Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, September 15, 2003
Media accountable to its shareholders
This letter is in reference to Aaron Okin's Sept. 1 column defending corporate media. Frequently, I am frustrated at the fact that the only columnist for this paper that will consistently cover political issues does so in such a shockingly partisan way. The problem with strong partisanship is not the bias expected in an opinion section but the positions that one is forced to uphold when attacking every viewpoint not so quite so "right-of-center" as Fox news.
But the piece I am responding to does have a reasonable premise: Yes, corporate media is frequently attacked. No, it is not a good defense that there exists a worse media situation somewhere. No, it is not true that commercial media will necessarily report anything damaging politically (look at the early coverage of the Florida voter purge lists).
But there is one more good point: The corporate in corporate media does mean something. It means that first and foremost these media companies are self-interested parties. This explains why Fox news for example would argue that it has a right protected by the first amendment to lie or distort facts in broadcasted news reports.
One might think that this kind of behavior would mean bad publicity for Fox, but that self-interested thing comes in again, and when five other major news outlets file amicus briefs, officially supporting the position of Fox news in court, you can bet it doesn't get a lot of coverage.
But one can abstract Mr. Okin's position and realize that parties with overt bias or self-interest shouldn't control news. As long as the information an entity disperses affects how its larger goals will be met, we can hardly expect a fair and balanced approach. And when a corporation is primarily accountable to its shareholders, we cannot also expect it to hold primary informing the public.
Students do care about elections
Dan McGuire, in your opinions column from Sept. 7 you asserted that college students don't usually vote Republican because they are not affected as much by government policies (assuming that Republicans have better policies) and basically don't "know as much as they think they do."
Have you heard of this thing called the draft? How about students who work during college? What about students who do have families while in school? Or maybe the fact that students aren't as politically stupid as you think they are and many students can form educated opinions of who they support based on more than who is "thought to" represent them best?
You also made remarks about how Democrats are somehow tainting the "family and moral structure of our country by promoting homosexuality and abortion," as if the government is supposed to legislate morality in a democratic nation.
How exactly is accepting homosexuality as part of society and giving women a choice with their bodies tainting anything? Last I heard, this was a free country (at least that's what we and now Iraq and Afghanistan supposedly are) and people can make their own choices for their own lives.
I would love a president again, like our last democratic one, who is able to balance the budget with a surplus, actually produce rather than lose jobs, and lead us to a booming economy. If this is somehow "financially endangering the future of Americans", throw me in front of that money train any day.
Yellow bracelets a trend to follow
I'm sure you've seen it walking around campus – those yellow bracelets that everyone seems to be wearing.
At first, I admit, I thought they were dumb, but when I found out they were given to people who made donations to the Lance Armstrong cancer foundation it completely changed my mind.
Not since the miniskirt has a trend done this much to benefit society. While in general I still think trend following is a pointless waste of time, I do think those wearing these yellow bracelets should be applauded.
business economics junior