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Media, Internet, Privacy – Audio




Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On The Media

What Radio Can Teach The Internet — Net neutrality is a 21st century concern, but the policy debate that erupted between FCC chairs, the media industry, and citizens echoes an eerily similar fray from 70 years ago, when radio was the dominant medium and just a few corporations were the dominant players. Victor Pickard, author of America's Battle for Media Democracy, reviews the FCC's attitude towards and actions upon radio in that era, and explains today's parallels regarding the FCC and the internet.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   7:10

GP comment:  One important difference is that newspapers were still strong in that era, still doing a reasonable amount of investigative journalism. Today, in terms of finding truthful reporting, the internet is our last best hope, and we'd damn well better protect it from complete control by the propagandists.

Original Show Pub Date: 27.Feb.2015


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On The Media

FCC chairman making announcement (Mark Wilson/Getty Images) Internet Decision — "Free and Open" — The FCC has finally voted to reclassify the Internet as a telecom service to "protect the open Internet." Siva Vaidhyanathan, professor of media studies at the University of Virginia, discusses this long-awaited triumph for net neutrality, and about the next digital battleground: privacy.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   9:01

GP comment:  Vaidhyanathan lists a plethora of privacy issues and challenges for digital consumers and comments that we are not yet mature enough to handle appealing-but-intrusive offerings. Um, no, if we were mature enough, we would utterly reject such privacy-invading technology.

Original Show Pub Date: 27.Feb.2015


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Democracy Now

US and British Intelligence Hacked SIM Card Maker to Steal Encryption Keys to Enable Spying on Billions of Cellphonescell phone A new investigation by The Intercept reveals the National Security Agency and its British counterpart, the GCHQ, hacked into the internal computer network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, stealing encryption keys used to protect cellphone privacy. The stolen keys give intelligence agencies the ability to monitor mobile communications without seeking or receiving approval from telecom companies and foreign governments. The report was written by Jeremy Scahill and Josh Begley, based on documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. ACLU technology expert Chris Soghoian explains what's going on and also discusses cell phone apps that can help users protect privacy.
Go to page
Download/listen A   8:55
Download/listen B   14:53

GP comment:  The encryption apps—which apparently are largely designed by the US government and its contract researchers—MAY improve your cell phone security. To my cynical mind, though, it's hard to fathom the government building such apps and not putting a back door in them.

Original Show Pub Date: 20.Feb.2015


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On The Media

Media Double-Standards on the Use of "Terrorists" and "Terrorism"candlelit vigil for slain students In the aftermath of the Chapel Hill shootings of three Muslim students, Western media outlets are coming under criticism for using double-standards when it comes to who gets labeled a terrorist and which acts are deemed terrorism. This clip includes several segments.... The Guardian's David Shariatmadari chronicles the fraught history of the word "terrorism." Journalist Rana Sweis reviews how American media coverage of the Chapel Hill shooting has sparked fierce debate in the Middle East. Scott Shane of The New York Times talks about criticism of the language President Obama uses when describing acts of violent extremism. A new Southern Poverty Law Center study aims to get homegrown terrorism, and especially the threat of so-called lone-wolf American terrorists, back on the agenda.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   35:58

GP comment:  As with all mainstream media reports—albeit from one of the better MSM outlets, in this case—the analysis here is a totally inside the envelope. We get standard framing, subtly slipped in—for instance, we hear that media outlets in Muslin countries are largely controlled by governments but that in the West they are not (when in actuality they are totally controlled by elite interests). And while the biases of media are explored, the use of Western media for propaganda—especially when it comes to the matter of terrorism and terrorists—is completely absent. Nonetheless, the topics presented stimulate useful thought.

Original Show Pub Date: 20.Feb.2015 ~~ Safe Words


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Unwelcome Guests

Terrorists Against Terror! ... Warmongers, Media, and the Charlie Hebdo AttackCreative reinterpretation of the March of/against terrorists, showing world leaders and terrorists marching side by side, courtesy of Knot The Media Why has the corporate media put such emphasis on the attack on the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo, which killed only a tiny fraction of the number killed in the recent massacre in Nigeria, an event largely ignored by the media? What of the commercially-controlled media's claim that we need moderate Muslims to condemn the attack? Where were the calls for moderate Christians to condemn the Christian extremists whose illegal war killed over a million Iraqis? What lies behind the simplistic official narratives pushed by corporate media? Dissident BBC reporter Tony Gosling examines connections between recent terrorist events and sketches out a highly compelling picture of darker forces at work.
Go to page A  |  Download/listen A   59:36
Go to page B  |  Download/listen B   59:36

GP comment:  Gosling and his interviewer occasionally go too far in their ruminations; for instance, I think the idea that financially troubled Charlie Hebdo might have murdered itself as a publicity stunt to avoid going out of business is plain stupid. The attack as a black-op bitch-slap of France for its recent non-compliance with US geopolitical strategies is a much more compelling angle. Broadly speaking, though, most of the ideas presented in the two hours are fairly on-target.

Original Show Pub Date: 24.Jan.2015 ~~ Original story title: Terrorists Against Terror! (Corporate Media Handling of The Charlie Hebdo Attack)


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Democracy Now

Endless War, Endless War SpinObama As Obama talks about a new major cycle of the war on terror—this time against the Islamic State—Norman Solomon of the Institute for Public Accuracy says Obama talks about not being interested in "endless war" but is doing more than any previous president to engage the US in exactly that. Solomon also says Brain Williams' worst lies about war were not his exaggerations of his personal experiences reporting from danger zones but rather his parroting the war propaganda of both the Bush and Obama administrations and his failure to challenge any aspect of the corrupt endless-war agenda. Of course, all the big names in media did the same. Finally, Solomon talks about the case of CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling, who has been persecuted for exposing a dodgy CIA operation to the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Watch A  |  Watch B  |  Watch C
Download/listen   17:18

GP comment:  Solomon is very good here. The title of his book gives some indication of his tone: War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.

Original Show Pub Date: 12.Feb.2015 ~~ Original story titles ... Endless War? Obama Sends Congress Expansive Anti-ISIS Measure 6 Months After Bombing Began ~~ Brian Williams Suspended for False Iraq Tale, But Media's Real Scandal is the War Lies Spun Daily ~~ Was Jeffrey Sterling Trial a Gov't Effort to Divide Investigative Journalists & Whistleblowers?


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Unwelcome Guests

Legal Restrictions as Convenient Fictions—The Deep State's Consuming Passion for Big DataNational Security Agency (eagle) - all your data This starts with a pair of talks from 31C3—the latest Chaos Computer Congress—by insiders with extensive experience on the subject of mass surveillance. First, NSA expert James Bamford on the relationships between the NSA and the big telecom companies. Then Caspar Bowden discusses the legal basis for the NSA's mass surveillance program, PRISM, particularly as it affects those in the EU. Microsoft summarily dismissed Bowden from his job as head of privacy after he raised privacy issues related to Microsoft's products and services, and he has spent the last 3 years alerting people to the danger.
Go to page A  |  Download/listen A   1:00:00
Go to page B  |  Download/listen B   1:00:00

GP comment:  I have a great deal of respect for these speakers and what they have to say. But, for whatever the reasons, they asciduously avoid or deny the deep issues of (a) the spies now operating with impunity; and (b) the NSA, CIA, and DIA operating in service of the US imperial operation, not national interests. Host Robin Upton summarizes the problem nicely: "Neither speaker seems to have much idea about the deep state, but their talks nevertheless provide useful information."

Original Show Pub Date: 10.Jan.2015


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen CounterSpin

Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman Will FCC's New Rules Really Protect Net Neutrality? — The head of the FCC has just announced a new rule that will ostensibly protect the openness of the Internet. The approach would reclassify the internet as a public utility, like the phone system. The rules would ban paid prioritization or blocking/throttling of lawful content and services. The commision's vote is still weeks away, but questions remain. The FCC's oversight of industry to date might be described as having been "helpful"; so will this new proposal have teeth and actually maintain an even playing field on the Internet? Craig Aaron of Free Press discusses.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   9:12

GP comment:  Since the FCC is stacked with revolving-door players from industry, it's hard to imagine the regulators are just going to "do the right thing" for the public. I note that Wheeler explicitly procalimed that the new rules would protect mobile broadband users. What about home internet service? is that the loophole that will give industry the fat end of the deal?

