February 15, 2006

The Press Finally Gets More Abu Ghraib Photos

Posted by Eric Jaffa
February 15, 2006 @ 7:08 am
Filed under: Government, Free Press

Details at a Daily Kos diary by waitingtoderail, including photos of men at the prison in Iraq who appear to be tortured by the US.

From the Sydney Morning Herald:

Although a US judge last year granted the union access to the photographs following a freedom-of-information request, the US Administration has appealed against the decision on the grounds their release would fuel anti-American sentiment.

Unfortunately, interrogation techniques in the Army Field Manual are classifed as of December 2005, and so while the public now has more information available on what has been done in the past, we’re still in the dark about what is going on now.

The public has a right to know about the interrogation techniques which our tax dollar are paying for. Democracy and secrecy don’t go together.


A Second Warrantless Wiretapping Program?

Posted by Eric Jaffa
February 15, 2006 @ 6:59 am
Filed under: Government

From UPI via Raw Story:

A former NSA employee said Tuesday there is another ongoing top-secret surveillance program that might have violated millions of Americans’ Constitutional rights.

Russell D. Tice told the House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations he has concerns about a “special access” electronic surveillance program that he characterized as far more wide-ranging than the warrentless wiretapping recently exposed by the New York Times but he is forbidden from discussing the program with Congress.

Tice said he believes it violates the Constitution’s protection against unlawful search and seizures but has no way of sharing the information without breaking classification laws. He is not even allowed to tell the congressional intelligence committees - members or their staff - because they lack high enough clearance.

It’s undemocratic to keep the public in the dark about how our government is operating.

It’s undemocratic and a violation of checks-and-balanaces to also keep our elected representatives in Congress in the dark.

1 Comment

“Hardball” Panel with No Liberals

Posted by Eric Jaffa
February 14, 2006 @ 10:03 pm
Filed under: Media Watch, TV

The news discussion show “Hardball” is on MSNBC each weeknight.

On the February 10, 2006 edition, Chris Matthews hosted a panel of Rita Cosby, Tucker Carlson, and Joe Scarborough. No liberals.


MSNBC Scrubbed Alcohol Issue About Cheney From Their Website

Posted by Eric Jaffa
February 14, 2006 @ 7:20 pm
Filed under: Government, Free Press

Details in a Daily Kos diary by Johnny Cougar.

Image of article as it orginally appeared via Raw Story.


Propaganda Fight “Struck Out”

Posted by Eric Jaffa
February 14, 2006 @ 4:23 pm
Filed under: Government, Free Press, TV

The Bush Administration produces fake TV news.

The pieces which are sometimes played on the local news are called “video news releases,” and may include dubious reports on the greatness of Bush’s Medicare bill. This is a big program; the “Bush administration has spent $1.6 billion in public relations contracts since 2003.”

The fight against this propaganda isn’t going well.

There is a bill in Congress to address covert propaganda, the Lautenberg-Kerry “Truth in Broadcasting Act.” It requires “clear notification” and it may or may not pass. But if it does pass, that isn’t enough.

The original bill required disclosure throughout the video. However:

[Struck out->] `(A) to be visible for the entire duration of the prepackaged news story; and [< -Struck out]

[Struck out->] `(B) to include the conspicuous display of the statement `PRODUCED BY THE U.S. GOVERNMENT’; and [< -Struck out]

That good part of the bill was “struck out” (between April 28, 2005 when the good version was in the Senate and December 20, 2005 when the bad version was in the Senate.)

Instead, we have the vague and nearly worthless “clear notification” requirement.

It’s too easy for a news department to ignore a quick message on a video that it’s from the government and not tell the audience. If there were a requirement for a graphic throughout which said, “PRODUCED BY THE U.S. GOVERNMENT” at least if the new department considered deleting it they’d probably have a sense that it would be unethical.


CNN Reporter: Dick Cheney “Loves to Hunt” While John Kerry “Spent Time Posing with Guns”

Posted by Eric Jaffa
February 14, 2006 @ 1:37 pm
Filed under: Government, Media Watch, TV

More right-wing bias from CNN.

