Russell Brand’s interview

Hey folks, I had heard much about this interview and I decided to watch it after it was mentioned in class last night.  I think especially his concluding remarks were great, but like the authors of the articles below, I almost quit at his opening sentence.   Also I like that he labeled the media’s representation of the downtrodden as “emotional porn,” which is basically what we IMA’ers do, amirite? hahaha



Today’s Readings on Publicity of Private Enterprise & Invisible Hands

These readings made me think a lot about the funding structure that was behind a lot of the media policies back in the 20’s and 30’s that Prof. Ewen rights about.  This piece is about the foundations, the same “liberal” ones today that funded media “reform” and how important it always was for PR, branding and marketing for corporations early on.

Today in America, tens of thousands of philanthropic foundations finance social change and, in the year 2000 alone, these foundations distributed $26.7 billion worth of grants. To date, while scholarly attention has been paid to the role of right-wing foundations in promoting a neoliberal media environment, few studies have critiqued the role of liberal foundations in funding similar media reforms. Thus with next to no critical inquiry from media researchers, the Ford Foundation – which is arguably one of the most influencial liberal foundations – supplied over $292 million to American public broadcasting between 1951 and 1977 and continues to fund progressive media groups like FreePress and Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. This article provides a much needed overview of the problematic nexus between liberal philanthropy and progressive media reform, and concludes by providing a number of recommendations for how media activists may begin to move away from their (arguably unsustainable) reliance on liberal philanthropy.”


Of course the other timely piece it made me think about is all the bad corporate-backed conservative state-level legislation that is springing up everywhere funded by ALEC, like “Right to Work”, “Stand your ground”, the anti-immigrant “S-Comm”, preventing low costs broadband access, privatizing prisons just to name a few.

The organization ALEC just turned 40.

Through the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, global corporations and state politicians vote behind closed doors to try to rewrite state laws that govern your rights. These so-called “model bills” reach into almost every area of American life and often directly benefit huge corporations.
In ALEC’s own words, corporations have “a VOICE and a VOTE” on specific changes to the law that are then proposed in your state. DO YOU? Numerous resources to help us expose ALEC are provided below. We have also created links to detailed discussions of key issues, which are available on the left.

Proposed CUNY Expressive Speech Policy

Proposed CUNY Expressive Speech Policy

At their November meeting, the CUNY Board of Trustees will consider an “expressive speech policy” that appears to broadly curtail student and staff ability to publicize their concerns. The University Faculty Senate’s Academic Freedom Committee will also be giving a report on the policy at their plenary tomorrow night.

You may be interested to see that the policy is so broadly worded that things such as “shouting” (principle 3.3) may result in expulsion from the university.

In addition, demonstrations “must give notice” in advance to the college’s Director of Public Safety, who reserves the right to refuse permission to the demonstration. (2.2)

Silicon Valley meets Shaq

I’m a big basketball fan so thought this video was very interesting. The relationship of Shaq and Vivek Ranadivé sitting next to each other is just an awkward sight publicizing their story on ESPN as well as Shaq’s previous statements about the Kings being swept under the rug.