News Roundup for 4/9/09

Associated Press Logo
Above; probable copyright violation

-Headline of the day-
"AP Exec Doesn't Know It Has A YouTube Channel: Threatens Affiliate For Embedding Videos."

You know things are bad for the news media business when they try pulling stuff like this. According to the report, "A country radio station in Tennessee, WTNQ-FM, received a cease-and-desist letter from an AP vice president of affiliate relations for posting videos from the AP's official Youtube channel on its Website." So Associated Press offers videos for free, but gets pissy if you use them -- even if you're a member station.

Station employee Frank Strovel couldn't believe it. "I was on the phone arguing w/AP today. We were embedding their YouTube vids on our station's site. We’re an AP affiliate," he said via Twitter. "They asked us to taken them down. I asked, 'Why do you have a YouTube page w/embed codes for websites?' Still… they said NO." AP accused Strovel of "stealing their licensed content."

"And we're an AP affiliate for crying out loud! I stumped him on that one..." Strovel later said in an interview with local video producer Christian Grantham. "What is really shocking is that they were shocked that they've got a YouTube channel that people are embedding on their Websites. He seemed shocked by that. 'Oh, I am going to have to look into that' is what he told me."

Grantham's response sums everything up nicely.

"What an idiot!" he said.

Strovel was forced to pull all AP videos from the site. Personally, I would've made them sue -- it'd be awesome to watch this get laughed out of court. You could make a video of it and put it on YouTube.

The moral of this story? It's not the internet, it's not TV, it's not a lack of interest, it's boneheaded executives that are killing the print media industry -- just like they beat the financial industry nearly to death. There's no problem that can't be exacerbated by stupid, stupid people. (TechCrunch)

-Pop quiz: Racist or stupid?-
It's not as easy as you might think, since this story comes to us from the Texas state legislature, where everyone in the Republican party has hot and cold running stupid and racism is as ubiquitous as paint.

Seems that Republican state Rep. Betty Brown had a suggestion that might speed up the elections process a little bit. See, Ramey Ko, a representative of the Organization of Chinese Americans testified to the Texas House Elections Committee that "people of Chinese, Japanese and Korean descent often have problems voting and other forms of identification because they may have a legal transliterated name and then a common English name that is used on their driver’s license on school registrations."

But this was an argument against a voter ID bill, which Republicans love precisely because it creates these little problems and suppresses voter turnout. When turnout is high, Democrats tend to win. So it's best to keep it low. If the spelling on the ID doesn't match the spelling on the voter registration, no vote for you.

Brown apparently couldn't think of a good argument to counter Ko's testimony, so she went ahead and used a dumb one. "Rather than everyone here having to learn Chinese -- I understand it’s a rather difficult language -- do you think that it would behoove you and your citizens to adopt a name that we could deal with more readily here?" she asked. That's right, if you've got one of those goofy Asian picture-names, maybe you should change it to, oh... say, "Brown" -- so as not to confuse the white devils. And, since these are Americans we're talking about here, "your citizens" is a tad wide of the mark.

"Can’t you see that this is something that would make it a lot easier for you and the people who are poll workers if you could adopt a name just for identification purposes that’s easier for Americans to deal with?" she asked. See, if you've got a name that Brown has trouble with, that's your fault.

The Texas Democratic Party was quick to demand an apology and Brown was just as quick to refuse.

So, what do you think -- racist or stupid?

It's a trick question; the answer is "all of the above." (Crooks and Liars)

-Bonus HotD-
"Santorum: Obama has 'deep-seated antipathy toward American values.'"

Former Sen. Rick only says that because he's got his head so deep in his seat that he thinks dropping your pants for air is an American value. They don't call him "the finest mind of the 13th century" for nothing. (Think Progress)

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