The Long Version

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

Posts Tagged ‘Journalism

The COVID-19 Narrative and Journalistic Malpractice

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Truth or LiesFor four months we have been watching a media smokescreen and misinformation campaign.

I was originally going to make this a Facebook post, but then I decided it would probably get removed by some self-righteous, virtue signaling, social justice warrior patrolling the feeds so I moved it to the blog.

Americans Doubt News CoverageThe media has done nothing but tell us how everything that has gone wrong or is bad regarding COVID-19 since day one is Donald Trump’s fault. They show us death counts, infection rates, compare us to other cherry picked countries, and not to mention selective data mining, and have shaped and perpetuated a narrative that kept the nation captive and ignorant.

However, as usual, a casual review of ALL the data as well as putting ALL the data into proper context, will render a very different story. 

The true story.

Listening to ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, and every other left of center news network (even FOX), will lead you to believe we are number one in every terrible category that has anything to do with this virus. We are also told that President Trump is ignoring the problem. But that’s how cherry picking works.

If we look at the top 20 nations for “observed case-fatality ratio” you’ll find the U.S. at number 12 with Great Britain #1 by a mile. In the U.S. the number of confirmed cases with the number of U.S. has Case Fatality Rate of 3.4%confirmed deaths is at 3.4%. Great Britain is at 15.2%… EVEN with all the admitted mistakes in record keeping from all the states, EVEN including deaths from shootings and car crashes that were counted as COVID deaths, we are at 3.4%. But that’s just not good enough for the media nor it’s desired narrative. Because that puts the U.S. in the company of countries like Bolivia, Columbia, and Guatemala. A country of our resources and wealth shouldn’t hanging with “THOSE” countries they say and being “12th worst in the world” is nothing to brag about.

Except, we’re not 12th worst in the world…IF you don’t cherry pick data. When you look at how America’s CFR compares to other similarly developed countries you see a much different picture. The U.S. actually has a lower CFR than Japan. What? How is this possible? Japan has been lauded by our news media as a shining example. But if the U.S. is doing better than Japan why are we so bad in the media’s eyes? Hmmmm?

When we look at TOTAL CFR (case fatality rates) the U.S. isn’t anywhere near the top of the list nor is it in 12th place. When we compare all cases and deaths worldwide the U.S. comes in at number 56… Of course we’d rather be dead last on that list, but 56 spots from the top should at least suggest that we are far from the incompetence the media portrays day after day.

The media would also have you believe we are the absolute worst when it comes to testing for COVID. Except we have tested over 53,000,000 people and our per capita test numbers are only behind the tiny countries of Luxembourg, Bahrain, and Israel. Bet you haven’t heard that report before.

How did we get to such a high number of tests in such a short amount of time and why haven’t we done more? That’s a great question. But you’ll have to ask the CDC why it made testing in the early phase of the disease so difficult to do. Like only allowing people who had traveled to China to be tested. In the beginning of this mess, testing or developing tests by private companies, universities, etc, was literally blocked by the CDC and FDA which was reported in the Wall Street Journal. Then, when the CDC finally started shipping tests to the states, many of them were defective.

Testing ONLY improved when the White House removed some of the regulatory road blocks that kept private labs, medical facilities, and universities from developing their own tests and testing methods. Once private industry jumped on board to help with the testing, the tests got better and the results more accurate. Gee, imagine that? Government screwing things up while private industry makes them better. Hmmmm, again… No mention of this problem nor the solution by your “free press.”

Then we moved into the Mask Era. Every day the Trump administration was pounded for not mandating masks as if a President can simply make laws by Royal edict… Can you imagine the 

Rep Eric Swalwell tweets Stop Wearing Face Masks

attacks if Trump had actually done that? He’s already a dictator for…doing…something Pelosi and Schumer don’t like. I think…

However, let’s go back to March when the media was reporting this: “U.S. Health Officials say Americans shouldn’t wear masks to prevent Coronavirus – Here are 3 other reasons not to wear them.” Democrat Congressman and Deputy Assistant Impeachment Cheerleader Eric Swalwell even tweeted, “Stop wearing face masks. #Coronavirus” on March 4, 2020.

