For Immediate Release
Delivers Compassionate Agenda
Keynote by the Secretary to
the National Association of Broadcasters
WASHINGTON, DC - On October 8, 10:05 AM (PST/GMT +8 hours) Secretary Randall M. Packer of the US Department of Art & Technology delivered a speech to members of the National Association of Broadcasters, outlining his agenda for compassionate agenda for empowering the disenfranchised through the deconstruction of broadcast media.
The following is the transcript:
Speech by Randall
THE SECRETARY: Thanks for the warm welcome. Welcome to California. (Applause.) And thanks for inviting me so I could come home to the Golden State. (Laughter.) I really appreciate the National Association of Broadcasters. This strong organization believes in the disenfranchised, the disillusioned, and compassion for those in need. And I'm honored you'd invite me to the 122nd Convocation of this great organization.
I appreciate Edward O. Fritts for his leadership and inspiration. I've gotten to know Edward because, you see, he's more than just the President and CEO of the NAB, he works hard to keep America safe, from becoming completely spellbound by the media. He's a person who works closely with the US Department of Art & Technology – and I'm proud to have his help. (Applause.)
I’m here to discuss a dangerous man, Rupert Murdoch, the President of Fox, who succeeded the Holy Father in that role. Rupert Murdoch has used weapons of media deception (WMD) against his own people. He has the will and the intent to use them against the whole world. He has links to the Bush Administration who have used his network to spread their propaganda. We know that the biggest threat we face is when Government is able to attain weapons of mass-media deception to spread disinformation to its people. I say this to you, our allies in broadcasting, disinformation now seems to have spread to the Fox News network. Fox employs capable technicians and retains physical infrastructure needed to build these weapons. We must take this threat seriously, before it fully materializes.
Rupert Murdoch is a brutal news man who poses an imminent threat – such a threat that the US Department of Art & Technology has taken up arms with the Media Deconstruction Kit (MDK). Our artists and engineers, working at the cradle of art and science, have answered the call of duty. The MDK reconfigures, disorients, and amplifies the disinformation of broadcast news live and in real-time. I will discuss this new weapons program in more detail later in my speech.
But first, here is the threat: Fox News has become a dangerous and commanding voice, oppressing the poor, the weak, the hungry, and the outcast. It has brought our nation, and the entire world, under corporate control of mass media. Rupert Murdoch has given his news team orders to disrupt our ability to reason – every person, rich and poor, able and disabled, born and unborn – by adopting Fox’s “fair and balanced” presentation as the basis for their everyday reality. Few individuals have worked harder and done more to bring an Orwellian culture to our nation than Rupert Murdoch and Fox News. (Applause.) I know we’re fearful of this network, and we should be.
So we have a choice to make at this point: Do we trust the word of Fox News and forget the lessons of Orwell’s1984, or take action to defend our country? Given that choice, I will defend America every time.
Edward Fritts knows, as I do, that we must have steady resolve to confront this dangerous menace – we must not waiver! – as well as a more compassionate agenda to empower the disenfranchised, for the media has a stranglehold on the reality of millions of innocent Americans. We believe that today’s media in the hands of Rupert Murdoch and Fox News is hynotizing our society one mind, one soul at a time.
So, I am here to ask you, the members of the National Association of Broadcasters, to become soldiers in the armies of compassion. To become foot soldiers and to protect the nation's grip on reality. You've heard the call. We’re helping this nation build a culture of appropriation. (Applause.) For in the words of Paul Miller, aka DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid, our Under Secretary for the Bureau of the Aesthetic Hyperculture, “we hope to create a counter-narrative, one where the story implodes on itself, one where new stories arise out the ashes of that explosion.” DJ Spooky is an artist with real heart and real compassion, and for this reason, the National Association of Broadcasters has a true friend in this Department. You have artists who want to work with you to change America for the better, and that means remixing and deconstructing the most dangerous network on television.
