When the Chronicle-gate dust settled, I sought out opinions on the importance of the censorhip incident from New Mexico Foundation for Open Government Executive Director Gwyneth Doland, Daily Lobo Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Cleary and CNM Chronicle Editor-in-Chief Jyllian Roach. I wrapped those insights up with an editorial bow, and then I slipped a mixtape into CNM’s locker in Stop the Presses. Below, stream our freedom of speech-centric mixtape featuring tracks by Salt-n-Pepa, 2 Live Crew, Beastie Boys, Chamillionaire feat. Slick Rick, Anthrax, Alice Donut, Leonard Cohen, Frank Zappa, the Ramones, NOFX, Steve Earle, Todd Snider and the Dixie Chicks.
In follow-up communication with Cleary, she noted her plan was never to completely halt publication or bankrupt the Daily Lobo. “We were however not going to have our 'regularly scheduled programming' in print,” said Cleary. “We were going to keep up the momentum by either reprinting parts of Chronicle's sex issue in our paper, running a huge editorial from the Chronicle editor on our front page, etc. Basically, it was giant X's the first day, and then in subsequent days, we would have kept looking for the next shocking thing to demonstrate we weren't letting it go, sort of taking it day to day.”
In this week’s opinion slot, Andrew Beale recounts his trip to the City of Wind to film and participate in the protests against NATO. He argues that biased mainstream media accounts are part of why more people get their news from Internet sources and from shaky cell phone videos posted to YouTube. Online, Beale’s piece “Don’t Believe the Hype” includes video footage he shot at the demonstration.
The image of veterans flinging their medals in the direction of McCormick Place, where the summit was held, provided an incredibly strong statement that our columnist will never forget. As powerful as that was, the act was far overshadowed by the violence immediately afterward, he writes.
During Sunday’s somber coverage of the 9/11 memorial service at ground zero, Anderson Cooper noted that the “images still shock, the heartbreak still hurts.” This could not be a more blatant understatement in the service of dramatic effect. Of course they still hurt, and of course they still shock, Anderson. It's not as if we've forgotten. And, in fact, the suggestion that we may have only serves as a sort of insult to our national and personal integrity.
As an American who was an eye-witness to the attack, to the 22.2 million inhabitants of the NYC metro area, and to the rest of the nation who watched with horror and fear on the internet and television as the unspeakable and far-off threat became a blatant nightmare reality, this phrase cannot help but take on a hollow ring. It has only been 10 years since the singular terrorist attack of that magnitude on American soil in our country's long history. Honestly, who does the media think is forgetting?
This blogger for one will never forget how it felt to be awoken by call from a friend in Brooklyn who saw both planes hit, dashing dazed from her apartment on the Jersey side of Lincoln Harbor to see both towers spitting flames. She'll never forget rushing down to the ferry dock and standing numb with a small gaggle of onlookers in collective disbelief; or when she heard on the portable radio one of them carried as a beacon of information that we all clung to in that time and space, so suspended and surreal, that The Pentagon had been targeted as well. And, you can be damn sure, Anderson Cooper, that nothing will ever erase the image in my brain of that first tower as it fell in impossible and interminable slow motion, as the window glass fluttered, lazily glittering in agonizing descent long after the building rubble collapsed into the cloud of dust that consumed it from below as from the depths of hell; not to mention the weeks focused on an attempted return to normalcy replete with the ever-present foreboding fear that the events of that morning were the harbinger of a full-scale assault that would rear its head in myriad other unsuspected forms. It turned the world upside-down, made terror real, literally haunted my dreams, and all but gave birth to the notion that we as Americans are not immune to acts of war on our own soil.
In this media-blitz-perpetual-information/communication-age, while it is by no means an implausible assertion that our global collective attention span, and by extension, memory is at an all time low, I can't help wondering if I'm alone in feeling that this “Never forget.” campaign was insultingly overblown, cartoonish, mishandled and TOO SOON. And, as if the news and social media outlets' saturation campaigns weren't sufficient in creating this feeling, being visually assaulted by blatant marketing tie-ins while watching football yesterday drove the nails in deep. Every ad spot from Budweiser to Ford reminding me not to forget about 9/11 as I watched Tony Romo and Mark Sanchez try to outdumb each other, I couldn't escape the feeling that I was creating a new memory in my 9/11 experience: I'll never forget that the 10th anniversary of the most stirring and frightening event in recent US history provided a universally-capitalized-upon marketing opportunity for beer and trucks.
On that note, I'd like to extend my heartfelt thanks to DirectTV for making fast forwarding through advertisements possible. God bless this military/industrial/entertainment complex.
“What do I owe you?” an older man asks, placing the New York Times on the counter. “$25,000,” Newsland owner Roger Walsh replies, only half joking, “or I'm closing the shop.” Most of the browsers scanning the shelves have already heard of the closure, but it hits home when Walsh says the Newsland's last day is Sunday, July 24.
New Mexico’s Media Literacy Project to speak up for consumers
FCC boss Julius Genachowski has invited New Mexico’s Media Literacy Project to join a committee that weighs in on consumer issues.
The Federal Communications Commission regulates radio, TV, Internet and telephone service, among other things. The FCC is powerful, and its mission is to make communication channels available to everyone in the United States without discrimination, according to the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Such services should be provided for reasonable fees, too, the act states.
Andrea Quijada, executive director for the group, says in a news release that she is encouraged that New Mexico was “invited to participate in this important national dialogue, and we are extremely honored that we were identified as the best advocate for the diverse consumer needs in our community.” With the Media Literacy Project’s participation, the FCC will get more perspective on Hispanic, Native American and rural communities, she adds.
The committee will evaluate topics such as consumer protection, education, access and the impact of emerging tech. The Media Literacy Project will serve for two years, and its first meeting is Wednesday, Aug. 17, in Washington, D.C.
Republicans in Congress have moved six bills that would ax all money for public media, including NPR, PBS and others. Conservatives have argued that those news outlets lean toward the left.
A letter to the editor from Polly Anderson, general manager of KNME, says the station has been valuable resource for 52 years and that it reaches 650,000 households. “Public Television is the largest provider of preschool education in New Mexico,” she wrote. (Dude. Sesame Street.)
An online campaign, 170millionamericans.org was launched to highlight the importance of public media. Americans each pay about $1.35 per year for public media, according to the site. And every month, 170 million make use of public television stations and radio stations. The site includes suggestions for how you can help. Fill out a message that can be sent to your congresspeople, or call Congress at (202) 224-3121.