In this episode of his radio show, pundit Rush Limbaugh asks a caller how he feels about the President "sending troops to target radical Christians." Believe it or not, he's talking about the troops sent to combat the LOrd's Resistance Army, a militia group in Uganda that is guilty of child rape, kidnapping, enslavement, torture, mutilation.... They have actually been in the news for years because of their terrorism and human rights violations. The bill In question had overwhelming bipartisan support. As GOP consultant Joe Breittel writes in this FoxNews OpEd (http://fxn.ws/v7vPkh): "there is no question that the children of Uganda will benefit from having the region rid of Joseph Kony and his army once and for all." Limbaugh takes the role that partisan pundits take when they pick certain issues to controversialize. It helps them sell their books and films and stay relevant. But we have to take a look at the impact of the Ann Coulters and Michael Moores of the world on an uninformed public. Do we really want a polarized society where anything...even the LRA...is subject to partisan interpretation?
Is the format of television news designed to inform and educate or is it designed to grab the viewer and boost ratings? This dead-on spoof seems to suggest that techniques of the trade can tell the viewer what (or whether) to think about an issue. Is there ominous music in the background? Can you really understand complex issues like the economy and health care by sound bites? And why ask random people on the street about things?
Why are some stories- particularly international ones- left untold by our media? We might try to blame the media or politicians, some ambiguous "they" who manipulates our lives. But we bear responsibility for our collective bias against news that makes us uncomfortable.
KPHO, the CBS affiliate in Phoenix, marvels at the kids today, with their vodka-soaked tampons and butt chugging: "This is not isolated to any school,...
I have to say, I share this libertarian magazine's skepticism. I have learned to be wary of almost any news story that tells parents to watch out for dangerous new trends among teenagers.
This one has become my favorite.
Now, no doubt, somewhere out there, there probably are people who do this. But how many? Is it really something parents everywhere should be concerned about? If this behavior is rampant, where are all the deaths? This method would not induce vomiting so alcohol poisoning is a given. How many tragic deaths and hospitalizations have there been? Where are the numbers? Which teens are doing it?What does the CDC say about this epidemic?...and what about the excruciating burn this would cause? If that isn't a deterrent, then there's little that parental supervision would do, right?
I may be wrong, but I suspect this may be in the same family as those classic urban legends about poisoned Halloween candy. Despite news stations and child safety advocates cautioning for years against bushy haired strangers handing out apples stuffed with razorblades and Skittles laced with LSD, there have been no documented cases of children dying of random deliberate Halloween candy poisoning. However, there have been cases of people using this urban legend to cover up the murders and accidental death of children.
Parents who love their children are horrified by such news stories, which also confirm the common view that the younger generation is degenerate and crazy. Jesus is coming soon, the end of days are upon us and that's why we have vodka soaked tampons and LSD tainted skittles.
Somehow, I find room to question the accuracy of this worldview.
In this video, semi retired journalist Peter Hadfield, known to the YouTube community as Potholer54, presents an example of how the media mangle science with his video "Why the Media Screw Up Science Part I" Part 2 is forthcoming. POTHOLER54 is best known for his Golden Crockoduck videos which expose the unscientific claims of creationists. When it comes to issues like education, the environment, stem cell research and vaccination as well as court cases like Kitzmiller v Dover, scientific illiteracy in the US poses a major hurdle. The media plays a big role in perpetuating our ignorance...
The media doesn't inform the public about the political process. Instead pundits follow the personalities of "rock star" politicians. Since we are the voters, why do we need party pundits to tell us how we feel? Maybe it's because we don't understand the political process..
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