The Long Version

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

Posts Tagged ‘CBS News

When the Press No Longer Pretends to be Honest

with 2 comments

I’m honestly getting tired of defending Donald Trump from the news media.

He’s not my favorite person. As a human being he’s…not very nice, to put it nicely. But he was elected under the laws of this country to be its president. I don’t support all of his policies and ideas, though I believe he’s done some good things to help spur the U.S. economy.

But doggone it, right is right and wrong is wrong! I am sick and tired of people working in the profession I loved and honored when I was part of it, abusing their privilege and tarnishing the 4th Estate with such shoddy and negligent reporting.

President Donald Trump’s remark referring to some illegal immigrants as “animals” Wednesday drew backlash. People went nuts. “See! He’s a racist!” they shrieked.

If all you heard was the president’s reply, which was a response to a direct question by a Sheriff in attendance, you may have felt the same anger and disgust. But there’s a problem here and it speaks to the dishonesty of many working in this country’s major news media.

If you didn’t hear the question asked by the reporter, you didn’t have any context by which to judge the answer, but judge is exactly what everyone did. Wrongly.

Here is the soundbite including the question which provides the context.

 

The question was specific. It was a direct question from a law enforcement officer about MS-13 gang members, many who have come into the country illegally. According to the Associated Press the gang has indulged in rape, beatings, beheadings, dismemberment, and extreme cruelty to human beings that get in their way or cross their paths. When you consider what these people do to other people, animals probably isn’t an adequate comparison.

But our Free Press, led by the New York Times, took the president’s answer and reported it completely devoid of the context within the question he was asked. They made it look like Trump was calling all immigrants animals… Even now 24 hours later, these press outlets have refused to inform their readers and viewers of the omission, providing no added context to their earlier, misleading, reports.

After a White House press briefing, some of the news outlets updated their stories adding the reference to MS-13 and the question that was originally asked.

Accidental? A mistake? An oversight?

You tell me.

Advertisements

Do You Really Know WHAT the Tea Party Is? I doubt it.

with one comment

A refreshingly honest admission by a Yale University professor may do more to help the country see the real Tea Party and understand what it really stands for than any news report could ever do.

tea party science comprehension studyProfessor, Dan Kahan, did a study on education, religiosity, ideology, and science comprehension and posted his findings on the website CulturalCognition.net.   To his very apparent surprise, people who affiliated themselves with the Tea Party were more educated in science than any other political party members.

This discovery shocked Kahan to the point that he exclaimed:

“I’ve got to confess, though, I found this result surprising. As I pushed the button to run the analysis on my computer, I fully expected I’d be shown a modest negative correlation between identifying with the Tea Party and science comprehension.  But then again, I don’t know a single person who identifies with the Tea Party. All my impressions come from watching cable tv — & I don’t watch Fox News very often — and reading the “paper” (New York Times daily, plus a variety of politics-focused internet sites like Huffington Post & Politico).  I’m a little embarrassed, but mainly I’m just glad that I no longer hold this particular mistaken view.”

I am not really surprised that Mr. Kahan doesn’t know any people who associate themselves with the Tea Party. He is a professor at a very liberal university where academicians find sport looking down on the unwashed uneducated hicks they identify as Tea Partiers or more commonly the more vulgar and disrespectful term Tea Baggers. The Left has denigrated the Tea Party so much that many will not admit their association or identification with the Tea Party to anyone for fear of public ridicule.

tea-party-march

I’m confident this is how the majority of Americans have gained their own less-than-positive opinions about the Tea Party and why the general public carries an overwhelmingly negative perspective. Our news media has painted this picture with a continuous barrage of negative comments, allusions, and stories that in my experience always focus on one individual or small group, the fringe, and then extends that negative stereo-type onto all people in the party as a whole.

Every political party has its fringe members.  I believe most reasonable and fair-minded people would agree the fringe does not represent those groups as a whole, but the Tea Party is not given the benefit of that reasoning.

Anyone who has attended a Tea Party event, meeting, or rally, knows from experience these negative images and stories are more fabrication than fact.

The Tea Party is not a political party but rather a movement of common people who feel the Government has taken too large a place in our lives.

Most who align with Tea Party ideals are worried about the constant increase in Government size and control over their lives along with a huge increase in expenditures that has increased the national debt to a point where it can never be reduced to any appreciable level.

They believe the debt will eventually reach a level where the government can not fulfill its promises. This will result in riots if the people can no longer get what the government has promised.teaparty

Tea Party people won’t ask for your political affiliation if you inquire about what the Tea Party stands for.  But they will ask you how you feel about the size of Government, the constitution, whether the Federal Government should be involved in Education, Health Care, Energy, Marriage, and other important social issues of the day.

They strongly believe the Affordable Care Act should not be implemented in its current form for many reason, but mainly because it was forced to a vote without having been read by those who voted, without people having any understanding as to what the unintended consequences would be, and with the costs being completely misrepresented.

Why should those people be branded as kooks, terrorists, jihadists, racists, and traitors?

If representatives who run on Tea Party principles use every legal means possible to prevent implementation of a law they feel is harmful to more Americans than it helps, do they deserve to be pilloried?

Those in power fear the Tea Party.  It is as grass roots as any movement has ever been.  It is made up of Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, and Independents.  It is a group that has had enough of a government they see as out of control in its spending, its regulations, its overreaching legislation, and its seeming lust and death grip on power and control over the people of this country.

They’ve reached the proverbial end of their rope and they’re speaking out. Some are doing and saying things none of us want to see or hear, but they are the few, the fringe, and not representative of the whole.  It’s time the media accurately portray who and what the Tea Party is and stop spreading misinformation.

