The Long Version

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

Posts Tagged ‘CNN

When the Press No Longer Pretends to be Honest

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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.

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

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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

Is It a Person Yet?

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President Barack Obama sent a strong video message of support for women’s right to make their own reproductive choices at a NARAL Pro-Choice America annual dinner Tuesday night.

Abortion Debate“Tonight we celebrate the historic Roe v. Wade decision handed down 40 years ago, but we also gather to recommit ourselves to the decision’s guiding principle: that women should be able to make their own choices about their bodies and their health care,” but that’s an incomplete picture and ignores the consequence of those personal choices.

As a society we adamantly oppose the idea of one person’s choices trumping that of another. It goes against our sense of fairness and equity. We make laws to keep such things from happening and to punish the perpetrators when they do. But in the abortion debate the idea that an unborn child in the womb of its mother has no choice is ignored and irrelevant, because IT isn’t a person yet.

CNN host Erin Burnett covered the story of Heather Surovik, who’s car was hit by a 5 time drunk driver just days before she was to deliver her son Brady. She was returning from a prenatal check up when her car was smashed into.

Everyone in the car survived except her unborn son. In Colorado, the state where Surovik lives, an unborn fetus is not considered a person, therefore, the drunk driver could only be charged with DUI and destruction of property not with Brady’s death. Burnett exclaimed: “That baby was 8 pounds, 2 ounces. He was going to be born in a couple of days. How could you not define that as a person? That is a viable life.”

Good question Ms. Burnett.

Colorado and other states continue to quash all attempts to make fetal homicide a crime. Why? Because any governing body admitting in law that killing a baby while still in the mother’s womb was a criminal offense would put the abortion narrative and its dishonest cheerleaders in serious jeopardy nationwide.

Written by DCL

February 5, 2013 at 10:04 pm

When the Media Gets It Wrong…Intentionally.

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The major news media in the United States has failed its purpose and can no longer be trusted as a source of reliable, thorough, and objective information.

big3The Big 3 as they are known, ABC, CBS, and NBC, once a staple of the news and information diet of this nation have, by their own action or perhaps better stated inaction, alienated viewers and cast a shadow of doubt on the continuing freedom of this nation.

“Without a free press there can be no free society. That is axiomatic. However, freedom of the press is not an end in itself but a means to the end of a free society. The scope and nature of the constitutional guarantee of the freedom of the press are to be viewed and applied in that light.” – Felix Frankfurter, New York Times, November 28, 1954

Thomas Jefferson said, “I deplore… the putrid state into which our newspapers have passed and the malignity, the vulgarity, and mendacious spirit of those who write for them… These ordures are rapidly depraving the public taste and lessening its relish for sound food. As vehicles of information and a curb on our funtionaries, they have rendered themselves useless by forfeiting all title to belief… This has, in a great degree, been produced by the violence and malignity of party spirit.”

“The press is impotent when it abandons itself to falsehood.”

The power of the word in the hands of those viewed, read, or listened to by millions is immeasurable and when abused can have abhorrent consequences.

I believe our major news outlets are engaged in that abuse. Whether in ignorance  by coercion, or as a willful accessory the Big 3 and many of the cable news networks and new media are not providing the citizens of this country with the information they need to make important social, political, and personal decisions.

The most recent glaring example comes in a report from the recent gun control hearings before a General Assembly task force in Hartford, CT where over 600 people, including many of the parents of the children killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting in December, were invited to share their thoughts and feelings on gun control and what might be done to curb the violence and prevent another Sandy Hook from happening again.

Comments came from all sides of this debate. More than 1500 people attended. The mood was somber as parents of lost children spoke. Some in favor of more gun control others against it. But it was the comments of one father, Neil Heslin, and reactive comments from some members of the audience that have been thrust into the forefront of the debate and are now being used to “prove” the insensitivity and coarseness of the argument on the right.

At one point during his comments Mr. Heslin turns and questions the audience, “I ask if there’s anybody in this room that can give me one reason or challenge this question … why anybody in this room needs to have one of these assault-style weapons or military weapons or high-capacity clips.” At this point Mr. Heslin pauses and looks around him as if awaiting an answer, when none came he said, “Not one person can answer that question.”

