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Ear to the Ground

Heckling the First Lady

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Posted on Jun 10, 2013

Michelle Obama’s confrontation with a lesbian activist signals the beginning of a push to turn up the heat on the president by the LGBT community; Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s calling protesters “looters” exemplifies why his country is seeing so much unrest; meanwhile as Occupy Wall Street participants exerted their First Amendment rights, their cellphones were being logged. These discoveries and more below.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

The Story of Michelle Obama and her Heckler
Michelle Obama’s altercation with a lesbian activist this week sparked a debate about the merits of heckling.

Turkey: Twitter and Mass Media Become Part of the Story
Critical of the sanctioned news coverage of the week’s events, protestors in Turkey have turned to social media to spread word about police violence during the rallies.

Sunday Shows meet Glenn Greenwald!
Welcome to your recap of this week’s “Sunday shows,” where the hot topic is how the government has access to everyone’s phone and Facebook and video sex chats all the time, EVERYONE FREAK OUT, NOW.

Privacy Disappears in the Prism
Last week, The Guardian (the British newspaper) and the Washington Post simultaneously reported that the National Security Agency has been collecting staggering amounts of user data and files from seven of the world’s most powerful technology companies.

Pop Neuroscience is Bunk!
The media—and some scientists—use brain imaging to explain law, politics, even theology. It’s often hooey.

Red-Blue Divisions Start with Newborns’ Names
It turns out the parents of Hillary Rodham Clinton and Rick Perry knew what they were doing when they named their babies.

In Guatemala, A Long Road To Justice
A few weeks ago, Guatemala’s Constitutional Court overturned the historic guilty verdict of the nation’s former military dictator Efraín Ríos Montt, who had been convicted of committing genocide and crimes against humanity during his short reign from 1982 to 1983.

LGBT Leading the Mobile Era
A new study by DIGITAS, a digitally led, integrated brand agency, finds LGBT mobile device users are embracing the “mobile first” way.

On Whistleblowers and Government Threats of Investigation
No healthy democracy can endure when the most consequential acts of those in power remain secret and unaccountable.

Erdogan And The ‘Looters’: What’s Behind The Protests In Turkey
Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has a simple message for the millions currently protesting all over Turkey.

American Fascism: Ralph Nader Decries How Big Business Has Taken Control of the U.S. Government
Describing the United States as an “advanced Third World country,” longtime consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader calls for a new mass movement to challenge the power corporations have in Washington.

Plastic from Grass
Nearly all the plastics sold today come from petroleum and aren’t biodegradable.

Surprise, Surprise! All Occupiers Phones Were Logged
In light of news that everyday the entire of telecom giant Verizon’s call system records are handed over to the NSA, news that attendees of Occupy Wall Street protest attendees’ cell phones were logged should hardly come as a shock.

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