Sunday, December 17, 2006
The Face of the Faculty
We got a kick out of this Rice Thresher article. Once we eyed the title we just knew it had something to do with "diversity." We mean, come on -- "Face of the Faculty"? And sure enough, we weren't disappointed.
The story concentrates on one Joan Strassman, who way back in 1981 -- Neanderthal-like days for "diversity," "multiculturalism" and "sensitivity" -- felt "disenfranchised" as the only female faculty member in the Biology Dept. She claims decisions were made without her input, but we're left to wonder: Even if her input was considered -- and then opposed -- wouldn't that, in effect, still make her feel "disenfranchised"?
Strassman then bemoans that she was not granted maternity leave. Now, wait one damn second!! Aren't we constantly lectured by anointed ivory-tower dwelling feminists that there is essentially no difference between the genders? So why should Strassman be granted a leave for which no testosterone-laden colleague can partake? This to us sounds like discrimination! Bias!
Of course, as mentioned, the article is all about the "need" for a diverse faculty ... because this somehow "benefits" the student body. We won't bother covering the usual inanity of such a belief, but instead want to point out a few contradictions to the "diversity" credo. For instance, Dean of Natural Sciences Kathy Matthews "said her department is taking strong initiatives in recruiting women faculty with a program called ADVANCE." She states,
“There is a biological reality, and that is that the childbearing years correspond pretty strongly to the years of graduate school, post-doctoral [fellowships], and the years that you have to put in to be tenured as a faculty member,” Matthews said. “Some women are not willing to give up those childbearing years or to do what is necessary during those childbearing years to pursue a faculty position.”
Again! A "biological reality"? A phrase uttered by a Dean of a college? Unthinkable! We're left wondering why these "biological realities" are not taken into account, for instance, in discussions regarding Title IX -- the section of the Civil Rights Act which has been used to mandate "equal time" for males and females in college sports. We mean, let's face it -- men's sports are much more exciting to watch mainly because of the "biological reality" that men are stronger and faster than women. Y'know, this might just somehow explain why there are no women in the four major professional sports leagues. Well, aside from ball girls and cheerleaders, that is.
Back to Strassman:
Strassmann said that a diverse faculty is critical to an undergraduate student’s education.
“People vary in how they teach and what they put emphasis on, and some of that variation comes from different life experiences, which men and women have in this culture, and so do minorities,” Strassmann said. “And if you have all one flavor of faculty, you’re just not going to get that.”
Student Center Director Boyd Beckwith, who was instrumental in promoting gay-friendly hiring policies at Rice, agrees.
“I think [that a diverse faculty is important] in the same way that a diversified student body is important to any student’s education,” Beckwith said. “I think oftentimes students learn as much from each other because they’re from different backgrounds as they do in the classroom.”
Unfortunately for these two educators, their beliefs are just that -- beliefs. Little to no research has yet demonstrated any tangible effects of the nebulous designation "diversity." At best they're making "educated guesses." But keep in mind Strassman's solicitude for diversity, for later in the article when discussing the success of a black female student who went on to become an ecology professor ...
“I’d say that minority students aren’t really different from any others,” Strassmann said. “I think what’s important is to welcome them into the lab, to try to have enough minority students in the group that they feel comfortable. Sometimes that makes a difference, sometimes it doesn’t. I’d like to see every student doing research.”
WAIT!! "Minority students aren't really different from others?" If they're not really different, prof., then why the overwhelming need for a diverse faculty (and student body)? And is "diversity" meant to improve educational results ... or to make students "feel comfortable"?
Frankly, we're amazed that Prof. Strassman and Dean Matthews used the terminology that they did. Not only did they contravene themselves, they impugned diversiphiles across the American college landscape. If their dogma of diversity wasn't so firmly entrenched, we'd bet that they'd have to spend at least one session in a "sensitivity" gulag.
My student fees go for this?
