Arbor Update

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Daily creates excretemeny; associates rapper Mike Jones with ape; etc.

13. January 2006 • David Boyle
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During the Ann Arbor blogger gathering at Leopold Brothers on Tuesday (which went very nicely), where I saw folks from AU, Ann Arbor Is Overrated, Michigan Review, etc., somebody mentioned that Rob Goodspeed on Goodspeed Update routinely criticized…the Michigan Daily.
You go Rob.
On that note: 1. Today’s Daily article on MTV’s “Made” has “...ostomies, new holes created in surgery for excretemeny.” —-What is “excretemeny”?? I tried Googling it: nada zip pow. Is it near Schenectady? Please, Daily, get help.
2. They also spelled Luke Massie as “Massey” several days ago, front page, repeatedly. It’s harder to criticize Massie’s uttering “Court order, shmourt order” when you can’t even get the speaker’s name right…
3. The 12/9/05 Daily (mislabeled as 12/8 by them online, I believe! my paper copy says 12/9) “Cuckoo for Calexico” has a photo with caption, “You pussy, just watch the TV. Bambi’s mother will be fine.” Without quipping that Daily Arts calling someone a p-ssy is like Hitler calling someone a Nazi, one still has to wonder. (Pussy as cat may be fine, but anything else…)
4. And last but hardly least: in the 12/13/05 Daily “‘King’ of the jungle”, there is a photo still from the new “King Kong” film, showing Kong shouting, “WHO? MIKE JONES!” ...Isn’t it kind of questionable to have a large ape using the lyrics of a black rapper, a little while after the Daily had pledged to be more racially sensitive? Is anyone proofreading, or running, the Daily? Hello?
(Cf. the recent Huffington Post news item about Wal-Mart shutting down its movie recommendation system after it linked a “Planet of the Apes” DVD to films about famous African Americans, including Martin Luther King Jr.)
In the future, I shan’t have time to follow all the Daily’s follies. Still, we all deserve better, whatever our racial or other background. And that’s no “excretemeny.”

  1. Or, rather, I MAY not have time to follow all the Daily’s follies. Don’t want them to think I’m going to be asleep, after all. Someone should keep an eye on these people, though. Sheesh. “Excretemeny.”
       —David Boyle    Jan. 13 '06 - 03:14AM    #
  2. “Without quipping that Daily Arts calling someone a p-ssy is like Hitler calling someone a Nazi…”

    “George W. Pussy is your name.
    Cat in the dunce hat you’re the one to blame.”, from ‘George W. Pussy’

    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Jan. 13 '06 - 03:17PM    #
  3. The video for “George W. Pussy” is pretty awesome too. It’s like watching the bastard offspring of Weird Al Yankovic and Alanis Morissette do a klutzy version of “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” Except that it’s to an M.C. Hammer groove, and the lyrics are doggerel.
       —Parking Structure Dude!    Jan. 13 '06 - 05:29PM    #
  4. Ahem. Maybe to be balanced we should mention the Daily’s coverage of local activists/bloggers or today’s nice preview of tonight’s Hard Lessons show at The Halfass ?
       —Brandon    Jan. 13 '06 - 09:22PM    #
  5. David:

    All told, your post notes the following errors:
    1) A typo.
    2) A copy editing error
    3) A joke which you took offense to. (Something which occurs with some regularity. I’m with Ari here: “We’ll send your punk pussy-ass back to Crawford; We ain’t give you no mo pussy time;To commit yo pussy crimes.”)
    4) An instance in which a black rapper’s lyrics were used in conjuction with a King Kong movie review.

    Like you, David, I read and can appreciate a good newspaper. I fail to understand, however, what drives you onward in this relentless post-graduation campaign to improve the Michigan Daily.

    Whatever the reason, please believe me now: Chronicling the pedestrian mistakes of a student-run publication is neither impressive, nor is it particularly constructive. Holding the paper accountable is one thing. The zealous, relentless reporting of every error – every typo, spelling error, insensitive joke, racial reference, racial gaffe, etc – is another. It may seem like a useful exercise. I assure you it is not. It looks petty. It looks ruthless. Most of all: Past a certain point (A point which you’ve crossed a long time ago) you cease to be someone that I or anyone else would take seriously on the matter.