That’s when you hear several voices say, “The 2nd Amendment”. The few who answered did it respectfully. There was no shouting or hint of anger in the voices heard. Yet it has been widely reported that Mr. Heslin was “heckled” by the crowd. MSNBC aired a clip of the Mr. Heslin’s comment and the reaction to his question, however, they curiously edited out the part where Mr. Heslin pauses, looks for an answer, and then makes his statement that there is no answer.  This selective editing (which NBC has now become infamous for with Andrea Mitchell’s doctored Mitt Romney clips and selectively editing the George Zimmerman police tapes) makes it look like Mr. Heslin indeed was being heckled. However, when you view the full video including Mr. Heslin’s question it becomes self-evident that no “heckling” occurred at all.

I’ve included the unedited video of Mr. Heslin’s comments so you can be the judge. Forward to about the 15 minute mark to hear the relevant comments.

Unfortunately, those who watch MSNBC or read articles posted in The Daily Beast, Slate (updated), The Huffington Post, Gawker or even Hearst Communications CT Post, a Connecticut newspaper, were provided a biased and incorrect perception of what actually occurred. Andrew Kaczynski of BuzzFeed Politics, CNN’s Piers Morgan, David Frum of the Daily Beast, Eric Boehlert of Media Matters, Michael Skolnik of the Global Grind, Democrat Congressman Jim Himes, Talking Point Memo’s Josh Marshall, and Vanity Fair’s Kurt Eichenwald all chimed in on their twitter feeds condemning the “gun nuts”, “gunners”, and “right wingers” for being soulless, horrible, uncivil human beings.

Here is the “edited” version shown at MSNBC’s website. Note the verbiage used in the URL string.

http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/01/29/emotional-father-of-sandy-hook-victim-heckled-by-gun-nuts/

Piers Morgan, the former tabloid chief and talent show judge, who now has his own “News Show” on CNN tweeted this gem after going to his unbiased objective news source Huffington Post.

Piers Morgan Tweet

Will any of these “news resources” admit their mistake, retract their false reports, and apologize for smearing decent people who happen to believe the 2nd Amendment is as relevant today as it was 235 years ago?

Don’t hold your breath.

It’s time for all Americans to demand the media return to its founding principles and begin reporting the truth. Until they change, we the people, can take our eyes and ears away from them. Be proactive. Contact the media networks. Make your voice heard. It makes a difference. They will notice.

Editor’s note: Slate has updated their story and is now saying it wasn’t heckling. Kudos to Slate for the correction.  David Frum of theDailyBeast has also recanted his initial remarks on twitter but with a heavy helping of aspersion to go with it.

Written by DCL

January 29, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Guns and the Hearts of Men and Women

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CNN’s British political pundit Piers Morgan has been making a case for gun control in the US and by so doing has been making statistical claims and comparisons between Great Britain and the USA to bolster his argument.

This week on Piers Morgan Tonight, his weekly program on CNN the Cable News Network, Morgan invited talk radio host and conspiracy theory icon Alex Jones onto the program to discuss gun control.  The word discuss however would be an incredibly inaccurate definition of the dialogue that took place between Jones and Morgan.  The colloquy that ensued must have had Morgan twisting and turning, jumping and shouting with glee on the inside, though you wouldn’t notice it on his calm and determined face.

Jones on the other hand came unhinged.

Regardless of whether you agree with Piers Morgan or Alex Jones or land somewhere in between, it’s important that facts be wielded correctly and in context.  Neither Morgan nor Jones did that during this spectacle but Morgan has been peddling numbers and making statistical comparisons that simply don’t exist in fact.  Jones facts got lost in the hysterical outburst that ensued where we were all left “rubber necking as if witnessing a terrible accident on the freeway.

FBI crime statistics which have recently come out  for 2011 refute Piers Morgan’s argument, show his numbers to be low and incorrect, and more importantly show incontestably that guns do not cause violent crime, unstable people with evil and violent intentions use guns or any other weapon as tools to inflict their evil intentions.

