May 13, 2005
Compiled by Delilah Boyd, A
The Rest of the Story
No, I'm not talking about Paul Harvey, whose voice always gave
me the creeps. I'm talking about what's missing in today's corporate
We're getting tiny news bites, mostly focusing on celebrities,
when we should be getting full coverage of serious issues which
affect all of our lives (and the lives of our children) profoundly.
I want the letterbox version, damn it!
When TV networks started airing epics and sweeping sagas in prime
time, they cropped the left and right thirds of major motion pictures
in the name of formatting. No one really complained, except those
of us purists who wonder if this could explain why many younger
film viewers no longer appreciate big-screen classic films. What's
most appalling about editing films to fit your TV screen is the
oh, so Orwellian marketing ploy: calling their crop job the "full-screen
Just like big screen movies, our news has been cropped to fit
corporate America's narrow definition of what their BushCo-connected
CEOs think we need to know. Case in point: Does Lawrence Of Arabia
fit on your TV screen? Mine, either.
Unless you're lucky enough to own one of those big-assed, HD, plasma
screen deals, Peter O'Toole's amazing blue eyes are the size of
raisins in the TV-sized desert sun. The burning of Atlanta in Gone
With The Wind looks like the aftermath of any successful community
yard sale, and Dr. Zhivago's blizzard trek into town to see Lara
becomes more like a trip to the mailbox on a typical January morning
in Northern Michigan.
No biggie, you say? I would agree, except that American news organizations
have adopted the TV editing model and cropped two-thirds of the
news, too. These days, most of us spend more time complaining about
the news than reading or viewing the news.
Remember what it was like during the 2000 presidential election,
when we thirsted for real news coverage and issues analysis but
found little or nothing to quench that thirst? We begged news organizations
to tell us the whole story, not just right-wing and/or right-wing-lite
regurgitation spasms. We wanted Joe Friday's version of the facts.
We still do. We want investigative reporters to investigate, damn
Yes, we want the letterbox version. This week on the blogs, I looked
for, and easily found, the rest of the story.
Gadflyer fills in the gaps in the Washington Post
story on the Maryland sex education fight:
What the Post story doesn't tell you is that the curriculum,
designed to help prevent sexually transmitted disease, teen pregnancy,
and homophobic bullying, was made contentious by a small group
of parents with support from Jerry Falwell, Tony Perkins, and
Beverly LaHaye. ... In other words, these extremists have infiltrated
one of the country's most liberal counties. But the Post portrayed
them as just a bunch of concerned parents.
has a feeling that "the gay-hating (Republican) Mayor (of Spokane,
Jim West) might end up being somebody's bitch sometime soon."
Speaking of making new friends in prison, even right-wing blogger,
On Ice, isn't too thrilled with the antics of a previously
beloved local celeb: "Channel Seven here in Miami had a weatherman
named Bill Kamal. He got himself arrested for driving to Fort Pierce
to meet what he thought was a 14-year-old boy. They gave him 5 years
in a federal prison." New
Times thinks he might have accidentally stumbled
upon Kamal in a, er, chatroom:
Kamal, who's being held without bail in the St. Lucie County
Jail on charges of child enticement and solicitation of a child
under 16, just may have been the guy the 'Pipe' recently turned
up while, um, messing around in a chatroom called bringacondombyebye.com:
WhetherManGo: Actually, the weather can be quite exciting.
Did you ever see that movie Twister?
AvrilRules90: i saw it w eric the carpet cleaner after
school and eric put his tung in my ear. lol!!
WhetherManGo: Did you like it?
AvrilRules90: those storms r tooo scary.
WhetherManGo: I mean the tung. Eric's tongue.
AvrilRules90: a little ruffy. felt like my mom's loofa
WhetherManGo: You take my breath away like a Class 4
Whether. Weather. When you become a local TV rockstar for waving
your arms in front of a bluescreen while reading a teleprompter,
spelling is not a career killer. Fortunately, seducing children
in Internet chatrooms is.
Major snaps to Sirotablog
for exposing the BushCo lying sack of a plan to cut food stamps
for Medicare recipients, scooping the corporate media like there's
no tomorrow, and humiliating the New York Times into quoting his
blog. Now, that's journalism! Meanwhile The
Panda's Thumb dissects the laughable excuses for
credible witnesses in the
Scopes Kansas Kreationism
Kaper in a post called, "The Dog Ate My Homework."
Carpetbagger Report takes on Douglas Feith:
Feith was the one who pushed the White House to make WMD the
principal rationale for the war in Iraq; it was his office that
was in charge of Iraq's military prisons (you know, the ones where
innocent Iraqis were raped, tortured, and killed); it was Feith
who encouraged the administration to abandon the Geneva Conventions;
and it was Feith who was meeting regularly with Ahmed Chalabi.
(My personal favorite was when Feith developed a plan to attack
South America after 9/11 because Afghanistan lacked attractive
The Carpetbagger Report also comments on an extremely strange Feith
quote (included in the blog post): "It's quotes like these that
capture the anti-intellectualism that pervades the Bush White House's
approach to nearly everything. People who know what they're talking
about are nice, they tell us, but it's better to have an uninformed
and inexperienced chief executive who can bring his unique "insight"
to executing a global war."
