Attack Ads! The Podcast

I am not a fan of the commercialism that has metastasized and spread well beyond this seasonal holiday’s calendrical bounds. I am going to vent quite harshly in Xmas' general direction. Remember: you've been warned.

Direct download: Apologies_In_Advance.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:20pm EDT

Behind the obvious advertising with which pharmaceutical companies deluge us, there is a mostly-hidden cadre of sales representatives stalking our doctor offices and getting directly in the doctors’ faces. And these reps are, mostly, quite… hot.

Direct download: Attack_of_the_Pharma_Barbies.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:34pm EDT

I wrap up all this political economy non-sense and reveal what happens when assumptions leak into the real world, causing otherwise intelligent reporters to make suggestions without realizing how disastrous the consequences might really be.

Direct download: From_GIGO_To_MEGO.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:50pm EDT

This continues the primer on neoclassical economics, focusing on a few structural buffers that protect the orthodoxy from the heterodox threats that occasionally develop. Moneyed interests used advertising to protect their privileged positions.

Direct download: Non-Heterodox_Scientificity.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:44pm EDT

I present Part I of a primer concerning the history of economics as an academic discipline. I read from Henry George's "Progress and Poverty", an 1879 book that had far more of an impact on the United States and abroad than most people realize today.

Direct download: By_George.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:35pm EDT

In my last episode, I confessed ignorance about how colleges and universities were funded, let alone founded. Filled in on at least some of the particulars, I dive into the veto power money has over everything on campus not friendly to money.

Direct download: Interlocking_Directorates_of_Control.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:47pm EDT

Remember Mike Daisey? Remember the This American Life episode that featured him, and the later episode that denounced him? I revisit the Daisey kerfuffle to note what was completely ignored: journalistic ethics, and who is required to have them.

Direct download: Liars_Honest_and_Otherwise.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:11pm EDT

This is mostly a rant from an old man witnessing changes to the campus he once attended as a student, specifically how sponsorship and egalitarianism might be in conflict in higher education.

Direct download: Fast_Track_Education.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:21pm EDT

Our perception of the world hinges on assumptions. I take a brief look at what happens when reporters assume the experts they consult on our economy are correct, and by so assuming, fail to critically question those experts.

Direct download: When_We_Assume.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:33pm EDT

Bullshit comes in two flavors. The first are beliefs held with no basis in fact. The second are emotional appeals to the non-rational brain made to drive our behaviors. Commercial media, though, one may not question bullshit ads use to pay the bills.

Direct download: Thwarting_Disbelief.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:54pm EDT

Today's big idea is one of hope. Why not let the public media donors decide how many ads they care to hear by allowing donations to offset ad revenue needs? This hope is sadly dashed: it would pose an existential threat to those selling ads.

Direct download: Whats_the_Big_Idea.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:20pm EDT

This episode considers tenets of good journalism, touchstones like—most of all—accuracy. What happens when the media's priority is profit?  Could this increasingly inaccurate commercial press of ours be failing in its implicit duty of care?

Direct download: Care_Through_Correction.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:35pm EDT

Here, I decided to create another theme that I hope to pursue: the influence commercial money exerts on news gathering and dissemination. In this specific case, it doesn't pay to be a business too small to buy television advertising.

Direct download: Breaking_News.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:34pm EDT

Here I question the many advertisements aired on public radio and television in the United States. Aren't these a violation of definition? After all, the CPB was originally formed for programs that would not be commercially possible.

Direct download: Defined_By_Absence.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:23pm EDT

Not all commercial messages are confined to normal boundaries. I consider the fate of two movies: a bad one obviously underwritten by a beverage manufacturer; and a good one that, though not so financially bound, raised a brand into a cultural icon.

Direct download: Carve__Polish.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:02pm EDT

Here, I hope to blow a few minds with a tidbit about the functioning of our capitalist system… some say the core function that defines capitalism itself. How money actually works, though, has become so completely obscured as to sound ludicrous.

Direct download: The_Buck_Starts_Here.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:41pm EDT

I consider Slow Television, content that refuses to be contained and constrained by the manic and incessant pace of commercial advertising. Really, why shouldn't someone have a channel that shows nothing but puppies without commercial interruption?

Direct download: Longer_Slower_Uncut.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:53pm EDT

I muse on the tribal drives that cause us to join with others in supporting certain endeavors, and note how this is often hijacked and used as a means of spreading commercial messages through our very clothing, sometimes without our notice.

Direct download: We_Branded_Bipedal_Billboards.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:28pm EDT

For those suffering personally in this economic downturn, author and proud cheapskate Jeff Yeager's advice can help greatly. Good luck getting it on our commercially funded media without denigrations designed to make people like him look like freaks.

Direct download: Freak_Show_Porn.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:26pm EDT

What happens when advertising dogma creeps into civic life? We've seen all too much of this corruption of our common spaces. I examine failed attempt shove commercial branding across my home state, and my dream response to those who proposed it.

Direct download: Tools_and_Their_Boxes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:58pm EDT

Under a commercial advertising supported media regime, certain topics must be avoided lest these topics contradict the message and intent of the advertisers. I put forth a home furnishings analogy between content and sponsor.

Direct download: The_Drapes_Must_Not_Clash.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:23pm EDT

In this episode, we review the recent scandal revealed by Canadaland Podcaster Jesse Brown about the conflicts of interest between CBC personalities Rex Murphy and The Nation host Peter Mansbridge, and Alberta oil sands interests that hired them for private speaking engagements.  Though considered reporter's ethics "Disclosure 101", according to Brown, why are these two—at least—not disclosing the money they earn from these private events?  And what lesson can be extrapolated from this scandal to the fact that private money funds all commercial news gathering and presentation?

Direct download: Conslicked_of_Interest.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In Episode 1, "Smelling the Wet Dog," I introduce my the motivation behind this project.

Direct download: Smelling_The_Wet_Dog.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:12pm EDT