    If you insist on stretching this fight of yours well into middle age, then at the very least do it humbly. If you are in fact simply just a concerned reader, I see no need for you to high five Rob Goodspeed, whose own crusade against the Michigan Daily was laced with the same petty, petulant character that stains your commentary.

    I understand that you are concerned with the quality of the Michigan Daily. As it happens, the editors of the Michigan Daily share your concern. As such, they’ve provided you with a means of contacting them to point out errors of fact and/or grammar. It’s called a letter to the editor – something which, having worked at the Daily, I know for a fact that you are aware of and comfortable with.
       —Daniel Adams    Jan. 13 '06 - 10:53PM    #
  6. In order:

    1. Like I said, Ari, pussy as cat is fine.—How’re your own porn journal articles going? (heh)

    2. Thanks for the fan stuff Parking S. Dude. I enjoyed the Village Voice and Boston Phoenix mentions too.
    (Is mainly a RICK JAMES groove, by the way)

    3. Everyone likes “Hard Lessons”. and even some Daily coverage of Arb Up. But one doesn’t want to give the D the impression that if they give AU some props, they then will then be IMMUNE from scrutiny a-la “you scratch my backee, I scratch your backee”...
    And I have said nice things about the MD, e.g. my post on the Daily Arts article on the “John Lennon drawings” visit.

    4. Oh Dan. Having spoken to a racial-minority Daily staffer recently, one who was disgusted with the “WHO? MIKE JONES!” racially insensitive cartoon, I think it is good to know and admit just how badly the Daily screws up, and how many people it carelessly offends. (You think Wal-Mart should have left their “Planet of the Apes” link up?) The person-of-color Daily staffer (name withheld) certainly “took me seriously”, so you are obliged to as well, I ween…unless you want to go lecture people of color that “they should just suck it up” or something. Do you care to try that? Let me know the results, in exciting and copious detail.

    Too, your slagging yours truly AND Rob Goodspeed itself sounds almost a little “petty, petulant…stain[ed]” itself, one could say. (Although, as I noted, I have only so much time to cover the Daily, and this particular “series” of mine is over, by the way…so I’m not “relentless”! I do cover many manymany other topics.)

    Finally: letter to the editor? I must now put my criticisms in the hands of those I am criticizing?—Hey! Maybe I can put up a blog post instead! I’ll try that some time!!!!!!!

    I wish you peace, for MLK Day—as long as you avoid racism and excretemeny!!!
       —David Boyle    Jan. 13 '06 - 11:32PM    #
  7. I’m starting to actually doubt these unamed daily sources you have. I can’t imagine anyone willingly talking to you, especially about something they work hard on and you complain so much about.
       —Mike    Jan. 14 '06 - 02:26AM    #
  8. There was only one source, for this one. If someone wants to go unnamed, I can see why they might talk to me.
    You can love an organization you work hard for, and you might even SHOW that love by criticizing parts of it which need to be improved.

    ...And when are we getting an African American or Latina/o/ or Native American or Arab American editor in chief of the Daily, by the way? Shouldn’t it happen a little more often? Or would you oppose that?
       —David Boyle    Jan. 14 '06 - 02:57AM    #
  9. David,

    Here’s a newsflash from the real world – outside of former or current staff at the Daily and a few activists who wait for opportunities for the Daily to serve as a foil for their latest cause NO ONE cares what the Daily has to say.

    You really have embraced a sisyphusian task if you think that you can “reform” the Daily. You can’t reform a paper that has no permanent staff or institutional history. You have more continuity on a high school paper than you do the Daily because a high school paper likely is overseen by a teacher who’s around for more than a couple of years. Can you say the same about the Daily?
       —John Q.    Jan. 14 '06 - 04:56AM    #
  10. who da fuck is “sisyphus”? Any relation to the guy Camus wrote about?

    or was there a merge into sissypuss?
       —Chub    Jan. 14 '06 - 07:16AM    #
  11. I belive the current Editor in chief is half hispanic if that counts.
       —Tom    Jan. 14 '06 - 04:36PM    #
  12. 1. You may be right. Still, some reform may be possible…

    2. Heh

    3. Thanks Tom! Didn’t know that, though would like to hear more confirmation on it.
       —David Boyle    Jan. 14 '06 - 05:20PM    #
  13. My blog is practically dedicated to tediously ripping apart every lie and distortion made by the Michigan Daily.