Media Matters for America notes:

In a report on hunting and politics, CNN’s Bruce Morton commented that President Bush “likes to hunt quail with family and friends” and Vice President Dick Cheney “loves to hunt,” but — using language that echoed that of Cheney during the 2004 campaign — said Sen. John Kerry “spent time posing with guns” during the 2004 presidential campaign, and that “voters probably saw more of him pursuing exotic sports, windsurfing and so on.”

Despite this dubious “posing” knock on John Kerry, CNN has previously reported that John Kerry has been hunting since he was 12 or 13.

Regarding the underlying story of Dick Cheney’s hunting accident, I think it’s disgusting how the Secret Service prevented the local sheriff’s department from interviewing Dick Cheney on Saturday after it happened. The Secret Service members responsible should be charged with obstruction of justice.

The Secret Service finally allowed the sheriff’s department to interview Cheney on Sunday morning. Why the delay? Was Cheney intoxicated? Was Cheney trying to get someone else to take the fall?


“Current TV” and MTV

Posted by Eric Jaffa
February 14, 2006 @ 1:11 pm
Filed under: Media Watch, TV

Cable channel “Current TV” shows short videos about news and culture. They call the short videos “pods.”

Some of these pods are submissions from ordinary people. “Current TV” calls these “VC2,” Viewer Created Content. Aline Allegra is the senior producer of the VC2 program. She used to be a producer for MTV News.

Aline Allegra recently had this to say about how “Current TV” related to MTV:

When I first started working for MTV I was blown away by the marriage of music and imagery and story. Now we’re adding information and bringing in the power of individual voice.

To combine all that is really the power of the pod. In order for me to want to sit through half an hour or an hour of something on TV I have to know that I’m already very compelled by that subject matter. One great thing about our model is the progress bar. It lets you know how long you have left in each pod and you’re always curious about what’s coming on next. I love that it gets people to tune in and learn things they wouldn’t otherwise be looking for.


“The Majority Report”

Posted by Eric Jaffa
February 13, 2006 @ 9:02 pm
Filed under: Radio

Sam Seder and Janeane Garofalo are co-hosting the radio show, again.

For about six months, Sam Seder had mostly been hosting solo, sometimes with Janeane Garofalo calling in for a couple of segments.

You can listen to “The Majority Report” online between 7PM and 10PM Eastern Time at the “Air America Radio” website.

The main AAR internet stream is free, no registration required.


The Village Voice: Moving to the Right?

Posted by Eric Jaffa
February 13, 2006 @ 3:29 pm
Filed under: Free Press, Media Concentration

From fair.org:

San Francisco Bay Guardian: Lacey to Voice Staff: Drop dead (2/10/06) by Tim Redmond

The legally questionable merger of the Village Voice and New Times Media makes the two largest alternative newspaper groups in the U.S. into one massively powerful chain—and its owners lose no time in reportedly ordering an end to what remained of the once-strong critical stance of the Voice.

According to sources who were present at the meeting, [owner Mike Lacey] announced that the Voice news section was too soft because it was full of commentary and criticism of the Bush administration. He said he didn’t want any more commentary.

As far as I know, the merger is legal. That doesn’t mean that current US law concerning media concentration is as tough as it should be.

More media concentration and another news organization moving to the right is bad for consumers.


“Scarborough Country” Spews Right-Wing Garbage

Posted by Eric Jaffa
February 12, 2006 @ 2:42 pm
Filed under: Government, Media Watch

Coretta Scott King probably in 2003 on CNN

Coretta Scott King

Reverend Joseph Lowery said at the funeral of Coretta Scott King on Tuesday:

[Coretta Scott King] extended Martin’s message against poverty, racism and war. She deplored the terror inflicted by our smart bombs on missions. We know now that there were no weapons of mass destruction over there. But Coretta knew, and we know there are weapons of misdirection right down here. Millions without health insurance, poverty abound. For war, billions more, but no more for the poor.

This was greeted with blather from right-wing pundits about how terrible the funeral speakers were.

After all, they talked about her political work and its continuing relevance.

