Archive for Media

Myth propagating

Slate, of course: Amanda Marcotte says Let’s Stop Idealizing the Home-Cooked Family Dinner.

Money is also a problem. Low-income women often don’t have the money for fresh produce and, in many cases, can’t afford to pay for even a basic kitchen setup.

Well, yes, being poor does usually mean money is a problem but what is at note here is the denial of reality. The ‘poor’ in the U.S. would be considered ‘middle class’ in most of the rest of the world. You can see this in the fact that the targets for dinner aren’t exactly suffering. See Census: Americans in ‘Poverty’ Typically Have Cell Phones, Computers, TVs, VCRS, AC, Washers, Dryers and Microwaves (and 96% have stoves).

Beyond just the time and money constraints, women find that their very own families present a major obstacle to their desire to provide diverse, home-cooked meals. The women interviewed faced not just children but grown adults who are whiny, picky, and ungrateful for their efforts.

and then the bias

the main reason that people see cooking mostly as a burden is because it is a burden. It’s expensive and time-consuming and often done for a bunch of ingrates who would rather just be eating fast food anyway. If we want women—or gosh, men, too—to see cooking as fun, then these obstacles need to be fixed first. And whatever burden is left needs to be shared.

ya’ see? It’s the war on women! When it comes to such ideologies picked for mainstream promotion by those on the left, facts and reality just don’t matter. They are made up to support the fantasy. What used to be a service for loved ones now becomes a burden for ingrates. The fix isn’t to control the ingrates but rather to re-assess values and attitudes of the burdened.

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Net Neutrality

J.C. Dvorak takes on the The Net Neutrality Hysteria, one of those appealing labels applied to a questionable effort for government control at the expense of those ‘greedy, evil’ corporations.

“It stems from a belief that without some sort of law or government edict, the evil ISPs—mainly Comcast—will go out of their way to screw customers by practicing all sorts of devilment.”

“So … why hasn’t it done this already? Nobody can really answer that, except to say some unenforceable FCC principles, suggested years ago, are being used to stem any corrupt practices.”

“After years of fear that the government will take control of the Internet, now everyone is begging them to do it. The two liberal commissioners on the FCC pretty much said that problems are coming and rules need to be put in place. This pre-crime thinking will result in regulation that will encroach on everything.”

“The public can find a lot of ways to punish a corporation that abuses its privileges. This situation should not be escalated to the point that the FCC has anything to do with it.”

The Snowden episode is used as an example to illustrate why the government cannot be trusted. That illustrates a bias on its own that tends to detract from the case made. Fundamentally, it conflates the matter of knowing with that of doing. The net neutrality effort isn’t just a listening issue, it is a control and doing issue. It is about having the government regulate the internet service business to control content and how it is handled. It is being done with an unwarranted suspicion of the targets involved and an anticipation of something that might happen but hasn’t yet – notice how that same set of tactics is used by the climate alarmists?

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Piety in Tinseltown

It’s the context, he says. Michael White is a student of early nineteenth century Americ and wonders Was 12 Years a Slave the best film of the year?

“It is not just the lovely clothes the Northups wear, but a lack of contextual information that might guide the unwary about how slavery operated in the America of 1841: the battle between slave and free states; freedom roads heading north; kidnappers like Northup’s assailants heading south with “runaways”, real or not. Steven Spielberg’s earnest Lincoln, with which it has been compared, makes the same mistake: lack of context meant you needed a degree in the period (I have one) to understand all that was going on.”… “we learn, McQueen and his writer, John Ridley, felt the need to embellish the text to reinforce their point.” … “You do not throw $1,000-worth of property at 1841 prices over the side of the boat simply because he has annoyed you.” … “The film’s depiction of relationships between classes, genders and spouses, as well as between races, also seemed a little out of kilter, too informal, too candid, too egalitarian; in other words, too modern.” … “what convinced me that the film diminished itself needlessly was in its depiction of Christianity simply as a hypocritical instrument of suppression, the Bible routinely cited as justification for enslavement in sermons to the enslaved. It was all that, but it was also much more.”

The modern propaganda recipe is all there. That is why “best film of the year? That smacks of piety in Tinseltown.”

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Fighting tooth and nail

Thomas Lifson says the Dems declare war on Inspector General uncovering IRS scandal. What he describes is a dedicated, unforgiving, no holds barred, effort of defense.