    It concerns gross omissions in essential content more than minor errors, but I try to catch every lie and make note of it.

    Example of the sin of omission I’m talking about:

    Daily articles on Coca Cola: 83

    Daily articles on impeaching Bush for countless acts of treason, corruption, war crimes: none (6 search results for “impeach”: 3 jeering the protests, 3 for unrelated matters)
       —Adam de Angeli    Jan. 14 '06 - 08:15PM    #
  14. The Daily provides a perfect example of why people need to be getting their news from the blogs instead of the Daily. says it perfectly:

    “With dignity and fairness we wrote and spoke to expose the crimes taking place during the 2000 election. We wrote and spoke with dignity about the distortions and exaggerations that the media put forth related to Al Gore. We wrote with dignity as the media ignored the disturbing questions and lack of intellect of the media creation called George W. Bush. We wrote with dignity as the media created a candidate out of nothing while ignoring his handlers who would soon run our country. Our dignified writings were ignored.

    “With dignity and fairness we wrote about Dick Cheney’s secret energy meetings and his disturbing tendencies to increase executive privilege, increase government secrecy and eliminate accountability in essence pushing our government towards a dictatorship. We wrote with dignity as we used common sense to point out that the very contents of Mr. shred the Constitution Cheney’s meeting notes would indicate that the administration had plans to invade Iraq and Afghanistan prior to 9/11 which would show, in a court of law, MOTIVE for permitting the events of 9/11 to take place for they would never have had the opportunity to achieve their intended goals without that event. We were ignored.

    “With dignity we wrote about the events of 9/11. We wrote the words of the whistle blowers. We did our own investigations, held formal hearings and we exposed the complicity of the Bush administration in the events of 9/11. We wrote with dignity until our fingers hurt. We spoke with dignity until our voices gave out. We filmed documentaries until we ran out of film. We were ignored.

    “The 5 years of the Bush administration has devastated this nation and the world. Everything that is American is being destroyed while the media continue to sell catch phrases and concepts to public like “democracy” and “security”; empty words that in most cases have described the opposite of what is actually taking pace.

    “We now have an election system that can not be verified. This system is run and controlled by the people who are in office. This is outrageous. This is the stuff that ignites revolutions! Where are all the revolutionaries? Where is the outrage? Where is the anger?

    “We have a government made up of members of a group called the Project for a New American Century (PNAC). The most elementary investigation into this group would raise suspicions about virtually everything that has taken place under the Bush administration yet not a word of this group has been uttered with the exception of a single Nightline episode. The chairman of this group, William Kristol, is a journalist who is a regular contributor to FOX News. When FOX News credits this person, they NEVER MENTION HIS ASSOCIATION WITH PNAC!!! He is a virtual member of and policy maker for the administration yet FOX News presents him as a fair and balanced neutral voice of a journalist. This makes Jeff Gannon look like Edward R. Murrow! We have a group of radical lunatics with goals of American primacy and empire, who openly state that their radical goals would not be accepted without some sort of catastrophic and catalyzing event like a new Pearl Harbor. Then these same people are in charge of protecting us from such an event when one just happens to occur and nobody in the media thinks that this is worth checking in to? If your local police chief had spoken publicly about the fact that he can get more funding for his department if there was a child molestation problem, and then suddenly there was a rash of child molestations where there had NEVER been any before, would you suspect something here? Would a JOURNALIST follow this lead?

    “That’s a key indicator … no leads have been followed. So WE follow them. We write bout them with dignity. We are ignored.

    “From the environmental terrorism being conducted by the Bush administration that in itself will kill more people than all terrorist combined have and will be able to kill, to the complete and utter destruction of the political process that at least on paper protected the American people’s freedoms and democracy itself, issues like these go unmentioned by the media.”

    And the Daily’s coverage of the real news that matters is basically non-existant.

    People only read the Daily at all for its coverage of campus politics. And even that is misleading at best.
       —Adam de Angeli    Jan. 14 '06 - 08:39PM    #
  15. Enjoyed reading your blog Adam, many interesting things on it.
       —David Boyle    Jan. 14 '06 - 09:19PM    #
  16. The Daily is a campus paper. It does a pretty good job covering the issues on this campus and the surrounding town.

