Public Diplomacy Press & Blog Review Gets Props From USNews

Congrats to John Brown for a solid year of blogging and compiling the PDPBR for the USC Center on Public Diplomacy Web site (of which I am managing editor).

U.S. News‘s David E. Kaplan named the PDPBR one of the top ten blogs of ’06 in his “Bad Guys” column.

Brown, who served for over twenty years as a foreign service officer before resigning in protest of the Iraq War, has really come into his own with the Review — a thrice weekly aggregation of news and commentary on issues pertinent to Public Diplomacy. He also penned several essays for the Public Diplomacy Blog and online publications including TomPaine.com and Commondreams.org in 2006.

Congrats, JB!

WOOZradio: 2007 New Release Watershed

2007 is gonna be something else for us music freaks. While I hesitate to itemize Top 10 lists (inevitably I will, as I did last January), I’m lukewarm on 2006’s best — many of my faves were released in late 2005 — and truth be told

2007 is gonna be a monster!!!

To avoid confusion, I’ll be migrating all music/WOOZradio posts to a new site, but until that happens, I beg of you these indulgences.

WOOZradio is netZoo’s Internet radio station. It has existed solely online since 1999, broadcasting via Live365. Currently, my top 100 (or so) of 2006 are in rotation, along with nearly 100 cuts from upcoming 2007 releases — Arcade Fire, Modest Mouse, Bloc Party, etc. Click here to listen ad-free (and help me pay for the space), or Click Here to listen free (w/ ads).

Coming in 2007:

The Bees (formerly A Band of Bees) are coming strong with Octopus. (Thanks Rory for first turning me on to them back in the day)!

listen to Got to Let Go

Field Music will appear with their finest record ever on January 22.

listen to In Context

!!! is expected to drop “Myth Takes” on March 4. listen to A New Name

And that’s just a taste. Check here for upcoming releases.

And, just for the hell of it — Dengue Fever kicked ass a few weeks ago on KEXP. Listen to the set.

Jesus Christ! Local ‘News’ or Over-Cautious Infotainment?

Light posting lately as I take some time away from all things computerized and work on some other projects. But I can’t seem to get this one story out of my head. Thanks to Tony Pierce at LAist for the tip-off.

On Christmas Day 6pm newscast on KNBC Channel 4, NBC’s Los Angeles area affiliate, neither newscasters Ted Chen nor Kelly Mack uttered the word “Jesus” or “Jesus Christ” despite referring to “Christmas” 30 times.

This is among the most perverted reactions to the so-called holiday/christmas quasi-conundrum on the airwaves. If nothing else, it’s practically journalistic blasphemy to highlight a particular event without giving it’s historical, traditional, ideological, or fanciful background. Even if one could assume that the majority of Americans know what Christmas celebrates, (personally, I always forget whether it’s the birth, death, or rebirth), local broadcast news is drops the ball by failing to provide brief historical context — even if its “this is the third time in four days that Paris Hilton has gotten a DUI.” We Americans tend to forget very quickly (we re-elected George W. Bush, remember?).

HERE’s the Kicker: On the following day’s (12/26) 11am news, KNBC thoroughly and very appropriately explained Kwanzaa:

African-Americans are beginning the celebration of Kwanza. A parade gets way at noon in LA’s Crenshaw district. The seven-day long Kwanza holiday was founded back in 1966 as a way for African-Americans to reflect back on their ancestry and culture. It involves seven daily principals of unity, self-determination, work, responsibility, knowledge, strength, purpose, creativity, and faith. Participants in today’s Kwanza parade will march down Crenshaw Blvd. from Adams to Vernon.

Predictably, right wing bloggers are slamming the “liberal” media for all of these things and other instances of censorship that clearly violate First Amendment rights. But, seriously, this all makes me think we may be heading towards a bipartisan attack on Atheist fundamentalists.

Click here and listen to On the Media’s segment on reporting Atheism — it’s an eye-opener.