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Must Reads: Thursday

November 11th, 2010 by Celeste Fremon



ANNENBERG’S GENEVA OVERHOLSER TALKS ABOUT KEITH OLBERMANN, JOURNALISTIC BIAS AND ALL THAT JAZZ

Geneva Overholser, director, University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, was on the PBS News Hour on Tuesday night, talking about Keith Olbermann and the whole realm of journalistic ethics.

(The students in my Monday journalism class at USC and I were talking about that very thing.)

Here are a few clips from the News Hour.

GO: Well, objectivity has been a central ethic of journalism in the modern era. And the thinking, Jeff, is kind of, as you know, that, if we can show that we have approached a story with a completely open mind, and been fair-minded about it, then people will have a stronger sense of the story’s credibility.

The trouble is that we are in a new kind of Wild West atmosphere now. It’s never been totally clear that the public thought about this as a safeguard with the same strength — strength that we did, as journalists, you know?

But, in this current environment, it’s kind of an anything goes. We’re headed toward a different mode of being transparent or figuring out what the new ethics are. And so, right now, we’re kind of looking at little thin slices of defending the turf.

We have Keith Olbermann saying: Oh, you know, I’m paid to give my opinions.

Or people are saying it’s no surprise that Keith Olbermann is giving his opinions, that he works for a larger corporation, NBC, which is still kind of hewing to the traditional standards of objectivity. It is a very interesting time.

[SNIP]

GO: I think it really is going to be more and more about transparency, this is who we are, but not trying to stuff everybody into the same sock, because they’re not in that sock anymore.

Yep, exactly.


DEPORTATIONS HAVE INCREASED UNDER THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION—SO HAVE ATTEMPTS TO DEPORT THE WRONG PEOPLE

This is from ProPublica based on new data from Syracuse University. Here are some clips:

As deportations have increased under the Obama administration, immigration judges have also increasingly denied requests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to deport people who were legitimately entitled to stay in the country [1], according to new data obtained by Syracuse University’s Transaction Records Access Clearinghouse.

From July to September of this year, for instance, almost a third of all deportation cases brought by ICE were rejected by immigration judges—up from twelve months earlier, when the rate was one out of every four. According to TRAC, judges have rejected removal orders for more than a quarter of a million individuals in the past five years.

Read the rest.

Of course, the irony of all this is that the president has repeatedly been painted as soft on immigration by people in a position to know better—even as the Obama administration, in its quest to be tough on immigration, has enthusiastically been gathering thousands of people into its net who don’t belong there, with all the attendant expense, stress, and upending of lives.


AND WHILE WE’RE ON THE SUBJECT OF IMMIGRATION—THE SUPREMES CONSIDER GENDER DISCRIMINATION IN IMMIGRATION CASES

Do mothers have an advantage over fathers when it comes to getting citizenship for their kids born out of the US? The court may think so but will it do anything to fix the inequity?

Robert Barnes of the Washington Post has the story:

A majority of Supreme Court justices may be bothered by an immigration law that treats American fathers differently than American mothers. But it seemed unlikely after an hour-long oral argument Wednesday that a majority of justices thought they could do anything about it.

The court was considering a challenge to a federal statute that makes it easier for unmarried mothers than unmarried fathers to convey American citizenship to children born outside the country.

Ruben Flores-Villar, who was born in Mexico but raised by his father in San Diego, says he is a victim of the double-standard. Fighting criminal charges, Flores-Villar, now 36, was denied citizenship and deported because his father did not meet the requirements of the law.


FRED— I AM LOATHSOME ANTI-GAY NUTCASE—PHELPS BRINGS HIS HATE CAMPAIGN TO THE OC

See, now here’s someone whom it would be genuinely good to deport. If only we could find even a flimsy pretext.

Matt Coker at OC Weekly has the story:

Fred Phelps’ “God Hates Fags” crusade comes to Santa Ana Saturday night for another demonstration of a play about the murder of Matthew Shepard, whose funeral was infamously picketed by the pastor of Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas.

The threat has prompted a downtown Santa Ana business leader to essentially warn merchants: steer clear of Bible-thumping nutbars.

“Please show great restraint and don’t allow the media an opportunity to once again depict Santa Ana in the ignominious manner they have portrayed us in the past,” Downtown, Inc. executive director Vicky Baxter writes in a letter to merchants…..

Posted in Free Speech, Future of Journalism, immigration, LGBT, media, Must Reads | 1 Comment »

One Response

  1. jim hitchcock Says:

    I think it was on MSNBC that I saw this story originally, and it was a good example of people standing up to the abomination that is Phelps and his followers:

    http://tinyurl.com/2uawqy8

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