Original Show Pub Date: 06.Feb.2015 ~~ Original story title: Craig Aaron on FCC Reclassification


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Democracy Now

Scoring the Fight For Truth—One Loss (Barrett Brown), One Win (Robert MacLean)Robert MacLean Barrett Brown, an activist-journalist has been given a five-year prison term and ordered to pay nearly $900,000 in restitution and fines. His crime? Publishing hacked emails showing bad corporate ethics. Supporters say Brown has been unfairly targeted for investigating the highly secretive world of private intelligence and military contractors. ~~ In July 2003, after being stymied by official channels, federal Air Marshal Robert MacLean revealed to MSNBC that the Department of Homeland Security had decided to stop assigning air marshals to certain long-distance flights in order to save money, despite warnings of a potential plot to hijack US airplanes. Three years later, after admitting to being the story's source, he was fired. Based on this case, the US Supreme Court has upheld 7-2 the right of federal employees to become whistleblowers.
Watch A  |  Watch B  |  Download/listen   22:28

GP comment:  You have to admire Brown's steely sense of humor: After his sentencing on Thursday, Brown released a satirical statement that read, in part: "Good news! The US government decided today that because I did such a good job investigating the cyber-industrial complex, they're now going to send me to investigate the prison-industrial complex."

Original Show Pub Date: 23.Jan.2015 ~~ Original story titles: Barrett Brown Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison After Reporting on Hacked Private Intelligence Firms + In Victory for Govít Whistleblowers, Supreme Court Sides with Fired TSA Air Marshal Who Spoke Out


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Democracy Now

Circus of Hypocrisy—World Leaders Simultaneously March For and Oppose Press Freedom — In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, more than a million people marched in Jeremy Scahill Paris, including more than 40 world leaders. But Jeremy Scahill calls the leaders' attendance a "circus of hypocrisy" since those same leaders have waged their own wars against journalists. He recounts numerous examples ranging from media suppression to whistleblower prosecution to outright murder. ~~ Then Scahill moves on to the broader issue of the actions of Western nations doing more to foster terrorism than to suppress it, again giving plentiful examples of counterproductive strategies and tactics.
Watch A  |  Watch B  |  Download/listen   46:56

GP comment:  Scahill is, as usual, on-target. Sometimes I wonder what more he'd say in a quiet one-on-one conversation over a beer.

Original Show Pub Date: 12.Jan.2015


Rating: 2 of 5 - OK; if you've got the time... On The Media

Futuristic Predictions That Came True in 2014man wearing communications equipment Futurist George Dvorsky talks about 2014's "breakthroughs" in science, technology, and culture, some of which seem right out of a sci-fi novel. This year, humanity landed on its first comet, a child was born to a woman with a transplanted womb, a fossilized sea shell forced us to reconsider our conceptions of human culture, and two people achieved silent brain-to-brain communication. Are we finally heading to the brave new Star Trek world?
Go to page  |  Download/listen   12:18

GP comment:  No, we're in total denial about the deep, perhaps unfixable flaws in the human experiment on this planet, so we compensate with increasingly complicated and weird experiments in science.

Original Show Pub Date: 09.Jan.2015


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On The Media

cartoon image Charlie Hebdo and the Muck-a-lot Factory — Charlie Hebdo magazine is notorious for its irreverent satirical cartoons, attacking all sides, particularly those who finger-wag their conservative values. In the wake of the murderous attack on Charlie Hebdo, professor Laurence Grove reviews how French culture has held political cartoons in high regard for centuries. ~~ Then Atlantic correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg argues that the ability of journalists and citizens to mock those in power is essential to liberty and democracy.
Go to page A  |  Download/listen A   8:34
Go to page B  |  Download/listen B   4:39

GP comment:  The attack on Charlie Hebdo employees may certainly be just as it's been reported. But I also note the alignment of other possible interests: a media outlet with long-term enemies within TPTB sphere plus the usefulness of the attack for those who prefer to reinforce, not heal, the divide between the West and Islam.

Original Show Pub Date: 09.Jan.2015 ~~ Original story titles: (1) Monty Python But 50 Times As Rude (2) On 'Je Suis Charlie'


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Project Censored

The Most Underreported Stories of 2014Censored 2015 cover Project Censored is out with a new addition of their annual "unreported stories" book. On the empire front, their most-underreported stories include "Top Ten US Aid Recipients All Practice Torture"; "WikiLeaks Revelations on Trans-Pacific Partnership Ignored by Corporate Media"; "Corporate Internet Providers Threaten Net Neutrality"; "Bankers Back on Wall Street Despite Major Crimes"; "The Deep State—Government Without the Consent of the Governed"; "US Media Hypocrisy in Covering Ukraine Crisis." On the environmental front, their top underreported stories include "Ocean Acidification Increasing at Unprecedented Rate"; "Lawsuit Challenges Nuclear Power Industry Immunity from Liability in Nuclear Accidents"; "Agribusiness Attempts to Discredit Scientists Who Reveal Herbicide Health Threats."
Download/listen   59:00

GP comment:  This clip includes an interview with Zara Zimbardo, who recently penned "It Is Easier to Imagine the Zombie Apocalypse Than the End of Capitalism." Catchy title, but we need to be more clever in attacking capitalism. It must be continually distinguished from "free enterprise" and "entrepreneurship" and "effort/reward." Capitalism is not about those things; it means "money rules," and no one but the 1% of the 1% really want that.

Original Show Pub Date: 06.Jan.2015


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Uprising

America's Battle for Media DemocracySplit image of FDR on radio and Tom Wheeler, FCC chairman Sometime in early 2015, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler is expected to unveil his decision on the crucial issue of net neutrality. Wheeler's earlier proposal for a two-tier system outraged consumers, advocacy organizations, and even some corporations. Media professor Victor Pickard discusses the history of "media in the public interest" going back to the 1940s rise of radio and details the political decisions and turning points that led to our present-day corporate-dominated media system.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   24:44

GP comment:  The historical information here is interesting. But the trend towards concentrated media monopolies that do not operate in the public interest is merely reflective of the increasing alignment of the goals of government, corporations, and elites. Speculation about other reasons—such as a "corporate-libertarian paradigm" or a throwback to the McCarthy era—are just silly.

Original Show Pub Date: 02.Jan.2015


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Fresh Air

A Short History of Personal Computers and the Internet — As told by Walter Isaacson, the story of how the digital age came to be involves a cast of more than 40 people, ranging from a 19th century English countess The electric analog computer named ANACOM, in 1950 at Caltech, weighed 6,000 pounds and filled 13 cabinets. to a WWII codebreaker to California hippies. In his book The Innovators, Isaacson profiles many of those characters, focusing on how their collaborations helped bring us into the digital age.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   38:08

GP comment:  Many familiar names and milestones, but generally well told, with some interesting nooks and crannies.

Original Show Pub Date: 06.Oct.2014 ~~ Original story title: How The Cold War And George Orwell Helped Make The Internet What It Is


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On The Media

The Con Artists Take the Media Sal Pain (Getty Images/Getty) In October 2014, when the news was All Ebola All the Time, you could scarcely avoid the media presence of Sal Pain, the Chief Safety Officer of Bio-Recovery, the company that won the emergency bid from the city of New York to decontaminate the apartment of Dr. Craig Spencer. But BuzzFeed's Investigative Team took a look into Sal Pain's past and discovered he wasn't who he claimed to be. Alex Campbell talks about this and other cases of con artists using the media to help create the illusion of credentials.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   10:43

GP comment:  Yes, the media should better investigate those they give a platform to. But realize that the mainstream media is not there to inform people; they are there to push their buttons. In their world, minor lapses in credibility are unimportant compared to keeping viewers off-balance and engaged.

Original Show Pub Date: 05.Dec.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen NPR

Pandora's New Deal—Different Pay, Different Play — The Internet radio service Pandora made its name by creating personalized stations by having users "like" and "dislike" songs and by tweaking playlists based on the relationships between artists and songs---relationships that have been established through its massive Music Genome Project. But a deal between Pandora and a group of record labels has raised concerns that the company will now start favoring certain songs over others because it can pay a smaller royalty to the musicians behind the favored songs.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   5:15

GP comment:  Payola lives! I personally have never found Pandora very helpful due its simplistic binary rating system. I miss Launchcast!

Original Show Pub Date: 26.Nov.2014


Rating: 2 of 5 - OK; if you've got the time... New Tech City

What Reading on Screens Does to Our BrainsWhen Maria Popova, editor of, can't read a book on the iPad, she uses an elaborate system of sticky tabs and a hand written index. This is her desk. (Manoush Zomorodi/WNYC) Paper or screen? There's a battle in your brain. The more you read on screens, the more your brain adapts to the "non-linear" kind of reading we do on computers and phones. Your eyes dart around, you stop half way through a paragraph to check a link or a read a text message. Then, when you go back to good old fashioned paper, it can be harder to concentrate—unless you can develop your 'bi-literate' brain.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   24:00

GP comment:  The screen itself is only part of the problem, and the terse format of web content is only part of the problem. We are, in general, HUGELY distracted in life, and that degrades any function that requires concentration.

Original Show Pub Date: 17.Sep.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On The Media

A Conversation with George TakeiGeorge Takei George Takei has taken his fame as Mr. Sulu on Star Trek and used it as a platform from which to speak about important social issues, including marriage equality and redressment for Japanese-American internment during WWII, which he personally experienced. Here he talks about his personal odyssey, the issues, and the fun he's having in his new late-life career as a social-media darling.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   16:35

GP comment:  Solid guy, fun interview.

