Layers And Layers Of Gatekeepers

NBC’s Chuck Todd on Sen. Grassley’s referral of Julie Swetnick and her “teenage rape gang” story to the FBI:

 

Mr. Todd: Isn’t it your job to figure that out?

Perhaps – radical thought, here – before you run the story?

Open Letter To The Entire US Senate GOP Caucus

To:  Entire US Senate GOP Caucus
From:  Mitch Berg, Cranky Peasant
Re:  A Big Lie

Senators,

Confirm Brett Kavanaugh.  Now.

The allegations against him are of a piece with nearly every leftist narrative today – utter crap.  It’s transparent BS.  Like most lefty memes – “gun violence”, the “War on Women”, the $15 minimum wage and on and on, it is largely a set of chanting points that aren’t intended to convince the intelligent.  They are intended solely to leverage the tribalist ignorance of the masses of entitled would-be elitists who make up Big Left’s voting bloc; they don’t fact check jack; they hear things on the media, and the left’s alt-media, and parrot it like the obedient little schnauzers most of them are.

Confirm Brett Kavanaugh.  Now.

Nothing reinforces a tactic like success.  If Big Left manages to scuttle Kavanaugh, you can expect every single conservative – I almost added “male” to the list, but as we saw with Sarah Palin and MIchele Bachmann, the left hates conservative women even more – will meet the same scabrous, defamatory treatment.

Every one.

Confirm Kavanaugh.  Now.

And if Big Left tries to call out the schnauzers of “The #Resistance”, then yes, let’s meet them – in court if they choose wisely, at the barricades if they don’t.

But confirm Kavanaugh.  Now.

If you fail to do this, you will get brutalized this November.

And you will have it coming.

Confirm Kavanaugh.  Now.

Why Real Americans Hate The Media, Part MCMLXVIII

Last week, it was the NYTijmes sticking Nikki Haley with her Obama-era predecessor’s Marie-Antoinette-like taste in draperies.

This week?  A hatchet job on Trump that, well, didn’t cut it:

“The Trump administration is accusing hundreds, and possibly thousands, of Latinos along the border of using fraudulent birth certificates since they were babies, and it is undertaking a widespread crackdown,” the paper wrote.

But the Post withheld key data, mischaracterized information and lobbed an allegation of fraud at a deceased doctor without speaking to his family members, who complained publicly, HuffPost has found. The piece has been substantially altered three times, including Thursday after multiple queries from…

…from whom?

…HuffPost.

When even the Huffpo has your bias dialed in, you know it’d be time to dial it back a notch.

If you had any other frame of reference, I suppose…

What Do You Want, A Cookie?

Liberals and apologists for Big Media hailed last week’s correction by the NYTimes of their hatchet piece against Nikki Haley as a sign that the mainstream media is, unlike the hack partisian media, “Accountable”.

You may recall the story – which debuted last Friday to yuge headlines:  State Department Spent $52,701 on Curtains for Residence of U.N. Envoy.   Buried seven columns deep was the incidental factoid that the decition to buy the draperies was taking during Obama’s term, long before Governor Haley was nominated.

The Times ran a correction – after the internet blew up in a firestorm of mockery and invective:

An earlier version of this article and headline created an unfair impression about who was responsible for the purchase in question. While Nikki R. Haley is the current ambassador to the United Nations, the decision on leasing the ambassador’s residence and purchasing the curtains was made during the Obama administration, according to current and former officials. The article should not have focused on Ms. Haley, nor should a picture of her have been used. The article and headline have now been edited to reflect those concerns, and the picture has been removed.

And yet it did focus on Haley, and the photo did run, and the entire tone did try to paint Haley as a modern-day Marie Antoinette – until they got caught peddling…

…wait for it…

…fake news.

Journalistic ethics:   the art of rationalizing a lack of ethics after you get caught.

Shot In The Dark: Today’s News Fifteen Years Ago

Victor Davis Hanson notes something that could well become a Berg’s Law:  Republican Presidents are always “literally Hitler” until another Republiican is in office:

Once a Republican president loses an election or retires after two terms — and is followed by a liberal Democrat — his reputation hits bottom. But once a new Republican president enters office, the prior and now-powerless Republican ex-president is airbrushed into a model of statesmanship to contrast the ogre currently in the White House.

Republican presidencies are seen on a downward spiral of always becoming worse — by always redefining formerly despised presidents as at least better than their monstrous successors.

When a conservative president has the power to enact a conservative agenda, he is a media demon compared with his now-saintly Republican predecessors. Of course, in retirement, they have no power to do anything.

