....LMB: "Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Treachery"....

October 28, 2003

You may remember a weblog that became fairly popular around February and March of this year, "Where's Raed?" by a fellow going under the pseudonym of "Salam Pax". Pax claimed to be an Iraqi living in Baghdad, giving his personal take on the Iraqi regime and on the coming war. I was quite skeptical as to its authenticity (I'm naturally skeptical), but the sheer volume of posts (going back to December 2002) and the numerous photographs eventually convinced me that it was probably legit.

Months later, a second Iraqi blog in English rose to popularity, Baghdad Burning, by a woman calling herself "river". It too is one person's take on daily life in Iraq, focusing more on the effects of the occupation, and the picture it paints is often quite grim. Again, I have been skeptical of its authenticity, but with the level of detail it contains, I concede that it probably is real.

But apparently someone here in the States feels that Baghdad Burning has too much of an effect on public opinion, and has launched a look-alike site in which all of the content is pro-occupation. The original site is riverbend.blogspot.com , and the new one is riverSbend.blogspot.com, just one letter's difference. The second site is nearly identical in layout, font, etc., obviously trying to trick people into thinking that these are the words and feelings of river herself. Pretty scummy, if you ask me.

Who would stoop so low as to perform this charade? Blogger John Gorenfeld has some answers.

Digging around, he found one of the first references to this new blog on Usenet by a fellow calling himself "El Solerito Troy." And if you examine the very bottom of the fake page, there is a link to a hit counter. And the login name for that hit counter account? "Solerito." A bit too coincidental for my tastes.

Oh, also, El Solerito Troy ends all of his Usenet posts describing himself as, among other things, a GOP team leader. Lovely.

So there you have it. Some aging American Republican trying to boost his party's popularity by pretending to be an Iraqi woman who loves her American occupiers (Raise your outrage level by inserting various other relevant nationalities into that sentence).

Posted by Jake at 01:04 PM | TrackBack (0)
Comments

jesus fucking christ.

Posted by: dack at October 29, 2003 11:16 AM

Sickening. Seriously sickening.

Also, check out the link to GOPTeamleader.com. Incredible: you build up "points" for sending letters to media, congress, etc.; and they send you a "leather case for a PDA" or GOP folding chairs.

What is going on with the right? Does the idea of promoting democratic participation through PRIZES bother anyone? I feel like their methods just get more and more outrageous...

Or am I being hypocritical?

Posted by: adam at October 29, 2003 11:38 AM

Just wanted to add that for reasons unknown, our man has in the last couple of days set up blogs at riverbendSblog.blogspot.com and riverbendblogS.blogspot.com. Although he seems to have basically capitulated at the original by removing much of the similarities with the original.

It's kind of weirdly fascinating wondering what he's up to and what exact cause he currently thinks he's serving. I've been getting regular email updates from across the web as people spot his activities so - as a shameless plug - if you want to get the latest my blog ought to have it

Posted by: Brian AtBendingTruth at October 31, 2003 02:08 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.

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.

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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