The most amusing thing about the trial of Scooter Libby was Libby’s conviction. The second-most amusing thing was the revelation that so-called Vice President Dick Cheney likes to go on Tim Russert’s infotainment show Meet the Press because he can “control the message.” And the third most entertaining thing about the trial was Russert’s admission under oath that he only reports what the government gives him permission to report.
Sheesh, what a whore. No wonder his corporate masters at General Electric love him so! He’s the perfect marionette!
Anyway, so this week it was revealed that the White House has been flagrantly violating the Presidential Records act for five years or so, encouraging its employees (that is, our, your and my employees) to use email accounts provided by the Republican Party and other front groups. Also, the White House revealed that up to five million email messages that were on the actual proper White House servers have been quote lost unquote.
Wetmachine being a site for geeks, I won’t bother to go into the umpteen reasons why this claim can safely be dismissed as bullshit.
Below the fold: more ranting about the most pathetic bubblehead ever to rise to prominence from Buffalo, New York, and some song lyrics from the glory days of Motown that you’ll really enjoy.
So Imus is cooked, apparently. Good riddance. (My letter to the stations in favor of canning him appears below the fold.) Major advertisers have bailed, and now MSNBC has pulled the plug on the TV “simulcast” of his radio show. I would expect that given the nature of the uproar, CBS will throw in the towel by Friday and announce the cancellation of his radio show as well. I hope they do, in any event. Even if they don’t, Imus’s influence will be greatly muted henceforward, as the pressure will be on his guests, and many of them will decide that an appearance on his show isn’t worth the crap that will go with it.
Some people have come to Imus’s defense with either personal or pragmatic arguments. Others have attempted to change the topic with Chewbacca gambits. I give my reactions to these below the fold also.
As they used to say on Sesame Street, one of those things is a little bit different; one of those things is not quite the same.
What Hamilton, Oberlin, Foothills and MIT have in common is that each of them has a nifty way-cool non-commercial radio station (WHCL, WOBC, KFJC, WMBR) that streams on the web. What Clear Channel has, on the other hand, is a bunch of really shitty commercial radio stations that play over the air (I suppose Clear Channel stations may also be available on the web, but if they are, who cares? Who the hell would listen to them? The only reason to listen to commercial radio is if no broadband internet connection is available. Like, say, if you’re in a car. Or at Logan Airport. Stuck for 3 days in a freak blizzard. And World War Three has just broken out and you’re curious about what’s going on. And there is no NPR station because zombies have eaten all the NPR people.(1))
Clear Channel, in addition to owning a ton of billboards and crappy radio stations, also has an awful lot of political clout that it uses in ugly ways. KFJC, WHCL, WOBC and WMBR do not. So that’s another way that one of those things is a little bit different.
By the way, KFJC has been, for quite a while, the coolest radio station on the planet (& so immortalized in my famous novel Acts of the Apostles). WMBR (“the leftmost station on your radio dial”) has its distinct charms; I got hooked on it when I was staying in Somerville 4 days/week a few years ago. I like Bats in the Belfry, the goth music show, and French Toast, on Monday mornings, a French-language show that specializes in cheesey pop but sometimes might sneak in a little Plastic Bertrand. I listen to WHCL not only because I’m a sentimental alumnus, but also ’cause it’s cool. WOBC I found on the principle that small liberal arts colleges have good radio stations. Try it, you’ll see. (I mean, pick any random small liberal arts college and find their radio station. Chances are it will be better than any comercial or NPR station playing on your radio). I especially like WOBC’s bluegrass show. The DJ sounds as if he’s 100 years old, and he really knows his stuff. As I’m witing this, I’m listening to a hip-hop show WOBC. Don’t resist or you might miss Christmas. . .
ATTENTION MEDIA ACCESS PROJECT! HALP! HELP! HALP!
I’m still having a background-process nervous breakdown over the prospect of internet radio being eviscerated by some kind of whacky “copyrights board” that I don’t really understand, but blogged briefly about here. Harold Feld’s preliminary analysis was that the threat is real, and I heard a story on NPR last week that said the same thing. So pardon me while I panic and kind of melt down before right in front of you. If I understand things correctly, the IP Mafia is planning a big-time hit. After which internet radio will be more or less just like commerical over-the-air radio.
There’s still time to appeal the ruling (I think?), and I sure hope that the Media Access Project or Harold or somebody can give us a plan for how to stop this looming travesty. Between college radio stations and Pandora, I listen to internet radio about 50 hours each week. Only seldom, very seldom, do I hear stuff that gets played on NPR or commercial stations. Truly, internet radio is a wonderful, glorious thing. To destroy internet radio in the name of some bogus RIAA copyright horseshit would be vandalism on the scale of burning the library at Alexandria.
Anybody with any guidance about how to avert disaster, please speak up. Anybody whose name is Harold Feld of the Media Access Project who has any insight into how to mobilize to save internet radio, your advice is earnestly sought.
(1) And you don’t dare go near the TVs because the zombies are all watching CNN and FOX!
According to this “developing” story, it may be even worse than you think. Shocking, but hardly surprising.
UPDATE: Well, it looks like Kos has taken down the story. Matt Drudge’s reputation, such as it is, will carry on another day, safe from snarky satire on DailyKos. For any who are curious, the linked to story was a satirical piece like you might see in The Onion that used Drudge Report-style innuendo and unsourced quotes to hint that a big story was about to break that would implicate Drudge in sleaze. At no point did it say that Drudge had been caught with child porn; rather it used weasel-wording like “sources say that Drudge will be caught with. . .” etc. This is a technique that Drudge has perfected for sliming Democrats, liberals and progressives, and the corporate media frequently runs with whatever nonsense he promotes. I thought it would be fun to give him a little taste of his own medicine (although a very small dose. Tens of mllions of people get news from Drudge directly or indirectly; Wetmachine’s readership is a tad smaller.) It was intended to be obvious satire, although at least one Wetmachine reader (see comments) didn’t realize that I knew what I was doing. And actually, it *was* fun.
UPDATE April 4
Reader JG makes a good point in the comments, that is, and I quote: “Spreading lies about someone in order to damage their character is wrong.” So, we agree upon that, and accordingly I’ve edited the headline of this story to reflect all that is currently publicly known about Matt Drudge’s possible pedophillic predilictions. I have no reason at all to suspect that Matt Drudge is a pedophile. So we’re clear on that. I was just “making shit up,” in the Matt Drudge way. (Although, in homage to Drudge, I have let stand the innuendo of the “all that that is currently publicly known” bit. Here, obviously, I’m merely demonstrating the technique of innuendo, the hinting without saying, of something nasty.) Now, when we get to the point we JG realizes that “spreading lies about someone in order to damage their character” is Matt Drudge’s stock in trade, a regular part of what he does for a living, when JG will admit that innuendo is a regular part of Drudge’s schtick, then we’ll be getting somewhere.
And one final update (April 4): Please note that *I* never said Matt Drudge was a pedophile. I certainly implied it, which was the point. My original headline was Matt Drudge, Pedophile. That sentence  no verb. It’s just a list. If I had a headline “Octopus, banana” would it mean that I was asserting that an octopus was a banana? No, of course not. I do admit that when a noun follows a proper name set off by a comma, it’s usually an instance of apposition, and the verb is implied. However, if one wanted to be weasely, one could deny that any implication had been intended. These are the rhetorical tricks and techniques of slimeball “journalism,” of which Drudge is an exemplar.
"I covered most intensively wars and conflicts where the United States has been an agent of violence, either directly or indirectly, because I believe citizens need to know what their government is doing and the true price of victory."