Tag: Media

Rule 1 of Connectivity is that Phone and Cable Companies will F%$# You Like a Drunk Sorority Girl

Rule 2 is SEE RULE 1.

Case in point, AT&T lying to the court about the effects of its merger with Time Warner:

When AT&T acquired Time Warner last year for $85 billion, the companies said the deal would be great for consumers, who would benefit from lower prices and improved service.

The Justice Department said the opposite, predicting the merger would give AT&T so much market power that price hikes and channel blackouts were all but inevitable.

And now we know. The government was right.

AT&T wasted no time in raising the price of its DirecTV satellite-TV service by $5 a month. It then raised the price of its DirectTV Now streaming service by $10 a month. (The company said last week DirecTV Now is being renamed AT&T TV Now.)

More than 6.5 million of AT&T’s DirecTV and U-verse pay-TV customers are currently cut off from CBS channels because AT&T says CBS wants too much money for its programming.

Meanwhile, more than 12 million Dish Network and Sling TV subscribers have lost access to AT&T’s HBO and Cinemax channels because, according to Dish, AT&T wants too much money for its own programming.

Put more succinctly, AT&T, after raising subscriber costs, wants to pay as little as possible for channels included on its pay-TV services. But it wants as much as possible from other pay-TV services for its own channels.

And it’s willing to hold consumers hostage to get what it wants.

“When you start seeing blackouts, it’s obvious you’re looking at a merger that’s not serving consumers very well,” said Herbert Hovenkamp, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania and one of the nation’s top antitrust authorities.


U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon ruled last year — and was subsequently upheld by an appellate court — that the government was mistaken when it warned of consumers being harmed by the merger.

Leon said it would be counter-productive for a merged AT&T/Time Warner to withhold its own channels from competing pay-TV providers or black out competitors’ channels, and thus the likelihood of this happening was low.

“The evidence of his being wrong is bordering on the absurd,” said Christopher Sagers, a professor at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.


“Plain and simple, the merger created for AT&T immense power over consumers,” Andy LeCuyer, Dish’s senior vice president of programming, said in a statement.

“AT&T no longer has incentive to come to an agreement on behalf of consumer choice,” he said. “Instead, it’s been given the power to grab more money or steal away customers.”


Einer Elhauge, a professor at Harvard Law School, said the current circumstances “seem to be precisely what the Department of Justice predicted would happen after the merger of AT&T and Time Warner, and precisely what AT&T successfully persuaded the trial court was implausible for it to ever do post-merger.”

His verdict? “It looks like the court just got it wrong.”

If so, what if anything can be done?

There was once a time when regulators decided AT&T had too much power over the phone industry and decided to break up the company.

I wonder if the same case now can be made for AT&T’s power over the TV industry.


The antitrust experts I spoke with said AT&T’s post-merger behavior makes a strong case for separating pay-TV and programming companies — but it may be too late to fix the problem.

I hope that it’s not too late, but once again, Robert Bork’s laissez faire theories of monopolies and competition are shown to be wrong.

In fact they are not just wrong, they are delusional, and I would argue deeply hypocritical.

My Thoughts Exactly

As hard as it may be for the relatives of the victims, we need to publicly broadcast the horrific images of the mass shooting victims, much like Emmet Till’s mother insisted that the brutality visited against him be made public:

Emmett Till’s mother was right. After the horrific murder of her 14-year-old son in Mississippi in 1955, she decided on an open-casket funeral. “There was just no way I could describe what was in that box. No way,” she said. “And I wanted the world to see.” The graphic images of her son’s mutilated body, printed in The Chicago Defender and Jet magazine, contained vastly more raw power than any verbal description could possibly have had.

We sometimes say that “words fail us,” and it’s true. Nothing we can say can pack the emotional punch of what we can see with our own eyes. For those of us who support a level of gun control in the United States equivalent to that in other advanced countries, it ought to be clear by now that facts and logic are not enough to change public policy on the issue. We need ugly pictures. Not the pictures of the sweet faces of the children of Newtown, Conn., before they were slaughtered, but the awful sights that so shocked the first responders.


