“Unf*ck The Gulf” Campaign A BP Gusher’s Worth Of F-Bombs, Little Kids

Desperate times call for desperate language. A new campaign to raise funds for cleanup of the BP oil disaster just hit the web, and it’s using the angriest language possible to convey the reality of the disaster in the Gulf, and on a mission to make a viral campaign out of their slogan: “Unf*ck the Gulf.”

Their video depicts average Americans wearing their “Unf*ck the Gulf” t-shirts explaining, in lavishly profane detail the reason why they’re so outraged, and the depths of the disaster in the Gulf. Raising some eyebrows are the children in the video, who are using appropriately adult language to describe the devastation as well. The ads are being used to sell t-shirts and other miscellany, the funds of which will be donated to a charitable organization of the people’s choosing (visitors can vote in a poll on which organization they would prefer to see given the money).

The campaign is the brainchild of environmental activist Nate Guidas and media strategist Luke Montgomery, who got together to do something about the situation after getting “tired of seeing images of oiled birds and yelling at the TV… Together we can clean up the Gulf… one dirty word at a time.”

Speaking to Mediaite via email, Montgomery said that he and Guidas were very pleased with the attention the video has gotten, both from “people who love it and people like Bill O’Reilly who hate it. Anything that helps get attention to the cause is great with us.”

He also told us that there’s a second video in production to be released soon with the same aesthetics and language, and they take no issues with using profanity to further the cause of helping fix the Gulf:

“We have another video in production right now. It uses the f-bomb and yup, little kids too. People should not be offended by using a crude word to help clean up this crude oil spill. What’s offensive is entire communities, economies and ecosystems destroyed. People need to get their priorities straight. Bring on the backlash. More attention is better for the cause. We’re using a bad word to do some good.”

The ad for Unf*cktheGulf.com is below– you might want to watch with headphones on if you’re at work:


[h/t Breitbart.tv]

The Big News You Didn’t Read This Week: The Atlas Shrugged Film Trilogy

Did you know that the film that is potentially the magnum opus of the Tea Party movement is being split in three? And that, despite initial dire reports of economic woes and an inexperienced cast, production on the set of Atlas Shrugged is sailing smoothly? No, you don’t, because you were too busy staring at Andrew Breitbart’s Photoshop doodle of a literal “race card”— not that he didn’t also break that news.

Smack in the middle of the messy Shirley Sherrod race scandal, Breitbart’s Big Hollywood published an exclusive look at production on the set of Atlas Shrugged, the classic Ayn Rand novel that has skyrocketed to the top of bestseller lists on the back of support from conservative leaders like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. Editor-in-Chief John Nolte reports that the state of the film is much more positive than initial reports made it seem, and broke the news that the novel is set to be split into a trilogy, rather than cramming all 1,200 pages into a two-hour feature:

“Much has been made of the film’s reported budget of $5 million, especially for a project major studios have shied away from out of budgetary concerns. Like most smart producers, [Harmon] Kaslow won’t talk specifics, but there’s more to the story than the $5 million:

‘The amount expended on the movie is far north of $5 million. The movie is based on Part 1 of the book (the book has 3 parts) … so the film is based on about 27% of the book.’ […]

Kaslow assures the Randians: ‘The movie is a direct ‘adaptation’ of the book included using much of the dialogue written by Ayn Rand.’”

The cast is completely unknown, but also fiercely loyal to Rand and her vision of the film, meaning it’s either going to be one of the more well-adapted films based on a book in history, or it will be an unmitigated disaster. It’s a battle of experience versus passion. Either way, judging from the book sales and promotion of objectivism (in some capacity) by everyone from Beck to John Stossel to, apparently, Andrew Breitbart—and many on the left using Rand to paint the caricature of their ideological opponents that best suits them— it’s more than newsworthy.

The novel strikes at the heart of the greatest schism of the American right: that between authoritarianism and libertarianism, between social conservatism and little-l “liberalism.” Let’s just say there’s a reason Sarah Palin isn’t on the list of Rand enthusiasts that isn’t the obvious book length joke (the deliberate lack of emphasis on the family and overt natural talent of the protagonists are two that come to mind).

