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May 23, 2013 - Image 4

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Thursday, May 23, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@umich.edu

Thursday, May 23, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

9

KATIE BURKE
EDITOR IN CHIEF

ERIC FERGUSON
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

ELLIOT ALPERN
MANAGING EDITOR

Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board.
All other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
Press espionage
Records seizure deserves Congressional attention
L ast week, the Department of Justice notified The Associated
Press of the government's seizure of two months' worth of phone
records from editors and reporters. The government seized
the phone records to find the source of a leak of information about the
CIA's disruption of a Yemen-based terrorist plot to bomb an airliner last
year. Regardless of the perceived threat to national security, the Obama
administration should respect the press's prerogative to report on gov-
ernment. If the administration cannot perform this check on itself, then
Congress should hold the administration accountable.

I have not done anything
wrong."M
-Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner said Wednesday at
a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearingI
on the IRS's targeting of conservative groups. She invoked her 5th
Amendment rights shortly afterwards.
SEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@
MICHIGANDAILY.COM
University shouldn't assume dependance on males

Are we human, or are we dancer?
Daft Punk delivei

have to dive into house music head-
first. The sixth track "Lose Yourself
to Dance" is the obvitus evolution
from the grooving hit: Pharrell
similarly croons over funky guitars,
imploring us with its titular mes-
sage. "I know your life is speeding
and it isn't stopping/ Here, take my
shirt and just go ahead and wipe up
all the / Sweat, sweat, sweat." Like
Pharrell needed any help playing
the disco stud.
And when it comes to dancing,
RAM has got you covered. The intro
"Give Life Back to Music" might
just be a mission statement to the
power of danceability, while "Frag-
:O LUMBIA ments of Time" is subtle and under-
stated - and yet infectious enough
to already imagine the remix pos-
sibilities .
Amazingly enough, though,
RAM isn't a dance album - or at
least, doesn't even seem wholly
trayed? devoted to dance. Detractors may
call on that asa sign that Daft Punk
'ee. But is softening, but that's not even
RAM is close to the truth. "Within," the
he year. fourth song on the record, begins
grown with a slow piano and doesn't
synths really ever evolve from there -
ew run- but the auto-tuned vocals make
it: Daft for an enjoyable, obviously-Daft-
Punk product that doesn't rely
tal Daft on synths. The ensuing "Instant
ed who Crush," which features Julian
" don't Casablancas of The Strokes, picks

up with the same sense of melan-
choly - but the chorus will perk
your ears and leave you ready to
give it a second play.
"Contact," the closing track on
the album, is pretty spiffy in its
own right. At its base, the song i.
pretty cool - building synths are
matched by a furious drum heat.
serving as a suitable climax for
the record at large. And anyone
with some time to kill should try
to find a video of"Contact" synced
up with the final minutes of "2001
A Space Odyssey." Unfortunate
ly, the original source has been
deleted due to copyright viola-
tion (because clearly there was
so much profit to be made), but in
the meantime, another will likely
spring up (or you can try syncing
them yourself!).
In any case, Random Access
Memories succeeds asa Daft Punk
album more than a dance album
- and listeners should take care
to distinguish between the two.
Yes, there are opportunities to get
loose; "Lose Yourself to Dance"
and "Get Lucky" should see to
that. But as an entire work of art,
Random Access Memories devi-
ates from the usual house filler,
and Daft Punk provides even
more evidence that the duo is one
of the coolest, sleekest acts in the
galaxy.

TO THE DAILY:
Dear President Coleman,
I am a proud double graduate
of the University. I credit my
Michigan education with affording
me opportunities that relatively
few others in the world have and
with giving me an edge over many
of my colleagues. I received a
valuable education that has enabled
me to begin a career I love. Your
university empowered me to be
a confident and capable young
woman who thinks for herself.
Two weekends ago, I sat in the Big
House and watched my baby sister
graduate, and I couldn't be prouder.
I bleed maize and blue.
But as of May 16, I also could
not be more disgusted. That night,
I received a call from Michigan
Telefund. The young woman
on the other end was polite and
appropriate. We reached the point
in the conversation where she asked
me to donate. I said I wasn't quite
yet in a position to donate, but the
information you have on file for me
is correct. We chatted about lost
funding and budget cuts, and what

that means for scholarships. She
asked me two more times to donate.
Both times I said I would when I
was able. Then something utterly
disheartening happened: the young
lady on the other end of the phone
suggested that she could call me
back after I had a chance to ask my
husband about it. That's funny: as
far as I could tell, it was my phone
that rang and I who had answered.
If there's any organization in the
world that should truly understand
that I - along with every other
female Michigan graduate - am
capable of making my own decisions
and speaking for myself, it should
be yours. After my parents, my
boyfriend-turned-fiance-turned-
spouse and I paid your university
$141,466.32 to shape me into a con-
fident, capable, and self-sufficient
young woman, it would be much
appreciated if your organization
believed that a confident, capable
self-sufficient young woman is
exactly what I've become.
Katherine (Murkowski) Steffy
LSA '09, SPH '12

