Today on Blogcritics
Home » The End of Press Freedom in America

The End of Press Freedom in America

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

Not long ago, Reporters Without Borders downgraded the US in their Press Freedom Index by 36 spots, putting us down in the range of Uruguay and Tonga, all as the result of the imprisonment of Judith Miller for not cooperating with the Valerie Plame leak investigation. We moved from 17th place, fairly near the top of the list with the other civilized countries, down to the middle where press freedom is usually at the whim of some dictator or princeling. I wonder what they will do to our rating if Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) manages to reinstate the notorious Fairness Doctrine with his new Media Ownership Reform Act, a bill which has 17 cosponsors and strong support among the Democrats who now control Congress.

The Fairness Doctrine originated as a vague FCC policy in the 1950s intended to give competing political candidates equal access to broadcast media exposure, so that no outlet could ban the advertisements or coverage of a particular candidate. Over the years the policy went through many changes, ultimately becoming much more restrictive by the 1980s to the point where it essentially mandated second-by-second equal time for opposing editorial positions as well as opposing candidates.

Under the Reagan administration the FCC issued the Fairness Report in 1985 which suggested doing away with the doctrine because it was a violation of the First Amendment and generally contrary to the public interest. As a result the FCC began a hands-off policy supporting free debate on the airwaves, similar to the general lack of regulation of the print media. A final effort was made to restore the doctrine by passing it as the Fairness in Broadcasting Act of 1987, but Presidents Reagan and Bush both vetoed the bill.

Back in power in Congress for the first time since those vetoes, restoring the Fairness Doctrine is high on the list of many Democrats, and Hinchey is leading the way with his bill which specifically references the very broad interpretation of the doctrine found in the vetoed 1987 legislation. As defined in Hinchey's bill, the Fairness Doctrine could easily be interpreted to require radio and television stations carrying popular but politically partisan programming to provide equal airtime to programming with an opposing viewpoint regardless of its audience appeal.

Some supporters openly refer to this as the 'Hush Rush' or 'Air America Bailout' bill, because it would make it financially prohibitive for talk radio stations to carry popular conservative talk shows, because they would have to be balanced by politically left-leaning programming which would not attract enough of an audience to bring in any advertising money. For every enormously profitable hour of Rush Limbaugh and his millions of listeners which a station carries it would have to broadcast an hour of Al Franken or the equivalent, with no listeners and no appeal to advertisers.

Widespread implementation of this doctrine raises all sorts of issues, and not just the obvious ones with the restriction of free speech and blatant meddling in the business practices of broadcasters. Perhaps the biggest issue is that of subjectivity. Who defines what the political alignment of a program is and what should be broadcast to balance it? Some woiuld classify a radio talker like Neal Boortz as conservative, but his positions don't conform to those of any political party, so how would you balance him fairly? You'd almost have to go out and manufacture a program for that purpose which promoted equivalently mixed positions in a mirror image. This might be difficult for many programs which focus mostly on common sense and relatively moderate positions. The only way to balance common sense and moderation is with craziness and extremism.

Hinchey's MORA also brings back some of the rather unappealing regulatory restrictions on broadcast network ownership. I'm as tired as anyone else of Clear Channel owning all the pop music stations in my market, but it still seems like extreme and unnecessary restraint of trade to force them to get rid of most of their stations to create the illusion of diversity. The stations are still going to play the same top 40 crap even if they are owned by four different companies instead of one. All these provisions do punish media businesses for their success.

Punishing success is a large part of the Hinchey bill. There is clearly a large market for conservative talk radio. The market for left-leaning counterprogramming appears to be much more limited. Based on the disastrous commercial failure of Air America, which has now been reduced to paying for airtime on stations in major markets, the left's version of talk radio can't beg, borrow, or even buy an audience. With this bill they can be protected from the need to really succeed in the marketplace, and they will be guaranteed airtime at the expense of the broadcasters regardless of their ability to attract advertisers or an audience. Or we could be looking at the more practical alternative of just shutting down popular talk radio shows, because it's easier than trying to find balancing programming that people want to listen to.

Then there's the question of where the idea of 'fairness' will stop. It can certainly be applied to broadcast television, and there will likely be an attempt to extend its provisions to cable news as well, even though the FCC's role there is debatable. Under the guise of equal access and political campaign reform it can be applied almost anywhere, not just the public airwaves. Will it eventually be extended to include print media? Maybe the long history of an independent press will protect it.

But what about the newly emerging Internet press? It shares characteristics in common with broadcast media and many believe it also leans heavily to the right. There has already been talk of shutting down partisan blogs 60 days before elections under the guise of 'campaign finance reform'. The logical extension of the Hinchey bill would be to virtually eliminate political discussion on the Internet, because it would be almost impossible to establish standards of fairness. The best that could be hoped for is some sort of licensing system with ideological testing of bloggers and online discussion sites, rationing access to the Internet based on what beliefs you hold.

What's so terrible about letting people speak freely on the airwaves and leaving it to the audience to decide what they want to listen to and what they want to ignore? Can the vision of fairness promoted by a government which is run by partisan politicians and bureaucrats ever really be trusted to look out for the interests of all of the people and respect their right to free speech? Or will this new incarnation of the Fairness Doctrine become a way of rationing freedom and making sure that only approved ideas and licensed thoughts get a chance to be heard?

Powered by

About Dave Nalle

  • Maurice

    I am divided on this issue. On the one hand free enterprise should solve all problems. In other words let the market decide and keep the government the hell out of it.

    On the other hand we have laws to prevent people from doing harm to themselves. In my mind watching Jerry Springer day in and day out qualifies as a soul destroying addiction. I am sure many people would put Rush and Michael Savage on the same shelf as Jerry Springer.

    When I lived in England I was amazed at how much better their TV was than ours. Later I learned it was all owned by the government.

    Should there be laws that require an answer to idiotic broadcasting? My pragmatic side says absolutely not. My wishful side that abhors the content of our most damnable medium (TV) says – maybe.

    Finally, I probably don’t have a dog in this fight because I got rid of my TV just before FOX News channel went on the air (10 years ago?).

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    You do have a dog in the fight, Maurice, because they are seriously talking about extending this doctrine and campaign reform rules to the internet. You could be fined for expressing support for a candidate on your blog, for example, if this is carried to its proposed ultimate goals.

    Dave

  • http://jonsobel.com Jon Sobel

    I don’t understand why the question of the Fairness Doctrine has to be tied in with restrictions on media ownership. Can’t someone be against one and for the other? They shouldn’t be included in one bill.

    The deep issue at hand is, as in so many areas, the balance between what the government should do and what should be left to the market. Government is essential to the protection of freedom of speech – we wouldn’t have freedom of speech if it didn’t have the Constitution (the founding document of the government) explicitly protecting it. It’s foolish to think that freedom of speech can be fully maintained without some government oversight. However, as you suggest, the Fairness Doctrine seemed to take it too far. (Of course, without it, we’d never have had the classic All in the Family episode where Archie demands equal time. Boy, that was a good one!)

    On the other hand, your slippery slope fears seem excessive and unrealistic to me.

    On the topic of media ownership, it’s not so much a question of Top 40, it’s a question of America getting dumber and dumber. (cf. the Fox network) Freedom of speech says Rupert Murdoch should be able to broadcast what he wants. On the other hand, it’s no accident that the airwaves were declared to be owned by the public and only licensed to broadcasters. It’s extremely hard to find a good balance here.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Jon, when dealing with ‘slippery slope’ type issues when there is a vocal minority who want to push policy in the direction of oppression, it’s generally a good rule to lay back and let the marketplace set the course, rather than meddling in with something like this MORA bill and creating an artificial and potentially volatile environment which could lead to a degradation of 1st amendment rights throughout the nation.

    Dave

  • Clavos

    On the other hand, it’s no accident that the airwaves were declared to be owned by the public and only licensed to broadcasters.

    FOX News is not “on the airwaves,” it’s on cable, and therefore, not subject to the same FCC regulation.

  • Nancy

    I vote we ban ALL politically-oriented talk shows & replace them with “Car Talk” instead. Those two brothers fracture me.

  • moonraven

    FYI:

    Press freedom ended in April of 1986–right after Reagan bombed Tripoli and killed one of Ghadaffi’s children.

    He then santimoniously went on t.v. and said how great it was that we had bombed Libya.

    All the US reporters (the usual suspects that had been rounded up to applaud) said what a great idea it was.

    A reporter from the BBC stepped forward and Said, “Let me tell you what a BAD idea it was, and why there will be repercussions in the Arab World for many years to come…”

    He was immediately given the hook.

    Prescient bastard, that guy from the BBC.

  • http://jonsobel.com/ Jon Sobel

    FOX News is not “on the airwaves,” it’s on cable, and therefore, not subject to the same FCC regulation.

    Yes, but my point is that when “the airwaves” were all there were, the powers that be saw fit to declare them publicly owned, in the interests of national discourse and the public good. Cable (and other means of information delivery) have now become primary, hence the “airwaves belonging to the public” doctrine has fallen by the wayside. This is a bad thing.

  • http://www.nab.org Matthew

    I consult for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and they’re concerned about media consolidation because the public needs to understand what really is at stake here. This isn’t about corporate giants buying up all local broadcast outlets – it is about having fair rules to allow broadcasters to compete against cable, satellite and the Internet. If broadcasters are going to keep providing the kind of free programming that Americans rely on for local news and info – the FCC rules need to reflect reality and need to be modernized to reflect today’s environment, not the 1970s. I agree with the last paragraph of the original post; government interference seems to often come with unintended consequences that hinder freedom of speech more than promote it.

  • Clavos

    Jon

    Cable (and other means of information delivery) have now become primary, hence the “airwaves belonging to the public” doctrine has fallen by the wayside.

    The delivery of cable content is entirely a private endeavour, and as such, it’s a GOOD thing that the government has no say in what goes out over privately owned transmitters, satellites and cables. It’s a private enterprise, pure and simple, not a public service.

    If, as you say, cable has become the primary means of information delivery, and I think NBC, ABC, and CBS would argue that strenuously, it’s because the public chooses freely to tune it in, not because there is no other option.

    I’m all in favor of the government staying out of information delivery, especially.

  • moonraven

    If the government stayed out of the communications media morass, the airwaves would be dominated by mafias even more than it is now.

    A few years back Colin Powell’s son tried to pull a fast one and institute monopolies in the media.

    Monopolies are not what are needed. The anti-monopoly laws were passed because monopolies were abusive.

    Monopolies do not promote freedom of the media. They strangle it.

    That

  • http://jonsobel.com/ Jon Sobel

    I’m all in favor of the government staying out of information delivery, especially.

    Agreed in principle. The problem, though, is how to re-draw the line between news and opinion that existed, if imperfectly, in the days when Walter Cronkite ruled the evening news? I don’t see the market doing that very well.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Mathew, I hope I was clear enough in the article that I don’t think the attempt to break up media monopolies is the real threat here. I think it’s a misguided policy, but not really dangerous.

    In the radio business, the monopolization problem is largely a fiction. There is nothing keeping independents out of markets where Clearchannel or other conglomerates operate. Frequencies are more available now than ever before because of improved technology and the cost of starting up and operating a radio station is microscopic compared to most businesses.

