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October 05, 2007 - Image 4

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4A -- Friday, October 5, 2007

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

l e iic[ igan .+ ail9

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@umich.edu
IMRAN SYED JEFFREY BLOOMER
TORIAL PAGE EDITOR MANAGING EDITOR

This is so not me. It wasn't that we were
making fun of the Jena 6 incident. "
- Kristy Smith, a student at University of Louisiana at Monroe, apologizing for a video re-enactment
she and friends made of the beating of a Jena High School student, as reported yesterday on CNN.com.
The video was posted on Facebook.com and YouTube.com.
Talk that matters

KARL STAMPFL
EDITOR IN CHIEF

Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
andillustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
The Daily's public editor, Paul Johnson, acts as the readers' representative and takes a critical look at
coverage and content in every section of the paper. Readers are encouraged to contactthe public editor
with questions and comments.He canbereachedat: publiceditor@umich.edu
Fourteen is not enough
University's appeasement woefully short of acceptable
L ast week, the University announced that the Athletic
Department plans to add at least 14 wheelchair-accessible
seats to the Big House for next season. While the Univer-
sity claims that the Athletic Department made the decision based
on "an ongoing evaluation of fan needs," the announcement's tim-
ing makes its intention easy to question. The Michigan Paralyzed
Veterans of America recently sued the University because the pro-
posed renovations to Michigan Stadium do not comply with the
American with Disabilities Act 1990. The announcement of the
addition of 14 wheelchair-accessible seats reflects either the Uni-
versity's ambivalence to the MPVA's concerns or a very poor effort
to pacify the many critics of the stadium renovation plan. Either
way, the University just doesn't get it.

don't care how silly this sounds:
Jon Stewart really could be presi-
dent. Or, maybe not quite presi-
dent, but he could
at least be some
kind of politician.
Or maybe a diplo-
mat; that's more his g
style anyway.
People have
been throwing
around similar
statements about KEVIN
Stewart for years
now, but it really BUNKLEY
hit me hard when
Bolivian President
Evo Morales gave his first Ameri-
can television interview to Stewart
on "The Daily Show" late last month.
Despite the humor inherent in a "Daily
Show" interview, I was distraught on
the inside.
The fact that a cable television show
hosted by a comedian hosts two world
leaders our own government can't
seemtoget ahandle on - the other was
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf
- is alarming. It begs the question:
Who is a foreign dignitary more likely
to open up to, Jon Stewart or Presi-
dent Bush? Bush has ruined America's
image in the world to the point where
no one but the British take our nation
seriously. Stewart and his show repre-
sent a different image of America, one
that itshould be projectingtothe world
mstead of fear.
The image of this country that Bush
has presented to the world is one of
color-coded threat levels and hooded
terror suspects, all wrapped around
the word "freedom." The image Stew-
art is presenting to the world with his

interviews is, "We know our govern-
ment is incompetent, we don't like it
and we like to have foreign leaders
come on TV and say it." I would much
rather have Bill Clinton on Stewart's
stage telling us to change the world
instead of Bush asking us to stay the
course. New York Times columnist
Thomas Friedman emphasized this
point more bluntly, arguing that he
won't, and neither should anyone else,
vote for any candidate who pushes
Sept. 11. Rather, he will only vote for
those who push Sept. 12.
A study by the Pew Research Center
showed that 21 percent of Americans
aged 18 to 29 watch Stewart's show
more than any other network news. I
don't blame them: the list of guests on
his show looks more like the guest list
of a White House State dinner than any
other show on TV.
Morales is just another feather in
the show's cap that proves people are
tired of seeing America's destroyed
image on CNN. America just doesn't
look too respectable on the real news.
All it shows is how America is destroy-
ing the Middle East (partially true) and
its own nation (see the 2008 presiden-
tial race coverage). What happened to
America being the land of the free? It is
now the land of the feared.
The rest of the world is laughing
at Americans because we can't leave
Iraq, we can't build good cars and we
can't look past political party agendas.
America isn't the best at anything any-
more, and that won't come back until
we start listening to the people talking
to Stewart instead of those who talk to
the White House Press Corps.
President Morales's appearance on
"The Daily Show" was eye-opening

