What’s the Media Strategy of #Ferguson Protesters? The Police Have One.

Does it seem strange I want to know the “media strategy” of the protesters in Ferguson?  I mean, they’re just a bunch of random people, catalyzed by an event, right? What are the protesters on the ground thinking? Do they know how they look to the world via the media? Who’s in charge? Is it the father?

 “I just want justice for my son, I really do … I need everybody to come together so we can do this right, so we can get something done about this. No violence.”

- Michael Brown Senior 

Aren’t they listening?

Although they don’t know it, the Ferguson protest and protesters do have a media strategy and a narrative. It was provided to them free of charge by the police and the media. It might change if you help.

You see, if a group or organization doesn’t have a media strategy or narrative someone will give it to them.  Often the very group they have an issue with, like the police. Other times by the “impartial” media. Definitely and vigorously by the RW media. Occasionally and timorously by the LW media.

So what if you are part of a . . . → Read More: What’s the Media Strategy of #Ferguson Protesters? The Police Have One.

The Wubble Bubble. A Tested and Proven Wonderful Thing

Bunny Meyer looks at “As seen on TV” products and makes videos answering the question, “Does this thing really work?”

Her funny expressions and quips while testing the item make the whole video fun to watch, even the frustrating failures. However, the sheer joy she shows when playing with the Wubble Bubble and “Honey Dog” make the video shine.

Her verdict? Yes, it really works.


“I wish I could rewind time and be nine years old again in the summer, this totally would be my favorite toy to play with.”

She says that it is already sold out in Target stores around the country and it’s true. None can be found in SF.

You can order them from Amazon though.

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Is it Funny When Pro-Troop Tea Partiers Are Scammed by RW Consultants?

The first answer to my headline questions would be, YES! Because who cares about them? We should laugh and rub our hands together in glee. “HA ha! Suckers!” But there is something more to do when we read about conservatives financially conning conservatives.

By defending the rights of others (especially ones we disagree with) we prove our values. We can direct people’s anger at the real enemy in their midst. Finally, helping the scammed removes the opportunity for the consultants to rally against an outsider enemy as they try to avoid anger directed at them.

Below I suggest a action for the people who were mislead and feel betrayed. The RW consultant group I’m talking about is the subject of a ProPublica piece by Kim Barker,  ‘Pro-Troop’ Charity Pays Off Tea Party Cronies Instead:  In summary she writes: “Move America Forward has collected millions to send care packages to U.S. troops. But its assets have been used to benefit conservative political consulting firms close to its Tea Party founder.” Barker does a tremendous amount of document-based research and makes this comment. 

Yet an examination of its fundraising appeals, tax records and other documents shows that Move America Forward has repeatedly misled donors and inflated its charitable accomplishments, while funneling . . . → Read More: Is it Funny When Pro-Troop Tea Partiers Are Scammed by RW Consultants?

Who Would Let Ebola Into The US? TV show The Strain vs. Reality

Anyone watching “The Strain?” It combines some real science with zombie/vampire stuff. What stuck me about the show was how realistic some parts were (like the first CDC team sweep of the plane) combined with ridiculous amounts of people carrying the idiot ball.

In this clip the CDC is overruled in a medical quarantine situation by the Director of Health and Human Services. There is no way this would happen in real life.  I just can’t suspend my disbelief when they get stuff like this wrong. When it comes to people’s health the medical community always has the final say, like Bones had on Captain Kirk on the Enterprise.


Crazy, eh? But then I remember when Condi Rice overruled the EPA and ignored doctor’s advice. 

The EPA was not given full control over its press releases in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. Administrator Whitman issued a memo on September 12 announcing that “all statements to the media should be cleared through the NSC [National Security Council] before they are released,”5 and the New York Post reported that National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice was “the final decision maker” regarding the release of information by the EPA.6 In addition the OIG report details how the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) pressed the . . . → Read More: Who Would Let Ebola Into The US? TV show The Strain vs. Reality

Snowpiercer Review

Snowpiercer. Have you seen it?

I saw the movie Brazil when it was first released in a big domed theater in San Jose.

It blew me away. I dragged others to it so I could see it again and again. I wanted people to see it so we could discuss it. I feel the same way about Snowpiercer.

I’ve read about 20 reviews of the movie and most reviewers assume everyone “gets” the various issues the film brings up and focuses on the directing, acting and cinematography.  Some call the allegories and metaphors “heavy handed.” Others touch on the economic theories shown and class struggles, but don’t spell them out.  I’d like to hear from people who can spell them out and talk to me about what they mean.

