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After Destroying Newspapers, The Internet Is Now Poised To Disrupt Television

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, August 14, 2013 10:57 EDT

Having turned print media upside down, the Internet now is disrupting television, forcing broadcasters to adapt to tablets and video-on-demand to hold onto views and advertisers.

“The gap between what consumers want and the way the industry is delivering it has grown so big that the industry now has to start to make some moves,” Forrester Research analyst Jim Nail told AFP.

Viacom, Time Warner, Disney, 21st Century Fox, CBS — the second quarter results of the big US media groups confirmed that cable networks remain their cash cows.

For the first time this year, however, American adults are spending more time with the Internet than in front of television sets — about five hours a day compared to 4.5, according to a study in eMarketer this month.

The independent market research firm notes that users sometimes use the Internet and watch television at the same time — and that video represents only part of online consumption.



Google Claims Gmail Users Have No ‘Reasonable Expectation’ Their Emails Are Private

Critics call revelation ‘a stunning admission’ as Google makes claim in court filing in attempt to head off class action lawsuit

Gmail users have no “reasonable expectation” that their emails are confidential, Google has said in a court filing.

Consumer Watchdog, the advocacy group that uncovered the filing, called the revelation a “stunning admission.” It comes as Google and its peers are under pressure to explain their role in the National Security Agency’s (NSA) mass surveillance of US citizens and foreign nationals.

“Google has finally admitted they don’t respect privacy,” said John Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s privacy project director. “People should take them at their word; if you care about your email correspondents’ privacy, don’t use Gmail.”

Google set out its case last month in an attempt to dismiss a class action lawsuit that accuses the tech giant of breaking wire tap laws when it scans emails in order to target ads to Gmail users.

That suit, filed in May, claims Google “unlawfully opens up, reads, and acquires the content of people’s private email messages.” It quotes Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman: “Google policy is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.”



White House Condemns Violence In Egypt


The Obama administration is criticizing the latest crackdown in Egypt, saying that violence will only make it harder to promote stability and democracy.

"The United States strongly condemns the use of violence against protesters in Egypt," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

Earnest said the government continues to review the $1.3 billion in foreign aid provided to Egypt.

The United States "strongly opposes a return" to emergency laws in Egypt, Earnest said. He stressed that Egypt's interim government -- set up after the military deposed President Mohammed Morsi in July -- has pledged to transition back to a democratically elected government as soon as possible.

Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/08/14/obama-egypt-morsi-adly-mansour-state-of-emergency/2651953/

Egyptian Security Forces Kill 30 Pro-Morsi Protesters, Says Muslim Brotherhood


State news agency said security forces clearing out two Cairo camps of supporters of the deposed president, using tear gas on protesters.

By Reuters and The Associated Press | Aug. 14, 2013 | 9:22 AM

The Muslim Brotherhood said on Wednesday that Egyptian security forces killed 30 people as they started clearing out a Cairo protest camp that has been demanding the reinstatement of deposed Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

"30 deaths in #Rabaa thus far and counting," said Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad on his Twitter page.

Egypt's health ministry said there have been no deaths so far in the crackdown.

At the biggest camp in at Rabaa al-Adawiya in the Nasr City neighborhood in northeast Cairo security forces fired tear gas as police helicopters circled above and army vehicles were stationed nearby.

Read more: http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.541397

Israel Proudly Displays Separation Fence To Arriving Tourists

The very first thing visitors to Israel see when they walk through Ben-Gurion International Airport’s arrivals hall is an illuminated, panoramic landscape photo showing an area where the West Bank meets Israel. Right smack dab in the middle of it is none other than Israel’s separation barrier. (The road can be seen in the center, with two barbed-wire outer fences on either side and a lighter weight fence in the middle.)

It is as if Israel is proudly saying to its visitors: Welcome to the land of milk and honey, segregation and oppression. As if the wall/fence/barrier has become such an integral part of the landscape that whoever installed this lovely photo montage didn’t even notice.

Or maybe they forgot to photoshop it out and it’s a major oversight (that somebody made a real f–k up)?

Either way, this is mind-boggling – and it certainly takes Israeli hasbara (state PR) to a whole new level. Could it be Israel has reached a point where it is so sure of its own policies that parading around a photo of the ugly separation barrier is totally normal? Considering the way it has been parading around new settlement construction during peace talks, I wouldn’t be surprised.


Israeli Racism And American Jewish Hypocrisy

On the U.S. Jewish establishment’s double standard regarding what gentiles can say about Jews and what Israeli Jews can say about Arabs and blacks.

By Larry Derfner |Published August 13, 2013

The Anti-Defamation League and the rest of the American Jewish establishment owe Jesse Jackson an apology. They put the man through the wringer, they made him apologize in every possible forum for his “Hymie” and “Hymietown” remarks back in 1984. Yet look at the kinds of things Israeli leaders – senior government ministers, chief rabbis – get away with without ever having to apologize, without ever being punished in the slightest.

A couple of weeks ago the economy minister, Naftali Bennett, the fresh new face of right-wing Orthodox Judaism, was saying in a cabinet meeting how he didn’t like these releases of Palestinian prisoners. “If you catch terrorists, you simply have to kill them,” he was quoted in Yedioth Ahronoth as saying. The head of the National Security Council, Yaakov Amidor, told Bennett, “Listen, that’s not legal.” Bennett replied: “I have killed lots of Arabs in my life – and there is no problem with that.”