65% of Americans wear a mask in publicYet here we are after a complete 180, creating another angry and divisive issue for people to fight about. A recent Pew Research poll showed 65% of Americans wear one when in public places and that poll was done BEFORE Trump went public with his support of wearing masks and the media was hounding Trump to force mask wearing because according to them no one was. Wrong again newsies.

But the biggest club the media has chosen to bash the president with, is Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). During a March press conference, President Trump made the horrific (in the minds of Dems) and now famous or infamous (depending which color voting sticker you wear) statement suggesting HCQ could be helpful in treating COVID-19. You’d think he had just told Americans to drink poison and bleach! Oh wait, the media did say that… And for the next week we were told Trump isn’t a doctor and he doesn’t know anything and he’s trying to kill people.

CNN went so far as to find a story in Nigeria about Chloroquine poisonings and blamed THAT on Trump. All it takes is the arch enemy of the Democrat arm of the media saying something positive about anything and the media is immediately against it.

The FDA, which had previously given the green light to HCQ for some COVID patients, suddenly gave it the red light citing a study that claimed there were dangerous side effects like blindness and heart attacks. The media went on a blitz telling the public they could die of heart attacks or go blind if they listened to Trump! But then, the study the FDA was pointing to was retracted by the authors citing bad data and unverifiable records. I’m sure you remember the media coming out immediately with a retraction and apology for scaring the bejeebers out of everyone. No? Oh, that’s because they didn’t say anything about it.

Hydroxychloroquine studyThen in July a newer study published in the International Journal of Infectious Disease, came out saying HCQ DID help to “significantly lower the death rate” in COVID patients. Even a Yale Epidemiologist wrote about the positive benefits of HCQ in treating COVID-19 in Newsweek magazine. Dr. Harvey Risch published a study showing the drug is effective for treating the virus.

Now, these doctors who have come out and spoken the truth from studies and their own experience treating COVID-19 are being threatened, fired, black listed, and called quacks. Thousands of doctors worldwide have prescribed this medication in a protocol with Zinc and other medicines with success, yet the media and certain people in our government at the federal and state levels are doing all they can to silence this debate. Why?

It’s a 65 year-old drug that is used for many illnesses, but mainly Lupus and Rheumatism. It is derived from a natural medicine called Quinine, which comes from a tree bark. It has been proven safe and used safely for decades in this country. So why the pushback?

Imagine how different this conversation would be if ANY Democrat had come out in support of this treatment rather than Donald Trump. You know it would be like night and day. There would likely be a push to make it an over-the-counter medication as soon as possible. But, unfortunately for people who do get the virus, the wrong person said something good about it.

HCQ is cheap and plentiful and it’s been around so long it doesn’t have a patent. And maybe that has something to do with this whole controversy. No one makes any real money on this drug. Any pharmaceutical company can produce it. There is no exclusivity. No big bucks. Not that money is a motivator or anything…

You may also remember the “COVID Parties” being thrown all over college campuses in those “evil” Republican states like Alabama.Covid Parties? CNN took the lead reporting how college students in “Republican States” were throwing parties to see who would get COVID first. They were even betting on it! With real money!!!! But then a Journalistic Icon decided to dig into the story. No, not the New York Times. Wired magazine connected the loose ends (or wires as it were) and they found “no credible evidence” of COVID parties taking place. Their headline read “COVID Parties are not a thing.” None of the other media reports were true. CNN had failed again.

This is just a small sampling of the kind of media reports droning away day after day on TV and the web. Yet, day after day they are exposed as inaccurate or blatantly false. Truth no longer appears to be the standard of quality journalism, at least on the national stage.

The standard now is political and the standard bearer looks a lot like the Democrat party.

Written by DCL

August 1, 2020 at 6:49 pm

CBS News Reporter Confirms: News Media Has Leftwing Bias

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Lara Logan CBS NewsLara Logan may not be a household name in the world of journalism, but she has been a part of some well-known international news stories over the past decade.

Logan, who is from South Africa, began her news career there in Durban in 1990 and has worked for Reuters, ABC, NBC, and CBS as a freelance reporter internationally. In 2002 Logan was offered a correspondent position with CBS News where she spent most of her time on battlefields reporting in war zones around the world. Logan also made regular appearances on CBS 60 Minutes.

