2.26.2007

Excuse me? Cries of outrage? You're at about 2. We need you closer to say, 8?

I remember I wrote about a case involving a blogger and Freedom of the Press a hell of a while back. Before anyone reading me now ever dropped by, I think. I hope it's not too wince-inducing when I find it... I always get sort of paranoid when I go back to look at stuff I've written after some time has passed. Whatev. Lets dig that fucker up.

Ok, so I sort of went off at a tangent in that one. The point is that the ruling mentioned there got reversed.

Anyways, noise tends to be made when journalists get jailed. Josh Wolf? there's no question in hell that he's a journalist. And he's been held for 185 days (making him the longest serving journalist behind bars) because he hasn't turned in a video that the Feds want to pursue assault charges in regards to the protest he was covering. It was made a federal case because there was also a destruction of property charge involved and the property in question was a police car partially funded by a federal budget. The fact that the change of jurisdiction allowed circumvention of a California shield law that would have kept him out of prison is, I'm sure, just a coincidence.

Wolf offered to screen all of his video to the judge to demonstrate that there was no evidence within it, but he was denied. I think that given that the only conclusion that can be drawn is that they're fishing for more charges, which is in fact the reason Wolf gave for not turning over the tapes.

So the question is, why the hell hasn't there been an uproar from net culture? Or Google, for that matter? This may turn out to be a test case as for how the rights of bloggers are defined. Surely the tech sector should be up in arms. But nope. silence. They got loud enough about net neutrality... not to say that they shouldn't have but this is important.

I guess the disappointing thing is that it seems like it's everyones destiny to either be powerless or become The Man. The computer industry grew out of basements where resourceful techies screamed "Fuck You!" at the apathetic corporate douchebags as they changed the world. Nowadays Steve Jobs is saying shit like "the problem with the education system is that the teachers are allowed to unionize," and that the same "invisible hand" that supposedly guides the free market equitably should be employed to guide our schools as well.

I know if Hunter S Thompson was alive today he'd have something to say about it.

I'm getting sick of that sentence because it's starting to sound cliché coming from me but most of all I'm sick of no one with a big enough voice saying a lot of the things that need to be heard.

Another sentence I'm sick of hearing is "Why on earth do you have to be only twenty" when it comes from a hot mom who is in a band. There's only one person who's ever flattered me with that sort of sentiment; the rest (I swear it happens more often than the limited demographic would suggest) just make me wonder if I should start lying about my age and also whether or not I'm going to be the next lead singer for Van Halen. Hell, the last one came from my home town.

Speaking of which I finally restrung Ophelia and I don't think she's ever sounded better. I'd have played more if not for the headache. Cooper told me that she got one too from all the people watching the Oscars. I'm wondering if mine has anything to do with it being Oscar night.

5 comments:

  1. These are the guys who should be doing something for Josh Wolf.....But as you say: No one is stepping up to the plate.

    http://www.mediabloggers.org/about

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  2. Here or there but bloggers in general do not really think of it as a blogging issue and to be fair their is only so much you can cover. You know how important Anna Nicole Smith is.

    Frontline covered him.

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  3. I heard (actually half-heard, I was doing something else) a related bit on NPR a couple days ago. An analysis of why, in general, there's so little defense of journalists these days when it comes to the "disclosure of sources" question. I paraphrase, hoping my memory is accurate, and asking forgiveness for things I've made up.

    Years ago, the mass media were the principal source of news and advertising, and were raking in the dough as a consequence. Since a major component of a media outlet's competitiveness (and income) was the "scoop" - the ability of reporters to land a story before anyone else, and have it prove to be essentially true - the outlets had both the means and the incentive to guard their reporters against government and society demands to reveal sources.

    Nowadays, the media outlets are strapped for cash, as advertising flees to craigslist and other internet sources. Moreover, the "scoop" is as often on a free blog as on the TV - which is driven by cheaply-produced "reality" shows that attract the bulk of such customers as there are. Ergo, the media lack both the funds and the will to protect their journalists as they used to.

    As for "powerless or The Man", I quote François Guisot (in translation) and Pete Townshend.

    Not to be a republican at twenty is proof of want of heart; to be one at thirty is proof of want of head. (a version of this is mistakenly attributed to Winston Churchill, I read)

    Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

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  4. Tech bloggers do nothing that don't serve their own interest which is generally making money off their blogs or getting the latest technology for free, or more generally both

    Not trying to get off the hook here, but this is really something for big blogs with influence to pick up on

    Sometimes, we, I, play it safe because we, I, get tired of screaming and want to begin to use our blogs to benefit us--me--which might be selling out in a way, but is also a way of achieving something more

    Why do I feel so defensive :)

    About Van hallen--you can do better

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  5. Tess: Yeah, I searched them for his name but nothing came of it.

    Cooper: You forgot Britney's vagina and breakdown and shaved head.

    OC: Well, his is in fact one of the free blogs. But he's setting records as a jailed journalist. There ought to be people in his corner.

    I thought that quote originally was about Socialists. I still like Townsend's better.

    Pia: Time was fighting The Man got you free publicity. Guess that's gone...

    No need to get defensive.

    And I'd have said Black Sabbath but Ozzy's rejoining them and I couldn't think of any other legendary rock band that needed a new lead singer.

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