HBO Doc “The Newburgh Sting” Asks Terrorism or FBI Entrapment?

By: Monday July 21, 2014 4:09 pm

In 2009, with television cameras rolling, the FBI triumphantly busted a domestic terrorist ring from Newburgh, NY. The men, known as the Newburgh Four, are each serving a 25-year sentence for plotting to blow up two synagogues and shoot down military supply planes. FDL reported on the story and case; read Kevin’s take on it for more background information.

What happened in Newburgh continues to attract attention although perhaps not in the way the FBI intended. Instead, it serves as a cautionary tale in post-9/11 America. An uneasy story about what happened when the FBI went into an impoverished community and offered a large sum of money to people in exchange for their agreement to participate in a fake bombing plot. This case inevitably raises questions about our rights as Americans, what constitutes terrorism, and the definition of entrapment.


Remembering Jane Kean

By: Friday November 29, 2013 6:40 pm

It was the summer of 1990 and I was in the cast of a local production of The Music Man in Ft. Lauderdale. Jane was hired to play the part of Mrs. Paroo as a guest artist. Our producer had asked me to be Jane’s personal escort and chauffeur for the several weeks we would be together. I didn’t exactly jump at the chance because the year before for Bye Bye Birdie, we had had another well know actress from that era (who will remain nameless) who, while not difficult at all kept to herself and never got to know her cast, playing the role of Albert’s mother, May. I did some research on Jane and decided that she was worth the effort, and it was a most rewarding experience. Her association with Jackie Gleason over the years made her a well known and beloved personality in South Florida, especially among the sixtyish and up crowd who actually did buy theater tickets then.

Late Night: Bands Subverted Censors With More Grace Than Miley Cyrus’ Twerking

By: Tuesday August 27, 2013 8:00 pm

Ed Sullivan seemed really old fashioned and creepy to me, I just couldn’t watch him as kid; but in retrospect, despite CBS cutting off Elvis below the waist and forcing the Rolling Stones and the Doors to change their lyrics (which was a fail on both counts),  he had some pretty cool acts on. Or maybe there were just some really cool bands back then.

Check out Mick Jagger’s eye roll when he sings the CBS-approved lyrics…and how he sneaks in the verboten phrase at approx 1:30.

Chris Weitz-Directed Shorts Detail Alabama Immigration Law

By: Wednesday February 15, 2012 1:15 pm

Oscar-nominated writer-director Chris Weitz is known for making popular fare like American Pie, About a Boy and Twilight: New Moon. But last year he made the independent feature A Better Life, which chronicles an undocumented gardener in East LA. Now he’s turned his talents on four short films about the inhumane anti-immigrant law in Alabama.

Late Night FDL: R.I.P. Don Cornelius, Creator — and Owner – of Cultural Landmark Known as Soul Train

By: Thursday February 2, 2012 8:00 pm

Growing up in Durham, NC in the early 70s meant you weren’t exactly in touch with the latest fashion and dance grooves in The Big City, so it was a ritual to flip on your color TV and get an eyeful of fantasy — and some of the greatest musical acts (and upcoming talent) of the time on Soul Train.

Hollywood, SOPA and the AMC Pacer model

By: Sunday January 29, 2012 12:55 pm

ACTA is basically an attempt by legacy media companies to leverage their hyperbolic rhetoric and wildly inaccurate math into an extralegal framework that would allow them to dictate which web sites are permitted to exist.

Why Does Justin Bieber Want to Jail Amy Klobuchar?

By: Friday October 28, 2011 5:20 pm

Why does Bieber even know who Amy Klobuchar is, let alone this animosity? It’s about S.978, the so-called “Protect IP Act,” and the House version, known as the “Stop Online Piracy Act.” Among other things, these bills would make Web streaming of copyrighted work a felony, with a 5-year jail sentence. Because the Beebs got his start by posting his renditions of other people’s songs on YouTube, activists have used him as a rallying point, creating the site Bieber’s lawyers have filed a cease and desist order against the site, incidentally, so Bieber isn’t ALL that committed to Internet freedom.

Happy Days – A Secret Anti-Viet Nam Plot Full of Liburul Sekrit Messages?

By: Tuesday May 31, 2011 8:00 pm

According to Primetime Propaganda, a new book by conservative author Ben Shapiro, there is a huge underground river of liberal propaganda that subtly (and not so subtly) flows into American television. Conservatives lost the TV war, he weeps, rending his cable guide.

NYT Film Critic Accidentally Writes Column About Politics

By: Friday January 14, 2011 6:01 pm

The supposed struggle between powerful know-it-all elitist critics and courageous corporate-sponsored common folk sure does sound familiar…

Why Fanboys/girls Want Net Neutrality

By: Friday December 17, 2010 4:40 pm

The WGAE represents content creators – people who write programs for the internet and other digital distribution systems (e.g., to mobile devices). We have argued in favor of Net Neutrality because our members want the opportunity to reach audiences directly, without major studios and other large corporations deciding what to distribute. But what about the audience? The public? Why should they care about Net Neutrality? Because there is an important aspect to the Net Neutrality debate that people should keep in mind: “paid prioritization”.

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