Stand up and be heard – Unfreedom of the Press, pt. 2 by Amanda S. Green

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*Sorry I didn’t post yesterday.  This is the hotel room with the FEWER plugs I’ve ever seen, (at least plugs that work) and my connecting on the net for any length of time requires my having a place to plug phone AND computer. (The phone eats battery on Hotspot.) Today I found a place to plug in in the area Fyrecon takes place.  So post times might be weird, but I CAN post tomorrow.  Today we have Amanda with a guest post. (Hurray, the Hamsters got it to me!) – SAH*

Stand up and be heard – Unfreedom of the Press, pt. 2 by Amanda S. Green

There is a fallacy in this country that many people still believe. It’s a simple one and one that’s easy to understand. We expect those in the media to report the facts without obvious bias. We expect them to be fair and impartial in their reporting, leaving opinion and emotion to the editorial page. Unfortunately, that era of journalism is long past—if it ever really existed.

Before I get to the second fallacy, one Levin falls victim to, let’s talk about the book, Unfreedom of the Press. Mark Levin does a decent job in an early chapter of giving a history of the media in this country. He talks about the early pamphlets and presses and how they were the product of those who fled Europe to escape religious or political persecution. They were slanted but, unlike much of the media today, they also were meant to cause discussion and philosophical debate. Those behind the pamphleteers and the press braved seizure of their printing presses, imprisonment and worse for speaking their “truths”. But they persevered.

They were, in short, the foundation of the First Amendment’s guarantee of a free press.

In the next chapter—the third, I believe—Levin jumps to modern media. Referencing the “party press era” that followed the Revolutionary War and lasted until around the Civil War era, he draws comparisons with todays media. During those early years, Levin points to newspapers that were basically nothing but mouthpieces for a single party. He uses a few examples to move into what we see in the media today.

To say much of the MSM is nothing more than a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party is putting it mildly. The problem is how Levin handles the problem. He steps out of the realm of drawing comparisons between the “party press era” to flogging a dead horse. And this is where many of the critics of the book zero in. He sets forth page after page of examples of how the media has targeted Donald Trump as the newest, and worst, evil to ever walk the face of the Earth and doesn’t look much further.

While I agree with him about the MSM and how it has handled the Clinton loss and Trump presidency, his move from quasi-scholar to screaming mouthpiece for the Oval Office detracts from the message of the book. It turns it from a lesson both sides should take to heart to what could be seen as a partisan attack on the media—which is exactly how the media is playing it.

In short, it takes it away from being an instrument to encourage dialogue and discussion to diatribe.

If he’d wanted to be more effective with his arguments, he would have taken a broader approach in condemning today’s media outlets, especially those who are the “major players”. An example of what he could have done is seen in a recent article that appeared in The Federalist.

In the Federalist article, Mark Hemmingway gives a number of examples of how the media either soft-pedals stories to fit the narrative or they outright adopt the narrative of those who want to see our nation fall. Reading some of them is like listening to Ilhan Omar extolling on the virtues of certain Middle Eastern regimes or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez schooling us on economics and the joys of socialism.

But not going beyond the “They hate Trump!” mantra, he is more effective with his condemnation of how much of the MSM “reports” the news today.

If Levin wanted to really show how many in the MSM—not to mention certain members of the Democratic Party–would dearly love to see the foundations of our nation crumble, he would have done well to go beyond their hatred for Trump. He would have listed some of the many stories where they’ve tried to write the narrative and then show how other media outlets, both here in the US and elsewhere, have covered the same story.

While there might not be crickets along this line in the book, it is close to it because his “Trump! Trump! Trump!” bandwagon drowns everything else out.

To be fair, he does discuss how the MSM uses techniques that mingle fact with propaganda. How, if you look at the front page of a major paper, you will see maybe half the stories that are true representations of what happened and half that are, shall we say, slanted to the max. But, in doing so, he gives more information about the whys and wherefore of this technique than he does of examples his readers could identify with.

In other words, there is no “ah ha” moment.

You know what I mean. That moment when the examples suddenly come to life and you remember reading that exact article or one like it. That moment when you look back and realize how the article took the so-called facts and manipulated them, leading you—or at least trying to—to the favored conclusion.

The lack of this “ah ha” moment is a major weakness in the book. Those of us who already understand how the MSM attempts to shape our thought process get it. But it is those sitting on the fence, those who sort of understand what has been happening but aren’t quite ready to accept it without concrete examples who are being lost. Levin misses a wonderful chance to bring more folks over to his way of thinking by failing to move past the “They all hate Trump” mantra.

A perfect example of this how Iran shot down our drone the other day. I first heard about it yesterday morning when I turned on the news. Yes, yes, I know. I’m a masochist. I watch a few minutes of morning news each day to see what lies the media is trying to feed us for the day. When they finally mentioned the incident, it was well buried under more “acceptable” stories. I’d already read about it after seeing a link on Drudge and at a few other sites I visit regularly.

