Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday Alaska Progressive Blog Roundup - June 13, 2009

This was a busy, important week for Alaska's progressive bloggers. Although other issues were covered, two were very important to the development of our community: The coverage by The Mudflats of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's appearances in Auburn, New York, and on Long Island, by correspondents reporting in to AK Muckraker; and the overall coverage of Tuesday's Anchorage Assembly hearing on the new civil rights ordinance under consideration by that body.

I. I spoke with AK Muckraker this evening at Shannyn Moore's birthday bash, and AKM was totally surprised by the Auburn report.

The report from Auburn was hilarious, as the anonymous correspondent was confronted by a Palin supporter about the sign carried by the correspondent. The sign protested Palin's rejection of the renewable energy part of President Obama's Alaska stimulus package:

Unfortunately, we had a guy behind us making wise (stupid) cracks but I kept silent. Several women standing near me asked what my sign meant and I explained the rejection of the stimulus money for weatherization (of course they didn’t know about that), and we discussed SC Governor Mark Sanford’s rejection of the education monies, and other intelligent topics (they weren’t supporters of HER). The guy continues to make LOUD rude comments about me and the Obama guys. He drove in all the way from Rochester to se HER! The best part was, he was keeping people from getting too close to me. “Don’t get near her! That’s insulation on her sign. You touch that and you’re gonna be itching!”

And another Mudflats correspondent was at the Long Island fundraiser attended by Palin and right-wing hate radio denizen, Sean Hannity:

7:30 – Sarah goes on – Christ, didn’t one of the five colleges teach her how to use verbs and pronouns?! She begins the speech with a bizarre story about blue star families and gold star families. Since Track is serving in Iraq , the Palins are a blue star family. She was very fortunate to meet a gold star family member, whose son paid the ultimate sacrifice. She almost sounded envious! Sarah then proceeds to a word salad that included precious in sanctity in every sentence. She was careful to make sure she thanked the important people and said serving children with special needs could be a non-partisan issue that the country could rally around. If she only used verbs and pronouns it would have been a fine speech for this audience; something you might expect from a small town mayor.

What is important about these two vignettes by members of the Mudflats community, is that this blog that is only 14 months old, had developed an Alaskan network and nationwide fellowship that can observe events here and across the country.

And while Mudflats correspondents were covering Palin on the Atlantic seaboard, other members of the community were delivering much needed supplies to Eagle, in efforts to repair ice jam flood damage there. And simultaneously, the Palin plagiarism lifting story that had been brought to national attention by AKM's transcription of Dennis Zaki's recording of Palin's policy speech from last Wednesday in Anchorage, was working its way into the national media.

II. Even more important was the collaborative reporting done by Alaska's southcentral progressive bloggers of the MOA civil rights hearing. It was - and is continuing to be - the most impressive alliance on an LBGTQ issue in the history of Alaska.

Bent Alaska
, Henkimaa and others - we've got your back!

We're continuing to put what we learned by collaborating in the defeat of Wayne Anthony Ross to good use.

Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis, Just a Girl from Homer, Progressive Alaska, The Immoral Minority and The Mudflats, all helped Bent Alaska and Henkimaa detail aspects of the ambience of the hearing and the area around the hearing that border on encyclopedic compared to what Anchorage's mainstream media was capable of performing with their severely diminished resources.

Henkimaa's coverage of this issue is definitive
. Mel approaches material as a research writer, used to the rigors of having created encyclopedia entries and scholarly material often in the past.

Most of us posted photos from the Loussac. My series has gotten more reprint premission requests by local blogs and LBGTQ or civil rights blogs from around the country than any other post I've published.

And this is a continuing story!

images - top and middle - The Mudflats; bottom - PA


Anonymous said...

Do you ask for permission from your subjects before you publish their image ?

How about if the subject is a minor ?

Have you ever considered that this minor child, or perhaps his parents may not want his image published on your website ?

For all of the crass behavior our Governor has shown over the past few months, there are times when the gang of liberal bloggers have matched that crass behavior.

This is one of them.

Anonymous said...

Child expoitation should always be exposed.

Anonymous said...

Too bad folks exploit kids by dressing them up in red shirts and force them to attend PUBLIC events to flaunt their parents' pathetic extremism.

Message to right wing child exploiting extremists:

If you don't want your kids to be seen and photographed at these PUBLIC events, just leave them at home and don't dress them up in red shirts. They don't even know why their shirts are red. Leave the dirty work to yourselves. Don't drag your kids through your dirt too.

Philip Munger said...

Anon @ 4;19 am - That subject was covered in my post on the evening of the event. The link to it is in the article above. Some adults from the redshirts were already taking pictures when I arrived.

Generally, I ask parents' permission before taking pictures of their kids, but as was watching dozens of red-shirted adults taking pictures of those kids and anything else at the demonstration, I felt that what I was doing was appropriate.

Anonymous said...

