June 9th, 2012

Murasaki Shikibu

MBC Producer: What’s the Fuss About?

MBC Producer: What’s the Fuss About?

MBC’s “Sesangbogi Sisigakgak” (Seeing the World, Minute by Minute) newsmagazine show is standing behind the controversial story it aired on May 28 about what it dubbed the “shocking reality” South Korean women face by dating men from other countries.

The show’s chief producer said Thursday he couldn’t understand why foreign residents in South Korea were upset by the five-minute report.

The report created anger and resentment in the expat community around the country. It became fodder for some of South Korea’s most-read expat bloggers.

A Facebook group started, called “Action Against MBC Korea And Their Racist, Biased ‘Reporting,’” and has drawn 8,000 members in the past week. Outside the MBC headquarters in Seoul, where reporters from MBC News have been on strike since January, a rotating group of Korean women and their foreign boyfriends and husbands, have run a silent protest of their own.

South Korean media, as happens in other countries, tend to scapegoat, deride and criticize foreigners for a variety of reasons, some real but many exaggerated. English teachers, in particular, get an outsized heap of criticism from the South Korean media, owing in part to the fact that, as elsewhere, scary stories about children get lots of attention. Many long-time expats have observed that foreigners are criticized less frequently by the domestic media in recent years.

So the MBC report, actually researched and filmed by an external company, may be something of an anachronism prompted in part by the fact that its reporters are on strike. It was egregious in its use of stereotypes, undeveloped assertions and presentation tricks (only one identified source and lots of hidden cameras and disguised voices) to convey its message.

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No Enbridge
  • romp

Why Did Harper Cut Canada's Library and Archives?

Why would the Harper government cut Canada's Library and Archives budget?

Heritage Minister James Moore explained the 10 per cent overall cut would not hurt the agency because records could be digitized and made available to Canadians via the Internet.

But the 2012 budget cut the digitization staff by 50 per cent.

If that doesn't add up, then let's examine some other reasons the Conservatives led by Stephen Harper may have decided to reduce public access to the nation's archival records.

1. Who needs national records when you have the Bible?

Stephen Harper has to satisfy his party's evangelical base.
As well, since 2006 Harper has been a member of Ottawa's Eastgate Alliance church, which is affiliated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance. The statement of faith of this church declares that:

"The Old and New Testaments, inerrant as originally given, were verbally inspired by God and are a complete revelation of His will for the salvation of people. They constitute the divine and only rule of Christian faith and practice."

Inerrant. Period. Goodbye archives.

2. Who needs facts if they screw up your favourite story?
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a more detailed look at the cuts: The Wrecking of Canada's Library and Archives
There's no profit in archives! The bottom line is that we don't know what will be a future historical document. So the greed and short-sightedness continues.
Calvin & Hobbes: Pure essence of evil
  • calybe

How the Obama administration is making the US media its mouthpiece

Over the past several weeks in the US, there has been a series of high-profile media scoops exposing numerous details about President Obama's covert foreign policy and counterterrorism actions, stories appearing primarily in The New York Times. Americans, for the first time, have been told about Obama's personal role in compiling a secret "kill list", which determines who will be targeted for death in Pakistan and Yemen; his ordering of sophisticated cyber-attacks on Iran's nuclear enrichment facilities; and operational details about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Each of these stories revealed information clearly in the public interest and sparked important debates. But the way in which they were reported – specifically, their overwhelming reliance on Obama's own usually anonymous aides – raise longstanding and still troubling questions about the relationship between the establishment American media and the government over which it is supposed to serve as adversarial watchdog.

The Obama White House's extreme fixation on secrecy is shaped by a bizarre paradox. On the one hand, the current administration has prosecuted double the number of whistleblowers – government employees who leak classified information showing high-level official wrongdoing – than all previous administrations combined. Obama officials have also, as ACLU lawyers documented this week in the Guardian, resisted with unprecedented vigor any attempts to subject their conduct to judicial review or any form of public disclosure, by insisting to courts that these programs are so secretive that the US government cannot even confirm or deny their existence without damaging US national security.

But at the very same time that they invoke broad secrecy claims to shield their conduct from outside scrutiny, it is Obama officials themselves who have continuously and quite selectively leaked information about these same programs to the US media. Indeed, the high publicity-value New York Times scoops of the past two weeks about covert national security programs have come substantially from Obama aides themselves.

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Source: Guardian

OP: I think we should have a tag for drone strikes, since it seems to be a major thing the Obama administration loves to conduct.