For example, there are a lot of references to Ayn Rand’s work. I know about her work but not enough to spot all the connections. Someone asked me if Snowpiercer portrayed her views in a good or bad light.  I said both, it depended on which part of the train you were on. Which raised the question. “Where am I in our economic train?  How did I get here? Why . . . → Read More: Snowpiercer Review

The Sting of the Drone for FDL’s Book Salon Postponed

UPDATE: I wrote this intro for the FireDogLake Book Salon today at 2:00 PST, but because of the ongoing DDoS attack at FDL it needs to be rescheduled.

Richard A. Clarke’s Sting of the Drone gives us the opportunity to talk about both ethical and political decisions we need to examine in the face of new technology.  The set up:

In Washington, the Kill Committee gathers in the White House’s Situation Room to pick the next targets for the United States drone program. At an airbase just outside Las Vegas, a team of pilots, military personnel and intelligence officers follow through on the committee’s orders, finding the men who have been deemed a threat to national security and sentenced to death.

On the other side of the world, in the mountains where the drones hunt their prey, someone has decided to fight back. And not just against the unmanned planes that circle their skies, but against the Americans at home who control them.

I’ll talk about the book in a minute, but as I write this FDL is under computer attack from unknown groups for unknown reasons. Maybe it’s FDL’s support for whistleblowers or a personal grudge, but it got . . . → Read More: The Sting of the Drone for FDL’s Book Salon Postponed

What To Tweet When You See a “Both Sides Do It” Story

When I’m sick and tired of certain media conventions, I write a post about it. If you are like my friend Jimmy Dore you write a funny comedy bit about it. Stewart, Colbert and Oliver all mock the media, but is it making the media change? Is there something we can do besides point and laugh?

Today’s sick and tired media phrase is “Both sides do it.” This phrase is designed as a preemptive answer to the right wing’s screaming about a story and to help show that “the liberal media doesn’t have a liberal bias.” The idea has become internalized by the MSM. My friend Eric Boehlert at Media Matters has written about this sliver in the heart of the MSM for years. Atrios makes a pithy comment about it every few months.

Why “Both Sides Do It” Short Circuits Brains

The magic phrase is destructive because it breaks down math and evidence in the heads of journalists. It converts a complex equation into 50-50!  For example, this magic phrase can take a $5 BILLION dollar multi-decade program and make it equal to a $5 Million five year program with the simple incantation, “Both sides do it.” Shazam!  The readers can now indulge in a “pox on both their . . . → Read More: What To Tweet When You See a “Both Sides Do It” Story

Happy Easter from WonderCon!

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The Magic and Beauty Of Hiding Behind Front Groups

From a great diary at Daily Kos. Industry Expert Says StopRush Has Destroyed Limbaugh’s Business For Good by Proglegs

Speaking yesterday on the Ed Schultz radio show, industry insider Holland Cooke credited a persistent online activist movement with completely destroying right wing talk show host Rush Limbaugh’s business model by using the very free speech that El Rushbo claims gives him carte blanche to do what he does.

The piece quotes Cooke on the Ed Show and discusses the lower ratings, Rush’s move to smaller stations and the impact of less income for Rush’s distributors and radio stations. Being the self important Vulcan I am, I commented on the piece and my role in the process that lead to this.

Discussing the article with my friend Jeff Tiedrich of the Smirking Chimp there was some confusion.

“Wait, how does losing advertisers result in fewer listeners? Seems to me they’re two different problems?”

I explained they they were indeed separate issues. I created the Spocko Method specifically to reduce revenue in an environment where the ratings wouldn’t necessarily be impacted by an action and could even increase the ratings because of controversy.

I know that when KSFO, Savage, Beck or Limbaugh lost advertisers that didn’t necessarily mean they would lose ratings. In fact. they would . . . → Read More: The Magic and Beauty Of Hiding Behind Front Groups

How They Use Dog Whistle Politics Against Liberals

I know other folks have talked about this but I just heard most of the interview with the author of Dog Whistle Politics on the Bill Moyer’s show.

Two things struck me, This:

And, it’s important, because dog whistling is not about bigotry. It’s about the manipulation of bigotry. It’s about the manipulation of stereotypes.

And this:

The triumph of the civil rights movement is to teach us, to teach Americans that we’re all human, we’re all in this together.

It occurred to me that today’s conservative might not believe that we’re all human (I am only half after all.) But they clearly don’t believe we’re all in this together. Reagan, Rush, Ryan and the Randians keep saying that we are NOT all in this together.

The right can attack liberals 24/7, and they do. They don’t even have to dog whistle! I’ve read a couple of stories in Salon about people who felt they lost their parent to Fox News. That the parent attacked them for their ‘liberal values’ 

The author Ian Haney López points out how Reagan and his followers coupled the government with helping lazy black people. With dog whistle politics people vote against government because they are voting . . . → Read More: How They Use Dog Whistle Politics Against Liberals