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By John Eggerton — Broadcasting & Cable, 10/21/2013 10:09:29 AM The National Cable & Telecommunications Association and the Motion Picture Association of America are celebrating Free Speech Week, which kicks off Monday, by co-hosting a discussion with iconic First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams Oct. 22, moderated by Barbara Cochran, Curtis B. Hurley Chair in Public Policy Journalism at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism.

MPAA Chair Chris Dodd is chairman of the Free Speech Weed Advisory council and NCTA president Michael Powell is a member of the council.

Abrams is a partner in Cahill Gordon & Reindel and has argued numerous cases before the Supreme Court, represented the New York Times in the Pentagon Papers case, and has represented ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, Time Magazine, and others in trials and appeals.

Free Speech Week, always the third week in October, was founded by The Media Institute and provides a forum for discussion/celebration of First Amendment freedoms. This year’s partners, in addition to NCTA and MPAA, include the National Association of Broadcasters, USTelecom, the Consumer Electronics Association, The Newspaper Association of America, Clear Channel, NPR, and various colleges and Universities.

Organizers encourage participants–schools, PTAs, companies–to display their support for First Amendment rights by exercising them, from displaying a bumper sticker or yard sign, to blogging, tweeting, debating or writing their legislator.

For more ideas on celebrating Free Speech week, check outhttp://www.freespeechweek.org/.

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NCTA, MPAA Help Launch Free Speech Week

Don’t miss Ke$ha on her “Warrior Tour” this August!

Attention all Animal$! Time to break out the glitter and face paint, because our lady of eternal Illuminati, aka Ke$ha, has a huge announcement to make: She’s heading out on the road for a nationwide tour this summer!! That’s right, following her trek with Pitbull, the “My Crazy Beautiful Life” star will be hitting the road on her very own “Warrior Tour,” and she won’t be traveling alone: Glam rockers Semi Precious Weapons and pop singer/songwriter Mike Posner will also be on hand for what we’re CERTAIN will be an insane ride. Like, glitter-and-Jack-Daniels-lining-the-walls insane.

The “Crazy Kids” singer will kick off her tour starting Aug. 12 in Vienna, VA, and will wrap up in Gilford, NH on Aug. 31. Check out the full list of dates AND buy tickets here!

Photo credit: MTV

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Ke$ha gets an all-seeing eye manicure — more Illuminati references!?

Pop stars dedicating manicures to their fave idols ain’t nothing new (see: Katy Perry’s “Daria” mani, Beyonc’sJean-Michel Basquiat tips). That in mind, we wouldn’t be at all surprised if Ke$ha’s latest eyeball artwork was (another) shout to her latest interest/obsession/induction (?) with the Illuminati. And how do we know that Ke$ha’s nails are in fact dedicated to the supposed, secretive society, and not, say, a newfound passion for eyeballs (like she has with beards)? Well, we don’t. BUT we have done our fair share of research on Illuminati symbols (as proven by these GIFs), and we HAVE done intensive studies of “Die Young”‘s cult references (we have a lot of free time).

Read more about Ke$ha’s Illuminati nails after the jump.

The glam Uncle Sam singer showed off her new nail art on Instagram, and honestly, we just have to say that we’re starting to have trouble keeping up with Ke$ha’s subculture of choice these days. Between the Illuminati and her recent induction in to the furry world, we can only guess which underground world she’ll infiltrate next! And while normally we’d be incredibly worried about a pop star submerging themselves into such social realms — it’s Ke$ha. If she can handle starting the day by brushing her teeth with a bottle of Jack, we’re pretty sure she can occult tips.

+ Watch Ke$ha’s “C’Mon” video.

Photo credit: @iiswhoiis

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Ke$ha's Awesome Eyeball Nails Look Pretty Illuminati To Us (PHOTO)

Nov 092012

Ke$ha parties south of the border (in more ways than one) in her “Die Young” video.

Remember how we thoughtKe$hawas probably gonna play aa sexified leather-clad warrior goddess princessin her “Die Young” video? Well, we were right! Except that in addition to a warrior goddess princess, it appears that Ke$ha is also the cult leader of satanist and/or Illuminati worshipers. And they’re worshiping — you guessed it — Princess Ke$ha! And the Illuminati. And they hired a decorator with a flare for Pentagrams and Occult imagery! It’s all very inspired.

WatchKe$ha’s “Die Young” video after the jump.