By ELLIOT ALPERN
Managing Editor
it started with the mysterious,
15-second ad during "SNL" way
back in March: Just a Daft Punk
logo, eclipsed by the fusion of the
two iconic helmets, and the sweet,
funky guitar chords that would
eventually define the single-to-be
"Get Lucky." Even then, there was
an air of something special - that
this wasn't just Daft Punk playing

the part of typical house juggernaut
releasing typical new music. No, if
the ad had anything to insinuate, it
was that Daft Punk's newest release
was something to be teased - the
harbinger of some momentous,
funky disco-pocalypse.
So when Pharrell's lofty vocals
propelled "Get Lucky" to "hit sin-
gle" status (with some already call-
ing it this summer's anthem), the
speculation over Random Access
Memories only skyrocketed. Would

expectations be met? Be
Exceeded?
In a way, possibly all thr
there's no mistaking that b
one of the best albums off tl
And even if after you've
jaded from the twangs and
looped at some party for a ft
throughs, you have to adm
Punk delivers.
For one, this isn't the usu
Punk - any DP un-initiate
took a liking to "Get Lucky

Scandal' concludes an ambitious season

Records from more than 20
telephones belonging to the
AP's offices and its journalists -
including home and cell phone
records - were involved in the
DoJs seizure, which was done in
secret and without consent. In an
interview, AP CEO Gary Pruitt
expressed his outrage, calling
the government "secretive" and
noted "they've been overbroad
and abusive - so much so that,
taken together, they are uncon-
stitutional because they violate
our First Amendment rights."
Despite the fact that the DoJ was
searching for the source of the
leakage of information about the
foiled Yemen terrorist plot last
May, the government still does
not have the right to infringe
upon the freedom of the press.
The seizure of information
from the AP is not the only
time President Barack Obama's
administration has intruded
upon the freedom of the press.
The administration has pursued

six cases of information leakage
under the Espionage Act since the
beginning of Obama's first term.
This is in stark contrast to previous
presidents, where the act had been
used only three times in total. The
administration's overuse of the
act creates a dangerous precedent
for future relations between the
media and the government, and
it's not surprising that the press
and members of both parties have
spokenoutagainstthe DoJ'srecent
move. Given this disapproval
of the administration's actions,
Congress should now consider
amending the act to prevent
further intrusion into the press's
freedoms.
The sources the government
are seeking are confidential for
a reason - whistleblowers need
to be able to go to the press with
information without fearing
possible repercussions from the
government for doing so. The
government is not perfect, and
the freedom of the press ensures

that these imperfections don't
become buried in the bureau-
cracy. If this process works, the
public can hold the government
accountable and workto improve
it. However, without this flow of
information from the press, it's
extremely difficult for the public
to obtain knowledge of the gov-
ernment's affairs.
The AP phone records intru-
sion proves that the govern-
ment's treatment of the press
deserves more scrutiny than it's
currently receiving. The press
and its sources should not have
to fear secretive searches that
undermine the First Amend-
ment. It is now the duty of Con-
gress to protect the freedom of
the press, a process that should
include a thorough reevaluation
of the Espionage Act. If Con-
gress doesn't act in response to
this incident, more intrusions
against the press by the current
administration or future admin-
istrations are possible.,

CONTRIBUTE TO THE CONVERSATION
Readers are encouraged to submit viewpoints. Viewpoints
should be 550-850 words.
Send the writer's full name and University affiliation to
tothedaily(amichigandaily.com.
WANT TO GET INVOLVED WITH OPINION?
Check out The Michigan Daily's editorial board meetings. Every
Monday at 5 pm, the Daily's opinion staff meets to discuss both
University and national affairs in order to write our editorials. E-mail
opinioneditors@michigandaily.com to join in the debate.