I think that gun control has now become as emotionally charged and intractable as civil rights and the Vietnam War once were. The American College of Physicians was joined in 2015 by nearly 60 other organizations, including the American Public Health Association and the American Bar Association, in a call to address gun violence as a public-health threat. Last month, in Annals of Internal Medicine, the physicians’ group issued a position paper with recommendations for reducing firearms-related injuries and deaths. The National Rifle Association responded with a tweet that read, “Someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane. Half of the articles in Annals of Internal Medicine are pushing for gun control.”


News organizations, law-enforcement agencies and medical professionals are unlikely to publish the images of the bloody, mangled bodies that gun violence produces. But husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, can do what Emmett Till’s mother did. They can insist that we see the result of our weak, ineffective and poorly enforced gun policies. They can find ways to publish the pictures in all their gory detail.

Some might say this would disrespect the dead. I can think of no more respectful way to treat the dead than to allow the loved ones of those who have been slain to show what actually happened to them. If we think these images are too awful to see, then we should change the circumstances that create them.

Mamie Till-Mobley died in 2003 at the age of 81 and was buried near her son. Her monument reads, “Her pain united a nation.” May the pain felt today by the loved ones of the victims of gun violence do the same.

This is a big sacrifice to be asked of grieving parents, but it needs to be done.

Live in Obedient Fear, Citizen!

In response to a spate of officers caught posting bigoted and what can only be called terrorist threats to social media, the Phoenix Police Malovelent Association is offering a service to scrub officers accounts, because accountability and responsibility are anti-police, I guess:

An investigation called the “Plain View Project” has uncovered a truly disturbing amount of bigoted, violent social media posts by police officers located all over the United States. The entire database of posts is located here. Anyone wanting to see what their public servants truly think about the people they serve can click through and be horrified.

It would be horrifying enough if officers just kept their thoughts to themselves and let those thoughts guide their actions. But these are public posts able to be viewed by anyone and these officers apparently had no qualms about displaying the content of their character. This is just a small sampling:

……… (you really don’t want to read that crap)

Lovely. That’s the mindset of far too many cops. The people they interact with daily are viewed as subhuman garbage only worthy of a beating or a bullet. The good news is that since the publication of this database, the hammer is starting to fall.

A whopping 21 Dallas police officers are under investigation for “racist or violent” Facebook posts, which were uncovered by the Plainview Project. Four others have been placed on administrative leave, the Dallas police chief announced Friday.

Things have gone even further in Philadelphia, where officers are actually losing their jobs over their Facebook posts


These are all rational responses to the public outing of law enforcement officers as not-so-closeted bigots and homophobes. Then there are the clearly irrational responses, emanating almost exclusively from police unions.
In Philadelphia, the Fraternal Order of Police has expressed its “disappointment” that the PD would actually punish officers for their hate-filled social media posts. Of course, unions like this also express their disappointment when cops are punished for literally any act, including unjustifiable homicide.
But the prize for most idiotic response (so far!) goes to the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association. PLEA doesn’t seem to believe the bigoted posts by police officers are problematic. No, the real issue here — according to PLEA — is that the posts were seen by outside eyes. PLEA doesn’t want better officers. It only wants less accountable officers.

After dozens of Phoenix police officers were caught posting racist memes and praising violence on Facebook, Phoenix police union president Michael London said the union plans on purchasing a service that will “scrub” police officers’ information from the Internet.

“The Facebook investigation is still going on,” London said Thursday in a video shared on the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association’s Facebook page. “We had our monthly board meeting this past Tuesday, and Franklin Marino has contacted a service that will scrub your name from the internet. It’s more of a security and privacy type thing. There’s some more information about it on the members-only Facebook.”

“We think right now with the numbers we have, it would cost you about $3 a month, but we’re still trying to contact the provider of this and see if we can work out a deal,” London said.

That’s the solution. Just pay and make it all go away. The union head is so secure in his delusion he actually claimed this wasn’t about making stuff vanish, but rather to “protect” officers from people attacking them online. Yep, it’s the bigoted cops who are the real victims here.

I understand the need for labor unions to zealously defend their members, but this is being a co-conspirator in a coverup.

Where is the damn RICO lawsuit, anyway?

Well, This Sucks

Mad Magazine is shutting down:

I just heard from a friend of mine who is in a Facebook group with a MAD writer that, after the next two issues, MAD will no longer be publishing original material. Instead, it’ll publish reprinted material until it’s subscription responsibilities are fulfilled and then the magazine will cease publication.

