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August 20, 2002

Narco News '02

Authentic Journalism on the "War on Drugs" in Latin America

"The Name of Our Country is América" - Simón Bolívar

Readers Rap

About Eminem

Our August 12 Essay Generates

a Storm of Free Speech!

Did you Miss Our Story?

"Eminem's Antidote

to September 11th"

"Have you ever been hated or discriminated against?/I have, I've been protested and demonstrated against/Picket signs for my wicked rhymes, look at the times/Sick is the mind of the muthafuckin' kid that's behind/All this commotion, emotions run as deep as ocean's explodin'/Tempers flarin' from parents, just blow 'em off and keep goin'/Not takin' nothin' from no one, give 'em hell as long as I'm breathin'/Keep kickin' ass in the mornin', takin' names in the evenin'/Leave 'em with a taste as sour as vinegar in the mouth/See, they can trigger me but they can never figure me out…"

- Marshall Mathers
From "Cleanin' Out My Closet"
Currently the Number #1 requested song on MTV


Injustice Busters on the Story

Hi Al:

Great coverage of The Eminem Show. (Not to mention Venezuela, Bolivia, Columbia . . . )

You will see I have provided a link to your pre-somewhere in a place called América life -- the diary of the Patti Smith tour.

Also -- if you are just getting tuned in to Eminem, you may not have heard this wonderful piece (also available on my eminem page):

Sheila Steele


In Caracas We Live the Song

Your essay on Eminem said:

"We've been fed a year of bullshit. It's time to rebel, kids! The world is a shocking place. The hour has come to shock back."

I am a Venezuelan proud of our nationalism and our auto-determination. There's one thing that makes oligarchy shit in its pants and that's the people coming down of the barrios. And that's exactly what got back our president in a snap.

What now for the US people, Desert Storm II??? More kids to be sacrificed??? More not just single mothers like Eminem's, but completely single mothers???

You fill your mouth saying "America the beautiful, land of the free"... Yeah right...

Stand up and say NO!!!

But this time it's louder... louder than even an Eminem song playing on MTV.

Regards and respect from Caracas, Venezuela...

- Hivan


Why Are You Hurting Jesus?


Dear Sir:

The reason that the Supreme Court used to refuse to hear cases on pornography was that they said filth is not speech. Therefore, I was and am disgusted to note that you would lionize the infamous Marshall Mathers, purveyor of pornography, on your website.

You have an Italian name. God honored the Italian people by choosing them to spread the religion that He founded, the Catholic Church. You should be ashamed to laud Marshall Mathers. St. Alphonsus de Liguori wrote that the reason Our Lord sweat blood in the Garden of Olives was that He was able to see the sins committed in the future by people like YOU and Marshall Mathers. Your sins hurt Him. When are you going to stop offending Him and repent?


Miss CM Ross


Why Are You Hurting Women?

Al, you must be kidding!

I have never heard him sing, nor do I plan to. It was enough for me to read the lyrics of one of his songs [don't even remember the title, but I'm sure I could find it] to know that he's a first-class women hater and anti-gay besides. Thanks a lot! More sexist you die!

For the little I heard, his songs contain continual references to women as "bitches" and "sluts", some describe the rape of women, in others he kills his girlfriend, etc. etc.

If you really root for him, I'll have to unsubscribe. There are definitely limits in my book as to whom I want to be associated with.

I can't believe this!


Later, Reader Unsubscribes...


For the sake of the Latin American women killed and raped routinely amidst the convulsions their countries are subjected to, care of the US-funded military and paramilitary squads, + the IMF and assorted vampires, do unsubscribe me.



To Fill Vacancy on Our Free

Subscription List Click Here


"I haven't read it and have

no intention of doing so!"

(A public missive sent to various feminist mailing

lists, titled "Frontline Macho," also from Viviane...)

Al Giordano [NarcoNews] is a dedicated frontline activist who has been widely praised for his integrity as a journalist. He was [until this] my main source of Latin American news and, for instance, his coverage of the coup against Chavez as it unfolded was outstanding.

So, when I saw he was glorifying Eminem as the "Journalist of the Year," I was floored [to say the least] and told him so. From his reply, I gathered that he knew very little about the abominations Eminem wrote, so I sent him some of his lyrics…

His laudatory piece on Eminem is posted at

[I haven't read it and have no intention of doing so].

For the sake of the Latin American women killed and raped routinely amidst the convulsions their countries are subjected to, care of the US-funded military and paramilitary squads, + the IMF and assorted vampires, and for our global sake as women, let's make sure that he doesn't get away with this outrage. Pass it along, discuss it, let's exchange ideas on how we could respond, OK?

