Please keep in mind that this post is more than 3 years old. Opinions change. Tastes change. Everything changes. I may still agree with or like this, or I may not. But everything is kept up here for archival purposes.
a little house-cleaning / June 9, 2005
From Randi Rhodes, a terrible radio host, who stumbled on a few good ideas for news media:
First, Congress must act to adopt standards for labeling a broadcast as NEWS. There is a right to a free press expressly guaranteed to each and every one of us, and yet there are no standards for corporations who brand themselves as news providers. We had standards for sitcom families and their sleeping arrangements. We have language standards for radio stations, but no news standards that define what journalistic principles must be present in order to brand as news.
If I may insert a note here: Wether you know it or not, this has actually gone to court. In an unlawful termination case against Fox, the court eventually ruled that there is no requirement that the news be true.
Second, I think we need to bring back the Fairness Doctrine which served this country well from 1949 through 1987. It simply guarantees competing viewpoints on issues of public importance. There’s never been and Equal Time requirement as is widely believed. We viewed station licensees to be “public trustees” and therefore, they had an obligation to present different viewpoints on issues of public importance. License holders were also required to actively seek out stories of interest to the public and air programs addressing those issues.
Thirdly, finally and most importantly, we need to protect our journalists. They must be free to report and never be penalized with lost access to the people they cover or with retribution from partisan employers. Journalists have died covering Afghanistan and Iraq in numbers that surpass the numbers of lost journalists in Viet Nam. And that is saying a lot. Coverage of Viet Nam went on in earnest for 12 years. Yet in just 2 and a half years there have been more journalists killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Dunno if I agree with number 3. How the hell do you “protect journalists’. If anything, I would prefer journalists had less to do with American soldiers and such. I think if you’re going to travel into a war-torn area to talk to and take pictures of lots of people, then you better fucking well be prepared for the consequences.
Google owns Blogger, right? And Google has a half decent translation service for web pages. So why don’t they add a “translate this page” link to the blogspot header on Blogspot-hosted pages?
brought to you by the Washington Post and several administration officials who wouldn’t know ethics from a hole in their backside:
“The White House said Wednesday that changes in government reports on global warming by a former oil industry lobbyist were part of a normal review and did not violate a pledge to rely on sound science.”
On the party in power refusing to give credentials to people who didn’t support them in the last election, to attend a telecommunications conference in central America:
The White House admits as much: “We wanted people who would represent the Administration positively, and–call us nutty–it seemed like those who wanted to kick this Administration out of town last November would have some difficulty doing that,” says White House spokesman Trent Duffy. Those barred from the trip include employees of Qualcomm and Nokia, two of the largest telecom firms operating in the U.S., as well as Ibiquity, a digital-radio-technology company in Columbia, Md. One nixed participant, who has been to many of these telecom meetings and who wants to remain anonymous, gave just $250 to the Democratic Party. Says Nokia vice president Bill Plummer: “We do not view sending experts to international meetings on telecom issues to be a partisan matter. We would welcome clarification from the White House.”
— TIME.com: Any Kerry Supporters On The Line? May. 02, 2005
So we’re so concerned that certified experts in telecommunications be supportive of the administration — not the country, but the administration — that we won’t let them talk to other people about… you know… telecommunications.
More and more there’s a disconnect between the US and the world. I mean… literally. I’m constantly being reminded of the scene in Channel Zero where the protagonist, after being exiled from the US, discusses with a foreign reporter the difference in realities, between what you see from within the united states, and what you see from the outside. An all pervasive control of reality, at the borders.
There’s something wrong with running hot dog and Perdue chicken commercials on Animal Planet.
And only two years after I first brought it up, the FBI finally arrested the Pentagon employee who was passing secrets to Israel. If you can’t find a way to get out of the country to somewhere without an extradition treaty in two years… well you probably deserve what’s coming to you.
Anyway… if I may paraphrase an email I recently sent Lea:
“Me? Now? I work. I work a lot. And, you know, then I work more. Working for myself, I have worse hours and longer days than I did with other jobs. But I don’t hate it. I ended up hating my last job, with passion. When I climbed in the elevator every morning, it felt a little more claustrophobic each day. So while I may panic now about a schedule, and am never sure where the next job is coming from… I feel like every day is lived in a wide-open space. (I take the stairs a lot.). And hey… the next job keeps coming.”