Whatever way we define Atlas Shrugged’s place in the greater scheme of classic literature, its philosophy is at the cornerstone of the Tea Party movement, intentionally or not. Many of the ideas presented by the movement that seem a bit haphazard and arbitrary— the initial calls for the return to the gold standard, the belief that extreme socialism could actually overtake the nation in ways similar to how it has previously abroad, the abhorrence of any government aid to the underprivileged—align more coherently in the context of the book and the greater themes of Rand’s philosophy.

The small-government right may or may not be reading all 1,200 pages, but they are buying the book, promoting it, and channeling its ideas, meaning that, ultimately, it would not be irrational to expect the film to do brilliantly in the box office— at least the first one, which would not depend on the quality of any precursor. It makes sense that the producers would give Big Hollywood the exclusive, and it’s not a surprise that the film seems to be getting minimal support from the kind of crowd Big Hollywood specializes in heckling.

All of this is to say that the progress on the set of Atlas Shrugged is a much more important story to both pop culture and the political world than, say, the fact that an anonymous government employee may or may not have helped an anonymous farmer once, which makes her either a nice lady or a progressive fiend or a Russian spy and who even knows if these farmers actually exist at all? A story about a person who wields no political influence has been distorted, stretched out and spun so much that it’s been made to look like the defining issue of the midterm elections. As a nation, we have bigger fish to fry. The fact that a film with that kind of ideological baggage is set for release so close to the 2012 elections is something media spinsters should have on their radar. An Atlas Shrugged film means that all the would-be Randians too lazy to read the book or too young to care to watch The Fountainhead now have easy access to her philosophy, which, in large part, is the philosophy of the Tea Party Movement. A Shirley Sherrod YouTube video means… absolutely nothing.

Many who follow hard news were disillusioned with the fact that the media chose the Sherrod story over bigger national security and economic concerns, and while there is an argument to be made there, it is also unfair to ask the media not to cover, for lack of a better word, propaganda. Of more palpable, more specific concern here is that the media chose Breitbart’s Sherrod propaganda story—because race is a sexy thing to cover— over Breitbart’s story on the development of a sophisticated series of political films that can have a significant impact on the American right. The eager participation of the media, the White House, and the NAACP in the Sherrod case does not exonerate Breitbart for turning Sherrod’s life upside down to begin with, but it does emphasize how much the media and thus, the public, chooses to pass on interesting and potentially big stories to harp on issues that, ultimately, will do little to sway voters or change the political pulse of America.
[Photo via BeatCanvas]

The New York Times And Snooki’s Father Fail To Explain Her Success

Yesterday, the New York Times profiled one of the most important media figures of the 21st century so far, Shirley Sherrod Jersey Shore’s Snooki. Or, more specifically, author Cathy Horyn tried to find something Snooki was good at, and not even Snooki’s father could give her an answer.

Horyn spoke to “Papa Snooks” to get a feel for how he perceives Jersey Shore and his daughter’s barely-explicable newfound fame. He was proud in the generic sense that all parents are, but really had no explanation for his daughter’s life, other than her insistence on acting precisely as her personality dictates. More comically, he says he likes to go to her events and quiz guests as to why they like her, because he sees no reason to:

“When we go to venues, I like to stand out in the crowd,” he said. “She’ll be up there hooting and hollering, and I’ll say to someone, ‘What is it that draws you to my daughter? Be honest.’ Because it’s very hard for me to see what it is. She don’t sing. She don’t dance. I don’t want to say she don’t have talent …” He seemed to have his doubts. Then he shrugged. “Everyone basically says they can relate to her. I think Nicole’s just a likeable person.”

Horyn’s scorn for Snooki is quite palpable throughout the piece, to hilarious effect. She describes interviewing Snooki as “a little like getting down on your hands and knees with a child. You have to come down to her level, and sometimes you almost think you need to bribe her with a piece of candy to coax her to be more responsive.” She asks an American culture professor to explain the phenomenon, and the best he can do is, ““I certainly wouldn’t want to be stuck in an elevator with her.” She explains Snooki is interested in a book deal, but can’t help note that Snooki has only read two (atrocious) books in her life. He describes her as not “capable of serious introspection.”

