Friday, September 25, 2009

Where have you gone Woodward and Bernstein?

OK so this story in the Washington Post today completely split my skull open.

ACORN Funded Political, For-Profit Efforts, Data Show
Actions Were Before Leadership Change

For starters: That sub-head cracks me up. Does that 'shake-up' make ACORN all better now or diminish the funny business in the past? That's like saying a convict's crimes occurred "... back when he was free and in public, not when he's in prison like he is now; when he gets out, all those crimes will never have happened."

Is it the Post's job to defend or give the Organization an "out" -- ("Oh, well, that explains it -- this happened BEFORE the fine people leading it now were in control.") Do you think that tactic would work for a story on executives at GM, AIG or several certain large banks?

The question I'd love to ask (and I did) the editors is much more important and fundamental: Where was the WashPost when all this was going down, "before the leadership shake-up" last year? The paper that gave us Woodward and Bernstein; this bastion of Journalism excellence; Protector of the Second Amendment and emissary of the Fourth Estate.

Why did it take an over-the-top laughable undercover sting operation done by two clumsy rank amateur “filmmakers” to finally break this story? How do WP (and The Gray Lady) feel about being scooped by a couple of pikers? [Speaking of which --where was "60 Minutes" when all this was going on? That program can trace back sign-in sheets and track down guys who remember where GWB was at Air National Guard meetings, but these two "documentary filmmakers" beat them to the ACORN story?]

Oh, right. That would have been inconvenient to the guy they were busy putting into office. (I still haven’t heard anyone ask POTUS if – like Rev. Wright’s church—he recalls seeing anything like this when he was working with ACORN as a lawyer. Or did he miss those sermons too?)

But I digress.

Next, when will the MSM stop prefacing all ACORN stories by mentioning how the Org has "long been a target of conservative ire".... What does that have to do with the story at this point? Apparently The Post doesn't realize that’s actually dissing itself by basically saying the GOP finally got "The Media" to pay attention to what they’ve saying for all those years but the MSM ignored?

Such slanted and irrelevant phrases do nothing but prejudice the reader to the facts of the article, signaling that somehow the larger story is diminished from REAL graft and corruption to be found somewhere else -- in a GOP pet project no doubt. Does the MSM mention that the ACLU has long been a "pain-in-the-ass" to the traditional values groups every time they bring suit? Please, at least keep it out of the first 3 paragraphs and attempt to look impartial.

Lastly, every indication is that this group did something funky with taxpayer money collected from Reps, Dems, Indies, and Non-Affiliated taxpayers. This article makes it seem like the "mean old GOP" is at it again -- just being mean for the sake of it because they lost the election and Obama can speak well.

If true, ALL US taxpayers were plucked and we all should be rightly outraged no matter who brought it to light.

Speaking of which -- what does this say about Dems who knew or surmised what was going on? Did NOBODY on that side of the isle have an inkling of this? Did The Ds just sit idly by and knowingly allow tax monies to be mishandled and/or possibly misappropriated because they knew it was going to benefit their party, their causes or their candidates?

What did they know and when did they know it?

Monday, September 21, 2009

The White-Washer Scandal (wait, can I say that?)

And now ..... (or more accurately, "... again") the NEA -- the National Endowment for the Arts -- is proud to bring you, the next scandal of the Obama Administration -- "White-washer." (Wait a minute, can I say that or does that make me a racist? Twice?)

"I don't know how many laws that breaks but I'm sure there are some."
Columnist George Will on "This Week"/ABC"

From the same people who brought you crucifixes dunked in urine jars as taxpayer supported important art, now comes "ACORN for the Arts Community."

NEW AUDIO Reveals White House Using NEA to Push Partisan Agenda

To those who think this is much ado about nothing, do I have to draw you a picture? You can't have a group of people largely beholden to government grants for their "work" white-washing the public airways, landscapes, museums, (and eventually schools) with partisan messages supporting their "employer" -- particularly when it's specifically devised to appear during and designed especially to (one-sidedly) influence public debate about a national issue.

Don't know art, but you know what you don't like? Then play a little game called, "Does it pass the Bush Test?"

Say for example, that BO inherited this secret art cabal from his predecessor (who, as we know, caused all of BO's problems wwnn ;-) who established it to "paint in a good light" (pun intended) HIS priorities -- the Iraq War, Second Amendment Rights, The Patriot Act, Pro-Life, etc.

Would not the Left be today going apoplectic, calling for Congressional hearings, asking for Independent Councils, and unleashing Eric Holder to prosecute the lawyers who OK'd the program?

The Bush Test also works in reverse.