    As for blogs versus print media, I promise that I will never mention anything Bush does on my blog unless it relates to Ann Arbor.
       —ann arbor is overrated    Jan. 14 '06 - 09:37PM    #
  17. Blogging is a time-consuming task. I’m surprised you would dedicate yourself to it but refuse to address Bush. His policies affect Ann Arbor and everywhere else. Since the craven presstitutes won’t do it, it’s the bloggers’ duty to get out the truth.

    As one blogger notes, “The petropsychos in Washington have lied about the 2000 election,
    lied about 9/11 (and completely thwarted any investigation), lied about the anthrax attacks, lied about the invasion of Afghanistan, and now are lying about the invasion of Iraq. In all of these cruel charades, they have been backed to the hilt by a totally prostituted American media
    propaganda corps, who are themselves eligible for war crimes charges by their dishonest complicity in this corporate conspiracy against the poor
    people of the world.”

    Seems like something worth writing about, even if your blog is primarily concerned with something else.

    But that’s just me.
       —Adam de Angeli    Jan. 14 '06 - 09:57PM    #
  18. Ann Arborites could stand to get their own house in order before taking on the Bush administration.
       —Dale    Jan. 14 '06 - 10:41PM    #
  19. Problem with commenting on Bush is that it’s a double-edged sword. The daily gets attacked when they criticize him bc they’re “extremely liberal” and just a bunch of college students who don’t know anything rather than national experts or they’re avoiding the issue you’ve been saying.
       —Tom    Jan. 15 '06 - 12:01AM    #
  20. The Daily will be attacked regardless of what it publishes. The question is what sort of pressure it buckles to and what sort of pressure it ignores. It’s chosen the wrong side.

    Moreover, there are many conservative values that the Daily COULD support, that need support, without condoning the Bush junta’s unholy agenda.

    For example, there is the Second Amendment, which liberals aren’t the least bit concerned about. Then there is the federalization/militarization of police which only the conservatives and independents seem concerned about. And indeed, it’s the most anti-conservative, liberal belief that the concentration of power in the hands of a powerful federal government makes sense. But that’s what Bush is doing.

    Then there are totally non-partisan issues that would interest conservatives and liberals alike. Like the depleted uranium poisoning our troops, the trillions of dollars worth of weapons that the Pentagon is unable to account for, fluoridation of our country’s water supply, or perhaps the biggest scandal of all, the Federal Reserve banks owning our entire country’s financial system.

    No publication can compromise the truth for the sake of balancing itself along opposing sides when one side is clearly right and the other is clearly wrong. In this case the sides are not left-wing/right-wing; they are pro-war, pro-lie/anti-war, anti-lie.

    And what proves it are the number of very intelligent and helpful contributions of conservatives who see the Bush regime for what it is. Mike Rivero of (my all-time favorite blog) happens to be conservative; so is Alex Jones. But unlike other conservatives, those two don’t have their heads in the sand to the crimes of their assumed “leaders.”

    It’s not left-versus-right. It’s truth and justice against liars and murderers. True American patriots versus neo-globalist traitors.

    And as to the excuse that they are only college students: Just because they are college students doesn’t mean they don’t know anything. Many of us here at this site are not much older than college age, if that.

    I’ve met a great many high-school students at the shop with a much better understanding of world events than even some U-M professors. Hell, the best 9/11 documentary ever made (Loose Change 2nd ed.) was written and directed by a college student.

    The facts surrounding the Bush regime’s crimes (and those of its backers) have been plainly exposed for all the world to see (thanks to the blogs, no thanks to the mainstream media) and once someone realizes this they catch on fast.

    The Daily has no excuse for not bringing people the truth, except perhaps ignorance. But I don’t think that excuse is valid at all. Our country is being taken over by ruthless, cold-blooded, would-be dictatorship (“This would be a lot easier if it were a dictatorship, just so long as I’m the dictator”—Dubya) and the media is behind that one hundred percent.

    That the Daily plays its servile role to the campus establishment is inexcusable. If the paper ever gets with the program and begins telling it like it is, then I’ll be happy to stop hounding them.
    (see also:
       —Adam    Jan. 15 '06 - 01:18AM    #
  21. David:

    You’ve spoken to a “racial-minority” staffer at the Daily who agrees with you? Hell David, I agree with you. The Daily is full of errors. The Daily has staffing issues which contribute to a host of institutionalized problems. Checking my notes, I’ve said nothing thus far that should have given you the impression that think that the Daily is even close to a perfect newspaper.

