Posts Tagged ‘Media’
While visiting relatives over the weekend, I had the chance to browse a Sunday edition of a local paper for the first time in years. As I was wondering how long journalism can exist in this form, I ran across Parade magazine boasting of an interview with Benazir Bhutto. Nowhere in the article did it mention that she had been assassinated nearly 10 days prior on December 27. Not even an editor’s note. Their website adds a disclaimer that the January 6 edition had already gone to press before the assassination, effectively admitting that any news you read in Parade will be at least 10 days old. Also, I wonder what they had done if they were running a cover story about a U.S. politician who got assassinated before they went to press. Would they still leave the article out there and pretend everything is fine?
Despite all that, I have to think the most baffling thing in Parade is a feature called Personality Parade that they run on the very first page. People send in questions about celebrities that are so inane that I seriously have to wonder if these questions are real or if Parade’s editors just make them up to flesh out the page. Here’s a selection from this week’s issue:
Q Rock singer John Mayer was hot and heavy with Jessica Simpson for a long time. What do you think of his current squeeze, Friday Night Lights’ perky cheerleader Minka Kelly?
—J.A., Montgomery Village, Md.
Q Why do celebrities like the Olsen twins go around with long, stringy hair? Don’t they care what they look like?
—Katherine Brown, Oceanside, Calif.
Q How does country star Trace Adkins rate his experience as a contestant on Donald Trump’s NBC show Celebrity Apprentice?
—S.C., Honolulu, Hawaii
I see this magazine in the grocery store every week and I am always amazed that people buy it. According to Wikipedia, Woman’s World has a circulation of 1.6 million readers. The cover always has three key elements:
- A picture of a woman who has lost weight. Here we see Kelly who lost 7 pounds in 9 days. Hey Kelly, that isn’t healthy.
- The lead story is a diet plan that is usually devoid of any personal responsibility. This one promises to “get rid of the toxins that keep women fat – and watch the pounds melt away!” Yeah, it’s the toxins that are keeping the weight on. The cover is dated October 17, so losing 25 pounds by Thanksgiving would be about 4 pounds per week for 6 weeks. Nice and healthy.
- The third element is always the kicker: recipes for high calorie foods. This week offers Milky Way fudge and peanut brownie cupcakes.
Maybe Woman’s World has so many readers because once they lose the weight they tear into the backlog of cupcake recipes that have accumulated. I wish I could find a shot of the most recent cover, which actually featured the weight loss model eating a hamburger on the cover.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has a great article on this ridiculous segment from the O’Reilly Factor that focuses on the fictitious danger of lesbian gangs. The SPLC provides this summary of the show:
Wheeler, a Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department officer-turned-paid Fox News commentator, launched right in: “Well, you know, there is this national underground network, if you will, Bill, of women that’s lesbians and also some men groups that’s actually recruiting kids as young as 10 years old in a lot of the schools in the communities all across the country,” he reported. “And they actually carry a number of weapons. And they commit a number of crimes.”
Wheeler asserted that “we’ve actually counted, just in the Washington D.C. area alone, that’s Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, well over 150 of these crews. … And they — like I said, they recruit these kids to be members of these gangs.”
O’Reilly asked, “Now, when they recruit the kids, are they indoctrinating them into homosexuality?”
“Yes,” Wheeler answered. “As a matter of fact, some of the kids have actually reported that they were forced into, you know, performing sex acts and doing sex acts with some of these people.”
Of course, there is no lesbian gang epidemic. More from the SPLC:
Sgt. Brett Parson, a member and former commander of the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, also questioned Wheeler’s numbers. “We have 150 to 175 total gangs in the D.C. area, and out of those only nine where the predominance of members are female,” he said. “You simply can’t make the jump that they are lesbians. I think it is fair to talk about violence and female gangs. But to sensationalize or marginalize a community by making a statement like that seems irresponsible.”
Confronted by the Intelligence Report, Wheeler was unable, in several phone and E-mail exchanges over a two-day period, to specify a single law enforcement agency or officer, police report, media account or any other source he relied upon for his D.C. area lesbian gangs claim. But he insisted that his report was accurate and that any law enforcement officer who disagrees is “out of touch.” “For some reason or other, these organizations don’t lay it on the line because they don’t know what is going on on the streets,” said Wheeler. “This is a serious crisis and the so-called experts are missing it.”
Ultimately, this sort of far fetched story has two specific goals:
- It spreads the idea that homosexuals are a dangerous subculture, and that groups of them are not to be trusted.
- It also reinforces the claim that human sexuality is a choice, and that homosexual groups will try to recruit children and somehow turn them gay.
It don’t really matter that the story is false. If enough of an uproar is raised, then maybe Fox will issue a correction to their report. The facts aren’t the point; the point is just to let this agenda be spread over the airwaves.
The SPLC has a more in-depth analysis, and here’s the video of the O’Reilly segment:
On The Situation Room, CNN ran a pretty shoddy piece against his new movie, Sicko. Michael Moore came on immediately after and ripped the media for its failure and inability to tell the truth. His website has a rebuttal on the CNN piece.
Here’s the video: