The Wavelength: Attack of the Media Mega-Mergers! Skyprosoft, AT&T-Mobile and more

by Eric Arnold, Media Consortium blogger

Another day, another media mega-merger. The latest? Microsoft is buying Skype, the Internet communications company, for $8.5 billion.

So exactly what does the Skyprosoft deal mean for consumers? That’s the eight-point-five billion-dollar question. Public News Service’s Mark Scheerer says the deal could be beneficial if – and this is a big ‘if’ – “Microsoft will more strongly embrace network neutrality and other policies aimed at keeping the Web free.”

Net neutrality is a key component to the merger because, according to the Media Access Project’s Mark Wood, “without an open internet, large and anti-competitive carriers like AT&T and Verizon will have the power to cripple potentially competitive services such as Skype’s that will depend on access to existing networks.”

Should Telecoms Break Up?

AlterNet’s David Rosen and Bruce Kushnick make a case for the break-ups of the telecommunications trust, which provides “overpriced and inferior service, and [is] systematically overcharging the hapless American consumer.”

Citing crusading muckraker Ida Tarbell, who went after the Standard Oil monopoly a century ago, as an inspiration for the project, Rosen and Kushnick argue that the recent spate of mergers and acquisitions has put the telecom industry on a similar course of anti-competitive behavior. The answer, they say, is divestiture, which “will lead to increased competition, lower costs and better service.”

FCC’s Revolving Door Keeps on Spinning

Federal Communications Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker is the latest FCC official to land a cushy job at—you guessed it—a telecommunications company. In June, Baker will be moving to work as Comcast’s senior vice-president for government affairs. As Truthout’s Nadia Prupis notes, Baker advocated strongly in favor of Comcast during the commission’s review of the $30 billion merger with NBC Universal earlier this year.

Specifically, Baker objected to proposed FCC requirements for Comcast-NBC “to maintain fair and competitive operations over the airwaves and online, show a minimum amount of local and children’s programming and make high-speed Internet access available to 2.5 million low-income households.”

Senate Probe Focuses on Mobile Security

Truthout’s Prupis also reports that Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) is leading a Senate probe into privacy issues raised by smart phones and other mobile broadband-enabled devices.

Recent concerns over privacy issues have put companies like Google and Apple—whose officials testified Tuesday in Washington—on the hot seat. As Prupis notes, “Legislators on the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law said that without sufficient privacy measures, mobile devices carry the genuine potential for security breaches.” However, the Senate panel’s intent isn’t to limit innovation, but “create strong consumer protections as mobile technology continues to evolve.”

Post-merger, Comcast Lags on Localism

According to a recent study by Free Press (PDF available here), Comcast-owned Telemundo stations haven’t kept promises made to feature more local news – a key condition of the Comcast-NBC merger. While the study suggests that a poor commitment to localism for Telemundo stations was a pre-existing condition, dating back to NBC Universal’s 2002 purchase of the Spanish-language network, it also found that “Comcast has committed to increasing local news production in only six of the 15 communities served by its Telemundo owned-and-operated stations (O&Os).”

The report also found numerous discrepancies in Comcast’s FCC localism filings, including falsely claiming that advertising constituted local news and failing to include descriptions of programs it claimed were local, making it “difficult for the public and the FCC to determine with any accuracy whether the programming listed actually meets the merger commitment.”

Revisiting Protest Music

What does protest music have to do with media policy? Well, when’s the last time you heard Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” on the radio?

Protest music has all but disappeared from the commercial music landscape, unless you count Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.” Yet, in an age of media consolidation and corporate-controlled media, it’s good to remember the music scene wasn’t always so timid. Recently, The Nation asked readers to list their Top Ten Protest Songs. They received an overwhelming response, with more than 3,000 entries, and even more streaming in daily.

As the editors note, “five seminal songs [vied] for consideration for the top slot: Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land,” Florence Reese’s “Which Side Are You On,” Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War” and “Blowin’ in the Wind,” and Pete Seeger’s “Where Have All the Flowers Gone.””

The first list posted online—more are planned—includes music by Public Enemy, Marvin Gaye, Paul Robeson, John Prine, Anti-Flag, The Jam, Malvina Reynolds, Iris DeMent, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle.

World Press Freedom Day

“Press freedom is at its lowest level in 12 years,” according to Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery ofMother Jones. In honor of World Press Freedom Day, Bauerlein and Jeffery called attention to the 16 journalists currently held in Libya, as well as the two American journalists still detained in Iran (one of whom is a MoJo reporter).

