Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

DC Circuit Rules That CIA May Refuse To Release Bin Laden Photos

The US Appeals Court for the DC Circuit has ruled per curiam that the CIA may refuse to release post mortem photographs of Osama bin Laden which the agency classified as top secret. A group called Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request to obtain copies of the photos. The CIA pled Exemption 1, a national security exemption, alleging that release of the pictures would cause harm to US citizens overseas and that the pictures were properly classified under that exemption. The court agreed. Here is a link to the ruling, Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Defense.

May 23, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Joe Francis Apologizes For Rant Against Jury Members

Joe Francis, famous for his "Girls Gone Wild" empire, has apologized for an "appalling" Hollywood Reporter interview in which he repeatedly insulted members of the jury which convicted him of false imprisonment and assault, saying they should be "shot." He has now issued a statement saying that

I deeply regret the remarks attributed to me in the interview with the Hollywood Reporter. They were hurtful and do not reflect my true feelings. While I disagree with the jury's verdict as I am completely innocent of the charges and intend to appeal, I was afforded a fair trial, and if I lose at the appellate level, I will reluctantly but fully accept the jury's verdict.


He also says he was "not being serious" and that his comments were "manipulated by the media."

May 23, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

EU Parliament, Member States Want "Culture Exception" in Upcoming EU/US Trade Talks

The EU Parliament has indicated it wants the area of culture exempted from upcoming trade talks with the United States. France, an EU member states, agrees, and is vocal about backing a cultural exception for French films, for example. More here from EUBusiness.

May 23, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Word Frequency and Its Meaning

David Brooks discusses whether the frequency of words as revealed in  the printed book means anything at all (here, in the New York Times). Read one of the articles he discusses in his NYT piece here. Try searching the Google database (the Google N-gram Viewer) he talks about in his opinion piece here.

May 21, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

CBS Pulls Final Season "Mike and Molly" Episode From Schedule, Shows Repeat

In order to be responsive to the tragedy in Moore, Oklahoma, CBS pulled the final episode of the season of Mike & Molly, due to air Monday night, in which a tornado hits Chicago.  Instead, the network aired a repeat episode. The season finale will air probably sometime in the future. More here from the Hollywood Reporter.

May 21, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 20, 2013

FCC Acting Chair Mignon Clyburn Releases Statement To Staff


“By now you may have heard, that President Obama has asked me to serve as Acting Chair of the FCC, pending the confirmation of Tom Wheeler. I wish to express my deep appreciation for this incredible opportunity, and commend President Obama, for his excellent choice of Tom Wheeler, as our next Chairman. “Because we don’t know how long I will be in this position, with my tenure directly linked to the efficiency of the U.S. Senate, I thought it would be a good idea for us to get together, to assure each other, that we’re on the same page. “Allow me to get straight to the point: I love the FCC, and to lead this agency is one of the greatest honors of my life. For in my view, there are two things that set this agency apart. “The first is its people: all of you. Obviously, this agency is filled with world-class talent, but the staff at the FCC is not just smart and talented, you are caring, and committed to public service. “The last two attributes were immediately made clear to me, when I entered the building, nearly four years ago. So many of you, have made my transition from South Carolina less traumatic, with words of support, kind gestures, and yes, warm hugs just when I needed them. I also want to thank my fellow Commissioners, for their support over the years: more recently Commissioners Rosenworcel and Pai, and of course, Julius Genachowski, Rob McDowell, Mike Copps and Meredith Baker. “The second thing that sets this agency apart from the rest is its mission. I was raised to believe in the value of public service, by a support system, which through hard work and volunteerism, reinforced the importance and rewards, of that motto, “service above self”. And for us, there is no more exciting or critical mission in government, than working to accelerate the communications revolution that’s transforming our economy, and the way we live. “We have an important mission, and this is an important time. “I assume the role of Acting Chair, with a great sense of responsibility, but also great humility. And as we await the confirmation of Tom Wheeler, I see myself as a member of a relay team, running one of the middle legs. My job is to build on forward momentum, give the next teammate a running start, an improved position, and no matter what, my goal is not to drop the baton. “I consider my friend Mike Copps, a model for an outstanding Acting Chair. He approached this job with seriousness, humility, and led this agency through the completion of the DTV transition – a major accomplishment. “So if asked about my goals as I take this new position, I would answer without hesitation – its hallmarks will be continuity and progress. “At 12:01am on Saturday, I actually became the Acting Chair of the Federal Communications Commission. This time gave me an opportunity to reflect a bit over the weekend. “I thought of my swearing-in, in the summer of 2009. It took place in South Carolina, because until then, that was the only place I could ever think about calling home. “Today, however, I see the FCC as home, and you, my regulatory family. Like every other family, we may disagree at times, and yes, frustrate each other, but at the end of the day, we’ve got each other’s back. We’ve got America’s back. “So while we may face many challenges in the days and weeks ahead, by working together, we will continue to do great things. Continuity and progress: the hallmarks, the building blocks, of a great time, great people and a great agency. Thank you for all that you’ve done, and what you will continue to do, to make this nation proud. “Thank you, and Godspeed.”

May 20, 2013 | Permalink | TrackBack (0)