Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Oh the Irony...

The other night I was flipping through the channels and landed upon Faux News. Sean Hannity was on (I can only take about 5 minutes of his show at a time).
The latest "scandal du jour" was regarding the group called ACORN.
While I'm in no way defending the out and out wrong actions of a select few of the ACORN employees, I still had to smile at the irony of Hannity's comments...
A little backstory...
A young man and young woman used an undercover disguise of a prostitute and her pimp to catch ACORN employees in the act of allegedly providing tax evasion advice (among other bad advice and possibly illegal advice). This couple used a hiden camera to record the events, and have been releasing the footage a bit at a time to the Fox news network (who is reveling in playing it over and over again).
Back to last night's show...
Sean Hannity made a comment something to the effect of "Journalism is dead in 2009" - now on the one hand I absolutely get his point... it took two younger "kids" (I think they are around 20). to land a MAJOR news story and they put the major networks and reporters to shame in doing so. On a budget of about $3000 they managed to break this story. So Sean's point is right on in that sense. (yes - you read that right - I'm agreeing with Hannity!).
Now here's where the Irony comes into play...
The new footage last night featured an ACORN employee apparently BRAGGING about killing her ex-husband! Shocking right?! I was. Hannity even mentioned something about - "did anyone check this out yet?" - the young woman danced around the issue and didn't really give a good answer. I thought 1) Here we have Hannity a "news reporter" on a "News network" asking the same kid if she had investigated the ACORN woman's claims.
Now... today, I learn (via the intertubes)... apparently the entire "bit" of the woman bragging about killing her ex-husband was a made up story! She claimed in an interview, that she "knew" that these kids were "playing her" so she decided to "play back" and make some wild claims of her own. IT even garnered a visit from the local police to investigate the woman in her claims of shooting her Ex - to which they found no evidence of.
So here we have a "news reporter" airing an amateur video claiming that "journalism" is dead, when if Hannity (or his co-workers) had done an ounce of investigating themselves before releasing the story, they would have found out that the woman's claims were false.

Again - for the sake of making a point - I'm not condoning ACORN's bad employee's at all. I think what they did in several of the other video's is completely wrong. The ACORN group obviously needs to clean up their act.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

facebook privacy - new

For those of you who know me, I'm not crazy over the privacy (or lack of) options on facebook. I have created an account, but I am still leery, and have not filled out much information about myself on their website other than my email and name.
Well, last night, I signed on, and discovered something new and slightly disturbing... In the top panel of the screen, facebook often times "recommends" people that you might wish to become friends with. In the past this didn't bother me because basically, it would just take "friends of a friend" and suggest them - for example... I am friends with my sister. She is friends with "mrs. x" - so facebook says to me: Do you know "Mrs. x"? Not really a big deal.
Last night, I was surprised to see who they recommended to me. Yes, I knew the guy. BUT we have NO connections via facebook at all. I started to wonder, how could facebook have made the connection that I know this guy - I'll call him "Mr. y" - I started thinking... do any of my current facebook friends know him? No. Then how? Then I realized... the ONLY way... was because I have emailed Mr. y a few times. SO.... Either facebook is reading my email contact list (which I have not given them permission to do)... or facebook has accessed my friends email contacts and then found that it matched my email that they had on file. Now that's kinda creepy for a second if you think about it. Lets say I add some random emails to my email contacts... like - obviously Steve may not want the world to know he has a facebook profile. But thanks to facebook now, I might be able to learn his facebook identity.
I don't know... I think facebook has crossed yet another line on this one.