Our Loathsome Media – Here And Everywhere

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.

DFLMinistryofTruthLARGE

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.

Smoke

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 Googlecacheposted 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

Uncommon Valor

A company of 88 British paratroopers and Irish infantry, outnumbered six to one, hold out for two months without reinforcements

And their near miraculous survival has been described as a latter day Rorke’s Drift, evocative of the 1879 siege in which 140 British soldiers held off a Zulu force of 3,000, later immortalised in the blockbuster film starring Michael Caine.
For 56 days in the autumn of 2006, the men at Musa Qala faced constant fire from fixed machine gun posts and mortars.
Hungry and frequently at the point of exhaustion, they were forced to somehow fend off 360-degree attacks from the Taliban, with little protection beyond a series of low mud walls.
They used up a quarter of all the British Army’s Afghan ammunition for that entire year.

…and are barred from talking about it for ten years.  

Yet while Rorke’s Drift has been immortalised in film and resulted in 11 Victoria Crosses, Musa Qala has been reduced to a controversial footnote in the history of the Afghan conflict.
It does not serve Whitehall well for details of such a poorly resourced mission to be revealed.
Steve Humphries, the award-winning producer who has painstakingly put the jigsaw of pieces together for broadcast a decade later, says: ‘It’s a shocking account of what was supposed to be a peaceful mission to help bring security and stability to the region.

The whole thing is worth a read – and I may see if the BBC streams it next week.

Tradition!

It’s an election-year tradition dating back to the glaciers; the media trots out an evangelical/gun owner/businessman who claims to have been a lifelong Republican, but for whatever reason can never ever vote for Reagan/Dubya/McCain/Trump.

And this year it the…

what?  Hello?

Well, someone at the Virginia paper isn’t getting invited to the Saint Paul Grill at the next media confab.

Question 

Questions on reading the City Pages’ “reporting” on s the departure of Jack Tomczak from KTCN

  1. If a conservative caucasian male orders a pizza in the woods, and no “progressive” media hack is there to hear it, is the conservative still “angry?”
  2. Quick – name any person of color that’s ever worked for the City Pages.  Interns, and freelancers who wrote single articles (generally on race-related issues) don’t count.
  3. On the off-chance that you do find a person of color at the City Pages; be honest.  they went to Macalester, Saint Olaf, Carlton or the U of M journo proglram.  Right?
  4. When you refer to “angry white men on radio”, I’m kind of curious how one includes the dryly funny, constantly-wisecracking Tomczak (and the incisive, cynical Mitch Berg) but not the eternally red-faced Ed Schultz, the toxic Mike Malloy, the just-plain-wierd Nick Coleman, Matt “Who’s He?” McNeil, the incoherent Mike McFeely, or pretty much every other liberal talk show host?

Why, it’s always almost like a chanting point I’m on our unimaginative lefty friends; they referred should talk radio as “angry white male radio” with almost the exact same geometric precision as which they referred to Donald trumps speech as “dark”.

Of course, Tomczak’s departure highlights the elephant in the room for conservative talk radio.  While conservative talk is one of three formats in all of terrestrial radio that still can make money (sports and Spanish radio also make a buck or two), the industry ate its proverbial seed corn over the past 20 years; the local stations in smaller markets where young talk radio talent used to come from mostly went all-network decades ago – a process that accelerated as the bottom fell out of the revenue pool around 2008.   The likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Levin and the rest wiped out a generation of conservative talk radio’s “farm team”.   And as the likes of Rush, Hewitt, Prager and Beck start to age out, who’s going to replace them – whether on the radio or online?

IHeart Radio – formerly Clear Channel, which owns “Twin Cities NewsTalk” – has been a key player in this; they’ve relentlessly pushed their properties to cut costs; with talk stations, that means “go network”.

“Does the business model for any terrestrial radio work?” is a legitimate question – but it’s a moot point if there is nothing to broadcast after Rush retires.

 

Wolf!

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.

BERG:  Huh.

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…

And SCENE

 

This Changes Everything!

Lest you were in doubt about the left’s motives re the 2nd Amendment:

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:

That’d be “education” reporter Beth Hawkins.

I think we can give ’em and education…

Memories And Memory Holes

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.

Mixed Messages

Being a liberal must be confusing.

Exhibit A:  This week’s City Pages.

On the one hand:  Mike Mullen complains that Mendards’ management training program urges the store’s staff to oppose tax hikes.  Because taxes are what makes life worth living, and by no means should Menards expect its management to support the store’s financial health, nosirreebob.

On the other hand:  Corey Zurowski bemoans a non-profit that presumably is no “happy to pay for a Better Minnesota” as it has been extincted by…taxes.

I’d imagine this’d cause some heads to explode, if any of the City Pages’ audience really thought about it.

But I jest.

Sometimes I slay me.

(Via regular commenter Chuck)

Stuck On Full-Auto Stupid

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.

More on this later.

