Major papers mimeograph Hillary Clinton press release, call it “reporting“.
Glenn Reynolds refers to today’s media as stenographers for the Democrats.
He’s too charitable. Stenographers have some professional standards.
Major papers mimeograph Hillary Clinton press release, call it “reporting“.
Glenn Reynolds refers to today’s media as stenographers for the Democrats.
He’s too charitable. Stenographers have some professional standards.
Say what you will about Michael Brodkorb (and when I say “say what you will”, I don’t actually mean in the comment section of this post; I realize many of you really really don’t like the guy, and I get it, but that’s also not the subject of this thread; I have heard your objections and noted them)
But like Brodkorb or hate him, there’s little way around the conclusion that he was instrumental in breaking open the Grazzini-Rucki parental kidnapping case, for which Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was sentenced yesterday. He did, in fact, the sort of thing that “journalists” used to see as their goal; telling stories – the whole stories – and comforting the afflicted by righting the wrongs against them.
Which is, of course, not what modern “journalism” is about. Yeah, they have a political outcome in mind, naturally, at least at an institutional level – but for an awful lot of “journalists”, the biggest goal seems to be keeping their status as society’s “high priests of information” intact against the interlopers.
One of the lower high priests for the past thirty years has been Brian Lambert. And he breaks down the “journalists’ conundrum; to hail someone who may have done one of the few notable works of actual journalism in Minnesota in recent years, or to admit that someone who “journos” regard as politically unclean (not so much for his present activities as for his previous life as a no-holds-barred GOP operator, for which there is no statute of limitations) is not only one of them, but better at it than most of them?
Brian Lambert at the MinnPost is like most journalists, only moreso; while most Twin Cities “journalists” merely don’t have any conservatives in their daily social circles, Lambert has had an actual toe in DFL politics (he was hired to be then-Senator Mark Dayton’s press guy right in time for Dayton to leave office).
The circus aspect of the [Grazzini-Rucki] case aside, the episode highlights a question asked more and more frequently as the business of news gathering fragments away from just a few major institutions and into the hands of activist citizens, people with more time and interest in a given story than traditional news organizations.
And that question is (with emphasis added by me)…:
Specifically, if Michael Brodkorb was practicing journalism by reporting steadily on the Grazzini-Rucki matter, is he then in effect a journalist entitled to First Amendment protections and collegial support afforded normal reporters?
In other words, can he go from not just a mere citizen, but a formerly very trayf one, to joining The Club?
And if so, why haven’t more journalists come to his defense in the wake of the restraining order, which among other things, he says, has left him confined to Dakota County this past week and taking calls from police for things he’s written since the order went out?
My guess – and let’s be honest, it’s more than just a guess – is because Brodkorb worked for “the bad guys”, and ate “the good guys'” lunch.
In fact, we get it in almost as many words:
Speaking for himself, Joe Spear, managing editor of the Mankato Free Press and the [Society of Professional Journalists’] current secretary, has some sympathy for Brodkorb’s predicament but agrees with the SPJ’s official decision to wait until after Thursday’s hearing before making a statement on the matter.
“It does appear [Brodkorb] was acting as a journalist, at least in some capacity. Although not in the same capacity as if he was working for the Star Tribune or another organization.
The hypocrisy is thick enough to cut with an axe. Not only is the First Amendment not a toy reserved for people who get a check from a newspaper – it’s a right “of the people”, not “of people who work for the right organization”…
…but this is the same “Society of Professional Journalists” that gave an award to Karl Bremer, an irascible crank whose only real “journalistic” accomplishment was stalking Michele Bachman. The award, by the way, was for…stalking Michele Bachmann.
No, I’m not exaggerating; here’s Lambo’s long-time colleague David Brauer:
Bremer uncovered stories about Bachmann that the mainstream media missed and later got around to reporting, Brauer said.
“You can argue that his pursuit of Michele Bachmann was at times obsessive and excessive, but, really, I think … we need approaches like Karl’s,” Brauer said. “We need people to remind us that journalists can be hellraisers and rabble rousers and opinionated. He added facts to the debate.”
In other words, Karl Bremer did exactly what Michael Brodkorb did – covered something the mainstream media didn’t (or, in the case of stalking Michele Bachmann, couldn’t do while maintaining an illusion of decorum).
But Bremer covered the right people, while Brodkorb largely bedeviled the “journalists’s” drinking buddies and in many cases, let’s be honest, future employers.
We wouldn’t be having this discussion if Brodkorb hadn’t switched his sights to Keith Downey.
Oh, and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki.
SCENE: Mitch BERG is at work in his home office. His phone rings.
POLLSTER: Hello. I’m Kandi, a pollster working on a combined study commissioned by Harvard University, Northeastern University, the Trace and the Guardian, four organizations dedicated to disarming Americans by any means, fair or foul. If you have a few moments to spare, I’d like to ask you some questions about gun ownership.