“The IRS scandal is so bad that Democrats are unleashing total war in an attempt to beat back a full airing of the abuse. The old adage, “The best defense is a good offense,” is all the more valid when the major media outlets are on their side. It is not necessary to have any actual facts to use as rebuttal for the indefensible; it is enough to simply throw a cloud of dust, so as to discredit any charges – in the eyes of supporters and media sycophants.”

“Inspectors General are the taxpayers’ best friends in Washington, DC, charged with investigating waste and corruption, and for that reason have been the targets of the Obama administration’s  Ongoing War on Inspectors General, documented by Ed Lasky over the past several years. It is Chicago-style politics to threaten anyone who can uncover inconvenient dirt. Obama is notorious for his “they bring a knife, you bring a gun” style of political hardball, and an inspector general who threatens to uncover scandal is an obvious target.”

That tends to stimulate positive feedback, the artificially created fallacy that there’s no smoke so there’s no fire and what has got these Republicans upset, anyhow? The scary thing is that the Democrats are working as a solid block despite clear indications of impropriety that need to be repaired. Mass hysteria?

Also see John Hinderaker Barack Obama: The George Wallace of Free Speech

“Bitterly hostile to free speech when exercised by their political opponents, Democrats have done whatever they can to undermine Citizens United, just as they did decades ago with Brown vs. Board of Education.

“The I.R.S. scandal can best be seen in this light. The Democrats are using the levers of the executive branch, particularly the I.R.S., to deter Americans from exercising the First Amendment rights that were guaranteed them by the Supreme Court.”

A fear of inspection of ideas is a danger of magnitude.

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Media delight

Finally, a scandal that gets the media excited. John explains: Christie Bridge Scandal Puts Reporters Back In Business.

“The most striking fact about the story so far is the obvious contrast between reporters’ attitudes toward the many Obama administration scandals–ho hum–and the repellent glee with which they are pursuing the Christie story. … It seems obvious that Obama’s IRS and Benghazi scandals are far more serious than the bridge lane closing, and Obama’s lockdown of national parks and monuments was a close parallel to the lane closure, only on a national scale. And, of course, one normally would expect the national media to pay far more attention to presidential than gubernatorial scandals. But the frenzy of the last 24 hours reminds us how excited reporters can get when they are going after a Republican.”

“This is what I don’t get: don’t reporters understand how obvious it is that they delight in Republican scandals, and do their best to cover up Democratic ones? Have they so internalized their prejudices that they really can’t see them, and assume no one else does, either? Or do they just not care?”

Perhaps a more significant question is why the voters and media audience do not see this or do not care.

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Scary times (but its us, not them)

Hansen wonders about 2017 and the End of Ethics

“We have become inured to the press as an adjunct Ministry of Truth and to the notion that the president feels that he can do whatever he wishes without much worry over public audit. Such obsequiousness and exemption are now institutionalized, just as, after the divine Emperor Augustus, there was little accountability for the emperors or free speech allowed in criticizing them. So we are entering a new period in presidential history, and it may be difficult to go back to the status quo ante 2009, when reporters were not state megaphones and the president paid a price for not telling the truth.

More likely, the members of the national press corps do not even now quite get it that they have been completely discredited.”

“So we are living in scary times. The nation has grown used to the idea that what the president says is probably either untrue or irrelevant — and yet it does not really any more care which.”

The focus is on the first level media and their role as auditors of political behavior. In many respects, this is like those who point to a political party or even all politicians as the source for what is wrong in the country. This is simply a means to avoid something much more pernicious. The accountability for public and political behavior depends upon the citizens – each one of us – in our votes and in our acceptance of lies, deceit, and corruption. When we honor muggers and despise those who defend themselves lawfully, it’s us and not them that need examination.

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Spiritual warfare

“So I notice now they are … leaving it in there, but you got to remember, spiritual warfare,” Robertson said. “I mean you have people with no moral compass, it ain’t there.”…

“Duck Dynasty” star: Editors cut mention of Jesus from show to avoid offending Muslims.

It seems that the editors are adding bleeps to imply cursing that isn’t in the actual dialog and removing references to Jesus in order to placate terrorists on one the hit TV shows Duck Dynasty.