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:

And this?

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.

“Temporary PTSD?”

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.

Open Letter To “Starting a Conversation” With Katie Couric And The Entire News Media

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 Entire American Media

To:  The Media
From:  Mitch Berg, Peasant
Re:  Journalistic “Standards”

Dear Media

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.

Unplanned Obsolescence

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.

 Joe Doakes

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.

The DFL’s Praetorian Guard: Still Praetorian. Still Guarding.

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?

Could be.

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.

Mission accomplished!

Tricia Bishop: Let The Courage Of Your Convictions Guide You

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.

 

Open Letter To Minnesota Public Radio News

To: Minnesota Public Radio News
From:  Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  Food For Thought

MPR,

Isn’t it annoying – to say the least – to have to subject your constitutional freedoms to theatrical, unproductive and degrading scrutiny by bureaucrats, to no useful end?

A few minutes after 8 o’clock Monday morning, [MPR Reporter] Mukhtar Ibrahim started filing through the security line at the federal courthouse in Minneapolis.
It was a big day for Ibrahim, and figured to be a long one: Day one of a high-profile trial for three local men accused of plotting to join ISIS fighters in Syria.

Ibrahim and a reporter for the Star Tribune approached the security screening and offered their bags for clearance by a security officer. The other reporter, who is white, passed right through and headed for the elevator. Ibrahim was stopped, and told he couldn’t go in yet. He would have to wait for the time when the court opened to the public.

If it saves even one life…!

Ibrahim protested, pulling out a press badge showing he works for Minnesota Public Radio. Not good enough, the officer said. Go wait with the rest of the public.

Ibrahim didn’t argue and instead just collected his wallet, keys, and bag, and went to wait with public spectators. The way Ibrahim figures, he shouldn’t have even needed to flash the badge. He’s been covering cases there for a year and a half: These guys should recognize him by now.

People with a long, proven record of not abusing free speech are almost never a danger!

On Monday, once Ibrahim and the rest of the non-journalists observers there for the trial were let in, he simply walked across the courtroom to the area sectioned-off for members of the media and sat down. But the episode continued to eat at him.

“It messed up my mood the whole day,” Ibrahim said. “I was just really frustrated. I didn’t expect this.”

It is frustrating, isn’t it?  Trying to go about your business, doing something you have a Constitutional right to do, and getting badgered by petty bureaucrats?

“I like to stick to the facts,” Ibrahim said, “so I’ll let people make their own conclusions of this.”

The obvious answer; force all reporters to take a background check.

That’ll fix it.

That is all.

Freedom For We But Not For Thee

The press isn’t so crazy about background checks – when it’s their freedom this being walked all over:

For the first time this year, the Secret Service has a hand in credentialing the media; during previous conventions only the Congressional press galleries were in charge of credentialing the media…[Buzzfeed “editor” John Stanton] Stanton cited concerns about the background checks, the lack of a clear appeals process, and the involvement of a third-party subcontractor, urging his fellow journalists to express their concern over the process.“It seems like an unnecessary step and it gives them in my mind a new and troubling precedence to try and exert authority over the press corps,” Stanton said in an interview. “It creates a logistical burden, a troubling precedent for their ability to have almost a de facto say in who is qualified to be a reporter at these events. What if they use this as precedent to extend to other campaign events or any government events?”

Right – but if it saves just one life…

Zuckerberged

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.

I digress:

“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?)

When You’ve Lost “City Pages”…

City Pages turns on Alondra Cano.

Which is not unusual – the City Pages, as always,  loves throwing dirt around.

Perhaps more telling? Other members of Minneapolis is DFL-strangled city Council are turning on Cano:

“She’s always late to meetings. Sometimes she doesn’t show up at all,” says a council member, who spoke to City Pages on the condition of anonymity to maintain their working relationship. “When she does, she hasn’t done her homework and has to wing it. That’s what she was trying to do here. The problem is this is stuff she’s supposed to know. It’s city council 101.”

Cano also didn’t have a printed version of her amendment. For 13 minutes, Cano grasped as she tried to figure out how to add her amendment. In other words, what should have been as simple as adding a couple words became a Laurel and Hardy skit.

“Why don’t you try to walk us through what you would like to do,” suggested colleague Elizabeth Glidden.

“I guess should I just read it?” asked Cano.

” — if you’d like me to assist you a little bit,” Glidden offered.

The problem with Cano isn’t so much that she’s absentminded, or apparently thinks that staying in a Holiday Inn Express actually does make you an expert.

No.  It’s the fact that while she bills herself as a “Third World Feminist”, she tends to act more like a “Third World Banana-Republic Tyrant” in real life.

The City Pages has decayed into “bad high school newspaper” territory in recent years.  The only real interesting question in this fracas is “which Minneapolis DFL ward heeler is using the ‘Pages to undercut Cano, and why?

My guess:  whichever councilor besides Cano that files for Mayor in the next city election.  `