BERG: Go ahead.
POLLSTER: How many guns do you own?
BERG: How many guns am I going to admit I own to an anonymyous rep for four organizations that are dedicated to ensuring that Americans are disarmed, docile sheep,?
POLLSTER: That’s correct!
BERG: None! Guns are scary!
POLLSTER: So that’s no guns, then?
BERG: As far as you know.
POLLSTER: Wow. It’s amazing how the number of gun owners is dropping, according to our Fact-Based Research ®.
BERG: It is, isn’t it? Absolutely astounding.
SURVEY: We’re also finding three percent of American adults own 50% of the guns!
BERG: Huh. I’m also gonna guess 3% of American adults own 50% of the iPhone 7s, and roughly .000001 of all Americans own 90% of all newspapers.
SURVEY: No comment!
SURVEY: Now, if you did buy a gun, why would you buy one? Are you a hunter, a target shooter, or would you buy a gun due to fear?
BERG: If I did have a gun, which I don’t, as I already told you, it’d be for self-defense.
POLLSTER: OK. “Fear”.
BERG: No, self-defense. A prudent response to the vicissitudes of human nature.
POLLSTER: Right. Fear.
BERG: Nope. A rational, prudent assessment of and response to life’s actual risks, based on data, ability and experience.
POLLSTER: Right. We call that “fear”. It’s just a category.
BERG: Naturally. Hey, someone’s calling…
POLLSTER: I didn’t hear a click…
(But BERG has already hung up the phone).
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
6,500 Minnesota State Fair goers answered a survey. They demand:
Higher gas taxes
Higher sales taxes
More gun control
More college subsidies
More sick leave
Restrooms designated by sex
Talking on cell phones
Legislators setting their own salaries
There are 5 million Minnesotans who did NOT vote in this survey. Do you think their wishes will be considered? Or is the fix already in?
With Minnesota bureaucrats, the fix is always in.
It’s becoming a tradition; every year, the Star Tribune editorial board theatrically laments the “death of civility” in Minnesota politics.
Or, to be accurate, the paper – like most other media outlets in the Twin Cities – laments the fact that occasionally, someone hurts a liberal’s feelings.
Last week, the paper ran an op Ed by a Susan Mallison. And, let’s be honest – the episode she relates was pretty darn uncivil:
I wore my Hillary shirt to the fair. As I stood at the Star Tribune booth at the bottom of the Grandstand ramp, suddenly a man approached me so closely that he was invading my personal space (nose to nose). He sneered at me and snarled, “Do you like my picture?” as he pulled something out of his pocket. I was very frightened by his actions, and felt, at that moment, the picture he was shoving toward my face would be of his penis.
It was a picture of Hillary wearing prison garb. I recognized the picture as the image at the Minnesota Republican Party booth that I had seen earlier. The man had mounted it on cardboard, covered it with plastic wrap and was carrying it around in his pocket. Presumably he was looking for people wearing Hillary shirts in order to threaten them.
That’s a little scary – and, let’s be honest, no different than experiences I have had from the other side. The Strib will never, ever, ever take the faintest shard of interest in any of those, naturally.
But when Susan Mallison cries out “who killed civility”, the response is “after all, Sue, it was you”:
I intend to proudly continue to wear both my Hillary T-shirt and the button that I bought at the DFL booth at the fair. The button says, “Love Trumps Hate.”
The purple faced, outraged caricatures like those that Ms. Mallison relates to us are the comic book version of the real incivility in this state, and in our society: The lumpen, plush bottom, ELCA-coiffed, Volvo driving, Garrison Keillor upsucking, Whole Foods shopping, free range alpaca wearing plush bottomed yoohoos who pin on their DFL issued flair and carry the message that “either you are with us, with the DFL, with Herself, or you are full of hate”.
These are the people who have debased the term “hate” unto meaninglessness.
In your own way, Susan Mallison, you are no better.
Over the past couple of weeks, conservatives have noted the media’s toxic double-standard in reporting two different natural disasters; their hyperbolic and sensationalistic coverage of Hurricane Katrina, which was as saturated as the sodden delta soil…
…versus their virtual ban on coverage of the catastrophic rain storms that struck Cajun country over the past few weeks.
We’ll come back to that.
Brown-Nosing Sycophants: On The Media is an American Public Media is a NPR show on, well, the media – in the same sense that an infomercial about Pawn America is an investigation of the ethics of the short-term credit industry.
The show is produced and narrated by two putatively-ink-stained wretches, Bob Garfield and Brooke Gladstone, who report on, well, the media with a fervor that indicates they really really really don’t want to get disinvited from any of New York’s journo hangouts; within the world of journalism, the program comforts the comfortable and afflicts the afflicted. “OTM” is the figurative exclamation point on the end of “NPR has a liberal bias!”
