Analysis of media issues, politics and current events.
More and more businesses are taking too much advantage of internships. Mutating this concept by having interns now doing jobs the organization: 1) can’t do but is critical to operations 2) doesn’t want to pay a lot for 3) and have the ability to quickly eject them after the work skills they valued are no longer needed.
Stephen Colbert: “…you do not owe the previous generation anything. Thanks to us, you owe it to the Chinese.” Watch and hear this and more during Steven Colbert’s commencement speech to UVA. Brilliantly witty.
The revelation that IRS agents decidedly singled out and scrutinized Tea Party groups is just beginning. Oh, not because it’s really a scandal. As the initial outrage and eye-catching headlines subside, we see that no real damage has been done nor a true crime has been committed.
According the reports, in the wake of groups like Karl Rove’s Crossroads USA and other groups signing up as 501©4 Social Welfare Organizations, but not acting like groups who are allowed tax exempt status by agreeing to educate on issues only, Tea Party groups were asked more questions than normal and, yes, asked to jump through more hoops to win tax-exempt verification.
These Tea Party groups, arose in opposition to big government, Democrats and President Obama. And congressmen sit in office with Tea Party as their political affiliation. Even as those the names and positions on issues may convey a whiff of partisanship, no one is reporting, nor is the Tea Party groups claiming that they were not eventually approved for educational tax status.
Fact. There was an attempt to discourage possibly politically biased groups from applying for and benefiting from the tax-exempt status of an educational group. Which they got from the same IRS. With no clear damage, the scandal is small. However martyrs and symbols become the greatest of threats from the magnification of their deeds and actions.
Especially in this political environment, where a ban on soda is now the last step before Marxism, people will rush, as they already are, to grab the mantle of persecution and victimization and make themselves martyrs and symbols of tyranny and oppression. Even though they got what they wanted. Tax exempt status.
Also fact. There’s a tinge of unfairness in this IRS matter. Harassment. But it’s not Watergate. And just as how the Voter ID attempts mobilized and actually turned out Hispanics and blacks to the voting polls as protest, the IRS bias on Tea Party groups will undoubtedly motivate conservative/conspiratorial bases who will mobilize and respond as if under attack by the government. Like Obama taking guns, setting up death panels, and launch socialism. Not that is has happened. But there’s a possibility it could happen. The fear of the possibility is a stronger motivator than it actually happening.
Also, reminiscent of the Travelgate to Hairgate to Whitewater to Monica Lewinsky, The GOP has been a party that’s been looking for a scandal to affix the he president. Something to tell the public that the Obama Administration is corrupt and unworthy of the public’s vote to put him in office. Pumping up mistakes and bad judgments as scandals and conspiracies (Solyndra, Benghazi, Fast & Furious) Each “scandal” merely a place marker waiting for finally a scandal that has true hints of government abuse of power.
In that respect, for conservatives and Tea Party members, it’s Christmas day. Provided you’re so desperate your willing to accept a Bic pen for a Christmas present. It’s not a big scandal, but in political terms, it a small scandal that could resonate as there is a small angle of truth to it (Finally a small angle of truth they might be saying subconsciously). The government leaned in on a specific named group. Can’t be disputed. But the most exciting part of this light scandal is that it’s given them a government boogeyman to scare conservatives and some moderate voters that comes straight out of central casting…
1. A government agency whose service is taking your money.
2. A government agency powerful enough to put people in jail (Al Capone, Wesley Snipes)
3. A government agency where one word can put fear in your heart (audit).
And like the boogeyman, parents use to scare their children to sleep, the IRS’s partisan use of power will be used to scare mostly conservatives into line and give every unfounded fear they had about the Obama Administration a place (granted a small one) to hang conspiratorial ideas on. This is a group that didn’t believe birth certificates, so something that has some truth will feed radio host’s victimization and tyranny claims for the rest of the presidential term.
As much as Facebook loves to share, it also loves to change your privacy settings (usually lowering them) under the banner of upgrades. This video by ExtremelyDecentFilms captures this frustration so well.
With no exaggeration, I’ve heard this phrase, “Your boy Obama” thrown in my direction at least 20 times by more than half as many people. To use it in a sentence, it’s delivered like “Your boy Obama did (whatever ticked them off).”
Though most are guessing because I’m black, Yes, I did vote for him. But the “your” in “your boy Obama” isn’t the problem. It’s “boy.”
In my years of being able to vote, I’ve never heard someone come up to me and say “Your boy Clinton” or “Your boy Bush” or “Your boy Reagan?” Granted, they may have put some other colorful words ahead of whatever president’s name (F*&kin Reagan) held the office, but never words that reveal of such a strain of non-policy related superiority or contempt as some of President Obama’s critics.
