....LMB: "The Smear"....

November 18, 2002

The Republican party is comprised of evil geniuses.

The Democratic party is evil, but at present, they're as incompetent as fuck. Honestly, these days Osama bin Laden could beat a Democrat in an election. Or at least beat one in a primary.

The Republicans have a clear advantage, however. These days, elections are fueled solely by donations from wealthy individuals and corporations. Due to their pro-business philosophy, Republicans can solicit these donations easily. However Democrats (allegedly) have a business watchdog philosophy, and any donation they accept from the wealthy is a potential "hypocrite" hook on which to hang them, making their fundraising a bit more tenuous.

The current Republican diabolical scheme seems to be as follows:

You can see bits of this strategy pinpointed in this analysis by the good folks at the Daily Howler.

In the DH article, you can see that the Republicans are trying to "smear" proposed Head Democrat Nancy Pelosi as a "San Francisco liberal." Ooh, two smears in one, "liberal" implying that she's out of touch, and "San Francisco" implying that she's somehow associated with homosexuals. And if you're a San Francisco liberal, man, you're obviously a queer America-hating commie (the DH article also points out that conservative pundits are gleefully linking Pelosi and a San Francisco needle exchange program, which creates an unsavory link between Pelosi and homeless junkies).

But what bothers me most about this is that Pelosi isn't liberal. Even the mainstream and quasi-liberal press are painting her as a lefty. She's not. Near as I can figure, she's just another checkbook Democrat, for sale to the highest bidder, like our pal Gray Davis. That article above describes all sorts of Pelosi sleaziness, and points out that her "liberal record" is more of campaign necessity than of ideological conviction.

Posted by Jake at 09:59 PM

What are you talking about? She led the fight against the war in the House last year. She is definitely a liberal, although she has been praised for accomodating the views of moderate Democrats and unifying the caucus. I think she is the greatest...I just hope she gets to be speaker one day.

Posted by: Laura in DC at October 12, 2003 09:33 PM
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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.

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