Archive for July, 2011

Murdoch in the Dock Podcast

This was a quick hit today in several ways. Notably, our host had connection problems, dropping one and then both of us a few times. So, the show is about 20 minutes with some dead air near the end, as Mike scrambled to reconnect with a different phone to close.

We touch on the Murdoch family, managers and editors of News Corporation — the UK scandals, the hearings, and the business effects to date. Then we speculated a bit on what it may all mean in the U.S., particularly with the Wall Street Journal and Fox News.

Together, those highly conservative media have long had outsized influence here. While not as powerful as Murdoch’s papers and broadcast in England, the effects are deep and wide. We see some diminishment soon and more later. That will be particularly true if our FBI finds criminal behavior, if our prosecutors invoke the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for the bribes apparently paid, and if civil suits keep the sins of News Corp., well, news.

Reduced Murdoch influence for the 2012 U.S. elections could be a big factor in the outcome.

icon for podpress  News Corp. [19:48m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Rupert Mordor Murdoch in the Dock

notmordor.pngThe hugely powerful generally skate and the aged Rupert Murdoch apparently expects to do so. That’s not likely.

Join us Tuesday, 7/26 at 2:30 PM Eastern as we look beyond recent events. Sure, his corporation lost a lot of paper value. Sure, he felt he had to back out of a big media deal. Sure, he tried to distance himself by firing a bunch of key managers and executives. That won’t be enough.

His U.S.-based empire brings him under some far heavier laws than British public and parliamentary opinions. We have racketeering and bribery laws that go far deeper than disgust at hacking cellphone of the dead to get good tabloid stories. Moreover, what this mess means for tabloid and other journalism is another matter entirely.

If you can catch us live then, listen in here. Otherwise, come back for an on-demand play.


SSM Forecast Podcast

In a welcome surprise, John Hosty-Grinnell joined Ryan and Mike for most of today’s show. The blogger/activist added his insights to our analysis of what follows the NY state marriage-equality victory and the RI tepid civil-union thingummy.

We extrapolated from the passage of SSM in Albany beyond to Maine, California and other potential transition states. In particular, Ryan and Mike are optimistic and reserved for different states. The three of us did concur on the decreasing efficacy of SSM and gay rights as campaign issues for wingers.

Listen in as we parse the trends.

icon for podpress  SSM Forecast [37:22m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Big and Little Equality Podcast

Big and small doings on marriage equality will be our show tomorrow, Tuesday, July 12th. Ryan and Mike will talk about what did and did not happen in New York and Rhode Island.

You can catch it live at 2:30 PM Eastern here. Afterward, you can get it on demand there, back here at Left Ahead or on iTunes.

It’s also a good time to consider the effect of leadership, as in the three paths of NY’s governor, RI’s governor and house speaker, and the POTUS. We need to consider the recent laws in relationship to the national temper, threats from anti-equality sorts, what we see coming next.


Illegal Guns Off the Street Podcast

Boston doesn’t have a gun problem so much as a gun-trafficking problem, said our guest today. Nancy Robinson heads Citizens for Safety.

Listen in as she describes efforts coordinated with law enforcement and others aiming to get illegal guns out of the hands and pockets of criminals and youth. She describes the small set of gun dealers who supply most of the guns used in crimes, and how large numbers of handguns move from lax-gun-law states to places like Boston.

She speaks of the how tracking a single gun used in a crime to its middlemen and dealer may get one or two such illegal weapons off the street. Then cracking down on a dealer who sold 20 or 40 at a time can be more important, up to holding the source of a criminal enterprise of illicit gun transfers responsible could potentially take a thousand or more out of criminal’s hands.

She and her organization are not anti-gun. She speaks favorably of Second-Amendment rights and responsible gun owners. Instead, she favors such bills as the one recently introduced by MA Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (S.1195) that would limit gun purchases to one a month, track the resale/secondary markets, and otherwise act to prevent illegal sales.

The model Robinson favors is a combination. In additional to involving criminal justice, she looks to the public-health model. Think peanut butter; when a toxin is found in a batch, that model tracks the source, say a large farm or processing plant and then requires cleaning it up or shutting it down. She said that locking up the shooters is not the whole solution. “We can’t arrest our way out of the problem.”

icon for podpress  Nancy Robinson [31:44m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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