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Speeches We Didn’t Hear On August 28, 1963

25 Aug

Let’s not commemorate – let us debate.

Also note some modern perspectives.

MANAA Stands Up To Seth MacFarlane’s Lazy, Outdated Humor

17 Aug

Media Watchdog Group Asks Fox's 'Dads' to Reshoot 'Racist' Scenes
Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA)’s Guy Aoki has criticized Seth MacFarlane latest attempt at humor for stereotypical lameness at the expense of – dare I use that umbrella term – “Asian-Americans”.

“Our community can’t continue to be the target of racially insensitive jokes,” Aoki wrote. “Fox has an opportunity to fix fatal flaws in the pilot and to improve the show’s chances for success when it premieres next month. We are asking you to reshoot the inappropriate scenes of the pilot. Considering the consistent feedback from our community and television critics in general — and the creators saying they hadn’t properly defined their characters nor gotten used to their actors when they shot that first episode — this sounds like a no-brainer.”

Writing about the show’s “racial and sexual stereotypes,” Aoki cited such moments as actress Brenda Song dressing up as a “sexy Asian schoolgirl” when the main characters were about to meet with Chinese businessmen and Martin Mull‘s character calling Asians “Orientals.”

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Leaks, Holder, Manning

3 Jun

U.S. President Obama and Attorney General Holder attend the National Peace Officers Memorial Service at the Capitol in WashingtonWe now know, that the U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, personally signed a warrant, to investigate James Rosen, a Fox News reporter, for his role in leaks from a mid-level State Department official, Stephen Kim, that involved a sensitive source in North Korea, Sarah Chayes can write about the frustrations of over-classification.

I was always stunned to hear reporters ask me — as they did half a dozen times when I worked at the Pentagon — to show them some classified document or other. They’d just pop the question blithely, unfazed, without an apparent thought for the implications. My incredulous retort would usually reap an only half-sheepish answer: “Well, I had to ask.”

Countless national security officials have had some version of this conversation – including the State Department security adviser that Fox News correspondent James Rosen allegedly plumbed for information on North Korea. Rosen wrote in an e-mail that he’d “love to see some internal State Department analyses.”

I’ve served on both sides of the line, as an NPR reporter and a Defense Department official, and it’s from that split perspective that I’ve been observing the furor over the seizure of journalists’ telephone and e-mail records in Justice Department investigations of national security leaks. Especially troubling to some reporters and pundits is a search warrant application suggesting that Rosen was “an aider and abettor and/or co-conspirator” with his source. Commentators have decried the Justice Department for criminalizing journalism itself.

The value to democracy of a courageous and unfettered press poking into back corners that agencies would rather keep hidden is incontrovertible. But I find myself wondering why journalists shouldn’t shoulder some responsibility for transgressions they often goad their sources to commit.

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