But there was basically nothing but passing mention of it in the MSM until Trump started talking about striking back. Why? Because Trump said something. He was going to take action! Trump bad!

Even now that he’s walked back taking immediate action, they are still trying to spin the story. Lost in it all is the action by Iranian forces to shoot down our drone.

Another example is how we aren’t hearing any outrage from the MSM or the Dems on a map that showed up on the New Zealand government’s website that removed Israel. Instead, it showed “Palestine” and “East Jerusalem” as the capital. The map has since been removed—after outrage which, again, the media hasn’t covered—but the internet doesn’t forget. There have been similar occurrences, incidents Levin could have included in the book and didn’t.

And that is my biggest complaint about the book. Levin falls victim to his own political blinders. He took a very important topic and limited it to basically anti-Trump condemnation. While I, too, am tired of seeing how the media is doing all it can to perpetuate the Dems’ hatred for POTUS, I believe the danger of what is happening goes much deeper than just their attempt to drive Trump from office.

Our MSM is not—yet—a state run media, but it is damned close. It is a true party-run media. It makes little effort to be fair and honest in its reporting, especially when it comes to politics or certain “social” issues. It has lost touch with what much of the country is interested in and has turned into nothing more than a mouthpiece for parts of the Dems and their ilk.

Freedom of the press is their cry. But their truth is they only want it to be their freedom. They want to silence the those who don’t believe in their narrative. Our best answer is not only to stop giving them our money—them and their sponsors—it is to question and challenge them at every turn. It is up to us to find alternatives to the MSM and, when we can’t then to make them.

We are the new pampleteers, the new town criers. But we have a duty not to fall into the same trap the MSM has. The same trap Levin eventually fell into with this book. We give opinion. We welcome discussion. But we also give the facts, making it clear which is which.

I know, I know. I can hear some of you now saying that we can only defeat them by playing their game. But the dangers that come with playing that game are great and do we really want to go down that path?

Honestly, we don’t have to. We just have to keep speaking out and challenging them. The fact their number of subscribers and viewers proves they are losing the battle. What we need to be prepared for is that they are going to double- and triple-down on their attacks on the foundations of our nation as they get ever closer to their final end. That means having in place our own alternatives and supporting them. It means reaching out to those who have been sitting in the middle, trying to figure out why that have that prickly feeling at the back of their necks when they read or hear much coming out of MSM outlets.

Give them a fair alternative. One that will be critical of both sides of the political aisle. One that remembers why this nation was founded and what our core values are. Freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of religion, the right to bear arms, etc.

“Molon labe!” is our rallying cry. Let them know we will not let them take away our freedom, our country or our voice.

(Help Amanda drink enough to keep snarking the unbelievable twaddle that passes for deep political thought these days.  We’ll collect for her liver transplant later. Hit her Pourboir jar now! – SAH)

88 responses to “Stand up and be heard – Unfreedom of the Press, pt. 2 by Amanda S. Green

  1. You Americans are lucky. You don’t have a state sponsored media. Here in Canada we have the CBC, and now the government has started a 650 million slush fund to aid all the other media outlets. So we are spending almost 2 BILLION (CAD) to “propaganda” services. Oh, and the slush fund mediators? A good portion of them are members of UNIFOR (media union) saying who gets how much. Needless to say, very few conservatives up here trust anything in the news media, and that goes as far as the daily weather report as well.

    • To paraphrase Mae West, :Luck had nothing to do with it, Dearie.”

      They’ve been trying to foist state sponsored media on us for over half a century, between Public Radio, PBS-TV and, out West where the sun sets late, the Marxist Pro-Publica radio network. The People, OTOH, don’t pay it any attention.

      • There was an amusing bit about one PBS logo. The face face left, which bothered them since they have that leftist reputation. But it it faced right, then they’s have their nose up there B… which also fits them.

        Admittedly, the Capitol Steps, with a singer as G.W. Bush, zapping CBS perhaps did it best:

        CBS… what a mess!
        When you watch them,
        You just See… BS.

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      Seen scrawled on a box of Metros, the leftist free newspaper you can’t get away from here in Canada: “Fake News”.

      The times, they are a-changing.

  2. George Orwell was far too prophetic. Mini-Tru indeed!

    Part of the problem with our becoming our own means of news is that we are, for the most part, all seriously local. We don’t have national or international presence, much less “access” to what’s going on everywhere. we can pamphlet what’s going on on the few streets we can see in Portland Oregon, a small suburb of Denver Colorado, a rural hamlet in Barrington, New Hampshire, a ranch in Australia, or a village in the Philippines; but we don’t necessarily have someone stationed in the Pentagon, the White House, both Houses of Congress, or the myriad of individual states government buildings. I would venture the question of, “Can we replace the MSM with viable, reliable, comprehensive and unified news systems (we need more than one for redundancy and to inhibit bias and groupthink) based on individuals reporting, “I saw”, “I heard”, and “I’ve analyzed”?”

