....LMB: "Better Living Through Prankery"....

December 13, 2002

Hmm, how to summarize this twisted, yet brilliant story...

Some subversive activist types bought the domain name dow-chemical.com. On December 3, dow-chemical.com sent out an email press release masquerading as the real Dow Chemical company. The press release was about the Bhopal disaster of 1984, an industrial accident at a Union Carbide factory which killed tens of thousands of Indians. Dow now owns Union Carbide, and December 3 was the anniversary of the accident (I think you can see where this is going...).

The press release more or less said "We, the Dow Chemical company, probably did cause the massive death of the Bhopal disaster, but we can't acknowledge that we did because it would cost us money, and our shareholders wouldn't like that" (go read the full version, it's great). And if anyone wanted to double check the dow-chemical.com report by going to the corresponding web address, they would find a remarkably sly parody Dow site which looks almost exactly like the Dow site. Apparently, hundreds were taken in by the hoax, and wrote back with outrage.

The real Dow was obviously, um, "displeased" with these events, and was able to shut down the site with relatively little fuss (it's actually pretty funny. In order to maximize realism [and irony], the pranksters registered dow-chemical.com under the name of the son of Dow's CEO, complete with his real home address. So when Dow went to shut down the site, they found that they already legally owned it, and just changed all the content). But people are mirroring the site all around the world, including most appropriately DowEthics.com.

In related news, a different fellow set up a parody website of Burson-Marsteller, the PR company that helped Union Carbide/Dow try to spin its way out of responsibility for Bhopal (site has since been changed). B-M promptly sued the college freshman, who wrote up a lengthy, satirical legal brief in response. I'm reading through it now, and it's pretty funny.

To read all about it, check some of these reports:



Excellent work amigos, excellent work.

Posted by Jake at 09:56 PM

In the process of shutting down the original parody site, dow-chemical.com, Dow's lawyers strongarmed upstream provider Verio into taking down not just dow-chemical.com, but the entire thing.net (hosts of rtMark and dozens of unrelated websites) with nothing more than a DMCA. So while they were pretty clever in realising they could seize the domain via Parker jr., it was only after they'd bullied an internet provider into closing down a neighborhood because they didn't like what was going on in one house.

Is it my imagingation, or is it getting chilly around here?

Full story at:


Posted by: Subcomandante Biff at December 16, 2002 11:18 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

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 ®.

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.

Posted by Jake at 04:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
More Media News

Jake Jake Jake


Fake "Ha-Ha" News




"8:45? And here I am yapping away like it's 8:35!"
-Ned Flanders

More Quotes

Media News


Obligatory Blog Links



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.

More Snapshots

Columnists Of Note



Sonic Resistance


Dead Trees


Heavy Rotation



Squiggles of Insight



Design and Layout by Mark McLaughlin and Quang Tang
LMB Logo by Quang Tang

Alt "One Hell of a Leader" logo largely stolen from Obey Giant.
All other material by Jake Sexton (unless otherwise cited)

hosted by nice dream