So complained CSU's (Northridge) African Student Organization President Marvin Boateng about a "get out the vote" campaign sponsored by the university? Marvin's beef? "All the hands on the card are white," he said. "This is what my A.S. fee is going to? Something that only represents one race of people?"
Wow. That sure is something with which to be preoccupied, eh? Not that big mid-term exam coming up, or the needed GPA to get into that honor society. Or even that upcoming post-graduate job interview. Nope. An ad which entices college students to pull that voting lever has too many "white hands" in it. (Actually, we thought the hand on the far right of the ad's picture kind of looks a bit "dark." Perhaps it is that of a light-complexioned African-American? A Latino? An Asian? Wait, scratch that last presumption -- we forgot that Asians are "not really minorities.")
According to a 2005 study done by the Office of Institutional Research, white students at CSUN make up only 32.1 percent of the entire student population.
Indeed. Which makes it all the more shocking that a university -- the most adept racial bean counters in the business -- failed to note this statistic when it groomed the ad.
Boateng brought the card to the attention of A.S. President Adam Salgado.
"That was overlooked. We should be paying more attention to things like that," Salgado said in a phone interview.
Salgado said that to his knowledge the hands were picked randomly.
A.S. Director of Elections Leonard Wong said, "It didn't really register with me when I approved them." He did admit that the hands do look like all white hands.
"We overlooked it and I take full responsibility," Wong said.
You'd better damn well, Mr. Wong! As a faux minority your actions are as suspect as those of the "oppressor" majority whites. And by taking full responsibility, you may be lucky enough to avoid a "sensitivity" seminar.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
What to do when you're a white college student who wants to peacefully protest a current political hot topic? Answer: BE CAREFUL. You may incur the wrath of "correct-minded" professors who will utilize language that, in reverse, would get one suspended from college and countless mandatory hours of "sensitivity training" and "diversity seminars."
Case in point: Washington State University College Republicans erected a "mock fence" to protest immigration policy. Uh-oh. You know what's coming, don't you? Splenetic "proper-minded" students ... and professors imputing with wanton abandon.
Another assistant professor from the CES department, John Streamas, was reported as calling College Republicans members “white shitbags,” though it was not recorded on video. According to the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, Streamas admitted to using the phrase, but said it needed to be taken in the proper context.
Oh, of course. The "proper context." And what might that be, Prof. Streamas? “It made me angry. The fence is no different than a Confederate flag or a swastika.” Oh, silly us. We sort of presumed the "proper context" might have been some offensive epithet hurled your way by one of the College Republicans. But all it was was something ... that made you angry?? And a fence to prevent illegal immigration from a neighboring country ... the same as a symbol many consider to be synonymous with American slavery? Or a symbol of racial purity and ethnic genocide? Excuse our rudeness, but we find that completely dotterel.
Prof. Streamas has received a reprimand for his outburst. But we are certainly curious as to what may have happened if Streamas had uttered his slogan to a group of black College Democrats (changing, of course, the word "white" to "black") who had, say, erected a symbolic fence that represented how a lack of affirmative action policies at WSU "kept out" minority students. Our [quite educated] guess holds that Prof. Streamas would either have been suspended, mandated to attend sessions on "sensitivity," or even fired.
Prof. Streamas wasn't the only "appropriately minded" instructor to take action against the corrupting campus GOPers:
One of the three videos shows David Leonard, assistant professor of comparative ethnic studies, first asking and then demanding the cameraman for his WSU student identification number. “By the student code of conduct, I’d like to have your ID,” he said on the tape. “You have to give it to me.” The standards of conduct do not require students to hand over their IDs in such situations, but it does require students to comply with a “proper order” from a university official.Once again, had the picture been transposed, we surmise Leonard would have been called out for his "fascist" and "Stalinist" tactics ... that he was acting more like a member of the Gestapo than an educator of an enlightened site of higher learning.
