Blog Archive

Saturday, April 21, 2007

On the media...

In this post
- McCain's comments
-The Blame the Victims Bandwagon
-Boortz's ironic comments
-CBC News' Responsible decision

Weird Al doesn't have to worry about any competition from John McCain anytime soon. McCain's Bomb-Iran comment, he didn't really sing it, was in poor taste, and regrettable, but what's worse is that he says that he doesn't need to apologize. He told people who were offended by the comments to "get a life." This is just one more example, in a recent series (the Iraq visit, the Letterman appearance), that shows that McCain is unfit to run this country. I would expect that he would be out of the race after a series of gaffes, and a surprisingly slow start to his campaign, but without any decent competitors for the GOP nod, he's still one of the favorites. And the others aren't helping each other either. Mitt Romney's done so much to sabotage his campaign in these first months, that at this rate, he'll drop out by the fall...

Now, onto the watchdog portion...
On Fox News, Mark Steyn of the National Review, jumped on the Conservative punditry bandwagon, and blamed, the victims of the VT Massacre. He questioned the manhood of the male students, said it was a "red-flag" that the first person to respond was an elderly Holocaust-survivor, and blamed what he called a culture of passivity. Well, first, let me say that I don't really understand how Mr. Steyn can understand how things work on an American College Campus, let alone tell us what's wrong with them. First of all, he's from the UK via Canada. But they still have colleges there, I'm told. Second, he never even went to college. He's a music critic, turned conservative lap dog. So, if he wants to talk about the new Bright Eyes album Mr. Steyn, go ahead, but I don't want to hear your own anxieties about your own manhood, attack the memories of the students who were killed in this attack.
Sadly, Steyn wasn't the only conservative who jumped on the blame our society bandwagon.
The self-hating Michelle Malkin said basically the same thing. Then there was Michael Graham, a Boston Radio show host, who said that the students basically "let the gunman have his way." Ok, now all three of you, when was the last time you have someone run at you with a 9mm? How dare you criticize these victims. Play out your own sort of Charlie Bronson day dream elsewhere. If you want to show us how well you'd do staring down the barrel of a gun go sign up for front line duty in Iraq. I'm sure they'd be happy to have you. This should never be about blaming what a victim did or didn't do. You were not there, you could never understand the circumstances. Now, those that were there, the survivors, share a different story. All of these blame the victims talking points are contradicted by almost all accounts: here are a couple of those accounts as related in the NY Times, and the Washington Post.

Now, for some predictable fare, here's a quote from Rush Limbaugh:
" the shooter had an ideology, what do you think it was? This guy had to be a liberal. You start railing against the rich and all this other -- this guy's a liberal. He was turned into a liberal somewhere along the line. So it's a liberal that committed this act. Now, the drive-bys will read on a website that I'm attacking liberalism by comparing this guy to them. "

Rush isn't really attacking liberalism here but common sense and human decency. I could go into this, but I don't feel it is appropriate to say anything about what the shooter thought. It's too soon. Though it's not surprising that Rush would try to grasp onto whatever lingering amount of face time he has left.

From the how stupid can you be department, Libertarian radio-host Neil Boortz, and yes he does look about the way you'd think someone named Neil Boortz would look like, said these comments on his Apr. 16 show, in the wake of the whole Imus fallout.

First, this exchange with his Producer, Belinda Skelton:

BOORTZ: And Belinda walked on my back. We looked around the station for a little Asian girl; couldn't find one. So I had to settle for Belinda. That really felt good by the way.

SKELTON: OK. Love you long time.

BOORTZ: Happy ending. That really felt good.


(Ok, that's about as bad as what Imus said right there, but he went on to something else...)

Will we finally end the denigration of black women through rap music? Personally, I think it's jealousy. But anyway -- I mean on the part of the rappers, because, you know, I mean, look at black women, black men. Who are the higher educated, who has -- you know, is there a higher percentage of black women in college or black men? Black women. Moving up the corporate ladder -- black women, black men? Black women.

MARSHALL: So the rappers are jealous of --

BOORTZ: That's exactly right, so they call them hos and bitches.. But Oprah, this is why I'm really proud of her. Neither Jesse Jackson nor Al Sharpton will be a guest on her program today. They are not going to be a part of the show.And you know, ladies and gentlemen, you know that they asked to be on the show. And Oprah told them, "no." So, glad Oprah had the sense to keep those race warlords away from her town hall meeting this afternoon.

[...

BOORTZ: But this is a man who refers to Greeks as "homos." This is a man that talks about white interlopers. This is a man that refers to Jews as "diamond merchants." I'm going to put him on my show?

CALLER: Well, that's a valid point.

BOORTZ: Yeah. I mean, my show doesn't engage in that kind of name-calling.


now that could be a valid point, if this wasn't the same radio host who, in March of last year, said Congresswoman Cynthia McKinny, "looks like a ghetto slut." He later apologized. How Boortz is still employed is beyond me...

Finally, if you were disgusted with how much the news networks all exploited the photos, writings, and videos made by the VaTech killer, at least one news editor seemed to keep his decency intact. In this letter CBC News editor Tony Burman explains why his network decided to be more restrained and focus on the victims...





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