Lack of News Coverage, or Sensationalist Media?

As a center-left guy, I’ve always tended to favor CNN when it comes to national news.  FOX is well known for being a mouthpiece of the big-money Republican establishment and MSNBC is equally as liberal; with their own agendas and stuff they will either NOT cover, or will cover with a strong bias.  CNN, while with a liberal slant that comes with mainstream media, it’s relatively informed and and when reporting on information, individuals such as Anderson Cooper or Wolf Blitzer seem to present information relatively impartially.

However, with the recent loss of Malaysian Flight 370, I’ve noticed every time I turn on CNN… there’s NOTHING ELSE covered, except maybe on the bottom ticker.  I’ve learned more about the pinging signal from the Black Box than I’ve learned in COLLEGE in the last year — and that’s a sad statement.  Further, during the Fort Hood shooting, I noticed little press on the matter on CNN; or even the removal of limitations on monetary donations to federal-level election funds.

…aren’t these things the public may wanna know about?  Not more lack-of-news on a plane that sadly vanished a month ago, and we’ve learned LITTLE from since?

American media is starting to scare me.

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DUI at 0.05 as opposed to 0.08 justice or overreaching?

drunk-driving-stop-293x300The National Transportation Safety Board (“the NTSB”) wrote a report today recommending all 50 states in the United States lower the level of driving under the influence from 0.08 to 0.05 Blood-Alcohol Content.  The responses from each side of the argument have been interesting to say the least. Swift action, including the revocation of driver licenses was also indicated as a punishment to those to keep repeat offenders from becoming habitual drunk drivers.

The report published by the NTSB also noted that lowering the intoxication threshold would save anywhere from “500 to 800 lives per year.”

Indeed, there is precedence for this figure.  A decade ago, the laws were changed to criminalize driving under the influence at 0.08 BAC.  Alcohol-related deaths on the road plunged from 20,000 in 1980 to 9,878 in 2011.

Even the lowest levels of alcohol seem to impair drivers, the NTSB has said.  In an NTSB study, people were given alcohol and drove in simulators.  At 0.01 BAC, drivers in simulators demonstrate attention problems and lane deviations. At 0.02, they exhibit drowsiness, and at 0.04, vigilance problems.

quote-open“This recommendation is ludicrous,” Sarah Longwell, managing director of the American Beverage Institute, said in a statement to CNN.

“Moving from 0.08 to 0.05 would criminalize perfectly responsible behavior. …A little over a decade ago, we lowered our legal limit from 0.1 percent after groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving assured the country that, based on all the science, 0.08 BAC was absolutely, unequivocally where the legal threshold should be set for drunk driving. Has the science changed? Or have anti-alcohol activists simply set their sights on a new goal?” Longwell asked.

To French Gay Marry; or to Not French Gay Marry…

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The French Sénat

The United States isn’t alone in it’s battle for marriage equality.  The lower house of France just overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for gays and lesbians to be given the right to marry.  The issue now moves to the upper house, the Senate of France, or Sénat du française.

While the Socialist majority controls an overwhelming number of seats in the National Assembly (the lower house) it carries only a small margin of control in the Senate — which of course, brings out the need for the  Socialist Party, which includes French President François Hollande; to get every vote in the Senate as they can — if they want to see the issue move forward.

Engineer Driss Houat, 69, told CNN Thursday he opposes the measure.

quote-open“I am completely against it because God created man and woman so that they could be married. Not for anything else. It’s absurd for me to see this bill pass,” he said.

But Myriam Duru, 37, a manager at a Tommy Hilfiger store, disagrees.

quote-open“I am Muslim, so I believe in God. I think it’s not a problem for me to accept. I don’t understand people who think that God exists and can say ‘I’m against the happiness of people,'” she said.

The Best Media on the US Government… isn’t in the USA?

This post contains a lot of opinion.  Please bear this in mind.

Pentagon_Press_Room_SecDef_Rumsfeld_Briefs_China_SituationOne of the things I’ve noticed in the past year or so is how biased the media in the United States is — particularly in favor of the image of the United States.

This isn’t to suggest it happens all the time.  Indeed, often, the United States media portrays our leaders more combative and aloof than they like actually are.  While no doubt, there’s combativeness and a major adversarial relationship in the Legislative branch of Government alone, the media often makes it out that this is the only relationship they have.

However, many examples of government-censorship seem apparent.  A Republican committee on the House Energy and Commerce committee released a report showing that the Obama Administration’s Department of Energy coerced Solyndra to hold off announcing major plans, including layoffs and other potentially embarrassing bits of information to avoid muddying the waters further in an already ugly midterm election; until after the said election.

The veracity of this report is questionable — as it could very well serve to be an example of bellicose and vehement partisan fighting that’s become common in the last decade; but the accusation alone is disturbing.

Another example that comes to mind specifically is Barbara StarrCNN‘s Pentagon Correspondent.  When I hear her reports, often citing “unnamed sources,” or “an unnamed Pentagon official,” or someone who “declined to identify themselves,” are more and more being used.  To me, this sounds like a Department of Defense brief, being placed in her hands, and the DoD saying “Say this, citing “an unnamed Pentagon official.”  Should Barbara Starr change her title from “CNN Correspondent to the Pentagon” to “The Pentagon Correspondent to CNN?”   This is only one example of reporters from the Pentagon I’m singling out.  She’s not the only one who does this.

In the year since I took Dr. Victor‘s International Business class, I’ve learned to trust other sources other than just domestic media for information on the Government, and America itself in the terms of the Media.  The Economist, Deutsche Welle and BBC being the top three.

What does this say about the state of our media?  Is this just the accepted new normal, or the beginning of something else?