SpeakSpeak News


The Cosby Kid

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/20/2005 @ 1:13 pm

One of the most interesting behind-the-scenes aspects of SpeakSpeak’s site is the record of searches users have performed. Many are predictable ("indecency,” “bozell,” “ptc"). Some are baffling. (One user is determined to find information about the architecture of a building in Chicago. If it’s you, drop me a line; I’m really curious.)

And yesterday, over 100 people searched for information on Alysha Cosby, the pregnant Alabama high school senior who attended her own high school graduation — in defiance of her school’s orders to stay hidden.

Because she apparently struck a chord, here’s a roundup of reports and discussion about the heroic Alabama girl.

ABC Local
The Montgomery Advertiser

Daily Kos
Guerilla Women of Tennessee
I Blame the Patriarchy
The All Spin Zone
The Free Republic
Suicide Girls
The Anticentenarian
Number 2 Pencil
Cake Eater Chronicles

Buffalo Paper Won’t Run Ad for Gay Men’s Chorus

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/20/2005 @ 12:30 pm

The Buffalo Jewish Review has refused to run an ad for a performance by a gay men’s chorus. Romenesko reports that the ad was “rejected on grounds that it might influence young people to experiment sexually in a way that could be harmful to their health. ‘We are a family newspaper and don’t refer to sex at all or identify anyone as homosexual or heterosexual,’” said the paper’s owner, Ruth Weiss.

From Romenesko.

Debbie Does Dinner

Filed under
  • Government
 by Amanda Toering — 05/20/2005 @ 12:14 pm

From the “We’re Pretty Sure This Is Real” file….

Former porn star and gubernatorial candidate —

That was so much fun I have to do it again.

Former porn star and gubernatorial candidate (!) Mary Carey has been invited to dinner with George Bush and Karl Rove. We think. At least the Adult Video News says so. (via AmericaBlog) [Warning: First link too racy for most workplaces.]

According to AVN, Carey’s boss, KickAss Pictures prez Mark Kulkis, was invited to the event by the Republican Congressional Committee. [Another warning: Don’t Google KickAss Pictures except in the privacy of your own — child-free — home.]

“I’m hoping to run as Lieutenant Governor of California next year,” Carey said. “Since Arnold {Schwarzenegger} is a Republican, I thought this dinner would be a great networking opportunity for me.”

“I’m honored to be invited to this event,” Kulkis said. “Republicans bill themselves as the pro-business party. Well, you won’t find a group of people more pro-business than pornographers. We contributed over $10 billion to the national economy last year.”

“I’m especially looking forward to meeting Karl Rove,” Carey added. “Smart men like him are so sexy. I know that he’s against gay marriage, but I think I can convince him that a little girl-on-girl action now and then isn’t so bad!”

Kulkis serves as an Honorary Chairman on the NRCC’s Business Advisory Council, a group of business people who advocate a progressive, pro-business agenda. His company produces hardcore adult videos with a guarantee of “No Fake Boobs & No Condoms.” Carey ran for Governor in the 2003 California Recall Election, while Kulkis served as her campaign manager.

Another invited guest, Muslim businessman and GOP donor (!) Syed Maswood, has decided not to attend the dinner. Seems his home’s been raided by the FBI and he’s been mistakenly listed on the Homeland Security no-fly list. He and his wife have declined their invitation to the dinner because “the last time they were in Washington they were held for hours at the airport.”

And one more anomalous invitation: Supersonic Jane, blogger.

Lesson for the Dems: Cast a wider net.

♫ Oooooh-klahoma, Where the Rep’s Main Argument Is Lame! ♫

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/20/2005 @ 11:36 am

The OK City library board met last night to discuss whether the controversial “King and King” should be moved from its libraries’ children’s sections. The state legislature recently passed a resolution that would defund public libraries if they don’t hide “gay-themed” children’s books from the books’ intended audience.

Hundreds of community members attended the meeting. They were each given 30 seconds to speedily recite their objections to or support for the book-hiding.

Also speaking at the meeting was the resolution’s sponsor, Representative Sally Kern. Kern offered what is perhaps the most fallacious non sequitur ever uttered by a pro-censorship, freshman Republican minister’s wife.

Kern argued that moving the gayest of books is the people’s will.


Wait for it….

Because “seventy-one percent of the voters of Oklahoma County voted to uphold traditional marriage.”

Post hoc ergo propter hoc, so there.

The library board postponed its decision until next week.

From ChannelOklahoma.

Bakersfield Students Fight for Free Speech

Filed under
  • Schools
 by Amanda Toering — 05/20/2005 @ 11:10 am

Students at a Bakersfield, CA, high school are going to war over their school paper. Five students are suing after principal John Gibson blocked a series of stories about gay students and their lives.

“We chose to focus on sexual orientation in the paper so that the issues could be talked about in the open, not stuffed back into the closet,” said Joel Paramo, an 18-year-old senior and editor-in-chief of East High’s student newspaper, The Kernal

Besides Paramo, plaintiffs in the lawsuit include student journalists Maria Krauter and Travis Mattias, both 17. Janet Rangel, 18, and Rudy Cachu, 17 – also plaintiffs – were among seven openly gay students featured in the censored stories.

