The Long Version

Retired broadcast journalist. Blogging helps scratch the itch. Recovering exRepublican – Sober and still Conservative.

Archive for the ‘News Media’ Category

What a Difference a Day Makes

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Wouldn’t you know it. Dr. Ben Carson endures 24 hours of non-stop abuse from media, Hollywood, and about every Democrat with a verified Twitter account, when the other shoe drops. But this time it drops right on the noggins of all those finger-pointing, name-calling, elites.

Come to find out, in a 2015 speech, President Obama made comments eerily familiar to those of Dr. Carson.

And perhaps, like some of you, these new arrivals might have had some moments of doubt, wondering if they had made a mistake in leaving everything and everyone they ever knew behind…So life in America was not always easy. It wasn’t always easy for new immigrants. Certainly it wasn’t easy for those of African heritage who had not come here voluntarily, and yet in their own way were immigrants themselves.

There was discrimination and hardship and poverty. But, like you, they no doubt found inspiration in all those who had come before them. And they were able to muster faith that, here in America, they might build a better life and give their children something more.

The Washington Free Beacon published a side by side video showing both Dr. Carson’s remarks and President Obama’s.

Did any of these folks spring to attack in 2015 when the President compared slaves to immigrants?

 Twitter attacks on Dr. Ben CarsonCelebs attack Ben Carson on Twitter

Don’t expect apologies. Expect them to double down. Expect them to defend a statement made by a black politician with a (D) by his name while excoriating the same statement made by a black politician with an (R) by his name.

Is there really any other difference here?

I’m open to reasoned and civil difference of opinion here, but check your team colors at the door. Look at this example free of the blue or red lenses. Just two men who made a very similar observation. Either what was said was right or wrong. It can’t be right for one and wrong for another.  If we go there, if we actually start to condone that kind of thinking and follow it with action, we are all in big trouble.

Let the honest discussion begin.

Be Careful How You Use the Word – Immigrant

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“That’s what America is about, a land of dreams and opportunity,’’ he said. “There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less. But they too had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great-grandsons, great-granddaughters, might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land.”

At first all I’d heard, read, and saw was the ridicule, the disgust, the mockery, and the judgements.  I figured it must be really bad. Dr. Ben Carson, a man I respect because I think he’s just a good decent human-being was being crucified all over the media and social media. This must be it, I thought. His foray into the cesspool of politics has finally come around to bite him and he’s done something really horrible.

Then I read the quote.

I immediately saw what everyone was hysterical about.  He used the word “immigrants” where he shouldn’t have used that word. Not in today’s social/political climate, anyway. But I didn’t immediately interpret it as a slight toward the slaves who were brought over here or Black History in America. Some will say, “that’s because you’re white.” OK, but I still know the history and I can still read and understand words put in phrases and this one didn’t strike me as more egregious than Obama’s gaffe when he said he’d visited all 57 states. The Right took that into Islamic conspiracy world but the major media was quick to dispel it and help calm the waters. Not so this time.

It’s noteworthy, I believe, to show that nowhere can I find a definition of the word immigrant or immigration or migrate that specifies volunteerism. In other words, according to the dictionary, that volume which defines our use of words, an immigrant is simply someone “who comes to live permanently in a foreign country.” It doesn’t specify whether they came by choice or not. But that can be termed splitting hairs. OK, fine.

A decade or more ago, maybe 20 years now, his comment wouldn’t have garnered much attention if any. The word – immigrant – didn’t hold the same political meaning or have the same emotion attached to it in the common lexicon like it does today.

In my observation, however, there seems to be a double standard when it comes to gaffes by public figures, especially politicians. Everyone makes dumbass comments now and then, but some seem to be immune from the kind of public scrutiny, mockery, or humiliation or the magnitude being extended in this case.

Does the Right mock the Left when they make similar gaffes in public? Yes, certainly, but the Right doesn’t have CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, The New York Times, or Saturday Night Live to ingrain it into our psyche for all time over a week-long news cycle.

So this past week, armed with Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, led by celebrities and politicians alike,Anger at Ben Carson comments on slavery and immigration and with the help of the mainstream media, an avalanche of criticism, denigration, and even outright hate, has rained down on Dr. Carson.  I don’t have a problem with fair-minded criticism, but the majority of what I’ve read and heard can’t be defined as such.  It’s just gleeful contempt for a man most of them dislike for mainly one reason, I believe…

He’s black and he’s not a Democrat.

So, point your finger if you must. Claim that Dr. Carson doesn’t know the history of his own people if that gives you a superior tingle. Call him the most horrible person on earth because he dared compare slaves to immigrants, but consider how silly, petty, and insignificant it really is. No one ends up better for it. No one.

