Tag Archives: Journalism

Sacking the editor?

That is the question that is currently on my mind. What to do about Martin Ivens, should he be sacked, should he be allowed vindication, should he be prosecuted? You see, it is time that the editors are held responsible for what they do, that they are being held up into the light for what was said, exploited and then forgotten, just so that these people can prostitute events for circulation. What do you think?

Why Martin Ivens? That is of course the question that needs answering. It all started with the news on March 19th when I wrote ‘Any sport implies corruption! In this I looked at the events when the Guardian (one of several papers) reported on allegations against Qatar. As stated before it is about evidence and ‘more likely than not’, I also personally speculated on the chance that it was more likely that several advertisement players wanted change as Qatar was just inconvenient. And let’s face it, the press catering to advertisement dollars is not that far-fetched, if you doubt that, then consider the Sony events from November 2013.

The big issue becomes July 28th when we see the issues explode a little further when even Reuters stated “Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper reported that some of the “millions of documents” it had seen linked payments by former FIFA executive committee member Mohamed Bin Hammam to officials to win backing for Qatar’s World Cup bid“, so here we have it. I think that if Martin Ivens wants to keep his job, he needs to publish these ‘millions of documents‘, if he cannot, or does not, then we should consider prosecuting Martin Ivens for slander and he should be held accountable for serious breaches of journalistic integrity, which should be done by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), but in light of what we have seen, they will not be up to the task, unwilling to do anything and in the end, they will become the joke that Hacked-off proclaimed them to be from day one.

Yet, can we attack Martin Ivens like that? Yes, we can! However, Martin Ivens has every right to vindicate himself by publishing the data (millions of records) that they saw. What are the chances that we get just a lame excuse? Time will tell, but as we have looked at the events in the last two years, it is extremely unlikely that anyone will be held to account.

But should it be Martin Ivens? If we see the CNN article that I used in the July article, we see “Sarah Baxter, deputy editor of the Sunday Times, told CNN in an interview. Qatar commits to labour reforms the impact of changing World Cup dates ‘We’ve seen millions of documents that prove without a shadow of doubt that corruption was involved. There is clear evidence linking payments to people who have influence over the decision of who hosted the World Cup’“, in my mind it should be both, but in the end, as Martin Ivens did not go against this, it seems to make him an accessory to the event, guilty by omission. In the end this all might remain academic if IPSO does not act, because a complaint needs to be filed, yet consider how soccer is dragged through the mud here, without the evidence that the Sunday Times claims to have, the scope of events regarding FIFA will change to the larger degree.

This is however not the end, there are additional issues with the investigation as we saw delay upon delay and now the ‘verdict’ also calls issues into question. A more reliable source (at http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/30044791), asks some of these question: “But Garcia’s statement, issued less than four hours after the report was published, has reopened the debate about the validity of the bidding process for both the 2018 and 2022 competitions“, a second statement “‘Fifa has no choice but to publish Michael Garcia’s report in full if it expects anyone to believe their claims that there has been no cover-up over allegations of corruption in the World Cup bidding process,’ said British MP Clive Efford, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Sport.

That part is spot on in my mind, let’s not forget that in my mind, the jobs of both Martin Ivens and Sarah Baxter are on the line as I see it, especially in a time when the bulk of all journalism is regarded by many to have no integrity left.

The final statement that opens the barn is: “In view of the fact Michael Garcia has now stated he is not happy with the findings and is to appeal, I await with interest to see what further disclosures will be made,” said Boyce“, which beckons a few more issues. Why report on something that is not satisfactory? What findings? Which evidence? It seems interesting that the 430 page report is set into a 42 page summary, when we see the Guardian we see the implied event that someone else wrote the summary. Why? Why did both reports not come from Michael Garcia (at http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/nov/13/farce-fifa-michael-garcia-erroneous-ethics-report), why do we see the following quote “Garcia’s dramatic intervention came just hours after Eckert had confirmed the Guardian’s revelation that Russia and Qatar would be cleared of substantive wrongdoing and would not be stripped of the tournaments despite a whirlwind of speculation“, so are some people now spinning in regards to possible advertisers missing out on big business dollars for media? Because, as I see it, the issues remains, was all this about inconvenience or actual corruption, and if the second, why does the summary not bear out the full report if corruption has been proven? Yet overall there are valid questions too, when I see the quote “Russian bid executives claimed that all their emails were wiped from their rented computers. Alexei Sorokin, who runs Russia’s 2018 organising committee, denied a deliberate cover-up“, I do wonder how such incompetence is even allowed in such a prestigious environment. Where were the back-ups? Would the achievement of success not warrant back-ups for a job well done and these documents would have been kept as evidence that a job was well done? Would these documents not show the value of Alexei Sorokin to his government?

