Leviathan on May 04, 2008, 11:59:54 am
You know, it's the funniest thing in the world, but trying to find an article on Anthony "Sir Mix-a-lot" Ray's political ideology, it's like it's a public shame.  A lot of articles are quoting the line "politics is very important to him", but not saying a damned thing about what he advocates.  Almost enough to make me think that just maybe the libertarian tag might be right.  Musicians are allowed to spew communist jibberish all day and night and people lap it up.  Somebody spews liberty?  Nobody says a word.  Dunno if it's trew of Tony Ray, but if there's a link out there it'd certainly be interesting.

However, I did see an interview with the guy a number of years back.  Essentially, women have actually been thanking the guy for admitting that there's sexy beyond twiggy.  A probably majority of women have to literally torture themselves and/or get surgery to get down to the twiggy ideal, and that's assuming their pelvis doesn't "betray" them by being too wide to look skinny.  It's a great irony that said song has become a joke in many quarters.

Rocketman on May 05, 2008, 08:02:49 am
Your comment confirms in a roundabout way what I said in a different column.  Namely that there appears to be an somewhat organized concerted effort on the part of the media that if they mention the word "Libertarian" that it's to be done in a negative light.  Maybe it's orchestrated behind the scenes by a shadowy cabal of internationalists or maybe it's just the liberal/ progressive  (socialist/ communist) views of the various news crews, editors, publishers but it does seem that way.  That's why the only thing I trust the news media to be right about is the comics section and the ball scores.

aditantimedh on May 05, 2008, 12:16:32 pm
Oh, come ON. 

There is nothing remotely socialist or communist about the American media.

Chris Goodwin on May 05, 2008, 04:20:29 pm
"Mainstream authoritarian" is probably a better way to describe it.

aditantimedh on May 05, 2008, 06:06:22 pm
Yup.  "Bought and paid for" is my preferred description.

Leviathan on May 05, 2008, 06:15:54 pm
I've seen claims from a liberal that the stories generally slant socially liberal and economically conservative.  The reporters are aware of what taxes do to their incomes, and since *they* are the "good ones" with money, they tend to deviate from liberal on things like progressive taxes in a significant amount of cases.  Or that's the claim.  And let's not forget that Fox is about as neo-con as it's possible to get.  But really, they tend to give airtime to some specific ideologies.  What it comes down to is that they don't rock the political boat overall.  It might tend to get the FCC to yank their broadcast privileges for "unrelated" issues.  And I still don't comprehend what authority congress used to call the CEOs of the networks before them when they simply made a wrong prediction based on exit polls in '00.  They didn't libel or slander, and civil courts would've been where the candidates maybe should've pushed any false claims made about the outcome.  Instead they get called before Congress.

Which is one of the reasons I want to get rid of FCC type organizations.  We don't need it to manage ownership of bandwidth and range, and it interferes in the natural functioning of the market.

Sean Roach on May 05, 2008, 07:45:09 pm
Which reminds me.  Why does the FCC have jurisdiction over cable anyway?  Cable is a non-scarce resource.  If there were truly too many signals on the lines, the owners of the lines could decide which to clip, or they could decide there was justification to lay more lines.  There is no reason there can't be competing cable networks in a single city.  It's not like they need interconnectivity to become valuable, (as was telephony.)  Connection is voluntary.  No one forces anyone to have cable, and certainly no one forces anyone to have ready access to all the channels, so you can't justify it as a protection of the consumer, who could opt out if it proved less desirable than the alternative.  Finally, it's not like the FCC forces universal access, anyway.  Even as it is, it's in the cable companies best interest to get as many customers as will pay.

I can't see any arguments for anyone regulating cable.

Rocketman on May 05, 2008, 08:09:22 pm
aditantimedh:  I like the "Bill Clinton" answer that you gave "There is nothing remotely socialist or communist about the American media."  Bill Clinton when he was still president was accused of giving technology to the Chinese which supported his getting elected.  His response was "Not one single person has accused me of that." and TECHNICALLY he was correct.  It wasn't one person, it was more like 15 or 20.  Your answer is also technically correct.  It's not remotely socialist or communist.  It's pretty blatant.   ;D

Rocketman on May 05, 2008, 08:38:58 pm
Rereading my last post just reminded me of something I once saw on television many years ago (I think it was CBS but I'm not sure and I don't ever expect it to be rerun.  It was way too embarrassing to the network.  They did a show where they asked the question "Is the news biased?"  They had a university journalism class with the professor there and they ran clips of interviews that had been done in the recent past that readers had complained were biased.  At the end of the show the student had to admit that the clips did show bias.  You should have seen the look on the moderaters face.  They had convinced themselves that the students would back them up and they didn't.  I wish I had the tape of that.   ;D

aditantimedh on May 07, 2008, 12:06:57 am
How can the American news media be communist if it's owned by right-wing big businesses??