Enuf already!



"Shame on you, Al!"

So much for men who who appear concerned about the human rights of others.

It appears to me that your concern is for the human rights of men and men only - forget women and children. Your journalist of the year promotes hatred against women but, apparently, that's okay in your books. Indeed, it deserves an award. I'll alert my friends in South America, who have trusted you to do the right thing, that you're not to be trusted.

Shame on you Al.



A Working-Class Feminist's View

I was forwarded this essay by a coworker. I am a thirty year old woman working in the very feminist anti-rape movement--on the state level. I found this essay to be poetic. Having been raised in the "underclass", I have always found controversial music very appealing... even when to my more feminist personality, it is appalling. I think that Mr. Giordano spoke very eloquently to feelings I have had when my coworkers ask me how I can listen to music which speaks of things that I am so fervently opposed. I have never been able to articulate an answer.

Thank you Mr. Giordano for putting the words in my mouth.




Narco News "Makes Me Happy"

Seeing you name Eminem as journalist of the year makes me so happy. I am a 19 year old college student who discovered Eminem through his first album as it was played on MTV.

Surprisingly, I have no friends at school (or home) who listen to Eminem.

I go to a private college, which naturally attracts upper middle class kids (my home town is also upper middle class), and none of the people at school or home are listening to his work. This summer I only managed to make one of my friends listen to him (and she loved his new album).

Everyone else won't listen to him because he is sexist, and anti-gay. I guess censorship is a rich person's phenomenon, because I don't know any of those millions of kids who, like me, own his albums.

I just want to thank you for turning on all the people who read Narco News to Eminem, and whole-heartedly agree with you as far as his being one of the few (if not only) celebrity to really speak out truthfully about what is going on in our country. I loved watching the video for Without Me, and can't believe he actually got away with it.

I admire what you are doing for free, truthful press everywhere. I'd love to help if there is anything I could do. I'm thinking about going to the conference in February, but beyond that if there is anything I could help with I would love to do it. I have the month of January off from school, so maybe I could do something then.

Thank you again,


"I Like Reading that Makes Me Think"

All I can say is wow.... That is one of the most amazing articles I think I've ever read. I am a 25 year old woman who a majority of the time doesn't like to read articles about mainstream issues cuz I usually think they are crap. I think they are well written but the slants and evidence that these writers tend to use don't really appeal to me or make sense. I found this article very insightful. I like to read things that make me think after I'm done. Maybe I read the wrong articles and that's why I don't tend to think what the writers are saying is useful to me but I definitely got what you were trying to say. I might be biased because I already happen to be an Eminem fan but at the same time I think that after reading this article it would be really hard not to consider what this article suggests.

Dj Code Blue


Mom Loves Eminem

Thanks for the Marshall Mathers article. I love him and enjoyed his article tremendously (and I am a 50 something year old mother of three)



Another Mom for Marshall

Dear Al, your website speaks truth. It and are my main sites. I'm completely in understanding of your Eminem analysis, and am appreciative and thankful in a major way of your ability to see so deeply and clearly. Those of us who have suffered in childhood have a much easier time of knowing when we're being "kicked around" by government, etc.

Libby, 52 year old woman on her way to buy an eminem CD!


Pen Pals
(An Exchange with a Reader)

Mr. Al Giordano

As a woman I am highly offended by Eminem's lyrics. To suggest that he win an award for them is so disheartening to me. Violence against women and girls is a prevelant issue locally, nationally and internationally. Until media and journalists stop perpetuating women's vulnerability to violence then it will continue.

By giving Eminem this award you are de-politicizing his lyrics, normalizing violence against women and increasing womens propensity to harm. Words are not just words (ask any linguist) Words communicate a certain political and social space. The social space that Eminem is coming from is directly what women fear and fight against.

I strongly recommend that you reconsider this award for Eminem. It is not merely an issue of free speech etc, it is also an issue of security and safety for women and girls.




Narco News replied:


I'm not clear on what you are saying, because you haven't offered any critique at all of anything I've written.

A. Do you want us to not mention Eminem and ban all mention of him?

B. Do you disagree with anything about our analysis of the lyrics on the new album?

C. Can you show me specific examples of how this album has caused violence against any woman anywhere?

D. Can you show me specific examples of how our essay - which addresses, I think thoughtfully and positively, efforts to stop violence against women and others - has caused violence against women anywhere?