Is “Your boy Obama” racist? Nothing’s absolute. But most of the time, yes. It’s just racism that isn’t evident to (mostly white) people in real time in the same way saying, “Fag” wasn’t evident just ten years ago. “Your Boy Obama,” in about 20 years, it will be also evident. And by that time, no one will remember or claim they ever said it.
It’s been carried forward subconsciously by some whites and it is a sensitive issue among African-American for a mutual reason: the phrase is a fight about status.
When a grown adult is speaking to another grown adult, “boy” is one of those words black people have heard come across the lips of cops and ordinary citizens as far back as slavery and far after the age of segregation. Make no mistake, it’s never meant as a term of endearment, but a communication of status. A word attached to a statement to let the recipient, usually black, understand the desired structure of power. A structure where I, the true and full status person am addressing you, a black person, as a child-like, undeveloped person. With the entitled sense that I have some level of managerial or ward responsibility over you.
Some might say there are positive versions of “boy” Yes, there are. But unlike the positive and embraceing version of “My boy Bob” Or “That’s my boy”, “Your boy Obama” sayers add clear hints of sarcasm and condescension to the phrase.
With the exception of Sheriff Andy Taylor to Opie and the stereotypical racist law enforcement officials in some b movie, I hadn’t heard the term in a negative way in quite a while. But somehow, a black president has seemed to have made it somewhat popular again. As this phrase is coming from people I know and are generally good at heart, I will buy its use subconscious, but I find it hard to believe it’s an accident.
Racist? Yes. But it’s not one of those words you do battle over or have protests over. Instead, you watch it slowly die, in the same way I’m sure women had to roll their eyes a few times for the men who kept calling them “broads.” I look at the cartoons I posted with this blog post. Each clearly sexist…viewed with 21st century eyes. In their day, considered funny, cool and socially acceptable.
Today they’re more ironic comedy than offensive because the laughs come from the understanding of just how offensive they are and how they could never be accepted now.
“Fag” is way down that track. Due to GOP population shock “Illegals” on the express track. And just leaving racist junction, bound for obscurity, “Your boy Obama.”
In a comment about NBA player Jason Collins disclosing that he’s gay, former NFL player Hines Ward said that he thinks many of his NFL colleagues would find an openly gay football player too much to handle.
“I don’t think football is ready, there’s too many guys in the locker room and, you know, guys play around too much,” Ward said.
I understand that Ward is giving his analysis of the NFL players’ reaction to the issue, but if his assessment is right, I have two questions”
1) This is the NFL right? Not the dating game?
2) And isn’t it full of men that run and grab other men’s body parts every 30 seconds? What? Are you folks worried there is a guy willing to touch another man without getting paid for it?
Joking aside. To the football players who “are not ready” for an openly gay player: you’re in sport where you are expected to be prepared for things. If you are slow on a game play, you can’t call to the ref “Wait, I wasn’t ready.” You deal with the facts on the ground and move on to the next play. That’s what being a football player, or any sport professional, is all about.
The reason we admire sports professionals is their ability to both seize their ability and seize the moment of opportunity. From a sneak pass to a fumble to a player that’s just too fast to defend, players must deal with what in front of them and adapt. We don’t expect professional players who face challenges to just stop and say “Whoa, whoa.” And someday soon, that challenge could be an openly gay player in front of them.
Plus even beyond sports, “not ready” is the age-old cry of groups who eventually know they’ll have to give up a system of social preferences or benefits that they’ve unequally benefited from. For the NFL, that benefit has been an all-male environment with a socially enforced heterosexual-only facade.” When Ward talks about men worried about not having the freedom to be playful in the locker room, that’s what he’s getting at. That NFL players can horse around in a room safe from the idea that another man could be deriving some sexual pleasure from that.
First of all, get over yourselves. And, of course, that fear you’re describing (being leered at) never happens to women, except by men everywhere. It’s an industry enabled social privilege many of these men don’t want to just surrender. And the the excuse of not being ready is used prolong it. In an example where race and sports meet on this same issue, just listen to color-barrier-breaking baseball player Jackie Robinson.
An April 14, 1957 a Meet the Press clip showed the press asking Jackie Robinson, to comment on the “impatience” of blacks for civil rights –especially when some in society where not ready for such a change, Jackie Robinson replied to the show’s host:
“When they say that the NAACP is moving too fast – you know, I heard that, Mr. Spivak, when I was out in Pasadena, California, trying to get into the YMCA: Take your time. Be patient. Patience is fine. I think if we go back and check our record, the Negro has proven beyond a doubt that we have been more than patient in seeking our rights as American citizens. “Be patient,” I was told as a kid. I keep hearing that today, “Let’s be patient; let’s take our time; things will come.” It seems to me, the Civil War has been over about 93 years; if that isn’t patience, I don’t know what is.”
