A Spark of Hope – Amanda Green

A Spark of Hope – Amanda Green

I’m probably going to get into trouble for this but I don’t care. You see, something happened Thursday night of last week that made me stop and think. Yes, I know. It can be dangerous for me to think. That’s when those non-approved thoughts happen and I forget to walk in lock-step with those who are so willing to tell me what to think and what to do. Well, screw ‘em. Thursday night showed me there is at least a glimmer of hope for our country and I’m going to cling to it, reminding myself that what we see and hear from the main stream media isn’t what mainstream America thinks.

For those who don’t know me, I live in North Central Texas, right smack dab between Dallas and Fort Worth. For some, this is the beginning of “the West”. For those of us who live here, it is the difference between fast-paced Dallas (although nothing like NYC) and a slower-paced Fort Worth. We have many of the same problems of any major metropolitan area. We have our fair share of poor schools, gang-related issues, drugs, crime, and poverty. You name it and you can find it. Maybe not in the same numbers of say, Detroit or Cleveland, but it is there.

Like too many places of late, we’ve had our own instances of white cops killing black youths. The last time that happened was less than two weeks ago. Late one night, 19 year old Christian Taylor, a young man who had so much promise ahead of him, broke into a car dealership in Dallas. Security video showed him jumping on top of cars, denting hoods and breaking windshields. When Arlington police arrived, they found him inside the dealership building – Taylor had driven his car through the glass wall to gain access. And, unfortunately, events played out in such a way that this young man lost his life. A rookie cop made access to the building, separating himself from his training officer and Taylor was shot and killed.

When the story first hit the media, there was no doubt the media was playing up the angle that we have seen all too often, that of a cop too eager to kill a black youth. A “copy” of the radio log was leaked to the media showing only two seconds elapsed from the time the cop confronted Taylor to when he killed him. The only problem happened to be that the “copy” turned out to be a heavily edited copy and that two minutes elapsed instead of two seconds.

Now, this piece isn’t about whether or not the cop in question was right or wrong in what he did. In my mind, mistakes were made on both sides. Taylor never should have been at the dealership and he sure as hell shouldn’t have driven his car through the glass to gain entry. He shouldn’t have run when the cops arrived and ordered him to halt. But the rookie cop made mistakes too. He shouldn’t have made entry into the building without first securing the scene. He should have waited for back up. His training officer should have had better control over his actions. I won’t speculate on whether he should have deployed his Taser, as his training officer apparently did, instead of his weapon because I haven’t heard all of the tape nor seen the video. All I know is a young man lost his life and a cop is now without a job. This was a tragedy no matter how you look at it.

So what does this have to do with what happened Thursday night, you ask. Very simple. No matter what the media tried to do with this story, no matter how they tried to stir the pot of discontent, it failed. And believe me, the media did its best to make this story into much more than it is. Not just locally but on a national level. In fact, the national media was the worst about trying to stir up trouble. I heard media mavens trying to draw a parallel between what happened in Arlington to what happened in Ferguson. I stopped counting the number of times the national media led the story off with some version of “There’s been another black youth killed by a white cop”. When it became clear the “copy” of the radio log had been heavily edited, national media was all but silent on it. After all, it didn’t fit the picture they wanted to paint.

Fortunately, the Arlington Police Department is active on social media and learned about this leaked “copy” very early on. It didn’t take APD long to release the entire log, showing that things didn’t quite play out the way the media was portraying it. Even more fortunately, Taylor’s family, while grieving and having more questions that any parent or family member should have about a loved one’s death, called for calm. They didn’t fall into the trap the MSM tried to set for everyone involved. They have been class acts through this all, mourning Taylor and asking for answers but also asking for calm from all sides. My heart and my prayers go out to these people and I hope they get the answers they want and they deserve without much more delay.

So that is the basic background for what happened Thursday night.

That night, I went into Dallas to see Motown – the Musical with my mother and a friend. I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, so the thought of spending an evening enjoying the music of that era thrilled me. I also expected that the crowd for the show would be a bit different, not because of the fact it was Motown but because we were going on a night of the run that we don’t usually go to. This was one of the last shows instead of early into the run.

The audience was filled, something I was thrilled to see with school starting soon. The people attending were a bit older than usual, on average. Again, not surprising because this was one of those musicals that called out to the fans of Motown and let’s face it, Motown was at its most popular in the 60’s and 70’s.

I hadn’t seen Motown – the Musical before. All I knew was that it would have some great music and would tell the history of Motown Records. From the reviews, I expected plot to be sparse. I didn’t care. I was going for the music. So imagine my surprise when the plot (yes, it was less developed than most musicals but it was most definitely there) followed historic events. John Kennedy’s assassination was shown, as were the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. Nor was the language of the times sanitized.

I’ll repeat that. The language of the times was not sanitized.

There are times during the musical when various people ask Barry Gordy, Jr., founder of Motown Records, why his sales force is all white. Initially, there is no answer. Then, as the world begins changing during the upheaval of Vietnam and Flower Power, and all the other movements of the 60’s and 70’s, he asks his sales manager the same question. In a subsequent scene, a promoter from down South calls the Motown sales manager and is all but beside himself with anger and disbelief. He wants to know why the sales manager sent a “g** damned n***er” down there. The sales manager, as white as the driven snow, doesn’t miss a beat. He asks the other guy how much money he makes off of Motown records. Then he says that if he wants to keep making that money, he’d better get used to seeing that “g** damned n***er” down there.