Critical Mass has a copious amount of additional material on Professor Streamas, if you care to indulge yourself.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Conference on White Privilege
The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs is sponsoring "WPC 8" -- White Privilege Conference 8 -- next April. Although the claim on the conference's main page says "This conference is not about beating up on white folks," you can ante your bottom dollar that that is precisely what will manifest. Just take a gander at some of the speakers who will be attending the conference. Without even beginning our Googling to learn more about these folk, two immediately were recognizable to us -- Robert Jensen and Jim Loewen. Both are notoriously radical and anti-American professors.
Then there's the quite interesting "FAQ" section. See if you can decipher these ... "answers":
Q: What is White Privilege?
A: I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets which I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was 'meant to remain oblivious. White Privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools, and blank checks.
Q: What does it do?
A: It seems to me that obliviousness about white advantage is kept strongly inculturated in the United States so as to maintain the myth of meritocracy, the myth that democratic choice is equally available to all. Keeping most people unaware that freedom of confident action is there for just a small number of people props up those in power, and serves to keep power in the hands of the same groups that have most of it already.
Ah, so meritocracy is a "myth." Democratic choice is "lore." Silly us. We presume that, since minority groups are just that -- in the minority -- just by pure force of digits their various subsections do not have the same "choice" effect as that of the majority population. So what's new? This complaint also surmises that minority interests are not, and cannot, be the same as those of the majority. Hence, minorities' "democratic choice" is not "equal." Well, this is essentially the bane of any democratic society. We conjecture that those who are sponsoring this conference would favor a sort of "proportionate representation" that some democratic societies indeed possess for numerous political parties. But, obviously, races and ethnicities are not political parties!
Further, they'd also be in favor of new restrictions on rights we take for granted here in the US such as freedom of speech. Some speech would have to be restricted in order to enable the "minority voice" to flourish. Indeed, Critical Race Theory states that minorities cannot meet speech with more speech because their "power" is less.
We're not quite conclusive on just what the hell "freedom of confident action" is, but then again, since this whole conference is predicated on pseudo-scientific gibberish, we'll just go with the flow...
Q. Is this about proving how bad white folks are?
A. Our attempts to dismantle dominance and oppression must follow a path other than that of either vilifying or obliterating Whiteness... Whites need to acknowledge and work through the negative historical implications of 'Whiteness' and create for ourselves a transformed identity as White people committed to equality and social change. Our goal is neither to defy or denigrate Whiteness, but to difuse its destructive power.
To teach my white students and my own children that they are 'not White' is to do them a disservice. To teach them that there a different ways of being White, and that they have a choice as White people to become champions fo [sic] justice and social healing, is to provide them a positive direction for growth and to grant them the dignity of their own being.
And this is not supposed to be a racist response, believe it or not. Only whites have to "work through" the negative implications of ... being white ... because, after all, whites are inherently UNcommitted to equality and social change. Which is news to, say, the vast majority of white people not to mention the American historical record. Astonishing. Just remember: The conference's goal isn't to "denigrate Whiteness," just to "difuse its destructive power," which in layman's terms means "You're damn right we're gonna blast Whitey, 'cause it's THEY who have f***ed up everything and anything!!"
Remember, Mr. and Mrs. White Person -- "becoming champions for justice and healing" means accepting that you and your ancestors are culpable for every conceivable ill on the planet, and following a "course of action" that will bring "dignity" is to welcome the wise words and philosophy of the Gary Howards of US campuses, who authored the third Q&A above.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Melting Pot in name only
Nahum Welang, writing for the Minnesota State University Reporter, is miffed that the university he now attends used the "propaganda" of diversity to "capitivate" him and thus lure him there:
My decision to come to MSU was largely motivated by the captivating slogans I saw on their Web site, bulletins and brochures. My best slogan was "The Office of Admissions is committed to enthusiastically, ethically, and professionally serving students with their college planning process while upholding a commitment to enhancing diversity that is consistent with the University's educational mission and enrollment goals." This slogan made me visualize MSU as a university with authentic diversity. MSU to me was an opportunity to meet and interact with people from a rich array of U.S and foreign cultures.
