....LMB: "Bad News News"....

October 04, 2002

The New Times company and Village Voice Media have signed some sort of deal which has resulted in the closing of the alternative newsweeklies the New Times Los Angeles and the Cleveland Free Times. That's a shame, because the New Times LA was a pretty good read. We'll still have the LA Weekly here in Los Angeles, which is a somewhat similar publication, but I liked having both around. Even the NewTimesLA.com site seems gone, merged with the LA Weekly's site. Which means that a funny, mean-spirited piece about the band Creed that appeared in the final edition of New Times LA might be lost forever. Unless I reprint it here, in its entirey.

(by Tim Grierson, New Times LA, Oct 3-9, 2002)

Dear Scott:
Hope this letter finds you well. I'm glad to see you're recovering nicely from that unfortunate little fender bender back in April.
Before I get to the point, let me first say how much I appreciate the continued prayers and thanks for your band's success. Additionally, I don't want you to think that I am anything other than completely flattered by what you're trying to do in My honor.
But really-- and this time I mean it-- please, knock it off.
Scott, I have enough image problems these days. I've got my hands full with bad priests. The Middle East alone keeps me up nights. And, well, I don't need to tell you about the Pope, now do I?
Frankly, I can't afford any more P.R. nightmares. With that in mind, I think it's high time you guys got off the whole praising-Me angle. More importantly-- and I say this as a Friend, Scott-- you and the boys need to stop being such posers. I mean, Jesus, you sound just like Pearl Jam.
You're on top of the world right now, so I guess it's up to Me to give you a reality check: I don't care how much you celebrate My name, eventually people are going to realize you suck. Really really suck.
I'm sorry to be so blunt, but there it is. And don't think sucking up to Me is going to help. Listen, I'm telling you the same thing I told Amy Grant and DC Talk and Jars of Clay and King's X: God don't like no kiss-ass.
Have to run. But take what I said to heart. Next time, Scott, it won't be a car accident.

RIP New Times LA

In other media news, the Chicago Tribune is about to begin publishing a youth-oriented tabloid paper called Red Eye. This is a dumb idea that I think will fail. The CT wants the ad revenue that affluent young kids would bring in, but those affluent young kids likely get their news from their high-speed internet connections at work, school or home, and won't want to shell out money for the stuff they can get for free online. The article also notes that similar papers are in the works in Michigan and Long Island. I've been waiting to see the business world shift their news focus from the Baby Boomers to the GenX/GenY crowd. I can't wait for the youth-oriented pundit explosion. Sadly, since I hate Liberals, Conservatives and Moderates, I'm unlikely to get picked up as a GenX pundit. Guess I'll just have to keep shouting into the void.

And here's a decent article criticizing the radio industry from a recently unemployed industry insider.

Posted by Jake at 09:40 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.

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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 donít 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."

Posted by Jake at 10:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
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