Joe Scarborough on his MSNBC show on Tuesday kept asking if Coretta Scott King ever criticized George W. Bush while sharing a stage with him, implying that it was wrong for Rev. Joseph Lowery to point out Bush’s policy of spending for war what could be spent on the poor.

Joe Scarborough also asked guest (and fellow MSNBC host) Tucker Carlson, “Doesn‘t that turn off millions and millions of Americans when you exploit a funeral to make partisan attacks.”

Tucker Carson replied, “Well, it‘s completely graceless. It‘s also rude as hell, by the way, since the president is sitting right there.. You can also eat with your hands, but you don‘t.”

Great analogy, Mr. Carlson! Speaking about the fight against racism, war, and poverty at the funeral of someone who fought for those things equals eating with your hands.

By the way, I just watched Rev. Lowery’s complete remarks rebroadcast on CNN, and I noticed that among the many people who gave him a standing ovation at the end were George W. Bush.

Tucker Carlson dismissed any reference to the Iraq War as merely “the politics of the moment.”

Joe Scarborough belittled the Iraq War as well, saying “Well, you know, Tucker… my biggest problem with it is that somebody like Coretta Scott King and her husband, they transcend the Iraq war…They transcend NSA wiretapping. They transcend all these little nitpicking issues.”

The Iraq War could cost a trillion dollars, and has probably caused 100,000 additional deaths in Iraq, and has poisoned their environment with depleted uranium. It’s not a nitpicking issue.

Coretta Scott King opposed the war before it started, and she was right.

Also, the Iraq War was hardly the only topic discussed by Reverend Joseph Lowery and others. He put it in the bigger context of her fight for peace and social justice.


Wal-Mart Movie May Get Distribution in Europe

Posted by Eric Jaffa
February 12, 2006 @ 6:08 am
Filed under: Media Watch

The documentary “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price” is available in the US on DVD.

Attempts at getting the movie shown in Europe are discussed by Reuters reporter Erik Kirschbaum:

(Berlin) A documentary on the perils of runaway capitalism that spotlights Wal-Mart screened at the Berlin Film Festival on Saturday, and interest among European distributors and television networks has been strong.

The feature-length documentary focuses on working conditions at the U.S. retail giant and argues that the company treats its employees shabbily in pursuit of maximum profit.

“Wal-Mart is the poster child for the worst in corporate behavior,” U.S. director Robert Greenwald said in an interview after his film, “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price,” screened to a large and appreciative audience.

“But it is not only Wal-Mart, it is these issues that affect all of us all around the world.”

Wal-Mart, based in Betonville, Arkansas, has criticized the film by saying it is not an accurate portrayal of the company.

…Greenwald’s film, which has sold 110,000 DVDs since November and been shown in a limited theatrical release in the United States, was quickly snapped up by distributors in Britain, Germany and Australia.

The film…shows how Wal-Mart moved into two small towns in Ohio and Missouri, among other places, and how family-owned stores folded after its arrival.


Ban On Musical “Grease,” Drama “The Crucible”

Posted by Eric Jaffa
February 11, 2006 @ 6:20 pm
Filed under: SpeakSpeak, PTC, Government, Ban It!, TV, Indecency

Fulton, Missouri superintendent bans high school performances of “Grease” and “The Crucible.”

Rules the district with an iron fist?

From a New York Times article by Diana Jean Schemo:

When Wendy DeVore, the drama teacher at Fulton High here, staged the musical “Grease,” about high school students in the 1950’s, she carefully changed the script to avoid causing offense in this small town.She softened the language, substituting slang for profanity in places. Instead of smoking “weed,” the teenagers duck out for a cigarette. She rated the production PG-13, advising parents it was not suitable for small children.

But a month after the performances in November, three letters arrived on the desk of Mark Enderle, Fulton’s superintendent of schools. Although the letters did not say so, the three writers were members of a small group linked by e-mail, all members of the same congregation, Callaway Christian Church.Each criticized the show, complaining that scenes of drinking, smoking and a couple kissing went too far, and glorified conduct that the community tries to discourage. One letter, from someone who had not seen the show but only heard about it, criticized “immoral behavior veiled behind the excuse of acting out a play.”Dr. Enderle watched a video of the play, ultimately agreeing that “Grease” was unsuitable for the high school, despite his having approved it beforehand, without looking at the script.