    If Hinchey really wanted diversity he’d find a way to make broadcast licenses cheaper – they’re the single largest expense radio stations face, so that some of the people now operating pirate stations could enter the marketplace more easily. That’s the way to add diversity.

    Dave

  • moonraven

    Okay, I get it:

    Dave wants cheap radio licenses so that he can have his own radio station and circulate more of the hate he promotes in Internet.

    Redneck megalomania is not in short supply.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Good lord no. I did my time on the radio and I’m too old to get up that early in the morning anymore.

    Dave

  • moonraven

    What radio station was that, Dave: Survivalists for the Protection of Colored People?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Just college radio, Marthe. Nothing too serious. I had a saturday morning show on punk music back in the 80s.

    Dave

  • moonraven

    So now he wants to “get serious” with his own station?

  • http://jonsobel.com/ Jon Sobel

    Ironically, NPR, which is the closest thing we have to a nationalized and unbiased radio network, has been instrumental in preventing the proliferation of low power FM stations.

  • moonraven

    Nationalized doesn’t mean unbiased.

    The Bush Gang honcho that was head of the Public Broadcasting board of trustees tried to gut everything the least bit critical on PBS and NPR.

  • gregrocker

    The issue would probably not be brought up if the right hadn’t taken over the entire AM radio dial 24/7 and were allowed to lie nonstop, duping an estimated 50 million Americans in order to successfully swing elections. So pernicious was this that the prestigious Annenberg School of Communication at UPenn (funded by the conservative TV Guide fortune) studied for 12 years the beliefs of talk radio listeners and found that on most every issue, they had absorbed demonstrably false facts from talk radio – dubbed “false certainty” – simply because they refuse to believe the radio would be allowed to lie to them so blatantly. This of course is the very definition of the Big Lie theory.

    Left media activists even ignored this for 15 years such that pleas that the right was poised using talk radio to take over the government, were regularly derided and AM radio was disparaged as “K Mart.” This allowed major corporations like ABC to hand over its entire station network to right wing extremists, in return for waivers for same-market ownership dealt by Bush’s FCC before the 02 and 04 election.

    The Dems have no choice if they wish to hold onto Congressional majority to immediately begin pressure on station ownership, by holding hearings where for example the chair of ABC, Dem statesman George Mitchell, is placed under oath and asked why he turned over this radio entire station network 24/7 for 15 years to right wing exremists who were allowed to lie without challenge, took over and wrecked the US Government. Mitchell needs to be exposed on this at the total expense of his reputation, while FOX liars should be similary brought in and asked to repeat some of their bigger lies under oath, to see if they can finally tell the truth to save themselves from Federal prison.

    Clear Channel likewise needs to put on record why it smothered fledgling Air America affiliates right after the last election, claiming they were not economically viable when no ad sales staff was ever hired and calls to place advertising were never returned. On at least half of Clear Channels 50 progressive Air America affiliates, stars like Ed Schultz, Stephanie Miller and Randi Rhodes regularly beat the top rightist talkers. in fact, right wing dirty tricks activists have entire websites dedicated to proffering phony ratings in an effort to topple Air America, which if it had the start-up funding of Fox or The Washington Times ($2 billion from murky Moonie sources) would be beating right wing talk radio already.

    This is a Congressional issue because the radio airwaves are owned by the public and given for free to US corporations with only the understanding that they will practice basic fairness. They have done anything BUT, and if Dems don’t tackle this head on and as ruthlessly as the right lies, then they will be streamrolled by the GOP’s radio juggernaut shortly.

  • moonraven

    Damn right it’s a congressional issue.

  • Maurice

    Wow Greg…uh rocker. You have a different view than me. Did you read the article? Can you give me a link with a quote from one of the ‘liars’? You think the corporations were ‘given’ the licenses (please read #14)? Did it ever occur to you that the ‘GOP’s radio juggernaut’ became strong because a lot of people listen to it?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Gregrocker is spreading a great deal of misinformation here. I’ll see if I can clear some of it up.

    The issue would probably not be brought up if the right hadn’t taken over the entire AM radio dial 24/7 and were allowed to lie nonstop, duping an estimated 50 million Americans in order to successfully swing elections. So pernicious was this that the prestigious Annenberg School of Communication at UPenn (funded by the conservative TV Guide fortune) studied for 12 years the beliefs of talk radio listeners and found that on most every issue, they had absorbed demonstrably false facts from talk radio – dubbed “false certainty” – simply because they refuse to believe the radio would be allowed to lie to them so blatantly. This of course is the very definition of the Big Lie theory.

    False certainty is not the same thing as false ‘facts’, and if you’ve ever listened to Air America, their version of facts is about as accurate as what you find on right wing talk radio. Plus, this characterization of a right-wing takeover is pretty questionable. Most talk radio remains either locally programmed or non-political in nature. There just happen to be a few big figures in syndication who are politically right. They didn’t become successful because someone forced people to listen to them. They became popular because people listened to them and kept listening in larger and larger numbers and that attracted advertisers, so that format became popular for purely commercial reasons.

    Left media activists even ignored this for 15 years such that pleas that the right was poised using talk radio to take over the government, were regularly derided and AM radio was disparaged as “K Mart.” This allowed major corporations like ABC to hand over its entire station network to right wing extremists, in return for waivers for same-market ownership dealt by Bush’s FCC before the 02 and 04 election.

    Come again? ABC has one of the most left-leaning managements in any media conglomerate and their news department is notoriously slanted to the left.

    The Dems have no choice if they wish to hold onto Congressional majority to immediately begin pressure on station ownership, by holding hearings where for example the chair of ABC, Dem statesman George Mitchell, is placed under oath and asked why he turned over this radio entire station network 24/7 for 15 years to right wing exremists

    Most radio talk show hosts, including Rush Limbaugh, are relatively moderate. And the reason they took over was 100% commercial. They’re what the audience wanted to listen to.

    who were allowed to lie without challenge,

    When was your right to challenge them taken away, exactly? And what’s your definition of a ‘lie’? Anything you don’t agree with?

    took over and wrecked the US Government.

    Ah, so Rush Limbaugh runs our country now? Last I checked all he could do was influence the public, and clearly the GOP pays zero attention to public opinion, at least in the Bush administration. So your argument makes no sense at all.

    Mitchell needs to be exposed on this at the total expense of his reputation, while FOX liars should be similary brought in and asked to repeat some of their bigger lies under oath, to see if they can finally tell the truth to save themselves from Federal prison.

    I wonder, can you come up with ANY examples of these ‘lies’?

    Clear Channel likewise needs to put on record why it smothered fledgling Air America affiliates right after the last election, claiming they were not economically viable when no ad sales staff was ever hired and calls to place advertising were never returned

    Nice conspiracy theory. Let’s see some evidence to back it up. Clearchannel is in business to make money, so your argument makes no sense at all. All of their stations have advertising staff. From what I’ve heard the problem was that Air America had no idea how to sell ads on their syndicated shows and offended so many listeners that no advertisers wanted to buy local space either.

    On at least half of Clear Channels 50 progressive Air America affiliates, stars like Ed Schultz, Stephanie Miller and Randi Rhodes regularly beat the top rightist talkers.

    I’ve seen these claims before. Someone called Cerulean used to post them here on BC. Invariably there would be clever little deceptions to produce these ‘great’ ratings for Air America – like comparing an Air America station with just one station carrying Rush Limbaugh when 3 stations in the market were actually carrying his show.

    in fact, right wing dirty tricks activists have entire websites dedicated to proffering phony ratings in an effort to topple Air America,

    How could that possibly work when anyone can go to Arbitron and get the real figures?

    which if it had the start-up funding of Fox or The Washington Times ($2 billion from murky Moonie sources) would be beating right wing talk radio already.

    How much money does it take to make Randi Rhodes not be annoying anymore?

    This is a Congressional issue because the radio airwaves are owned by the public and given for free to US corporations with only the understanding that they will practice basic fairness.

    Actually, they aren’t given for free. There’s a hefty application fee, plus expenses associated with getting your frequency cleared by the FCC, then there’s a yearly fee based on the size of the market you’re broadcasting in which can be up to $10,000 a year. You can get the specifics at http://www.fcc.gov.

    They have done anything BUT, and if Dems don’t tackle this head on and as ruthlessly as the right lies, then they will be streamrolled by the GOP’s radio juggernaut shortly.

    So what you’re saying is that the Democrats cannot function in an environment of free and open speech and must silence criticism by force? That’s not the kind of party I want running our country, sorry.

    Dave

  • SonnyD

    #7 Nancy, that was funny. By golly, you do have a sense of humor. But, I worry what would become of you if someone could limit political speech on the internet. I mean, if you couldn’t recommend killing some politician at least once a day, wouldn’t you go into withdrawal or something?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    It’s just a matter of time before we see another attempt to pass a sedition law. Then it’s all over for Nancy, I fear.

    Dave

  • STM

    Yes, and I hope it’s as successful as ours. No bastard cares about it, no one takes any notice of it and the government knows it’s no chance of getting a conviction. The one time they tried, against the owners of a radical, jihadist Islamic book shop peddling hate, it was thrown out of court. If they get couldn’t them, how are they going to get any one else?

    All the newspapers here, especially the cartoonists, made seditious remarks about the new law AND the government on the day the bastard of an Act was reintroduced after a half-century absence – just to teel the government what everyone thinks.

    They are trying to sell it to us as part of the Anti-Terrorism legislation. What a load of rubbish.

    The need for a Sedition Act died out in 1605 about the time of the Gunpowder Plot to blow up the King and the Houses of Parliament. Silly Guy Fawkes got his head chopped off for his trouble, and none of the gunpowder went up.

    Under today’s Sedition Act in Australia, he would have been shown to have had childhood problems thanks to an overbearing father and would have got off with 50 hours’ community service and a two-year good behaviour bond.

  • STM

    “When I lived in England I was amazed at how much better their TV was than ours. Later I learned it was all owned by the government.”

    No … only a couple of free-to-air BBC channels Maurice … the rest is owned by private enterprise, although much of the British content specifications were regulated by the government. Don’t know how it works now, but I’d assume it was the same.

  • troll

    the US needs no new law criminalizing sedition…it already has one on the books

  • STM

    There you go, a real fair dinkum Sedition Act under a different name … and positively draconian, just like ours. I was almost expecting to see under the penalty bit: “Punishable by beheading”, such is the archaic wording.

    You learn something new every bloody day, eh? Thanks, Troll old boy.

  • troll

    de nada

  • Clavos

    Ditto, troll.

    Thanks for the link; the bookmark went into my BC Research folder.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    “Dave wants cheap radio licenses so that he can have his own radio station and circulate more of the hate he promotes in Internet.”

    Er…what “hate” does Dave promote? He’s one of the most even-tempered and rational people on here…

  • Maurice

    Have to agree with #34. I am sometimes amazed at how patient Dave is with posters that are way out of line. I have suggested many times that it would be nice to have an ignore poster button.

    Dave doesn’t seem to need it.

  • Clavos

    He’s got more patience than I, that’s for sure.

  • Clavos

    Give it a rest, emmy.

