Barbara Streisand, famed limousine liberal, has canceled her subscription to the LA Times because Robert Scheer was fired, and so have I. Well, actually, I didn’t have a subscription, but I did quit reading the LAT online. An award-winning journalist and columnist for the Times for some 30 years, Scheer was one of the more progressive voices in a paper which is *progressively* becoming more bland and conservative, so it’s no mystery as to why his nationally syndicated column was terminated, and why folks like Babs and I aren’t even reading the LAT anymore.
Mine is not an unbiased view. During my censorship battles with John J. Rigas of Adelphia Communications, Scheer wrote sympathetically, if somewhat ironically, about my woes in his LAT column. “Thank God there’s still the world of sexpert Dr. Susan Block, who has the courage to continuously affirm her deeply-held faith in fishnet stockings and other family values…Dr. Block is one of the nation’s leading sexologists, and a very bright and funny woman to boot,” he wrote in defending my First Amendment rights. It was a tough time for me, over a year before Rigas and his Family Values-loving family were indicted and convicted for fraud and conspiracy and my show returned — uncensored – to Adelphia’s airwaves. So I was grateful for Scheer’s support in So Cali’s paper of record.
My appreciation deepened in the feverish run-up to America’s invasion of Iraq, when Scheer’s column was one of the few voices of reason in a warmongering media cacophony of deliberate lies and gullible regurgitations of government lies.
America’s mainstream media has become an obedient boot-licking mistress to Master Bush & Co. and other related rightwing corporate interests. No wonder more and more of us are turning to blogs and online publications (like Alexander Cockburn’s and Jeffrey St. Clair’s Counterpunch, where my own columns appear) for less corporatized news and views.
Now Scheer, always progressive in both politics and style, has opened up his own promising online mag Truthdig, and already I’ve been hooked into commenting on two different pieces, Sam Harris’ “Atheist Manifesto” and Larry Gross’ “Religion and Homosexuality,” as well as Scheer’s column on “Iran’s Victory in Iraq.” Scheer’s latest, “Dr. Germ and Mrs. Anthrax Set Free,” is about the barely reported upon release of the two Iraqi women scientists who were accused by the Bushites of being important evildoers in Saddam’s WMD program (you know, the ones Dubya was looking for under the couch at that Washington Press Club dinner). New York Times Most Favored Presidential Whore Judith Miller had called one of the scientists, Dr. Rihab Taha, “Dr. Death.” Now her release-without-charge indicates she was unjusted accused. Open Offer to Dr. Taha: If you ever want to sue Miller and the Times for libel, I know of a couple good attorneys…