Of course, the loathing is all part of Snooki’s appeal. America first fell in love with her because, in the first episode of Jersey Shore, she got drunk, embarrassed herself, was late to work, and was alienated from a group that includes a person named “The Situation” for being irresponsible. The defining moment of her career is getting punched in the face. So it’s difficult to think that Snooki herself will be very offended by the piece, which insists she a great character but has no substantive appeal and, in person, is intolerable. It’s attention, it won’t hurt the ratings, and will feed the lab-rat fascination she has worked so hard to cultivate.

Levi Johnston To Pursue ‘More Involved Acting’ In R&B Music Video

Seems like Palin family something-in-law Levi Johnston isn’t going to wait for that reality TV show to make some money for his new family. The teenage father is starring in an R&B music video with singer Brittani Senser, a heart-wrenching tale of teenage love torn asunder by a nosy mother-in-law– wait, really?

You really can’t make this stuff up. This is the plot of the video, according to the New York Post:

“According to a written description of the video’s story line, the couple share tender moments before they are driven apart by the young woman’s mother. Unaware that her mom’s interference forced her boyfriend to go, she “throws herself into her mother’s arms. She tells her mother that she was wrong about Levi.”

Well, we know at least one Mama Grizzly who fits the description in the video, but unlike the rest of America, Team Johnston doesn’t seem to worried about the possible consequences (a personalized Facebook note) of irking Sarah Palin. Johnston’s attorney, Rex Butler, who is involved in this music video business for some reason, told the Post that he’s not concerned “about what Gov. Palin would want” and that Johnston “should be able to turn in a good performance,” even though “something like this is a little more involved” than his pistachio commercial. Sounds like it’s not much of a speaking role.

Levi Johnston’s neverending ride on the fame train is as irresistible as it is inexplicable.

[Photo via NY Daily News]

MSNBC’s Ed Schultz Accuses Obama Of ‘Loyalty’ Issues For Not Going On His Show

MSNBC and talk radio host Ed Schultz delivered his address to the progressive congregation of bloggers at the Netroots Nation conference, and he had some strong words for the White House. Alluding to the Shirley Sherrod fiasco, Schultz quipped that the White House “must have a sissy room,” and that despite the fact that he “busted my ass for Obama,” the President visited Special Report with Bret Baier, “in my time slot.”

Most of the speech was full of the type of liberal red meat Schultz often delivers on his show, mostly directed at Fox News. Of Glenn Beck, he said, “I’m really sorry that Glenn Beck’s going blind because I think it’s a travesty he’s not gonna see the country he’s trying to destroy.” In a high-pitched voice, he mocked the White House’s relationship with the network: “How can this country get along… without Fox News?”

But the sharpest attack was about President Obama himself, and it was, specifically, for never agreeing to be on The Ed Show:

“I busted my ass for Obama. I mean, I took my radio show on the road, I did town halls, talked to people… and President Obama, you don’t come to Ed– he goes to Bret Baier on Fox News, in my time slot. Now, my show’s going to be ok, but if you were in my position, would you say, ‘what’s that all about?’ Loyalty.”

Devoting so much time to attacking President Obama– and implying that he has betrayed the people that elected him– seems a strange line of attack at a progressive conference, especially in light of the continuous assault under which the White House has been from the right, between Sherrod and the New Black Panthers and criticism for the oil spill, the economy, and, to a lesser extent, foreign affairs. The argument that Obama is a traitor because he hasn’t been on MSNBC enough isn’t really one that has risen organically among members of the left and, as Gawker’s Jim Newell explains, there is a rationale behind Obama’s “very, very rare” interview with Baier in March: “The interview with Baier… came immediately before the final health care vote in March. This was at a point when Democratic support for passage had consolidated to nearly 90% while many independents, some of whom watch Fox News, were still quite leery.”

Video of Schultz’s speech below:



[h/t]

Did Carl Cameron Sell Out Fox News To DailyKos? Not According To Cameron

Did Fox News reporter Carl Cameron sell out his own network to a DailyKos blogger? That’s what Daily Beast contributor Steve Friess would have you believe. In a story posted yesterday, Friess claimed to have overheard Cameron say that Fox News has both organized the Tea Party and overreached in their influence over the Shirley Sherrod scandal. Mediaite exclusively spoke to Cameron, who explained that much of what was reported was not only taken out of context, but overheard by someone eavesdropping on a private conversation.