Hoping to avoid similar complaints in the future, he decided to ban the scheduled spring play, “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller.”That was me in my worst Joe McCarthy moment, to some,” Dr. Enderle said.

He called “The Crucible” “a fine play,” but said he dropped it to keep the school from being “mired in controversy” all spring.

One irony is that “The Crucible” was about witch-hunts and metaphorically about Republican Senator Joe McCarthy’s anti-artist crusade.

Another irony is that the kids who were rehersing “Grease” could have been somewhere else drinking alcohol, but were doing something constructive, instead. I’m glad they were allowed to put it on before the superintendent decided it was unsuitable.

The superintendent should have sought more input from the community than the three letters before reaching a decision on the musical or the play.

« SpeakSpeak »

The concept of this website, SpeakSpeak, relates to what happened in Fulton, Missouri.

For years, Brent Bozell’s “Parents Television Council” asked people to write the FCC to complain about supposed “indecency” on TV, but no one was asking the public to present the other side to the FCC.

The founder of SpeakSpeak, Amanda Toering, came up with the idea of asking people to contact the FCC when they have concluded that controversial material isn’t indecent.


“In God We Trust” License Plates

Posted by Eric Jaffa
February 10, 2006 @ 3:18 pm
Filed under: Government, Religion

From webindia123.com via Raw Story:

An Indiana Senate committee has approved a bill that would create an In God We Trust license plate.

The plates would be voluntary. The measure was sent to the full Senate for a vote with only one dissent, WISH-TV reported.

I’m fine with letting people get “In God We Trust” plates.

As long as they also let people get “In Many Gods We Trust” plates and “I Trust There is No God” plates.

Of course, there is no such plan.


Dick Cheney and Leaks

Posted by Eric Jaffa
February 10, 2006 @ 11:21 am
Filed under: Government, Free Press

From Democracy Now!:

New evidence has emerged linking Vice President Dick Cheney to the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame. Investigative journalist Murray Waas has revealed testimony from Lewis “Scooter” Libby – Cheney’s indicted former chief of staff — before a federal grand jury. Libby testified he had been “authorized” by Cheney and other White House “superiors” to disclose classified information to journalists to defend the Bush administration’s use of prewar intelligence in making the case to invade Iraq.

Larry Johnson, a former intelligence official and colleague of Plame’s said: “This was not some rogue operation, but was directed at the highest levels, and specifically by Dick Cheney. Libby was definitely a man with a mission, but a man who was given a mission.”

This isn’t saying that Cheney authorized the Valerie Plame leak. But Cheney authorizing the leak of other classified information makes it a plausible possibility.

From another article at Democracy Now!:

[Journalist Murray] Waas bases his article in part on a recent letter written by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s to Libby’s attorney.

Fitzgerald writes, “Mr. Libby testified in the grand jury that he had contact with reporters in which he disclosed the content of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) … in the course of his interaction with reporters in June and July 2003.

Fitzgerald went on to write, “We also note that it is our understanding that Mr. Libby testified that he was authorized to disclose information about the NIE to the press by his superiors.”


Sports Movies with Rich Against Poor

Posted by Eric Jaffa
February 9, 2006 @ 8:22 pm
Filed under: Media Watch

Do sports movies have a message?

In a movie, when someone poor takes on somene rich at sports and wins, what does it mean?

Here are two interpretations.

According to conservative columnist David Brooks in the New York Times:

In the world these movies create, there never has been a championship game contested by two teams with similar sociodemographic backgrounds. Instead, the poorer, harder-working team triumphs over the richer, self-satisfied one. When Texas Western, Rocky or Seabiscuit wins, the American ideal of social mobility is confirmed.

However, commenter DeeLuzon at the blog Pandagon doesn’t interpret these plots that way:

Reading David Brooks’ piece, “Remaking the Epic of America,” reminded me that sometimes people like the same movies for completely different reasons - some kinda “Rashomon” effect (like watching a Presidential speech and hearing completely different things), i guess.

