Thursday, May 04, 2006

Nagin in Media Spotlight Again

Well, Mayor Nagin is in the public again. This time he is showing his support for the state and federal government in an attempt to get re-elected. I hope the people are smart enough not to re-elect him. I've never seen a person more inept. I've never seen a person take "less" responsibility for a tragedy he was so responsible for. The Hurricane Katrina killed 1,300 people along the Gulf Coast, and triggered breaches in the New Orleans levees. This was mostly due to inadequate evacuation procedures.

Nagin, who just announced a new evacuation plan for the 2006 hurricane season, is campaigning for re-election against Louisiana Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu in a May 20 runoff. He is now being seen often in the media showing his support for the Army Corps of Engineers as well as the state and local government.

Government Uses Media for Purposeful Leaks

The government uses the media for purposeful leaks. Leaks of information that they want to get out to help make a desired impression on the public. This is often used to influence opinion and can dramatically change results and polls. Is this fair? Is this ethical?

Moussaoui Uses Media as Platform

9/11 conspirator Zacarius Moussaoui was sentenced to life in prison. As he left the courtroom , he laughed at Americans saying he won and Americans lost. Wishing to be a martyr, he was once noted as saying he wanted the death penalty. The jury did not find enough direct evidence to sentence him to death. The jury didn't want him to become a martyr in the eyes of others like him by sentencing him to death. They would rather see him rot in jail. Now, Moussaoui is saying he was smart enough to turn this around by tricking the americans into thinking he wanted to die, when, in actuality, he did not want to die. Which is the truth? We will probably never know. Did using the media for his message help him live?

Angelina Jolie Uses Media Spotlight for Good

Why doesn't the media report on genocide? Why is Brad and Angelina's baby more important than thousands or millions being killed. It is a tragedy. This country cares more about the concerns of the rich and famous than people being unjustly killed.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

NYT Turns to Tabloid

In reporting on gossip columns for another paper, NYT has finally turned toward tabloid sensationalism. Check out the front page (above the fold) on the Saturday edition a couple of weeks ago. They have sold out. How sad.

Journalist's Debate on the "Truth"

With thirty-three million immigrants in the U.S., over eleven million are residing and working in this nation illegally. Over the last decade, the number of illegal immigrants has risen dramatically, to a point where the government believes the time has come to do enforce current laws more effectively. The focus has now been centered on the Sensenbrenner Bill that would make illegal immigration a felony and would crack down on employers who hire illegal immigrants. The bill has raised strong opinions about how to deal with this growing sensitive issue. This has not excluded journalists who are now debating on what the “truth” is and how it should be reported. Should a journalist reflect their point of view? Should the many sides of an opinion be reflected or just the side that the journalist believes in? What is the responsibility of a journalist? Is there a moral and ethic responsibility to share multiple views? These are the questions that has brought about debate as is shown between CNN’s anchor, Lou Dobbs and CNN media critic, Howard Kurtz.

Lou Dobbs’ position on immigration follows the trend he has developed over the last couple of years where he has become more one sided on the issue of outsourcing of American jobs to other countries. As a cable news anchor, he has taken a stand for one side of an issue rather than looking at two sides of the “truth” which people strongly believe in. But as told to the New York Times”, Dobbs is quoted as saying “There’s nothing fair and balanced about me, because there’s nothing fair and balanced about the truth.”

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Turner "Mouth of the South"

CNN founder Ted Turner is often called "The Mouth of the South". This week he voices his opinions on the news media, the war in Iraq, President Bush, and even himself.

Ted believes that we are wasting our time and money fighting this war in Iraq. He also stated that Bush is a nuc trigger foolish man who is a recovering alcoholic and has only stepped foot out of the country one time.

At almost 70, Ted feels his time is past for running for President and his regrets include not keeping control of CNN.

What a life Turner has had. This is a man who has just about done everything. Now, as a philanthropist, he spends his time with the UN foundation he formed after donating $1 Billion. What a life....what a legacy!

Monday, March 27, 2006

More Journalists Dead from Iraq War than from Vietnam

As journalists continue to receive blame from the White House, a startling statistic has arisen. More journalists have died during the Iraqi war in the last 3 years than the Vietnam war. Sixty-seven journalists have died in Iraq since the war began. Yet the blame continues from the White House accusing the media of showing a one sided negative view that leans toward a Civil War rather than progression. On CNN, Lara Logan reported this weekend that journalists are reporting the best that they can. There really is not a lot of good news to report on and what is good news can not be reported. Those that report good news become the victims of sabatoge. And of the 150k new jobs that were supposed to be created at this point, only 77k have been created. Many have died in the process of trying.