I’m certain Dr. Carson knows his history well. The intent of his comment was to commend those who came before him and to suggest even they, in their horrible and dire circumstance must have hoped for a better future for their posterity. His poor choice of words to describe their circumstance, the context of his speech, and the turbulent political atmosphere in which he spoke them, led to this ridiculous firestorm of anger and righteous indignation. We’ve got to get better than this.

The Left has long held claim to a monopoly on compassion and tolerance. Where is the application of this claim? Hint: It can’t be selectively applied.

So we add another word to the “words to use cautiously in public if at all” list.

Or what if we discussed why the word choice was poor, allowed the offender a mea culpa, forgave and moved on?

 

Written by DCL

March 7, 2017 at 4:57 pm

New Year, Same Old New York Times

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Well that didn’t last long.

It didn’t take much time at all for the New York Times to steamroll its own mea culpa after the November election. A time when Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and Executive Editor Dean Baquet offered a half-hearted apology to America, but an apology none-the-less, with regard to the way the Times had covered the election and for the most part America’s heartland.

As we reflect on the momentous result, and the months of reporting and polling that preceded it, we aim to rededicate ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism. That is to report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor, striving always to understand and reflect all political perspectives and life experiences in the stories that we bring to you. It is also to hold power to account, impartially and unflinchingly. You can rely on The New York Times to bring the same fairness, the same level of scrutiny, the same independence to our coverage of the new president and his team.

Within that quote is a thinly veiled admission to the fact that the Times has not been exactly honest in its reporting. This isn’t news to anyone who doesn’t exist on the Left side of the political spectrum.

But now we see the Times is the Times and it’s probably going to take some serious time and perhaps hard times before the paper actually does what it says it will do.

Case in point, a recent article by the Times on former Texas governor Rick Perry who was pegged by Donald Trump to be the next energy secretary.  As the Washington Examiner points out and proves, the Times took a single quote, misinterpreted it, created a story around it, which was then picked up by every other Times wannabe on the planet, smearing Rick Perry in the process.

If I didn’t know better, I’d think the article was written by a first year journalism student who doubled as the president of the Democrat club.

So this is how the Times “rededicates” itself to the fundamental mission of Times journalism? Same as it ever was…

Read the full story here at the Washington Examiner

Even New York Magazine couldn’t back up the Times or condone the story.

Who’s going to revive the lifeless body of journalism in this country? I don’t see any legitimate organizations who can step in at this point.

Sad Times.

Written by DCL

January 19, 2017 at 1:44 pm

Posted in News, News Media, Politics

Dear Media, Way to Get Played…Again

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Donald Trump calls the press sleazyIf there is one thing Donald J. Trump is good at it’s making others look stupid…along with himself.

In this case it was the media who came away with drool on their chin wearing a dunce cap.  (Google it)

While the mainstream political press spent the week fuming over and reporting on the tongue-lashing they received by Donald Trump this week, the Trumpster was likely chuckling at his sleight of hand and misdirection ploy that kept the attention span of the political press focused on his charity donations (and even more so the scolding), and off of the growing, gaping wound known as Trump University.

As some of the most damning information about T.U. was coming out in recently released federal court documents, Trump was busy shouting “look over there!” and look over there is exactly what the Press did.  The Trump news cycle for the week has been overwhelmingly filled with hand-wringing, whiney reports about the Press being called “sleazy” and “dishonest” by a man who is often called sleazy and dishonest.

But the trick worked and Trump avoided further scrutiny on the new information regarding his Trump University lawsuits…at least for this news cycle.

While the donations to veterans and whether money collected by Trump was actually paid out is a story, the fact that some of the checks were actually written on the day Trump verbally assaulted the press makes the story even more curious and relevant.  However, it appears Mr. Trump was taking a calculated risk to avert eyes from what he must deem a much bigger political problem at T.U.

Way to keep your eye on the ball news people! Or is the fact you missed the ball entirely, simply a result of the new black eye you were given by The Donald on Tuesday?

 

 

 

Are You a Builder or a Wrecker in this Election Season?

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Years ago, when the internet was beginning to blossom for businesses around the world, I traveled the world teaching people how to take their businesses to the web.

One of my colleagues had a poem he liked to quote at the end of his presentation and it has stuck with me since.

It’s words are cause for self-examination.  A personal inventory of our character to help determine the kind of people we really are.

As I watch the candidates, their campaigns, their staff, and zealous followers in this presidential race of 2016, the words to this poem become even more compelling and acute.

I watched them tearing a building down, photo 3-1
A gang of men in a busy town.

With a ho-heave-ho and lusty yell,
They swung a beam and a sidewall fell.

