Posts Tagged ‘CNN’

What in the world is going on in Turkey?

June 24, 2013

Turkey demosFour weeks ago a small group of environmentally-minded Turks staged a demonstration, or an occupation, of tiny Gezi park in Istanbul, where the government had stated its intent to build a replica of an Ottoman-era barracks to house a shopping mall.

The government responded by attacking the protesters violently with water cannon and tear gas. The disproportionate attack on the peaceful protesters crystallized widespread hostility to the government of Prime Minister Recip Tayyip Erdoğan (pronounced ER-duh-wan). The protests grew and spread all over Turkey, and everywhere the protesters were met by violent police action. So far five have died, and the protests have died down.

Erdoğan blames the trouble on outsiders, including CNN and the “interest lobby,” and has called out his supporters into massive counter demonstrations.

Erdoğan was first elected to head the government in 2002, with 34% of the vote. He was reelected in 2007 with 46%, and again in 2011 with just under 50% of the votes cast. He is a practicing Muslim—rare for a Turkish leader—and has steadily moved to make Turkish society more congenial to pious Muslims. He wants to amend the Constitution to allow women to wear headscarves in public buildings (now forbidden), and has had laws passed that allow early religious instruction in elementary school, limit the sale of alcohol, and has proposed bans on abortion and even on kissing in public.

Some fear Erdoğan’s goal is to introduce Sharia law, a la Iran or Saudi Arabia, while others (including The Economist) call him a “moderate Islamist” and believe his intent is simply to (more…)

Fareed Zakaria made “an unintentional error,” and will be back, says TIME

August 17, 2012

 

TIME conducted a “thorough review” of Fareed Zakaria’s work and has exonerated him of wrongdoing. TIME’s statement:

“We have completed a thorough review of each of Fareed Zakaria’s columns for TIME, and we are entirely satisfied that the language in question in his recent column was an unintentional error and an isolated incident for which he has apologized. We look forward to having Fareed’s thoughtful and important voice back in the magazine with his next column in the issue that comes out on September 7.”

Right after Zakaria’s “error” became public and he was suspended by TIME  and CNN, a writer, Clyde Prestowitz of the Economic Strategy Institute, called the Washington Post to level a careless and scurrilous charge (more…)

What’s next for plagiarizer Fareed Zakaria?

August 12, 2012

 

Fareed Zakaria is one of the great thinkers on American foreign policy and on America itself. He’s a trusted senior editor and columnist for Time, and host of an influential weekly show on CNN.

Or was, until yesterday, when he was suspended by both Time and CNN for plagıarısm. Zakaria tweeted an apology:

“Media reporters have pointed out that paragraphs in my Time column on gun control, which was also a topic of conversation on this blog, bear close similarities to paragraphs in Jill Lepore’s essay in the April 23rd issue of The New Yorker. They are right. I made a terrible mistake. It is a serious lapse and one that is entirely my fault. I apologize unreservedly to her, to my editors at Time and CNN, and to my readers and viewers everywhere.”

What is one to make of this sad affair? Zakaria didn’t gain his prominence through plagiarism (more…)

Syrian uprising claims the lives of two intrepid American reporters

February 22, 2012

 

Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

Jefferson would have especially valued Marie Colvin of the Sunday Times of London and Anthony Shadid of the New York Times, both of whom died this week in Syria.

Colvin was killed in a savage artillery bombardment of a residential neighborhood in Homs, Syria’s third city. In her last report, filed hours before she was killed, she explained to CNN’s Anderson Cooper why it was important to show video of a two-year old boy dying of shrapnel wounds to the chest.

“I feel very strongly that it should be shown. That’s the reality: there are 28,000 defenseless civilians being shelled. That baby will probably move more people to think ‘What is going on and why is no one stopping these murders that are going on every day?’

“The Syrian Army is shelling a city of cold, starving civilians.”

Shadid died of an asthma attack as he was walking out of Syria to file his latest report. He knew of the danger he faced, and (more…)

Can the outside world intervene to stop the slaughter in Syria?

February 17, 2012

Last March a few young Syrian boys— all under 17 — wrote on a wall in the farm town of Dara’a in southern Syria, a slogan that had appeared first in Tunisia, then quickly in Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, and Libya:  “The people want the regime to fall.”

The local governor threw the boys in jail, and so the Syrian revolution started.

Thirty years ago Syria’s brutal president, Hafez al-Assad, put down an anti-government demonstration in the city of Hama by killing 20,000-40,000 residents. His son and successor, Bashar al-Assad, appears to be made of the same stuff. His forces have killed 5,000-7,000* in towns all over Syria, and his killing machine seems to be gaining momentum.

The Arab League and the UN General Assembly have called for an end to the killing and for Assad to leave power. Assad’s answer has been to double down.

It’s anguishing to watch the newscasts or read about the slaughter of innocents and feel helpless to stop it. Until the past few weeks outside help was impossible: unlike Libya, where the rebels controlled large chunks of territory and could be supplied and aided easily, in Syria the opposition was scattered and controlled no territory.

Now that’s changing. CNN’s Ivan Watson is reporting that militants in northern Syria hold substantial territory (more…)

Mitt Romney: Liar, liar, pants on fire. Said he didn’t care about poor people, now brushes it off as “I misspoke”

February 3, 2012

Mitt Romney said he’s not concerned about the very poor because they have a safety net. And if the safety net needs repair he’ll fix it.