When that happened, you could see the audience reaction. You saw a number of folks, mainly white, holding their breaths. After all, we’ve learned, often the hard way, that you just don’t use the N-word. Some of us have been on the end of the lectures that it is all right for blacks to call one another that word but it is never to pass our lips. We shouldn’t even think it. So to hear it on stage, and so soon after Christian Taylor being shot by a white cop, there were those in the audience waiting for the shoe to drop.

It didn’t. I didn’t see or hear one angry mutter, one angry reaction from anyone in the audience. The very nice African-American woman sitting next to me, simply nodded sagely and commented to her companion that she was so glad things had changed for the better. She remembered those days. Things might not be perfect now but they were so much better than they had been and that was what we all needed to remember.

That seemed to be the reaction of everyone in the audience. I wondered at it and then realized that I had fallen into the trap that MSM had set. It had done its best to foment discord between the races that we now expect trouble. Worse, we expect it at the drop of a hat. Fortunately, that hat did not drop Thursday night and I got to see that there is hope that it won’t drop, at least not for long.

You see, those men and women in the audience, be they black or white, knew something that the media and those social activists who go into communities they have no ties with and who serve only to stir the pot of trouble did not. They knew that, while there is still a ways to go in this country to rid it of foolish prejudices (on all sides), we have come a long way. They knew that you don’t move forward if you resort to violence as your first choice. They have been there. They know it is better to build bridges than it is to blow them up and then trek figurative miles to find another way across the chasm of prejudice and distrust.

For three hours Thursday night, several hundred people of all ages came together to remember times much worse than today and to celebrate the fact that we have come so far. We celebrated the victories. We mourned the loss of men and women who had a dream and did their best to follow it. We ignored the media that would have had us at eachother’s throats simply because of a single word.

In short, we proved the media is not nearly as powerful as it would have us believe and, for that, I am most grateful.

So here’s the final point. As the Christian Taylor case showed, the media is quick to release and comment on anything that serves the cause du jour. It doesn’t do the fact checking it should. It doesn’t issue the qualifiers it should when it gets information from unconfirmed sources. So, instead of jumping to conclusions – either to immediately agree with what the media says or to immediately disagree with it – find that grain of salt and apply it.

Most of all, remember that there is still hope for this country. It might not be as big as any of us would like but as long as that glimmer is there, I will continue fighting to grow it from a spark to a flame. Will you?

157 responses to “A Spark of Hope – Amanda Green

  1. Good article. It is tempting to forget that we have made progress. There is a certain arrogant assumption on our parts that “Oh, nothing could ever have been as bad as things are now!” but then we are falling into exactly the same trap that the SJWs fall into. Their version is that our society now and they, in particular, are more advanced that at any other time, while ours is exactly the polar opposite. But neither one is warranted.

    • And part of the issue with the media circus is that it creates an expectation of disaster and therefore makes it more likely.

      • The Media is, like J. Wellington Wimpy, in the business of encouraging others to fight in order to hold their coats and rifle through the pockets.

        As Wiki reminds:
        “To deflect an enemy’s wrath, he would sometimes indicate a third party and say ‘Let’s you and him fight’, starting a brawl from which he quickly withdrew.”

        • So many have gone into J-school “to Make A Difference”, not to tell the truth, all the truth, and the facts of the truth.

          • No. Do not go there. J-School or no J-School there was never a time when “the media” were unbiased.

            Go read Mencken on his days as a newspaperman, if you don’t believe me.

            There was a time when any large city had at least two newspapers; one that supported whichever Party had the local government (and got the government printing contracts, and made money) and one or more supported by either a special audience (like the German language papers in Mencken’s Baltimore) or by a weathly man with political ambitions.

            • Both major parties and most of the minor ones all had newspapers as far back as the founding of the republic and up until the depression. Then look at how the republican party dropped theirs and as the other conservative owners died, their college educated heirs either switched allegiances or sold out.

    • “Oh, nothing could ever have been as bad as things are now!” is the sort of thing I sometimes hear about many things, including water quality. The youngsters are in utter disbelief when I tell them things *have* improved wonderfully and when I was kid, a river caught on fire.

      • Yep. Common refrain, and no matter how often people point out that it always has been, it’s still true. My favorite example is from Lady Murasaki’s The Tale of Genji, considered to be the world’s first novel. In the first portion, where Genji is introduced, people marvel that such an upright, moral, clean-limbed individual could appear “in these latter and degenerate days.”

        • Well, there appears to be something in human nature that few of us can conceive of the ideal state as something outside history. And given the death toll racked by people who impute it to the future, I have high tolerance for the numerous people who impute it the past.

          (One notes that even those who impute it to the future also often impute it to the past; Marxism maintained that people originally lived in a state of simple communism, and feminism has its frequent prehistorical matriarchies.)

          • I believe Sarah has written on this in the past (one reason for doing “Blast From The Past” re-visits or compiling these into a single binding), arguing that it isn’t that the historical past was more golden but rather that our personal pasts were shinier. When we are little everything seems wonderful; as we reach adolescence we discover the underlying rot, rot which has been there for all time although adolescents generally reach wrong conclusions about that. As we move through adulthood our understanding deepens and we gain perspective, even as our core brain “recalls” a time when everything seemed better run.

            Our failure to recognize the effects of our growing perceptiveness leads us to think things are getting worse when in actuality we’re just better at seeing through the illusions of competence.