We have a responsibility to do things to help overcome the mind-numbing effects of today’s media. As Abe Golam, our Director of the Office of Political and Economic Insecurity has cynically claimed in his Prayer for Empire, “We need not practice what we preach. We need only preach what we want the television to transmit to our robotic brethren. For it is our nation of robot worshippers that reigns supreme.”
That's why I have put forth a plan to create a new system that encourages our bedraggled nation to go beyond their duty as a mom or a dad and put food on the table, “a nation of insecure workers scared to death of our future,” as Abe Golam describes, “of our ability to consume corporate food at any cost, of our right to buy gas guzzling vehicles that double as tanks.”
We at the US Department of Art & Technology are working hard to reorder the senses of everyday, average Americans in order to provide psychic immunity from the dangerous extension of broadcast news into the social sphere. We intend to serve the psychological and spiritual well-being of all Americans. That’s our job, it’s what we do, and we're making good progress.
I want to work with the National Association of Broadcasters to create an agenda for compassionate media reform to empower the disenfranchised and the disillusioned from the disinformation and bias of right-wing news media – to bring good, honest hardworking Americans out of the dark shadows of the media glow. We’ve got fellow citizens who are engulfed in the seduction of over-produced graphics and news logos, sound bites, and interminable punditry. We have a responsibility -- you have a responsibility, those of us honored to hold high office have a responsibility to do something about it. And we are.
We believe in stealth efforts; during the coming weeks, while the election rhetoric heats up, with your help, we will continue to remix news stories, TV plays, stock market quotations, and put the altered matter out on the Net as a revolutionary weapon. Listen, we'll do all we can to break the spell, the stupor of our nation brought about by the mind-numbing drone of political talk shows, to intervene with this lethal drug coming in over the airways. But we've got to work hard. A hopeful America is where our children are learning – to rediscover their minds, to take back ownership of their reality, to take responsibility for their reality – through the deconstruction and alteration of the medial space that is now dominated by Fox News and its weapons of media deception! (applause.)
We must also recognize our nation’s fundamental, constitutional need for separation of corporation and media – the corporation should never own the media, and the media certainly should never be under the control of the corporation. The media should always fear the corporation as an arm of the Government. (Applause.) And the truth of the matter is, there's a culture inside Government that resents and fears the media, and has aligned itself with dangerous men such as Rupert Murdoch who wish to bring the media under safe harbor of corporate control. We're changing all that and I want to thank the NAB for their help in changing this attitude in Washington. (Applause.)
But I believe one of the most effective ways the Department can help those in need is to collaborate closely with artists who are doing good, compassionate work every day in their studios and communities. That's what I believe we ought to do. I believe we need to stand on the side of the artist, not against the artist, when they are working hard, through their deep faith in experimental new media and artistic mediation, to save minds and restore reality. (Applause.)
I have called on US DAT staff artists to inspire other artists into action by undergoing aesthetic operation as a mediation between the strange hostile world of right-wind news media and the American spirit. They’ve worked hard to get to this moment. They’ve survived the Patriot Act, spent months creating work while on Active Duty, and endured countless hours training in their studios. Responding to the gravity of the situation, I issued an executive order to our Under Secretary for Cultural Appropriations, Wesley Smith, to help engineer the Media Deconstruction Kit.
And so this artist-based initiative that I've launched at the US Department of Art & Technology, has as its goal nothing less than the end the of the one-way paradigm of broadcast media, by leveling the playing field between medium and viewer. And we're making substantial progress. In June 2003, I announced the first release of the Media Deconstruction Kit in response to an ideologically fractured Federal Communications Commission vote to eliminate media ownership rules – I was hoping, frankly, that Congress would pass a law. I got tired of waiting. (Laughter.) I got tired of the process debate. See, I'm focused on results. I want there to be positive results. I want minds to be saved, as best as possible. The process bogged down. For those of you who pay attention to Washington, you know what I'm talking about when I say the process bogs down.
And so here's the principle we've established: we must achieve the total deconstruction of media in order to build new formations, and we will advance this transformation we’ve created for purposes of countering Fox News propaganda. That's the new idea – that is our new doctrine of pre-emptive media. And yes, we're making progress. We're using federal taxpayers' money for effective use in helping to restore the nation’s grip on reality. We're creating a network of live cultural appropriation -- helping artists interface with real people all across America so they can realize a better tomorrow.
