....LMB: "Warren Peace"....

March 15, 2004

Read till the end, the last article is pretty powerful.

'Special skills draft' on drawing board- the US militaryis talking about reinstituting a limited draft, of computer and language experts. Of course, if they call your number, we all know how to get out of this: say you're gay.

US revealed to be secretly funding opponents of Chavez- it appears that the US, via its National Endowment for Democracy, has given a bunch of money to the political opposition in Venezuela. You know, the opposition that tried to oust president Hugo Chavez in a coup a couple years back? Surely the US-coup leader link is just a coinkidink.

Gloating at Madrid's graveside- last week's terrorist attack in Madrid just before Spanish elections resulted in a new regime being voted into office. As the culprits of the attack seem to have been Al Qaeda affiliates, and since Spain had never had any Islamic terrorist attacks before this, it seems that the electorate assumed that the attack was revenge for the amazingly unpopular decision to join the Iraq invasion. Now Spaniards were dying for a war they'd never wanted in the first place, and they were going to vote those bastards out. Well, that's my interpretation of events, anyway.

Brendan O'Neill looks at the nauseating comments by pro-war politicians and pundits worldwide, who seem thrilled that Spain was attacked, hoping that this would "teach them a lesson" about the need to fight terrorism (and "fight terrorism" of course means, "whatever the US says will fight terrorism").

Real message of Madrid's millions- after the Spanish terrorist attacks, literally millions of Spaniards took to the streets in anger, protest and anguish. The reporter above feels that most news outlets missed the point, and sums up his own interpretation very poetically:

The marches on Friday night were the antithesis of what the terrorists had done 36 hours earlier. Massacring innocent people: that is the statement the terrorists make, that is the dumb and stupid drama they stage. Standing together with our fellow men, respecting and loving them even if we do not know them, that is what we the people of Spain people do. You think you won yesterday. You did not. You are the losers.

By coming out here in our millions and millions, speaking not just for Spain but for the great and enduring values of the human race, we have defeated you.

And try as you may, you sons of bitches, we always will.

Posted by Jake at 12:29 PM | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Standing with our fellow men, respecting and loving them, and bullshit bullshit bullshit. What do you think Al Qaida thinks about your admittedly personal take on the Spanish situation? Are they saying, "hey fellas, maybe we got these guys all wrong, they're not so bad?" Or is it "I knew these cojone-less Spaniards would fold at the first taste. They haven't had it in 'em for a fight since 1700."

Which is it? I tell you one thing, in Al Qaida, they don't know the lyrics to Kumbaya. But why worry, the new Spanish government is aching to teach them.

Posted by: Ignatius at March 17, 2004 05:19 PM
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Media News

December 01, 2004

Media Mambo

The Great Indecency Hoax- last week, we wrote about how the "massive outcry" to the FCC about a racy Fox TV segment amounted to letters from 20 people. This week, we look at the newest media scandal, the infamous "naked back" commercial. On Monday Night Football, last week, ABC aired an ad for it's popular "Desperate Housewives" TV show, in which one of the actresses from the show attempted to seduce a football player by removing the towel she was wearing to bare her body to him. All the audience saw, however, was her back. No tits, no ass, no crotch, just her back.

No one complained.

The next Wednesday, Rush Limbaugh told his shocked viewers how the woman had appeard in the commercial "buck naked".

Then, the FCC received 50,000 complaints. How many of them actually saw this commercial is anyone's guess.

The article also shows the amazing statistics that although the Right is pretending that the "22% of Americans voted based on 'moral values'" statistic shows the return of the Moral Majority, this is actually a huge drop from the 35% who said that in the 2000 election or the 40% who said that in 1996 (when alleged pervert Bill Clinton was re-elected). This fact is so important I'm going to mention it over in the main news section too.

Brian Williams may surprise America- Tom Brokaw's replacement anchor, Brian Williams, dismissed the impact of blogs by saying that bloggers are "on an equal footing with someone in a bathroom with a modem." Which is really funny, coming out of the mouth of a dude who's idea of journalism is to read words out loud off a teleprompter. Seriously, if parrots were literate, Brian Williams would be reporting live from the line outside the soup kitchen.

In related news, Tom Brokaw has quit NBC Nightly News, and it appears that unlike his predecessor, the new guy can speak without slurring words like a drunk.

PR Meets Psy-Ops in War on Terror- in February of 2002, Donald Rumsfeld announced the creation of the Office of Strategic Influence, a new department that would fight the war on terror through misinformation, especially by lying to journalists. Journalists were so up in arms about this that the Pentagon agreed to scrap the program.

Don't you think that an agency designed to lie to the public might lie about being shut down, too?

This article gives some examples about the US military lying to the press for propaganda and disinformation purposes.

Tavis Smiley leaving NPR in December- African-American talk show host Tavis Smiley is opting to not renew his daily talk show on National Public Radio. He criticized his former employers for failing to: "meaningfully reach out to a broad spectrum of Americans who would benefit from public radio but simply donít know it exists or what it offers ... In the most multicultural, multi-ethnic and multiracial America ever, I believe that NPR can and must do better in the future." He's 100% correct. NPR is white. Polar bear eating a marshmallow at the mayonaise factory white. And the reason it's so white is that it is trying to maintain an affluent listener base (premoniantly older white folks) who will donate money to their stations. This is a great paradox of American public broadcasting, that they have a mandate to express neglected viewpoints and serve marginalized communities, but those folks can't donate money in the amounts that the stations would like to see.

U.S. Muslim Cable TV Channel Aims to Build Bridges- it sounds more positive than it is "Bridges TV" seems to simultaneously be a cable channel pursuing an affluent American Muslim demographic, and a way of building understanding and tolerance among American non-Muslims who might happen to watch the channel's programming. I was hoping it would be aimed more at Muslim's worldwide, but it ain't. Still, I'd be interested in seeing how their news programs cover the issues.

Every Damned Weblog Post Ever- it's funny cuz it's true.

Wikipedia Creators Move Into News- Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, created collectively by thousands of contributors. It's one of those non-profit, decentralized, collective, public projects that show how good the internet can be. Now, the Wikipedia founders are working on a similar project to create a collaborative news portal, with original content. Honestly, it's quite similar to IndyMedia sites (which reminds me, happy 5th birthday, IndyMedia!). I'll admit, I'm a bit skeptical about the Wikinews project, though. IndyMedia sites work because they're local, focused on certain lefty issues, and they're run by activists invested in their beliefs. I'm not sure what would drive Wikinews or how it would hang together.

CBS, NBC ban church ad inviting gays- the United Church of Christ created a TV ad which touts the church's inclusion, even implying that they accept homosexuals into their congregation. Both CBS and NBC are refusing to air the ad. This is not too surprising, as many Americans are uncomfortable about homosexuality, and because TV networks are utter cowards. But CBS' explanation for the ban was odd:

"Because this commercial touches on the exclusion of gay couples...and the fact that the executive branch has recently proposed a Constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, this spot is unacceptable for broadcast."

Whoa, what? First of all, the ad does not mention marriage at all. Second, since when do positions opposite of the Executive Branch constitute "unacceptable"? This doesn't sound like "we're not airing this because it's controversial", this sounds like "we're afraid of what the President might say."

Posted by Jake at 10:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
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