Short Takes: News From All Over: May 13, 2004

Hemp Sun-Screen Products Do Not Cause Positive Drug Tests
By Staff,
What’s all the fuss about? This stuff won’t make you high. Yet Mach Meter — the online publication of Cannon Air Force Base — with the help of a bogus Associated Press story has launched a scare campaign, claiming that ‘sun-screens, tanning lotions, and other personal care products made with hemp seed oil could cause false positive drug tests because they contain trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana.’ — Jacob Wheeler

Who Owns What
By Aaron Moore, Columbia Journalism Review
Why is the TV station’s news strikingly similar to that in the newspaper? Why is it increasingly difficult to find non-corporate media? Who owns your favorite radio station? The Columbia Journalism Review‘s Who Owns What website offers some answers as it tries to untangle the media-consolidation snarl with the best tool possible: facts. The site features a long list of company names that exposes the current state of the mainstream media. Click on any major company with media holdings — from Clear Channel to McGraw Hill to Viacom — and the website will tell you exactly what media outlets that company owns. In addition to the lists, the site also offers Columbia Journalism Review articles on media ownership. For those who fret about the current state of media, Who Owns What is both encyclopedia and horror novel. — Michelle Lee

Alphabet Soup: Now What Does KFC Stand For?
By Seth Stevenson, Slate Magazine
What’s in a name? Or better yet, what’s in an acronym? KFC’s current ads tell us that the finger-lickin’ fast food chain’s name now stands for ‘kitchen fresh chicken.’ But try and protest that the KFC you grew up with meant ‘Kentucky fried chicken,’ and the Orwellian thought police may pay you a visit. ‘We are at war with China … we have always been at war with China …’ — Jacob Wheeler

Tell John Kerry to … GO BIG, ASK MORE!
By Arianna Huffington, Fanatics and Fools
Born-again liberal Arianna Huffington doesn’t want Democratic candidate John Kerry to merely settle for the all-too ‘familiar and failed Republican-lite swing voter strategy’ that could end in another dead heat in the Florida swamps this November. So she’s launching a petition drive to encourage the Boston liberal to ‘own September 12th — the spirit of generosity and community that poured forth in the aftermath of the attacks — and the politics of hope.’ Huffington will talk about her petition drive Friday on Good Morning America. — Jacob Wheeler

Turn Off the TV
By Kristal Brent Zook, AlterNet
The numbers are shocking: ‘By age 65, the average American will have watched nine years of television,’ reports Kristal Brent Zook. That’s the life span of some household pets! Are the reruns of MASH, or those pathetic sitcoms where the only laughter comes from on the set really worth it? The mind is a beautiful thing to waste, indeed. — Jacob Wheeler

The Sins of Omission
By D.A. Byler, FlakMagazine
Byler gives props to ABC’s Ted Koppel and kudos to Fox barnburner Bill O’Reilly. The former paid homage to America’s fallen soldiers in the Iraqi adventure by flashing their photos across the screen during a special Nightline, while the latter responded by suggesting that Koppel’s tribute was purely political. So Bill, what’s ‘political’ about hundreds of boys coming home in body bags from a mission that’s sinking deeper and deeper into quicksand by the day? — Jacob Wheeler

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