Posts tagged ‘News’

August 31, 2013

My Objective Is Not To Be Objective

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Damn it,  I’m not a news reporter!

Three teenagers were killed this morning when the car in which they were riding went out of control and struck a bridge abutment.  Mourners at the scene told reporters that they were “good kids.”

Or…

Three teenagers, with nothing better to do at 2 a.m. and with their parents failing in their parental duties, and while fueled by alcohol and weed, were killed while acting recklessly and irresponsibly as they sped through city streets at a high rate of speed, ending only when a bridge abutment jumped right out in front of them.  Mourners at the scene, calling them “good kids” and having emptied the local Dollar Store of candles which they placed at the scene, creating a shrine to stupidity and ignorance – the bigger tragedy – ignored the fact that the driver had a suspended license for past vehicular malfeasance, and 2 of the dumb little bastards had just been released from juvenile detention for drug violations.

The first piece is normally how these incidents are reported in your local rag of a newspaper, giving you the facts while seemingly blaming the accident not on the stupidity of the individuals involved but on a car that “went out of control,” all by itself like it was Christine.  The piece also presents the Oprah side of the tragedy as family and friends of the dearly departed gather to give reporters nothing but glowing testimony about the character of the “victims.” 

The second piece, while still presenting the facts, in fact, more facts than many want to hear at a moment like this, gives you the writer’s (oh, that would be me) opinion on reckless, unguided, and socially excused behaviors such as this that often lead to accidents such as this.   Hello!

Like most pseudo-writers spewing digital pages of reckless verbiage into the internet universe, my aim is to present an opinion or a feeling about a certain topic while leaving the bland reporting of the “he said/she said,” “he did/she did” facts to the very few objective news sources that exist in the real world.

Opinion does not dilute fact.  However, as Plutarch would agree, the truth can sometimes be a bitch when looked at through an opinionated microscope.  Your not agreeing with or being particularly open to hearing a diverse opinion, does not change the facts.

I bring this up as a self-described “newspaperman” of some years commented on a piece I wrote about the trials, tribulations, and idiocy involved in Puerto Rico’s history since Teddy Roosevelt cleaned his goggles of San Juan beach mist (http://waltkienia.hubpages.com/hub/HELL-NO-PUERTO-RICO).

Based on the Newspaperman’s Bible, this commenter was put off by of my lack of objectivity in the piece, while also telling me that the piece was too long and he didn’t read the whole thing (imagine that, a newspaperman who doesn’t like to read).   I thanked him for reading and commenting and thought to myself:  hey, it’s about Puerto Rico, how objective can you be while still being conscious?

June 16, 2013

THE WORLD LEADER IN NEWS

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After clearing the sleep from my brain with water, coffee, and a smoke, a weekend morning begins with a scan of the morning news headlines.  Gone are the days when we had to trudge out to the front stoop in our bunny slippers to retrieve a newspaper (I wonder if child labor laws had a hand in the disappearance of the paper boy).  In this century we merely have to fire up the desktop, laptop, ipad, or even our iphones, and while still in our designer undies, we have ready access to all the news (all the time).

Back in the day we had to try and wrestle individual sections of the newspaper from other members of the family; whether it be the news section, comics, or sports section, everyone had their priority news or entertainment interests.  Today, we have the option to customize the type of news and information that will greet us as we wake up and boot up.  I’m sure email and Facebook are the world leaders for how we greet the day, but here we are concerned with the point (if at all) when people look to see how tepid reality is playing out.

With no disrespect to the various news aggregators that litter the cyber universe (I use these during the week), I often look at individual news sites to glance at what their feature stories are for the morning.  Now these are dedicated news sites, the pros, the biggies, the sites that Walter Cronkite’s ghost might load into his browser.

So what did this morning’s trek over the news terrain reveal?

CBSNEWS marqueed a story on Nelson Mandela and his current grave – well, not quite grave – medical condition.

ABC NEWS featured a story on how the Syria Crisis will “Top” the G-8 summit agenda – I think each leader there has their own agenda and there are 8 different issues that top these agendas.

FOXNEWS.com topped its news agenda this morning with a story on how North Korea is proposing more talks with the U.S.  – but this is a story that can be rerun every month and still be considered relevant.

The HUFFINGTON POST  had a massive masthead that read: “INSIDE THE GOVERNMENT’S MASSIVE SYPING MACHINE.”  Ok, that is important and relevant, and I’m sure biased and forgiving to the current administration – bookmarked to later prove myself right…and correct.

USA TODAY, probably the worst hardcopy newspaper available on the national stage (and I don’t blame this criticism just on the fact that they include commentary by DeWayne Wickham), spotlighted on their web page a story on how the federal government will make larger profits on their handling of student loans than such companies as ExxonMobile and Apple made last year in their ordinary course of business.

Naturally, the LA TIMES website feature a story on the “equality” cases that litter the Supreme Court’s docket.

The WASHINGTON POST featured a pair of stories on the government’s ongoing Orwellian practices – and to think I criticized Obama for not listening to the people when he cloaked America in ObamaCare.

The NEW YORK TIMES offered up at their website a leading story that talked about the architects and cultivators of America’s current spy infrastructure – a story who’s timeline conveniently ends in 2007.

Seizing the moment like no other, NBCNEWS (through an MSNBC link) led off their page with a story on how fathers are doing more housework and childcare than their fathers did in the 1960s – which I’m sure is a result of more of today’s fathers being unemployed compared to their fathers in the 1960s.

Ok, now all criticisms aside, these are mostly relevant and important news stories coming from the leaders considered by those who consider such things  to be professional news organizations.

But what about the one that claims to be THE WORLD LEADER in news, CNN?

CNN’s lead story was headlined this way: “Is Superman’s story Jesus’ story?”

Are you shittin’ me?!