And they addressed the disparity in their most recent broadcast.
Profiles In Courage: Oh, I slay me. The hell they did.
No, they didn’t “address” the disparity in coverage. What? Over a bunch of cajuns?
What they did – you can listen for yourself, starting around 20 minutes into the audio stream – was claim “the dog ate the entire American mainstream media’s homework.
The transcript isn’t up yet – but the gist of the story is this:
Of course, it’s baked wind. Most of what passes for “news” gets covered with no “buildup” or notice at all; car crashes, mass shootings, planes crashing into skyscrapers? Somehow the media managed to get people onto the scene and try something that passes for “journalism” (I’ll be charitable) these days.
Even without a “buildup”, there were a few unmistakeable signs that a highly-trained and experienced “journalist” might have been able to spot; an entire part of an entire state completely shut down and flooded out of business might be one’s first clue.
But I suspect the “lack of buildup” for any disaster story started in January 2009.
This blog has always been dedicated to the idea that the mainstream media is a PR firm for the Democrat party nationally, and the DFL in Minnesota.
While there are capable, honest reporters in the Twin Cities and nationally who do make a level effort to cover the news rather than paint Democrat toenails and safeguard their dinner reservations at Brothers, it’s this blog’s considered opinion that the American media has long since ceased being a “check and balance” on anyone but conservatives and the GOP.
It’s been much in the news this past week.
Michael Goodwin at the NYPost notes the extent to which the mainstream media has become, without no hyperbole whatsoever, an arm of Hillary Clinton’s campaign:
A recent article by its media reporter, Jim Rutenberg, whom I know and like, began this way: “If you’re a working journalist and you believe that Donald J. Trump is a demagogue playing to the nation’s worst racist and nationalistic tendencies, that he cozies up to anti-American dictators and that he would be dangerous with control of the United States nuclear codes, how the heck are you supposed to cover him?”
Whoa, Nellie. The clear assumption is that many reporters see Trump that way, and it is noteworthy that no similar question is raised about Clinton, whose scandals are deserving only of “scrutiny.” Rutenberg approvingly cites a leftist journalist who calls one candidate “normal” and the other “abnormal.”
Clinton is hardly “normal” to the 68 percent of Americans who find her dishonest and untrustworthy, though apparently not a single one of those people writes for the Times. Statistically, that makes the Times “abnormal.”
Also, you don’t need to be a detective to hear echoes in that first paragraph of Clinton speeches and ads, including those featured prominently on the Times’ Web site. In effect, the paper has seamlessly adopted Clinton’s view as its own, then tries to justify its coverage.
But that’s a bit of bias that has long, deep roots; most of the American media seemed eager to finish for Bill Clinton the job Monica Lewinski started.
Meanwhile, locally, at a Donald Trump rally last week, “protesters” – pro-Democrat agitators – repeatedly attacked, hit and spat on people attending a Donald Trump meeting in Minneapolis. You‘d never know if from most of the media, as John Gilmore reports:
But not even I was prepared for what followed: a sustained assault on citizens attempting to leave that venue while Minneapolis police stood by, for the most part. Some performed admirably and to them much credit should be given. Yet it wasn’t nearly enough.
There were first hand reports of people being spat upon, physically assaulted and some who had their property stolen. There were even reports of people themselves being spray painted. Many of those committing the assaults on white people were identified as black, but certainly not exclusively.
Minneapolis has become a lawless city, on the verge of becoming yet another Third World City, and last Friday night proved it beyond doubt. Those who have a different political view from the reigning majority were persecuted for simply exercising their constitutional right of assembly.
Twin Cities media reporting of the night’s events proved a mixed bag. There is no doubt that had the political polarities been reversed the coverage would have been far more extensive, breathless and condemnatory. But because the victims were republicans, much was glossed over. Which is to say, the violence.
Minnesota media should be ashamed of itself but it doesn’t really possess the capacity.
Read the whole thing.
For the sake of the city’s good, conscientious reporters, I do hope there’s some sort of future out there in writing actual news.
That future is not with the current legacy news media.
First we ignore people who consider Politifact unbiased and authoritative.
Then we mock people who consider Politifact unbiased and authoritative.
Then we win.
Gandhi was wrong. There is no “attack” phase needed.
Last week’s big Minnesota political news was the Ilhan Omar defeating 2343-term representative Phyllis Kahn in the DFL primary (the election that actually matters in that benighted part of Minneapolis, unfortunately). The Minneapolis media turned cartwheels over The First Somali Woman nominee.
Scott Johnson found a story behind the story at Powerline:
A reader has written us to point out that the Somali website Somalispot[since deleted, but visible on Googlecache] posted information last week suggesting Omar’s involvement in marriage and immigration fraud. The post notes that Omar married Ahmed Hirsi in 2002. Hirsi is the father of Omar’s three children. Omar is depicted with Hirsi and their children on Omar’s campaign website here.
