....LMB: "El Media"....

December 03, 2002

Britain accused of providing Saddam torture instruments- One of the biggest PR backfires this year. The UK government's Foreign Office released a report today accusing the Iraqi government of torturing political prisoners, presumably as just one more brick in the "Saddam is so evil that we must bomb his country" wall. But the man the Foreign Office chose to present the report to the press, former Iraqi prisoner Hussain al-Shahristani, hijacked the event. Most embarrassingly for the British government, al-Shahristani claimed that during his own detention, he was held with British-made handcuffs, and that when the torturers used drills to put agonizing holes in their victims' bones, that the drills were also made in Britain. Then, when it was Q&A time, the press corps asked if the British government was so concerned about human rights violations in Iraq, then why had it been silent during Saddam's chemical warfare attacks during the 80s.

Bush: Iraq Inspections 'Not Encouraging'- "The lack of a confrontation thus far between Iraq and inspectors has the White House worried that the Iraqi president might be winning the early public relations battle by creating an impression that he is complying. Aides said those fears prompted the president and Vice President Dick Cheney to deliver separate speeches Monday casting doubt on Saddam's intentions."

Cable Charges Ahead with Higher Rates- the Comcast corporation is raising the rates it charges its customers for cable television. Significantly. And other cable companies are following suit. Since the wondrous Telecom Act of 1996, cable prices have risen 45%.

Critics fear Comcast's new muscle could hurt competitive Internet offerings- the Comcast corporation has just purchased AT&T Broadband, a cable and high-speed internet company. The merged company is now the nation's largest cable service, twice as big as its nearest competitor, the also enormous AOL-Time Warner. As broadband internet becomes more and more popular, Comcast may have a lot of leverage in shaping the future of the medium.

FDA Finds Day-After Contraceptive Ads Inaccurate- "Plan B" is the name of a pill that a woman can take after sex that can prevent them from becoming pregnant. The pill can be taken up to 3 days after the sex and still be effective. Plan B is marketed as such, saying in their ads that a woman can "has 72 hours after unprotected sex to prevent pregnancy with Plan B emergency contraception." But after review, the FDA finds those sorts of claims are misleading. The pill can be effective 72 hours after, but its effectiveness decreases the longer you wait. In other words, the ad should probably say something like "if you take this after unprotected sex, Plan B can prevent pregnancy. Best if you take it right after, but if you take it as late as 72 hours later, it still might work."

The DiIulio Letter- John DiIulio was an assistant to President George W. Bush, and was appointed to run the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. He quit the job in August of 2001. In October of 2002, DiIulio wrote a scathing letter about the Bush administration to Esquire magazine, focusing on the regime's politics-over-policy style (especially Karl Rove). This letter, which was explicitly on-the-record, became the basis of an article being published in the January 2003 edition of Esquire. News of the story hit the NY Times on Sunday morning. By Monday morning, Ari Fleischer was denying the story wholesale, and that same day DiIulio issued an official "apology," whatever that means. Sounds like someone pressured the man hard.


More on the DiIulio apology. He actually issued two statements yesterday. The first argues that the finished Esquire article contains two specific quotes that he did not say, and that the article was unfair to Rove. He apologized for "any and all misimpressions." But later that day, he issued a second statement through a spokesperson for the University of Pennsylvania, where he works. Shortly after Ari Fleischer called DiIulio's criticisms of the White House "baseless and groundless," the UPenn spokesperson stated that "John DiIulio agrees that his criticisms were groundless and baseless due to poorly chosen words and examples. He sincerely apologizes and is deeply remorseful."

Bush anything but moronic, according to author- Mark Crispin Miller has made himself a small cottage industry out of documenting the language-manglings of George W. Bush. But now he's taking a new stance, claiming that patterns in Bush's proper and tortured syntax: "Bush is not an imbecile. He's not a puppet. I think that Bush is a sociopathic personality. I think he's incapable of empathy. He has an inordinate sense of his own entitlement, and he's a very skilled manipulator. And in all the snickering about his alleged idiocy, this is what a lot of people miss." Miller makes these claims by arguing that Bush makes his verbal gaffes whenever he talks about "compassion, or idealism, or altruism." But Miller finds no such mistakes whenever Bush talks about violence or revenge. I think it's a stretch, but you can read it for yourself.

Posted by Jake at 12:06 AM

The surest way to know the war is on for certain is to pay attention to the major newspapers like the NYT and the Washington Post or sources such as CNN. When they start to slag the UN inspectors you know there is no turning back.

Posted by: The Dynamic Driveler at December 4, 2002 11:07 PM
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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 ģ.

contact: jake+at+lyingmediabastards.com

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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