....LMB: "Greetings from Lockdown NYC"....

August 30, 2004

Hey folks.

Iím sitting in lovely Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan, making use of their free wireless internet access. The Republican convention starts this morning, the protests started three days ago.

First, New York City: if youíve never been, go. Itís so dense and vertical and international, so amazing that I wonít even try to do it justice in words here (although at present, its most noticeable feature is itís hot sweatiness. Ew. Only been awake a few hours and I probably already smell like an unwashed dog). Itís the anti-suburbs in many good ways. Why donít I move here? I wonít rule out the possibility someday, but Iím a born and raised southern Californian, and anytime I leave my domain, that becomes achingly obvious. Iím supposed to live hours away from a beach? Iím supposed to deal with humidity and cold and snow? Iím not so down with all that.

Anyhow, went to the pro-choice march Saturday, which involved activists marching over the Brooklyn bridge for one jillion hours. Well, probably more like 2 and a half, but it seemed really long watching from the finish line. Happily, the best response that the anti-choice forces could come up with was a couple dozen red-faced men and one crazy lady who was belting out hymns or something.

And yesterday was the big, dangerous march that could have (but didnít) go to Central Park-- dangerous only because I was afraid that many protesters would illegally go to Central Park and get arrested in droves. Huge numbers of folks there, Iím hearing reports between 100,000 and 400,000 in attendance. No crazy police crackdown, thank god. The march went to Union Square and was supposed to then disperse, but instead, it was more like a big old activist picnic, very chill. I wonít pretend that it rocked the political world, but it was enjoyable.

Then last night there were a number of direct action protests near Times Square. Activists learned that a number of Republican delegates were going to spend the night before the convention seeing some of the cityís many plays and musicals, and used this tidbit to confront the delegates in person, huge police presence be damned. Truly one of the ballsiest protests of the convention. Just read a snippet on NYCís Indymedia site which read something like: ďactivists cornered Republican delegates outside a Times Square restaurant and chanted Ďright wing scum, your time has come!íĒ Let that image lull you to sleep tonight with a smile on your face.

But the crazy Times Square actions did incur mass arrests, sad to say, maybe 200-300. And it caused the police to occupy the area to the point that I feared that if I left my friendís Square-adjacent apartment that the cops might not let me back in.

Other fun development: I might be interviewed on NYCís KROCK-FM today sometime between 1-4pm EST. In an unexpected development, the station offered 3 hours of airtime to my lefty rock star bosses to do with whatever they like. And what they like sounds like it will include lots and lots of quality political tunes, an interview with Michael Moore, and an ďin the fieldĒ report from me. Unless plans change, which they always can, of course.

Iíll toss out an idea: maybe some of yíall would like to start trying to raise some money for an Arrested Activist Defense Fund. If our brothers and sisters are gonna take on the evil-doers to their faces, we should try to have their backs.

Posted by Jake at 07:29 AM | TrackBack (0)

great report. do you expect the protesters to stay for the duration of the RNC? Mainstream reports everything calmed down today.

Posted by: michael at August 30, 2004 09:37 AM

To Michael above, I know that a lot of people came into NYC specifically for the antiwar march. I mean, organizations were busing people in for it.

BTW, I just so love that CNN is reporting the antiwar march was "tens of thousands". Um? Were we at the same march?

Tonight was kinda intense, came inches away from arrest at the end of the Poor People's Economic Human Rights March. And I had specifically made an attempt to steer clear of arrestable stuff. Eep.

Posted by: Denise at August 30, 2004 10:27 PM

"Right-wing scum, your time has come"! Oooh, what insightful analysis and thoughtful discourse on the issues! Keep it up, folks - you're really providing some comedy relief to those of us on the right side of the aisle!

Posted by: Matt at August 31, 2004 10:49 AM

Thanks Jake for that excellent first hand report. You guys out there deserve at least some bail money. Keep the reports coming.

Posted by: Howard at August 31, 2004 03:15 PM

Great reporting from the street. I heard today that 400 people were arrested in demonstrations around the city. Is this accurate? We are definitely being sheltered by news channels and their 'snippet' coverage of the protests taking place in NYC. The people must be heard!!. Continue to keep us informed.
P. S. Arnold....True Lies??? Must You Be Reminded??? W.M.D.???!!!!!

Posted by: Chuck at August 31, 2004 09:24 PM
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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

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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