Starsuckers is a feature documentary about the celebrity obsessed media, that uncovers the real reasons behind our addiction to fame and blows the lid on the corporations and individuals who profit from it. Made completely independently over 2 years in secret, the film journeys through the dark underbelly of the modern media. Using a combination of never before seen footage, undercover reporting, stunts and animation, the film reveals the toxic effect the media is having on us all and especially our children. Chris Atkins presents Starsuckers as a series of five lessons on fame in the modern world: how children are persuaded that fame is something they want, how television and the media reinforces the importance of celebrity and the efforts to attain it, how the mind and body reinforces our need to follow the activities of well-known people and strive to join their number, how the press became addicted to celebrity coverage, and how the art of promoting fame has led to celebrities and their handlers controlling the press instead of the press having say. Along the way, Atkins demonstrates how celebrity news with no basis in fact gets into print, why newspapers will run press releases almost verbatim, how parents will eagerly sign away the image rights to their kids, how certain mass scale charity events end up helping the performers far more than the causes they designed to support, and how publicists keep accurate but unflattering stories out of the news.

Friday, November 5, 2010

WikiLeaks Renews Call for U.S. Probe, Founder May Seek Political Asylum

The founder of the online whistleblower organization WikiLeaks says he’s considering applying for political asylum in Switzerland in the wake of the U.S.-led crackdown on his organization. Julian Assange says Switzerland, as well Cuba and Iceland, are the only countries with whistleblower protection laws that could allow WikiLeaks to operate safely. Assange also renewed calls for the United States to investigate human rights abuses in Iraq and Afghanistan detailed in the hundreds of thousands of documents his group has released.

Julian Assange: "The result of this and some of our other publishing activities has led not to the United States conducting a full and frank investigation into the abuses revealed, as other countries are doing, but rather an aggressive investigation into this organization, public threats towards this organization, a demand for the destruction of that material."