Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Episode 90: Triple Threat

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(This episode is part of the series The Powell Movement. Sort of.)

Not all of what Lewis Powell suggested has turned into canon by those that follow his memo. Powell was a learned man of his times that eschewed, I suspect, the majority of what the boob tube offers. Therefore, he grossly underestimated what a vast amount of cash could do toward buying the medium that he strongly suggested should be merely watched and criticized. Then again, who could have predicted what that same money, injected directly into the election process, could have done to morph the news medium Powell warned should be watched so closely?

This morphing is the topic of Episode 90: Triple Threat, the rise of the money-media-election complex.

In this episode, I read from Greg Mitchell's book Campaign of the Century, documenting Upton Sinclair's 1934 run for Governor of California; and from Robert McChesney and John Nichols' book Dollarocracy. Audio-wise, I play Senator Al Franken waiting for a potential campaign donor to answer, singing as he does a little ditty he shared with Terri Gross on a Fresh Air interview; and from Counterspin, Jeanine Jackson telling the woeful story of Les Moonves' shocking honesty about what actually motivates national network news. D. L. Myers, of course, read from the memo itself.

I tune up things a bit with Podington Bear's appropriately named song "Dole It Out." I open with KMFDM's "Attak", today backing Henry Giroux, and close with Mistle Thrush's "It's All Like Today."

As with all my episodes, I'm releasing this under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Ad Nauseam

Hey, Dear Listerners,

I felt you need some explanation as to the delay putting out Episode 90. Bottom line, I'm not feeling well. I mean I'm not feeling well enough to walk to the bathroom (most of the time) without serious doses of mind-warping medication to get me there without prolonging the bathroom experience into one best not described.

Something has embuggered my inner ear to the point where up is down, right is left, and trying to ignore these signals that conflict so obviously with my eyeballs only results in what lubbers must call sea sickness (though I, a 15-year professional mariner, still doubt such silly notions exist in the physical world).

(Then again, I just realized each half of the word "nausea" can refer to the oceans; "nau-tical" for the first part. Hmmmm.)

Anyhoo, the almost finished episode sits, as producers of such stuff say, In The Can just waiting for me to muster enough internally consistent equilibrium to finish and post it. And I'm sure once the third specialist squeezes me in for a look-see I might even get a diagnosis of what even happened, something I've yet to get at all since this began almost a month ago.

The worst part about all of this?! Look at this post's title. I spent months wracking my brains for a decent, clever, catchy title for the Attack Ads! Podcast, and there is was all along. Duh.

Well, that's about all the screen time I can muster, even with multi-minute breaks avoiding the screen itself (which appears to be extremely nausea inducing). I'll get back to fighting the good fight once I can, I promise. Thanks very much for your patience.

-Jim
You Ad A-{blech!}-er.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Episode 89: Gamers Gonna Game

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Podcasting is not an up-to-date pursuit. Some listeners arrive when the sound files are freshly minted; others years later. For that reason, it's best not to confuse later listeners with DailyExcitement!™ from the past now long forgotten. And since the closing topic for The Powell Movement is now quite a bit in the DailyExcitement!™ infotainment engorgement trough, I thought I would back up a bit, and discuss here in Episode 89: Gamers Gonna Game, a topic crucial to understanding the process by which the Powell Movementeers have gained such prominence.

I quoted nothing, really, only just kinda sorta noted facts presented in the entertaining Mary Pilon book, The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World's Favorite Board Game (Bloomsbury, 2015).

I also cut the closing segment very short. The body of the episode was recorded about a week and a half before the release date of Tuesday, October 17, 2017, simply to give me more time to visit with the out-of-town guests I mention in the show. Half-way through that visit, though, I fell ill with an as-of-yet undiagnosed embuggerance that left me bedridden for days on end, unable even, in one memorable case, to make it to the specialist that maybe had a chance of knowing enough for a diagnosis. (Pro-tip: when you're stuck in a waiting room, vomit loudly. You'll get whisked to more private places in no time!) I am feeling "better", meaning I can leave my bed; but I stumble about rather than walk, and type slowly so as not to anger the Annoyed Festerance making the opposite of eating all too common.

I did play: KMFDM backing Noam Chomsky mentioning the memo (thanks again, Kevin!); D. L. Myers intoning the series title; and Mistle Thrush at the close.

Just like the rest, this episode is being released under a Creative Commons 4.0, attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Now, if you'll excuse me, time once again for bed.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Episode 88: One of the Most Dangerous Pleasures

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It may be that I've been doing this Powell Movement research too long. No matter what I read, what I hear, I can't help but place it in a Powell Memo frame, isolating those parts of whatever I'm hearing or reading at the moment that fail to pass the basic memo awareness tests. That's my chief gripe in this Episode 88: One of the Most Dangerous Pleasures. I take issue with an author who seems——perhaps deliberately, perhaps not——to ignore the Powell Movementeers in his reading of recent history.