An alternative interpretation of the thematic trend Mr. Brooks tracks is that all of these movies are tales of rag-tag groups of misfits pulled together by a charismatic, obsessional, even messianic leader whose goal is that they rise up and defeat the established power (by whom the narcissistic leader/coach has, typically, been dissed somewhere along the line).

Really, do these several, “based on real life” stories signify any more the success of Mr. Brooks’ idealized “culture of all-inclusive traditionalism” than they do the incalculable potential of a well-motivated, well-trained and, most importantly, underestimated rebel force? Mr. Brooks may hope that the underdogs see winning as their entry ticket to some good, conformist, all-American life, but maybe what the players, coaches and (at least some of) the audiences are celebrating at the ends of the movies is just the satisfaction of having beaten the powers that be; y’know - payback. One guy’s interpretation that “the American ideal of social mobility is confirmed” might be someone else’s conviction that a bunch of tea was just, metaphorically speaking, dumped in the harbor.

I’ll bet he liked “Rashomon” too… for all the wrong reasons.

In summary, conservative columnist David Brooks interprets these movies as saying the status quo is great, and we all have a decent chance of enjoying the benefits of the status quo.

Commenter DeeLuzon interprets these movies as saying the status quo is lousy, and we can replace it.

Depending on which specific movie is being examined, either could be right, or neither could be right. Some of the movies may just be a celebration of accomplishing a goal, without celebrating American class mobility or celebrating a rebellion against the status quo.


“No Gods. No Masters.”

Posted by Eric Jaffa
February 9, 2006 @ 12:59 pm
Filed under: General, Obscene!, Ban It!, Free Press, Radio

Katrina vanden Heuvel is the editor of the magazine “The Nation.”

About a year ago, Katrina vanden Heuvel was a guest on the radio show The Majority Report with Janeane Garofalo.

When the conversation turned to Martin Luther King, Katrina vanden Heuvel said she doesn’t look up to him as a hero. Her reason was partly that he stayed at her house when she was a child and she witnessed his extramarital affairs.

The other aspect was that Katrina vanden Heuvel’s philosophy. She said she believe in “No gods. No masters.”

Today, I was reading an online biography of Margaret Sanger by Rachel Galvin, and I found where Katrina vanden Heuvel probably got that phrase:

Sanger began her own newspaper, The Woman Rebel, in 1914. The Woman Rebel’s motto read, “NO GODS. NO MASTERS,” and each issue proclaimed, “A Woman’s Duty: To look the whole world in the face with a go-to-hell look in the eyes; to have an ideal; to speak and act in defiance of convention.”

Written for working-class women, the paper promised to delineate precisely how to avoid conception through “birth control,” a term Sanger and Otto Bobsein coined to avoid the fashionable circumlocutions of “family limitation” and “voluntary motherhood.”

After six monthly issues of The Woman Rebel, Sanger was indicted for obscenity.

Instead of facing trial and a potential thirty-year prison sentence, she fled the country.


“Total Information Awareness” Returns

Posted by Eric Jaffa
February 8, 2006 @ 8:22 pm
Filed under: Government

Or one could say it never went away.

Now it’s called “ADVISE:

…a little-known system called Analysis, Dissemination, Visualization, Insight, and Semantic Enhancement (ADVISE). Only a few public documents mention it. ADVISE is a research and development program within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), part of its three-year-old “Threat and Vulnerability, Testing and Assessment” portfolio. The TVTA received nearly $50 million in federal funding this year.

Congress voted against “Total Information Awareness” in September 2003 on prviacy grounds, but the Bush Administration kept on going.

I don’t want the federal government sifting through everyone’s emails. Nor storing everyone’s emails.


The Hypocrisy of Maureen Dowd

Posted by Eric Jaffa
February 8, 2006 @ 4:26 pm
Filed under: Media Watch

Maureen Dowd is a columnist for the New York Times.

She recently wrote that the Republicans convince the public that male Democrats such as John Edwards are feminine.

But Dowd herself in 2004 called John Edwards “The Breck Girl.”

That is just a bit of her hypocrisy on this issue. Read more at The Daily Howler.

