CleverMonkey

The Opposition Press

A Daily Lesson in Media Literacy? Sure, why not. October 26, 2006

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Question: Which, if any, of the following fit the criteria for Endangered Species as defined by the CWF?

  1. Whooping Crane
  2. Swift Fox
  3. Journalistic Integrity
  4. All of the above

All you over 40s, stop peaking at your neighbour’s paper, and all you under 30s close that Wikipedia window, the rest of you are Gen X’ers and are too jaded and hip to bother answering that question anyway. The answer, sadly, is 4. The majestic Whooping Crane can now only be found in Wood Buffalo National Park these days and their numbers are estimated to be under 200. Similarly, journalistic integrity has all but disappeared from it’s natural habitat of the mainstream news media, forced out by predators, hunters, and trappers who use it’s likeness to lure their pray (public opinion) which they quickly devour completely. Some of the threats to journalistic integrity that are found in the wild are;

  • The 24 hour news network, by forcing journalists to constantly have some ‘breaking news’ story to report these networks confuddle (harry potter word?) audiences into thinking that the stories they report are actually important. In many instances stories that are actually important are not sufficiently reported at all.
  • Corporate interference in news reporting, also related to the “news’tainment” phenomenon, corporations seek to make profit at all costs, that is their nature. Therefore, if a story is not entertaining enough it is either sensationalized or not reported at all.
  • Bias, many times journalists, inadvertently, insert their own opinions and beliefs into their article. However, increasingly often the opinions, beliefs, and political interests of journalists, corporations, and owners is actually a governing factor in the method that the news media reports stories. Hence, some news anchors feel they can instruct producers to, TURN HIS MIC OFF!!! if a source says something they don’t agree with.
  • Spin, this involves selective reporting and omission of certain facts pertaining to stories. Also, more often than one might think, false facts and entire stories are reported, in addition important stories may not be reported at all. In these cases the unreported stories fade away and fail to exist because (as Peter Mackay taught Canadians this week) if it isn’t recorded, it never happened.

I can hear you all stirring in your seats right now, “what can we do? How do we help save Journalistic Integrity from extinction? Should we donate to the WWF?” Put your pocketbooks away, Vince McMahon wont be needed this time (heheh). Instead, much like a great American hero once said, “the power is yours!” Media literacy is our first weapon against these usurpers who would erase Journalistic Integrity from our memories. Now we are all busy with work, and all the gadgets that were supposed to make life easier have only succeeded in making the home a workplace as well. So, we at Clevermonkey propose to examine a news story each day and highlight the issues we see within the article. We are aware that some of some of you actually wanted to get jobs after University/College graduation so we’ll keep the Poli-Sci/Comm Studies/Journalism School/English jargon to a minimum or else provide explanations or links thereto. And, remember….

The Power is Yours!!!

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Habeus Corpus…as Anti-American as Discussion and Organic Apple Pie October 25, 2006

Filed under: Civil Liberty,Detainee,Executive Branch,Habeas Corpus,media,terrorism — uberskeptic @ 6:38 am

A week ago, the President of the United States signed into law a bill that will give him international powers which would have made Napoleon uneasy. The Military Commissions Act not only affirms the American Executive branch’s ability to detain whomever it pleases for an indefenite period of time, it has removed their right of Habeas Corpus as well. This means that any non-American citizen named as an enemy combattant can be detained and then denied the right to a trial, or even to be told why they have been detained and under what evidence. The imagined national security risk held as the reason for not giving detainees a fair trial including the laying of charges and showing of evidence does not supercede the real risk inherent in any suspension of habeas corpus. These are rights affirmed to all under the Geneva Conventions, and just like that…poof! they are gone in a not-so-magical penstroke of the President. The implications of this law are so farreaching and precedent-setting that it should have dominated media discourse for a rather long period of time. However, the days proceeding this attack on liberty saw a media fixation on the juicier story of Repbulican Rep. Mark Foley’s peculiar use of only one hand while instant-messaging his teen pages, and the calls from Republicans about how convenient it was that this story is released just before mid-term elections??? WHAT!? It is not as if the rest of the Republicans voted for Foley to do what he did (though many of them apparently knew about it), but they did indeed vote for the newest installment of this administration’s attack on civil liberties. I imagine that the Republicans should thank Foley for stealing the headlines and not permitting the kind of in depth discussion necessary to reveal the consequences of teh Military Commissions Bill. Long after Mark Foley’s name has fallen out of the lexicon of political observers, this bill will be looked back on as one of the greatest steps back in legislative history. There is one mainstream media anchor who understood the importance of the story, and Keith Olbermann‘s report is below…

 

Pearls of wisdom from “journalist” Ann Coulter October 24, 2006

Filed under: ann coulter,Fox News,media — clevermonkey @ 9:18 pm

(Excerpt from the Wikipedia entry for Journalism) …a discipline of collecting, analyzing, verifying, and presenting news regarding current events, trends, issues and people. Those who practice journalism are known as journalists.

(Excerpt from the Wikipedia entry for Ann Coulter) …December 8, 1961) is an American author, columnist, and pundit. She frequently appears on television, radio, and as a speaker at public and private events.[1] Known for her controversial[2] style and conservative views, she has been described by The Observer as “the Republican Michael Moore“, and “Rush Limbaugh in a miniskirt”.[3] Coulter has described herself as a “polemicist” who likes to “stir up the pot” and makes no pretense at being “impartial or balanced”.[4] She identifies herself as a “public intellectual”. She is known for her expressed disdain for the Democratic Party and American liberalism.

The following is a sequence of comments made by Coulter, frequent correspondent and panelist for Fox News. In any other case I would have had to refer to them as bloopers, gaffs, or misquotes, however Ann Coulter truly seems to believe the crap she says. Try not to be overwhelmed by the “fair and balance’dness”