[Fwd: [BRC-ANN] Americans Annoyed By International News]

Carrol Cox cbcox at SPAMilstu.edu
Thu Oct 26 09:38:18 MDT 2000

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [BRC-ANN] Americans Annoyed By International News
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 2000 05:28:40 -0400
From: Art McGee <amcgee at igc.org>
Reply-To: editors at satirewire.com
To: brc-announce at lists.tao.ca


Satire Wire

October 2000


Web's Increasingly Worldly Flavor Threatens Americans' Worldview

PULLMAN, WASH. (SatireWire.com) -- The profusion of
international news available on the Internet has made it
increasingly difficult for the average American to ignore
the rest of the world, a trend researchers say threatens
Americans' long, proud history of disregarding anything
not about them.

"With all the foreign newspapers and multi-cultural sites,
the Internet is making it almost impossible for the average
American to remain uninformed and apathetic," said Samantha
Lessborn of Washington State University, which conducted the
survey. "Americans can still do it. But it now takes effort,
whereas before it was as easy as turning off Tom Brokaw
whenever he said 'In South Korea today...'"

According to survey participant Danny Grisham, a 22-year-
old from Cheyenne, Wyoming, it's not just the plethora of
international news on the Web that is irritating. "Look, I
can get around the news. I just turn off Reuters headlines
in MyYahoo," he said. "But even some of the search sites
like Yahoo and Alta Vista are available in different
languages. Like everybody in the world doesn't speak
English. Yeah, right."

"I can see where it's important if we're, like, beating some
country in the Olympics or bombing them or, ideally, both,"
Grisham added. "But if some Colombian drug lord sinks a
ferry full of Israeli soldiers in North Latvoania or Serbo-
Malaysia, or wherever, and Americans aren't involved, what
has that got to do with me?"

Other respondents said they were appalled, not just by the
availability of non-U.S. news, but by the way important U.S.
news is reported by some of these foreign sites. "Yesterday,
for instance, the St. Louis Rams beat the Atlanta Falcons,
OK, and I go to the London Times site and it's not even
there," said Chip Pernadge of Kansas City, Mo. "Jesus, no
wonder those guys lost the war and had to give Hong Kong
back to Canada."

Sensing a market opportunity, NetNanny, makers of NetNanny
filtering software, announced this week it will introduce
NetNarrow, an English-only product that automatically
filters out content that appears to be international.
Specifically, the software looks for world datelines
and keywords indicative of irrelevant foreign stories,
including "Shiite," "post-Apartheid," and "Bob Geldof."

Survey-taker Craig Barker of Brooklyn, New York, said he
will be among the first to get NetNarrow. "On the Web, there
are so many ways to get news from so many different places,
I could really get some fresh insights into what's going on
in other countries if I wanted to," he said.. "But I don't
want to."

"You'd think these Internet people would know that," Barker
added. "I mean, that's why the Internet is called America
Online, right? It's supposed to be about America."

Copyright (c) 2000, SatireWire. All Rights Reserved.

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