I have a mailbox full of letters about that essay, most of them in appreciation, and half of those from women. You must acknowledge that your view is not universal nor does it speak for half the human race. However, it is perfectly fine for you to speak for yourself, and although I disagree with you, I defend your right to your opinion.

We believe in free speech. We'll publish your letter along with any others critical of our work. But your letter lacks coherence as to what exactly you are criticizing.


Al Giordano
Narco News


Leslie wrote back:


My intention was not to get into a huge analytical discussion on the connection between hate lyrics and subsequent violence nor your analysis of it. Like most women I am too busy to completely fully and adequately address. I merely wanted to put forward my dismay and opinion concerning the journalism award.

1. I do not think that Eminem should never be mentioned. But lets be clear - journalism does not operate in a political and social vacuum. Like the constraints faced by the media to print what 'they' consider 'news'; journalists as well carry a subjective politics which they carry with them to their reporting. Complete objectivity is impossible. My point: many women would argue that the alternative media portraying Eminem in this light is in fact censored media. Censoring how women feel.

2. Your analysis of the lyrics concerning sept. 11 were good. But what is not clear is his link to hate against women.

3. No of course I can not show specific examples of how this album has caused violence towards women. You know that. However, many studies (including studies which look at post-conflict countries where women, children and men live in the content of continued violence) does show that when violence is normalized as a way of life - women do have increased incidences of violence. I am not going to point you to U.N. studies, or studies within Aboriginal communities etc. My job is not to educate you.

My point is - given my exposure to various and many studies, there is a clear link between normalizing violence and subsequent violence.

4. I am not sure how your essay mentions efforts to stop violence against women.

5. I do speak for many policitized women. I know this from my affiliations with the women's march committe, my position at the Canadian research institute for the advancement of women, aboriginal peoples network, carleton university masters program in political science and international affairs, amethyst women's addiction center. So of course I can not speak for 50% of the race - can you as a man? I know many men who are involved in anti-violence efforts.

So, I commend you for your efforts to address the sept.11 fiasco and all the media frenzy which has priviledged the U.S., but I do very strongly oppose sweeping away one hate and priviledge for another.


Narco News wrote back:


I congratulate you for your thoughtful response to my questions, and for having actually read the essay so as to be able to offer thoughtful response.

This is precisely the kind of dialogue that I had hoped to provoke with the Eminem essay. Thanks,

Al Giordano


"Just Another Fashion Statement"

The message I get from Marshall Mathers is the same one I get from Rage Against the Machine, System of a Down and Britney Spears- get in the car, drive to the mall, hand your hard earned federal reserve notes to an underpaid, no-benefits worker and then go home and feel good about how angry you feel.

Do you really believe ANY kind of politically enervated message can be delivered from behind the wall of corporate marketing?

It's just another fashion statement that feeds the squashing machine unless it results in organized action. Just more distracting bullshit that robs people of the focus and attention it takes to make democracy happen. When you identify with it you sell a piece of yourself to the
profit motive.

I suggest we get the McLuhan out and have another look.



"Remove the Eminem Crap...

and Your Article Would be Great"

It's really funny is it? In the 1950s Elvis Presley, "the king of Rock 'n' Rock" steals black created music and he is hailed as a "king" while the real people who created the style are ignored by mainstream America.

In the 1960s Led Zeppelin stole the music of black blues and sold millions of records while the people who actually created the style ar actually ignored yet again. Now Eminem steals the music of the gettos(black created again) sells millions of records and is hailed as the voice of the disgruntled white kids while...but you probably know how this sentence will end.

Eminem is yet another perfect example of what is wrong with today's world. He makes his money while the US government does whatever it fels like. If you think the stupid and lazy US kids will ever get their assess off from in front of the TV or their video games to actually DO something and change their world...well, you got another thing coming...

Good article, but you didn't need to use Eminem as proof the US media and its government are all fucked up liars. Remove the Eminem crap and your article will be great.




Awesome work dude.....



"Right On!"

Right on! I like it!

Anne in Colombia


Eminem in Atenco

Dear Al,

Really excellent essay. I knew nothing of Eminem, except that he was selling like crazy. This is one of the few music essays that I find worth reading, though I love music. It's true that you never know where the next escape valve will open and the question is, is it an escape valve or a detonator.

I have been reading Narconews almost since it started and it is here where I go any time I need to find out what is happening in Latin America and specially Mexico. By the way, with all that is happening in Venezuela and Bolivia, you have neglected the news of Atenco. I know there is one piece that came out, but I think the news deserve much more analysis. it is quite important...