Welang is perturbed because he feels the university is whistling Dixie about diversity. He says that MSU students are "shockingly self-centered and unfriendly." They "build these huge fences around their lives pushing away people away with different backgrounds, beliefs and ideas." It seems to us that Welang is misinterpreting just what "diversity" means, however. You see, we believe that Welang shares the misconception that way too many college administrators and professors possess -- that "diversity" must mean mandatory acceptance of, if not "diverse" views and opinions, at least the mere company of those who are different. MSU might indeed have a very diverse campus; however, this does not necessarily have to mean that the people are friendly and/or all-embracing of the philosophy of heterogeneity. In this, Welang is contradictory:
I am not trying to force the students of MSU to make friends with 'complete strangers' if they don't want to. If you don't see the need of having friends from other countries, that's fine, but the university should not make international students feel that there is diversity on this campus when it doesn't even exists [sic].
Welang continues with his "non-diversity" tirade, again, only because people do not "mix" enough around campus. Thus, diversity is a charade ... a farce:
I also heard about a globalization project coming soon to MSU. The program will allow students from other countries to come and study at MSU. The initiative makes me feel sorry for these future students because I already know the outcome. Most of these students will come here, they will have no friends and they will be forced to form their own distinct communities. There's no need in trying to globalize when the school has no diversity.
And then there's the real kicker:
America's myth of being a melting pot of cultures is nothing but a propaganda tool. Though everybody pretends to be one big happy cross-cultural family, race and color are still very serious issues.
Welang should know better than to use the most-politically incorrect term "melting pot" in a college newspaper. To do so is tantamount to sacrilege against the prevailing PC orthodoxy that is embedded in nearly every institution of higher learning. But this is beside the point. The fact here is that Welang is full of excrement. Just because America's myriad cultures and ethnicities do not amalgamate to Welang's satisfaction does not mean that there isn't a melting pot. The plain truth is that there has never been a more successful "melting pot" on the planet. The whole concept of "America" is that people come here from all over and accept what "America" is -- its institutions, government, laws. They do not (or, are not supposed to) demand that people here accept what they bring with them from the "old country." Perhaps Welang can point us to a more successful example of a multicultural society that has prospered so unimaginably well. Our quite educated guess is that he won't be able to do it. And people here do not "pretend" to be "one big happy cross-cultural" family; happiness is not a requirement for success in this regard. Mere acceptance is quite sufficient. The fact that America still has problems with race and ethnicity does not a thing to detract from this.
Welang is yet another of the misguided utopians who want everyone to hold hands and sing the song of that 70s-era Coca Cola commercial. If they do not, then America is mere "propaganda" and "myth." Comparing America's success over the last 225 years to the rantings of a modern college student -- let's see ... which one would we go with?
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Capitalism means racism
In the College of New Jersey Signal, writer Tom Stone offers this incredibly thoughtful headline: Racism hinders social progress, capitalism. Gee, you think? But Tom's headline is misleading. Tom would have you believe that capitalism is an outgrowth of racism:
For proto-capitalists, enslaving Africans was a practical choice. All they needed was some sort of "rationalization" for treating people as property - and this "rationalization" was found in racism. Crackpot pseudoscience of the era "proved" blacks to be "inferior to whites," while certain Bible verses seemed to morally justify slave ownership.
The thing is, Tom, capitalism was around for quite a while before European "proto-capitalists" began enslaving Africans. We tend to think Tom knows this, but being the committed Marxist that he appears to be, he needs to make his socially conscious point: "Hey, people -- racism exists in the United States. Oh, and capitalism is the main culprit." Tom quotes freely from Marx and Engels, Howard Zinn and Malcolm X, educating us pathetic minions on the virtues of world socialism and the dastardly evils of capitalism. You see, capitalism/racism results in people not being able to "unite and challenge exploitative social conditions," Tom says. We must admit this is news to us; because, our basic civics knowledge tells us that capitalist countries tend to have democratic governments which allow people to do a thing called "vote." This gives them an opportunity to "unite and challenge exploitative social conditions." It also seems to us -- correct us if we're wrong -- that Marxist countries do not allow such popular suffrage or, if they do, there is but one candidate on the ballot -- the communist candidate. Further, it seems to us that "social conditions" for people in capitalist countries are magnitudes more preferable to those of Marxist countries. Even the poorest in capitalist countries live better than your average Marxist country constituent. Why is this, Tom?