An alternate report has it just becoming reprints of old material, which is pretty much the same thing.

This is what happens when publications get bought up by large media conglomerates.

The Value of Twitter

The Philadelphia Enquirer pulled its “audience team”, off of twitter and replaced them with an automated bot.

It turned out that there was no change in referral traffic:

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s audience team used to spend 80% of its time on Twitter for a 2-3% return in referral traffic.

“And I was like, well that’s ridiculous,” said Kim Fox, managing editor for audience and innovation.

Now, the Inquirer’s Twitter flagship accounts are automated, and the Inquirer gets … yes … about a 2-3% return in referral traffic. ………

This wan’t a heavy duty AI bot.  It’s basically an RSS feed.

I am not surprised.

It’s the nature of the medium.

I Think that This is Intentional

I just noticed that there is a lot of physical similarity between anti-alien bigot Ben Lockwood/Agent Liberty (played by actor Sam Witwer, right) on Supergirl, and Alt-Right bigot Ben Shapiro (played by useless sphincter Ben Shapiro, left).

The story arc of Supergirl, prominently features an anti-alien movement in the United States.

This arc is unequivocally an allegory for the anti-immigrant movement in general, and the Alt Right in particular, in the United States.

I am thinking that this was an deliberate decision by the producers, and I wholeheartedly approve.

As If You Needed a Reason not to Fly Delta

Very disappointed in @Delta here. I assume they will change their attitude towards unions soon, or I’ll do my flights through (international) airlines that do not ridicule worker rights and respect workers’ voices. pic.twitter.com/W2OGKWD2qA

— Cas Mudde 🗣️ (@CasMudde) May 9, 2019

Delta’s contemptible anti-union posters

— Occupy Wall Street (@OccupyWallStNYC) May 10, 2019

The thoroughly appropriate response

Delta has been virulently anti-union throughout its history, but its latest anti-union poster has engendered a particularly trenchant response:

Two posters made by Delta as part of an effort to dissuade thousands of its workers from joining a union drew a torrent of criticism after they were posted on social media Thursday.

The posters included messages targeting the price of the dues that company workers would be paying if the union formed.

“Union dues cost around $700 a year,” one noted. “A new video game system with the latest hits sounds like fun. Put your money towards that instead of paying dues to the union.”

The other, with a picture of a football, was framed similarly.


In the charged world of social media, in which talk about socialism and the evils of unfettered capitalism percolates in the conversations of an invigorated left, the posters fell with a thud.


James Carlson, a coordinator with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace workers, the union which has been working to organize the workers, said he did not know where the poster was distributed but said an employee had sent it to him earlier. He said that Delta has been papering its employee break rooms with anti-union fliers.

“Some are like what you saw today — a stupid, insulting message to spend your money on a video game system instead of union dues,” he said. “They try to interfere with the employees’ exercise of freedom of association. And that’s not allowed.”

I happen to agree with Occupy Wallstreet’s response, extolling the cost benefit ratio of guillotines, to be wonderfully cheeky.

About F%$#ing Time

The mammoth University of California (UC) system announced today it will stop paying to subscribe to journals published by Elsevier, the world’s largest scientific publisher, headquartered in Amsterdam. Talks to renew a collective contract broke down, the university said, because Elsevier refused to strike a package deal that would provide a break on subscription fees and make all articles published by UC authors immediately free for readers worldwide.

The stand by UC, which followed 8 months of negotiations, could have significant impacts on scientific communication and the direction of the so-called open-access movement, in the United States and beyond. The 10-campus system accounts for nearly 10% of all U.S. publishing output and is among the first U.S. institutions, and by far the largest, to boycott Elsevier over costs. Many administrators and librarians at U.S. universities and elsewhere have complained about what they view as excessively high journal subscription fees charged by commercial publishers.


Indeed, UC’s move could ratchet up pressure on additional negotiations facing Elsevier and other commercial publishers; consortia of universities and labs in Germany and Sweden had already reached an impasse last year with Elsevier in their efforts to lower subscription fees.


Jeff MacKie-Mason, who heads UC Berkeley’s library and is also co-chair of the negotiation task force, says Elsevier just didn’t move far enough to UC’s position. The publisher’s final offer “was closer to what we wanted in terms of open access” but nevertheless included a price increase, he says.


