Tag Archives: Media

Terrible “Alternative Media” video Innacurately Portrays Autopsy Findings and Officer Testimony

In response to a video posted by the Facebook Police Watchdog community Cop Block, I mentioned (in not very much detail at first ) in the comments section that the following video inaccurately portrayed both the autopsy results of Mike Brown, and Darren Wilson’s testimony as to how the event unfolded.

My comment was met with unprecedented antagonism to say the least. I was insulted,told to kill myself, that I was a “stupid kid”, and that I should go out and fight out in the streets of Ferguson, the commenter deleted his comment before I could screen shot it, but it was definitely violent and I was taken aback by it, but then I remembered most death wishes over the internet don’t actually have much weight to them for the most part.

As mentioned before, the comment telling me encouraging me to commit suicide was removed before being captured, but it's apparent that I was dismissed due to assumptive Ageism
As mentioned before, the comment telling me encouraging me to commit suicide was removed before being captured, but it’s apparent that I was dismissed due to assumptive Ageism

What insulted me the most of the comments was the derogatory way my age was used to immediately dismiss my criticism and logical conclusion for the video’s poor portrayal, oversimplification, and misleading nature.

I responded to the last comment, which I believed the author meant to refer to me as a stupid kid which led me to respond with the following:

“I’m actually a professional journalist who’s tired of media not doing their jobs correctly

With the rise of the internet is the increased attempt by other parties to disseminate untrue information for their own ends.

Such instances require that we examine the information present to us.

The information presented here is done inaccurately and uses 3-d modelling to elicit an uninformed emotional response based off of misrepresented evidence

If you don’t believe me let’s review the video’s version of the autopsy with the official document right here: http://www.documentcloud.org/…/1370715-2014-5143…

Notice the absence of the markings in the video shown at 1:26 that do not show the shots to the chest? Or the central forehead?

The woman in the video is citing Brown’s private autopsy as the source…but even so shots to the center of the forehead and chest are too out of place to even be up for debate, especially given that the federal government is and has investigated this case, there’s no way they would have let a detail like that slide

Also, Darren Wilson’s testimony as described here: http://www.documentcloud.org/…/1370494-grand-jury… (pages 227-229)

says that Wilson claims to have shot Brown when Brown charged towards him notice how that part is missing in the video…this video doesn’t necessarily “depict both sides”

also notice how at 3:30 the same flawed autopsy graph is shown again as being cited by the private autopsy (that now mentions the shot to the head, but still remains flawed in missing the chest shots)”

As of now, 6:48 A.M.,no one has refuted or acknowledged the evidence or assertions I put forth, or apologized for their assumptious arrogance.

I’d be proud if I wasn’t disappointed. We deserve better “media” than this.
Alternative media is just as unsafe as mainstream media, especially now given the powerful global influence of the internet.

Read all evidence relating to the Ferguson documents yourself here

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To Anyone Who Truly Wishes For Justice In Ferguson

The following stemmed from a FaceBook post generated 11/26/14 by me, changes for grammar and context have been made

My posts on social media [Re-tweets, shares, and comments] lately regarding Ferguson have not been unbiased and I apologize for that.

I’m now going over witness interviews and testimonies [that, and more are available here] a long with evidence and all other relevant articles so that I may have a more informed context on what actually happened on August 9th 2014.

As a journalist, it’s my job to read first and ask questions later, but sometimes not being sure about the realities around you frightens you into hypothetical situations and rhetorical evaluation.

When events like these happen, maintaining a commitment to truth needs to be your first response, now that I’ve had time to digest the hysteria that has been the last couple of days (and weeks, and months) I can continue to pursue that same commitment with a much leveler head

I think it’s important that as we review the evidence, witness interviews and witness testimonies, we must keep an objective eye on the prize, and it wasn’t until I saw this post by Charles Cooke earlier that I really harnessed in that sentiment completely.

The point raised in the tweet above is one that I found myself asking when I was reviewing evidence and interviews myself. Although I functioned my way through the documents with assumptions guiding my eyes and mind, the number of citizens who were actually trying to review the information for themselves or for the sake of promoting good media did cross my mind in form of a question. And as a result, I encouraged others to dig into the documents for themselves.