The post further notes that Omar married her brother Ahmed Nur Said Elmi in 2009, implying that the latter marriage assisted his entry into the United States. Her brother was a British citizen. “As soon as Ilhan Omar married him,” the post continues, “he started university at her [a]lma mater North Dakota State University where he graduated in 2012. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Minneapolis where he was living in a public housing complex and was later evicted. He then returned to the United Kingdom where he now lives.”
Let me note here that Omar’s marriage to her brother, if it occurred in fact, is illegal under Minnesota law. I believe it would be void ab initio, as though it never occurred. If it occurred, I infer that it must have taken place for dishonest purposes.
Seems like mindless gossip? Perhaps even unfounded?
Well, maybe – but wait’ll you read the response from Noor’s spokesdroid.
If only we had some institution – perhaps with printing presses and transmitters, staffed with people who see themselves as high priests of information – that weren’t terrified of never getting to do lunch at the Saint Paul Grill to look into these sorts fo things
SCENE: Mitch BERG steps out of the rest room at City Hall as Avery LIBRELLE steps around the corner.
Distracted, visibly in distress, LIBRELLE walks into BERG.
BERG: (Stepping back) Oh … (a little nonplussed, as LIBRELLE doesn’t react, lost in anxiety)…er, sorry…?
LIBRELLE: Oh, Merg. Right. I’m just worried about this country.
BERG: After eight years of Obama, join the club.
LIBRELLE: Har di har. No, serious. The GOP has nominated a candidate who is the worst human being in the world. A genuine Nazi. A man who is the biggest racist in American politics, and who is so clogged with hate that he can barely sit down.
BERG: Is that so?
LIBRELLE: Yes. And yet, his poll numbers remain a challenge to Herself.
BERG: Huh. Why do you suppose that is?
LIBRELLE: The American people have lost their ability to reason.
LIBRELLE: We’re pointing out what a horrible human he is, and the American people are ignoring it.
BERG: Huh. What – again?
LIBRELLE: (Nonplussed) What do you mean by that?
BERG: What did you all say about Ronald Reagan?
LIBRELLE: That his presidency would lead to a nuclear war, that he was a racist, that he was going to draft all teenagers to go to war for Exxon, that he was a stooge of big business, that he wanted to create a nuclear armageddon to enhance his power…
BERG: Huh. And Bush Senior?
LIBRELLE: That he was a stooge of Big Oil, that he’d inherited his father’s Nazi sympathies, that he was a warmonger…
BERG: Right. And Dubya?
LIBRELLE: That he was a bigger Nazi than Hitler, than he was a stooge of big oil, that he was a racist, than he hated children, that he’d never relinquish power, that he was stupid, that he wanted a nuclear war to hasten his fundamentalist faith’s version of Armageddon…
BERG: None of which turned out to be true.
LIBRELLE: Er…it’s all true!
BERG: No, I mean, none of the claims turned out to be factual. And yet every time a Republican runs for office, you get the same chatter.
LIBRELLE: What do you mean?
BERG: How would you describe Republican Senate candidate Al Franken?
LIBRELLE: He’s a racist and a Nazi and a Klansman who’d send our children to war for Big Oil because he’s in the pocket of the Koch brothers and ALEC and the NRA, he hates children and would drive elderly widows into the street to satisfy Big Power, that he wants to launch a war to satisfy his toxic fundamentalist Christianity..,
BERG: Right. Al Franken is a Democrat, a secular Jew. But once I said “Republican”, you switched to autopilot . Just the way the media does.
This is the eventual result of decades of liberal media bias; it’s like the Little Boy who Cried Wolf; people have tuned out the propaganda, just in time for you to face a candidate who actually is troublesome – not to mention a Democrat.
LIBRELLE: (Stands, stunned)
BERG: See ya, Avery.
LIBRELLE: (Slowly turns) But…But…
Lest you were in doubt about the left’s motives re the 2nd Amendment:
I am coming for your guns. That’s it. I’m figuring out away to come for them.
— Andrew Minck (@AndrewMinck) July 18, 2016
Watch out – it’s Andrew Minck, “Educator, News Connoisseur, Marathoner, MinnPost News Quizmaster”, on Twitter.
Promptly chirping in to support Minck was MnPost “journalist” Beth Hawkins:
@AndrewMinck So in. Sign me up.
— Beth Hawkins (@beth_hawkins) July 18, 2016
That’d be “education” reporter Beth Hawkins.
I think we can give ’em and education…
Do you remember when the left and mainstream media tried to tie Sarah Palin to Jared Loughner’s spree killing in Tuscon, which wounded Gabby Gifford (and killed a bunch of people the media don’t care about) because she’d completely innocently used “crosshairs” on a map?
Of course you do.
Do you remember when Al Sharpton told people to kill cops in as many words?
Speaking of memory holes: it’s been five days since the slaughter in Dallas. By this point in most recent mass-killings, we has a lot of detail about the killers; Holmes, Mateen, Loughner, Lanza, Harris and Klebold, Cho, even Hassan. And we’d had detailed dissections of the firearms they’d used – because those were the real enemies, natch.
And yet a cursory examination shows very little interest, it seems, in Micah Jackson’s past, and very little scrutiny about his SKS rifle.
We don’t know the details, and that means you or me. But if someone wanted to bet me $100 that the silence was because Jackson was a known “progressive” activist, and the SKS was an utterly unmodified, thoroughly plain-jane rifle, I wouldn’t take the bet.
One of the most frustrating things about being a Second Amendment supporter is that, for the most part, the parts of the media that aren’t misinformed are, actively or passively, spreading disinformation.
Not the worst example is this column yesterday from the left-leaning New York Daily News.
Well, no. It may be one for the bad-gun-grabber-article hall of fame. An epic.
But let’s take a step back.
Whenever I – like a lot of my fellow Real Americans in the Second Amendment movement – hear about another wave of gun control hysteria, I silently steel myself for another encounter with the inanity of Every Crusading Anti-Gun Media Figure and their invincible, comical ignorance about the subject.
And NYDN writer Gersh Kuntzman (what else?) delivered:
It feels like a bazooka — and sounds like a cannon.
One day after 49 people were killed in the Orlando shooting, I traveled to Philadelphia to better understand the firepower of military-style assault weapons and, hopefully, explain their appeal to gun lovers.
But mostly, I was just terrified.
I’ll save you some time; the writer went to Philadelphia to find the single anti-gun gun shop owner in the entire US, an obnoxious European guy who may be the one gun store owner in the US who can be made to come across sympathetically to a New York liberal audience.
(Tangent: Kuntzman tittered approvingly over this bit: “He also said he never sells a gun to someone who “looks a little bit funny,” and he claimed he had prevented many guns from getting into the wrong hands because the would-be purchaser “asked stupid questions…”. So – not selling products to people he doesn’t believe in selling products to? Huh. What a concept).
Anyway – remember what I said above about growing impatient with antis who clearly know nothing about the subject? I’ve added emphasis:
Many gun shops turned down our request to fire and discuss the AR-15, a style of tactical machine gun popular with mass killers such as San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook and Orlando terrorist Omar Mateen.
It’s not a machine gun. It’s not a machine gun. It’s not a machine gun. Not if you’re a civilian. Again – it’s not a machine gun.
And popularity with psychos and terrorists aside, it’s also the most popular single civilian long arm in American history. Over five million are in circulation. But then most of you know that.
Then came the big payoff. Kuntzman took his turn at the firing line:
I’ve shot pistols before, but never something like an AR-15. Squeeze lightly on the trigger and the resulting explosion of firepower is humbling and deafening (even with ear protection).
The video is hard to find – but judging from the photo…
…it might help if Kuntzman wasn’t holding the stock with his teeth.
The recoil bruised my shoulder. The brass shell casings disoriented me as they flew past my face. The smell of sulfur and destruction made me sick.
I’ve shot several ARs. They kick like BB guns.
How light is the kick? Light enough for a seven year old girl to shoot comfortably and accurately:
The explosions — loud like a bomb — gave me a temporary case of PTSD. For at least an hour after firing the gun just a few times, I was anxious and irritable.
What do you say, veterans?
Even in semi-automatic mode, it is very simple to squeeze off two dozen rounds before you even know what has happened. In fully automatic mode, it doesn’t take any imagination to see dozens of bodies falling in front of your barrel.
But it does take imagination, Gersh, because your AR15 didn’t have it.
So yet again – we who care about this nation’s Second Amendment human rights are being lectured by the utterly ignorant.
Same as it ever was.
To: Katie Couric and the entire American news media
From: Mitch Berg, peasant
Re: Starting a Conversation
Ms Couric et al,
As we discussed last week, you got busted doing something that, in my day (and yours) would have gotten any young reporter unceremoniously fired; you edited a story specifically to invert the history, record and fact in an interview with a group of Virginia gun rights activists, expressly to mislead the public and drive your chosen narrative.
As Jonah Goldberg notes (in a piece on the left’s new conceit, that any kind of fabulism is OK as long as you’re “starting a conversation”):
“I can understand the objection of people who did have an issue about it,” Couric said. (The “it” here is the deliberate falsifying of the truth). “Having said that, I think we have to focus on the big issue of gun violence. It was my hope that, when I approached this topic, that this would be a conversation-starter.”
Here is the “conversation” about guns – the entire conversation: as law enforcement targets gun criminals, gun crime is dropping, even as the number of guns in the hands of the law-abiding skyrockets. The only exception is in inner cities, where it’s not the law-abiding citizens doing the shooting. Discuss.
There. There’s your conversation.
But I have a better conversation. Let’s talk about when the media became the PR wing of the America left. And that’s fine, to a point – most of us have come to except that, to one point or another, at least considering it part of America’s intellectual background noise.
And that’s fine, to a point – most of us have come to accept that, to one degree or another; it’s part of America’s intellectual background noise.
So let’s “converse” about this:
When Bernie Maddoff sells phony investments, and bilks people of their life’s savings, it’s a huge scandal – justifiably so – and righteous outrage ensues. The entire faith in the investment industry – a vitally important one – took a hit.
When Enron falsifies its records, people like you, the media, jump up-and-down and hoot and holler – and very justifiably so. The lying utterly guts the credibility that was the foundation of that industry. So far so good?
When Wall Street misleads the public, and itself, about what it’s actually investing in, causing a collapse of the entire housing market, that’s a breach of “trust” (or market discipline) that caused huge problems. Ja?
When the police cover up wrongdoing to protect one of their own from the consequences of their wrongdoing, it’s a big story – one that cuts to the foundation of our trust in government, especially law enforcement. Right?
So how is what Katie Couric did any different?
And more importantly, how is the entire news media’s failure (along with their cheerleaders) to rise up and condemn Couric’s perfidy as the blot on whatever trust for the media might still exist any different?
Other than saying you really don’t care anymore?
That is all.
To: The Media
From: Mitch Berg, Peasant
Re: Journalistic “Standards”
Katie Couric lied to the viewing public by maliciously editing her piece on “Gun Violence” to show a group of human rights activists as speechless when asked a fairly elementary question about gun control (when, in fact, they had several minutes of on-point, articulate response).
Kevin Williamson – a long-time newspaperman (who presumably knows the secret handshake you journalists have that determines whether you’ll take their criticism seriously or not) notes that…:
This kind of thing is the stock-in-trade of faux journalists such as Jon Stewart and crude propagandists such as Michael Moore, but Katie Couric is, in theory, something else: an actual journalist. There are things we permit among comedians that we do not permit among journalists: I doubt very much that every anecdote Richard Pryor ever shared actually happened.
I believe I’ve heard a journo or two whimpering about “Censorship”. (“On The Media”, NPR’s
media criticism program Media Über Alles-fest, hasn’t yet, but I’m sure they will – if they deign to address the story at all)
The usual idiots are rallying to Couric’s defense for the usual reason, which has absolutely nothing to do with principle and everything to do with a deep disinclination to allow anything to happen that might be considered a victory for conservative critics of the mainstream media. This is not a First Amendment question: No one is arguing that this film should be censored, the way films critical of Hillary Rodham Clinton were subject to government censorship before Citizens United; rather, this is a straightforward question about journalistic standards and Yahoo’s adherence to or wanton abandonment of them. Journalists are not supposed to tell lies to their audiences.
Fearless prediction: “Serious” journalists will throw their hands up in the air, declare “it’s the new media, what are you gonna do?” and let it aaaaaaaall slide.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Star Tribune playing the race card for Somali terrorists. The reporter asks why there are no Blacks on the jury. The reporter is stuck in a mental rut, asking the wrong question.
Americans are entitled to a trial by a jury of their peers, but what does that mean? “Black” in the context of American racial relations means “descendant of African slaves.” Those Blacks are supposedly entitled to special privileges as compensation for centuries of slavery and Jim Crow which included all-white juries convicting Blacks solely on the basis of race. The courts have elaborate procedures to protect Black defendants’ right to a fair trial.
“Black” in this context does not mean “anybody whose skin color is darker than mine.” Somali immigrants were never slaves in America, they never suffered under Jim Crow, they’re not entitled to special privileges as redress. American Blacks might look upon Somali refugees as brothers-in-arms because they’re all struggling against The White Man; I sincerely doubt that Somali refugees look upon American Blacks as their peers.
This trial is not about race, it’s about religion. It’s not about Black, it’s about Islam. Scott Johnson nails it. But the Star Tribune reporter – terrified of mentioning Islam in an unfavorable light and stuck with Approved Victim categories established in the 1960’s – misses the point.
The Strib editorial board cut its teeth in the sixties and seventies.
The world needs some eighties people running things.
Because I don’t think the 2000s and 2010s people are going to be much of an improvement.
What do the headlines say about the legislative session?
The Strib: the session “imploded“.
The PiPress: It “collapsed“.
MPR: It “melted down“.
All fairly passive verbs; imploding, collapsing and melting down are all actions without authors.
It’d be much more accurate to say the session was killed. By the DFL. For political reasons.
Choo Choo Trains Are The New “Shutdown”: As of yesterday, the Legislature had reached an agreement on a Bonding Bill. The bill had been through conference committee. The DFL Senate and GOP House had agreed to a bill without funding the Southwest Light Rail Transit line – a big GOP promise. The bill – as bills coming out of Conference Committee are supposed to be – was ready for the governor’s signature. It was ready to be passed with no further fanfare, assuming both sides went at it in good faith, of course).
As always, the DFL did not.
Two Minute Drill: With five, count ’em, five, count ’em again, five minutes left in the session, the DFL introduced an amendment reintroducing Southwest Light Rail into the Bonding Bill.
Could this be because the DFL really likes their trains, and really really wants to see the choo choo built to Eden Prairie?
More likely? As DFL legislative candidates are starting to fan out across the state, trying to woo voters in a year when they have a Presidential option not much more inspiring than Ole Savior, the DFL wanted to induce a crisis – the death of the Bonding Bill, funding one of this state’s precious few legitimate jobs – and turn around and blame it on the GOP.
So the Transportation Bill didn’t “implode”, “melt down” or “collapse”. It was given a poison pill. It was blown up. It was shot in the face.
Preparing The Battlefield: But by taking a murder and calling it an accident, the media gives the DFL, and their propaganda arm Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a wide-open playing field on which to romp and play with public perception of the issue.
Baltimore Sun “reporter” Tricia Bishop, on her way to admitting she worries less about criminals than law-abiding gun owners (in Baltimore. I’ll let that bit of knot-headedness sink in), says:
And so, as President Barack Obama announced plans this week to tighten background checks for gun buyers and increase gun tracking and research, I thought, that’s all well and good, but how about adding something immediately useful: a gun owner registry available to the public online — something like those for sex offenders. I’m not equating gun owners with predatory perverts, but the model is helpful here; I want a searchable database I can consult to find out whether my kid can have a play date at your house.
Ms. Bishop: First, how about we have a database of people who don’t like guns. I mean, you’re the ones trying to shave away at the edges of a constitutional right – isn’t the burden of, well, being burdened, on you?
Why not let’s try this: we put in in a public database that says:
I, TRICIA BISHOP, AM UNARMED AS A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE!
And maybe post one of these in your yard:
You do that for a couple years, we can talk.
Sources tell Gizmodo that Facebook routinely gundecked “conservative” news – spiking it from the “trending” news section, even if it was legitimately, y’know, trending (and buffing up stories that management wanted pushed):
These new allegations emerged after Gizmodo last week revealed details about the inner workings of Facebook’s trending news team—a small group of young journalists, primarily educated at Ivy League or private East Coast universities, who curate the “trending” module on the upper-right-hand corner of the site.
Tangential note: you’re a young “journalist” with an Ivy-League degree. You’re working as a “curator” for Facebook.
Contact me. I’ll refer you to a good suicide hotline. You’re gonna need it sooner than later.
“Depending on who was on shift, things would be blacklisted or trending,” said the former curator. This individual asked to remain anonymous, citing fear of retribution from the company. The former curator is politically conservative, one of a very small handful of curators with such views on the trending team. “I’d come on shift and I’d discover that CPAC or Mitt Romney or Glenn Beck or popular conservative topics wouldn’t be trending because either the curator didn’t recognize the news topic or it was like they had a bias against Ted Cruz.”
It’s really no different than any newspaper. Just big and financially successful.
The former curator was so troubled by the omissions that they kept a running log of them at the time; this individual provided the notes to Gizmodo. Among the deep-sixed or suppressed topics on the list: former IRS official Lois Lerner, who was accused by Republicans of inappropriately scrutinizing conservative groups; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; popular conservative news aggregator the Drudge Report; Chris Kyle, the former Navy SEAL who was murdered in 2013; and former Fox News contributor Steven Crowder. “I believe it had a chilling effect on conservative news,” the former curator said.
It does bespeak a certain insecurity, doesn’t it?
(It also introduces a conundrum: which do more hope to see crash and burn? Facebook or Twitter?)
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
A buddy had an insight why Hillary won’t be indicted, won’t even be seriously questioned, about her ever-shifting lies:
The standard has shifted. Washington’s “I cannot tell a lie” was replaced by Hitler’s The Big Lie which was replaced by Bill Clinton’s The Great Lie.
The Great Lie does not mean the person is a convincing liar. That went out the window with Slick Willie. We all knew he was lying, but the media decided that as long as his lies were told in furtherance of the Progressive Agenda, the media would let them ride. This is the mindset of reporters like Nina Burleigh, who graphically described how she would reward President Clinton for keeping abortion legal. That attitude brought us the era of The Great Lie, the lie that is, in modern parlance, “too big to fail.”
