....LMB: "Bit o' News"....

June 04, 2003

Unreconstructed- go read this one. Long but fairly comprehensive look at the current state of Afghanistan- politically, economically, socially, etc. The main focus of the article is on the incredible amount of work and money that is needed to rebuild Afghanistan, and the utter lack of work and money that has been given by the wealthy Western nations who promised to give it.

Iraqis Say They Will Defy U.S. On Council Plan- wow. The U.S. occupation leaders called for a major conference of Iraqi political leaders to start making decisions on a quasi-democratic interim government. Then, the U.S. cancelled the conference, claiming that the country wasn't ready for that yet, that the U.S. would just appoint leaders. Now, Iraqis are saying that they are going to have the conference anyway. Don't know where that's going to lead...


Study: Detainees abused after 9/11- this story got a bit of play in the mainstream news. In the wake of 9-11, U.S. law enforcement went nuts, imprisoning hundreds of "Middle Eastern" and Muslim men without the usual due process of arrest. In effect, these men were abducted and held prisoner for weeks, without anyone knowing where they had gone. It seemed illegal and immoral right on the face of it. But now a report from the Justice Department says that a number of these detainees suffered "physical and verbal abuse" from their captors. Not surprising, really.

TV News That Looks Local, Even if It's Not- this is downright creepy. It's about the Sinclair Broadcast Group, a company that owns 62 American television stations. For newscasts at all SBG-owned stations, the show is perhaps half done by the local station's news team. The other half is produced at SBG headquarters, and is played on all of the local stations, passing off a national newscast as a local one. Even stranger, part of the national broadcast is fiery right-wing invective by Mark Hyman. Hyman is not a journalist or political analyst, but the Vice President of Corporate Communications for SBG. But scariest is when the local content is driven out of the local news. How the hell are you going to find out what your local politicians and business are doing if no one will cover those stories?

Posted by Jake at 09:13 AM | TrackBack (0)
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Mark Hyman of SBG is a moron. More amazing is the lack of attention he is getting. If his tirades were as left-slanted as they are right, he'd be the target of a Senate investigation. Bill O'Reilly would likely invite him to the "No Spin Zone" to give him a figurative tongue lashing (now, if Bill gave him a literal tongue lashing, I'd set the VCR). SBG and Hyman (along with the brain trust of Fox News) are proof enough that there is, in fact, no "liberal media bias." If anything, three is a conservative bias. And as for the alleged statistics showing 92% of news directors and reporters (a number I find difficult to believe) voted for Gore in 2000, I say, so what? Liberals are clearly more adroit at conveying objectivity (because we are by nature more skeptical) than conservatives. Thus, even if those putting on the news are liberals, they're smart enough not to wear it on their sleeves. Please, go after Hyman and SBG.

Go get 'em.

Posted by: Andy Patten at September 11, 2003 02:53 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.

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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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Mission: Mongolia

Jake's first attempt at homemade Mongolican barbecue:

Failure.

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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