PATT MORRISON SCHEDULE
Thursday, August 7, 2008
1:06 – 1:12
Beijing Internet Blues – Reporting from China
Want to read The Huffington Post while vacationing in Beijing? Well, you can’t. Despite pledges to the contrary and a brief respite in censorship, the Chinese government is now extending the “Great Firewall of China” to foreign journalists covering the Olympics. By restricting internet access, the Chinese government hopes to control its image with regard to pollution, human rights and their efforts to “clean up” Beijing in preparation for the deluge of international travelers and press. While China’s restrictions on journalists do not reflect a fear of foreigners so much as a fear of their own citizens becoming politically active, the Chinese media outlets are now flooded with hyper-nationalism and anti-foreign sentiment. What does this kind of censorship do to the image of the Chinese Communist Party and China as a modern nation?
- As of June this year, 253 million Chinese were using the Internet, according to the Chinese government, more than any other country
- 16-to-25-year-olds account for nearly half of China’s internet population; 75% go online to find and share opinions and 72% go online to express personal opinions or write about themselves online
Ted Chen, reporter and news anchor for NBC4. He’s in Beijing covering the games.
Tom Jolly, Sports Editor for the New York Times
David Wallechinsky, Vice President of the International Society of Olympic Historians, author of "The Complete book of the Olympics.” He’s in Beijing covering the Olympics for The Huffington Post, and can’t access their web site from there.
ON TAPE (about 8 mins)
Sophie Richardson, Asia Advocacy Director for Human Rights Watch
1:50 - 2:00
The Politics of Play at the Olympics: Visas Revoked From Activist Athletes
The politics of human rights once again reared its head at the Beijing Olympics as Chinese officials revoked the visa of Olympic speedskater Joey Cheek late Tuesday. Cheek grabbed headlines for his gold and silver medals in the 2006 games, but since receiving his medals—and donating his $40,000 medal bonuses to a children’s organization in Darfur—Cheek has been an outspoken advocate to bring attention to the human rights violations in Darfur. The Olympics in China have been a rallying point for Darfur activists since China is a major customer of oil from Sudan’s Darfur region. Cheek planned to attend the Olympics to support more than 70 athletes from around the world who had signed on to support Team Darfur, the organization Cheek co-founded. The U.S. Olympic Committee has tried to distance itself from the fray, saying Cheek was "a private citizen" separate from the U.S. delegation.
Joey Cheek, 2006 Olympic Gold Medalist Speedskater and co-founder of Team Darfur, an organization of athletes trying to draw attention to human rights violations in Darfur
2:00 – 2:30
Paying our Way out of Traffic? MTA's Transit Plan Has Trouble Staying on Track
With gas prices through the roof and traffic its usual teeth-gnashing horror, Los Angelinos are more receptive than ever to the idea of a 1/2-cent sales tax to finish some of LA's half-completed transit lines, including the Wilshire "subway to the sea." Enter politics. Efforts by the MTA to put a new transit sales tax on the ballot jumped the tracks earlier this week when three County Supervisors voted against the move. Now it's up to the State Legislature... AB 2321, sponsored by Assemblyman Mike Feuer, would also fund the projects--but it's up against similar political opposition. What's the conflict? The Westside "subway to the sea" takes a disproportionate amount of the sales tax's cash flow. That has Eastsider's crying foul. Will politics once again tear LA's transit map apart? Find out as you crawl through traffic.
Steve Hymon, covers transportation for the Los Angeles Times, also writes the "Bottleneck Blog"
Roger Snoble, Metro CEO
Mike Cano, transportation deputy for County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, Supervisor,
5th District (voted against the tax)
UNCONFIRMED - DO NOT PROMOTE
2:30 – 3:00
Don’t Look Now, But You’ve Got a Bad Case of Obsessive Branding Disorder
It’s said that a successful brand is one that creates a positive association in a customer’s mind, sells a promise, and tells a story about who we are. And to facilitate that, industry masterminds have seamlessly crafted the business of captivation and seduction, appealing to the senses of sight, sound, touch, taste and, oh yeah, emotion. The U.S. pours more than $300 billion into branding every year and on any given day each of us is bombarded by 3,000 to 5,000 ads. But nowadays it seems that the actual product no longer makes the brand, rather, the other way around. It’s the reason why so many consumers are hooked, throwing money into brand-reliant products that pack more bark than bite. In his book, “Obsessive Branding Disorder,” journalist Lucas Conley examines one of America’s oldest afflictions.
Lucas Conley, author of “Obsessive Branding Disorder”
Producer, Patt Morrison
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