Keep up the good work and best of luck in your battles.


Publisher Replies: We agree about the significance of the Atenco battle. That's why Authentic Journalist and novelist Maria Botey Pascual has spent much of the summer reporting directly for Narco News on the events and people who stopped the $2.8 million International Airport project in San Salvador Atenco. Part I of her series begins today, special to The Narco News Bulletin:


"Lifting the Lid, as They Say..."


Great piece of work. I guess I was too old to have noticed. What a break for you and us, you saw/heard this young chap. Coincidentally, I saw/heard a video clip as I was flickin' through the dial tonight. Personally, Diz or Bird sez it in a way that is easier on my mind and how I sort the equations but now since I've heard the kid, I can't deny all you say. Rather than "review" The Boss' 911 piece, maybe I'll re-review Tom Joad.

Your paragraphs on Springsteen, Danny Schechter, Cornography, Mike Ruppert, "howl" (for Allen), and Lennie; just right!

Thanks for all you do anyhow, and thanks for the Eminem piece and lifting the lid as they say, and as they say, be careful on the streets and calles.




"Send Music CDs to Al"

(But everytime we send them addressed to "somewhere

in a country called América," they are returned to sender!)

Ok Al,

Either you are trying to get back in touch with your youth or you just need to listen to more music outside of the mainstream of Springsteen, Moby, and Eminem. I've never seen so much excessive masturbation on a music artist than your 8/12 post where you blow smoke (or just blow) up the ass of the slim shitty.

Personally, I can't stand that little peckerwood Eminem and would love to dropkick his little cracker ass. But I have to admit that I do give him props for some sharp insights on his new disc, which I would never purchase, but was fortunate enough to hear through a friends burned copy. I also liked how the little inbreeder recognizes white privilege on one of his songs, remarking that if he didn't have blue eyes and blond hair he wouldn't have gotten over like he has (well, at least he's not a lying idiot like Bush).

I still hate the little bitch, but I think you are right that he is the only "mainstream artist" that has offered any sort of counter-discourse to the official discourse on 911-- and that reflects on the SAD SAD SAD state of affairs of America that only Eminem is saying anything. By the way, add bonehead bono and U2 to your shitlist--they should get the award for sell-outs of the year from Narco News ("I've given up on music as a political force" -Bono). Ah, Eat a dick and go back to Ireland ya' stupid, pope-sucking, addicted mick!!!)

Do yourself a favor and get a copy of Boston rapper Mr. Lif's new EP "Emergency Rations" which is far more intelligent and on point in its counter-discourse on post 911 (see his song "Home of the Brave"). Unfortunately, Lif doesn't have the white privilege and corporate distribution of cracker boy, but his shit is just as banging, if not better.



p.s. yes, as a matter of fact I do have something against anglo-saxons, but that's another discussion for another time...ceee-yaaa!!!


"Mathers is a genius"

Dear Al,

I have been intending to write you for some time to express my continued appreciation for -- and amazement at - what you are doing.

One of the things that I find most remarkable - and hence this remark - is that you are about as far to "the left" as I am to "the right" -- and yet we agree about so much. (I have always had lots of friends on the left, and I had rather argue with them - or anyone - than sit around uselessly agreeing with people.)

However, when I read your essay on Eminem, I just had to say something. Once again, I agree with you completely. It is absolutely brilliant! You are a great writer as well as an Authentic Journalist, to use your excellent term.

I have long thought that Mathers is a genius.

I am gay, of course, but I never took his supposedly homophobic lyrics literally. I was delighted when he did the duo with Elton John, and I especially liked it when the PC Queer crowd attacked Sir Elton.

The Bush/Ashcroft/Walters DEAland has become so degraded and corrupt that it can certainly be described with the language used by Mathers, but I would prefer the language that once was used by Dylan, et al. But where are they??

However, his language is not my language and so I try to tell the establishment in their own - my own -- language that they are screwing up. And they don't listen....

Yes, I see the alienation of the kids and especially the underclass of all the races. I see the army coming out of the prisons. I see the white militias, the veterans of the no-win wars, the illiterate products of the "public education" fiasco, and the "lock my people up" black and Hispanic "leaders."

And, of course, I see the leaderless white underclass that cannot have leaders, because that would be racist, and besides there are no classes in DEAland.

Mathers gives voice to all of this anger and I know that the insanity cannot continue. As the initial trauma and patriotic outrage over 9/11 passes, the people begin to ask questions about the corruption and incompetence that let it happen, and they want answers that the vile establishment media will not - cannot?? - give them.

