Thursday, December 22, 2005

Yes, Your Evening News is Slanted. You Don't Want to Inconvenience Journalists, They Will Own You -- Lazy Trumps Balance Everytime. Read on.

A couple interesting items from today. 1) I was watching the CBS Evening News tonight and was a little taken aback by an obviously slanted news story. Now, any right-wing conservative will tell you that the network newscasts are hives of liberalism and that journalists use their positions to promote their overarching socialist agenda. Just ask one. Tonight, the lead story was about the NYC Transit strike that's made commuting impossible for lots of New Yorkers. This strike has gotten huge coverage all over the media map. Guess how much coverage it would have gotten if this strike had happened in Los Angeles? In Boston? In D.C.? Yeah, not too much. The media's made this out to be the major story of the week and the reason is because all these newspeople WORK in the city and have to COMMUTE into it. Because they are inconvenienced by the strike, it immediately becomes national news. But what's worse, and the reason I'm bothering to talk about this, is the slant the national media's using to cover the strike.

I was helping my folks pack some books this morning and I was listening to Air America, the liberal radio network. A woman from New York called in and immediately informed the host that she had no affiliation with any union, which of course made me think she was probably the Transit Union's PR person. Anyway, she was complaining about the coverage of the strike -- she said it was one-sided and the TV journos were only showing people who were against the strike on the news. I wrote the caller's worries off thinking of course some union flunkie isn't happy with the news coverage of a strike -- she probably wouldn't have been happy unless every citizen of New York staged a sit-in at their places of work in a show of solidarity with the Transit Union. Sense of contentment restored. I packed books blissfully; all was right in the world.

Then I watched the CBS Evening News. The report was heavily skewed towards an anti-strike bias. They showed five of the "man on the street" interviews they conducted that day, and each person interviewed expressed their discontent with the strike and wanted them to get back to work. 5 out of 5. The story they covered was not WHY the transit workers were striking (they didn't even mention it), but rather how it was killing the city during the holiday season. Restaurants empty -- stores with items unbought. The subtext was, "How dare these bastards do this to us?!" Does CBS really expect me to believe that not a single person they talked to in the city of New York expressed any support for the striking workers? In one of the most liberal cities in the country, they couldn't find one union-sympathizer in the whole city? Ridiculous. The news people are pissed about the inconvenience so they're going to do their part to end the inconvenience and restore their usual routine, nevermind what those striking workers were blathering about, walking off the job and all of that. I felt ill-served by my national media tonight, but I guess by now I should be used to that.

2) The other item I wanted to mention, more briefly, is more awesome news about Wal-Mart. They got hit with another stiff jury verdict, this time for $172 million dollars. They're required to pay this fine as back-pay for denying Wal-Mart employees in Alameda County, CA their state-mandated 1/2 hour unpaid lunch after six hours of work. Of course Wal-Mart is appealing the decision -- they've got lawyers and they know how to use them. In the article Wal-Mart's defense boils down to the fact that the employees didn't request their penalty wages (they're supposed to get a full hour's pay for every missed lunch) in timely fashion, and THAT's why they didn't get their money. It's not Wal-Mart's fault, you see. It's the employees' fault. Can you get more crass than this? So when people go to Wal-Mart to get that low low price, this is the sort of thing they're subsidizing.

Anyway. I write all of that just to get you all in the holiday spirit. Well, I'm taking tomorrow off from el bloggo (I know, I know -- I think I deserve a break from my demanding schedule, too. Thank you for your sympathy), and I will blog again sometime after Christmas. I may take the 26th to the 2nd of January off as well, but then again, I might not. I still have some movie reviews to post up, and I know you all are dying for those.

In any case, thanks everyone for reading this dumb thing I've been typing away at since the end of August. I'm still up on the whole blogging thing and I'm glad I haven't lost all of you along the way. I'm curious to see how much longer I can keep at this thing before I wise up and do something productive with my time. Maybe never. Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah everyone!


Anonymous said...

wal-mart sucks . . . stop shopping there!!!

food for thought said...

An article in Wall Street Journal explicitly lays out why warrentless wiretaps between U.S. residents and international citizens are essential to the nation’s security, and why they are not an illegal practice. “When we gather a lead the response often has to be immediate. As we learned on 9/11, acting with dispatch can be a matter of life and death. The information gathered in these wiretaps is not for criminal prosecution but solely to detect and deter future attacks. This is precisely the kind of contingency for which Presidential power and responsibility is designed.”

The article goes on to debunk the outcry that the President has broken the law. “The allegation of Presidential law-breaking rests solely on the fact that Mr. Bush authorized wiretaps without first getting the approval of the court established under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. But no Administration then or since has ever conceded that that Act trumped a President's power to make exceptions to FISA if national security required it. FISA established a process by which certain wiretaps in the context of the Cold War could be approved, not a limit on what wiretaps could ever be allowed…The courts have been explicit on this point, most recently in In Re: Sealed Case, the 2002 opinion by the special panel of appellate judges established to hear FISA appeals. In its per curiam opinion, the court noted that in a previous FISA case (U.S. v. Truong), a federal 'court, as did all the other courts to have decided the issue [our emphasis], held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information.'"

A Washington Post article by William Kristol and Gary Schmitt adds “the Supreme Court has never ruled that the president does not ultimately have the authority to collect foreign intelligence -- here and abroad -- as he sees fit…to engage in demagogic rhetoric about 'imperial' presidents and 'monarchic' pretensions, with no evidence that the president has abused his discretion, is foolish and irresponsible.”

blankfist said...

That was some delicious food for though, yet I cannot imagine actually reading such a labored entry. Anyhow, great post, Crane. Your writing goes down smooth like a crisp glass of lemonade on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Maybe, just maybe, that's why you have so many people reading your blog? Hmmm? Maybe. On any note, great entry. I haven't been watching the news, mainly because I'm an apethetic, nearing middle-aged gen-Xer, but also because it makes me angry. It's disgusting to think that maybe the news is showing this strike as bad because it inconveniences them. Sad. And, yeah, I love me some Walmart. Sorry, but I do.

Anonymous said...

iPod sales went up cause the strike. WOO HOO!

blankfist said...

Merry Christmas!

Shannon said...

Thank you brother. Thank you for all the blogs. Thank you for caring and please disregard my last blog.

blankfist said...

Haha, yep, Crane is totally suicidal. Are you gonna sit back and take that from your sister, Crane? It makes you sound like a... er... like a girl. Anyhow, where's the post!?!?!?!?!

blankfist said...

Waiting on the new post, girlie man. Post something... lazy.