With the recent spotlighting of police brutality, especially against minorities- that has until this point gone mostly undocumented, it’s reasonable to see why I may have been too quick to come to conclusions, however these incidents are arguably separate in nature. (Though I do believe our law enforcement should practice and develop more regular, non-lethal ways to dissolve situations)

So far I’ve only began reading witness, evidence and autopsy reports, I hope to read as much of the evidence as possible this week as the tension de-escalates over time.

I encourage my fellow journalists and citizens to do the same, should they wish to make an informed opinion of the case’s conclusion.

To not do so would be to provide a disservice to all ears eager of hearing truth and justice, and would allow for deconstructive ignorance to grasp this conversation and slowly submit it to the silence of shame.

The ‘State’ of Media at Texas State University

Texas State University is a great choice for mass communication majors who are interested in pursuing an education and future occupation in the any aspects of media. Between the campus media outlets such as the radio station KTSW,  newspaper The University Star, and weekly newscast Bobcat Update, students can be expected to leave Texas State with tons of experience upon reaching graduation. However, if students want a hard-hitting experience, they may want to reconsider working for campus media.

An interesting notion about Texas State University that I mistakenly gathered in my first year upon applying at The University Star was that it had achieved a degree of notoriety for being a rugged and enthusiastic outlet for students who wish to walk a thin line between challenging the establishment and countering traditional media coverage. I can recall my first time entering The Star’s HQ and noticing a yellow old-fashioned and laminated newspaper clipping of an old story involving a brigade of students engaging in night-time streaking across campus.

Much to my chagrin, the experience of being at The University Star as a videographer my freshman year didn’t turn out to be as inspiring as I had imagined. I quickly learned that the image I had of the newspaper didn’t necessarily match up with the realities of the work environment that I was led into. Our management direction was skewed, and assignments either always fell through or were so banal that there was almost no reason to cover them at all. Still, I remained committed to pursuing the most hard-hitting pieces and ideas that I could find.

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There was an unfortunate ‘formality’ of almost always getting shut down on story ideas. Whenever SXSW in March of 2014 was going on, it featured Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden, and Julian Assange, and I thought I had hit a no-brainer for a story idea or at least a coverage piece, but I was told that since it was in Austin (which is about 25 minutes away), it wasn’t relevant enough for the paper to pick up- despite the fact that the broader story of government overreach and invasion of privacy was happening not only in Austin- but the entire country (and as we know now, the entire world).

Another time there was a student* who was accused by the city police of creating a bomb hoax. As I read the piece in The University Star, I couldn’t help but think, “How did the police justify an attempt of a bomb hoax when they were the ones who investigated his vehicle against his will?” Probable cause was evident, seeing as how he was initially smoking on campus, and fled arrest from officers (smoking on campus is a violation of university policy) but a “hoax” implies a sort of intentional cause to create panic- which was only created by the police department enlisting the Austin bomb squad to blow up packages that were “incapable” of being recognized as explosive or not.

*The suspect was first reported as a student, later reports confirmed that he was not a student of the university

Obviously as I had read this piece, I was stunned with more questions than answers and suggested to my superiors that we should do a follow-up piece on the suspect and the police department’s view of how the event unfolded. Initially, I was told that I’d be given the suspect’s lawyer information and that although cooperation from the police department wasn’t likely, I had the support of The Star to go out and pursue the leads.

Time went on. I checked my inbox, nothing. I found myself asking different editors of the paper for the same piece of information over and over again, sometimes being told that it had already been sent (which obviously wasn’t true) and other times being told “yeah sure, I’ll do it”.

I continued pressing my supervisor on the matter – lightly of course-  because as passionate as I am about journalism I still very much believe that I have to earn my stripes as a reporter. My main concern was getting this story shot and so long as that was done, I’d consider being a minor annoyance a small step in a long path towards victory. I asked for the contact information a third week in a row, believing that I still had supervisor support when his tone seemed to take a different note this time around.

