Posts from February 18, 2005

Take that

Take that

: If you haven’t seen the Jon Stewart segment on blogs, here it is and it’s great. [Thanks, Henry]

Nannymania

Nannymania

: The atmosphere of nannyism in this country has gotten out of hand. First farts (below), now Eve’s breasts.

He painted Eve as God created her: nude.

And when he finished including the bare-bosomed Biblical first woman, he inscribed the word “love” on the mural that covers the outside wall of his Roseville art studio.

In Ed (Gonzo) Stross’ eyes, his variation on Michelangelo’s “Creation of Man” mural is art.

In 39A District Judge Marco Santia’s eyes, it’s a crime….

Santia ordered Stross, 43, to serve 30 days in jail, do two years’ probation and pay a $500 fine for violating a city sign ordinance. Roseville officials said letters were prohibited on the mural and Eve’s exposed chest is indecent.

Besides jail time and the fee, Stross is to tastefully cover Eve’s breasts before reporting to the Macomb County Jail on Monday morning, and to paint over “love” by May 1….

ACLU Legal Director Michael J. Steinberg said someone from his office planned to meet with Stross later Thursday to discuss representing him.

“It’s a sad day in America when an artist goes to jail for reproducing a Michelangelo painting on the side of his art studio,” Steinberg said….

He said he plans to raise money for the fine and probation costs. Stross, who has multiple sclerosis and receives disability payments, said money is tight.

[Thanks, Movieboy]

Media on media

Media on media

: Was on MSNBC’s Connected about 12:30 to quote blogs on Hillary Clinton’s proposal to allow convicts to vote. Blogs quoted…

: Uncorrelated.com said that this is really about getting Scott Peterson the right to vote: “It seems to be a fairly simple proposition–people who have demonstrated that they do not respect the rule of law, should not have a hand in making law. This strikes me as desperation.”

: LonestarTimes said: “Alas, having felons vote serves no purpose but to improve the representation for criminals in our national government. I’m sure it wasn’t lost on either Hillary or Kerry that most felons vote Democratic, either.”

: OutsideNormal said: “-I think this is actually a good idea to allow ex-felons to vote. I know felons lose their freedom while they serve time for wrongdoing, but I think that we should be doing more to allow people to earn those rights and privileges back.”

Fake reporters

Fake reporters

: In her column yesterday, Maureen Dowd said that even Nixon didn’t do what Bush is doing with fake news:

They flipped TV’s in the West Wing and Air Force One to Fox News. They paid conservative columnists handsomely to promote administration programs. Federal agencies distributed packaged “news” video releases with faux anchors so local news outlets would run them. As CNN reported, the Pentagon produces Web sites with “news” articles intended to influence opinion abroad and at home, but you have to look hard for the disclaimer: “Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense.” The agencies spent a whopping $88 million spinning reality in 2004, splurging on P.R. contracts.

Even the Nixon White House didn’t do anything this creepy. It’s worse than hating the press. It’s an attempt to reinvent it.

Ah, well, actually, Nixon did it, too… I have a story to tell I don’t think I’ve told here before…

When I finished my freshman year at Claremont in California and before transferring to Northwestern to go into journalism, I was told that someone was hiring young reporters to cover the presidential campaign. Spending the summer in California covering an election — who could pass that up? So I went on the interview.

It turned out that it was the Committee to ReElect the President, aka CREEP, that was trying to hire young “reporters” carrying credentials for a made-up news agency to get press access to all of the other side’s campaign appearances; they were to record the speeches and events and report back to the Nixon campaign.

Of course, I said no.

Web spam

Web spam

: Dave Sifry is bringing together a summit to fight web spam.

: By the way: What, if anything, should and can I do about ping spam on Movasble Type? I turned off pings as a default and rebuilt but I’m assuming I still get them on old posts. What is this doing to me? What do I do?

The unkindest cut of all

The unkindest cut of all

: Howard Stern got a new ruling from the lawyers this morning: No long farts. Short farts are OK. Fart sounds made with the mouth (or, I assume, armpit) are apparently OK. But long farts from the fart factory are now feared to be illegal.

Yes, this is why mankind invented the law and broadcast technology: to argue about the the legal length of a fart.

There’ve been many final straws on Stern’s back and he’s lobbying to leave now whenever he can. He has also made clear that the minute the indecent indecency bill is signed into law, he’ll do nothing but play records, for it’s certainly not worth fines that could add into millions — long after the alleged crimes — for a medium he’s leaving.

But this was the unkindest cut of all. Howard said he found farts funny at 5 and still finds them funny at 51. He makes no pretense of having a sophisticated sense of humor about this. They’re just farts. Farts are funny. But now farts are illegal — or lawyers think they could be, though no one will ever make it clear.

This is beyond silly, it’s below stupid. Do we really need legislation about farts?

More about About

More about About

: VC smartman Fred Wilson likes the Times purchase of About.com.

: Look at the deal first from an ad perspective rather than a content perspective: Google ads and cost-per-click bidding ad networks are grabbing huge revenue and media properties aren’t getting it. About does.

She gets rhythm

She gets rhythm

: Everybody think nice thoughts today for Instawife as she gets heart catheritization to try to fix an irregular heart beat, a condition I share (and so did Tony Blair until he had the same procedure). I’m on a new ($5 per pill) medication called Rhythmol that (knock on wood) is helping. Glenn is in the hospital at 5-something-a.m. blogging; it’s one way to stay sane while waiting and waiting and waiting. Good luck, Reynolds.

: UPDATE: Here’s the latest from Glenn on Helen; it’s not over yet; damn.