    • What bothers me is when I watch an event/speech/whatever, then we get the “reporting” afterwards. If I have to say/think/scream “Did you WATCH the same thing I did?” I tend to not listen/read that reporter again, ever.

  3. Back in my Junior High School days in the 1960s, my English class included a unit on “slanted” language, and a few tips on how to avoid it. It also discussed the selective reporting of facts to create bias, and how to avoid it. It seems that many modern reporters and editors have never even been exposed to these concepts, let alone studied them at a college level. No, a balanced discussion of the shape of the earth does not include obligatory references to the position of the Flat Earth Society.
    Although it would be ideal for the press to report “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”, as if it were testifying in court, the reality has never been particularly close to this ideal, and it is getting further away. Because of the leftist dominance in education, many so-called journalists seem to graduate from school no more capable of recognizing their own bias than a fish comprehends breathing air.

    • Timothy E. Harris

      It seems to me that many of the MSM reporters did take that class on slanted language and are using it as a roadmap instead of a warning.

    • Indeed, as a discipline, I try to pull a Yossarian and take a “death to all modifiers” approach to the news. That catches about 80% of the falsehoods. Next I ignore any article that is anonymously sourced as likely false and definitely propaganda–see the story today about President Trump calling for a strike on Iran and then suddenly halting it. Why would I believe such a thing? If it was leaked by someone who actually was in the know, it was done to embarrass the President and bolster Iran. The justification of its authenticity was apparently that nobody at the White House threatened them not to print it. As if that would have worked anyway.

      The propagandists still catch me sometimes. Hard to be one of Heinlein’s “fair witnesses”, and even they only were that after donning the official posture.

    • The media has NEVER been unbiased. Reporters have never reported the Truth. They have always reported their slant on a story. It cannot be otherwise. Even if we were there in person, our views would be biased. It’s simply inevitable.

      What’s wrong is that the Progressive Left, while they managed the academic capture of the media, promulgated the lie of Unbiased Reporting…and we the common folk still buy in to it.

      We need to shake off the lie. Read/watch with an awareness of the biases in play. And when we have a POV that differs from Teh Narrative of the day, put it out where others can see it too.

      • It has never been unbiased, but it was once (sorta) nonpartisan. I was recalling the old McLaughlin Group and Jack Germond, who was liberal but not a Democrat, contrasted with Eleanor Clift, who was both.

        The first recognizes that the candidates of both parties have socks that stink, whereas the latter is only offended by the stench of the socks of the other party’s politicians.

  4. When I think of the pledges I made to the local public radio station here in San Antonio – and how NPR went full and unapologetically lefty after the turn of the century, I feel like calling them up and demanding every penny of a refund.

  5. some of the many stories where they’ve tried to write the narrative

    Example:

    Oberlin College administrators and students just learned that actions have consequences: Ted Diadiun
    [SNIP]
    So it should not have surprised anyone when, a year later, the campus exploded in righteous fury after a local shopkeeper tried to stop a student from shoplifting.

    What is surprising was what happened afterward, when a jury finally put up a stop sign in front of the immature and entitled leftists who inhabit one of Ohio’s most expensive colleges.

    You are likely familiar with the well-publicized specifics: A 19-year-old student tried to buy some wine with a fake ID in Gibson’s Bakery, an Oberlin fixture for more than 130 years, and was turned away by the shopkeeper. As the student tried to leave, the shopkeeper noticed a couple of bottles stashed under the young man’s shirt, and tried to stop him, pursuing him outside the store. When police arrived, the shopkeeper was on the ground, being punched and kicked by the thief and two friends.

    [SNIP]

    Whether or not the award holds up under appeal, that jury has provided a teaching moment for every student (and administrator) at the college: Fairness counts, and actions have consequences.

    Before we turn to other matters, however, it is also instructive to consider how this incident was approached by a couple of the nation’s high-profile newspapers – news sources whose objectivity we need to evaluate as we sort through the reporting that will help us decide what direction the country should go over the next 17 months.

    The Washington Post, in its featured Morning Mix, led off this way:

    “On Nov. 9, 2016, the day after Donald Trump clinched the presidency, a student at Oberlin College went to a local bakery and convenience store, hoping to leave with a few bottles of wine … instead (he) ran from the store, chased by an employee.”

    The ensuing events, the story said, became “a proxy war in a larger fight over free speech, racial sensitivity and town-gown relations.”

    Nine paragraphs into the story, with the angst over Trump’s election, the price tag for free speech, accusations of racism, and the sensitivity of Oberlin students firmly established, we finally find out that, well, the student was hoping to “leave” without actually paying for the wine, the shopkeeper was trying to protect his property, and as a result the protesters tried to put his place out of business.

    Over at The New York Times, the shopkeeper had the thief in a chokehold and his friends “intervened” (no mention of what police found when they got there), and the issue was grave concern over free speech.

