Diary Of A Hollywood Refugee

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The MSM Is sinking Fast, and shareholders are Furious

From The Economist:

CIRCULATION is falling, morale is low and advertising revenues are down: in a word, the strategy pursued by the Tribune Company, owner of 11 daily newspapers across America, including the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, and a couple of dozen television stations, has been “disastrous”. That, at least, is the adjective used by the Chandler family, former owners of the Los Angeles Times and holders of 12% of Tribune's shares, in a scathing 11-page letter delivered last week to the Tribune board.The reality is that readers, viewers and advertisers have found other attractions, notably the internet.

("notably the internet": can we say "bloggers" "found other attractions": can we say - fed up of reading news filled with left wing bias, filtered through a left wing prism to reflect a leftist agenda)

Take, for example, the Los Angeles Times, America's fourth-biggest newspaper. Its circulation has dropped by 5.4% in the past year and is now down to some 851,500—a huge decline from its peak of 1.2m in 1990. Or take advertising revenue. Though in the first quarter it was slightly up at the Chicago Tribune, it was down by 3% for the Los Angeles Times and by 6% for Newsday.

(To be fair: Under the Chandler family ownership, Newsday's circulation figures were fraudulently inflated and the LA Times suffered a decline )

And the Tribune Company is hardly the only media group with angry shareholders.

In April, Morgan Stanley and other disaffected investors, representing 28% of the shares in the New York Times Company, ostentatiously withheld their votes at the annual meeting, in protest at the falling share price of the paper under the control of the Ochs-Sulzberger family.

Similarly, activist investors in Knight Ridder, formerly America's second-biggest newspaper company, forced the firm to put itself up for sale late last year.

These monolithic media empires are like huge ships believed for decades, by their owners and shareholders, to be unsinkable. Today these ships are sinking fast and shareholders are furious.

Maybe someone at the helm should have thought about fixing those nasty continuous "leaks". After all,
like ships that continuously leak water, newspapers that continuously leak stories, eventually sink


The Family Feud Behind A Media Fight lends veracity to the claims that the MSM for the most part harbours a left wing agenda that is reflected in the types of stories they report, in the way they frame the stories, in what facts are included and/or omitted. These choices reflect the personal bias of the editor, it's writers, and ultimately, its owners, be they left or right.

It was time for The Times to return to its conservative roots, Chandler and his sister, Corinne Werdel, told Forbes magazine. "We have the inmates running the asylum," Werdel said. "They're so far out in left field."

The siblings were especially upset with the paper's coverage of gay rights and AIDS. "This is a mainstream paper, and the homosexual population is 1% to 1.5%," Jeffrey Chandler said. "When you start featuring these kinds of stories the way The Times does … my God, you've got a campaign going on here."

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Where The Media Fails, Milbloggers Succeed

Overall, I believe Qayyarah is typical of many smaller Iraqi towns. There are more supplies available (i.e. cell phones, internet, clothing, and even foodstuffs). The people are happier now knowing that even though they have to deal with terrorists who want to see their country fall apart they are no longer subject to the rule of an evil tyrant. They are free now to make their own choices and chart their own path in life.

I have spent a good amount of time with Qayyarah residents, and I am quite certain that if America only knew more stories of towns like theirs, the picture that many people across the world have of Iraq right now would change. The smaller changes in Iraq like those that have taken place in Qayyarah are not always deemed "newsworthy" by the media but are of immense importance

Where the media fails, milbloggers, like Tim Boggs, succeed.

Read Qayyarah, Tim Bogg's latest dispatch written for FrontLine Forum

Brave Men and Demons

Let our brave men be remembered with dignity and great honor, for they died in hell while fighting the devil himself.

Read Michael Yon's "Brave Men and Demons"

I Will Not Forget PFC Kristian Menchaca and PFC Thomas L. Tucker.
They died in Hell, fighting the Devil, but they'll spend eternity in God's loving embrace.
Rest In Peace.
Their families remain in my prayers.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Boycott "SHOCK" Magazine - REDUX

Update: Not even the media is buying Jack Kliger's pathetic ad hominen attacks on Michael Yon's character and on all of us who are boycotting HFM's piece of trash, "Shock" , as well as the rest of HFM's mags.

Desperate SHOCK Exec Smears Boycotters

As the New York Post reports today, Yon and his readers and fellow bloggers are beating the media giant. Borders and Rite Aid have just added their names to a growing list of retailers that are refusing to stock Shock because of consumer complaints. The bad news is, like a cornered snake, Shock exec Jack Kliger is calling up retailers and smearing the boycott effort as some kind of astroturf campaign.
From theOnline Press Gazette out of the UK
The US version of Shock is fighting for its shelf life.