    You’ve got way too much time on your hands; why don’t you go re-enlist or something?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    the US needs no new law criminalizing sedition…it already has one on the books

    Seditious conspiracy, troll? Read that definition. That’s hardly a real sedition act. It requires actual actions on the part of the conspirators and it requires an actual conspiracy.

    A real, good, old-fashioned sedition act like we had back in 1800 is what I’m talking about. Under that law you could be jailed just for publishing harsh criticism of government officials. That’s the way we’re heading now.

    Dave

  • S.T.M

    But Dave, it won’t happen …

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I wish I could believe you, STM. Go back and read #23. Gregrocker speaks for a large number of similarly minded people in America. If they get the white house as well as the two houses of Congress, with a fresh memory of how talk radio pilloried Clinton, I think a repressive sedition law – probably masquerading as something else – is a real possibility.

    dave

  • S.T.M

    Mate, even if you do get a Sedition Act similar to ours, it will be – like ours – a paper tiger. I can’t see it happening anyway, not under a liberal government (ours was introduced by the Right to howls of protest from the Left).

    They’ve just made themselves a laughing stock here because it doesn’t mean anything really, even though it’s on the books, because anything that SEEMS to interfere with free speech is going to be ignored and treated with disdain.

    What I’ve noticed in the past year is that the media is giving the government its comeuppance just as much as it ever did. No-one’s been arrested, and even the Feds refused to charge some people here who it was believed were selling literature suggesting that it’s a good idea to go out and blow people up as part of a fervently held religious belief.

    If they can’t get them, how are they going to get me or any other poor bastard for standing outside Parliament House with a placard reading: “John Howard is a garden gnome”?

  • troll

    Dave says re our seditious conspiracy law – *It requires actual actions on the part of the conspirators*

    conspiring to commit the acts listed in the law is what is addressed in § 2384 not the acts themselves which would fall under other statutes

    but it’s true that seditious conspiracy doesn’t cover the lone actor nor does it cover simple harsh criticism

    STM – I think that you are too much the optimistic thinker…you underestimate the paranoia lurking under the surface here and our willingness to ‘turn it over’ to the State

  • Clavos

    troll sez:

    STM – I think that you are too much the optimistic thinker…you underestimate the paranoia lurking under the surface here and our willingness to ‘turn it over’ to the State

    I think you’re right.

    And I think it’s damned scary.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    That they choose not to enforce it now is no guarantee that they or some other administration down the road won’t make use of it later. That’s the classic slippery slope.

    Laws should arise from necessity, not political motivations. If a law exists and is not used, it should be repealed before someone perverts it to an undesirable purpose.

    Dave

  • moonraven

    God–er Dog–speaks:

    “Laws should arise from necessity, not political motivations. If a law exists and is not used, it should be repealed before someone perverts it to an undesirable purpose.”

    And this guy tells us how in touch with reality he is.

    Name one law in history–starting with, I suppose, Hammurabi, that was NOT politically motivated, Dave.

    Then tell us what planet and solar system you came here from.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Moonraver, what’s the political motivation behind laws protecting people from murder and theft?

    Dave

  • moonraven

    Uh, Dave: Getting re-elected.

    The only folks protected from murder and theft are citizens–at least in the US.

    Anyone else is just fair game–check the latest shooting murder of a Mexican from Puebla state by a member of the Border Patrol–just one recent example of how those laws work so well.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    MR, Coyotes are hiring members of the Mexican military to snipe at border patrol agents, so I don’t feel a great deal of sympathy at this time.

    But I do agree that laws should protect citizens and non-citizens alike. However, crossing the border illegally IS a crime, you know. If you’ve read any of my writings you know that I’m one of the few people left besides Bush who’s pro immigration, but it needs to be handled in a way which is legal and safe.

    As for your idea of why laws exist, it’s very simplistic. If reelection is the only motivation, then everything is nothing but politics. But the truth is that certain basic laws are demanded by society, and their passage is inherently non-political because no one opposes them and there’s no debate on the subject.

    Dave

  • USA

    …”[C]heck the latest shooting of a Mexican from Puebla state by a member of the Border Patrol…”

    Wow! Glad to hear it. Finally some bit of border news that makes sense. You’ve given me hope today, lady. Jesus, I thought I’d never see the day when our Border Patrol was actually allowed to do their damn jobs.

  • moonraven

    Another racist without testicles heard from.

    Just what we needed to add a dash of civil discourse to this thread.

    Dave, stop pntificating.

    Your logic is the following:

    ANYONE WHO BREAKS A LAW SHOULD BE KILLED.

    That’s worse than the Book of Leviticus–or Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables!

    as well as the following:

    ANYONE WHO EXPLOITS MEXICANS TRYING TO CROSS THE BORDER AND WHO SHOOTS AT THE BORDER PATROL SHOULD HAVE HIS EXPLOITEES KILLED.

    Dave, If that’s the best you can do for an argument, YOU should be hanged by your thumbs.

    And YES, EVERYTHING IS POLITICS.

    There are NO exceptions.

  • duane

    A little song for Dave and Moonraven.

    Intended, will all due respect, for entertainment purposes only.

    Sung to the tune of Mancini’s Moon River.
    —————————————————–

    Moonraven, a temper volatile
    She’s dissing you with style, huh Dave?
    He can’t break her, he can’t shake her
    Wherever Dave’s posting, she’ll be there to rave.

    Two wranglers, taking on the world
    To detractors they simply won’t cave
    They each have their points to argue no end
    Each other they offend
    But they might end up as friends
    Moonraven and Dave.

  • moonraven

    You are much easier to entertain than I am.

  • Clavos

    Don’t take it personally, duane. moondog doesn’t like ANYTHING posted on this site.

    I liked it.

    Not bad for an astrophysicist, but don’t quit your day job. :>)

    (I really did like it.)

  • gregrocker

    Before the thread descended into classic rightist conspiracy theory, you attempted to debunk my reply concerning how the right has taken over the AM airwaves (quite deliberately as the Reaganauts who killed the Fairness Doctrine predicted) in order to install a GOP disinformation juggernaut. You glossed over my reference to the presitgious Annenberg School of COmmunications years-long study of the lies of right wing talk radio, and exactly how they have distorted the electorate’s grasp of the true facts replacing them with “false certainty.” This testimony presented before Congress by author Kathleen Hall Jamison would lay the basis for the return of the Fairness Doctrine, or certainly open the eyes of the American public which still retains critical reasoning capability (Walter Cronkite says flatly that the overall public no longer has this capacity to succesfully support a Democracy). But in the end, to you it comes down to what are viewed as “lies” underlying that false certainty, using the prism of your far-right viewpoint.

    So I will present the very instance that caused Ms. Jamison to undertake a dozen years of studying the lies of right wing talk radio: A front page NYT article during the Hillarycare “debate” in which a public school teacher in NYC was quoted as saying she was attending a flash rally against the plan “because Rush says they would put my doctor in jail for treating me.” The very same day this was exposed in the NYT piece, Rush went on his show to insist it was true, even thought the NYT piece stated flatly: “No such plan has been proposed or even discussed by the planners.” Ms. Jamison went to work surveying and discovered that this was the overwhelming belief of talk radio listeners, even though it was demonstrably false on its facts. Even this did not budge the GOP talk radio juggernaut from continuiing to lie about this, which they do to this day.

    How’s that for a start? I believe Annenberg has surveyed on another hundred patently false views of talk radio listeners and traced them all to the utter lying of the talk radio hosts.

    This is why GOP dirty tricks operatives like Brian Maloney are hard at work trying to scuttle Air America and defend right wing talk, because it is how you built your myth-based majority, and ultimately what has caused it to collapse: Lies.

  • moonraven

    LIES are extremely popular on this site, gregrocker.

    And–at the risk of being seen as emplying ad hominem argument: Wasn’t Rush Limbaugh the guy who was so whacked out on drugs when he did his shows that he couldn’t tell his head from his ass?

    Or maybe that was the host of a show dedicated to LIES called The Truth…?

    Beats me.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Greg, your last comment is fantastic (in more ways than one). It exposes three of the major fallacies which many on the left and the right fall into repeatedly and which make it so difficult to discuss anything rationally.

    1. The naive belief that there is a single, great, objective truth on any subject. The reality is that most issues are relatively complex, and while there are facts and evidence, it’s quite possible to come to more than one conclusion from the same starting point. In fact, in many instances, diametrically opposed conclusions of ‘truth’ can be reached from exactly the same evidence based on the preconceptions of the viewer and how they encountered the evidence.

    2. The penchant of those on the extremes of both right and left to see conspiracies where there is the appearance of a relationship without actually ever determining whether there is any real or causal relationship between the things which they link together in their conspiratorial assumption.

    3. What I like to call the fallacy of telepathy, where someone believes that they know the intent of another person based on that person’s actions and their prior assumptions about the beliefs and motivations of that person. They see someone who they are inclined to distrust do something and they assume that it is done with malicious intent, when they have no actual knowledge of that person’s real intentions or thought processes.

    Now to your specific points.

    Before the thread descended into classic rightist conspiracy theory, you attempted to debunk my reply concerning how the right has taken over the AM airwaves (quite deliberately as the Reaganauts who killed the Fairness Doctrine predicted) in order to install a GOP disinformation juggernaut.

    2 and 3 apply here. You assume that you know the reasoning and intentions behind actions taken by the GOP and other groups and individuals without any direct knowledge. You also assume a conspiracy of many different groups working together towards a malign objective, again with no evidence that such a conspiracy exists.

    You glossed over my reference to the presitgious Annenberg School of COmmunications years-long study of the lies of right wing talk radio, and exactly how they have distorted the electorate’s grasp of the true facts replacing them with “false certainty.” This testimony presented before Congress by author Kathleen Hall Jamison would lay the basis for the return of the Fairness Doctrine,

    So the answer to the right wing ‘lies’ is to promote an equivalent set of lies from a different political persepctive? That’s all the fairness doctrine does.

    And I’m curious, did the Annenberg study interview talk show hosts and determine that they had the intent to promulgate disinformation, or was it just their assumption that when the occasional incorrect statement was made it was with intent to deceive?

    Did the study look at left-wing talk radio as well? I listen to Air America more than I listen to any right-wing talkers, and I frequently encounter what some would call ‘lies’ or at the very least gross misrepresentations of fact, though I don’t assume that they are intentional or conspiratorial in origin.

    or certainly open the eyes of the American public which still retains critical reasoning capability (Walter Cronkite says flatly that the overall public no longer has this capacity to succesfully support a Democracy).

    See #1 above. You make the fallacious and arrogant assumption that if only their eyes were opened everyone would see the ‘truth’ just the way you do. The reality is that they may well take the same evidence and see an entirely different ‘truth’, at which point you’ll just write them off as dupes and fools.

    But in the end, to you it comes down to what are viewed as “lies” underlying that false certainty, using the prism of your far-right viewpoint.

    See #3 above. Why, just because I disagree with the Fairness Doctrine, do you think I have a ‘far right’ viewpoint? There are quite a few on the left who also disagree with it. There’s a whole thread on Daily Kos of their usual leftist crowd arguing that it’s a very bad idea or at best one which should be approached with caution.