Original Show Pub Date: 21.Nov.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Democracy Now

No Debate—Antiwar Voices Absent from Corporate TV News Ahead of U.S. Attacks on Iraq and Syria — An analysis of corporate TV news has found that the public was given almost no debate about whether the United States should go to war in Iraq and Syria. The group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting found that of the more than 200 guests, just six voiced opposition to military action. On the high-profile Sunday talk shows, out of 89 guests, there was just one antiwar voice—Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation. Peter Hart of FAIR discusses the issue.
Watch  |  Download/listen   4:00

GP comment:  Controlling the message is not a new concept, it's just that it has never been done so seamlessly or completely. We are not quite in Orwell's world of 1984 yet, but we are getting there.

Original Show Pub Date: 18.Nov.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Uprising

Obama Presses FCC on Net NeutralityObama giving thumbs-up President Obama has called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to protect the internet as a free and open communications platform by applying an already-existing regulatory classification. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler had previously proposed a set of rules, yet to be voted on, that would create a two-tier system where companies who can afford to pay extra get faster service, leaving non-payers in the slow lane. Craig Aaron of Free Press comments on the coming battle.
Go to page A  |  Download/listen A   18:00

GP comment:  I doubt it will be much of a battle. What Obama SAYS always sounds great; what he actually makes happen rarely is great. In this case, he has already telegraphed the out that will let him say one thing and do another: "the FCC is an independent agency." Well, he's the f'ing president, and on this particular issue, if he really wanted it to happen, I think he could make it happen without blockage FROM HIS OWN APPOINTEE.

Original Show Pub Date: 11.Nov.2014 ~~ Original Story Title: Obama Pleasantly Surprises Progressives (For Once), On Net Neutrality


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good On The Media

The Unseen World of Content Moderationpanic button Even though there is a lot of "offensive" content on the internet, mainstream search sites like Google rarely present any of it in search results. That's because they employ moderators to filter out content like beheading videos, pornography, animal torture, illegal solicitation, and all manner of the unimaginable and unspeakable.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   7:04

GP comment:  It's fine that search sites offer filtering, but they should also offer the option of getting your results unfiltered. It is not a very big step from suppressing off-putting content to suppressing political/activist content.

Original Show Pub Date: 31.Oct.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good New Tech City / On the Media

The Other Ed Snowdens—Inside the Mind of Two Privacy Whistleblowerswhistleblower in the shadows NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was not the only technologist to have defied the government's secrecy mandates. Ladar Levison and William Binney each paid the price for taking a moral stand against the US government, and your digital privacy is better for it.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   10:52

GP comment:  It's good that Binney and others have faith that one day the sleeping, spied-upon masses will finally rise up against domestic surveillance, but I suspect that our addiction to online benefits will trump our willingness to truly do anything about Big Brother.

Original Show Pub Date: 29.Oct.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen The Keiser Report

Rebranding Unearned Income as a Good ThingKeiser Report set, Max and Stacy with Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert are joined by politically astute actor Alec Baldwin and comedian/actor Russell Brand for a rollicking conversation about the media, ultra-low interest rates, revolution, and elites. Observations include: The rule of law no longer applies. The wealthy now not only laud their ability to make money without working, they denigration those who must toil to earn a living. Though it's easy to target our anger towards mainstream media's talking heads, they are merely playing roles designed to tap into the disenfranchisement felt by many people.
Watch  |  Download/listen   25:48

GP comment:  Fun, with some decent insights.

Original Show Pub Date: 11.Oct.2014 ~~ Original Story Title: Meeting of Megaminds, E665


Rating: 5 of 5 - Must-listening! Democracy Now

Can Journalism Keep the Homeland Security-Industrial Complex in Check?James Risen New York Times investigative reporter James Risen is at the center of one of the most significant press freedom cases in decades. In 2006, Risen won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting about warrantless wiretapping of Americans by the National Security Agency. He has since been pursued by both the Bush and Obama administrations in a six-year leak investigation for information he published in his book, State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration. Risen talks about how the story broke and the suppression exerted by the government and the Times, as well as the significance of the continuing efforts by whistleblowers and reporters to expose illegal government activities in the face of unrelenting harassment and prosecution by the government.
Watch A  |  Watch B  |  Download/listen   43:43

GP comment:  There are still a few actual investigative journalists at the major US papers, but they face huge barriers to truth-telling, even from their own organizations.

Original Show Pub Date: 14.Oct.2014 ~~ Original Story Titles: James Risen Prepared to Pay Any Price to Report on War on Terror Amid Crackdown on Whistleblowers; James Risen on NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden: He Sparked a New National Debate on Surveillance


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good C-Realm Podcast

Ferguson RorschachMayhem or uprising?  (Young people in Ferguson, MO) KMO talks with freelance writer and blogger Brian Kaller, who grew up in a town next to Ferguson, Missouri, about how the news and images out of Ferguson seemed to provide confirmation for disparate and sometimes contradictory narratives about the forces at work in American culture. Everyone saw what they wanted or expected to see, and few voices showed any hint of doubt, even while their reporting demonstrated near total ignorance of the storyís setting.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   59:54

GP comment:  This turned out to be surprisingly good—far more than just a rehashing of the Ferguson story through one more person's lens; rather, an apt mapping of media and public responses to the problems in Ferguson to the larger problems in the US.

Original Show Pub Date: 01.Oct.2014


Rating: 2 of 5 - OK; if you've got the time... On The Media

Gary Webb and the CIAlobby of CIA headquarters In 1996, San Jose Mercury News reporter Gary Webb published a series of articles that connected the CIA, the contra rebels in Nicaragua, and the exploding crack trade in Los Angeles. The story was a tale of deep conspiracy and faced incredible backpressure from the large news outlets of the day. Ryan Devereaux, a reporter at The Intercept, talks about the case.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   9:19

GP comment:  Devereaux's explanation of why the L.A. Times and other went after Webb is missing a key element: the pressure the ruling power structure puts on media outlets when they need a problem to go away. The media outlets that went after Webb no doubt got that pressure when Webb was going after the CIA. Not only was he messing with the spooks, he was messing with their money flow. In the end, Webb is a largely unsung hero, and no one should have any doubt about that.

Original Show Pub Date: 03.Oct.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On The Media

Riding the Rumor — Craig Silverman, a longtime chronicler of media misinformation, has created a real-time rumor tracker called Silverman discusses the life cycle of rumors and how news outlets handle debunking them.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   7:05

GP comment:  Mostly what this story proves is that the general public is hopelessly addicted to nonsense and utterly lacking in critical-thinking skills.

Original Show Pub Date: 03.Oct.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On The Media

The Labor Beat—Or Lack Thereofsteelworker In 1950, about a third of American private-sector workers were union members. Today, itís roughly a tenth. As the power of the unions declined, so did the number of labor reporters covering them. New York Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse, who is one of just a handful of full-time labor reporters left at major papers, talks about the issue.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   7:47

GP comment:  The general public stupidly bought in to Reagan's demonization of the unions, and now low-end jobs dominate the opportunities. It did not help that greed and corruption were often hallmarks of many unions.

Original Show Pub Date: 12.Sep.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen NPR

Media Group Evolves From Covering Vice To War Zones — This is the story of the evolution of a news organization called Vice. Its stories are published online and aired on HBO. Years ago, it didn't really cover news, it covered sensational piffle like rare denim, cool sneakers, and hot supermodels. Almost by accident, the magazine migrated to covering war zones. Now, in addition to the piffle, it runs a serious, documentary-based news channel that tries to dig deep and ignore the distractions of the news cycle.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   7:47

GP comment:  This wisdom that more value is found in stories that take longer to investigate and produce is not new, it's just usually ignored.

Original Show Pub Date: 24.Sep.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good On The Media

The Decline of Beat Reportingnewspapers You'd think that beat reporting has been fundamental to journalism since the birth of the business. But beats didn't really take off until a little over a century ago. Print-news analyst James McGrath Morris explains. ~~ Two-thirds of daily papers do not assign even one reporter to cover their state's legislature. The numbers are even worse for local TV stations. Amy Mitchell of the Pew Research Center talks about the decline of State House reporters.
Go to page A  |  Download/listen A   7:17
Go to page B  |  Download/listen B   5:56

GP comment:  We often forget that as bad as corruption is at the federal level, it's probably worse at the state level. And now fewer and fewer reporters are doing ANY reporting on statehouse issues, let alone doing solid investigative journalism.

Original Show Pub Date: 12.Sep.2014


Rating: 5 of 5 - Must-listening! On The Media

Marking of Paid Content Weakens FurtherNew York Times Native advertising, or ads that resemble editorial and news content, is now embraced by the vast majority of online publications. Originally, such content was clearly marked as advertising or as having been provided by a sponsor. But the commitment to marking appears to be fading fast. Bob talks with David J. Franklyn about the ethical implications.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   8:12

GP comment:  The "news" these days is largely just talking heads repeating unvetted, unchallenged corp-gov press releases. Paid content is actually less of a problem than that—though it is a problem.