            Our society is growing technologically at an astounding rate, yet our customs are slow to adapt; thus we are routinely confronted by what seems rudeness as, for example, the person we’re sitting with interrupts the conversation to take a phone call or text.

            Of course, the proliferation of Leftist cant in our schools fosters these resentments by focusing attention on broad social forces which reduce individuals to insignificance. Blinded to the importance of individual action we are theodened* into impotence, unsure of ourselves, lacking confidence to challenge such oppressive forces, hamletting** between courses of inaction..

            Thus we hearken to an idealized past when our parents and grandparents seemed to stride the Earth like Titans, unaware that it isn’t they were great so much as we were small.

            *Yes. It is a word; I just coined it. Don’t spend it all iin one place.
            ** Yah, that one too. No license fees required.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              I’ve heard that the “golden age” is when you’re old enough to do stuff outside your parents’ control but your parents were still paying the bills. [Evil Grin]

            • “Our failure to recognize the effects of our growing perceptiveness leads us to think things are getting worse when in actuality we’re just better at seeing through the illusions of competence.”

              Witness the way that gremlins can get at works you used to appreciate and undermine their quality. (One of the milder examples in my experience being the time I read a work set in a pseudo-Dark-Age, and this time I grumbled about the masquerade ball, that era not being noted for having the luxuries of wasting cloth for a single festivity.)

  2. c4c

  3. Christopher M. Chupik

    One of the great outrages of our times is how “progressives” have tried to set back racial relations by 30 years. Glad to hear that not everybody is falling for that crap.

    • Ah, but a major proportion of all Progressives have always been bigots. Look at Wodrow Wison. Or Margaret Sanger. Amd it’s never a good idea to forget that then Democrat party was the backbone of both the Confederacy and the first two incarnations of the Klan.

      • Christopher M. Chupik

        We haven’t forgotten, but far too many people never knew that to begin with.

      • I believe Ben Carson has mentioned Sanger’s views.

        He is not one of her fans.

        Wouldn’t it be fun to see him and Hillary debate Sanger, old-style:
        fifteen-minute argument, five-minute rebuttal, five-minute re-rebuttal, five-minute summation.

        Of course, it would mean having to listen to thirty minutes of her nails-on-chalkboard voice:

        “Admittedly, as my opponent has said: Margaret Sanger supported the Klan, favored elimination of “inferior” races and was a big supporter of Nazi-style eugenics. What difference, at this point in time, does it make?”

    • In Communist states like Russia and Yugoslavia it was the practice of the leadership under men like Stalin and Tito to relocate clusters of unfriendly cultures and faiths into each other’s territories to keep them too tied up with local conflcits to worry about/organize against the central government. That would of course never cross the mind of a modern compassionate proglodyte.

  4. My basic take on any big media story right now is, “Oh, the media has a big story.” That’s the level of belief I have—that they have a story. Could be true. Could be faked. But they have something they want to talk about.

    Mind you, there are people out there committing actual acts of journalism. Michael Totten is a good example—I found out about him because of a lovely travel piece he wrote on Eastern Oregon, and then he started saying, “I’m curious about what is actually happening in Iraq—I think I’m going to go there and find out.” And it was obvious from the lack of framing in his stories that he wasn’t trying to shove his findings into a predetermined story that would wrap up in a nice article.

    Most people in mass media right now are lazy. They don’t bother to actually work at their theoretical job, because they have so much pressure to be first that the thinking is left behind. And I know, from some of my required classes, that they’re not teaching techniques for digging out information. A lack of interest and curiosity leads to the media we have…

    • Totten is an actual hero. Also a wonderful man.

      • Aw, c’mon! Everything you needed to know about Iraq you could learn from a CNNBCBS correspondent sitting in the Green Zone Hilton.

        • History has proven the initial reports of the Tet Offensive, provided by reporters embedded in the Saigon Hilton, were more predictive of our ultimate failure in Viet Nam than were the battlefield reports.

          • Because we chose to act on them rather than on the effective eradication of the VC.

            • They Saigon Hilton Bar reportig was more accurate because they were all pretty much prewritten to fit the by-then-approved narrative, and at that point the actual situation on the ground had passed into Hillary’s “At this point, what difference does it make?” territory.

              That was the best thing about the Surge in Iraq – the sound of all the Pre-Approved Narratives shattering. By the time the stories were “Anbar Province Marines Bored Out Of Thier Skulls” readers could almost taste the bitter disappointment oozing from every reporter’s pores.

          • We had won Vietnam. The Vietcong had been destroyed, and the North Vietnamese driven out of South Vietnam. The South Vietnamese forces were trained and equipped to the point that they were able to beat back a North Vietnamese offensive with minimal American support. And then the post-Watergate elections happened. The huge influx of Progressive Congressmen were going to be damned if they let Nixon win a war they had spent so many years protesting, so they cut off all aid to South Vietnam. The South Vietnamese army, realizing their chances alone against North Vietnam and their Chinese and Soviet backers, collapsed and a narrative was born.

            Fast-forward 40 years and Barry the Simple pulls the exact same play in Iraq, with similar results. At this point you simply cannot be an American and a Democrat.

            • It took the two years to fall. Some “collapse”.

              • 13 December 1974 to 21 April 1975 is a bit short of 2 years.

                • When did the US pull out? March,1973.

                  • The relevant clock should be thought of as starting on Nov. 06, 1974 — the day after the US midterm elections.

                    Maybe allow a month for the back-stabbing Quislings Democrats to convey their traitorous yellow-bellied toad-swallowing abandonment of all honourable principle lack of resolve to the N. Vietnamese leadership.

