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Press Review January 24, 2002
In Da Times
By Matt Taibbi Browse author
Page 15 of 15
And from the homelessness story:

"'I'm walking past people who are sick in the streets,' said Tony Hall, a city supervisor who suggested the ban on sleeping and relieving oneself in public (which require that the city double its shelter beds, to 3,500, and open about 100 public toilets). 'It's getting to me and it's getting to other people.'"

Both stories contain mawkish quotes from bleeding heart advocates (environmentalist groups, coalitions for the homeless), both describe efforts to launch new "tough love" programs, and, significantly, both describe in great detail the damage the vermin cause to the tourist industry. From the cormorant story:

"The enemy in this tourist-dependent town in Michigan's Upper Peninsula is the double-crested cormorant, a gamefish-gobbling bird that local residents blame for decimating the perch population and, along with it, the local economy... They are blamed for reducing the number of fishing resorts here to 15 today from 56 in 1990."

And from the San Francisco piece:

"'...a big reason driving the phenomenon the phenomenon of the criminalization of homelessness is concern about the visibility of that population, especially with respect to how they affect businesses and tourism,' said Maria Foscarianis, executive director of the of the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, an advocacy organization based in Washington."

The similarities between these pieces aren't a coincidence. It's a classic illustration of what makes the Times what it is, and what makes it, on an unconscious level particularly, so powerful as a propaganda tool. The reason a bird that pisses in your swimming pool can be described in so much the same way as a person who's lost his way and has no place to live is that for the Times, the two things are one and the same. The Great Beast is always presented in the same way, as a problem for Real People to cope with.

Nothing outside the Times' world is ever given any identity of its own. Whether he's forcing you to play more golf (the cormorant story actually notes, with sympathy, that perch fishermen have been forced to play more golf), dozing outside your ATM, bombing the World Trade Center or passing in viral form from chimps to humans, the Beast is always the same character in this newspaper-pestilent, dumb, and intractable.

The accumulative effect of all of these stories is to inspire in readers a sense of belonging to the community of non-beasts, of Real People. It's the urge to belong that compels people to believe so easily when the Times presents to them its version of the world. It's what made it so easy for the Times to sell the bombing of Kosovo as a humanitarian mission: we're so used to seeing unthinking beasts everywhere, and so used to thinking of ourselves as the only side that is human and struggles with moral questions. Homeless people inconsiderately shit on the sidewalk like animals; foreign dictators massacre minorities out of sheer carnal malevolence.

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Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

Scanning Moscow’s Traffic Cops
Automotive Section
We’re happy to introduce a new column in which we publish Moscow’s raw radio communications, courtesy of a Russian amateur radio enthusiast. This issue, eXile readers are given a peek into the secret conversations of Moscow’s traffic police, the notorious "GAIshniki."

Eleven Years of Threats: The eXile's Incredible Journey
Feature Story By The eXile
Good Night, and Bad Luck: In a nation terrorized by its own government, one newspaper dared to fart in its face. Get out your hankies, cuz we’re taking a look back at the impossible crises we overcame.

Your Letters
Russia's freedom-loving free market martyr Mikhail Khodorkovsky answers some of this week's letters, and he's got nothing but praise for President Medvedev.

Clubbing Adventures Through Time
Club Review By Dmitriy Babooshka
eXile club reviewer Babooshka takes a trip through time with the ghost of Moscow clubbing past, present and future, and true to form, gets laid in the process.

The Fortnight Spin
Bardak Calendar By Jared Lindquist
Jared comes out with yet another roundup of upcoming bardak sessions.

Your Letters
Richard Gere tackles this week's letters. Now reformed, he fights for gerbil rights all around the world.

13 Toxic Talents: Hollywood’s Worst Polluters
America By Eileen Jones
Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them. People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got...


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