Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pope Benedict XVI criticizes mass media

In his address given in the piazza di Spagna in Rome, Pope Benedict criticized the media, stating that newspapers, radios, and the television are "colpevoli di intossicare i cuori perché il negativo non viene pienamente smaltito e giorno per giorno si accumula. Il cuore si indurisce e i pensieri si incupiscono," meaning that "they are guilty of intoxicating hearts because the negativity is never fully rid of and day by day it accumulates. The heart hardens and thoughts darken."

I find this quite a harsh comment to make. What does the Pope want to happen? Would he prefer that the media gloss over the news, and not report on the bad things which occur in the world? That would be enabling of ignorance, something that the world definitely does not need. Read the full article at:


(Image taken from the Church Times, http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/uploads/images/10_Pope_Christmas%2520season%25231%2523.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/content.asp%3Fid%3D67551&usg=__Q5AUT9e-7ZxSMRMeOKjQzHJkiuI=&h=392&w=538&sz=60&hl=en&start=1&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=edgYRWL0K-0phM:&tbnh=96&tbnw=132&prev=/images%3Fq%3DPope%2BBenedict%2Bin%2Bpiazza%2Bdi%2BSpagna%26hl%3Den%26rlz%3D1R2ADFA_enUS342%26sa%3DN%26um%3D1)

The hype over Tiger Woods

In a recent piece published in Newsweek magazine, Julia Baird stated that Tiger Woods "is not a politician, priest, or morals crusader. He is an athlete." She then went on to question, "Why do we even pretend that sports-people are models of propriety?" and say that "You'd think, from the response to Woods's plea, that the right to privacy no longer exists for anyone who dares to excel." I can obviously understand her claim that privacy is a forgotten virtue. However, in the case of Tiger Woods, that argument does not hold water for one reason: Tiger Woods is a public figure. He is a renowned golf player and has been in the spotlight for quite some time. Not only does he appear on television when there are golf tournaments, but he has also appeared in various commercials advertising Gillette razors for men. He is, without a doubt, 100%, a public figure, and as we journalism majors know, public figures enjoy less freedom of privacy than the average citizen.
An on-going battle between celebrities and the paparazzi over the right to privacy continues to fester, and almost every time that a legal suit is brought against the paparazzi, the courts usually rule in the favor of the media. Why? Because celebrities and public figures, for the most part, chose to take on that role and thrust themselves in the public eye. I can understand the frenzy surrounding the protection of celebrities' children, for instance, because not only are they minors, they did not choose that life.
Yet Tiger Woods should not be granted any more or any less of a right to privacy than his fellow celebrities and public figures. The media coverage surrounding his alleged affairs is typical for someone of his popularity. Before this scandal emerged, I would venture to say that Tiger Woods led a fairly private life. I rarely heard anything about him. If he wanted to keep it that way, he should have either kept his affairs pristine (as in cover his tracks), or he should have not engaged in affairs at all.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

'Terrorist' in the movie Bruno takes offense


In the 2009 summer blockbuster "Bruno", actor Sacha Baron Cohen interviewed a Palestinian man named Ayman Abu Aita under the guise that he was a German filmmaker and was shooting a movie about the Palestinians. Aita was, however, portrayed and mocked as a terrorist in the movie, and for this reason, he is suing NBC and Baron Cohen for libel and slander, asking $110 million in damages for tainting his reputation.

Personally, I think Aita is going to win this case. If it is true that Baron Cohen duped him into giving an interview, then Baron Cohen is at fault. I saw this movie and enjoyed it a lot, but I had no idea that this was the alleged story behind the interview with the 'terrorist'. Aita also claims that he is no longer part of the terrorist group.