Rocketman on May 07, 2008, 04:00:48 am
That's a question that is always asked and the answer is that essentially big business only cares about the bottom line (profits).  To them as long as they can keep the money flowing in they don't care what the media puts out as long as it doesn't interfere with the projected earnings estimates.  Think about it like this.  You need to go into the hospital for surgery.  What's more important to you?  The fact that the doctor that is going to be opering on you has done this surgery over a hundred times successfully with zero mistakes or that he's a card carrying member of the Communist Workers party?   ???

aditantimedh on May 07, 2008, 04:40:19 pm
Big business dictates what messages the media puts out in order to maintain a status quo that keeps their profits up, that's the bottom line.  They do care what the media they own puts out.  It's not communist if it's all about making profit. 

And do you know any American doctor who's a member of the communist party? 

Rocketman on May 07, 2008, 08:07:31 pm
Big business dictates what messages the media puts out in order to maintain a status quo that keeps their profits up, that's the bottom line. They do care what the media they own puts out. It's not communist if it's all about making profit.
I agree with most of what your saying in that comment.  I think that the difference is that your not seeing it the same way that I am.  If we currently have a socialist / communist government and the networks don't want to "rock the boat" as you mantain, then doesn't that mean that the networks are then supporting the socialist/ communist line?  That if they went against the flow and started say supporting the Libertarian Party ahead of the Demopublicans then wouldn't it impact negatively on their bottom line and wouldn't the government likely not look too kindly on the network in question the next time that their broadcast license was up for renewal?  Lastly, I don't know any communist doctors.  I was just using that as an example.   8)

aditantimedh on May 09, 2008, 12:33:06 am
The media industry is not under the thumb of the government, but their corporate masters, who have a hand in the running of the government, so they're only following orders.  It's not socialist or communist, it's following orders.  In the fascist sense of the world.

it's not socialist or communist because they're not even trying to sell a line that everyone is equal or that property is theft and should be jointly owned by all the people.  It exacerbates the notion of "have" and "have-not"  and total inequality and exploitation.  That's not communist at all.

Scott on May 09, 2008, 04:21:56 pm
Uh-oh, clash of world-views! Let's see if I can sort some of this out.

The terms "socialist" and "communist" have different connotations to different people. People on the right tend to use them to mean any variety of collectivist authoritarianism. People on the left tend to ascribe more specific meanings: advocating worker or state ownership of the means of production, advocating "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs."

The term "fascist" also has differing connotations. To leftists, it means the authoritarian opposite of socialism -- government for an elite against the masses. To libertarians, it is a form of socialism which retains certain forms of capitalism. And historically, the fascist movement did grow out of earlier socialist movements in Europe.

The mainstream media, to the extent that any generalized description really fits, might best be described as "soft-fascist." They advocate democratic forms, but also a strong central government, extensive economic regulation and poor-relief payments, and what might best be described as "Imperialism with a Human Face" (although Fox is just plain Imperialist.) My preferred term for this arrangement is "Mercantilism."

But describing the mainstream media is further complicated by the fact that it is made up of many thousands of individuals, who sometimes have differing agendas. Yes, the corporate owners want to support the corporate status quo. But the many individual reporters and desk-editors (and their electronic-media counterparts) are more often likely to identify themselves as center-left, and be aligned with the Democratic Party. And so there is some continuing tension between reporters bringing in stories or writing their personal bias into the news, and senior editors being more directly pressured by the owners to skew things more to the right.

What we end up with a somewhat unfocused mix of centrist tendencies which offer evidence to readers both of the left and of the right that "those bastids are biased against my viewpoint."  This mix ultimately does serve the interest of the owners, because it creates an illusion of variety in the mix -- a variety which is mostly pretty shallow, and quite constricted compared with the variety that exists in the larger culture.