UC published about 50,000 articles last year, and a substantial share, about 10,000, appeared in Elsevier journals. For subscriptions and article fees, UC paid about $11 million, the Los Angeles Times reported recently. (UC says the information is confidential under a nondisclosure agreement.)


UC also noted that some of Elsevier’s newer content is already freely available through open-access publishing, open-access repositories, interlibrary loans, and “other legitimate forms of scholarly sharing.”

That last bit is actually the folks at the University of California system in talking in code.

What they are really saying is that, not withstanding the multi-million dollar judgement that Elsevier got against it, the Russian based Sci-Hub has is the future:

Little more than three years ago, Elsevier, one of the world’s largest academic publishers, took Sci-Hub to court.

It was a mismatched battle from the start. With a net income of more than $2.4 billion per year, the publisher could fund a proper case, while its nemesis relied on donations.

Elsevier won the case, including millions of dollars in damages. However, the site remained online and grew bigger. Ironically, the academic publisher itself appears to be one of the main drivers of this growth.

Several universities from Germany, Hungary, and Sweden previously let their Elsevier subscriptions expire, which means that tens of thousands of researchers don’t have access to research that is critical to their work.

This is where Sci-Hub comes into play.

The “Pirate Bay of Science” might just quietly play a major role in this conflict. Would the universities cancel their subscriptions so easily if their researchers couldn’t use Sci-Hub to get free copies?

Sci-Hub founder Alexandra Elbakyan has always been forthcoming about her goals. Sci-Hub wants to remove all barriers in the way of science. She also made that crystal clear when we interviewed her back in 2015.

“Everyone should have access to knowledge regardless of their income or affiliation. And that’s absolutely legal. Also, the idea that knowledge can be a private property of some commercial company sounds absolutely weird to me,” she said at the time.

I feel nothing but glee at the misfortunes of Elsivier.

They are a bunch of contemptible parasites.

This Sh%$ Is Getting REALLY Old

A man named Volodymyr Zelensky is currently leading the polls to be the next President of the Ukraine.

Some guy with an unpronounceable name running for President in a former Soviet Republic would normally not be worth of a comment, except for the fact that he is a comedian who plays the Ukrainian President on TV:

A comedian who plays Ukraine’s president on TV is running for president in the country and led in two polls conducted earlier this month.

Volodymyr Zelensky, 41, stars in “Servant of the People,” a TV show where he plays a history teacher who is elected president of Ukraine after his anti-corruption rant goes viral, NBC News reported.

Zelensky, who has no political experience, had the largest share of support among respondents in a poll conducted earlier this month by Ukraine’s Razumkov Center, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency said. The country’s presidential election is set for March 31.

Zelensky, also a lawyer and businessman, has a unique approach to campaigning. NBC News said he doesn’t hold rallies but sells tickets to comedy gigs in which he parodies his competition and shares “behind-the-scenes campaign videos” on Facebook and YouTube.

If he is elected president, Zelensky will face ongoing tensions with Russia, which annexed Crimea in 2014, as well as a crumbling economy and widespread corruption, NBC News reported. Zelensky has also said he would speak directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the war in eastern Ukraine.

Enough already.

At the rate this is going, I expect an animated TV character to become the President of Belgium.

Sex, Lies, and Text Messages

Jeff Bezos: “Alexa, send nudes to my secret admirer.”

Alexa: “Got it. Sending nudes to the National Enquirer.”

— Pranay Pathole (@PPathole) February 8, 2019

Best Twitter Take on All of This

It now appears that Jeff Bezos’ Girlfriend’s brother leaked his texts to the National Enquirer.

This is not a surprise. He has frequently been described as an, “Acquaintance of provocative Trump backers Roger Stone and Carter Page.”

It appears that, in the world of the radical right at least, politics trumps filial obligations.

The brother of Jeff Bezos’ mistress, Lauren Sanchez, supplied the couple’s racy texts to the National Enquirer, multiple sources inside AMI, the tabloid’s parent company, told The Daily Beast.

Another source who has been in extensive communication with senior leaders at AMI confirmed that Michael Sanchez first supplied Bezos’ texts to the Enquirer.


AMI has previously refused to identify the source of the texts, but a lawyer for the company strongly hinted at Sanchez’s role during a Sunday morning interview on ABC.

