Faking the News

I was born into a Catholic family. The Catholicism of my formative years was a totally different brand than the Catholic Worker-style practice of one’s faith (and life lived in accordance with the gospels) advocated by co-founder, Dorothy Day.

When I tried to capture (in an essay in my last book) some of the oddness of growing up Catholic in the house where I was born, it was met with considerable familial disapproval. I obviously failed in my attempt at being a poor man’s David Sedaris and mining family matters for writing material.

Today’s purpose isn’t revisiting family dysfunction, however.

Two Des Moines-based Catholic Workers, Jessica Reznicek and Ruby Montoya were arrested last week, having admitted to sabotaging the Dakota Access Pipeline section crossing the middle of the country and Iowa. Reznicek has a history of this type of activism, modeled after the Plowshares anti-nuclear activists of the 1980s. Both also are carrying on in the spirit of the organization co-founded by Day and Peter Maurin.

Dorothy Day, one of the 20th century’s activist giants.

It’s my opinion (and doesn’t represent this blog’s advertisers) that this kind of direct action activism might be the only kind that has any hope of stopping the current juggernaut of greed and avarice, fueled by filthy lucre and technology. This ultimately threatens to do us all in.

While recently seeking out news stories about Reznicek and Montoya (I’d heard Amy Goodman’s DN coverage about the two), I ran across a masterful piece of fakery masquerading as journalism.

Catholic Workers Jessica Reznicek and Ruby Montoya, aabotage Dakota Access Pipeline.

Nowhere in this Washington Examiner story written by someone named Tom Rogan did it mention that the guy who signs his checks (and owns the Examiner) is a man named Philip Anschutz, dripping with capital excess that of course includes oil money. Funny how that works. Equally interesting, this piece of propaganda showed up at the top of my Google News search.

There are lots of interesting informational tidbits about Mr. Anshutz, including that he is the money man behind the one of California’s major music festivals held in the desert every year, in Coachella. Mary and I drove through the Coachella Valley during our travels to California in May.

According the LA Observer, Anschutz owns “live entertainment megalith Anschutz Entertainment Group, or AEG, and [has a] history spending money supporting anti-LGBTQ [as well as] climate-change-denying organizations.”

So our blog lesson for Friday dear readers? Not all news is created equal. Remain vigilant when using Google (or any other search tool) in seeking out your news so you won’t end up duped and led astray by the likes of Anshutz and his toadies.