Tales of the Sausage Factory: I Am Now on the Sh–list of the Wall St. J. Editorial Board. Go me!

Well, actually my boss, Andrew Jay schwartzman, and my organization, Media Access Project. But since MAP has only three attorneys and one admin staffer, I think I’m entitled to crow a bit.

The WSJ is a pay site, so I can’t provide a link. And copyright prevents me from reprinting the editorial — which appeared in the print addition of the WSJ on Dec. 30, 2003.

But to see my more detailed comments, see below.

Continue reading

Read Bernard Lewis — When He Goes On Sale

Bernard Lewis has two books out this holiday season: “What Went Wrong?” and “The Crisis of Islam.” WWW was written before 9/11 and published just after, but has been rereleased to take advantage of the surge of interest in the Middle East.

Lewis’ work is interesting and insightful, but overpriced. Especially since much of what he says can be found in various articles over the last 15 years and available via Google. So I recommend the books, but only when they go on sale after the holidays.

Continue reading

Tales of the Sausage Factory: Golden Globes, former presidents and media ownership

The Reagans, the miniseries originally created by CBS and then moved to Showtime, has been nominated for two Golden Globe Awards. Not bad for a series that CBS dumped to its sister property Showtime on the grounds that it didn’t have enough balance to air on broadcast TV. But was moving the Reagans off broadcast an artistic decision, or a financial decision by Viacom to curry political favor at a critical time.

Continue reading

A good week for civil liberties — mostly

Three opinions came out last week that made a nice little Chanukah gift for civil liberties buffs. Two related to Ashcroft’s attempts to circumvent the Constitution in the name fo security, one cuts short the RIAA’s efforts to gut the Constitution in the name of copyright. But the opinions still leave a lot of room for concern.

Continue reading

Tales From the Sausage Factory: Saddam and Howard Dean

I seem to be the only one in America who fails to see the link between the capture of Saddam Hussein this week and the 2004 Democratic Presidential Primary. Or so says an op ed in today’s Washington Post. On the other hand, I do see this as a classic example of media group think.

Continue reading

Will the real Monty Meekman please stand up?

I only heard about this guy after my book was written, so he’s really not the model for Monty Meekman, the mad-scientist cartoon-villain of Acts of the Apostles. However it is odd (creepy?) that everything he does seems to have been done first by Monty.


And oddly enough I find a lot of what he has to say very compelling. Maybe I should check my brain frequencies. . . maybe I’m just one more happy Feynman Nine customer?

Tales From the Sausage Factory: Telephone Competition in the U.S.

I’m taking the opportunity to post a little essay I wrote when I moved last March. It illustrates the problems of implementing domestic phone competition in the U.S. I have no reason to believe that anyone in either company (Verizon or Cavalier Telephone) were trying to screw us or were playing fast and lose with the rules. Each one was genuinely trying to do its job, and all the people I talked with were uniformly polite, friendly, and well intentioned. I love well intentioned people, they provide me with such great paving stones that the handcart I’m in rides smooth to the end. . .

Continue reading

For Copyright Buffs in Europe

I got this notice from the Consumer Project on Technology, which is a public advocacy organization I’ve worked with and respect. CPT has been very active on a variety of fronts seeking to limit abuses of intellectual property.

The Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (http://www.cptech.org) is planning an event in Brussels on Feb 4 on digital copyright issues. If people are interested in this, the should contact Jamie Love (james.love@cptech.org) or Manon Ress (manon.ress@cptech.org) for more info….

Tales From the Sausage Factory — The Media Compromise

Hello all.

As this is my first post, a brief introduction. I am Associate Director of a non-profit public interest law firm, the Media Access Project (www.mediaaccess.org). I love communications policy, which as you might imagine is all the rage at cocktail parties. I cannot tell you how many women I have seduced by whispering to them “let me tell you about TELRIC pricing!”

12/24, I’ve moved the bulk of this essay below the fold.

Continue reading