....LMB: "We Don't Need No Thought Control"....

November 03, 2003

In mid-November, CBS plans to air a mini-series dramatizing the life of former president Ronald Reagan. According to Newsweek, the series was "meant to be a warts-and-all portrait of an American icon". Think of any TV biopic you've ever seen, where they often make the person out to be a bit more selfish and volatile than you would've thought, but make the person look good overall, because otherwise the audience wouldn't want to watch that person for multiple hours. I imagine this was to be something like that.

Enter nutty conservatives.

I'm sure that there are many conservatives who think that Reagan was a good president or even a great one, but don't spend much of their day thinking about it. There are others who literally spend hours on end working to get Reagan's face on the ten dollar bill, or Mount Rushmore. It's probably this latter group that is up in arms that this mini-series might not be 100% adoring of the former president.

Now I have no problem with nutty conservatives voicing their opinion about the mini-series, or even trying to get it cancelled (and it looks like it might actually succeed). What bothers me is when our president's political party begins implying that they have the right to preview media that they think might disagree with their point of view before it becomes public. That's about one step away from the government itself asking to preview such media, and only a couple more steps from their to outright political censorship by the government.


CBS has indeed pulled the mini-series:

CBS insisted it was not bowing to pressure about portions of the script, but that the decision was made after seeing the finished film.

"Although the miniseries features impressive production values and acting performances, and although the producers have sources to verify each scene in the script, we believe it does not present a balanced portrayal of the Reagans for CBS and its audience," the network said in a statement.

The mini-series will now be shown on a CBS sister network, Showtime.


Posted by Jake at 10:56 PM | TrackBack (0)

Ummmm. Look around. We already HAVE government censorship.

Posted by: Woody at November 4, 2003 08:47 AM

And the sad thing is that the miniseries is almost certainly a whitewash, even if it does have a few comments inconsistent with Republican hagiography.

Posted by: The Fool at November 4, 2003 12:33 PM

So CBS caved. Craven corporate douchebags, all of 'em. I long ago stopped referring to the networks by their commonly-recognized names, and I now identify them by what should be their proper names.

But it does irritate my wife when I tell her which news program I plan to watch each evening: The Viacom Evening News, General Electric Nightly News or Disney World News Tonight.

What the hell...makes me feel better.

Posted by: Rusty Shackleford at November 6, 2003 10:29 PM

"I remember Ronald Reagen...Born again with fascist cravings..."

Posted by: Eric at November 7, 2003 11:55 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:


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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