Saturday, 26 July 2008

Chapman stands up for journalists!!

So McCain has been complaining that there's a "love affair" going on between the media and Obama. That brought attention to the mass and many had accused journalist for not being objective.

Here's a really good piece written by Steve Chapman.
A media crush on Obama?

"If there are some journalists who are taken with Obama, it's not surprising. One of the unfortunate things about the American press corps is that it is made up of people. Many people in other walks of life have been attracted to Obama, moved to vote for Obama, even enthralled by Obama. So you would expect some people wearing press badges to be susceptible to the same kind of reactions. "

"I'm probably not the only journalist in America who shed tears when Ronald Reagan spoke at Omaha Beach on the 40th anniversary of D-Day. I felt a few chills when New York Gov. Mario Cuomo delivered the keynote address at the 1984 Democratic national convention—which didn't stop me from blasting his message. "

"Is that plausible? Not really. In 2004, journalists voted overwhelmingly for John Kerry over George W. Bush. Kerry got plenty of unflattering news coverage anyway. I'd bet that in 2000, most media people voted for Al Gore, who thought he got a raw deal from the press. "

"But those attributes will grow stale. Obama will make mistakes. His flaws will become more noticeable. Presidential campaigns are like baseball seasons: Today's hero is tomorrow's goat. With 100 days to go, there will be plenty of chances for McCain to shine and Obama to stumble—and the news coverage will shift accordingly. By Election Day, Obama may feel like he's been worked over by the Hells Angels. "

Friday, 25 July 2008

Colombia admits rescuers posed as journalists

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Two people who helped rescue 15 hostages from Colombian rebels posed as journalists from a real Venezuela-based television news organization, Colombia's defense minister said Wednesday.

I can't believe the rescuers actually posed as journalist, and now, tells the world. Can you imagine what this will do to journalists' credibility especially in an armed-conflict country/region???

How irresponsible!!!

Jean-Francois Julliard, deputy director of the press advocacy organization Reporters Without Borders, said authorities can endanger journalists when they pose as members of the news media.
"We think it is a dangerous practice because it puts in danger real journalists," he said.

The next time a reporter approaches FARC rebels, he said, the FARC members "will be very suspicious and maybe they will take some physical measures against these journalists because they will think that they are not real journalists."

Thursday, 24 July 2008

"Rice told to stay out of Malaysian affairs"

"Malaysian Foreign Minister Rais Yatim has accused Ms Rice of meddling in Malaysia’s domestic affairs after she urged Malaysia to follow the rule of law in dealing with the sodomy accusation against Anwar."
- Haiti News.NetThursday 24th July, 2008

I can't believe the foreign minister actually said that!? Does he or the government really think they can resolve whatever Malaysia is facing politically? Do they not see what kind of shame they have brought the country with the way they handled the "scandal"??

Click in the except above to read the entire story.

I think Rice is right. What Malaysia needs right now, in fact a long time ago, is transparency in our government!!!

Sunday, 20 July 2008

And again...

"...Barack Obama, a phenomenon of politics not just in America but across the English-speaking world and beyond. Plainly, he is an exceptional candidate, although, like the prophets, he is even more exceptional outside his own land." 

"When it comes to celebrity endorsements in politics, Obama is Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela rolled into one. With a cherry on top."

The quotes below are interesting but not something I would necessarily agree with.

"I think McCain is right about Iraq – that the surge has been a success, and that eventual troop withdrawal should depend on that success continuing. But I think it is more important, for America and the world, that Obama should be the one who learns the truth of this the hard way.

In office, he would be forced to use his eloquence and his global popularity to make the case for what is left of the coalition to see its responsibilities to the Iraqis through. Many of his supporters, especially outside the US, would see it as a betrayal. I think it would be a necessary one, by which he could at last heal the suspicion of American power that provides so many around the world with easy excuses."

These quotes are taken from John Rentoul: Obama, the most dominant force in British politics

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Barack Obama = Rockstar???

"(There is) always the other side to the ambivalence of the world's thoughts about America. The rise of Senator Obama is a reminder of what the rest of the world still admires -- sometimes very grudgingly -- about America: a constant capacity to renew itself."

In the article MR. OBAMA VISITS THE WORLD by Richard Reeves, he compares Obama with John F. Kennedy, the Beatles, even POTUS ...

"You have to go back to the Beatles' first U.S. tour to find a trans-Atlantic trip freighted with the same sort of pregnant excitement that attends the one Barack Obama is about to make ...

