Tits and Syria

Now that I have your attention!

I love the news. I’m a certified news junkie! I think people need to know what in the hell is going on in the world. And I love that it’s my job to tell them.

A few days ago, in the same news cycle, we had stories about women fighting for the right to “bare all” and the ongoing crisis in Syria. Now, as a journalist, I am not allowed to interject my own beliefs into the coverage. I pride myself on being able to do that.

As for the “we want to show our tits” story, a lot of time was taken selecting the video, blurring the video, making sure nothing that might be deemed “offensive” was showing! Keep in mind, the entire story was about women, protesting for their rights to go topless! Hilarious! But hey, we all have to stand for something! Anyway, the video was scrutinized. Looked at. Looked at again! Then, once all the boobs were properly blurred, we had to make sure you couldn’t see the words “tits” or “titties” on any of the signage!

Okay, I get covering up female body parts for the evening news, but the words too? Come on? We live in a major city! And, if I may borrow a phrase from one of the protesters, “they’re just boobs, everybody’s got ’em!”

So, in the end, we basically did a story about women protesting the right to go topless, without showing any topless women or the protest signs!

Now, on to Syria. That nights story was about the deaths of hundreds of innocent people, women and children, because of a chemical weapons attack outside Damascus. The “alleged” attack was perpetrated by the Syrian government on its own people. Among the video we had available out of Syria, included some showing what looked like the immediate aftermath of the attack. In other words, it showed dead people. They weren’t bloodied and mangled. They were dead! One little boy hung half out a window. His lifeless body, dangling. Perhaps he had gone to the window hoping to catch some fresh air. Only to find certain death.

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I used the video. That was the story. People dying from a chemical weapons attack. I thought, just for a second, I could not use this video. But, THIS is what the story is about. Let them see what’s going on in Syria. One person complained that it was too graphic. Not my boss. Not a fellow producer. But one person did complain.

Are you going to complain because kids and women and innocent people are bing gassed to death in Syria? Are you going to complain because women want to be able to walk around with their shirts off, the same as men? Or are you just going to complain about it when I show you what it looks like on the evening news?

There are more important things going on in the world than me offending your sensibilities!

– J. Ela

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