Student editors and their sources for the stories said they were shocked at the administration’s decision to stop publication of five articles that they say presented varying perspectives about gender identity, sexual orientation and students’ personal stories.

The students are asking that the articles be published in the final edition of the paper, which is slated for print at the end of May.


The lawsuit contends that Gibson and other defendants ordered the newspaper staff not to publish the “Focus on Homosexuality” series on the pretext that its publication would “pose a risk of safety to the students interviewed and to the peace, safety and orderly administration of this campus.”

But the student journalists said they chose the seven students for interviews specifically because their sexual orientation was not a secret. Then they went the extra mile by obtaining written approval from the students and their parents.

The students met with representatives from the ACLU, which has agreed to take their case.

Christine Sun, a staff attorney for the ACLU, said censorship like this cannot be allowed, and if safety is a concern, other actions need to be taken.

“If the principal is so concerned with the school environment, he should be going out into the community talking about these issues, instituting training, telling parents and community members that we will not tolerate gay harassment,” said Sun

From the Bakersfield Californian and KGET.

TV Reporter Learns New F-Word: “Fired”

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/20/2005 @ 10:43 am

A reporter for New York’s WCBS was fired yesterday after blowing his top at a couple of idiots.

Arthur Chi’en was being heckled by dumbass fans of satellite shock jocks Opie & Anthony during a live report.

For a few moments, as the knuckleheads heckled him and gave the finger to the camera, Chi’en kept his cool and continued talking.

But as soon as he finished his report, he spun around and shouted at the intruders: “What the f— is your problem, man?”

The station’s engineers were unprepared, however, and the expletive made its way to the 6 a.m. audience.

Chi’en was canned. Opie & Anthony apparently bragged about the incident on their show later that morning.

From the NY Daily News. (via I Want Media.)

Columbia Journalism Review Tries to Focus the Tomlinson Issue

Filed under  by Amanda Toering — 05/20/2005 @ 10:33 am

While Kenneth Tomlinson’s war against PBS’ “liberal bias” is getting lots of mileage, traction, and other euphemistic momentum, the Columbia Journalism Review points out that most media outlets are ignoring Tomlinson’s primary conflict of interest.

Kenneth Tomlinson is the not only the chair of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, he’s the chair of the US Broadcasting Board of Governors. Never heard of it? The BBG is the government agency responsible for “all government and government sponsored, non-military, international broadcasting.”

That is, propaganda.

Like Alhurra, an Arabic-language satellite radio station broadcast in the Middle East. ("Dedicated to presenting accurate, balanced and comprehensive news!")

Or Radio Sawa, another satellite station aired in the Middle East. (” Radio Sawa seeks to effectively communicate with the youthful population of Arabic-speakers in the Middle East by providing up-to-date news, information and entertainment on FM and medium wave radio stations throughout the region. Radio Sawa is dedicated to broadcasting accurate, timely and relevant news about the Middle East, the world and the United States.")

Or how about Radio/TV Martí — the US government’s official mouthpiece in Cuba? A [translated] message from President Bush on the front page of that site reads:

“I’m pleased to send a greeting to all the Cubans as they celebrate the 103rd anniversary of the independence of Cuba. We honor the bonds, the faith, the religion and the heritage that unite us all.”

Smart money says that these stations have a conservative bias, no?

The Columbia Journalism Review points out that as the chair of the organization that oversees these government broadcasters, Tomlinson has an explicit conflict of interest. And no one seems to talk about that.

As almost all of the media coverage of the CPB case has failed to mention, in his role at the BBG, Tomlinson himself is a “federal employee” – yet he is explicitly trying to direct, shape, mold and supervise public telecommunications in his role at the CPB.

Tomlinson is a political figure in what should be the apolitical role of chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. We deserve better. He should go.

Tomlinson: PBS Leadership Is Tone-Deaf and Intellectually Dishonest

Filed under
  • PBS
 by Amanda Toering — 05/20/2005 @ 10:01 am

Kenneth Tomlinson recalls his clarifying moment in a Paul Farhi Washington Post piece. It was the moment he realized that PBS had a “liberal problem.”

It was November 2003, and he was watching Bill Moyers, host of the Public Broadcasting Service show “Now,” talk about how free-trade policies had harmed small-town America. Tomlinson knows small-town America – he grew up outside tiny Galax, Va., in the Blue Ridge Mountains – and Moyers’s presentation of the issues struck him as superficial and one-sided. Indeed, it struck him as “liberal advocacy journalism.” Right then, Tomlinson said, he decided it was time to bring some “balance” to the public TV and radio airwaves.

One viewing of one show started his campaign. But oops —

“I never started out to make a campaign of this,” he said this week, sitting in CPB’s offices across from the FBI Building in downtown Washington. But he added that the resistance he’s encountered, particularly from PBS President Pat Mitchell about Moyers’s program, is “symbolic of the tone-deafness” and “intellectual dishonesty” of public broadcasting’s leadership.

“This is not a controversy that I brought to public broadcasting,” Tomlinson said. “There is an element within public broadcasting that brought this controversy on itself.”

In the Washington Post.

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