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December 09, 2009 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-12-09

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-4-- p p 00

8B> h MciganDaly Wdneda, Dc-b.r 9,200

WATCHING IN ANOTHER'S SHOES: A LIBERAL AND A CONSERVATIVE TRADE NEWS SOURCES
From page 7B

THE LIBERAL his electorate, but evidence for global warming has been
rather stubbornly officially "debunked." Not being able to
standing in the way of check other sources, I couldn't prove
what the national majority wants in order him wrong. I see how someone who
to further his own political agenda. doesn't watch anything but Fox could be
In other news, Fox's Sean Hannity is persuaded that climate change is a com-
frustrating, even to his own guests. On plete hoax. Hannity, like Ingram and Bill
"The Sean Hannity Show," Hannity's O'Reilly, never lets anyone get a word of
personal style of pontification regarding dissent in edgewise - that is, when he
"Climategate" effectively reversed any even bothers to have Democrats or mod-
persuasion from the Journal and Drudge erates on his show.
Report. When someone uses phrases like,
"It shows that the whole movement is run
by hacks and frauds," and "the biggest 1. Afghanistan
scientific scandal in our lifetime," it's 2. Tiger Woods
hard to really trust his objectivity. 3. White House dinner crashers
Hannity made it seem as if all of the
SUNDAY, DEC. 6 - I had been increas- competing viewpoints on any given topic.
ingly desperate to watch "Meet the Press" On Fox, remarks from Sen. Dick Durbin
with David Gregory as the week pro- (D - Ill.) concerning the Afghanistan
gressed, but first I had to sit through one "deadline" summed up my experience dur-
more hour of conservative media: "Fox ing the week. He recognized that even the
News Sunday" with Chris Wallace. word "deadline" could be "interpreted dif-
What I noticed about both "Meet the ferent ways by different people." Just con-
Press" and "Fox News Sunday" is less par- suming conservative media for four days, I
tisan "spin." Van Kleef and I watched the found my impression of what constituted
two shows together, and we found little to important news quickly changed, even if
get riled up about. Or more specifically, we my specific opinions didn't. Most shocking
argued about the same things during both for me was Climategate. An obsession of
shows. With just a moderator and guests my right-wing sources this week, I ranked
and little to cloud the expression of opin- it as one of my top three stories every day,
ions, both shows refreshingly give voice to while Van Kleef barely noticed it.

THE CONSERVATIVE pleasantly
surprised
to find once
again that liberals are much more prone
to employing comedic relief when present-
ing the news. The most notable political
coverage was again opposition to Obama's
approach to Afghanistan. Even NPR liber-
als realizeyou cannotsetadeadline for end-
ing a war and hope to succeed. The funniest
segments were about Tiger Woods as well
as Sarah Palin's book "Going Rogue": "Mrs.
Palin quotes a number of writers and think-
ers in her book, among them Plato, whom
she identifies as a colorful type of clay."
Liberal Times columnist Frank Rich, in a
piece on the surge in Afghanistan, seemed
SUNDAY, DEC. 6 - For the last day of
the experiment, I watched "Meet the
Press" and "Fox News Sunday" to ease
myself back into friendly media territory.
Gen. David Petreaus appeared on FNS to
give his assessment on the new Afghani-
stan policy. Senators Dick Durbin (D - IL)
and John Cornyn (R - TX) exchanged a
few heated words over health care - how
much it would cost, the viability of the
public option and how many businesses
were not hiring because of potential tax
increases.
"Meet the Press" started off well, fea-
turing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

to have analyzed Obama's speech correctly.
It appeared absolutely nobody was happy
with the plan in Afghanistan. Rich also did
not buy Obama's attempt to deny the com-
parison between Afghanistan and Vietnam.
Overall, though, one thing is universal
about news both on the left and the right -
very few people have anything worthwhile
to say on Saturday. Meanwhile, MSNBC
doesn't run any news coverage at all on
Saturdays.
1.Cimategate
2.The cost of health care reform
3. Trial of 9/I1 "mastermind"
and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, but
another full hour on Afghanistan grew
dull, especially since there were no true
partisan hacks to make absurd state-
ments.
The most notable thing about this
experiment wasn't the slant. I was pre-
pared for the different viewpoints - it
was the disregard for certain issues such
as Climategate and financial news that
surprised rte.
As for the liberal approach to the few
economic issues the media did cover, it
seems as if the analysis fell short of the
economic reality.

GRAFFITI
From page 5B
was hard to make them out. But
around one of the occurrences of
the n-word, which someone tried
to scratch out unsuccessfully, there
seemed to be a racially charged
exchange with attacks against black
people, white people and Asians
that may have been spurred by an
initial comment.
Along with homosexual com-
ments, the article "Anonymous
Expression: A Structural View of
Graffiti" studied the prevalence of
racist graffiti in the restrooms of a
liberal university. The study, con-
ducted in 1976, found that 17 percent
of restroom graffiti was racist at all
universities surveyed, including the
liberal campus.
The study hypothesized that as
time passed and the tolerance of
black students on campus became
less of an issue, racist graffiti would
decrease. Thirty years later, the
Mason Hall men's room suggests
that campus still has bigots who are
inclined to express their hate anon-
ymously, but not as many as perhaps
once before.
A more common theme in the
men's restroom is sexism, which
appears not only in the predict-
able instances of objectification but
also in messages expressing sheer

misogyny and the desire to be vio-
lent against women.
Set up as a mathematic equation,
one graffitist sought to prove that
women equal evil, to which anoth-
er responded that women equal
pussy,and hence, equal good. The
final word goes to another graffic-
ist, though, who wrote: "Pussy has
destroyed lives, killed men (and)
brought nations down. Hell, I know
at least (three) evil pussies."
Following the format of other
survey questions in the restroom,
one graffitist asked for the "best
date rape drugs and where to get
them" - there is only one answer,
"Money (Parents)." Another wants
other men to continue a story he
started, which involves cutting a
woman's throat out after violent
"You finish the rest of the story,"
the creep invited.
Fortunately, nobody took him up
on it.
A COMMON DENOMINATOR
Of course, not all men are misog-
ynists, just as not all male graffiti is
crude, sexual and aggressive. Like-
wise, not all women feel the need
to spill their hearts on a bathroom
wall - and the ones who do aren't
necessarily gushing feelings and
heartfelt advice all the time.
Gender difference in graffiti isn't
the key to unlocking the secret of

The walls of the men and wome's restrooms near the Fishbowl reveal a lot about the men and women who write on them.
the sexes, but it is a way to make a for the same reason - a reason that fitist responded: "Something to do
little more sense of the tangle of also appears as a common graffiti whentheytake a dump. And it's fun.
half-formed thoughts that clut- theme in both the men and women's And anonymous. Hell yeah."
ter the gray stall walls on campus. room.
Because when push comes to shove, In response to the question writ- -Statement Photo Editor Sam
we're not different in one crucial ten in the women's restroom, "Why Wolson contributed to this report.
way. We all go to those restrooms do people write on stalls?" one graf-

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