Andy Driscoll

TruthToTell Monday Feb 21st - 9AM: BLACK MEDIA HISTORY PT2: Broadcasting- KFAI FM 90.3/106.7/

This coming week and last MondayTruthToTell’s ANDY DRISCOLL and LYNNELL MICKELSEN, joined by our colleague, DAVID CUMMINGS, of KFAI’s Monday music show, Rockin’ in Rhythm (2:00PM), explore Black media as the messengers of information important to the Black communities they serve, Black personalities in media and their leadership roles, and the differences they represent to the dominant culture in Minnesota. Rockin' in Rhythm continues the talk and David plays more early Black broadcast work.

Part 2 is a prerecorded extension of TTT's Feb 14th convbersation and again features Macalester College Professor/Historian MAHMOUD EL-KATI, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder CEO/Publisher, TRACEY WILLIAMS-DILLARD, Insight News Publisher AL MCFARLANE , Host-Producer of Conversations with Al McFarlane, Veteran Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder Reporter CHARLES HALLMAN, former KUXL Radio personality THORNTON C JONES, and KMOJ Radio General Manager KELVIN QUARLES.

Andy Driscoll: The Truth? It’s Never Really Been There in Journalism

I have added remarks to what actually may be a pretty naïve short entry by Mark Karlin of BuzzFlash on the actual sponsorship of a candidate by CNN. First Mark…then yours truly. (Thanks to John Kalbrener for passing this on.)

From Mark Karlin BuzzFlash

December 18, 2010

Did you hear the joke about CNN sponsoring a Republican presidential candidate debate with the Tea Party as a partner?

Well, it's not a joke.

According to Mother Jones, "Sam Feist, CNN's political director, says the arrangement was designed to give undecided voters a way to educate themselves about ' "diverse perspectives" within the Republican Party, including those of the Tea Party.' It's not the first time CNN has partnered with this group. Earlier this year, CNN embedded with Tea Party Express on one of its bus tours, giving the group extensive (positive) coverage."

Hold that outraged laughter for a moment. Each year, the media corporations get more and more skewed toward titillation and craven appeals to "targeted news marketing." And that is dangerous to a democracy.

Television news, in particular, has long since become an entertainment product, something that is sandwiched between commercials. To get higher fees for ads, the mediacorporations need to attract more viewers. And to attract more viewers, they need to sensationalize and reinforce a viewer's worldview, not objectively report the news.

Driscoll: Truth has barely ever surfaced in "The News." Dating to the first carvings in stone and the original parchment and papyrus scribbling, writers of their content have had an agenda, and the "truth" has been mixed in and through the portrayal of facts as the writers/editors wanted the readers to believe them.

It takes very little research and understanding of the history of written and verbal communications to understand that every word uttered and every paragraph written has, to the smaller or greater degree, been infused with spin. Hell, the town criers knew the time, but all was not always well, despite their proclamations.

From Gibbon and Aristotle on down to the present day, the search for truth in the news is a futile one.

There's more, obviously, but we need to wake up the public, even to our own biases in reporting and presenting public affairs we find compelling, if necessary, if only to keep people from being sucked in as they have for millennia by the promise of printing and airing "The Truth."

ANDY DRISCOLL: The FBI at War–in Minnesota:The New Gestapo?

The following – slightly edited – was the script used for the weekly hour-long program, TruthToTell for Monday, December 6, 2010 at 9:00AM titled The FBI at War – in Minnesota: The New Gestapo? – on KFAI FM in St. Paul/Minneapolis, MN. This essay version has been requested by several listeners, thus the posting here. It's still slightly raw, but it's what we said.

The program can be heard/downloaded from

By Andy Driscoll, Producer/Host, TruthToTell

It’s come to this: it has become illegal to disagree with this nation’s government, its policies, its cavalier entries into war and to say anything publicly that would thus appear threatening to those policies, no matter how unconstitutional they may be. Oh, they may not be coming to get you right away, but the stories about the overreach of the US government into the lives of other peoples is only as bad as it is in its intrusions into the lives and welfare of average American citizens dissenting from, protesting and challenging the authority of the police, the FBI, Homeland Security, the TSA, CIA and the entire alphabet soup that makes up the country’s military and law enforcement community. And it becomes increasingly apparent that the current administration, the President and his Justice Department are almost as stifling of our First and Fourth Amendment freedoms as any Fascist regime history has dealt humanity.