Category Archives: journalism
Going against the White House that is. Bob Woodward is learning that the hard way. Being an honest journalist in Washington DC these days is something that is frowned upon, when honesty means you make the President look bad.
Woodward has a long and glorious tradition of making President’s look foolish however, and I don’t think he cares what the White House or the rest of the media think of him telling the truth.
But is this behavior that should be coming from the “most transparent administration in history”, as Obama has claimed. Not only is this an administration that denies far more FOIA requests than Bush’s administration, but they also are beginning to have a tradition of harassing journalists who are trying to find the truth and report it, the way journalists are supposed to.
So much for “speaking truth to power”. I guess that only matters when a Republican is in office.
Well that’s apparently what liberals would like us to believe.
Anyone with a working brain is, I trust, automatically skeptical of such a claim…as you should be.
It’s not true.
I recently received a message on tumblr from a liberal who appeared to be very smug. They wrote “What if I told you” and linked to this article “Nightmare: 31 States Allow Paternal Rights for Rapists”.
Now the websites tagline is “Progressive: Politics to Pop Culture” so we can already tell this is A.) completely biased and B.) lacks any semblance of actual journalism already.
(Before you respond that I am also biased, remember that I don’t recommend you believe me with no further questioning…which is why I link to legitimate research and news so that you can start your own research.)
Okay, so this article is a hatchet job that provides no facts. Half of the links to ‘proof’ in their article lead to either articles on their own website (which also have no real facts to back them up) and the rest of the links (3 others) have to do DIRECTLY with a case that they cite where the mother won her court case, even though the rapist DID petition for parental rights.
The article (and none of the links) even tries to give us a percentage of woman who are A.) petitioned for parental rights by their rapists or B.) A percentage of rapists who are actually granted these rights.
My thoughts on that are of course that this is because the B part of that equation would be about 0% since the idea that any reasonably sane judge would grant custody or visitation rights to a felon and a registered sex offender (of which a rapist would be both) is absolutely ludicrous.
The article is actually so very bad that I’m going to have to take most of it apart piece by piece, which is something I think my readers enjoy.
In the midst of all the outrage over Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments, Missouri resident Shauna Prewitt waded into the war zone. The victim of a brutal rape, Prewitt later gave birth to a daughter borne of that encounter. When her rapist later filed for custody of her child, Prewitt’s nightmare became frighteningly worse. This courageous woman shared her experience with the rest of America; she is not alone:
“Prewitt says that if she knew then what she knows now about the laws in 31 states thatgrant men who father children via rape visitation rights that are equal to those that other fathers also enjoy, she might not have chosen to keep her child.
“My attacker sought custody of my daughter, but thankfully I got lucky and his visitation rights were terminated,” Prewitt says. “But I’m not sure I would have made the decision I did had I known I might be tethered to my rapist for the rest of my life.””
Okay, so you are saying that a convicted rapist petitioned for parental rights and were denied…that’s not ‘luck’ that’s just common sense on the judge’s part.
This section is curiously lacking in any sort of statistic on how many women this happens to and how often the rapist succeeds…that just might be pertinent.
What does this have to do with Todd Akin’s comments? The idea that there can be “legitimate rape” because the woman was not impregnated during that vile act, and conversely, the notion of “false rape” when it results in pregnancy, is mind-blowingly frightening.
I must be missing something, but when did Akin claim that a pregnancy resulting from rape made it a ‘false rape’?
Regardless, most Conservatives saw Akin’s comments for the stupidity they were (he’s far better than his opponent regardless) so attempting to pin his comments on conservatives in general is just ridiculous.
For a victim to be forced to bear the child of the man who sexually assaulted her, and in many cases also drugged, abducted, terrorized, battered, disfigured, pummeled, shot, or stabbed her is unimaginable. While the sponsors of HR-3 will insist that such a victim was never raped, since alas, there is a pregnancy; these legislators also tell the perpetrator that he, by default, cannot be considered a rapist. In such a world, Ms. Prewitt would have had no grounds upon which to terminate the visitation of the rapist bastard who fathered her child.
Okay…so Akin was in on creating HR-3. However if you actually read the bill, like I actually did, you will find that it has no restrictions on women being raped having an abortion.