“The story was given to the National Enquirer by a reliable source that had given information to the National Enquirer for seven years prior to this story. It was a source that was well known to both Mr. Bezos and Ms. Sanchez,” attorney Elkan Abramowitz told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

If only there is some way for both Bezos and Trump to lose.

Modern Extortion, YouTube Style

Extortionists are targeting YouTube channels with copyright “strikes” to extort money:

In a terrible abuse of YouTube’s copyright system, a YouTuber is reporting that scammers are using the platform’s “three strike” system for extortion. After filing two false claims against ObbyRaidz, the scammers contacted him demanding cash to avoid a third – and the termination of his channel. Every week, millions of YouTubers upload content for pleasure and indeed profit, hoping to reach a wide audience with their topics of choice.

On occasion, these users run into trouble by using content to which they don’t own the copyrights, such as a music track or similar.

While these complaints can often be dealt with quickly and relatively amicably using YouTube’s Content ID system, allegedly-infringing users can also get a so-called ‘strike’ against their account. Get three of these and a carefully maintained channel, with countless hours of work behind it, can be rendered dead by YouTube.

As reported on many occasions, this system is open to all kinds of abuse but a situation highlighted by a YouTuber called ‘ObbyRaidz’ takes things to a horrible new level.

The YouTuber, who concentrates on Minecraft-related videos, reports that he’s received two bogus strikes on his account. While this is nothing new, it appears the strikes were deliberately malicious with longer-term plan to extort money from him.


While people should be protected from this kind of abuse, both from a copyright perspective and the crime of extortion, ObbyRaidz says he’s had zero luck in getting assistance from YouTube.

“It’s very unfortunate and YouTube has not done very much for me. I can’t get in contact with them. One of the appeals got denied,” he explains.

It’s the nature of Google that no matter what happens, you never ever get to contact a human being, so if they take you down, you are basically completely f%$#ed.

Tech support literally does not exist, and this is a core policy of Google, which means that any

As is noted at Naked Capitalism, “If your business depends on a platform, you don’t have a business.”

For Once, I Admin Regret for Missing an Awards Ceremony


At the Golden Globes, the first, and generally the most trival, of awards ceremony of the season, Christian Bale thanked Satan for being his inspiration in playing Dick Cheney:

Poor right-wing Twitter snowflakes couldn’t handle it when an actor made a joke about…

…Dick Cheney?

Christian Bale won a Golden Globe Sunday for his role playing Dick Cheney in “Vice.” Given that Dick Cheney isn’t exactly “Mr. Personality,” Bale thanked Satan for being an acting inspiration.


“I will be cornering the market on charisma-free as$holes,” he said. “What do you think, Mitch McConnell next? That would be good, wouldn’t it?”

It wasn’t a comparison between Cheney and Satan, but rather a contrasting. Satan is interesting.

Still, conservatives can’t let him go.

I use the right flying monkey crowd’s tears to flavor my Slivovitz.

Think of as a vengeful Balkan Margarita.

Yet Another Reason Not to Give to NPR

Julia Botero was happy to catch on, and determined to stay on, at NPR. After completing an internship at the public broadcasting organization in Washington in 2013, she began a year-long stint as a temporary employee, moving between producing jobs at NPR’s signature news programs, “All Things Considered” and “Morning Edition.”


Worse was the sense of constant competition among her fellow temps, many of whom were angling to be hired for a limited number of permanent positions. “The only person I felt I could trust,” she said, “was the person I was dating, who was in the same position I was.” After a year of such uncertainty, she left, taking a job as a reporter for a group of public radio stations in New York state.

What’s surprising about Botero’s experience is how unsurprising it is at NPR.

For decades, the public broadcaster has relied on a cadre of temporary journalists to produce its hourly newscasts and popular news programs. Without temporary workers — who are subject to termination without cause — NPR would probably be unable to be NPR. Temps do almost every important job in NPR’s newsroom: They pitch ideas, assign stories, edit them, report and produce them. Temps not only book the guests heard in interviews, they often write the questions the hosts ask the guests.

And there are a lot of them. According to union representatives, between 20 and 22 percent of NPR’s 483 union-covered newsroom workforce — or 1 in 5 people — are temp workers. The number varies week to week as temps come and go.