There is no security at this point. With security being the biggest issue at hand, it becomes the focus of the media. Not because it is high-drama but because it is reality. Journalists are accused of going out into the field and not being responsible. Woodruff was accused of being irresponsble. Yet when reporters report from hotel balconies, they are criticized for not being out in the field. There is no easy solution to this problem and the only way to report from the field is with heavy military coverage such as from helicopters. The media has learned to develop good sources with the military and at that point, must go by much of what the military reports. Right now the relationship between the media and the WhiteHouse is so poor that when the media asks for information from Rumsfeld, they are referred to the transcripts and not given any further information.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Who Controls What We Think?

Does the media control what we think? Since the media has control over what messages and images we see, does that always mean we are getting the truth? Media should be about bringing the truth to light. But, if a reporter is not reporting from out in the field, doesn't the image and story become slanted? Garred with messages based on the reporters beliefs, disbeliefs and stereotypes? Reporting from the green zone does not allow one to give the real story, the real picture on what is going on in Iraq. Therefore, we are only seeing a sliver of the truth from the eye of the beholder - the journalist/reporter at the hotel - not out in the field. The media is being accused of only reporting on the negative to push voters against Bush. Like Bush needs any help? He is doing just fine on his own. Will we ever see a really true picture of what is going on in Iraq? If you see two reports - 2 on suicide bombers and 2 on new school buildings....what is your image? And once one weighs more than the other, does your image become scewed? of course it does.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Media Gets Blame

Did anyone catch the debate on the Today show Tuesday? With Democrat James Carville? Blame was being put on the media for the focus of the three year anniversary that we are at war. It got to be a heated debate as the three year anniversary of our time in Iraq was brought to light.

It was interesting to see the media reporting on their blame. Are the images Americans are seeing from Iraq due to the level of violence or is it just the messenger? And, as President Bush suggested Tuesday at a White House news conference, are the media also being used by the insurgents? “They're capable of blowing up innocent life,” Bush said, “So it ends up on your TV show.”
The media is being blamed for not telling the right story. Of course, how could they? They are reporting from hotel balconies? The "green zone" as it is called....for their protection. Is this true reporting? And they are sharing their information as well between networks. What are we really seeing anyway?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Death Toll Continues to Rise Due to 'Cartoon'

The death toll continues to rise over cartoon depictions of a leader. How senseless! How needless! Is anyone else as disgusted I am over this? In the US, our leaders are criticized on an on-going basis. Can you imagine what would happen to our society if we went to war every time a cartoon came out? There would be no Saturday night live either. No comedy. Differening values would all but disappear and no one would be heard. I think they're all lemmings- people who enjoy blood and war.

Europeans Cry "Freedom of Speech"

Europe is being quiet no more and is beginning to resist the culture of "multi-culturism". Once thought to be the way of the future, Europe is stepping back and making a cry out for the values of their society. Dutch lawamkers have even proposed that their language must be spoken in some areas.

This all occuring since cartoon crisis, which continued last week with riots in Nigeria and Pakistan that have left over 100 dead. There were apologies for causing offense after a Danish paper published a dozen cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. European leaders are united in their statement that they will not tolerate any limits on European newspapers' rights to publish. Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso stated "Freedom of speech is not up for negotiation."

Welcome to the end of what Europeans will tolerate. Europe is on the defensive. After decades of relatively unfettered immigration and cultural laissez faire, there are signs that a potentially ugly backlash is setting in. They are no longer willing to tolerate a European melting pot—a broadly multicultural society—where different cultures live by widely different norms.

Media Shows India In a Different Light

Long gone are the days of India being behind in the World. As more and more of our IT programmers/specialists integrate themselves into the Western culture, it is apparent that India is becoming a force to recon with. Declared as the "WORLD'S FASTEST GROWING FREE MARKET DEMOCRACY!", India is being seen in quite a different light and some of the conservatism that we know India for, is disappearing.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Journalists' Group Makes Plea for Release of Jill Carroll

Two days before a deadline set by her captors, the 'Committee to Protect Journalists' has issued a public plea for journalist, Jill Carroll's, release.

At this time, I do not clearly see what the demands are that the captives have made. Besides releasing the female inmates (which was already done), what other demands have been made? Anyone else have insight on this?

I see her release occuring soon. Let's hope I'm right.

China Reveals Media Censorship

In January, Li Datong was forced by the government to close his magazine called "Freezing Point". The magazine will re-open March 1, without Li.

