Posts Tagged ‘media’

fear

 

One of the effects of events such as the hideous massacre of innocents in Orlando, Baghdad, Nice, and elsewhere, is the repeated assault on the mood and feelings of people who are only distantly connected to the actual event.

At times like this, it is all to easy for our imaginations, driven by empathy for those hurt, driven by our simple understanding of what they went through, driven by the awareness that that could have been us, to be completely overwhelmed by the horror.

The news is inescapable. Media coverage is wall-to-wall. It regularly beats in on all of us, even those who seek to shut it out by avoiding the endlessly repeated 24 hour newscasts. An intrusive internet headline here. A radio soundbite there. A comment from a co-worker. A cri de coeur from someone standing next to you in a queue for coffee.

The global psychic effect of the accumulated evil in the world makes us all more anxious. Makes us all more inclined to despair. Our feeling of helplessness grows unabated. Our inability to stop these events from happening induces real trauma. The world is suffering from a creeping case of mass PTSD.

In our desperation, we rail against those in power, unable to understand why the great and good cannot simply flick a switch and make it right. We call for strong leaders to make a difference. And those who would be those leaders shamelessly exploit the fear and distress to bolster their stocks.

And in bed late at night, when all around is quiet and we should be peaceful and calm, we lie awake, staring at the ceiling, the insistent thoughts pressing in on us, uninvited but impossible to ignore. What if it had been my daughter in that nightclub? What if my wife had turned that corner in Paris, or Istanbul? What if we had been in a bar in Bali? Or in a coffee shop in Sydney? Is anywhere safe? Are we ever safe? Please God, we just want to be safe.

This is very far from just a higher brain musing. Psychological studies show that a continual state of mild anxiety is extremely damaging for human beings. It affects our subconscious mind, and induces irrational decision-making. It can pre-dispose people to develop more serious mental disturbances. It may well give us cancer or heart disease. And it is, quite simply, just horrible to experience.

In response, most of us busy ourselves just getting on with life, bereft of any real alternatives to just forging on. Some – a vocal few – descend into activism against the perceived purveyors of the threat (in the world’s current state, Muslims) but most people recognise that the men of violence are a minority. A kind of ‘Dunkirk spirit’ takes hold. We “soldier on”, hoping against hope that we will one day see the end of such events, and fervently hoping we are never touched by one directly, as we weep for those who have been, and will be.

And yet despite our best efforts, there is that constant drumbeat of anxiety, whipped up by the ghastly marriage of the purveyors of terror and those who are duty bound to report it, not to mention the commentary of those politicians who seek to benefit from it. It is always there, just under the surface of our lives, threatening to bubble up and overwhelm our consciousness. Even the act of subordinating it makes us more tired and fearful.

There is only one answer. And it comes from everything we know about dealing effectively with clinical anxiety disorders.

It is to acknowledge, rationally, that we are all threatened, but in a minuscule manner. To cut the threat down to a realistic size in our minds. To deliberately and with determination confront the fears we inevitably feel, and assess them with calm and commonsense, and to assign them the relevance they truly have.

Despite the apparent ubiquity of terror in the world, the chances of being on a plane that is blown out of the sky are tens of thousands to one, no matter how the pictures of wreckage, flotsam and jetsam from those who have been attacked might impinge on our minds. It is perfectly, horrifyingly simple to imagine crashing to the ground, still awake, strapped to our chair, until colliding terminally with the dark black Ukrainian earth. Yet as we view these very mental pictures that distress us so much, we simply have to say to ourselves “but tens of thousands of planes take off and land safely every day, and airlines and governments employ highly sophisticated systems to keep us safer than ever”.

Despite the images that flood our television screens from Orlando, despite the 50 dead young people and the 50 others injured, despite the bloodied souls wandering crazed down the street looking for help, in the heart rending face of the victim’s relations and their incohate horror at their loss, the fact is that there are more than 300 million people in America, and the dead represent one hundred thousandth of the population. In a queue of the entire population, the chance of you being picked out by fate to be in that massacre was over 6 million to one.