Tucked away somewhere in an abandoned jungle warehouse, Cult Ke$ha HQ is decorated with a crap-ton of satanic imagery and other things you might only see in “The Craft” sequel. Or “True Blood.” Or a Wiccan documentary. Whichever. Fortunately, all of theWarrior singer’s fellow cult members happen to be hot male models (best cult evar!!) who spend their days doting on Ke$ha and making sure all her “needs” are taken care of. After congregating for a morning prayer, Ke$ha and her followers take five for a hookup sesh. With each other. In various combinations (maybe they began as a college A capella group? Oooohh, BURN). After the party (it’s the after-party, right?!) there’s another round of arduous Illuminati worship (aka stunningly executed choreography), but this time, her congregants perch Ke$ha upon a mattress alter to be devoured by the gods. Or something. It’s all very dark and twisted, but we’d like to offer props to K-dawg for recruiting cult members solely based on their attractiveness level! Ballsy move, and we like it.

+ WatchKe$ha’s “Die Young” video.

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New Video: Ke$ha, 'Die Young'

John Eggerton — Multichannel News, 7/30/2012 1:24:57 PM

Bob Pittman, CEO of Clear Channel, has been named to head a new Free Speech Week advisory council. Free Speech Week –Oct. 22-28, 2012 — was launched in 2005 by the Media Institute in 2005 to spotlight democracy’s ?most basic right.” The goal is to raise the profile of the free speech initiative. “”Raising awareness of freedom of speech is a worthy and important initiative,” said Pittman in a statement, “and I am happy to join with The Media Institute to increase national awareness of Free Speech Week and its role as the country’s premier annual celebration of free speech.” Pittman helped create MTV and has run or operated MTV Networks, America Online, Six Flags, Quantum Media, Century 21, and AOL Time Warner. “Bob Pittman and his colleagues on the FSW Advisory Council promise to take Free Speech Week to a whole new level of public awareness and participation,” said Media Institute President Patrick Maines on the creation of the council. The Institute has yet to identify the other members of the council, but said they would be announced “shortly.”

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By John Eggerton — Broadcasting & Cable, 7/9/2012 2:38:51 PM Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is the latest big name to sign the Declaration of Internet Freedom, according to backer Free Press. His name was even listed first online among individual signers, even though the rest of the list was alphabetical.

It is no big surprise that Rep. Issa would sign on. Many of the same groups and individuals who opposed online piracy legislation, citing threats to Internet “freedom,” are signatories to the declaration. Issa was one of the strongest opponents of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the House bill scrapped after Internet powerhouses banded together to stop it.

“It is crucial that we secure the principles outlined in the Declaration of Internet Freedom,” said Issa in a statement, “to defend against those who seek to interfere and disrupt our vibrant online community and the economic growth it supports.” He also put in a plug for his own, similar, Citizen’s Digital Bill of Rights.

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Issa Signs Internet Freedom Declaration

By John Eggerton — Broadcasting & Cable, 7/9/2012 10:35:34 AM The United Nations Human Rights Council concluded its meeting last week with a raft of resolutions, including one supporting Internet expression as a basic human right and promoting broadband deployment.

In a resolution on “the promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet,” the UN council affirmed that “[T]he same rights that people have offline must also be protected online, in particular freedom of expression.” The resolution “calls upon all States to promote and facilitate access to the Internet and decides to continue its consideration of how the Internet can be an important tool for development and for exercising human rights.”

The U.S. has already made promoting Internet freedom internationally a part of its foreign policy goals, outlined by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a speech in 2010, in which she likened the freedom to connect to the Internet to freedom of assembly during a speech that mirrored the Four Freedoms speech of Franklin Roosevelt.

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Jun 132012

By John Eggerton — Broadcasting & Cable, 6/12/2012 1:01:25 PM The FCC made it official Tuesday, releasing the final order sunsetting this December its requirement that cable operators with hybrid analog/digital systems deliver must-carry TV stations in both formats.

The commissioners had voted unanimously to lift the requirement Monday night or the rules would have sunset immediately on Tuesday.

Broadcasters had been pushing the FCC to extend that requirement another three years, while cable operators said it was time to lift it and give them more capacity to offer other services consumers might want. Both sides were doing hefty lobbying in the run-up to the vote, but cable’s arguments held sway in the final order.

Cable operators must still provide dual carriage for a six-month transition period, give customers 90 days of warning before they end their analog transmissions, and face potential reinstatement of an analog signal if there are too many consumer complaints.

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association was naturally pleased, and broadcasters were not.