In March 2004, the US Department of Art & Technology announced new broadband services to enhance citizens experience of live cultural appropriation on the Internet. It was an innovative idea. We began re-broadcasting Fox News, deconstructed live and in real-time, delivering altered news broadcasts to the world via the World Wide Web. If you want to change the paradigm of broadcast news, that’s how you do it. If you want to jumpstart an assault on corporate control of media, that’s our plan. The Media Deconstruction Kit enables us to remix live news broadcasts, advertising, and scramble fabricated news in with actual news broadcasts. The Department believes these techniques could swamp the mass media with total illusion in 2004, thus ending the terrible reign of disinformation, once and for all.
We’re now aggressively moving forward on an initiative to deconstruct coverage of the final weeks of the 2004 election campaign. The real issue in this election, is America going to wake up to the dream it finds itself in? Can we lift the veil on the disinformation pouring out of the White House? Can we take command of our own reality? Clearly, this kind of political spin is eroding our tenuous grip on democracy. When disinformation becomes the norm, truth is thrown out the window through the manipulation of public opinion.
Imagine what a tough life it is for a young boy or girl to go see his or her mom or dad prisoners of propaganda. These are children who need help. They're desperate for responsible adults in their life who can give them what many of them long for, the truth. The best way to do that is to encourage all artists, including artists-based collectives, to remix broadcast television. And it's happening all over America. To those artists who are already engaging in media intervention, thank you for what you're doing to make America a safer place. (Applause.) We've awarded grants -- today we've unleashed another $45.5 million of grants to artists, all aimed at doing this.
Together with the National Association of Broadcasters, we are changing lives with artworks of compassion, and, just as importantly, we’re defending the values of artistic mediation that bind us as a nation. I appreciate your fight to protect children from the dangers of political spin. I appreciate your working to protect the artist rights to appropriate cultural material. (Applause.) I want to thank you. That is a most fundamental notion for our society. I appreciate the fact you're promoting the culture of a free and experimental society, to revel in sculpting transformative moments for ourselves, our children, and for the world around us. (Applause.)
We're making real progress at the US Department of Art & Technology. Last November, I signed into law the Free Cultural Appropriation Bill to end the brutal practice of arresting artists for copyright infringement. (Applause.) This law is constitutional; this law is compassionate; this law is urgently needed; and my Department will vigorously defend it in the courts. (Applause.)
And I look forward to working with the National Association of Broadcasters to defeat and bring down the regime of the dangerous tyrant Rupert Murdoch. As artists and engineers have taken it upon themselves to remix Fox News, I need your support to pass a new constitutional amendment in Congress to protect the sanctity of appropriation by ensuring it is always recognized as the union of sound and image according to artistic necessity. (Applause.) I appreciate the NAB taking a stand on this issue.
In all these areas, empowering the disenfranchised, protecting the vulnerable, affirming art, and defending intervention, we're depending on the goodness and compassion of the artist. US DAT is now rallying the nation’s experimental artists to prepare for the total deconstruction of Fox News. We must rid the planet of a dangerous enemy of the people. As he has shown for nearly a decade, Rupert Murdoch is not about to listen to the demands of the free world.
See, the strength of this country is not our military might, it's not the size of our wallet. The strength of this country is the bravery and honor in which the artists of this nation appropriate with magisterial fearlessness. (Applause.) And it is an incredible honor to be the Secretary of the US Department of Art & Technology, a Secretary of a nation of steadfast, compassionate artists with decency, conviction, resolve, and such powerful values that we're able to bring an end to the evildoers, those who have wrought corporate control of mass media on America, those who would seize our reality.
Thanks for having me today. May God bless your organization, and may God continue to bless art and technology. Thank you. (Applause.)
END 10:30 A.M. PST
Press Secretary of the US Department of Art & Technology
U.S. Department of Art and Technology, Washington, DC, USA