Inter Press Service created a Facebook page to celebrate WPFD and compile reports on the state of freedom of the press from around the globe. It’s a fascinating list that outlines the dangers reporters face—which sometimes results in self-censorship—as well as the prevalence of censorship of political topics in other countries, especially those engaged in bloody civil conflicts. Here are a few choice stories:

  • As Amantha Perera reports from Sri Lanka, one casualty of that country’s decades-long civil war (which ended in 2009) was journalistic independence. “The media became a part of the military operation… No one was able to report objectively, there was pressure on them from all parties.”
  • In Egypt, Cam McGrath writes, the rebellion which toppled the Mubarak government has brought significant changes for reporters. “Before Feb. 11, we had strict orders not to discuss certain topics, such as the Muslim Brotherhood or (Mubarak’s political opponent) Mohamed El Baradei,” says Ashraf El-Leithy, deputy editor of Middle East News Agency (MENA), Egypt’s official news wire. “Now we have complete freedom to write about anything – without any restriction.”
  • In Mexico City, says Daniela Pastrana, the influence of drug cartels has presented distinct challenges to reporting in a state where corruption and violence are widespread, and journalists, police, and government officials are routinely murdered – resulting in collective efforts, meticulous fact-checking, and an emphasis on obtaining public records.

Ethnic Press Grapples With Media Policy Issues

New York Community Media Alliance’s Jehangir Khattak reports for New America Media that a recent information exchange between journalists and advocates held in Boston at the National Conference for Media Reform in April helped the ethnic press address ways to better cover media policy issues for their audiences.

As Khattak notes, the exchange “addressed steps ethnic and community media can take to increase coverage of media policy issues and how to improve the quality of current reporting. [It] also examined the role of media policy advocates in crafting the best course for effective messaging on these issues and what steps they should take.”

Understanding media policy issues can help close the digital divide, which affects underserved, ethnic and minority communities the most.

The Wavelength is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets. This post features the best independent, progressive reporting about media policy bymembers of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. To read more of the Wavelength, click here.You can also follow us on Twitter.

 

 

Jim Crow, Silicon Valley, Google, Apple and Yahoo

Jill and the good folks over at Jack and Jill Politics are addressing the new Jim Crow in Silicon Valley or as Jill has titled her post; "Google, Apple, Yahoo = The New Jim Crow in Silicon Valley."


Jill has a video on her blog in which she is confronting Eric Schmidt publicly during the 2008 Democratic National Convention. 

(OK, you remember the 2008 Democratic National Convention in which black bloggers from all walks of life, came together to demand that the DNC invite and credential more black bloggers.)

Well, get this, at the Big Tent’s Digg Stage during a talk on the Internet and Politics. Jill says Eric Schmidt gave the lamest of answers to her questions about Google’s hiring practices and lack of diversity

AAP says: I'm glad that Jill is staying on top of the topic.  Let's do a Silicon Valley Jim Crow Flashback to March 2008, when the blog, BlackWeb2.0 wrote: Dear Google, hire more Blacks.  In that post, it was noted that Valleywag reported that Laszlo Bock, Google’s vice president of people operations, assured members of Congress last June that Google, which was lobbying for more H1-B visas for immigrant workers, had plenty of black employees. “We have a very strong internal Black Googler Network,” he said. “We actually view it as our obligation to reach out to underrepresented communities in our industry, particularly women in engineering, particularly African-Americans. “How many [of Google's employees] are African-American?” asked Representative Maxine Waters. “I don’t actually have that data at my fingertips,” was Bock’s reply. “I apologize.” More HERE and HERE

Let's do a Silicon Valley Jim Crow Flash Forward February 2010: Now Jill at Jack and Jill Politics is pointing out in her post that President Barack Obama held a very exclusive dinner on February 18th with the top CEOs of Silicon Valley as reported on the Caucus, a gossipy post. Jill went on to point out in her post: "You know who’s NOT invited? Anyone who’s not white. Yes, see, that’s Silicon Valley’s dirty little Jim Crow secret. They have a terrible — and worsening! — record on hiring women and minorities. A record, btw, they’re working hard to keep quiet cuz it’s not a good look. The miracle of the tech sector, which Obama wishes to learn about to invigorate other industries, is only a miracle for some people. Minority leaders in the Bay Area staged a protest at the Googleplex today" More HERE and More HERE Read more at Jack and Jill Politics regarding the lack of Diversity at Google and the new Jim Crow in Silicon Valley. 

