UPDATE: If you missed the webcast of Bill Moyers' speech this morning, scroll to the end of this post to watch the highlights on YouTube.
I'm writing from the cavernous Minneapolis Convention Center, where the 3,500 attendees of the National Conference on Media Reform are taking up about five percent of the space, leaving literally enough room for each attendee to convene her or his own breakout session.
The conference organizers at Free Press have gone to great lengths to allow you to experience the show from your home. You can listen to live streaming video and audio from the main plenaries. In a few minutes Bill Moyers is scheduled to take the stage to open this second day of the NCMR. Watch it live here from 8:00 to 9:00am Central time.
Here's what else you'll find online:
**Video streams of the main events and keynote speakers, including Moyers, Amy Goodman, Arianna Huffington, Dan Rather, Lawrence Lessig, Naomi Klein, Van Jones, FCC Commissioners, members of Congress and many more;
Our friends at Free Speech TV are also providing live coverage throughout the conference. Tune in to Dish Network Channel 9415 or go online to www.freespeech.org to see more than 20 hours of coverage from the Twin Cities.
The conference kicked off with a bang yesterday morning with keynote speeches from Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.); Lessig, Stanford University law professor; Adrienne Maree Brown, head of The Ruckus Society; Janis Lane-Ewart, with KFAI-FM; and Josh Silver, co-founder and executive director of Free Press. I'd never seen Rep. Ellison speak live before and he impressed. I was most moved by dynamic Ruckus Society leader Brown who opened up her comments with a wake up song -- "Woke up this morning with my mind set on freedom" -- and then confessed that she felt like an unlikely speaker on the plenary because she wakes up every morning dreaming of freedom -- not of reform. She then urged the crowd to spend more energy on broad and deep visions for freedom and justice and fundamental change using media as a tool toward those goals.
Another of yesterday's highlights, at least for me, was the first-ever screening of the fifth episode in the Brave Nation video series featuring Naomi Klein and Tom Hayden. Walking in, we were gratified to see the 250 seat room packed to the proverbial rafters. Even more gratifying was the audience response and the engaged hour-long question period that followed in which filmmaker Robert Greenwald and I talked to teachers, students, historians, activists -- even a fundraiser wanting to help raise money for the project (Susan -- Don't lose my card!).
The day wound up with another huge event -- a screening of Phil Donohue's important new antiwar documentary, Body of War. Most of the 500 people arriving at the 8:00pm start time were able to find seats but the roughly 200 people who showed up shortly thereafter had to be turned away -- and this screening was taking place at the same time as myriad conference receptions, parties and get-togethers featuring free food and booze!
Speakers scheduled for today and tomorrow include legendary journalists Moyers and Dan Rather, former anchor of CBS News; North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan; FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein; Huffington; Van Jones of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights; Amy Goodman, host of Democracy Now!; Klein, Nation columnist and author of The Shock Doctrine; Tim Wu of Columbia Law School; Lizz Winstead, co-creator of The Daily Show; and Baratunde Thurston of Laughing Liberally.
What I consider perhaps the marquee panel of the day --a discussion of Iraq and the media featuring Klein, Goodman, Donahue, the Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Norman Solomon and the author of the wonderful and harrowing book, Bleeding Afghanistan, Sonali Kolhatkar -- starts in an hour.
Wish you were here! I'll have another Minneapolis post later today exploring, in part, the rumors that Fox's Bill O'Reilly has dispatched a camera crew to document the "nut jobs" that one of his favorite targets, Dan Rather, is hanging with this weekend. O'Reilly promised on-air to show a video on Monday highlighting the "crazies" here.
Bonus Links: A few friends of The Nation are live blogging the NCMR. Check our Samhita Mukhopadhyay (our March guest blogger) on Feministing.com and Thomas Coen and Kay Steiger at CampusProgress.
Here's Bill Moyers addressing the NCMR this morning, June 7, 2008.
It is suggested by some of her more ardent advocates that Hillary Clinton should merely suspend, rather than formally finish, her presidential campaign. Then she could retain the option of having her name put in nomination at this summer's Democratic National Convention, seek a roll call of the states and record a historic number of votes for a woman.
If that happens, Obama will still be nominated for president. Indeed, after the recording of show of support for Clinton, the Obama selection would likely be approved by acclamation.
The point of counting the Clinton votes at the convention would not be to stop, or even embarrass, Obama. It would be to note the political progress made by women competing in the presidential arena.
Addressing AIPAC the other day, Barack Obama began with a joke about the emails have circulated, particularly in Jewish social circles that claim Obama is some kind of secret Muslim.
Before I begin, I want to say that I know some provocative emails have been circulating throughout Jewish communities across the country. A few of you may have gotten them. They're filled with tall tales and dire warnings about a certain candidate for President. And all I want to say is - let me know if you see this guy named Barack Obama, because he sounds pretty frightening.