    I don’t bring up Goodspeed to “slag” on him – merely to point out a similarity in the criticism. At least with Goodspeed, however, I knew what axe he was grinding; his insight would have been a hell of a lot more credible had he not been summarily dismissed from the paper.

    You may post on other topics, but you can hardly fault me for labeling your focus on this issue as “relentless.” How else would you have me label an effort which, to my knowledge, has stretched over the better part of four years and has included dozens of letters to the editor and numerous weblog entries? Relentless? How about odd? Tiresome?

    I’m not saying that anyone at the Daily should have to “suck it up.” My point, in case you’ve missed it, is to back off – that is, unless you’re just trying to point out that the Daily makes mistakes. If so, congrats. You had me at hello.

    However, if you’re arguing that the Daily’s efforts at reform are insufficent, then you’re going to have to work harder. There are serious people at the Daily (The editor-in-chief among them) who have, over the past year, expressed a sincere desire to work on some of the racial and quality issues that you’re complaining about. The sincerity of these efforts is not, in my mind, cast into doubt by a few typos, some rap lyrics and a poor cartoon.

    Moreover, you’ll have to excuse me if I find your continued use of such evidence to attack a college newspaper more than a little inappropriate.
       —Daniel Adams    Jan. 15 '06 - 03:39AM    #
  22. Oh relentless Dan Adams.

    Have you noticed the other criticisms of the Daily on this thread which are not by me; or not really? Hm?

    How about the African-American students who complained about the Daily at the last Regents’ meeting? Were they hallucinating? You are painting yourself into a corner if you make yourself believe this.

    Moreover, I’ve already said that this post is pretty much the last in a series. Do you actually read what I say?

    “Odd” and “tiresome” could describe papers that refuse to improve, and keep on printing racially and otherwise offensive material. The same adjectives could describe those papers’ relentless defenders, of course.

    And “My point, in case you’ve missed it, is to back off …” What the foo? Are you waving a tire iron around in one hand while you blog with the other?

    Take your chill pill, Bill. Don’t get ill.
       —David Boyle    Jan. 15 '06 - 04:29AM    #
  23. I see a lot of posts on Adam’s blog about the Daily but not Bush. I guess Bush isn’t such a problem then if Adam can’t find more time to blog about him.

    Appparently though the Daily is in a “servile to role to the campus establishment”. What campus establishment? Who represents that?
       —Adam is obsessed    Jan. 15 '06 - 05:59AM    #
  24. Bush is well-covered elsewhere in the blogosphere. The purpose of the blog is to monitor the local media as is stated upfront.

    Quoting a misquote: ‘Appparently though the Daily is in a “servile to [sic] role to the campus establishment”. What campus establishment? Who represents that?’

    The myriad interests of the university and all of its communities are too much to possibly unravel. Business interests, government interests, political interests, partisan interests, etc. A few organizations are worth mentioning: the Michigamua chooses a member of the Daily staff almost every year (I believe Colin Daly made it this year, last year was Sam Woll), and of course there is always the Democrats and the Zionists (editor-in-chief Jason Pesick is both).

    But those groups hardly dictate what will and won’t be printed in the Daily. Ultimately, the establishment is the status quo itself, which is handed down to the Daily from the mainstream media.

    Here’s one basic status-quo lie you see everywhere in the media: Iran is a nuclear threat. This same lie was told about Saddam, and now over 2000 troops and tens of thousands of Iraqis (hundreds, by some estimates) are dead. And Iraq is a depleted-uranium infested nuclear wasteland.

    When I see it reported as NEWS (not “opinion”) that our government lied to start a war, perhaps I will back off a bit. Until then I will continue to note the Daily’s distortions and omissions.

    And on a final note, I am not obsessed, I am compelled. Believe me I do not enjoy spending my time sitting at my computer debating this B.S. I studied computer science, wrote music for fun, and started a business as a personal ambition. At no point did I ever want to be a reporter, writer, or what have you. I hate politics and I really don’t enjoy reading the Michigan Daily at all. But the situation our country finds itself in forces me speak out.