Original Show Pub Date: 05.Sep.2014, Original story Title: Even Blurrier Lines


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On The Media

The Internet Slowdownactivists with Keep the Internet Free sign Parker Higgins of the Electronic Freedom Foundation talks about the status of efforts to keep everyone's internet speed the same, the potential for telecomm reclassification as a tool in FCC policy, and a new online initiative.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   5:19

GP comment:  We should preserve net neutrality as long as possible. But given that freedom of the press itself has already largely been lost to corp-gov interests, I suspect that net neutrality will eventually fall and the multi-lane toll system will happen. Moneyed interests are VERY persistent.

Original Show Pub Date: 05.Sep.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good CounterSpin

Risen v. Obama — First Amendment Rights vs. The Iron FistJames Risen giving speech Will New York Times reporter James Risen go to jail for refusing to testify against a source? Risen's case is seen by many as a clear-cut example of how the Obama administration's war on whistleblowers is also a war on journalists and journalism. Media watchdog Jeff Cohen talks about the state of the case and the activist pushback.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   10:54

GP comment:  Now the Obama administration is pursuing cases against whistleblowers even when the facts are old and irrelevant to current operations.

Original Show Pub Date: 22.Aug.2014


Rating: 5 of 5 - Must-listening! Democracy Now

US Humanitarianism Only Applies to Oil-Rich Areasbombing zone Glenn Greenwald reviews news headlines related to US military action in Iraq over the past two decades, concluding that the premise of humanitarian intervention is an outright sham. Greenwald also provides detail on the far-reaching technical and analytic relationship between the US National Security Agency and its Israeli counterpart regarding mutually agreed upon geographic targets. Then he talks about NPR's recent (horrible/dishonest) reporting on the impact of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Watch A  |  Watch B
Download/listen   15:27

GP comment:  NPR listeners and Fox News listeners have two things in common: They are convinced they are more informed than anyone else on the planet, and they are both quite wrong.

Original Show Pub Date: 13.Aug.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Fresh Air

Mr. Sulu, Set Course for the Cultural Nexus — Many fans know George Takei from his role as Mr. Sulu in Star Trek. But in the past decade, he has drawn followers who admire him because of who he is in real life. Takei's personal story offers insights into key chapters of American political and cultural history, including the US internment camps during WWII and professional challenges for a not-openly-gay actors.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   37:15

GP comment:  Interesting anecdotes abound.

Original Show Pub Date: 28.Jul.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Meria Heller Show

Tales from the Forbidden Bookshelf — Book censorship is alive and well in the US, and the new project "Forbidden Bookshelf" is designed to combat that. Mark Crispin Miller talks about some of the books and themes that the project is trying to bring back into the daylight, including hidden CIA operations, the JFK assassination, and 9/11.
Download/listen   53:25

GP comment:  The site is here, though it may be slow to load.

Original Show Pub Date: 29.Jul.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Democracy Now

Global Stop-and-Frisk Program + Mass US Surveillance Targeting Journalists and Lawyersguidebook cover (A) The Obama administration has expanded the national terrorist watchlist system by approving broad guidelines on who can be targeted. A leaked copy reveals that to be deemed a "terrorist" target, "irrefutable evidence or concrete facts are not necessary." ~~ (B) In a new report, Human Rights Watch and the ACLU warn that government surveillance is crippling US-based journalists and lawyers in their work. Sources are afraid of talking to reporters, as aggressive prosecutions scare government officials into staying silent, even about unclassified issues. Government surveillance is also forcing lawyers to take extraordinary measures to try to protect their clients' right to privacy.
Watch A  |  Download/listen A/B   26:57
Watch B

GP comment:  Curtain descending, people.

Original Show Pub Date: 29.Jul.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good The Lifeboat Hour

Abby Martin on Western Media Self-Censorship — Carolyn Baker interviews the savvy RT anchor Abby Martin. Topics include Ukraine and Martin's outspoken stance on the forces of empire; the mainstream news bias on the Israeli bombing of Gaza; and broader media issues. She points out that Western mainstream outlets do not need to be censored by the corp-gov state—they censor themselves.
Download/listen   58:30

GP comment:  Martin speaks intelligently on these topics.

Original Show Pub Date: 27.Jul.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On The Media

Silliness and Moral IndignationJon Stewart How can topical comedians like Jon Stewart, John Oliver, and Stephen Colbert make us laugh at politically hot topics we would not normally discuss in polite company? They do it by combining silliness and moral indignation.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   6:22

GP comment:  Yes, but it's sad that people who can only be nudged by such an approach are still always stuck in their overall limiting framework of thinking.

Original Show Pub Date: 25.Jul.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Democracy Now

MSNBCís Sole Palestinian Voice Takes on Pro-Israeli Bias in US MediaRula Jebreal Public outrage recently helped force NBC to reverse a decision to pull veteran journalist Ayman Mohyeldin out of Gaza after he reported on the killing of Palestinian children by Israel. Now, a week later, the sole Palestinian contributor to sister network MSNBC has publicly criticized its coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict. "We are disgustingly biased when it comes to this issue," Rula Jebreal said, citing a dearth of Palestinian voices and a preponderance of Israeli government officials and supporters in major media coverage. Jebreal discusses her decision to speak out against MSNBC and her broader criticism of the corporate mediaís Israel-Palestine coverage.
Watch  |  Download/listen   15:00

GP comment:  The reasons for TPTB's continuing unconditional support for Israel's illicit violence are murky; but the iron grip on US politics and media that heavily biases votes and coverage towards Israel is obvious and disastrous.

Original Show Pub Date: 23.Jul.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Fresh Air

The Hazards Of Probing The Internet's Dark Sidecircuit board and lock Late last year, hackers breached Target's data security and stole information from millions of credit cards. Brian Krebs, who writes about cybercrime and computer security for his blog, , broke the story. A few days later, he broke the story of a credit card breach at Neiman Marcus. To do his work, Krebs has learned computer code, the Russian language, and how to get onto black market websites and cybercrime networks. Cybercriminals don't appreciate his efforts and have found creative and frightening ways to harass him.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   38:56

GP comment:  Entertaining and non-technical.

Original Show Pub Date: 08.Jul.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Democracy Now

The Impact of WikiLeaks' Nearly 8 Million Released DocumentsAmy Goodman and Julian Assange Julian Assange reviews of some of the important shifts that have happed as a result of Wikileaks and similar reporting efforts, including the Collateral Murder video, the US decision to leave Afghanistan, and corrupt influence practices by the US in other countries. He also explains why the new supposedly independent media outlet "The Intercept" may prove to be limited by its elite ownership.
Watch  |  Download/listen   16:51

GP comment:  Assange makes an interesting point that the de facto circumstances of his embassy environs, as limited by the threat of arrest if he leaves the building, do not even meet the international standard for fresh air and light for POWs.

Original Show Pub Date: 09.Jul.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen CounterSpin

The Unbalanced US Press Response to the Gaza Attacksrocket attack Yousef Munayyer of the Jerusalem Fund discusses the conflict in Gaza, where Israeli airstrikes have claimed over 100 Palestinian lives, including those of more than a dozen children. There are no Israeli casualties so far. The fact that US corporate media fail to note Israel's vastly superior power and the disproportionate suffering of Palestinians typifies the way Middle East coverage is distorted.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   11:52

GP comment:  The horribleness of US mainstream media reporting on geopolitical topics is exceeded only by the horribleness—and complete lack of understanding—of its reporting on the monetary system.

Original Show Pub Date: 11.Jul.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Democracy Now

Support Grows for Snowden Asylum in Germany after Merkel Cancels Verizon ContractEdward Snowden Revelations by Edward Snowden about US surveillance continue to shake Germany more than one year after he came forward as an National Security Agency whistleblower. Reports based on Snowdenís leaks revealed vast NSA spying in Germany. Last week the German government canceled its contract with US telecommunications giant Verizon, which has been providing network infrastructure for the German governmentís Berlin-Bonn network. Meanwhile, the German Parliament is continuing to conduct an inquiry into spying by the NSA and German secret services. Some German lawmakers are calling on Merkelís government to grant Snowden asylum. Snowdenís European lawyer, Wolfgang Kaleck, also of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, talks about the issues.
Watch  |  Download/listen   27:50

GP comment:  More actual pain for the financialists (like the Verizon cancellation) would be helpful.

Original Show Pub Date: 30.Jun.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On The Media

Supreme Court Decision Says Warrants Required for Cell Phone Searcheswoman on smart phone in front of Supreme Court building This week, the Supreme Court ruled on two media technology cases, one that suggests an "internet rebroadcaster" of over-the-air content is going out of business soon, and another that privacy advocates are heralding as a win. The latter decision specifies that police must get a warrant before they search your cell phone. Dahlia Lithwick discusses the impact of these decisions.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   7:28

GP comment:  The decision on cell phone searches is a win, but it does not cover the crap NSA does. Also remember that TPTB never execute their agenda in a straight line—it's a ratcheting effect, and we move inexorably, almost imperceptibly in the wrong direction.

