....LMB: "Nooz"....

August 01, 2002

First, you market the disease... then you push the pills to treat it- typical coporate villainy from the pharmaceutical industry. Good quote:

The modus operandi of GlaxoSmithKline - marketing a disease rather than selling a drug - is typical of the post-Prozac era. "The strategy [companies] use - it's almost mechanised by now," says Dr Loren Mosher, a San Diego psychiatrist and former official at the national institute of mental health. Typically, a corporate-sponsored "disease awareness" campaign focuses on a mild psychiatric condition with a large pool of potential sufferers. Companies fund studies that prove the drug's efficacy in treating the afiction, a necessary step in obtaining FDA approval for a new use, or "indication". Prominent doctors are enlisted to publicly affirm the malady's ubiquity, then public-relations firms launch campaigns to promote the new disease, using dramatic statistics from corporate-sponsored studies. Finally, patient groups are recruited to serve as the "public face" for the condition, supplying quotes and compelling stories for the media; many of the groups are heavily subsidised by drugmakers, and some operate directly out of the offices of drug companies' PR firms.

In a related story, how drug companies try to extend their patents to postpone competing with generics.

The Corporate Scandal Sheet- I've been meaning to write a full-fledged article about the current corporate armageddon, but the story is so darned plain: companies lying to either hide their losses or to inflate their profits. That's about the size of it. But still, this here's a good chart explaining what companies are in trouble, and why.

The Loyal Opposition: Talking Iraq With The 'Prince of Darkness'- The Nation magazine's David Corn recounts a recent conversation with Bush warhawk (or chickenhawk) Richard Perle about the US invasion of Iraq. Perle, announcing that the military knows nothing about making war, describes his own war plan of taking Iraq with 40,000 troops by taking over northern and southern Iraq and cutting off Hussein's access to oil; Hussein would then presuambly fall from power because he had no money to back it up. Corn then ran this proposal by some military strategists, who poked many a hole in it.

Posted by Jake at 12:39 PM
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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

Posted by Jake at 04:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
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