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Thursday, April 1, 1999

As Yugoslavian as Apple Pie!
B92, Censorship and Independent Media in Yugoslavia

by Clinton Fein

April 1999

We are at war. While annoy.com fights for the right to express opinions unhindered, we do it from comfortable offices, without the fear of bombs being dropped on us, or mass expulsions or ethnic cleansing. Serbs, Albanians, Kosovars...we don't really give a fuck. We don't believe in mass branding of people. There are saints, martyrs and devils of every stripe, color, and ethnicity. For every martyr-like American prisoner of war, there is one that will happily kill and rape a fleeing Albanian refugee. For every Serbian slaughterer there is a gentle kind one that will shield and hide victims (only to be turned into a Steven Spielberg movie one day). And for every well meaning political leader, there is an opportunistic pig who will stop at nothing to assert supremacy in an uncertain world.

So while we prefer not to take sides in political war games, there is one area where the battle lines are very clearly drawn, and we are armed and ready to fight at every turn. And that is the right to express observations and opinions about the world around us. America, (thanks to the United States congress, the President, Bill Clinton and the Attorney General Janet Reno) is attempting to criminalize communications deemed inappropriate or harmful or indecent and annoying. We have fought them all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States where the matter remains undecided. Serbian authorities are on the same side as the American government on this issue. Bombs and wars kill people. Words, opinions and insights keep them alive.

And so, with fervor, we support B92, the independent radio station. On March 24, Serbian authorities confiscated the Yugoslavian transmitter of radio B92 from Belgrade. The editor-in-chief, Veran Matic, was held in custody in a police station for well over 8 hours.

Support these journalists. They're not the well-coifed anchors on MSNBC or CNN spewing their audio-enhanced, graphically manipulated whitewashed version of the war for the purpose of ratings that will enable them to charge Microsoft obscene amounts of money to market virtual Teletubbies, or Mattel to sell NATO Barbie with Stealth bomber outfits.

Click on the image above and send a card to friends and people you know. Upon receipt of the card, a simple click will lead them to the homepage of the B92 Support Group. This group intends to support B92 and other independent media in Yugoslavia where possible in the continuation of their important news services. We salute them in their efforts. Read about them, and help them if you wish.

Annoy.com hereby openly extends an offer to any news organization covering the war in Yugoslavia. We will publish your work, and transmit it over the Internet, no matter who is made uncomfortable by it, or who tries to stop it. And a word to any would be censors - Try to silence us and we'll fuck you. Ask Janet...it's not always pleasant.


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