Tom feels the craving to remind us all what many people used to think back in the day, but what no clear-thinking American still harbors in his/her cranium -- that genetic differences should lead us to believe that one race is "superior" to another. Tom must be so immersed in the latest Chomsky treatise that he doesn't realize that the only such folk who still harbor such a notion are severely undereducated Caucasians with bad buzz-cuts and abnormally large forward brows. But that's usually the way it is with folks like Tom. It's easy to remain warm and coddled in the womb of academia, reading the utopian oratory of the greatest radical minds of our time ... then wonder, "Gee, what the hell is wrong with people? Can't they see how oppressed they are?" Then, you become like a Green or Libertarian party candidate in American politics: Flaunt your intellectual "superiority" while secretly (sometimes openly) mocking the mentality of the average joe.
If only the masses would "wake up," right Tom? If they did, they'd finally be able to enjoy the Shangri-La of the Cubas, Vietnams and North Koreas of the world.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
"I am actually offended."
So said Nancy Hill, associate professor of psychological and brain sciences at Duke, to a suggestion by another professor that maybe "negative peer effects" imposed on black youth -- like the so-called "acting white" scenario -- make it difficult to prepare minority candidates for college and beyond. Kenneth Knoerr, professor emeritus of environmental meteorology and hydrology, also said
"Unless we do something to improve the preparation of students at the high school level, we're never going to achieve our [diversity] goals."
Hill responded to Knoerr by saying such negative peer effects "are not supported empirically" -- and then added her "I am actually offended" statement. The Duke Chronicle not only made this their most recent headline story, but ended the article (about how a diverse faculty "remains an issue") with Hill's "offended" quip. You know, to make "a statement" that "offensive" comments like Knoerr's really should not be tolerated at such an enlightened institution like Duke.
But we would pose the question to Ms. Hill: Just how "supported empirically" is the notion of "diversity" in terms of assisting college student academic achievement? Exactly how does having more "professors of color" abet that coveted higher student GPA? The very premise of this Duke Chronicle front page offering is the great efforts by the august institution in recruiting -- and retaining -- minority instructors. We remain mystified as to why great universities like Duke care more about a cosmetic postulation like "diversity" instead of recruiting and retaining simply the choicest instructors out there -- hue and ethnicity be damned.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Diversity doesn't really matter
Tendai Musakwa, writing in Vassar's Miscellany News, highlights perfectly the college oxymoronic obsession with "diversity" -- except for the sort of diversity that really matters on a campus, that of intellectual and viewpoint diversity. Check out some of the responses he discovered about "viewpoint" diversity at Vassar:
Alex Tanskey ’07, one of the few conservatives at the College who identifies himself as such, said, “I have a conservative freshman friend who identifies himself as moderate because he wants to be able to have friends. In class, I can’t really express an opinion without having 10 people on my throat. For this reason, I don’t really speak up in class.”
We wonder what would happen if Tanskey's friend were, say, black? Sure, the analogy isn't perfect, but what if "10 people were on his throat" when he expressed a viewpoint? It is a safe assumption that Vassar would organize a "Stop the Hate" rally. Make that rallies.
Abby Laufer ’10, who identifies herself as liberal, said, “People who apply to Vassar are liberal because Vassar is well known for being a very liberal campus.”
Similarly, Alison Burke ’10, another liberal, said, “I think Vassar doesn’t attract a lot of conservatives and I don’t really have a problem with that.”
