October 24, 2007

If I Bleeds It Leads....Fetch My Straight Razor

Ed Morrisey comments on this piece by Craig Franklin, a Jena resident (and reporter) who sets straight some of the facts about the situation in Jena Louisiana that were missed or misreported by reporters who told a story of horrid racism, nosses hanging from trees, dreadful inequity and the railroading of a group of six innocents whoes only crime was to be the wrong color.

A complelling story that needed to be told except that the narrative was incorrect in almost every way.

Sayeth Mr. Franklin

There's just one problem: The media got most of the basics wrong. In fact, I have never before witnessed such a disgrace in professional journalism. Myths replaced facts, and journalists abdicated their solemn duty to investigate every claim because they were seduced by a powerfully appealing but false narrative of racial injustice. 

More here at NRO which makes a point that I'd heard a couple of times but been unable to pin down...ie that the poor oppresed thug in this case kept getting a pass because he was a star on the football team.

This is terrible. It's not just that these ingorant know-it-all BoBo's are slandering good people and fanning the embers of hatred. They are crying wolf and people who have heard about this and the Duke Rape Case might not be so ready to believe a similar tale when its real. This only leads to more hate, which will no doubt be profitable for the press.

There was a time when a story like that of Jayson Blair or Stephen Glass were shocking. Now it seems that they were just par for the course.

TNR, who got burned by glass has been caught trying to cover up a smear campaign on US troops, one that they wanted desperately to believe, but that had been typed by a disgruntled Army Specialist who fancied himself the next Hemmingway. OK so they got snookered, but if they'd fact checked it at all they would have never published it. Now we know that it was the New Republic and not the Army that was lying about their access to the vile little man. They could have cleared this up by a mea culpa but they let it fester and feed the malignant antimilitary bile that so consumes their readership.

It gets worse....

This long war is as much about perceptions as anything, and the press is always there to broadcast to the 4 winds 24/7 any scrap of dirt on the conduct of the war real or imagined. However, good news or even inspiring news....isn't news.

And here is more on the same topic.

Yes this is a stock wail on the media post...but this is an important thing.

Do click follow the above links, most of them are to sites that lean to the right to be sure,  but in many cases those stories would never see the light of day (beyond page 31 of the paper) otherwise. THAT is the problem.


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October 20, 2007


Colleen Doran posts on the Hollywood writers strike.

I'm of two minds about this. On the one hand unions have been injuring US industries for years. I'm very much a right to work kind of guy.

On the other hand incidents like Matawan are NOT propaganda, they really happened. Plane old unions are INHERENTLY corrupt, but for all their inherent corruption they do (in theory) act as an important legal recourse for workers.  If organized as guilds rather than straight unions they can be forces for considerable good beyond the narrow interests of the union hall.  Additionally, if the Hollywood writers have been hosed to the same extent as some people I've known in comics and animation then I'm certainly sympathetic to their plight.

On the gripping hand.....as noted in the update to Colleen's post there seems to be a wee bit of overreach in the demands of the Writers "Guild". Via her addendum is an excerpt from a longer communication by Warren Ellis:

The strike rules declare that writers may not write animation or “new media” content. This is interesting because WGA has no jurisdiction over animation or new media. Further, they state that any non-union person found writing animation or new media during the course of a strike will be barred from ever joining the Guild.


It sounds a bit arrogant to say the least.

 My sympathies are shall we say...strained. 

First off, at least according to Ellis, they don't seem to have any real jurisdiction over animators or "New Media". Despite the apparent truth of this, being a private entity, it seems they can refuse membership to anyone. If one of their membership requirements is that animators starved while they struck then no animators who worked while they were on strike need be allowed in. They can certainly put a glass ceiling on peoples carrers.

And "new media"? Mmmmmkaaay....

So people getting started online or creating new mediums who don't bow down to the whims of a union they never belonged to (and might not even be aware of the edicts of)...does this mean they can never join? I'm blogging....right now.

Does this mean I can't ever join the WG?

Hell, Miss Doran (who has categorically stated that she will NOT do healthy healing growth on the wound work) is blogging about this...right now...and has advertisements on her site. Is she new media?

The difference between a Union and a Guild (in theory) is that the Guild (in theory) sets up standards and training for its tradespersons to ensure that everyone who is a member is a solid and competent expert at whatever trade they represent. They also collectively bargain just like a union to ensure that their members are treated equitably, but in maintaining standards they expel unqualified or unethical members. Like any human endeavor, they are fallible, but "Guild" carries with it an expectation of both work ethic and competence that union does not. Of course the names of organizations may have little bearing on how they operate. Some organizations called unions (pipefitters for instance)certainly work like a guild. And some organizations with the name "guild" care nothing for the quality of the work their members do and will grow in power and arrogance until they kill their respective geese and create a rust belt of one sort or another.

Which brings us to a fine place in this rant to remind people why so many of the voice actors who dub anime are Canadian. They took work from small marginal companies that couldn't pay union scale, and after a couple of times were shut out from the industry.

LOTS of productions are moving to Canada. The Canadians bend over backwards to bring them in and the expenses are far cheaper because the unions they have aren't nearly as odious.

A lot of writers well versed in the innovative and growth oriented applications  of whatever the hell "new media" is might soon be driven there too.

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October 06, 2007

More on Che'

  Saw this Reason post on Instapundit today.

Given the fact that there are professors that wear Che' shirts on campus, links that point out the real face of this murdering, antisemitic, racist, waste of skin are  always a welcome dose of reality.

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