You can also read more on minority leaders staging a protest at the Googleplex at Black Voices.


Len Canty, Chairman of The Black Economic Council speaks at the Google campus on Feb. 10, 2011 in Mountain View, Calif. He and other protesters demanded that Google and 21 other Silicon Valley companies release their workforce diversity data and hire more minorities. (Dai Sugano/Mercury News)

From The Oakland Tribune (via The Root)

Also check out the Press Release from the Black Economic Council, which states: On February 10th, the Black Economic Council, the Latino Business Chamber of Greater LA and the National Asian American Coalition will release its report to President Obama's new Job Czar and the Department of Justice (civil rights and antitrust) regarding their complaint against Google, Apple, HP, Oracle and Yahoo.

The complaint states that these companies are violating their transparency policies and legal obligations by refusing to provide their EEO-1 reports relating to their lack of Black, Latino, Southeast Asian and women employees. Further, on February 10th at 11:00 am, fifty minority leaders and individuals with employment complaints against Silicon Valley will hold a press conference urging immediate presidential and congressional action to (a) halt the H-1B visa program, (b) require all Silicon Valley companies to be transparent and release their EEO-1 reports, and (c) where appropriate, seek the delay and/or blocking of Silicon Valley mergers until all employment discrimination issues are resolved.

Len Canty, Chairman of the Black Economic Council, said, "Any Silicon Valley company with less than five percent Black employees should be denied H-1B visa workers until the problem is resolved since the Black unemployment rate is 80 percent higher than that for whites." Since up to half of some Silicon Valley companies overall employees are H-1B visa programs despite high domestic unemployment rates, the complaint urges the President's new Job Czar, GE's CEO Jeffrey Immelt, to provide a report to the President within 15 days as to the impact of the H-1B visa program on unemployed Americans.

The complaint also requests that the Department of Justice secure from the US Labor Department the release of all employment data from the 22 Silicon Valley companies, led by Google and Apple, that have refused to provide data. The employment data may demonstrate a "pattern and practice" of discrimination that could lead to either lawsuits and/or the slowing down of future acquisitions by these Silicon Valley companies. Read More HERE.

Read more 'Minority Leaders Protest Lack of Blacks, Latinos & Women at Silicon Valley Tech Companies' on The Oakland Tribune.

UPDATE: As reported by MillBrae Patch and The Washington Post President Obama and Silicon Valley leaders held a private dinner last night at the home of John and Ann Doerr. The Washington Post reports, the President gathered ideas about creating jobs and educational opportunities from some of the Silicon Valley's most innovative thinkers. 

AAP says: "I wonder if the issues raised by the Black Economic Council, the Latino Business Chamber of Greater LA and the National Asian American Coalition  regarding civil rights and antitrust complaints against Google, Apple, HP, Oracle and Yahoo were part of the conversation. Judging from the pictures... NOT.  

Yes, President Obama gathered ideas about creating jobs and educational opportunities from some of the Silicon Valley's most innovative thinkers. But those most innovative thinkers are not thinking about, or doing anything to create diversity in the work place at Google, Apple, HP, Oracle and Yahoo."

               Cross posted on African American Pundit

 

Jim Crow, Silicon Valley, Google, Apple and Yahoo

Jill and the good folks over at Jack and Jill Politics are addressing the new Jim Crow in Silicon Valley or as Jill has titled her post; "Google, Apple, Yahoo = The New Jim Crow in Silicon Valley."


Jill has a video on her blog in which she is confronting Eric Schmidt publicly during the 2008 Democratic National Convention. 

(OK, you remember the 2008 Democratic National Convention in which black bloggers from all walks of life, came together to demand that the DNC invite and credential more black bloggers.)

