....LMB: "Compassionate Smoke & Mirrors"....

July 21, 2003

When I first heard about Bush's plans to help with the African AIDS crisis, I knew there would be exaggerations and loopholes. But the situation is so much worse I can scarcely believe it.

First, Bush promises to send $15 billion in aid to Africa over the next five years, $3 billion of it 2004.

Then, Congress votes to only allocate funds for $2 billion in 2004, a billion short of what was promised (watch for more of this "Bush loudly promises, Congress quietly denies" in the future).

Then, Congress votes (with White House support) to devote one-third of the money to abstinence-only education as the means to fight AIDS.

Then, Congress votes (with White House support) to allow religious organizations receiving this funding to "reject strategies they consider objectionable." Why the hell are religious organizations getting this money? And I wonder which religious organizations W is going to choose to give money to...

Let's call all that terrible shit above Part One.

Part Two is a "follow the money" game.

Of the $3 billion that Bush wanted to send to Africa next year, only $200 million will go to the highly effective UN Global AIDS fund. Where will the rest go?

Our first clue: to run this $15 billion plan, Bush selected Randall L. Tobias. He has no experience working with AIDS, and no experience with Third World countries. His primary "qualification" to run this plan is that he used to be-- wait for it-- CEO of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly.


To put it bluntly, the largest obstacles to effective measures to curb the African AIDS epidemic are pharmaceutical giants like Eli Lilly. The big drug companies hold the patents on AIDS medications, and sell them at hugely inflated prices relative to the actual cost of their manufacture (the article above says that the full-price cost of a year's worth of AIDS treatment is $12,000, but you can get the generic version for $300). Obviously, the largely impoverished population of Africa-- the ones most likely to be infected, of course-- can't afford these drugs, so they suffer and die. When governments of some of these stricken nations try to use their internationally-sanctioned right to import or produce generic versions of these drugs to treat their people, the big drug companies lean on them. Hard. Lawsuits, pulled loans, economic sanctions, that sort of thing.

Cuz, y'know, if countries started manufacturing their own drugs, it would weaken the drug companies' copyright control and profits.

(Actually, two key players who helped pressure the African continent to die for Big Pharma were Bill Clinton and Al Gore. I want all you liberals to remember that. Clinton and Gore were better than W., but they were still scum).

So, to sum up:

- Bush AIDS aid is a smaller amount than expected
- Bush AIDS aid will server as a reward to his religious supporters and as a bribe to solicit their future support
- Bush AIDS aid will largely go back into the pockets of large pharmaceutical corporations, who will likely in turn support Bush and his fellow Republicans' upcoming election campaigns
- Bush, Congress, and all major drug company execs should be savagely beaten and left to die, just outside of a hospital they can't afford

In a slightly related story, pro-lifers and Congressional Republicans are looking to cut funding to the UN Population Fund because they think it supports abortions in China. Blogger/cartoonist Ampersand demolishes these claims and shows how attacking this Fund actually hurts the anti-abortion movement.

Ernest Hemingway once wrote, "The world is a fine place and worth fighting for." I agree with the second part.
- William Somerset, Seven

Posted by Jake at 12:27 AM | TrackBack (0)

cnn.com poll right now:

Is President Bush doing a good job?


Posted by: jim at July 21, 2003 08:03 AM

My trackback ping doesn't register on your site for some reason. So, FYI, I've referenced and quoted this entry at www.appalachia-alumni-association.net

Posted by: hope at July 23, 2003 06:24 AM
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 ģ.

contact: jake+at+lyingmediabastards.com

Media News

December 01, 2004

Media Mambo

The Great Indecency Hoax- last week, we wrote about how the "massive outcry" to the FCC about a racy Fox TV segment amounted to letters from 20 people. This week, we look at the newest media scandal, the infamous "naked back" commercial. On Monday Night Football, last week, ABC aired an ad for it's popular "Desperate Housewives" TV show, in which one of the actresses from the show attempted to seduce a football player by removing the towel she was wearing to bare her body to him. All the audience saw, however, was her back. No tits, no ass, no crotch, just her back.

No one complained.

The next Wednesday, Rush Limbaugh told his shocked viewers how the woman had appeard in the commercial "buck naked".