The reason was due to a published article that smashed official history of the 1900 Boxer Rebellion, when a peasant cult killed more than 230 foreigners in a spasm of xenophobia. Li ran the story to ask why, in modern China, children are learning to praise the Boxers for being antiforeign. While the Boxer reappraisal upset officials, Li was the real target. Last August, Li wrote a 19-page protest letter to the new editor of China Youth Daily protesting a new policy that would link reporter's pay raises to praise by party officials. "Under this unreasonable system the editors and reporters will go out of their minds instead of worrying about the media's role to monitor," argued Li. Li sent the letter out over hundreds of websites and blogs to avoid being blocked.

China leads the world in jailed journalists with a total of 39 currently in jail. This is affecting China's image in the international world and they are being seen with the eyes of an old-style party reaction of no debate, no discussion and no democracy.

Atwar Bahat Killed in Effort to Save Jill Carroll

Three people working for Al Arabiya television in Samarra, Iraq were killed Wednesday. One of the people was Atwar Bahat who worked with Al Arabiya TV to help reach Jill Carroll and assist with her release. Two collegues of Atwar were also killed.

The last time Jill Carroll was heard from is in a tape released on Feb.12th where she pleads to have the US do whatever they want for her release.

Media Reports Human Deaths from Bird Flu

Today, 2 more people have been killed by the rapidly mutating virus commonly referred to as the "bird flu". H5-N1 is the strand of the bird flu responsible for killing a nine year old and 26 year old. Eight people have died to date.

Simple precautions should be taken by everyone. Besides Oprah, I don't see much on what people "can" do to protect themselves.

Like in any flu season, common sense hygiene is key.
1. Wash your hands a lot — chances are somebody just sneezed into his hand and then touched the same doorknob you did.
2.Cover coughs and sneezes so you don’t spread germs.
3. Sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve; if you use your hands, wash them immediately.
4. If you decide to purchase a dust mask, make sure it covers your nose and mouth completely with no area on the sides for air to get in.

For a comprehensive list on what you "can" do, go to:

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Media Highlights Issues for Change at Puppymills

Puppy Mills - ever want a tea cup dog or one cute enough to put in your purse? Oh, blah!! It makes me want to puke everytime I see someone carrying around a small dog as some sort of status symbol or Paris look alike. Buying dogs from puppy mills is about the worst thing you can do for animals. It supports this horrible industry. Want not go to a shelter and pick a dog that needs a home rather than support the horrendous conditions it takes to breed and raise special breeds. By the way, those "special" breeds are the most unhealthy you can get. Mutts are the most healthy animals you'll be able to find. Not all mind you, but most.

I'm proud of our local media for uncovering a great issue that will now be further investigated by HSUS. They went undercover to the breeding operations and found puppy mills who have been repeatedly cited, have inadequate vet care, pets are freezing in the cold (even their water dishes have water frozen solid). Many dogs are in cages so small they can't stand up. Absolutely cruel. The President of HSUS, Waynme Pacelle, testifies in Congress against such practices and works to make it/keep it illegal. He says "the dogs are standing on a point of going mad".

The public is being told one story and reality is starkly different. The animals are so sick. An exam with a health certificate means nothing. See HSUS link on this blog. HSUS is taking action thanks to our local media!!!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Predators Caught, Faces Shown

I love the fact that Dateline is taking the lead to show the faces of America's sickest individuals.
Predators come to a house believeing they are going to find a young man or woman waiting for them. To their surprise, Dateline and the police are waiting for them. Those who are interviewed admit how sick they are. They don't appear to be violent in nature.

I'm simply amazed at the numbers of them that are out there - and the professions that they are in!

Check out the whole story here

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Woodruff - PR Ratings or Tragedy?

In a Wall Street Journal article written Monday this week, there was more discussion about ratings and what this would do to the cable network rather than the tragedy that bestowed itself on Woodruff and his cameraman. The article briefly describes the event before going into a dissertation about how this will affect the ABC network with its already slipping ratings and viewership. I mentioned in an earlier post that Woodruff was hungry for this experience - regardless of the risk to his family's well emotional well being if he were gone. It seems the network is barely concerned about his welfare as they sub heading under the title reads what a blow the network is experiencing. It's all about the money baby!

Editor Fired Over Cartoon

An editor has been fired due to his cartoon depictions of the Prophet Mohammed This is a picture of the cartoons from MSNBC that was in the Christian weekly "Magazinet."

The cartoon has sparked protests and boycotts in the Muslim world.The Paris newspaper France Soir has fired its managing editor. Is this right?

