Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Media Goodness for September

Here's a round-up of some excellent media from the last week:

Diane Rehm talking with Scott Simon on Weekend Edition Saturday. Minnesotans don't know Diane Rehm, because her show isn't on the Minnesota Public Radio network, but I remember her fondly from my years living in Washington, D.C., in the 1980s. With a voice like Lynne Rossetto Kasper's (actually, I should say that Lynne's voice is like Diane's) and a consistently interesting set of guests covering a huge range of topics, she filled my mornings for several years when her show was broadcast only on WAMU, the second-rated public radio station in our nation's capitol. I didn't even know she had gone national until a few months ago. It's because of Diane Rehm that I first gave money to public radio. And I wish I could find my cracked, 1985-vintage "I Love the Diane Rehm Show" mug.

Karen Youso in the Star Tribune Saturday, Sept. 12, on going six days without plastic. A quick read, but a good overview of just how entrenched plastic is in our daily lives. If anyone is serious about changing that, it would take systemic change -- there's not a lot an individual can really do about it.

Stephen Colbert last night on The Word: Corporations as people, and money as speech. Colbert is brilliant. And frightening as hell:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - Let Freedom Ka-Ching
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorHealth Care Protests

Key point: The idea that corporations are legally considered people comes from an 1886 case called Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific Railroad, when the Chief Justice made "an off-the-record comment to that effect, the court reporter wrote it down, and it's been cited ever since. It was a huge win for the railroads, and a brilliant judicial decision by the court reporter, whose previous job experience was being the president of a railroad."

And since money is the only way a voiceless entity like a corporation can speak, money must equal speech. Following this logic, corporations cannot be deprived of the right to spend money on political campaigns as they see fit. And there goes any semblance of campaign finance reform.

John Stewart on the Acorn exposé by two young contrarian actors (and conservatives). It really does make you wonder what the heck Acorn is doing.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Audacity of Hos
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

According to the New York Times coverage of the Acorn exposé,
In a statement over the weekend, Bertha Lewis, the chief organizer for Acorn, said the bogus prostitute and pimp had spent months visiting numerous Acorn offices, including those in San Diego, Los Angeles, Miami and Philadelphia, before getting the responses they were looking for.

“I cannot and I will not defend the actions of the workers depicted in the video, who have since been terminated,” Ms. Lewis wrote. But she defended the group’s overall record and said it had become “the boogeyman for the right wing and its echo chambers.”
All true, but man. That is some damning footage. What a PR nightmare for Acorn. It will be hard to prove that the whole barrel of apples isn't rotten after that.

Dan Gillmor on 11 things he would do if he ran a news organization (hint: number 11 is he wouldn't do lists of 10, but there's a lot more to it than that). I sure love reading Dan Gillmor as he works to continue the conversation about what news media should become. (Via BoingBoing.)

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