Radical media, politics and culture.

Mainstream Media

"British 'Mercenary Chief' Faces Execution in Zimbabwe"

Zimbabwe was threatening to execute up to 60 suspected mercenaries last night - among them a former SAS officer - and accused Britain, Spain and the US of helping to orchestrate an attempted coup in the oil-rich African country of Equatorial Guinea.

Zimbabwe's Foreign Minister, Stan Mudenge, said the men were on their way to Equatorial Guinea where they were plotting to overthrow the government and seize the head of state. "They are going to face the severest punishment available in our statutes, including capital punishment," he said.

Story continues at Independent

"New U.S. Effort Steps Up Hunt for bin Laden"

David E. Sanger and Eric Schmitt, New York Times

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28 -- President Bush has approved a plan to intensify the effort to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, senior administration and military officials say, as a combination of better intelligence, improving weather and a refocusing of resources away from Iraq has reinvigorated the hunt along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Reagan Approved Plan to Sabotage Soviets

David E. Hoffman, Washington Post Foreign Service

In January 1982, President Ronald Reagan approved a CIA plan to sabotage the economy of the Soviet Union through covert transfers of technology that contained hidden malfunctions, including software that later triggered a huge explosion in a Siberian natural gas pipeline, according to a new memoir by a Reagan White House official.

"Bin Laden 'Surrounded'?"

A British Sunday newspaper is claiming Osama bin Laden has been found and is surrounded by US special forces in an area of land bordering north-west Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Sunday Express, known for its sometimes colourful scoops, claims the al-Qaeda leader has been "sighted" for the first time since 2001 and is being monitored by satellite.

"A Wall as a Weapon"

Noam Chomsky, New York Times

It is a virtual reflex for governments to plead security concerns when they undertake any controversial action, often as a pretext for something else. Careful scrutiny is always in order. Israel's so-called security fence, which is the subject of hearings starting today at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, is a case in point.

Few would question Israel's right to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks like the one yesterday, even to build a security wall if that were an appropriate means. It is also clear where such a wall would be built if security were the guiding concern: inside Israel, within the internationally recognized border, the Green Line established after the 1948-49 war. The wall could then be as forbidding as the authorities chose: patrolled by the army on both sides, heavily mined, impenetrable. Such a wall would maximize security, and there would be no international protest or violation of international law.

"Chasing Judith Miller off the Stage"

Derek Seidman, Left Hook

When I heard that the New York Times correspondent Judith Miller was going to be speaking at a local campus last week, I was eager to check her out. Ever since I read Pulitzer Prize winner Samantha Power's atrocious review of Noam Chomksy's Hegemony or Survival in the Times book review last month, I've been increasingly on the lookout for these intellectual-defenders of an "enlightened" imperialism. Moreover, seeing Judith Miller (also a Pulitzer winner) was especially enticing, as she has been embroiled in controversy for her role in the Iraq war.

An anonymous coward writes

Billionaires for Bush in the New York Times


An anonymous coward writes:

"Killing the Music"

Don Henley, Washington Post

When I started in the music business, music was
important and vital to our culture. Artists connected
with their fans. Record labels signed cutting-edge
artists, and FM radio offered an incredible variety of
music. Music touched fans in a unique and personal way.
Our culture was enriched and the music business was
healthy and strong.

That's all changed.

Today the music business is in crisis. Sales have
decreased between 20 and 30 percent over the past three
years. Record labels are suing children for using
unauthorized peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing systems.
Only a few artists ever hear their music on the radio,
yet radio networks are battling Congress over ownership
restrictions. Independent music stores are closing at
an unprecedented pace. And the artists seem to be at
odds with just about everyone -- even the fans.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, the root problem is
not the artists, the fans or even new Internet
technology. The problem is the music industry itself.
It's systemic. The industry, which was once composed of
hundreds of big and small record labels, is now
controlled by just a handful of unregulated,
multinational corporations determined to continue their
mad rush toward further consolidation and merger. Sony
and BMG announced their agreement to merge in November,
and EMI and Time Warner may not be far behind. The
industry may soon be dominated by only three
multinational corporations.

Comcast Eyes the Magic Kingdom

Evan Derkacz


February 12, 2004

Forget the merger of AOL and Time Warner. If the King of Cable buys the keys to the Magic Kingdom, Comcast will become the largest media conglomerate in the country.

Even as oral arguments in a crucial lawsuit concerning media ownership limits are being heard in a federal appeals court in Philadelphia, Comcast has announced its 'unsolicited' proposal to merge with Disney. The union of the nation's largest cable provider with the entertainment industry giant would create a mega-corporation that would dwarf existing titans of media, including Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, Time Warner, and Viacom. It's a move that media reform groups describe as a serious "threat to American democracy."

hydrarchist writes:

Comcast-Disney Merger Should Be Rejected By Bush Administration/FCC

Proposed Mega-Media Monster Monopoly Direct Result of Powell Policies

February 11, 2004

Contact: Jeff Chester, Center for Digital Democracy (202) 494-7100; (301) 270-3938

Washington, DC: Comcast's proposed takeover of the Walt Disney Company (ABC) is a deal that should be unacceptable to federal officials, who are entrusted with protecting the public interest. A Comcast-Disney combine would permit one entity to dominate cable system distribution in the largest markets in the US (8 out of 10 top markets); control a broadcast TV network and the dozens--if not hundreds--of digital channels from its owned-and-affiliated stations; own cable content including ESPN, Toon, Disney, Golf, E, and TV One; as well as remain the major broadband ISP. Given Microsoft's investment in Comcast and its new relation with Disney, there are also implications for every desktop and set-top. Comcast has opposed any federal policy that would ensure that the broadband Internet operates on an open and nondiscriminatory basis.


Subscribe to Mainstream Media