And of course the Internet as used by you is a big part of the solution.

…We are winning in DEAland and especially in Canada, but the most important battles near term are going to be in Europe and where you are. I think that the Mexican border state governors questioning prohibition is fascinating.

I hope that we can get together somewhere, sometime, but until then, best wishes and many thanks for your great work.

As ever,

A Friend in Canada


"Eat an Elephant's Dick, Al!"

What a total hypocrite and scumbag!

Al Giordano, suck dick and die of AIDS now please!


The dickhead:

a) Is a coward.

b) Is a Dumb ass.

c) Is a hypocrite. (as mentioned earlier)

d) Thinks he has cornered the market on Truth.

e) Is Sanctimonious and Self- Important.

f) Is a Sexist.

g) Deserves to get raped up the ass while someone else shoots rancid AIDS infected cum on his ugly face.

(the CC is for Al Goldstie... I mean Al Giorado.)

It's fine to express myself in words but what I would really cheer me up would be to see his dead cum-soaked face get torn apart by an elephant dick that's too big for his mouth. That would make me really happy. But it would go away far too soon. I know! Videotape it so I can see it happen over and over again in Slo-mo!!!!!!!!!!! Too bad he'd be dead and couldn't suffer the agony over and over again. I know!!! Keep him alive. Sew his face back together every time the elephant dick tears it apart. What a joyous sight that would be!!!!! It would make children laugh and sing and all the birds sing in harmony!



"Eminem, Che, Al… Stinky Machos"

I read the same stupid article. And I lost all respect for Giordano. I didn´t mention it to you, because you already seemed kind of crabbed out by the media. Yes he is an idiot with his babyish, "transgressive" spewing and his fetishism of the "authentic". Those types are always an inch away from authoritarian bully boys, because they wind up worshipping some stinky macho like Che, or, apparently, a half-wit psychopath like Eminem. None of his tenous posturing about Stonewall, etc., or his hybrid style of Rolling Stone journalism/ post-modern discourse can pretty up his absurd paeon to spoiled, suburban brattiness. It´s amazing that men still fear women so much, when it´s obvious to me that women are more or less already beaten down. He is a whining little baby, and I´m just sorry I had to look at the mess he made. Oh, of course, Eminem the force for social change. Moby does suck though.



Guerrilla News Produces

"White America" Video

Thanks for the essay, as usual hard hitting and to the point...

I wanted to make sure you knew about the Guerrilla News Network and the work they are doing for the White America video. I bet you already know about these guys but if not check them out at:

Keep up the good work, JJ

Publisher replies: Yes, thanks, and, "I Want My Guerrilla News!" Oh! I see they just published the essay that all these letters are about, too, calling it "the most eloquent treatise on the power of Slim Shady's message we have come across." Aw, shucks!:


"Have You Listened to His Music"

You've got to be kidding!

Have you listened to his music? The guy writes songs extolling the virtue of date-rape,gay-bashing and other hate crimes. He is a mysoginistic, homophobic hate mongerer of the worst sort.

If you have to pronounce a media figure as journalist of the year, why not Jello Biafra, Michael Moore, Rage Against the Machine, Ani Difranco or Utah Phillips? All of them would be much better choices than Eminem.

I have a great deal of respect for your reporting on the drug war in the Americas, and particularly for your coverage of the coup in Venezuela. Unfortunately, you really dropped the ball on this one.




Liberal Arts Education

Thank you, Al Giordano, for your illuminating discourse on pop's new bad boy. I must admit that, despite my best intentions (and probably due to my four-year stint at a liberal-arts college) I have been reluctant to scratch the surface of misogyny, homophobia, and violence which has been painted over the Eminem statue. Thanks to your essay, I feel emboldened to follow my initial instinct without shame: buy the records, see for yourself!

S.M. at ground zero


"Accurate and Insightful"


You're observations on Eminem were both accurate and insightful. You have put voice to how I've been feeling about this artist and album. I've tried to convince friends that Shady's one of the few authentic visionaries in music today, but they don't really see it. It's weird, because my white friends are the ones who tend to reject him... I feel like they must not be hearing the same thing I am.

Incidentally, some of your best remarks have to do with sickening self-righteousness of Moby and artists with the same confining mentality...

Since you came late to the Eminem bandwagon, make sure you go back and listen to his first two albums too -- in the order they came out. The three albums in chronological order really tell a fascinating story of both America and of Marshall Mathers.



Thanks from a Single Parent

Was referred to this article by my friend, a Drug War refugee…

This is absolutely the best review of an important album I've EVER read. Thanks, Al...

