Monday, April 26, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Note to Marchers: Stop Rhyming.

Reading With the Enemy The US government currently forbids American companies from doing business in "rogue nations" like Iran, North Korea, and Cuba (although plenty of US companies, like Halliburton, do business there anyway). Now, apparently spurred on by a desire to seem more and more Orwellian, the government is announcing that publishers and journals that edit the work of authors in these countries is "trading with the enemy." This distinction is being made irrespective of the content of the work: In other words, if this policy were in place 20 years ago, it would be illegal to publish "The Gulag Archipelago" in America because that would constitute conducting business with the Soviets.

Enough Since when does the Republican National Committee get to call the tune on press coverage of a presidential election. Read this bullshit ABC News story about "controversy" regarding John Kerry's GD combat medals and note the Republican spin points: There's even a sub-head called "Flip Flop." Here's a fun party game: Read press coverage of John Kerry. Every time the word "flip flop" appears, that indicates the author is a whore with no integrity! And why are we wondering about John Kerry's medals when the Republicans howled that we shouldn't consider Bush's National Guard desertion because Vietnam was so long ago? God, I hate the American press! I take back all my anti-censorship comments ever! What we need is not only censorship - we need brutal massacres in most American newsrooms! Fuck!!

On Second Thought, Censorship is Still Bad Surprise, surprise: George Bush is backing the Pentagon policy banning photographs of flag-draped coffins, in the interest of "protecting the privacy and sensitivity" of the dead soldiers' family. Hey, you know what those families would appreciate even more than "privacy"? Not having their loved ones killed in a senseless ideological boondoggle.

It's Getting Hot in Here! So Shut Up With the Misogynist Lyrics! St. Louis pop rapper Nelly has canceled an appearance at Spelman College, the most prestigious college for black women in America, because the educated ladies there were planning a protest over the pornographic, misogynist treatment of women in Nelly's songs and videos. "Black entertainers have become the new myth makers, showing gangsters and bikini-clad women with hyperactive libidos," said Zenobia Hikes, vice president for student affairs. "For non-black children it creates a gross misrepresentation of the black experience." Unfortunately and unsurprisingly, the women have gotten the response familiar to females throughout history who have spoken up about mistreatment: "Shut up, bitch," basically. Nelly's record company and Black Entertainment Television, which airs the porno videos, have accused the women of trying to suppress "free expression," while a student at Morehouse, the black men's college linked with Spelman, is more up front in his reaction: "I blame the women," he said.

Thank God Murray Kempton Didn't Live to See This While America's mass media is busy reporting Republican spin points on John Kerry as if they were fact and ignoring the many transgressions of the Bush administration, they're also doing something else: Making shit up. As this story suggests, the fabrication scandals at the New Republic, the New York Times, and USA Today are the tip of the iceberg: newsrooms nationwide are "palpably defective." So: censorship is still bad, but brutal massacres are okay.

-Consider Arms