But Logan is perhaps best known for what happened to her off camera than on. In 2011 she was in Egypt covering the Egyptian revolution when she and her camera crew were arrested and detained by Egyptian police. They were later released but as they moved back into the streets a large group of Egyptian males encountered them and began to make lurid comments about Logan. Soon the crowd became aggressive and Logan was taken by the mob and sexually assaulted. She would later say she believed she was going to be killed. She spent several days in a US hospital upon her arrival from Egypt.

With nearly 30 years of journalistic experience at major news networks around the world, Logan is a prime candidate to speak on the subject of bias in the news industry. She sat down with retired Navy Seal Mike Ritland and was interviewed for Mike’s podcast “Mike Drop.” Logan had interviewed Ritland 6 years earlier for a segment on 60 Minutes. Now Logan was on the side being questioned.

Ritland has been a harsh critic of the American news media, calling it “absurdly left-leaning” and that “Democrat biases were a huge —-ing problem” and a disaster for the country. “I agree with that. That’s true,” Logan replied. She also implied it wasn’t just an American problem. “The media everywhere is mostly liberal, not just the U.S.,” she said. In the U.S., Logan says there are only a small number of news organizations that don’t march to the Leftist drumbeat. She cited Fox News and Breitbart as two examples.

In the podcast with Ritland, Logan talks about her experience in newsrooms.

“Visually, anyone who’s ever been to Israel and been to the Wailing Wall has seen that the women have this tiny little spot in front of the wall to pray, and the rest of the wall is for the men. To me, that’s a great representation of the American media, is that in this tiny little corner where the women pray you’ve got Breitbart and Fox News and a few others, and from there on, you have CBS, ABC, NBC, Huffington Post, Politico, whatever, right? All of them. And that’s a problem for me, because even if it was reversed, if it was vastly mostly on the right, that would also be a problem for me.”

“My experience has been that the more opinions you have, the more ways that you look at everything in life — everything in life is complicated, everything is gray, right? Nothing is black and white.”

“This is the problem that I have. There’s one Fox, and there’s many, many, many more organizations on the left. … The problem is the weight of all these organizations on one side of the political spectrum. When you turn on your computer, or you walk past the TV, or you see a newspaper headline in the grocery store If they’re all saying the same thing, the weight of that convinces you that it’s true. You don’t question it, because everyone is saying it. Unless you seek out Breitbart on your computer, you’re probably not even going to know what the other side is saying.”

She wonders how people can know what’s accurate and what’s not when so many news outlets are saying the exact same thing, in many cases word for word.

“How do you know you’re being lied to? How do you know you’re being manipulated? How do you know there’s something not right with the coverage?” she asked.

“When they simplify it all, there’s no gray. It’s all one way. Well, life isn’t like that. If it doesn’t match real life, it’s probably not. Something’s wrong. For example, all the coverage on Trump all the time is negative. … That’s a distortion of the way things go in real life.”

Logan continued, “Although the media has historically always been left-leaning, we’ve abandoned our pretense, or at least the effort, to be objective today. We’ve become political activists, and some could argue propagandists, and there’s some merit to that.”

Another major problem she sees is the use of anonymous sources, particularly in the government. “That’s not journalism, it’s horse shit,” she said. “Responsibility for fake news begins with us.”

At the end of the three hour and forty-nine minute interview, Logan said something that in itself is very revealing of the state of our free press in America. She said, “This interview is professional suicide for me.” A sad, but likely all too true, sentiment in the era of Trump and the news media.

Here is the full video of the interview from the Mike Drop podcast.

Written by DCL

February 19, 2019 at 10:45 am

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

Never Allow Liberals to Look Bad

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Media-biasWhen it comes to acts of violence, the mainstream media never hesitates to get the “full story” on what motivated the perpetrator — provided they can somehow link the criminal to a right-of-center cause. But when alleged murderer Christopher Dorner’s manifesto emerged earlier today, revealing his hard-Left political views, most members of the media did their damnedest to bury the truth. Because if there’s one rule by which the media must play, it’s this: never allow liberals to look bad.

