November 2, 2007

(Entertainment) News

During our conversation last class while we were talking about the issues of gossip news and tabloid sensationalism, I was reminded of the following clip from MSNBC... it's of a news show where the anchor, Mika Brzezinski, refuses to read the lead story regarding Paris Hilton being released from jail. She gets pretty melodramatic about it, and in the beginning of the clip, we see this as a cooperative effort between her and her co-anchors; what frustrates me (and this is sort of off the topic) is that by the end of the clip, her co-anchors are really ribbing her for sticking to this value-statement she's trying to make (one which they egged her on about in the beginning, no less). In any case, however, it's an interesting look into a few things -- first, how the production of "news" occurs in various stages (tv news producers who create the news segment versus television news anchors who present it) and that those who participate in the various stages are not always in agreement with each other, and second, how news really has changed to the point where a story about a celebrity (who is famous for simply being famous) trumps stories regarding politics and, I think, the presidential election.

October 31, 2007

My thoughts on Image Politics

I found Deluca's Image Politics rather interesting not because of the subject matter, but the approach the author took in discussing the topic.  I couldn't help but feel that Deluca was trying to make us side with the protesters by omitting a lot of the facts.  Much like Jaya's post regarding the Vietnam picture, it appears that people are drawing general conclusions from images that don't fully represent the situation.  Although the author shows us pictures and provides example of the activists/protesters getting injured, threatened, etc., we never fully understand what the protesters are doing to receive this treatment. 

While reading this article, I kept thinking of the Westboro Baptist Church group from Kansas.  For those of you unfamiliar with them, they are an anti-gay hate group (their website is who have made a name for themselves the past few years by traveling around the country and protesting at the funerals of soldiers killed in the Middle East.  Despite the fact that they are claiming to spread God's message, they exploit very rough times for their fellow citizens by turning a day or remorse into a day of hate.  The following link has an example of their antics: 

In this example, you would be hard pressed to find someone who would not want to cause harm to this particular group.  In fact, this has become such an issue, that a group called the Patriot Riders has come along to make these funerals peaceful. These riders are former war vets that follow the church group all around the US and make sure that they do not disrupt the funerals.  You can check them out on their website:

I know that this week's topic is Pictures and Publics, but I can't help but feel that Deluca was trying to prove a point by omitting a lot of the facts. Maybe I am completely wrong, maybe I didn't read the article close enough, but I cannot help but feel that in order to receive the treatment that some of these protesters did, there has to more to the story. 

Take the example I cited above.  If all you saw of this was a biker taking on a protester, you would feel for the protester.  Then again, how would your opinion change if you knew that person was protesting at your son's, brother's, or even dad's funeral, calling his death God's punishment for our country's acceptance of gays. 

Just some things to think about...hopefully...