Resentment among temps about their status has boiled beneath the surface at NPR for years, but the tensions have begun to bubble up over the past several months. Some temporary employees raised complaints in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal involving Michael Oreskes, the former head of NPR’s newsroom. Oreskes was accused by several women, including a then-temporary employee, of misconduct. Oreskes was forced to resign by NPR last year; several women said his behavior highlighted the vulnerability of temporary employees, who fear they could be blackballed for complaining or resisting an overly aggressive manager.

The outrage over Oreskes coalesced into a broader employee inquiry into the status of temps at NPR. Following “listening sessions” conducted among 40 current and former temporary journalists, NPR employees produced a report in May detailing a number of grievances and allegedly abusive practices.

Among them: Temps were often left in the dark about how long their assignments would last, how much they’d be paid, who they were reporting to, or what their title was. They also said they received little feedback from supervisors after completing an assignment, and were “routinely” overlooked in NPR’s recruiting efforts.

Several temps interviewed for this story use the same word to describe NPR’s temp system: “Exploitative.”

By any measure, NPR is unusual among broadcast media organizations in the size of its temporary workforce.


NPR’s union representatives remain guarded, however. They noted that during bruising negotiations over a new three-year contract last year, NPR’s management proposed eliminating all benefits for temps (except those required by law), including health insurance and holiday pay. Those proposals were withdrawn amid broad staff opposition.

As I have noted before, if a company does not do well by its employees, it’s claims to do good are highly suspect.

Why to Ignore Public Radio Pledge Time

Did you hear the bit that they did about Amazon on Morning Edition?

It was all about how Amazon’s AI was ushering in some sort of shoppper’s utopia, while studiously ignoring the awful record of the firm on the labor and the environment.

If they throw their lot in with Amazon because of its sponsorship money, they don’t need yours.

Force the choice:

There are dozens of reports detailing how Amazon’s shipping policies negatively effects both the environment and workers, but one wouldn’t have any idea either was a concern after listening to NPR’s sexed-up report (Morning Edition, 11/21/18), “Optimized Prime: How AI and Anticipation Power Amazon’s 1-Hour Deliveries.”

The report, detailing the “Artificial Intelligence” behind Amazon’s delivery systems, relies entirely on interviews with Amazon flacks. The only people NPR speaks to are Brad Porter, the head of robotics for Amazon operations; Jenny Freshwater, director of software development; and Amazon VP Cem Sibay. No outside parties were sought for comment, let alone anyone remotely adversarial, such as labor organizers or environmental activists.

Indeed, the words “labor,” “worker” or “employee” are nowhere to be found in the six-minute report: Christmas packages simply deliver themselves with the help of brilliant Amazon execs and this mysterious AI technology. If Amazon’s marketing department wrote and produced a segment on their AI technology for NPR, it’s difficult to see how it would have been any different. Host Rachel Martin and correspondent Alina Selyukh all but literally exclaim “gee whiz”:


What economists? What does “latest chapter of industrialization” even mean? NPR, using Amazon’s spokespeople and paraphrasing a nebulous cohort of “economists,” recasts “criticism,” such that it is, as a generic, sanitized critique against an industry trend presumably out of Amazon‘s control, rather than directing criticism at Amazon themselves—a employer notorious for worker abuses ranging from wage theft, Orwellian working conditions, intimidation, retaliation and union-busting.

None of these widely documented concerns—all of which make cheap two-day shipping possible—were mentioned at all. Nor were the equally well-documented environmental downsides to two-day shipping, a convenience that, despite NPR’s “oh wow, how do they do that” excitement, creates tons of gratuitous, harmful carbon emissions.

Seriously: If you are a member, tell them to go Cheney themselves comes pledge time.

An Important Phrase to Know: Stochastic Terrorism

For those of you who have never heard the termStochastic Terrorism , (See also the Wiki) it refers to terrorism that is, “Statistically predictable but individually unpredictable.”

What this means is that invocations toward terrorism in the media that are calculated to create “lone wolf” actors who will then engage in terrorism to further the aims of the speaker.

When you look at people like Glenn Beck (Tides Foundation), Alex Jones (Everyone), Anwar al-Awlaki (The secular west), and Bill O’Reilly (George Tiller).

O’Reilly publicly called Tiller a, “Baby Killer,” and then piously eschewed any responsibility when the doctor was assassinated.

