Archive for the 'Media' Category

You’ll Only Listen to What I Tell You and You’ll Like It

Source: slate.com Cartoonist: Stuart Carlson

 The media has complete control over a story, how much air time it should get, if that is any at all. The media decides whether something is newsworthy, even if that story is just a genocide. I understand priorities, I know it all and the problem in Darfur today is out-of-reach for most Americans. But think about it: why is it out of reach? The news networks and mainstream media decided to make it that way. Nobody can deny the power that the media holds when it comes to telling us what to talk about.

 But let’s not give the media all the credit.

Human Element: authority. Share your thoughts.

Why Saddam Hussein’s Hanging Is Not A Triumph

I believe a human is a human for the ability to analyze his own thoughts and morals, the rest might as well be beasts or worst yet, robots.

There may not be much to envy about Iraq these days, but the swiftness of Mr. Hussein’s punishment is admirable. Had he been in the American legal system, lawyers might have clogged that system for years, allowing him to die a natural death in prison. Instead, on Nov. 5, Mr. Hussein was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death. After the death order was signed, there was a 30-day window in which to carry out the execution. The Iraqis executed him within hours, and just a few days after his appeal was denied. (Cal Thomas of the Baltimore Times)

Immediacy. The man was executed “within hours.” So the moment they had their chance the mentally weak and impulsive men carried out revenge. They carried out the same kind of thought process as Saddam Hussein did. Were they really anymore morally stable than the man himself?

Then there is the pathetic cellphone video, that if you have ever seen YouTube, you know exactly what kind of fonies have been put out there. It must be the most searched video on the internet! As I have posted on the Fallout from video of Saddam Hussein’s execution (hanging), “He took out his cellphone and began videotaping death. That is unfortunate.”

How could it have come to this? Did U.S. officials know that the designated “executioners” would be the unwashed goons of Muqtada Sadr’s “Mahdi Army”—the same sort of thugs who killed Abdul Majid al-Khoei in Najaf just after the liberation and who indulge in extra-judicial murder of Iraqis every night and day? Did our envoys and representatives ask for any sort of assurances before turning over a prisoner who was being held under the Geneva Conventions? According to the New York Times, there do seem to have been a few insipid misgivings about the timing and the haste, but these appear to have been dissolved soon enough and replaced by a fatalistic passivity that amounts, in theory and practice, to acquiescence in a crude Shiite coup d’état. Thus, far from bringing anything like “closure,” the hanging ensures that the poison of Saddamism will stay in the Iraqi bloodstream, mingling with other related infections such as confessional fanaticism and the sort of video sadism that has until now been the prerogative of al-Qaida’s dehumanized ghouls. We have helped to officiate at a human sacrifice. For shame. (Christopher Hitchens of Slate Magazine)

First, being in the position that we are in with Iraq, there was an expected level of authority. Do people really understand that today, and probably for the next few generations, anything and everything that occurs in Iraq, is a reflection on the United States? Who was to oversee this mildly important event? To make sure that there are, as Hitchens puts it, “assurances?” “Well…uhh…you know, Fred was supposed to and uhh.” No. Stop. Let’s hear something from Mr. Bush.

“This is a disgusting tyrant who deserves… the ultimate justice,” he said in a US television interview.

His comments put the US sharply at odds with the United Nations and European allies who oppose the death penalty.


But the president said that he did not want a “kangaroo court”, and that only the Iraqi people should decide what punishment their former leader deserved.

(Bush Calls for Saddam Execution, BBC News)

I know that the Iraqi people did not “decide what punishment their former leader deserved” all by themselves. There was a hand played by the U.S. Point blank–duh. And I know that, but I would have hoped it were a different hand.

Cable News Networks Make Me Sick

I have a video clip attached here that brought me to my first real post. The clip is a little old(July!), I know. To add to the irony in that last statement though is this thought: news is a product. It is either hot and now or it’s about Jennifer Wilbanks (who’s she? well, exactly). Watch a little Lewis Black for now.

Yes, so in this case this clip will be “out-of-style” or outdated, yesterday’s news. That is a problem though. How is it that “news” is only news for a few days, it seems as if no actual events–you know, things that really happen to real people around the world–are intelligently discussed on cable. No, we somehow get a regurgitated statement from the cable news networks anytime something happens. Then as you saw in the clip, it needs to be billboarded across the screen, then there’s the ticker. It’s so tired, how can the audience not be offended by how dumbed down things are?

But the news networks they will argue, “We bring in guests…experts and discuss the issue to bring a balanced and informative viewpoint to our audiences.” No. This does not happen. I’m going to argue that news is a product: to be sold to the consumer in the most appealing and gaudiest way possible. Therefore the translation for how news networks run their shows turns into something like this:

“Well you see, we bring in two guests, one is a liberal and one is a conservative (so we can heat things up to see who is more conceited and willing to sell themselves by trying to talk louder than the other, rather than to speak in a calm and rational voice) and we discuss (which actually for me, the new anchor, means try to look like a hero in the midst of a ‘hot debate’ wooooowee) the issue (which really isn’t one) to bring a balanced (balancing my career and selling my personality not to mention that new book I just wrote) and informative (try to fit all this in a three minute and twenty-two second ‘discussion’ while mentioning at least two facts) viewpoint to our audiences (who I know are too dumb to know that I’m selling them my book…).”

What was this breaking news about again?

Disclaimer: There have been experts on some of these networks’ segments who are actually intelligent. I only have to feel sorry for them as they become part of the network’s parade. Hopefully they will be able to be better represented on a different type of programming in the near future.