....LMB: "The Mee-Dee-Yuh"....

November 21, 2002

Comedian, alumnus returns to College for Q&A session- wow, what an incredibly boring article title. Another fun interview with our pal Jon Stewart, as he visits his alma mater.

Smoke Signals- we've heard about this a few times by now, but the U.S. military is controlling the information received by the press in the most secretive and effective of ways. These two paragraphs are probably the key to understanding large swaths of journalism, regarding the "patronage system":

"'The Washington press corps is complicit,' [60 Minutes' Bob] Simon added ruefully. 'The game that's played in Washington—and it's always been played this way—is the trade-off of access for patronage. If you agree to sing their song, you'll be invited for an audience... They go easy on the president and his people, and they keep on getting invited back and getting more access.'"

"Not that the access matters—Simon says much of what the administration gives reporters is spin, masquerading as information. Take it from Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank, whose October 22 story accusing President Bush of 'distortions,' 'exaggerations,' and 'flights of fancy' resulted in a White House campaign to discredit him. Interviewed on NPR, Milbank dismissed the idea that he had been punished. 'I have exactly as much access as I had when I began,' he explained, 'which is to say, not very much access at all. This administration does not release information.'"

Global goofs: U.S. youth can't find Iraq- time for the annual "look how dumb our American kids are" news flurry. Why don't American kids know anything about geography? Because their teachers don't teach it! And when they do, it is not followed up. When I was in high school, my smart kids' history class learned all of the countries in the world. We were given a week to learn each continent, were tested, and then we went back to talking solely about Western Europe and the United States.

Commercial Radio Station Ownership Consolidation Shown to Harm Artists and the Public, Says FMC Study- deregulation of the radio industry is not good for musicians or music fans? I am shocked, just shocked. Full report here.

It's the Media, Stupid- "It's the Media, Stupid" is a "pamphlet" by John Nichols and Robert McChesney about the corporate consolidated media system in the United States. It's a short book, but this webpage condenses the 100+ page book into maybe 20 pages of quotes and summaries. Good stuff. Reminds me that I need to write a media manifesto for the LMB site one of these days.

Posted by Jake at 01:16 AM

RE: Dumb American kids

Who says you have to be smart to fight in a war?
Military in-tele-genze, that's who!

Posted by: Eric at November 23, 2002 07:49 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.

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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.

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Mission: Mongolia

Jake's first attempt at homemade Mongolican barbecue:


What went right: correctly guessing several key seasonings- lemon, ginger, soy, garlic, chili.

What went wrong: still missing some ingredients, and possibly had one wrong, rice vinegar. Way too much lemon and chili.

Result: not entirely edible.

Plan for future: try to get people at Great Khan's restaurant to tell me what's in the damn sauce.

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