Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

still-of-fred-astaire-and-ginger-rogers-in-top-hat-(1935)-1220px-Erdogan_croppedTurkey was long viewed as a symbol of secularism in the Islamic world — an alternative to the rigid Islamic governments imposing medieval Sharia laws to their populations. Then came the election of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has steadily broken down secular tradition and introduced more and more Islamic influences in government. (You may recall Erdogan recently declaring that Muslims discovered America and that there was proof of a Mosque in Cuba when Columbus arrived) The fines imposed this week by the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK) have reaffirmed those concerns. RTUK officials imposed as fine of 410,000 Turkish lira ($177,000, 145,000 euros) against The game show, “I Don’t Know, My Spouse Knows.” The episode in question showed wives pictures of their husbands dancing with foreign women. That was deemed “contrary to public morality and the Turkish family structure.”

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Anonymous_at_Scientology_in_Los_AngelesHacktivism seems to be taking place in the aftermath of Sony declining to release The Interview. The Interview portrays a comic plot to assassinate North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un. The decision follows a security breach where afterward extortionists attempted to induce Sony to halt distribution of the film. Many regarded this decision to be a surrender of free speech rights.

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By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

flag-of-ypgIn an interview, American civilian Dean Parker of Colorado tells of his mission to help the Kurdish people battle the ISIS. He joined the Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG) after seeing a BBC News broadcast showing the rescue of civilians from the war torn regions in the Levant and felt compelled to join the resistance to save the Kurds and the Yezidi people from genocide at the hands of the Islamic State.

His interview brings a new facet to the difficulty the YPG and others face along with some insights into what the Kurdish people value in their respect of other religions and creeds falling under their umbrella and in need of protection.

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16596269-smallUniversity of Michigan Communications Professor Susan Douglas is at the center of a controversy over a column that she wrote for In These Times entitled “It’s Okay To Hate Republicans.” The title was changed after Douglas complained that it did not represent the content of her column which began with the line “I hate Republicans.”

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Ferguson_Day_6,_Picture_44Below is my column that ran today in the USA Today. It ran earlier on the web and this is a slightly expanded version of the piece on the spat of apologies around the country.

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250px-46_Dick_Cheney_3x4I have long argued in my column as well as numerous blog postings that our country is legally bound to prosecute people responsible for ordering torture during the Bush Administration. There is no question that water boarding is torture as recognized by President Obama, Attorney General Holder, the United Nations and virtually every expert in this field. However, while you may want to try to rewrite legal precedent (as did John Yoo and Jay Bybee in their infamous Torture Memos), you should not try to rewrite history. That is what former Vice President Dick Cheney appears to be doing this month. He told Chuck Todd on Sunday that we never prosecuted anyone for water boarding — an assertion that I and others have repeatedly raised over the years. The statement is simply false and adds historical revisionism to legal revisionism in our sordid foray into torture.

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Sony_Entertainment_Network220px-David_Boies_2011_ShankboneThere are continuing rumblings in the media about the threat of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) lawyer David Boies over media sites using material hacked from the studio, including embarrassing emails where executives dish on leading stars like Angelina Jolie and the disclosure of contract information. Boies has warned that such material must be ignored or destroyed and suggested legal repercussions in the use of “stolen information.” But how serious is this threat? In my view, not very.

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