Archive for the ‘ Media ’ Category

Political Ideologies in Assessing the Mass Media

Political ideologies are a prevailing feature of 20th century thought, not least the battle between the left and right, the free market and the centrally controlled socialist utopia. Hans Magnus Enzensberger is perhaps the best example of this, transforming and supposedly adapting the socialist rhetoric into one which he believes can fit the model of the mass media within the society. Unfortunately, the result is one full of glaring ironies and ignorant of the reality, transforming the subjective into an objective fallacy. By viewing this transforming social construct through such a narrow guise, he perhaps did it its greatest disservice, one that also highlights the implicit problems held within Marxism as a doctrine, along with the lack of realism within critical thought. By focusing on the singularity of the enslavement/manipulation model, Enzensberger himself became a victim of ideological dogma. This is especially prevalent when considering his application of hegemony to the mass media and the manipulation of the lower class consciousness and inevitably allows further examination of bias within the area as a whole.

Mass Media

What happened to rights?

So as I was getting ready this morning and flicked on the TV (in the interest of full disclosure, it was TV3’s Midday) to discover that they were talking about the CCTV cameras placed in the toilets of a Kildare secondary school and subsequent protest by students.
The full story is here but more than anything, I worry about the complete lack of any anger on the part of most people. Nora Owen, the former Minister for Justice stated when asked that she effectively saw no issue with the cameras as to the best of her knowledge, they would not be aimed at any area of the rooms that could violate privacy and that the only action on the part of the school that was somewhat reprehensible, was not seeking permission from parents. Well sadly Mrs. Owen, I think with such claims you just reminded me that you were one of those Ministers who wasn’t qualified to be in that position in the first place (She holds a degree in Industrial Chemistry).
Under Article 40.3.1 of the Irish Constitution, are the unenumerated rights, rights that have been discovered within others by the courts (more specifically Ryan v Attorney General was the first case to do so) and amongst these is the right to privacy created within Kennedy and Arnold (before this privacy only extended to marital privacy as in McGee) as “the nature of the right to privacy is such that it must ensure the dignity and freedom of the individual in a democratic society”. With the passing of the Lisbon Treaty, the European Charter on Human Rights is also fully incorporated in Irish law and the privacy right contained within it are binding against the State.

If the Data Protection Commissioner only has issues with the legality of the act, he really needs to go back and learn some basic law principles, because even if the handling of the video from the cameras is in a grey area, the installation of the cameras is not; if the school wants to prove their actions are constitutional, they’re going to need to prove that it’s a proportionate response, something I don’t think they can do. The problem is, if they say that the cameras will have a full view of the rooms in order to catch those bullying other students and vandalising school property, they’re going to have a tough time proving that the acts that they’re stopping are serious enough to warrant such a gross violation of privacy and likewise, if they are only pointed at certain areas of the rooms to minimize the intrusion, it will be difficult to argue the effectiveness of the cameras at all. More importantly, if we all think back to when we were teenagers, we would remember that if a teenager sets their mind to do something, they’ll do it, the cameras will more than likely just make them do it somewhere else on the grounds.

What irritates me most, is that so many people in this country only seem to protest or care about issues when it affects their wage package – a bill recriminalising blasphemy came into law without much, if any complaint from the general public but when the public sector have to take pay cuts, they’re out on the streets. When these kids have the balls to stand up and protest against something they believe in, that they know to be wrong, the general impression I’ve gotten is that they’re troublemakers, complaining about something that’s inevitable, they should just lie down and stop complaining.

Why should any criticise someone for standing up for what they believe in merely because it’s not tangible or currency? We need activism and protests because they remind us of why we shouldn’t stop caring about what’s going on around us, that there are slippery slopes where ‘one thing leads to another’ and suddenly we’re affected but just as we were complacent before, those remaining won’t help us.
I personally hope there are more of this kind of youth in future because ‘If our colleges and universities do not breed men who riot, who rebel, who attack life with all their youthful vision and vigor then there is something wrong with our colleges. The more riots that come on college campuses, the better the world for tomorrow.’ (Robert Kennedy)

More FF nonsense

So I’m sure this post is already pretty redundant. Damien has been been pretty on the ball. Alexia covered it (here and here) Gavin, Alan, Suzy… basically I’m the one of the last to jump on the bandwagon.

As everyone in the blogopolis already knows, an artist succeeded in hanging two separate caricatures of Brian Cowen in two well known Dublin galleries without anyone realizing. The galleries were confused and highly intrigued. Understandably, so was RTE who posted it on their website and then during one of its live broadcasts. Well this didn’t go down so well with the powers that be so they decided to throw an unmerciful fit by all accounts.
They wanted the picture taken off the website? Okay, I can sort of see where they’re coming from… They wanted to have the article taken down all together? Slightly less sympathetic…. They ask RTE to issue an apology? People should be rightly infuriated.