“NAB remains concerned that today’s FCC decision has the potential to impose negative financial consequences on small local TV stations that are a source for minority, religious and independent program diversity across America,” said National Association of Broadcasters spokesman Dennis Wharton. “If that is the outcome, millions of viewers will be the losers. NAB will be reviewing our options with our Board of Directors. We would like to thank the members of Congress who urged the FCC to extend the viewability rule another three years, along with groups like Consumers Union that also weighed in on the side of local broadcasters.” NAB was already contemplating its options at a board meeting Tuesday, which could include a petition for reconsideration, a trip to court or no action. In a statement explaining his vote, new Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai said that it was not an easy decision for him — Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said the same thing — and that he agreed with broadcasters that the FCC’s 2007 Viewability Rule, which required carriage, seemed more consistent with statute, but that Constitutional concerns essentially trumped that. “Cable operators present a powerful argument that renewing the viewability mandate on the state of the current record would run afoul of the First Amendment,” he said. That case, he said, was that “the rule change we adopt today will have absolutely no effect on the ability of about 80% of cable subscribers to view must-carry stations. And the diminishing minority of cable customers who have analog-only service will be able to continue viewing must-carry stations on cable systems simply by obtaining affordable [converter boxes] that cable operators must offer as a result of this order.”

The order also extended for three years a waiver for small cable operators from the FCC requirement that cable operators deliver TV station signals in HD if they are delivered in HD over the air.

That was a victory for the American Cable Association, which specifically represents those operators. ACA President Matt Polka praised the sunset of the viewability rules, but was particularly pleased with the waiver renewal.

“ACA appreciates that the FCC recognized the technical and economic challenges faced by smaller cable systems, justifying policies that do not disproportionately harm the consumers served by many of ACA’s rural-based member companies,” he said. “The exemption will provide smaller systems with the additional time they need to upgrade so that they, too, can eventually provide must carry signals in HD.”

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Mike Farrell — Multichannel News, 5/31/2012 6:19:50 PM

Sirius XM Radio continued to try to stave off Liberty Media chairman John Malone’s advances, stating in Securities and Exchange Commission filings that it is in discussions with the media giant to work out a deal that would be mutually beneficial to all shareholders. Liberty has been trying to gain control of Sirius since March, when it filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission to gain de facto control of its satellite assets. While those efforts were rejected by the FCC on May 4, Liberty vowed to refile its petition. Liberty made good on that promise Thursday, outlining a path to control of Sirius that would include converting half of the preferred stock it owns in Sirius to common stock, giving it 32% of Sirius’ outstanding shares. The media giant said in an SEC filing Thursday that it would move quickly to gain control of Sirius’ board of directors by nominating a majority of its directors. Liberty, which owns preferred stock convertible into about 46% of Sirius’ outstanding shares, currently can nominate five of its 13-member board. Sirius countered in its own SEC filing that such nominations could require a special meeting of shareholders, which can only be called by two or more directors or the company CEO. To date no such request has been made to Sirius. Sirius said in SEC documents that it is in discussions with Liberty “to explore possible transactions with respect to its ownership interest in Sirius, although we have not reached agreement with respect to a specific transaction that would be mutually beneficial to both our common and preferred stockholders.” Sirius stressed there is no guarantee that such an agreement could be reached and added that any developments from those discussions were not expected to be disclosed. The most recent moves are a culmination in what has been a contentious battle between Liberty and Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin, who told shareholders at Sirius’ annual meeting last week that he could not stop Liberty from buying shares on the open market, but hoped that they would pay a premium for control. Liberty may not have to, according to one analyst. In a research note Thursday, Canaccord Genuity media analyst Tom Eagan said he expected Liberty to buy Sirius shares on the open market. “Contrary to what many on the Street expect, we do not believe that Liberty needs FCC approval to take control of Sirius,” Eagan wrote. “We believe they need to merely inform the FCC if they intend, for example, to increase their stake to above 51% (from 46.2% as of the last filing). Or Liberty could negotiate with the board to take control with, say 49.9%.”

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Liberty Moving Toward Sirius Control

By John Eggerton — Broadcasting & Cable, 5/3/2012 2:04:03 PM Free Press and other speech and digital rights groups have called on Attorney General Eric Holder to “focus attention” on the number of arrests of journalists, bystanders and others taking video of Occupy protests. There were protests May 1, but the request, in a letter Thursday was actually timed to World Press Freedom Day (May 3). There have been more than 70 arrests of people trying to cover/chronicle the protests since they started last September, according to one account. “We the undersigned call on authorities at the local, state and federal level to stop their assault on people attempting to document protests and other events unfolding in public spaces. We must protect everyone’s right to record,” the groups said in the letter to Holder. Signing on to the letter were the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the National Press Photographers Association, the New America Foundation, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Reporters Without Borders and Witness. Justice has already weighed in in support of rights to record. Last January, according to Free Press, Justice urged a Maryland U.S. District Court to a “First Amendment right to record police officers in the public discharge of their duties” and to hold that “officers violate citizens’ Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights when they seize and destroy such recordings without warrant or due process.”

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Free Speech, Rights Groups Call on AG Holder to Focus on Occupy Arrests

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