Is GE / NBC Pushing For U.S. Regime Change?

Some have argued that GE – NBC has trumped up their anti-Bush Administration rhetoric since shortly before the November 2006 midterm elections.

Culprit #1 is Chris Matthews, who in his career has probably been accused more of garnering an anti-Liberal (or pro-Republican) bias (he worked for four Democratic politicians in the ’70s, but was a “Goldwater Republican” and in 2000 voted for Bush). The host of MSNBC’s Hardball is a regular contributor to the Imus in the morning show. And today he dropped the F-Bomb:

“I’m so sick of Southern guys with ranches running this country. I want a guy to run for President who doesn’t have a fucking — I’m sorry, a ranch.”

Watch the video below.

Last month, Matthews slipped the *s* word into a rant on Hardball:

“If you want America to be a hegemonic power in the Middle East, you’re out of step with the American people. We’re not going to fight it out with Iran for the next 30 years to see who the big shit — I’m sorry — the big name is on the block.”

This video is after the jump.

Matthews initial transgression into vociferously anti-Bush sentiment was first noted just 6 weeks before the November elections. Think Progress has the clip:

Matthews said that most of the media was sold a bill of goods by the Bush administration, but that he’s been “a voice out there against this bullshit war from the beginning.” He added that Cheney was “totally wrong” about Iraq but still “talks like God on television, and we are supposed to believe every word.”


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Steve Jobs Calls For an End to DRM

Following up on the few comments in class on DRM (Digital Rights Management)-protected files, Apple CEO Steve Jobs wrote a lil essay today titled “Thoughts on Music.” Web users and digital media companies have been calling for an end to DRM for some months now as has nearly everyone short of the RIAA, which represents the big 4 labels comprising the recording industry oligarchy.

There has been a flood of blog posts today that try to decipher exactly what Jobs is getting at. Is this a mea culpa? Chest-beating? A cryptic call to direct negotiations with the majors?

The biggest nugget in the essay is Jobs’ claim that, should the labels agree to drop current DRM, the iTunes store “switch to selling only DRM-free music,” which means it would be compatible with all music players, among other things. Personally, I’d be shocked if the labels and the RIAA agreed to anything close to this. On the other hand, after the success of the iPod, Apple really has the consumer in it’s core — does Jobs have the entire entertainment industry up his sleeve as well? We shall see. He’s already down with Disney, and a copyright/content deal with the majors (like Google/YouTube recently did) is not an impossibility.

Other reasons Jobs is making what appears to be his first ever blog post could relate to a digital music antitrust lawsuit alledging that Apple “locks” consumers into its platform. Jobs lays out these three scenarios:

1) stick with DRM. Apple keeps winning.

2) Apple licenses its FairPlay DRM system (which was devised at the behest of the labels).

3) The music industry agrees to license their music to online stores without DRM.

Below is a bit more from Jobs’ essay:

…Some have called for Apple to “open” the digital rights management (DRM) system that Apple uses to protect its music against theft […] Today’s most popular iPod holds 1000 songs, and research tells us that the average iPod is nearly full. This means that only 22 out of 1000 songs, or under 3% of the music on the average iPod, is purchased from the iTunes store and protected with a DRM. The remaining 97% of the music is unprotected and playable on any player that can play the open formats.

Cory Doctorow and others are optimistic about this “big news.”

Video Mashups & Subvertising

Thinking back on the “good ol’ days” of the early 21st century when I lived in Chicago, and was witness some of the greatest independent creations / multimedia commentaries / videos / and zines of this century. The best series of all is the Select Media Festival, a collaborative project that included some incredibly provocative video mashups and animations in the direct aftermath of 9/11 and continues, each Fall.

Check out the hilariously unfortunate G.I. Joe PSA’s here.

Other goodies can be found there, as well as at Version Fest — which takes place April 19-May 6 in Chicago. Lumpen is ground zero for the classic free zine and is in some way or another connected to each of these events as is GNN, whose original Guerrilla News Network broadcasts brought shock and awe into the home with critical responses to the War on Terror (Ian Inaba, an early contributor to GNN, recently produced the acclaimed “American Blackout” and is one of three people behind the Video the Vote project.

Also worth checking out is this short clip in which John Ashcroft reveals a new policy to deal with Illegal aliens.

Did Murdoch Admit to Iraq Propaganda at Davos?

Bob McChesney, Robert Greenwald and others have well-documented News Corp’s calculated efforts to mirror President Bush’s policies (especially on Fox News) without being critical of its flaws and failures.

But, as Mark at News Corpse blogs, Rupert Murdoch’s statement below can be read as the first straight admission of News Corp’s collusion with the Bush Admin. Earlier in the discussion, Murdoch superficially admits to News Corp.’s alleged “’loss of power’ due to the ascension of the Internet and other new media.”

Murdoch was asked if News Corp. had managed to shape the agenda on the war in Iraq. His answer? “No, I don’t think so. We tried…. We basically supported the Bush policy in the Middle East… but we have been very critical of his execution.”

Audio/Video of the panel Murdoch sat on “Who Will Shape the Agenda” is available here.

cross-posted at DigiPoli Blog.

Aqua Teen Terror Force?!?

MeatwadWhile any number of illicit activities and emergencies broke out in Boston today — the entire city’s resources were put on call due to “suspicious devices.”

By 4:10 p.m. ET the perpetrator of the suspicious devices stepped forward:

Turner Broadcasting acknowledged late this afternoon that the suspicious packages that ignited fears of bombs across Boston today were magnetic lights that were part of an outdoor marketing campaign for an adult cartoon.

Turner was promoting Adult Swim’s animated television show “Aqua Teen Hunger Force.” They definitely got more pub than they could have possibly dreamed of. The long-awaited ATHF movie is set for March 23 release. Preview here.

In a statement, Turner revealed that the “packages” have been in place for weeks in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Austin, San Francisco, and Philadelphia.

I chuckle as I envision the terror that one Meatwad can unleash, but, seriously… how stupidly and hastily suspect and fear-filled can we Americans possibly get?

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