Martha Stewart did go to prison, though. While she hasn't opted for any prison tats that I think would be fun yet, she has made it a point to let everyone know she's doing well at Camp Cupcake. In an open letter to her apprentice divas, Martha says:
The camp is fine; it is pretty much what I anticipated. The best news -- everyone is nice -- both the officials and my fellow inmates. I have adjusted and am very busy. The camp is like an old-fashioned college campus -- without the freedom, of course.
That's a relief. I was having trouble sleeping from worrying about Martha. Worried Sick.
In other Forehead Logo Branding news, some Michael Jackson fans are having a tizzy over Eminem's parody portrayal of MJ in the "Just Lose It" video. In a recent press release, K. C. Arceneaux, Ph.D, absolutely stunned me with the revelation that "The Constitution of the United States was framed before there was any conception of the light bulb, radio, internet, or Black Entertainment Television (BET), MTV or CNN, to name just a few stunning examples."
Dr. Arceneaux goes on to warn us all how the first amendment is being perverted and the media characterizations of Michael Jackson are tantamount to an obstruction of justice.
The press release speaks on behalf of the MJ Redemption Team, an all volunteer group whose mission is "revealing the truth about the child molestation allegations against Michael Jackson" and "to provide information that will lead to the exoneration and redemption of Michael Jackson the man, humanitarian, and philanthropist."
Black Entertainment Television didn't give the MJ Redemption Team any credit for their decision to yank Eminem's video from BET's rotation. They said they pulled it because of the long history of the relationship between management and Michael Jackson. BET staff writer, Chuck "Jigsaw" Creekmur, does mention that Eminem also makes fun of Madonna and M C Hammer in the video, and that Hammer is planning to retaliate with a record that makes fun of Eminem.
Even more disturbing than new music from M C Hammer, is simply making shit up, a journalistic practice of which Geraldo Rivera seems to be so fond. On FOX News Network, Geraldo Rivera was playing the race card loudly At Large. He even drummed up Reverend Jesse Jackson to bring racism into the topic of discussion while showing old photographs of black-faced Sambo actors.
To get to the bottom of this controversy, I went to my secret source of journalistic integrity. On my short list, just after the Memory Hole and the Smoking Gun, is Teen Music -- a pillar of the Teen Hollywood Web Network.
Teen Music points out that CHiPs TV star Erik Estrada, Pee Wee Herman, and even Paris Hilton are in the "Just Lose It" video. They're obviously playing cartoon caricatures of themselves. Perhaps it is because Michael Jackson is so busy with real legal charges of child molestation he has lost his own sense of humor and remains hunkered down at the Never Land Ranch.
Maybe Michael Jackson is simply in denial of the reality of his celebrity, a reality recently embraced by William Shatner, Star Trek's Captain James T. Kirk.
Marshall Mathers, on the other hand, is a very busy boy, but does take time to ask whether Michael Jackson has the right to pull the Eminem video off the air. The Detroit News reports that Sirius Satellite radio will be cranking up a new uncensored hiphop channel called Shade 45. The Shady National Convention will be in NYC on October 28th to promote it. Interscope says Eminem's "Encore" CD will be in stores on November 16th.
If you can't wait until then for some politically-incorrect hiphop, you can always download my latest example of digital audio masturbation below (4.87 MB).
I don't know how widely known this one may be. But, I did a little digging myself today and found something that will most certainly become the public relations nightmare on top of a soon-to-be never-ending public relations nightmare for Bill O'Reilly.
As far as smoking guns rate, this is a Thunderstoms double-barrelled shotgun, shoved deep inside O'Reilly's own pompous and arrogant mouth, and the smell of the blast is wafting through the humid night air.
Below is my own hand-typed transcript of an audio file of Bill O'Reilly narrating his own novel, Those Who Trespass. In light of O'Reilly's alleged sex scandal, it is absolutely amazing that he wrote these words and it is absolutely creepy to hear them read aloud, in O'Reilly's own voice:
As Ron Costello saw it, the night-time media party in Edgartown provided him a wide-open window of opportunity, one he could make the most of. For he was frustrated, and fed up, and what he badly needed was to satisfy a basic human need. The need for some kind of physical release.
