Wacky journalism is being exposed more frequently than ever even as media outlets increase in number and fragment in influence. Yesterday it was the respected SANS Institute calling Mac OS X a ‘major security threat.’
The latest? TV news calling the new iPod a pornographic smut device. I thought a monthly ‘Media Fool of the Day’ Award would suffice. Maybe not.
It was just yesterday when SANS Institute released their Top 20 Internet Security Vulnerabilities to network administrators.
In a huge gaffe, SANS placed Mac OS X on the list because, the Mac OS, as with any operating system, requires up-to-date security patches, and specific steps to ensure optimum security. Duh.
The problem, of course, is that SANS neglected to apply some sort of ‘relative’ ranking to the Top 20 list. After all, 90-percent of the world’s computers run Windows, widely considered to be the most insecure computing platform ever.
Mac OS X, with no viruses, no spyware, no tojan horses, no malware, and a stellar record, gets ranked, the whole operating system, in the Top 20 along with bits and pieces of Windows and everything else.
Specifics? SANS didn’t give any and various media outlets touted OS X’s inclusion on the list as fodder for a daily dose of hysteria headlines.
But that was yesterday, last month. Today is a new day and a new month.
Guess what? A new ‘Media Fool of the Day’ award. If anything, we’re progressive at Mac360, and leave no cabbage unturned (where you find the best media gaffes) in our quest for truth, justice, and the Appian Way of dining.
Today’s hot news? More security issues for Mac OS X? Nah, that’s soooo November. Today it’s porn.
Channel 5 in Cincinnati bills itself as ‘Target 5’ and that’s appropriate because today they’re the target, and for a variety of reasons.
Why? Remarkably, Target 5’s Sandra Ali has figured out that one of the holiday’s hottest gifts will be Apple’s diminutive new iPod with video capability.
Duh. J-school grads just aren’t what they used to be, huh?
If I’m not mistaken, we’re in the middle of ‘sweeps month’ which is a time when TV stations and networks pull out all the stops to grab the highest ratings possible.
That means you’ll find all the most titillating headlines in local TV news, too.
In what is definitely NOT news but more of a steamy headline, “Potential Cyber-Smut Device Among Season’s Hottest Gifts.” Hmmmm. That brings to mind a modified Mae West line, “Is that an iPod in your pocket, or, are you just glad to see me.”
Right off the top, Sandra Ali reports, “One of the holiday season’s hottest gifts could carry some pretty steamy content that kids might be able to access.” It’s the new iPod with video.
What do you think when you hear a promo for the local TV news that includes “steamy content for kids?” Of course, you’ll stick around and watch.
Wait! There’s more: “Some businesses in the adult entertainment industry are specially making porn files for the iPod, including Playboy.com. The company’s site already makes adult videos for Playstation portables, and an X-rated site called Suicide Girls reported it sold 1 million downloads of nude models within a week of the video iPod’s debut.”
Is anyone surprised about what is already very old news? We reported on this weeks ago, and we’re not even a local TV station desperately trying to grab ratings in a vain attempt to remain relevant while our importance witin the community shrinks into oblivion.
As you might suspect in this day and age when even the New York Times and Time Magazine reporters can’t be trusted, neither can you trust the news from Target 5 in Cincinnati.
The site called Suicide Girls didn’t ‘sell’ 1 million downloads of nude models. That’s the number that were downloaded.
Of course, that minor fact isn’t going to stop porographic videos from being sold, downloaded, and played back on iPods. Has Sandra paid any heed to the explicit lyrics of popular music today? Freedome to express notwithstanding, the language is often filthy beyond belief (for those of us with a vocabulary beyond 17 words), yet that same music gets downloaded to iPods, kids listen, and the media says what? Nada.
In the best mode of investigative broadcast journalism, “Target 5 found that it’s easy to download porn to an iPod. With just the click of a mouse button to verify that the user’s of age, anyone who can browse the Web can get their files onto a computer and then straight to the iPod.”
Cincinnati parents should be proud there’s someone watching over their interests. What’s next? An expose’ on all that [censored] in the Bible?
Video porn exists and Cincinnati’s Target 5 won’t make it go away. If anything, they just gave tens of thousands of teenagers yet another reason to goad mom and dad into upgrading that special Christmas gift from an iPod nano (no video) to a full on iPod, complete with steam vents, and the vibrating accessory.
The problem here isn’t the iPod as a cyber-smut device that’s dangerous to kids, any more than paper is device for distributing magazine pornography to minors.
The problem is people (or kids) and what they do with their toys.
Target 5 also reported: “These kids know more about this stuff than we do,” said Phil Burress, president of Citizens for Community Values. “They are really on top of technology. If somebody really wants to get to hardcore pornography or get to a site they’re not supposed to get to, trust me, these kids know how to do it.”
Sandra Ali’s report, and Target 5 get the ‘Media Fool of the Day’ Award because they hyped a headline in ratings season in favor of a reasonable, pragmatic approach to an age old problem.
Click Here for broadcast journalism at its’ best.
‘I pity the fool’ who crosses you on a bad hairless day, Missy T. But you’re right. TV news plays to the audience and they save such ‘steamy’ reports for ratings season because they know the headline gets viewers.
Jack D. Miller
The past couple of years has seen a rash of media news problems; lies, distortions, cover ups, distortions, plagiarizing, and more. It’s a wonder Apple gets the press they get.
Carol Mary Miller
Wasn’t it John Dvorak who said Apple gets such great press because all reporters use Macs and hate Microsoft? So what’s the problem?
Just wait until the next iPod comes with wireless capability built-in and kids can ‘beam’ files to their friends. Ooooooh.