Friday, October 31, 2008

Celebrity sensation: U2 singer Bono 'Busted' by Facebook

Busted: Facebook Pictures Show Married U2 Singer Bono's Rendezvous With Sexy Teens

Earlier in the week, Fox news posted an article online concerning the activities of U2 singer Bono during his vacation in St Tropez. Bono was "caught" with two 19-year old females, American fashion student Andrea Feick and her friend Hannah Emerson. Caught doing what you might ask? Apparently, nothing.

Pictures of Bono with his arms around two bikini wearing teenagers were posted on Facebook and accompanied by "diary details." Given the first word in the headline of the article, "Busted," any reader would assume that these details were somehow incriminating. Yet the details only revealed that Bono, his friend Simon Carmody (former member of Irish band Golden Horde), and the two teenagers drank at a beach bar, strolled along the beach, and partied on U2 guitarist The Edge's yacht. So how exactly was he busted? It is safe to assume that that the front man for a rock band as big as U2 would be partying during his vacation. And it's not wrong for him to hang out with fans while doing so, even if they are young attractive females. In fact, it's good PR.

To be fair, Fox did include a critical piece of information:
"Feick said their relationship had never crossed the line beyond friendship. 'For somebody who's much older than I am ... no thank you,' she said"

Despite Feicks' comment, Fox still decided to place Bono in a bad light, as if his actions were morally reprehensible. The network sensationalized the story with words like "busted" and "sexy teens." The end of the article contains the following statement, "Bono, Carmody and the girls partied into the night on the yacht," followed by "Bono's 26-year marriage to wife Ali is famously strong."

The inclusion of the last sentence says it all: News Corp (who owns Fox) is persuading people into believing that Bono's marriage is not as strong as people thought. Celebrity coverage in the main stream media is superfluous as it is. Do we really need to distort information to make it into a news story?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Madonna strikes again; reporter accepts criticism of Palin

Since media bias is ever-present in our society, it is easy to pick out the blatant bias stories especially dealing with politics. However, combining politics with entertainment results in chaos and most likely disaster as illustrated by the story "Madonna Publicly bans Sarah Palin from attending her shows."

The writer, Nick Neyland clearly favors Madonna's political views, which are obviously against Palin as noted by her abrasive comments throughout the concert. Not only does he reflect on Madonna's lack of performance as well as excessive threats and insults toward Palin, he also uncovers his political preference by siding with Madonna.

This is evident when Neyland compares the personifications of Hitler by McCain and Obama. First, he dismisses the fact that there are images of McCain evoking a Hitler movement, yet when he mentions those mocking Obama as Hitler on YouTube, he refers to them as "crazies." In this respect Neyland basically insinuates that he is OK with people describing McCain as Hitler but it is not right, rather it's "crazy" to do that with Obama.

Then later in the story Neyland comments on Madonna's imitations of Palin displayed in the concert video: "sadly not the part where Madge is alleged to have impersonated the sound of a snowmobile after saying: 'Here's the sound of Sarah Palin's husband's snowmobile when it won't start'.” This statement definitely reveals a biased opinion since he he outspokenly says it is sad they didn't include that part on the online video for the public eye.

I found this reporter to use sarcasteic language unfavorable to Palin throughout the story, presented in either an obscure or apparent manner.
(Picture taken directly from article source)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Overt Ignorance of Journalistic Ethics

This is a broadcast on Fox News in August, but I thought it's still important to mention because it is an example of extreme media bias. Normally when we speak about media bias, we would think of articles or broadcasts providing information in favor of or against a targeted individual, group or issue. But preventing someone from voicing their opinions in front of the audience during a broadcast is just too much!

On August 20th, Fox News had an interview with Amanda Kokoeva and her aunt Laura Tedeeva-Korewiski. Coming from San Francisco, Amanda was in South Ossetia at the time of the attack on August 7th. According to Amanda, the Georgian army was bombing the place and the Russian troop in fact helped her uncle and her to get to Moscow safely.

Whether the information provided is true or not, Fox News did a good job of covering the truth by stopping the witnesses from talking when she started to accuse Georgia at fault. He didn't even let her finish the sentence where she wanted to say thank you to the Russian troop. The reason the MC gave was "We need a commercial break."

