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.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Episode 84: Critical Mass Holes

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

Sometimes the conventional wisdom consists of nothing more than reasonable assumptions overlaid atop evidence that, without those assumptions, appears incongruous. Worse, because of those overlaid assumptions, we avoid looking more closely at those incongruities, at otherwise implied but obscured-by-assumption machinations lurking in the evidence.

That's what I do in this Episode 84: Critical Mass Holes. The assumed culprit hobbling the newspaper industry over the last 40 years has long been capitalism and the short-term profit incentive. I suggest otherwise. After all, short-term profits have long been an incentive; why have they only attacked newspaper productivity only recently?

For evidence, today I quoted three books: Robert McChesney and John Nichols' The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution That Will Begin the World Again (First Nation Books, 2010) Robert McChesney's Digital Disconnect (The New Press, 2013);" and Mitchell Stephen's Beyond News: The Future of Journalism (Columbia University Press, 2014).

Audio-wise, I sampled the voices of: David Simon, giving testimony before the Senate; Orson Welles in his role of the Citizen Charles Foster Kane, newspaper mogul; and Tony Randall playing Felix Unger from the television show "The Odd Couple." Since this is a Powell Movement episode, I also play the Memo Reading voice of D. L. Myers.

I kept the musical interludes to a minimum for this show, mostly because of the heat wave turning the Attack Ads studio into a toaster oven; but I had to open the show with the usual KMFDM samples from "Attak," today backed by Henry Giroux; and I'm close the show once again with Mistle Thrush's "It's All Like Today."

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

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Bonus Episode: The Wedge Strategy

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There are, I believe, a few select documents that, if known, reveal possible reasons behind actions that might otherwise go unappreciated or even unnoticed. I shared the first in my first podcast Bonus Episode. It is time to share the second. In this Bonus Episode: The Wedge Strategy, I read from the The Wedge Strategy, produced by the Discovery Institute's Center for the Renewal of Science & Culture.

In this episode, I read both from the Wedge Strategy document (PDF) and from the Wikipedia entry concerning it.

I also offer an apology early on to a listener, as of yet unidentified. I probably deleted a message that listener tried to give me. This accident—again, for which I am truly sorry—got me to pondering whether or not an online forum for listeners to connect should be created.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Episode 83: To The Perpentious!

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Perpentious: (adj.) Considerate of the details
necessary to the success of an event or completion of a task.


Our English language is a mish-mashed mush of a stew with ingredients from so many different sources that it becomes a discipline in itself to guess from where that word or this might hail. I thought it necessary to reconstruct one such word, temporarily misplaced, and further thought it would be a neat idea to offer it and my search to you. Hence, the sentiment of my toast to you, Dear Listeners, and the title of Episode 83: To The Perpentious!

In this episode, I read from my Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary, and from my computer dictionary. I also read from a few searched web sites, and played an incorrect definition from some quiz thing that popped up in that search. Oh, and if anyone out there would like to plunk down some credit digits just to take a gander at the old newspapers and either confirm or deny whether the optical character scanner did its job properly, as I suspect it did not, that would be great! Be sure to grab a screen shot of whatever you find! I did!

[Screen capture deleted because Photobucketofpuke sucks.]

The problem of column conflation.


I play three tunes from Podington Bear, first "Ideas," then "Gathering," and finally "Many Hands." I open the show with KMFDM backing Dmitri Orlov, and close with Julie and Rolf and the campfire gang doing a ukelele version of "Over The Rainbow."

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

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Episode 82: Rave Review: Lexicon

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Recordings can be persuasive, sometimes in ways that give us goosebumps. Persuasive, sure…. But what if what we hear or see can work on our brains far more effectively than we know?

In this Episode 82: Rave Review: Lexicon, I share a bit of speculation in that direction from Max Barry's excellent book, Lexicon. This sub-category of episode, the Rave Review, was something, as I explain in the episode, that I was going to revisit regularly when I couldn't think of anything else to do. Which, weirdly, almost never happened. From now on, I promise, I'm going to share reviews of more entertaining media which all hold advertising as a key element driving the plot.

I read a bit of detail from a Smithsonian article about recovering antique sound recording; and from Barry's book. From the Smithsonian piece, I play a bit of recovered audio.

Musically, I play Wurlitztraction's "Talk Riddles, Listen In Dreams," and Podington Bear's "Firefly." Bernie Sanders and KMFDM open the show, and I close with Mistle Thrush.