>MEDIACULTURE REVIEW ONLINE, Issue #, October 16, 1998
>(See contents at end of Media Mash.)
>Media Mash #20 -- October 16, 1998
>WALD PLAYS HARD BALL
>Working Assets Long Distance (WALD) is the politically correct long
>distance carrier who fills its billing envelopes with very progressive
>political messages. WALD is unique and has evolved into a major player on
>the left, particularly as it redistributes hundreds of thousands of dollars
>of its dough each year to many good causes (as well as a few clunkers, but
>the Masher isn't complaining).
>Even though WALD is a private company, up until now it has been extremely
>cautious about getting into the real politick of elections. That is until
>the spectre of Dan Lundgren reared its ugly head. For the non-Californians,
>Lundgren is to the right of the horrid Pete Wilson, who the state has had
>to endure for eight torturous years. So WALD has stepped up to the plate
>(sorry, it must be the World Series) and initiated an independent
>expenditure radio campaign hammering away at Dangerous Dan.
>WALD chief strategist Michael Kieschnick says: "Working Assets Long
>Distance has a long standing prohibition against direct involvement in
>candidate elections. But the prospect of Dan Lundgren being the governor of
>our home state, called for an exception to be made. We are confident that
>if swing independent women voters and moderate Republicans know the truth
>about Lundgren and his stands on guns, anti-choice and environmental
>despoliation, they will make a better choice."
>The Masher understands it's easy to piss a lot of money away in electoral
>politics when groups doing good work need it. But WALD's right. The
>prospect of Dan Lundgren sends chills up the spine.
>Michael Moore's Revolutionary Act -- Vote Democrat
>Michael Moore can create a fuss, no matter what the issue. The Masher has
>surely had his ups and downs with the Mikester, mostly downs. But at this
>stage, it's interesting to just sit back and watch the Michael Moore
>phenomenon. You can check it out at http://www.MichaelMoore.com.
>Moore was recently the MC at a mega dinner in L.A. for the Southern
>California ACLU, which raised $600,000. Phew, that's nice bucks. The event
>honored two Hollywood heavyweights: 1. Music mogul Danny Goldberg, the
>head of Mercury Records, who asked his newish friend Moore -- they actually
>hooked up the Media & Democracy Congress -- to do the kibitzing honors;
>and 2. Margery Tabankin, whose activist trajectory is as diverse as anyone
>in America -- stretching from bravely visiting Hanoi as an anti-war
>activist in the '60s, to heading Vista in the Carter administration, to
>honchoing the now defunct -- on account of we can't stand the sleazy money
>driven political system anymore -- Hollywood Women's Political Committee,
>to being the head of foundations funded by Barbara Streisand and Stephen
>One of the interesting things about the event -- that is, besides Elvis
>Costello debuting some of the new album he does with Bert Bacharach (yes,
>you read it right); Courtney Love making many trips to the bathroom and not
>looking nearly as good as she does in pictures; Joan Jett having a seizure;
>and Leonardo Di Caprio not showing up, though his lefty, bearded
>long-haired father, who visited Cuba last year with the younger Di Caprio,
>was in attendance -- was the celebratory videos made about the two
>honorees, akin to the things they show at the Academy awards for life time
>achievement. Tabankin was nicely saluted by Mike Farrell and Harry
>Belafonte, among others. But the Goldberg segment was a real education. It
>showed that Danny is a TV pitbull who has thrashed Pat Buchanan on numerous
>occasions over the years on such shows as "Firing Line." Get this guy on TV
>Anyway, the Masher apologizes for digressing. This is supposed to be about
>Moore. That night, Moore kept talking about the coup d'etat that the right
>was attempting by tenaciously pursuing the Clinton impeachment thing. The
>crowd wasn't into it, but Mike pursued it gamely. Perhaps his best line was
>saying that "only in America can a young women declare that she is going to
>D.C. with her knee pads on to give the president blow jobs and actually
>Anyway, Moore is still trying to get this coup d'etat message across and
>he's succeeding. He's generating an online audience, which is grat, because
>the left has not done well in cyberspace.
>The other day, Moore sent out an e-mail that got passed around to a lot of
>people. To give you an idea, the message was forwarded to the Masher by
>five unrelated people, with many cc's. The essence of the message: Fight
>the coup d'etat. Everybody go to the polls, hold your nose and vote for
>every Democrat. And people were buzzing about this? That's the Masher's
>point: Moore has become bigger than life. He says something demonstrably
>obvious and everybody is abuzz. Maybe it's necessary to say the obvious
>these days. Moore even got on "Good Morning America" to do this schtick.
>Moore says: "I don't think I have ever received this much mail in any given
>week since I learned what http means. The reaction is incredible. And not
>just from the usual suspects. I have received a lot of letters from people
>describing themselves as Republicans, retired military people, people who
>have not voted in a decade, etc. The letters are running 10 to 1 in favor
>of what I and others are advocating.
>"A number of letters have come in from Greens and other lefties who would
>rather puke their guts out than ever vote for a Democrat. I feel their
>pain. I've explained to them that we have never had a chance like this to
>mobilize so many people who have not been political, who do not vote, and
>who are so pissed off they will do anything right now to send a message to
>"Many people saw our "witch hunt" that we performed on Starr's lawn Friday
>morning which has also engendered a lot of press. Our next steps are to
>continue this get-out-the vote drive, and we will be taking our show to the
>local districts of the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee. They will
>rue the day they tried to subvert the will of the American people."
>In Moore, we may finally have a legitimate successor to Abbie Hoffman --
>the truest trickster.
>MediaCulture Review is the award-winning zine published by the Institute
>for Alternative Journalism. This week's roundup includes:
>* Global Economic Crisis Melts Down Human Rights -- (Don Hazen, AlterNet)
>Review of PBS TV Show, "Globalization & Human Rights," (to be aired on PBS
>-- October 29, 10pm).
>No question facing the world today is more important than how to ensure
>both global economic stability and human rights. As the global economy
>takes shape, what are its values? Ultimately, what is the best way to
>foster human rights and democratization -- by linking them to economic
>concerns, or rigidly separating the two?
>* Journalist Cyberstung -- (Andrew Hsiao, Village Voice)
>Bay area journalist Bruce Mirken gets entrapped by Sacramento vice squad
>cop masquerading as gay teenager.
>* Depressed by Your Computer - Debbunking the Homenet Study -- (Howard
>Rheingold, Feed Magazine)
>Critics like the New York Times' Denise Caruso and Salon's Scott Rosenberg
>have trashed the methodology and findings of this study that found that
>greater use of the Internet was associated with declines in participants'
>communication with family members, as well as increases in depression and
>lonliness. Here cyber guru Howard Rheingold goes deeper to say that maybe
>there is something important
>here, (although yes, this study pretty much sucked).
>* Image is Everything - (Mark Crispin Miller, David Shenk and Leslie
>Savan, Feed Magazine)
>Critics including Mark Crispin Miller and Leslie Savan annotate a passage
>of a new book by Mitchell Stephens "The Rise of
>the Image The Fall of the World." In the book, Stephens sees salvation in the
>development of a notion that he calls the New Video -- a process of
>images replacing the written word. And of course, there is disagreement from
>* Michael Moore's Revolutionary Act --Text of Moore's letter urging
>Americans to vote for Democrats