By KAYLA UPADHYAYA
ManagingArts Editor
Network television needs Olivia
Pope. The networks faced their
worst numbers ever this season,
and ithas become
basic knowledge
that if you want
daring, top-notch SCandal
television, you go
to cable. In this Season 2
state of decay, Finale
network TV could Thursdays
certainly use at10 p.m.
Olivia Pope, the A
spin-wizard atthe AlC
center of ABC's
"Scandal," drummingup good press
and changing its image. And in a
way, it does: As "Scandal" closes out
its second season, it's all the more
clear that Pope (Kerry Washing-
ton, "Peeples") and her universe are
glimmering signs that smart, risk-
taking drama can still be found on
network TV.
By undertaking an ambitious
season-long arc after its fun but
inconsistent first season, "Scandal"

made leaps and bounds to become
the cable-ready behemoth that it
is. The showrunner behind it all is
Shonda Rhimes, who knows a thing
or two about how to build a suc-
cessful show, having created net-
work megahits "Grey's Anatomy"
and "Private Practice." This sea-
son, Rhimes and her team of gladi-
ators in suits seem fearless in their
attempts to shock and seduce view-
ers with their explosion of a shot.
Rhimes has created an America run
by a megalomanic first lady, an Afri-
can-American fixer who's sleeping
with the president and a gay chief-
of-staff. In this world, presidents
are shot; presidents murder; former
spies attend Narcotics Anonymous
because they're addicted to slicing
people up and unlikely co-conspira-
tors riganational election. And it all
feels wonderfully over-the-top but
never silly.
Most importantly, it's TV you
shouldn't feel guilty about loving.
Sure, "Scandal" is undeniably a pri-
metime soap among a TV season of
sudsy indulgence, but it's got more
intelligence than "Nashville," more

stability than "Revenge" and more
life than "House of Cards." Only in
a brief stretch midseason did the
show lose some of its edge, getting
too wrapped up in its own conspira-
cies. And by the end, all the red her-
rings and suspense about who the
goddamn mole was went stale. But
by then, it didn't really matter much,
because the plot still touched each
and every character in different,
exciting ways.
Despite sprinkling in plenty of
soapy tropes, "Scandal" breaks
conventions and expectations. The
smartest move the show made was
letting its main character take off
her white hat; while the Olivia of
season one was hardly a saint, here,
she's wrapped up in a stolen presi-
dency, with plenty of blood on her
gloved fingertips. Fitz (Tony Gold-
wyn, "The Good Wife") - or Presi-
dent Grant, as he's referred to by
virtually no one - most strikingly
defies expectations. He's hardly the
powerful, clever leading man. If he
resembles any stock character at all,
it's a damsel in distress. His wife
Mellie (Bellamy Young, "Criminal

Minds"), his chief-of-staff Cyrus
(Jeff Perry, "Grey's Anatomy") and
his lover Olivia are basically always
telling him to go to the Oval Office
and play while the grownups figure
out how to fix the free world.
"Scandal" is loud, from its signa-
ture camera shutter sound effects
during scene transitions to its bold
story maneuvers. Its scripts burst
at the seams with dialogue, because
these characters have a whole lot
to say and they say it so damn well.
But unlike Aaron Sorkin's "The
Newsroom," where a bunch of white
dudes kept screaming about noth-
ing, every word these characters
utter - whether it be in one of the
many closeup shout-a-thons or in
a rare but potent whisper - drips
with meaning.
Washington is a clear stronghold
for the cast, but she's supported by
an army of fierce performers who
give life to the page. All season,
Perry knocks us out with his manic
energy, storming through tunnels,
huffing down halls as Fitz's bull-
dog Cyrus, finally reaching a boil-
ing point in the finale. Guillermo

Diaz does truly haunting work, with
semi-reformed killer Huck domi-
nating large stretches of narrative,
making the once mysterious charac-
ter the most fleshed-out and intrigu-
ing of all the gladiators.
Young mesmerizes as Mellie,
spewing out breakneck monologues
packed with twisted one-liners.
Even Goldwyn gets his chance to
wax poetic in the finale, explain-
ing to Mellie exactly how things
will work now that she has told the
American public about his affair.
Cyrus knows Fitz never could have
come up with something so genius
himself and asks if Olivia is behind
the masterplan ... of course she is,
Cyrus. There's no problem Olivia
can't fix, even when it's her own.
And yet, in the finale's final
moments, Olivia Pope is caught -
for possibly the first time in her life
- completely and totally off-guard.
with a twist that could very well
prove to be premise-altering.
Yes, network television indeed
needs Olivia Pope. It needs Shonda,4
Rhimes. And it needs "Scandal"
showingother dramas howit's done.

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