The chances of being in that nightclub in Paris, or that restaurant, or on that island in Norway, was millions to one.

Are we completely safe? No, we are not. The dead and injured are real. But we have endured worse, time and again, and survived. My mother and father were of a generation that endured the Blitz, for example. Night after night, the Nazis raised hundred pound bombs onto defenceless civilian populations. Despite the horrific casualties, the majority of the population survived. They went about their business, day after day, determined not to be cowed. Death or injury was an ever-present possibility, but so was survival, laughter, family, friends, the daily round. Stoicism replaced expectation. This too shall pass.

We do not control our environment and no amount of wishing will ever make it so. A plane can land on your house. A tyre can blow out at the speed limit on the freeway. A drunken driver can plough into you as you wait for a bus. There will be storms, tempests, wars and rumours of wars. They are all simply part of life. Media vita in morte sumus.

Fear is a liarWe will all die, one day. In the meantime, the trick is to live our lives every day as unafraid as we possibly can. To seek joy in little things. A new flower. Birdsong. The smile of a friend. A joke shared. An unexpectedly delicious meal.

To see the best in those around us, and to be grateful for the support and love they give us so freely. We have to stare into the abyss of what could be, and then step away from the edge, content in the knowledge that it is far more likely that it won’t be. We will wake up tomorrow. The world will go on. And in the time that is granted to us, strive to be the best people we can be.

Yes, we must cry hot tears for those who were less lucky than ourselves. And we must work every day to remove the hate from our societies. Patiently, slowly, imaginatively, sincerely, day after wearysome day. There is no alternative. There is no magic cure. That is life.

But life is there to be lived, without constant fear. And the day that we allow the fear to overwhelm us, we hand victory to the murderers.

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Our dear friend and regular contributor Richard Ember from Texas is very fond of ranting and raving to us that CNN is a hopelessly biased bunch of left wingers who make no more attempt to be even handed in their media coverage than, say, Faux News.

He may or may not be right. Opinions are divided.

On one thing, though, surely, we can all agree.

Their copywriting is a miracle of clarity and precision.

  

Kim KardashianThe internet has gone into meltdown over a teasing photo of celebrity Kim Kardashian (yes, she of the leaked sex video and numerous other public displays of flesh, some paid for, some leaked, and some just put out there) standing nekkid but censored in front of a mirror.

Commentators, especially other women like Bette Midler, have laid into KK for her posting of the photo, and a seemingly equal number have spoken up in her defence. Kardashian herself has defended her posting of the photo as “empowering”.

Surely the issue really in debate here is whether the relentless sexualisation of women in the media really is empowering to the women concerned or whether it merely contributes to a society where the first matter of interest in a woman is, by default, her sexual nature, which is very limiting.

Women should be able to “own” their sexuality without shame – sure, no issue at all, and we are big fans of #freethenipple – but where a woman is known for nothing but her sexuality (where her celebrity is merely a by-product of continually promoting her sexuality) then the message that sends other women is questionable, in our view.

Let us consider, for example, the effect of this bias in society on women who are not “conventionally attractive”, particularly women in the formative years of their life. Are the encouraged to measure themselves up against such images to determine if they are “acceptable”? What effect does this have on their morale, and sense of self?

We have zero objection to nudity. Or for that matter, a healthy sexuality, whatever form it takes. But we have a lot of concerns about what effect people like KK and her antics have on our broader society as a whole and its psychological health.

This is an issue that divides feminists, and it’s worth debating.

She is also, for the record, and the rest of her family, utterly boring.

sub editorWe have been laid up with flu for a while, Dear Reader, hence our output has been somewhat slowed, but we couldn’t resist whipping out the trusty laptop for this one.

So Boston is where all those posh Universities are, right?

Clearly they are not sending many of their alumni to work in newspapers as sub editors – that interesting crew whose main job is to fact check, slash verbilicious copy (yes, we made that word up) and – crucially – add headlines to news stories.

We are delighted to see that this ambidextrous Oakland Athletic relief pitcher can pitch left handed, right handed, and, apparently, underwater, too. Quite some skill, that.

