With all due respect to the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Press Democrat, their headline stories last week on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s financial interest in vetoing California legislation regulating performance-enhancing dietary supplements was mostly old news. North Bay Bohemian news columnist Peter Byrne broke the story eight months ago ( Nov. 17). Why did the mainstream media refuse to pursue the story and get Byrned again? Perhaps because until recently, Schwarzenegger was too popular in the focus groups the dailies use to determine what news to print. It’s sad, but true: Today’s press only tells you what you think you want to know.
Sonoma County residents are in love with their cars. Unfortunately, it’s a singular love affair, as the Sonoma County Climate Protection Campaign’s recently updated white paper attests. The campaign reports that between 1990 and 2000, overall greenhouse gas emissions in the county increased by 28 percent, nearly double the national increase of 14.2 percent. Transportation emissions, 42 percent of the overall total, increased by 43 percent above 1990 levels, in large part because “Sonoma County has the highest single occupant vehicle transportation mode, 72 percent, of any county in the Bay Area except Napa County.” Still happy you voted to add that extra lane to 101, auto lovers? For more information on the campaign’s goal to reduce overall emissions to 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2015, go to www.skymetrics.us.
Big Bird Prevails
Now that the Senate has voted to restore $110 million in cuts made to the Public Broadcasting Service, liberals are breathing a sigh of relief. This year’s battle had taken on an air of heightened import, after Kenneth Tomlinson, chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which controls funding for PBS, continually criticized the network’s programming for being too liberal. According to Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, the cuts would have reduced funding for local public radio stations by nearly half and local public TV stations by more than a third. Tomlinson might have saved everyone a lot of trouble by reading Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting’s 1999 report on PBS, which found that “sources, hosts and guests on public television news and public affairs shows overwhelmingly represent corporate and conservative interests.”
–R. V. Scheide
From the July 20-26, 2005 issue of the North Bay Bohemian.
© 2005 Metro Publishing Inc.