“The thing is, it would require getting law enforcement involved…”

Long story short, I was told that it would be too much of a hassle to get police cooperation on the story, and that I could pursue the story on my own time, but not as The University Star’s reporter. I never followed up on the story solo because after 3+ weeks of asking for something so minor as a number and being met with dragged feet, I knew I wasn’t going to get it. I found the whole incident ironic considering that The Star’s lower tagline reads “Defending the First Amendment since 1911 | The independent student newspaper of Texas State University” That same line that had once ensnared my attention and loyalty before now stared back at me awkwardly. If you’re too nervous about police cooperation or retaliation then you’re not really defending the first amendment, at least not confidently .

The paper, as I’ve known it since my year-and-a-half of being here, seems to typically play it safe when it comes to covering local issues, the most controversial thing I had heard of being reported by The Star was an incident that questioned a city council member’s ethics when he, Carter Morris, met with a developer while approval for their project was still being deliberated by city council. Morris was the planning and zoning Vice Chair at the time.

Although the campus media aren’t necessarily the hell-raisers that I typically like to consume, I still hold their motives as an outlet for students to polish themselves in high regard. Certainly there is creativity and insight in all areas of the campus media (especially in KTSW ,their program diversity and professionalism is astounding for a student publication) and while they focus on polishing craft more than breaking media barriers, it at least ensures that students will be professionally prepared to cover news for future publications.

Hopefully by the time they get out of college, they’ll be done playing it safe.

Maher’s Show Accidentally Teaches You About Media

Typically pundits and roundtables don’t work so well in the sphere of constructive conversation about current events, and especially not about foreign policy. But sometimes Real Time With Bill Maher mines up some real gems (most of which don’t come from Maher himself).

What happened in this Real Time with Bill Maher clip from May 2013 is a perfect example of the consequences that come from a society more engaged in shouting than examining. While many people (and you might be included in this) roll their eyes over the thought of discussing Benghazi situation, (that was how long ago?) Glenn Greenwald mentions something that most liberals couldn’t find themselves to come to terms with: That when government officials make untrue statements on the air despite whatever team they may be on – their actions and statements deserve investigation and retribution when they prove to be false.

While Maher continued to insist that he didn’t know what the scandal was, Charles Cooke of the National Review Online added very beneficial and constructive reflections of how the media and its audiences turned to partisan distractions rather than actually addressing the issue and while this is slightly off-topic and not on point enough for Maher’s question-beckoning, it is very beneficial food for thought which I will come back to later.

Glenn Greenwald came in and supported Cooke’s claim that the polarization in coverage proved to be more distracting than beneficial, and came out with this awesome statement at 1:26

The problem is that this arose about 6 weeks before the election when everybody was desperate to protect their side, so Fox [coverage] was ‘this is the worst scandal ever’ MSNBC [coverage] was ‘Obama did absolutely nothing wrong, he acted perfectly as always’ and the reality was something in-between which was:

A U.S. ambassador was killed (there’s only been 6 times in our nation’s history when that happened) The president went on the air and other people did too and made statements that proved to be untrue about why the attack took place- that it was a reaction to this film, when in rea- that’s just a reality, whether they were lying or just an error, the statements they made were- it was untrue.

Maher: It was a fluid situation

Glenn: No but it it still- when the government goes on the air and says things that prove to be untrue that is a – something that needs to be investigated and it was in a place where President Obama and NATO had gone and invaded and bombed and changed the regime, I’m not saying it’s a huge scandal, but there certainly are questions when the government and political officials six weeks before an election say things about a major event like that prove to be untrue. There should be investigations even if the republicans are doing it for political ends the same is true when democrats were investigating Bush officials and saying ‘these are the worst scandals ever’

Maher then goes off and brings in a statement made by Cheney that security at the Libyan Embassy was typically stronger during the 9/11 anniversary under the Bush administration, and while there is a fair amount of irony in that statement, it’s clear that Greenwald’s statement is still lost on Maher.

What is perplexing and frustrating is that Maher, just like the left-leaning outlets that Greenwald and Cooke mentioned, refused to acknowledge that the government should be held liable and answer for the inaccuracies in the statements they were providing.

And therein lies the biggest problem that we can see in modern media reporting.

With no tenacity for the truth or expectation of accountability for themselves or from the government, the media turned to partisan talking points and bile-quality reporting because doing so covertly plays it safe when compared to turning press conferences into interrogations.