 

amphibious

 

You might also enjoy these:

http://wp.me/p1LY0z-1lC – best Sub Editing F*** Up so far this year boosts scout membership. Maybe.

http://wp.me/p1LY0z-zy – the girl’s school everyone apparently enjoys.

For other F*** Ups of all sorts from the world of media and advertising, just put F*** Up in the search box top left of this page, and enjoy.

More news as it comes to hand. And when we stop sneezing. Nurse, we’ll take that little pink pill now, please. And a drop of chicken soup, if you can hold the spoon to our trembling lips.

 

 

Never miss an opportunity to up the ratings, no matter where the truth lies.

Never miss an opportunity to up the ratings, no matter where the truth lies.

 

The appalling Murdoch-owned Fox News, various right-wing Senators and Congressmen, and other Tea Party types like Rush “Pig” Limbaugh and others, have relentlessly tried to stir up trouble for the Obama government about the attack on the American compound in Benghazi which saw four Americans killed.

9 September 2012, Benghazi

9 September 2012, Benghazi

There may, indeed, have been issues surrounding that event that warrant further cool-headed examination, and most likely in the area of how intelligence is handled in the chain of command, and many decent-minded Americans legitimately want those matters discussed.

But it is amazing how similar historical incidents worldwide failed to provoke anything like the froth and bubble surrounding Benghazi.

It surely couldn’t be that the GOP would do anything they can to stop then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton getting to the White House in her own right, could it?

This list of other incidents, including links to coverage, all happened under the previous Administration’s watch. They are reproduced from policymic.com and were originally compiled by Shwetika Baijal who is a PolicyMic columnist and writes for their Millenials and the Media column. She focuses on how the media frames policy and cultural issues, and how the media’s framing of events effects public opinion.

Article begins:

The incidents below include all kinds of attacks — gunmen on bikes, suicide bombs, car bombs, gunmen shooting outside, and terrorists storming Consulate compounds similar to what happened in Benghazi. During each of those incidents Fox News was only supportive of the administration’s reactions and there were no calls for the removal of Secretary Condoleeza Rice.

The GOP and Fox’s fixation on Benghazi is partisan propaganda. In some of these attacks the State Department had been forewarned about potential threats, unlike Benghazi. Instead of reporting the incident and the recent allegations from a whistleblower, Fox News is hacking together their own version of the events to further convolute the story’s reality.

Check out the timeline of attacks on embassies and consulate compounds during Bush’s tenure that received no similar fine-toothed-combing from Fox.

1.Jan. 22, 2002: Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami Attacks Indian U.S. Consulate

Five policemen were killed and 16 injured in the eastern Indian city of Calcutta because of an attack on the U.S. consulate by militant group Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami. American employees including the consul-general in Calcutta, Christopher Sandrolini, were unscathed, and those injured and killed were all Indians.

2.June 14, 2002: Suicide Car-Bomb Outside U.S. Consulate in Karachi

Twelve people died in an attack outside the U.S. consulate in Karachi when militants exploded a car bomb. A Taliban splinter group referred to as Al-Qanoon, or “The Law,” claimed responsibility for the attacks that also injured 51 people. Two hired guards, a Marine, and five Pakistani staff members were among the injured in the attack that followed then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s visit to the country.

3.Oct. 12, 2002: String Of Bali Bombings Included U.S. Consulate

The U.S. consulate in Indonesia was attacked as part of the ‘Bali bombings’ on a devastating October night. While there were no fatalities at the consulate, seven Americans were among the 202 dead at the coordinated blasts inside a bar and outside a nightclub.

4.Feb. 28, 2003: Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, Attacked For the Second Time in One Year

Gunmen rode up on a motorbike to the U.S. consulate’s security checkpoints and rained gunfire killing two Pakistani police officers. One gunman arrested by paramilitary officers was found to have several rounds of ammunition prepared for what could have been a far more devastating attack.

