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March 24, 2004 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-03-24

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, March 24, 2004

OPINION

420 MAYNARD STREET
4V bleANNARBOR, MI 48109
opnion. michigandaily.com
tothedaily@michigandaily.com

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890

JORDAN SCHRADER
Editor in Chief
JASON Z. PESICK
Editorial Page Editor

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of
the Daily's editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
I am genetically
impatient."
- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld,
before the independent panel investigating the
Sept. 11 attacks, as reported by MSNBC.

SAM BUTLER THE SOAPBOX

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Where is my freedom of expression?
SRAVYA CHIRUMAMILLA WEAVING ThE HANDBASKET
Brent Bozell III 'Nip/Tuck."' These remarks are embel- of them were banned for sexual content
wants to control lished with boasts like, "That's the power such as a same-sex kiss, "Rolling Stone"
9 what you know. of the PTC!" reports that "one of the videos was singled
Though he is not an The website is filled with history les- out for political content: Incubus's 'Mega-
elected government offi- sons as well as press releases admonishing lomaniac' included clips of Hitler and peo-
cial, Bozell believes he liberal shows and praising the Best of the ple drinking oil."
has America's best inter- Week, which was amusingly "Joan of While the FCC explains that the First
ests at heart and has Arcadia," a show in which God communi- Amendment does not protect obscene
made it his goal to clean cates to a teenager. More prominently, the speech, it notes that the third part of a test
up the airwaves. Bozell is website features a direct link to file a corn- to measure obscenity requires that "the
the founder and president of the Media plaint against a program through the Fed- material, taken as a whole, must lack seri-
Research Center and the president of the eral Communications Commission. ous literary, artistic, political or scientific
Parents Television Council. The PTC has had a substantial effect value."
The MRC states it is "one of the most with these complaints. PTC has joined with That conservatives take issue with
popular and comprehensive conservative the Traditional Values Coalition, which dis- social issues, such as same-sex marriage
sites in America" and claims to be a media cusses in length such things like how "three or black artists, though lacking in logic, is
watchdog. It funds studies that find that experts on marriage have recently explained neither new nor surprising. But that they
ABC, CBS and NBC are partisan tools and why a federal amendment to the Constitu- have the power to limit artistic interpreta-
not objective observers for "pound(ing) tion is the only way of ultimately protecting tion of political actions is nothing short of
Bush, but protecting draft-dodging Clinton marriage from homosexuals" to pressure appalling.
from the 'Willie Horton Crowd."' both Congress and the FCC. Youth programs, especially those that
PTC recounts its victories in various After the Super Bowl halftime show, express political messages, are necessary
campaigns to remove certain programming PTC and TVC joined legislators such as for a generation of apathetic citizens. It is
from the airwaves. Recently, PTC launched House Telecommunications subcommittee imperative that in conjunction with provid-
a campaign against FX's "Nip/Tuck," a chairman U.S. Rep. Fred Upton (R-St. ing informative venues such as Rock the
graphic show depicting plastic surgery. Joseph) in demanding heavy fines against Vote and Youth Vote Coalition, artistic and
The Wall Street Journal reported that the CBS, MTV and Viacom. It wasn't just the political expressions be encouraged on our
show was "the most-watched new show on content of the Janet Jackson and Justin airwaves.
basic cable, averaging 3.4 million view- Timberlake incident that had conservatives That MTV succumbed to the conserva-
ers." However, thanks to the PTC, this up in arms. Federal Communications Com- tive pressure sets a dangerous precedent
highly acclaimed show could not maintain mission chairman Michael Powell noted on for political messages to come. By stunt-
its advertisers. Forty-six advertisers pulled "Good Morning America" that he "person- ing the information the youth receives, the
their advertisements from airing on ally was offended by the entire produc- conservatives have managed to choke off
"Nip/Tuck" after PTC launched a massive tion," which included performances by P. political discourse in our generation. Until
campaign against it. Diddy and Nelly. viewers become as indignant as the organ-
The group's website brags, "In a solid The subsequent months included a ized powers such as MRC, PTC and TVC,
show of the power of the PTC efforts, backlash with fines against the Howard there is no means to stand up to the bully-
more than 14 advertisers called the PTC Stern show - the investigation of which ing that is stifling our freedoms.
office and said as a direct result of our was incited by a complaint from a Detroit
efforts, they re-evaluated their media buys listener. MTV was forced to temporarily Chirumamilla can be reached at
and pulled their advertisements off pull seven videos from rotation. While six schiruma@umich.edu.
There is no job fairy
D.C. LEE 2L Cool J
s if it wasn't AFL-CIO's involvement abound, and the are entitled to work in the field of their
