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February 03, 1989 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-02-03

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*I

OPINION

4

Page 4

Friday, February 3, 1989

The Michigan Daily

0

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. IC, No.89 . Ann Arbor, MI 48109

CBS News distorts international reality:
Two sides of

one story

,, ^

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other
cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion
of the Daily.

Jcers skate through

THE FOLLOWING letter was delivered
tb the Daily and to the Ann Arbor
News the same day hockey players Jeff
Urban, Mark Sorenson, Brad Turner
and Todd Copeland entered a no con-
test plea to the charge of verbal sexual
harassment. Though it claims to be an
apology, it is in no way an adequate
response, and merely shows how un-
concerned these players and the men
who coach them are with the rights of
women.
We apologize to the University of
'Michigan community for our juvenile
conduct on Jan. 3, 1989. We had no
intention to frighten or harass anyone, but
we now realize that what we did was of-
fensive.
We are sorry that we may have angered
or embarrassed two fellow students, and
the University as a whole. We regret that
we embarrassed our teammates and our
coach. Our only explanation is that we are
young and acted impulsively. It was an
isolated incident and will not be repeated.
We know that we may be held to a
higher standard than other students because
,ve represent the University in intercolle-
giate athletics. It is a privilege to represent
this University, and along with that privi-
lege, we accept greater responsibility for
pur public actions. We take responsibility
for our actions, and we will serve our
penalty. We hope that the University and
the community accept our apology.
According to the women and the po-
lice report the men screamed,
"I want to eat you"
"I want to lick your pussy"
These statements were yelled from
the moving car as the men pursued the
women down the street.
As the women ran onto the Diag the
men in the car followed and tried to
corner them, screaming,
"Are you ready for us?"
"Where is your mace?"
After pursuing the women to Stop
and Go, one of the men turned to an-
other and said,
"Is that the one who's pussy you
wanted?"
*Yet according to the "apology" is-
sued by the players, they, "had no
intention to frighten or harass anyone."
And according to the Ann Arbor
News, "Parin [the detective] said they
told patrolmen [sic] they had just left a
local bar and were shouting at the
women because they thought they

knew them," (1/14/89).
The notion that what these men did is
an "isolated incident" is completely
reprehensible and shows no under-
standing for the magnitude of violence
against women. Women are continually
forced to accept violent and threatening
behavior by men, and any power they
have to fight back is taken from them
when they are told to just ignore it.
The players "regret that we embar-
rassed our teammates and our coach."
It is unclear what exactly the embar-
rassment was - sexually harassing
two women, or being stupid enough to
get caught. In any event it is obvious
that the least of their concerns is the
lives of the two women they harassed.
The excuse that "we are young and
acted impulsively" is no different than
the "I was drunk" excuse that men use
all the time to justify irresponsible and
violent behavior.
It is completely unacceptable that the
right of men to be impulsive and irre-
sponsible should supercede the right of
women to live in a safe community.
The lesson these men claim to have
learned - and there is no proof that
they have in fact learned one - is at
too great an expense.
The hockey players are correct when
they say, "we may be held to a higher
standard...,because we represent the
University." This does not imply that it
is okay for other men to assault
women. What it does mean is that
when athletes commit crimes they will
be held to a different kind of scrutiny,
because they are public figures. They
act, on and off the field, as representa-
tives of the University.
If athletes think this is unfair, or
think that they are receiving particularly
harsh treatment as public figures, then
they should also reject all benefits they
receive: public praise, scholarships,
and celebrations in their honor.
Unfortunately, hockey coach Red
Berenson, isn't concerned about the
safety of women on campus, or the
crime his players committed. He de-
scribed the incident as "a harmless
prank" and said, "it's not serious com-
pared to robbing a bank. Where the
women are concerned, it's not like
they've been attacked, or an assault
charge or rape."
So, remember, you Wolverines
wearing hockey jerseys numbered 2, 3,
15, and 25, if you don't want to spend
the rest of the season on the bench,
don't get caught committing a real
crime.