The Major Media is pushing a narrative that Chris Dorner, the former LAPD cop who is accused of killing one police officer and wounding two others, was a Naval Reservist, but then forgets to mention he was a gun-control advocate and big Obama supporter. I find it interesting how the media pushes the political orientation of some but not others. The media claimed that Sarah Palin inspired Jared Loughner, the kook who shot Gaby Giffords, even though there was no truth to it. They got around this by invoking a foggy “toxic atmosphere”.

Now we learn that Floyd Corkins, the nut who killed a security guard during his attack on the Family Research Council, actually WAS inspired by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “hate map” but the media has said nothing and pretend they don’t see the connection. Joseph Stack, the man who flew his Piper Dakota airplane into the Echelon Office Complex in Austin, Texas, where the IRS had offices, was first called a Tea Partier.  When they found out he was a COMMUNIST, they called him “anti-government” misleading people into thinking he was part of the “anti-government” Tea Party. The Washington Post went so far as to delete the Pro-Communist message Stack had left in his suicide note.  The Washington Post decided to ignore the facts and push a narrative.

Then we have ABC News Brian Ross who erroneously reported that James Holmes, the suspect in the Aurora movie theatre shootings, may have connections to the Tea Party. His source for this breaking news? A single web page that listed an “Aurora-based Jim Holmes” as a member of the Colorado Tea Party Patriots. Come to find out there was more than one James Holmes in Aurora and the one on the Tea Party website was a 52 year-old Hispanic conservative. Apparently political background is only important when reporting SOME shootings even when that reporting is dead wrong.

The hypocrisy is stifling.

Thanks to Twitchy.com and Ace of Spades HQ 

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

The Journalist’s Creed

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I’ve stated on numerous occasions here in this blog and through social media how disappointed I am with my former profession. The media, the free press, given constitutional protection by the founders of this nation to be the watchdog over the “grand experiment” that was and is America, is failing in its responsibility and, in my opinion, sacred trust and duty to inform the citizenry of the actions of its government.

The American press is negligent and derelict in its duty.

Shortly after founding the Missouri School of Journalism in 1908, Walter Williams wrote a code of ethics known as The Journalist’s Creed.  I would be surprised if even a small majority of journalists have ever heard of it let alone read it or strive to work by it in their daily profession, though it stands in bronze at the National Press Club in Washington, DC for all to see.

How many walk by it daily without a second thought?

The Journalist's Creed

The Journalist’s Creed

I believe in the profession of Journalism.

I believe that the public journal is a public trust; that all connected with it are, to the full measure of responsibility, trustees for the public; that all acceptance of lesser service than the public service is a betrayal of this trust.

I believe that clear thinking, clear statement, accuracy and fairness are fundamental to good journalism.

I believe that a journalist should write only what he holds in his heart to be true.

I believe that suppression of the news, for any consideration other than the welfare of society, is indefensible.

I believe that no one should write as a journalist what he would not say as a gentleman; that bribery by one’s own pocket book is as much to be avoided as bribery by the pocketbook of another; that individual responsibility may not be escaped by pleading another’s instructions or another’s dividends.

I believe that advertising, news and editorial columns should alike serve the best interests of readers; that a single standard of helpful truth and cleanness should prevail for all; that supreme test of good journalism is the measure of its public service.

I believe that the journalism which succeeds the best-and best deserves success-fears God and honors man; is stoutly independent; unmoved by pride of opinion or greed of power; constructive, tolerant but never careless, self-controlled, patient, always respectful of its readers but always unafraid, is quickly indignant at injustice; is unswayed by the appeal of the privilege or the clamor of the mob; seeks to give every man a chance, and as far as law, an honest wage and recognition of human brotherhood can make it so, an equal chance; is profoundly patriotic while sincerely promoting international good will and cementing world-comradeship, is a journalism of humanity, of and for today’s world.

It isn’t perfect, but neither is the profession occupied by imperfect human beings.  That, however, does not excuse the blatant disregard for most of the tenets of this creed by our current broadcast media, print media, and news organizations.

I challenge any and all who call themselves journalists, at any and all professional levels to read the creed and then perform a sincere inventory of his or her journalistic practices.

This country needs a voice it can believe, verify, and trust.  Who will be the journalists to accept that charge? Who will follow the creed and all other ethical codes of conduct?

Please step forward.  Now.