(38yr old single parent)

P.S.: All may not be thirteen year old learned about Ammonium's new album from ME.


Conspiracy Planet would

never print this shit!

I read your essay all the way through and after reading all of Eminem's lyrics I still don't understand how you think he is saving anyone. All he does is cuss a lot and talk about the things that go on in his life. Yes, perhaps a good portion of children go through the same thing and that's why their buying up his album. But the destructive part of his album is that it is all negative. Not one lyric supplies an antidote or way to look at things to make it better for you. It's just another "life is shit, and we're all in it together, doesn't that feel better, misery loves company" type of thing. Why doesn't he get braver and who cares if he cusses, just provide some real truth, like some of the articles on the Conspiracy Planet site. Expose some REAL truths that we don't already know about and that isn't textbook psychology. And in addition to that, why not be brave enough to provide some answers. It doesn't take much to talk about how "i get shit on and people can kiss my ass" ooooooooooooooooohhhhh soo brave!


Publisher's Note: Sorry to let you down, kind reader, but it appears we've all gone nuts together: Uri Dowbenko's "Conspiracy Planet" website ran with our Eminem Essay as its top story last week. See:

But we swear, we read Conspiracy Planet, like Narco News, just for the articles!


More CDs to Send Al

i don't blame you for being ignorant about hip-hop, but eminem's "response" to 9-11 is just self-serving drivel. i can also verify that most young people have not idea about the political context you claim eminem is writing from. its the same old corporate music crap: its just about partying and seeing how much you can cuss on the air. That shit is older than lenny bruce and abbie hoffman combined. Eminem may have an audience, but they aren't there to be informed -they are there to dance. And yeah MOby sucks too!

get with some real hip-hop that isn't so lame: the coup, dead prez, krs-one, etc.


Eminem Not a Journalist

No, M&M does not deserve an award. He did not do any reporting investigating hard facts. He made an emotional song which coincides with your views but is not journalism. Don't get too cocky, Al, there are many fine American Canadian Arab English journalist who are telling it like it is. Mass media doesn't publish them but minipress do and minorities read.



A Teen Idol Writes Narco News

Yeah, I've been really angry lately about how people are so afraid to criticize the government after 9/11. Totally stupid. Meanwhile, the poor get poorer, the middle-class gets more in debt and the rich skate through.

I think there will be a new anger in my music...

Kitty Kowalski

Publisher's Note: Wow, Kitty, you made me blush. Kind readers: I've had a wild thing for Kitty Kowalski ever since I saw her band play at CBGB's, this little hole-in-the-wall tavern back in the Old Country, some years ago… Authentic New Yorkers everywhere: Check out The Kowalksi's website, an authentic survival guide for post-apocalypse New York, at:



Where Can I See the

Cheney Electrocution?

Dear Mr. Giordano:

Thanks for article on Eminem. Although I have found his lyrics hard to take, I respect his balls-out approach and abhorrence of bullshit. Now his new album--wow, someone finally major in the media talking some truth! I'd like to see his video of the Cheney electrocution. Do you have a good source to see this videos online?



Publisher Answers: You can see all three videos from The Eminem Show, including the World Premier of "White America," produced by Guerrilla News, on the Rolling Stone website:


Misogyny and Unbridled Greed

While I acknowledge accept and understand your journalist of the year selection, I wonder at how your organization could ignore the less positive aspects of Mr. Mathers' "journalism". Yes, it is important to teach kids to see through the bullshit. Must misogyny and unbridled greed also be part of the package?



"Let the Truth Be Known!"

Dear Alberto Giordano,

Thank you for naming Marshall Mathers as Journalist-of-the-Year! I guess that I am still considered a young "American" and there are many of us out here (U.S.) who will not be sitting idly by too much longer; the "old" generation and their "old" ways of thinking are about to go extinct in the coming decade(s). Hopefully! The transfer of power to the younger generation is taking place, and corporations and the wealthy elite will no longer have their way without having to go through us!

May God bless organizations such as Narco News and the others who choose to let the truth be known!