Nor does it change the definition of rape or say that women who get pregnant ‘weren’t really raped’ because they got pregnant. Now you just reaching the territory of stupid. Nor have the legislators in question tried to say that ‘if you get pregnant, then your rapists isn’t actually a rapist’.
So, yeah…she would still have grounds, except in the fantasy world you are constructing which has nothing to do with reality.
It’s nice how you never link to the text of the actual bill you are badmouthing, you just make up what you think is in the bill and feed it to your readers. Fact checking might help you.
What are we to take away from Prewitt’s experience? Consider that 31 states have not yet adopted special laws that restrict the ability of rapists to assert their custodian and visitation rights to a child born through rape. These 31 states effectively grant men who father children via rape visitation rights that are equal to those that other fathers also enjoy.
Okay, so maybe we should have a law that says ‘no felon or sex offender may petition for custodial rights of children’, but the states you are criticizing to NOT ‘effectively grant men who father children via rape visitation rights.’
What the state laws allow is for them to petition the court for those rights.
Remember earlier when I said that the idea that judge would grant such a person custodial rights was ludicrous?
Remember when you never gave us any statistics on how often this is attempted or how often it succeeds?
HR-3’s “legitimate rape” and “forcible rape” language would nullify the laws of the other 19 states for all of the reasons given above.
HR-3 uses no such language. Did you even read the bill?
After all, HR-3 says no such father could be a rapist – and fathers have rights.
HR-3 says no such thing. Did you even read the bill?
Data shows that roughly 27% of all American women faced with Shauna Prewitt’s circumstances make the decision to have and raise the baby; roughly 47% give birth but put the baby up for adoption.
Ooh! This looks like a buildup to some actual statistics on how many rapists petition and succeed in petitioning for custodial rights!
In the world of HR-3, the 26% who opt to have an abortion would be criminalized.
Whoops….no, just more fantasy world.
In point of fact, HR-3 actually say:
‘Sec. 306. Non-preemption of other Federal laws
‘Nothing in this chapter shall repeal, amend, or have any effect on any other Federal law to the extent such law imposes any limitation on the use of funds for abortion or for health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion, beyond the limitations set forth in this chapter.
which means, for those with less reading comprehension, that this bill does not change the law on abortion at all. All it does is say that federal money cannot be used for abortions, except in the case of:
‘Sec. 308. Treatment of abortions related to rape, incest, or preserving the life of the mother
‘The limitations established in sections 301, 302, and 303 shall not apply to an abortion–
‘(1) if the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest; or
‘(2) in the case where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.
So actually…this law doesn’t change anything for women who have been raped or have lives that are being endangered by the pregnancy.
To escape an imminent jail term, women would be forced to have their rapist’s baby
No, just stop.
and face the likelihood of being tethered to him for life.
Really, stop. Your fantasy world is not amusing anymore. You really need to live in reality.
Likewise, any rapist-father, now legally classified as non-rapist under Akin/Ryan law, could withhold consent to adoption as the unwed biological father and insinuate himself into the lives of mother and child.
No, they are still considered rapists. HR-3 has nothing to do with the definition of rape or defining what constitutes a rapist, a felon, or a sex offender is.
As previously stated, the rapist could attempt any of these things, but a judge would throw out the requests nearly as fast as they were made, HR-3 has NOTHING to do with this.
Consider the psychological aspects of rape: it is about domination, humiliation, control, and brutal degradation. For such a man to have controlling interests in the life of a child spawned by his brutality is heinous and reprehensible.
Oh look, we agree on something. This may be the only truthful thing you’ve said in this entire piece of crap.
Still has nothing to do with HR-3.
Legislation that would open the doors of victimized women to their attackers and give them free reign to manipulate, control, and to exert psychological torture indefinitely is downright barbaric.
Yes, yes it is.
Good job, you managed two correct (if obvious) statements in this article.
Still had nothing to do with HR-3.
Consideration should also be given to children fathered through acts of incest, and pedophilia; these two are often interrelated. In such instances, the Akin/Ryan law could grant indisputable custody to men who already have a sexual predilection for children, and would place the children of the children they raped squarely under their control.
No, no it wouldn’t.
HR-3 says NOTHING about protecting rapists or pedophiles.
In fact, it protects federal funding for abortions in one two cases at all.
‘(A) an abortion–
‘(i) in the case of a pregnancy that is the result of an act of rape or incest, or
‘(ii) in the case where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy.