Saudi Arabia says they have recalled its ambassador to Denmark in protest the Danish government's position on the publication of the cartoons. "The (Saudi) government has recalled its ambassador in Copenhagen to express its regret and protest the position of the Danish government regarding a matter that has offended Islam and Muslims,"

Sunday, January 29, 2006

ABC Anchor - Bob Woodruff Crazy or ?

Bob Woodruff, right, and cameraman Doug Vogt were with the 4th Infantry Division and traveling with an Iraqi Army unit 12 miles outside of Baghdad when they were attacked and are now in serious condition in the hosptial suffering from serious head injuries.

Quote from Woodruff to the Associated Press:
"When I realized there was a job that existed in this world where I could be in the middle of huge world events and actually get paid for it, it was an epiphany for me,"

These words spoken by a father of 4. When should Journalism be considered going too far? How far should they go to get the story? Is it ethical to have a family and lead this kind of a life? I think not. David Bloom was a perfect example although his death is said to be from natural causes.

Dozens of journalists have been injured, killed or kidnapped in Iraq since the war began.

"Another journalist, Jill Carroll, a freelance reporter for The Christian Science Monitor, was kidnapped by gunmen Jan. 7 and is being held in Iraq. Some 250 foreigners have been taken captive since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, and at least 39 have been killed. "

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Oprah's media messages are powerful!

Boy, is Oprah powerful or what? For the book, 'A million little pieces', Oprah publicly stood up for the author when he was being persecuted for lying in his book. Now, she is denoucing him saying she "made a mistake" and that he should be ashamed of himself for leading her and her audience down such a rabbit hole.

What a powerful woman. Her one vote for or not for a book makes a dramatic difference in how the people of America view one thing or another. Her word is gospel to many. What an influence!

US Negotiates with Terrorists Who Use the Media

The US says they are not negotiating with terrorists. I say they are complying. The terrorists are using the Media to get what they want and it worked! As you know, I am referring to Jill Carroll's capture. The terrorists portray the young journalist who everyone loves - the person who is integrated with the culture and truly loves the people. This is bad business for the US. It makes Americans cry out more to GET OUT OF THERE. George W. doesn't want that. So, to prevent this from going on any longer, he is having prisoners released. Who are these people? Why are they in prison? Why are we releasing them? Does anyone know?

Well, I think terrorists will continue to search out likeable young american girls so they can get more of what they want in the future. Why not? It worked this time.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

No Hope for New Orleans while Nagin in Power

Can anyone believe what an idiot the Mayor of New Orleans is? I can't believe anyone could get to a place of such power being so completely and utterly ignorant. That is the biggest disgrace of all.

Nagin says, ''Surely God is mad at America. He sent us hurricane after hurricane after hurricane, and it's destroyed and put stress on this country.''

Ignorance is the only explanation for such stupidity. Nagin's ignorance is also the reason he did not call a mandatory evacuation until approximately noon on Sunday. Too late. Many solutions could have gotten the people "and their pets" out of that city - in time. He probably thought he could pray the "Category 5" hurricane away. Basing the live's of thousands on the hope of a prayer!! Not many know that it took Max Mayfield calling Nagin telling him to call for an immediate and mandatory evacuation. That catastrophic damage would occur. He finally relented. Now, this is surely not the place of Max Mayfield to do this. He is not the advisor of local governments to implement their local emergency plans. Yet, he knew if the evacuation was not ordered, thousands of deaths could occur and he would never be able to sleep at night. Thank goodness for Max Mayfield! He saved people's lives.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Opinions: Sheltering Pets as well as People

Should pets be considered part of the plan when a family needs to evacuate?

When a mandatory evacuation is given by local officials, it is wise to give options for families with pets. As we can see from 2005's "Season of Fury", saving pets will ultimately save human lives as well.

There are many reasons why people may need to evacuate from their homes but there is no better illustrated example than Hurricane Katrina. Many along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama were under a mandatory evacuation. One of the main reasons many did not leave was because they did not want to leave their pets. They decided to take a chance with Mother nature and stay at home with their pets. Why? Because there were no Red Cross shelters accepting pets. This simple fact is that many died within the wrath of Hurricane Katrina because they would not leave their beloved pets behind.

This is a social issue that has a solution. In South Florida, we learned from Hurricane Andrew. The message in 1991 once was "leave your pets behind with enough food and water to last three days". We now know that is not the best thing to do. It was once said that animals had an instinct that would lead them to safety. That may be true of wild animals but it is not the case with domestic animals. We have learned "if it is not safe for you, it is not safe for your pets". As a society, we have a responsibility to care for our pets. Change is taking place albeit slow. The humane Society of the United States is pursuing legislation that will require all levels of governments to instill plans for animals as part of their emergency operations plans. For more information, go to