Well, get this, at the Big Tent’s Digg Stage during a talk on the Internet and Politics. Jill says Eric Schmidt gave the lamest of answers to her questions about Google’s hiring practices and lack of diversity

AAP says: I'm glad that Jill is staying on top of the topic.  Let's do a Silicon Valley Jim Crow Flashback to March 2008, when the blog, BlackWeb2.0 wrote: Dear Google, hire more Blacks.  In that post, it was noted that Valleywag reported that Laszlo Bock, Google’s vice president of people operations, assured members of Congress last June that Google, which was lobbying for more H1-B visas for immigrant workers, had plenty of black employees. “We have a very strong internal Black Googler Network,” he said. “We actually view it as our obligation to reach out to underrepresented communities in our industry, particularly women in engineering, particularly African-Americans. “How many [of Google's employees] are African-American?” asked Representative Maxine Waters. “I don’t actually have that data at my fingertips,” was Bock’s reply. “I apologize.” More HERE and HERE

Let's do a Silicon Valley Jim Crow Flash Forward February 2010: Now Jill at Jack and Jill Politics is pointing out in her post that President Barack Obama held a very exclusive dinner on February 18th with the top CEOs of Silicon Valley as reported on the Caucus, a gossipy post. Jill went on to point out in her post: "You know who’s NOT invited? Anyone who’s not white. Yes, see, that’s Silicon Valley’s dirty little Jim Crow secret. They have a terrible — and worsening! — record on hiring women and minorities. A record, btw, they’re working hard to keep quiet cuz it’s not a good look. The miracle of the tech sector, which Obama wishes to learn about to invigorate other industries, is only a miracle for some people. Minority leaders in the Bay Area staged a protest at the Googleplex today" More HERE and More HERE Read more at Jack and Jill Politics regarding the lack of Diversity at Google and the new Jim Crow in Silicon Valley. 

You can also read more on minority leaders staging a protest at the Googleplex at Black Voices.


Len Canty, Chairman of The Black Economic Council speaks at the Google campus on Feb. 10, 2011 in Mountain View, Calif. He and other protesters demanded that Google and 21 other Silicon Valley companies release their workforce diversity data and hire more minorities. (Dai Sugano/Mercury News)

From The Oakland Tribune (via The Root)

Also check out the Press Release from the Black Economic Council, which states: On February 10th, the Black Economic Council, the Latino Business Chamber of Greater LA and the National Asian American Coalition will release its report to President Obama's new Job Czar and the Department of Justice (civil rights and antitrust) regarding their complaint against Google, Apple, HP, Oracle and Yahoo.

The complaint states that these companies are violating their transparency policies and legal obligations by refusing to provide their EEO-1 reports relating to their lack of Black, Latino, Southeast Asian and women employees. Further, on February 10th at 11:00 am, fifty minority leaders and individuals with employment complaints against Silicon Valley will hold a press conference urging immediate presidential and congressional action to (a) halt the H-1B visa program, (b) require all Silicon Valley companies to be transparent and release their EEO-1 reports, and (c) where appropriate, seek the delay and/or blocking of Silicon Valley mergers until all employment discrimination issues are resolved.

Len Canty, Chairman of the Black Economic Council, said, "Any Silicon Valley company with less than five percent Black employees should be denied H-1B visa workers until the problem is resolved since the Black unemployment rate is 80 percent higher than that for whites." Since up to half of some Silicon Valley companies overall employees are H-1B visa programs despite high domestic unemployment rates, the complaint urges the President's new Job Czar, GE's CEO Jeffrey Immelt, to provide a report to the President within 15 days as to the impact of the H-1B visa program on unemployed Americans.

The complaint also requests that the Department of Justice secure from the US Labor Department the release of all employment data from the 22 Silicon Valley companies, led by Google and Apple, that have refused to provide data. The employment data may demonstrate a "pattern and practice" of discrimination that could lead to either lawsuits and/or the slowing down of future acquisitions by these Silicon Valley companies. Read More HERE.

Read more 'Minority Leaders Protest Lack of Blacks, Latinos & Women at Silicon Valley Tech Companies' on The Oakland Tribune.

UPDATE: As reported by MillBrae Patch and The Washington Post President Obama and Silicon Valley leaders held a private dinner last night at the home of John and Ann Doerr. The Washington Post reports, the President gathered ideas about creating jobs and educational opportunities from some of the Silicon Valley's most innovative thinkers. 

AAP says: "I wonder if the issues raised by the Black Economic Council, the Latino Business Chamber of Greater LA and the National Asian American Coalition  regarding civil rights and antitrust complaints against Google, Apple, HP, Oracle and Yahoo were part of the conversation. Judging from the pictures... NOT.  

Yes, President Obama gathered ideas about creating jobs and educational opportunities from some of the Silicon Valley's most innovative thinkers. But those most innovative thinkers are not thinking about, or doing anything to create diversity in the work place at Google, Apple, HP, Oracle and Yahoo."

               Cross posted on African American Pundit

 

Tea Party Protests White House Turkey Pardon

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama performed an annual Thanksgiving tradition on Wednesday by pardoning a pair of turkeys named Apple and Cider.