                  • But we supported them until late 1974. That’s my entire point. South Vietnam was able to defend itself with out US troops with US support, but once that support was removed by Congressional Democrats, South Vietnam collapsed under North Vietnamese aggression.

                    • Yep – go look up what B-52 raids did to the North Vietnamese armored formations during the first “incursion” in 1972. There’s a really good reason the Soviets invested so heavily in mobile SAM and AAA batteries that could keep up with the armor after they saw the results of the 1972 North Vietnamese Army’s spring offensive (well, that and what happened around Israel).

                      The Army of Republic of South Vietnam had been trained and equipped wth the presumption of US air support from Thailand and Guam after the final pullout of the last US ground troops. By 1972 there were very few US troops in country, mostly trainers doing training and advisors doing advising plus interface with US air. The ARVN TOE was not really heavy on armored units or on artillery, being mostly intended to deal with any attempt by the North to reignite the guerrilla war which by the time of the pullout the US and the ARVN had already won. ARVN units had no chance of stopping the Soviet style armored columns coming across the DMZ from the North, and they weren’t suppposed to – they were to slow the NVA down until the US Air Force could get there and deal with them from the air. And that’s what US air did to the NVA in 1972 – the NVA, following their Soviet advisor’s orders, provided a giant concentrated target that was not able to hide in the jungle, and the USAF ripped them to bits.

                      The politicians negotiated a cease fire where the NVA got to hold onto their gains from the invasion in the highlands, but the NVA were stopped dead there unless somehow the USAF was removed from the equation.

                      And that exact unlikely circumstance which the NVA and the Soviets needed to come to pass was what Teddy Kennedy and the rest of Dems in Congress delivered after Watergate and the November 1974 elections, to which the weakened President Ford acquiesced when the NVA moved again in spring 1975: Along with cancelling all military aid (i.e., ammunition, fuel, and equipment resupply), Congress forbade all US air strikes to support the South. With no fuel, no ammo, no spares, and no air support, the NVA amounted to a speedbump and the Russian tanks rolled into Saigon.

                      And the humanitarian disaster that followed can be laid directly at the feet of Teddy Kennedy and the other congressional Democrats, though an argument could be made the Nixon did it by getting caught. Hopefully all of these now dearly departed politicians are gtting to contemplate their accomplishments in their new hotter acomodations.

                    • Yes, basically, the Democrats pretty much depend on having a war ‘lost’ by a Republican president… they need another Vietnam, and keep trying to make Iraq/Afghanistan into one. They seem to forget that at this stage after the end of Vietnam, Reagan got elected due to Jimmeh Caduh.

            • Because, simply, the Dems desperately need another Vietnam. They need us to have ‘lost’ another war, and need to be able to paint the military as ‘babykillers’… why do you think it was mostly Dem congressmen saying we needed to reinstate the draft?

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                “mostly Dem congressmen saying we needed to reinstate the draft”?

                The last I heard (during the Bush administration), it was one Dem congress critter who kept calling for a draft and he admitted that it was because then Republicans wouldn’t support a war because their kids would be drafted.

                Apparently, he actually drafted a bill to do so and those “evil” Republicans had it come up for a vote,

                The result was that it was voted down overwhelmingly by both Republicans and Democrats. [Smile]

                • there were a couple of them supporting the idea. A lot of theorists figured they wanted to drag down the quality of the military with a bunch of drafted kids…

                  • I took it as an expression of their desire to make the politics of it more expensive for those supporting the war.

                    Keep in mind that a great many bills are put forth not to make law but to make incumbents cast votes which can be used for attack ads in the next election:

                    “Congressman Chicken Hawk voted to wage a war but refused to allow military conscription in order to fight that war. Chicken Hawk voted for war but refused to support tax increases that would cripple the economy and impair our war-fighting capability needed to fund that war and protect the veterans whose lives Congressman Chicken Hawk was so eager to squander. Vote Tuesday to let Congressman Chicken Hawk know how you feel about his callousness.”

              • Because all Democrats are some combination of stupid and evil?

                • No, the Rs are the stupid party, and they have a good lock on that side of teh equation – the Ds are the evil party.

        • Like you can learn everything about the Arab-Israeli conflict from the PLO media-catamites sitting in the American Colony Hotel in East Jerusalem 😉 My default setting when talking to any foreign journalist here assumes they (a) know jack all; (b) are lazy bums trying to generate copy with the minimum amount of work; (c) are hostile. Once an exception to the rule has been identified, treat ’em like gold.

          • Years ago I recall a journalist panel (it must have been when Brit Hume was still hosting Fox’ 6PM news show) discussing why journalists were so hard on the Israelis and the consensus being that Israeli’s were a generally arrogant people (imagine! Preferring your direct knowledge to some tourist’s “deep” insights makes you arrogant!)

            I suspect a deeper reason is a reporter can stand on a street corner in Tel Aviv, accurately report on what you see and still see the sun rise next morning. Try the same stunt anywhere in Gaza or the West Bank and if you saw the next sunrise it would be from withing a swadddling of bandages. As journalists are no fonder of recognizing their moral cowardice than anyone else (less, I suspect — their presumed moral courage, their willingness to “speak truth to power” and “afflict the comfortable” is a large part of their stock in trade) they must perforce find other reasons for their biased reporting.

