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News Archive: October 2008

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10/11/08 - Not-Quite-Hiatus Ahoy [link to this story]

It's that time of the semester when my teaching duties kick into high-gear. This fall, I've got 33 students in an introduction to the political economy of the media class (which is right up my alley, and I had loads of fun teaching it last spring). Each of them are now busy researching and writing 10-page papers on a media policy issue of their choice. I'm spending long days in the office doing paper-counseling sessions as well as the necessary work for class-prep itself. In addition, I've got some deadlines looming to submit paper-abstracts for a communication research conference.

As a result, I'll be shortly suspending multi-weekly news-updates to concentrate on getting the legacy projects of the site back up to currency. In the meantime, outside of the instances when I simply can't help myself from bloviating, I strongly suggest that (if you aren't already) you supplement your info-diet with a subscription to either the Benton Foundation's Communications-Related Headlines newsletter or Free Press' Media Reform Daily. Both are free; they're also required reading for my students.

10/2/08 - McCain Flip-Flops on Astronaut Experience [link to this story]

Finally, the Truthful Translations of Political Speech become useful for actual fact-checking purposes!

This week, John McCain was asked a provocative question by the editorial board of the Des Moines Register: why all the hate on taxpayer-funded health insurance proposals from a man who's lived the majority of his entire adult life covered by government-funded and -administered healthcare systems?

Fortunately, the (non-)answer was caught on tape. But let me direct you to approximately 30 seconds into his response:

"And I have never, um, been an astronaut, but I think I know the challenges of space."

Now, the context in which this "wtf?" moment occurred was while John McCain was describing his philosophy of public versus private enterprise, and only tangentially touching on the subject of the original question (healthcare, and McCain's use of it).

But the real question is: wasn't John McCain really an astronaut once? Let us rewind to 2000, when McCain was contesting the Republican presidential primary against George W. Bush. In a television interview featuring the two men, the brilliant Joshua Pearson - one of the masterminds behind the illustrious yet (unfortunately) now-defunct Emergency Broadcast Network - caught him on tape saying the exact opposite.

In fact, references to space (and especially Star Wars metaphors) are uncannily missing from McCain 4 Prez v. 2.0.