"No Need to Dis' Techno"

Hey man, no need to dis' TECHNO just because MOBY is an idiot. From the beginning TECHNO and especially the closely related genre of HOUSE MUSIC (definitions provided upon request) have promoted urban counter-culture, gay pride, and social and emotional freedom in general (although avoiding most overt political content). These styles have exploded in a thousand different directions, MOBY represents just one of them. Although most of his stuff is a kind of watered down cross-over, a lot of if is actually very good, even though it seems that his commercial success has led him to buy into the standard neo-liberal booj-wa mentality

EMINEM is obviously a guy who knows what is what (and doesn't "just strut, what the fuck") and while he expresses the discontent that so many feel, he is hardly revolutionary, offering no solutions, no course of action, except getting really pissed, which may or may not be a good start. Sometimes I think that the shadowy evil forces behind the huge media and entertainment conglomerates let this kind of material get out on purpose (including movies like "fight club" and the "matrix") in order to help people to vent their frustrations, fantasize about fighting the power, feel better for a little while so then they can continue their wage slave consumerist existence because no one has offered them a real alternative. Most hip-hop artists on major labels (that is, the hip-hop artists most people will ever be exposed to) glamourize the "thug life" which means using violence and any and all means necessary to obtain big money and the luxuries it affords. Doesn't this seem like a good way to get a lot of "brotha's" locked up in the joint? Isn't that what the powers that be really want?

TECHNO and HOUSE on the other hand have remained largely un-promoted and un-scathed by big business, with the exception of commercial "dance music" FM radio stations that insist on playing the cheesiest bubble gum kiddie crap. I feel that the positive influence of HOUSE music is far more conducive to positive social change than other types of music that merely express wailing discontent. I mean if you feel good, but you see the world is fucked up, you may want to do something about it, or at the very least lead by example, however if you're just as fucked up as the world is, how can you ever expect to be able to do anything about it.

No offense, but as an expatriate you're not really in touch with goes on in this country, on street level and underground, and so I can see why these sweeping generalizations might seem attractive to you (HIP HOP is so great and TECHNO represents evil, or whatever you're secondary thesis is here...)

And while I appreciate the fact that unlike most media outlets, you are not using subliminal methods to instill emotional responses in you readers, disguised behind the reporter's stern and supposedly objective facade. You wear your emotions and biases your sleeve, out in the open for all to see.

While this is certainly a more honest approach, and I can appreciate that your style combines fact reporting and editorialism in the same article, I really think you ought to be more careful if you want to be taken seriously any more. I suggest you tone down the hype a little bit. Also I think you should adopt this general principal: any style of music can be good when it is really good (as in done well with talent and integrity)




Still More CDs to Send Al

I like Eminem's take on this album on being anti-Bush, but what about Public Enemy? They just released Revolverlution, their new album in July. They are the pioneers of controversy. They have a song on it called "Son of a Bush", which I like. And do you remember the rap band The Coup that got famous with their controversial album cover art with the WTC towers blowing up and one of them holding the detonator in wake of the 9/11 events. You didn't mention them in your article. Why aren't they more popular since they are controversial even more than Eminem, in my opinion.

And also Al Jourgensen and Paul Barker of Ministry have been preparing for years on this NWO agenda especially during the first Bush Administration.

I've been a Ministry fan as long as I can remember and they are more experienced in the political climate and I trust them more than any other artist out there, since their message comes across the way everything is unfolding today. Listen to their older albums "Land of Rape and Honey" "The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste" "Psalm 69". These albums were made to last. So for me it's cool that Eminem is on our side, but he's to simple for my taste to actually go out buy his album. I already have got my ammunition.



Light a Candle

Bravo to Eminem and Narconews!

Truly a lighted candle in journalistically darkened world.



Flak Jacket

I'm sure you'll get flak for naming Marshall Mathers journalist of the year. But you make the case to my satisfaction. Good going!



We Had White Trash Neighbors


Jim from Austin
(We Know the Bush League Well!)

Publisher Comments: Did you notice how C-Span, house organ for your former neighbors, tried to ban Eminem from using its monopoly video footage of the United States Congress in his tour video? Chalk up another victory against the media blockade by Mathers. Check this out:


Eminem Won't Solve the Problems

I must say that I was shocked by the language of the Eminem raps. So shocked and put-off that any possible message is entirely lost to me. I would not have known that there was a message (nor would I have listened to the lyrics) had you not pointed it out. Equally, of course, a fifty-four year-old parent is not the intended audience.

I am not sure that Eminem will solve the problems that exist in the U.S or elsewhere.


Eileen in Canada

Why Deny Osama?

Al, I've been grooving to 'cleaning out my' closet for a few weeks, so I liked your award to Eminem (must be the issues with my mother) but I'm a little confused with your anti Bin Laden sentiments: 'knife weilding Mafiosa'

For somebody that sees the corrupt america you deny Osama his form of retribution.

What's up with this (besides NY's your hometown)?



