She went on to criticize the structural flaws in media coverage of US wars, stating:
“One clue to this disjunction lay in the public affairs reports. Near the top of each briefing was the number of embedded journalists attached to American military units in a combat zone. Throughout my deployment, I never saw that tally go above 12. In other words, in all of Iraq, which contained 31 million people and 117,000 United States troops, no more than a dozen American journalists were covering military operations.
The process of limiting press access to a conflict begins when a reporter applies for embed status. All reporters are carefully vetted by military public affairs officials. This system is far from unbiased. Unsurprisingly, reporters who have established relationships with the military are more likely to be granted access.
Less well known is that journalists whom military contractors rate as likely to produce “favorable” coverage, based on their past reporting, also get preference. This outsourced “favorability” rating assigned to each applicant is used to screen out those judged likely to produce critical coverage.
Reporters who succeeded in obtaining embed status in Iraq were then required to sign a media “ground rules” agreement. Army public affairs officials said this was to protect operational security, but it also allowed them to terminate a reporter’s embed without appeal.
There have been numerous cases of reporters’ having their access terminated following controversial reporting. In 2010, the late Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings had his access pulled after reporting criticism of the Obama administration by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and his staff in Afghanistan. A Pentagon spokesman said, “Embeds are a privilege, not a right.”
If a reporter’s embed status is terminated, typically she or he is blacklisted.”
apparently e.l. james called former child star mara wilson (matilda) a “sad fuck” for critiquing the 50shades books a while ago and now there’s a feud. i love it.
I’m in on this feud and I have chosen my side.
MARA WILSON, YOU HAVE MY SWORD.
WHY WAS I UNAWARE OF THE FACT THAT “DISGRUNTLED” IS, IN FACT, THE OPPOSITE OF “GRUNTLED”
WHY DOES NOBODY USE THIS WORD
I’m so gruntled to have found this
PBS is that older brother you used to idolize before he made a few big mistakes and set-backs and now you’re really rooting for his recovery, even through the little embarrassments like this
the reptilians have seized control
youre gonna look so godamn cool
The Cry of the Icemark | Unofficial Trailer [HD] | 20th Century Fox
So my sister and I were looking through some old books on a bookshelf in our basement, and we stumbled upon a very worn copy of The Cry of Icemark by Stuart Hill, which is a book we absolutely loved growing up. After rereading it, we really thought it would make a terrific movie. We did some research and found that 20th Century Fox actually acquired the film rights, but the movie adaptation never moved forward.
Consider this fanmade trailer our movie pitch, and a pitch to people who haven’t read the book to give it a try. It is difficult to find high quality fantasy novels, and this is definitely among the very few. It is a book that is exceedingly progressive for its time and just a fantastic adventure.
Here’s a quick summary:
After the death of her father, Princess Thirrin becomes the warrior queen of her small homeland, the Icemark, and must defend it from a formidable invader, the Polypontian Empire and its undefeated general Scipio Bellorum. To stand a chance of defeating an empire that has conquered much of the known world, she must assemble a force to rival her opponent. And, in the chill winter of the Icemark, she only has until spring to find allies in the strange beasts and frightening creatures who live to the north.
For ease of editing, we fancast Sophie Turner as Queen Thirrin, George Blagden as her young advisor Oskan, and Christian Bale as Scipio Bellorum.
Please read the book and/or let us know what you think of the trailer!
AND NOW I’M REALLY EMOTIONAL
The U.S. media coverage of the Israeli occupation and invasion of Gaza is grossly biased against Palestinians. The litmus test should be what would U.S. media coverage look like of a nearly 50 year Palestinian occupation of downtrodden Jews or massive Palestinian military massacres of innocent Jewish men, women and children in homes and hospitals backed by U.S. politicians, money and military technology?
Our moral and political response to the actual Israeli occupation and invasion should be the same as that of a non-existent Palestinian occupation and invasion. Our righteous indignation at the murder of hundreds of Palestinian babies should be the same as that of the murder of Jewish babies. Let us not forget that ugly war crimes of any occupying power always outstrip those of the occupied, yet every human life is precious and resistance to occupation is inevitable.
Molotov cocktails and mobs at synagogues. Assaults on city streets. Leaflets left on car windshields promising violence. Public hate speech and calls for eradication. Governments holding houses of worship hostage.
It’s not paranoia or exaggeration: Jews around the world are facing attacks as the crisis escalates in Gaza, where rocket fires, bombings, an Israeli ground invasion and hundreds of civilians deaths are daily realities. But the 17-year-old teenager who was assaulted and pepper-sprayed in Paris had nothing to do with that. She’s not an isolated case. This is what happens when some view diaspora Jews as an acceptable proxy for the Israeli state.
No matter what your position is on the conflict, nothing justifies targeting people uninvolved in the fighting. To vent frustration about Israel on Jews, no matter where they live, conflates the two in dangerous ways.
To criticize Israel is one thing, and plenty of Jews there and abroad do that themselves; it’s another thing entirely to do so using anti-Semitic language and imagery, when that kind of speech has led to such terrible tragedies in the past. To no one’s credit, times of heightened tensions in the Middle East usually mean a huge uptick in expressions of anti-Semitism, written, verbal and physical.
This is one of the most thorough breakdowns of recent antisemitism I’ve seen. Must read.
Breaking via ABC News: UN Human Rights Council votes to open inquiry into alleged war crimes in Gaza; U.S. is the ONLY “no” vote.
That’s because the U.S. is a direct accomplice to every war crime that Israel commits.
The US is a rich country that’s beginning to resemble, for the average person, a poor one. Its infrastructure is crumbling. Its educational systems barely educate. Its healthcare is still nearly nonexistent. I can take a high-speed train across Europe in eight hours; I can barely get from DC to Boston in nine. Most troubling of all, it is poisoning its food and water supplies by continuing to pursue dirty energy, while the rest of the rich world is choosing renewable energy. The US has glaring deficits in all these public goods — education, healthcare, transport, energy, infrastructure — not to mention the other oft- unmentioned, but equally important ones: parks, community centers, social services.
So the US should invest in its common wealth. For a decade, and more. Legions of people should be employed in rebuilding its decrepit infrastructure, schools, colleges, hospitals, parks, trains. To a standard that is the envy of the world — not its laughingstock.
Why? If the US invests in the public goods it so desperately needs, the jobs that it so desperately needs will be created — and they will be jobs that (wait for it) actually create useful stuff. You know what’s useless? Designer diapers, reality TV, listicles, reverse-triple-remortgages, fast food, PowerPoint decks, and the other billion flavors of junk that we slave over only to impress people we secretly hate so we can live lives we don’t really want with money we don’t really have by doing work that sucks the joy out of our souls. You know what’s useful, to sane people? Hospitals, schools, trains, parks, classes, art, books, clean air, fresh water … purpose, meaning, dignity. If you can’t attain that stuff, what good are five hundred aisles, channels, or megamalls?
So: invest in public goods; employ armies to build them; create millions of jobs. And they won’t be the dead-end, abusive, toxic McJobs that have come to plague the economy; they will be decent, well-paid, meaningful jobs which people will be proud to have.