....LMB: "Propagand-O-Rama"....

March 27, 2003

Polls Suggest Media Failure in Pre-War Coverage- one of the more disturbing stories of the day, if poll results can be trusted (and, well, they can't). The stat in this report that most unnerves me:

32% of those supporting an attack cited Saddam's alleged involvement in supporting terrorists as the "main reason" for endorsing invasion. Another 43% said it was "one reason."

In other words, 75% of Americans who support the U.S.' war on Iraq did so based upon information that is totally wrong. There is no public evidence that Saddam Hussein supports "terrorists" in the way that Americans define the term (we think "terrorist" means "Arab who is out to kill Americans"). Thanks to poor journalism and White House sleight of tongue, a large segment of Americans see "terrorists," Al Qaeda, 9-11, and Saddam Hussein as one big ominous group. And therefore fighting Iraq is obviously protecting ourselves from terrorism. It saddens me that if the American people had been better educated about the Middle East that this war might never have even gotten off the ground.

Television agendas shape images of war- press coverage of the war in the U.S., U.K., Arab world and Iraq compared and contrasted.

Media giant's rally sponsorship raises questions- I could've posted this article days ago, but I was looking for a little more information. Since I haven't been able to find it, here's the article anyway. Radio giant Clear Channel is reported to have been "sponsoring" pro-war/pro-troop/"patriotic" rallies across the country. I hestitated to post the article because I couldn't really discover what was meant by "sponsor." Does that mean they endorsed it, organized it, paid for it, what? One interviewee in the article speculates that CC's involvement is simply "manufacturing the news," while others have argued that this is simply a way for CC to suck up to the Bush administration so that CC is looked upon favorably and allowed to continue its monopolization of the radio industry.

'It's more than exciting, Christiane'- "Most TV correspondents reporting from Iraq are attached to combat units and adopt the military viewpoint, so who is giving us the other side of the war?"

White House prepares to feed 24-hour news cycle- the word "feed" should be replaced with "dominate." Claims that the White House is scheduling several press conferences a day at times that will serve best to distract journalists and keep the government's message at the top of the heap.

"Precise" and "Surgical": NBC's Bombing Claims Lack Verification- FAIR notes that the media are using descriptive terms that the Pentagon would like them too, without knowing whether or not those terms are very fitting.

Got another email from FAIR today about the media setting up a fiction in which "pro-war" and "pro-troops" are the equivalent, and where "anti-war" and "against the troops" mean the same thing. But that article does not appear to be posted on their site yet.

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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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Jake's first attempt at homemade Mongolican barbecue:

Failure.

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

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Result: not entirely edible.

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