    So I will present the very instance that caused Ms. Jamison to undertake a dozen years of studying the lies of right wing talk radio: A front page NYT article during the Hillarycare “debate” in which a public school teacher in NYC was quoted as saying she was attending a flash rally against the plan “because Rush says they would put my doctor in jail for treating me.” The very same day this was exposed in the NYT piece, Rush went on his show to insist it was true, even thought the NYT piece stated flatly: “No such plan has been proposed or even discussed by the planners.” Ms. Jamison went to work surveying and discovered that this was the overwhelming belief of talk radio listeners, even though it was demonstrably false on its facts. Even this did not budge the GOP talk radio juggernaut from continuiing to lie about this, which they do to this day.

    So the entire ‘conspiracy’ comes down to one incorrect statement from one talk show host on a single issue of local interest? And how was this demonstrably untrue on the ‘facts’, when the Clinton healthcare plan never actually got to the point of determining how private care outside the system would be handled. Why isn’t what Limbaugh said just a far-fetched hypothetical rather than a lie?

    How’s that for a start? I believe Annenberg has surveyed on another hundred patently false views of talk radio listeners and traced them all to the utter lying of the talk radio hosts.

    I’ll look into the Annenberg research. As you present it the whole thing sounds pretty bogus, but Annenberg has a good record in some areas, so maybe I can figure out what they actually determined if I do a little research.

    This is why GOP dirty tricks operatives like Brian Maloney are hard at work trying to scuttle Air America and defend right wing talk, because it is how you built your myth-based majority, and ultimately what has caused it to collapse: Lies.

    Again, see #2 and #3. You’re once again telepathically determining peoples motives and assuming that there’s a conspiracy with no evidence to back it up. People of like minds doing things together that they believe in IS NOT automatically a conspiracy. And again, refer to #1, because what you see as lies others may see as something entirely different.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Greg, just a quick question as I carry on with my research on Jamieson (the correct spelling) and her research for Annenberg on talk radio.

    Tell me the truth, now.

    You haven’t actually read the report or any of Jamieson’s writing or interviews on the subject of talk radio, have you?

    Your comments on the above deviate significantly from what Jamieson has written on the subject – her conclusions are much more balanced and less critical of talk radio. What your comments DO sound an awful lot like is some comments made by the hosts on the Al Franken show which grossly misrepresent the nature of the Annenberg research and its conclusions.

    You can come clean – you’re actually a victim of left-wing talk radio lies, aren’t you Greg?

    Dave

  • David Steele

    As well, I cannot comment on the above-mentioned Annenberg study until I research it.

    However, I did read your article, Dave, and aside from a few “straw man” arguments, there’s one sentence you wrote that really grabbed me:

    “What’s so terrible about letting people speak freely on the airwaves and leaving it to the audience to decide what they want to listen to and what they want to ignore?”

    This is the crux of why we need to regulate our Corporate Media’s airwaves. In other words, we cannot decide if we have no choice. Assuming, as you say (and never mind the recent and obvious attempts to stifle some otherwise viable progressive radio formats in certain markets by Clear Channel and other corporate entities) that Liberal Radio cannot support itself in a “free” market place: when the public’s interest is at stake, corporate profits must be placed second.

    CBS, NBC and ABC felt it would not serve their interest to air Dick Durbin’s Democratic response to President Bush’s recent Iraqi war escalation speech.
    Washington Post

    It would serve the public’s interest if they had. They appear to be placing profit ahead of the public good.

    To serve our varied interests, we, as United States citizens, have entrusted our airwaves to what have become a very few corporate entities. We did not entrust them to make as much money as they can at our expense.

    Thanks to people like you on the Internet, a very lucky few of us have been made aware of Rep. Hinchey’s bill, and the FCC’s curious and incessant push to further deregulate media ownership. I’m sure you’ve noticed the dearth of reporting about anything of such momentous import to our nation’s citizenry as corporate media ownership issues.

    Many of us are becoming increasingly aware the United States exists in a media bubble, shielded and sanitized. Again, the lucky few of us can now cut though a lot of this through the Internet. So far, the Internet is still relatively free of corporate-induced stratification and content cleansing, but even that is in danger of changing for the worse. Once again, all we have is the government (or in this case, a group of governments) to help ensure this does not happen.

    In spite of what you may have heard, there is no such thing as a free market. In fact, a true free market cannot exist in human society any more than pure Libertarianism or Communism. In addition, corporations are guided by profit motive as well as by ideology (remember the pro-invasion rallies Clear Channel hosted in 2003?).

    Everything we buy or use must be regulated in some way by the government. So too, in order for our democracy to flourish, our media airwaves must be regulated so that all of us have the opportunity to share in the public discourse.

    Corporations are not democracies; they are dictatorships. We cannot allow them to control what we see and hear.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    “What’s so terrible about letting people speak freely on the airwaves and leaving it to the audience to decide what they want to listen to and what they want to ignore?”

    This is the crux of why we need to regulate our Corporate Media’s airwaves. In other words, we cannot decide if we have no choice. Assuming, as you say (and never mind the recent and obvious attempts to stifle some otherwise viable progressive radio formats in certain markets by Clear Channel and other corporate entities) that Liberal Radio cannot support itself in a “free” market place: when the public’s interest is at stake, corporate profits must be placed second.

    I didn’t say that it CANNOT support itself, but that it has proven that it doesn’t do very well. The reasons for that are much more complex than just being left-leaning in content. Here in Austin our Air America affiliate is doing okay. They’re nowhere near the top of the talk market, but they DO have an audience and they DO get local advertising, so they’re self-sustaining.

    The problems with Air America are much more complex than just their political allegiance. They aren’t just Democrats, they’re mostly extremely far to the left, way beyond the party or any significant number of the public. They also borrowed the style or right-wing talk radio, and I think that alienates a lot of potential listeners. The fact that they lie and rant just as much as Limbaugh or even more seems like a mistake to me.

    Then there’s the issue of NPR. It’s already a successful liberal to moderate radio network and it has a lot of listeners. People have been reluctant to switch from it to leftist hate radio as Air America presents it.

    CBS, NBC and ABC felt it would not serve their interest to air Dick Durbin’s Democratic response to President Bush’s recent Iraqi war escalation speech.
    Washington Post

    If they had their way they wouldn’t even show the president’s speech, so I’m not surprised.

    It would serve the public’s interest if they had. They appear to be placing profit ahead of the public good.

    Well of course. They’re businesses. So pass a law which requires them to broadcast the speech and the response.

    Certainly it’s legitimate for the FCC to regulate overall content in a number of ways, such as setting requirements for some level of public interest and educational programming.

    That’s very different from imposing a requirement for a specific political message, which is inherently unfair. It also raises another issue. If the democrats and republicans get equal time, why don’t the libertarians and the greens? I see the libertarian message shut out of the media almost completely. That’s hardly fair.

    To serve our varied interests, we, as United States citizens, have entrusted our airwaves to what have become a very few corporate entities. We did not entrust them to make as much money as they can at our expense.

    At our expense? Hardly. You make the mistake here of thinking that a bunch of political garbage on TV is good for us or something we want. The networks provide the public with what the public wants. It’s not at our expense, it’s at our request.

    Many of us are becoming increasingly aware the United States exists in a media bubble, shielded and sanitized.

    Truthfully, I don’t even know what the hell you’re talking about here. With cable which is largely unregulated we have access to more news and political information than ever before, including a lot of very radical and diverse perspectives.

    Again, the lucky few of us can now cut though a lot of this through the Internet. So far, the Internet is still relatively free of corporate-induced stratification and content cleansing, but even that is in danger of changing for the worse.

    Yes, and that’s most likely to happen through measures like campaign finance reform and the fairness doctrine when they get applied to the internet.

    Once again, all we have is the government (or in this case, a group of governments) to help ensure this does not happen.

    The government is NOT your friend. It is the main threat to your information freedom. You’re much better off in a deregulated environment like the internet. Imagine if radio were as free as the internet is.

    In spite of what you may have heard, there is no such thing as a free market. In fact, a true free market cannot exist in human society any more than pure Libertarianism or Communism.

    This is just semantics. We can certainly have ‘freer’ markets, and the more open they are the better they tend to be for the interests of the people.

    In addition, corporations are guided by profit motive as well as by ideology (remember the pro-invasion rallies Clear Channel hosted in 2003?).

    Actually, no. Can you link me to some info on them?

    Dave

  • moonraven

    This is just more farting into the breeze by old Dave.

    He has no stake whatsoever in this issue. Nor expertise to share.

    He starts these threads so that he can continue churning out his right wing white survivalist pistol packin’ racist venom.

    He should be ashamed of himself.

  • moonraven

    I already indicated that media freedom ended in the US in April of 1986.

    When heads rolled at the BBC in early 2004, the debate in the House of Commons centered around the incident that ended media freedom in the US in April of 1986 and the resistance to the UK jeopardizing a long tradition of media freedom, bla bla bla.

    This issue in the US has been a dead horse for more than 20 years.

    Stop beating it.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Ok, I’ll bite, MR. What happened in 1986 that ended media freedom in the US. I might have missed it because I was in Europe at the time.

    Dave

  • moonraven

    Dave,

    You wrote the article that we’re posting comments to, Yes or No?

    Check post number 8.

    You might have missed it while thinking of your next blast of propaganda….

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Oh sorry, I live in the world of reality. I thought you had some new bit of information that was not moronic and paranoid. My mistake.

    Dave

  • moonraven

    Right. Al the members of the House of Commons and I are moronic and paranoid.

    It’s not new when it’s over 20 years old, BTW.

    Tell us another one, cowboy.

    There is still one person, clavos, that will believe you.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Moonraver, have you ever watched the proceedings in the House of Commons on TV? Clearly not or you’d never suggest they weren’t moronic.

    Plus, comment #8 didn’t say one word about the house of commons, it was just a paranoid fantasy about suppression of the press. I remember the attack on Libya and I remember a great deal of both positive and negative press coverage both in the US and in the UK – where I was at the time.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    You must have stepped on Ms. Moonies’ tortillas, Dave; she’s after you on all threads. Either that or she’s bored today.

    Sonny D, thanks. I try to keep at least a little tongue in cheek & not take myself too seriously all the time. & Car Talk IS an awfully funny show. But I’m not worried about the NSA picking me up on charges of sedition; even a cursory look at my situation will reassure them I’m all outrage & very little action … well, aside from being militant about getting to the polls to vote. Come to think of it that might actually be the biggest threat to BushCo of all, tho, what?

    A question: Moonie, you’re a Mexican. Why on earth are YOU so exercised about US issues that don’t impinge on you? That would be like me getting into a fit over the price per of tortillas.

  • Clavos

    Nancy,

    A question: Moonie, you’re a Mexican.

    She’s NOT a Mexican, Nancy.

    She’s a buttinski American who’s living down there, playing the benevolent and wise Earth Mother who’s going to help the “poor, ignorant Mexican peasants” better themselves and their lives.

    [Personal attack deleted. I really think it’s time that you pols started exercising a little self-restraint towards each other. Of course, I can always enforce it if you can’t find the common decency to do it yourselves. Which would you prefer? Comments Editor]

  • Nancy

    She says she’s a Mexican, so I’m believing her until she says otherwise, like I believe your statements about yourself. However, if she’s an ex-pat American, I confess I’m disappointed, as I was getting ready to be really impressed with her command of English were she actually not a native-born speaker. Isn’t everybody that fluent in haranging people in a foreign tongue like that. Is she with an organization or on her own?