Well well well. Imagine that. First, a contemporary college student admits that people may want to attend a college because there are "people like them" there; second, we have an admission that real diversity does not matter -- at least to liberals.
Ms. Laufer confirms why there still exist HBCs -- Historically Black Colleges. People who attend these colleges are comfortable there, mainly because there are "people like them" attending. After all, if "diversity" (the college definition, not true diversity i.e. "viewpoint" diversity) was of such real import, HBCs would be dismantled, or at least these institutions would have a much greater magnitude push for "diversity" than they currently do. If other ethnicities' "viewpoints" were of such import (as we're constantly told, as if an ethnicity was some monolith with a collective ideology) HBCs would be working extremely hard to diversify their student body, wouldn't they? This is always an inconvenient fact to query of the "diversophiles." One to which you'll never receive an adequate response, mind you.
Ms. Burke exemplifies what liberal "tolerance" is all about. In other words, true diversity -- that is, viewpoint diversity -- is of no import to liberals. Only superificial "diversity" (race, ethnicity) is valued so at least they can appear as if they value the notion. Could you imagine the response of Ms. Burke had said "I think Vassar doesn’t attract a lot of minorities and I don’t really have a problem with that"? The Vassar administration would probably haul Ms. Burke from her stereotypically miniscule dorm room and drag her in for "sensitivity" training, followed by a "tolerance" seminar, followed by "diversity" classes.
Bravo to Tendai for bucking Vassar's groupthink and publishing this op-ed.
Friday, October 06, 2006
Colleges hate Fox News
Brandon Nadeau of the University of Connecticut's Daily Campus enlightens us to the travails of Fox News Channel's declining viewership. He writes :
This summer I was visiting my grandfather when my cousin's husband came by with his kids. While I had turned on CNN earlier, he switched it to FOX News. I questioned this change and I was told, "I watch it because it's funny." I guess less people are laughing these days at the right-wing clowns that populate the 24-hour news network. Ratings are in sharp decline for FOX's 10-year anniversary. In August, FOX's daytime programming lost 7 percent from a year earlier and the primetime ratings, Bill O'Reilly's turf, lost 28 percent.
Ah. "Right-wing clowns." What incisive terminology from a college newspaper writer! How acute! How penetrating! If we were running a large news operation, we venture to say we'd want to hire Nadeau right on the spot. No, not really.
We admit we're really curious as to who these "right-wing clowns" are at FNC. There's Sean Hannity, of course, who we could see may qualify. And ... who else, exactly? Many probably say Bill O'Reilly, but anyone who's actually watched him knows he's more a "populist," or a "traditionalist" than anything else. He's firmly in the global warming believers' camp, and thinks the Big Oil companies are essentially a bunch of hoodlums.
At the same time, CNN is seeing an increase of 35 percent overall and 21 percent daytime. Nine years ago, FOX surpassed the world's first 24-hour news network in the ratings, a year ahead of the expectations of the network's founder, former Republican think-tanker Roger Ailes. "Fair and Balanced" isn't as attractive as "The Most Trusted Name in News" these days. While FOX is still beating both MSNBC (whose Keith Olberman has seen an increase in ratings of 55 percent in the last year) and CNN, the gap is quickly narrowing and for the first time ever, FOX is declining in viewership.
Actually, Keith spells his last name "Olbermann," Brandon. And, we wonder -- would Olbermann qualify as a "left-wing clown"? Especially since he spends much of his show each night devoted to ripping anything conservative he can get his hands on? The same Olbermann who devoted numerous hours following the 2004 election on the subject of whether said election was "stolen"? The same Olbermann who just recently apologized to Bill Clinton for Fox News's Chris Wallace's quite ordinary -- and quite fair -- question?