Then, the FCC received 50,000 complaints. How many of them actually saw this commercial is anyone's guess.

The article also shows the amazing statistics that although the Right is pretending that the "22% of Americans voted based on 'moral values'" statistic shows the return of the Moral Majority, this is actually a huge drop from the 35% who said that in the 2000 election or the 40% who said that in 1996 (when alleged pervert Bill Clinton was re-elected). This fact is so important I'm going to mention it over in the main news section too.

Brian Williams may surprise America- Tom Brokaw's replacement anchor, Brian Williams, dismissed the impact of blogs by saying that bloggers are "on an equal footing with someone in a bathroom with a modem." Which is really funny, coming out of the mouth of a dude who's idea of journalism is to read words out loud off a teleprompter. Seriously, if parrots were literate, Brian Williams would be reporting live from the line outside the soup kitchen.

In related news, Tom Brokaw has quit NBC Nightly News, and it appears that unlike his predecessor, the new guy can speak without slurring words like a drunk.

PR Meets Psy-Ops in War on Terror- in February of 2002, Donald Rumsfeld announced the creation of the Office of Strategic Influence, a new department that would fight the war on terror through misinformation, especially by lying to journalists. Journalists were so up in arms about this that the Pentagon agreed to scrap the program.

Don't you think that an agency designed to lie to the public might lie about being shut down, too?

This article gives some examples about the US military lying to the press for propaganda and disinformation purposes.

Tavis Smiley leaving NPR in December- African-American talk show host Tavis Smiley is opting to not renew his daily talk show on National Public Radio. He criticized his former employers for failing to: "meaningfully reach out to a broad spectrum of Americans who would benefit from public radio but simply donít know it exists or what it offers ... In the most multicultural, multi-ethnic and multiracial America ever, I believe that NPR can and must do better in the future." He's 100% correct. NPR is white. Polar bear eating a marshmallow at the mayonaise factory white. And the reason it's so white is that it is trying to maintain an affluent listener base (premoniantly older white folks) who will donate money to their stations. This is a great paradox of American public broadcasting, that they have a mandate to express neglected viewpoints and serve marginalized communities, but those folks can't donate money in the amounts that the stations would like to see.

U.S. Muslim Cable TV Channel Aims to Build Bridges- it sounds more positive than it is "Bridges TV" seems to simultaneously be a cable channel pursuing an affluent American Muslim demographic, and a way of building understanding and tolerance among American non-Muslims who might happen to watch the channel's programming. I was hoping it would be aimed more at Muslim's worldwide, but it ain't. Still, I'd be interested in seeing how their news programs cover the issues.

Every Damned Weblog Post Ever- it's funny cuz it's true.

Wikipedia Creators Move Into News- Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, created collectively by thousands of contributors. It's one of those non-profit, decentralized, collective, public projects that show how good the internet can be. Now, the Wikipedia founders are working on a similar project to create a collaborative news portal, with original content. Honestly, it's quite similar to IndyMedia sites (which reminds me, happy 5th birthday, IndyMedia!). I'll admit, I'm a bit skeptical about the Wikinews project, though. IndyMedia sites work because they're local, focused on certain lefty issues, and they're run by activists invested in their beliefs. I'm not sure what would drive Wikinews or how it would hang together.

CBS, NBC ban church ad inviting gays- the United Church of Christ created a TV ad which touts the church's inclusion, even implying that they accept homosexuals into their congregation. Both CBS and NBC are refusing to air the ad. This is not too surprising, as many Americans are uncomfortable about homosexuality, and because TV networks are utter cowards. But CBS' explanation for the ban was odd:

"Because this commercial touches on the exclusion of gay couples...and the fact that the executive branch has recently proposed a Constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, this spot is unacceptable for broadcast."

Whoa, what? First of all, the ad does not mention marriage at all. Second, since when do positions opposite of the Executive Branch constitute "unacceptable"? This doesn't sound like "we're not airing this because it's controversial", this sounds like "we're afraid of what the President might say."

Posted by Jake at 10:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
More Media News

Jake Jake Jake


Fake "Ha-Ha" News




"It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of what he was never reasoned into."

-Jonathan Swift

More Quotes

Media News


Obligatory Blog Links



Damn. That joke would have been much funnier if I'd said "apprentice" instead of "intern".

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