By Cale Southworth
Today, CBS News will be broadcasting
live from the Law Quad. As the Daily and
campus activists have already pointed out,
CBS is planning manipulative coverage of
the University and will fully cooperate
with creating the positive image which the
regents and President Duderstadt desire.
But this is nothing out of the ordinary for
CBS.
According to Fairness and Accuracy in
Reporting (FAIR), CBS uses 70-80% of-
ficial sources - meaning Pentagon, gov-
ernment, embassy staffs. Its habitual re-
liance on the established point of view
means that CBS puts forth the agenda of
the powerful and leaves the rest of us in
the dark.
This is painfully obvious when CBS
News' routine lies about Central America
and other arenas of foreign policy are ex-
amined.
On October 1, 1987, Juan Vasquez on
CBS Evening News hailed the recent re-
opening of La Prensa: "Nicaraguans can
now read about steps to peace in an inde-
pendent paper." This effectively obscured
the fact that La Prensa is funded by the
U.S. government and run by the CIA.
Similarly, CBS has gone out of its way
to indict the Nicaraguan elections while
claiming that El Salvador has free and
open elections. To achieve this analysis of
El Salvador, CBS had to ignore the
mandatory voting, ID checks, transparent
ballot boxes, and thin-to-transparent bal-
lots. In Nicaragua, by contrast, voting is
not mandatory, the ballot boxes are opaque
and closed, and the ballots are on thick
paper.
Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman
summarize: "[T]he substantial merits of
the Nicaraguan elections were never con-
trasted with the procedure in the U.S.
client states, a comparison that would
have been most revealing and that would
have thoroughly undermined the Reagan
agenda to which the media were committed
in their reporting of the [Nicaraguan] elec-
tion... Newsweek and CBS News ignored
these matters" (Manufacturing Consent,
1988, p.121).
CBS News-maintains the general mass
media outlook which terms the Sandin-
Cale Southworth is an LSA senior and a
former editor of the Daily Opinion Page.

istas and the FMLN (the Salvadorean re-
sistance) terrorists while the CIA backed
contras are "freedom fighters." With great
regularity CBS has described Nicaragua as
"communist" (CBS Morning News,
9/11/87). This view was coupled with the
moronic assertion that Nicaraguans
actually want the contras funded (Wyatt
Andrews, CBS Evening News, 8/5/88).
CBS, as all the major networks do,
adopts the nomenclature of the govern.
ment when describing the power relations

"Some journalists showed symptoms of
short-term memory loss when covering
the army's crackdown on the opposition
[in Panama]. CBS Evening News (3/8/88)
described the 'strange looking but highly
effective riot control equipment' utilized
by the military without noting the the
U.S. had long supplied Noriega's troops
with such equipment" (FAIR Newsletter,
March/April 1988, p.3).
This is done by ignoring the views of
indigenous people and popular leaders.
Chomsky and Herman observed this as an
overwhelming factor in shaping the main-
stream coverage of Central America.
"Spokespersons for the [Guatemalan]
insurgents - what in Nicaragua would be
labeled the 'main opposition' - the
smaller parties, spokespersons for popular
organizations, the churches, human-rights
groups, and ordinary citizens, were essen-
tially ignored by the media. Time,
Newsweek and CBS News almost never
talked to ordinary citizens or spokesper-
sons for the insurgents" (p.112).
Moreover, CBS and other mainstream
media have consistently refused to defend
their coverage of Central America. Last
year the Latin American Solidarity Com-
mittee offered to pay for a CBS repre-
sentative to come to Ann Arbor to debate
coverage of Central America. CBS refused
to respond.
Given their record on foreign policy,
students can expect the same manipula-
tions here on campus. The CBS producers
essentially picked students at random to
represent the student movements. (Of
course, CBS would not think of selecting
some worker at random to represent the
University). But the final selections were
more than random choice, as the producers
looked for students on campus who were
not involved with the vital struggles with
the administration over campus issues.
CBS has flown into town to rescue the
University's image with a controlled por-
trayal of topics such as stress, safe sex,
alcoholism, and sports. (Only 4 minutes
of the two hour program will be devoted
to racism.) This effectively obscures the
issues of campus police, the protest code,
the mandatory class on racism, or CBS
record on foreign policy in favor of
Duderstadt and Bo Schembechler
cheerleading for "diversity day" and other
meaningless reforms.

CBS Morning News support
trucks parked on State Street in
front of Hutchins Hall. The Uni-
versity grounds crew blocked off
the sidewalk and the University
electrical shop provided additional
technical support.
between nation states and indigenous peo-
ple. This means the Palestinians are
terrorists and Qadaffi is a madman while
Israeli soldiers are defending democracy and
Reagan is the great communicator.
FAIR has noted this general tendency:
"Lesley Stahl on CBS Face the Nation (7-
26-87) asked Democratic presidential Can-
didate Richard Gephardt if he was 'prepared
to let the Sandinistas export their revolu-
tion all through Central America?' Like
many other reporters, Stahl had been taken
in by a State Department .propaganda"
(FAIR Newsletter, October/November
1987, p.5).
Similarly, U.S. involvement in Third
World militarism is wholly ignored.

