Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Survey of the Press: James Lee and Environmentalism

Last night, after I posted my previous blog, my site briefly rated higher on Google than Fox News. I captured it in a screen grab (see picture left).

Today I have done a survey of attitudes and propaganda about James Lee, by going to some Canadian news source websites and seeing what each had to say. First the headline, second, how a reference in the text to environment was handled, and a quick look at some comments posted at the bottom of the page.

The main Canadian websites all managed to keep "environmentalism" out of the headline. To me, this is the right way to go to avoid spreading right wing propaganda.

CBC News: Discovery Channel Hostage Taker Shot Dead
..."The concerns appear to be of an environmental nature."...

CTV News:Police kill gunman who held 3 at U.S. Discovery Channel
..."He said he was inspired by "Ishmael," a novel by environmentalist Daniel Quinn and by former Vice-President Al Gore's documentary "An Inconvenient Truth.""...

Radio Canada: Prise d'otages au Maryland Le ravisseur est abattu
..."Des médias ont identifié le suspect comme étant James Lee, un Américain d'origine asiatique qui menait une lutte acharnée contre le réchauffement climatique."...
(Google Translation plus correction) "Media reports identified the suspect as James Lee, an American of Asian descent who led a [fierce] struggle against global warming."...
(acharnée=fierce, which I had to insert because the translator inexplicably missed it. And I might also change "led a fierce struggle" to "conducted a fierce struggle", because "led" might imply he had followers in English, while "menait" does not necessarily imply any followers.)

The National Post: Man who held hostages at U.S. Discovery Channel shot and killed
..."The gunman, who apparently objected to the TV channel’s environmental coverage, died,"...

The National Post web site did not call James Lee an environmentalist, but the commenters to the article certainly did. They seem to be mostly right wing - anti environment, pro war etc. By comparison, the CBC website comments I would say are far more balanced, I saw only one poster on the CBC site assert that Lee was some kind of eco terrorist.

Fox News: Gunman's Environmental Grudges Well Known Before Discovery Channel Standoff

..."Lee, a 43 year old Californian with a seemingly religious fervour for his environmental causes,"...

Of all the unsolicited comments I saw, this one below takes the prize for most obnoxiously right wing, and was posted on the Fox website. This Fox News reader makes James Lee seem almost rational.

LIBTARDHATER67 Sept 2, 9:28 AM
"This guy was a worthless libtard! Too bad he is dead, I would have wanted him to know the last time I went hunting I took my last 4 oil changes from my pickup and my last 2 from my ATV and dumped them in the stream where I was. I was visualizing some crying libtard's face when he saw it. Then I killed two more bucks than I had tags, kept the largest and left the other two to rot. Take that, libtards! I hate the "environment"! We humans have the right to do anything we want to the environment."

(I don't understand why, but the previous comment only came up on my Opera browser and not Firefox.)

Will Potters Blog on Radical Environmentalism
"Calling the Discovery Channel Hostage Taker a “Radical Environmentalist” is Irresponsible and Inaccurate"

1 comment:

  1. The comment from the Fox reader you quote stumped me for a moment.

    'Libtard' is not a noun I'd previously encountered. And, although I could surmise its meaning, I thought I'd better research it to make sure I properly understood its connotations and nuances.

    'Libtard,' of course, does not appear in any of the standard English dictionaries. So I had to resort to the (user updated) Urban Dictionary.

    It would appear that we owe this particular neologism to the inarticulate 'conservative' (at least 'anti-liberal') crowd. The benighted definitions offered to the Urban Dictionary are excruciating.

    Accusing James Lee of being a liberal certainly demonstrates profound insightful thinking.

    My respect for John Stuart Mill's perceptive 19th century observation grow with each passing year ... 'Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative.'