When two American journalists are sent to prison in a foreign country, shouldn't the news organization at least support them and assuage public outrage by acknowledging and covering the situation on its own site? That's the question confronting Al Gore's Current TV network, faced with the sentencing of reporters Laura Ling and Euna Lee to 12 years of hard labor for their "grave crime" against Lil' Kim's empire. No one's heard a peep from the network, and most are assuming these two journalists are being held as bargaining chips in a broader political battle by Pyongyang. Social networks and blogs, however, have been exploding with outrage. Is this a moment when these new digital tools we put so much faith in are totally powerless to enact change? North Korea certainly doesn't care if you sign a petition online. It certainly is a reminder of the great freedoms we enjoy here in the US, particularly for the Obama-era newbie netroots activists.
On the opposite spectrum of the news cycle, there's plenty of buzz over Washington's health care debate. Many wonder if Congress is up to the challenge. A competitive public option is a necessary part of any real reform, but will this "trigger" idea undermine a public plan's effectiveness? And while no one should be forced to do anything they don't want to do, isn't depriving a child of medical care downright criminal? Maegan and Teresa discuss the merits of mandates, Hillary Clinton's possible role (hopefully minimal), and the difficulties of implementing a new administrative agency.
Finally, we talk Stephen Colbert taking his humorous act into battle. While the MSM has moved on to the so-called "Obama War" in Afghanistan, The Colbert Report is in Iraq all week, and last night Colbert conducted a funny (and fascinating) debate with himself over the military's conspicuous "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, getting some big laughs from the soldiers present. Does Colbert succeed in showing the absurdity of this issue? Is a comedian showing up the serious journalists in international coverage?
Wilshire & Washington, the weekly Blog Talk Radio program that explores the intersection of politics, entertainment, and new media, features co-hosts Ted Johnson, Managing Editor of Variety; conservative blogger Teresa Valdez Klein (www.teresacentric.com), and liberal blogger Maegan Carberry (www.maegancarberry.com). The show airs every Wednesday at 7:30am PST on BlogTalkRadio.com.