journalism fail

"Looting and Rioting"

First, people need to understand something about the “riots” in Ferguson: I get the feeling that a lot of White people are somehow thinking “Wow, those Black people just stood up in their living rooms and basically set fires to their own residences”

Not the way it works…

You know what neighborhood businesses typically get burned? The ones that aren’t Black owned. You’ve seen them — the pawn shops, the quick-marts, the pay-day loan stores, the liquor stores, the third tier rent-to-own stores…you know, the kind of stores you rarely see on every other corner in middle class White neighborhoods. In short, all the businesses endemic of profiteering and structural poverty…the same businesses that like to follow innocent Black people around in stores for no reason. The businesses that won’t hire many of the Black people living in the neighborhoods they’re profiting off of. The businesses that charge twice as much for the same goods & services that are half as expensive in White neighborhoods

THOSE are the businesses that typically get burned in impoverished neighborhoods. Now, while I’m not necessarily advocating riots, I will repeat the words of Martin Luther King Jr, I think that we’ve got to see that a riot is the language of the unheard

Second, Other than corporate media outlets repeating what the police are telling them, I haven’t seen much hard evidence of honest to God unprovoked “rioting”…but what I have seen is lots of white police firing tear gas and rubber bullets at peaceful protesters. I’ve seen militarized police aim guns, tanks and sound cannons at unarmed civilians in their own neighborhoods. I’ve seen police not interviewing, but arresting key witnesses. I’ve seen people getting gassed in their homes—THEIR HOMES—for committing the crime of what, being Black at home?

The media goes on and on about “looting and rioting” without focusing too much on the police’s strong-arm tactics, they’re complicit in furthering the ratings meme of “unreasonably angry Black people” 

False media narratives: do the words match the facts?

BBC Reporter Paints Zapatistas in Bad Light After Being Kicked Out of Oventic

Some news outlets struck a critical tone when the EZLN wasn’t as open to the press this year as they may have been in the past.

Will Grant of the BBC writes in a piece published yesterday titled “Struggling on: Zapatistas 20 years after the uprising” how he was escorted out of one of the caracoles, Oventic, after leaving his guide to chat with kids playing basketball. “That was enough to bring our visit to an abrupt end as our guide quickly led us back to the main gates,” he wrote.

“The people of Oventic remain deeply wary of outsiders,” BBC reporter Grant says of the autonomous Zapatista community. “However, we did get a glimpse of how these secretive and closed communities are run.” Grant also thought it was appropriate to mention that his guide spoke in “basic, monosyllabic Spanish.”

What did he expect? Gringo ass-kissers like the ones he likely encounters in Lomas, Polanco or La Condechi?

The fact is that the EZLN has every right to be wary of outsiders. Moreover, they are really not there to amuse you, or help you get a good story.

It’s likely that Grant wrote this in response to being kicked out of Oventic. If so, it speaks very poorly of him, the BBC, and his professionalism as a journalist.

Next time, respect the EZLN’s rules. And respect Indigenous Peoples on their terms, not yours. You’re not in one of the plush neighborhoods of Mexico City where people likely treat you nice and are over accommodating simply because you’re white and work for the BBC.

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HERE’S PROOF THAT TV NEWS IS JUST AS CRAZY IN OTHER COUNTRIES

Ever feel like US news shows are a more of hotbed for wild, gaffe-filled drama than a place where you get information?

Well, guess what: it’s not just an American thing. Watch our hilarious supercut of the funniest moments from local news here. 

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CNN is going batshit over the Carnival Triumph pulling into port, with plenty of pearl-clutching over the conditions. It culminated in CNN anchors comparing the passengers’ ordeal to that of people who survived Hurricane Katrina, resulting in one passenger scolding them on air. My thoughts on the matter are above.

Just stop, CNN. You’re fond of reading Twitter like it’s news. Go report on the Beliebers or something.

People’s ability to care about different topics is not a zero-sum game. On the other hand, the media’s ability to cover stories is. Individual people’s thoughts are an unlimited resource, whereas the media only has so much time, labor, news space, and so forth. Which is why the media deserves all the shame for its focus on babies and weiners at the expense of everything else, but the individual people who might actually pay some attention to those things not so much.

