Notes From The Overground

Progressive-minded weblog devoted heavily to politics and media with some music and popular culture sprinkled throughout working on the assumption that anything that comes out of Washington or the mass media is bogus propaganda unless proven otherwise.

Created by Tom

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Wednesday, June 18, 2003
New Site

Check out my new work-in-progress music site, Blue Eyed Son.

Down(load) the Hatch

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Orin Hatch, came out against illegal downloading by favoring the development of new technology that can destroy the computers of people who illegally download music and movie files. This is brilliant in a way that only sociopathically moronically spiteful ideas can be. Great idea: destroy somebody's $1000+ machine for the computer equivalent of "taping off the radio." I guess the industry has to scapegoat something for declining sales. So they find the one possible cause of the decline in sales that they can't blame on themselves. Gee, it couldn't be the declining quality of the product as a result of bottom-line-driven corporate monoliths... that just couldn't be. It couldn't be the tendency toward pandering to the least-common-denominator in order to make a quick buck through corner-cutting and repetition repetition repetition. It couldn't be the fact that rather than cultivating talented artists, the labels are just pre-fabbing everything. No, that can't be the case when you have your head rammed up the ass of some CEO whose head is in the sand ostrich-style.

Why not just develop a software that puts an electric shock through Lars Ulrich's testicles every time somebody downloads an illegal MP3?

Speaking of Lars Ulrich's testicles (or lack thereof), check out this creatively penned review of what it sounds like when a bunch of 40 year old millionaire tools of the establishment going through a mid-life crisis decide to pose as revolutionary 20-year-old skater punks.

Saving Private Lynch part 824 (The Saga Continues)

The Washington Post released a lengthy investigative piece that discounts most of their original unquestioningly patriotic account of the trials of Pfc. Jessica Lynch...

The account, published on April 3 under the headline "She Was Fighting to the Death; Details Emerging of W.Va. Soldier's Capture and Rescue," was widely repeated in other news reports, and helped make her story an inspirational touchstone for American support for the war. But subsequent reports by The Post and other news organizations have cast doubt on several aspects of the initial portrayals of her story, raising questions about whether the United States military manipulated the episode for propaganda purposes and about whether American news organizations were seduced by a gripping, patriotic tale.

American military misusing it for propaganda purposes!? But Ari Fleischer says that that is not how America works! And what's that they say about American news organizations being "seduced by a gripping, patriotic tale"? My Pollyanna instinct tells me that that just is not possible. The corporate American media would never just echo the right-wing propaganda.

Steve Coll, managing editor of The Post, said in a telephone interview yesterday that the paper was still pleased with its article on April 3, saying it was good reporting done within days of her rescue...

...without any fact checking and with a blind desire to disregard the responsibilities of the American free press and work as a tool for the Bush administration's agenda to get some good ol' red, white and blue patriotism points and boost those green circulation dollars. Yellow journalism with a touch of blue blood makes Green Journalism.

Michael Getler, The Post's ombudsman — a columnist charged with examining the paper's own coverage — noted in a column on April 20 that the article on the Lynch capture waited until the fourth paragraph to raise cautions about the preliminary nature of what it called "battlefield intelligence." Mr. Getler wrote that one reader called it "a sensationalistic story riddled with inaccuracies" and another wrote, "I smell an agenda."

In a telephone interview yesterday, Mr. Getler said: "Those first several paragraphs were written in a very hard fashion and the rest of the story made it clear that those sources were less than firsthand. I thought the story was overwritten to begin with, whether it was true or not." He added, "It was at a crucial point in the war and my instinct at the moment was to be very skeptical. It had a strong propagandistic twinge to it."

And they wonder why we're so cynical...

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