Chasing the Clintons around the resort island of Martha's Vineyard, looking on as a cracker first-family acted out its vacation in front of millions, was not just tiring for him, but unnecessary. When a family, even the first family, went golfing, boating and horseback riding, it was hardly news worthy. And Costello was, afterall, the chief whitehouse correspondent for the powerful Global News Network -- not some travel narrator for christ's sake -- but here he was, on a GNN assignment he hated, reporting on President Clinton and family, eating barbeque.
The jazzy voice of the singer Sade wafted through the humid night air, and Ron Costello pursed his thin lips and sized up the situation. Already in his sights was a pretty camera woman, light-headed from too much vodka. Costello felt he had a real chance with this young woman, who was now walking toward the makeshift bar located in the corner of the front porch.
Surely this babe was impressed with his resume. He had been a correspondent with GNN for 26 years. The power and prestige of his job brought him big-time perks, like the attention of young women eager to advance in the arbitrary world of television news.
And when I say Ron Costello, I mean Bill O'Reilly. And when I say GNN, I mean FOX.
This is priceless. He narrated the death of his own career. Right this very moment, I bet he wishes he could just take a vacation at Camp Cupcake with Marth Stewart -- rather than have to deal with the humilation that is brewing on the horizon like an angry and career-destroying thunderstorm.
I've had a whole day in which to think about my overall impressions of the final presidential debate. I've watched a little television, read some articles, and thought about what people have been saying and writing. I think the most descriptive and concise statement characterizing the final presidential debate is by William Rivers Pitt:
There was a statesman and a salesman on that debate stage on Wednesday night. Kerry, the statesman, was calm and clear, in command of the facts, and not afraid to stare into the camera at the American people and tell some hard truths. Bush, the salesman, left behind the muddled foolishness of the first debate and the screaming histrionics of the second debate, in favor of an aw-shucks smirk and a series of ill-timed snickers that makes one truly wonder if he knows his job is on the line. All the pundits agreed that Bush, having lost the first two debates, needed to dominate during this third and final meeting. He failed completely to do so.
Still, no one has stated the obvious thing. During the debate, president Bush was clearly channeling the infamous American Idol contestant, William Hung.
Today, the vice president's wife, Lynne Cheney, called John Kerry a bad man or something. She said he employed a tawdry political tactic by mentioning their daughter; the fact that she's a lesbian. Are the Cheney's ashamed of their daughter? Only a guilt-ridden social conservative would think there was anything derogatory at all about that.
In the course of my own spirit channeling and in other family values related comments, my dead mother was pleased to hear that John Kerry remembers what his own dead mother told him about Integrity.
She also reminded me to buy a package of condoms, just in case I wanted to enlist in one of George Bush's Armies of Compassion that will be spreading democracy around the world. She said some quick, unsolicited compassion is okay, but that I should protect myself against any sexually transmitted democracy.
When it comes to the principles of civil liberties in a civil society, everyone, including you and I, must remain ever watchful and forever vigilant. In the matters of privacy and free expression for all of us, there are a number of violators of these principles in our world.
Whether it is one of many multinational conglomerates data mining your personal information for marketing purposes or government officials and bureaucrats overstepping their authority and mandate in the name of national security, examples of corporate or governmental entities violating the civil liberties and civil rights of people simply abound.
When a government official violates a person's rights and liberties (or literally throws someone in jail) for seemingly no legal reason, won't divulge the reason to that person, then throws away the key -- the only reason you and I ever know of it is because someone yells loud enough for us to eventually hear of it.
I don't have to tell you that you're not going to hear about every story involving Jack Booted Thugs on CNN or read about every secret detention, property seizure, or victim of ethnic profiling in the New York Times. That's like looking for a slice of your mother's special home-made pie at McDonald's. It's not going to happen.
However, in this age of hyper information, some things percolate to the top of RSS and XML news feeds quickly, and the length of time between event and outcry shortens significantly. One thing that is sure to raise eyebrows rapidly is when the grapevine itself comes under attack.
To me, there is a difference between the heirarchy of news journalism and the foodchain of media outlets. Think of it in terms of brain food. The foodchain of media outlets is like the various chains of fast food drive-thru places available to you in any city in the modern world. The names of these places occupy a rastor-burned portion of your gray matter due to the 48,156,234 times their name or logo has been advertised to you. McDonald's, Burger King, and Taco Bell are just some of my personal coronary favorites. Perhaps you prefer one more than the other. Perhaps you prefer FOX over ABC, NBC, CNN or CBS.