When someday (hopefully sooner rather than later) another GOPer re-takes the Oval Office, would the Left be OK (and silent) if these same tactics are then adopted and re-directed to promote things counter to what they intended on the above phone call?

That's your answer.

Friday, September 18, 2009

If an ACORN falls in the woods

If an ACORN falls in the woods and the

ignore it, does it still get Federal funding?

I guess not.

(But to make up for lack of hard-hitting and timely news coverage, there's lots of stuff you can read about Teddy Kennedy....)

It's funny most every MSM story (now that word is out) include the facts that
1) Republicans have long been critical of the organization,
2) the people who shot the undercover footage were "conservative activists" and
3) FOX News has been airing the video a lot.

Do we know the perspective of the people who leaked the Abu Ghraib prison photos?
Who was the person who broke the Mark Sanford story?
And who where the two ABC/20/20 imposter's who took EMPLOYMENT and money while going undercover to expose butcher shop practices at Food Lion some years ago?

It doesn't matter because that was news. So is this. When you cause action on the floors of Congress without a police or government investigation, it's a pretty good sign this is a legit story.

What difference does it make if the undercover filmmaker was "conservative" -- do MSM describe Michael Moore as a "liberal documentarian?" (Maybe some do now, but during Fahrenheit 911 didn't.)

MSM should refer to the couple as "journalists" because they did their job and saved both Republican & Democrat taxpayers money wasted on this biased, corrupt and questionable organization.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bad on the doorstep; couldn't take one more step

The other day (ironically, an online article) the current publisher of our daily newspaper "reached out" to readers to assure us that the paper "hears us." (In fact, he borrowed -- don't know if it was intentional but it was curious in its use -- one of POTUS' favorite little ditties -- the 'ol "We get it" exclamatory sentence.

While responding to reader feedback lamenting the lack of "good news" in the paper, the publisher "got" how readers felt this condition was a leading contributor to the decline of readership and civic engagement with the daily newspaper. Then comes the recent study by our friends at PEW chronicling how the once vaunted Journalistic reputation for accuracy have become sullied lo these last few years. (A little known fact: while desirable, finding the "truth" or "falsity" of a story has never been the overriding tenet of American journalism. It is accuracy that has long been the ultimate goal journalists seek. This will be "news" -- excuse the pun -- to most people who think getting out the truth is the primary goal; it was for me when I learned it.)

The decline of "Traditional" news in the face of the Online world shouldn't necessarily lead to the public smackdown journalism is getting (see recent PEW research on People & The Press).

Here’s a hint, Einsteins. It’s the product, not the format, that’s REALLY hastening mainstream media's decline and the profession's abysmal sad stature. Aside from News and Politics, what modern human endeavors can blame their demise on their audience/market rather than the enterprise itself?

  • "What do you mean you don't want healthcare? We're trying to get you free healthcare you rubes! Why are you fighting us; we're trying to give you something for nuthin'?"

Well, maybe: a) not as many as you thought want what you are selling, and/or b) maybe they want the product but don't care for the brand you're selling.

  • "People just aren't interested in the news anymore." "Folks don't care about the vaunted journalistic profession; we're having to become 'entertainers' to get people to watch/listen/read." “FOX is evil.” “Rush’s dittoheads don’t think.” “Glenn Beck’s army of robots.” “Oh woe is me!”

Whose fault was the Edsel? The consumers who hated the ugly thing or the Ford execs for green-lighting the loser? Like the government, have the media considered that maybe it’s THEIR product that's weak, needs to be improved or re-thought and not lay all the blame on consumers?

Other businesses have to face changing their products, why should the news be different?

[Answer--"news" purists can't stand the fact that they have operate as a business. Theirs is a higher calling, a Constitutionally protected role. Unlike, say free healthcare. Some in the media would probably be happy to take a government pay level salary to do what they do if it meant they could be free of the pesky "free market" thing that forces their company to turn a profit. But I digress.]

And when the media does make changes and things don’t improve (think CNN, or the disappearing newpaper sector), is it because the market is wrong or the changes/"improvements” made were off the mark?

Here's what I ask my "news" buddies:

When you cover a story about a half glass of milk, and you decide to write how it’s half-empty, you have made a biased decision to cover it in that way. Does that mean a story written about the same glass being half-full is wrong, erroneous, or “slanted” any more than your point of view?

It shouldn't. Both reports are "accurate" in that the glass is half-filled.

For far too long, the consumer has only been told about the half-empty point of view, even though some of them KNEW there must be a half-full side of the story.

All FOX has done is to report the other story left untouched by their competitors (i.e. the glass is half-full). People can – and do -- get the reports on the half-empty from some other place (MANY other places).

And that's the reason the FOX is eating your lunch.