Such reinvention insidiously works to keep former Republican presidents quiet.

One wonders what rhetorical wonders await whomever wins the presidency after Trump…

They Know What Matters!

If you were in the Twin Cities from about 1986 to the early nineties – after Channel 11 changed their call letters from WUSA to KARE – you probably remember their ubiquitous, supremely annoying branding campaign:  “we know what matters”.

Remember those?

Not sure KARE expected any but the dimmest viewers to think that the station was, in fact, the final arbiter of actual meaning.  It’s all what they call imaging in the business; “branding” in other businesses.  It all falls under the rubric of marketing; making people think there’s a reason to tune into your station rather than the other news stations in the market.

Everyone does it.

Including the dozens of stations owned by Sinclair.   Same basic idea – only their ads glom onto something that happens to be a hot subject these days – the fact that most Americans trust used care salesmen and meth addicts more than the media.  Here’s the script:

“Hi, I’m(A) ____________, and I’m (B) _________________…

(B) Our greatest responsibility is to serve our Northwest communities. We are extremely proud of the quality, balanced journalism that KOMO News produces.

(A) But we’re concerned about the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country. The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common on social media.

(B) More alarming, some media outlets publish these same fake stories… stories that just aren’t true, without checking facts first.

(A) Unfortunately, some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think’…This is extremely dangerous to a democracy.

(B) At KOMO it’s our responsibility to pursue and report the truth. We understand Truth is neither politically ‘left nor right.’ Our commitment to factual reporting is the foundation of our credibility, now more than ever.

(A) But we are human and sometimes our reporting might fall short. If you believe our coverage is unfair please reach out to us by going to KOMOnews.com and clicking on CONTENT CONCERNS. We value your comments. We will respond back to you.

(B) We work very hard to seek the truth and strive to be fair, balanced and factual… We consider it our honor, our privilege to responsibly deliver the news every day.

(A) Thank you for watching and we appreciate your feedback”

It’s topical, it’s powerful, and it is utterly factual.

And that makes Big Media all skittery:

This is not exactly a scandalous or groundbreaking message, but you’d think otherwise from observing the reactions from certain entertainers and members of the press.

The Washington Post, for example, referred to the video as “stunning,” and added that the anchors, “seemed to parrot one of President Trump’s favorite themes.” Which is kind of funny, because you could also say they’re parroting one of his critics’ favorite themes about fake news being shared around from untrustworthy sources.

Late-night host and on-again-off-again political commentator Jimmy Kimmel, who is himself no stranger to parroting a demagogue’s talking point, said of the Sinclair video, “this is extremely dangerous to our democracy.”

And – this almost reads like parody – the man who took “fake news” mainstream 13 years ago, sounds off on the sanctity of…well, Dan Rather:

Dan Rather, who famously lost his job when he was caught trying to undermine the 2004 U.S. presidential election with forged documents, said: “News anchors looking into camera and reading a script handed down by a corporate overlord, words meant to obscure the truth not elucidate it, isn’t journalism. It’s propaganda. It’s Orwellian. A slippery slope to how despots wrest power, silence dissent, and oppress the masses.”

There are mornings I think “this nation can not possibly split into separate red and blue countries soon enough”.

 

 

The WaPo: Fake News

That story that Trump has instituted a list of “banned words” at the CDC?

The one the WaPo reported on?

You might as well be reading Buzzfeed.

The terms are “fetus,” “transgender,” “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “evidence-based” and “science-based,” according to a story first reported on Friday in The Washington Post.

But Fitzgerald said in a series of tweets on Sunday said [Note to correspondents at PBS:  check your work.  Sic. Ed] there are “no banned words,” while emphasizing the agency’s commitment to data-driven science.

Oh, there was substitution suggested…:

A group of the agency’s policy analysts said senior officials at the CDC informed them about the banned words on Thursday, according to the Post’s report. In some cases, the analysts were reportedly given replacement phrases to use instead.

But in follow-up reporting, The New York Times cited “a few” CDC officials who suggested the move was not meant as an outright ban, but rather, a technique to help secure Republican approval of the 2019 budget by eliminating certain words and phrases.

In other words, it was internal PR.

I know a few reporters. I know they try hard to get facts, even partisan facts – sometimes even partisan facts that jostle their own partisanship – correct.

But people who believe the mainstream legacy media doesn’t operate from systematic political bias are starting to rank down there with moon landing deniers.

Speaking Entitlement To Power

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is at the Saint Paul Farmers Market, buying pickling cucumbers.

