Posts tagged politics

Faces of Deportation
The New York Time Lens Blog is carrying “Detained, Deported and Determined,” a photo essay by Getty photographer John Moore.
In an accompanying article, Moore writes:

During President Obama’s first term of office, authorities deported a record 1.5 million people. A majority fell into several categories — those who had recently crossed United States borders illegally, repeat violators of immigration laws and those with a criminal record, according to the White House.
I have photographed this stark ritual often in the last few years. But in the United States, law enforcement restrictions that photojournalists not show the faces of immigrants in their custody has made it hard, at times, to humanize the images.
So, on this last trip to Arizona, the challenge for me was to find deported — or soon-to-be-deported — immigrants not in federal custody.

Moore did so by going to the San Juan Bosco shelter in Nogales, Mexico and to Maricopa County in Arizona.
Image: Gilbert Mendez, 28, arrested for driving without a license and deported. Mendez claims he worked for five years as a farm laborer in Washington State and plans to try to get back into the United States. By John Moore via The New York Times.

Faces of Deportation

The New York Time Lens Blog is carrying “Detained, Deported and Determined,” a photo essay by Getty photographer John Moore.

In an accompanying article, Moore writes:

During President Obama’s first term of office, authorities deported a record 1.5 million people. A majority fell into several categories — those who had recently crossed United States borders illegally, repeat violators of immigration laws and those with a criminal record, according to the White House.

I have photographed this stark ritual often in the last few years. But in the United States, law enforcement restrictions that photojournalists not show the faces of immigrants in their custody has made it hard, at times, to humanize the images.

So, on this last trip to Arizona, the challenge for me was to find deported — or soon-to-be-deported — immigrants not in federal custody.

Moore did so by going to the San Juan Bosco shelter in Nogales, Mexico and to Maricopa County in Arizona.

Image: Gilbert Mendez, 28, arrested for driving without a license and deported. Mendez claims he worked for five years as a farm laborer in Washington State and plans to try to get back into the United States. By John Moore via The New York Times.

As an entrepreneurial company with 60,000 employees around the world, we are constantly exploring profitable opportunities in many industries and sectors. So, it is natural that our name would come up in connection with this rumor. We respect the independence of the journalistic institutions referenced in today’s news stories, but it is our long-standing policy not to comment on deals or rumors of deals we may or may not be exploring.

Missy Cohlmia, spokeswoman for Koch Companies Public Sector, in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter on rumors that the Koch brothers are seeking to buy the Tribune Company’s newspapers. These include the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and the Los Angeles Times. Hollywood Reporter, Koch Brothers Mulling LA Times Bid.

The Kochs own Koch Industries, the second largest privately held company in America, founded Americans for Prosperity in 2010 and spent $40 million on a successful drive to help Republicans regain congress, and then spent millions more this last election cycle on supporting Tea Party and Republican candidates.

For better background, see LA Weekly, which calls the rumor “a doozy wrapped in a bombshell exploding inside a Drudge siren.”

A World Without Leaks

Via Margaret Sullivan, Public Editor, New York Times.

Imagine if American citizens never learned about the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Imagine not knowing about the brutal treatment of terror suspects at United States government “black sites.” Or about the drone program that is expanding under President Obama, or the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping of Americans.

This is a world without leaks.

And a world without leaks — the secret government information slipped to the press — may be the direction we’re headed in. Since 9/11, leakers and whistle-blowers have become an increasingly endangered species. Some, like the former C.I.A. official John Kiriakou, have gone to jail. Another, Pfc. Bradley Manning, is charged with “aiding the enemy” for the masses of classified information he gave to Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks. He could face life in prison…

Declan Walsh, a reporter who wrote many WikiLeaks-based stories for The Guardian before coming to The Times, calls leaks “the unfiltered lifeblood of investigative journalism.” He wrote in an e-mail from his post in Pakistan: “They may come from difficult, even compromised sources, be ridden with impurities and require careful handling to produce an accurate story. None of that reduces their importance to journalism.”…

…Whatever one’s view, one fact is clear: Leakers are being prosecuted and punished like never before. Consider that the federal Espionage Act, passed in 1917, was used only three times in its first 92 years to prosecute government officials for press leaks. But the Obama administration, in the president’s first term alone, used it six times to go after leakers. Now some of them have gone to jail.