  • Clavos

    No, Nancy, she’s not saying she’s actually a Mexican.

    That’s just about the only thing she hasn’t claimed yet. She’s saying she’s more Mexican than I am, because I told her I was born there and have dual citizenship. By her lights, because she lives there, and has for some time, that makes her more Mexican than me.

    Elsewhere in this and other threads she says she’s an American living there.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    You must have stepped on Ms. Moonies’ tortillas, Dave; she’s after you on all threads. Either that or she’s bored today.

    She has an aversion to people questioning her arrogant assertions, and because of her NPD that turns her into a stalker-type. I imagine her attitude works fine with uneducated peasants in Mexico who are suitably defferential.

    I’m not worried about the NSA picking me up on charges of sedition; even a cursory look at my situation will reassure them I’m all outrage & very little action … well, aside from being militant about getting to the polls to vote. Come to think of it that might actually be the biggest threat to BushCo of all, tho, what?

    But Nancy, I thought that Bush was going to make himself president for life. How will your paltry vote stop that?

    Dave

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Name me one dog Dave has ever killed?

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    The only folks protected from murder and theft are citizens–at least in the US.

    That’s obviously untrue. Every time I shoot an illegal immigrant, I have to pay a small fine.

    Anyone else is just fair game–check the latest shooting murder of a Mexican from Puebla state by a member of the Border Patrol–just one recent example of how those laws work so well.

    Hmmm. Two American border patrol agents were just sentenced to lengthy prison terms for shooting an illegal immigrant drug smuggler who assaulted them and fled. So, like, you’re full of shit.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    “He starts these threads so that he can continue churning out his right wing white survivalist pistol packin’ racist venom.”

    It’s always nice to see vicious personal attacks, which clearly violate the official BlogCritics comment policy, go unnoticed by the comment moderator. And it’s particularly ironic when the attack comes from a supporter of government censorship of the media…

  • duane

    I have nothing to add, except that I started cracking up when I read #79. Thanks RJ, I needed a laugh. It’s been one of those days.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Thanks duane. Sometimes a little humor can go a long way…

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    Mr Elliott: Dave is a particularly strong champion of freedom of speech and so long as he chooses to continue debating with people with such extraordinary patience, I am going to take the lightest touch possible.

    To the best of my knowledge, Dave is right wing, a survivalist and a pistol packer, although not a racist, so I would take issue somewhat with your description of the remark you quoted as a vicious personal attack.

    Finally, we don’t get that many complaints at BC, but almost as many complain about the stifling of debate by taking too heavy a line as make your complaint about comments being left uncensored.

    As I’m sure you can appreciate, it’s a very fine line we walk and I welcome your input into the never-ending process of comment moderation.

  • S.T.M

    I have to say here the level of debate in the House of Commons CAN be moronic – no doubt about it. The amount of time that gets wasted in there arguing about nothing seems like a travesty – all done under the excuse of democracy in action.

    Meanwhile, Britain goes to hell in a hand basket, to quote Moonraven.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Christopher has some of those special shoes that high-wire walkers use to maintain their grip.

    And for the record, I’m only an amateur survivalist and right-wing only from the perspective of flower waving eurosocialists.

    Dave

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    Actually, Dave, I think a hypothetical and entirely imaginary global panel would have no alternative but to agree with my contention that the entire world of American politics is offset to the right.

    This enables Republicans to characterise American Democrats as left wing, Socialist or even Communist when, by global political values, the Dems are already more to the right than almost any other party of their political colour (which is, of course, red, despite the bizarre American political colour reversal).

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Glad you like the shoes by the way!

  • moonraven

    Well, now Dave said I was lying about watching the debate from the House of Commons on t.v. What will he think of next?

    (It should really piss him off that I was watching it in Caracas, Venezuela.)

    Far from being moronic–which I will have to say IS a fair description of the mean level of debate in the US House of Representatives–I found that the folks in the House of Commons were very bright, very funny (Tony Blair was even unable to stifle laughter at some personal attacks in his direction) and very articulate–in that they actually spoke the English language properly. More to the point, they had done their homework.

    The level of debate was very high. I don’t watch these guys all the time, however–so maybe I just caught them on a few days when they were really well-prepared to debate.

    I saw no evidence of paranoia in the House of Commons, either.

    They didn’t even mention that certain Latin American leaders were getting ready to invade the UK….

    Nancy,

    Thanks for saying how well I can write in my FIRST language, English.

    I write even better in my SECOND language, Spanish. I also teach courses in it, and give conferences.

    Studying another language can be a way of learning how other cultures tick–and of learning tolerance for them.

    And despite Clavos’ personal attack–by the way

    I AM WAITING FOR HIS RETRACTION OF HIS I AM A COMMUNIST PIECE ON CHAVEZ–

    I am not condescending to Mexicans. And have certainly never joined in with the racist comments about them on this site. I have lived with a campesino family for a number of years now. I certainly am not doing that to condescend to them, nor for economic reasons.

    The body of the young man who was recently murdered by the border patrol when he and his brothers and brother-in-law were crossing the border into Arizona arrived here in Cuautla (where I am using an internet cafe) yesterday. He was born in the state of Puebla, but will be buried here–where his family has lived for the past 10 years or so.

    Apparently there is a videotape of the shooting. If it did not implicate the border patrol it would have been made public by now.

  • S.T.M

    Dave: I have submitted a piece in pending under politics on flag ban .. are u able to look at it? Not at work until much later so have no access to group email. Tks

  • S.T.M

    Chris Rose wrote: “Actually, Dave, I think a hypothetical and entirely imaginary global panel would have no alternative but to agree with my contention that the entire world of American politics is offset to the right.”

    It’s true … the right wing party here is officially known as the Liberal Party, and I suspect they would be regarded as such in the US.

    Here, they are thought to be marginally right of Genghis Khan.

    I wonder what Americans would think of our Labour Party, the party of the Left, which has been very much a viable force in politics and probably over the years the more popular of the two. Sometimes I feel Americans mistake socialism for community.

    The concept would be foreign to a large extent in the US.

  • moonraven

    Which concept would be foreign in the US–socialism or community?

    I suspect both would.

    If anyone actually has an interest in the topic of press freedom and the attacks against it, he or she might want to visit the progressive site, CommonDreams, and check out an article on The Pentagon vs. Press Freedom.

  • Martin Lav

    “Sometimes I feel Americans mistake socialism for community”

    Not all Americans STM, just the likes of the author of this article.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    “As I’m sure you can appreciate, it’s a very fine line we walk and I welcome your input into the never-ending process of comment moderation.”

    What your policy on anonymous cyber-stalkers who follow BlogCritics members around from post to post for over three years?

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    moonraven:

    Your hero Hugo Chavez Frias is a racist, anti-American leftist autocrat with dictatorial leanings.

  • Clavos

    Great link, Rob.

    Mind putting it over on the Chavez thread, too?

    Clavos

  • David Steele

    David Steele wrote:

    In addition, corporations are guided by profit motive as well as by ideology (remember the pro-invasion rallies Clear Channel hosted in 2003?).

    Dave Nalle wrote:

    Actually, no. Can you link me to some info on them?

    Dave, just Google “Clear Channel rallies.”

    Sometimes I forget that what I consider “common knowledge,” may be foreign to others.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    RJ: I sympathise with you with regard to what we might call the “MCH problem” but so far the site owners have consistently come down on the side of freedom of speech for all. The fact that some people only seem to have one or two things to say seems to be a regrettable but necessary price to pay for that freedom.

    Would you prefer it if we started applying some arbitrary limitations on that? I’m not suggesting that we would, I’d just like to know what you, as an American, think about it.

  • moonraven

    I think you should start censoring the hell out of everybody you don’t agree with, Chris. Just get it out of your system. Become the dictator you’ve always dreamed of being.

    That should put blogcritics out of business within ten days.

    (Is that the only reason you have not done it?)

    By the way, where is it written that in order to post on this site and not be harrassed I have to write “articles” (read OPINION PIECES) for it?

    I write for my own site, for an occasional good cause–and for folks that pay me.

    And it is the right of anyone posting on any of these sites to create a particular “persona” for purposes of debate–or for any other purpose. That’s why there is SUPPOSED be to some respect for privacy, some shred of anonymity.

    RJ:

    As for Chavez telling the US government to “go to hell”–where is the racism in that statement? And how does telling the US government to go to hell make one a dictator?

    Hell, more than 70% of the planet feels the same way about the US government. And they applaud every time Chavez says that.

    I am one of them.

    Apparently, we are billions of dictators.

    (Chris, you’ll have no trouble blending in.)

    However, I am sure that the Bush Gang has been just begging and pleading for Chavez to make a critique about how their practices (eliminating habeas corpus and the Bill of Rights, wiretapping US citizens and opening their mail, etc. etc. etc.) cause him to worry about democracy being infringed upon in the US….

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Watch out everybody, Granma’s losing it again…

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    Heh…just for you, Chris, check out this link for a few thoughts on everyone stepping up and saying what they think.

    Makes me remember the pamphleteers from the U.S.revolution.

    Could just be me.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    I worked with Rollins for a year or three back in the day; he’s not changed!

    On the subject of YouTube, am I the only one that thinks it hugely over-rated? It seems like the myspace of video to me!

  • Nancy

    I have to agree with Moonie, in that I also think BushCo is vile, underhanded, & illegal, & I’m glad Chavez is standing up & saying so … even tho he really has no room to talk, being just as much of a jerkoff as our dear Decider-in-Chief, Dubya.

    As for being PAID to write … well, la-dee-da. Then why are you wasting your intellectual & autographical resources (which are presumably worth Big Buck$) on us unpaid peasants here on BC?

  • SHARK

    Greetings hysterical sheep,

    RE: “End of Freedom of Press in America”

    It’s a non-issue.

    More fear-mongering from the Right.

    Dave — like most Americans — is afraid of the wrong stuff.

    But, hey, FEAR SELLS.

    feh…

    This essay sucked. The thread sucks even worse. This place is goin’ downhill.

    ====

    Gotta run! Someone is picking my pocket while speaking of “the war on terror” and 9/11!

  • moonraven

    Christopher the apparent moderator of this thread is now making AGEIST comments by calling me grandma.

    Too bad I am not gay so that he could make HOMOPHOBIC slurs at me as well.

    And if I were black, gay and over 55 he could REALLY have a field day.

    But I will let him have this thread all to himself as it is not worth it for me to react further to his personal attacks–which, last I checked, were against the comments policy that he keeps waving in front of our eyes.

    Hypocrite.

  • Emry

    “Watch out everybody, Granma’s losing it again…”

    Okay folks, you can stop slapping your knees now.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    Never thought “grandma” is a personal attack, but I can see hwo some might take it that way.

    Me, I wear my grey as a badge of honor, silly I guess.

  • Nancy

    Well, if it accomplishes the goal of clearing out Moonie for awhile….

  • Martin Lav

    grandma

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    “I’d just like to know what you, as an American, think about it.”