    In the story, prominent First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams termed the jury award “a double-barreled threat to free speech on campus,” and Lynn Pasquerella, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, was quoted as saying that Oberlin was merely doing what President Donald Trump recently mandated – “protecting the First Amendment rights of their students.”

    While it is heartening to see that the Times is finally getting on board with the right to free expression on the nation’s campuses after years of unconcern while conservative speakers have been disinvited, assaulted and shouted down, it’s unfortunate that the cause they chose is the mob bullying of a shopkeeper trying to protect his property.

    There are a lot of ways to tell a news story, but only one good way to read one: with skepticism and the knowledge of what bias the news source brings to the telling.

    • To be fair, the student apparently did want to pay for the wine; it was only after that failed that he tried to steal it. So perhaps it’s really Elizabeth Dole that we should be burning in effigy here.

      • Yes – failed because his fake ID wouldn’t pass.

        I know – that’s just more proof of Gibson’s discriminatory policies. Who the @!#$ were they to say the guy couldn’t identify as older? After all, I identify as “over sixty-five” and expect Seniors’ discount wherever I go.

        • I started getting the senior discount at the local grocery store when I was in my 40s. Gray hair does that for you.

          • Yes. It does. Irritated the heck out of my husband. He wasn’t offered the senor discount and he’ older than me. Now when I was offered it, took it for both of us … so there’s that. Only pretended to “correct” someone once, actually was a valid correction, because BIL didn’t realize all 4 of us didn’t qualify for the senor discount at the location we were at (just said “close enough”.) He forgets I’m 5 years younger than his younger brother. Yet, I’ve had gray hair, here and there since I was 22. Didn’t totally go gray until mid-fifty’s but it has been visible for a very long time. (Hey, will take some gray early. Other side goes bald, even women have extremely thin hair really early. Heck yes, I’ll take the nice and thick gray!)

            • Yes, indeed you will.

              Top cover began going when I was in high school. Made me the designated “buyer” at the convenience store.* Strongly identified withe the Cleric class in college D & D. Then gray started coming in mid-forties.

              * Mid-70s, before the crackdowns. I’ve been carded exactly once in my life, when I was mid-30s or so, during an especially vicious enforcement phase.

              • Despite gray hair being present, I got carded well into my 30’s. Remember one group outing, thought hubby had gotten his mates to get the wait staff to give me a bad time. Yes, was in a bar, but I was basketball pregnant. I wasn’t drinking anything harder than diet Pepsi, then going to straight water. Still got carded.

      • Legalinsurrection has been covering this story intensely; including a reporter who’s sat through the trial and did a lot of digging.

        Part of the Oberlin issue is the “culture of theft”; a lot of businesses get clobbered by shoplifting when students are present; the Oberlin college rag did a story. The author admitted he had shoplifted items, too.

        The sticking point was that the college wanted Gibson’s to bypass the police for shoplifting complaints and go through the school. How rude of Gibson’s to want the law enforced…

        • Gibson’s rudeness did not lie in wanting the law enforced; it lay in wanting the law enforced the same for Oberlin students as for townsfolk.

          Tres gauche. So very deplorable.

    • Thievery is ‘free speech’ in Oberlin? Really? What drugs are they huffing, so that we may all avoid them?

  6. Even now that he’s walked back taking immediate action, they are still trying to spin the story.

    PROOF!!!! that Trump is an erratic, mercurial and unreliable ally, prone to going off half-cocked and suddenly switching directions.

    e.g., Washington Post:
    Trump ordered, called off a strike
    “President Trump ordered an attaxk on Iran on Thursday in retaliation for the downing of a surveillance drone in the Strait of Hormuz, but called the operation off just hours before it was due to occur, official said.

    “Administration officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive nationa security decisions, said the president approved the counterstrikes after Iran’s Islamis Revolutionary Guard Corps (ORGC) earlier in the day shot down a Navy RQ-4 operating off Iran’s southern coast …

    “But he later changed his mind, the officials said. It was not immediately clear why Trump decided to pull back …”
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    It takes little imagination to see how this event might have been framed during Obama’s presidency, nor to envision the opposition party response falling into the “Republicans pounced” territory.

    “You see what you want to see and hear what you want to hear.”

    • Aye. It sends/sent a message to the mullahs… “You came THIS CLOSE to getting clobbered. This time. Next time? You’re damn fools if you commit a next time. It’ll be the last time.”

      • Alas, I fear that said mullahs ARE damn fools, and believe themselves to be personally immune. The little guys who get blown up are of no consequence.

        But I think the President did the right thing. It is un-American to have collateral casualties that can easily be avoided; something that BHO, and, sad to say, his predecessor, never understood.

        This is however, a perfect instance of where we need Thor, i.e. Jerry’s Flying Crowbars. Identify the house, or the garage full of expensive cars, or even his favorite limo, of the official who authorized the attack, and hit it. Really mess up the target, and very little collateral damage.

