Friday, November 30, 2007

12/01/2007 Community Gumbo

Listen | Democracy Now (11/28/07 excerpted)
  • “The End of America”: Feminist Social Critic Naomi Wolf Warns U.S. in Slow Descent into Fascism

Listen | Ethics in Public Service and The Inspector General Function: An Address by New Orleans Inspector General Robert Cerasoli
Loyola University, 11/27/07

Inspector General Robert Cerasoli was selected as the Inspector General by the Ethics Review Board of the City of New Orleans. As New Orleans’ first Inspector General, he will be shaping the position from the ground up. Cerasoli possesses a decade of teaching experience in ethics, auditing, oversight, financial management and anti-corruption practices. He served as the Inspector General for the state of Massachusetts from 1991- 2001 and was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1975. Nationally recognized as the father of the Association of Inspectors General (AIG), he co-authored the authoritative, seminal texts used to train Inspector Generals throughout the country, including Principles and Standards for Offices of Inspector General (The Green Book).

Listen | The Federal Communications Commission Moves Again to Relax Ownership Rules
Federal Communications Commissioner Chairman Kevin Martin has proposed an ambitious plan to relax decades-old media cross-ownership restrictions, including a repeal of the FCC rule which forbids a company to own both a newspaper and a radio or television station in the same city.

Martin wants to repeal the rule before Christmas, allowing little time for public review of the proposal.

Present FCC rules governing broadcast ownership have unofficially or provisionally permitted a company to own two television stations in larger markets where there are at least eight stations -- as long as one of them is not among the four largest of those stations.

Martin wrote in a November 13th New York Times op-ed piece that:
IN many towns and cities, the newspaper is an endangered species. At least 300 daily papers have stopped publishing over the past 30 years. Those newspapers that have survived are struggling financially. Newspaper circulation has declined steadily for more than 10 years. Average daily circulation is down 2.6 percent in the last six months alone.

Newspapers have also been hurt by significant cuts in advertising revenue, which accounts for at least 75 percent of their revenue. Their share of the advertising market has fallen every year for the past decade, while online advertising has increased greatly. ...

If we don’t act to improve the health of the newspaper industry, we will see newspapers wither and die. Without newspapers, we would be less informed about our communities and have fewer outlets for the expression of independent thinking and a diversity of viewpoints.

In contrast to the bleak outlook presented by Kevin Martin, online ad revenues for newspapers are predicted to increase exponentially for the foreseeable future. The MediaPost eMarketer documented an estimated 36 percent increase in ad revenues in 2005, predicting double-digit increases through 2008. And the Project for Excellence in Journalism reported in 2006 that newspaper industry profits were higher than the hugely-profitable pharmaceutical and oil industries.

Helping to sort out these issues, Dr. Anita Day teaches advertising at Loyola University's School of Mass Communications.

December 11th is the deadline to get informed and involved in response to Kevin Martin's proposal:
1) Get more information at

2) File a comment with the FCC on Kevin Martin's idea to relax ownership rules by using the StopBigMedia form (or the more complicated FCC form).

3) Voice your support for legislation moving through Congress (S 2332), the "The Media Ownership Act of 2007" (summary), to force the FCC to address localism concerns and the dismal state of female and minority ownership before changing any rules to unleash more media concentration.

Devil in the Details: 10 Facts Kevin Martin Doesn’t Want You to Know About His New Media Ownership Rules (pdf)

The Project for Excellence in Journalism, "Newspaper Economics, 2006 Annual Report: Profits and Revenues," 3/13/2006.

Newspapers To See Online Ad Surge

The State of News Media 2006

William Safire, "The Big Media Gulp," The New York Times, 5/23/2003.

Tuning In to One Company

The Daily Show

Plan Would Ease Limits on Media Owners

Few Friends for Proposal on Media

Size Limits for Cable Look Likely

Regulating Cable

Spreading the Broadband Revolution

Google to Join Spectrum Auction

This Sunday, 3 p.m.--Food, Wine, Music
Benefit For La Crepe Nanou's Robert Strong, Crime Victim

For twenty-four years, Robert Strong has been the bar manager at La Crêpe Nanou. A few weeks ago he was attacked and shot on St. Charles Ave. during an armed robbery. The incident left Robert in critical condition with major trauma to his jaw. He will require five more surgeries to rebuild his jawbone. He is still in the hospital.

This Sunday, Nanou DeRaczynski asked his culinary friends to help him put on a benefit event to assist Robert with his recovery--as well as to make a statement against the continuing violence in our city.

The event begins at three in the afternoon and goes until eight, along the 1400 block of Robert Street, at Prytania. Your $30 donation will be returned with foodm, wine, desserts, live music, and self-defense demonstrations. There's also be a silent auction of a wide variety of art, restaurant dinners, and other packages.

The restaurants include La Crêpe Nanou, Galatoire's, Café Degas, Dick & Jenny's, Dante's Kitchen, St. James Cheese Company, New Orleans Ice Cream Company, and more to come. The musicians will include Alex Chilton (of the Box Tops), Susan Cowsill, The Stringbeans, Herringbone Orchestra, and David
Doucet and Al Tharp.

Tickets can be had at La Crêpe Nanou and The Wine Seller (both on Prytanian at Robert). All proceeds go directly to the Robert Strong Fund established at Capital One. If you'd like more information--or to make a contribution--please contact Aimée Toledano at

Robert is a much-liked guy at one of the city's most popular restaurants. It's intolerable that people like him fall victim to this unconscionable spread of crime in our city. Please help.

The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra

New Orleans Musica da Camera

Music Played:
Billy Bragg & Wilco, "All You Fascists," Mermaid Avenue, v. 2, Elektra.

88 Fingers Louie, "Newspaper," Back on the Streets, Hopeless Records.

Elvis Costello, "Radio Radio," This Year's Model.

Billy Bragg & Wilco, "Someday Some Morning Sometime," Mermaid Avenue, V. 2, Elektra.

Robyn Hitchcock, "I Wanna Go Backwards," I Wanna Go Backwards, Yep Records.


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