to me, because the Bush Administra-
tion wants Americans to believe that
this man is a danger to our country,
because he interacts with people like
Cuban President Fidel Castro and Ven-
ezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Yet,
all I saw sitting in a chair across from
Stewart was a neatly-dressed Boliv-
ian farmer-turned-president who has
done amazing things for his country.
And it's the perfect symbol of how our
government has made us look like the
stuck-up bully that doesn't have any
friends yet is still trying to keep every-
What Jon Stewart
can teach
President Bush.
one in line. Stewart commented that in
his first eight months in office, Morales
nationalized Bolivia's oil and natural
gas, enacted a constitution and started
agrarian reform - to which the audi-
ence applauded feverishly. If I recall
correctly, Bush's first eight months in
office were spent at a farm in Texas.
I'm crossing my fingers that during
his final year in office, Bush really will
morph into The Decider - the comic
book hero version of Bush that Stew-
art immortalized - and improve his
legacy by changing the way America
looks to the world. It's his fault that the
world's perception of this country is so
bad, so it's he should fix it.
Kevin Bunkley can be reached
at kevrbunk@umich.edu.

The ADA requires public facilities
like the Big House to have at least 1 per-
cent of the seating reserved for disabled
fans, while providing a variety of seating
options. The Big House was exempted
from the ADA's purview until now because
it was constructed before the act was
passed, but the MPVA claims that once the
University decides to go ahead with the
proposed changes to the stadium, it would
have to comply with the act. The Univer-
sity, in an asinine game of semantics, says
the proposed changes are "repairs" and
not "renovations" in an effort to skirt ADA
regulations.
Richard Bernstein, the attorney for
MPVA and a political science profes-
sor at the University, blasted last week's
announcement of 14 additional wheel-
chair-accessible seats as "a joke" and criti-
cized the University for approaching the
issue with "a level of arrogance never seen
before." While the University maintains
that the timsing and content of last week's
announcement was not related to the law-
suit, one cannot help but think that it was
merely a half-baked publicity stunt.

This could as well be a conciliatory ges-
ture toward the MPVA, but if that is what
it is, then it's a toothless and disingenuous
move on the part of the University. The
MPVA is not buying it, and neither would
any sane person who realizes that 14 seats
don't mean a thing when the University is
still 793 seats away from compliance with
federal law. In a stadium that regularly
seats 110,000 people, it's hardly unreason-
able that 1,000 of the seats be wheelchair
accessible.
From the sellout of tradition that was the
decision to add skyboxes to the Big House
to blatant denial of the ADA, the University
has handled stadium renovations with all
the tact of a stubborn 3-year-old who will
say and do anything to get his way. That's
not healthy for an institution that prides
itself in its diversity and spirit of accep-
tance. Issues like these cannot be resolved
with strong-arming, artificial gestures and
ridiculous pacifiers. The solution needs to
have a conscious thought process behind it.
It needs to be a result of collaboration, not
compromise. It needs to meet the require-
ments of federal law.

SEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@UMICH.EDU

M-Flicks diverse in its audience
and selection ofmovies

ings. Women are b
After being abused t
by social, legal and c
provide equal prote
in jails and prisons.

Editorial Board Members: Kevin Bunkley, Ben Caleca, Milly Dick, Mike Eber, Brian
Flaherty, Gary Graca, Emmarie Huetteman, Theresa Kennelly, Gavin Stern, Jennifer
Sussex, Neil Tambe, Matt Trecha, Radhika Upadhyaya, Rachel Wagner
JACK DOEH RING
7 7
OWAY '5 O W S9 YO%
CAPBoA FIooTrpgIOr

