Monday, July 2, 2018

PBS as Tone Deaf as Ordinary Retail American Media

Tonight on WTTW (PBS Chicago) Judy
Woodruff described Jane Ferguson as
"intrepid" after showing the viewers
Jane broadcasting from the field in
war torn Yemen. She had a headscarf
(not covering her hair) at the ready,
but what about her tight little black
leather or leather-like cropped jacket
and faded, tight enough jeans? This
is an Arab country where most if not
all women wear black head to toe
clothing. Reporter Jane should have
done her homework and brought
appropriate clothing to "the field"
especially since she had to be
smuggled in, according to Ms.
Woodruff.

I don't see humane/humanitarian
journalism here, only a spoiled
blond white girl eager for glory
able to dine out on the strength of
her adventures. Western  "I gotta
be me" behavior always, anytime and
everywhere is wildly inappropriate in
the Middle East, especially in nations
of a theocratic Sharia/Sunni turn of
mind.

PBS has not been head and shoulders
above ABC, CBS, NBC, etc. for some
time now...can its tone deaf approach
be more expertly tuned?


Obviously Oblivious, That's the Donald, Funny too

Please see today's Bloomberg Opinion piece,
Trump's Ineptitude No Joke, July 2nd, 2018.
It is a real eye-opener, a jewel of observation
amid uninspired "me too" reams of reportage.
Bloomberg doesn't let his wealth and
Republican Party membership stand in the
way of accuracy and acute observation; his
magazine is excellent, refulgent with the
details required to more fully understand
a complicated issue--these days, there are
many.

USFARTA is the unfortunate acronym of
a White House bill which is currently being
floated, to many detractors' delight and
comedians everywhere. The "ineptitude
no joke" piece from today goes on to
remind us a lot of the Prez's favorite
notions are "entertained" but never
quite become policy, as well as other
astute points.

You may enjoy this article about our
obviously oblivious White House
temporary tenant-- i sure did.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Border Crossing Children Will be Family Safe--for a Mere Three Weeks More

Unless the USA's Republicans in the House  of
Representatives further pressure the Donald to
add to his recent executive order, effecting a
permanent policy change housing illegals with
their children. All the huzzahs, hooplas and hurrays
are all about a little break in this cruel treatment
of young children.

I still say some fault accrues to these adults
running for our border. We are not heaven on
Earth here, crime, gang, murder and prejudice
free here, despite the "exceptionalist" label our
pols and presidents apply to our land. We do not
have the funds and the jobs for the immigrant
hopefuls (millions?) who think America is Paradise
...which it is not.

Are we wealthy? Yes, but also heavily in debt,
dimming some of the financial luster many see
without delving into the details.

Do we now enjoy full employment?
Yes, statistically, 'til you recall the many who
stop looking for work are not included in these
selfsame stats coming out of the Census Bureau,
the Labor Dep't., et al., ALL of which are part
of the Executive Branch--so I don't particularly
trust the numbers' veracity put out by our current
government (--or any government).

All of these human rights problems basically
stem from two phenomenons: overpopulation
and far too many now not fixing their own
countries' ills.

But wait! A third thing that must never be
forgotten--The United States manufactures
more guns, airplanes, automatic weapons
than anywhere else, and we sell them
EVERYwhere else. We COULD assist the
Central Americans in their anti-violence
struggles by not selling a single weapon
to these incompetent, immoral dictatorships,
but...
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Thursday, June 7, 2018

The U.S. Media, Their Obsession with the Unimportant, and Other Sins

Well, we gotta have 'em, love 'em or
loathe 'em: but some of us DEMAND
our so-called journalists do their damn
jobs, just as we insist the pols DO
THEIRS.

I oh so rarely agree with the Donald
about anything, but he was spot on
in his defense of wife Melania, who
wasn't seen in public for three weeks.
In indecent speculation, reporters were
howling how hadn't Ms. M had  plastic
surgery, and alluded to other less than
desirable motivations/actions...Stay in
your lane, media maniacs!

In the interest of accuracy of info going
out to the public, I have often dialed up TV
stations (even PBS!) to object to errors
of all sorts and provided corrections.
This phenomenon is intolerable, as I possess
fewer educational credentials than these
anchors--they should be more
accurate THAN ME.

Pursuing a president's wife or other celebrity,
harping on their clothing, public appearances,
health, etc. is highly unseemly AND robs
time from coverage of more matters
of import, matters directly affecting most
people's lives, like war, corruption,
eliminating programs helping the poor,
elderly and disabled, to say nothing of
easing middle class tax burdens.

But then less-researched drama may boost
ratings and provide lazy reporters the
'relaxation" they all SO desperately need.
(I am not criticizing Lester Holt and the
other serious hard news beat journalists
who often serve in harms' way.)

Say, lazy bones, are you up to emulating
the higher level of reportage evinced by
Walter Cronkite, Edw. R. Murrow and
like-minded others?

It's doubtful--habit and a nice salary plus
some prestige will militate against such
improvements...

So obsession with the unimportant will
roll on, along with cruel unsupported digs
at people in a vulnerable state.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

We Remember Roseanne-- Why Didn't ABC?