5.May 12, 2003: 36 People Including 9 Americans Die After Terrorists Storm U.S. Compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

The State Department had warned of a potential strike against the Saudi days before gunmen infiltrated the Al Hamra Oasis Village and two others killing 36 people and wounding 160. This was the most devastating attack on a State Department employees to occur under Bush. The Saudi government cracked down on terrorists group but that did not prevent another attack to occur a year later in Jeddah.

6.July 30, 2004: Islamist Attacks U.S. Embassy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Two Uzbek security guards died in a bombing on the U.S. embassy in Tashkent days. Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan claimed responsibility of the bombing after 15 alleged Islamist militants went on trial.

7.Dec. 6, 2004: Five Staff and Four Security Guards Die in U.S. consulate attack in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Gunmen fought their way into the complex, reportedly taking 18 staff and visa applicants hostage for a short time before Saudi security forces stormed the building. The final dead counted four security guards, five staff, and three attackers. No Americans were among the dead.

8.March 2, 2006: Third Attack on Karachi U.S. Consulate Killed U.S. Diplomat

U.S. Diplomat David Foy was specifically targeted in the third attack in as many years on the Karachi consulate compound. He was one of four people killed. The bomb occurred two days before President Bush was to visit Pakistan and also targeted the Marriot hotel in an upscale neighborhood of Karachi.

This was a planned and coordinated attack that nobody covered as more than a news item.

9.Sept. 12, 2006: Four Gunmen Stormed the U.S. compound in Damascus, Syria

Gunmen yellingAllahu akbar ” – “God is great” – fired on Syrian security officers guarding the U.S. embassy. The gunmen used grenades, automatic weapons, car bombs, and a truck bomb and killed four people and wounded 13 others. Condoleezza Rice, then Secretary of State praised the Syrians that defended the U.S. employees: “the Syrians reacted to this attack in a way that helped to secure our people, and we very much appreciate that.”

10.Jan. 12, 2007: Greek Terrorists Fired a Rocket-Propelled Grenade at the U.S. Embassy

An antitank grenade was fired into the empty consulate building by leftist terrorist group Revolutionary Struggle angry at American foreign policy. Even though nobody was in the building at the time the attack was a blatant breach of security and showed enormous security loopholes.

11.March 18, 2008: A Mortar is Fired at the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a, Yemen

Similar to the Greek attack, a mortar was fired at the U.S. embassy building killing 19 people and injuring 16. This was the second attempt at a similar mortar attack on the embassy. The first one missed the embassy and hit a girls’ school next door.

12.July 9, 2008: Three Turkish Policemen were Killed When Gunman Fired on the U.S. Consulate Istanbul, Turkey

Four attackers drove up to the high-walled compound of the U.S. Consulate and started shooting the security guards. The gun battle took the lives of three of the attackers but the fourth one drove off. No Americans were injured or killed.

13.Sept. 17, 2008: 16 People Including 2 Americans Die in an Orchestrated Attack on the U.S. Embassy Sana’a, Yemen

An arsenal of weapons including rocket-propelled grenades and two car bombs were involved in the second attack on the embassy in seven months. Eighteen-year-old American Susan El-Baneh and her husband of three weeks died holding hands.

Yes. Hardly a stellar list of events.

Anyhow, since their initial flurry of coverage, Fox may be back pedaling just a tad, and so may the right in general. This AP report, from April 10, shows some of the heat coming out of the issue.

GOP chairman satisfied with military response to Benghazi attack.

The GOP chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said Thursday he is satisfied with how the military responded to the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

Republicans are pressing ahead with multiple congressional investigations, but Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., said the military did what it reasonably could during a chaotic night of two separate attacks on Sept. 11, 2012. The assault killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

“I think I’ve pretty well been satisfied that given where the troops were, how quickly the thing all happened and how quickly it dissipated, we probably couldn’t have done more than we did,” McKeon told reporters at a roundtable discussion. “Now, we’ve made changes since then. We’ve got more Marine fast teams that we built up security around the world.”

Republicans accuse the Obama administration of misleading the American people about a terrorist attack weeks before the presidential election by blaming the assault on protests touched off by an anti-Islam video. An independent investigation and a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report earlier this year blamed inadequate security and faulted the State Department.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the Obama administration has not been forthcoming.