While ‘interrogation’ might seem like a strong word to use for this situation, is it not appropriate? Lately there’s been a shift in tone when it comes to the usage of that word to imply some type of malice or harsh-intent, but at what point should media and society break away from accepting non-answers and expect their elected leaders to not only answer honestly to questions from the press, but to also answer for their misinformation?

We see this happen in debates where candidates don’t answer questions directly and veer off course, or when they cite statistics that are unfounded, debunked, or misleading

As Glenn pointed out, the statements made by the President and elected officials at the time proved to be untrue, and at the time they didn’t answer as to why. The fact that the media never asked them shouldn’t be reason enough to not address an accidental dissemination of misinformation. I understand that when constituents are harnessed in by the party-line tactics, it’s hard to expect quality journalism to take hold, but where media fails, journalism– true journalism should never falter- and I believe that Glenn was advocating for that in his statements.

As Charles Cooke later mentioned, “The Scandal here is that the media, as it did during the Bush years sides with power, the media did not want to investigate this and so it reported a process story right from the beginning Mitt Romney attacks the President

After Maher persists in claiming ignorance over what the scandal is, he goes on to cite supposed interferences and limits to what the administration can take on, saying

“What’s the crime? Something bad happened in the world. Obama is supposed to micromanage everything that happens in the world? He’s got four million people under his charge.”

Glenn later interjects and adds,

“You don’t think that when the U.S. ambassador is killed and there are people within the state department saying that they were asking for help and not getting it and that the U.S. government went onto the world stage for a week and made claims about what happened that turned out not to be true, that that doesn’t merit any investigation?

After minor interruption by Joy Reid of The Miami Herald (Reid didn’t seem to share the same skepticism as her Herald colleagues Hannah Allam and Jonathan S. Landay) Greenwald, Maher and Reid’s voices collide together and Maher cuts off the conversation, sputtering in:

Okay, Alright, Alright let’s move-no, wait I don’t. I don’t and I’m bored with it let’s move on.”

Glenn smiles and sips from his cup, Joy Reid says OK- laughs and sits back, and the audience applauds enthusiastically from being saved from their duty as citizens that Glenn almost reminded them of.

If information is the currency of Democracy as Ralph Nader once said, it would seem that American media is doing its best to pick apart the collective piggy bank themselves. As hard as it may be, it’s up to us-the citizenry to count up what’s been exchanged and forged, otherwise the money that comes out of our mouth will never be any good.

About OurDailyBlaze (OBD):

OurDailyBlaze is a political commentary and social criticism blog created with the uninformed reader in mind.

   Sure, some people might have seen the “news”  on cable stations or sensationalized headlines

…But true coverage goes beyond talking heads and sensationalized gibber-gabber:

Luckily for you, that’s not really our style.

OurDailyBlaze is (Y)OurDailyBlaze- Meaning that we want our readers and our publications to provide top quality analysis, depth, and attitude to every topic.

With that being said – many posts will seem to be derisive and in bad spirits by some; but don’t be dissuaded.

I follow multiple media outlets, candidates, journalists, and movements- all of whom fall short in different ways. I understand that no one is infallible, that this blog will be far from perfect- and that some media outlets legitimately try their best to inform their readers; but part of why I created this blog and this endeavor was to highlight commonalities in media that have become, in my opinion, far too frequent and far too careless.

It’s become a new American custom that prospective candidates and officials face no consequence or castigation for lying to spectators and audiences through  microphones and monitors across the globe. The assumption that a candidate would seek to defend their honor while maintaining candor and integrity has become a long lost remnant of optimists past.

What’s worst of all is that the watch dogs of those in power have surrendered their potential to create productive and meaningful change within our political climate- and in doing so they’ve sold out their loyalty to the uninformed and have disgraced the image of modern journalism. These actions: whether they be through intention or ignorance- are unacceptable.

OurDailyBlaze is committed to pointing out the ugliness of media coverage and metastasizing social mediocrity so that their perpetrators and perpetuates know that there’s a change a ‘comin

And  it’s spreading like wildfire

Welcome To The Blaze.

Photo Credit: http://www.verumserum.com/?p=19796
Photo Credit: http://www.verumserum.com/?p=19796