Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 7.20.12 AMIn Riyadh, the Saudi morality police are again in the news. You may recall that when we last left the medieval mod squad they had secured a sentence to flog a woman who insulted them. Now, the religious police was caught on video beating up a British resident after they paid a bill at a women-only cask desk. The religious police was irate at the violation of the strict Sharia-based separation of the sexists and apparently took what they thought was the morality correct approach in beating the man in front of his wife who was wearing a black abaya cloak.

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280px-Logo_ustelecom_lgWe have previously discussed how the United States lags behind many countries in the speed and availability of high-speed Internet. As noted earlier, this is due primarily to the powerful lobby in Washington and members who do their bidding in Congress to allow certain companies to control and profit off of such access. The U.S. cable industry and its lobbyists however have been careful to stay out of the public eye to protect their income and the members that they use in Congress. Now, however, the industry has made a rare play in the open. The industry is moving to block plans in Chattanooga, Tennessee and Wilson, North Carolina to offer high-speed internet services to their citizens. Lawyers and lobbyists for USTelecom, which represents cable giants Comcast, Time Warner and others, have mobilized to stop this trend where municipalities have responded to the demand of their citizens for such access. In the world of Washington lobbying, the slowest in this field has continued to win the race. While slow in service, our telecom companies are fast in making friends in Congress.

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The National Report has released another highly disturbing story out of Louisiana there Paul Horner, 15, allegedly was given 25 years to life for “swatting” — calling in a face police report on an online gaming opponent. The problem is that the story is entirely untrue. There is nothing funny of course about the article like an Onion publication. National Report, which we have previously discussed, is a fake new site in which grown adults do nothing but try to trick blogs and news sites into republishing false stories. That is it. Just a juvenile “gotcha” site that is the equivalent to journalistic graffiti. Now, once again, here is my question: why do advertisers support this site and why hasn’t someone sued these people? The latest fake story shows the picture of a person crying in a courtroom surrounding by officers. The editors list the photo as an Associated Press photo and the website appears to have removed its prior disclaimer that the stories are false.

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492385_738987-wingerLawrence Winger, a leading labor and employment lawyer in Maine, was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with possessing child pornography. Winger, 63, consented to a search of his office where investigators allegedly found dozens of images and videos of prepubescent children engaged in sexual activity. Winger has a blog specializing in labor and employment issues.

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Screenshot (YouTube)

Screenshot (YouTube)

There is an interesting, and sad, scandal at the University of Southern California. Football star and NFL prospect Josh Shaw has been indefinitely suspended after admitting he made up a story that turned him into a national hero after he claiming to have injured both ankles jumping off a balcony to save his drowning nephew. He was heralded by the school and national media until the Los Angeles Times debunked the story in a scandal reminiscent of Manti Te’o controversy.

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200px-Calderoli1Deputy Senate Speaker Roberto Calderoli (and Senator from the The Northern League and once Minister of Reforms under the center-right government of Silvio Berlusconi in 2006) may not appeal to many Italians. He is viewed as xenophobic and racist. He insults groups with remarkable frequency and . . . oh yes . . . he says that he is possessed. That’s right, Calderoli believed that he has been hexed by the father of the the Minister of Integration and wants an emergency exorcism from the Church.

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screenshot (YouTube)

screenshot (YouTube)

Many people have now watched the touching tribute giving by Billy Crystal to Robin Williams at the Emmy Awards ceremony (I actually detest awards shows and show the clip below after the controversy arose). It appears that there has been a torrent of criticism of one of the clips as racist. We have been discussing the rising limits on speech deemed racist or hateful, including cases brought against comedians (here and here). This controversy highlights the subjectivity over the meaning of such a joke in my view.

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