Input Junkie - Michelle Obama, The Biggest Loser, and the compliant press
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Michelle Obama, The Biggest Loser, and the compliant press|
Michelle Obama is going to be on The Biggest Loser, a show which promotes cruel and unreliable methods of weight loss. The link goes into some detail about why the show shouldn't be given added prestige, but here's the bit I want to highlight:
It [an article included in the link above] wasn’t meant for this blog, but it’s now been turned down by three major media outlets. It wasn’t meant for this blog, but it’s now been turned down by three major media outlets. Not because they disagreed with us, in fact all three said that they agreed with the article. It was denied in all three cases because the White House wouldn’t like it, they were worried about damaging their working relationship with the White House, and because it it made the First Lady “look bad and out of touch.” That confused me since I think the problem is that the First Lady IS out of touch, not that I’m pointing it out. And why does the media believe that, in America, we should be scared to question our government?
A petition asking Michelle Obama to not appear on The Biggest Loser.
I considered "lapdog press" for the subject line, but it's a somewhat old-fashioned cliche, and it's probably unfair one way or another to lapdogs.
This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/1020598.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comments so far on that entry.
|Date:||October 17th, 2013 11:07 pm (UTC)|| |
How about lèse majesté? Both parties have shown increasing tendencies to treat the president as a damned king.
Which is one reason, but not the only reason, why Bush is worse than Reagan, and Obama less effective than Bill Clinton. The press isn't the watch dog they used to be.
|Date:||October 18th, 2013 02:26 am (UTC)|| |
I don't think it's only the press that's at fault in this.
Which is why I wrote "one reason, but not the only reason..."
The First Lady shouldn't lower herself to their level. The issue should be healthy living, not quick fixes that will lead to rebound weight.
'Lapdog press' sounds right, and since actual lapdogs neither read articles nor own media outlets, I don't think they'll be too offended by the term.
Since when does the First Lady go around making appearances on game shows, anyway? How tacky is that? Sheesh, what's next, 'America's Next Top Model'? The Jerry Springer Show? 'Survivor'?
Nobody in this country - not even the teens - needs to be told that obesity is unhealthy, or crash dieting is just as bad and only gives temporary results. They know it already, just like they know that smoking, driving drunk, unprotected sex and doing meth are all Bad - they've heard it all their lives, from every media outlet. I seriously doubt that even one teen (besides her own daughters) is going to base her decision to crash-diet or not to crash-diet on whether or not Michelle Obama thinks it's a good idea.
There's an extremely simple way to stop kids from being influenced by crap television shows, and that is to simply not have television. It worked great with my kid; many other parents report similarly positive results. The plain fact is, there's absolutely nothing on television that anybody needs to watch, and a whole lot that young people in particular would be better off not watching. A lot of parents try to make rules about what and when the kids can watch, but usually this just leads to a lot of arguing and sneaking, so I say just get rid of the whole thing. Don't they have anything constructive to do?
Edited at 2013-10-18 02:31 am (UTC)
|Date:||October 18th, 2013 07:10 pm (UTC)|| |
Haha, see what one misses through not having television? "Don't Touch That Dial!"
... oh yeah, they don't have dials any more, do they?
I have my weaknesses where television is concerned, but for the most part, I agree that television isn't worth the time or money people put into it. Even when it comes to the news, I read a lot faster than people talk (most literate people do) and when I'm reading a book or magazine I'm not wasting time with commercials or talking heads filling time. Readers are always better informed than viewers.
Um, because Obama sics the IRS on anybody who criticizes him?
That probably isn't it-- I'm willing to bet that "maintaining a working relationship" isn't a euphemism. What specifics do you have about the IRS and Obama?
Well, during the 2012 campaign the IRS refused to certify as nonprofit any fundraising outfit that wasn't contributing to the Obama campaign. Those that supported him got a free pass whether they qualified or not.
Then there's their harassment of people known to have anti-totalitarian views who are so much as slightly well-known, demanding that returns be filed, in spite of the fact that some of those people have made roughly forty thousand dollars total, all added up, since the turn of the century. Like, say, me.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs" - documentation please?
"people known to have anti-totalitarian views who are so much as slightly well-known"
That would be me, and I've experienced no harassment so far. This demand that returns be filed - what evidence can be shown that it's directed specifically at people (writers, presumably) known to have anti-totalitarian views, rather than at writers in general? Your renown is for writing science fiction; unless you also make a reputation as a political pundit or activist, the State doesn't care what your views are.