I

NCAA

You WERE.r
RIGHT COACH? ~
Come to the hockey game tonight:

By David Maurrasse
Proposal 42, a recent addition to the
National Collegiate Athletic Association's
(NCAA) Proposition 48, is a vivid exam-
ple of the institutional racism which min-
imizes the participation of Blacks in
higher education. Proposition 48, which
went into effect in 1986, requires student
athletes to achieve a 2.0 grade point aver-
age in high school and a 700 on the
Standardized Achievement Test (SAT) in
order to participate in collegiate athletics
during their first year. On the one hand
this initiative seeks to address the problem
of exploitation in athletics, which often
views Black athletes in a racist way as
mindless gladiators without regard to their
right to an education. However, essentially
it is a misguided effort that blames the
victim for their victimization.
The fact that many college athletes
never attain their degrees and fewer go on
to become professional athletes is proof of
this pervasive problem in our system. And
secondly, since criteria for exclusion from
the team and financial and aid oppor-
tunities will be based largely on SAT
scores, there is a built in bias. The SAT
has been provento be racially, culturally,
and gender biased and by no means deter-
mines intelligence or future success in a
profession. According to Sarah Stockwell
David Maurrasse is a member of the
steering committee of the United Coali-
tion Against Racism.

lames
of the National Center for Fair and Open
Testing: "It makes no sense to measure
educational health with a broken ther-
mometer. . . Scores of studies show the
SAT is biased against women, minorities,
and students from low income families."
Proposal 42 also declares that student
athletes not meeting the requirements of
Proposition 48 will be denied financial
aid. This exacerbates the exclusion of
Blacks from major universities since un-
fortunately athletic scholarships are one of
the few sources of full financial aid for
many poor Black youngsters.
The entire system needs to be changed
to allow Black communities to have
greater access to education at all levels. In
the meantime, however, Black athletes
should not have to take the blame for
these long-standing problems by being
excluded from the opportunities for which

00
e victim
they worked hard. It should not be the job
of the student athlete to live up to stan-
dards of the universities, but it is the job
of the universities to make sure that all
students receive a useful education. A
university is supposed to help every stu-
dent, including athletes, achieve their aca-
demic goals and have viable careers after
college.
An alternative would be to upgrade sup-
port services offered to athletes having
academic difficulty such as tutoring or
lessening the intensity of their athletic
obligations. This would, of course, be re-
sisted by the avid "Go Blue" sports fans,
but the relationship between the Univer-
sity and its athletes must be much more
reciprocal with the priority being the edu-
cation of the athlete, not the entertainment
of professionally successful Michigan
alums.

Brown bag discussion
BAKER-
MANDELAros
CENTER
What are the racist implications of Proposal 42? What is the responsibility of the Uni-
versity in educating athletes? What kind of changes can be made to alter the biases in the
system? The Ella Baker-Nelson Mandela Center for Anti-Racist Education, a student or-
ganized and run alternative resource center, is sponsoring a series of weekly brown-bag
discussions. This week's topic is "Proposal 42." Bring lunch, drink coffee (free), and
participate in the stimulating, informal discussion. Today at 12 noon in the Baker-Man-
dela.Center, first floor of East Engineering, Room 3.

I

Lettes th eitor

Boo Bo and Red

ARE VERBAL AND physical ha-
rassment and attacks parts of the
Michigan Mandate? Which crime is

sponse, is condoning these and similar
attacks on women, people of color,
gay men and lesbians.
Students and community members

'Idles'
shatter ice
house

actions. But that's a mistake
Gill makes - he ignores the
fact that these men are
individuals - not to be hidden
behind caged helmets or
colorful jerseys.
Tor wn fnnr *ndividAR wh

and glass houses.
Sports stars, more than any
other people, are worshipped
by young people. You don't
often see Lego models of Pres-
ident Reagan. These people are
role models - and in public,
must accept that responsibility.

other sports simply because the
players are more "down-to-
earth."
But that doesn't eclipse the
fact that four individuals may
have committed a serious
crime. They'll have to accept
whatever penalty law enforcers
decide to hand down.
And the Airhivan hrkPvi,

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