ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘media

I Agree With The Stop The War Coalition!

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Years back, I probably said that a few times, but not afterwards with the subsequent decline of the StWC . The politics of the groups behind the StWC and their particular obsessions became more pronounced, which was incredibly disappointing and so were the resultant shortcomings.

A vibrant anti-war movement became the plaything of Toytown Trots and Tankies, it was driven into the ground and ordinary people driven away from politics as a result.

So now I am one of the StWC’s harsher critics, but I must commend to my readers a video which the Stop The War Coalition has just released:

I doubt I will be agreeing with the StWC for a long time to come, but there must be action taken against anti-Muslim bigotry in the West.

Glenn Beck’s Nonsense.

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Someone took the time and trouble to look through all of the nonsense that Glenn Beck spouted, ex of Fox News, read more at Media Matters:

Beck: George Soros “Is The Head Of The Snake.” From the October 15, 2010, edition of Glenn Beck:

BECK: And that’s what they found out in the first progressive movement. If we
don’t have God, if we don’t have him, if we don’t — if we can’t control these churches. Wilson, his father was a preacher. Most everybody in the early progressive movement, their father or somebody involved was a preacher. And they hated it. Right? It was a twisted version. And they hated it.

DAVID BARTON : I mean, the ACLU was headed by a preacher in the progressive movement. Americans for Democratic Action, headed by a preacher in the progressive movement. It is amazing how many of those progressive organizations were headed by preachers.

BECK: Well, Jim Wallis. And Jim Wallis today. He’s an amazing individual.

CALVIN BEISNER: Who also takes money from George Soros.

BECK: No! It’s almost like George Soros is the head of the snake. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 10/15/10]

Readers will remember Glenn Beck, His Racism And Fox’s Reply.

Glenn Beck, His Racism And Fox’s Reply.

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I wouldn’t normally want to cover Glenn Beck, as Adam Holland has done such a fine job in chronicling Beck’s decline, but I noticed a disturbing piece in the Washington Post:

After MSNBC let go Keith Olbermann last week, Glenn Beck couldn’t resist celebrating. "Keith Olbermann is the biggest pain in the ass in the world," he judged.

But Olbermann’s departure really should give Beck pause: With political speech coming under new scrutiny, how much longer can Beck’s brutal routine continue at Fox News?

The latest omen of Beck’s end times came on Thursday – Holocaust Remembrance Day – when 400 rabbis representing all four branches of American Judaism took out an ad demanding that Beck be sanctioned for "monstrous" and "beyond repugnant" use of "anti-Semitic imagery" in going after Holocaust survivor George Soros. ”

This bit shows how Fox News simply ignores the question of Beck’s racism and how he helps to bring antisemitism into the mainstream media:

“A Fox News spokesman brushed off the complaint in the usual fashion, attributing it to a "Soros-backed left-wing political organization." But that’s not going to fly: The statement’s signatories included the chief executive of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and his predecessor, the dean of the conservative Jewish Theological Seminary rabbinical school and a number of orthodox rabbis.

“Beck has outlasted past complaints over his race baiting, his violent words and his conspiracy theories. He’s not new to questionable talk about Jews (years ago he called Barbra Streisand a "big-nosed cross-eyed freak"), and for the past couple of years his Nazi accusations against opponents have come by the hundreds.

But in June, he promoted on air the work of a Nazi sympathizer, Elizabeth Dilling, who had referred, in writings Beck didn’t mention, to Eisenhower as "Ike the kike" and Kennedy’s New Frontier as the "Jew Frontier." A few days later, Beck referred to Soros’s Jewish ancestry, accused him of currency manipulation and said "he’s got disturbing hair in his nose." ”

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Written by modernityblog

31/01/2011 at 07:04

The Independent’s 21st Century Racism.

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I am indebted to one of my readers, Sarah Annes Brown, for pointing out Mary Dejevsky’s comments in the Independent.

If you read Mary Dejevsky’s appalling article you might be struck, as I was, how attitudes towards the Roma haven’t really changed in the past 80 years.

The Roma have suffered stigmatisation, extermination and marginalisation yet the comment below did not come from a 1930s fascist publication, although given its contents it could have.

It comes from a Western broadsheet, renowned for occasionally provocative but reasoned articles. Surprisingly, in 2004 the Independent won the British Press Awards’ national newspaper of the year.

Mary Dejevsky argues:

“”As it is, though, they [the Roma] are parasites on a state of civilisation, material and cultural, they have done nothing to build and could not reproduce for themselves.”

How such a conspicuous festering pile of racism managed to seep past the Independent’s subeditors I can’t say, but rarely outside of fascist thinking do you see such arguments, and we shouldn’t forget how often they were repeated in the 1930s.

These forms of attack on the Roma are common currency amongst European neofascists, as members of the Vlaams Belang show:

“France’s policy of expelling Roma to Romania and Bulgaria has attracted a storm of criticism at home and abroad from human rights groups and churches but has found support among some far-right politicians.

Philip Claeys, one of two MEPs from the far-right Flemish party Vlaams Belang, said he wants to defend “French policy concerning Roma.”

“The dismantling of illegal camps, the struggle against petty crime, criminality and prostitution, and the expulsion of foreigners with no legal earnings are perfectly legitimate in a democratic constitutional state,” said the Belgian euro-deputy in a statement Thursday (2 September).

