....LMB: "Media Gnuz"....

August 22, 2002

GlaxoSmithKline Must Remove Ad Claim- GlaxoSmithKline is a giant pharmaceutical company that manufacturers (and markets. Don’t forget marketing) the anti-depressant drug Paxil (not to be confused with Prozac. Or Zoloft. Or Effexor, Serzone or Celexa). Recently a number of Paxil users took GSK to court because its advertisements state “Paxil is non-habit-forming.” The judge in the case has ruled against GSK, demanding that the company remove the phrase from all its advertising. In other words, Paxil is addictive.

Unsurprisingly, advertisers bitched about the decision, arguing that it was a somehow a betrayal of the American people or something.

As a completely unrelated aside, recent studies show that around 80% of the effects of anti-depressant medication are completely illusory.

Cox Launches Ad-Supported Video-On-Demand Service- I’ll admit I don’t completely understand this article. Near as I can figure, Cox Communications, the fifth-largest cable company in the US, has decided to create a Video On Demand (VOD) service. Usually this term is used to mean a service that would allow a viewer at home to choose to watch any program or movie they want, on their television, at any time. This sounds wonderful, no having to adjust your schedule to that of a television programmer, no need to limit your entertainment choices to the few options selected by a cable company.

But it appears that this Cox service is actually going to deliver nothing but infomercials and long-form ads disguised as entertainment: “Coke's Diet Coke will use FreeZone to launch a series of five-minute vignettes about a 20-year-old woman's experience as a production assistant on an independent film. Sony's Epic label will highlight new artists such as Good Charlotte and Howie Day, showcase new projects by established artists such as Tori Amos, as well as video biographies, music videos and other content.”

At this point, I feel it would be irresponsible not to point out that the band mentioned above, Good Charlotte, sucks.

Journalists Behaving Badly- The sneering sensationalists of Fox News Channel are upset with the Baltimore Sun newspaper. Back in December, Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera filed some reports from Afghanistan that were factually inaccurate and self-serving. BS (interesting initials) columnist David Folkenflik pointed this out (Folkenflik actually won a journalism prize for his story pointing out that Geraldo was full of shit. Talk about setting your standards low). Ever since, Fox News is refusing to give any information or access to the Baltimore Sun because “the Baltimore Sun does not want to be fair to Fox News." Waah waah. Take your ball and go home, you babies.

CNN Chief Claims US Media 'Censored' War- Executive vice-president and general manager of CNN International Rena Golden says "Anyone who claims the US media didn’t censor itself is kidding you. It wasn’t a matter of government pressure but a reluctance to criticise anything in a war that was obviously supported by the vast majority of the people."

And finally, I am utterly baffled by the existence of “Business Reform” magazine, “the premiere Christian business magazine in the country.” For those of you who enjoy Fortune and the Economist, but are frustrated by the lack of references to the crucifixion, I suppose. This issue’s cover story: Enron: A Biblical Look at the Largest Bankruptcy in U.S. History

I’m no Biblical scholar, but in my mind, this one passage eliminates the need for any Christian business mags at all: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

Posted by Jake at 12:40 AM

I always find it amusing that Pat Robertson and his cronies heavily promote their Christian business school on THE 700 CLUB.

Posted by: Eric at August 24, 2002 09:41 AM
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Lying Media Bastards is both a radio show and website. The show airs Mondays 2-4pm PST on KillRadio.org, and couples excellent music with angry news commentary. And the website, well, you're looking at it.

Both projects focus on our media-marinated world, political lies, corporate tyranny, and the folks fighting the good fight against these monsters.

All brought to you by Jake Sexton, The Most Beloved Man in America ®.

contact: jake+at+lyingmediabastards.com

Media News

December 01, 2004

Media Mambo

The Great Indecency Hoax- last week, we wrote about how the "massive outcry" to the FCC about a racy Fox TV segment amounted to letters from 20 people. This week, we look at the newest media scandal, the infamous "naked back" commercial. On Monday Night Football, last week, ABC aired an ad for it's popular "Desperate Housewives" TV show, in which one of the actresses from the show attempted to seduce a football player by removing the towel she was wearing to bare her body to him. All the audience saw, however, was her back. No tits, no ass, no crotch, just her back.

No one complained.

The next Wednesday, Rush Limbaugh told his shocked viewers how the woman had appeard in the commercial "buck naked".

Then, the FCC received 50,000 complaints. How many of them actually saw this commercial is anyone's guess.

The article also shows the amazing statistics that although the Right is pretending that the "22% of Americans voted based on 'moral values'" statistic shows the return of the Moral Majority, this is actually a huge drop from the 35% who said that in the 2000 election or the 40% who said that in 1996 (when alleged pervert Bill Clinton was re-elected). This fact is so important I'm going to mention it over in the main news section too.

Brian Williams may surprise America- Tom Brokaw's replacement anchor, Brian Williams, dismissed the impact of blogs by saying that bloggers are "on an equal footing with someone in a bathroom with a modem." Which is really funny, coming out of the mouth of a dude who's idea of journalism is to read words out loud off a teleprompter. Seriously, if parrots were literate, Brian Williams would be reporting live from the line outside the soup kitchen.

In related news, Tom Brokaw has quit NBC Nightly News, and it appears that unlike his predecessor, the new guy can speak without slurring words like a drunk.

PR Meets Psy-Ops in War on Terror- in February of 2002, Donald Rumsfeld announced the creation of the Office of Strategic Influence, a new department that would fight the war on terror through misinformation, especially by lying to journalists. Journalists were so up in arms about this that the Pentagon agreed to scrap the program.

Don't you think that an agency designed to lie to the public might lie about being shut down, too?

This article gives some examples about the US military lying to the press for propaganda and disinformation purposes.

Tavis Smiley leaving NPR in December- African-American talk show host Tavis Smiley is opting to not renew his daily talk show on National Public Radio. He criticized his former employers for failing to: "meaningfully reach out to a broad spectrum of Americans who would benefit from public radio but simply don’t know it exists or what it offers ... In the most multicultural, multi-ethnic and multiracial America ever, I believe that NPR can and must do better in the future." He's 100% correct. NPR is white. Polar bear eating a marshmallow at the mayonaise factory white. And the reason it's so white is that it is trying to maintain an affluent listener base (premoniantly older white folks) who will donate money to their stations. This is a great paradox of American public broadcasting, that they have a mandate to express neglected viewpoints and serve marginalized communities, but those folks can't donate money in the amounts that the stations would like to see.

U.S. Muslim Cable TV Channel Aims to Build Bridges- it sounds more positive than it is "Bridges TV" seems to simultaneously be a cable channel pursuing an affluent American Muslim demographic, and a way of building understanding and tolerance among American non-Muslims who might happen to watch the channel's programming. I was hoping it would be aimed more at Muslim's worldwide, but it ain't. Still, I'd be interested in seeing how their news programs cover the issues.

Every Damned Weblog Post Ever- it's funny cuz it's true.

Wikipedia Creators Move Into News- Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, created collectively by thousands of contributors. It's one of those non-profit, decentralized, collective, public projects that show how good the internet can be. Now, the Wikipedia founders are working on a similar project to create a collaborative news portal, with original content. Honestly, it's quite similar to IndyMedia sites (which reminds me, happy 5th birthday, IndyMedia!). I'll admit, I'm a bit skeptical about the Wikinews project, though. IndyMedia sites work because they're local, focused on certain lefty issues, and they're run by activists invested in their beliefs. I'm not sure what would drive Wikinews or how it would hang together.

CBS, NBC ban church ad inviting gays- the United Church of Christ created a TV ad which touts the church's inclusion, even implying that they accept homosexuals into their congregation. Both CBS and NBC are refusing to air the ad. This is not too surprising, as many Americans are uncomfortable about homosexuality, and because TV networks are utter cowards. But CBS' explanation for the ban was odd:

"Because this commercial touches on the exclusion of gay couples...and the fact that the executive branch has recently proposed a Constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, this spot is unacceptable for broadcast."

Whoa, what? First of all, the ad does not mention marriage at all. Second, since when do positions opposite of the Executive Branch constitute "unacceptable"? This doesn't sound like "we're not airing this because it's controversial", this sounds like "we're afraid of what the President might say."

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