Great job at trying to poison the well though. I’m sure most of your liberal readers won’t bother to research this bill and will run around claiming that they have and that it protects rapists and bans abortions, but we both know that’s not true.
My day could not possibly get any better.
(okay, I’m a crazy political fangirl. Getting my picture taken with a political figure is cooler than meeting an actor in my book.)
I had the good fortune to be able to attend a meeting of the ASU College Republicans this afternoon and Maricopa county Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, was the guest speaker.
He is nothing like the papers describe him, and he had more than a few comments on journalistic bias and the press in general.
He is a very funny, personable man, with an extremely “no non-sense” point of view and an awesome tie pin.
He joked a lot, took some (extremely polite) jabs at democrats, and refused to comment on “operation fast and furious” because he doesn’t like to talk badly about other law enforcement agencies.
He cares a lot about his deputies and their families and about his duty as Sheriff, to the people if his county and to the laws of our country and state.
I was amazed to hear how many years he has worked in law enforcement and how diverse his background is. He’s worked in numerous countries and spent many years protecting the Texas/Mexico border.
If I hadn’t been planning to vote for him already, I would be now.
It was a great honor to meet him and I hope that I will get to hear him speak again.
We cover a lot of topics and a lot of time line in my Journalism class. In the last class I attended we talked about several editors of major “penny-press” newspapers from the mid to late 19th century. One of these editors was a man named Henry Raymond, his newspaper…The New York Times.
Raymond ran a different sort of paper than many of the other Penny Presses at that time, many of the other papers were very partisan…not to any particular political group, but to the views of the individual editors. Horace Greeley for instance, a man whose paper was so popular that, in the mid-west, it was “next to the Bible” in importance, refused to cover criminal cases or the theater…because he believed such things were immoral and would corrupt the morals of his readers.
Raymond wrote about everything. He favored, as my teacher’s power-point said, “fair, careful, accurate reporting, especially foreign news.” He was non-partisan and dispassionate about politics and news in general. In his own politics he was sometimes conservative, sometimes radical, but always a champion of the public good and a supporter of the constitution.
Editorially, Raymond sought a niche between Greeley’s open partisanship and Bennett’s party-neutrality. In the first issue of the Times Raymond announced his purpose to write in temperate and measured language and to get into a passion as rarely as possible. “There are few things in this world which it is worthwhile to get angry about; and they are just the things anger will not improve.” In controversy he meant to avoid abusive language. His editorials were generally cautious, impersonal, and finished in form.
Raymond’s moderation was evident during the period after President Lincoln’s election and before his nomination. He wrote Alabama secessionist William L. Yancey: “We shall stand on the Constitution which our fathers made. We shall not make a new one, nor shall we permit any human power to destroy the one….We seek no war — we shall wage no war except in defense of the constitution and against its foes. But we have a country and a constitutional government. We know its worth to us and to mankind, and in case of necessity we are ready to test its strength.”
- From wikipedia (Yeah, yeah, I know…)
What would Henry Raymond think of the modern version of his penny-press newspaper today?
I’m a big fan of partisan blogs and editorials, I read S.E.Cupp, Michelle Malkin, Dirty Sex and Politics, and The Conservative New Ager. I watch O’Reilly and Red Eye and listen to Glenn Beck.
But I know they are partisan, I realize that and I do my best to hear the other side of the issue as well. I also realize that, while what they may report on may be rooted in factual events, it is heavily colored by their personal opinions and it is not journalism.
What you expect to get from The New York Times is Journalism, objective, fact based, rooted in reality, terms defined, and biases removed. Henry Raymond strove for that, even while he strove to support his country…or his country’s constitution (which these days can be two different things sadly).
Henry Raymond is likely spinning in his grave these days with ever partisan article that rolls of the presses at that his, once bi-partisan and factual, newspaper. What a shame…
Affirmative Action Bullshit and You CAN actually still write objectively while holding personal opinions on a topic
I have a feeling that my Beginning Journalism class is going to be the topic of many rants on this blog, this will only be the first.
Yesterday one of the deans came in to finish giving a lecture on “What is News”. The things that make a story newsworthy, important elements of journalism, etc. etc. if you have ever studied journalism you know the drill. If you haven’t studied journalism, but you have a shred of common sense you can understand the concept. It’s a Freshman level class, I’m the oldest person in it….partly because I’m a sophomore and partly because I’m old even for a sophomore. Ugh.