He is surprised when MyLissa Silberman – National Public Radio’s Saint Paul bureau correspondent – walks up behind him.

SILBERMAN:  Merg.

BERG:  Oh, hi, MyLyssa.

SILBERMAN: Republicans are trying to destroy the free media.

BERG:  Er, what now?

SILBERMAN:  A Republican legislator is proposing licensing journalists.

The measure would require journalists — defined as anyone writing or broadcasting news for a newspaper, magazine, website or television or radio station — to be registered and fingerprinted by the police and vetted for their “character and reputation.”

BERG:  I think you missed the point.

SILBERMAN:  No – it’s right here:

Committing journalism without a license within 500 feet of school or on a school bus would bump the penalty up from a misdemeanor to a felony. Journalists with felony or domestic battery convictions would be prevented from getting licenses. And unlicensed people would still be able to engage in journalism on property they own or rent.

That’s some serious infringement of a vital constitutional right.

BERG:  Um, yeah.  I heard you report about that.  Problem was, you missed the important part:

State Rep. Jim Lucas, a Republican from the southeastern part of Indiana and a vocal critic of his state’s gun restrictions, drafted the bill by copying language from a state law that requires a license to carry a handgun in public.

With these laws proposed for journalists, Lucas’s measure reads like satire.

SILBERMAN:  What are you talking about?

BERG:  Lucas is satirizing gun control laws; making people get a permit to exercise an essential Constitutional liberty, and putting all sorts of restrictions on it that have not thing to do with either public safety or, in its satirical form, the news.

SILBERMAN: But..Trump!

President Trump, who has demonized the news media as “the enemy of the American People,” alarmed free-speech advocates this week by writing on Twitter that NBC News should be punished by regulators after the organization published a report that he did not like.

BERG: OK.  So?  Trump said things that make the media uncomfortable.  Big f****ng whoop.  He can’t enforce any of it.

SILBERMAN:  No, Merg.  I repeat:

President Trump, who has demonized the news media as “the enemy of the American People,” alarmed free-speech advocates this week by writing on Twitter that NBC News should be punished by regulators after the organization published a report that he did not like.

BERG:  Right.  You already said it.  He demonizes the media.

Thing is, this proposal – it’s not even a bill, yet – isn’t about “oppressing the media”.  It’s about pointing out the double standards of the left and media (pardon the redundancy); hawkish absolutists about the sanctity of the First Amendment, dilatory and fuzzy on the Secone.

SILBERMAN:  But that’s unconstitutional.

BERG:  How so?

SILBERMAN:   Were you paying attention?  He said:

President Trump, who has demonized the news media as “the enemy of the American People,” alarmed free-speech advocates this week by writing on Twitter that NBC News should be punished by regulators after the organization published a report that he did not like.

BERG:   MyLissa, it’s not about the media, per se.  Although the media is certainly focuses on it.  Because it seems that the only civil rights the media really gets exercised about are its own.  First Amendment rights of non-media people?  Second, Fourth, Ninth and Tenth?   Crickets”.

SILBERMAN: LIsten, Merg:  “President Trump, who has demonized the news media as …”

 

But BERG has already disappeared.  

And SCENE.

Word Choice

Rolling Stone, reeling from a decade of decay of the print publication biz and its own growing irrelevance, is on the market; Jann Wenner is looking for a buyer.

The NYTimes notes (emphasis added by me):

But the headwinds buffeting the publishing industry, and some costly strategic missteps, have steadily taken a financial toll on Rolling Stone, and a botched story three years ago about an unproven gang rape at the University of Virginia badly bruised the magazine’s journalistic reputation.

“Botched”.

“Unproven”.

The actual word is “false”.

 

Layers And Layers Of Gatekeepers

If it bleeds – or coughs, stings, goes “boom” or rots your insides out as you hack lungs out – it leads.

This? It’s a picture. Go to the link and see the actual animated graphic.

Animated infographic showing how media hysteria compares to actual deaths caused by the stories they were about.

I’m not saying I don’t trust the American mainstream media.

Because why stop with America?

Fake Minneapolis

Yesterday, we reported on the fishy use of camera angles in presenting Saturday’s Dreamsicle rally in Minneapolis.   While the media narrative was that the events were well-attended, the photographic evidence from the even couldn’t be shot from angles tight enough to show that attendance was sparsse at best…

…and, from the looks of it, mostly not people from North Minneapolis.

We caught the Strib fluffing for Betsy Hodges yesterday.