Eminem in Ecuador

Dear Al:

This is Lucia writing you from Ecuador, where I have been traveling for the past 10 weeks. I want to let you know that I really enjoyed the Eminem article, and feel that you have enlightened me as far as his value for a free thinking world. My son, who is 27 has been a fan of his, and I could not understand why--now I know. Even my 14 year old niece loves Eminem.

Here in Ecuador the economic situation is dire. People continue to earn in sucres (the old national monetary unit) but must spend in dollars. A papaya which used to cost dos mil sucres, now costs one U.S. dollar, the equivalent of 25 mil sucres. There was not enough education of the public prior to instituting the dollar as the national monetary unit. Most people in the countryside think one dollar is one sucre and do not deal with cents of a dollar in any manner.

The average wage is $120.00 per month. Imagine this for a family of four when a papaya, grown here, costs one dollar!

I see this country rapidly sliding into another crisis of gigantic proportions because of its loyalty to US ideas, and ideals. The IMF will not rescue this economy because it has so often been mishandled by corrupt politicians. The entire country is ruled by a few powerful families that control all industry. Multinationals have ripe ground here because there are no protections for national industries.

The education system here is set up to create non-thinking robots.

All pretty sad. And to think I have decided to return to live here as of October.

Best regards,



Still More CDs to Send to Al

Mr. Giordano,

First, I want to applaud you and the rest of Narco News for the incredible work you do. You offer important insights and information that can be received almost from nowhere else. I'm often used your work in papers and presentations for classes at my college.

Second, despite all that, I'm sorry, but I must take issue with your choosing of Marshall Mathers as Journalist-of-the-Year. I realize he was chosen in part for shock value, but I think some deeper research should have been done before "awarding" him. He may have some good lyrics, but he also has anti-gay lyrics and lyrics promoting violence against women.

I'm not one to make assumptions, but I'm sure if you sat him down and asked what he thought about the war on terror or the US government his answers would be both uninformed and adherent with the status quo.

I would suggest looking farther than the top ten to find worthwhile artists to commend. There are dozens of artists working a hell of a lot harder than eminem and with much less money that are truely committed to what they say in their songs. I would suggest Dead Prez, C Rayz Walz, Arrested Development, Spearhead, or The Welfare Poets if we're talking about hip hop. Other notable groups are Rage Against the Machine, Anti-Flag, Fugazi, Minor Threat, Inside Out, Boy Sets Fire, Snapcase and the list can continue.

I suppose my overall point is that I disagree with your choice. While he may say this democracy is a hypocrisy, what else he says shouldn't be promoted.

Thank you for your time and keep up the excellent work.



From the Belly of the Beast

You were in rare form with the Eminem piece. I've noticed that my kids turn off the radio when his songs come on (in order to protect my sensitive ears and feelings, they say--they like the music). I'm not clear whether my kids have paid as much attention to the lyrics as you have, but your reading of them is inspired. I imagine that at least some of your readers may wonder where you're coming from, but given how dismal U.S. domestic politics is these days, any sign of new, resisting energy would be wonderful. The day-by-day dribble of war-on-Iraq plans is infuriating, but the absence of any organized public outcry has left me feeling deeply depressed. I hate the idea that Bush has to do something as nuts as go to war with Iraq before any protests happen.

I hope you're right that Eminem's success is an augury of coming challenges to the status quo. Someone needs to start kicking some butt, and soon. Given how stressed out the whole planet is, there may be enough cracks for something new to slip through. I can't remember a time since Vietnam when there was such a fever-pitch, from the Mid-east to India/Pak to Columbia and Venezuela, and Argentina, and probably soon Brazil, and the U.S. economy slipping and sliding. Good time to be outside the USofA I think.


A Washington DC Insider


"Sign Me Up for

the Mailing List, Please!"

I just finished your incredibly long yet interesting remarks about The Eminem Show. Outstanding!

I don't have much to say other than that. I'm a 29 year old Anarchist/Libertarian kid who grew up being active in politics in DC until I figured it out. I've been a big fan of Em since his first album even though I generally never listened to that kind of stuff.

I'd just say that as much as you like The Eminem Show, it's not his best album. Wait'll you disect The Marshal Mathers LP. I'll be checkin back frequently to see your breakdown. He uses such great circular reasoning and addresses all of the media's criticisms of the album before it was even put out. It was my belief that every question Em answered after the Marshal Mathers LP came out could've been answered by quoting lyrics from the album. Pure genius.

Anyway, keep on keepin on. Like you said, there IS hope.


p.s. Sign me up for the mailing list please!


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