    As an American, I know that stalking, harassment, and defamation (both slander and libel) are all actionable legal offenses. I also know that MCH’s employer probably wouldn’t smile upon his obsessive and deranged behavior, especially if some portion of that behavior was done on company time, while using the company computer. You know, if they were to somehow find out about it.

    I believe an interesting question to ask is why would a non-insane, non-dangerous person feel compelled to build extensive dossiers against myself, Mr. Nalle, Mr. Sussman, etc. An interesting follow-up question to that is: Why would the editor of an online magazine want to encourage (or at least, not discourage) a potentially-insane and potentially-dangerous person?

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    Oh, and by the way, “Granma” is the official propaganda rag of the Cuban Communist Party. It wasn’t an “ageist” attack.

  • Clavos

    And what would comparing a dismembered combat veteran to a “gigantic thalidamide baby” be?

    Nothing more than bad taste.

  • Nancy

    “Granma” is a Cuban media outlet? What does it mean in spanish? Hunh. I learn something odd every day. GDGWBTEH

  • Clavos

    Nancy,

    When Castro and Che and their little band of crazies launched their revolution, they arrived in Cuba from Mexico, where they had plotted the revolt, in a yacht named “Granma.”

    That’s how the paper got the name.

  • Clavos

    Another point, Nancy,

    “Cuban media outlet” doesn’t quite describe it. Granma is totally owned by the government and publishes nothing that Fidel doesn’t want the people to see.

    It’s the Cuban version of the Soviet Union’s Pravda.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    “And what would comparing a dismembered combat veteran to a “gigantic thalidamide baby” be?”

    A sick sense of humor. Guilty! :-/

  • S.T.M

    “It’s the Cuban version of the Soviet Union’s Pravda”

    And just like that great journal of record, also doubles nicely for hard-to-get toilet paper.

    Pages with Castro’s face on them are said to be the most popular

  • moonraven

    A print out of this thread would make pretty good toilet tissue, too.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    “A print out of this thread would make pretty good toilet tissue, too.”

    Gosh, it’s a good thing you recommended that. We’ve been running low and I didn’t want to use twenty shekel notes or $5 bills…

  • Clavos

    Try Venezuelan Bolivars, Ruvy.

    They’re already not worth much, and tomorrow they’ll be worth less.

  • STM

    “A print out of this thread would make pretty good toilet tissue, too”

    Lol … you have just given me a fit of the giggles. Thanks, nice one Marthe

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Wouldn’t that depend on what you printed it on?

  • S.T.M

    Plenty of our comments deserve nothing less. Much is flushable, and gurgling down the pan is probably a fitting end

  • moonraven

    Chris is just sore because he has overstepped his moderator parameters lately and posted a bunch of silly threats and specious opinions on the order of: anything based on twentieth century thinking is de facto illegitimate.

    He would prefer to reinvent the wheel, apparently.

    Fine, then he can start pushing it up that hill again–the twentieth first century version of Sisyphus’ stone….

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Moonraven, I don’t believe I’ve overstepped any parameters lately, including when I edited out some particularly offensive remarks on some of the politics threads here.

    I don’t believe my opinions to be specious although how you could tell when you keep inaccurately attributing opinions to me.

    I didn’t say anything at all that implied I believe “anything based on 20th century thinking is de facto illegitimate”.

    What I said was that the debates that Dave, Chavos and yourself are having are largely irrelevant because they are based on faulty understanding based on analysis and thoughts from the past.

    This is the political equivalent of fans of a particular musical era claiming that later music is less good or valid in some way or conversely, seeing a group like Green Day being popular nowadays when the music they make is in fact entirely at home in 1979.

    The time warp experience is extremely frustrating – like being trapped in the movie “Groundhog Day” – only worse cos it’s actually happening in real life.

    The tragedy is that there are far more important political and social issues which are not getting the consideration they deserve. This is as true of domestic and international politicians as it is of these pages, so you’re all in good company.

    Finally, to dispense with your entirely inaccurate Sisyphus point, why would I roll a rock uphill in the first place – if I had to do such a fool’s errand I’d use a tractor or an SUV – I guess they didn’t have them in your time!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Christopher, the fact that fundamental principles of human rights were identified and defined int he past does not make them obsolete or old fashioned. Did the laws of physics go out of date because Newton codified them in the 18th century? Hardly.

    Do you think that the basic rights to life, liberty and property are no longer ‘relevant’ in modern society? Maybe you do, and if you do, that’s exactly what’s going wrong in the 21st century. If we’re abandonning the fundamental principles of human society then we’re in deep, deep trouble.

    Dave

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    I didn’t say that, Dave. Of course fundamental principles of human rights are still vitally important.

    What I’m saying is that the political issues you lot are debating here are sterile, cliched, passé and detract from the real issues that face us all.

  • moonraven

    Nonsense, Chris. Aristotle and other thinkers on politics are probably MORE up to date than anything that you have ever thought of.

    And you can take your ageist comments and shove them up your adolescent ass, BTW.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Comedy isn’t one of your stronger qualities, Moonraven, though I appreciate you thinking of my ass as adolescent. It’s still pretty hot according to my wife!

  • moonraven

    The twenty first century guy now is a proponent for the medieval institution of marriage! Will silliness never cease?

    Actually, comedy IS one of my strong points. I doubt very seriously that YOU ever did a comedy act with Bill Cosby. (We also both got our doctorates from UMass Amherst.)

    Now I can expect some more ageist comments since Bill is even older than I am–and a bit of racism, too, since he is african-american.

    Sigh.

  • Clavos

    Bwaaa-haaa-haaa-haaa!!!

  • Clavos

    Karaoke is a wonderful invention…

  • Emry

    Sure is, Clodvos, and you’re gonna get up to do, “Sing a simple song”.

  • Clavos

    We can do it in harmony, germy.

  • moonraven

    Regarding the end of press freedom: my comment about the usefulness of duct tape was removed from this thread by the hypocritical moderator and ageist, Christopher Rose.

    I rest ALL my cases with that one.

  • Emry

    Sorry Clodvos, you’re on your own and you’re way too falsetto for my liking.

  • Dave Nalle

    I thought Cosby’s doctorate in education was from Temple?

    And how could anyone delete a comment about duct tape. It’s the fundamental binding force of the universe.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ Elliott

    “I doubt very seriously that YOU ever did a comedy act with Bill Cosby. (We also both got our doctorates from UMass Amherst.)”

    My Gawd. It’s Mac Diva, reincarnated! Complete with the obviously bogus CV!

  • Clavos

    Bizarre, isn’t it, RJ?

    Does she really think we’ll swallow that?

  • STM

    Chris wrote: “I appreciate you thinking of my ass as adolescent. It’s still pretty hot according to my wife!”

    Still hasn’t traded in the Coke bottle glasses, eh Chris

  • STM

    … or would they be Rose-coloured glasses??

  • Clavos

    That’s it; you ran me off, STM

    G’night, mate.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    What I’m saying is that the political issues you lot are debating here are sterile, cliched, passé and detract from the real issues that face us all.

    I don’t see how issues like press freedom and the right to have a voice in government and to own property – which is what we’re concerned about here – can possibly be out of date. If you think those things are out of date perhaps that’s because you’ve already given them up and become resigned to it.

    Dave

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    DAVE: So are you saying that press freedom, the right to have a voice in government and to own property are rights that are under serious threat in the USA? That these are the crucial political issues facing the country and the world it exists in?

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    You can fucking well say fuck as much as you fucking want to you fucking fucker! FUCK!

  • Nancy

    Just out of curiosity, are there any synonyms of ‘fuck’ besides ‘frigging’, just for the sake of vocabulary variety? After awhile, ‘fuck’ just gets so fucking boring, you know? I’m serious. What else could be used to convey the same sense of offhanded contempt, exaggeration, or emphasis that ‘fuck’ does?

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Feck off!

  • Nancy

    @#$%^*&^%$# computer. Sorry about that.

  • Nancy

    Editor Chris Rose: since you’re awake & online, it seems, let me ask you: why have recent comments been axed, when they are actually relatively civil – especially compared with the rather lurid sexual/scatalogical insults employed by JOM and a couple of others not too long ago? Just curious, since the recent level of recrimination seems to be downright mild, IMO.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    All I can say is that civil relativity is a tricky thing to master. It keeps moving around and changing shape. That’s so fucking annoying ain’t it?!

  • Clavos

    You fucking guys:

    Can’t youse fuckin’ say any fucking thing without fuckin’ using the word fuck all the fucking time??

    Fuck!!

  • Nancy

    Who is “alien” & why? As for annoying, yes, because the rules of the game keep changing. I can understand if I call troll a ‘pigfucking chickenhawk neocon leftist commie shit’ that this will be deleted (no offense, troll, it’s just an example, not a real opinion), but opining someone is a moron, or a commie, or a moonbat? C’mon, Chris: are we to be reduced to Little Mary Sunshine comments? I don’t LIKE having to get back on my Prozac-!

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Youse? Are you a fucking scouser, you fucker you?

  • Clavos

    Naah, Chris. I just threw that in for fuckin’ effect…

  • Nancy

    Oh, ah: you meant Chris. I rather enjoy your troll shit – and shark’s; while rude they’re tart & refreshingly direct w/o any cloying overtones of BS or the self-congratulatory smugness of Em or Moonie. I just wish Gonzo would come back; he & Juju did smite with a mighty & also enjoyable set of tusks. When the 3 of you were puncturing pretensions, it was terrific.

    Do carry on being rude & refreshing. Thank you.

    I suppose I’d better get my Prozac refilled if Chris is going to side with Mary Poppins.

  • Clavos

    Nancy, The gonz IS watching…

    So, be careful.

  • Nancy

    Well, fuck.

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    I’m sometimes and in someplaces known as alienboy, on account of me being an alien and, well, male.

    More interestingly, Blogcritics people prefer guidelines to rigid rules; this makes it impossible for people to game the system, as they can so often do when the rules are set in stone.

    As to your example, calling troll a “pigfucking chickenhawk neocon leftist commie shit” might well not get deleted. Firstly, is it true? Secondly, what’s the general tone and context of the conversation the remarks appeared in? If there’s a genral mood of fun, then there’s more latitude than if people are genuinely losing it.

    People such as our own Mr Nalle may well also be of the opinion that the citizens of the USA have the right of freedom of speech and that no censorship at all should occur.

    I don’t fully support that view for several reasons. Firstly, if someone came up to me or stood outside my home and, without physically attacking me or my property, started making deeply offensive and hurtful remarks, I feel I’m entirely within my rights to shut them up by kicking the crap out of them (assuming I could actually do that of course ;-) ).

    Secondly, the right to freedom of speech doesn’t mean that people can post any such remarks as they see fit on a site such a Blogcritics. It is quite easy to see that allowing anybody to post anything could render the site unreadable.

    It’s like house rules; you come to my house, we’ll do things my way. I come to yours, you call the shots. Seems like simple respect to me.

    Equally, calling someone a moron can be, and often is, deeply offensive; calling someone a commie is usually just a snide way of trying to marginalise someone’s position and frame the debate so it puts the person so tagged at a disadvantage. Particularly if they aren’t. Finally, moonbat seeks the same effect, usually employed by people to dismiss someone’s argument by attacking the person.