In this episode, I quote: Barry Lynn's article printed in the Washington Post concerning his own firing; another Washington Post article on the topic; Daniel Drezner's book The Ideas Industry; and Jane Mayer's book Dark Money. I play the D. L. Myers stinger for the Powell Movement series, and a quote from President Ronald Reagan.

Music-wise, I play a Jahzzar tune, "sketch sos". I open with KMFDM this time backing Noam Chomsky mentioning the Powell Memo by name. (By the way, finders credit goes to listener Kevin for pointing me toward that Chomsky audio. Thanks again, Kevin!) I once again close the show with Mistle Thrush.

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Episode 87: ALL Commercial News is Fake!

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(This episode is part of the series The Powell Movement.)

We've heard all about this phenomenon, but really, what constitutes that so-called "fake news?" That's the question I raise in this Episode 87: ALL Commercial News Is Fake!, suggesting that the answer can be found simply enough: wherever you find the most likely sources of the money that funds the news, you find as well the most likely source of fakery.

In this Episode I quote: my computer's quickie dictionary; yet again Robert McChesney and John Nichols' book, Death and Life of American Journalism; and a Bloomberg article about Steve Bannon from October 8, 2015, titled "This Man Is the Most Dangerous Political Operative in America." I referenced a This American Life episode which you can find here.

I play absolutely nobody (other than myself) saying the words "fake news." You're welcome.

I did wind up playing: Pietnaska's "Keymonica", and Jahzzar's "Little Chance." I open with D. L. Myers reading from The Memo Itself and KMFDM backing Henry Giroux, and I'm close, once again, with Mistle Thrush.

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0, attribution, share-alike and non-commercial license.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Episode 86: Wedgies of Mass Distraction

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(This episode is part of the series The Powell Movement.)

There are complexities, techniques, and nuances learned when you split wood for, oh, 40 years. It's not as simple as smashing an ax on some wood and have it cleave cleanly into smaller pieces. All too often, you've got to not only bring out the wedges, but know how to use them effectively.And, it turns out, splitting wood has quite a few traits in common with splitting electorates, with issues used as wedges.

That's the topic of this Episode 86: Wedgies of Mass Distraction. (And yes, that's "wedgies," as in the resulting uncomfortable underwear bunching that comes from someone pulling the undies up another's butt. You expect lofty analogies from someone that coined the term The Powell Movement?)

In this episode, I read from: my computer's dictionary; Kevin Kruse's book One Nation Under God; Dan Baum's Gun Guys; and Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson's Winner Take All Politics.

I play Jill Lepore observations, taken from her interview in the August 3rd, 2017 episode of On The Media, an episode titled "Smashmortion"; First Lady Betty Ford from 1975 giving her opinion on abortion's legalization (the audio taken from the same OTM episode); D. L. Myers reading from the Memo Itself; and Henry Giroux at the opening, backed by KMFDM. The Necronomikon Quartett played "Future 03" in the middle, and I closed the show with Mistle Thrush's "It's All Like Today".

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.

(Oh, and one final note: No, I did not take the cookie analogy used in this episode from Season 3, Episode 7, of "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt." I know, I know, both of us mentioned the comparison between raisins and chocolate chips, and both associated that mention with Seattle. When I saw that episode, this episode of Attack Ads! was already recorded and mostly edited, so much so that including that bit of Kimmy Schmidt would have been a real pain. It's just a happy coincidence, nothing more.)

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Episode 85: The Unfairwaves

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(This episode is part of the series The Powell Movement.)

It's bad enough that most radio is so chock filled with commercial interruptions that folks, like myself, find it unlistenable. Thanks to a late-80s rule change, however, one has to watch out for more than just paid crap between the featured show sneaking its influence into one's brain case via the hearing holes. That's the theme of today's Episode 85: The Unfairwaves.

In this episode, I read from: Mitchell Stephens' book Beyond News: The Future of Journalism; a Wikipedia article on the Fairness Doctrine; Eric Altermann's book What Liberal Media?: The Truth About Bias and the News; Robert McChesney and John Nichols' book Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America; McKay Coppins' book The Wilderness: Deep Inside the Republican Party's Combative, Contentious, Chaotic Quest to Take Back the White House; Politico articles "Who is Dave Brat?", "How Big Money failed Cantor", "Right-wing radio's win", and "The tea party radio network"; the Atlantic Magazine's article "Six Theories for Eric Cantor's Loss"; and the DailyKos article "Who is John Ga-er-David Brat".

Musically, I play three from Jahzarr; "Cavern," "Dip," and (quite appropriately) "Gloom." I open with KMFDM's "Attak" backing Henry Giroux, and close once again with Mistle Thrush.

I'm releasing this and all my episodes under a Creative Commons 4.0 attribution, share-alike, and non-commercial license.