As for the ratings question, it is indeed true that FNC's viewership has declined over the last few years or so. But we like this analysis from the bloggers over at The Colossus of Rhodey. They say:
Fox's Bill O'Reilly continues to dominate -- by a prodigious margin -- that most valuable of time periods, although if it's any consolation to poor Keith, the ratings for CNN and MSNBC have been gaining over the past year while Fox's have dropped off a bit. But that's like bowling games of about 280+ for a long time while your competitors are notching around 120 or so. They can only improve while you maintaining such a maximum level of performance can only help but drop off a little.
Colossus offers this link which shows the difference in viewship from 2005 and 2006 for the major cable players, as well as the overall current ratings. Regarding the latter, Fox still not only wins each time slot, they win decisively.
Most critics point out these differences as why FOX is in decline. CNN tends to report much better, usually from where the story is, whereas FOX usually commentates on the news. Also important is the obvious bias presented by FOX and its newsmen. Tony Snow spent years on FOX News doing the news before President George W. Bush pulled him back into politics as his press secretary - (he was a speech writer for Bush's father.) After 10 years of a hard right slant, people have gotten tired of such a bias and a blind following to the Republican right.
"Obvious bias." Do Nadeau and all the other big Fox critics ever stop and wonder just WHY Fox came to so dominate the cable news market ... and so quickly? Do they ever consider that it may be the "obvious bias" of the other cable networks, as well as the biggies (ABC, NBC, CBS)? That these news outlets had an "obvious bias" to the left, and that Fox News filled a much-needed niche that actually presented the conservative point-of-view on various topics?
And, oh golly -- Fox had Tony Snow at one time! Therefore, Fox has "a hard right slant." Nadeau's "logic" then dictates that since ABC has George Stephanopoulis heading a Sunday pundit show, that network has a "hard left slant." For, as you may be aware, George was a high-level advisor in the Bill Clinton administration.
What other Fox competitors feature pundits who worked for partisan public officials? Let's see: There's Chris Matthews at MSNBC who worked for President Jimmy Carter, longtime [Democrat] Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill as well as [Democrat] Senators Frank Moss and Edmund Muskie. Tim Russert of NBC's "Meet the Press" worked for [Democrat] Mario Cuomo and [Democrat] Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
We often wonder why it's "biased" for Fox to have people like Tony Snow working for them, but people like Stephanopoulis, Matthews and Russert can somehow "maintain objectivity." It would be quite depressing if it wasn't such a humdinger.
Nadeau goes on to yammer about stories Fox covered that he deemed weren't worthy, like naming an "energy drink" "Cocaine." He says
I'm sure that right now FOX is getting calls over Cocaine energy drink and how it's reprehensible to market a drink named after a drug to children. I think it's reprehensible to act like it matters, I think it's reprehensible to ignore the actual news in favor of human interest stories and miniature horses.
In our opinion (which actually matters as much as Nadeau's, although he reaches a lot more people), naming any sort of product which may be consumed by minors "Cocaine" is quite newsworthy, especially to, say, parents. We think it's reprehensible that Nadeau belittles such a story. We concur that this story does not equal the importance of, say, the genocide in Darfur, but why does this mean a news network shouldn't report about an addictive drug's moniker being used on a soft drink? In addition, we're privy to the general notion that the public would actually like to see some good news reported every once in a while. Perhaps this is why "human interest" stories get telecast here and there?
What's truly puzzling is the worriment that Fox News causes those on the left. The ONE news outlet with a conservative slant really sends them into a paroxysm of woe. We'd tend to use the analogy of the 1994 Republican Revolution in Congress -- the Democrats, who had enjoyed a monopoly on power for over 40 years, were overwrought at their political ouster. Likewise, the Big Media, who fancied a monopoly on news until FNC came along, are now acting similarly.
It's the inevitable sensation of realizing your power -- and ideology -- are no longer paramount. Or, to put it in blue collar terms, it's "sour grapes."
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Yeah! Why can't we invite more ... leftists?