“They owe the American people the truth. And when it comes to Benghazi, we’ve got four Americans who are dead. And their families deserve the truth about what happened, and the administration refuses to tell them the truth,” Boehner told reporters at a separate news conference.

McKeon said five committees are investigating. His panel and members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee interviewed retired Gen. Carter Ham, who headed the Africa command, for nearly seven hours on Wednesday. McKeon said he was told lawmakers heard nothing new in the testimony by Ham, who has spoken to investigators at least six times.

“We have been working on this for a long time. We issued a preliminary report,” McKeon said. “At some point, when we run out of people to talk to, or we run out of people to talk to two or three times, at some point, we think we’ll have as much of this story as we’re going to get and move on.”

Democrats have called for an end to the investigations, arguing that Republicans are on a futile search for information to embarrass the Obama administration. Republicans reject those calls and insist there are numerous unanswered questions and that they owe it to the families of the dead Americans to investigate.

The Armed Services Committee’s interim report released earlier this year said the military’s response “was severely degraded because of the location and readiness posture of U.S. forces, and because of lack of clarity about how the terrorist action was unfolding. However, given the uncertainty about the prospective length and scope of the attack, military commanders did not take all possible steps to prepare for a more extended operation.”

The Senate Intelligence committee report described the military’s actions. One unarmed Predator drone was diverted for surveillance, a seven-man security team with two Defense Department members flew from Tripoli to Benghazi to evacuate Americans and then Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ordered two Marine anti-terrorism security teams from their base in Rota, Spain, to Libya.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Panetta have testified to Congress that the lack of intelligence about what was happening on the ground in Benghazi made it difficult to send in jet fighters or other aircraft.

Wellthisiswhatithink says:

The mob is a dangerous thing. Excite it at your peril.

The mob is a dangerous thing. Excite it at your peril.

What we feel is really sad about events like Benghazi – beyond the tragic loss of life – is the way that partisan politics muddies the waters deliberately to whip up fury against those in authority, whoever they happen to be, before it is possible to parse exactly what may or may not have taken place.

We are all for clarity, and transparency. We would never argue that any administration, in any country, should be above scrutiny, and close scrutiny at that.

But neither should anybody seek, by the endless drumbeat of malicious mistrust, to inculcate the view in the general public that whoever is in power are automatically lying, mendacious  types who seek to rule without democratic oversight or who have something to hide. Sometimes, no matter who is in charge, “shit happens”. We need to be big enough to accept that.

The mob is universally poorly informed, easily excited, and it rarely serves any good purpose to stir them. There has been a lot of wanton stirring going on in the bloodsport that American politics has sadly become, where truth appears to be endlessly malleable, and where it seems nothing matters beyond pulling down the other guy to the lowest possible level of public respect.

The key point is that if our democratic institutions become too mistrusted, through continual howling and unreasonable attack, then they will be easily done away with by those who never believed in them anyway …

In our view, the only things that defends democracy from the mob is the endless and truthful repetition of facts; repetition that occurs in large enough doses that it can puncture the vested interests of those who seek to trivialise – and thus marginalise – democracy. You may care to share some of the facts you find in this article.

Every little helps.

Scott Morrison demonstrating his usual loquacious behaviour.

Scott Morrison demonstrating his usual loquacious behaviour.

Following on from controversially limiting his relationship with the world’s media to weekly set-piece press conferences at which he steadfastly refused to offer any information anyway, “Stop the boats” Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has now indicated he will no longer even do that to update journalists about the Government’s “border protection” operations.

The Government has not held a briefing on Operation Sovereign Borders since December 20, after previously holding them on a weekly basis.

Mr Morrison, who held a briefing this morning, told the ABC’s 7.30 program that his weekly briefings will now be held on an “as-needs basis”. The briefings will be replaced by a written statement unless there is something significant to report.

“We will issue a statement on the numbers of arrivals and the transfers, and we will hold operational briefings – like we will [on Wednesday] – when we have something to say and when we have something to report,” Mr Morrison said. “We will do them on an as-needs basis to detail operational matters that are able to be released and we’ll respond to questions there.”