            • During the recent Gaza war there was an Indian journalist (with NDTV) who filmed rather embarrassing footage of HamAss setting up and firing a rocket launcher from his hotel’s courtyard. He made sure to be out of there before publishing the video 😉

              It’s also a matter of access, beyond simple cowardice and laziness. Your agency becomes critical or “disturbingly neutral”about the PA Tweedledee or the HamAss Tweedledum, and it gets frozen out. Remember Eason Jordan admitting that CNN self-censored stories that made SoDamn Insane look bad because they didn’t wanna get kicked out of Iraq and leave the coverage to their competitors…

              • Yeah. Of course, if that were his real concern, rather than shilling for Saddam, he’d have commissioned a nightly update featuring “fair use” length examples of their reporting and a fisking re-enactment showing “what’s actually happening based on our experiences” liberally sprinkled with reminders that a) Saddam kicked out organizations unwilling to tell whatever lies he wanted and b) that his competitors were fine with this.

                But I’m an exceedingly nasty personage.

                • Steven Brill used to say that journalists were the only profession that could make lawyers look good. I’d go further and substitute male street hookers for lawyers. (“Mediatamites”)

                  • Kipling put it very well:

                    She patronized extensively a man, Ulysses Gunne,
                    Whose mode of earning money was a low and shameful one.
                    He wrote for certain papers, which, as everybody knows,
                    Is worse than serving in a shop or scaring off the crows.

      • Not to mention a top-notch writer in his field

    • It’s gotten to the point that if the national newts is on, I play a mental game to see if I can guess what the lede will be, and what won’t make the nightly propaganda show. What’s sad is that I’ve gotten pretty good at it.

      • I don’t listen to the national; news anymore because it’s just propaganda..

        • It’s designed to keep you upset and angry, and coming back for more. So their advertisers can sell you stuff.

          Just turn it off. It will help your blood pressure.

          • I’ve basically stopped watching TV, full stop.

            • I use my TV to run DVDs on. I have neither cable nor satellite, so I couldn’t watch shows if I wanted to.

              • we still have cable because Mrs. NCT insists on it, but I basically stream content to an Apple TV attached to the flatscreen, or watch purchased content directly from it.

                • We do much the same. Mrs. TRX is still paying for cable, but the TV hasn’t been turned on in four or five years. She watches downloaded Australian and British detective shows, mostly…

                  • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                    About the only reason that I still have Cable is that the Cable company also provides my Internet service.

                    I’m wondering what the Internet service alone would cost. [Smile]

                    • We ditched Time Warner a couple of years ago – for cable and internet it was getting north of $160. Went with internet-only, and it was $40 … but since then, it has climbed to just south of $70. And no, I am not happy about that.

              • We use our TVs to stream Netflix and Amazon . It’s so much nicer to watch a show whenever you want without ads.

                • This. I’ve gotten to the point that when I am watching TV elsewhere and an ad comes on, I am legitimately irritated. Also annoying, when I’m watching a show on Netflix and they recap the last 15 seconds before the “commercial break.” I do wish they’d take the time to edit those out when they prepared the show for streaming/DVD. Of course, then the show would be 5 or so minutes shorter than usual.

                  Anybody want soap? I’ve got a whole box of the stuff.

      • National News Drinking Game, then?

        Or Nightly News PreApproved Meme Bingo?

        • Meme bingo. Safer for the TV/DVD player if you throw the card at it than if a beer bottle gets hurled.

        • only problem is, here, between the national news and local news (which is also meme approved) that you hit bingo before the first commercial break, or are blitzed by a quarter after six.

    • The thing to understand is that journalists are by training people who know nothing about most everything. Modern media today consists of journalism majors repackaging press releases written by other journalism majors hired by organizations to make them look good.

      There is no such thing as objective journalism, the idea is an artifact of the very narrow window of time in which all journalism shared essentially the same viewpoint, so there was no comparator to allow you to determine the shape of the lens we were looking through. That’s changed, and those people who profited off the distortions aren’t happy about it. At all.

      • Pretty much, yeah. I – through a shake-n-bake broadcast journalism course at the Defense Information School – was practicing local radio and TV news for a good few years, and am pretty familiar with the tricks of the trade, Like – regularly, half of the news content could be set by the calendar: back to school, big blood drive, military ball, obligatory command interest stuff. For much of the rest of it – the story was already half written, all I needed was to collect the soundbites to plug in.
        What I see now on the national news (when I do see it) is just that, but with a bigger budget and fancier gear.

        • My sister has a friend who is a journalist for an Irish newspaper. She was tasked with writing a story about Britain restarting the Sellafield nuclear facility, which being on the ugly side of the Irish Sea was of some interest to the Irish. She did her job and talked to both pro and con groups, but she confessed to my sister that she just didn’t know enough about the subject to know who was lying to her. I offered to give her a crash course in health physics, but didn’t hear anything back.

    • > because they have so much pressure to be first that the thinking is left behind.

      To a great extent, though, this pressure comes from the people that consume their product. Many people want the news *now* and don’t want to wait for the time needed to gather and interpret.

    • Mark Steyn had a column about 15 years ago on the laziness of the American media. His point was that it’s just so much easier to write navel-gazing articles on “what does it all mean” than it is to get your shoes muddy and did up the actual who, what, when, where, how, and why of the story.

      • Heinlein said no event he was present for ever bore any resemblance to the media coverage. I’ve now lived here long enough to say the same. PFUI.

