....LMB: "Fake Out"....

September 30, 2004

Lots of interesting tidbits in this Washington Post article.

1) "The Bush administration, battling negative perceptions of the Iraq war, is sending Iraqi Americans to deliver what the Pentagon calls 'good news' about Iraq to U.S. military bases, and has curtailed distribution of reports showing increasing violence in that country." Where I come from, we call that "propaganda."

2) "Details have emerged showing the U.S. government and a representative of President Bush's reelection campaign had been heavily involved in drafting the speech given to Congress last week by interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi."

3) The day after the Post made a leaked report about the number of insurgent attacks in Iraq into a front page story, the government announced that it will no longer issue those reports.

4) The "good news" tour mentioned above will be sending Iraqi Americans and former members of the Coalition Provisional Authority to military bases to provide a "first hand account" of what's happening on the ground in Iraq. I'm not exactly sure why being of Iraqi descent means that you know what's going on in Iraq right now (... maybe all Iraqis are born with mental telepathy?), and the CPA folks have been out of Iraq since, what, June?

5) This "good news" tour is being paid for by the Pentagon! Your tax dollars are being spent to tell American soldiers that the ongoing clusterfuck in Iraq is really not so bad.

If we cut through the shit a bit, we see that convincing people that Iraq is A-OK is part of Bush's election strategy. Allawi's trip to the US was not about thanking the American people, but about getting votes for Bush. And this "feel good" tour is essentially our tax money being spent to try to win more military votes for Bush.

[Insert your favorite 1984 quote here]

[Thanks to David D]

Posted by Jake at 09:38 AM | TrackBack (0)
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"Sanity is not a statistic." ~Winston Smith.

Posted by: Alyssa at September 30, 2004 01:28 PM
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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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