    When leaders act contrary to conscience, we must act contrary to leaders. ~Veterans Fast for Life
       —Adam    Jan. 15 '06 - 07:37PM    #
  25. I knew the Zionists were behind this somehow.
       —ann arbor is overrated    Jan. 15 '06 - 08:30PM    #
  26. But please don’t start a “Mount Zion Is Overrated” blog. That would be just too much.
       —David Boyle    Jan. 15 '06 - 08:39PM    #
  27. I thought about commenting when I first saw this, but didn’t. Now, after reading all the posts, my thoughts are basically the same;

    The daily sucks, we all know it. Even those who work/worked at the daily know it, many of them will admit it. We all love it, anyhow. Those of us who critisize it do so in hopes it will get better, though I don’t know what the chances of that are.
       —Just a Voice    Jan. 15 '06 - 09:36PM    #
  28. Nobody cares about this thread.
       —Brandon    Jan. 16 '06 - 01:57AM    #
  29. So here is Adam’s analysis.
    1. Iran is not a nuclear threat because Iraq wasn’t.
    2. Iran being a nuclear threat is a lie and this lie is re-inforced by Associated Press articles that the Daily prints.
    3. This is all because of the Zionists.
    4. He is going to change the world by scolding The Michigan Daily.

    Also, just as Adam does not write about Bush on his blog because everyone else writes about Bush, one can surmise that the Daily would not write about Bush since there are so many other media outlets that have the resources to cover national affairs on a regular basis.
       —adam is obsessed    Jan. 16 '06 - 06:32AM    #
  30. No, I don’t love the Daily.

    Perhaps I’m not the most objective about this. But in the fall of 2004, when thousands of their readers were going to the polls to choose candidates in (among other things) contested races for Washtenaw County offices, the Daily refused to devote even a single line of coverage.

    By doing so, they dealt a body blow to the whole idea of UM students participating in local elections, and having some say over issues that affect them. By failing their readership in this way, they helped buttress the argument that student voters are ignorant and don’t deserve any voice.

    I know the Daily has no continuity or institutional memory, and the editors who made that decision are gone by now, but still, I find it difficult to take the Daily seriously as “journalism”.
       —Larry Kestenbaum    Jan. 16 '06 - 07:36PM    #
  31. Yup, the Daily sure can be bad. However, have you guys ever read other student newspapers? a lot of them make the Daily look downright amazing by comparison. Go find a copy of Wayne State’s South End, or MSU’s student paper. Worse, far worse, than the Daily.
       —bates    Jan. 16 '06 - 11:39PM    #
  32. Nope, I grew up with the MSU State News. Yes, people there all complain about it, and I certainly thought it was pretty bad. But it positively shines in comparison to the Michigan Daily.

    Admittedly, you have to take into account that (1) the State News serves a much bigger student body than the Daily, and (2) the State News has a journalism school behind it, and is generally a much larger and more complete paper than the Daily.

    [Yes, even though UM’s student body in Flint and Dearborn and Ann Arbor all together probably outnumbers MSU in East Lansing, there are a lot more students in East Lansing than in Ann Arbor.]

    The worst student daily paper I have ever seen was the South End at Wayne State University (Detroit) in 1979-82. Yeah, the Daily is a lot better than that.
       —Larry Kestenbaum    Jan. 17 '06 - 03:52AM    #
  33. Not to try to resurrect a dead thread, but since someone made a four-point analysis of my views (comment 29):

    1) No, but the inflated claims of the threat are similar. Iran is not a nuclear threat because even if it had nuclear weapons using them would be national suicide.

    2) Iran being a nuclear threat is not necessarily a lie but it is a misconception and the Daily should do better to not choose opinions disguised by the statements of leaders (“so-and-so said Iran is a nuclear threat”) as news. In particular the Daily recently ran an AP story where the U.N. statement issued by El Baradei was obviously taken out of context, see

    3) No, it’s because of war profiteers, but Zionism has an important role in that. Who benefits from a U.S./Iran war?

    4) In some tiny way.
       —Adam de Angeli    Feb. 7 '06 - 11:28AM    #
  34. is this about mike jone

       —mack cameron    Oct. 16 '07 - 04:27AM    #