This proves he doesn’t care. If he thinks the safety net is OK he’s out of touch, and his out-of-touchness proves his lack of concern.

The safety net leaves millions of minimum- or low-wage earners without enough to feed, clothe, and shelter their families, leaves them dependent on emergency room visits for any medical care, and—if they’ve been unemployed for a long time—facing termination of their unemployment checks. And candidate Romney, along with nearly unanimous Republican Senators and members of Congress, are reflexively opposed to “fixing” the safety net.

But appearing so heartless can be costly to a Presidential candidate. So Romney tried to lie his way out of it, saying he misspoke. But he didn’t misspeak. Misspeaking is when I call my granddaughter by her sister’s name. Misspeaking is when John McCain tells a Romney gathering that he’s confident that President Obama will cure the nation’s ills. Misspeaking is not saying something, then when challenged explaining what you said. He didn’t misspeak.

The interview that got Romney into this mess went like this:

The candidate told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien on Wednesday that he’s “not concerned about the very poor,” explaining that he’s concerned about the middle class (more…)

The liberal media are unethically distorting Michele Bachmann’s views, and are thereby strengthening her candidacy

August 29, 2011

Americans believe in fair play. That’s why we’re outraged when a ballplayer cheats. Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa went from American heroes to pariahs overnight when we discovered that they were juicing. That may be why voters switched from Kerry to Bush when we learned that The New York Times had used a forged document on the eve of the 2004 election to “prove” that President Bush had pulled family stings to escape being drafted for Vietnam.

Unfair play may account for some of Sarah Palin’s popularity, as we see her being treated shabbily by the media. And now the media seem set on building up sympathy for Michele Bachmann by distortions of her words.

Ironically, the disdain many rightfully feel toward Bachmann leads them to heap undeserved scorn on her, on top of the scorn her candidacy deserves. And this is helping her, not only with her right-wing base but also with moderate people who believe she’s being treated unfairly.

So some of the  media are reporting that Bachmann blamed hurricane Irene on the big-government Democrats in—ugh—WASHINGTON, D.C. Here’s how it went at a widely covered campaign stop in Florida. (more…)

Murdoch apologizes—really!—for News of the World’s phone hacking and police bribery

July 18, 2011

Ethics Bob is always on the lookout for fake apologies, so when CNN reported that News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch had made a non-apology my senses sharpened: who better to nail than Murdoch, the genius behind Fox News’s right-wing propaganda machine. I wanted to disbelieve Murdoch’s acceptance of any responsibility.

Here’s the ad he ran in British papers last weekend:

The News of the World was in the business of holding others to account.

It failed when it came to itself.

We are sorry for the serious wrongdoing that occurred.

We are deeply sorry for the hurt suffered by the individuals affected.

We regret not acting faster to sort things out.

I realise that simply apologising is not enough.

Our business was founded on the idea that a free and open press should be a positive force in society. We need to live up to this.

In the coming days, as we take further concrete steps to resolve these issues and make amends for the damage they have caused, you will hear more from us.

(signed) Rupert Murdoch.

One could quibble  with Murdoch’s use of “wrongdoing that occurred” rather then “wrong that we did,”  or “hurt suffered” rather than “hurt we caused,” but that’s only a small quibble. It looks to me, and I think will look to most people, that Murdoch is accepting responsibility. And by not putting the corporate name under his signature he’s signifying that the responsibility is personal. Hooray (gulp) for him.

Is Obama a militarist, a peacenik, or a political waffler and difference-splitter?

June 25, 2011

Distrust of the President, and of the government in general, divides our society, emboldens our enemies, and diminishes the effectiveness of our Armed Forces. We owe our elected leaders more respect than that.

President Obama’s Afghanistan drawdown announcement has drawn fire from the left and from the right. He was pilloried on Fox News, on MSNBC, and on CNN, and even ridiculed on The Daily Show after he announced that the U.S. would withdraw 10,000 troops by the end of 2011, another 23,000 by “next summer,” with continuing reductions through 2014.

To the right, the President is recklessly ignoring the advice of his military professionals who know what’s needed. To the left, he’s mindlessly sticking to a hopeless and pointless strategy. To both sides he’s sacrificed principle for politics.

But has he? Is there any chance that his decision was based on what he thought best? If we Americans trusted him we’d give him that much. But we don’t, at least not much: the latest Gallup poll says that just 35% of Americans say they have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the Presidency; 36% have very little confidence or none at all.

But we do trust the military: 78% of us say they have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence. I’d guess the numbers are even higher on the right. But what happens when the military supports the President? Ah, then it’s a different story. (more…)

Worth watching: the CNN documentary, Unwelcome: Muslims Next Door– Soledad O’Brien

April 1, 2011

 

CNN last week ran an excellent documentary about the controversy over a planned new mosque/community center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. It’s called Unwelcome: Muslims Next Door– Soledad O’Brien. The video runs 42 minutes. An excellent summary of it is here.

It’s upsetting to contrast how ordinary American are the Muslims of Murfreesboro with how fearful and suspicious are the mosque’s opponents. The idea that the American Muslims are “other” is reminiscent of similar arguments made about African-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Jewish Americans, and, much earlier, Irish-Americans.

We Americans take pride in our diversity, and in America as a melting pot, but we still have the capacity to summon up a layer of hate and suspicion from just under the surface.

 


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