Major kudos to this Irish TV reporter for getting through this live report…
Major kudos to this Irish TV reporter for getting through this live report…
Winning the battle for the English Language is always a challenge when you’re a conservative. The left understands, and wages without mercy, the war for the language.
And for the most part, the media reflects the left’s view of how language portrays things.
So it’s been interesting watching the media coverage of the raft of Gun Rights bills. In a Twin Cities media that will refers to using ones’ carry permit as “packing heat” so frequently it’s beyond satirizable, there’ve been some improvements.
This past few weeks, a bill that would allow Minnesotans to join 39 other states in owning mufflers for their guns has been advancing though committee.
And it’s been interesting reading the headlines that local news organizations having been using for the story (in this case taken from online coverage); do they refer to gun mufflers with techical accuracy as “suppressors”, or with conspiratorial, theatrical scaremongering as “silencers”.
Here are some examples, with emphasis added by me:
So minor kudos to the Twin Cities media; at least as re the very basics of language, you’re coming around ever so slightly.
Now, if we could do something about using the term “packing heat”, like, ever…
Lorne Michaels is reputedly about to open a Chinese-cast version of Saturday Night Live in the world’s largest country.
Hard to believe it’s been 20 years since SNL’s been funny.
And he won’t need to change the show’s political biases one bit.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
NYT concedes Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction after all. But it wasn’t yellowcake uranium, so Bush still lied. So there. Neener, neener.
debating the media is a little bit like arguing with an overly precocious eighth grader.
Don’t forget – tonight is “A Meal With Mike”, a chance to get together with AM1280 mid-morning guy Mike Gallagher.
Tickets are $90; sales end at 5PM sharp.
Here are the details; hope you can make it! Brad Carlson and I will both be there; hope you can be too!
…people are supposed to prefer the mainstream media over the alternative media is that their “layers and layers of gatekeepers” ensure that the public gets the news that really, really matters.
This is only news because of government-run media.
It’s been happening in the US for half a decade.
Yet another advantage of the free market.
There are many reasons to read Kevin Williamson’s piece about the departure of Jon Stewart from The Daily Show. It may be the best single thing I’ve read about Stewart.
But I’ll leave you with this bit:
There are funny conservatives and funny liberals, but they tend to be amusing in different ways, which is why liberal efforts to replicate Rush Limbaugh’s success have failed in the same way as conservative efforts to replicate Jon Stewart’s. It takes a left-wing sensibility to have Lenny Bruce’s career; it takes a right-wing sensibility to have Evelyn Waugh’s.
And it takes a bottomless well of stupidity to rely on either mode of humor for a meaningful map of the world.
And fortunately for Stewart, that bottomless well is everywhere these days.
Jon Stewart is leaving the Daily Show.
Wherever shall I get my daily dose of smug mugging for the camera…:
…in front of an audience of trained chimpanzees who’ve been conditioned to respond on cue?
Colbert, I guess…
Last week, David Chanen of the Strib wrote a piece – a decent one, actually – about the straw-purchase flim-flam that put a gun in the hand of Ray Kmetz, the New Hope shooter who was legally barred from owning guns at all.
And the story omitted something that almost no story about guns in the Twin Cities media has, in recent or even distant memory.
There was no obligatory, supercilious, and utterly wrong quote from Heather Martens!
Of course, several commenters, starting with Mr. D, got it within minutes of my posting this morning. Y’all know me too well.
Still, this is a virtual rupture of the space-time continuum.
What next? A Strib piece about politics that doesn’t quote Larry Jacobs?
I feel like anything is possible!
Last week, the Strib ran a story about a gun issue – a story by David Chanen about New Hope city hall shooter Ray Kmetz and his illegal access to a shotgun, via an illegal straw buyer.
And something was missing.
Did anyone notice it but me?
Leave your guesses in the comment section: answer over the noon hour.
NPR’s Teri Gross – one of the most overpraised figures in the American media, a woman who is to interviewing what Jay Cutler has been as a quarterback – busted out her deep thoughts about history and politics in a recent interview with American Sniper star Bradley Cooper.