So this is yet another reinforcement of the idea that terrorism works, and jihadist intimidation and thuggery work: cowards start falling into line even without any explicit threat. “‘Duck Dynasty’ Star: Show Adding ‘Fake Bleeps’ Despite No Cursing,” from CBS Houston, October 4 (thanks to Kenneth):

The propaganda is subtle and may not be backed by a grand strategy from a central authority but it does exist and is having its impact.

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Going to bat for your team: Media vs Republicans and getting your money

John Hinderaker describes one reason why one political party is handicapped: The Associated Press Goes to Bat For the Democratic Party. The subject for examination is an AP story for tommorrow’s press by Andrew Taylor.

“There you have it! Our government is “teetering,” but those dastardly Republicans have “vowed” to use an “otherwise routine” spending bill to “try to attack” Obamacare. It’s all their fault! Nowhere do the Democrats “vow,” nowhere do they violate “routine,” nowhere do they “attack” anything. So whatever is going on here, it evidently is the doing of Republicans.”

And there is more: revisionist histories and the bogey man (i.e. the TEA Party) and the incredible nonsense paraded as Truth.

“Sure, that’s the idea. Republicans just want to stop people from getting health care. This is unbelievably stupid, but the AP presents it without comment.”

At least the bias is a matter of discussion, analysis, and exposure. Maybe, just maybe, a few more folks will stop and think about what they are told and compare it to what is readily visible that contradicts it. Maybe.

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Historians vs Hollywood

A number of historians describe What ‘The Butler’ gets wrong about Ronald Reagan and race.

These are just a few examples of Reagan’s sensitivity to racial discrimination. This attitude was instilled by his mother, who was deeply involved in the Disciples of Christ, and his father, who refused to allow him to see the movie “Birth of a Nation” because it glorified the Ku Klux Klan.

But you don’t get any sense of that in the film “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”

As historians of the 40th president, having written more than a dozen biographies between us, we are troubled by the movie’s portrayal of Reagan’s attitudes toward race. We are especially concerned because many Americans readily accept Hollywood depictions of history as factual.

There is an agenda to be supported. The propaganda is necessary, even if intellectually dishonest, to support that agenda. The past will be painted in a manner that suits the agenda. The question is whether it is Hollywood’s propaganda or the Historian’s story of reality that will surface over time and what will happen (and at what cost) in the meantime.

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Race wars, a tangled web with the victim count growing

The Zimmerman case was a matter of running a flag up the pole to gather the troops, it seems. John Lott takes off from there on Obama’s Racial Imbalance:

“Would these attacks have occurred without the perception that Zimmerman was motived by race? Maybe. The Zimmerman case could have been only an excuse for attacks that would have taken place anyway. Nevertheless, the list of attackers who explicitly mention Trayvon’s name is long enough to be disturbing.”

Then there is a detailed look at the campaign to elevate the Zimmerman case from what it was to what is wasn’t.  Is This What Ryan Julison Intended All Along?.

“Many people are noticing the uptick in young black males attacking, and in some recent cases, killing, white people. One of the connections that joins them all appears just below the surface. Each of these events are connected, and each of these connections are being totally ignored by the media.”

Investigations reveal that there are connections to other race war battles. The leadership in this war has been noted, especially in the relationships between the current administration and some of the well known race baiters. Much like the terrorism war, it is a one sided campaign permeated by political correctness and driven by malicious propaganda.

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Tergiversations: the media on climate change

Steven Hayward came up with that one in Media Notes: Climate Campaign in a Snit

“The climate campaign has gone to DefCon1 over the tergiversations of Reuters, where alarmist news stories about climate change have fallen by nearly 50 percent following the hiring of an editor (Paul Ingrassia, formerly of the Wall Street Journal) who harbors some skeptical views.”

“There’s a full-scale media outrage under way to purge the heretic. “

It is getting harder to promote anthropogenic caused climate catastrophy so the coverage in that area is dissipating. Taxing Air by Spooner and Carter reviews the science and politics on the issue that also provides a good over-view of climatology. No tergiversations there!

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Finding the right villian in the scandal

The NSA telecommunications spy scandal has created a lot of breathlessness in certain circles  lately. Stewart Baker says “but enough about you …” to question whether the scanal is really about the privacy of individuals or something else, something much more insidious.

“Today, more than two weeks after publishing a FISA court order calling for the collection of noncontent calling data for all US phone calls, the Guardian and Glenn Greenwald got around to proving me right. They finally published NSA’s minimization procedures for handling records relating to US persons.”