        • That is because you (like Heinlein) lack the perspective and insight required to grasp the Big Picture of the event(s); participating tends to distort one’s observations. Only Journalists(TM) have the training and innate sensitivity to accurately describe events they have not witnessed (in fact, it has been amply proven that actual experience of events leads to inaccurate reporting, such as when facts disrupt the narrative.)

          I notice the other one has bells on it; shall I pull it, too?

        • I second that even though I lack the SJW Big Picture. (Fantasy)

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        There were reports of hoaxers who would hoax big city reporters about “faked companies” or “faked projects”.

        One reporter was covering one of their faked projects and apparently had done so for an earlier faked project.

        Apparently the reporter asked one of the hoaxers “have we met before” and believed the hoaxer when he was told “no, we’ve never met”. [Very Big Evil Grin]

        • (New to posting here, though I lurk a lot.)
          Links? I’d love to share this with others.

        • Of course, the journalists wouldn’t get away with as much if the average person wasn’t so gullible. I like the guy who Jay Leno used to have on who would set up a booth promoting a bogus product. I think one of them was the “Shake Weight Toothbrush”. It was a vibrating toothbrush attached to the end of a Shake Weight, and people were saying they would buy it and use it.

      • Yes, and of course the one “killer app” the legacy media have would be serious shoe leather reporting. Which they then pee away. Just like the legacy publishers are peeing away the things that could still make them relevant in the Kindle/iBooks era.

  5. As a new (part time) resident of Arlington, with family and friends in the area stories like this distress me. I am glad the media has not been able to spin this to make things worse.

    I can’t help but wonder, however, why the much more important recent story about the Arlington Police being directed to look the other way about drug gang activity in town has been ignored. I hear from an Arlington officer that this story is largely correct as reported. Are the media looking the other way because the “bad guys” are the local politicians?

  6. [T]he media is not nearly as powerful as it would have us believe

    Are we allowed to say that? In public? Aren’t there FCC regulations, or Net Neutrality rules to prevent such heretical assertions?

    Living in Greensboro, NC in 1979, the “Year of the Klan Massacre” I witnessed the MSM Narrative in full force.

    Communist agitators were very active in that era, at one point invading a class in the Department of Economics to oust the professor and deliver their own, enlightened, instruction. Using the KKK to churn up the emotional fervor these activists staged a “Death to the Klan” rally, holding it in Morningside Homes, a “Black neighborhood.”

    In 1978, WVO supporters from North Carolina participated in protests against acts of Ku Klux Klan (KKK) violence in Decatur, Alabama, and Tupelo, Mississippi. This experience led Greensboro WVO members to combine their efforts for unionizing and civil rights with anti-Klan demonstrations. The WVO opposed the Klan because it divided workers over race, distracting them from their rights as workers. When they learned that the Klan was planning to show Birth of a Nation, a white supremacist film, at the town hall in China Grove, North Carolina, on July 8, 1979, they decided to organize a protest march. The event culminated at the town hall, where Klansmen stood armed with guns on the front porch, while WVO members and local citizens chanted anti-Klan slogans and brandished bats and sticks. Local police officers at the scene made the Klansmen return inside the building, and the WVO burned the Confederate flag on the yard. The WVO considered this a victory against the Klan and decided to extend their anti-Klan activities with a march and conference in Greensboro, scheduled for November 3, 1979.

    The WVO, which had become the Communist Workers Party (CWP) in October 1979, eventually decided to assemble for the march at Morningside Homes, a low-income community where many of the workers they had contact with resided. Nelson Johnson, a CWP member and longtime Greensboro activist, applied for a parade permit which contained the planned parade route and listed Morningside Homes as the assembly point. Nearby Windsor Community Center was advertised as an assembly point for out-of-town participants because it was considered easier to reach from the interstate. …

    The event was given the title “Death to the Klan,” and fliers for the event called for radical, even violent opposition to the Klan. One such flier claimed the Klan “should be physically beaten and chased out of town. This is the only language they understand. Armed self-defense is the only defense.” Another publicity piece, an “open letter to Joe Grady, Gorrell Pierce, and all KKK members and sympathizers,” asserted the rally was meant “to organize to physically smash the racist KKK wherever it rears its ugly head. Yes, we challenge you to attend our November 3rd rally in Greensboro…”
    http://libcdm1.uncg.edu/cdm/essay1979/collection/CivilRights

    What was initially reported locally as a riot between Commies and Klan became national news and the coverage shifted to the old familiar narrative of race war. You could see the tumblers fall into place as the MSM unlocked their narrative: The South, check. The Klan, check. Minority neighborhood, minority victims, check and check.

    All mention of the CWP and its efforts to co-opt the Civil Rights agenda for their own economic purposes dropped from the story. Mainstream reporters arrived with their stories already composed, merely looking for local details to use like putty, caulking the narrative into place.

    Needless to say, my respect for the veracity of news reporting has been more than a little jaundiced. Learning how the truth of the Scopes Trial varied from Inherit the Wind and observing the major gaps between what happened at T.E.A. Party rallies and what the MSM reported has only served to deepen my disbelief of the Media.

  7. Another high point which is unreported is the racial reconciliation in Charleston, South Carolina, where there was plenty of opportunity for hate and recrimination but the races have come together. Ironic South Carolina where the Civil War Started.

    • The areas with the largest number of racist incidents these days seem to be in the northeastern US. The South still has the reputation, of course. But most indications are that tolerance is doing quite well there.

      • The worst race riots(TM) in the 60s were in Los Angeles (Watts), Detroit and Boston (over school desegregation) — all of them southern cities with lengthy histories of oppression.

