....LMB: "What Up, Docs?"....

July 15, 2004

There are more political documentaries in and around movie theaters these days than at any time I can remember. I'm seriously discovering a new one every week or two. For everyone's convenience, I'll go ahead and catalog em for you. Most of them have already been mentioned on this site, but let's get our one-stop convenience on.

Bush's Brain- in 2003, two reporters penned the book Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential. Karl Rove is, of course, the Mephistopheles to Bush's dim-witted Faust (what, all my references have to be to 80s cartoon shows?), the campaign advisor who's lies, strategery, and dirty tricks put his boss's cowboy boots on the desk in the Oval Office. Anyhow, someone read the book and said "hey, we should make this a movie", and did. Haven't seen the film, but its website implies that one of the main themes of the movie is new politics of not just defeating your opponent, but destroying him.

The Corporation- I plan to see this one this week (maybe tomorrow afternoon, if I play hooky). The film's conceit is "since corporations are considered 'people' under the law, why don't we try to psychoanalyze these artificial people and see what they're like." The conclusion is that if corporations were people, they'd be sociopaths. This film is also apparently based on a book of the same name.

Fahrenheit 9/11- you know about this one.

The Hunting of the President- another book-based doc, this one is about the lengthy Republican campaign to defeat/destroy Bill Clinton while he was in the White House. Of all the movies on this list, this is the one I'm least interested in.

Orwell Rolls in His Grave- just found out about this one like ten minutes ago. Near as I can figure, it's also about the run-up to the Iraq war, but with focus on the absolutely criminal behavior by the US media during this time. I'm most attracted to this film because of its stylish name and focus on my obsession, the media.

Outfoxed- I've mentioned this one a few times lately. Anti-Fox News documentary that is driving the network to distraction.

Super Size Me- least political of the bunch, but still, deals with corporate America, aspects of our government's food and nutritional policies, and getting a big fat ass.

Unprecendented: The 2000 Presidential Election- first of the recent "Un" trilogy. This one is about the Florida debacle part of the 2000 election.

Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War- second of the "Un" trilogy. Covers a lot of the same ground as F911, but with more focus on testimony by intelligence officials debunking the pro-war argument.

Unconstitutional- "Un" trilogy finale. Not yet released, but about post-9/11 fear and the Bush administration's attacks on civil rights in the US.

Posted by Jake at 08:22 PM | TrackBack (0)
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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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