Wednesday Links

I’ve got a couple of longer blog posts brewing, including a review of Katrina Browne’s thought-provoking new documentary, Traces of the Trade, which is due to air on PBS’s P.O.V. series in a few weeks (and which I can’t recommend enough), but for now some links:

  •  Eric Alterman recommended Bill Moyers’ interview with Jeffrey Toobin, author of The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, about the implications for this year’s presidential election for the Supreme Court, and it is a bracing reminder of the ways in which a McCain presidency could further tilt the balance of the Court in the direction of conservatives for a long time to come, especially given that Supreme Court justices have lifetime appointments.  And the recent movie Recount is only one small reminder of the power the Court can have in shaping the future direction of the country.
  • I’d been planning to write a quick blog post about YouTomb, the M.I.T. Free Culture group’s watchdog site, which tracks videos removed from YouTube, usually for copyright violations.  Instead, I’ll point you to Virginia Heffernan’s New York Times column.  I do like their idea of making the YouTube takedown policy more transparent in that a number of the videos that have been removed could qualify as “fair use” under a number of grounds, especially when the videos are used under the auspices of scholarly analysis as they have been in MediaCommons’ In Media Res project.  One interesting example, which I happened to write about, might be this video produced to convince fans of the CBS series Jericho to send bags of nuts to the network in order to convince them to renew the series.  The fan’s original citation of the series might test the limits of what counts as “fair use,” but given that he or she used only about one minute of material from several episodes, it doesn’t seem as if that particular video would have threatened CBS’s ability to profit from the show.  If anything, it served as a form of grassroots advertising for CBS programming and was a valuable document of the ways in which that kind of fan activity operates.
  • The P.O.V. Online Short Film Festival is also worth checking out.  And as someone interested in language, I found Ars Magna, which is about people obsessed with finding anagrams in words or phrases, to be especially entertaining.
  • Finally, Raleigh News-Observer movie reviewer and columnist Craig Lindsey pointed me to news of “The Movie Show,” a radio show on Greensboro, NC’s WUAG (he was scheduled to appear on yesterday’s episode).  The show, and the radio station itself, can be heard online.  Podcasts from the show are available on The Movie Show blog.


  1. Chris Said,

    May 29, 2008 @ 3:36 pm

    Thanks for the Moyers link. I didn’t realize he had added a podcast to his show.

  2. Chuck Said,

    May 29, 2008 @ 3:41 pm

    I just happened to look for it after Alterman mentioned it on his blog. I like that PBS is making much of its content available online, which seems to be in keeping with the “public service” goals of that institution.

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