    Fucking great here, innit?!

  • Clavos

    As with all rights, your right to freedom of speech ends where my rights begin, n’est-ce-pas?

  • Clavos

    And why is “pigfucking” considered an insult?

    The pig likes it. (or so I’ve heard)

  • Nancy

    No: confusing. I don’t get the differences you cited. To me, being addressed as a commie moonbat is as offensive as being called a moron or ‘sweetie’ – but neither is (IMO) as truly offensive as the stuff JOM used to throw. Now THAT was offensive & I understood well why that was banned.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    So are you saying that press freedom, the right to have a voice in government and to own property are rights that are under serious threat in the USA? That these are the crucial political issues facing the country and the world it exists in?

    Jesus Christ, Chris – do you not read the articles you’re editing comments on?

    For example this article is about an attempt in Congress to shut down radio stations based on their political leanings – the same thing Hugo Chavez has done in Venezuela.

    Did you miss prior articles on eminent domain property seizures, voting fraud and other related topics?

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Words that might be helpful:

    shag, boink, porking, futter, tupp, hump, roger, copulate, mount, mate, couple, fornicate, etc.

    There are more. I think English has more synonyms for ‘fuck’ than any other language.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Oh and I forgot –

    Snogging, bumping uglies and for the literate among you making the beast with two backs.

  • Clavos

    futter

    I’ve heard all the rest, but that one’s new to me.

    Know any of the etymology of it, Dave?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    It’s derived from the French verb Foutre which comes from the Latin Futuo, all of which mean basically to fuck. So when you see a Frenchman remember to say “Foutez-vous, monsieur!”

    Dave

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Jesus Christ, Dave – do you not read the comments you’re commenting on?

    My question was if you consider these issues to be the most important of the day? Presumably your response is yes..?

    Oh, and we want words that can be used for swearing, not alternatives to sex. I don’t think shagging hell or fornicating hell are quite gonna make it.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    How about buggering, Chris? If you just want something that goes well with hell, it works.

    As for your clarified question, yes I certainly do think that the erosion of our rights is among the most important issues of the day. It certainly trumps ridiculous shit like abortion and gay marriage and stem cell research which people try to make into bogus crisis issues.

    You may think that war and disease and global warming and starvation and human misery are more important, but they are part of the natural human condition. I can’t place my top priority on something that isn’t likely to go away no matter what we do.

    And when it comes down to it, if we can’t keep ourselves free we can’t really do anything about the other problems of the world no matter how much we ‘care’ about everyone.

    Dave

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    The article is partisan spin.

    Freedom of the press is in NO danger from these bills, they have NOTHING to do with independant press, or any media distributed via private industry means.

    It only covers media which is distributed via the “public airwaves”.

    There is also the double edge here, because there are two separate things being covered. the “Fairness doctrine” of requiring equal time for opposing editorial views is applicable to news/editorial content…NOT entertainment and more specifically , comedy. So ONLY those programs which put themselves out there as “news” or contain editorial/pundit opinions , would be required to abide by “equal time”.

    Hence, the 11 o’clock news would have an editorial segment of x minutes which would require the same x minutes being given over to an opposing viewpoint.

    This system worked for over 30 years, and they didn’t even have satellite or cable , neither of which are affected by the proposed policies, you can still do whatever the fuck you want on cable, since it is privately distributed.

    The second bit is MUCH more insidious, and glossed over by many. How much media can any single entity own in any single market? Thats what the Media reform bit is all about. The implicit desire for the public good to place a cap over how much media any single entity (person or corporation) can own in a single market.

    So, one newspaper, tv station and radio station is ok, but owning more than that is considered against the public interest, since it allows a certain controlling of message which could be detrimental to the citizenry as a whole.

    Only special interests in the media industry, interested in monopolizing markets, or diehard partisans appear to have any difficulty with the basics of the legislation, and are prone to scream “the sky is falling”

    The rest of us should be damn happy to have checks and balances restored, and for this type of policy discussion to be taking place…

    Now, can we ask to have it without hype or hysteria?

    Wishful thinking, I know.

    Thanks in advance.

  • moonraven

    Chris wrote:

    “It is quite easy to see that allowing anybody to post anything could render the site unreadable.”

    Take a look at this silly PREADOLESCENT thread! If you can show me anything MORE unreadable, I’ll eat it. Shit and all.

  • moonraven

    Oh, Bill Cosby’s UNDERGRADUATE degree was from Temple, as he is a native Philadelphian

    He received his MA from UMass Amherst the same year I received my doctorate, and his doctorate in Education a few years later.

  • moonraven

    Gee, troll: I didn’t know you got off on 50 posts of the word “fuck” and its various permutations.

    Different strokes, I guess….

  • moonraven

    Hey, I don’t want to be involved in any way in your compulsive sexual pathology.

    I am too fucking old for that.

  • moonraven

    All compulsive activity comes from feeling insecure.

    Don’t kid a kidder. (My grandmother used to say that a lot….)

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    I didn’t give troll permission to say “Fuck You” to anybody. That would be rude! He can of course say fuck as much as he fucking wants too, the fucker!

  • Emry

    # 159.

    “…w/o…the self-congratulatory smugness of Em or Moonie.”

    This is an example of Nan c minus being too stupid to realize she just gave herslf a pat on the back. WAFI!

  • http://www.antequeravillarental.com Christopher Rose

    Emry: I think we’ve explored the underlying dynamic of your relationship with Nancy enough for one thread…

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    troll, thanks for the reminder about BC’s Brush with Greatness. I had forgotten about it and got a good chuckle or two.

    Now take your flashbacks off my bridge.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Only special interests in the media industry, interested in monopolizing markets, or diehard partisans appear to have any difficulty with the basics of the legislation, and are prone to scream “the sky is falling”

    Any measures which limit the freedom of communication are contrary to the best interests of the public, be they book burning, dictating content to broadcast stations or imprisoning journalists for being difficult. It doesn’t take a diehard partisan to see which way the wind is blowing, and if you’re unable to see this threat it’s because you’ve got your head buried where the Moonraven doesn’t shine.

    The rest of us should be damn happy to have checks and balances restored, and for this type of policy discussion to be taking place…

    Checks and balances are for the government, they’re not for private enterprise or for free speech. How can you ‘balance’ freedom? What a ridiculous idea.

    Now, can we ask to have it without hype or hysteria?

    Apparently not, since unreasoning hysteria is all you seem to have to offer.

    Dave

  • moonraven

    Conceit is very different from high self-esteem.

    Your band of shrinks should have told you that….

  • moonraven

    The term “inflated self-esteem” makes no sense.

  • moonraven

    Sorry that I am not willing to do the Self-Loathing Boogie that is so popular in the US.

    And so deservedly so.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    Dave says; “Any measures which limit the freedom of communication are contrary to the best interests of the public”

    Upon which we are agreed, However you appear to think that allowing equal time on public airwaves is detrimental to the freedom of expression, where most would think that it is merely a simple addition.

    No one has yet adequately explained how ADDING content to editorial expression by requiring equal time to opposing expression on the public airwaves is limiting?

    From the article, it appears the intent is to advocate for monopolizing the public airwaves with as few owners as possible and with no requirement for opposing views to be heard.

    Would the article’s author be ok with an hour editorial on a broadcast network, marked as news, about global warming, without the opposing views being allowed equal time?

    I wouldn’t.

    I’m old enough to remember before the equal time provisions were taken down, and don’t remember a single problem with it. This was before the days of cable and satellite dishes (which are NOT covered in these provisions with the exception of some of the ownership details).

    The proposed rules about ownership are an attempt to deal with too few sources, and the proposed policies about “fairness” are an attempt to broaden the discussion, and I still fail to see how this is to be construed as any kind of restriction.

    It would, however, definitely cut down on some of the “echo chamber” behavior from both sides of the aisle, and stop the monopolizing of our public airwaves by fewer and fewer content providers.

    How is that a bad thing?

  • moonraven

    troll,

    I am interested in seeing the changes in Caracas, as it’s been a couple of years since I was there last.

    I probably won’t make it there until the end of March, for family reasons.

  • Bliffle

    Inspired by his Freedom Guru (a certain Gay Quaker Gunslinger whose True Gospel has become his personal Bible) an acquaintance decided to persuasively dissuade the Niggling Nabobs Of Negativism who’ve been inhibiting his personal Freedom Of Speech with the only language they understand: Blazing Bullets and Bombs. So he’s ordering a spiked AK47 which can be de-spiked with certain internet instructions (it’s as easy as unlocking a cellphone) and in reserve he’ll start….wait, there’s a knock at the door….be right back…

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Upon which we are agreed, However you appear to think that allowing equal time on public airwaves is detrimental to the freedom of expression, where most would think that it is merely a simple addition.

    It’s not ‘allowing equal time’, it’s forcing a business to lose money to protect an unpopular politicial ideology. Allowing equal time means making sure that any candidate can buy an advertisement at the same price and with similar airtime exposure. It does not mean putting programming on the air which will not attract listeners.

    Giving radio stations the choice of balancing popular conservative shows with programming like you find on Air America is basically fining them for doing business to make a profit, unless they take their successful shows off the air. Because these are businesses the ultimate outcome of legislation like this is to force them to take conservative talk shows off the air, because that will cost them less in lost revenue than putting someone like Randi Rhodes on and losing their audience for 3 hours.

    Under this law talk radio will be all sports and self-help gurus like Dr. Laura. Grim.

    No one has yet adequately explained how ADDING content to editorial expression by requiring equal time to opposing expression on the public airwaves is limiting?

    I sort of already went over this, but it’s limiting because when the leftist show can’t find advertisers the station loses money on it. Under the rule of equal time the only way it can get rid of the left-leaning show is to get rid of the right-leaning show, so to maintain profits BOTH are taken off the air and replaced with canned ESPN Radio which makes less money than Rush Limbaugh, but more than Rush minus the losses they take on whoever they run to balance him.

    From the article, it appears the intent is to advocate for monopolizing the public airwaves with as few owners as possible and with no requirement for opposing views to be heard.

    The measures of the bill which I didn’t really object to are the ones which oppose diversifying the marketplace. I think they’re pointless and unnecessary, but they aren’t as bad as equal time and they don’t specifically target free speech.

    Would the article’s author be ok with an hour editorial on a broadcast network, marked as news, about global warming, without the opposing views being allowed equal time?

    Absolutely. And I saw 2 hours of that on PBS recently. I’m for networks being free to air what they like, their audience likes and what makes them money. What I don’t support is the government telling us what we can and cannot say or listen to.

    I’m old enough to remember before the equal time provisions were taken down, and don’t remember a single problem with it. This was before the days of cable and satellite dishes (which are NOT covered in these provisions with the exception of some of the ownership details).

    As far as I can tell there wasn’t a problem BEFORE equal time either. This whole idea of equal time was aimed at political campaign ads originally, and is now being extended to talk radio as a mechanism for shutting down dissent. It’s an abuse of the concept.

    Dave

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIMW5iYFGhM D’oh

    It appears you are objecting to it wholesale, when I was specifically talking about news and editorial content…not entertainment and comedy.