1 Comment

CNN Deceived Its Viewers About Amount of Applause

Posted by Eric Jaffa
February 8, 2006 @ 3:57 pm
Filed under: Media Watch

At the funeral of Coretta Scott King, Reverend Joseph Lowery said:

LOWERY: We know, now, there were no weapons of mass destruction over there –

[23-second standing ovation]

LOWERY: — but Coretta knew, and we know that there are weapons of misdirection right down here.

However, on CNN’s “The Situation Room” the applause in the middle was edited down to five seconds as video of the first-half and second-half of the statement was presented.

The was no beep in the middle to act the video equivalent of an ellipsis. I assume that CNN was just interested in saving time and that the deception was unintentional. However, they should put in a beep or something when shortening the middle of a video.

Via Media Matters for America, which has video of both what really happened and the deceptive version on “The Situation Room.”

« Update of February 9, 2006: MSNBC Did It Better »

MSNBC’s “Countdown” also shortened the applause when playing that line for Rev. Joseph Lowery. However, MSNBC did a blur where the applause was edited out, to indicate editing.

This is unlike CNN, which gave no indication of editing.

You can watch the MSNBC’s “Countdown” version from last night at Crooks and Liars.

« Second Upate of February 9, 2006: Fox News Tricked Its Own Commentator»

Fox News edited the applause in the middle of the Rev. Joseph Lowery’s remark without giving an indication (like CNN.)

Media Matters for America has the video (2nd time they show Lowery making the statement about wmd.)

No blur to indicate editing in the second Fox News clip (shown on the February 8th “Special Report with Brit Hume.”)

Not only were some viewers fooled by the deceptive editing of Fox News.

Fox News commentator Mort Kondracke watched the edited tape, and didn’t know it was edited himself:

MORT KONDRACKE: What was interesting to me was, when I saw it — and on this tape, the crowd did not go as wild as you — as it sounded as though it did at the time and as various people have represented.

This is the fault of Fox News for the deceptive editing without a blur or beep to act as an ellipses. It’s not Mort Kondracke’s fault.


Secrecy in Los Angeles, California

Posted by Eric Jaffa
February 8, 2006 @ 8:26 am
Filed under: Government, Free Press

From the AP article, “L.A. Stops Naming Officers in Shootings:”

The city Police Commission is no longer releasing the names of officers involved in shootings.

The Police Commission made the change, overturning a 25-year-old policy, because officers’ identities are protected under state law, said commission President John W. Mack.

Police union officials had long argued that releasing officers’ names could expose them to danger, and union official had indicated they were prepared to sue over the disclosures, said Hank Hernandez, the organization’s general counsel.

…The commission decided to make the change at a meeting two months ago, officials said.

Critics of the change say officers have to be made accountable for their actions.

Part of the bargain when you get a badge and a gun is accountability,” said Jeffrey C. Eglash, a former inspector general for the Police Commission. “Although police officers, like any employees, have an interest in privacy, their jobs are unlike any other in that they have the power to arrest and to use deadly force.”

How many cases are there of police officers being killed at home because the press reported they were involved in shootings? I’m aware of none. If there is one or more case which I don’t know about, that doesn’t justify this secrecy.

This is a disgusting breach of the public’s right to know. The public should have all the information about police shootings, including the names of everyone involved.


Cartoon Implies That Republicans Are Better at Using the Media

Posted by Eric Jaffa
February 8, 2006 @ 8:19 am
Filed under: Government

Ward Sutton’s “Dude, Where’s My Party?” says:

Republicans: Can take nothing and turn it into a Democratic scandal.

Democrats: Can take a Republican scandal and turn it into nothing.


