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Current Topic: Media

The Rachel Maddow Show -- Insani-Tea: Conservatives Rally Around "Teabagging" | Video Cafe
Topic: Media 7:48 pm EDT, Apr 17, 2009

Rachel Maddow and Ana Marie Cox have a bit of fun at the teabaggers' expense. I don't know how either one of them made it through this segment without completely busting a gut.

This is the funniest thing that MSNBC has ever done. As for "Tea Parties" - I once had a fiscal conservative tell me that "liberals just don't understand economics." Pot. Kettle. Black.

The Rachel Maddow Show -- Insani-Tea: Conservatives Rally Around "Teabagging" | Video Cafe

What should government do? A Jindal meditation - Paul Krugman Blog -
Topic: Media 8:41 am EST, Feb 26, 2009

The intellectual incoherence is stunning. Basically, the political philosophy of the GOP right now seems to consist of snickering at stuff that they think sounds funny. The party of ideas has become the party of Beavis and Butthead.

Complaining about volcano monitoring is extremely idiotic coming from the governor of the state that was hit with the worst natural disaster in recent memory.

What should government do? A Jindal meditation - Paul Krugman Blog -

Murdoch is breaking the Wall Street Journal
Topic: Media 3:05 pm EDT, Apr 28, 2008

In the first four months of Murdoch’s stewardship, the Journal’s front page has clearly shifted focus, de-emphasizing business coverage that was the franchise, while placing much more emphasis on domestic politics and devoting more attention to international issues.

Best comment I've read on this:

Does Murdoch have any possible business plan to obtain a 20% return on a 5Billion investment? Without such, this was never about money return for him. When this purchase is mentioned, I remember a nature story about a flock of crows killing cows. They start with one crow having figured out how to land on a cow and peck out the cow's eyes. The value to Murdoch is to blind our society from the reporting of factual information. The money is to be made elsewhere with opaque financing and opaque deals. And if nobody ever really knows what he controls, then all the better for him and his.

Murdoch is breaking the Wall Street Journal

Technology Review: 'You Don't Understand Our Audience'
Topic: Media 1:19 am EST, Jan  3, 2008

The most memorable reporting I've encountered on the conflict in Iraq was delivered in the form of confetti exploding out of a cardboard tube. I had just begun working at the MIT Media Lab in March 2006 when Alyssa Wright, a lab student, got me to participate in a project called "Cherry Blossoms." I strapped on a backpack with a pair of vertical tubes sticking out of the top; they were connected to a detonation device linked to a Global Positioning System receiver. A microprocessor in the backpack contained a program that mapped the coördinates of the city of Baghdad onto those for the city of Cambridge; it also held a database of the locations of all the civilian deaths of 2005. If I went into a part of Cambridge that corresponded to a place in Iraq where civilians had died in a bombing, the detonator was triggered.

This story was worth posting for that paragraph alone. The article... rant perhaps... is very, very good. The themes should be familiar to a lot of you, but perhaps the value of this comes from the stark reality that the people that control public opinion are really just as inane as you think they are. There is a lot of overt generationalism in it that seems to misplace the problem with the media as not being under the control of GenXers... thats not quite right, but this is a generational fault line. Ironically the author is a Boomer. He probably doesn't even realise that we came of age as the target of the system he is complaining about.

Technology Review: 'You Don't Understand Our Audience'

Balkinization: What this Joe Klien drama is all about.
Topic: Media 1:02 pm EST, Nov 28, 2007

Although Joe Klein dutifully published the talking points he was being tendered by Republican strategists -- that the House Democratic version of the legislation "would require the surveillance of every foreign-terrorist target's calls to be approved by the FISA court" and "would give terrorists the same legal protections as Americans" -- that was manifestly not the case, as Klein could have learned in a few minutes had be bothered to read the bill, or to contact folks on the outside who had bothered to do so.

This was in Time Magazine.

Balkinization: What this Joe Klien drama is all about.

O. M. G. MediaDefender effs the canine
Topic: Media 11:04 am EDT, Sep 16, 2007

Dagmar writes:

A few months ago a torrent site broke the news that quite possibly, one of the companies currently engaging in prosecuting copyright violations, might have just set up a website for the sole purpose of providing users on the internet with copyright material to violate, willy-nilly.

...basically, facilitating the very illegal actions they were pursuing damages for in court. (Boy howdy is that illegal. Wow.) So of course, it would be very bad for them if this were actually happening.

The company, MediaDefender, denied it completely.

(time passes)

It turns out the report was, in fact, true.

In one of the most spectacular security leaks I've ever seen, somehow, 700Mb of the company's internal emails found their way into a bunch of torrent streams and are winging their way around the interwebs right this very moment.

I would imagine that right about now, to the executive management over there, the internet has just opened up and poured thousands upon thousands of kittens into their offices and homes... and they're allergic.