First some background. Friess is described by The Daily Beast as “a veteran Vegas-based freelancer whose work appears in the New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, the LA Times and many others.” In this specific piece, he reports:

Cameron, speaking to blogger Dante Atkins shortly after Atkins had been interviewed for a Fox segment about the Netroots event, nodded as Atkins repeated comments he made on camera that the Tea Party movement was largely organized by Fox News hosts like Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity.

“Tell me about it,” Cameron smirked.

As the conversation continued, Atkins, a Daily Kos front-pager, cited examples of Fox’s undue sway over events. Cameron then offered one of his own.

“The Sherrod case is an example of some at Fox News trying to have more influence than it probably should,” Cameron said.

It might be relatively interesting for an employee to complain about his or her employer, if it wasn’t such a commonly held practice by nearly every single employee in the world! But in this instance, its clear that Cameron wasn’t even guilty of that, since — more importantly — the specific quotes attributed to Cameron were not delivered to the reporter. Rather, they were over heard by Friess who was standing nearby listening in to a private conversation. Or as Friess describes:

Cameron told The Daily Beast Thursday night that this report takes his remarks out of context and that he was actually defending the integrity of Fox’s news division. He insisted this reporter did not hear the entire discussion, even though it began immediately after this reporter’s interview with Daily Kos blogger Atkins had concluded.

Or in other words, the conversation wasn’t between Cameron and Friess, but rather between Cameron and the Kos blogger. So by any explanation, its safe to say that the conversation was, in fact, taken out of context.

Cameron is hardly known as a partisan hack reporter — he’s well respected in Washington. In an exclusive interview with Mediaite, he took the high road, saying “this isn’t a surprise to me. This is what happens when you cover conventions like this.” Cameron added “It’s so silly that what they are doing, in attacking me, is exactly more to do with their obsession with Fox News.” Cameron summed up “Its the same thing with Shirley Sherrod. Taking comments totally out of context and not listening the meaning of what’s been actually said.” To be clear, Cameron wasn’t comparing himself to Sherrod, but rather the highly partisan environment in which we now find ourselves.

As for the Tea party Coverage, Cameron is proud of his coverage. “This is one of the most important stories in politics this year. I’m proud of it from a journalistic standpoint – not from an ideological one.” Adding, “I was reporting on this more than a year ago and has been way ahead of the pack including the NY Times and Washington Posy – before anyone even knew the factions that were causing the dissent, I was there reporting on it.”

To be fair, Cameron is not immune to some controversy with those who define themselves as left-of-center. In the 2004 Presidential election, Fox News apologized for a made-up web news article penned by Cameron that was critical of John Kerry. But critics of his right-wing bias will be disappointed to learn that he was also the first to report that the McCain camp expressed sincere frustration with Sarah Palin, sharing embarrassing details about her lack of knowledge about…well, a lot of stuff.

Sadly, we now find ourselves in a strange and post-modern world in which individuals/reporters/bloggers are first looking for evidence that supports their pre-existing opinions. So in the eyes of this reporter, if you aren’t somehow offending someone in how you are reporting the news, you probably aren’t doing your job.

Mediaite Looking for Fall 2010 Editorial Interns (Apply Now – You Know You Want To!)

Calling all aspiring media buffs! Mediaite is seeking editorial interns to join us for Fall 2010.

What you need to know:

This is a full time internship at our SoHo offices from August/September to December 2010.

If you are currently an undergraduate or graduate student, we’ll arrange for academic credit.

If you’re not a student, stipends are available.

Mediaite is a young site. Consequently, our interns have a lot of freedom with what they choose to research and write about. Expect to do lots of writing. In return, you’ll get bylines.

Qualifications:

Above all, we want someone with a passion for the media industry in all its forms- online, print, and broadcast. If you can recite the prime time line ups for all major cable TV networks and have found a second home in the political blogosphere then this is the perfect internship for you.

Additional, but my no means necessary, qualifications:

  • previous internships in the media industry
  • experience with blogging software/HTML
  • experience with graphic design software such as Adobe Creative Suite or Gimp
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To apply:

Send the following as email attachments to interns@mediaite.com:

  • a resume
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  • two (2) sample news posts that you could see being published on Mediaite
  • a brief cover letter explaining why your experiences and personality make you the perfect intern for Mediaite

Applications are rolling, so apply as soon as possible.