The media, the left and the Arabs made a big deal out of it, nobody else. Bennett defended what he said, and so did countless talkbackers and Facebookers.

Two days later the newly-elected Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel, David Lau, was seen on a video telling an audience of yeshiva boys that they shouldn’t watch Euroleague basketball games in public; it was bad for their image. “What difference does it make,” Lau said, “if the kushim who get paid in Tel Aviv beat the kushim who get paid in Greece?” Kushim, especially when used in a dismissive context like Lau did, is a well-understood derogatory term for blacks.



What Caused NBC’s Meet The Press to Fall Behind Face The Nation and This Week?

NBC’s ratings woes aren’t just limited to weekday mornings, evenings and late night. The network’s Sunday morning flagship Meet the Press–the longest-running show on network television, as its announcer reminds the audience every week–has recently fallen to a 21-year low. And as of the past few weeks, the show has come in third place on Sunday morning, trailing CBS’ Face the Nation and ABC’s This Week.

More than four years ago, the Los Angeles Times warned that the perennial “king of Sunday morning TV news talk shows could soon lose its crown,” a prediction that has been borne out in the years since. According to Nielsen data, Meet the Press is averaging its smallest total viewer audience (2.913 million) in 21 years and smallest 25-54 demo performance (854,000) in more than 21 years, dating back to the 1991-1992 season.

CBS’ Face the Nation is the clear winner, taking the number one spot away from Meet The Press for the first time in 15 years for total viewers and in 18 years for the 25-54 demo. The show even managed to maintain its lead last week when CBS was blocked from three major markets–New York, Los Angeles and Dallas–due to an ongoing dispute with Time Warner Cable. And this summer, on June 28th and August 4th, ABC’s This Week jumped to number two in total viewers and the demo, pushing Meet The Press to third place, a position in hasn’t seen in years.

NBC’s new struggles on Sunday morning are compounded by the drops in viewership they’ve seen on weekday mornings with the Today Show and evenings with NBC Nightly News. Last August, ABC’s Good Morning America beat Today in the 25-54 demo for the first time in 17 years and has maintained a consistent lead since. And just three weeks ago, ABC’s World News with Diane Sawyer won the 25-54 demo, breaking a nearly 5-year-long winning streak by NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.

So, why is Meet the Press losing the prominence it once had? It is easy to lay blame on host David Gregory. He had large and venerable shoes to fill when he replaced the late Tim Russert back in December of 2008. Some think he goes too easy on the Obama administration while others, like myself, often think he doesn’t grill his Republican guests hard enough. He’s certainly courted his fair share of controversy in recent months, from the 30-round magazine he may have illegally used as a prop to the combative way he questioned The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald.



Gay Rights Group Files Complaint Against Twitter For Allowing ‘A Homophobic Atmosphere’

A group fighting homophobia has filed a complaint against Twitter for incitement to hatred following a stream of anti-gay tweets on its French site at the weekend, a lawyer told AFP Tuesday.

The IDAHO Committee’s French branch lodged a complaint in Paris after tweets appeared on Saturday and Sunday with hashtags titled “gays must disappear” and “let’s burn gays”, lawyer Felicite-Esther Zeifman told AFP.

“These illicit tweets on Twitter’s site characterise the offence of public incitement to discrimination, to hatred or national, racial or religious violence,” read the complaint seen by AFP.

“Despite alerts, Twitter allowed a homophobic atmosphere to develop on the social network and gave no serious response” to the tweets, the group said on Monday when it announced it would complain.

The French ministers for women’s rights and the digital economy condemned the abuse in a joint statement.



Intelligence Committee Withheld Key File Before Critical NSA Vote, Amash Claims

A leader of the US congressional insurrection against the National Security Agency's bulk surveillance programs has accused his colleagues of withholding a key document from the House of Representatives before a critical surveillance vote.

Justin Amash, the Michigan Republican whose effort to defund the NSA's mass phone-records collection exposed deep congressional discomfort with domestic spying, said the House intelligence committee never allowed legislators outside the panel to see a 2011 document that described the surveillance in vague terms.

The document, a classified summary of the bulk phone records collection effort justified under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, was declassified by the Obama administration in late July.

The Justice Department and intelligence agencies prepared it for Congress before a 2011 vote to reauthorize the Patriot Act, and left it for the intelligence committees in Congress to make the document available to their colleagues.

"It is not acceptable for the intelligence committee, or any other committee, to withhold critically important information pertaining to a program prior to the vote," Amash told the Guardian.



CNN Puts Hate Group Leader On TV And He Predictably Insults Transgender Man

The head of a group that opposes LGBT rights made sure to insult a transgender activist after being invited on television by CNN.

SaveCalifornia.com President Randy Thomasson appeared alongside Transgender Law Center’s Masen Davis, a transgender male, Tuesday on CNN to discuss California’s new transgender student rights law.

Thomasson claimed that “sexual indoctrination laws” in California endangered children and that transgender individuals were simply confused. As CNN host Brooke Baldwin was wrapping up the debate, Thomasson drove his point home by remarking, “Hey, good to talk to you ladies.”

Media Matters reported that Thomasson had a history of making inflammatory statements on LGBT issues. The Southern Poverty Law Center considers SaveCalifornia.com to be a hate group.

California Governor Jerry Brown (D) on Monday signed legislation that protects transgender students access to sex-segregated activities, sports teams, programs, and facilities consistent with their gender identity.

Watch video, via Media Matters, below:


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