Ben Swann, a broadcast journalist at Fox 19 WXIX in Cincinnati, Ohio,  took Morgan to task on his numbers, comparisons, and insinuations on his Reality Check segment during a recent local newscast.

The numbers don’t lie but they can be cherry picked and used to mislead.  Whether by intent, lazy fact checking, or ignorance, Piers Morgan is misleading his audience and bolstering an argument that isn’t based in fact.  I don’t have a problem with Morgan’s opinion that some weapons should be banned.  I do have a problem when he or anyone else misleads their audience and continually pegs the BS meter with false information.

Whether we, as US citizens, should support a ban on certain guns and/or gun accessories is a debate worth having but it must be won on its merits with all evidence laid out for all to see, digest, and then fall on a side.  I believe in that scenario and when done with integrity the anti-gun argument falls apart and its non-solution position becomes self-evident.

The reasons for ratification of the second amendment of the United States constitution have not gone away.  They are as valid today as they were the day it was ratified.  A nation of citizens who cannot defend themselves are ripe for government overthrow and enslavement by tyrants.  History has proven it over and over again.  An armed citizenry does give pause to those who would consider such action and I believe prevents it from occurring.

Until all evil is eradicated from the face of the earth, the gun will be the determining factor as to whether men and women will remain free or lose their liberties and be ruled by an iron fist.

As Mr. Swann concluded in his report, “Violent crime is not the result of a gun or any tool, it is the result of the heart of men and women.”

Amen!

Written by DCL

January 9, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Polling to Discourage the Conservative Electorate? Interesting Weighting of the Major Polls.

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I’ve been having a fun conversation via Facebook with a good friend who also happens to be a pretty ardent liberal (he is a good guy and fair-minded).  I believe the mainstream media is indeed bias toward the left agenda, he thinks I’m nuts.  Numbers don’t lie however, and this information on how the major polls are weighting their results says more than any verbal sparring match.

Ever since the arguably skewed CNN poll of a few weeks back, conservative voters have been looking at the methodology of polling companies with an increasing amount of skepticism. The fact that most polls have used a model that tries to mimic the voter turnout in 2008, when Democrats beat Republican turnout by 7 points (as opposed to presidential elections like 2004, where turnout between the two parties was relatively even), has not improved this state of affairs.

And now, the suspicion of poll bias appears to have yet one more piece of evidence to support it. Via a tweet by anonymous poll analyst NumbersCruncher comes the following graph showing the degree of over-sampling of Democrats employed by the most recent polls (all of which show Obama leading Romney):

Poll weighting heavy Democrat

 

Blogger keithbacker at Battleground Watch sums up the graph this way:

The real take-away which I have mentioned the times I blog national polls is that many of those national polls are HORRIBLE for Obama, namely the ABC/Washington Post and CBS/New York Times polls where you have large Democrat over-samplings but rather small leads for Obama. This means if Obama doesn’t meet or beat his stellar 2008 turnout advantage he’s in for a drubbing on election day. These over-samplings serve a few purposes but mainly drive down enthusiasm for Republicans while assisting the Obama campaign with “bandwagon” supporters who simply like being on the winning team (they’re real and they count).

If pollsters in conjunction with the Obama campaign create a negative feedback loop for Republicans such that the marginal voter doesn’t show up (definitely a well documented top priority for the Obama campaign) and assist with the bandwagon voter — a small but meaningful voter in close elections — then Obama can create the perfect storm he needs to eek out a close victory following one of the worst four-year performances for any President in modern times (Carter is the only arguable comparable).

That is the what and why pollsters are doing the massive Democrat over-sampling this election cycle.

(Rasmussen Reports polls are weighted D +1, not D -2 or R+2 however you see it)

This is a telling bit of information, and shows the power of polls to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Granted, most of the polls using a high Democrat over-sampling may be doing so simply as a means to estimate conservatively what could happen, if things stay the same from 2008. This is not unreasonable, given the enthusiasm gap that has recently been measured, but that enthusiasm gap is itself arguably reinforced by polling. The Romney ground game will need to push back aggressively if it wants to make up for that negative feedback loop.

Thanks to http://theblaze.com for this summary.

Written by DCL

September 18, 2012 at 5:09 pm