So even as the guilt is not proven, the ‘claim‘ of ‘millions of documents‘ still requires scrutiny, because if this is not adhered to, we are confronted with more than one level of corruption, possible corruption of ethics by the press, possible corruption of standards by FIFA and possible corruption from bidders unproven due to incompetence.

I hope that the true investigators will speak out on evidence, for the simple consequence of inaction could be the beginning of a wave of mistrust into sports. The one place where acts of corruption could have a long term effect, who wants to watch a sport series, where a foundation of trust can no longer be relied upon, if that happens what would we end up watching?

 

2 Comments

Filed under Gaming, IT, Law, Media, Politics

Biased Journalism on USA shutdown?

We have seen reports of all forms. We see information management in what I have called bad news managing. This has happened in the Netherlands. Is it Biased Journalism, or is this journalism based upon the information handed to them?

The second part would be fair enough, because the journalist is dealing with what is handed to them. However, when we look at the canons of Journalism and their codes of ethics some questions come to the front of the lines. Truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity are three of the elements and there are more than just these three. I am not willing to attack truthfulness. It is in my view an empty gesture to do so. This is all based upon information that the Journalist gets handed. Accuracy might be an issue. They might have passed on the exact information they were handed, yet how accurate was it? Was the information tested in any way? Then there is objectivity. I am not sure if that is a valid point. Let us face the fact that objectivity is in the eyes of the beholder and as such there is more than one viewpoint. In all honesty, any article would need to be viewed from more than one side and the news as we usually watch it on TV is actually not that equipped to do just that. Newspapers are!

I have illustrated in earlier blogs that some of the mentioned information seemed inaccurate to me. This happens, I do not claim to be correct, but it seemed too upbeat to me and as such I questioned it. I was not alone, but not too many public contributors were, and in more than one occasion my view was the correct one. So when I saw the NOS news today, more questions rose in my mind and it is time to ask a few more and some other questions.

The most questionable part was the news on the US Shutdown as that danger approaches within the next 24 hours. What I saw as an issue was the way some parties were illustrated. First of all, it is important to know that I am leaning strongly towards the republican view. Not stating so beforehand would be wrong in my mind. The issue I had was with the NOS newscast of the US shutdown. It was not incorrect, but there were issues that have not been mentioned, which were at the centre of it all.

I see this all as the republican move to stop the abundant of irresponsible spending by a democratic party run government. Yes, we know that this is not about the fiscal cliff this time, but the government budget is directly linked to this. The democrats have taken the debt out of acceptable proportions.

Let us not forget that the US has a 17,000 BILLION dollar debt, this comes down to 340 billion dollars per state. In addition, if we look back to the Californian change in 2003, when Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor, former governor Gray Davis was confronted with a recall because the state shortfall was only 10% of the 340 Billion. That was directly due to the dot com boom collapse and a large group of companies were suddenly in a position no longer able to pay taxation, which meant that California, one of the richest states was suddenly without cash. Now the simple logic that follows, if one of the richest states cannot pay 10% of the outstanding debt, how can the others pay at all? This is the big cake that gets layers after layer of icing. With each layer it is presented as something that can be dealt with, but both democrat and republicans have no real solution. This is at the core of it all. So it is not just about the government budget, it is the issue that the budget is not realistic and that it is only adding to the debt. So when I see the part where Democrat Nita Lowey is talking about a compromise, then I end up splitting my guts with laughter. For two administrations there has not been any decent level of compromise. The republican view is that spending MUST go down by a lot. We could view the state by state comparison, especially against the Netherlands. Most states are larger than the Netherlands and none have a realistic approach to dealing with a 340 billion dollar debt. Now compare that to the Netherlands having to cut 6 billion and the view is almost complete. We all have to tighten the belt and within the USA this would last for no less three generations. The view I am proclaiming to be correct does have issues as well. It is however the view I behold. After Detroit, which already has gone bust, almost two dozen cities are facing the same problem in the US. Fresno, Compton and Oakland are three of them and they are all in California (one of the three rich states). If we would take a deeper look at the 50+ largest cities, then we see healthcare and retirement cost issues that make Detroit look like a joke. It is the healthcare part that is at the centre of it all. The Republicans are utterly convinced that Obama Care will not solve it at all. It will just add to the massive debts. What has been propagated as a solution to all, is in the realistic view of many a non-solution that will push forward debts and invoices that cannot be paid for in the end and as such people will face even more hardship down the line. Not to mention the fact that healthcare professionals might end up seeking greener pastures outside of the US.