Media, you already have a successful template for covering the intersection of Islam,terror and violence like that of the Boston bombings. Right now, you only use for just one religion.
It’s the template the media uses for coverage of Christianity related violence and extremism.
When it comes to radical groups within Christianity, such groups are treated as a gross abnormality – a faction earning condemnation and rebuke without blaming or belittling the faith ad hominem or trying to destroy the entire religion as a gross abnormality. Why shouldn’t the same template should be used when Islam and violence or extremism mix?
But it isn’t. Yet we should. Because in terms of radicals’ relationship to their religion, Al Qaeda is to Islam as the Klu Klux Klan is to Christianity.
What I mean by that is the relationship between both radical forms of Islam promoted by groups like Al Qaeda to the religion of Islam or the Klu Klux Klan or the Christian Identity movement to the Christian religion are both the same, in relationship, as a cancer is to its host body.
The model of cancer works because like radical religion, the abnormal, radical growth called cancer has the genetic make up of the host. Still, you don’t call a cancer “Bob” because we know it’s just a part of Bob’s body. An abnormal part. In the same manner, you can’t define Islam or Christianity by their deadly and cancerous radical abnormalities. And doing so greatly cloud the diagnosis of religious radicalism and its prevention.
Like Islam, Christianity has has a history of violence attached to it’s name (like the Crusades, the Inquisition) for centuries. But let’s work with those abnormalities in the present. The Klu Klux Klan, a radicalized splinter group is Christian, white and is willing to terrorize and sometimes kill non-Christian, non-whites. This group is clearly on record killing American citizens for close to 100 years including a bombing in a Mississippi church. There are hundreds of thousands of members of armed white Christian groups (Aryan Nation, Church of Jesus Christ-Christian, the Christian Identity movement) looking for opportunities to “purge” America of other Americans and topple ZOG (Zionist Occupational Government).
Yet, despite all of this, America doesn’t freak out. And most of us would never say (and rightly so) that Christianity is all about killing, violence, terror and hatred. And even with the violence of this smaller Christian group, this country would never speak the words,” Let’s execute a surveillance program to monitor all Christians.” Nor do we see the Westboro Baptist Church offensive protests as speaking for most Christians.
Why? Because when it comes to Christianity, we are very careful to remember to treat the Klan and other radicalized, Christian groups as a cancer on Christianity. A cancer that must be treated or managed if the host organism is to survive long term.
Like Al Qaeda, Christian white power movements are always working to recruit and infiltrate and transform other groups through music, video and literature in an attempt to spread it’s cancerous version of Christianity. And that’s usually what smart tactics targeted at radicalized groups in religion attempt to stop. Keeping that abnormality from becoming big enough from being come a significant threat. Same method can be applied to radical Islamic groups.
There are radical groups with in Islam that like a cancer, are abnormal and seek to grow. Whether that’s converting moderate Muslims in their brand of religion and belief by persuasion or in some cases forced religious adherence like the Taliban. And like a cancer, untreated it tries to over take the host (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia). America seems to know that fear as the Caliphate. But again, it’s cancer growth not the host.
For the media, and the people and politicians feed by them, the rush to create this bigger Muslim threat only promotes this idea of destroy the host, not the cancer. And this will only fuel Islamophobia.
If you explained the plot and the plot twist of the movie Oblivion with Tom Cruise in a pitch meeting, it sounds great. What a difference a thin script, loose editing and so many plot holes make.
Oblivion is one of the movies that actually made me madder the more I thought about it, because all the plot and story logic just disintegrates the movie the more you think about it. Without trying to give major plot points away, here’s the top 10 plot holes I found in the movie Oblivion.
1) Why take your pregnant wife on a deep space mission? Or just taking your non-pregnant wife on a dangerous mission if you are going to confront an alien entity?
2) If the NASA escape pod was sent back to earth orbit, why didn’t NASA pick it up 60 years ago and get it?
3) And if NASA didn’t know about it, how did scavengers know about and know how to tell it to come down?
4) If a bunch a clones had no problem wiping out humanity when they first landed, why the need give the other clones a cover story about moving to Titan and saving humanity?
5) Morgan Freeman’s character who “just joined the Army” before the attack is one hell of a spry 80-year old.
6) Sally could tell that someone was with Tom Cruise in his ship and that, from reading his heart rate, he was lying but couldn’t tell there was an old man instead of a pregnant woman with him?
7) The moon is broken apart from an explosion, yet pieces of the broken moon seem to be defying laws of inertia an resting in the sky in the same place for the last 60 years?
8) Is the crew in a deep sleep or suspended animation to keep them from aging? Deep sleep makes more sense I don’t think we are going to be able to freeze people and suspend aging in the next three years when this story happens. And if that’s so, why his is wife still young after 60 years?
