....LMB: "The Semi-Newsy News"....

February 05, 2003

The Powell Address--Live Coverage- satirical "live update" style post with frequent reactions by the author while watching Colin Powell present his evidence that Iraq must be razed from the Earth.

Mexican farmers stage mass protest against U.S. imports- a new wave of tariffs were eliminated between the U.S. and Mexico as part of 1994's NAFTA treaty. This means that countless Mexican farmers now have to compete with heavily-subsidized American crops. Tens of thousands of these farmers went to Mexico City last week to voice their anger. If history's any lesson, many of these farmers will lose business, go bankrupt, and be forced to look for work (read: sweatshop factory jobs) near the border-- that is, if these maquila jobs aren't shipped to China first.

Hide Your Books- odd tale of TV vs. books in an American elementary school classroom. And surprisingly, the students side with the books while the administration sides with the television.

Shakira Calls For Peace, Explains Mongoose Mystery- I'm impressed. I'd figured that rock-pop star Shakira was just like any other brainless, apolitical music celeb. But this article describes how she is inserting an explicit anti-war message into her concert performances:

"Near the end of Shakira's live show, a short film is projected on giant screens, depicting puppet caricatures of President Bush and Saddam Hussein playing chess. The visual is comical at first, like something from Genesis' 'Land of Confusion' video. But as violent war footage begins to intersperse with the match and the shot slowly pans out to reveal the puppeteer is the Grim Reaper, it develops into a disturbing segment that changes the tone of the Colombian singer's concert."

"'I think that we see war as a virtual thing and we even get to believe that bombs fall on top of cardboard cutouts and stuff like that,' Shakira said. 'They don't. They kill real people, real children, real mothers and millions of innocent people. I come from Columbia [sic], which is a country that has been under the whip of violence for more than four decades, so I've seen the consequences of war and I've seen the psychological damage that it does in a society. And I think that we're never ready for war.'"

Jesus, as she shows some depth, telling about her experience with death and oppression where she grew up, MTV spells the name of her country wrong. Jerks.

Posted by Jake at 11:31 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.

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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.

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