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NoCut News: The lowest of Korea’s tabloids

Refusing to be outdone in the xenophobe/racism department by TV station MBC, NoCut News has published a series of stories titled, “The Reality and Twisted Values of Some White Men.” This is on the tail of a series of stories about a foreign graduate student who allegedly (totally relying on one anecdotal source in typical tabloid style) filmed himself having sex with Korean women.

English language blogs The Marmot’s Hole and Gusts of Popular Feeling break down these articles and point out the bad journalism and inaccuracies.

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17

07 2012

Alligator bites arm off teen, teen saves self

Emily Sutherlin at NowPublic has put together a piece about a Florida teen who had the wherewithal to take steps to survive an alligator attack while swimming in a river. The one bit that made me raise my eyebrows is that as soon as he recovers, he wants to go back swimming in that river.

I don’t wave my arm at Fate like that.

Kaleb Langdale Loses Arm from Alligator Attack, But Not His Cool

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11

07 2012

Jumpy Mexican police during elections?

Credit: CNN iReport

Amidst all the flotsam in CNN iReport, I’ve found an account by a visitor to Mexico on police getting a little overzealous over people talking about possible election rigging in public.

Mexican police going crazy in wake of election recount (CNN iReport)

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05

07 2012

Who randomly cuts a 3-year-old girl’s hair?

Two girls at a McDonald’s in Price, Utah, ages 11 and 13, befriended a three-year-old girl. They then cut her never-been-cut hair all the way up the back.

There’s more.

A judge said that the 13-year-old would get a lighter sentence if her mother would cut her hair, with the victim’s mother saying when to stop. This is one of those really weird cases all around. Read more at Digital Journal.

Girl offered lighter sentence if mom chops off hair in court (Digital Journal)

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25

06 2012

Lost custody because he’s fat?

Digital Journal reports on a recently divorced Canadian man who was denied custody of his children because of many factors, including that he was too fat. Of course, there’s more to the case that’s not totally being revealed in the article, and the article itself admits that. It sounds, though, that the guy is trying to get his act together for the sake of his children.

Read for yourself and tell us what you think.

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22

06 2012

Racist news piece on Korean broadcasting causes uproar

UPDATE: CNN iReport has posted piece on this.

Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) ran a piece on a show called “Think Different” (stealing slogans from Apple isn’t thinking different) called “The Shocking Truth About Relationships with Foreigners.”

The video presented Korean women who were in bad relationships with foreigners, people being intimate in dark clubs and some drunk foreigners talking about how Korean women are pretty. This was used with the obligatory “expert” saying that Korea needs to be more vigilant because foreigners are increasing in numbers.

Even aside from the racism, the piece itself was clumsily unprofessional. No facts were stated. One hilarious bit was when a producer called someone and said she’d heard that the person was a victim of a foreigner. When that person denied it, the voiceover replied that the victims have trouble admitting the truth.

When contacted by a staffmember at Busan Haps, an English language magazine in Korea’s large southern port city, the MBC representative claimed that their video was outsourced. They didn’t say anything about who decided to air this outsourced video.

It’s common in Korean media to outsource videos, even news pieces. MBC has had problems with a months-long strike. Was this video a side effect of the strike?

This isn’t the first time MBC has been in hot water for racism this past year. In February 2012, a skit aired that showed comedians performing in blackface. After facing international scorn, MBC gave a weak apology and promised not to let anything like that happen again.

After this video aired, it sparked controversy among Koreans and foreigners, condemning MBC for again airing racist programming. A Facebook group was started and gained over a thousand members in a couple of hours.

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31

05 2012

Singapore Seen’s Whine-os

Singapore Seen is a great, mostly amusing, source for citizen news and gossip. Lately, it seems to have been a trash bin for trivial public gripes about trivial public behaviors. It reminds me of the “Ladygate” public shaming that’s been going on in South Korean cyberspace lately.

Here are a few whiny headlines.

Woman’s butt crack staring back at commuter makes him uncomfortable

Woman removes shoes and eats while watching loud drama on bus

Octo-couples are at it again — this time at bus stop

How irresponsible! Kids leave spilled drinks on table at Pasir Ris McDonald’s

2 girl squeeze into one seat beside poor old auntie

Just like home: Boy sleeps on Ikea display bed with slippers on

Unhygienic: Owner parks dog in stroller near patrons’ food centre table

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31

05 2012

“Eve Teasers” slip by the law but not by bloggers

There has been much talk about vigilante blogging. These are people who expose bad civic behavior that the law and authorities can’t or won’t help prevent. In Bangladesh, there’s the phenomenon of “eve teasing,” or crude blatant sexual harassment. This story on Global Voices tells of a blogger who witnessed some college boys pull down a random woman’s pants in public to humiliate her. The blogger confronted the youths and got beaten up while being chastised by other bystanders for interfering.

He took to the internet, and the response went overwhelmingly to his side.

Read more at Global Voices.

Bangladesh: Using Blog To Expose ‘Eve Teaser” (Global Voices)

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24

05 2012

Facebook giving in to kids

That longstanding Facebook policy prohibiting users under 13 years old from having accounts will likely be lifted.

Why?

They’re basically all using it anyway. Here are some numbers.

Consumer Reports survey indicates that as many as 7.5 million Facebook users are under the age of 13 and that two-thirds of the number are under 10. According to CNN, about half of 12-year-olds and 64 percent of 13-year-olds are using Facebook.

Read more at Digital Journal.

Facebook may lift ban on children under 13 (Digital Journal)

 

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21

05 2012

English Spectrum-gate: The systematic demonization of foreigners in the Korean press

Gusts of Popular Feeling has been running a series on a media-induced scandal in 2005 of a “sexy costume party” where photos of Koreans and non-Koreans in scanty attire were spread on the internet. The series goes into the origins of this party and the website associated with it, English Spectrum, and shows how a sensationalist unprofessional media and racist organization worked to create a meme of foreign English teachers being sexual derelicts, drug addicts, AIDS carriers, pedophiles and dregs on Korean society.

This incident was the spark that led to a series of government policies over the years making it even more difficult for Korean schools to find quality English teachers and running afoul of the National Human Rights Commission, particularly by requiring all foreign English teachers and only foreign English teachers to get AIDS tests.

This series is an interesting read and a great insight into how the Korean media works.

Part 1: English Spectrum and ‘Ask The Playboy’
Part 2: The Kimchiland where it’s easy to sleep with women and make money
Part 3: English Spectrum shuts down as Anti-English Spectrum is created
Part 4: How to hunt foreign women
Part 5: Did the foreigners who denigrated Korean women throw a secret party?
Part 6: The ‘Ask The Playboy’ sexy costume party
Part 7: Stir over ‘lewd party’ involving foreigners and Korean women
Part 8: The 2003 post that tarred foreign English teachers as child molesters
Part 9: Netizens shocked by foreign instructor site introducing how to harass Korean children
Part 10: Movement to expel foreign teachers who denigrated Korean women
Part 11: “Middle school girls will do anything”
Part 12: Netizens propose ‘Yankee counter strike force’
Part 13: Segye Ilbo interview with the women from the party, part 1
Part 14: Segye Ilbo interview with the women from the party, part 2
Part 15: Web messages draw Koreans’ wrath
Part 16: Thai female laborers and white English instructors
Part 17: ‘Regret’ over the scandal caused by confessions of foreign instructors
Part 18: “Korean men have no excuse”
Part 19: “Unfit foreign instructors should be a ‘social issue’”
Part 20: ‘Clamor’ at foreigner English education site
Part 21: Foreign instructor: “I want to apologize” 

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15

05 2012