Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Dealing with Alexis Kouros, and Government Funding

We've only heard one side of the story on the Alexis Kouros lawsuit against Phil Schwartzmann from Finland for Thought. As far as I know, Kouros isn't talking, so Phil's claims (e.g., that Kouros believes that someone calling him a "conservative" is actionable) are the only ones on record.

And as it turns out, we're not even hearing all of one side of the story. This interesting tidbit recently ran:

I’ve already received numerous e-mails from people who’ve had, or their family/friends had, personal experiences with Mr. Kouros.

Sounds like someone's trying to establish a pattern of idiocy, or perhaps harrassment, on the part of Mr. Kouros. Or, as Sally Field (geddit?) would say, "You hate me. You really hate me."

(For more Sally Field, check out the YouTube video that Wonkette shared. And no, she didn't say "God-pleasing war.")

But in one respect Alexis Kouros and Sally Field would agree. Mahjubah 226, an Iranian publication, published an interview with several participants in the 2004 Festival of European and Iranian Children's Literature. The participants, including Kouros (AK), were asked a question at the end of the interview.

M: What is your solution to help the Iraqis, Palestinian and other oppressed children of the world in order to get to their rights and benefit from their lives?

JR: All parents should put their and other people’s children’s interest on the first plan (first priority): education, enough time and space for play, song, open-mindedness.

HJ: To meet, to talk, and to share literature in meetings.

AK: Fight American Imperialism!

And Kouros fights American imperialism in the movie industry also:

It is no secret that the Pentagon and CIA finance some films and television series either in full or in part. The use of hidden and sometimes very obvious propaganda which is entwined in a TV drama is a cost effective way of disseminating a political and even a military message. Hollywood film makers are well aware of the Pentagon fund and how to apply for it. Ridley Scott admitted receiving the funds to make Black Hawk Down from the Pentagon but many other political sponsorships deals will surely remain a secret....

What all these shows have in common is that the scripts reflect on current events - from the US government's point of view.

It's important to note what Kouros is saying, and what Kouros is not saying. He is not saying that government funding is bad - he is saying that US government funding is bad. As Phil points out, Kouros does not object to government funding in principle:

Alexis Kouros...brings up an excellent point about the need to get the government the hell out of our media…whether it’s public or private media, secret or public funding.

But what’s so ironic about this is that Alexis Kouros is involved in the same kind of propoganda - of Finland paid Alexis Kouros a hefty sum of money to create 6-Degrees magazine. He is the editor-in-chief, every article must be approved by him, and as the article above shows, he’s able to push his pro-Islam religion, anti-American propaganda...all at the expense of the Finnish tax-payer. It’s really no different than the example he gave in his article, it’s just on a smaller scale.

Maybe it's the same, maybe it's not. In the Ridley Scott case, the US government attached strings to the funding, stating that they would only fund the movie if its views were not detrimental to the US government. Did the government of Finland attach editorial strings to the funding of 6 Degrees?

P.S. While quoting the text above, I ran into some secret messages in Finland for Thought. More later.

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