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October 20, 2004

Historicize My Polls, Dammit!- Ezra over at Pandagon brings us more info about the inaccuracy of polls. He shows us the poll data from the 2000 election around this time, and finds that there's pretty much no similarity to the poll info and the actual election results. Why do we pay attention to polls again?

Muslim peacekeepers for Iraq nixed- last month, a number of Muslim countries volunteered to send troops to Iraq to help prepare for the elections in January. The White House refused to go along with this plan unless these troops agreed to serve under US command. Not wanting to be lynched by their own citizens, these Muslim leaders declined to participate under those conditions. So there's no extra help. Good going, Bush.

Should we outsource torture?- a new bill that passed the House of Representatives says that when the US wants to interrogate a prisoner, it's okay to send that prisoner to a country that uses torture when interogating prisoners. Surely this is What Jesus Would Do.

Sinclair Fires Journalist After Critical Comments- round of applause for this fella. Jon Leiberman was the Washington bureau chief of Sinclair Broadcast Group, but when he heard about their anti-Kerry plan, he spoke out against it as an insult to journalism. And of course, they fired his ass for it. We need more people like this guy, who are willing to put themselves at risk to say what needs to be said. Whatever the opposite of a Lying Media Bastard is, Jon's one of em.

The End of Democracy- author argues that the actions of the Conservative Movement (somewhat different than conservatives or the Republican party) are actually destroying democracy in America, but that the Democrats are loathe to bring this up because it doesn't make for a good talking point.

The 9/11 Secret in the CIA's Back Pocket- is the Bush crew withholding the results of a report on 9/11 that will actually place blame on individuals and hold them accountable? If they were, would you be surprised?

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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

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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