Monday, June 18, 2007

Linn Washington: Biased About More Than Mumia

(It is not surprising that Linn Washington is more than just a Mumiaphile. That he deprives his students of their academic freedom with a steady diet of propaganda with nothing in the way of a counterbalance just shows his allegiance is to ideology and not truth.)

Brainwashing at Temple

By Dan Murphy

When Professors Karen Turner and Linn Washington forced my Investigative Journalism class to watch most of the film "An Inconvenient Truth," it was clear that they had an agenda they wanted to shove down our throats. Afterwards, the professors said the purpose of watching the movie was to give us varying ideas for our final project, which had to be on different aspects of the environment, and despite telling us to keep an open mind about the issues Gore raises, they showed no film and presented no document that offered an opinion opposing Gore's claim.

We were used to leftwing material; much of our readings, class discussions, and assignments were leftwing political talking points rather than authentic journalism. The text, "Into the Buzzsaw," by Kristina Borjesson, contained a lot of short articles written by journalists who investigated stories that were turned down by their papers and news networks, apparently because their work was too questionable to run. Among the subjects of the articles was the accusation that World War II and the current Iraq war are being fought for oil; the assertion that George Bush won the 2000 election because "58,000" African-Americans were disenfranchised and felons weren't allowed to vote in Florida; a rant by a former Fox News employee about a memo that was passed around the newsroom daily with tips on conservative shows (as if CNN doesn't circulate a memo with liberal storylines).

Also included as part of our instructional materials were videos such as Greg Palast's "Bush Family Fortunes," which talks about the way the Bush family got its money. Palast, who wrote the above-mentioned article about Bush winning Florida in 2000, is a wanna-be investigative reporter who looks for conspiracy theories, palming them off as fact. In the video, he tries to tie Bush's polices as President to his family fortunes (hint: oil wealth).

After I saw and read his work, I understood why he has trouble getting it circulated in the U.S. Another video, titled "Control Room," put down the American media for not accurately reporting the events of the Iraq War. Even though we know that the mainstream media has lunged for negative images, the producers of this film accuse the U.S. media of making the war look too rosy. They paint Al-Jazeera as the fair and balanced news source in the Middle East, because it focuses on blood and gore of war. The head of Al-Jazeera is interviewed, and claims to report both sides. However, all the supporting film clips show are negative images of U.S. troops and unhappy Iraqis spewing hatred toward America.

Forgetting about their shoddy quality for a moment, neither of these videos did much to teach us about investigative journalists, unless that term has become a synonym for conspiracy theorizing. I'm reluctant to criticize my professors in print, but the entire class was a violation of Temple University's academic freedom regulations, and I am fed up with such unprofessional behavior in the classroom. But the one-sided, leftwing propaganda the teachers force fed us had one (for them) unintended consequence. I found myself constantly challenging their opinions – at first simply to myself, and then in class. I figured that even if most of the class didn't agree with me, at least I was presenting a different viewpoint, which is supposed to be what education is all about. I probably would have had more heated, extensive arguments with the professors, but I did not want to put my grade at risk. In the politically correct and leftwing classroom, that is always a dark possibility.


At 3:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey Tony, Didn't you use to criticize US foreign policy and both the war on Iraq and Afghanistan as being unjustifiable, imperialist ventures?

When did you become an advocate of those operations?

At 4:39 PM , Blogger Tony Allen said...

I did criticize US foreign policy.

So what? And why ask questions you apparently already know? And moreover, who wants to know?

If you can point out something I have written that now advocates the war in Iraq and Afghanistan I would love to see it.

This article pertained to Proffesor Washington's alleged violations of academic freedom, not his position on the war.

At 1:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Imagine two young women walking the streets of Philadelphia, only to be stopped by cops, searched, and even though they are clean, they're arrested and placed in custody at the 26th District police station.

Why were they arrested in the first place? Cops would later claim that the women talked to a man who they considered suspicious.