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Journalism. You’re doing it wrong, HuffPo. The Pentagon has never “lavished” benefits upon the military. Let me bust out the dictionary:

Lav·ish: To expend or give in great amounts or without limit

Synonyms: abundant, bountiful, copious, effusive, exaggerated, excessive, extravagant, exuberant, first-class, free, generous, gorgeous, grand, immoderate, impressive, improvident, inordinate, intemperate, liberal, lush, luxuriant, luxurious, munificent, openhanded, opulent, plentiful, plush, posh, prodigal, profligate, profusive, prolific, riotous, ritzy, sumptuous, swanky, thriftless, unreasonable, unrestrained, unsparing, unstinging, wasteful, wild

Yeah, I don’t think any of that describes military benefits. I left my pal’s comment for that reason. I was about to send HuffPo a nastygram, but then I clicked through to the link from Facebook.

Obviously, some folks pulled their heads out of their asses and fixed this, but now it sounds inaccurate and odd. The first sentence went from: “For more than a decade, Congress and the Pentagon have lavished money on the nation’s 1.3 million active-duty troops…” to “For more than a decade, Congress and the Pentagon have spent money on the nation’s 1.3 million active-duty troops…”

Trust me, we’ve been spending money on the troops for more than a decade. And do you think this funding boost could possibly be due to, oh, I don’t know, two wars that have become quagmires? I bet it’s harder to keep people enlisted without providing these so-called “lavish” benefits. I wouldn’t consider refurbished houses and family counseling “lavish,” but that’s just me. You know what was lavish, HuffPo?

This.

Oh, and this:

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Behold, The Huffington Post’s Oasis from the 2012 Republican National Convention. I’ll admit, I took advantage of the free massage, makeup touch up, mini-facial and organic juice. It was pretty lavish. And from what I remember in my military career, I didn’t have the cash for lavish things like that. I bet there’s a majority of people enlisted in the military who would dig a chance to chill at a HuffPo Oasis. We reporters sure did. Thanks for lavishing these perks on us!

Bonus lavish photo! Here’s that one time Arianna Huffington cut in front of me for a makeup touch up. I ain’t even mad:

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public 2000 - 2008: hey why do you guys always have so many republican guests on?

corporate media: because a republican holds the white house and in fairness we want to accurately represent their views

public 2009 - today: hey why do you guys always have so many republican guests on?

corporate media: because a democrat holds the white house and in fairness we want to accurately represent the views of the opposition party

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Congressional leaders left the White House on Wednesday “deeply frustrated” that President Obama had not found a swift resolution to the conflict between Sunnis and Shiites that began in the seventh century A.D.

After meeting for more than an hour with the President in the Oval Office, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed disappointment that Mr. Obama “came up empty” when asked for a plan to heal the rift between the two religious groups, which began in the year 632.

“All we ask of this President is that he do one thing: settle a religious conflict that has been going on for a millennium and a half,” McConnell said. “What did he offer today? Nothing.”

Speaker of the House John Boehner acknowledged that there was a possibility that Obama might find a way to resolve the centuries-old Sunni-Shiite conflict, but the Ohio Republican was not optimistic.

“This struggle between Sunnis and Shiites has been going on for almost fifteen hundred years,” he said. “That means President Obama has had ample time to fix it.”

“The blackout lasted thirty-four minutes. During that time, CBS acted as if it possessed no news division… there were an estimated one hundred and eight million Americans watching the broadcast.  The network’s obligations to such a vast viewership should have led it to privilege the imperatives of journalism over those of commerce.”

Steve Coll on CBS’s failure to appropriately report on the Super Bowl blackout: http://nyr.kr/WMCyp0

I wanna get Tumblr in on this :)

Guyz, I’m leaving two pages open in my Wreck This Journal for Tumblr peeps! Like or Reblog this and I’ll add your name on the page! Once it’s filled out, I’ll take a picture of it. Doesn’t matter if we’re friends or not :D

Help me out and don’t forget to have fun!

There’s only one rule. I won’t be adding any names that have profanity or swearing in them.  Thank you :3

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"The IRS turned over to congress most of Lois Lerner’s emails. You rarely hear that in news reports; they turned over most of her emails, including ALL of the emails from the period that congress is most interested in: the months preceding and the months during the last [2012] presidential campaign.

How many of Lois Lerner’s emails have been turned over to the House of Representatives?

The answer is 67,000 emails, but America mostly does not know that because the news media simply doesn’t have the time to add a sentence about those 67,000 emails in their IRS scandal stories.

Another fact rarely included in the news reports of the IRS news scandal is that not one Republican political group that applied for 501c4 status was denied 501c4 status. Not one Republican application was denied. The one political organization that managed to somehow get denied 501c4 status was a liberal organization called Emerge America. For most of the American news media that remains one of the secret facts of the IRS scandal.”

[Excerpts from The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell]