Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Letter to MSN Now

Dear Mr. Mangione,

Having worked as an editor and a journalist it was always of utmost important that my readers and audience were provided with information that is correct and accurate.

It at times behooves me when I see such errors as the one that you made in your caption to the video of the cat and the windshield washers. For the record your caption now reads as follows:

"We all know what they say about cats and curiosity, but fortunately in this case the cat was only startled.A Russian driver's dashboard camera caught this cat checking out the windshield wipers on the hood of his car. Sure, the kitty's a little thrown off when they move for the first time, but this he isn't going to let a thing like that scare him away. Slowly and cautiously, the cat gets as close as he dares to those dastardly windshield wipers. You can probably guess what happens next. The wipers move, and the cat jumps backward, almost seeming to levitate away from the evil wipers. Thankfully, the cat was unhurt. Unless you count his pride after this video went viral."

While it may be wrong for me to comment on your family name as being of Italian origin, I'm certain that you consider yourself a proud American. Though let's just imagine that you are of Italian heritage and you are proud of your family heritage. How would you like it if someone called this flag

the flag of Italy, when you clearly know that this isn't the flag of Italy but this one is:

Sure they look an awful lot a like, in fact two of the colours are the same, no big difference is there?

If you know anything about contemporary history and are sensitive to some of the worst atrocities committed by the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin, and the Russian Empire before him against neighbouring countries, you would probably be a little more sensitive regarding making statements without verifying your statements before putting them down as fact.

There are two very blatant clues as to where this video was shot, they are the flag hanging in the window of the car, and there were the license plates on the car parked in front of the car from which the video was shot. I know we are human and we make mistakes, but online tools abound in order to verify simple facts. How difficult would it have been for you to check the CIA World Factbook for Flags of the World? Even if you thought it was the flag of Russia and went to the aforementioned site would have popped up with the following flag -
along with it's description as being "three equal horizontal bands of white (top), blue, and red". So unless you suffer from protanopia, I can not understand how you could mistakenly identify the following flag seen in the window of that "Russian" driver's car as being a Russian flag. Or  maybe you suffer from dyscalullia as I am certain that practically anyone else who saw this video that went viral, counted two horizontal bands with the following colours like this: 

whose description from the CIA World Factbook reads as such, "two equal horizontal bands of azure (top) and golden yellow represent grain fields under a blue sky".

I together with many others of Ukrainian heritage find it insulting when individuals like yourself who are gainfully employd fail to take your job seriously or employers like yours continue to hire incompetent individuals. Ukraine has been an independent nation now for twenty-two years, and yes it is having some growing pains as new generation has  now been born without the problems of a post-Soviet mentality. I together with all Ukrainians who are conscious  of their nationality, ethnicity and heritage would like to see you publically acknowledge and admit to your mistake, and not simply change it as if no error had ever been made, but stick to some ethical principles of real journalism.

Sincerely and without prejudice,
William (Vasyl) Pawlowsky
Independent Consultant

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