....LMB: "Stealth Suffering"....

September 27, 2003

Number of People Living in Poverty in U.S. Increases Again-

Poverty rose for a second straight year in 2002 as 1.7 million more people dropped below the poverty line, according to Census Bureau estimates released Friday that provided fresh evidence of the struggling economy's effect on Americans' pocketbooks.

The poverty rate was 12.1 percent last year, an increase from 11.7 percent in 2001 even though the last recession ended in November 2001. That meant nearly 34.6 million people were living in poverty.

Before the two years of increase, poverty had fallen for nearly a decade to 11.3 percent in 2000, its lowest level in more than 25 years.

Then there's this inexplicable line:

"The economy is moving in the right direction,'' Bush spokesman Scott McClellan said.

Eh? More people have fallen below the (highly subjective, and almost certainly too low) poverty line for two consecutive years and we're headed in the "right direction"? Apparently in his off-hours, McClellan moonlights as Famine of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

And not surprisingly, the Bush administration tried to play some politics with the report:

For the first time in 15 years, the poverty report is being released on a Friday. That has prompted charges by Democrats that the White House hopes to see the bad news buried in little-seen Friday night and Saturday news coverage.

Bush & co. do this all the time. Any sort of negative report or negative news gets reported on Friday afternoons/evenings, hoping that the press then won't cover the story. Hell, it might not be a bad idea to start going out of your way to read the breaking news on Friday afternoons to find out what you might not hear otherwise.

Posted by Jake at 10:04 PM | TrackBack (0)
Comments

I just want to point out what I think is a typo. You call the poverty line "almost certainly too high," but I think you mean too low. It strikes me as being absurdly low, being about half what I make, and I'm not a family of four! I can't imagine cutting my earnings in half and then splitting it four ways (actually worse, since dependents would need a much larger share). Anyway, thanks for the coverage!

Posted by: Jon at September 28, 2003 01:51 PM

Doh! You're right. I'll make the change.

Posted by: Jake at September 28, 2003 02:59 PM
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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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