** Click on the link above. Reeves' article is worth your time!

"It's kind of creepy that the network anchors are tagging along after Barack Obama on his great overseas adventure.

When John McCain went to Iraq after he cinched the GOP nomination, the media was so infatuated with the Democratic primary that little attention was paid to McCain's trip..." 

-quoted from an article by Ann McFeatters

Thursday, 10 July 2008

BAGHDAD — Following the deaths of three Marines in the city of Garma, the Department of Defense (DOD) published a standard killed in action press release.

The release, assigned reference number 545-08, provided the rank, name, age and home of record of the three dead soldiers. The announcement also stated the Marines died June 26 while supporting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq.

Multi National Force Iraq (MNF-I) posted the DOD press release on their official  Web site 24 hours after the Marines were killed.

The DOD press release made no mention of the suicide attacker who walked into a building filled with members of the Awakening Council and U.S.-led coalition forces. The Awakening Council is a pro-American tribal organization that is frequently targeted by al Qaeda in Iraq.

So why wasn't that published, I wonder? Also, embedded photographer and blogger, Zoriah Miller took pictures of the three dead Marines. He claimed that he was told to delete the pictures. He refused - and posted them on the blog at

I left the following comment on his blog. 

Zoriah, you've got my respect and admiration for standing up to people who think they can control people like you (real journalists) to publish only what they want... I think it's really important to tell the world the truth... don't hide the ugly nor the beautiful... show them as it is.. People will appreciate it... and it's really unfortunate that there are so many haters out there... especially those who direct their anger to journalists who are actually just the messenger... To those who don't agree with Zoriah - was it because you don't want to see the ugliness of reality? or are you too afraid to actually be angry towards those who fuel the war?? Fight for what is right.  

ps. without people like Zoriah, those in power have the freedom to do whatever the hell they want - without the world even realizing... can you imagine living in that world????? You've got the responsibility to not see that happen. Yes, every single one of you out there.

This actually reminds me of Kevin Sites and the reaction he got from publishing the Fallujah videos. (Google Kevin Sites Fallujah to get more information)

I remembered it vividly. I was still in high school and those pictures from the video was published by a local newspaper in Malaysia made me realize, for the first time that that war was real. It's not just something happening on the other side of the world that does not affect me. It mattered to me, for the first time.

What these people did, inspired me to strive to be a skilled journalist and be a messenger to the world like Kevin and Zoriah.

Ambitious, I know.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Traveling - a dangerous passion

"Is it possible to feel rich and hollow at the same time?"
-Anthony Bourdain

That was how it was during my 7-week European backpack trip, more often than not.

Other times, I just stressed over the cheapest/most convenient way to get to my next destination.

ps. Oh except for when I was in Berlin. For all the 5 days I was there, all I was thinking was beer - ice-cream - beer - ice-cream - beer - ice-cream - beer - ice-cream - beer - ice-cream

Pretty bizarre, I must say.

Coming back to Toledo, all I have on my mind was work, and plans for my next trip (I know I really shouldn't - but I'm addicted!!)

I spent my Sunday at the office. I went in at  9 a.m. on Sunday morning and left at 6 a.m. on Monday.

I know, crazy.

The fact that my work may affect some people (i.s. putting their words in print, revealing {private} information about certain people) made me feel extra pressured to do my job well, responsibly and put my thinking cap on - no matter what time of the night/morning it is.

I spent all day today napping, watching Anthony Bourdain, Gossip Girl, House and checking my e-mail and Facebook almost every 2 minutes.

But mostly, reading "Ahead of Time" by Ruth Gruber - An American girl who tells her story when she was a foreign correspondent almost right after Hitler rose to power (she was the first reporter to fly over remote outposts to report on the painful efforts, dreams and accomplishments of Soviet scientists and pioneers) She was also the world's youngest Ph.D at the time, at the age 20, from University of Cologne in German and English.

I could relate to some of them things she mentioned. (For example Kolshe (beer) from Cologne introduced by my couchsurfing host,  Julia, who's from Cologne and some historical sites I've visited) --- makes me dream of my future apartment in Berlin!!

The fact that her story opens up a world of journalism, strength and determination of a young girl, Europe (of course!!!) and an era where my 11 years of education in Malaysia had deprived me of, makes me want to live in that world that she was in.

The thrills, excitement, the danger...