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25 October 2003 @ 03:44 pm
A Look Into The Media  
Interesting doings in the papers today...says a lot about the state of the world

The Washington Post leads with a World Health Organization plan to expand HIV treatment in the developing world tenfold over the next two years. This story doesn't seem to appear in the other major papers.

The New York Times leads with the $13 billion in grants and loans that the U.S. raised for Iraq reconstruction at a donors' conference. (The Post off-leads this story, and the Los Angeles Times puts it above the fold.) The LAT leads with state test results showing that California high schools are bad but getting better. (About two-thirds of the schools met state improvement requirements this year, twice the number that did last year. Yet the same tests that measured improvement revealed that only about a third of 10th and 11th graders were deemed "proficient" in English.)

Now, why is this? Iraq...jeezus, haven't we heard enough? They're bad and we have to bomb them...then they have WMD and we have to destroy them...then we can't find any...then we CAN find them...then we made up the evidence...then we are doing it ourselves...then we'll allow the UN...then we'll SORTA let the UN...then we allow them...Look, it's beyond the average citizen, since the government doesn't listen to us anyway. Can we move on? Of course not, it's a red flag topic, and thus sells papers. Reporting the news is second to profit.

Standards of education? OK, sure, good to know where improvements can be made...but for the rest of the country, the state of one state is fodder for humour or derision. However, you're talking education, "teaching our children", and THAT sells papers. What was that about profit?

AIDS research and HIV treatment. Thanks to the media, what do we associate AIDS with? Homosexuality and drug use. There are still, believe it or not, those who espouse the idea that AIDS is a plague sent to punish people, or other equally moronic statements. So, leading with a story about expanding HIV treatment is basically going against those beliefs, making it just a disease (which it is, kids). As this is against the fervent beliefs of a bunch of people (sad to say, most of them are highly religious, hence their stance) who are very clannish and tend to do dumb things like getting all their friends togetehr to boycott things...well, that kind of headline can hurt a paper. NOT Because they are spreading lies and falsehoods, and NOT because they are hurting someone or underhandly dealing, but because they are DOING THEIR JOB, i.e. 'to report the factual happenings of the world'...to report the news.

For your own edification, more about the HIV treatment expansion:

The WHO wants to make HIV retroviral drugs available to 3 million people in poor countries by the end of 2005. Currently, 300,000 people in these countries receive the drugs (half are Brazilians), and about 5 million need them. The organization's plan, which emphasizes efficiency at the expense of clinical precision, calls for combining three medicines in a single tablet. Nurses, community organizations, and family members, not just doctors, will distribute the drugs. The three-in-one pill will simplify the complicated multi-pill schedule that patent law requires in rich nations; this will reduce the partial compliance that launches resistant strains of the virus. However, these measures will preclude individual dosing adjustments for patients who experience unpleasant side effects.

The Post's WHO story mentions the announcement by the William J. Clinton Foundation, that it has secured agreements with several third-world pharmaceutical companies to provide retrovirals to the poor at costs lower than previously thought possible. The Post notes that pharmaceutical companies in the developed world oppose the three-in-one pill on patent grounds. It also reports that the Bush Administration, which has pledged $15 billion to fight HIV in poor nations over the next five years, has yet to side with either the pro- or anti-patent crowd. The article does not adequately explain what, if any, control the WHO has over international patent law, or who will pay for the plan.
Current Music: Joan Jett - Bad Reputation
Sribbles McBottomfootachmanage on October 25th, 2003 06:43 pm (UTC)
Interesting. So, remind me again, how exactly does HIV spread? I really must be misinformed. Inform me.
God of Thunder and Rock'n'Rollarchmage on October 26th, 2003 01:18 am (UTC)
Through exposure to an infected person, highest risk activities tend to be unprotected sex or sharing of intravenous needles.

Your point?
Sribbles McBottomfootachmanage on October 26th, 2003 10:49 am (UTC)
You were the one apparantly with a point, sir. Not me.
God of Thunder and Rock'n'Rollarchmage on October 26th, 2003 10:56 am (UTC)
You spoke up...obviously you were trying to say something.
Sribbles McBottomfootachmanage on October 26th, 2003 02:40 pm (UTC)
I suppose this is why they always told you as a child never to assume, eh?
God of Thunder and Rock'n'Rollarchmage on October 27th, 2003 08:05 am (UTC)
Don't be unctuous. If you didn't have a point to make, you wouldn't have made the comment...I know you are smart enough to know how the disease is transmitted, therefore your comment was made with a point in mind.

Whatever. Be as obtuse as you feel.
Sribbles McBottomfootachmanage on October 27th, 2003 08:59 am (UTC)
I was honestly just trying to figure out what you thought spread HIV. Because, apparently to you unprotected sex does not include homosexual activity and the sharing of intravenous needles does not include drug use. So I had no point in the matter. I just wanted to get an idea of your stance.
God of Thunder and Rock'n'Rollarchmage on October 27th, 2003 09:02 am (UTC)
No, I'm well aware of the spread. What I was saying was that HIV has become so bookended in the CAUSES that people get hung up there, and forget that it's still just a disease. It's become too emotionally charged, BECAUSE of it's association with homosexuality and drug use...even though it can be spread just as easily by heterosexual unprotected sex, blood transfer, etc.
superfledermaus on October 25th, 2003 07:15 pm (UTC)
Since I'm military.. allow me to expand on the words "in bed with *******" Plain and simple. In the late 70's (might have been early 80's cuz this was Regan..so yeah early 80's) we were in bed with Iran when then wanted to destry Iraq..then we sold Iran lots of weapons, but when we found out they were a bunch of lunatics and radicals, we kept all thier money, and then stopped shipment of weapons. THey hijacked a plane, we threatened with Nukes...

Before that, we were in bed with Afghanistan for thier war on Russia..hell we sold Bin Laden all the stinger missles those assholes were shooting at us when we were flying over the country. We trained them, and gave them weapons, and then...we just left them without any help.

And then you have iraq...There is a great need to keep the military in the general bahraini area.. We pushed the value of the Bahraini dinar up to about $2.60 after a few years of being there. on top of that, all the fat american cash that all those soldiers are making over there, and in turn spending, is keeping thier revenue pretty goddamn steady. Oh and did I mention that this little bitty country has about as much oil as the whole of Saudi Arabia??? It's all about oil dude...that's what it's all about in that area...

During the war I got in a little trouble when I was out there, cuz someone from the Armed forces radio and tv network came rushing up to our plane as we were getting off it after a 14 hour or so mission. They asked if we were happy we were participating in the liberation of Iraq.. My response.... "Hell no, I just got sick of paying 2 bucks a gallon at the pump..that's why I'm out here"