Thursday, March 1, 2007

More Evidence of Bias at the Clipper: The Editorial Cartoons

As I noted before, I believe that there is a bias at the Davis County Clipper. This issue was discussed at the recent Davis County bloggers meeting, where we agreed that the bias was mostly toward elected officials. Because Davis County is currently represented exclusively by Republicans, it is a Republican bias. Sometimes that bias manifests itself against Republican challengers in primary races, such as during the District 19 or Sherriff’s primaries in 2006, where there was a quantitative and qualitative difference in the coverage.

However, another bias exhibits itself in the editorial cartoons by Nick Perkins at the Clipper. Before I go on, I recognize that the job of the editorial cartoonists differs from paper to paper and also that such cartoons rarely reflect the actual opinions of the editorial board or the coverage done by reporters. I also recognize my own bias in this matter. I usually find Pat Bagley’s cartoons in the Tribune funny, mostly because they are such ridiculous representation of the facts. I know that Bagley is drawing from a particular viewpoint that is designed to mock the prevailing political, social, religious, economic, and/entertainment culture.

However, because the cartoons in the Clipper do the exact opposite of this, I do not find them funny in the slightest. The artist usually just copies the same old conservative stereotypes, doesn’t take of the issues in Davis County usually, and is just not funny. Many times he simply ignores the facts if they do not support his particular view of the world. Even when he takes on things that I would agree with, he doesn’t recognize the true causes of the problem and it’s usually not all that funny.

The artist blogs, posting his editorial cartoons and another comic series. Last week’s cartoon was particularly stupid poor, again because it is not true. When I saw this, I nearly yelled: “When has the UN advocated surrender to terror?” I challenge the cartoonist to find a single UN resolution which has advocated surrendering to terrorism. You certainly won’t find it in the 12 September 2001 Security Council Resolution 1368, which stated that the UN was: “Determined to combat by all means threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts” (emphasis added). You won’t find it in General Assembly Resolution 56/1, which:

“Also urgently calls for international cooperation to prevent and eradicate acts of terrorism, and stresses that those responsible for aiding, supporting or harbouring the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of such acts will be held accountable.”

You won’t find it in the 20 September 2006 United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy; for example it resolves:

“To consistently, unequivocally and strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes, as it constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security”

and “To take urgent action to prevent and combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations…”

You also won’t find it in the UN’s brand new Counter-Terrorism Online Handbook. There isn’t a theme, entity, or keyword devoted to surrender. In fact it is just the opposite, with specific plans to combat terrorism worldwide based on cooperation and preventative measures, with strict response procedures.

The blog post also claims the UN is ineffective. This has long been the clarion call of the misinformed and/or willfully ignorant. The UN is only as effective or ineffective as its member states allow it to be. For the first forty years of its existence, it was effective at being the arbiter of Cold War disputes, but not effective at solving major problems like Vietnam because the US and USSR didn’t want it to. For the past 20 years, it has been ineffective in places like Rwanda because the US, under the Clinton administration, was too cowardly to stop the genocide; it was also hamstrung by low funding and few defensive resources, which member states again lacked the courage to help.

Another reason I believe the UN works is because of Iraq. The sheer fact that the UN was able to contain Iraq, prevent the spread of WMDs, and had the right idea on continued sanctions instead of an ill-planned war is unquestionable. I fully admit that the Oil-for-Food programme was criminally corrupt and those responsible should be held accountable. However, again, it is up to the individual member states to accomplish true accountability. That means the US, must use the UN to accomplish its foreign policy objectives and not just ignore the organization by acting unilaterally or not paying dues.

I became convinced of the UN’s promise during my time as a Model UN delegate, when I actually went to UN HQ in New York. I went into the General Assembly Hall and saw how all the nations of the world could sit together in peace and harmony. I understand its weaknesses, biases, problems, and bureaucracies, more than most people. That doesn’t mean I can’t still believe in the words of President Roosevelt:

“The structure of world peace cannot be the work of one man, or one party, or one nation. It must be a peace which rests on the cooperative effort of the whole world.”

P.S. As to the SeƱor Dangriga’s aspersions in El Cartoonista's comments, they as so incredibly stupid they do not merit a response.

UPDATE 3/6--I have been noticed by the artist. I look forward to his response, but I never called him insane. I simply disagree with his premise that the UN has been ineffective has at combating terrorism. As I wrote above, this is because the US has made the UN ineffective; blame the current administration if you don't like how the UN is fighting terrorism.

1 comment:

Nick said...

Of course you realize, this means war...