Original Show Pub Date: 27.Jun.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Uprising

Glenn Greenwald on Snowden, NSA, Media, and OrwellGlenn Greenwald Investigative reporter Glenn Greenwald talks about the impact the NSA-spying information leaked by Edward Snowden has had on the public discourse and on media behavior. Topics include strict application of laws against whistleblowers but not against high officials; the apt parallel of Orwell's 1984 to today's surveillance world; the ridiculous notion that journalists can be objective; legislative measures attempting to curb some aspects of NSA surveillance programs.
Watch  |  Download/listen   27:00

GP comment:  Many talking heads who front for corporate media actually believe the delusional things they say, but many otherwise good reporters are trapped in a system that has little tolerance for reporting truth.

Original Show Pub Date: 23.Jun.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Democracy Now

The Last Magazine—One Year After His Death, Michael Hastings Satirizes Corporate MediaThe Last Magazine - A Novel In 2010, investigative journalist Michael Hastings' Rolling Stone article on General Stanley McChrystal, the US commander in Afghanistan, sparked a political controversy that led to McChrystal's firing. Then in 2012, Hastings wrote a major piece on the American prisoner of war, Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, a subject that in 2014 has finally roiled into a public storm. A year ago this week, Hastings died in a car crash. Now, another major work from Hastings is upon us: "The Last Magazine," a posthumous, scathing satire of the corporate news media based on Hastings' time at Newsweek.
Watch  |  Download/listen   11:32

GP comment:  Despite the host and guest going out of their way to deny the possibility that Hastings was taken out, he likely was. In today's media world, TPTB will only let you get way with so much.

Original Show Pub Date: 17.Jun.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On The Media

tape recorder Intelligence Community Directive 119 — In April 2014, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence's website quietly posted Intelligence Community Directive 119, the implications of which could be devastating for journalists. Steven Aftergood talks about the effect this directive will have on contact between intelligence officials and the press.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   7:12

GP comment:  To a large extent, supposed leaks and inside info from intelligence sources are not contrary to the wishes of the intelligence establishment, they are part of a carefully woven disinformation tapestry.

Original Show Pub Date: 13.Jun.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good CounterSpin

Supreme Court Ruling Kills "Reporters' Privilege"James Risen New York Times reporter James Risen faces incarceration for citing a "reporter's privilege" to protect a source as he refused to testify in a criminal case against an ex-CIA employee. The Supreme Court refused to take his case on June 2nd, letting stand a lower court ruling that found there is no such thing as a reporter's privilege. Trevor Timm of the Freedom of the Press Foundation discusses the impact of the ruling.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   14:42

GP comment:  This is an ominous milestone in the slow but clear descent into to a totalitarian state.

Original Show Pub Date: 06.Jun.2014


Rating: 5 of 5 - Must-listening! On The Media

Health Reporting—The Worried Well Whipped Into A Frenzymedical symbol Health news reporting is plagued by imprecision, false correlation, and general public confusion. Gary Schwitzer has devoted his life to reviewing how health news is reported and, more often than not, mis-reported. Schwitzer discusses his new study, ďA Guide to Reading Health Care News Stories,Ē and the impact of bad health reporting.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   8:01

GP comment:  Most reporters and the public come up short on critical thinking and analysis skills, which is one reason why the propaganda that flows from the corp-gov cabal through mainstream media to the public is so effective.

Original Show Pub Date: 23.May.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Democracy Now

How Media Mega-Mergers and FCC Rollback of Net Neutrality Threaten DemocracyAl Franken The FCC is preparing to push a proposal that critics say threatens net neutrality—the concept of an open Internet where all traffic is treated equally. The new rules could allow Internet "fast lanes" where companies pay providers for faster access to consumers. That sparked a wave of protest from opponents who say the rules hand too much power to the large corporations who can afford to pay, allowing them to further consolidate their hegemony at the expense of smaller competitors and consumers. Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota comments.
Watch  |  Download/listen   16:27

GP comment:  Like food and water, the internet has become one of the key commodities. Control the internet and you control the information; control the information and you control to populace.

Original Show Pub Date: 20.May.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Democracy Now

William Worthy—The Most Important Journalist You've Never Heard OfWilliam Worthy Pioneering journalist William Worthy died in May 2014 at the age of 92. During the height of the Cold War, Worthy defied the US government by reporting from the Soviet Union, Cuba, China, Iran, North Vietnam, and Algeria. As he learned the other side of the story on "how the world really works," Worthy began to see the lies permeating US foreign policy and became more determined than ever to print the truth of current events, no matter the threats from the government.
Watch  |  Download/listen   47:18

GP comment:  Lots of interesting historical references in here.

Original Show Pub Date: 19.May.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On The Media

Free To Forgetnewspaper and magnifying glass Europe's highest court recently ruled that EU citizens have the right to be "forgotten" by Google's search engines. Journalism guru Emily Bell talks about the impact of this decision on freedom of information and internet privacy. Is the right to privacy more important that the right to public information?
Go to page  |  Download/listen   7:27

GP comment:  The solution is relatively simple: If it's a private individual, privacy concerns should trump information desires. If it's a government, a public official, a corporation, etc, then put the high beams on it.

Original Show Pub Date: 16.May.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Between the Lines

Environmental Group Targets NPR for Ditching Coverage of Fracking Issues in Deference to Corporate SponsorsNPR - don't even think about it It's no secret that the interests of corporate sponsors influence what stories get covered, which get ignored, and what point of view the coverage conveys. So it was not surprising that when NPR started accepting corporate sponsorship from the American Natural Gas Alliance, the network's national coverage of the downsides of fracking all but ceased. Drew Hudson of Environmental Action explains why his group targeted NPR.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   6:58

GP comment:  NPR is corporate media, just like the others. In a way, NPR is more of a problem than obvious hacks like Fox and MSNBC—NPR's sins of ommission and misframing are much more subtle, but their stories almost always represent corp-gov interests.

Original Show Pub Date: 02.Apr.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Progressive Commentary Hour

Russia to US: Nyet Means Nyet — Ray McGovern reviews the history of the last two decades as it pertains to Ukraine and US-Russia politics, pointing out how the US broke its promise not expand NATO eastward after the dissolution of the USSR. Ukraine is a particularly egregious example of US duplicity on this score. McGovern and second guest Peter van Buren both speak to the problem of a captured mainstream media keeping the populace misinformed and on the importance of alternative media. Coleen Rowley talks about the system of sycophancy in US politics and media. Former Marine and spook David MacMichael talks about how US covert operations have been (and are) used for ill purpose.
Download/listen   1:50:00

GP comment:  Rowley think the intelligence agencies suck up to powerful politicians. She's got it backwards.

Original Show Pub Date: 12.May.2014


Rating: 5 of 5 - Must-listening! CounterSpin

'State of Journalism' Survey Results—Ugh!graph A journalist survey from the University of Indiana suggests that in the age of Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks, many journalists are nonetheless becoming more reluctant to expose government and corporate secrets. Is this an effect of the US war on journalism and whistleblowers, or just journalistic cluelessness? Journalist David Sirota discusses the results of the survey.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   8:31

GP comment:  In the mainstream media space, investigative journalism is 98% dead. TPTB occasionally allow an important story to run there just to try to maintain the illusion that the MSM is something other than a mechanism of propaganda.

Original Show Pub Date: 09.May.2014


Rating: 5 of 5 - Must-listening! Democracy Now

NSA Motto: "Collect it All ... Process It All" — Nearly a year after he first met Edward Snowden, journalist Glenn Greenwald continues to unveil new secrets about the National Security Agency and the surveillance state. Here he reveals new details on how the NSA physically intercepts routers, servers and other computer hardware and modifies them to allow clandestine data collection. Other topics include economic espionage by NSA; the meaningless FISA court; attempts to monitor in-flight internet use and phone calls.
Watch  |  Download/listen   48:37

GP comment:  NSA is determined to monitor our every word. Here's one: ppppttttthhhhbbbb! Anyway, excellent report.

Original Show Pub Date: 13.May.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Meria Heller Show

Operation Hollywood — When a filmmaker wants the cooperation of the US military in making a new movie, the military is more than happy to provide equipment and other goodies that would not otherwise be available. Of course, there is a price—the filmmaker must agree to delete any scene that is unacceptable to the military, typically because it shows the military or a soldier in unfavorable light or raises troubling questions about US policy. David Robb talks about some of the movies that have been affected by this suppression, including Thirteen Days, The Great Santini, Heartbreak Ridge, Forrest Gump, Good Morning Vietnam, Stripes, and Independence Day.
Download/listen   58:04

GP comment:  The important takeaway here is that any time you watch TV or movies, you need to be aware that the rightness of the ruling power structure is usually reinforced, even if subtly. We viewers even imprint our own "goodness bias" onto media—we always want characters to behave according to idealized values, and we want to believe that what we're seeing and hearing is true, that we are not being deceived.

