Monday, September 24, 2007

The Breeze Needs Journalism

James Madison University's student newspaper, The Breeze, recently ran a large expose on student body president Brandon Eickel. He was accused, and pretty damn guilty of, plagiarizing the campaign initiatives that a William and Mary student body president used to get elected. Eickelgate seems to be the first series of articles The Breeze has ran in years that have any gravity, and The Breeze has fully taken advantage of this by blowing things far out of proportion through biased journalism.

Such sensationalism is highlighted by the title of the paper's final article on the issue, "Moving Forward." This title implies there is difficulty moving at this point, as if continuing to move on from Eickel's resignation is difficult for the student body, which is in no way the case. It's hard to move on when people die. 911 deserved a "Moving Forward" article. The Virginia Tech massacre deserved a "Moving Forward" article. A student body president being a stupid ass does not deserve a "Moving Forward" article.

This bias was continuous. It would have been more honest of the Breeze to simply write in large, bold letters "IMPEACH" and move along. However, the writers decided to be a little more crafty than that and chose each word in a bold manner, as if they were for an opinion piece.

If anything, this series of events reminds the world what a joke student government is. What exactly does the SGA do? Organize homecoming? Even senators I've spoken with find their job a bore. Whether Eickel's student body president, Hulk Hogan, or even Hitler, the position draws no power and bares no leverage over anything. The Breeze sure seems to feel otherwise or, at least, enjoys crushing someone's soul.

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