Roseanne Barr may be a funny comedienne,
but she has always been prejudiced and
racist. Wasn't it Ms. Barr who pulled her
eyelids into slants some years back,
hatefully mimicking garbled Oriental speech?
How did ABC fail to recall that flap, as well
as many more by her and others,?

 --TSK,  TSK, ABC, you did not do the
requisite due diligence one might expect.
Ms. Barr has had several of these embarrassingly
inhumane outbursts, but TV execs, harking back
to the past, looked to her old hit series and hoped
lightning  might just strike one more time. ($$$!)

Now Roseanne has been fired again;
perhaps she can get a job at a restaurant,
life imitating art, just as she did years
ago on the show.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

The Animal Welfare League: Time for Critics to Roll Up Their Sleeves, Open Their Wallets and Help

But instead, they mindlessly copy the candlelight
vigil practice/demonstrations generally employed
when innocent people, especially children, are
killed. I have been to this very caring and humane
shelter in Chicago Ridge, IL, many times over the
past ten years and found nothing amiss--seen cages
filled with dogs, cats, small mammals. The front and
adoption areas are always clean, the vets and support
staff pleasant and kind...

Ahem: it DOES PAY to be kind to the shelter's staff too,
recognizing and understanding they DO have problems.
From the ASPCA to the various states' SPCAs, the
Chicago Humane Society, et al., all are almost
overrun with animals dropped off, too often by
owners who did zero research, not realizing that
cute little puppy would grow to almost human
size. Sometimes it is a tragedy or simple necessity
which brings the pet to a shelter, yes, but more often,
too many heedless Americans are to blame.

Back to the whistleblowers of Chicago Ridge:
Just who are you, exactly? Do you really care
about animals or are you merely angling for
more press coverage? Have you sent AWL
$25.00 every month as I'm doing, even on my
laughable $1,000 SSA monthly check, rent $600?
I suspect not. Are you all volunteering? I'm 72
and not well, wish I COULD volunteer.

It is easy to criticize. Here's my message to all
those naysayers who claim they want to reform
The Animal Welfare League, not close it:
Open up your hearts, your wallets,
VOLUNTEER.

P.S.: Perhaps more inquiry will reveal a more
heartfelt, sincere motivation re: the AWL
protesters/vigil holders. I'm willing to
listen. Best Wishes to all involved.




Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Mothers' Pleas to Perps of Gun Violence Will Fall on Deaf Ears...

Sorry to say so, but anyone who watches the news
even two times a week over the years knows  mothers
have pleaded, cajoled, demanded, etc. that this madness
ends so their children can grow up minus shooting scars
--and actually reach adulthood.

I was struck today by Chicago's NBC 5 story about
Imani Williams, still alive after being shot in her
abdomen. A cell video shows her to be upbeat, planning
to make the serious effort to survive such a horrific
occurrence. I wish her the very best, will pray for
her too, but:

One of the interviewees stated that since they are
suburbanites, they are not familiar with gun violence
in Chicago, especially the West Side where Imani went
to visit. P.S.: the Western Suburbs are not violence free
either, by the bye, which is where young Ms. Williams
and her family reside.

As I watched I could not avoid thinking--Really?
More evidence of the Middle Class not watching/
reading/hearing the news, which can indeed be
QUITE INSTRUCTIVE. I guess the "Yuppie" profile
is still alive and well--people obtaining enough formal
schooling and/or  training to earn those salaries which
enable flight from the troubled, over-populated urban
center to lead a decent (I suppose) private life free from
many of society's ills... Hmmn.

I don't have answers beyond the comprehensive,
complicated and overlapping ones suggested by smart,
caring and involved adults I have observed and even known
over the decades in Chicagoland: it will take most of the
parents, most of the teachers, most of the Chicago Police,
and most of the local legislators working intimately,
persistently together--not the sporadic press conferences
by CPD Police Chief Eddie Johnson, Anthony Holmes
and Father Pfleger, all good men...and the tears of the
families we are shown. Human interest interviews, long
a staple of journalism, are inadequate, to say the least.

Herding cats is probably easier to achieve than the
abovesaid solutions which I am sure are the ways to
defeat poverty, gangs, racism (-tribalism), et al.

Meanwhile, same story, different day; the names
and faces change, but little improves.

                **************************

                     
                        Personal aside:

(If I met an interesting new person in the Loop or at
an event, and we wanted to continue our association,
I would have to ask what community they called
home. I would then propose further meetings in
locations where I felt reasonably safe. Right now,
although no public place is safe, I will not
go to homes on the West Side, Albany Park on
the North Side, etc. No matter what the ethnicity,
I seldom see anyone at their homes in any case,
for a variety of reasons--and virtually no one would
care to visit mine, tiny as it is.)

Survival to a ripe old age takes awareness, effort,
luck and research, research, research--but wait!
That's not fun, is it? Fun, our national religion,
insists fun is the goal. Loved ones' tears keep falling;
pleas for nonviolence won't be heard, due to the USA's
irrational affair with fun and the gun.