Today, it’s the Minnpost.  Read their photo caption (before it gets disappeared):

“We’re the MinnPost. We’re funded by the Joyce Foundation, which also funds “Protect” Minnesota, not to mention contributions from Minnesoto’s gun-phobic self-appointed elite. So when we say there were hundreds at a gun grabber rally, but only a couple dozen are ever visible, nearly all of them painfully obviously the saime white, ELCA-hair-coiffed Subaru-driving Whole-Foods-shopping Southside liberals that turn up for every gun-grabber rally, well, who are you going to believe?  Us, or your lying eyes?”

Oh, yeah;  it’s not just photographic history being fluffed:

North Minneapolis resident Nikki McComb said she’d like to see more creative solutions in addressing gun violence. For instance, she said, she helped run a north Minneapolis gun buy-back project last year called Art Is My Weapon, which bought back weapons, no questions asked, and redistributed the disassembled pieces to north side artists for use in their works.

What made the project so effective, McComb said, was that it rid the streets of 250 guns while giving something positive back to the community. “We’re just really trying to use art as a catalyst for change,” she said.

Remember that “Gun Buyback” fiasco?   Read the story.   It got some guns – out of gun owners’ closets and attics, not “the streets”.

Or…workshops:

legal shotgun

Read the writing on the “stock”.

Observers say it was more like single digits; not even a quarter of “250”

The MinnPost:  doing Fake News (at least about guns) before it was called that!

 

Fake Reality

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Hollywood is where they make movies, fictional stories presented for entertainment.  They are carefully scripted, staged and shot to show the best angles and most effective presentation.

Pallywood is the term given to movies made by Palestinians, fictional stories presented to gin up outrage against Israel.  They are carefully scripted, staged and shot to show the best angles and most effective presentation.

And now we have CNN-wood, a fictional story presented by CNN to pretend that ordinary Muslims are against ISIS and Islamic terrorism.  The story was carefully scripted, staged and shot to show the best angles and most effective presentation.

Movies that we know show fake scenes is one thing.  We willingly suspend disbelief to enjoy the story.  Propaganda that we suspect may be fake is something else, but we are suspicious enough not to be taken in.

The news media creating a news story that it knows to be fake, but which it presents as the truth, is a deliberate lie told with intent to deceive.  If we cannot rely on the news to report honestly, how can we distinguish it from propaganda?  And if we can’t distinguish it, why should we give journalists any respect?

(MItch:  we can’t, good question, and as a group we should not; there are honest journos, but the institutions are rotten to the core).

Stories like this validate Trump’s assertion that the major media is fake news.

They make Trump credible.

Joe Doakes

And I think about half of this country knows that.

(And a quarter thinks the media is in the bag for the right.  Yep.  They’re out there somewhere).

Focus

You’d never know it from watching/reading the WaPo, the NYTimes, NPR and the big three – but the American public trusts used car salesmen more than journalists.

Nope – not making it up:  According to an Emerson College, poll, the public trusts the Trump about a quarter more than the mainstream media:

The Trump administration is more trusted than the news media among voters, according to a new Emerson College poll.

The administration is considered truthful by 49 percent of registered voters and untruthful by 48 percent.

But the news media is less trusted than the administration, with 53 percent calling it untruthful and just 39 percent finding it honest.

Question:  what are the other 39% thinking of?

Today’s Facts, A Year Ago: Fake News Edition

The Daily Caller notes that the “database” used by the liberal media to try to create hysteria about mass shootings, overstates the number of such incidents by at least an order of magnitude:

The website “Mass Shooting Tracker” (MST) has been regularly used by news outlets, like The Washington Post and PBS, to claim “mass shootings” occur much more frequently than they actually do. MST uses an alternative definition of “mass shooting” that greatly overstates their frequency relative to the commonly-accepted definition used by law enforcement and academics.

MST openly acknowledges it uses the alternate definition to “punch a hole in the NRA argument.”…MST’s defines a mass shooting as any shooting where four or more people are injured or killed, not counting the shooter. This isn’t an official definition taken from law enforcement or academia, but appears to be originally created by anti-gun activists on Reddit.

Of course, it’s something that Shot In The Dark readers knew well over a year ago.

Fake News, Fake Leadership

Congress’s Democrat brain trust jumped on the news that former National Security Advisor Flynn had tweeted he was a scapegoat.

They were obliging enough to do it on video:

And who can blame ’em?  It was in the NYTimes and the WaPo.

Of course, it was fake news.  When it’s political and it’s in the Times or the WaPo, one should assume it’s fake, and verify.

It didn’t pass the stink test, of course.   When it comes to this administration, it almost never will.