From the Boston Herald
French Company whines over photo: Yon fans want mag pulled

Update: CEO Jack Kliger suffers SHOCK and AWE by the impact consumer complaints are bringing to bear Hachette, even as he attempts to deflect from the truth - that HFM used the picture without authorization, and reneged on a tentative settlement. KEEP UP THE PRESSURE. Check out Blackfive's latest post.

Update: Shock Magazine renegs on deal.

A deal is only good if both parties adhere to the spirit as well as the letter of the terms. Within days of announcing that we’d reached a tentative settlement agreement with HFM, the French publishing conglomerate, for their unauthorized use of my photograph on the cover of their inaugural issue of SHOCK magazine, we learned of the first instance of HFM already violating the spirit of the proposed settlement. Now, on Friday of the same week that began with both parties announcing having come to potential agreement, and before final signatures could be affixed to the legal documents, it is clear that HFM has broken faith with the deal.
Let's stand by Michael - make your voices heard through emails and phone calls, and boycott ALL magazines from HFM.

Let your actions speak loudly! "Stealing someone's intellectual property is a crime"and worse, using Mike's most ICONIC picture in an all to obviously flagrant attempt to profit from discrediting and demonizing American soldiers, is REPRENENSIBLE, AND THEN to RENEGE on a tentative settlement is contemptible, deplorable , and dispicable, and repungnant.

Not surprising from SHOCK magazine.

But that HFM - publishers of Elle, Road & Track, Woman's Day, American Photo, Car and Driver, to name a few- would condone such actions is incomprehensible!

For a long list of Hachette Filapacci Medias publications, newspapers, and Lagardere investments, click here


Boycott SHOCK Magazine
Boycott Car & Driver
Boycott Car Driver: Part 2

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Hachette, Hypocrisy Is Thy Name

In 1984, The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) was formed. The IIPA is a private sector coalition which represents the US copyright-based industries.

The IIPA is comprised of seven trade associations, representing 1900 US companies producing and distributing materials protected by copyright laws throughout the world.

It's mandate is to improve international protection of copyrighted materials. With the rapid changes in technology, the IIPA works to ensure that high levels of copyright protection become a central component in the legal framework as global electronic commerce grows.

The IIPA believes that strong legal protections against the theft of intellectual property are essential in the e-commerce global economy.

The IIPA estimates that copyright piracy around the world inflicts approximately $20-$22 billion in annual losses to the U.S. copyright industries (and this estimate does not include internet piracy).

Of the seven trade associations that comprise the IIPA, the one that stood out for me in light of HFM and Shock Magazine's copyright infringement of photographer Michael Yon's iconic photo of Major Beiger cradling little Farah, was The Association of American Publishers.(AAP)

The AAP has created The Anti Piracy Program.

The Association of American Publishers considers the protection of intellectual property in all media among its highest priorities. Working closely with local authorities overseas, AAP fights copyright pirates on their own territory and sends the message that stealing American books and journals does not pay. Working with AAP members, students, international counterparts, universities and government officials on issues such as anti-piracy, copyright and technology, AAP is hoping to end the rampant theft of copyrighted works. Educating the public and government officials about the basis and need for strict enforcement of copyright laws is a chief priority in fighting piracy. It is estimated that American publishers lost over 500 million dollars last year due to copyright piracy. The public also plays a part in helping to stop piracy of American works. AAP asks citizens, who can submit reports anonymously, to report any sightings of copyright piracy to the Association of American Publishers.

The program is spearheaded by Patricia Judd, Executive Director, International Copyright Enforcement and Trade Policy.

AAP policy is set by a 20-member Board of Directors, elected by the membership for four-year terms, under a Chair who serves for two years. Sitting on the Board of Directors is David Young, Chairmen and CEO of HACHETTE BOOK GROUP, owned by HACHETTE FILAPACCI MEDIAS, publishers of SHOCK Magazine whose unauthorized use of Michael Yon's intellectual property was a flagrant attempt to profit from discrediting and demonizing American soldiers and, who then reneged on a settlement made in good faith! The unauthorized use of this photo and the duplicity of the publisher are equally appalling.

The President and CEO of The APP is Former Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder
As Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property she was one of the most knowledgeable members of Congress on copyright issues and a strong advocate for protecting intellectual property rights and for reinforcing the creative incentive for developing intellectual property.

Since Ms Judd spearheads the AAP Anti Piracy Program that considers the protection of intellectual property in all media among its highest priorities, and Patricia Schroder continues her work as a strong advocate for protecting intellectual property rights in her leadership of the AAP, I have to wonder how they both will react when told that SHOCK Magazine, owned and published by Hachette Filapacci Media, a member of AAP through Hachette Book Group, has failed in its obligation to protecting intellectual property by its UNAUTHORIZED use of Michael Yon's evocative iconic photo.