        • One of the more positive developments in armaments is the advances made in rail guns. Far cheaper to use than cruise missiles, having a eighteen kilo* steel rod appear in the middle of a mullah’s living room would send a most salubrious message.

          On the plus side, they can reverse engineer it all they like and won’t gain a thing.

          *per 2012 story in Christian Science Monitor, traveling at 9,000 kilometers per hour
          https://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2012/0301/Navy-railgun-fires-40-lb.-bullets-at-Mach-7

          • except, it fires in a *very* straight ballistic path, and by the time you can arc it anywhere the entire objective of using a railgun is gone.

        • Alas, I suspect you are correct. Some people, you can’t just show them the stick. You have to beat them with it every now and then to show you’re willing to use it.

        • The message that is received is not necessarily the one that was sent.

          • “The message that is received is not necessarily the one that was sent.”

            Depends on who the message is for. I mean if everyone knows PTB in Iran are going to be dismissive, even if they are going to disappointed they can’t scream about over reaction.

            To the rest of the world PTB, if they are smart, will realize that President Trump did show restraint, when he does initiate a retaliation, regardless of the “proof”, they’ll take notice.

            Of coarse all of this goes over the democrats head. Or the appearance of.

      • Further, because a military strike requires time it is best to initiate preparations for it while deciding whether or not to actually employ such a response. It is like warming up the oven while trying to decide whether to have pizza or fry up a burger.

      • No, I’m pretty sure they got the message, “America is too weak to strike back at you. There will be no consequences this time. No reason to think there will be any next time.”

        Not going into here whether Trump was right or wrong to call off the retaliation, but I think it’s wishful thinking to believe that the mullahs saw that and thought, “Whew, they thought about coming after us, so we better not risk it again.” There are a lot of parts of the world where “close call” simply means “nothing bad happened, so I don’t need to worry if I do it again.” I fear the mullahs may have that mentality.

        • Saddam Hussein Syndrome.
          Cause of the First Gulf War. You need to send very plain and unequivocal messages to the leaders of these cultures. Subtlety doesn’t work.
          That’s why trashing the guy’s limo does a better job. It’s like waking up with a horse’s head in your bed. You get one, last warning.

          • I have to agree: subtlety is lost on the mullahs. Nothing says ‘back off, dude’ than a carefully-targeted load of high explosives. It worked for Ghadaffy in Libya, didn’t it?

          • kenashimame

            We lost the opportunity to avoid the “America is too weak to strike back at you” moment with the Mullahs back in ’79.

            Unlike the American electorate, the powers that be in the Middle East have long memories.

            • It is never too late to turn the other cheek!!!!

              Ocasio-Cortez urges White House to ‘put down its saber’ amid Iran tensions
              As bellicose rhetoric between the US and Iran mounts, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez urged Team Trump to “put down its saber.”

              “This administration needs to put down its saber and pick up a phone. Diplomacy is what grants us peace and stability – not war,” AOC tweeted late Thursday.

              The freshman Democrat’s statement came at the end of a day of high drama that followed Iran’s downing of a sophisticated US drone — with Tehran claiming the aircraft violated Iranian airspace, while Washington insisted it was in international territory.

              [SNIP]

              Despite Ocasio-Cortez’s call to give diplomacy a chance, Iran’s Supreme Leader Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei didn’t sound in the mood to talk to Trump days ago.

              “I do not see Trump as worthy of any message exchange,” Khamenei told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was in Tehran delivering a message from the American president.

              “And I do not have any reply for him, now or in the future,” he added.

              • I’d note that her comments imply Occaisonally-Conscious swans about all day attempting to avoid dreaming about Trump’s Saber, but I’m far too erudite and high class to do so, so I won’t.

                • Ocrazyo isn’t capable of more than the occasional misfiring of half-neurons colliding in the hollowness of her skull, resulting in the ejaculation of words that have nothing to do with each other, with no resemblance of coherence never mind logic.

              • For a person who majored in international relations and economics, she’s a blithering idiot. What we need to do with her is send her to any predominantly Muslim country for a year, without any government authority, and just a living stipend. Who knows, she might even learn something, for once.

            • Too weak, or too weak-willed.

            • Whatever method is used, it would be fitting for there to be, oh, 444 targets.

        • Richard Fernandez opines the Mullahs are trying to get Trump to escalate, because they are dying on the vine under the sanctions, and they are looking for sympathy and succor from America’s enemies as the victim of military aggression: https://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/our-tricky-peace/

          It’s a very interesting observation that given the yuge impact of fracking on U.S. oil production, if we go to war to keep the Straights of Hormuz open our military will be protecting the free passage of oil tankers bound for China.

          To which I saw: Nope.

          • Say! To which I say!

            Yeesh.

          • I’ve seen some supposition (suspicions aided by video of Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi caught celebrating *before* the strike was cancelled) that POTUS got wind of a) yet another spy b) leaking the details of the attack c) so that civilian casualties could be maximized to d) get world condemnation of Trump as a reckless war monger.

