Monday, May 9, 2011

License to Edit

Everyone recognizes this picture.  It captures the iconic moment that President Obama and his national security team watched as the operation that ultimately killed Osama bin Laden unfolded.  Hillary Clinton's expression with her hand cupped over her mouth makes this picture what it is.

But a Hareidi newspaper, Der Tzitung, that is printed in  Brooklyn decided to delete Clinton straight out of the picture.  In fact, they also deleted Audrey Tomason, the national director of counterterrorism, who can be seen peeking through on the right side.  The paper deleted the women because printing photos of women in a newspaper is sexually suggestive and thereby inappropriate.  The paper deleted the women even though the White House Flicker page states that the picture may not be altered in any way. Should the editing that Der Tzitung engaged in be allowed if it is on religious grounds? How far is too far in this issue? 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Will Thomas of Fox News reported on Osama bin Laden's death and accidentally reported that President Obama was officially dead!  (A few moments later he was corrected and changed it to Osama).  Talk about a slip of the tongue, Freudian slip or out right bias?  Check it out here!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pawlenty's Innocent Mistake

Tim Pawlenty announced that he had formed an exploratory committee a few weeks ago with a Youtube video.  Last night, he announced in an interview with Piers Morgan on CNN, without any reservations, that he was running for president.  Great!

Well his staff didn't feel that way....As soon as Pawlenty made that statement, his staff scrambled to fix that mistake.  Most people would view this as strange and ridiculous, for we all know that he's running for president. 

So why did his staff get so excited over this mistake?  Because in a media saturated world, announcing that you are running for president is supposed to garner a lot more attention than what Pawlenty was met with last night.  The whole point of announcing the formation of an exploratory committee and then later actually running for president (outside of the legal implications, which don't apply in his case because under Federal Election Commission rules Pawlenty is already legally a presidential candidate) is to get media attention not once, but twice.  Each announcement is another opportunity to show yourself off. 

So Pawlenty blew this one big time and his staff has been scrambling to fix his mistake so in a few days or a week or so he can announce it all over again on Youtube or Facebook.  Check out this article and see the rest of the story for yourself.  Can you pick up on the reporter's apparent bias towards the end? 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How Many "Friends" Do You Have?

The 2012 election is going to be centered around social media.  In fact, some believe social media will be the tipping point for the election.  Candidates will either win the battle of sorely lose it over their social media expertise or lack there of.  Candidates will be fighting to amass the most amount of Facebook friends and Twitter followers as possible.

What amazes me is that I always laughed at the term "friends" when in the context of Facebook.  The rules of Facebook dictate that one must have hundreds of "friends" or else they are a nobody.  However 99% of these alleged "friends" are far from friends.  They are mere acquaintances at best who most likely will not be there for you when you really need them.

When it comes to the coming election though, these "friends" are what can make a candidate win or lose the election.  In a complete 180, these "friends" seem to play the role of real friends in the election.  So I guess the race begins to see who can successfully gather the most friends in cyberspace.  May the best candidate win!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

HonestReporting: Reuters Redefines Terror Attack

A week ago I got an email from HonestReporting.  I normally dispose of these emails just as quickly as they come in.  However, this time the subject caught my eye: "Reuters Redefines Terror Attack." The piece goes through many different reports of the bus bomb last week and shows their bias against Israel. They really hit the nail on the head.  Check it out for yourself

HonestReporting is a critical check on the media.  It's mission is to make counter the bias against Israel.  We spoke of the media's role as a watchdog over government.  But what happens when the media does something wrong?  What happens when the media has an unfair bias? That's where HonestReporting comes in, at least with regard to Israel, and serves as the watchdog of the media.  Many blogs also serve as a check on the media, as they note what the media has left out and what they have reported incorrectly.  It is the citizen's responsibility to maintain this crucial check on the media.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Is it a "Terrorist" Attack or Not?

We all know that there is a bias against Israel in the press.  But over these last few weeks that bias has been made crystal clear, first with the Fogels and now with the bus stop bombing in Jerusalem.  I was reading a bunch of articles on various sights today and they all had one thing in common: they all lacked calling the attack outright a terrorist attack.  Some of the news sights, USAToday blog, mentioned that the Israeli police called it a "terrorist attack," but this does not make the cut.  These news reports do not call it a terrorist attack themselves.  They just quote the police, as if to say we don't agree, but this is what they are calling it.  Other sights neglect to call it anything but an attack or a strike.  There is no mention of terrorism at all in the NYTimes article or the article on the LATimes blog. I understand the journalists want to have their facts right before they report them.  But in such a case, where it is SO clear that this attack was by the hands of terrorists, such reasoning does not work.  Bias is the only possibility here.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bachmann May Be Right..... Or Not

On Wednesday we spoke about Rep. Michele Bachmann's slip of the tongue when she said that the first shot at Lexington and Concord was heard in New Hampshire.  OOPS!

According to the media, "oops" is right, as they slammed her for making the mistake. Politico ran an article titled "Michele Bachmann fails political geography 101." opened their story by stating that she "moved the Battle of Lexington and Concord 50 miles north of Massachusetts to New Hampshire..." The ran a story titled "For Bachmann, a pattern of getting facts wrong." 

After these articles made a splash all over the web, Bachmann acknowledged her mistake and said that she wasn't shocked that she got ripped apart, because everyone knows the media is liberal and biased.  After all, she noted that no one picked up on Obama mistaking the US of having over 50 states during his campaign.

I wasn't familiar with Obama's mistake, or Bachmann's for that matter, until it was brought up in class.  Without doing any research on the issue, I agreed with Bachmann's accusation.  I pointed to the fact that the news ate up Bush trying to open the wrong door on his visit to China, as proof of her argument.  If Bush's mistake, which had nothing to do with US history or geography, made it to the front page and above the fold, shouldn't Obama's mistake get some news coverage?

Well, a simple search online proves me wrong.  Firstly, Bachmann's mistake seems to have only been reported on blogs, not in newspapers.  Secondly, Obama's mistake was also reported on by many blogs.  It does seem that Bachmann's mistake was reported on by more upstanding blogs, but reporting is reporting....

 On a separate note, The Huffington Post made a funny crack at her mistake.  Bachmann is a mother to 5 and foster mother to 23 and is a strong believer in homeschooling.  The Huffington Post is worried that now 28 children believe the Battle of Lexington and Concord happened in New Hampshire...