The Furies of August

The Furies of August

Brought To You By . . .

It is high!  It is far!  It is GONE!  Home Run! Listeners to baseball games on the radio are accustomed to, and likely quite weary of, all of the sponsorships crammed into the play-by-play coverage. The first pitch, the temperature at start of game, the first hit, the double play, the first run, the pitching change, the first strike out, the first double . . . all ìbrought to you byî some sponsor or another.

The same goes for the TV broadcasts, although the concentration on TV coverage is not as annoying or thick as it is on the radio.

Reading about this on one of the radio broadcasters' boards, a witty and creative participant came up with a very funny sponsorship opportunity:

Gold Bond Medicated Animated Powder Picture

Next thing you know, every time a player scratches himself, it'll be brought to you by Gold Bond Medicated Powder.

Watch out! What is suggested in jest often becomes reality. Especially when it could mean another cheesy sales opportunity, and another way to squeeze more sponsorship money out of the game coverage. Perhaps a spot remover could sponsor each tobacco chaw spit, as the cleanser that actually gets rid of tobacco stains!

Sobig = So Annoying!

It is another crummy worm, an annoyance that proves that sophisticated minds are being wasted on this sort of garbage. It began on Tuesday: numerous e-mails from unknown parties, containing either a .scr or a .pif file attachment. Standard policy here is simple: unknown correspondent sends attachment: hit the delete button. Better safe than sorry.

The anti-virus program (McAfee) sends auto-update notices, a good feature. From time to time, when e-mails such as these start repeatedly showing up in the inbox, a manual update is done. Again, better safe than sorry.

Since Tuesday the e-mail inbox has seen over 200 e-mails arriving with one variation or another of this worm. But now two events have taken place that cause some major concern.

First comes an e-mail from a trusted and reliable associate (and good friend, too), with a warning: do not open any attachments or e-mail coming from a specific address of his. I know that he uses the top-of-the-line Norton Corporate Anti-Virus program, and is always up to date with his upgrades and reloads.

Second comes an auto-generated e-mail form letter, informing me that an e-mail from my address has bounced; I supposedly sent an e-mail to some AOL address of someone I do not know, have never heard of, and is not in my address book.

A squiggly and generally disgusting thing.  Not what one wants in their computer.  Use an anti virus program: get your PC wormed!!! The worm invades the address book, and sends itself out to all the names contained therein. Apparently it also grabs some names to spoof addresses, as I got that bounced mail (that did not originate on any of my PCs) and my pal (who is vigilant about staying up to date) sends out a warning that mail from one of his addresses is spreading it.

Update your virus protection! Stamp out the worm!!

FCC Smells the Coffee

Speaking of worms, or other revulsive, moist and repugnant animals, FCC Chairpiggie Michael Powell has made it public that the Commission suddenly perceives a reason to ìRevisit Decision on Media Ownership Caps.î

FCC Chairpig Powell The FCC announced that it would reconsider the affect that relaxed media ownership caps would have on the industry. The Commission decided in June 2003 to allow a single entity to own a higher number of newspapers and radio and television stations in a single market. The decision, however, came under heavy criticism from groups who argued that media consolidation would limit the number of voices in any given market.

Commissioner Powell said he will provide a timetable for the review and other, more specific information tomorrow. That may or may not be after he consults with the big boys in the back rooms at the big comapnie$, to see just how far they will tolerate this disingenuous and transparent PR move of his.

Chief of Staff for FCC Chairman Resigns

In related news, the FCC announced that the chief of staff to Chairman Powell is resigning from the Commission. Marsha MacBride served as Powell's chief of staff since he was appointed Chairman of the agency in 2001.

Before that, she was an adviser while he was a member of the Commission under previous Chairman William Kennard.

Chairman Powell said he does not plan on resigning despite speculation in a number of outlets that he would step down.

If he would step down, think of the load it would be off the mind of The Secretary of State! What an embarrassment it must be to Colin Powell to see his son act this way!

FCC Chairman Powell said that he supports an open inquiry in the coming weeks to determine what rules the Commission could promulgate to promote localism in TV and radio. "This is an honest attempt to address the concerns raised by the public about localism during the media ownership proceeding," Powell asserted in a statement. "It is neither hollow nor political." Powell suggested a task force to hold public hearings on the issue and also said he would like to accelerate the licensing process for LPFMs.

Sure sounds hollow and political, and, to use a bon mot: reactionary!

Powell's hollow and political plan predictably drew a thumbs-down from Commissioner Michael Copps, who called the new review "a day late and a dollar short. It highlights the failures of the recent decision to dismantle ownership protections. To say that protecting localism was not germane to that decision boggles the mind .... We should have heeded the calls from over 2 million Americans and so many Members of Congress expressing concern about the impact of media concentration on localism and diversity before we rushed to a vote. We should have vetted these issues before we voted. Instead, we voted; now we are going to vet. This is a policy of 'ready, fire, aim!'"

Gee, isnít that how Dubya, Powellís hero, handled the Iraq oil-grab invasion?

Copps sharply noted that while the review proceeds, "what's going to happen... (is) deals, deals and more deals... more standardized and homogenized programming.... more indecency on the people's airwaves.... less diversity of viewpoint and less coverage of local issues. By refusing to stay our rules, we guarantee a rash of mergers, acquisitions and swaps that cannot be undone because the genie will be out of the bottle long before this new task force reports. While we study, Big Media conglomerates will gobble up still more local stations and licenses will be renewed without examining how stations are serving their local communities. While promoting low-power radio stations is a welcome step and one that I support, the real news is that the Big Media 'Gold-Rush' is still on."
In addition to the new "Localism in Broadcasting" initiative, Powell has named Senior Legal Advisor Bryan Tramont as his new Chief of Staff, replacing the departing Marsha MaCBride. Powell has also picked NETCOMMUNICATIONS President and former Florida Public Services Commission Chairman Julia Johnson to chair the FCC's new Federal Advisory Committee on Diversity in the Digital Age.

