February 10th, 2003


On my frustration with the Times of London...

Why is it that The Times of London seems to be the only paper that is considered to "matter" in regards to British foriegn policy? They march in lock step with everything the prevailing government supports, regardless of public opinion.

Unlike most other British papers, their stories on the war are highly slanted towards the cause of war, and now it looks like they're going to give Jack Straw a forum to answer people's questions online without rebuttal, presumably picking and choosing which questions to answer.

I sent in the following question, which he'd probably never answer in a million years...

"Secretary Straw,

While I am a citizen of the United States, my mother was born England.

I am very concerned with the rationale for Prime Minister Blair's support for a war on Iraq. It seems contrary to the policies of the government to increase the level of democracy and regional self-governance.

How can a war that is not supported by the people of the United Kingdom be justifiably supported by the Blair government, can you cite any other unpopular British wars that were justifiable, and does the government's support for an unpopular war undermine the far more important longterm consideration of giving the people more of a voice in how their country is run?"

The New York Times notices -- yet softpedals -- on "wetbacks" slur

In an article today in the New York Times, Bill O'Reilly's use of the term "wetbacks" on national television is barely mentioned in a story primarily about how Dame Edna poked fun at Cervantes.

I'm sorry, but the two cases are very different. Dame Edna is a comedian, who, while occasionally tasteless, draws chuckles. Bill O'Reilly, however, hosts an internationally broadcast news show and is taken all too seriously by millions of people worldwide. Dame Edna didn't use any racial slurs. Bill O'Reilly did. In fact, he used one of the racial slurs that the US Supreme Court specifically upheld a ban on in a Supreme Court decision, in order to guarantee that people can work in a non-abusive, non-hostile workplace.

"The network doesn't condone the use of any racial epithet," says a Fox spokesman. Really?! What, then, does the network do about it when one of their employees uses a racial epithet in the workplace, much less on a news program that is broadcast worldwide? Did they go up to Bill O'Reilly and say "Oh, by the way Bill, we don't condone racial epithets, and neither do you..."

I'm sorry, my definition for condone is the following - To overlook, forgive, or disregard (an offense) without protest or censure.

Where is the protest? Where is the censure? Where is the logic in this?!