I am far less concerned about Anwar al-Awlaki than I am the rest of them, because the right wing deliberately uses this technique to silence voices from the left.

Liberal talk radio still has yet to recover from the assassination of Alan Berg in 1984.

They do this because it works, and no one will stop them.

They Define Themselves by their Hate

At the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, two women kissed, and the Talibaptists completely lost their sh%$:

Millions of small children just watched two girls kiss and had their innocence broken this morning. @nbc and @Macys just blindsided parents who expected this to be a family program, so they could push their agenda on little kids. #macysthanksgivingdayparade #MacysDayParade pic.twitter.com/EmCLSfNmAj

— ForAmerica (@ForAmerica) November 22, 2018

Seriously.  All these folks have is hate.

I really feel sorry for them.

This was a dance number from the Broadway play, “The Prom,” which is about a girl in Indiana who wasn’t allowed to bring her girlfriend to the prom.

Good for the producers of that musical, and for NBC, and bad on the haters.

The haters’ tears are sweet to me.

The dance number is below: (The kiss is at about 3:13_

How Can the Most Reviled Companies in America Maintain their Crown?

Why, by claiming that bigotry is covered by their first amendment corporate rights, of course.

Seriously, these are so toxic that Andrew Cuomo should be offering them multi-billion dollar subsidies.

Yes, I am talking about the big cable companies:

A US appeals court ruling today said that cable companies do not have a First Amendment right to discriminate against minority-run TV channels.

Charter, the second-largest US cable company after Comcast, was sued in January 2016 by Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios Networks (ESN), which alleged that Charter violated the Civil Rights Act of 1866 by refusing to carry TV channels run by the African-American-owned ESN. Allen, a comedian and producer, founded ESN in 1993 and is its CEO; the lawsuit seeks more than $10 billion in damages from Charter.

Charter argued that the case should be dismissed, claiming that the First Amendment bars such claims because cable companies are allowed “editorial discretion.” But Charter’s motion to dismiss the case was denied by the US District Court for the Central District of California, and the District Court’s denial was upheld unanimously today by a three-judge panel at the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

UPDATE: The appeals court also ruled against Comcast in a similar civil rights case in which ESN seeks more than $20 billion. Comcast had argued in a brief that “the First Amendment prohibits plaintiffs from suing to alter Comcast’s selection of a programming lineup.” But today’s ruling allows ESN’s lawsuit against Comcast to proceed as well.


Charter argued that ESN’s “claim is barred by the First Amendment because laws of general applicability cannot be used ‘to force cable companies to accept channels they do not wish to carry,'” the appeals court panel noted.

But while cable companies do have some First Amendment speech protections, they are not free to discriminate based on race, the panel said. Section 1981 of US law, which guarantees equal rights in making and enforcing contracts, “does not seek to regulate the content of Charter’s conduct, but only the manner in which it reaches its editorial decisions—which is to say, free of discriminatory intent,” the judges wrote.

“Section 1981 prohibits Charter from discriminating against networks on the basis of race,” judges also wrote. “This prohibition has no connection to the viewpoint or content of any channel that Charter chooses or declines to carry.”


The appeals court ruling summarized some of the claims made against Charter:

In addition to recounting Entertainment Studios’ failed negotiations with Charter, Plaintiffs’ amended complaint also included direct evidence of racial bias. In one instance, [Charter VP of programming Allan] Singer allegedly approached an African-American protest group outside Charter’s headquarters, told them “to get off of welfare,” and accused them of looking for a “handout.” Plaintiffs asserted that, after informing Charter of these allegations, it announced that Singer was leaving the company. In another alleged instance, Entertainment Studios’ owner, Allen, attempted to talk with Charter’s CEO, [Tom] Rutledge, at an industry event; Rutledge refused to engage, referring to Allen as “Boy” and telling Allen that he needed to change his behavior. Plaintiffs suggested that these incidents were illustrative of Charter’s institutional racism, noting also that the cable operator had historically refused to carry African-American-owned channels and, prior to its merger with Time Warner Cable, had a board of directors composed only of white men. The amended complaint further alleged that Charter’s recently pronounced commitments to diversity were merely illusory efforts to placate the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

You do have to admire the cable companies’ “Purity of Essence” here.