Tuesday, April 21, 2009

ABC Nightline covers proletariat "viral videos" and other dangerous things


ABC Nightline tonight (April 21), with Terry Moran reporting, provided an opening lesson in asymmetry or Ramo’s “unthinkable” with a presentation of the problems caused by “viral videos” on the Internet.

The most notorious was the video of misbehavior of employees soiling food in a North Carolina Dominos. A site called the Consumerist (Marko and Ben Popken) helped publicize the incident, and quickly the video got about a million views. The company CEO put up a rebuttal video that got, well, not so much attention. But the minimum wage employees were not only fired, they have felony arrest warrants. Nevertheless, is this a kind of “class warfare” from the proletariat of low wage workers? Maybe it will result in jail. Think about it, though, standing on your feet, working fast food, getting yelled at – not an easy environment. There’s more story here. What if everybody really had to “pay their dues”?

A similar episode occurred at a Burger King where a minimum wage employee took a bath in a restaurant sink.

But passengers stuck on a tarmac by Jet Blue could make and later post videos, and force future concessions from the airline, including a “passenger’s bill or rights”.

Companies have taken to special public relations consulting companies on “brand online reputation”. One such operation is “The Daily Influence.” John Bell has a blog entry called “Why We Created the Daily Influence” here. And MarkteingVox has a report called “’The Daily Influence’ The Marketer’s Social Media Feed Reader”, here.

It was followed by a report on a parolee making money by giving “advice” to white collar convicts about to enter prison. (No, they didn’t “stay out of the penitentiary”). Don’t snitch. Show respect. Some of the men aren’t too bright, he said. He went over prison vocabulary (“chomo”), which need not be fully covered here. The convict seeking advice was going to do seven years for identity theft.

Moran also reported on the arrest of the “Craigslist killer” in Boston. Craigslist has gotten unfavorable media attention from some in law enforcement (such as a sheriff in Illinois bringing suit) for its alleged facilitation of prostitution and the placing of young women in danger. (Well, that's rather much to say about offering lap dances, just like in the soaps.) However, the idea that the suspect could be a pre-med student with such a clean past (and a “double life”) and commit the acts of a psychopath is indeed shocking. The original motive is said to have been robbery and gambling debts, and defense attorneys insist that the police have the wrong man. The arrest was also covered on Larry King Live tonight on CNN. Remember that on LKL, Judge Judy Sheindlin had said that someone either has this kind of violence in him or he (or she) doesn’t.

Craigslist has a link called “Your safety” here.

Monday night, AC 360 covered the Arizona “strip search” case heard today (April 21) by the Supreme Court. CNN legal expert Jeffrey Toobin said that the courts were tending to come down on letting schools do anything necessary to secure safety for minors (who have no rights, it seems), but from media reports on the Court’s questions today, it doesn’t seem so clear.

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