Written by DCL

October 18, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Brandon Davies: Is BYU’s Premarital Sex Controversy Good For College Sports?

with 2 comments

Back in March I wrote about Jimmer Fredette and BYU’s run to the NCAA tournament.  In that post I mentioned the situation with Brandon Davies, the 6’9″ power forward/center, suspended for the remainder of the season due to an honor code violation.  We later learned that violation had to do with the provision of the BYU honor code referring to living a “chaste and virtuous life”.   Brandon admitted to having sexual relations with his girlfriend.

What followed is, in my mind, a proud moment for BYU and for Brandon Davies.  I could opine about that for pages but I’d rather share an article in Time magazine published on March 4th by a disinterested 3rd party that closely follows my own thoughts and feelings on the situation.  The author, Sean Gregory, articulates well the magnitude of the decision by BYU and the possible ripples that decision could have in college sports in general in the future.

It’s a great read, so I decided to re-post it here with attribution.

Brandon Davies: Is BYU’s Premarital Sex Controversy Good For College Sports?

These days, bad behavior among college athletes is a fact of campus life. Beat up a freshman in a barroom one night and you can be back on the court three days later. Just this week, a Sports Illustrated and CBS News investigation found that more than 200 players on the rosters of 25 major college football teams have run afoul of the law. Nearly a quarter of scholarship athletes on the University of Pittsburgh squad have criminal records.

College athletics is a multibillion-dollar enterprise, and the pressure to win at any cost — including turning a blind eye to player misbehavior — can be overwhelming. That’s why the news this week that Brigham Young University (BYU) would force starting center Brandon Davies to miss the rest of the season for violating the school’s honor code was so surprising.

The team looked like a title contender. BYU is ranked third in the country, and Davies, who averages 11.1 points and 6.2 rebounds, is a key player; in their first game without him, the Cougars were trounced by the University of New Mexico, 82-64.

But the most surprising fact of the story is that Davies got booted for behavior that wasn’t criminal. What he did takes place, to put it mildly, every day in colleges across the country: Davies had sex with his girlfriend.

BYU is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which frowns on premarital relations. Davis, like 98% of BYU students, is a Mormon. Upon entering the school, students vow to abide by its honor code, which prohibits premarital sex as well as indulging in alcohol or coffee. “The honor code is an essential part of your recruitment to BYU,” says Hall of Fame quarterback and ESPN analyst Steve Young, who played at BYU from 1981 to ’83. “It’s not like you find out later — ‘Oh, you didn’t tell me! I didn’t know that!’ But there’s a spirit on campus that is just, ‘O.K., fine, now let’s now go have a good time.'”

The judgment on Davies doesn’t come without costs to the school. If BYU fails to advance in the upcoming NCAA tournament without its star center, the rest of the team — young men who worked hard, obeyed the rules and did nothing wrong — miss out on a life experience they may never recapture.

But you have to admire an institution that sticks by its principles. “The expression of love between a man and a woman is sacred, valued at the highest level,” says Shawn Bradley, the 7-ft. 6-in. former NBA player who spent a year at BYU and spent two years on a mission in Australia before entering the 1993 draft. Indeed, many BYU alums say they support the school’s decision. “Sorry, I’m choking up a bit here,” says Philadelphia sportscaster Vai Sikahema, a former NFL return specialist who played for BYU in the mid-1980s. “It’s just hard for me to express just how immensely proud I am of my university.”

He should be. When it comes to athletes and sex, the easy call is to let the jocks slip. On any campus, athletes are visible, and popular, especially when a team is winning. And though it’s probably easier for a student to squelch his or her desires at a place where all 30,000 undergrads are also trying to stay chaste, suppression is still a challenge. “It was difficult for me,” says Bradley, a devout Mormon. “We all have those urges. You’re dealing with hormones, which are out in full force. But you have to stay focused, and put yourself in the right places to protect yourself.”

The willingness of BYU to police poor conduct is sharply at odds with other college programs. At Seton Hall University last season, for example, a basketball player who caused an accident while driving under the influence, causing an injury to the other driver, was suspended for only eight games. This year, a top player from Robert Morris University got a four-game penalty after a drunk-driving incident. In February, two players from Marshall University were charged with battery over a bar fight; they played in a game the next evening. Schools often let athletes off easy for on-field transgressions too. Two seasons ago, a University of Florida football player intentionally gouged an opponent’s eyes. He was suspended for a half.

BYU has every incentive to just slap Davies on the wrist for his transgression. A successful run at the Final Four could generate millions of dollars in television revenues and alumni donations for the school, and the added exposure and prestige can increase applications.

BYU boosters, however, believe the Davies incident could be a selling point on its own, by broadcasting the school’s principled stand on honesty and taking responsibility. Davies himself has apologized to his teammates and took his punishment without complaining. And despite the stiff penalty it levied, BYU also teaches forgiveness. “It’s really a pretty compassionate place,” says Young, a great-great-great grandson of Brigham Young himself. “I guarantee you there’s a huge outreach to make sure that he’s O.K. If I could talk to him, I’d put my arm around him and say, ‘Hang in there, get back on the court when you can, and make it right.'”

Davies may learn a great deal from this experience. “This could be a seminal moment in this young man’s life,” says Sikahema. “Better that it happens at 20, rather than 50, with four kids. He’ll probably be a better man, and that’s ultimately what BYU is about, building leaders, building men. If that means missing out a chance at the Final Four, well, that’s what happens.”

Would any other school pay that price? More than likely, too few would pass the Brandon Davies test.

Gregory is a staff writer at TIME. Keeping Score, his sports column for TIME.com, appears every Friday. Follow him on Twitter at @seanmgregory

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,2057184,00.html#ixzz1IaX6AvX9