            Don’t know if it’s true; it supposes that there are people in Washington DC who’d gladly trade away the United States for money or power. That just couldn’t possibly be true, nicht wahr?

            If we make it through the next several years, there’s going to be some fascinating history books out there. Some might even be right.

            • It fail to surprise me. But as said, nothing to confirm and anything “too good to check” is what needs checking the very most.

            • …POTUS got wind of a) yet another spy b) leaking the details of the attack…

              So you’re saying they have a tap on John Forbes Kerry’s phone?

              • Well, FISA warrants can be applied. Former [State, C_A, DOJ, FIB], among others. Not too hard to come up with a list.

                • Not too hard to come up with a list.

                  chorus:

                  He’s got ’em on the list – he’s got ’em on the list
                  And they’ll none of ’em be missed – they’ll none of ’em be missed

  7. To address nothing more than, ‘They hate Trump!” which I am sure many do, Levin cuts his attack short. 

    Part of why we have Trump is the result of the reaction of a large part of the country to the present weltanshauung* of the press. 

    Most of us here remember that there was, prior to this what many called Bush derangement syndrome.  And before that there was the eviscerating of Reagan and Nixon.  I really do not recall the MSM being very kind to any Republican President in my political lifetime, and since President Lyndon Baynes Johnson they have consistently put the best possible interpretations on the actions of the Democrats in the office.  Their view of the two parties themselves has become steadily more one sided.  This has become clear to any in the public who do not live in the main stream themselves. 

    To treat this as solely a problem of the moment, brought on by a hatred of Trump, would not address the full nature of problem.

    *From Wiktionary:

    Noun

    weltanschauung (plural weltanschauungs or weltanschauugen)

    1) A person’s or a group’s conception, philosophy or view of the world: a worldview.

    • The blatant double standards have a lot to do with it, too. When Obama housed illegals at Fort Sill, it was a masterpiece of generosity. When Trump does the same thing, it’s OMG, he’s putting them in a Japanese Internment facility!

      Not much remains of the Tulelake facility, but I’d not mind some media types spending some, er, vacation time there.

  8. All media is biased. Even when trying not to be. It just happens. It’s best if the biases are admitted. When I listened to shortwave in the mid-late 1980’s, there was the obvious political biases of various places (Radio Havana and Radio Moscow being the most obvious, but not like that was unique). There was also regional bias. The BBC would mention (national) elections of most any European country, and cover Europe/USSR/China/USA/Canada fairly well. But HCJB and such told of goings on in South America, and ABC (Australian..) told of another area of the globe. Regional bias also exists – and is quite understandable. It was still a bit jarring the Cs-137 exposure incident in South America got coverage all over… and six month later I finally saw a US TV network mention it briefly.

    One of my “Aha!” moments was when, for a class, I had a subscription to Newsweek (should have gone with US News & World Report then, despite the few bucks more) where they ‘quote’ G.H.W. Bush’s reply to a query about women running for senate as “I hope they lose.” which sounds sexist and was meant to. I used to listen to NPR/PBS then and even they were more honest and gave the full quotation with proper context, which was merely partisan: “Since they’re all Democrats, I hope they lose.” Significant difference there. Haven’t trusted Newsweek since – though (ox slow) it took me a while to distrust their fellow travelers.

    • The radiation exposure issue is one reason I’m 1000% against TSA operating ANY kind of scanner using a radiation source or generator. Just looking at the number of cases of medical equipment used that malfunctioned or were used improperly by supposedly highly intelligent people fully trained and frequently and thoroughly monitored, and then thinking about equipment run by high school drop outs and left of center of bell curve people in TSA with little desire to monitor, regulate or maintain the equipment and it gives me the collywobbles.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_civilian_radiation_accidents

    • The reason I check out at least the BBC and NHK news sites daily in addition to Fox CNN and local news.

      Unfortunately many of the English language services on shortwave have gone online. Not nearly as much fun.

      I learned my contempt of the MSM in the 80s as an Intel officer with a Central American focus. Seeing /hearing events in real time and seeing “news” reports that were barely re-written Sandanasty press release does that to a person.

  9. Our MSM … makes little effort to be fair and honest in its reporting, especially when it comes to politics or certain ‘social’ issues.

    For instance:
    Acceptance of Liberal framing:
    0 – “undocumented immigrants” rather than “illegal aliens”

    0 – “Pro-Choice” versus “Anti-abortion” or, increasingly common, “Opponents of reproductive rights”

    Obscuring relevant details:
    0 – omitting race or immigration status of a criminal suspect has become a tell-tale that the suspect is African-American or in this country without benefit of niggling details

    0 – when the party affiliation of a politician caught in corruption scandal is not given, you can be sure it is a Democrat; when the politician is Republican it will be mentioned in the first paragraph if not the headline

    Skewing spokespersons:
    0 – labels used to identify representatives of opposing viewpoints will typically present those representing the approved side in neutral or slightly positive terms while their opposite numbers will be labeled as extremists or far-Right spokespersons. See also: activists vs opponents

    0 – spokespersons representing approved views will generally be physically attractive, articulate and upper middle-class; opponents will be chosen from the gap-toothed yokels (See: Taylor Swift, “You Need To Calm Down”).