Gross started with the obvious – NPR is soaking in bias (emphasis added):
“Clint Eastwood directed the film – and very well. He directed it very well, I think,” she said. “But I’ll tell you, after he interviewed the chair at the Republican National Convention, I thought, wow, I’d be scared to work with him after that. And I’m wondering if you had any reservations about, you know, having him direct the film knowing that he could interview the chair.”
Cooper laughed: “You got to ask him about that one time (laughter) if you ever get a chance to.”
But it’s Gross’s deep thoughts about the nature of mankind’s most brutal habit, and the place of morality, that is the real big news (emphasis added):
Gross also sounded strange when she insisted that people on the Left want to oppose the war, but support the troops, but “they draw the line when the troops had to do something like kill someone.”
In other words, they support the military when it’s just like another social program; when it’s thousands of people sitting around collecting checks and not really doing much.
Remember – the reason to distrust the alternative media, and keep your faith in the mainstream media’s veracity, is their reams and reams of gatekeepers and fact-checkers that ensure the story you get is the unvarnished truth:
On “NBC Nightly News” Wednesday evening, Williams read a 50-second statement apologizing for his characterization of the episode.
“After a groundfire incident in the desert during the Iraq war invasion, I made a mistake in recalling the events of 12 years ago,” he said. “It did not take long to hear from some brave men and women in the air crews who were also in that desert. I want to apologize. I said I was traveling in an aircraft that was hit by [rocket-propelled grenade] fire. I was instead in a following aircraft. . . . This was a bungled attempt by me to thank one special veteran and, by extension, our brave military men and women, veterans everywhere, those who have served while I did not.”
Good thing “Politifact” got to this story…
Well, good thing the media-ethics watchdogs at NPR’s “On The Media…”
When was Mark Dayton’s last alcoholic relapse?
What sort of psychotropic medications is he on? And why?
Our media here in the Twin Cities doesn’t think you, mere peasant, have a “need to know”.
But never let it be said the Twin Cities media won’t hold big government’s feet in the fire over the tough issues!
Because, boy howdy, they sure will!
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Star Tribune finally deigns to report that Department of Public Safety altered the Application to Carry a Pistol form, to include more than a dozen illegal questions. Heather Martens is fine with that.
Heather Martens . . . said some of the questions on the form reveal information that may not turn up in a background check. Further, she said, where 80 percent of the state’s gun deaths are by suicide, even the simplest questions may get honest answers. “I could say that some of those questions are very important questions, and there’s no downside to asking them,” she said. “I wish they asked everybody who is buying a gun, ‘Are you planning on killing somebody with this?’ and a certain number of people are going to say yes. That’s just the way it is
First, it’s not 80%, it’s less than 70%. Still tragic, but let’s be honest about the numbers.
Second, the percentage doesn’t matter; the questions weren’t asked on an Application to Commit Suicide. Suicides don’t get permits.
Third, as Rep. Tony Cornish pointed out, the questions are irrelevant because only information law enforcement needs is exactly what turns up in a background check.
Fourth, notice the smooth slide away from the subject at hand – Permit to Carry – over to her pet peeve – Permit to Purchase. Too bad the reporter doesn’t have a clue about gun rights, so she doesn’t notice she’s being lied to by misdirection.
Dear reporters here in Minnesota; why do you keep going to Heather Martens for information on firearms issues?
If you had a source in any other area who always give you false information, and always made your reporting wrong, would you keep going back to them?
There really isn’t any excuse for this, anymore.
Minnesota human rights advocates got the Department of Public Safety to roll back a series of intrusive and, I suspect, illegal questions on the Minnesota carry permit application form yesterday.
That’s all to the good – as I noted below.
Now, let’s talk about reporting.
Channel 5′s Beth McDonough reported the story. You can go to the link to watch it; the fella in the maroon shirt is not “Corey Bowman”, but in fact Andrew Rothman, president of the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance. Editing glitches happen.
But what I’m going to do is emphasize all of the elements in the online story that are prejudicial, signs of bias, or lead to much bigger questions – or would, if we had a news media that was interested in asking big questions of government, which we largely do not.
