Archive for: March, 2011

What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas

Mar 27 2011 Published by under media

But if you’re the drug prosecutor, and you get caught buying crack, that could be a bad thing.

Hardly worth mentioning, but newsworthy because as Deputy District Attorney, David Schubert prosecuted drug offenders, including a couple of celebrities – Paris Hilton and Bruno Mars. Also picked up by some of the big city papers, including here and here.

Interesting editorial choices evident in these headlines. A quick Google of “Amy Winehouse crack” or “Whitney Houston crack” yields results showing the word “crack” used liberally in headlines. But when it comes to a district attorney, the headlines only mention “cocaine.” You have to read further into the article to find out that a prosecutor had stooped as low as crack. Given the attention span of the average American these days, I doubt many people do.

Another media cliché at work here – Druggies always get busted by cops doing surveillance, as the AP/Yahoo article says, in “a neighborhood known for narcotics dealing.” If the cops know about it, why don’t they do something about it? The doublespeak implies cops actively fight the war on drugs. In reality, the cops are powerless against and don’t actively resist the cartels that flood the streets with drugs, but instead waste taxpayers’ money locking up junkies and crackheads for using.

Be funny if he ends up doing time with anyone he put away. Or not, depending on your point-of-view.

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Socialism: Utopian and Science Fiction

Mar 23 2011 Published by under media, politics

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says capitalism wiped out the Martians. [Reuters, via Yahoo]

¡Alo, Presidente! If Chavez had said something like, capitalism can destroy a planet that has only finite resources, he might have had me there. But I guess this is what you come up with when you spend so much time chewing Bolivian coca leaves.

Sure, it’s probably just some cokehead’s lame attempt at simile. But predictably, the fright-wing media are all over this, adding their peculiar brand of spin, truthiness, whatever the kids call bullshit these days. Nevermind Glenn Beck is just as bat-shit crazy as Chavez, and Fox News touts him as one of their marquee personalities.

The corporate-controlled mass media devotes less time to discussion of actual issues, in favor of focusing on the most outrageous talking points. Whoever comes up with the most ridiculous quote is rewarded with the most airtime. Whether those points are used pro or con depends on which corporation is reporting, and how they ultimately decide to edit and present it to the mass audience. This is how public opinion is manipulated in America.

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