....LMB: "Late Nite Summaries"....

February 04, 2003

What Liberal Media?- Liberal columnist Eric Alterman has a new book which tries to attack the myth that the U.S. media has a liberal bias. Click on the "continue" link for the first chapter in .pdf format. I recommend reading the first 2 and a half pages, as they are primarily quotes from famous conservatives admitting that the media is not liberal, and that accusations that it is are just political ploys. My favorite is from former Republican Party chair Richard Bond, "There's some strategy to [bashing the liberal media] ... If you watch any great coach, what they will try to do is 'work the refs.' Maybe the ref will cut you a little slack on the next one."

Saddam's Arab 'brothers' desert Iraq- "The Arab world's startling weakness and subservience to the West has never been more evident than in its open or discreet co-operation with Bush's plans to invade "brother" Iraq. Though 99.99% of Arabs bitterly oppose an American-British attack on Iraq, their authoritarian regimes, which rely on the U.S. for protection from their own people and their neighbours, are quietly digging Iraq's grave.

Every Arab leader knows the U.S. will crush Iraq, so none will support unloved megalomaniac Saddam Hussein and risk ending up on Washington's hit list.

In order to deflect the coming fury of their people over the almost certain invasion of Iraq (barring a last-minute coup against Saddam Hussein), Arab rulers have ordered their tame media to launch broadsides against Iraq and lay blame for the impending Gulf War II on Saddam. Never has the Arab world's chronic disunity, backstabbing and petty tribalism been more pathetically on display."

Iran: the next target?- a forward-looking piece that claims that the U.S. goal in Iraq is to install 2-4 military bases near oil fields inside the country to secure oil production and transport. These bases also then become a warning to other countries in the Middle East. The author then goes on to examine the effects these bases would have on surrouding countries (mainly Iran), and what that will mean for the war on Al Qaeda.

FOX News: The Network America Trusts’ (To Pay ‘Saddam’)- interesting point. Reporters staying in Iraq are pumping thousands of dollars into Iraq's ruined economy, and are indirectly giving money to Saddam Hussein. I'm not highlighting this to condemn Fox News, but to point out the tricky situation reporters are always in. They are not like invisible cameras who objectively record situations, they are human beings who's actions and very presence change the situations they are trying to record.

Media Concentration is a Totalitarian Tool- according to this author, proposed changes in FCC law will allow a single company to "own all the radio stations, television stations, newspapers and cable systems in any given area," and claims that "presently, 10 companies own over 90 percent of the media outlets."

Posted by Jake at 12:01 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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