I’ll add emphasis to the parts of the story with the problems:
The way you apply for a permit to carry a gun in Minnesota is back to the way it was.
It’s all because of 18 questions on a new application. Some argue it asks for too much information.
Like a lot of Minnesotans Corey Bowman owns a gun, “being a hunter and avid outdoorsman.”
Helping to give Minnesota a reputation as the land of 100,000 guns.  In fact, 165,000 people have permits to carry, according to state records—the most ever in Minnesota.
To get a permit to carry, you have to fill out an application, one standard form. But before Tuesday, that application contained 18 fewer questions. Some of those include: whether you’ve been in treatment for substance abuse, fled the state to avoid prosecution or if you’ve been convicted of a crime as a juvenile.
Those questions lasted less than 36 hours online, because of backlash from gun rights enthusiasts. 
“At worst, it’s creating dozens of additional opportunities for somebody to make an accidental mistake that results in the denial of their permit application or even criminal charges,” according to Andrew Rothman with the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance.
The now-former application said the information was required, leaving the impression the permit couldn’t be processed without all the questions answered. And that’s okay with Corey Bowman. 
“These are the kind of questions that would pick out the people that don’t need to have the firearms,”  Bowman said.
The Department of Public Safety told us it updated the permit to carry form to reflect changes made by lawmakers in 2014. 
So let’s go through them one by one:
More on this, hopefully, tomorrow.
While this blog has repeatedly referred to Sally Jo Sorenson of Bluestem Prairie as “one of about five Minnesota liberal bloggers that don’t deserve police surveillance” – not the highest compliment I can give, but the highest warranted under the circumstances – one should not presume that I agree that Ms. Sorenson will go out of her way to tell a story that the DFL doesn’t want, or pay to have, told.
So with yesterday’s post about the Minnesota Senate “tightening” media credentialing rules, which was signal for including just the bits that fit the DFL’s narrative about media and communications:
Via David Montgomery’s post at the Pioneer Press’s Political Animal blog, MN Senate tightens rules for press credentials and The Uptake’s MN Senate Tightens Media Credential Rule, we learn that ““individuals affiliated with a political organization” can no longer be credentialled as journalists or keep their press pass at the Minnesota Senate.
Now, the mainstream press is noplace to get information about this issue, since they’ve been blissfully above it all from the beginning. And the Uptake has a bit of a conflict of interest, as it was the DFL’s favoritism toward them (they gave credentials to the stridently partisan Uptake, but denied them to conservatives) in 2010 that led to the whole “Senate Media Rules” fracas in the first place.
Back when the GOP took over the Senate in 2011, then-Senate-GOP-comms guy Michael Brodkorb convened a working group to come up with new rules for media credentialing. I was part of the group, along with David Brauer. And we did a really good job; they were among the best, fairest rules in the country, balancing the investment the big mainstream media outlets had made in coverage with the access for alternative media sources.
And to prevent the system from being hijacked by the parties, the rules barred people who were on party payrolls from getting credendialed. Period.
In 2013, the DFL took control of the Senate:
That’s a pretty broad definition, but the background appears to be related to a blogger named Shawn Towle, who received a Senate press pass while also being paid by the Senate DFL.
Republican senators made a stink about Towle in April of 2014, putting out a press release accusing DFL leader Tom Bakk of “secret payments” to Towle.
Introducing the proposed change today, Bakk described it as “something the rules committee had considerable conversation about near the end of the session last year.”
In other words, Bakk is reiterating the process that we came up with in 2011. With a great deal of noise, he returned the Senate to the rules it had before.
One presumes that the DFL will find some way to sneak Towle, their favorite hit-piece writer, into the room – but it’ll be the traditional Democrat way; rules be damned!And that is the rest of the story.
Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
If the cashier at Cub took my money then announced she had a surplus, I’d say she overcharged me. That’s a bad thing.
If the State takes my money then announces it has a surplus, I’m supposed to be thrilled?
In the private sector, a budget starts with a realistic expectation of income, then works in spending that can be afforded.
In government, a budget starts with special interest spending demands on paid-for politicians, who set the income to cover the payoffs.
The equivalent process in the private sector would be monopolistic price fixing by a crime syndicate.
Everything you really need to know about government budgeting, you learn from Henry Hill’s soliloquy about Jimmy Conolly from “Goodfellas”.
You know what I mean; the one that goes “business is been bad? F*** you, give me the money”.
I’ve known a few news reporters over the years. They are, for the most part, human like the rest of us; they’re prone to the same sins as all of us.
Now, the news media as a whole has been coasting on a decades-old laurel – the whole “watchdogs of government” thing – that they have largely done a terrible job of earning for the past thirty years (unless Republicans are in office), and a nonexistent one this past six years.
But while the job they do has gone begging, the hubris that they developed over a number of muckraking decades before has not.
A few years back, a newspaper in the New York City metro area put its investigative brawn to use to publish…the names and addresses of legal New York carry permit holders; becasue the public has a right to know about law-abiding people doing legal, unremarkable things. They were then shocked and horrified when bloggers returned the favor, publishing the editorial staff’s home addresses - because apparently that provided a “chilling effect”, and the public doesn’t have a right to know that.
And here we are again; the NYTimes reporter who published Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson’s home address has found her own petard hoisted; bloggers posted her address in Chicago.
In retribution, bloggers found and posted Bosman’s address online, sending the reporter scrambling hysterically for protection from the very people she had sold out — the police.
And apparently, she did so in a none-too-subtle fashion.
“She came in thinking she was Steven Spielberg or something shooting a movie,” a source within the Chicago Police Department was quoted as saying (H/T Western Journalism).
The source confirmed that not only did she grossly exaggerate the threats she had received, but she demanded “top-tier” protection of the sort usually accorded to movie stars and visiting dignitaries.
Because there are crazy people out there, you know.
Police brutality and unaccountability is certainly a story that needs to be covered – although, like most stories that matter, it’s one that the media have left pretty much undisturbed until recently, and one that won’t really be covered at all until a reporter at a major newspaper winds up on the wrong end of a tazer.
I’m not sure which was greater; my degree of un-shock that Gary Trudeau bought the University of Virginia Gang-Rape hoax hook, line and sinker…
…or shock that Trudeau and Doonsbury are respectively still alive and being published.
While I’ve assumed most mainstream media is filtered through a statist lens for decades, now, there was a time I assumed that news organizations – made up of reporters like the ones I used to work with and, occasionally, was – would, if they bothered to cover a story at all (because who needs coverage of the IRS scandal, or Mark Dayton’s mental state, after all?) at least endeavor to get the basic facts right.
Not even the whole “are the facts of a highly-charged story about a contentious issue correct”, like Rolling Stone’s rapidly-unravelling UVA rape story.
No, little things – like “does the story actually exist“?
For the record, I’m a fan of MPR’s Bob Collins – if for no other reason than few people write about aviation issues as well as he does (and there are other reasons).
Which is not to say that I agree with him all the time. We’ve had our disagreements.
The Minority Case: And this Collins blog post is one of them; it quotes a story from Tim Pugmire about an incoming state representative John Heintzeman of Nisswa, who scored a big upset win earlier this month. Pugmire quoted Heintzeman as saying:
“People of faith need to be able to know that they can practice their faith in the way, in the tradition that their family has over many, many years, without being afraid of somehow violating the law,”
“Rural values” and “traditional values” are fairly vague terms, which are often left to the rest of us — city slickers — to figure out what they define exactly. They often are intertwined with religion or “faith,” as Heintzeman said.
And that usually leads to the obvious question: whose religion and whose faith?
For the benefit of the audience that Collins is writing to – the Volvo-with-a-reproduction-”Wellstone”-sticker driving, free-range-alpaca wearing, straight-ticket-DFL-voting Macalester alumni set that is the “must win” demographic for MPR, I’ll explain it.
It’s about Islam.
It’s so the young Somali woman working at the Midway WalMart need not worry about feeling racist, faith-ist repercussions when she politely asks an infidel like yours truly to please move the pork chops across the scanner, since her observance of her faith doesn’t allow her to handle them.
