Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Cartoon: Another whack at Pelosi

Anybody reading this blog (including you, Courier editors) already knows that the Pelosi-in-Syria story is a totally fake controversy, so we needn't bother about that. It just occurs to me that you might like to see a few of the cartoons the Courier could have run instead.

Every editorial choice injects a point of view. It's inevitable. And as you rack up those choices, both conscious and unconscious, a detailed portrait of bias emerges.

Wiederaenders: "New set of demons plague local veteran"

A veteran has a son in Germany who might go to Iraq. He's crying into his hankie and condemning the Preznit and the Speaker for not agreeing about how to handle the awful mess we're in there. In parting he says, "The fighting has to stop."

I have a nephew in Texas who's about to leave for his second tour in Iraq. I'm not crying into my hankie, I'm standing up with the 75% of Americans who agree that the Preznit must back down and get our troops out of harm's way. The fighting has to stop.

This, I think, represents a remarkable consensus. It's a pity Tim would apparently rather interpret it as conflict. Or is that what he really means? Does he really mean to say anything at all? Hard to say.

There's a cookie available for pointing out the typo in the headline.

Editorial: "Uninvited guests don't merit perks"

Indulge me in a brief parable.

You come home from a hard day at work to discover a stranger in your home filling your refrigerator with food and repairing your cable connection.

When you ask what he's doing in your home, he says his boss sent him based on orders you made because his services are cheaper, and he's just trying to make a living.

Pretty cheeky of you to complain about him, isn't it?

Let me point out just a couple of the many ways this piece is designed to make you dumber.

The 'thousands' (accounts vary from 5,000 to 75,000, vs 500,000 last year) who turned out for the weekend event in LA were not there "to protest President George W. Bush's immigration reform proposal," they were protesting the current situation and demanding legal status for millions of productive, law-abiding members of our community.

The Preznit is so far backing legislation sponsored in part by AZ Congresscritter Jeff Flake. That this compromise is seen as insufficient for people forced to live without rights is no surprise, but the people who are protesting this approach with even greater vigor include Russell Pierce (R-Bizarro World) and his anti-immigrant acolytes -- the Courier editor apparently among them.

And while there were illegals among the crowd, no one did a survey on legal status. Which is more likely: that the rally consisted of all, a majority, or even a significant number of illegals, or that most of the people there were legal immigrants and immigrant-rights advocates standing up in solidarity to draw attention to the second-class status of their neighbors and friends?

The Courier editor either does not understand the complexity of the issue or is purposely working to whip up yet more pointless political frenzy. Take your choice.

A1: "PUSD teacher admits to viewing porn on school computer"

I hope Mirsada's recounting of the court judgment closes the door on this awful story, and I hope we can keep in mind the rest of our local teachers, who are doing a difficult job for low pay and little thanks. This doesn't make things any easier for them.

A1: "Students, staff speak out on proposed dress code"

Shari Lopatin delivers the goods in a range of quotes illustrating the various feelings in school about the dress-code issue. With the caveat that there's no telling from this whether there's a consensus opinion, and that would be good to know, this seems like a pretty good job.

We learn a couple surprising things here: that wearing beachwear or your hat on backwards is a 'privilege' (now that's aiming high, eh?), and that teachers are apparently as resistant to apparel rules for them as the kids are. My bet is a new dress code ain't gonna happen -- nobody actually affected seems to get the point.

A1: "Police seek 4 suspects in home invasion"

Shorter Mirsada Buric: We don't know anything more about these stories than we did yesterday, but they were sure sensational, huh?

So why front-page a retread of the weekend police blotter? I'm drawn to the concatenation here of two quite separate stories without so much as a subhead between them. As an editor I might like to do this if I saw connecting threads. So what are the common elements? They both happened in PV, they both involved the PVPD, they were both sensational, and they both involved Hispanic perps. Hmm.

Lurkers: Just for you

From various comments I've received in the analog world I know there are a lot more people reading this blog than me, Lefty and MJ. I'm planning to get around to figuring out how to add a hit counter, but till then, whether you like us or not, I'd appreciate a comment just to let us know you're here. Cheers!