....LMB: "What Passes for News These Days"....

March 03, 2004

Copied from Empire Notes, transcribed from Fox News' "The Big Story with John Gibson", March 2, 2004:

JOHN GIBSON: Folks in Haiti getting used to life without Jean-Bertrand Aristide. As for Aristide, he is in exile pushing the idea that he is the victim of a coup. Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano has more on the hazards of being a dictator. Well, one of the hazards is you get run out of the country.

JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO, FOX NEWS SENIOR JUDICIAL ANALYST: Absolutely. And you get run to a country which may turn on you. I mean, this Central African Republic has a horrific history of housing dictators. Emperor Bokassa I, who was reputed to be a cannibal.

GIBSON: He was actually acquitted of that charge.

NAPOLITANO: Acquitted of the cannibalism but convicted of murder. When the Central Africa Republic got tired of supporting his lavish lifestyle sent him back to the country out of which he had been kicked. They tried him for murder, sentenced him to 20 years. He was let out after a couple years and eventually died. So we don't know what life will be like for Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Jeeeeee-zus is that some fast & loose playing with the facts.

First, Gibson simply asserts that the democratically-elected Aristide is a "dictator."

Then dismisses Aristide's claims of "coup" out of hand. (As I note in this entry, Aristide was obviously the victim of a coup, what with all the armed men telling him to resign or be killed.)

Then, they imply that Aristide is a dictator again, because he's in Central African Republic, which they claim "houses dictators."

Then, they assert that some guy's a cannibal, even though he apparently isn't.

Net result: "Jean-Bertrand Aristide is a dictator cannibal on the run, who will die a horrible death."

Fox News needs a new slogan. Instead of "We Report. You Decide", it should be "Look at Me!! Look at Me!!"

Posted by Jake at 11:35 AM | TrackBack (0)
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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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