....LMB: "Medium, Message"....

July 09, 2004

The 'prop-agenda' war- a look at current and past uses and techniques of propaganda by the US government on the American people.

Some theater chains refuse 'Fahrenheit'- I have no problem with theater owners choosing to show or not show Michael Moore's new movie. I am amused by a quoted theater chain owner's claim that the reason that they are choosing to not show Moore's film is because "It has always been and will continue to be our policy to refuse to play what we feel are propaganda films, no matter the source." We salute thee, Captain Patriot, on your long-standing non-propaganda policy! So when when exactly has this been an issue at your theater? What was the last wide-release film which was propaganda and made you put your foot down to uphold your virtue? Pompous lying motherfucker.

News Hounds- site that's new to me, "We watch FOX so you don't have to" (that's quite a community service). Basically, they watch and critique Fox News Channel programming from a liberal point of view.

If anyone knows a site that critiques Fox News from a conservative point of view, please let me know. That could be hilarious.

Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism- more Fox bashing. This is the site of a new documentary about the effects of corporate ownership on the news media, and on Fox in particular.

FCC may order media to keep on-air records- to better penalize broadcasters, the FCC is mulling over the idea of making those broadcasters keep recordings of all their shows. Expect broadcasters to fight back, talking about the high price of blank tape.

Photoshop other New York Post front-page scoops- after the New York Post's goofy blunder where they printed an erroneous front page about Kerry's running mate, the jokers at Fark put their graphical skills to work riffing on that theme. In related news, it looks as though the "mysterious source" who misinformed the Post might have been Post owner and media emperor Rupert Murdoch (actually, I'm not sure why the NY Times is running with that story, they only have a single, unnamed source making that claim. Oh wait, that's because they're the NY Times).

House Leaves Patriot Act Unchanged- members of the House of Representatives tried to alter the Patriot Act so that law enforcement did not have the right to search every American's library records and book receipts to find out what they're reading. The attempt failed. I love how when I read, Big Brother's lips move.

No Sex, Please, We're Texas- conservative nutjobs in Texas have decided that all the state's kids should be furnished solely with special "Texas edition" health books which teach that abstinence is the only form of birth control. Which is good, because there's nothing more evil than teen sex. Well, maybe teen pot smoking.

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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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