....LMB: "Rant Mania"....

November 06, 2003

Cowboys and Indians-

In 1999, a federal court ordered the Interior Department to account for oil, gas, timber and grazing royalties that should have been paid to Native American landowners over more than a century. The Department owes somewhere between $6 and $12 billion to 500,000 people.

The article goes on to explain how the Senate passed a sneaky-ass bill that postpones payment of these royalties till at least 2004. And then they tacked on a number of anti-environmental, pro-business amendments.

Silly word games and weapons of mass destruction- since the inspections of Iraq have turned up no evidence of WMDs, anti-war folks have angrily been decrying Bush's lies that Iraq was an "imminent threat." Conservatives then went on a counter-offensive, claiming that Bush never said such a thing. In this article, Josh Marshall digs up a number of quotes in which Bush and his staff did say (and imply) that very thing.

Escape by Voice Vote- what scummy bastards. Fearing backlash no matter how they chose to vote, just about the entire U.S. Senate cravenly agreed to do a "voice vote" on Bush's plan to spend $87 billion in Iraq and Afghanistan. A voice vote is not recorded, so you can't check and see how your senator voted. Who wants to deal with all that "acountable to the people" crap?

NBC chief: Our shows 'sucked'- well duh. Apparently the latest Nielsen TV ratings show a huge drop in viewership by men ages 18 to 34. As this is the group thought to have the most disposable income, it is the group most sought after by advertisers, and therefore also by TV networks. Most networks are taking the surprising step of claiming that the ratings must be wrong. The head of NBC chooses to blame his network's lousy program choices-- and faulty ratings.

I find this extremely fascinating, because Nielsen ratings are amazingly faulty. Their methods are very sloppy, and there is no way if knowing that the ratings that Nielsen gives actually tell you how many people are watching which shows. Yet all the networks and all the advertisers accept their numbers as fact. The entire television industry is based upon this ridiculous, silent agreement to believe in the accuracy of Nielsen. Is this agreement starting to crack?

House Nixes Anti-Profiteering Penalties in Iraq Spending Bill- that Iraq bill that the Senate just took their silent vote on? The original version had segments that would punish those who tried to rip off the Iraq efforts for their own personal profit. The House decided to remove those parts. Yay team.

I'm tired. Going to bed.

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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.

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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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