....LMB: "Update-mania"....

October 13, 2004

Jeez, lots of developments on events I've talked about here.

Sinclair

This story has blown up

You've got an ex-FCC commissioner and a current FCC commisioner speaking out against Sinclair.

Pissed off liberals are pretty are mobilizing against Sinclair. Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo has written a number of pieces about how you can try to pressure local Sinclair stations. It's a simple matter of finding the Sinclair affiliate nearest you, contacting that station's sales manager, and informing them that you plan to boycott all their local advertisers (and that you are about to call the advertisers and tell them that). Of course, it would help to identify and actually call those advertisers, but I think even just calling up the Sinclair station manager would have some impact. Apparently the efforts are bearing some fruit, as at least one major advertiser pulls back from Sinclair.

Free Press posts a link where you can file a complaint about Sinclair with the FCC.

And Steve Gilliard has posted information about pressuring financial firms to divest from Sinclair.

Folks with a bit of a conspiracy bent are pointing out financial links between Bush administration and Sinclair. Maybe this is true, but do you really think a corporate CEO needs an additional reason to support the business-friendly George W?

Oh yeah, and Sinclair's VP claimed that the people who don't want them to air this anti-Kerry documentary are "like Holocaust deniers". Classy.

All of this publicity could get the Sinclair heads in huge trouble. Legally speaking, the board of directors is supposed to solely work on increasing profits for shareholders. If the shareholders find that this seemingly ideological assault is not profitable, they could can the directors and sue them (as satisfying as that result might be, I have to say that I'm against this set of laws).

Dred W

Here's a little more info on the Dred Scott/abortion thing, with examples of a few more code words Bush has been covertly aiming at religious conservatives.

Afghan Elections

Author/journalist Christian Parenti gives a lengthy interview from Afghanistan, calling the elections "a farce". He talks about voter fraud, the rub-off ink, corrupt candidates, warlords, and suffering. Sadly, the grim predictions I made look like they might be true. Most surprising part of the article: Parenti, a white American, could have voted twice.

Posted by Jake at 09:58 AM | TrackBack (0)
Comments

...of all the convoluted, liberal, horse crap I've ever read sir, yours tops the list.

Freedom of speech should be given to Sinclair EVEN if they will broadcast lies. We have laws in this country to take care of that. You can sue for defamation based on what someone reports, or writes about you.

So let Sinclair broadcast and then take them to court if what they say is a lie.

You don't yell fire in a crowded theater because of freedom of speech. And you don't stop someone from "maybe" lying by saying they will be telling lies.

Posted by: Steve at October 13, 2004 01:36 PM

In the case of broadcast the issue is a bit more complicated than that. Broadcasters are essentially "loaned" exclusive use on a certain frequency with the understanding that they are supposed to use the public's frequencies for the public good. Where does free speech end and abusing a public resource begin?

But, US courts have also found that it's not illegal for news programs to intentionally lie to their audience.

Posted by: Jake at October 13, 2004 01:43 PM

Of all the hypocritical bullshit; the UberRight just about went postal when F 9/11 hit theatres, going so far as to try and have the film labelled a political ad, and thus barring it from distribution. Only after the film had won the top prize at Cannes, did a Canadian disributor agree to show the film throughout North America. The film debuted over a year ago! Yet of course, GOP supporters have no problem with a similarly themed anti-Kerry film, which will be broadcast on television just 2 weeks before the election. How far will the Neo-Cons push strong arm tactics and hypocracy in a lame attempt to shield a serious analysis of the Bush White House? Pathetic and illegal in my book.

Posted by: jr at October 14, 2004 10:17 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.

Posted by Jake at 04:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
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