According to their website, The APP strongly believes that " The public also plays a part in helping to stop piracy of American works. AAP asks citizens, who can submit reports anonymously, to report any sightings of copyright piracy to the Association of American Publishers".

I intend to play my part and strongly encourage you to play yours, in helping to stop the piracy of an American work, by emailing,writing or phoning Ms Judd, and Ms Schroeder, and reporting Shock Magazine's and by fiat, Hachette Filapacci Medias, copyright piracy of Michael Yon's photo and their violation of the proposed settlement.

Actions Speak Louder
Make Yourself Heard
Boycott SHOCK Magazine
Boycott Car & Driver Magazine

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Jihad Generation

In light of the recent arrests of 17 homegrown terrorists, The Toronto Star's Rosie DiManno, writes one of the best pieces I've read to date, on the "jihad generation". As the Toronto-born daughter of immigrants, Rosie DiManno knows that segrationist thought reinforces feeling of alientation that leads to resentment, rage, and an inferiority complex.

Rollerblading children and women dressed in head-to-toe burqas.It's a juxtaposition that, poignantly, captures the diversity we're all the time celebrating in this country. But, symbolically, in these details is also found the pith of social conflict and maladjustment. The rollerblade and the burqa, of all things.


In the pecking order of these things, gender rights have been sacrificed to religious righteousness. Such is the hypersensitivity to cultural imperatives that even hard-core feminists have all but abandoned their hideaway sisters, including those who live right next door. Stung by accusations of ethnocentric self-absorption, not even the tough old broads of feminism want to draw Islamist ire.

Nor do I know if fundamentalist practices — regardless of what religion they serve — can co-exist with Canadian values, particularly when our human rights apparatus, as well as our instinctive respectfulness, are manipulated to assert and legitimize the indefensible, the segregationist.But I do know, as the Toronto-born daughter of immigrants — parents who went to hysterical lengths to preserve my otherness, to reject assimilation — that gulag-thought causes incalculable harm. It reinforces feelings of alienation that lead to resentment, rage and that old bugaboo, an inferiority complex.Mad at them, my mother and father; mad at the world.

Please read "From Isolation Can Come Rage"

Take A Good Look At What's Going On
Hat Tip to Girl On The Right

The Long War Ahead
Paul Jackson, Calgary Sun

Western democracy is very exhilarating, unless the thought of freedom scares you.Freedom -- and fairness -- scare some individuals, usually individuals with inferiority complexes who often turn into bullies as a defensive mechanism.

So what can we do to protect western democracy?

In Canada, we already started when we elected Stephen Harper prime minister, and when Harper made Stockwell Day public safety minister.


In the U.S., President George W. Bush is a beacon of hope and courage compared to the likes of Al Gore or John Kerry.

In Britain, Tony Blair is a man of steel, as is Australia's John Howard. Angela Merkel is a far more stalwart leader in Germany than was Gerhard Schroeder.

What we must remember is it took us 12 years -- from 1933 to 1945 to beat Germanic Nazism, and and some 74 years -- from 1917 to 1991 -- to whip Soviet Communism.

This is going to be a long war and we must not waver.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Hollywood Elementary

In 1994, the Northridge Earthquake, utterly devastated the apt complex where I lived in Sherman Oaks. I was offered an apt in a large complex in Toluca Lake, run by the same management company. I intended for my stay to be temporary, but in fact, remained at The Oakwood Toluca Hills for five years.

The complex is vast, with 24 buildings, two pools, jacuzzi, a rental office, small store, dry cleaners, and even a hair salon. Apts come furnished, but if one choses to make their stay more permanent, you can furnish it on your own.

The Oakwood Toluca Hills caters to families, singles and couples, pursuing a career in Hollywood.

Surrounded by WB, Disney, Universal, NBC, and a short driving distance from Paramount, the property is nestled close to the Hollywood Hills, and offers fitness rooms, personal trainers, and tennis courts. Basically you could cast an entire movie, from actors, to writers, directors, musicians, just in the lobby of the North Clubhouse.

I loved the place! I often found myself chatting up Hilary Duff, and Jennifer Love Hewitt, not to mention a LONG list of others, all of whom stayed at the Oakwood's on and off during the five years I lived there. Frankly, I was too busy to look for another place; my rent was so cheap and there would be no place in the same area for anywhere close to what I was paying, and certainly NOT with the amenities this placed offered.

One unique feature of The Oakwood is that it offers a Child Actor Program, which is the subject of a piece that appeared in The New York Times Magazine last week.