The frustration of Democrats and their wholly-owned subsidiary, the mainstream media, is the GOP hasn’t accepted the new standard. The GOP still thinks it’s fair to indict Hillary for lying about her crimes. Hillary’s lies are, of course, brazen and transparent. But the objective that the lies are protecting – electing her President – is too important for the media to call out the lies, as that might jeopardize attainment of the objective.
The stakes are too high to hold Hillary to the truth because the truth would derail the process of crowning her to lead us into the abyss.
The Great Lie has become the accepted method for every Progressive issue. Universal free medicine is too important to allow truth to interfere with the dream, so The Great Lie that Obama-care is working must be accepted without question. Climate change is too important to be clouded with truth so The Great Lie must prevail even if we have to silence scientists and distort the data to fit the theory. Gun control, Muslim terror, campus rape, the methodology is always the same.
There is an added incentive for the mainstream media to endear themselves of The Great Lie: it frees them from the shackles of ethics, truth, due diligence, etc. If the issue is sufficiently important in the Progressive Agenda, then no outdated journalistic ethos need slow down the machinery of printing garbage for the masses. It’s a much more efficient than the old methods of sourcing facts, confirming identities and access of the informants or suppliers of facts, editorial oversight to check for balance and fairness. The only people who suffer are those who care about the truth.
The idea of “journalistic ethos” is to news consumers (and journo students) what Santa Claus is for children.
The Star/Tribune’s editorial board is a group of people, apparently in their sixties and seventies, who seem to spend their days pining away for a time when the media could say anything they want without fear of being caught out in public by people who know better.
Those days are long gone. Only the editorial board doesn’t seem to know it, or recognize it, as shown in last week’s editorial calling for, at the least, hearings on a “universal background check” bill.
And like everyone on the institutional left, they participate – with all the grace of a German jazz band – in the left’s only real tactic on the issue of gun control; Lie First, Lie Always.
Why, it’s almost as if Heather Martens, in addition to being a State Representative, is a Strib editor…
SCENE: At the offices of Kornbluth Chadwick Communications – a big Democrat-leaning PR firm in Boston. A tastefully spare room furnished in the Danish style, with a full-height window overlooking downtown Boston, includes a number of people in just-ahead-of-the-fashion-curve PR-wear.
Hanna EPSTEIN-FAEGER, director of the firm’s political communications practice, sits at the head of a glass table and calls the meeting to order.
EPSTEIN-FAEGER: We’re here to find out what went wrong with the independent expenditure ad we did against Ted Cruz. Ruth?
Ruth LOWENSTEIN-NEDZVINSKI, an assistant project manager, picks up a sleek, buttonless remote, and presses “play”
EPSTEIN-FAEGER: I think we can all agree it was brilliant. Joshua?
Joshua-Micah KORN-FLEEBER, the ad’s producer – a slight man in a lumberjack beard wearing a “Feel The Bern” t-shirt under his hemp sports jacket, speaks up.
KORN-FLEEBER: That’s correct, Hanna. The ad includes all the things that we believe that the vast majority of voters respond to: belief in the need to reinterpret the Constitution, the throbbing desire throughout the country to repeal the Second Amendment and the traditional view of marriage and remove all reference to faith from public life – and, of course, Robert Reich himself.
LOWENSTEIN-NEDSVINSKI: Americans love Robert Reich!\
(Entire table nods assent)
EPSTEIN-FAEGER: And yet the focus groups, one after the other, showed that representative voters from west of the Hudson River and east of the Sierra Madre unanimously thought it was an ad for Ted Cruz?
KORN-FLEEBER: I’m sorry. I just don’t get it.
LOWESNSTEIN-NEDSVINSKI: One quote from one focus group said “this is a fiendish parody of the east-coast liberal echo chamber”.
EPSTEIN-FAEGER: The what?
LOWENSTEIN-NEDSVINSKI: No idea.
EPSTAIN-FAEGER: So – middle-Americans unanimously thought it was a pro-Cruz ad, and some thought it was a parody of how the left thinks?
EPSTEIN-FAEGER: I say it’s a blip in the data. Let’s run it!
(Everyone nods and gathers their notebooks, phones and tablets and moves to their next meeting)
Asher Edelman – the “inspiration” behind Oliver Stone’s character “Gordon Gecko”, played by Michael Douglas in the move Wall Streetˆ…
Of course he is.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
In the mainstream media, everybody gets their news from Associated Press, farmed out to every newspaper, radio and television station. If AP doesn’t report it, you don’t see it.
Fortunately, there’s the internet. You can Google anything and come up with suggested websites taking you right to the truth.
Well, for some things you can. Google tweaks its search algorithm to omit objectionable content, being content they don’t want you to see.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss; we won’t get fooled again?
It’s gone way past “conspiracy theories”.