Its revealing how bloggers tend to make up their own rules as they go along. Liberals and conservatives alike tend to go beyond accepted practices and rationalize it in one way or another.

You might want to go back over some of your posts and ask yourself how you would feel if those were your children at a gay rights rally, or a Jim Sykes for governor rally.

I guess you didn't support Sykes did should, I like him better than any of the Democrats.

Anonymous said...

If you don't want your kid to be photographed, don't dress them up so they represent something they are clueless about, hand them a sign, and set them up as a stage prop.

Exploiting children is a hallmark move of the PalinBots. Since apparently using children as stage props is ok, this certainly passes muster. Even babies are fair game with that crowd, especially when they give the appearance they have been drugged to the gills.

It appears they are taking some of their clues from the 1930's Hitler Youth. Same methods it would appear.

Anonymous said...

I believe that if a child is dressed up the way their parents choose, taken to a rally, handed a sign and photographed, a simple question might be "what did the parents expect"?
Did they take the child there so no one would look at him?
Did they want no one to notice the red shirt and the signs?

This is a public venue - photography is fair game when you've dressed them up as "small adults" and sent them out to be part of the story.

If this child had not been dressed up and part of the rally, no one would have photographed him. Seems like mom and dad got what they wanted after all.

basheert said...

If my child voluntarily chose to attend a gay rights rally, knowing the purpose, I would be immensely proud of her.
It would mean she was choosing humanity over politics.
This "child" isn't standing up for his beliefs, he probably doesn't even own beliefs at this point.
He was standing up dressed up in a red shirt because his parents told him to.
There is that exploiting thing again.

Anonymous said...

Soooo...because a clueless parent chooses to exploit their child, a progressive blogger is also free to exploit said child.

I see how the values work.

Anonymous said...

Anyone ever think about the child?


Anonymous said...

Why don't their parents think about the child? Why doesn't the RIGHT take responsibility for the public demonstrations they put their kids into?

If you don't want photos taken of your children, then don't put them in civil rights demonstrations. That's a no-brainer.

What parent puts their kid in a public demonstration without understanding that they are making a political statement? Come on. It was even covered on the news. It was a city ordinance being debated!

basheert said...

Phil: I never got around to what I was going to say originally.
I really do enjoy the weekly Blog Roundup and wanted to thank you for doing that for us.

There are many really challenging issues facing Alaskans and without the blogs, many people wouldn't be aware of some of the things they might care about deeply.

You do a great job and I wanted to say thanks.

RE: Anonymous
Is this statement supposed to be coherent? Note to poster: you failed. Word salad is not enlightening.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Soooo...because a clueless parent chooses to exploit their child, a progressive blogger is also free to exploit said child.

I see how the values work.

Ak Minority Report said...

A child's participation in a public event implies parental consent - it also implies permission of use of images of participation. Reporting public events whether in words or images is Constitutionally protected.

It is the parent's responsibility to protect their children. Expecting others to do so is an abdication of parental responsibility. The parents are responsible for the consequences of allowing their children's participation.

ella said...

Phil: Thank you for ignoring Palin's "shiny object" also known as the "Letterman is a Pervert Tour."
Since several examples of similar "jokes" from Leno, SNL, and O'Brien have been exposed, it is obvious that GINO was/is using this who thing as a distraction from the serious issues in AK (those you outline in your round-up). Again, thanks for not taking her bait - seems everyone else IS.

Blue_in_AK said...

I am a semi-professional photographer, and what I've been told my professional photographer friends is that people appearing at public functions may be photographed with no repercussions. Releases are only needed if the photograph is going to be used for some commercial purpose, i.e., in an ad or something, but a blog hardly qualifies as that.

Anonymous said...

That kid looks like a brainwashed Hitler youth camp recruit. The so-called Christian parents and church leaders who put on a bus from the Valley and ordered him out there with a picket sign at a political protest he doesn't understand ought to be ashamed of themselves. That is a form of child abuse. Thank you for documenting this tawdry bit of Alaska history, Phil. Truly disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Great Blog Phil! I guess a sign that you are getting good coverage is when the anti's start posting!

Anonymous said...

There's a big difference between photographing or videotaping somebody in a public setting, and PUBLISHING said photo and video.

Since Phil isn't making a profit, then on the face of it I would say that he's probably okay.

From a professional courtesy standpoint however, especially in the case of a minor, the right thing to do would be to ask for permission TO PUBLISH the photo or video.

I understand the right to photograph or videotape in a public setting, that is not the issue here.

The issue is PUBLISHING the photo without permission. In this case I believe that the publisher should have okayed it with the parent.

But that's just me, I have a conscience that believes that courtesy should be extended regardless of political ideology.

