....LMB: "Perspective"....

September 03, 2003

A friend of mine works at the NPR radio station in Philadelphia, and they had a Nigerian correspondent visit them on sort of a student exchange thing. He has since returned to Nigeria, and has filed a report about his American experiences. One paragraph contained this priceless observation:

I attended a press conference of the Pennsylvania governor and a U.S. senator from Pennsylvania. The two politicians gave me a good picture of how U.S. politicians conduct themselves at a media briefing. The governor particularly impressed me by displaying exemplary humility. My American journalism colleagues had a field day throwing an artillery barrage of questions. But throughout the entire briefing, the governor had only three aides with him and no mobile police with large guns.
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i have to tell you, your side bar does not like to appear on my computer. ever.

Posted by: ms lauren at September 3, 2003 06:44 AM

this piece presented by the nigerian correspondent can be taken several different ways and in full respect i will tread somewhat carefully- i have nigerian friends who have left their country because of the religious intolerance existent there- turns out khaddafi and some of his boys from saudi arabia have a very strong and daily gaining ground presence there (especially in the north and central part of the country) with the hope of mass conversions to islam, with this, resistance for the most part is futile and chaos is common. with all that said i can see why the nigerian correspondent spoke as he/she did-- i'd still like to see bush account for everything he says and does like blair has to in parliament though (that would entertain me beyond compare), and no i'm not a blair supportee, but if we had a similar system that insisted upon the intellectual aptitude and wit of a political entity on a regular but at times unexpected basis that would indeed serve us well.

Posted by: paula at September 4, 2003 05:21 AM

In a crude, totalitarian state, you'll be shot if you speak out. In America, speak out and you're ignored or discredited by the powers to be. At worst, you'll be intimidated within "legal" parameters, when "free speech" actually becomes dangerous enough.

Unfortunately, American politicians do not ride with common folks either, just rich corporate sponsors.

Posted by: Eric at September 4, 2003 11:01 PM

ms lauren, a site redesign is on the way. I hope to have it ready within 2 weeks.

Posted by: Jake at September 5, 2003 07:56 AM
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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:

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