Rolling Stones Deny That They Agreed to Censorship of Super Bowl Halftime Songs

Posted by Eric Jaffa
February 8, 2006 @ 6:40 am
Filed under: General, CensorWorld, TV

From the Internet Movie Database:

Veteran rockers The Rolling Stones have blasted the censorship of sexually suggestive lyrics during their Super Bowl half-time show on Sunday night as “absolutely ridiculous” - despite claims from the National Football League the band consented to the move beforehand. Editors turned down Sir Mick Jagger’s microphone for risqué lines in hits “Start Me Up” and “Rough Justice” amid fears a repeat of Janet Jackson’s infamous wardrobe malfunction at the American football event two years ago would prompt another backlash from family TV audiences. But a spokeswoman for the “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” hitmakers revealed yesterday that the band deemed the measure “absolutely ridiculous and completely unnecessary” and had voiced their opinions to NFL bosses before their three-song set. She added, “The band did the songs they were supposed to do and they sang all the words. There were many, many conversations back and forth and the band clearly was not happy about it.” On Monday an NFL spokesman claimed, “We agreed upon it earlier this week. The band were fine with it.”

The Rolling Stones sang all the words, but viewers at home didn’t hear certain words because the NFL silenced those words.

As previously mentioned at SpeakSpeak, an AP article describing the Super Bowl Halftime Show suggested that during the Rolling Stone’s song, “Start Me Up,” instead of hearing Mick Jagger sing “You make a dead man come,” viewers of the Halftime Show heard, “You make a dead man.” Also, that the word “cocks” was censored from the Rolling Stone song, “Rough Justice.”


Ed Schultz on the Power of the Right-Wing Media

Posted by Eric Jaffa
February 7, 2006 @ 4:55 pm
Filed under: Government, Radio

Ed Schultz is a Democratic radio host.

On his show today, Schultz said that when President Nixon fired special prosecutor Archibald Cox, it was the turning point which led to Nixon having to resign.

However, Shultz said, if Fox News and other right-wing media had been around in the 1970s, they could have just spun the firing of Archibald Cox to convince the public that it was nothing.

I’m not saying I necessarily agree with Schultz about that, but it’s an interesting concept. Democrats controlled Congress in the 1970s, and I’d say that is a more significant difference regarding holding a Republican president accountable than the creation of Fox News.


No Free Speech on the Senate Floor

Posted by Eric Jaffa
February 7, 2006 @ 12:50 pm
Filed under: CensorWorld, Government, Free Speech Hero, Courts

Senators should be able to discuss important issues on the Senate floor.

That includes how the bills they’re debating came before them.

But Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) discovered yesterday: Talk about how lobbyists got a bill into the Senate, get accused of breaking a Senate rule.

Reid was criticizing a bill which hurts workers trying to get compensation from injuries caused by asbestos (tort reform). Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) responded by accusing Reid of breaking a Senate rule against imputing motives.

From Roll Call reporter John Stanton via Raw Story:

During a floor speech Monday afternoon, [Democratic Senator Hary] Reid vowed to defeat the asbestos legislation and, in an effort to tie it to the current lobbying and ethics scandals, argued that the Senate was considering the bill only because 13 “companies spent $144.5 million in two years lobbying to get it here.”

…A clearly agitated [Republican Senator Arlen] Specter came to the floor to confront Reid, accusing the Minority Leader of slandering himself and Leahy in violation of Senate Rule 19 which bars personal attacks against fellow Senators.

“To say that this bill, which Sen. Leahy and I have led for the better part of the last three years, is the result of lobbyists, quote, ‘buying their way into the Senate’ is slanderous. It is a violation of Rule 19,” Specter shot back angrily.

Senate Rule 19.2 states:

No Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.

This rule has got to go.

The notion that Senators can’t speak about the impact of lobbyists on legislation is atrocious; to discuss the effect of lobbyists, one has to “impute…motive.”


Help ‘Air America Radio’

Posted by Eric Jaffa
February 7, 2006 @ 6:36 am
Filed under: Action, Radio

The talk-radio network Air America has 87 stations.

Want to help them to reach 100?

Then consider making a small donation.

« Update Afternoon of February 7, 2006 »

Now the AAR website says 88 stations. Let’s help them keep growing.

The 88 figure include Buffalo, New York’s WHLD, which will start broadcasting AAR shows on Monday:

According to a release from NIM , WHLD will feature Air America’s Al Franken, Randi Rhodes, and Laura Flanders, along with Pacifica Radio’s “Democracy Now,” “Flashpoints,” and “Free Speech Radio News.” The rest of the lineup, per NIM, will include “local programming promoting a diverse and spirited dialog on important issues facing our community.”