Oh, it probably also covers cases like the photographers and bakers and florists who, for religious reasons not a lot different than the young Somali, tried to beg off participating in gay weddings, even trying in some cases to refer the “customers” to gay-wedding-friendly competition, leading to test cases (since that was what the “customers” were looking for in the first place). And, yes, sometimes those concerns aren’t purely individual in scope.
It could even – hard as this may be to believe – cover religious freedom for people whose beliefs are more in line with the MPR audiences’.
Really, it’s about protecting the minority from the majority – which is supposed to be what a representative republic (as opposed to a democracy) does.
In other words – everyone’s religion and faith. Or even their complete lack of either.
Rights are rights.
Oh, there’s more to it than that. There’s a wedge to be pounded:
Pick Your Herbicide: Perhaps you’ve heard the story; a GOP district chair in Big Stone County, whose day job
is was working at a Hardware Hank, did a no-no; he said really stupid things about Muslims. Of course, this is red vegan meat for the DFL establishment – at least in part because it’s more fun for them than some other stories that wecouldbe talking about.
Collins finds a greater significance in it, though (emphasis added):
In Big Stone County, the chairman of the Republican Party is defining those values, at least for his neck of the woods.
Jack Whitley posted this yesterday on his Facebook page.
Let’s make this clear: a guy who was elected chairman of the GOP in the fifth-smallest county in Minnesota, a county with fewer registered voters than MPR has assistant producers, is “defining” “rural values”?
Would that be in the same way that Paris Hilton or Plukey Duke “define” “urban values?”
Naturally, everyone from Ken Martin to CAIR jumped on the statement…
“It’s very disturbing to see a Republican Party leader engage in outright bigotry and hate,” the Council for American-Islamic Relations said in a statement calling on Republicans to disavow Whitley’s values. “Without a clear rejection of these inaccurate and intolerant remarks, the party’s silence will appear to be agreement.”…
…““How such a violently bigoted person can hold a position of leadership in the Minnesota Republican Party is confounding and absolutely unacceptable,” DFL Chair Ken Martin said in a statement which called on Downey to demand Whitley quit his party position.
…using it to impugn all Republicans and, as Collins seems to be flirting with, the whole idea of “rural” values themselves.
Naturally (as Collins notes), MNGOP chair Keith Downey did condemn the statements. Some of Ken Martin’s oompa-loompas have wondered publicly and in the media why Downey doesn’t just fire Mr. Whitley; perhaps that’d work in the DFL, but chairs of GOP house, senate or county districts are elected by their members, and need to be removed by them (as readers of this blog have learned over the years).
But this isn’t about inside-the-GOP party mechanics:
Too-Free Association: In 2008, Barack Obama referred to Americans with “rural” values as bitter, gun-clinging Jeebus freaks. The Obama coalition relied on creating a big, sharp, thick wedge between “mainstream” America – in the stereotypes, the part that is white and mainstream-Christian and straight and usually male – and anyone else.
And the Minnesota DFL is no better; Minnesota’s political map is the results of decades of wedging city vs. suburbs, metro vs. outstate, white vs. black, and in the case of MPR, us vs. them.
And there sure could be more wedges: if the Minnesota media ever held the DFL to account for, say, Keith Ellison (who openly supports Hamas, whose charter calls for the extermination of Jews), or Phyllis Kahn (who bent party rules, and party dogma about election fraud, to the breaking point in keeping a Muslim insurgency from ousting her at her district convention) I’m sure that could create some wedges, too.
But nobody wants those wedges, apparently.
I Am Just A Caveman: I’m still trying to figure out what Mr. Heintzeman’s statement – about protecting freedom of religious conscience from majority coercion, which is a right most people support unless it transgresses Big Gay – has to do with Mr. Whitley’s outburst.
And I imagine I will be for some time.
…was the media’s performance.
