Monday, August 21, 2006

Forrest Hill ad on youtube

Friday, August 18, 2006

Getting out of the house

I added a few links on the right hand side, including Sludgie, which is a blog about environmental news by a guy named Frank who Erin and I met on Thursday at Green Drinks.

Tomorrow is the big LA Greens party in Culver City (3-8pm, $5 cover).

Sunday we're planning on heading over to the ArcLight to see a couple of documentaries: Black Gold, which is about coffee, not oil; and An Unreasonable Man, which is about Ralph Nader. Other documentaries in the weeklong festival (each film plays once a day) cover topics including wrongful conviction, the war in Iraq, the MPAA ratings system, and much more.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Metro News

I know I've complained before about the Transit Television Network-run televisions on the MTA buses--they are really quite annoying--but riding on the bus last week I saw something that I just have to tell you. Within a forty-minute ride, I saw two fake news stories for hormone replacement therapy. Each one was edited and narrated like a news story, and neither mentioned a specific product or brand. They even mentioned risks, but then dismissed them. They each ended with something like "Jane Smith reporting". I knew these were fake, but there was no warning that they were advertisements. The first one was about male menopause, which I think is a made up condition. Near the end the narrator said, "Some people worry that the hormone treatment will increase their risk of cancer. But for many men, it's worth it." What?!?

The FCC is beginning to investigate the use of such PR on news shows:
High Point's WGHP (channel 8) is among 77 U.S. television stations to be asked by the Federal Communications Commission for information about improperly labeled "video news releases" the station aired.

Such releases, nicknamed "fake news," are made to resemble television-news segments but deliver commercial messages. The FCC requires them to be labeled as such before being broadcast. Airing such segments without proper labeling can lead to a fine of up to $32,500 for each instance and, in extreme cases, could lead to revocation of a station's broadcast license.
Someone needs to alert the FCC to what is going on down at the MTA.

Center for Media and Democracy
AP: FCC Questions TV Stations on 'Fake News'
LA City Beat: And Now the News (2/16/06)
LA Times: More Ads May Power MTA (6/16/06)

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Camejo's Debate Strategy

At the County Council meeting today, Peter Camejo discussed his strategy for participating in the League of Women Voters-sponsored gubernatorial debate. Camejo was widely praised for his performance in the recall election debates, and access to televised debates is crucial for a third-party campaign.

Here are the inclusion criteria the League of Women Voters have adopted for their debate in the California governor's race this year:
In order to participate in an LWVCEF forum or debate, a candidate for statewide office in the November 2006 general election must meet all of the following criteria:

* The candidate must be eligible for the office according to the Constitution of the State of California and the Constitution of the United States of America.

* The candidate must be a legally qualified candidate for the office sought, as defined by California law.

* The candidate must have made a public announcement of his or her candidacy.

* The candidate must show evidence that a formal campaign is being waged.

* The candidate must demonstrate sufficient voter interest and support, as evidenced by receipt of at least ten percent support in a specified statewide nonpartisan public opinion poll that includes all candidates for the office, conducted not less than 14 or more than 40 days prior to the debate.

Federal law prohibits the inclusion or exclusion of any candidate from a debate based solely on party affiliation.
Camejo plans to commission a poll of California voters to tackle the final criterion above. Since this criterion only says "voter interest and support" and "at least ten percent support", Camejo believes that a poll that asks, "which of these candidates would you support to be included in the polls?" would qualify, even if it allows voters to select more than one candidate. This greatly improves his odds of achieving more than ten percent in the poll.

If the League of Women Voters does not accept Camejo's poll (which he plans to co-sponsor with the Libertarians), he plans legal action to contest their decision.

Is Green the Color of Protest?