Yes I can understand the embarrassment that it would cause to the government and to Cowen himself but where is the crime? It’s an essential freedom in a truly democratic state that people can poke fun at one another. Satire has never been a crime or else Gift Grub would have been convicted for offending our collective intelligence a long time ago.
Rights within Ireland can be qualified in that when two rights conflict, one or both may have to concede some ground to the other but what right does the current administration have that makes them believe they can not only control content on RTE but also take it as a personal injury? It’s not defamatory. In fact its more damaging for them to continue down the road they’re on now than to have taken it on the chin and moved on. I can understand that this is in the government’s eyes not a time to be making a joke out of them but from the reasonable man’s point of view, it should be open season. If you are elected to office or choose to be in the public eye in any way, you understand that you’re opening yourself up for these things to happen – it’s expected that you’re going to get mocked now and then and we should especially have that right now. The economy is melting, the governments idea of fixing it is taxing us to within an inch of our lives and we’re not meant to call them on it? Well then sorry for having a sense of humour.

The mind boggles as to how the FF PR machine works if they think that taking RTE down with them is going to help. Now, along with our lower opinion of them, we can no longer completely trust what RTE tells us because they have been subject to censorship. And not only that, they did it without a significant fight. Fire the DG? If people gave out medals for doing your fucking job, he should get one for this – he should resign for allowing himself to be compromised after that point however.

Oh and this is definitely a long shot but if the guy who painted these things is reading this, here’s some free legal advice – at best you could be fined for putting a nail in the walls to hang the things and even then, a court shouldn’t be wasting its time listening to such trivial matters and they probably won’t. And be aware that if they ask you come to in for questioning, they should really be arresting you and telling you what you’re charged with, anything they gather from voluntary questioning is generally never allowed be used inside a court room.

Taken from Alan Cavanagh

Save Rick and Nikki!

As mentioned by Damien, yesterday was “Complain to 2FM About Rick” Day.

Here’s the reply I got –

Dear Charles,
Thank you for your e-mail.
Your comments in relation to the changed format of the Rick O’Shea and Nikki Hayes shows will be included in our Audience Log of calls and e-mails, which is circulated for information to senior management in RTÉ Radio and is reviewed at the weekly meeting of the Editorial Board.
Your e-mail is also being brought to the attention of the Head of RTÉ 2fm.
We appreciate you taking the time to make your views known to us, thanks again for writing.

With best regards
Nina Ward
RTÉ Information Officer

Not very satisfactory but then again I was expecting that the complaints officer would necessarily walk out of her job in protest. Perhaps it was just rather anticlimactic….

The end (of intelligent TV) is nigh…

Variety is reporting that due to flagging ratings MTV is planning to make 16 new reality shows.
Because we all want more of those inane bitchy girls from California on our screens.

Anyone else miss the days when they actually played music?

Burka Abeam?

A very clever blogger is after finding a news article which refers to the President Elect Burka Abeam…. fantastic fact-checker they have for themselves.

This is bound to irk people…

Despite those of us who think it was prudent for Obama as simply president elect to remain somewhat quiet on the scandal surround his state’s governor, there is one non-sensical journalist out there willing to compare it to 9/11 and Bush’s reading of a children’s book while NY city burned. And there we all were thinking that the economic collapse was more important than it taking Obama two days to become fully versed enough with the senate seat scandal to be more visibly angered by the situation…. Our bad.

Some choice selections from the article:

“I was appalled and disappointed by what we heard in those transcripts,” Barack Obama said Thursday about the documented misconduct of the governor of Illinois. That’s right. He was appalled. And it took him only 48 hours to realize it.

If the U.S. attorney is to be believed, we had Rod Blagojevich talking about auctioning off Obama’s old Senate seat. We had him trying to extort a newspaper. We had him trying to parlay a tollway project into a $500,000 contribution from a highway contractor. We even had him trying to shake down a children’s hospital executive.

The reaction from fellow Illinois Democrats was swift and severe. Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn demanded that the governor step aside. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin urged the legislature to call a special election to fill the Senate seat. Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan proposed to ask the Supreme Court to temporarily disqualify the governor from carrying out his duties (and later did it).

But Obama had a “My Pet Goat” moment, freezing up in the face of the shock. “I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to comment on the issue at this time,” he said. “It’s a sad day for Illinois.” You’d have thought the Bears had failed to make the playoffs.

Obama’s risk-averse reaction confirms he is sometimes too cautious and cerebral for his own good. That flaw has occasionally surfaced before. Asked in one debate what he would do in the event of a terrorist attack, he offered, “Well, the first thing we’d have to do is make sure that we’ve got an effective emergency response, something that this administration failed to do when we had a hurricane in New Orleans.” Hillary Clinton begged to differ: “I think a president must move as swiftly as is prudent to retaliate.” This is the downside of what is best about Obama: his careful, deliberate approach to decision-making. In the normal course of events, it’s far superior to the impulsive style of John McCain, which gave us Sarah Palin and “today we are all Georgians.”