TO THE DAILY: The Michigan Wi
We were surprised when we saw an article criticiz- ect is trying to hel
ing M-Flicks audiences in this week's B-Side (A rush is currently workir
of blood to the head, 10/04/2007). Unfortunately, the Michigan's prisons
article mischaracterized our organization in several and Clemency Proje
ways. Although the article states it "is not a diatribe in Lansing to addre
against M-Flicks," it continually uses the phrase "M- state to demand jus
Flicks crowds" and insults the people in them. We and to argue for tf
value and respect our audiences, and we would never Michigan prisons.
ask someone to leave because they feel a certain way
about a film or because they enjoy particular genres Lydia Mitchell
of film. The article ignores many M-Flicks screenings, LSA junior
such as "Knocked Up" and "Stranger than Fiction."
Going to our website (www.umich.edu/uac/m-flicks) . .
would have corrected many of the mistaken assump- Universities
tions about M-Flicks.
The article states that M-Flicks shows too many vio- telling the m
lent movies. This semester our list of movies includes
"The Lives of Others," "Memento" and "The Incredi- TO THE DAILY:
bles." We also have several sneak previews this month It will be a scary,
including "American Gangster," "Ian in Real Life" are able to have a say
and "The Wristcutters." We show a variety of movies (From the Daily: Abc
from all genres. charged with the du
The article mentions the "base and vulgar bloodlust" have the ability toa
of our audience members at "The Kingdom." During this country has to o
most scenes of incredible violence, the reaction heard to the best of its abili
was an audible gasp. The only time that there clapping When liberal ad
was when a protagonist survived a very emotionally refuse to provide op
draining scene. We do not believe that our audience serve their countryt
should be ashamed of reacting in any way. ing Corps programs,
The only thing the article seems to have correctly vide information on
reported is that we ask people not to cut in line. over how the Pentag
an impediment to th
Adam Massarang and Jacqui Schaffert try where these adm
The letterwriters are co-presidents of M-Flicks. preach their liberala
The government h
vate universities. Ifa
Britney Spears and her kids don't access to its campus,t
. ~ refuse funding. As in
belong in the pages of the Dady ly's editorial board h
the land. The U.S. Su
TO THE DAILY: determining what is
The number one thing I should have known on Tues- on the side of our got
day was that Britney Spears lost custody of her children and liberal universit
(Three things you should know, 10/02/2007)? Seriously? anti-American polici
I expect that sort of information in supermarket Instead of wastin
tabloids and even on CNN occasionally, but not in The military is "blackma
Michigan Daily. The Daily is telling me that the num- be trying to find a w
ber one thing that educated University students should in military policy t
care about is that some worthless, washed-up starlet kind of change cann
who never contributed anything meaningful to soci- and student senates'
ety lost custody of her children. Is there nothing more oversight over milit
important happening in the world? What's next, news military policy, fix it
on Paris Hilton's new handbag or Brad and Angelina's executive branch. Ur
most recent feud? and recognize the cr
This crap is not news. It does not belong in a newspa- our country.
per, especially the one for the University's student popu-
lation. Andrew Gaber
LSA senior
Jake Miller
LS~niri W hat you cc
Help fight for women's criminal Dog Man in
justice rights in Lansing today TO THE DAILY:
I would like to ca
TO THE DAILY: hero, Hot Dog Man,
According to "Prosecutors and Domestic Violence: ment Facilities Man
Local Leadership Makes a Difference," One woman dies is illegal in A2, welco
every five days in the state of Michigan from domestic free food and donat
violence. That is astonishing. I cannot believe that in our as dangerous as thi
democracy-touting, human-rights watching, free and touchdown or throv
fair society we still face issues like this in our own state. and beach balls. I
Many of these horrors are hidden within the walls Man for his selfless
of our prisons. Many women are in prison because would like to ask th
of charges stemming from duress or abuse by fam-
ily members. Women, especially women of color, are Matt MacKinnon
denied fair trials, fair sentences and fair parole hear- Engineeringsenior

eing victimized in multiple ways.
by a partner, ignored or abandoned
riminal justice systems that should
ction and access, they are dumped
tomen's Justice and Clemency Proj-
.p such women. The organization
ng to free about 50 women from
The Michigan Women's Justice
ect is holding its annual rally today
ss Gov. Jennifer Granholm and the
tice for women wrongly convicted
she human rights of all women in
have no business
7ilitary what to do
day when university administrators
yin the formulation of military policy
ove the law, 10/04/2007). The entity
ty of defending our freedom should
access the best and brightest minds
ffer in order to carry out its objective
ity.
ministrators at elitist institutions
portunities to students who want to
through the Reserve Officers Train-
or to even allow the military to pro-
campuses because of disagreements
on operates, they are only serving as
e defense of the free and open coun-
inistrators and professors are free to
and radical ideas and values.
has no financial responsibility to pri-
a school refuses to allow the military
the federal government should rightly
1 the aftermath of Proposal 2, the Dai-
as displayed a disregard for the law of
preme Court, an entity charged with
constitutional and what isn't, ruled
vernment and our military. They won,
y administrators and their downright
es lost.
ng time complaining about how the
tiling" universities, the Daily should
Nay to realistically push for a change
oward the LGBT community. This
tot come from liberal administrators
but rather from people with genuine
ary policy. If you have a problem with
by getting the people you want in the
ntil then, abide by the social contract
rucial role that the military serves in

a

0

an do to keep the Hot
the Big House
all on everyone who cares about our
, to write a letter to Athletic Depart-
nager Rob Rademacher (Hot dog toss
'med at NU, 10/04/2007). Giving out
Ling money to charity is certainly not
rowing people up in the air after a
wing around inflatable killer whales
would like to commend Hot Dog
charity work, and to Rademacher, I
at you please let him stay.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editor. Letters should be under 300 words and
must include the writer's full name and University affiliation. All submissions become property of
the Daily. We do not print anonymous letters. Send letters to tothedoily@umich.edu.

k

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