    0 – spokespersons representing approved views will be allowed to speak without interruption and without challenge of a priori assumption

    0 – camera framing of approved protesters will be done in such a way as to create the impression of a large, bourgeois assemblage; for disapproved protesters the framing will strive to minimize crowd size and present the least attractive representatives. For example of the first, think of the Gay Pride Parade being embodied by Mayor Pete rather than the guy in leather thong and open-buttock chaps or the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

    • Ah yes, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Reminds me of a trip our choir group took back in the early 90s to see Nunsence in San Francisco, with Phyllis Diller. Buddy of mine and I were remarking at all the cosplayers in theater entry hall and our wives started cracking up. Wife explains that they’re SPI, not cosplayers. We go, “So, what’s the big deal?”
      “They’re guys in drag.”
      My buddy then turns to me and says, “I don’t think we need to go to the men’s room while we’re here!”

    • Not to hijack the comment thread, but the “You Need to Calm Down” video strikes me as more subtle and very trumpian in that it easily provokes outrage. Of course unlike some Swift songs, the music was dull, so I likely won’t listen to it again. The video however is intriguing. Set in a gay trailer park in the middle of nowhere laid out on astroturf!, with a bunch of cartoon drag queens and bible-spouting yokels fresh out of a Ted Rall fever-dream, with the Swift character flaunting her wealth (including a sign on the kitchen wall saying, “I’m a rich man” (some gender neutral implication?), it begs to be laughed at, thus supporting the title of the song.

      • I…find it dubious that Ms. Swift is sufficiently self-aware for that to be the case.

      • The second-person pronoun sorta gives it away. She didn’t sing “We need to calm down,” after all.

        Although “we” can be problematic, as anybody who’s been in a relationship when the ominous phrase “We need to talk” knows that the ensuing discussion will involve one person doing most of the talking and the other doing all of the listening.

    • “Pro-Choice” versus “Anti-abortion” or, increasingly common, “Opponents of reproductive rights”

      You forgot, “opponents of women’s health care,” as though the pro-life movement is marching in the streets against pap smears and mammograms.

      • Which reminds me: I neglected to mention their double standard on “selectively” edited videos.

    • Urban Growth vs. Urban Sprawl . . .

  10. They want to silence the those who don’t believe in their narrative.

    NY Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger had a column published in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal editorial page decrying Trump’s accusation of the Times‘s “virtual treason.” It was left to other news outlets to count the number of times the Times has called Trump traitor … and I’ve not noticed anybody criticizing their promotion of treason accusations by such as John Brennan or James Comey.

    Treason, Trump, and the Times
    Editorial of The New York Sun | June 20, 2019
    Congratulations are in order for the publisher of the New York Times, A.G. Sulzberger, who has finally landed an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal. He’s moving on up. And with an important piece about how irresponsible it is for President Trump to issue a tweet accusing the Times of committing, in the course of exposing our cyber attacks on Russia’s electrical grid, “a virtual act of treason.”

    Our own view is that, given the temper of the times (and, for that matter, the Times), Mr. Sulzberger has missed part of the story. The President seems to have chosen his words carefully. When he tweets about “virtual” treason, he seems to be using the word “virtual” in the sense that it is defined in Webster’s classic Second International Unabridged — “being in essence or effect, but not in fact.”

    After all, if Mr. Trump reckoned the Times had committed “actual” treason, he would have already sicced the FBI on the Gray Lady. Instead, all the President did was hyperventilate on Twitter — which is no worse than what, say, the Times’ own headline writers did when they put over a Charles Blow column the headline “Trump, Treasonous Traitor.”

    [SNIP]

    The press, though, is also a historical actor. It is a custodian of the language. It feeds politics as much as it dines on them. As the 2016 election neared, the Times issued a front-page piece suggesting that maybe Mr. Trump warranted an end to objectivity. Within months its columns were bubbling with the talk of treason. Who’s to say the president didn’t pick up that kind of language from the Times itself?

    • Amazing! One link (to the NY Sun and WP sends it into moderation limbo? Text only edition:

      They want to silence the those who don’t believe in their narrative.

      NY Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger had a column published in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal editorial page decrying Trump’s accusation of the Times‘s “virtual treason.” It was left to other news outlets to count the number of times the Times has called Trump traitor … and I’ve not noticed anybody criticizing their promotion of treason accusations by such as John Brennan or James Comey.