"demanding that returns be filed, in spite of the fact that some of those people have made roughly forty thousand dollars total, all added up, since the turn of the century."
They can't actually be making a demand in spite of a fact they don't know. That would seem to be the point, actually: if you haven't filed a return since the turn of the century, how could they know how much you've made?
No, I am asking a serious and reasonable question. What about you? Are you being evasive?
Tell you what, I've been fed up since Nixon with people on BOTH sides of the ideological divide, who make extreme, unlikely-sounding claims that "They" are" doing this or that Bad Thing, and then get huffy and sarcastic when they're asked to present some documentation to back up their claims. Occam's Razor says such people are talkin' out they arses, because they don't actually have
So? Is Occam's Razor correct in this instance, or do
you have some solid links to support what you say? Note, I am neither believing nor disbelieving your claim at this point, because so far you haven't done anything but state an unsupported opinion, and that is not reasonable grounds for either belief or disbelief. Unlike some people, I admit it when I don't have enough data to form an opinion on a topic outside my bona fide
areas of expertise.
I don't respect weaseling. I don't respect conversational terrorism
and other logical fallacies
. My estimation of whether or not a person's opinions are worth listening to is primarily
based on whether they debate rationally
and back up their claims with real evidence. Insulting those who disagree with you ("Are you twelve?"
) is childish as well as totally unpersuasive.
Under Bush, the IRS harressed liberal organizations. Even if I concede what you posted, which I don't, what goes around comes around.
You're twelve, aren't you?
An insult isn't the same thing having some reason for your opinion.
This is not the same thing as targeting anyone who criticizes him.
No, it's not "the same thing"; it's the thing itself.
Reporters are afraid to criticize Obama. A very few have cast their fates on the wind and spoken up about it.
|Date:||October 18th, 2013 07:50 am (UTC)|| |
She obviously sees nothing wrong with torture. That's what they do to the people on that show.
Most Americans see nothing wrong with torture. That being said, the way contestants on TBL are treated definitely counts as torture.
"Most Americans see nothing wrong with torture."
I really don't believe that's true, even if most Americans aren't concerned enough to take action about it. Most Americans don't even take action about things that affect them directly: how many have called or written their Congresspersons about health care? Not a majority, you can bet.
The way contestants are treated on 'The Biggest Loser' is doubtless cruel and unusual. However, it's not torture, for one simple but crucial reason: it's consensual.
Nobody drags those people in off the street against their will. They had to work hard to get in there, and certainly had to sign about a zillion waivers affirming that they knew what they were getting into. Nobody is keeping them there against their will, either; they can quit in a red-hot minute any time they want. So what's the problem?
BDSM isn't 'torture' either, even the hard-core kind that most people wouldn't even like to hear described, let alone watch, still less experience for themselves. If there was a game show all about that, people might very well refuse to watch it or let their kids watch it, and think it was utterly tacky and inappropriate for the First Lady to appear on it and congratulate the winners, but they'd be wrong to pity the poor contestants for being mistreated. The same is true of The Biggest Loser, however distasteful it may be.
It might be considered a quibble, but I think using the word 'torture' to describe consensual activity devalues it as a descriptor for real torture committed on people who didn't sign up for it, aren't getting paid, and can't just walk out.
Edited at 2013-10-18 08:24 pm (UTC)
As far as I can tell, after the Abu Graib photos came out, most Americans were in favor of treating the prisoners that way.
Your point about consent is interesting, and possibly valid. I believe that if people were non-consensually treated the way contestants are on TBL, it would be torture.
The quality of consent the show gets isn't very good-- ex-contestants are under heavy contractual penalty if they talk about the actual conditions there.
"Torture" might be excessively strong language.
That was not my impression after Abu Ghraib. There was a major outcry of shock, horror and protest about those pictures, sufficient to cause some heads to roll and a lot of investigation and sticky questions, despite all the efforts to deny or trivialize the matter.
Oh, for sure, if people were non-consensually starved, denied water and worked to exhaustion while being berated and humiliated, that would absolutely count as torture. And I have no doubt that the legal consent paperwork is full of tricks, traps and contingent clauses that give every possible unfair advantage to the producer. Sounds like a ghastly show, even if the people on it did technically consent to be treated that way.