The two 45-pound birds who got a new lease on life, were selected from a group of 25 turkeys during a competition “that involved strutting their stuff before a panel of judges, with an eclectic mix of music playing in the background,” Obama said. “We were hoping for Bristol Palin as the first choice, but the voting seems to have been rigged,” Obama chuckled in high spirits. “Besides, I’d never pardon her anyway.”

Despite the good luck of the fowl, the event was marred by Tea Party activists from around the country. The protesters, many dressed in pilgrim attire to honor the holiday, held signs saying, “Eat the Damned Bird You Commie!”, “Go Ahead and Eat IT! You’re the Top of the Food Chain!”, and “Drive the Muslin Turkkey [sic] Birds Out!”. One protester held high a sign saying, “Evolution is a Crock! Dinoturkeys Ain’t Real”.

Muslim Turkeys
While the protest seemed to lack a central focus, many Tea Party members expressed outrage on the legitimacy of a pardon to turkeys that they charge were raised at Muslim madrases in Pakistan.

“Pardoning these birds is nothing but the first step toward death panels,” one protester who declined to identified said. “The Messiah there is a complete moran [sic]. There he goes wasting big old birds that could feed a family of 90. I don’t care if them fambilies [sic] are trying to get by on a $1.35 a month. To hell with those damned lazy gold-brickers. Give me the damned turkey, I work for a living! Poor people don’t pay a god*damned penny in taxes! I say beat the commie scum with a drumstick until they bleed gravy.”

Other protesters also questioned the birth origin of the pardoned fowl.

“Everybody knows the Obamanation is a Kenyan commie. We done asked repeatedly where he keeps his birth certificate and he never has produced one and neither has one of his filthy birds,” said Jed Pickens who traveled from Branson, MO to attend the rally. “That Orly Taitz lady is right. He ain’t fit to be the President and those turkeys ain’t fit for an American table.”

Mary Hottalot of Front Royal, VA agreed. “Obviously these ain’t American birds like the proud eagle and wholesome hootie owl. Nope, these are foreign agents working undercover for a Muslim power. Is it a coincidence they call them turkeys? I don’t think so. They birds are most definitely birds direct from Turkey, which I’ll have you know, is a Muslim country.”

Seth Foreman, a plumber from Pulaski, VA said, “I heard those Muslim birds just up and flew into the Twin Towers -well more like walked real fast into the lobby on account of them not being able to fly. You can’t trust them. They just aren’t Christian birds, like your chickens or your starlings. They’re big. They can carry a buttload of C4″

Some protesters were upset at changes in the ceremony introduced by the Obama administration after the Bush administration’s departure.

“This was a sober ceremony back in the day,” said Zeke Knight, a farmer from South Carolina. “Why, that Mr. Bush treated these birds right. While Obama just lets them off the hook without a military tribunal or nothing, Bush had a solid avian policy. He knew how to handle dangerous Islamoturkey killers.”

“By God, Bush lined them all up in a row and a real Vice President, Dick Cheney, bit the heads off and burned them in a big bonfire. We liked to call it cleansing by the fires of Hell,” Knight said. “Sometimes he got a little sloshed and took potshots at them too.”

Tea Party Draws ‘Substantial’ Crowd
White House officials estimated the crown at no more then 10. Tea Party spokespeople characterized the crowd as slightly larger, based on estimates provided by Fox News. “We had 200,000, maybe even a million people here. We would have gotten more, but the backyard of this place is pretty small and we couldn’t get anyone else in,” said Heather Haskell Director of Disinformation at the Rupert Murdock School of Journalism at Regent University.

White House officials said the crowd was mostly orderly, although there was an $879 bill for the clean up of RC Cola bottles and Moon Pie wrappers strewn on the lawn near the Rose Garden.

“And don’t raise my taxes to pay for picking up the mess either,” said a departing protester firing a parting shot. “Me and those business bigwigs deserve a big tax cut for putting up with such shenanigans as these.”

The pardoned fowl left the ceremony in a limousine provided by meat and poultry processor Foster Farms. The birds answered no questions as ‘bodyguards’ held the assembled media at bay with what appeared to be semi-automatic hatchets.

The telephone at the birds’ shared coup went unanswered later in the afternoon, prompting one anonymous White House official to speculate something ominous may have happened to the plump and juicy birds.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

 

 

Tea Party Protests White House Turkey Pardon

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama performed an annual Thanksgiving tradition on Wednesday by pardoning a pair of turkeys named Apple and Cider.