I asked the foreman, “Are these men skilled,
As the men you’d hire if you had to build?”

He gave me a laugh and said, “No indeed!
Just common labor is all I need.

I can easily wreck in a day or two
What builders have taken a year to do.”

And I tho’t to myself as I went my way,
Which of these two roles have I tried to play?

Am I a builder who works with care,
Measuring life by the rule and square?

Am I shaping my deeds by a well-made plan,
Patiently doing the best I can?

Or am I a wrecker who walks the town,
Content with the labor of tearing down?

~ Charles Benvegar

What are you? What is your preferred candidate?

Which category do your words, actions, and interactions on social media or in person place you in?

I know I have some work to do.

 

 

When Agenda Driven Journalism Blows Up in Your Face

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On Christmas day a Houston mosque was set on fire. The predictable and immediate judgement reports by media on the Left came fast and furious.

But when 37 year-old Gary Moore was arrested on Wednesday and taken into custody the Leftist media narrative took a massive uppercut. Gary Moore was a regular attendee at the mosque and a Muslim.

Suddenly the narrative that had been building steam at left-wing media sites like Salon, where one can imagine cheering, hugs, and the verbal expression of hope that a crazed fundamentalist southern Christian would surely be the culprit, was dashed.  Salon immediately deleted the entire article.  Later, after other media noticed the missing article and began writing about it, Salon reposted the article with the new information.

Twitter post about Salon article

Salon writer Ben Norton, author of the article, prematurely insinuated the fire was a result of Islamophobia. Even in his revised version Norton did his best to maintain the “America (especially Texas) hates Muslims” theme embedded throughout his story.  Norton called the new information that a Muslim and member of the mosque in question actually started the fire a “twist” and then continued to insinuate that Texans and Americans in general hated Muslims and anti-Muslim rhetoric from “right-wing politicians” was gaining steam.

Poor Ben Norton. I hope someone was with him to provide first aid and comfort when his “twist” on a legitimate news story blew up in his face.

This is why journalism in this country is gasping for breath.  It is all but dead.

Written by DCL

December 31, 2015 at 1:49 pm

Posted in Faith, News, News Media

The New York Times is the Paper of Advocacy

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If anyone was still arguing whether the New York Times was fully vested in the Liberal mantra and political ideology, you need only look at the front page of Saturday’s edition, December 5, 2015.

An editorial on gun control.

Not since 1920 has the times run an editorial on page one.

In the past 95 years not a single page one editorial on Nazism, Communism, Pearl Harbor, Japanese internment camps, segregation, JFK’s assassination, or 9/11 to name a few noteworthy exceptions.

No, the Times feels gun control is the most important issue of the past century…

But this isn’t about the article. If you want to wade into the depthless and mundane here is a link to the editorial. 

This is about blatant, open, in-your-face, advocacy by major news media. The paper of record is the paper of activism. Journalistic objectivity and integrity be damned. They’ve chosen sides.

“But it’s an editorial” you shout at your computer screen! “It’s opinion! It’s not the same as news!” Unfortunately in today’s “new media” the lines have been so blurred, that argument is becoming tougher to win.

The Times editorial, poorly written and shallow as it is, hit the Leftist talking points with shameless consistency, including a jab at Republican congressional leaders who “offer prayers for gun victims and then, callously and without fear of consequence, reject the most basic restrictions on weapons of mass killing, as they did on Thursday.”

What happened on Thursday?

“Every Senate Republican except Mark Kirk of Illinois voted against legislation to prevent people on the F.B.I.’s consolidated terrorist watch list from purchasing guns or explosives” and this has the Times editorial board on fire with righteous indignation aplenty!

How dare those hateful Republicans vote to allow over 700,000 people (up from 47,000 at the end of the Bush presidency) any form of due process or right to be considered innocent until proven guilty? How dare they consider the fact that these lists are about as arbitrary as any “Top 10 Best” lists you’ve ever seen, in the wake of these shootings?!?

Now Rewind to 2014 and two “New York Times” editorials. This was the Times’ stand on the terrorist watch lists just ONE YEAR AGO.

No Fly List is Unconstitutional!

Terror Watch Lists run amok!

The intellectual gymnastics being preformed by the Times would make any side-show contortionist proud.

This is what happens when you practice agenda driven journalism. Consistency goes out the window. Journalistic standards must be ignored or abolished altogether and before long you find yourself struggling to remain off par with the publications on the grocery store tabloid rack at the checkout stand.

It’s embarrassing to watch journalists become overzealous converts to a political ideology they are meant to watch and cover with skepticism, ever questioning, never endorsing, always neutral.

With the exception of editorials of course. Sure, whatever.

Written by DCL

December 7, 2015 at 1:14 pm