    A newscasts editorial requires “equal time”, the Daily Show..clearly self labeled as comedy, does not.

    Most of the programs it appears you would object to being required “equal time” merely need to ensure they are clearly placed in entertainment/comedy, and not try to pass themselves off as news/editorial programming.

    Again, public airwaves, and would be part of the licensing requirements, equal to all who purchase/own broadcasting licenses, so the bills read at this moment, we will see how it all comes out.

    I contend much ado over nothing, especially from a source who defended things like warrantless wiretaps.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    D’Oh, I didn’t say one word about comedy or entertainment programming, or even the editorial content of news. The first two are irrelevant and the last might be an appropriate place to apply equal time.

    Those things are NOT what this bill is aimed at. It’s specifically aimed at talk radio, which is certainly entertainment, but it has political content, and the goal here is to shut it down.

    And BTW, I never defended warrantless wiretaps, per se, I explained the justification which Bush believed allowed him to make those wiretaps. Not exactly the same thing. As you may recall I think FISA should be repealed alltogether.

    Dave

  • USER666

    Rush’s show isn’t very profitable-look at the sponsors. No big name sponsors go near him. The only reason he has so many listners is because he’s on in almost every market.

  • Clavos

    No big name sponsors go near him.

    Sponsors are sponsors. The “big names” don’t pay any more than the little ones.

    The only reason he has so many listners (sic) is because he’s on in almost every market.

    You’ve got it exactly backwards. He’s in so many markets because people demand it, and sponsors are willing to buy the airtime to advertise.

    It’s a business; if they weren’t making money, there wouldn’t be a show.

  • http://www.friendlymisanthropist.blogspot.com alessandro nicolo

    RJ: You’re priceless. Didn’t Chavez go to comedy school but failed? #91: A billion people can collectively and mathematically be stupid. I Blame McDonald’s.

  • BriMan

    Dave-
    Judith Miller is not the only jailed journalist right now or recently – pay attention.

    When it comes to the distribution of the public airwaves, our choices are pretty clear. Either we want freedom from monopoly and single opinions or we want diversity. This is a case where the wealth of a few people overtly threatens freedom.

    Government is just a tool Dave and the “market” just an ideology. I am not willing to sacrifice my human rights for ANY ideology. Your assumption that the tool can and will be used to destroy versus enhance is just part of your personal prejudice towards government. The best thing you and those who think like you can do is stay the hell out of office and let people who value progress run the show. Dont worry – just like Chavez – we will allow Fox News to stay on air even when their ratings approach negative numbers.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Bri, ‘progress’ isn’t an ideology. We can make progress towards all sorts of different things, including oppression or freedom. I like the idea of progress in the direction of freedom of speech, thought and lifestyle. Progress when it leads us towards more government intrusion in our lives isn’t so attractive.

    When it comes to the airwaves, why is the dictate of government any better than the dictate of a commercial monopoly? Why not let the airwaves be truly free?

    Dave

  • BriMan

    Because Dave – in a democracy of the people – the people dictate their desires. I personally desire diversity of thought and opinion. Right now, I actually have a government who has convinced people like you that the reason we dont have diversity is that people dont want it (ie advertisers wont pay for it). That is BS Dave. Lots of people do want it and they dont get it bacause it isnt available. And it isnt available because it isnt in the interest of the few to provide for the many.

    You speak of government intrusion and I speak of corporate intrusion. You and I have no control over the operation of any given corporation except through channels of law and regulation. You and I do have access to government (as long as it isnt in the back pocket of the corporations) through our representatives. I prefer the method of control that I have a stake in – you worship the whims of the market.

    You seem to confuse free markets with personal freedoms – they are actually the antithesis of each other. You can not have an enormous amount of concentrated wealth and power (media ownership) and maintain personal freedom of thought (especially when opposing opinions are a simple matter of screening them out). Basic common sense really.

  • Bill B

    This whole debate is a bit like sticking your fingers in a dyke while a half mile down river the dyke is washed out.

    A truly free capitalist philosophy requires a fully educated, informed and engaged public to demand meaningful discourse that serves the interests of the public at large.

    Until the public demands more relevant discourse more freedom for the already consolidated media world would only serve as en enabler to an already narrowly framed debate that so often discusses issues from a viewpoint favorable to the agenda of a parent company.

    This isn’t conspiracy. It’s free market run amok.

    Consider me one of the uneducated when it comes to this bill, I don’t know enough about it. But I would not dismiss it out of hand because it seeks to regulate public airwaves.

    Dave says; “Any measures which limit the freedom of communication are contrary to the best interests of the public”

    I disagree. Would a measure that seeks to curb a hypothetical huge media conglomerate that systematically frames debate and selects issues to report on based on it’s own profit margin possibly be in the best interest of the public?

    It’s like saying any speed limit is not in the best interest of the driving public.

    Abuse is always possible. Should government step in or should we wait until the public at large gets up to speed and demands more? If the latter, will it ever?

    Also someone please explain the distinction between “public airwaves” and private which are not subject to the same regulation. I understand that cable, now phone, and satellite are pay outlets but is that the only distinction? I’m assuming it’s not about ownership of equipment like satellites etc. as I’m sure radio and network tv own their broadcast facilities.

    If so, the more marginalized the “free” outlets become, the more under the microscope the rest will become. The more the diconnect between their agendas and the best interests of the public, the more they’ll be bringing about the potential for regulation. Can anyone say ‘tightrope’?

    I too am leary of governmental regulation as it seems more and more they’d screw up a wet dream but that doesn’t deter from the idea that a case can clearly be made that an unfeterred media may not necessarily be in the best interest of an (un)informed public.

    What percent STILL believe we found wmd in Iraq and Saddam was intimately involved in 9/11 again?

    I rest my case.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    The basic idea of this story is government making laws to jimmy the market, forcibly cutting out popular media to force feed some politically favored ideological crap that consumers want no part of.

    Those who are familiar will note that this is a plot line lifted straight out of Ayn Rand’s glorious and notorious Atlas Shrugged.

    Dave Nalle being well-known as a big fan of Ayn Rand, I’m sure he appreciates the point. [Al ducks and covers to avoid Nalle’s Satanic vengeance for accusing him of Objectivism!]

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    “This whole debate is a bit like sticking your fingers in a dyke while a half mile down river the dyke is washed out.”

    All I can say is that if you stick your finger in a dyke without her invitation to do so, you risk feeling very washed out. Sticking your finger into a dike is another issue entirely…

  • think about it

    We are all the products of the deliberate ‘dumb-down’ education system.

    We are conditioned to accept and embrace the worst aspects of our animal natures and to give only lip service to the best aspects of our spirit natures.

    EVERYONE WHO IS BORN WILL DIE.

    The animal nature in each of us rebels at this truth.

    We’re told that we can delay death by material means.

    Even were this to be so, we cannot prevent our eventual death.

    So, why do we struggle to gain material objects so vehemently?

    Why do we embrace the base desires to ‘live and let others die’?

    To enjoy and let others suffer?

    To take and let others go without?

    We cannot take ANY-THING with us when we die.

    Every truth-based religious teaching contains commonalities.

    ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’

    ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself’

    ‘Judge not, least ye be judged’

    ‘What you sow, so shall you reap’

    When have ANY of the so-called ‘conservatives’ EVER acted in ANY way congruent with these truths?

    When have you?

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Those who are familiar will note that this is a plot line lifted straight out of Ayn Rand’s glorious and notorious Atlas Shrugged.

    And just like Rand’s delusional dystopianism, the scenario isn’t practical in the real world either.

    We are all the products of the deliberate ‘dumb-down’ education system.

    Not me. I went to private school.

    Dave

  • MBD

    “We are all the products of the deliberate ‘dumb-down’ education system. Not me. I went to private school.”

    It must have been a ‘dumb-down’ private school.

    “Not me?”

    In the 1st grade of the public school I attended it was — “Not I.”

    “Who ate my porridge” said Baby Bear?

    “Not I” said Mama Bear.

    “Not I” said Papa Bear.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Why thank you, MBD. Mr. Ruge would be aghast that I made that error. But then this isn’t exactly an exercise in formal grammar, now is it? And 30 years and 2 degrees in English later, I still find it expedient to occasionally write the way that people actually talk.

    Perhaps you should visit France. I bet they could find a job for you at the Academie Francaise.

    Dave

  • MBD

    “Why thank you, MBD. Mr. Ruge would be aghast that I made that error. “

    So! Dave made an error and admitted it.

    ‘But then this isn’t exactly an exercise in formal grammar, now is it?“

    Who sez?

    “And 30 years and 2 degrees in English later“

    Your grammar sucks, but at least you never brag.

    “I still find it expedient to occasionally write the way that people actually talk“

    Perhaps you associate with the wrong class of people.

    “Perhaps you should visit France. I bet they could find a job for you at the Academie Francaise.”

    Perhaps you should give up providing weak excuses and diversions.

  • Clavos

    ‘But then this isn’t exactly an exercise in formal grammar, now is it?”

    Who sez?

    Heh.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    “And 30 years and 2 degrees in English later”

    Your grammar sucks, but at least you never brag.

    My grammar is what I want it to be. And that was more in the nature of a comment on the irrelevancy of academic degrees than a brag. As usual, my observations are a bit subtle for some.

    “I still find it expedient to occasionally write the way that people actually talk”

    Perhaps you associate with the wrong class of people.

    Or perhaps I associate with the people I choose to associate with based on criteria other than their grammatical style, and adapt my language to my environment.

    Dave

  • STM

    Ruvy wrote: “All I can say is that if you stick your finger in a dyke without her invitation to do so, you risk feeling very washed out. Sticking your finger into a dike is another issue entirely … ”

    Lol. Am I the only who didn’t miss this, or are we all too polite to comment?

  • Clavos

    No, I caught it too.

    It reminded me of a girl I knew in college who had a bumper sticker on her VW which said, “Save Holland.”

    To anyone naive enough to ask her what it meant (I was one), my lesbian friend would reply, with a sweet smile, “Stick your finger in the dyke.”

  • sr

    I didn’t miss it STM and Im not about to stick my finger where it does not belong especially if the dike is Rosie “O” Donald. Excuse me while I vomit.

  • Mark

    I think everybody shoud express their opinions, and freedom of speech is critical in a democracy, specially speech that is not popular.

    I cannot describe myself as a liberal, but I am an anti-Conservative. I think the philosophy of conservatism is the reverse coin of communism. A bankrupt ideology of hate in the name of God instead of the name of Karl Marx.

    The problem is not Rush, I can always change the channel. But I do not have the same choice when it comes to cable. There is only one provider and I have to have basic cable, and it carries Fox.

    I do not want my money to pay for Bill O’idiot and the neo-con crowd from Fox. So, until I am offered the opportunity to select the channels I pay and do not pay for, I think I would advocate that Fox be banned.

    And I hope our next president, a Democrat, will ban Fox from the White House until they appologize to Cindy Sheehan for calling her a traitor (Bill O’Reilly & Hannity).

    There is no freedom of speech when the entire population is put to pay for a program like Fox, that is unbalanced, untrue and offensive.

    We need to fight back and make those who tell lies about WMDs pay for their lies. There should be consequences.