        It was often noted that Southern racism was preferable because it was open and confrontable, unlike the two-faced racism practiced elsewhere. Bless their hearts.

        • Don’t forget the 1992 Rodney King Riots. The Hawthorne Mall was permanently closed because of it and areas of Inglewood were not rebuilt for 15 years. Unfortunately I had a front row seat of it in that I was on a Business trip and staying in a Hotel in Hawthorne. Could not fly out of LAX so I had to go to John Wayne Airport. While I drove down the 405 to John Wayne I could see the troops moving North.

      • Boston generally gets ranked as Americas Most Racist City on a consistent basis.

    • People going quietly about their daily affairs isn’t news.

      The great thing about news is, if there’s nothing going on, you can just make it up! It’s your Constitutionally protected right as a business, to be able to outright lie with the full protection of the law.

      “Jeb Bush is a Goa’uld puppet? How do you know this?”

      “We don’t have to say! Confidential sources! Neener-neener!”

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        It’s that English accent of of his. It goes better with the Goa’uld sound effects.

      • Indeed, a news story about Amanda going to a musical where all attendees, black and white had a good time, is hardly a ‘news’ story. That said, it is criminal to elide the audios to ‘enhance’ the Narrative. In Amanda’s case, it might have been that 2 minutes of nothing interesting were cut, in the Travon case, it was deliberately done to make Zimmerman seem a racists. Zimmerman should own NBC for the fraud and libel they committed.
        The old advice about reading either a story about something you are knowledgeable in or an event you were present at is illuminating. If the ‘press’ gets something you know about so wrong, why do you expect them to do any better on something you know nothing about?

        • “Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.

          In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”

          – Michael Crichton

      • Patrick Chester

        Nah, Obama is the Goa’uld. The Greek columns were a giveaway… 😉

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Wrong extraterrestrial alien. All that weed he did put him in mental rapport with extra-dimensional quasi-intelligences. It is why he confuses decrees with leadership.

          Don’t do drugs kids, and never use SAN as your dump stat.

          • Sayyyyyyy … I never noticed it until now, but does anyone else think that Obama seems a trifle … round-shouldered? Nor do we ever see him with his shirt off, do we?

            Do any of those (so-called) network journalists also seem somewhat round-shouldered?

            Just coincidence? Or perhaps something more …

              • I just listened to the uncut version on audiobook a few months ago. The story is still pretty good, despite the yawning plot holes that were apparent even when I was ten years old…

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              Seriously, you know those warning bells that ring when you meet someone really crazy, and maybe a little dangerous? It seems likely that the demented by stoning have that, for people who aren’t impaired. It’d explain why they seem so certain that we aren’t in our right minds. The pot tends to screw up part of the analytical capacity that can be used for conservative thought, but since they are sane, we are the crazy ones.

              Of course, y’all are probably bored by my fixations.

              • No. We’re skeptical of them. Many of my conservative friends were pot smokers in their youth, and they’re now to the right of me.
                Take a powder. There are many reasons we’re not in our right minds, mostly indoctrination, but pot is not the only reason. You sound like a communist for whom the world isn’t a paradise because “capitalism.”

                • BobtheRegisterredFool

                  There is good reason to be skeptical. My suspicions of impairment beyond what Speaker can prove depend on my estimate of what normal mental function is. What I think normal mental function is might simply be crazy thinking on my part.

                  As for the emotional side of things, yeah, I need to go forget this.

            • Seeing either of the Obamas (or the Clintons) topless is pretty much on my list of Things I Never Want To Do.

            • Christopher M. Chupik

              The puppet masters went about it all wrong. They should have just announced that they wanted to give us all free hugs.

            • Oh, gads… now I’m imagining them under Operation Sun Tan. My eyes! My eyes!

        • And the fascination with Egypt.

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          You know, the way Gerrold and the Nielsen Haydens behave, I can actually believe that.

          • Patrick Chester

            Yeah, I half expect their eyes to glow and then they’ll start using that ribbon device thingie on us.

            “You dare mock me?!” “It’s me: Of course I dare mock you.”

            • To quote Umberto Ecco: The devil shall not be mocked 😉

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                From the beginning of The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis

                The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn.
                LUTHER

                The devil…the prowde spirite…cannot endure to be mocked.
                THOMAS MORE

      • Can’t be. Goa’uld only possess creatures with backbones.

  8. Thank you for this lovely post, Amanda. I’ve been thinking a lot about race relations lately, particularly given what I see happening with the BLM activists biting off more than they can chew. Too many people project past grievances on to current events and expect us to believe that relations between blacks and everybody else is worse off than before. These people forget or never had to live through what their grandparents faced when it comes to racial discrimination. They should be glad, but instead they play the victim, and their rhetoric reflects their ignorance of history.

  9. Between? Sounds like Irving, named after Big Bad Irving, the 142nd Fastest Gun In The West (spoken by Frank Gallop in “You Don’t Have To Be Jewish”.)

  10. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Things are better now than they were then. Compare the 2015 Baltimore riots with the 1921 Tulsa Race Riots.

    Have they released the blood tox results from Christian Taylor’s autopsy yet? There are two things in your article that I could quibble over, and which one would be determined by those results.

  11. Things ARE better than they were, but unless we have perfection, then everyone is scum.

    At least that’s how it has been feeling lately.

