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Radically Inept
Monday, August 09, 2004
  The president and his sick bitch

Wired 12.08: VIEW:
"Though Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 has grabbed the headlines, another documentary is at the center of this debate. In August, Robert Greenwald will release an updated version of his award-winning film, Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War. Greenwald has added a clip of President George W. Bush's February interview with Tim Russert on Meet the Press, NBC's Sunday morning talk show. In the clip, the president defends his decision to go to war - astonishingly unconvincingly.

Greenwald asked NBC for permission to run the one-minute clip - offering to pay for the right, as he had done for every other clip that appears in the film. NBC said no. The network explained to his agent that the clip is 'not very flattering to the president.' Greenwald included it anyway.

Greenwald asked NBC for permission to run the one-minute clip - offering to pay for the right, as he had done for every other clip that appears in the film. NBC said no. The network explained to his agent that the clip is "not very flattering to the president." Greenwald included it anyway."
Good for Greenwald, right? Well, if the point was just what was intimated above, we'd be limiting ourselves to a straight argument on copyright laws, and their possible abuse by major media corporations, but Lawrence Lessig goes on to point to an even more interesting point:
NBC insists it is remaining "neutral" by denying others use of the interview. But there's nothing neutral about restricting either critics or supporters from repeating the president's words. But the issue here isn't really NBC's motive. It is the president's. Why would any president allow a network to copyright his message? No self-respecting president would speak at a club that excluded women: Whatever rights a private organization may enjoy, a president stands for equality. So why did the current leader of the free world, who rarely holds press conferences, agree to speak on a talk show that refuses to license on a neutral basis the content he contributed? Is vigorous debate over matters as important as going to war less important than protecting his image?
In fact, this point is far more interesting, and I will argue important to what it really means to live in a representative democracy. My president, while in office, can in affect sell his speech? It never occurred to me, though I guess I should have expected it. This is an administration that does nothing, if not try to hide behind a veil of secrecy, and prevent itself from being held accountable to the people.

So, I haven't seen Fahrenheit 9/11, and don't have much interest in it (I've been following this presidency from the beginning, there won't be much new), but I will make a point of seeing "Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War", so that I make my financial contribution to Greenwald's court costs arising from defending his right to use MY president's own statements, which were originally broadcast to the public.

NBC is one sick bitch, and they have steadily lost me as a viewer, anyway. I doubt I watch more than five or six hours of non-sports broadcasting on NBC, and I doubt my sports viewing runs higher than three or four additional hours.

Here that advertisers? I'm not watching NBC. I think it would be interesting to invert the Nielson Ratings. Rather than measuring how many people are watching the broadcast schlock, let's concentrate on how many viewers they have lost. I know it's an issue, but it's look at it closer. At some point, the lowest common denominator, may not have the purchasing power to make up for the losses resulting from the not so low, not so common, going elsewhere for their entertainment.

But further, these practices by major media to protect a Radically Inept president, may alienate an ever growing percentage of the populace.

Note: The NBC viewing hours I listed above are not a weekly or even a monthly viewing average. The numbers, especially the sports viewing, are probably closer to my annual viewing habits, and no more than quarterly. It dawned on me that some you readers might think I was watching that much broadcast TV on a weekly basis. No way. 
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GEORGE W. BUSH - TOUGH ENOUGH TO TORTURE CHILDREN
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