarre firing by the Los Angeles Times last week after the LAPD leaked a 14-year old audio tape of Rall being ticketed for jaywalking to the paper. They claim it disproves a recent claim about the incident made by Rall in an LA Times column last May. Audio enhancement of the poor quality tape, however, suggests otherwise.
Why did the paper trust the LAPD without authenticating a 14-year old audio tape that appeared from nowhere? And was the firing about more than just that one column?
"Look, I pissed off cops. I've done many anti-LAPD cartoons and essays over the years. The LAPPL [Los Angeles Police Protective League] made clear in their blog that they have long been angered by me, and they are crowing about my dismissal. So, just at a bare minimum, think about how disturbing this is," Rall tells me. "The LAPD, or the LAPPL, passed illegally — basically stole something out of the evidence room — slipped it to the top editors at the LA Times, one of the biggest and most widely-respected metro-dailies in the United States, in order to get me fired. In order to send a message to other reporters, 'don't screw with cops'."
"This would be disturbing, even if I'd been lying," Rall explains. "Even if I'd been fibbing, this would be the nuclear option." He believes, however, that the professionally enhanced audio tapes completely exonerate him and tells me that the LA Times (who has yet to respond to my request for comment on this) has stayed mum since the professionally enhanced audio has been published.
"This is a huge story. This is an epic example of corruption at the highest levels of government and media. I don't want to use the 'c' word, conspiracy, but it might legally be considered a conspiracy," Rall believes. He tells me he is now considering his legal options against both the paper and the police.
Also on today's program, D.R. Tucker of The Washington Monthly (and, too occasionally, of The BRAD BLOG) joins us to discuss MSNBC's firing of Ed Schultz last week and the impact it may have on corporate coverage of both the TPP and of climate change, particularly following Schultz' remarkable reporting last year which subsequently led to his reversal on support for the Keystone XL pipeline.
"It's not often that you see somebody have a principled change of heart," Tucker explains. "And of course he was pilloried for that by the shills for the fossil fuel industry for daring to change his mind. But he stood his ground, and he basically maintained, right up until the day he was off the air, that the Keystone XL was a bad idea."
Finally, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report on Obama's new EPA rules for slashing carbon emissions at power plants in a landmark action to fight global warming…