Original Show Pub Date: 27.Apr.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen The Keiser Report

Behind the 'CNN Curtain' — Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss living behind the 'CNN Curtain,' where the dollar is still mighty and America has just landed on the moon; that is, a fairytale land that utterly misrepresents America's status in the world. Meanwhile, inside the CNN Curtain, the American worker is earning less than their counterparts around the world. Max and Stacy also discuss the "wealth begets wealth" theory—perhaps it's more that wealth protects itself. ~~ In the second half, Max interviews Chris Cook about a alternative exchange methods, compound interest, obsolescent central banks, fracking, and Russia as King of Gas.
Watch  |  Download/listen   25:41

GP comment:  It's not just CNN, it's the whole mainstream media landscape, from Faux News all the way to iNane-P-R.

Original Show Pub Date: 29.Apr.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On The Media

E-Commerce and Free Speech — If the process of unmasking anonymous negative commenters is too easy, then defamation lawsuits could be used to intimidate consumers. If itís too hard to find out whoís slandering your business online, then business owners are basically being told to sit there and take it. Alex Goldmark of WNYCís New Tech City takes a closer look at both sides of this complicated issue.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   6:30

GP comment:  Always err on the side of free speech.

Original Show Pub Date: 25.Apr.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Uprising

FCC Considers Killing Net Neutrality... AgainClosed Internet Ahead sign Imagine an internet where you could only look at websites owned by groups wealthy enough to pay the special fees demanded by their internet service provider. While you would have easy access to corporate-owned websites, smaller groups with fewer resources would be marginalized by slower internet speeds or be completely unable to have a web presence. This depressing scenario may soon become a reality, as the news was leaked that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is planning to dismantle the practice of 'net neutrality' that fosters free and equal access to the internet.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   12:42

GP comment:  The corp-gov cabal, at it again.

Original Show Pub Date: 25.Apr.2014


Rating: 2 of 5 - OK; if you've got the time... Radio Parallax

How Do You Pee in Space? ... and Other Amusements — A review of recent humorous stuff, including ... William R. Pogue on how astronauts go to the bathroom in space and other shallow-space questions; "Bunny Money" Mellon, the Kennedy rose garden, and John Edwards; a Sam McManus piece on the pitfalls of going to see a TV show being taped.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   15:03

GP comment:  In space, no one can hear you ...

Original Show Pub Date: 03.Apr.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Uprising

Pushing Back Against the Commercialization of Everything on the InternetAstra Taylor, 'The Peopleís Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age' Astra Taylor, author of The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, discusses the relentless commercialization of everything on the internet, from pay-to-play fees and boost-your-ranking fees to the commoditization of people's surfing and purchasing habits. Do major companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon claim a level playing field but in reality foster a system that gives the advantage to large corporations? Do information aggregators like Wikipedia offer a true "people's voice" or do they merely serve as a conduit for information from traditional sources?
Go to page  |  Download/listen   36:43

GP comment:  Her valuations of mainstream journalists and Wikipedia are far too high. Why assign higher value to a talented but co-opted journalist than to an non-co-opted amateur? And has she not read the Wiki-bureaucracy horror stories? Still, overall, lots of good points here

Original Show Pub Date: 23.Apr.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Making Contact

Shh! — Life in a State of Surveillance — Who's watching you? Nowadays it seems everyone wants to get their hands on our personal data. From the FBI to the welfare department, to some of the country's biggest retailers. In this edition, a closer look at the world of surveillance from three different perspectives.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   30:00

GP comment:  "I always fee like, somebody's watching me." -- Rockwell

Original Show Pub Date: 16.Apr.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good C-Realm Podcast

Ilargi on Ukraine, Energy, China, Central Banks, and Media — KMO welcomes Ilargi of The Automatic Earth to talk about the sorry state of watchdog journalism; the unhelpful rhetoric of American politicians and pundits around Vladimir Putin's actions with regard to Ukraine; the media's failure to examine the US role in bringing down the Yanakovish government or the role of energy politics in the region; and the fragility of the Chinese economy given its dependence on a shadow banking system which has provided it with a vital life-line of credit. Highlights include... Russians know Putin and their government are not perfect, but that doesn't mean they want the US to come in or to go back to the days of Yeltsin, who was a tool of Western predatory capitalists and Russian oligarchs. On the topic of media, they discuss the trend towards news stories being written by computer algorithms. KMO offers the insight that most mainstream media stories are written by people BEHAVING like algorithms. On the never-ending stimulus programs and central bank money printing, Ilargi says we're no longer spending our children's futures, we're spending our children's grandchildren's futures.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   1:00:00

GP comment:  Ilargi is not a smooth speaker, but there are enough nuggets of wisdom in this one to give it a good recommendation.

Original Show Pub Date: 16.Apr.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On The Media

Letterman Departs, Colbert Rises and RevertsStephen Colbert David Letterman, who boasts the longest tenure of a late night host on broadcast TV, has announced his retirement. The news was quickly followed by the announcement of his replacement—Comedy Central funnyman Stephen Colbert, whose satirical (faux) right-wing character has been reigning blows down on establishment politics for almost a decade.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   5:07

GP comment:  Contrary to OTM's assertion, Colbert is happy to bash politicians on both sides of the party line. He's also quite brilliant in general terms, as the funny unscripted comments he often makes during interview segments show. He will be a fine replacement for the long-tired Letterman formula.

Original Show Pub Date: 11.Apr.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good On The Media

Muzzled!Jefferson Muzzles logo Every year the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression issues the "Jefferson Muzzles" awards. These are booby prizes, awarded to individuals and institutions who act against Mr. Jefferson's admonition that freedom of speech "cannot be limited without being lost." This year's winners include the US Justice Department, for overzealous (and illicit) pursuit of whistleblowers; the North Carolina General Assembly, for suppressing reportage related to public protest; and a high school principle, for cutting off a salutatorian's speech.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   6:29

GP comment:  George Carlin rolls in his grave.

Original Show Pub Date: 11.Apr.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Uprising

Big Data and the Future of Corporate Surveillance — These days, little surprises us when we hear of a new way in which the National Security Agency has been spying on us. But while anger at government surveillance unites much of the left and right, we often donít stop and think about corporate surveillance—the myriad ways in which corporations track our habits online and, increasingly, in the real world, too. Catherine Crump of the ACLU discusses life in the fish-bowl world of "Big Data."
Go to page  |  Download/listen   15:18

GP comment:  It's up to each of us to find the balance point where the service provided is not worth making our data public. An BTW—from a legal standpoint, if you give your info to a corporation, you give it to the government, too.

Original Show Pub Date: 31.Mar.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Democracy Now

Lawmakers Call for Ending Secrecy of US Intel's Black Budget — Using documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, The Washington Post has revealed the nation's so-called "black budget" to be $53 billion, a 54 percent hike over the past decade. The documents also revealed the NSA is paying hundreds of millions of dollars a year to US telecomm companies for access to their communications networks. Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont discusses a bipartisan bill that would force President Obama to include the total dollar amount requested for each of the 16 intelligence agencies in his budget proposal, with the goal of increasing Congressional oversight.
Watch  |  Download/listen   10:54

GP comment:  Good goal, but I suspect the tail will not be successful at wagging the dog.

Original Show Pub Date: 08.Apr.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Democracy Now

Dragnet Nation—Do Google and Facebook Collect More Private Info Than the NSA?man at computer Investigative journalist Julia Angwin discusses the topics in her new book, "Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance." Angwin outlines the online/cell phone privacy challenge and details the complex steps she took to increase her own privacy by reducing her exposure to sites like Facebook and Google and by closing windows that can be exploited by web-cam hackers, password crackers, and others.
Watch  |  Download/listen   19:25

GP comment:  Just assume everything you do online is monitored, tracked, and will be used to exploit you at some point. But there are still steps you can take to reduce exposure, and they are worth doing.

Original Show Pub Date: 02.Apr.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good On The Media

robot Holding Journalistic Algorithms Accountable — When an earthquake sent tremors through Los Angeles this week, an algorithm called Quakebot allowed the LA Times to release the news faster than any other media outlet. But how good was the story? Nick Diakopoulos of the Columbia Journalism School talks about what reporters—and readers—should keep in mind as algorithms increasingly play a role in newsrooms.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   7:31

GP comment:  The host's framing is perfect: "garbage in, garbage out ... garbage algorithm, garbage story."