Getting rid of the Roma camps puts an end to “public order disturbance,” he continued.

France’s own far-right National Front also agrees with the deportations. Its leader Jean-Marie Le Pen described the situation as “a problem caused by the European Union opening the borders between European countries.”

The Independent really should make an effort to stop publishing this anti-Roma racism.

Update 1: As Sarah AB points out the article receives plenty of support in the comments box.

Written by modernityblog

04/09/2010 at 15:13

Starved for Attention.

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I am exceedingly leery about charities and how much money has been wasted in keeping Westerners in relative comfort or absorbed by “administration”.

Still, I have nothing but admiration for the Doctors and staff of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) as they deliberately put themselves in harm’s way to help people in some of the most remote and dangerous regions of the world.

Here’s a discussion of one of MSF’s latest campaigns, Starved for Attention:

“Malnutrition is medical priority for MSF. We treat hundreds of thousands of children every year. Over the past few decades, the image of emaciated, fly-ridden children on the brink of death from famines and other catastrophe has come to define the visual representation of childhood malnutrition. And in this media saturated world, flush with information documenting the daily toll of human suffering, it is understandable that a visual immunity has developed as a line of defense against this clichéd imagery provoking any kind of an emotional response to tackle the crisis of childhood malnutrition head on. It was in this context that we challenged VII to capture a new visual identity for malnutrition. We had the strong experience of working together in Congo, and this offered another compelling opportunity for collaboration between VII and MSF.”

Written by modernityblog

01/09/2010 at 23:29

Steel’s Hatchet Job.

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I should say upfront that I had a bit of time for Mark Steel, the comedian.

He was often very witty, his past lectures on the radio were funny and informative.

So I am all the more disappointed when I read his hatchet job in the Independent.

We can all argue and disagree about what happened on the Mavi Marmara, but to leave out whole chunks of the IDF soldiers recollections simply because it doesn’t fit the desired political narrative is a little bit annoying.

Mark Gardener explains it better.

I had hoped that when Mark Steel left the SWP that he would leave behind all of their dodgy tactics, pettiness and clumsy sleight of hand politics, which makes much of the British Left a rather uninviting place to be.

I suppose it is a case of:

“you can take the activist away from the SWP, but you can’t get the SWP out of the one-time activist.”

(H/T: Engage)

Written by modernityblog

06/08/2010 at 16:01

What is Gaza Really Like?

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Who really knows what goes on in Gaza?

Who is free to tell? How does Hamas manipulate sympathies in the West?

I do not know and I will bet that neither do most people.

But we know that Hamas controls Gaza with force. Hamas will subjugate, torture or murder any dissidents.

Hamas play the Western media’s game, portraying a particular image that they wish Westerners to see, but occasionally the façade falls

The BBC’s Edward Stourton reports from Gaza [07:39 on the 18th Jan 2010 BBC’s Today programme, available here via the BBC player, approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes into the programme].

It is well worth a listen, especially the bit where Stourton reports:

“I am actually in rather an elegant hotel by the sea in Gaza City, you maybe able to hear the waves lapping on the beach, and give or take the odd shortage it just about works…..hundreds of tunnels, and we are told some are big enough to allow entire cars to be smuggled through…..I am in the heart of Gaza City in the shopping area, in front of a shop absolutely stuffed with goods, inside there are clocks, and kettles, and crockery and pretty much anything you could want. Outside there on the pavement piles of fridges, washing machines and microwave ovens…”

It strikes me that Gaza is very much like any city or society, with its rich elements and the poor.

Capitalism with all of its inherent problems, is alive and well in Gaza, but it’s not just that.

Clearly, poverty in Gaza is exacerbated by Hamas’s actions, the military conflicts, Hamas’s excessive spending on weaponry and building up their own internal security forces, to keep them in power.

The money wasted on arms cannot be spent on alleviating the real poverty that exists in Gaza.

But then again, I suspect that Hamas do not really care much about the poor, except when they can be pulled out and shown to the Western media as objects of pity. Hamas has a vested interest in portraying the worst possible picture, but can’t be absolved of blame as they have run Gaza since 2006.

On top of that, the Western correspondents in the Middle East are partly to blame, they know full well the divide between rich and poor in Gaza. They know of the elegant hotels, the shops stuffed with goods and tunnels big enough to smuggle a car in, yet without exception we hear next to nothing about them.

I wonder why?

Update 1: See the comments, but in late 2008 Hamas kicked out an Israeli journalist. “But on Sunday, Hamas officials told Amira Hass they would no longer guarantee her security and told her to leave. “

As she says:

“AMIRA HASS: I don’t know. They just got tired of me, I guess, because they insisted from the start to follow me, to escort me twenty-four hours a day, which, of course, didn’t make my work very easy, but I took it OK. They said there is a—“We want to avoid any—the slightest chance that somebody might hurt you.” And then, all of a sudden on Sunday, they told me that the circumstances have changed, and there is more tension in the region, and there are all sorts of information—there is all sorts of information that my life might be in danger. And as a principle, I don’t take such, you know, at face value what any security apparatus tells me, whether it is the Israelis, whether Arafat or Hamas. But they left no option. I mean, they were very strict about it. I have some friends in Hamas. They tried very hard to put sense into some people, but it was in vain. “

Written by modernityblog

18/01/2010 at 16:15