The crackdown sends a loud message. Scott Shane, who covers national security for The Times, says that message is being heard — and heeded.

There’s definitely a chilling effect,” he told me. “Government officials who might otherwise discuss sensitive topics will refer to these cases in rebuffing a request for background information.”

Margaret Sullivan, New York Times. The Danger of Suppressing Leaks

Today’s Front Pages From the Americas

New York Post (bottom center) still keeping it classy.

Images: Via the Newseum. Select to embiggen.

Congratulations Tom Tomorrow

Tom Tomorrow (nee, Dan Perkins) won the annual Herblock Prize for excellence in editorial cartooning.

Tomorrow’s This Modern World appears in about eighty newspapers and sites across the country, he’s authored ten anthologies and worked with Pearl Jam on their album art.

As the Herb Block Foundation notes: “[Tomorrow] has also been awarded the first place Media Alliance Meritorious Achievement Award for Excellence in Journalism, the first place Society of Professional Journalists’ James Madison Freedom of Information Award, the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, and the Association for Education in Journalism Professional Freedom and Responsiblity Award.”

He currently edits the Daily Kos’ comics section.

Images: Panels from “A Controversy Erupts”, February 2012, by Tom Tomorrow.

Georgia congressman Paul Broun claimed after Tuesday’s State of the Union address that “There are more people killed with baseball bats and hammers than are killed with guns.” Explainer readers may remember Broun as the congressman who believes the Earth is 9,000 years old. What about his hammer and baseball bat claim?

He’s wrong again, but he’s getting warmer. According to FBI data, 8,583 people were murdered with firearms in 2011. Only 496 people were killed by blunt objects, a category that includes not just hammers and baseball bats but crowbars, rocks, paving stones, statuettes, and electric guitars. Broun was off by a factor of at least 17 this time, a significant improvement on his estimate of the age of the Earth. The blue planet is 4.54 billion years old, or more than 500,000 times older than Broun believes it to be.

Sunlight Foundation Launches Open States

Via the Sunlight Foundation:

After more than four years of work from volunteers and a full-time team here at Sunlight we’re immensely proud to launch the full Open States site with searchable legislative data for all 50 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico. Open States is the only comprehensive database of activities from all state capitols that makes it easy to find your state lawmaker, review their votes, search for legislation, track bills and much more.

If you watch the video one of the important points of tracking the legislative data is that laws and such often flow up from the state to federal level rather than the other way around.

Consider it an early warning system of a type.

Data is available on the Open States Web site, through APIs and through bulk downloads.

The Glamorous Life of Political Reporters
Michael Shear, White House Correspondent for The New York Times, shares press benefits and privileges while covering the president.

The Glamorous Life of Political Reporters

Michael Shear, White House Correspondent for The New York Times, shares press benefits and privileges while covering the president.

So God Made a (Latino) Farmer

fjp-latinamerica:

One of the most popular ads during the Super Bowl was for the Dodge Ram. The spot took a 1978 speech by the late Paul Harvey and played it against images of American farmers.

Something was missing though. We let Latino Rebels take it away:

Do you notice anything about the farmers being featured in the commercial?

Yeah, 100% Americana. An America that seems to be stuck in another time. Last time we checked, the commercial overlooked a few other farmers, the over 3 million workers who contribute to the country’s $28+ billion fruit and vegetable industry. Or what about the fact that “the majority (72%) of all farmworkers were foreign-born, with 68 percent of all farmworkers were born in Mexico?” We are guessing that displaying the REAL FACE of farming in the United States would that have been way too uncomfortable to show? By the way, we know you showed only two Latino faces for a second, but that didn’t cut it, Chrysler. 