However, tellingly, Morrison declined to comment on reports of a protest on Christmas Island in which six people engaged in a hunger strike are thought to have sewn their mouths shut.

Astonishingly for a Minister in a so-called democracy, he offered the following nonsenical reasoning:

“We don’t comment on protest activity.”

Why, you may wonder, Dear Reader?

“We don’t publicise it because publicisation (sic) of that sort of behaviour, if it occurs, is exactly what the perpetrators want. That’s in the best interests of everybody – those who are the allegedly taking those actions and those who are seeking to manage those centres – it’s in all of their best interests and not to engage in that game.”

So let’s just unpick that. Publicisation (we think he meant “publishing”) is “exactly what the perpetrators want” but then contrarywise, its in the best interests of those “allegedly taking those actions” for them not to get that publicity. Curiouser and curiouser, you might think, and you’d be right.

So the response to asylum seekers sewing their lips together in protest that they can't be heard is to, er, make sure they can't be heard. For their own good. What sort of Kafkaesque nightmare has Australia become?

So the response to asylum seekers sewing their lips together in protest that they can’t be heard is to, er, make sure they can’t be heard. For their own good. What sort of Kafkaesque nightmare has Australia become?

We know what you mean, Minister.

Don’t think you are fooling us for one moment.

You think it is in your Government’s best interest to suppress news of disquiet, protests or riots in case the Australian people become so concerned by the concentration camp approach to legal asylum seekers that they start to question your outrageous policy settings. That is the one and only reason you are doing this. Shame on you.

At Wellthisiswhatithink we will make our attitudes perfectly clear.

  • Despite the Government’s desperate attempt to pretend it is so, there is no difference between asylum seekers arriving by boat or any other means. They are exercising a legal right to seek refuge under United Nations rules drafted, in part, by our very own country.
  • Asylum seekers who are not assessed to offer any threat to security can and should be housed in the community, not in camps. To do anything else offends for so many reasons they hardly need enunciating. Especially when so many of the asylum seekers are families, including children.
  • The appropriate response to this situation, (which by world standards of trauma-induced population movement hardly rates mentioning), and which craven politicians from both sides fail to insist upon, is to demand (not politely request) that the “way station” countries between Australia and the source countries sign the relevant conventions so migrants can stay there – for example, Indonesia. South East Asia has the lowest density of Refugee Convention signatory countries. Australia was among the first to ratify this 60 years ago but very few of our neighbours have followed our example. There is no reason whatsoever that these countries cannot offer safe haven to refugees, thereby obviating their need to riskily attempt to reach Australia by boat at all. If those countries need financial support to enable this, so be it. We are rich, we will offer it.
  • Last but not least, our refugee intake is pitifully small anyway. It could easily be doubled or trebled without anyone even noticing. The only reason it is not is fear of public angst. What we are witnessing is a total lack of compassion, of Christian values, of generosity, and of political courage. Given that senior members of the current Government parade their Christian beliefs in public, this is a disgrace. And for a nation built on immigration – built, indeed, on a policy open arms for those needing asylum – it is a disgrace that strikes a cold blow deep into the very heart of what it means to be Australian.

And now, it is a disgrace that increasingly takes place in secret.

And the level of double-speak on the topic, and not just from the Government but also from the Opposition, is so obvious and so rank that it would not disgrace Goebbels.

Wot he said. Smart guy.

Wot he said. Smart guy.

Everyone in the tech industry is passing around this video of actor/producer Kevin Spacey talking about about how Netflix (and other tech companies) will blow up the traditional TV industry.

In an edited version of Spacey’s speech below, he touches on how Netflix, which has produced a handful of excellent original series this year, has the potential to disrupt the traditional cable and network TV model of forcing content creators to make a pilot before accepting a show.

For example, Spacey says there will be 146 pilots made this year at the cost of $US300-$US400 million. Only 56 of those will actually be made into a series. “That makes our House of Cards deal for two seasons really cost effective,” Spacey says in the speech.

 

Brilliant. He is SO right. “The audience has spoken.” What an impressive individual this man is.

