Fighting Words
  • Don't Call New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand 'Girlie'

      on July 12 2013 2:57 PM
    Don't Call New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand 'Girlie' Name It, Change It, an organization dedicated to pointing out sexism in the media, recently criticized an NPR report about New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand that described her as "petite, blond and perky" with a "soft, girlie voice." The story was eventually revised to remove those references.
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  • Look, Up In The Sky, It's A Blatant Political Message With A Cape

      on July 12 2013 12:35 PM
    I don't want to be like one of the bullies in "Man of Steel," but I have a bone to pick with this work of fiction, mainly because it incorporates so many real and relevant issues ripped from the headlines. You've had a few weeks to see the film, so please pardon any spoilers. Maybe you've heard by now that the filmmakers updated the Superman story for modern times, not only by retiring his trademark red underwear and making sure we recognize familiar items during opportune moments of product placement ($160 million worth), but also by offering two bits of very contemporary political commentary -- one so subtle you'll need X-ray vision, the other more powerful than a locomotive.
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  • Guess Who Talks About Abortion On Cable News? (Hint: Not Experts)

      on July 11 2013 2:22 PM
    Building off a bit of yesterday's post on the lack of diversity within the newsroom, it appears cable news' diversity problem extends beyond merely the people in the newsroom, but the people who appear as guests as well. Media Matters reports that, of the 92 guests that discussed Texas' abortion bill on cable news (the one Wendy Davis filibustered), only four of them were women's health experts. Unsurprisingly, Fox News hosted none, "while CNN and MSNBC hosted two and three, respectively."
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    Guess Who Talks About Abortion On Cable News? (Hint: Not Experts)
  • The Lack Of Diversity In The Newsroom Is Bad For Society

      on July 10 2013 2:17 PM
    The Lack Of Diversity In The Newsroom Is Bad For Society The American Society of News Editors annual study of newsroom diversity just came out, and The Atlantic's Riva Gold did a terrific job describing the current state of newsroom diversity and its causes. At a time when non-whites make up roughly 37 percent of the U.S. population, the percentage of minorities in the newsroom has fallen to 12.37 percent from its 13.73 percent high in 2006. In last year's 2012 ASNE study, overall newsroom employment was down 2.4 percent, but the picture looked much worse - down 5.7 percent - for minorities. It's bad and getting worse, and the most important aspect of this isn't necessarily its impact on individuals, though that is a problem, but its impact on society.
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  • BuzzFeed List Insults And Debases The Egyptian Revolution

      on July 09 2013 6:34 PM
    Following a massacre of 50 Islamist protesters, the interim government in Egypt selected a temporary prime minister on Tuesday and detailed a six-month timetable to restore democracy. BuzzFeed, a news website that mixes serious articles with entertaining lists or “listicles,” decided to summarize the conflict with a list of .gif images from the 1993 movie “Jurassic Park.”
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  • If You Want To Privatize BART, You Can Probably Afford Something Else

      on July 09 2013 2:05 PM
    If You Want To Privatize BART, You Can Probably Afford Something Else The BART strikes are in full swing, and the reaction from the locals highlights striking differences in how different socio-economic status groups treat public services. Given its location in San Francisco, you would expect to see a outpouring of indignation from the tech industry, and you'd be right: PandoDaily has this amusingly myopic piece from writer Sarah Lacey (hat-tip to ValleyWag for pointing this one out), which ends with this money quote: "I’ll say this: The last few days have been a rare opportunity for cab drivers to shine. Every cab I’ve taken has been impeccably clean, accepted credit cards with no grousing, and the drivers have been incredibly polite. Although they all hate the scourge of Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar, the result of those services coming into the market is what’s made my commute to and from work bearable this week. Competition, it turns out, does indeed make everyone better. It’s too bad no one is working on disrupting BART."
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  • Yasiin Bey's Demo Of Gitmo Force-Feeding Could Be The Jolt That Congress Needs

      on July 08 2013 4:30 PM
    Actor and rapper Yasiin Bey's -- also known as Mos Def -- latest video isn’t promoting a new song or movie. Instead, it’s a raw demonstration of him cringing and squirming and screaming as he undergoes a force-feeding, a torture technique used on those imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay. "Standard Operating Procedure," directed by Asif Kapadia, is meant to raise awareness about how gruesome the force feeding process is and how it is akin to torture.
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