… “To be clear, they’re generally reassuring about NSA’s respect for the rights of Americans. They’re not at all reassuring about the motivations of Glenn Greenwald or the Guardian.

Because it seems almost certain that Greenwald and the Guardian had these documents two weeks ago, and that they could have released the guidelines at the same time they released the order that started this flap.  The original order, out of context, was disturbing.  The minimization documents provide context and make the naked order less troubling.

So why did the Greenwald/Guardian team withhold documents that would provide important context for two full weeks as the controversy built?

This makes no sense if you’re practicing journalism.”

In other words, the real scandal is likely to be the violation of a security clearance to leak classified information to a media outlet that then used that information as a part of an ideological propaganda campaign.

“If I’m right about their motives, Greenwald and the Guardian are treating NSA — or the United States government — as the enemy they hope to harm, and they’ve abandoned ordinary journalistic standards in an effort to do their adversary as much harm as possible.”

It used to be simple government vs government. Now, it appears, it is something a bit different. No long is Radio Moscow the means to disseminate propaganda. The cranks and crackpots and others can get into the act as well. They want to ‘bring the big guy down’ but don’t seem to have the foggiest idea about the implications of their fantasies.

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Undermining the foundations

Hanson: When dishonesty undermines democracy summarizes the current plague of deceit and evasion in government. The behavior described is indeed one underpinning of the foundations for self governance. He also hits on another:

“Deception is now institutionalized in the Obama administration. It infects almost every corner of the U.S. government, eroding the trust necessary for the IRS, the Department of Justice, our security agencies, and the president’s official press communiques — sabotaging the public trust required for democracy itself.

What went wrong with the Obama administration?

There is no longer an adversarial media establishment in Washington. Spouses and siblings of executives at the major television networks are embedded within the administration. Unlike with Watergate, the media now hold back, thinking that any hard-hitting reporting of scandals would only weaken Mr. Obama, whose vision of America the vast majority of reporters share. But that understood exemption only encourages more lack of candor.”

The other foundational principle is that of honesty and integrity in holding government to account. As Dr. Hanson notes, the media’s role in this has become a farce. The media is not the only player. The other is the public. As long as ‘the people’ are generally willing to accept dishonesty in their government – or to presume dishonesty that wasn’t – government will continue to function on the basis of fantasy and not reality.

As for “presume dishonesty that wasn’t,” consider one Democrat party leader whose response to a list like Hanson’s with a famous “Bush did it” by pushing the Iraq WMD as a similar state of affairs. Equating a consensus of foreign and domestic intelligence to such things as the current scandals is an indication of just how deep and widespread the lack of intellectual integrity, the rot in self governance, really is.

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Getting the story straight: how did the MSM get it so wrong?

There is an innordinate and irrational fear about privacy that drives FUD mongering stories. One way to tell is that the stories are often hyperbolic, exagerated, and even blatantly wrong. Ed Bott illustrates the phenomena in regards to the recent NSA PRISM stories.

“That absence of an independent tech check means both publications got the story wrong, as subsequent reporting by other journalists with experience in these topics has confirmed. These are not trivial details, nor is this a matter of semantics. We’re not quibbling over words. If you don’t understand the technical workings of these surveillance programs, you can’t understand whether they’re working as intended, you can’t identify where the government has overstepped its bounds, and you can’t intelligently debate the proper response. The fact that the government has maintained rigid secrecy compounds the problem.”

Who cares is a source is giving away classified and secret information? Who cares if large tech companies get slandered?

“The system described in the PRISM presentation appears to be an automated way to process those FBI and NSA requests. It’s clearly not an open doorway into any of those companies’ servers, as The Guardian and the Post originally alleged. 

The nine companies listed in the PRISM slide deck are there because they offer widely used communication services, most of them free.

The botched reporting by the Guardian and the Post means that millions of readers directed their anger at a handful of big companies that were unfairly accused of selling out their customers to the national security apparatus. The reality is that if NSA surveillance is indeed overstepping its bounds, those companies are victims, not willing participants.”

Anything for a good story, it seems, especially if it trashes the U.S. and large corporate entities. After all, 9/11 and the Boston Bombing were just minor criminal activities and there is no ‘war on terror’ or global ideological conflict laced with significant violence against the innocent.

