....LMB: "Nazis, Bastards, Charlatans, Toadies, Critics, and Cops"....

October 08, 2002

(not necessarily in that order)

German Media Firm Discloses Nazi Ties- ever hear of the Bertelsmann corporation? Well, you should know them. They're one of the five largest media conglomerates on planet Earth, and the world's largest publishing company. Here in the U.S., they're probably best known for their mail-order record club, BMG. Well, Bertelsmann is now publicly admitting that during WWII they printed huge amounts of Nazi propaganda for Germany, and employed Jewish slave laborers.

Armey Seeks Provision in Bill To Punish Hometown Paper- "Furious at how the Dallas Morning News covered his son's failed congressional bid this year, House Majority Leader Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.) is trying to insert language in a military spending bill that would force the newspaper's parent company to sell off one of its Dallas media properties." What an asshole.

A Debate Erupts Over the Gubernatorial Debate- Yesterday, the LA Times held a debate for the California governor candidates Gray Davis and Bill Simon. Simon invited Green Party candidate Peter Camejo to join in the debate, but Davis stated that if Camejo were included, that Davis would cancel the debate. While that's good politicking (it is likely that Camejo might have drawn votes away from Democrat Davis), it's fucked up in all other ways. I'm not the hugest fan of the Green Party, but it is the closest thing the U.S. has had to a viable third party in quite some time. But the duopoly of Dems and Reps are doing their best to maintain their stranglehold on governmental power. The LA Times take on the debate controversy is here.

Disturbing Behavior: Police Response to the Riot Raises Troubling Questions- a local reporter describes his erroneous arrest by Eugene police simply because he was nearby a "riot" that the police were trying to "contain." I've been looking for info about this "riot" but I'm not having much luck. Sounds like a bunch of college students, for reasons I can't find, tore up a bunch of street signs and started a huge bonfire in the street. Cops then arrested 35 people, many of whom seem to have simply been standing around, not breaking any laws.

"Journalism is a total scam"- blogger and columnist Ken Layne points out how reporters were filing stories about W's big Iraq speech last night before he even gave it. Layne describes it as part of a journalistic farce in which reporters receive a copy of a politician's speech far in advance of his reading of it, and often get that politician's opponent's comments about the speech as well. The reporter then writes the story, and usually holds off to file it until the speech has actually been given, to give it at least a veneer of legitimacy.

Media Activists Impact Iraq Coverage- FAIR claims that pressure from average Jo(e)s like you and me has caused major media outlets to correct some of their recent shoddy coverage of issues surrounding the war on Iraq.

Media Guide: How to View the United Nations- cynical Media Beat column about the schizophrenic ways in which pundits and reporters regard the United Nations. When the White House supports it, a UN resolution is very important. When the White House doesn't support it, a UN resolution is irrelevant rhetoric.

Posted by Jake at 10:13 AM
Comments

Just out of curiousity, what is your misgivings with the Green Party? I think you're right to be suspicious of any political "party," but I just like to hear your thoughts.

Posted by: Eric at October 8, 2002 11:32 AM

The problem with including third party governor candidates is that where do you stop? There are over 100 people running for Governor. What is the metric you apply to limit the number that can feasibly debate. I don't think Camejo's numbers are that high.

Posted by: California Governor Candidates at August 20, 2003 10:45 PM

The problem with including third party governor candidates is that where do you stop? There are over 100 people running for Governor. What is the metric you apply to limit the number that can feasibly debate. I don't think Camejo's numbers are that high.

Posted by: California Governor Candidates at August 20, 2003 10:46 PM

The problem with including third party governor candidates is that where do you stop? There are over 100 people running for Governor. What is the metric you apply to limit the number that can feasibly debate. I don't think Camejo's numbers are that high.

Posted by: California Governor Candidates at August 20, 2003 10:46 PM

Sorry for the multiple posts. It kept giving me a timed-out error.

Posted by: California Governor Candidates at August 20, 2003 10:47 PM
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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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