Not only did the CNN “legal analysts”, Jeffrey Toobin and the loathsome Mark Garagos and some fashionably ethnic female talking-head-ette whose name eluded me but whose shrill tone and clotted inarticulateness unfortunately did not, all but begged the protesters to start throwing things (as one of the carefuly-placed cameras caught it all) practically beg people to start rioting (Garagos calling the justice system a “parody”, to talking-head-ette claiming that “all the grand jury needed was probable cause” (which is crap; they needed to tell the prosectutor there was enough evidence to get a conviction), to giving lavish coverage to mobs of people sacking stores (most of them owned by minorities), CNN in particular seemed to actively fan the flames.
That’s the American mainstream media: utterly useless for keeping government in check, but perfectly happy to use its power to burn cities to the ground.
…from the mainstream media.
Big Media have almost completely blacked out coverage of the Johnathan Gruber scandal. Of course, that’s the part that you see on the evening newscasts (if you still watch them; it’s been close to ten years since I’ve watched any).
Behind the scenes? The national media has the same approach the local media takes on issues that redound to Democrat disadvantage (emphasis added):
On the web, name reporters from [NBC and ABC] have chosen a blackout or ridicule approach. NBC News’ crack team of political reporters led by Mark Murray and Chuck Todd have covered their eyes and ears. ABC political director Rick Klein can’t be bothered either. However, John Harwood took a more direct approach:
I listened to/get what Gruber said, & get why it makes people mad about ACA madder. but that is only significance @ron_fournier @JohnEkdahl
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) November 18, 2014
Six million healthcare plans lost on an admitted and oft-repeated lie, and this isn’t news to them. Enough is enough.
They have chosen, like most scandals involving the Obama Administration, to report on the Republican reaction and “overreach” instead of on the story of itself.
It’s significant – and not in a good way – that the only Obama scandal the media has come close to taking seriously is the allegations that the Administration spied on, lied to and has been opaque with the media.
Because lying about your doctor and Benghazi is one thing; being forthcoming to ones’ media benefactors is serious business:
Gruber, to whom the administration deferred on dozens of occasions to speak for them, admitted the only way ACA could be passed was to lie to stupid American voters. American voters have figured out the lie, as demonstrated by the results of the 2014 midterm elections. But the only group left defending the Obamacare catastrophe is the media by now ignoring Gruber.
This isn’t bias. This is malfeasance and corruption.
It is long past time for the GOP to stop bothering with the mainstream media. No more GOP primary debates on ABC; no more agreeing to Democrat ticket-punchers like Candy Crowley in presidential debates, and if possible no more presidential debates on the Big Three or CNN.
Starve the beast now!
I’m starting to develop this theory that the Democrats’ “messaging” strategy is developing into something like this:
Submitted as evidence: Barbara Boxer’s speech against the Keystone Pipeline; I’ll emphasize the real howlers:
Not only would the construction of Keystone put no negative pressure on gasoline prices, an argument President Barack Obama has also made, but the California senator claimed it would have the precise opposite effect. “We’re going to see higher gas prices because of this,” Boxer insisted.
These and other comments delivered by Boxer over the course of her hours on the floor on Tuesday were equally confounding, but her most mystifying pronouncements were those in which she touted the bustling green economy of her home state.
“Ask yourself the question, is it worth exposing our people to these risks who I stood with shoulder to shoulder, and is it worth exposing the planet to these risks when we can create millions of jobs in a clean energy economy like we’re doing in my state,” she said. “And we’re going gangbusters!”
“I come from a state that is booming with hundreds of thousands of jobs with balanced budgets — clean energy future — and I come from a state that embraced cleaning up the environment and building the economy and jobs,” Boxer later added. “And they go hand in hand.”
Repeat after us: Scarcity leads to lower prices; plenty leads to higher prices. California is going gangbusters. The budget – “balanced” via tax hikes – is sustainable; the California pension bubble isn’t going to burst. Green energy is a goldmine for workers!
It sounds good on camera. It plays well with people who still think government still tells the truth, and that media will tell them if anything’s amiss. It plays well with Gruber’s America.
The question isn’t “has the Democrat party switched to an all-lie messaging strategy”. The queston is “given their assumptions, why would they not go to an all-lie messaging strategy?”