Wonderful to see real creativity – in business, and in the production.

PS LOVED House of Cards.

Loved the original BritisHouse of Cards Casth series, with its camp archiness and wildly implausible plot.

Love the new one, too, which is more multi-layered from a character perspective, and more modern in its techniques.

Every cast member is superb. Very impressed.

The very brave Anton Kraskovsky ... out, and out of work.

The very brave Anton Kraskovsky: out, and out of work.

Russian television anchor Anton Krasovsky has been fired from his job after coming out on the air earlier this year.

“I’m gay, and I’m just the same person as you, my dear audience, as President Putin, as Prime Minister Medvedev and the deputies of our Duma,” he said, according to an interview with Snob.ru.

He was reportedly fired from KontrTV, a government-backed cable network that he helped launch in December, and the footage of his announcement was quickly deleted from KontrTV’s website and YouTube.

Krasovsky also spoke to CNN from Lisbon this week and said he knew he would lose his job for coming out.

“Somebody should do it,” he said. “I decided it’s time to be open for me. That’s it.”

He told Snob.ru that he felt like a hypocrite after covering the so-called gay propaganda law on a show.

“The meaning of this whole story we are discussing now is that throughout my whole life, I’ve been struggling with myself,” Krasovsky said. “And this — as you call it — coming out is just another battle with myself, with my own hypocrisy, my own lies, and my own cowardice.”

He said after making the announcement at the end of the show, Angry Guyzzz, the audience and the crew applauded. He said he then went into his dressing room and cried for 20 minutes before being fired a few hours later.

“They immediately blocked all my corporative accounts, my email. Literally immediately, overnight,” Krasovsky said. “They deleted not only my face from the website, but also all of my TV shows, as if I’d never really existed. The next day I wrote to [network head Sergey] Minaev that I was totally shocked. Because it takes them half a day to put up a banner when I ask them to, and here we had such efficiency. One could say they can when  they want to. Now they’ve put everything back, but you couldn’t say why, really.”

While his firing occurred earlier this year, his story is catching the attention of international press now that Russia’s antigay law has passed and is clearly being enforced. In February, he told the Los Angeles Times that he had kept trying to persuade himself that working with the government to launch the network would keep him secure.

“I kept trying to persuade myself all the time that working for the Kremlin also gives me a better chance to combat idiots and idiocy at all levels,” he said. “But they soon found a way to show me who ran the show as I was trying to stop short of turning into a Kremlin propaganda tool.”

(As reported at TheAdvocate.com)

Individual liberty is on retreat the world over, and in Russia as rapidly as anywhere on the planet. Citizens Awake!

Channel 9

Still the one. Just broke.

Fairfax (ie the Age) have done a brilliant job of explaining how Australia’s number one free-to-air TV company have managed to go tits up, which has driven the Twitterverse and Blogosphere into a frenzy in the last day or so.

http://www.theage.com.au/business/channel-nine-on-brink-as-banks-circle-20120925-26jpx.html

If you are a businessperson, or maybe just an interested viewer, it’s an excellent example of business reporting. And a salutary tale about … yes, you guessed it … carrying too much debt.

McGuire

Eddie, for pity’s sake, give us a rest …

Presumably the other solution to 9’s worries would, of course, simply be to retire Eddie McGuire for a while.

Not only would a worn-out audience be relieved, but they would sans doubt save some unknown billions of dollars a year on his salary and perks through this move alone.

Eddie-less airwaves?

At Wellthisiswhatithink, we’d like to see that.

Nothing against the guy personally – he’s a pro, and he’s actually a very decent bloke – we are just thoroughly sick of watching his fizzog!

He makes a roll of film left in the sunlight on Mercury look over-exposed.

Limbaugh busted

This is what passes for a rich and famous media star in America. It's also what dumb and ignorant looks like.

On his radio show Rush Limbaugh admitted that he has gotten exactly 7 new advertisers to replace the 160+ who have dropped, or no longer want to be associated with his show.