The two 45-pound birds who got a new lease on life, were selected from a group of 25 turkeys during a competition “that involved strutting their stuff before a panel of judges, with an eclectic mix of music playing in the background,” Obama said. “We were hoping for Bristol Palin as the first choice, but the voting seems to have been rigged,” Obama chuckled in high spirits. “Besides, I’d never pardon her anyway.”

Despite the good luck of the fowl, the event was marred by Tea Party activists from around the country. The protesters, many dressed in pilgrim attire to honor the holiday, held signs saying, “Eat the Damned Bird You Commie!”, “Go Ahead and Eat IT! You’re the Top of the Food Chain!”, and “Drive the Muslin Turkkey [sic] Birds Out!”. One protester held high a sign saying, “Evolution is a Crock! Dinoturkeys Ain’t Real”.

Muslim Turkeys
While the protest seemed to lack a central focus, many Tea Party members expressed outrage on the legitimacy of a pardon to turkeys that they charge were raised at Muslim madrases in Pakistan.

“Pardoning these birds is nothing but the first step toward death panels,” one protester who declined to identified said. “The Messiah there is a complete moran [sic]. There he goes wasting big old birds that could feed a family of 90. I don’t care if them fambilies [sic] are trying to get by on a $1.35 a month. To hell with those damned lazy gold-brickers. Give me the damned turkey, I work for a living! Poor people don’t pay a god*damned penny in taxes! I say beat the commie scum with a drumstick until they bleed gravy.”

Other protesters also questioned the birth origin of the pardoned fowl.

“Everybody knows the Obamanation is a Kenyan commie. We done asked repeatedly where he keeps his birth certificate and he never has produced one and neither has one of his filthy birds,” said Jed Pickens who traveled from Branson, MO to attend the rally. “That Orly Taitz lady is right. He ain’t fit to be the President and those turkeys ain’t fit for an American table.”

Mary Hottalot of Front Royal, VA agreed. “Obviously these ain’t American birds like the proud eagle and wholesome hootie owl. Nope, these are foreign agents working undercover for a Muslim power. Is it a coincidence they call them turkeys? I don’t think so. They birds are most definitely birds direct from Turkey, which I’ll have you know, is a Muslim country.”

Seth Foreman, a plumber from Pulaski, VA said, “I heard those Muslim birds just up and flew into the Twin Towers -well more like walked real fast into the lobby on account of them not being able to fly. You can’t trust them. They just aren’t Christian birds, like your chickens or your starlings. They’re big. They can carry a buttload of C4″

Some protesters were upset at changes in the ceremony introduced by the Obama administration after the Bush administration’s departure.

“This was a sober ceremony back in the day,” said Zeke Knight, a farmer from South Carolina. “Why, that Mr. Bush treated these birds right. While Obama just lets them off the hook without a military tribunal or nothing, Bush had a solid avian policy. He knew how to handle dangerous Islamoturkey killers.”

“By God, Bush lined them all up in a row and a real Vice President, Dick Cheney, bit the heads off and burned them in a big bonfire. We liked to call it cleansing by the fires of Hell,” Knight said. “Sometimes he got a little sloshed and took potshots at them too.”

Tea Party Draws ‘Substantial’ Crowd
White House officials estimated the crown at no more then 10. Tea Party spokespeople characterized the crowd as slightly larger, based on estimates provided by Fox News. “We had 200,000, maybe even a million people here. We would have gotten more, but the backyard of this place is pretty small and we couldn’t get anyone else in,” said Heather Haskell Director of Disinformation at the Rupert Murdock School of Journalism at Regent University.

White House officials said the crowd was mostly orderly, although there was an $879 bill for the clean up of RC Cola bottles and Moon Pie wrappers strewn on the lawn near the Rose Garden.

“And don’t raise my taxes to pay for picking up the mess either,” said a departing protester firing a parting shot. “Me and those business bigwigs deserve a big tax cut for putting up with such shenanigans as these.”

The pardoned fowl left the ceremony in a limousine provided by meat and poultry processor Foster Farms. The birds answered no questions as ‘bodyguards’ held the assembled media at bay with what appeared to be semi-automatic hatchets.

The telephone at the birds’ shared coup went unanswered later in the afternoon, prompting one anonymous White House official to speculate something ominous may have happened to the plump and juicy birds.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

 

 

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