    • Well, of course. How else can you morally equate communism and capitalism? Communism produces mass murder. Capitalism produces homeless shelters where charity cases get to enjoy amenities that kings and queens and emperors of two centuries ago would stare at in amazement — but aren’t perfect in every way. If you can’t bring up the later, why people might start to think capitalism is better.

  12. Off topic, but Sad Puppies mentioned here, and I can’t copy the text:
    http://datechguyblog.com/2015/08/17/director-blue-donald-trump-sad-puppies-and-niche-markets/

    It’s about half-way down.

  13. wanderingmuses

    Hey! You live just down the road a piece from me here in Waco 🙂 But, you’re right. Folks out in the Real World ™ don’t cotton much to the image the media tries to paint. We just go on with our lives and treat folks how they treat us. Thank goodness.

    Plus, I also like to think that we here in Texas have way too much class to do the rioting thing. Plus, personally, I think they’re a little scared to even try. Too many of us armed and possessing a low tolerance that kind of nonsense.

    • … treat folks how they treat us.

      The Left/Intelligentsia hates when you do that.

    • BTW – this description of “being a cowboy” should please:

      That my dad fancied himself a cowboy should not come as a surprise to anyone who has ever known him, let alone anyone who has had a conversation with him for 5 minutes. You see, cowboys love this country. They love the way the land sculpts itself into a complicated but perfect blend of mountains and rivers and fields of waving grass. They love watching the skies light up at night with a million twinkling little stars. They love talking to Americans, and learning from them, and just being with them. There is an easiness with cowboys that can’t be found in other mortals. They are comfortable in their own skin, in their boots, and in their purpose. They talk slowly and emphatically, offering deep wisdom to anyone who is even the slightest bit interested. They find an immense amount of pleasure in working hard all day for their beloved country, and then coming home, slumping into an old leather chair, and taking their boots off. That feeling is so delicious that few things compare to it.

      My dad the cowboy has taken his boots off for the last time.
      powerlineblog[DOT]com/archives/2015/08/peter-w-schramm-1946-2015-rip.php

      From his daughter’s eulogy offered for Peter W. Schramm, who declared himself (like certain others with whom we’re familiar),“born American, but in the wrong place.”


      “Here [in America] human beings can be more human than any place on the face of the Earth.”

      That’s what our elites hate about America.

      • Another quote:
        “The proof, the continual proof and re-proof that human beings can govern themselves, that they’re not angels, they’re just good enough to govern themselves. … That’s American Exceptionalism, and that’s the Novus ordo seclorum. That’s, that’s proving that, hell, you know, first paragraph Federalist 1, trying to prove that good government can be based on reflection and choice rather than accident and force.”

      • wanderingmuses

        I love that description so much!!

    • Exactly … I think that if you tossed every house in my own immediate neighborhood, (middle-class to working class, lots of military retirees and small business owners) you’d turn up enough weapons to outfit a small European country.
      A couple of Saturdays ago, my daughter and I had a training class, for a concealed carry license. The range where we did live-fire was jammed. It was a Saturday, but still …
      My daughter wants a shotgun for her Christmas and Birthday present. I am prepared to be indulgent.

      • 12 or 20 gauge?

        • Not actually certain … but she tried it out, and it makes an absolutely awesomely and intimidating sound when being racked back. That’s why I approved it … although certain parts of it are in a sort of pink-cami pattern.
          Theatrical, I know … but with a shotgun, sometimes all you need is the sound of it being racked …
          The Daughter Unit is a two-hitch Marine veteran, so I will take her word on weapony-stuff, otherwise.

          • If that racking of the slide they hear was not preceded by a big boom, you waited much too long to chamber a shell… [/nitpick]

            • Well … racking it IS supposed to be one of those things which is said to even preclude the sound of that big boom…

              • smart criminals leave to find a softer target when they someone racking a shotgun.

              • The peeping Tom Chris Hall and I caught outside his neighbor’s house when we were in high school certainly turned into a statue when Chris racked the 12 gauge.

            • I should mention that working the bolt on an AR-15 or AK-47 also produces a nice, “come to Jesus” noise.

      • I build guns as a hobby, so “how many” hinges on “what state of completion are we talking about?”

        A few years ago I finally picked up my carry permit. My state requires a certified training course. The instructor said it was the first class he’d taught (six days a week) that hadn’t been almost entirely female. Anecdotes from others nationwide have been similar.

        I was only there because me wife had been talking about it for years and finally decided to get the card. I decided “why not” and signed us both up. She bought us matching Ruger LCPs too…

        There are all kinds of statistical data about CHCLs available, but so far I haven’t been able to find an official breakdown by gender. The data gets collected, at least by my state, but it’s not part of the limited data the State Police (who administer the system here) make available to the public.

        Based entirely on anecdotal evidence, I would guess permit holders to be more or less equally split by gender. And I wouldn’t be surprised if it was 2/3 female.

        > indulgent

        Long after shoes, clothing, music, or videos are forgotten, the gun will still be there…

        • The class of 20 that we were in was about a quarter female, although I think it might have been skewed more heavily male because half the class was guys getting their permits renewed, and doing it because the company running the training class and range time offered a substantial discount for veterans, military and police officers. All six of the women were first-timers, though.

  14. Well, if you’re prepared to be indulgent…

  15. Christopher M. Chupik

    The latest front on the War on Southern Racism: hoop skirts.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2015/08/15/the-next-assault-on-the-south-ban-the-hoop-skirt/

    Yup, that’ll fix America’s racial problems. Banning hoop skirts.