9) When Tom Cruise’s character goes into the radiation zone, there seems to be a lot of downed and smoking drones all in one place. Who knocked down those?
10) Why after a movie about dystopia, deaths of characters do you end the movie with an 80s like rock and roll song that just seems to come out of nowhere?
During the Boston Marathon bombings, a mob mentally overtook the collective coverage.
The energy of a mob isn’t intentionally evil. However a mob is often a group impatient to use rules and process as checks and balance. Instead it favors expediency in executing justice. In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, the social media villagers of Reddit, Twitter and blogs and news organizations willing to dabble in emotion and speculation to tell a story were that mob.
A crowdsourced media mob, some with ideological axes to grind, scoured the streets of Boston with the torches of blame and questionable judgment in hand. In their impatience and expediency, people with the misfortune to cross the mob’s undisciplined energy found were hurt (NY Post “Bag Men” cover story, or 4Chan for what the New Statesmen called “A racist Where’s Wally” trait for reflexively identifying “dark men,” tweets that names suspects that weren’t and the Reddit folks misidentifying possible suspects as Brown students) we’re scarred by slander and wild or unsubstantiated accusations.
In the same way there is a difference between the police going after a suspect and a mob going after a someone, there is a stark difference between true methodical reporters and crowdsourced mix of punditry, social media, and self-deputizing ideological media outlets which I call mob Journalism.
The police avoid a vigilante form of justice by committing themselves to operate with a framework and rules when pursuing a suspect. An effort to have the guilt of a possible lead determined through due process and rules of evidence. In the same manner, the professional news media are disciplined to follow the process of journalism. Use some shoe leather to go get information, check that information to determine facts, then present those vetted facts.
A mob, like a journalistic mob doesn’t have time for that.
A mob is usually brought together by a shared emotion, siege mentality or outrage. In mob journalism, it’s those undisciplined feelings that drive the process-and that same energy can be its downfall. A journalistic mob’s role is not justice, it’s the quenching of ideology or need to act out and “get someone.” A pretense for a bad, if not sloppy, approach to the truth.
Besides, have you ever been comforted by the phrase ” There’s a mob looking for you? The expectation of meeting for a reasonable discussion doesn’t come to mind.
In the now-resolved Boston Marathon bombing case, we’ve seen Mob Journalism as crowdsourced investigation make a lot of mistakes. Though it’s a powerful mix of more eyes on the case, we’ve also seen that many of those eyes confuse running en masse with torches after an issue with shedding light on a subject.
A couple of traits of mob journalism.
1) Eh, sounds about right.
Lack standards within the journalistic allow the mob to argue that 2 + 1.5 is essentially 4.
No, it isn’t. It’s sticking facts together with a conclusion that doesn’t exactly fit by using the glue of speculation and lenient assessment. Problem is, that tenuous connection that could actually blow the whole story part under scrutiny or additional facts you just weren’t willing to wait for. For instance:
Muslims have committed acts of terror. True.
These two individuals may be Muslim. True.
Therefore, this is Islamic terrorism.
Ahhhh. Not necessarily. But don’t tell that to the Drudge Report’s headline Saturday morning inferring the motive behind the two Boston bombers: “Boston Jihad.” With, at the time, no definite proof of links yet between those the bombing and Islam as motivation. So is “Boston Jihad” worthy enough for a leading headline? No. That’s like saying if a Christian from a highly Christian country like America, bombed something, it must be a Christian attack. Background is not motive. Yet we’ve seen that mindset visible from mob journalism.
2) In a mob, “just saying stuff” is admissible as actionable evidence.
The historical killing of blacks in the town Rosewood and the killing of Emmet Till were mob killings driven by people just making substantiated statements. It works because Mobs don’t say, “Get verifiable proof!” The usually say,” What? The emotional feel over what you just said is good enough for me!”
In this sense, the journalistic mob seem all too gullible. Or a mob will confuse a shred of story in a narrative for a shred of evidence. One way as we’ve seen from the mob’s broad interpretation and reliance on experts and sources. In the Boston Marathon bombing media coverage, the crowdsourced mob relied on them to great embarrassment.
After bragging about what their sources told them and realizing those sources were completely wrong, CNN’s John King embarrassingly apologized and blamed his sources. From a source, Glenn Beck’s the Blaze built their not-true story of an arrested Saudi tied to the bombing to an analyst. And also had to backtrack. Each heard something that just felt too good to fact check.
All these factors can make the journalistic mob a passionate, undisciplined group that feeds itself by talking to itself.
Crowdsourcing can be a powerful tool in journalism. A power best when the crowd fans out to take a proven method to cover more territory. It’s dangerous when it simply turns inward to validate own opinion and passion. That’s the danger of the journalistic mob.