....LMB: "Lots and Lots of Stuff"....

November 24, 2004

Before I leave you for Thanksgiving (and I probably won't, I'm writing obsessed), here are a whole mess o' news links to look into.

Economic `Armageddon' predicted- so says the chief economist of Morgan Stanley. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that that sounds bad.

Some election comments...- didn't see this till today, but here are Noam Chomsky's thoughts on the recent election. His key point, "there is overwhelming evidence that the opinions of the majority of the population on major issues were simply off the agenda, either within the political parties or in mainstream discussion."

The Revolutionary- very long article by foreign policy analyst Walter Rusell Mead, in which he ponders Dick Cheney. Mead sees Cheney as the key architect of the Bush administration's policies, so he tries to figure out what goes on in Cheney's head, by talking to Cheney's fellow junta members, and to the Dark Cyborg himself. What is creepiest to me is that everyone tells Mead not to ask Cheney about his worldview, because he doesn't like talking about that. One of the most powerful players on the international stage, who regularly meddles in the affairs of people in dozens of countries won't talk about his basic assumptions about how he sees the world? That's kinda eerie.

Is Noam Chomsky A Senior Bush Administration Official?- Jonathan Schwarz looks at the article above and interprets a quote from a "senior administration official" about why the US invaded Iraq. If this source can be trusted (and I'm not sure he can), we invaded Iraq 1) to teach other world leaders that you cannot defy the US and get away with it, and 2) because if we took out Saddam Hussein, we could remove US troops from Saudi Arabia, and the Muslim world would no longer be mad at us. Ha. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Intelligence on their designs- David Neiwert's musing about the political maneuvering of Creationists leads into a broader look at conservative ideological battle strategy-- predominantly, a propaganda technique called "card stacking." When trying to discern the truth, if you hear a bunch of people from one side say something, and a bunch of people on the other side say the opposite, then you'll probably assume that reality lies someplace in the middle, based on the assumption that these two groups represent equally popular opinions. Therefore, if you wanted to promote an unpopular opinion, it would make sense for you to try to send out as many spokespeople for your opinion as do the popular opinion folks, to invoke card-stacking-thinking among the populace.

The effect of this technique is greatly magnified by American news media's practice of faux objectivity.

Dan Rather Stepping Down- don't let the door hit you on the way out, jackass. Rather's not leaving till March, but now's a good time to link to this song by the Evolution Control Committee, which takes dozens of bizarre Dan Rather quotes and sets them to a jerky remix of AC/DC's Back in Black. CBS threatened to sue ECC over the piece.

More Proof that the Phone Company is Evil- apparently, a number of cities across the US are pondering the creation of city-wide wireless internet networks, accessible to anyone. Verizon is trying to make this illegal in the state of Pennsylvania, because if the people in that state have a free, useful service provided to them via their tax dollars, then Verizon can't charge you $40 a month for it. Fuck you, Verizon.

A Close-Up Look at Undecided Voters- mainly a long quote from a New Republic article. But since you need to register to read the NR version, you get this version instead. These are the reflections by a Kerry supporter who tried to convince undecideds to vote for Kerry. He comes up with some theories about the minds of these undecided voters that are worth thinking about.

Intimidation by Israeli-Linked Organization Aimed at US Academic - a Middle Eastern research outfit is threatening to sue blogger and Middle East scholar Juan Cole, essentially for calling them a pro-Israel organization. It seems destined to become a footnote in "The History of Bad PR Moves".

Limbaugh on NBA fight: "This is the hip-hop culture on parade"- "what I just said is going to be tagged as racist" says Rush Limbaugh of his latest comments, much the way that the words I've just typed are going to be tagged as English. Somehow, Rush tries to argue that the recent incident where a black basketball player attacked a white basketball fan who'd thrown a cup of beer at him, was a thuggish move by the player, and therefore is indicative of hip-hop itself. If he were as "fearless" as he claims he is, Rush would straight up say what he means to say: "white culture is superior to black culture, because white people are superior to black people." Pill-popping cracka.

I do, however, like how Limbaugh points out that NBA uniforms have changed so that they are now in "gang colors". Yes, those specialized gang colors, like "red" and "blue."

Jonathan Schwarz argues that Limbaugh is simply projecting.

Posted by Jake at 01:19 AM | TrackBack (0)
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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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