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double down on dishonesty

It appears that the Sacramento Bee editor defends Rick Perry “BOOM!” cartoon and, in doing so, illustrates the tactic of doubling down on a dishonest assertion and rationalizing that dishonesty by diversion. The rationalization is to assert that the objection to the cartoon is ” being disrespectful for the victims of this tragedy” and a personal assault on the governor’s “disregard for worker safety.” Those assertions personalize the issue, create a straw man, and completely ignores the actual message of the actual cartoon.

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WaPo starts a rumor and no amount of debunking squashes the lie

“Among the most troubling questions from this episode is why the Internet’s ability to spread information at gigabit speed didn’t result in the story being killed.”

It’s FREE! It has the taint of mysterious (i.e. magic) technology! The media says it’s true! The government is going to do it – for everybody, for FREE! Feels good. Must be.

but it isn’t.

Wi-Fi “as free as air”—the totally false story that refuses to die – Journalism goes wrong and just keeps getting worse. Jon Brodkin tells the tale.

“The story is still out there. Three days after anyone who knew what they were talking about debunked the free Wi-Fi myth, three days after the Post was notified of their mistake, the false story is still published on the Post website and many other sites as if it were true all along.”

This is one of those things that doesn’t pass the smell test but there aren’t many in the surface media who have any sense of smell any more, it seems and their audience is also quite gullible for pipe dreams. That is called a positive feedback loop and the result is not pretty. What Jon notes is the problem of stimulating just a little bit of critical reading. It seems to be an impossible task.

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Ends justifying the means?

“The assault on the privacy of these law-abiding citizens, in the name of the liberal media’s anti-gun agenda, is nothing short of tragic. But nearly as tragic is the damage this does to the cause of open government.”

Woman Being Stalked Thanks To Newspaper Disclosing Gun Owner Addresses at SayAnythingBlog

Open government means a lot of records are available online. You can use Zillow to look up any address and see public property records. Concealed carry permits are another that often fall prey to information requests. Newspaper abuse of such requests was highlighted when a New Jersey paper published a map mashup with CCW permit holder information.

Responsibilities, especially civil, ethical, and moral ones, accompany rights. When political players abuse their responsibilities, they attack the rights of all. Rights become an ideological football to play a game neither side can win.

See also: Outing the Gun Owners and the Left’s New Savagery at American Thinker

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An injustice that the perspective of history is just beginning to correct

“What is different is not the degree to which the two Harvard alumni at times seemed confused in the limelight, but that the partisan media were determined to suggest that the similarly accruing lapses were incidental to Obama’s genius, but a window into Bush’s imbecility.”

Professor Hanson takes a look at BDS and its effects in the light of reality, a reality that is still denied by many who still haven’t quite cleared the froth from their mouths that resulted from their Bush Derangement issues.

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What you are up against if seeking rational and honest debate

John Hinderaker says The Times Embarrasses Itself on Guns–Again! and takes apart an editorial that makes many suspicious claims about gun control.

“So if the Times really cared about crime, as opposed to making a political point about guns, it wouldn’t be hard to figure out where to focus. But at the Times, the paper’s political agenda always takes priority over the facts.”

What is on the table is a collection of claims that are not quite the ‘whole truth’ but rather nice, quick, comfortable sound bites. Putting them down usually requires getting below the surface and takes a bit of work. Why is the U.S. homicide rate rather high? A proper answer has to look at the ethnic distribution of homicide. That raises ugly questions of race as well as the question of why homicide is more prevalent where gun controls are more strict.

The goal in such debates does not appear to be that of trying to learn and find solutions. Rather, it is a matter of supporting preconceived desires in any way, honest or no, possible.

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Costas vs OJ

“Costas’ remarks constitute exploitation of a tragedy in order to push a political point that Whitlock, Costas, and NBC no doubt already believed, and only used the moment to forward. They all should be ashamed of themselves. But our current media culture is one in which shame does not exist. Neither does the truth.

“What Costas and Whitlock and NBC offered is not “perspective.” It is a lie. It is also a broadside attack on the rights of responsible citizens to equip ourselves to defend ourselves and our loved ones. Will Bob Costas, NBC, and Jason Whitlock assume personal responsibility for every American who would be alive today if they had possessed the means to defend themselves from violent criminals? Of course not. To them, such victims do not even exist.”

Bryan Preston lays it out about Bob Costas, NBC Exploit Kansas City Chiefs Tragedy to Attack Americans’ Constitutional Right of Self-Defense.

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