While the women were locked in the cell, one of the cops strolls around to the cell area, and demands they bare their breasts; then touch each other; then kiss; then bare their private parts.

Shocked, the traumatized women burst into tears.

The cop jangles the keys to their freedom, and proclaims, "If you wanna go home, you will do as I say."

The crying women refuse to go beyond the first two demands.

Shortly after their release, one of the women found that this brief incarceration was long enough for one of the cops to steal $20 from her purse.

One of the women, Erica Hejnar, filed a complaint within hours of the event, on September 3, 2003.

According to published reports, police Internal Affairs appointed an investigator to the case a month after the events. The IA investigator contacts the city's DA's office, and interviews several of the cops involved.

Two years later, the IA guy retires, with no action on the case.

In April of 2005, Ms. Hejnar files a civil rights suit in Federal court. Nine months later the City pays her over $17,000 to settle the suit.

In the meantime, the second IA investigator retires. A third IA investigator takes the case, and contacts the DA about filing criminal charges. The DA, citing " insufficient evidence". declines to prosecute.

Instead, several cops faced departmental disciplinary charges, mostly for conduct unbecoming, and filing false reports.

No charges means, of course, that no matter what the department does, the most he faces is a firing. This guy, who used his power to force young women to perform a sex show for his kinks, will never have to be labeled a sexual predator, he'll never be forced to report his housing arrangements to the state, nor find his name on a list of sex criminals on the Internet.

Of the 1/2 a dozen people at work that night, to a man, no one claimed to have seen nor heard what went on.

Notice I said, 'to a man', for one female cop, hearing Officer Norberto Cappas brag and joke to other cops about how he treated the women, angrily cursed him for his behavior.

The other guys? They don't remember hearing or seeing that either.

Meanwhile, Internal disciplinary hearings were held, and results are pending.

Just one day, in the City of Brotherly Love.

(c)'07 maj

At 1:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since the latest Iraq War began, over 2 and 1/2 million people have left the county, many settling in nearby Jordan.

The life of a refugee anywhere is a kind of hell, but for Iraqis, they face a special kind of hell. They are seen by some of their fellow Arabs as those who welcomed in the Americans (because most of the refugees came from middle class, or well to do families), and as such they are perceived as people who brought chaos into an already volatile region.

In many countries, they are not allowed employment, and must simply find a way to survive, based on their depleted savings, or, as the saying goes, they exist 'thanks to the kindness of strangers.'

They have lost their world, as the life of a refugee is tantamount to no life at all.

As the problems of Iraq boil over, one glance at the situation of the people in Palestine sends shivers down millions of spines.

That population has been bereft of a real home for over 50 years - and little relief appears to be in sight.

Since 1948, millions of Palestinians have been living in countries not their own, holding on to rusty old keys to doors that no longer exist.

As Americans play Roman in Iraq, and try to restructure that nation to its Imperial will, there are many refugees who doubtless wonder if they will go on the heartbreaking sojourn of their Palestinian cousins - away from homes for generations.

No matter what U.S. politicians say, no matter what politicians at the UN say, the Iraqis are virtually on their own, and may be so for decades.

The US., which claims the Invasion and occupation was 'Operation Iraqi Freedom', has kept the so-called 'golden door' to U.S. shores almost completely shut.

Of the 2.5 million Iraqis now living in exile, some 700 have been granted residency in the United States.

Seven hundred. In 2007, some 70 people have been allowed in.

For Iraqis who believed the promises of the Invaders, who sped to work for them as translators, or supporters, their reward has been banishment from the land of their ancestors, to countries where they live on sufferance, on the stale gruel of suspicion, and hatred.

The real deal is that the U.S., fueled by petro-lust, isn't finished in the region.

It's hunger for oil will keep it in the region no matter how many Americans or Iraqis die.

Why else would the U.S. build the biggest bases and embassy on earth there?

They plan to stay.

Iraqis, who lived in some of the oldest cities on earth, simply have to find new digs.

(c) '07 maj


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