....LMB: "Media Shower"....

October 10, 2004

Conservative TV Group to Air Anti-Kerry Film- when we last heard about the Sinclair Broadcast Group, the head office was commanding all of its local TV affiliates to not air an episode of Nightline that would read aloud the names of all of the US soldiers who had died in the Iraq war. This appeared to be pure conservative partisanship, trying to shield the nation from information that could decrease support for the war.

Now, SBG is forcing all of its affiliates to preempt their regular programs and air an anti-Kerry "documentary" just days before the election. This is precisely the sort of scenario that media activists are always warning against.

Feds Seize Indymedia Servers- odd tale. As I reconstruct it, someone posted a photograph of two undercover Swiss police officers, who were spying on protesters, to the British activist news site Indymedia UK. Swiss law enforcement was upset, so they contacted friends in the FBI to ask for help. The FBI, utilizing some sort of collaborative agreement with British law enforcement, seized Indymedia UK's server computers. These computers not only hosted Indymedia UK, but almost two dozen other international activist news sites. It all sounds pretty shady to me.

On a related note:

Free Radio Santa Cruz Shut Down by FCC- not sure why the FCC is cracking down on pirate stations, first Knoxville First Amendment Radio, now this long-running Santa Cruz station.

Howard Stern on Satellite Radio- Sirius Satellite Radio is the smaller of the two major satellite radio companies in the US. As a means of competing with rival XM, Sirius has signed a deal with popular morning talk host/shock jock Howard Stern. The terms of the deal are outrageous: $500 million for five years. Analysts are saying that Sirius will have to add 1 million subscribers for each of those five years to pay for the Stern deal-- and Stern doesn't even start broadcasting with them till 2006. Frankly, I have to predict that this plan will not be successful, and that in the next few years that XM and Sirius will merge, with XM ascendant.*

Fake Blogs, True Buzz- nothing that new here, advertisers creating fake blogs as a sneaky way to build hype for products. Just another example of advertisers attempts to ruin all that is good in the universe.

Reporter for Times Is Facing Jail Time- NYT reporter Judy Miller is in jail due to contempt of court charges, for refusing to name her sources in the Valerie Plame/CIA leak investigation. Miller is best known for being a pawn of Achmed Chalabi, publishing his lies about Iraq's WMDs with little skepticism.

Posted by Jake at 12:23 AM | TrackBack (0)

I wouldn't worry too much about fake blogs. The beauty part of the internets is that all content is subject to skepticism. Blogs are for people who can make up their own minds. And advertisers are going to have a hard time with the upkeep... they aren't too big on followthrough and it'd be hell of costly to pay a copywriter and an IT guy to keep the thing current. You're talking billable time ad infinitum and ultimately the clients aren't going to like that.

Posted by: Glen Livet at October 17, 2004 01:54 AM
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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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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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Mission: Mongolia

Jake's first attempt at homemade Mongolican barbecue:


What went right: correctly guessing several key seasonings- lemon, ginger, soy, garlic, chili.

What went wrong: still missing some ingredients, and possibly had one wrong, rice vinegar. Way too much lemon and chili.

Result: not entirely edible.

Plan for future: try to get people at Great Khan's restaurant to tell me what's in the damn sauce.

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