So, a remake is in order. Doing so above is the award winning investigative reporter Issac Cubillos

In fact, that’s one of the biggest problems we’ve got in how folks report about Washington right now, because I think journalists rightly value the appearance of impartiality and objectivity. And so the default position for reporting is to say, “A plague on both their houses.” On almost every issue, it’s, “Well, Democrats and Republicans can’t agree” — as opposed to looking at why is it that they can’t agree. Who exactly is preventing us from agreeing?
Barack Obama in an exclusive interview with The New Republic, (which was redesigned and relaunched today). Worth the read. Of course, some interpreted and reported Obama’s comments as purely an attack on Fox. We recommend instead, that you read Poynter’s summary and context.

Fake Blogs and Social Media Accounts Smear Exiled Iranian Journalists

Via The Guardian:

Iran has been conducting a smear campaign designed to intimidate Iranian journalists living in exile, including apparent death threats. Cyber-activists linked to the Islamic republic have fabricated news, duplicated Facebook accounts and spread false allegations of sexual misconduct by exiled journalists, while harassment of family members back in Iran has been stepped up by security officials.

Staff at the BBC’s Persian service in London are among dozens of Iranian journalists who have been subjected to what appears to be an operation sponsored by the authorities and aimed at discrediting reporters in the eyes of the public in Iran…

…In recent weeks, the pro-regime activists have set up a number of fake Facebook accounts and blogs, purporting to belong to BBC journalists or their Iranian colleagues. Web users who want to access the real BBCPersian.com, might accidentally visit its counterfeit at persianbbc.ir. The fake site mirrors the BBC’s site in design and fonts but has completely different content...

…Nafiseh Kouhnavard, a presenter on BBC Persian’s talkshow Your Turn, is one of the victims. In a fake Facebook account that carries her name and picture, she supposedly confesses to a culture of extramarital relationships among journalists working for the BBC’s Persian service. The fake comments attributed to Kouhnavard were reproduced extensively in Iran.

"You wrote about my relationships with my colleagues," she is falsely quoted by a national newspaper in Iran as saying. "Swinging … is not only limited to me, in fact it is common and normal here.

First carried in Vatan-e-Emrooz daily, the fake material has since been republished by state-affiliated news organisations. The fabricated contents are usually chosen carefully to target the most sensitive issues in Iran, especially among conservatives wary of western lifestyles.

The Guardian, Iran creates fake blogs in smear campaign against journalists in exile.

Foreign Media on Obama’s Second Term
The LA Times compiled foreign media perspectives on Obama’s second term. And so we made a wordle (word cloud) out of all of the articles they referenced. 
Word Cloud (n.): the mullet of the internet. 

Foreign Media on Obama’s Second Term

The LA Times compiled foreign media perspectives on Obama’s second term. And so we made a wordle (word cloud) out of all of the articles they referenced. 

Word Cloud (n.): the mullet of the internet

Visualizing Gun Laws State by State
The Guardian has a great interactive showing the broad variation in state gun laws.
For example, take “Shoot First” laws:

Twenty-seven states have enacted “shoot first” laws that allow a person to defend themselves in public using deadly force with no duty to retreat. Some of those states have slightly restrictive laws that only apply when a shooter is in a vehicle and others have weak laws that are defined through a combination of case law, jury decisions and statutes, and only provide shoot-first protections during criminal trials, among other circumstances.

Image: Screenshot, Gun Laws in the US — State by State showing an overview of Iowa, via The Guardian. Select to embiggen.

Visualizing Gun Laws State by State

The Guardian has a great interactive showing the broad variation in state gun laws.

For example, take “Shoot First” laws:

Twenty-seven states have enacted “shoot first” laws that allow a person to defend themselves in public using deadly force with no duty to retreat. Some of those states have slightly restrictive laws that only apply when a shooter is in a vehicle and others have weak laws that are defined through a combination of case law, jury decisions and statutes, and only provide shoot-first protections during criminal trials, among other circumstances.

Image: Screenshot, Gun Laws in the US — State by State showing an overview of Iowa, via The Guardian. Select to embiggen.

Dear Mr. President: Share what you want out of Obama's second term on NPR

It’s pretty simple to do, and very interesting to explore:

Take a photo of yourself holding a sign with a key word or phrase you want the president to remember.

Then explain, in as many words as you want, what you mean and see yourself here.