already hard following paragraphs address three impor- choice. Moreover, thinking like this dis-
enough to find a tant issues. courages people from taking personal
decent job after gradua- First, it is not even clear the job market responsibility for their life choices and
tion, today a group of stu- is as bad as the "Show Us the Jobs" tour encourages the government to intervene
dents, laid-off workers and would have us believe. According to the inappropriately with simple market forces.
activists are kicking off Labor Department, new claims for unem- The government's role in creating jobs is
the "Show Us the Jobs" ployment insurance are at the lowest level more nuanced than many people think. It
bus tour to promote the since January 2001, and the nation's job- relies on market incentives, tax credits and
weakening economy. Yes, less rate of 5.6 percent is below those of subsidies. The government cannot, howev-
read that sentence again economic recoveries in the past. Thus, the er, form a law firm and hire every unem-
- to promote the weakening economy. bus tour's rationale that showcasing unem- ployed Brooklyn College of Law graduate.
From March 24 through March 31, the ployment will counter misinformation Finally, the great irony of the "Show Us
"Show Us the Jobs" bus tour will "bring regarding economic recovery is as disin- the Jobs" bus tour is that its sponsor is
together 51 people, one from every state genuous as filling a bus with 51 atheists responsible, at least in part, for the prob-
and the District of Columbia, to travel and parading them around burnt down lem it seeks to remedy. The AFL-CIO is
across the country and tell their personal churches to prove that another bus full of well known for increasing the wages of the
stories about how the lack of good jobs has bishops can't prove there is a God. workers it represents. Representatives of
affected them, their family or their commu- Second, it is clear from reading the profiles the AFL-CIO work primarily in manufac-
nity." According to showusthejobs.com, of the 51 individuals on the bus tour that turing and production, the very jobs com-
these 51 people will "visit eight states and most of them have a misplaced sense of enti- panies are outsourcing to foreign countries
18 cities to talk about the devastating tlement. For example, the Michigan represen- with significantly lower labor costs. The
impact the current economic policy has had tative, a 26-year-old Brooklyn College of resulting loss of American jobs is not sur-
on average Americans and communities." Law graduate, complains that she works for prising, but the AFL-CIO's myopic view of
The tour, organized by the AFL-CIO, is $8 an hour in a deli "even though (she) economic reality is alarming. Instead of
designed primarily to counter similar trips passed the bar exam in New York." She then attempting to remedy the situation with a
by the Bush administration to promote the concludes that "either Bush needs to realign proactive approach to innovation and new
economy. According to the AFL-CIO, his economic priorities and concentrate on markets, the unions have decided to throw
"despite the so-called 'economic recovery,' creating good jobs for America, or we need a their support - financial and get out the
hundreds of thousands of Americans new person in the White House." In short, vote - behind labor-friendly Democratic
remain unemployed or underemployed, what she seems to be saying is: "I went to presidential candidate John Kerry.
stuck in low-wage, no-benefits jobs with law school and passed the bar exam. There- Kerry, however, like the "Show Us the
limited job security." The irony, of course, fore I deserve a good job. If I don't get a Jobs" bus tour, is an unlikely panacea.
is that labor unions like the AFL-CIO are good job, however, and I end up working in a There is no job fairy. And even if there
at least partly responsible for the problems deli for $8 an hour, it's the president's fault." were, she wouldn't go by "John Kerry."
they seek to remedy, and a nationwide bus The problem with thinking like this is
tour is an unlikely panacea. Questions that it relies on the unfounded assumption Lee can be reached at
regarding "Show Us the Jobs" and the that people who go to school and graduate leedc@umich.edu.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR

6

40

A

MCRI seeks to end
discrimination, not
affirmative action
To THE DAILY:
There's more than a patina of irony in
your editorial, which accuses the Michigan
Civil Rights Initiative of "misleading" Michi-
gander with a netition msine "manipulative

Enter the acute distinction. A noble, hon-
orable policy, affirmative action at its incep-
tion allowed for forward steps (or affirmative
action) to be taken to prevent discrimination
- a showing of partiality or prejudice in
treatment. Yet over the decades since the civil
rights movement in the 1960s, the definition
of affirmative action has been hijacked by
those who favor showing partiality and pref-
erence in treatment. For example, today the

fact that it would, if ultimately successful,
amend the Michigan Constitution. This claim
and others unchallenged here suggest that the
writers of your editorial have not yet read the
MCRI petition they criticize. The first words
on the petition, in bold, read "A Proposal to
amend the Michigan Constitution ... "
A collection of a sufficient number of
signatures by MCRI will allow the issue of
"preferences" (i.e. not affirmative action) to

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