The Committee's first meeting is scheduled for September 29. The FCC is also opening an inquiry for information on the impact that communications towers may have on migratory birds.

Perhaps Powell will ask Dubya to have the Secretary of The Interior remove those birds from power, since they may be harboring weapons of Mass Tower Destruction.


FCC Chairman Powell has at least one internal supporter for his newfound localism initiative, Commissioner Kathleen Anernathy. She issued a statement stating that she "applaud(s) Chairman Powell for taking positive and substantive steps to ensure that broadcasters continue to further the goal of localism in their communities.... I am pleased that the Commission will consider whether changes in our rules, consistent with First Amendment principles, are appropriate and needed."

Do you think Abernathy smudged her nose after that kiss? Or popped an Altoid? Maybe she had to take a shower, that would be the most probable solution. Or maybe that was the remnants of a Hershey Bar on her nose.


The MEDIA ACCESS PROJECT has filed a Motion for Stay on behalf of Capitol Broadcasting, the CWA, the Parents Television Council, and the U.S. Conference Of Caltholic Bishops. The filing requests a stay of the FCC's new media ownership rules until 60 days after the adjournment of the first session of the 108th Congress, in light of the pending legislation which would suspend enforcement of, or overturn, the rules.

The MEDIA ACCESS PROJECT motion warns that allowing the rules to take effect would create "chaos" as companies rush to file transfer applications. The MAP has previously filed an appeal of the rules in the U.S. Court Of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit.

Hmmm Ö sounds just like the words of Commissioner Copps, as reported above.

Have you sent in your signed petition yet? Or taken care of it via the net? The voice of the people, the will of the people, the sheer force of the people, is what it takes to prevent Dubya and Piggie Powell from giving away mass control of media to their buddies in Big Bu$ine$$. Here is a link to Commonís Causeís petition and here is a link to Media Reformís petition.

Degrees of Baditude?

The RIAA's response to Sen. Norm Coleman's (R-MN) request for information on its subpoena blitz is to claim that the trade group is not targeting individual file swappers ("RIAA is in no way targeting 'de minimis' users") but is only going after "individual computer users who are illegally distributing a substantial amount of copyrighted music."The letter from RIAA Pres. Cary Sherman did not indicate a clear definition of "substantial" or "de minimis" levels of file swapping and said that the organization "does not condone any illegal copying and does not want anyone to think that even a little illegal activity is acceptable." Sherman told Coleman that "we will approach these suits in a fair and equitable manner" and said "(w)hile every case is unique, we intend to be similarly fair and proportionate with respect to individual infringers and to consider each individual's circumstances."
Clark: Being Drawn Into Politics

Last Sunday General Wesley Clark said ìhe was being drawn into politics and would decide in two to three weeks whether to seek the Democratic presidential nomination.

In the Yahoo/Reuters News report, Clark goes on to gently bash Tom DeLay for being the name-calling antagonist that he is. Clark was polite, and is in the public eye, and must be circumspect with his words. He did not refer to DeLay as, say, yours truly might: an outrageous asshole narrow-minded partisan ever-politicking back-room party position groveling ass-kisser who somehow got as far as he did. Yours truly would go on to say that such things should be an embarrassment to the GOP. Clark canít say such things, as he is generally much more mannered than that, and since he is in the public eye, he must chose his words carefully.

Yours truly is not being covered by a bevy of reporters, and has no trouble calling it as he sees it.

EGADS! I just pulled a Bob Dole, referring to myself in the third person. But I am not married to a woman who adopts a state in which she hasnít lived in about 30 years and then run for senator from there.

The Clark comments come from an interview he did with Wolf Blitzer on CNN last week. You can read a short take on that in the Talking Points Memo (always an excellent read!). Once you read that, not only will you be even more certain that DeLay is an asshole, but that he even stoops so low as to insult Clarkís hair care habits.

Another time I may get around to telling the story of Tom DeLayís staff calling me to thank me for my Republican partisanship, appoint me to a special council, get me invited to a White House reception, and try to con me out of $500 for an ad to run in the WSJ, supporting these right-wing reactionary assholes. But not right now, there are other fish to fry and hairs to dry.

Thanks to GeckoBlue for the pointers to the Clark matters above.


The Draft Wesley Clark movement is gathering some notable steam. Notable, as in buying television time in key early primary states.

TV ads are now running in Iowa, New Hampshire and Arkansas (see the Draft Wesley Clark site for details, and to watch the ad). General Clark has publicly praised this movement on NBC's Meet the Press, CNN, ABC's Good Morning America and several other national news outlets.

Could it be that more people will soon know of Clark, and be of a mind to vote for him, than of the entirety of support for, say, Sharpton, Mosely-Braun, Graham, Edwards, and Kucinich. One can only wonder if any Democrats will support that Republic-in-Democratís-clothing, Joe Leiberman. Hereís an idea: the GOP should trade Lincoln Chaffee, the Senator from Rhode Island, for ìDemocratî Joe Leiberman. Like they do on sports teams. Seems like a fair exchange, two small New England states. Their votes and their records sure support the swap.

Donít Count Gore Out Yet

Good to see this Clark momentum. Now letís get going on some Gore momentum. A Gore-Clark ticket would be the perfect solution to the idiocy currently occupying the Oval Office.

If you feel like clicking around, there are many, many, many, many Draft Gore sites to be found.

Those sites are merely the beginning.

Think about the Gore-Clark ticket. More brains and experience than the incumbents, and less baggage and economic tomfoolery.

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Yeah, thatís the ticket!