Unlike the fast foodchain of media outlets, the heirarchy of news journalism more resembles the mom-and-pop restaurants and diners. You may have a favorite family-owned pizza parlor in your neighborhood or chinese restaurant around the block. Even if you grab some chinese take-out or have a pizza delivered by the owner's teenage son, it's food they made for you. Independent news journalism, or indymedia, is like those small, out of the way, but favorite places where I like to occasionally feed my brain.
Without indy news, all you'd have left to feed your own brain would be the fast foodchain of media outlets which are corporate owned and whose primary motivation is advertising revenue and secondary corporate mission is to bring you the news. And it's the just the news they deem fit for you to hear.
Independent news journalism is vital to our watchful and vigilant eye on the character and activities of governments all around the globe. Without individual journalists highlighting events about which they write, we might never have heard the name Abu Ghraib. Freedom of expression is a civil liberty that is important to all of us.
That's why it is especially outrageous when a government agency oversteps their authority, or when law enforcement agents are just doing their job, and it violates civil liberties like free expression. Cry out all you want; if no one can hear you, no one can tell another person about it. The web does level the playing fields a bit. It's difficult to act outrageously and keep it a secret any longer.
Such is the case that I read today on the Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF) XML news feed. I feel it highlights the character of the Bush Administration's Jack Booted Mindset:
October 12, 2004
EFF Challenges Secret Government Order to Shut Down Media Websites
Seizure of Servers Hosting Indymedia Websites Violates the First Amendment
San Francisco, CA -- The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is representing a coalition of independent Internet journalists whose websites were shut down on Thursday, October 7, when their servers were seized by the FBI. The two servers, which were located in the United Kingdom and managed by San Antonio-based Rackspace Managed Hosting, hosted Indymedia's Internet radio station and more than 20 Indymedia websites, as well as several email lists.
The seizure was in response to a "Commissioner's Subpoena" issued at the request of a foreign government. Citing a gag order, Rackspace has provided no further details. An FBI spokesperson has confirmed that the subpoena was issued at the request of Italian and Swiss authorities. Earlier this month, the FBI made informal requests to both Rackspace and Indymedia to remove an Indymedia news story that included photos of undercover Swiss investigators posing as anti-globalization activists. At the time, the FBI admitted that the posting did not violate US law.
EFF has contacted the FBI to demand Indymedia's illegally seized servers be returned and is preparing for legal action in the event that negotiations with the FBI fail. EFF is also calling on Rackspace to challenge the government's illegal seizure. "If Rackspace stands behind its claim of providing 'Fanatical Support' to its customers, it will go to bat for Indymedia--one of its biggest customers--and demand that the FBI return the seized Internet servers," said Kurt Opsahl, EFF staff attorney. "Rackspace should also fight for its own rights and challenge the gag order preventing it from sharing its side of the story." A federal court in New York City recently found a similar gag order unconstitutional in Doe v. Ashcroft, the ACLU's challenge to a secret PATRIOT Act subpoena served against an Internet service provider.
"The FBI can't pull the plug on more than 20 news websites -- our modern printing presses -- based on a secret proceeding at the request of a foreign government. This is a flagrant violation of the First Amendment," said Kevin Bankston, EFF attorney and Equal Justice Works/Bruce J. Ennis Fellow. "As far as the Constitution is concerned, Indymedia has the same rights as any other news publisher. The government can't shut down the New York Times, and it can't shut down Indymedia."
The Indymedia seizure bears a striking resemblance to EFF's very first case, Steve Jackson Games v. US Secret Service. In that case, the Secret Service seized the hardware and software of Steve Jackson Games, an Austin, Texas-based computer game publisher. That seizure, which shut down an Internet bulletin board and email server in addition to disrupting the publisher's business, was found to be an illegal violation of the publisher's rights.
Attorney, Equal Justice Works / Bruce J. Ennis Fellow
Electronic Frontier Foundation email@example.com
Electronic Frontier Foundation firstname.lastname@example.org
For inquiries about Indymedia:
And don't forget, people like Dave Thomas, Mike Ilitch and even Colonel Sanders all started out in the kitchen before they ended up in the boardroom. Indymedia is an important voice and a vital source for healthy minds.