Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Who's Running The Alligator These Days?


Below is a link to a letter you probably read in last Friday's Alligator by Murphree District, Student Senator Gabriel J.T. DuPree:

http://www.alligator.org/pt2/060331letter2.php

The letter you read was printed on several conditions and I believe it trumps a new era of Alligator reporting and activity on our campus. Free speech seems to have gone by the wayside! Below is an excerpt from a letter Sen. DuPree sent to TheRadikal:

"However, even after I told them directly not to change anyting without my permission, the Alligator staff removed one of their journalist's name that I mentioned in the opening paragraph. This was after I'd already been forced to remove almost an entire paragraph by the editors, before they would even print my letter."

WHO'S RUNNING THE ALLIGATOR? WHO ARE THEY TO TREAT A STANDING MEMBER OF THE UF SENATE LIKE THIS?! IF THEY WOULD DARE DO IT TO A SENATOR, I'M SURE THEY WOULDN'T THINK TWICE ABOUT DOING IT TO A STUDENT. SHAME ON THE EDITORS OF THE INDEPENDENT FLORIDA ALLIGATOR!!!

I believe wholeheartedly that the Alligator is not only clamping on people's free speech, but is desperately attempting to control and/or heavily influence the outlook of everyday students, EVERYDAY! Let me cite two quick examples:

Fanatics
Group uses student funds to court extremism
http://www.alligator.org/pt2/060328eddy.php
# of Past Quotes Linking Speaker to Racism: 0
# of Quotes from speaker at UF event: 0
# of Dissenting Opinions, Objectivity: 0
Tone of the article: Extremely hostile.
The paper tells the student body the speaker is a racist, tells the student body that VISA did wrong, and indirectly tells the student body how to vote on a heavily biased poll (that even today they have still not recognized as being such).

UF hosts controversial Coulter
By BOBBY EAGLEAlligator Contributing Writer
http://www.alligator.org/pt2/060405coulterprev.php
# of Past Quotes Linking Speaker to Controversey: 0
# of Dissenting Opinions: 0
Tone of Article: Extremely vague. This article reads like a resume and a list of guest appearances, the title says one thing and the body of the article says NOTHING! Below is a quote of Ms. Coulter:

"Press passes can't be that hard to come by if the White House allows that old Arab Helen Thomas to sit within yards of the president."
-Ann Coulter, February 23, 2005

Helen Thomas, who was born in 1920 in Kentucky to parents who were immigrants from Lebanon, has been reporting on politics since 1943. Source:
http://www.moveleft.com/moveleft_essay_2005_02_27_
lust_ann_coulter_makes_racist_remark_about_reporter_helen_thomas.asp

"Americans don't want to make Islamic fanatics love us. We want to make them die. There's nothing like horrendous physical pain to quell angry fanatics. So sorry they're angry - wait until they see American anger. Japanese kamikaze pilots hated us once too. A couple of well-aimed nuclear weapons, and now they are gentle little lambs. That got their attention."

Source: http://www.democraticunderground.com/articles/04/04/25_coulter.html

(CNSNews.com) - Conservative columnist Ann Coulter received a rock star welcome at the Conservative Action Political Conference (CPAC) Friday, but when she used the term "ragheads" twice in a speech before a crowd of college students, bloggers accused her of "racism" and "hate speech."

Source: http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewPolitics.asp?Page=%5CPolitics%5Carchive%5C200602%5CPOL20060213d.html


I'm not sure if the folks at the Alligator know this...but [Israeli] Jews are not the only Semitic people, many [Arab] Muslims are as well...so Ms. Coulter would fit the true Anti-Semitic role just as well if not entirely moreso than Mr. Shabazz....my only question to the Alligator is....does racism against Arabs outrage you as much as racism against Jews -- something tells me the answer to my curiosity is synonomous with the writing on the wall.

In closing, let me share a message with you, a message the Alligator heavily "editted," from J.T. DuPree, this is HIS letter:


It's been deeply disheartening to witness the Alligator's recent hypocritical attempt to call someone a racist, given this newspaper's past that is filled with bigotry and intolerant cartoons against minorities. Perhaps even worse is the amateurish reporting that has been conducted recently by writers such as Jacqueline Davison and the Alligator editorial staff, filling articles with quotes taken out of context, and negligently falsifying information, (such as reporting 40 people showed up to an event, when it was much closer to 100).

What I find truly newsworthy is that Ann Coulter, a Zionist racist, is being brought by ACCENT to speak here next week and no headline stories are being written about that. Coulter has gone on-record referring to Blacks, Native Americans, & Palestinians as "savages", and even stated that all Arabs should be searched before boarding airplanes -- clearly blatant racism. An international student organization brought ONE speaker to this campus who openly spoke-out against the war crimes being committed by the Israeli government, and now all of a sudden there's an outcry that it was too "controversial".

I think we really need to take a look at what's taking place on this campus, because the unfortunate message being sent to the student body is that our Student Government and supposedly independent media outlets are choosing sides based-on ideology.

Gabriel J.T. DuPree
4AG

3 comments:

Gatorman said...

Christian,

When does the Alligator ever do anything right? Unite was upset that the Alligator does not report more on the corruption, Gator/Swamp is upset that they try to make a big deal about everything.

I remember Andy's cartoons about Gators for Israel and Gators for Palestine (Nakba '48) and the reaction from JSU. Anytime there is even a small article about JSU that is not perfect (god forbid we forget that the wrtiers are students).

Greeks are upset about stories about hazing, probation. Organizations are upset if their exact event is not perfectly covered (honestly 40 vs 100 does not matter).

Let's cut the alligator some slack.

Oh and on Coulter... wait until tommorrow for them to cover what she says (there was no pre coverage of the VISA speaker). If there is even a tinge of bias, wait until every conservative writes a letter.

Christian Duque said...

Gatorman,

You're right that we should cut the Alligator some slack, because in fact they are the only campus-wide publication and can't be perfect all the time. Some may cite other papers, but really the Alligator is in a class all its own. The Satellite is barely found anywhere, Moon I think went under, Campus Talk is a society page not a newspaper, and the GSun is barely even looked at by students, so I agree, they can't get it right everytime!

However, to ensure quality reporting, I believe the paper needs to be reminded when they've fucked up. Their articles on Shabazz and VISA definitely caused major drama and many (not only I) perceived their efforts as a way to curb free expression through the use of PUBLIC OPINION.

So, on this matter, I think it's critical to call them out to ensure they don't try it again. On Coulter...the very tendency to go easy on her is PRECISELY the culprit mentality we need to address. To go easy on Coulter but excuse thrashing Shabazz is a major problem we need to mend out before we can turn the page.

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