• Media,  The Left

    Always Greener on the other side

    Three months age, a headline in The Guardian: “Green party demands inclusion in TV debates in letter to broadcaster – The Green party believe their leader Natalie Bennett should be included in next year’s TV election debates.” The headline on the weekend: “TV channels block Green party bid to limit Natalie Bennett’s screen time – Disastrous media appearances by the party leader have become a concern as the on-screen election debates loom” As they say, be careful what you wish for.

  • Media

    Net neutrality wins

    The US Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday (three Democrats approving, two Republicans dissenting) to regulate the Internet as a public utility and to adopt a policy of net neutrality for broadband. The new rules… are intended to ensure that no content is blocked and that the Internet is not divided into pay-to-play fast lanes for Internet and media companies that can afford it and slow lanes for everyone else. Those prohibitions are hallmarks of the net neutrality concept. ….. The F.C.C.’s yearlong path to issuing rules to ensure an open Internet precipitated an extraordinary level of political involvement, from grass-roots populism to the White House, for a regulatory ruling. The…

  • Media,  Religion

    Fox News’s questionable statistic

    Because Fox News regularly accuses the Obama administration (with no evidence) of manipulating employment statistics to make the economy look better than it is, it’s only fair to raise doubts about a statistic cited by one of Fox’s resident dingbats Eric Bolling. Responding to Obama’s remarks at a prayer breakfast, where the president cited the Crusades and the Inquisition to show that religious violence historically has not been exclusively Islamic, Bolling said: “Reports say radical Muslim jihadists killed thousands of people in the past few months alone. And yet when you take Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, whatever, their combined killings in the name of religion––well, that would be zero.” Um,…

  • Freedom of Expression,  Media

    Ducking for Cover

    Few in British media have any right to call themselves journalists. By refusing to reprint the cover of the new Charlie Hebdo – made newsworthy beyond any doubt by the slaughter in Paris – the British newspapers have abrogated their responsibility to report the news. Resorting instead to bland verbal descriptions when showing the cover itself is what is required (both practically and morally) they have shown themselves to be spineless cowards. There was one notable exception. The Guardian reprinted the cover (albeit with an appropriately named ‘trigger warning’ up front and, unusually, disabling the ability to enlarge its postage stamp sized thumbnail to the full resolution. With – one…

  • Gaza,  Israel,  Media

    BBC and NY Times: Israeli strikes in Gaza not “indiscriminate”

    Two major media outlets– the BBC and The New York Times– have got around to reporting what many noticed weeks ago: that IDF strikes in Gaza have been far from “indiscriminate.” Citing figures released by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the BBC’s head of statistics Anthony Reuben found that the number of civilian men killed in the fighting outnumbered the number of women by a factor of nearly 3.5:1. According to the UN, 725 men were killed in the conflict as opposed to 214 women. When the 216 confirmed “members of armed groups” were included in the figures, the disparity grew even larger. Israeli military officials said 750-1,000…

  • Gaza,  Israel,  Media

    Think the BBC’s coverage of Gaza is unbalanced? Check out The Guardian

    Cross-posted from Eric Lee Three hours after the end of the 72-hour ceasefire, Israel finally retaliated with air strikes. Hamas missiles were fired at a range of different target’s in southern parts of Israel. The BBC headline at the moment reads: Gaza rockets fired as ceasefire ends Palestinian militant group Hamas rejects any extension of the three-day Gaza ceasefire, with rockets fired at Israel as the truce ends. That seems a fair statement of things. But here’s what the Guardian leads with: Israel orders response to rockets fired from Gaza A rocket trail over the northern Gaza Strip after the expiration of the 72-hour ceasefire with Israel. LIVE Israel claims…

  • Gaza,  Media

    BBC warns of #GazaUnderAttack photos

    Well done to the BBC for reporting that many of the images being posted on social media which purport to be from Israeli’s current air strikes on terrorists in Gaza, and purport to depict widespread destruction and civilian casualties, are in fact from previous years and/or from other countries. I’m inclined to agree that the current rocket barrage from Gaza against Israel is a sign of weakness and desperation by Hamas, which no longer can count on the support it once received from Iran, Syria and Egypt. On the one hand this means that a full-scale ground operation by Israel is exactly what Hamas hopes for in an effort to…

  • Gay Rights,  Media

    “I’m gonna go to Midland”

    I have a question for our Texas-based readers: During a heated disagreement about National Football League draftee Michael Sam’s now-famous public kiss with his boyfriend, one of the hosts of a Dallas morning talk show (who expressed her strong distaste for the whole thing) stormed off the set, announcing, “I’m gonna go to Midland” (another Texas city). Is there any connection between this and the fact that Obama beat Romney in Dallas County by 57 percent to 42 percent while losing to Romney in Midland County by 80 percent to 19 percent?