Original Show Pub Date: 21.Mar.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good On The Media

Not-So-Private Metadata — The NSA has defended its controversial surveillance program by arguing that it just collects "metadata," and therefore doesn't get enough specifics to violate the privacy of individual Americans. But computer scientists at Stanford Security Lab conducted their own simulation of the NSA program and found the metadata to be inherently revealing. Jonathan Mayer, one of the researchers on the project, gives examples of what can be learned from supposedly benign metadata.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   5:48

GP comment:  Even the NSA's lies about what they do can be proved to be more than Americans are comfortable with. That is, "we only collect metadata" is the cover story, but even that is now shown to yield more than they are entitled to on a security basis.

Original Show Pub Date: 21.Mar.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Uprising

Killing the Messenger—The Deadly Cost of NewsKilling the Messenger - The Deadly Cost of News Fifty-two-year-old Swedish journalist Nils Horner has become the latest casualty in the on-going undeclared global war on journalists. Today, the leading cause of workplace-related deaths for journalists is murder in the line of work. While the murders of foreign war correspondents like Nils Horner and Daniel Pearl make international headlines, it is often local journalists who are in even more danger while doing their work. A new documentary, Killing the Messenger: The Deadly Cost of News, explores the dangers facing journalists in war zones from Iraq and Afghanistan to Mexico, relating harrowing tales of bombs, sniper fire, days in captivity, and fallen fellow journalists.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   23:06

GP comment:  To add to the tragedy, the ones that get killed are the ones most likely to tell us the truth about what's going on.

Original Show Pub Date: 14.Mar.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good On The Media

Crimean Journalism Take-Down Reversed by Internet Archiveman at computer Despite the seizure of their office and most of their files and equipment by masked gunmen, the journalists at the Crimean Center for Investigative Journalism were prepared: over the weekend they had backed up their entire web history through the Archive-It service from the Internet Archive. David E. Kaplan, executive director of the Global Investigative Journalism Network and one of the coordinators of the effort, explains how they managed to pull it off.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   5:27

GP comment:  It can happen that fast. The NSA is not the only organization in the data game. Have redundant backup methods.

Original Show Pub Date: 07.Mar.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good On The Media

Drone Laws and Privacysmall surveillance drone An increasing number of US states and municipalities have passed or are considering laws that would rein in drone surveillance activities in their areas of jurisdiction. Margot Kaminski, executive director of the Information Society Project and a lecturer at Yale Law School, reports on the trend—and the large number of corporate creeps that are being exempted.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   6:09

GP comment:  The exceptions are so numerous that, in the end, the only entity it will be OK to spy on with drones will be the average citizen.

Original Show Pub Date: 21.Mar.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good On The Media

comcast and antennas As Giant ISPs Tighten Grip on Content and Customers, Municipalities Push Alternative Networks — The proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable could do more than mess with our TV and Internet bills. It could shape how many of us experience the flow of ideas. Communications law scholar Susan P. Crawford discusses the potential impact of this mega-merger on the information we access via high-speed internet. ~~ All across the country, communities are fighting to build their own broadband internet networks as an alternative to the services offered by big cable companies. However, these efforts have often been thwarted by legislation lobbied for by, you guessed it, the cable companies. Advocate James Baller comments.
Go to page A  |  Download/listen A   6:18
Go to page B  |  Download/listen B   6:41

GP comment:  Pay attention people. It's slipping away....

Original Show Pub Date: 21.Feb.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Fresh Air

When It Comes To High-Speed Internet, US Falling Way Behindglobe as internet connections Law professor Susan Crawford reviews a list of problems with high-speed internet access in the US, starting with the recent court decision that says Internet service providers can make deals to provide faster service for some content and slow down sites that refuse to pay extra fees. More generally, the US ISP marketplace has been allowed to devolve into a monopolistic mess where companies charge high prices for speeds that are slow by international standards. Crawford says that unless the US starts addressing this issue, it will be a Third World country when it comes to communications and innovation.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   38:39

GP comment:  The pay-for-speed issue is a big deal—it is a new way of shaping what information the public sees and doesn't see.

Original Show Pub Date: 06.Feb.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On The Media

Winter Chill for Russian Media — As the global spotlight fixes on Sochi this weekend, the Russian government is crushing dissent. As the Committee to Protect Journalists notes in a new report, people there have suffered long-lasting power outages, environmental damage, evictions, corruption, and widespread violation of labor laws. But local news organizations are silent on these issues, instead functioning as public relations agencies for the government. Nina Ognianova offers up some of the stories that aren't being told in the Russian media.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   7:53

GP comment:  The maxim that used to rule was "good news is no news." How times have changed. Now all we get is good news, or rather the happy-face version of whatever is considered still safe to be reported on—that is, WHAT IS ALLOWED TO BE REPORTED ON. That is no doubt true in Russia, as this story says. Are we in the US objective enough to perceive the same problem in our own media?

Original Show Pub Date: 07.Feb.2014


Rating: 2 of 5 - OK; if you've got the time... On The Media

Jeopardy Tradition in Jeopardy! — The latest sensation on the TV game show Jeopardy is Arthur Chu, who has thus far amassed $102,800 dollars over a four-game winning streak. But his playing style is making traditionalists shudder. Chu has rejected the unwritten rule that the person with the most facts wins, and replaced it with the idea that you can beat your opponent with the wily application of gaming tactics. Chu explains the logic behind his winning strategy and addresses the media firestorm he's ignited.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   7:31

GP comment:  I'll take "Bread and Circuses" for $200, Alex.

Original Show Pub Date: 07.Feb.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen NPR

Putting The Brake On Who Can See Your Car's Data Trail — Many car owners WANT their vehicles to be tracked; for instance, with OnStar, LoJack, or Garmin. But in newer vehicles, onboard computers monitor many operating characteristics, such as speed, direction, and safety belt use. Additionally, companies like Google are gearing up offer in-vehicle services. Who owns—and controls—the use of all this vehicle-based data?
Go to page  |  Download/listen   3:57

GP comment:  And now Big Brother is a backseat driver?

Original Show Pub Date: 22.Jan.2014


Rating: 5 of 5 - Must-listening! Making Contact

Jeremy Scahill on Obama's Dirty Warsjeremy scahill, dirty wars Jeremy Scahill points out that the maxim "you break it, you own it" apparently does not apply to Iraq, which the US has made inestimably worse than it was under Saddam Hussein. He says Obama supporters let the president get away with things that if done by a Republican would have them screaming for impeachment. He offers examples of US raids in Iraq and Yemen gone horribly wrong (and then were covered up) that suggest the special ops apparatus is broken at all levels. Regarding media coverage of these issues, he poses a troubling question: If there were such a thing as state-run media, would it look any different than what we see on the mainstream cable news stations?
Go to page  |  Download/listen   28:56

GP comment:  The horrifying answer is that our media situation is far worse than it would be with state-run media. With the latter, everyone would know it's propaganda. As it is now, most people still believe the corporate media are independent and reasonably accurate, which of course is laughable.

Original Show Pub Date: 21.Jan.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Democracy Now

Aaron Swartz—The Internet's Own Boy — One year ago this month, the young internet freedom activist and groundbreaking programmer Aaron Swartz took his own life, shortly before he was set to go to trial for downloading millions of academic articles from servers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He had done so not for profit but to make a political point that knowledge should be freely available. We hear excerpts from The Internet's Own Boy, a new documentary about Swartz and the issues he championed. Also in this clip are interviews with Swartz's father and brother, his lawyer, and the filmmaker.
Watch  |  Download/listen   45:08

GP comment:  Swartz walked the talk on internet freedom issues—he played a notable role in stopping SOPA—and when he became too effective, the machine stomped him.

Original Show Pub Date: 21.Jan.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On The Media

Net Neutrality, We Hardly Knew Ye — In mid-January, a D.C. circuit court of appeals released a decision that many are calling a death blow to net neutrality, the principle that all content providers should be treated equally. But media-studies professor Siva Vaidhyanathan says maybe we shouldn't be so worried about net neutrality and its impact on the future on the internet.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   10:40

GP comment:  Oh, we should worry, alright. As went mainstream media into the propagandasphere, so will the internet follow, with powerful forces quietly and cleverly shaping our perception of reality.

Original Show Pub Date: 17.Jan.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Sea Change Radio

Correcting the Record on the Cleantech Crash — If you watched the recent 60 Minutes piece on the so called "Cleantech Crash," you might have taken a moment to check the channel and make sure you weren't watching Fox News. The story focuses almost exclusively on failed companies that have received government support, giving no coverage to clean technology successes, no information on the success/failure ratio of other venture capital investments, and no mention of all the taxpayer money that goes to support traditional, polluting energy technologies. Joe Romm of Climate Progress and Katie Fehrenbacher, a senior writer at GigaOM, respond to the 60 Minutes hatchet job.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   29:45

GP comment:  At this point, you can count 60 Minutes as just another mainstream media disinformation vehicle. The days of Lowell Bergman and actual investigative journalism are long gone.

Original Show Pub Date: 07.Jan.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Corbett Report / Boiling Frogs Post

Roundtable Discussion of the "Alternative" Media — The phrase "alternative media" covers a broad swath, from truly independent, subscriber-funded journalists to foundation-funded, establishment outfits like Democracy Now. Sibel Edmonds, Peter B. Collins, Guillermo Jimenez, and James Corbett discuss the fight against the mainstream media paradigm and how the establishment is using the pseudo-alternative media to continue pressing their agenda. Topics include nullification as a strategy, false left-right paradigm, and real solutions to the media problem.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   56:48

GP comment:  Democracy Now does offer some good stories, and we feature them regularly on Grinning Planet. But DN assiduously avoids the very topics that keep us trapped in the long game of TPTB, including the infinite-growth paradigm, control of the public money system by private interests; peak energy and the relationship of energy to money; the true level of domination of the elite controllers above the political layer.

Original Show Pub Date: 12.Jan.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On The Media

Is She Real or Is She Memorex? — When Michael Scherer, the Washington bureau chief for Time, got a call from a telemarketer named Samantha West, he knew the voice on the other end of the line wasn't quite right somehow. Yet Samantha West kept insisting she was, in fact, human. So, who/what is Samantha West?
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   8:18

GP comment:  Gotta love telemarketers—some don't even have the decency to annoy us with real humans.

Original Show Pub Date: 10.Jan.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On The Media

Biggest Media Screw-Ups of 2013 — Craig Silverman of "Regret the Error" blog reviews the mainstream media's biggest mistakes of the past 12 months.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   8:27

GP comment:  Propaganda and ineptitude in media are so thick these days, we are left only with Against The Grain's motto: Never stop questioning.

Original Show Pub Date: 03.Jan.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On the Media

UK Government Supports US in Attacking Press Freedom — The editor of The Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, talks about pressure on his newspaper related to its participation in the Snowden leaks. He says the staff at the Guardian are determined not to bow to the UK government's suppressive tactics.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   5:56

Original Show Pub Date: 06.Dec.2013

MORE AUDIO (old format)

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On the Media

Fighting for Information from DHS — 06 Dec 2013 — The Electronic Privacy Information Center just won a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, requiring the federal agency to release documents about the so-called "internet kill switch." EPIC's Julia Horwitz discusses the lengthy battle with DHS and the difficulty in getting information out of the notoriously opaque agency. ~~ In the second clip, we learn about the "Shed Light on DHS" tool, which connects constituents with their representatives in Congress so they can demand more transparency from the Department of Homeland Security.
Part 1:  Go to page  |  Download/Listen   6:07
Part 2:  Go to page  |  Download/Listen   13:43

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On the Media

UK Government Supports US in Attacking Press Freedom — 06 Dec 2013 — The editor of The Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, talks about pressure on his newspaper related to its participation in the Snowden leaks. He says the staff at the Guardian are determined not to bow to the UK government's suppressive tactics.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   5:56

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen 9-11 Wake-Up Call

RETHINK 9-11 — Nov 2013 — Where is the corporate media on unanswered 9/11 questions. For that matter, where is Democracy Now? This audio features three speeches given in Time Square, NYC, on the 12th anniversary of 9-11—Les Jamieson, architect and founder of; Richard Gage, the founder of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth; and journalist Tom Kiely.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   28:28

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On The Media

Confiscating a Journalist's Documents — 01 Nov 2013 — Audrey Hudson is a journalist for conservative news outlets like The Colorado Observer, NewsMax,and The Washington Times. In August 2013, while authorities executed a search warrant on her home on an unrelated matter, they confiscated some of her reporting notes. Now Hudson and The Washington Times are preparing a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security. Hudson discusses the raid, the documents confiscated, and the secrecy associated with the whole thing.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   6:56

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On The Media

Hack Challenge — 01 Nov 2013 — We're all worried about the security of our personal data. Journalist Adam Penenberg did what many listeners seem to think is the ultimate nightmare—he challenged hackers to try to hack into all of his personal information. The only information he gave them to go on? His byline. The results are shocking, though not necessarily applicable to the everyday person.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   6:07


NPR, 15 Nov 2013
Court Says Google's Book Use Doesn't Violate Copyright Law
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   1:36

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On The Media

Why Nigerian Email Scams Work — 01 Nov 2013 — When spam of the "Nigerian prince scam" type our inboxes, most of us know to ignore it. One might wonder why scammers don't come up with something a bit more believable. But according to a paper by Cormac Herley of Microsoft Research, the email's overt scaminess helps identify the biggest suckers. Psychology professor Daniel Simons explains.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   4:34

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Democracy Now

The Military-Industrial Pundits—Conflicts of Interest Exposed for Commentators Who Urged US Action in Syria — 18 Oct 2013 — New research has revealed that many so-called experts making the case for US strikes on Syria had undisclosed ties to military contractors as employees, board members, and/or shareholders. The report by the Public Accountability Initiative identifies 22 commentators with industry ties. While they appeared on television or were quoted as experts 111 times, their links to military firms were disclosed only 13 of those times.
Watch  |  Download/Listen   8:39

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good CounterSpin

Scahill on Godfather Government and Punk-Ass US Media — 10 Oct 2013 — One of the speakers at a recent event on the state of US journalism and its relationship to democracy was investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill. In this excerpt of his remarks, Scahill excoriates the US for its obstruction of journalistic freedom and heavy hand with journalists, and he blasts the mainstream media for abdicating its traditional role as a counterbalance to power and as a force for exposing wrongdoing at all levels.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   9:41

Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good On The Media

The Obama Administration and the Press—Not a Happy Story — 11 Oct 2013 — This week, the Committee to Protect Journalists released a study profiling the unprecedented war on leaks and journalistic access being waged by President Obama—who as candidate Obama pledged to be the "transparency president." Study author Len Downie discusses how the Obama administration's policies on the press are having a chilling effect on reporting.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   7:32

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Red Ice Radio

The Struggle for Your Mind — 30 Sep 2103 — Kingsley Dennis explains how within society there exists a silent war. The battlefield is our everyday lives—our education, our work, our leisure, our emotional and spiritual well-being, our thinking and perceptions, and especially what we get via various forms of media. Our very sense of "reality" is deliberately engineered to work against conscious evolution and preserve the social norms that support the status quo and those who profit from it. In short, we are all part of a war over consciousness.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   59:47

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On the Media

Tracking Your Steps — 20 Sep 2013 — The Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project has released a report stating that 74 percent of adult smart phone owners use their phones to get information based on their current location. As more websites and applications start incorporating this trend by launching mobile geo-navigation applications, Jim Thatcher explains how these cell-phone based services are increasingly providing the corp-gov types a record of your every step.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   5:55

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On The Media

California Takes on Harassing "Speech" on the Internet — 04 Oct 2013 — Recently, California passed a number of laws meant to protect individuals from certain types of online harassment. But those laws have potentially problematic speech implications. Santa Clara University law professor Eric Goldman discusses the details of the laws, their limitations, and how they may—or may not—affect the rest of the country.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   6:28

Rating: 2 of 5 - OK; if you've got the time... On the Media

Is Technology Making Us Smarter? — 20 Sep 2013 — With every advance in technology, skeptics lament the loss of a more meaningful and simpler time, arguing that attention spans are shrinking and critical thinking is corroding. But journalist Clive Thompson thinks all of the YouTube videos, blogs, Twitter feeds, Wikipedia pages—from the mundane to the informative—have produced a new and unique form of human intelligence.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   14:57

(GP comment:  Thompson confuses being more informed and more productive with being smarter.)


On The Media, 27 Sep 2013
Fake Online Reviews, by SEO Companies and Everyday Weirdoes
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   5:23

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On The Media

The Freelancer's War — 13 Sep 2013 — The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that nearly half of the journalists killed in Syria since the conflict began were freelancers. Several UK based newspapers have said they would no longer use freelance journalists in war zones; but, according to documentarian and teacher Richard Pendry, these same newspapers are still hiring freelancers, quietly, in a way that insulates the papers from liability.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   7:00

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen On The Media

Barrett Brown—Life in Jail for Linking? — 13 Sep 2013 — Barrett Brown is an independent journalist and activist who has been in jail for a year awaiting trial on a number of charges—chief among them, merely copying and pasting a link to leaked documents into an IRC chat room. Ed Pilkington of The Guardian talks about Brown's case and its implications for other journalists, professional or otherwise.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   7:24

Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Free Speech Radio News

FCC to Open More Access to Airwaves Through Low-Powered Radio — 05 Sep 2013 — In October, the US Federal Communications Commission will begin accepting applications from local organizations that want to own and operate their own low-powered radio stations. Media justice advocates say this unprecedented expansion of community radio will be a major step in addressing the consolidation of media and the lack of diversity in station ownership, and could give local artists and activists a place on the dial.
Audio no longer available from host site (FSRN)   5:49


FSRN, 03 Sep 2013
DEA Spying Program Using Vast AT&T Phone Database in Law Enforcement
Audio no longer available from host site (FSRN)   7:00


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