Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Killing Osama From A Different Angle

This morning my friends and I engaged in a semi-heated debate as to whether or not the killing of Osama bin Laden was justified. The question at hand was not based on why Osama was killed, but rather we debated the ethical grounds of how he was killed.

The NYT this morning ran an article explaining that Osama was not armed at the time he was shot (

One friend said, "Of course the US can get away with this, but Israel faces this problem everyday and they are always getting crap for it!"

To which I responded, "Ya, but does that make it wrong?"

This conversation went on and on and on, and never really reached a conclusion. However I did learn something from it. People, just like media outlets, can have very different initial reactions to seemingly universally agreeable questions. Did I assume that all Americans wanted Osama Bin Laden dead? yes. Do they all care about how it was done? to my surprise, yes.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Bigger Than Government

Even if liberal politicians got their way and Government was bigger (not better), they would still have troubles getting around some larger corporations. This week the Justice Department OK a deal in which Google will buy travel search software developer ITA. The reason the government had to get involved was due to anti-trust laws, nothing new for Google. If I were to start some crazy extreme conspiracy-filled right-winged political party, I would posit that the government keeps companies like Google in check because they are afraid that these companies will take over the government. For more on the real news see...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Prioritizing: What to Read on

As many of you have heard the New York Times has decided to charge readers a fee for reading articles online. Each individual, the how of the technology is irrelevant at the moment, will be limited to 20 free article per month. Beyond those 20 articles, readers will have to pay a fee to continue to access the online content. This presents avid readers of with a complicated conundrum: In any given month, what are the 20 most important articles written by the NY Times?

Though there are loopholes and sideways to get unlimited access (Blogs, Twitter, Google...), this new system still encourages readers to prioritize what they read. While the Wall Street Journal selectively locks certain articles, indicated by a key on the website, the NYT allows its readership to pick their poison. This is not the space for evaluating whether or not the difference in systems between the WSJ and the NYT boils down to a difference in weltanschauung, it could, however, make a good post in the future.

Anyway, being that I blog on Media and Politics the articles that relate to such things have been taking up much of my allowance. This is especially true given that the NYT often has coverage that is interesting to compare to that of the news sources.

I aim to develop a systematic way to decide what NYT's article I will read...any ideas?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Political Commercials and The Time I didn't Meet Jimmy Carter

This week in class we watched a number of commercials from political campaigns. A trend amongst many of the ads for Democrat candidates was to recall to JFK. Theses candidates were aligning themselves with JFK, hoping that the imagery of this former, missed and revered president would score them some points. What was more interesting than this, however, was that none of the commercials we watched alluded to other former Democrat presidents, such as Jimmy Carter. It is obvious, however, that no one would want to connect with Jimmy Carter given his abysmally low approval ratings.

This realization cause me to consider the celebrity standing of American politicians. Do Americans want to meet politicians? Get their autographs? Do people only want to meet the politicians they agree with?

I can speak for myself when I say I think it would be pretty cool to have a picture with the President of The United States of America. Yet, I had this opportunity, and passes it up. Once upon a time, around 2 years ago I was sitting in a hotel lobby in Israel and Jimmy Carter walked right by me. He and I were the only two people in the lobby, other than his very very small and non-presidential like posse. I let him walk right by, with no attempt at even shaking his hand, let alone taking a picture with him. I was so uncomfortable with his recent politics that the site of him repulsed me. It was a sad moment in the joint history of the USA and Alex Lux.

Hopefully next time a president walks by it will be someone I admire.... I know Reagan is out there somewhere :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

United States Media Bias, Reconsidered

I had an interesting conversation today with my LSAT instructor and fellow Classmate Jared Sanders concerning political bias in the media. Our instructor, Jon Crowell, was shocked to hear us speaking about a left wing bias in the media. He jumped in and exclaimed "left wing??" He went on to explain that in the grander scheme of things the United States on a whole, and the media in specific are entirely right wing. We ultimately came to the conclusion that when speaking about the political spectrum it is important to note that we are speaking within the framework of politics. Not sure I agree entirely but it was an interesting way of putting it. Is the American political arena so far to the right in general that the left is also right? not sure.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New York Times v. The Washington Post: Nothing To Do with Pentagon Papers

This week President Obama announced that he will be taking "steps that broaden our ability to bring terrorists to justice, provide oversight for our actions and ensure the humane treatment of detainees." This quote comes from a statement made by the President regarding changing policy on how to treat Guantanamo Bay and its detainees. The idea is to further the legal rights of the prisoners by supplying lawyers or giving them the right to private representation. But all of this is a far cry from Obama's promise to close Gitmo, a constant platform of his campaign in 2008.

So how does one deal with Obama's predicament. Is it a change of heart? Was he ever planning on closing the prison? Maybe he wanted to but wasn't able to come up with a practical way of doing it?

The NYT and the WP found different ways of grappling with this issue through headlines. The NYT headlined the story as "Closing Guantánamo Fades as a Priority", while the Washington Post headlined it as "Obama creates indefinite detention system for prisoners at Guantanamo Bay". There is a stark distinction in approach to this manner. The NYT uses the word "priority", which connotes a sense of shuffled importance. Gitmo, the nyt could argue, was really important and it still is but we have other important things to deal with now. The WP on the other hand, uses more of a subtitle than a catchy quick idea.

This is a great example of how media approaches different subjects and is able to give its own spin based on how they approach it.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pope Benedict Exonerates Jews

In his latest book, coming out March 10, Pope Benedict explains that according to the text it is not plausible to blame the Jews (on the whole) for the death of Jesus.

Is this media and politics? It may not seem like it but it would have made quite a difference to the Jewish folk of yesteryear... especially politically. Had the Pope of the 11th century had made such a claim, even the Pope of the early 20th century had been like minded, the Jews of Europe would have had a radically different political scheme.

It is always tricky to base political concepts in religious ideas, yet this seems to be a striking example of the connection between politics and religion. One can imagine that if the Jews had not been blamed for the death of the Catholic Church's God, things may have been easier. If Jews were not viewed as the easy scapegoat, the necessarily punishable or the existential enemy, European Jewish history could have had a radically different story to tell.

Perhaps more to follow on this.