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Posts Tagged ‘The Express Tribune Blogs

How Media Inadvertently Helped Trump

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On April 6, 1994, a missile shot down an airplane carrying Hutu leaders Juvenal Habyarimana and Cyprian Ntayamira in Rwanda, unleashing the ethnic majority Hutus against the minority Tutsis on a campaign of mass murder. As the atrocity spread, the world debated the nuances of the word ‘genocide’. Three months and at least half a million deaths later proved that, yes, it was genocide. Semantics matter. During the 2016 US election, mainstream media’s refusal to correctly identify bigotry, while perhaps not as egregious as mislabelling ethnic cleansing, has contributed to Donald Trump’s victory. Semantics matter.

Trump’s detractors, and count me as one, remain perplexed. We can’t blame the Republicans, they won. We may ponder hypothetical scenarios: what if Gary Johnson had run a stronger campaign and pulled votes from Trump? Or Jill Stein simply ceased to exist? But this does not explain how the media alienated voters.

Consider Roxane Gay’s post-election analysis in The New York Times:…(more)

Written by Caleb Powell

November 25, 2016 at 8:15 am

The Standard for Terrorism: Fatalities – Paris, November 13, 130+ dead. Oregon…zero.

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Oregon Terror?  In Paris on Nov. 13, 2015, 130 people died. In Oregon, a bunch of fools have killed or harmed…zero. Yet some journalists are outraged that not enough in the media deem Oregon “terror.”

Last year, when I wrote about the Chapel Hill murders of three Muslims for The Express Tribune Blogs, I revisited the definition of terrorism because the term is oft misused.

Victim of Terror – Bataclan, November 13, 2015

From my Chapel Hill article:  “Here’s the FBI’s definition of terrorism: ‘To intimidate or coerce a civilian population (or) influence the policy of a government./Violence or the threat of violence, especially bombing, kidnapping, and assassination, carried out for political purposes.’…”

Threat of Violence:  A case can be made that the Oregon folk are terrorists because they have threatened violence under the guise of self defense. This is a very liberal interpretation, all inclusive, and thus meaningless. Civilians are not involved, and there have been no victims.

Where are the victims?

My take at Express Tribune:  “Use of corrupted words relates to poor journalism and exhibit one is how the coverage of domestic controversy in the United States lacks rigid examination of facts, a fair analysis of both sides and proper context.

This is not only unique to underground blogs, but endemic in mainstream media as well, where the focus excessively becomes about the race and religion of those involved. While identity is important, it’s as important to adhere to a standard of objectivity when reporting on these issues.

This is evident in the first drama du jour of 2016 where Caucasian armed protestors have occupied a building on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Eastern Oregon to protest government laws concerning land use and the incarceration of two farmers for setting fire to state-owned land.

The polemics are about the dynamics of controlled burns, property rights, and conservation laws, tied in with militia movements. Yet too many articles entail soft demagoguery, framing the issue as definitely one of race and terrorism. This creates a Sisyphean need to perpetually educate the public, proving to be a burden for journalists. Jesse Walker, dissecting Malheur at the Los Angeles Times, writes,…more

Written by Caleb Powell

January 18, 2016 at 2:33 pm

The PEN Six vs. Charlie Hebdo: The “Conditionalists”

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“I think most people would agree on what to do about PEN and Charlie Hebdo if they could agree on the question: Were there racist or bigoted cartoons in Charlie Hebdo?”- Caleb Crain

Are the PEN Six and followers cowards? Probably not, but.

They open themselves to scrutiny. At the Express Tribune I suggest they excised their “vertebrates.” There has to be a reason why they misjudge CH as bigoted, perhaps a lack of nuance combined with misplaced empathy, but to question their courage nowhere near as egregious as their misjudgment.

Charlie Hebdo stood/stands with the homosexuals in Iran, the blasphemers in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the Raif Badawis of the world, the bloggers in Bangladesh, all the oppressed. Hebdo shouldered the threats with courage. They knew they had been targeted, and still supported the right for any Muslim to say, “I disagree with this interpretation, here’s why.” Or, “I think apostasy and blasphemy laws and suicide bombings are wrong.” Or, “Muslim women have equal rights.” And Hebdo made fun of the religious bigots.

Those who would kill Charlie Hebdo are the same who imprison Raif, the same mentality that shot Salman Taseer. They silence w/violence. The idea that Hebdo was “racist” or “bigoted” lessens the meaning of these words. Hebdo did not believe any individual was inferior to another based on race.

The PEN Six:  NPR reported that six authors have recused themselves from attending a PEN awards ceremony “in protest against the free-speech organization’s decision to give the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo its annual Freedom of Expression Courage Award.” The PEN six, along with cartoonist Garry Trudeau, err.

Racism:  “The belief one race is superior to another.”

One of the PEN Six, Teju Cole, said Hebdo “has gone specifically for racist and Islamophobic provocations.” What? Not by definition. Mr. Cole, you misdirect your rage. Cole is joined by Peter Carey, Rachel Kushner, Michael Ondaatje, Francine Prose, and Taiye Selasi. These six, along with later signatories, have betrayed the mostly Muslim bloggers and dissidents who write for universal peace and face threats, assassinations, and imprisonment because they support coexistence and tolerance of agnostics, atheists, apostates, homosexuals, Jews, Christians, and all religious minorities.

Further: On May 5th I became a member of PEN.

“Why we’re honoring Charlie Hebdo” – Andrew Soloman & Suzanne Nossel, The New York Times
“Is Charlie Hebdo racist?” – Laura Miller at Salon
“What everyone gets wrong about Charlie Hebdo and racism,” – VOX
“Charlie Hebdo, Pen, Ondaatje” – Stan Persky at
Pen has every right to honor Charlie Hebdo“- Adam Gopnik at The New Yorker
The Wrong Kind of Free Speech” – 33 Revolutions
“Dee Jay NDN Is a Racist Hypocrite” – GSpellchecker
Hebdo Turds That Won’t Flush” – Gerasites
If Charlie Hebdo is Racist…so Am I” –  Zineb al Rhazoui
In Paris, Pen Boycott Makes Americans Look Like Crude Provincials” – Tablet
Living in Diversity” – Kenan Malik
CH Receives Standing Ovation” – NYTimes
Charlie Hebdo Issue Skewers PEN Critics” – NYTimes
Apologist to the left, bigots to the right” – Pangea
Defend Free Speech” – Ian McEwan, TIME

Written by Caleb Powell

May 4, 2015 at 6:08 am

Netanyahu’s Victory

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From The Express Tribune“What Netanyahu’s Victory Means for Palestinians”:  “There was little hope before, there is little after. Peace, within the Israeli-Palestinian dialectic of moot-point politics, gives way to cynicism. Hatred will continue. As long as the ideology framed in the Hamas Charter holds power – even with Netanyahu being replaced by, say, Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi, or Mother Theresa – peace will be unattainable.”…more

(My above quote, lest I be accused of plagiarism, in full context, “The following has been repeated often, but if Israel got rid of their weapons, Israel would be annihilated. If Palestine got rid of their weapons, there would be instant peace and Palestinian statehood.”)

Written by Caleb Powell

April 8, 2015 at 8:52 am