Each year, between mid-January and May, when some 100-odd pilots are being cast, one-quarter of the Oakwood's 1,151 furnished units are filled by families of child actors. "Home to the Famous, and Almost Famous," a billboard at the front gate reads. Located near Burbank, it's conveniently close to most of the major studios. The Oakwood's orientation for "newbies," the first-timers who make up about 80 percent of the families staying there each year, is also a draw: lectures about the entertainment business; connections to people like Simmons, who give complimentary classes to enlist new students; a show-biz-kid expo that displays all the tertiary industries: diction tapes, head shot photography and packaging, marketing-strategy DVD's. On-site tutoring — unaccredited, held weekday mornings in the conference room — can be paid for weekly to allow children to come and go, given their unpredictable work schedules. Units at the Oakwood start at $2,000 a month for a studio with a Murphy bed.

Hollywood Elementary is an interesting look into what kids go through for a chance to live out a dream. But exactly whose dream is it?

Lori finds Hollywood baffling. While she's now able to survive the freeways, she's still trying to navigate the etiquette of the place — businesspeople who hate small talk; phone calls that go unreturned; casting directors who refuse to shake children's hands because of germs. Then there are the cliques at the Oakwood, and the gossip, and the mothers who lie about their kids' representation and inflate the nature of their bookings, and the children who don't seem as if they even enjoy what they are there to do.

Fame is a demanding and fleeting mistress. Read more.


Hollywood Confidential

I am often asked "What do I have to do become an actor, writer, director, or become an agent?"

Brian Lowry, tv critic for Variety, the Entertainment and Media Trade publication, has some wisdom to share with those aspiring to work in "the biz""

ASIDE FROM ENVIABLE INCOMES and an addiction to handheld gizmos, many Daily Variety subscribers share another common trait: having overcome the lottery-like odds against gaining admission to the show-business club.

Read "Graduates Learn The Harsh Realities of Hollywood"

Related: My Life As A "Biz Babe"


Saturday, June 03, 2006


I contacted Shock Magazines American Editor, Mike Hammer, on the day Blackfive wrote about Mike Yon's evocative picture being stolen by SHOCK Magazine to express my outrage.

Yesterday, Michael wrote a dispatch titled "Dishonor" .

Today, Michael has called us to action.
I have learned that ordinary people can make a surprising impact on the world simply by aligning their actions with their principles. What HFM, Polaris and all the organizations and individuals associated with the launch of SHOCK magazine have done is just plain wrong. It might cost a few dollars to rectify or inconvenience a few executives whose failure to exercise due diligence largely created this mess. But if enough ordinary people take a little time to champion their own values, the tipping point will be reached. When we brought this to the attention of two major retailers who already had SHOCK on their shelves–Tower Records and Borders–they did the right thing and agreed to take them down. There are many ways that ordinary voices can make themselves heard.

Michael has posted contact addresses and phone numbers of the distributers as well as key executives within HFM NY Corporate offices, as well as HFM France, and Polaris Images, along with a sample letter and is calling on his fans, and friends, to let their "ordinary voices " be heard. Please use the sample letter he has provided to email everyone on the Publishers and Distributors lists.

A few hours ago, I contacted Heather Reisman, the CEO of Indigo/Chapters in Canada to express my disgust at this magazine, to ask that it be removed from all Chapters outlets, not simply because they stole Michael Yon's picture to be used for their personal and political gainsbut more importantly because the content of this magazine is disgusting, vulgar, and morally offensive.
SHOCK Magazine has NO PLACE in a family bookstore. I provided her with a link to Michael's website, his attorney's information, as well as making her aware of the litigation being undertaken.

Ms Reisman recently yanked all the June edition of Harper's Magazine from Indigo bookstores:

Canada's largest retail bookseller has removed all copies of the June issue of Harper's Magazine from its 260 stores, claiming an article by New York cartoonist Art Spiegelman could foment protests similar to those that occurred this year in reaction to the publication in a Danish newspaper of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed. In 2001, Ms Reisman ordered all copies of Hitler's "Mein Kampf" pulled from stores, describing the book as hate literature .
(See "Indigo Pulls Controversial "Harpers" Off The Shelves")

It is REPRENSIBLE that she would distribute the tasteless, vulgar, morally depraved "SHOCK" Magazine.

I encourage all Canadian fans of Michael Yon to please email a personalized copy of the sample letter to Sorya Ingrid Gaulin, VP Public Relations at sgaulin@indigo.ca, and to call her ( please DO NOT BE RUDE) at 416-646-8965.


Thursday, June 01, 2006

Michael Yon's Frontline Forum

Capt Jeff Barnett, whose experiences in Iraq are chronicled in his blog Midnight in Iraq and who was one of four contributers to the NY York Times series "Frontlines: Dispatches From US Soldiers In Iraq" has written an insightful and thought provoking piece for Michael Yon's Frontline Forum.

Please go read " The Haditha Killings".