Eastern University's Waltonian wonders that if Cabrini College can get someone with the stature of Elie Wiesel to speak at convocation, why can't they? (For those unfamiliar, Wiesel is a Holocaust survivor who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for his work against the oppression of all peoples. His novel Night details his Holocaust experiences.) What gets us is the list of folk the aggregate hive mind at the Waltonian came up with that would be ... "acceptable" alternatives to someone like Wiesel.
They first bring up Anne Lamont. We've heard of Anne, but not very often. So, we did some checking. Anne is a columnist at the left-leaning Salon magazine website. Oh-hoh! It should come as no surprise as to why the cumulative cerebral effort at the Waltonian digs Anne -- just take a gander at these column titles: "The Rights of the Born" (where she describes how she "lost her mind" when someone asked her about abortion at a discussion session); "God doesn't take sides" (where she dubs herself a "left-wing" Christian and states "Bush and his people have gotten it so wrong"); and "Teddy and Me" where she writes "At a fundraiser in Oakland, I thanked Sen. Kennedy for all of his good work. Then he looked into my eyes and promised we were going to win." Gosh.
Next, the name of Spike Lee is offered. This one really left us scratching our craniums. Why in the world would an institution of higher learning want to invite a so-so film director who holds some rather quirky -- some would say conspiratorial -- views of the world? Oh, silly us -- this is a university! Maybe Spike could enlighten the Eastern disciples about how the levees were deliberately annihilated during the approach of Hurricane Katrina.
U2 frontman Bono is brought up next. We admit to liking Bono; however, our admiration is mostly limited to his musical efforts. That, and his ability to keep a modern rock group together for over twenty years. Our favorite U2 album happens to be "The Unforgettable Fire" which we're aware puts us in a distinct minority among U2 fans. We don't mind, because we're Brian Eno aficionados. (He produced the album.)
Donald Miller's moniker then pops up. Boy, the unified mentality of the Waltonian staff sure has a limited world view. Miller is a big fan of Anne Lamont -- he admires her ability to drop the "F bomb" every so often, and be a Christian to boot! Isn't that admirable!
Lastly, Ralph Nader is suggested to -- get this -- "force [students] to think more deeply about crossing political boundaries." Our emphasis. Yes indeed -- colleges should force their minions to "think more deeply" about their politics. And who better than 'ol Ralph? Or Elizabeth Elliot, an Anne Lamott clone?
The closing paragraph:
Thus, we should ask the Noam Chompskys and Nelson Mandelas to share their views with us. If a Catholic university can have a high-profile Jewish Holocaust survivor come lecture, then so can we. We need only ask.
We're not exactly certain who Noam "Chompsky" is, although we have occasionally read a not-so-subtle reference to him as Noam "Chumpsky." Not getting this "icon's" appellation correct means one of two things to us: Either the Waltonian's editor was asleep at the wheel, or the communal faculty that is the Waltonian editorial board really has no idea who Noam Chomsky is. If the latter is true, this then causes us to doubt how "well" the board knows all their other "choices" as well.
For the record, we have little quarrel with two choices offered by the Waltonian: Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. We may not approve of their politics, nor some of their more outlandish statements (especially with regards to the latter), but their life experiences certainly merit recognition in the vein of Elie Wiesel. Which then begs the most obvious inquest: How in the freakin' world can someone in their right mind compare people like Wiesel, Mandela and Tutu with partisan lightweights like Lamott and co.?
Monday, September 25, 2006
Hey, we're fair
Some of the time. For instance, we genuinely like this editorial by Bryan Yang of the Chico State Orion in which he cudgel's Morgan Spurlock's "documentary" titled "Super Size Me." We especially savored this section:
He ate McDonald's three times a day for a month. He gained a lot of weight and became very sick. All the unhealthy ingredients in the McDonald's food took a major toll on his body.
Well, what did he think was going to happen? That'd be like me making a movie called "AK-47 Me" in which every day for a month I go into crowded areas and let loose with an AK-47. Then at the end of the movie, I look into the camera lens and say, "Guns are bad."
We'd like to advocate the hiring of many more "Bryan Yang's" onto college newspaper staffs.