Category Archives: The Media
Last night, the Susan G. Komen Foundation website was hacked for a brief period of time. When entered into any search engine, viewers would be directed to the hackers’ website ww5.komen.org.
Hackers chose to focus the job on the Foundation’s advertisement for its annual marathon for breast cancer, and did a damn good job if you ask me (though the measures were a bit extreme).
Instead of the intended advertisement appearing on the website, which looks like this:
Hackers made a few “edits,” and left the website’s advertisement looking like this:
Wake up, Susan G. Your actions have clearly made a huge impact on a large number of women around the world, and not in a good way.
Appropriately Re-Posted Photo
Today is the day of Tea Parties – otherwise known as April 15th or Tax Day.
1) This is not a grassroots movement. This is an AstroTurfing movement. What does that mean? Instead of springing from people coming together it is being sponsored and pushed my large, national organization. The group Americans for Prosperity is a well financed, heavily staffed organization that is coordinating the activities of national tea baggers.
Additionally, Fox News has been pushing these tea baggers hard core for weeks. The line between reporting and supporting the movement seems to be blurred in much of the Fox News coverage. An excellent report on this has been developed specifically on this subject by Media MattersÂ – the summer home of one Dana Cronyn.
2) These tea parties are giant hissy fits.
Giant, non-productive hissy fits.
I am all for freedom of speech, but these tea parties address the most annoying arguments of the emerging right-wing freakout. We are not even 100 days into the Obama Administration and the Right-wing is working itself it a nervous breakdown like none seen since the South collectively spasmed and removed itself from the Union.
Loyal Democrats in 2000 begrudgingly supported George W. Bush after he was appointed President of the United States. We were expected to support our President by the Right-wing – anything else was subversive. The former Vice President did not attack the new administration, like Dick Cheney has done recently, and mass protests across the country were not organized toÂ whine about No Child Left Behind.
Most of all – not a single blue state threatened to leave the Union. Texas Governor Rick Perry declared his state’s sovereignty from the United States Federal Government. It seems that the tea bagging movement is still completely confused over who won and who lost last November’s election. At some point the hypocritical freakout must stop, otherwise the Right is dooming itself to irrelevancy.
My new series on Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories in the Obama Administration
Last weekend Richard Poplawski killed three Pittsburgh policemen with a AK-47. Since his arres a debate has exploded over Poplawski’s motives for deliberately setting up an ambush to gun down the officers. He has been linked to the right-wing, neo-nazi website Stormfront and his writings have ventured in and out of the land of psychotic conspiracy theories. Of note, Poplawski’s current state of paranoia was spurned by his belief that President Obama was actively working to ban all firearms in the United States.
This conspiracy theory has been reververating across the right-wing blogosphere since the campaign. Powerful groups, like the NRA, poured millions of dollars into creating the image of Barack Obama as an enemy of the Second Amendment. The NRA claimed that Obama was going to ban the sale and manufacturing of all firearms, ban the use of firearms for self-defense, ban hunting, and ban all rights to to carry a firearm. The claims of the NRA have been repeated across right-wing blogs, radio shows, and main stream news networks as reality. For example, Glenn Beck has been a platform for this echo chamber…
In this piece an expert, a gun store owner, is interviewed about federal policy, the economy, and the national psyche. The media is allowing buffoons like Beck and gun store owners to act as experts on the state of our nation. Instead of engaging representatives from the Obama Administration and mainstream think tanks in a conversation about the future gun control in our nation the MSM allows falsehoods to pass as pure fact. Glenn Beck may be an unfair example, considering he is a bit unhinged, but there are other instances of the MSM allowing for right-wing, conspiracy viewpoints to be presented on natiional television without being challenged. This is just as harmful as actively promoting these viewpoints.
The fact is – President Obama has staked a careful, moderate stance on gun control (factcheck.org). In fact, this is one area where I actually disagree with President Obama. The furthest he has gone in promoting gun control has been calling for making the assault weapon ban permanenet (an already toothless piece of legislation, banning high-powered ammunition like those that killed the police last weekend, and strengthening registration laws. By mutating these facts the right-wing echo chamber has perpetuated the neurotic beliefs of right-wing crazies. It has driven them to taking up gun control as the ventilation of their conservative frustration since the 2008 election.
Creating lies that are allowed to fester perpetuates the anger and psychotic beliefs of those in the fringe of our nation.
The Ann Arbor News will ceaseÂ operationsÂ as a daily newspaper after over 170 years. The new organization rising from its ashes will be called “AnnArbor.com” The new website will produce a bi-weekly print edition but will focus mostly on online content.Â The staff found out at 9am about the change. They were told they could apply for positions at the new company, but that job losses would be inevitable. The newspaper’s publisher cited large losses over the past year as one of the main reasons for the decision.