Anyway, one of the things that we talked about was the differences between the people who are commonly the editors in charge of major newspapers and news networks, as opposed to the rest of society. Now I’m not quoting the dean verbatim, I completely admit that, I was not taking detailed enough notes at this point in the lecture to do this. I will tell you the gist of what he said in his lecture and go from there.
The first point I want to address is one that he made when he said that Journalism would be a very tough field for us if we held any strong political beliefs in either direction. Now I will fully admit that my bias (and my knowledge of the majority of Journalism outlets) heard that as “you will have a lot of trouble in this field if you have any strong conservative political beliefs.” You can believe what you will about media and journalism bias that skews the field ever to the left, but I believe it is there even if you don’t.
The dean made this point because my school of Journalism teaches “objective journalism” in which you report the facts of the story, what really happened, where and to whom and how and why…if you can discern the why objectively. This is done in such a way as to remove personal bias from the equation. I like that sort of News reporting…it’s sadly not available on most major news outlets anymore *coughCNNcough* though the News shows on Fox (not the opinion shows, there is a distinction) still manage it quite well.
Now I’ve never pretended that this blog wasn’t biased. You read a few posts and you will realized pretty quickly that I’m a conservative first and foremost and a gay women somewhere far below that on the list.
I don’t write objectively on this blog. Now I do try to make sure I check and double check my facts because I strive for accuracy in my writing, but I will call Liberals idiots, I will call Islam evil, I will call pretty much everything as I see it…usually through the lens of my bias. Now do I think that my bias is the correct and rational way to think? Yes, most definitely. Why else would I think that way?
So I do have some very strongly held political views. Does that impair my ability to write objectively? No.
If you are a good journalist you will know how to separate your biases from the facts and still be able to write objectively. So I can write an objective article about Obama while somewhere, locked in a closet in my brain, my conservative self is rocking back and forth muttering “this President is a moron, this President is a moron” over and over. It can be done.
If you are reading this and shaking your head, saying it can’t be done. That you couldn’t possibly write about something objectively if you felt strongly about it. If that’s the case then you have one of two problems, you are either a very bad writer or you are very weak minded…possibly both, hopefully only the first one…you can be trained out of that one.
The second point he made was one that, upon looking back at it, completely contradicts the previous statement about not holding strong personal biases on “big issues”. He said that there was a need to “diversify” the pool of journalists and editors working at major news outlets (paper and media) because without more females, or homosexuals or people of minority background, the news will not be “understandable and clear” to those who read it.
I thought the whole point of journalism was to not write using your bias. If you are writing something one way, only because you are a women, or black, or gay, then isn’t that writing going to be biased in that direction?
Oh wait. I forgot.
This is the liberal media. The only direction something is allowed to be biased in is toward the “minority”.
Another point, harkening back to post I made about how I didn’t realize I had a separate history from the rest of the world just because I was gay. History is history and news is news people. If it’s important to one group it should be important to every other person living in that area as well.
Stories about gay rights do not just affect gay people. I don’t need a gay journalist to write those articles, because, theoretically, the journalist writing it should be so objective that I shouldn’t be able to tell if they are gay, straight, asexual, or poly-sexual. Unless it’s an editorial, I don’t give a crap about their personal opinion on gay rights. I want to know the facts, minus their opinion on conservative or liberal politics or the morality, or lack thereof, of gay marriage. Besides, gay rights are not any issue that only affect gay men and women. It is a civil rights issue and it does affect the nation in general. We should all be keeping ourselves informed about the topic.
Do you think that women’s suffrage only affected women? No, it had widespread affect on men, women, children, corporations, and the government. That’s why it doesn’t have to be written about by a woman, for women. It’s important, it’s news, it’s for everyone.
There is no need to “diversify” the journalism workforce, there is a need to hire good journalists, objective journalists, no matter their race, gender, or sexual orientation. “Diversifying” the workforce is just Affirmative Action all over again and I bet you can guess how I felt about that. I want to know that I got my job because I’m good at what I do, not because I’m gay and female and the news outlet needed to fill a quota of “minorities”. I want people to get jobs because they deserve them, not because they “need” the job because they are an “oppressed minority”.
And anyone with a conscience and a scrap of dignity should feel the same.