We all know that US media have been supporting Georgia in this conflict since the war started in August 2008. Journalists and editors have the right to have their stands in the issue, but they should keep their opinions separate from their work. Their role is to provide the public with neutral information, and it's up to the audience what to believe in. By selecting to publicize only news that support their opinions and suppressing information that is against their perceived views, they are providing only one side of the story to the audience.

In this case, where the journalist and the news outlet itself deliberately stopped the witnesses from speaking and providing their opinions, it is just way across the line of what a journalist is not supposed to do. It is sad how contemporary journalism is negatively moving towards this direction. I'm not saying all journalists and media outlets are biased, but this example just show how some journalists and news stations are not ashamed of violating their own ethic codes.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Are Sarah Palin and her husband the new Brangelina?

Headline: Sarah Palin: My Wedding Hope for Bristol. 

This article was No. 1 of the top five most read articles on this week. I thought the content of the articles to follow were interesting in contrast to coverage of Palin. No. 2 on the list was an article about how Kim Kardashian spent her 28th birthday in a hospital gown, No. 3 was entitled Alyson Hannigan is pregnant, No. 4 was entitled Brad Paisley arrested at Nashville Airport and finally No. 5 was Brooke and Charlie Sheen are expecting twins. 

Babies, a birthday and an arrest. 

Only a fragment of this article is about what Palin would like to see in her daughter's (Bristol's) future. The reporter then proceeds to interview both Palin and her husband, Todd, about trivial things such as who does what around the house and who is the better cook of the two of them. (They share the household duties and Sarah Palin is a better cook, Todd can barbeque a mean salmon though, in case you were wondering.) 

One very strong aspect of this article though was incorporating People readers' questions into the reporter's interview. According to the article, "They (Sarah and Todd Palin) also responded to PEOPLE readers' questions about politics, life with five kids-ages 6 months to 19 years- and what's next for the Alaska governor, win or lose." 

Then why didn't the questions go in order of what would seem to be priority? While reading the article I expected to see a variety of questions about politics, her campaign. Instead, the questioning started with a focus on her children. I think at some point everyone has probably gotten a little tired of hearing about political candidates and their family lives. Who cares what they enjoy doing in their spare time? That might seem harsh, but in reality do we really worry about those kinds of things? They are the type of useless gossip we like to hear about celebrities. Instead when it comes to politicians, how about asking detailed questions revolving around the basis of "what are they planning to do for the country?" Their privates lives should be just that--private. It must get irritating for the candidates as well, constantly being asked questions about their personal lives, as if they were the next hot thing to hit the big screen.

Here is an example: "Alicia in New York City asks, Do you think about having more children?" Then she continues with the question, "Do you have any more unique names (for children) up your sleeve?" Come on, people. A little less celebrity-like coverage might be nice. We are dealing with politics here, not an episode of Entertainment Tonight. The two should not mix, at least in my opinion.

Above photo was taken from It accompanied the article. 

Is Twitter A Terriorist?

The Agence France-Presse news agency reported today that Twitter can potentially be used as a terrorist tool.

A draft US Army intelligence report has identified the popular micro-blogging service Twitter, Global Positioning System maps and voice-changing software as potential terrorist tools.

Agence France-Presse news agency did not mention however, that the United States Postal Service, E-mail, The Telephone and the Internet could also be used as a terrorist tool.
This article is completely biased and provides no actual information aside from the fact that Twitter is a social networking tool that can release information faster than a news organization.
"The report is not based on clandestine reporting but drawn from open source intelligence known as OSINT."

While the content of this article is bogus and not necessary, the reporter declined to interview anyone from Twitter or other social networking tools. It seems as if, the reporter feels the article was unnecessary as well.

I discovered this article linked on, the most biased name in news. Expecting to find a right winged article leaning toward McCain, or bashing Obama. I was surprised to find this article that made fun of the US Govt. I would expect, however, a detailed serious article describing the threats of Twitter. Not, the ridiculous tone and mocking feel of the actual article.

Perhaps the reporters at Foxnews online only read headlines.

This article was surprisingly biased. While it may be the sentiments of the reporter or the news agency itself, the article's tone was bored and mocking.