This announcement comes a few months after the Detroit Free Press announced scaled back print operations with enhanced online content.
The death of the newspaper as we know it is near.
Now only if the Daily would follow… j/k. Where else would I get my daily crossword?
CNN.com has more…
I refuse (cannot try) to rhyme this because the word “blog” has many limitations. Live blogging a blogging convention seems very meta to me – Philip Seymour Hoffman, where are you?!
8:11 PM – Tom Duvall just shouted into a microphone, said tonight was the greatest night in Michigan sports history and introduced Mark Brewer… who then proceeded to still talk about sports. Is game a synonym for blog? Now we’re discussing Derek Dobbies. I like his tie.
8:12 – Conservatives don’t like Obama. Obama likes blogs. Therefore, conservatives don’t like blogs. Also, we like the stimulus package, so the stimulus package likes blogs and blogs are stimulating (but not for conservatives) and Obama is a great package. SO blog for money and Obama but not conservatives (because they don’t want to be stimulated.)
8:13 – UPDATE, ALERT, there will be a Governor’s race in 2010. A whole lotta bloggers for John Cherry.
8:15 – people smoke marijuana… people who are politicians.
8:16 – Bloggers are the best! They are better than the mainstream media! They are sticking it to Republicans in Grand Rapids! PS – here is Marcy Wheeler!
8:17 – Wheeler got her PhD at Michigan and therefore is da bomb. She straight chilled in the Libby trial and clacks mad keys for automotive issues and, more recently, the AIG scandal.
8:18 – Q: Where did the need for blogs come from? A: the internet. (but plus smarter stuff, too.)
8:19 – in the good old days, Pubbies could harnass the media (like the talkey talk box!) but now, with the evolution of the interwebs, we’ve usurped their power. Apparently bloggers are allegedly feisty than Rush Limbaugh… this is probably not the case. IN THE GOOD OLD DAYS, PARTISAN SKEWS WAS GOOD AND KIND. (Or, at least wildly accepted.) Partisan journalism cranks out da vote.
C-SPAN and Congress are celebrating their 30th anniversary!Â C-SPAN first aired from the House on March 19, 1979, and according to Roll Call, “Tennessee Democratic Rep. Al Gore was first to speak live on the House floor.”
C-SPAN 2 went on the air on June 2, 1986, and the two channels have been vital in giving the public greater access to their government.
Two very interesting and totally unrelated articles that I found whilst browsing for totally unrelated things and watching Memphis struggle inexplicably with Cal-State-WhoCaresVille.
In the past month the Pentagon has made some big changes that haven’t gotten much publicity but I think are worthy of mentioning.Â First, the Pentagon has lifted the ban on media recording the arrive of fallen soldiers into Dover Air Force Base. Barack Obama asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates to review the policy. Gates changed the nearing two decade policy to leave the choice to the family of the fallen soldiers on whether they want to permit media at the repatriation.Â I remembered this video that shows the differences between fallen soldiers being return here in the U.S. and those being returned to Great Britain. The video also shows the two sides of showing the repatriation.
The Pentagon also announced it will be phasing out the unpopular “stop-loss” program (remember that movie, it had Channing Tatum in it) which basically involuntarily extends soldier’s tours beyond their contracts without any recourse for these soldiers. The policy only applied to the Army and was meant to keep units together during their tours. Up to January there were 13,217 soldiers who had their tours extended under the stop-loss program. The Pentagon plans on offering bonuses for those who were stop-lost and discontinue the practice. I think that it is sad that it took this long for the policy to be changed. These soldiers have already fulfilled their commitment to serve our country and they should be treated better than this.
According to Daily Intel, as well as our very own Emily Ernst, beloved Senator/technological maverick John McCain has started his very own Twitter account. Apparently, the Senator himself is behind this effort, perhaps in an attempt to get a little bit more life blood pumping within is Blackberry fingers. This should be disheartening to Democrats everywhere – why is the supposed party of youth and… competency still lacking so far behind in the war for complete Twitter domination… tweetination? Tweet Congress notes that seven of the top ten most active Congressional twitterers (read 70% people!) are Republicans, and statistics show that John McCain is raking up followers at the same rate Palin rakes up moose meet for chili. (What?) Maybe the surplus of Republican twitter accounts can be explained by the fact that they are damn entertaining. Some of my favorite soundbytes (tweetbytes) from McCain include “YEs!! I am twittering on my blackberry but not without a little help!”, “I appreciate Senator Byrd speaking in favor of my Constitutional point of order” (so precious) as well as the fact that a) he seems to feel a that the governing rules of capitalization and punctuation only apply from time to time, and b) he has created himself a David Letterman (Tweeterman) type persona by listing what he calls the top ten “porkiest” projects everyday. At least now I know that if I ever feel un-text loved and uninformed about what’s happening to the hep-cats of the G.O.P. darling John is only a tweet away.