Limbaugh said, “This is the first broadcast week in April. Let’s go back a month. The month of March in the United States opened with the left convinced that they were finally going to drive me off the air once and for all. By the end of the month I’m still on the air with a higher audience, seven new advertisers to replace the five — actually, less than five, that abandoned us and hurt themselves. And in that month Al Gore as fired Keith Olbermann, thrown him off the air and replaced him with Client No. 9. Eliot Spitzer’s taking over for Olbermann and his 56 viewers. (interruption) How does who do what? It’s an audience of 56 people. What do you mean, how does Spitzer do it? How does Olbermann keep getting hired? That’s the question.”

But Rush was not being honest with his audience. I don’t know why he chose the number five, but according to Media Matters the actual number of direct advertisers who have dropped him is 64. According to the Stop Rush Project, the number of advertisers who no longer want their ads associated with his program in any way totals 100. This brings the total number of advertisers who have abandoned Limbaugh to 164. Not five as Limbaugh suggested, but 164.

(Article reprinted from politicsusa.com – read the full article here. )

More interesting facts on the spontaneous boycott of Limbuagh can be read here.

Nothing like a few facts to ruin your day, eh, Rush?

What is damn sure is that the whole anti-women focus of much of the American right’s attack on women in this election year – in the midst of the most complex economic situation since the thirties the best they can do is talk about abortion and contraception? – will not be forgotten by American women come November. As the wheel-less GOP bandwagon stumbles along, Obama increasingly looks safer than ever.

Bring. It. On.

Bring. It. On.

So let’s just get this straight.

This apparently disastrous “fiscal cliff” will raise US taxes to a more normal level by worldwide advanced economy standards, slash the bloated US budget and dramatically reduce their deficit, and thus their need to go cap in hand to the Chinese for money all the time.

The whole of the rest of the world is taking a haircut thanks to the chaos a greedy Wall Street foisted on us all by selling houses to people who couldn’t afford them, thanks to ludicrous under-regulation cheerfully supported by most Americans under Carter and Bush. Tell me again why they shouldn’t now share the pain?

Someone tell me again why jumping off the cliff a bad idea? How come Americans aren’t running towards the cliff like a bunch of lemmings on crack cocaine?

At the very least, if it forces them to make some real changes, then this much-chattered-about cloud will have had a very silver lining. Not that this will stop the media from declaring it a disaster, and getting people yet more worried.

But don’t worry, everyone, they’ll cobble together some sort of looking-good doing-little nonsense to put off having to make any really innovative, hard or difficult decisions to deal with their structural economic problems.*

I see I am not alone in this assumption cum criticism of American lawmakers on all sides: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/dec/30/obama-tax-reform-balance-books

Interestingly, getting along for one in five Americans actually think the cliff dive will have a positive effect for them and the economy, too, as you can see on this chart which I found on http://scinvestlink.wordpress.com/

Washington Post survey shows some Americans aren't too worried.

Washington Post survey shows some Americans aren’t too worried.

OK, so how’s this for innovative thinking? A new $200 levy for each gun in a household set against a new $100 payment for each unwanted gun handed in might be a start: I reckon it’d be revenue positive for the Feds and reduce the current population of guns from it’s current ludicrous level of approximately one per member of the population.

Oh and while we’re about it, can anyone whisper “cut the ludicrously high level of American defence spending” without ending up in Guantanamo Bay, as this excellent article points out.

Bah, humbug. Happy New Year, Dear Reader.

*UPDATE – er, yup. Expect to hear “Kick The Can” a few thousand times in the next couple of days. Happy reading.

YAHOO FINANCE http://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/fiscal-cliff-deal-just-patch-225254454.html

FORBES http://www.forbes.com/sites/beltway/2013/01/01/with-lame-fiscal-cliff-deal-congress-cant-even-kick-the-can-right/

RADIOVICEONLINE (quotes various right wing commentaries) http://radioviceonline.com/over-the-cliff-senate-kicks-the-can-down-the-road/?utm_campaign=twitter&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitter

HUFFINGTON POST BLOW BY BLOW ACCOUNT http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/01/fiscal-cliff-news_n_2393443.html