Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Double Feature

Yes, that's right. Two blogs in one day. It is like double Jeopardy, only better.

I) If you have turned on your television or radio at some point in the past 2 weeks, then you know Michael Jackson has died. You probably also know that his funeral was yesterday. There are a large amount of people complaining about this intense media coverage of the death of Jackson.

I do not see the problem. The news, in my opinion has one obligation. To report the news it covers unbiased. (Something it failed to do during this past election, and whenever Israel is attacked, and countless other times.) However, it has no obligation in regards to what it must report. We can not forget that running a news station is a business. The more people watching the news the more money the news station can make. Hence, they report the news people want to see. As long as they are not guilty of slander, they have the option of choosing what to report. They know that people want to hear about Michael Jackson, over and over again, so that is what they give them.

To me, the real problem is that this is what the people want. The media would not be able to run stories about celebrities like this unless the audience was interested. It is not the reporters who made Jackson's death such a big deal, but rather the people who watch the news. The same thing is with athletes. People often complain about the high salaries of professional athletes. If the athlete is able to get such a contract, why should he not take it? Am I disappointed if he or she does not proceed to do some good things with their money? Yes, but I am in no way upset that they got the contract. We can not blame the sports teams for giving these contracts, it is their business and they make money even with these huge player salaries. How? because we let them.

Not that there is any problem with that, but I believe there is something wrong when the same person argues at the doctor's office when it is time to pay the five dollar copay, with no problem shells out twenty bucks to go watch a baseball game.

The sports industry and the entertainment industry survive because we support them. If the general public was not obsessed with the lives of celebrities, those stories would not be on the news. If people did not care about Michael Jackson this much, his death would not have been the headline news. So the blame is not on the media for covering Michael's death to this extent. But on the audience for making this is the news they want to see.

II) You did not think I was serious. You thought there would be only one. Well here it is. Number two. If I am good for anything it is my word. (As long as I am not lying, that is.)

Fox news reported yesterday of a law suit being brought against a school for making a seventh grade girl take off her pro-life tee shirt. They are saying that by doing so, the school was violating the first amendment right of the student.

We have seen court cases in the past in regards to students' rights to express themselves in school. The one that comes to mind for me is Tinker V. Des Moines, when the school ordered the students to remove arm bands which were displaying protest of the war. The court ruled in favor of the children to be allowed to express themselves and to wear the bands. So what is different here?

This time the school can have an easy way out. The t-shirt had a picture of an embryo on it. The school can argue that their decision was because of the image, not what the shirt was representing. They can say that the image was disturbing for the younger children in the school. One of the girl's attorneys points out that this image is also in the text books. The attorney forgets though, that the younger children in the school do not see these textbook.

I do not know why the school had her remove the shirt. I can guess, being that most school teachers tend to be very liberal, but it would be difficult to prove it. How can this case be played out? If the court rules that a school can not stop a student from wearing a pro-life shirt, the school will argue, that they would agree, but the pictures on this shirt were too much for little children to absorb. Then what could come next? The dispute of whether or not the images are too disturbing for younger children is not a constitutional one, but an opinionated one to be decided by the school. I am sorry Ms. Sotamayor, but it is not the courts job to decide if a picture would be found disturbing by little kids, no matter where the judges are from. Although, I do feel an Asian man, about 43, with black hair and a goatee would make the best judgement in such a case, were it to be a courtly matter.

A school has the authority to decide if an article of clothing is not appropriate to be worn in school. If a student wore a shirt with profanity on it, we would all agree the school can make the student take it off. Is that what happened here, who knows. Does it matter, unfortunately no. The school should easily be able to win this one if they play their cards right.

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