O. M. G. MediaDefender effs the canine

Full text of Blair's speech on politics and media | Uk News | News | Telegraph
Topic: Media 9:15 am EDT, Jun 14, 2007

Talk to any public service leader and they will tell you not that they become totally demoralised by the completely unbalanced nature of it.

It is becoming worse? Again, I would say, yes. In my 10 years, I've noticed all these elements evolve with ever greater momentum.

It used to be thought - and I include myself in this - that help was on the horizon. New forms of communication would provide new outlets to by-pass the increasingly shrill tenor of the traditional media. In fact, the new forms can be even more pernicious, less balanced, more intent on the latest conspiracy theory multiplied by five.

I agree with nearly everything Blair says here. And ironically, I think these comments are getting incorrectly respun by the media and bloggers.

Full text of Blair's speech on politics and media | Uk News | News | Telegraph

Book Excerpt: The Assault on Reason by Al Gore
Topic: Media 3:51 pm EDT, May 18, 2007

I didn't read this in detail. Only skimmed it. This observation, connected with an anecdote about the skill of his campaign managers, is quite interesting.

Clearly, at least to some degree, the "consent of the governed" was becoming a commodity to be purchased by the highest bidder. To the extent that money and the clever use of electronic mass media could be used to manipulate the outcome of elections, the role of reason began to diminish.

Its comforting when such control exists in the hands of men like Gore that they are willing to admit it and furthermore see it as a bad thing. I wish, however, that I shared his optimism about the present:

Now, broadband interconnection is supporting decentralized processes that reinvigorate democracy. We can see it happening before our eyes: As a society, we are getting smarter. Networked democracy is taking hold. You can feel it.

I don't feel it. Our politics has become deeply partisan. Few people are willing to maintain a healthy disengagement from identification with one of the ruling parties. They use the network to seek out information that confirms their prejudices, true or not. There are minor ways in which this helps. I can access legislation being considered, and I can speak out. But there are major ways in which it doesn't help. People do not know how to think critically. They don't really seek truth. They seek social validation. The truth is rarely the most comfortable option. It has a tendency to challenge you.

Book Excerpt: The Assault on Reason by Al Gore

RE: Does Iraq need more debate?
Topic: Media 1:41 am EST, Dec 20, 2006

noteworthy wrote:
Decius wrote:

You're kidding, right? I don't mean to suggest a causal relationship.

Really? In a recent thread, Scott asked:

Where is that great leader with vision and fortitude and resolve? Cuz I can't imagine things much more fucked up than they are now.

And you replied:

Be careful what you wish for. You'll have him, but things aren't near fucked up enough yet.

That sounds at least a little bit like suggestion of a causal relationship.

I'm not saying that you get interesting times by wanting great leaders. I'm saying that great leaders aren't something you should generally pine for because they usually come under the worst circumstances, and in fact it is the circumstances that define their greatness. This is an observation on America. Wishing for great American leadership is the same as wishing for great American catastrophies. The Space Program is the only real exception I can think of but in reality that was the height of the cold war. America meets a critical prereq for this observation in that it actually is a nation with an actual national idenity that doesn't excude any of its citizens.

Iraq is a different story. Its already fucked, and yet that leader hasn't arrived, because Iraq is a map fantasy and not a nation, and there is no natural leader for it. No one cares about Iraq. Iraq is three nations. Each of those has their great leaders already, but their leadership is never really appreciated but in retrospect, and there is no end game here. There is no stable state without a brutal dictator binding the unbindable by fear. If you wanted Democracy there you'd have to bring in a sort of benevolent dictator who was still ruthless, but taught people to see themselves as servants of a nation rather than as servants of him and his sons. Pinochet. Then you could slowly boil in democractic reforms until things reached a state where you could walk away and it would be fine. You can't just fucking whack the dictator and set up a polling both and expect everyone to buy into it. Nation building is hard and it requires long term thinking.

Perhaps we should be pulling out. Perhaps we can't install a dictator on our own watch, and we can't be the dictator either, because we're not local, as Britain proved over and over and over again. We have to be able to pretend it wasn't our fault that it happenned, while brokering the arms deals on the back end that put our particular bastard into power.

Of course, thats who Saddam was supposed to be. He fucked it up. Thats why they wanted him out. Because he was their boy, but he didn't boil in the democratic reforms as promised. He got greedy.

Maybe the real reason we're down there is to send a message to our own dictators that they have a long term job to do and they better not fuck us.

RE: Does Iraq need more debate?

Reason Magazine - South Park Libertarians
Topic: Media 3:20 am EST, Dec 12, 2006

Stone: I had Birkenstocks in high school. I was that guy. And I was sure that those people on the other side of the political spectrum were trying to control my life. And then I went to Boulder and got rid of my Birkenstocks immediately, because everyone else had them and I realized that these people over here want to control my life too. I guess that defines my political philosophy. If anybody’s telling me what I should do, then you’ve got to really convince me that it’s worth doing.

I find this comment strongly resonates with me and my life.

Reason Magazine - South Park Libertarians

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