The whole pirate situation seems rather strange to me.
I noticed that finally a pirate ship was destroyed. In the comments section of that news article, I noticed an insightful comment if true. The person said that the reason ships didn’t used to be attacked is because they used to carry larger crews including armed guards, but the ship owners beame contented with a false sense of security and wanted to save money. That makes sense because I thought it was crazy that a ship 3 times as large as an aircraft carrier only had 25 people on it and apparently no protection. Well, duh, it was attacked.
The strangeness goes beyond this. The news reporting was so uninformative as if the whole story wasn’t being told by the media. There is no way to hide a stolen ship 3 times the size of an aircraft carrier. Then I heard they had hostages which somewhat explains why they were keeping everything on the down low. However, they said this had been going on for a while and they’ve been paying ransoms. Why was the millitary only now getting involved? Obviously, the millitary had to be involved earlier, but wanted to keep it covert.
The thing is why does the media so often give such superficial reporting that tells you so little? Where are the investigative reporters who would ask the obvious questions? Everytime I watch the news, I can’t help but wonder the real story is that is not being told.
Did we expect starving Somalians to stand passively on their beaches, paddling in our nuclear waste, and watch us snatch their fish to eat in restaurants in London and Paris and Rome? We didn’t act on those crimes – but when some of the fishermen responded by disrupting the transit-corridor for 20 percent of the world’s oil supply, we begin to shriek about “evil.” If we really want to deal with piracy, we need to stop its root cause – our crimes – before we send in the gun-boats to root out Somalia’s criminals.
The story of the 2009 war on piracy was best summarised by another pirate, who lived and died in the fourth century BC. He was captured and brought to Alexander the Great, who demanded to know “what he meant by keeping possession of the sea.” The pirate smiled, and responded: “What you mean by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, while you, who do it with a great fleet, are called emperor.” Once again, our great imperial fleets sail in today – but who is the robber?
POSTSCRIPT: Some commenters seem bemused by the fact that both toxic dumping and the theft of fish are happening in the same place – wouldn’t this make the fish contaminated? In fact, Somalia’s coastline is vast, stretching to 3300km. Imagine how easy it would be – without any coastguard or army – to steal fish from Florida and dump nuclear waste on California, and you get the idea. These events are happening in different places – but with the same horrible effect: death for the locals, and stirred-up piracy. There’s no contradiction.
Thanks to Huffington Post for the article, to Darin for the link & to the anonymous image creators for the fun 🙂
Canary Mary said
Joy Bringer said
Joy Bringer said
mum’s the word said
Joy Bringer said
Joy Bringer said
Cenk Uygur is the host, and I appreciate his view. I suppose he has something like a liberal/libertarian bent, but he seems fair and honest in his criticisms of politicians of both parties. More importantly, he isn’t a ranting ideologue. He states the truth as he sees it and generally does so in a calm voice. He seems intelligent and insightful… especially compared to much of what I’m used to hearing from mainstream media (but, to be fair, Cenk has been on mainstream shows a few times).
I don’t know too much about Cenk’s biography, but I noticed some interesting details about his life. He is a former Muslim, a former Republican, and a former lawyer. Apparently, he had a major life change at some point.
Trust in news media has reached a new low, with record numbers of Americans saying reporting is inaccurate, biased and shaped by special interests, according to a survey set to be released Monday.
The survey of 1,506 people interviewed in July by the Pew Research Center showed that self-described Republicans continued to take the dimmest view of news organizations, but discontent among Democrats was catching up.
On crucial measures of credibility, faith in news media eroded from the 1980s to the ’90s, then held fairly steady for several years, according to Pew surveys that have asked some of the same questions for more than two decades. But in the two years since the last survey, those views became markedly more negative.
I’m not sure if I’m surprised by this shift in public attitude. I’ve never trusted the media, and it feels odd that the public has caught up with my cynicism. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing, but it’s nice to see that this criticism of media is bipartisan. At least, I should give credit to The New York Times for reporting that most people don’t trust their reporting. I will say that I trust this particular instance of reporting because I’m a fan of Pew polls.
Gerald Herbert, AP
News organizations still go to great lengths to be accurate, according to New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller. But budget cuts mean “facts don’t get checked as carefully as they should,” he admitted.
The Internet also has made it easier to research information and find errors in news stories, said Kathleen Carroll, the AP’s executive editor. And the Web’s discussion boards and community forums spread word of mistakes when they’re found.
That hits the nail on the head. The news probably was always untrustworthy, but the public was naively ignorant in the past.
When I was younger, I was indifferent to news. I noticed the news, but I wasn’t a news junky. I’m Gen X and I’ve never had any loyalty to newspapers even before I discovered the internet.
The funny thing is that I read newspaper articles more now on the internet than I ever did in the past. I prefer the freedom of choice that internet offers over a physical newspaper. Also, I never trust a single source and I always check out different views in the blogosphere.
To me, a professional news reporter is not necessarily any more trustworthy than an intelligent blogger. I don’t judge people solely or even primarily based on their credentials. I look for intelligence and insight where ever I find it.
I’m a cynical person in general and that informs my mistrust of all media, but this attitude doesn’t seem unusual for other GenXers. I don’t even trust my local newspaper any more than I trust the major news media. Journalists are just people with the same biases as everyone else. Considering mainstream media, I have doubts that most journalists even try to get past their biases. I don’t think most people intentionally lie, but few people are very self-aware.
What I’d like to see more of is investigative journalism. Most journalism is just opinions and analysis, but I can get that from blogs. What I can’t get from blogs is the type of journalism where someone spends immense amount of time, energy and money researching a subect and personally interveiwing various people.
Sadly, the news media seems to mostly to ignore this kind of journalism. Most journalism seems just to be recycled news from other sources and it’s rare to see new facts and original insight.