The budget shortage is not new. This has been going on since 1995 (at least), however, in those days former president Clinton had two advantages. The first was that the government coffers had a cash surplus. Second was that the dot com boom was going nice. Consultancy firms were going strong, the incomes were really nice and consultants were making loads of cash by selling concepts. So, people were buying ideas and not an existing product. No matter what the reason was (like 9/11), it was the spending that the Bush administration started which gave the treasury such a negative jolt. It was nowhere near the spending that President Obama did, but he did not start this, so let us be fair about it. Against the current administration it must be stated that the no true legislation has been passed stopping Wall street the way it should, so there is no evidence that this will not happen again. And we are all aware that the economic thrashing started all with the Wall Street Clam bake ‘lets go hedge funds’ that was a huge part of the predicament we have now.

The question from the NOS ‘Is there no talking with the Republicans?‘ is not the only question and the one sided part of it is not correct. The linked question is ‘Can US overspending not be contained?‘ is the side the Republicans are dealing with. That part does not seem to be addressed by anyone. We see that side when we look at all the other places, including the Netherlands, the UK and Australia. They all have their own budget ghosts to deal with.

The Dutch government has its own cross to bear trying to find solutions to a 6 billion cutting spree. Too much talking and for too long no results. If we take all these sides (in all the talked about nations), then perhaps another method should be found. The first part is to cut ALL political incomes by 20% and no overtime payment at all (not sure if they get that to begin with). That should make a decent cut in the cost to the national treasuries and might make for quicker decisions. In my view I see no solution in any way to lower taxation. I think that this approach is an unrealistic one. What might be a solution is to change it all to a two tiered tax system with only 27% and 39%. That might work, but only if ALL tax deductibility’s are removed. This has two benefits. The system becomes simpler, and over all, with no deductibility’s left it becomes a clear approach. In addition there is a need to make all commerce taxable at the point of sale (the location of the purchaser’s keyboard). This must be where the buyer physically is. This is to take a stance on that Google, Amazon, et al approach, where on-line companies seem to be selling it all from an empty office in Ireland at taxation levels which should be regarded as a joke.

The system has to be changed. We have heard so many voices that a solution can be made, whilst ZERO results have been achieved for close to a decade. When we see administrations of entire cities go bust, it is time to just end whining about a solution that remains no more than a concept.

By the way, when we look at spending it all, what has been the end result? The fact that the US, the bulk of the Commonwealth and the Netherlands are spending way too much (compared to what is coming in though taxation) is out of proportions. That is why the republicans are putting their foot down and so far there is no evidence that they are holding the wrong position.

What is the right position? That is the question and I do not know whether the Republican position will be the correct one either. Yet, staying with the Democratic view whilst we have almost a decade of evidence that it is not working seems to be a flawed point of view. That view is reinforced by the Heritage foundation where it was quoted “While federal revenues are recovering from the recent recession, spending is growing sharply, resulting in four consecutive years of deficits exceeding $1 trillion.

So the US government has been spending more than a trillion more then it received. Consider that in 2011 the total revenue was set at 2.3 trillion, spending 43% more then you get each year is not a good idea. Consider that the recession is not done by a long-shot; overspending 40% annually will have long term consequences.

If we accept that a government is not a profit based organisation then we could consider that a government would collect taxation at 105%-110% of what it needs. When you spend money and then only collect 71% you are going to need guarantees that things will go wrong. So when I stated that it will take 3 generations to get rid of the debt I was not kidding. In addition, the 17 trillion was just the national debt. The total debt is set at 60 trillion (roughly). This means that every state in the US would have to come up with 1.2 trillion dollars to deal with it. (I know it is not fair, but I need to show an example).

If we consider the three richest states and considering the 2012 numbers (from http://www.census.gov/govs/statetax) we see the following:

The collected taxation from California was 112.3, New York 71.5 and Texas 48.5, all in billions of dollars. So whether we use either the 340 billion or the larger 1.2 trillion, only 3 of the 50 states have any chance of paying it to any effect. Viewing these numbers, do the math and we see that things must change (by a lot). The Heritage foundation is also showing that current entitlements are double the defence budget. How does this relate to Obama care? Will the info they state gives us that the additional costs by 2019 which was set at 100 billion, which is a little over 12% of all collected annual taxes. So, another 100 billion needed whilst there is no income against that. The slide states “Obama care imposes numerous tax hikes which total more than $500 billion over 10 years. Obama care’s higher tax rates on income and investment will slow economic growth, leaving hardworking American families and businesses worse off.

These are the issues that the republicans are fighting. We have seen enough ‘evidence’ to know that most economic recovery for Europe will not commence until 2015. So, as the GOP (Republican Party) is watching these developments, whilst they are watching the additional entitlement costs go up even further, costs, which are pushing their sense of humour all the way to the basement of Congress. This means that there are additional issues stopping the America from regaining its status of ‘economic superpower’. So these are some of the elements that are not too ‘illuminated’ as the US government squabble goes on. The only bonus I see at present, is that when the government shuts down, they should consider not paying any of the elected Democrats and Republicans for these days either. It might at least save the treasury a few dollars.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Finance, Media, Politics