J Street reader PS emails a link to the RNC's new oppo site on Obama called "Meet Barack Obama." (You can Google it. I'm not gonna dignify it with a link.) He notes their description of Obama's job on the south side of Chicago as a young man is not "community organizer" as the job is commonly known, but rather "street organizer."
Nice. Frankly, in order to elicit the maximum degree of racial stereotyping I would have gone with "ghetto operative" or "slum captain" but I suppose that would have been too obvious.
In December, I wroteabout Robert Greenwald's attempt to mobilize outrage against GildedAge-like inequality and the hedge-funders with his War on Greedseries of short films. Now, another creative effort is being led by theService Employees International Union, with July 17 protests scheduled in 100 cities in twenty-five countries.
Stephen Lerner, the director of the SEIU's private equity project, toldthe New York Times, "We think the buyout industry and the way it operates are systematicof what's wrong in this economy. We want to make them responsiblecorporate citizens."
The SEIU is focused on the Carlyle Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts,and how they game the systemto take over companies with little of their own money, lay off workers,reap the profits when they resell, and pay a lower tax rate than theirown secretaries do.
Be depressed. Be very depressed. You thought that cyberspace -- a term conjured up long ago by that neuromancer, sci-fi author William Gibson--was the last frontier of freedom. Well, think again. If the U.S. Air Force has anything to say about it, cyber-freedom will, in the not so distant future, be just another word for domination.
Air Force officials, despite a year-long air surge in Iraq, undoubtedly worry that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates's "next wars"--two, three, many Afghanistans--won't have much room for air glory. (And headlines like yesterday's "Pentagon cans Air Force leadership" can't be doing much for service morale.) Recently, looking for new realms to bomb, the Air Force launched itself into cyberspace. It has now set up its own Cyber Command, redefined the Internet as just more "air space" fit for "cyber-craft," and launched its own Bush-style preemptive strike on the other military services for budgetary control of the same.
If that's not enough for you, it's also proposing a massive $30 billion cyberspace boondoggle--as retired Air Force Lt. Col. William Astore writes in "Attention Geeks and Hackers, Uncle Sam's Cyber Force Wants You!"--that will, theoretically, provide the Air Force with the ability to fry any computer on Earth. And don't think the other services are likely to take this lying down. Expect cyberwar in the Pentagon before this is all over. In the meantime, think of cyberspace, in military terms, as a new realm for nuclear-style strategy, with its own developing version of "first-strike capability," its own future versions of "mutually assured destruction," its own "windows of vulnerability" to be closed (while exploiting those of the enemy), and undoubtedly its own "cyber-gaps."
Asked whether the views Mr. Holtz-Eakin imputed to Mr. McCain were inaccurate, Mr. Bounds did not repudiate the statement. But late Thursday Mr. Bounds called and said, "to the extent that the comments of members of our staff are misinterpreted, they shouldn't be read into as anything otherwise."
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton met in private Thursday night in Washington, D.C.
Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, made the symbolically significant move of going to Clinton -- who had requested the meeting. In so doing, he displaying levels of respect and graciousness that are likely to serve his November candidacy well.
The meeting, which came after an Obama rally in Virginia, signals more formally than anything Clinton or her backers will declare in days to come that her run for the Democratic nomination is done. It followed a day in which the senator from New York warmed up to her new role as an Obama supporter â€“ backing off some of the more challenging stances she had taken since a Tuesday night "concession" speech that included no concession.
Ever since President Bush announced last fall that the United States would seek to negotiate a lasting security agreement with Iraq, the Democrats in Washington have insisted that any such accord would be a treaty and, therefore, ought to be submitted to the U.S. Senate for ratification.
But it's starting look more and more like the proposed treaty won't ever see the light of day. Why? Because the Iraqis themselves don't want it.
At an extraordinary hearing on Capitol Hill yesterday, members of the Iraqi parliament hand-delivered a letter to members of Congress that rejected the idea of a US-Iraq agreement unless the United States agrees to a specific timetable to get out of Iraq. The letter was signed by a majority of the 270-member parliament, reflecting a broad consensus among Iraqi factions. Said the letter:
This is the most thorough run-down I've seen of how Obama won the race. The turning point was the week after Super Tuesday:
On Wednesday, February 6, the race for the Democratic nomination was virtually tied. With more than half the pledged delegates spoken for, Barack Obama led Hillary Clinton by about thirty. In the next seven days, Obama would turn his slight lead into an insurmountable one.
On the weekend after Super Tuesday, Maine, Nebraska, Washington State, and the Virgin Islands held caucuses to award a combined 129 delegates. (Louisiana, in which Obama was heavily favored, allocated its fifty-six delegates in a primary that Saturday .)