Lying Media Bastards

November 26, 2006

Media Poop

Hooray for Right-Wing Hollywood- since liberal Hollywood elites make Baby Jesus cry, our beloved right-wing culture warrior cabal is out to snatch up the American Film Industry in its Grinch-sack and replace it with, uh, bald-eagle-shaped lumps of coal.

Or, to de-joke-ify it:

Right-wing assholes are trying to take over the American film industry.

It’s adorable and horrifying that they have their own yearly film festival, which is called… (c’mon, you know this one!) the “Liberty Film Festival”. Anyhow, investigative lefty Max Blumenthal infiltrated (or bought a ticket to) this year’s festival (he also talks about it in this radio interview) and brings us interesting facts and fun insults.

The first fun fact is is regarding that weird propaganda TV movie “The Path to 9/11″ that aired on ABC a few months back, the that pretended that the Al Qaeda attacks were Bill Clinton’s fault and that George W. has Jack Bauer-like anti-terrorist cunning. The movie aired in two halves, on two different nights, in prime time, with no commercials. I’ve always wondered who paid for the damn thing, or if ABC decided to take a bath on the project for mysterious reasons.

Still not sure on where the money came from, but it does turn out that Right-Wingers had a man on the inside at ABC, in the form of Vice President of Special Project Judith Tukich, who the Liberty Film Festival honored with a “Freedom of Expression” award. According to Blumenthal, she’s an enthusiastic Christian Evangelical and wants to use her mass media influence to spread Jesus like delicious cream cheese all over this bagel of a nation.

Sadly, one of the “hits” from the festival looks to be “Border War”, which will give all the immigrant-haters just a little more fuel for their fire. Guess I need to find funding for my movie, “Will You Racist Pricks Lay Off the Immigrants Already?”

Also, it appears that the Liberty Film Festival is totally funded by conservative joke David “Look at Me! Look at Me!” Horowitz, who in turn is funded by actual harmful right-wing moneybags like Richard Mellon-Scaife and the Olin Foundation.

I’d recommend not visiting the film festival website. It hurt my eyes. Not in an “I looked into Ann Coulter’s cold, dead eyes and now I can’t feel my legs” way, just a bad color scheme.

And I’ll never understand how conservatives can bitch about the liberal film industry, when all the major (and many of the minor) studios are owned by multinational media congolmerates. I mean, Universal Pictures is owned by General Electric, who manufacture nuclear reactors and jet engines for military planes. 20th Century Fox is owned by billionaire tyrant Rupert Murdoch, who brought you Fox News Channel. I know that pinko George Clooney is powerful and all, but he doesn’t pull in $18 billion a year or own a fleet of satellites.

RAINN’s Social Norms Campaign- not sure what I think of this campaign. Anti-sexual assault group RAINN wants to use ads and posters to foster more of an anti-rape sentiment among college-age men. Obviously a worthy goal, I just don’t know how effective the tactics are.

Endless War- that clever fellow known as the Freewayblogger gives us a new logo for the war of our times:

Scum Season- fairly serious piece by gonzo journalist/snark-master Matt Taibbi, about murdered Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, and then stuff I rarely hear about modern Russian politics and media.

The Worst Show on Television- another one from Taibbi, his “election night journal”. Lots of fun smackdowns on both political parties, and the media. But one good insight:

With each passing election season the format for political coverage on TV morphs even further in the direction of sportscasting… Jeff Greenfield to Wolf Blitzer, just before midnight on CNN, sounded like a man talking wild card possibilities for the Jaguars three weeks short of the playoffs: “They need three of these four states to take the Senate,” he says. And choose your cliche, Wolf. Inside straight? Run the table?

The thing that people should be concerned about isn’t that the news networks are choosing to cover politics like a football game. It’s the idea that both televised football games and televised politics might represent some idealized form of commercial television drama that both sports and politics evolved in the direction of organically, under the constant financial pressure brought to bear by TV advertisers. Both politics and sports turned into this shit because this format happens to sell the most Cheerios, regardless of what the content is. If you work backward from that premise, and start thinking about what the consequences of that phenomenon might actually be, your head can easily explode.

The first part of that is Political Science 101, the “horse race coverage” that the media give to elections, who’s winning and who’s losing. But Taibbi’s right, it’s “evolved” into the same sort of stuff you hear discussed on sports shows: strategy, tactics, personnel changes, etc. Except they’re not saying “New England should work on their passing game”, they’re saying “the Republicans need to lie to the American people in the following way”. If our world wasn’t already in need of several billion straitjackets, the journalistic world would realize that this kind of coverage is useless and harmful, and do their damn jobs properly.

Seriously, what the fuck? Educated, respectable news anchors essentially saying “Hey Politician X, say some shit about the troops! The voters’ll eat that up with a spoon! Now something about freedom! Boo-yaa! What? No, no need to change your policies to match.” Free campaign consultants who tell these serial manipulators how best to hornswaggle us. No wonder people hate the media.

(Note to the media: yes, we hate you)

And the second half of Taibbi’s point is vital as well. News, sportstalk, and all “free” television exists so that we’ll watch long enough for them to run commercials in front of our eyes. And, sad little monkeys we are, we frequently let those commercials nudge our dollars out of our wallets in the desired manner. Which I suppose is slightly better than advertisers breaking into our homes with truncheons and taking our money by force, but still…

Wait, I had a point here somewhere.

Ah yes, media and politics. I am a bit concerned that the perceived need for “drama” in all aspects of media, including news, is increasingly eroding the concept that thought of any kind in America is imporant or desirable. I worry more that American culture is at the point where the drama actually is necessary.

Posted by Jake on November 26, 2006 11:42 pm

1 Comment »

  1. “Since liberal Hollywood elites make Baby Jesus cry…” That whiney bastard is always crying about something.

    Comment by Piper — November 26, 2006 @ 11:59 pm

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