For those few who think
FAUX Noose FOX News is
"big, bad and all that, Motherf*&kers," Yep,
Another Goddamned Blog's hilarious posted pic, "An
illustration of the journalistic stature of Fox News' fine television
news hounds," puts that inflated FOX ego to rest:
It reminds me of that old Star Trek episode with little Clint
Howard terrorizing Kirk and the entire crew.
Around The World
is offended by the corporate media's employment of the phrase, "supposedly
misleading the nation into war," to describe Tony Blair's current
defensive stance. Uggabugga supplies the definition of "supposedly"
and goes on to list the conclusive evidence against Blair.
Lisa McMann, at Everything
in Between, wonders if Rove was behind the Georgian
grenade incident and adds:
Actually, I don't really believe in the grenade. What I do
believe is the power of the White House, who I am sure gave
strict orders to the Bush staff and to the media: do everything
necessary to keep the Downing Street Memo from surfacing.
Obviously our corporate media is so overworked and understaffed
- what with the Runaway Bride, and Laura's horse joke, and now
this very threatening grenade story to cover - that this trivial
memo has to take a back seat until things settle down a bit.
Clap if you believe in grenades! Australian blogger Slattsnews
offers us a nifty little list of news reports questioning the grenade
story before it was finally confirmed. By the way, if anyone can
explain Slatt's intriguing phrase, "rotten little spiv," let me
Have no fear! The president is safe. Last week, it was clouds.
This week, it was an inactive grenade and a tiny Cessna (manned
by an obviously eeeeevilllll WASP-looking pilot and his equally
eeeeevilllll student sidekick) violating George W.'s personal airspace.
Speaking of violations, Republican Rick Santorum is still trying
to privatize the taxpayer-supported National Weather Service and
turn it over to some random for-profit entity, like, uh, AccuWeather,
which already gets its info from (yep, you guessed it) the National
Weather Service. After
School Snack gives us the forecast:
100% Chance of Cloudiness and Privatization Holy Ukko! If it
weren't May, I'd suspect this story to be an April Fool's prank.
But it apparently isn't. ... And why Santorum, who's usually much
more interested in bestiality than weather? Because a major private
forecaster, AccuWeather, is based in Pennsylvania. Of course.
The World Of Sports
OK. It's not easy finding blog posts on sports. Humor me. Nebraska
Cornhuskers News cites the Charlotte Observer report
that "Former Nebraska Cornhuskers football coach Tom Osborne plans
to seek the Republican nomination for governor instead of a fourth
term in Congress." Does the USA really need another spittin' and
scratchin' governor? Isn't Ahhhnold embarrassing enough? Besides,
after four terms in Congress, you'd think Osborne wouldn't need
to bill himself as a former football coach. Scratch that one, Osborne!
(Double entendre intended.) Silly me. What was I thinking?
In other sports news, George W. went for a bike ride IN THE MIDDLE
OF A WEEKDAY in Beltsville, MD, while the White House, the Capitol
Building, and the U.S. Supreme Court Building were evacuated. It's
OK, Ma! No clouds were sighted.
channels the Principal Rooney version of George W. Bueller's Skip
Day bike ride, in a post titled, "Bush: HARD WORK biking at 11am
on a Wednesday. Cheney at White House."
Does this guy EVER work? He gets paid half a million dollars
for an 8 year vacation with a few pre-written speeches mixed in.
But for the student pilot violating White House air space, George
W.'s little biking trip would have gone unnoticed. Snicker.
Are people finally taking blogs seriously? According to technology
Kennedy, the Pew Research guys are:
The Pew Internet & American Life Project has some new statistics
available from its survey of 2,871 internet users from January
2005 through March 2005.
9% of internet users now say they have created blogs.
6% of the entire U.S. adult population have created blogs.
25% of internet users say they read blogs.
The number of adult readers of blogs is about 40% of the
size of the talk radio audience.
The blog-reading audience is about 20% of the size of
the newspaper-reading population.
Deeje, at RSS
News cites Buzzmachine's definition of blogs and
offers the most powerful description of blogs (which also fits democraticunderground.com
I've been thinking about Adam Cohen's fretting over blog ethics
and how he and many others try to see blogs in their context as
an institution, as media, as journalism. I said below that journalism
is institutional and blogs are personal, journalism has become
dispassionate and blogs are passionate. I've tried to refine that
into a simpler, clearer definition of blogs. Try this one for
Blogs are the voices of citizens in conversation.
in the final installment of her 4-part series, "What Bloggers and
Journalists Can Learn from Each Other," offers sound advice to both
groups. This series is well worth reading and discussing.
Five years ago, blogging was something we had perhaps heard of,
but we all thought you had to be a hardcore programmer to launch
a personal web presence. Free blogging tools are readily available
today, and we no longer have to settle for the "edited to shrink
your mind's eye" version of corporate-owned news.
Know a hot blog that needs some coverage? Send your recommendations
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