Any professional photographer or videographer worth his or her salt would probably agree too.

karen marie said...

i hate to "feed the troll" ... but i will.

if "any professional photographer or videographer worth his or her salt" had to get written permission from every individual appearing in a news photograph or video footage, there wouldn't be a whole lot of pictures on TV or in magazines and newspapers.

if you don't want your kid's picture in the paper or on TV or posted on the internet, don't take him/her to a public rally.

without the context of the post, he's just a kid wearing a red shirt. the parents who should be really ashamed are the ones who took their kid to the teabagging rally and put a sign in his hands that said "i'm going to teabag obama" (or the white house or something). that kid is going to grow up with that picture in the public domain. and he can thank his parents.

Anonymous said...

I guess the bloggers are free to exploit kids as much as they feel they need to. It adds to their story. They don't need scruples themselves because they can just blame it on the parents.

Aussie Blue Sky said...

"I was watching the Channel 2 news Tuesday night and saw the demonstrators at the Assembly. I'm sure the little blond girl, who must have been all of 5 years old, knew why she was screaming and shaking her fist at the people across the street for the proposed Anchorage ordinance giving gays legal protection."

Aussie Blue Sky said...

quoth 'Anonymous', repeat poster:

"I guess the bloggers are free to exploit kids as much as they feel they need to. It adds to their story. They don't need scruples themselves because they can just blame it on the parents."

And where are your so-called scruples that YOU fail to protect these ignorant parents from themselves while expecting others to do so?

Anonymous said...

Come on already, I know that you libtards think that you're smarter than everybody else, but sometimes I wonder about that.

Notice in the first blog that I said PUBLISH, not PHOTOGRAPH.

It's obvious that none of these leaving these comments would extend the courtesy of asking for permission of the child's parents TO PUBLISH THEIR PHOTOGRAPH.

That doesn't surprise me really.

What Phil is doing is no different than what this website is doing, exploiting a situation in order to benefit himself, in this case his blog.

It cuts both ways people, just keep in mind that your children can be exploited for the gain of someone you might disagree with politically, just like Mr Munger is doing here.

"Hitler Youth" "Zombie Kid", for FUCKS sake the kid is what, 12 maybe 13 years old and here you have an adult blogger using his image without his permission, allowing despicable comments such as "Hitler Youth" and not taking ownership for it.

You make a sorry excuse for anyone wanting to be a "Progressive", I'll say that.

These are your neighbors, they may not be your friends, but they're Alaskans, and they're Americans, and they have every right to exercise their right to free speech as much as you do.

What is it about that concept that's so hard to grasp for "progressives" to grasp ?

Philip Munger said...

anon @ 5:47 a,m, - a lot of words, but virtually no sense whatsoever. I blog to get the truth out when that hasn't necessarily been the case. I profit from it none. It takes time away from what little I have left to do other things in this life, chiefly, to engage in writing music.

I disagree with your comment. I also disagree with the viewpoints of some of those who you cite as being in agreement with me. I don't always have time to jump into the comment section.

These images that I have posted that have disturbed hundreds of people who have emailed me speak the truth.

Anonymous said...

You sir, have no integrity and you lose any moral high ground that you have.

I dare you to look up the meaning of the word integrity, better yet I dare to take what you find and apply it in your daily life.

You're using the image of a minor child to further an agenda on a political blog that supposedly advocates progressive viewpoints.

And tell me again, what is that gives you the moral authority to do publish this picture ?

"Loussac zombie kid"

"Hitler Youth" ?

You just don't get it and you never will.

Do yourself a big favor and read the Blogger's Code of Ethics and then ask yourself if publishing this child's picture is kosher.

This is truly a new low for even you.

Steve said...

Anon, you bring up a legitimate question. Blogging is a new technology and we're exploring how to do what we do, so your question, with this example, is a legitimate one. But it appears to be a rhetorical question. Instead of exploring it, you immediately shut the door on discussion and start making moral judgments. On the other hand your tone hints that perhaps you've had some experience related to this issue which makes you particularly sensitive. If that's the case, then it be would helpful if you mentioned it. It might even make others better understand your point.

I've asked people for permission when there was only one or two people in a picture, or if I thought being seen in the situation could potentially cause someone harm. But it's clear that you couldn't document a large crowd if you had to get permission of all the people in the picture. (Yes I know that isn't the kind of picture you are complaining about.)

In any case, let's explore the legitimacy of Anon's complaint.

1. Is it ok to take people's pictures and publish them without their permission?
How should we even try to answer that one? One of the comments attributed to an "Anon" (I realize that these may not be same people) suggested:
"Do yourself a big favor and read the Blogger's Code of Ethics and then ask yourself if publishing this child's picture is kosher."

I did look up blogger code of ethics and what I found was a modified version of the Society for Journalists' Code of Ethics. So let's look at the original. I checked the Society of Professional Journalists' Code of Ethics. Mind you, bloggers don't claim to be 'professional journalists' for the most part so they aren't covered by these rules, but it's a reasonable place to start. The section that seems most appropriate is the section called Minimize Harm:

This is getting too long for here. I've posted my whole comment at my blog.

Anonymous said...

This was a busy, important week for Alaska's progressive bloggers.

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