      Treason, Trump, and the Times
      Editorial of The New York Sun | June 20, 2019
      Congratulations are in order for the publisher of the New York Times, A.G. Sulzberger, who has finally landed an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal. He’s moving on up. And with an important piece about how irresponsible it is for President Trump to issue a tweet accusing the Times of committing, in the course of exposing our cyber attacks on Russia’s electrical grid, “a virtual act of treason.”

      Our own view is that, given the temper of the times (and, for that matter, the Times), Mr. Sulzberger has missed part of the story. The President seems to have chosen his words carefully. When he tweets about “virtual” treason, he seems to be using the word “virtual” in the sense that it is defined in Webster’s classic Second International Unabridged — “being in essence or effect, but not in fact.”

      After all, if Mr. Trump reckoned the Times had committed “actual” treason, he would have already sicced the FBI on the Gray Lady. Instead, all the President did was hyperventilate on Twitter — which is no worse than what, say, the Times’ own headline writers did when they put over a Charles Blow column the headline “Trump, Treasonous Traitor.”

      [SNIP]

      The press, though, is also a historical actor. It is a custodian of the language. It feeds politics as much as it dines on them. As the 2016 election neared, the Times issued a front-page piece suggesting that maybe Mr. Trump warranted an end to objectivity. Within months its columns were bubbling with the talk of treason. Who’s to say the president didn’t pick up that kind of language from the Times itself?

      • And now, even without link, WP does not want it said! Opening paragraphs only:

        They want to silence the those who don’t believe in their narrative.

        NY Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger had a column published in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal editorial page decrying Trump’s accusation of the Times‘s “virtual treason.” It was left to other news outlets to count the number of times the Times has called Trump traitor … and I’ve not noticed anybody criticizing their promotion of treason accusations by such as John Brennan or James Comey.

        Treason, Trump, and the Times
        Editorial of The New York Sun | June 20, 2019

        WPDE

        • Puzzling performance, WP. I shall try another portion:

          Editorial of The New York Sun | June 20, 2019
          Congratulations are in order for the publisher of the New York Times, A.G. Sulzberger, who has finally landed an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal. He’s moving on up. And with an important piece about how irresponsible it is for President Trump to issue a tweet accusing the Times of committing, in the course of exposing our cyber attacks on Russia’s electrical grid, “a virtual act of treason.”

          Our own view is that, given the temper of the times (and, for that matter, the Times), Mr. Sulzberger has missed part of the story. The President seems to have chosen his words carefully. When he tweets about “virtual” treason, he seems to be using the word “virtual” in the sense that it is defined in Webster’s classic Second International Unabridged — “being in essence or effect, but not in fact.”

          After all, if Mr. Trump reckoned the Times had committed “actual” treason, he would have already sicced the FBI on the Gray Lady. Instead, all the President did was hyperventilate on Twitter — which is no worse than what, say, the Times’ own headline writers did when they put over a Charles Blow column the headline “Trump, Treasonous Traitor.”

          • Perhaps it is the reference to Charles Blow that offends WP? Another of its immoderate condemnations to moderation.

            Phooey.

            • ????? Revised:

              Your comment is awaiting moderation.
              Perhaps it is the reference to Charles B10w that offends WP? Another of its immoderate condemnations to moderation.

              Phooey.

  11. I cannot find it online, but a very useful essay on how the MSM creates an impression of factual accuracy is “Russia Has 00 Trees.” The writer examines how journalists insert a plethora of essentially irrelevant facts into an article to create an impression of great knowledge. They achieve this by inserting placeholders for the fact-checker department, so that some minion on staff will look up and insert the actual number of trees (believed to be) in Russia in the stead of the 00 placeholder.

    Inverting Churchill, they protect their lie by surrounding it with a bodyguard of (small, irrelevant) truths.

    • To be fair I do this when writing as well. Like those Christmas cards that read Dear Sally [Space] James and [Space] because Sally is my old buddy from 6th grade, and I still blank on her husband and youngest son’s name.

      It goes in the “fact check / address look up (for those who tend to move a lot) pile during holiday season card assembly nights.

  12. One of the things often forgotten when discussing media bias is what the media chooses to report, not just what they say about what they choose to report.
    Most anything that might put a prominent advertiser or favored politician in a negative light will not be reported on at all, while anything that would do the opposite will be discussed ad nauseam.

  13. I have said many times that the MSM is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Democrat Party. Yet I have begun to think it may be that the Dem Party is wholly-owned by the MSM.

    • Very likely the MSM and Democrat Party are owned by the same people. Most of them tend to keep themselves comfortably obscure and out of the public eye.

  14. Well, I’m sure we could manage to entice the National Inquirer to run an article, “Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez really Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s love child?” and post these two pictures side by side.

  15. c4c

  16. BobtheRegisterredFool

    a) I’ve found, but not yet written, a new to me, fun idea. b) Cannot open newer post in its own tab, much less comment. Yet. Some irregularity in posting means that WordPress is not formatting the links right yet. WPDE. c) New idea is rather inappropriate to the new post.