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MSM

Mainstream Media. The dying old guard, or the Fourth Estate sliding into receivership.

Taking Credit for Not Doing a Worse Job

TJIC shows his best form ripping the current President and Big Media:

So why, exactly, is this being spun as an Obama victory?

Measured as a percentage of total economic output — the gauge that economists say is most meaningful — the deficit would be 10 percent of gross domestic product… well below the records set during World War II.

Fascinating!

The deficit was 25% when we assembled the largest armed forces in the history of human civilization, and conquered two continents at once.

…and with Obama’s socialist experiments, we’ve only run up a 10% deficit!

That is news – he’s doing a heck of ajob!

Just go read it.

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Birdy Count Update

The Deepwater Horizon seems to have finally become background noise in the news cycle. The New Orleans Times-Picayune isn’t featuring a “day counter” on their website anymore. Up through about Day 78, it was at the top of the front page.

It‘s Day 84, and BP may be about to close the leak with a new cap. That’s no cause for panic or angst, so I guess it isn’t worth top-value pixels.

And after 84 days of wailing and hand-wringing, how many birds have actually died?

Less than 200:

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Barry Bitten by Sarahcuda

Neo-neocon poses a question:

Who would have been the best president to handle the oil spill crisis?

Whatever else you may think of her, I think the answer has to be “Sarah Palin.” She’s got the experience dealing with the oil companies, and the requisite gumption to do so.

And, if they were being honest, the left would have to give the same answer: Sarah Palin. And that fact must enrage them no end.

Awesome!

I had forgotten about Palin’s genuine experience in this area:

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Big Bird Would Rather Take His Chances With More Drilling

Forgive me for being hung up on the bird body count. But as I was scanning some more context-free reporting, I thought, “Hey, what about those windmills that are supposed to be part of the Clean Energy Economy. Aren’t those just giant bird grinders? How many of our feathered friends are beaten to death by clean energy every day?

To the Google!

Turns out George Will made some remarks about this over a month ago, when the birdy count was in the single digits. I don’t care what Will said; I am claiming this as an independent thought. But his comment led to some handy research:

The American Bird Conservancy estimated in 2003 that between 10,000 and 40,000 birds were killed each year at wind farms across the country, about 80 percent of which were songbirds and 10 percent birds of prey.

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AP Goes Tabloid

The Associated Press is running a story headlined “Gulf oil spill becomes wildlife apocalypse”. Nothing sensationalist, nothing alarmist about that, huh?

Well, maybe something truly, umm…apocalyptic, happened since yesterday.

Nope:

After six weeks with one to four birds a day coming into Louisiana's rescue center for oiled birds at Fort Jackson, 53 arrived Thursday and another 13 Friday morning, with more on the way. Federal authorities say 792 dead birds, sea turtles, dolphins and other wildlife have been collected from the Gulf of Mexico and its coastline.

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Pirates Fight Over PRK Ship Headed to Scrapyard

There seems to be more to this story that you probably didn’t hear:

During a serious shoot-out between two rival pirate groups surrounding the sea-jacked MV RIM, leaving 9 Somalis dead, the Syrian crew of the vessel managed to overpower six pirates on board and to sail free.

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Pelican Perspective

The Boston Globe has some excellent oily bird pictures that support the Hate BP narrative. And the Google suggests the birdy body count is well over 300:

So far 300 birds, the bulk of them identified as Brown Pelicans and northern gannets have been found along the US Gulf Coast during the first five weeks of the BP oil spill, and 31 have survived. They are currently being counted as casualties because of the proximity in time and location to the spill, but are being tested to confirm results. The mortality rate is expected to rise sharply since this is the middle of breeding season.

With a population of 650,000, this just isn’t that big of a deal. We’re talking about maybe five hundredths of a percent of the pelican stock.

Relatedly, the current President is having shrimp for dinner. Cobb did a little research, and we’re not running out of shrimp, either:

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Selecting Perception

From an opinion column in the Wall Street Journal comes a stark illustration of how Big Media works according to a narrative:

In news reporting, it's not unusual to encounter constructions such as this AP dispatch from the presidential campaign about Sarah Palin: "She has worshipped at a nondenominational Bible church since 2002, opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest and supports classroom discussions about creationism."

That's fair as far as it goes. Just once, however, wouldn't it be interesting to see a leading newspaper write something like, "Nancy Pelosi, who opposes any restrictions on abortion, even in cases where a pregnant minor is taken across state lines without a parent's permission or where the fetus is halfway out the mother"?

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It was a Military Mission

A commenter at TJIC reveals the scale of the foiled Hamas resupply flotilla:

The 15,000 tons of humanitarian goods that were (allegedly) aboard the convoy are not much more than the roughly 14,000 tons that crossed the Israel-Gaza border in a typical week in May:
http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=175858

In 2009, Israel sent nearly 740,000 tons into Gaza. Not counting the diesel fuel, the medical supplies and so forth.
http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=175858

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Chicken Little Blew it Again

A month after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, Big Media is finally getting some pictures of oily birds and mucked-up shoreline. It’s the story they wanted to tell:

When it began April 20, Louisiana and the world feared a quick and dramatic result, a black tsunami washing over one of the world's most productive and valuable coastal ecosystems. Expecting a disaster with iconic images to rival the environmental mugging of Prince William Sound by the Exxon Valdez, the planet's media rushed to the scene. Within days fishing towns like Venice and Hopedale became datelines in newspapers from Paris to Hong Kong, which painted pictures of a culture bracing for ecosystem Armageddon.

It is certainly true that valuable and delicate things are being harmed. But this is unfolding not so much as a major disaster and more like an accidental tragedy:

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Gulf Spill Birdy Count

It has been more than three weeks since the Deepwater Horizon exploded. We’ve endured twenty-four days of storytelling meant to tickle anxieties and promote panic.

Legislatively, this might become an enduring disaster. But the actual harm to nature has been minimal. Fishing areas are re-opening. And fears of oil-drenched sea birds appear to have been overblown:

An oiled brown pelican was found on the rocks along Bayou Rigaud at Grand Isle on Thursday, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said.

Wildlife and Fisheries biologists caught the bird and brought it to Fort Jackson, where veterinarians are rehabbing oiled birds.

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Smokey Bear Wouldn’t Even Get Out of Bed

With the current President finally on the scene of the Transocean Horizon oil spill, expect increased hysteria from Big Media. Like this story from Christian Science Monitor (from last week when the explosion was breaking news):

Transocean Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion shows new risks

The dramatic oil rig explosion and fire aboard the Transocean Deepwater Horizon rig 50 miles off the Louisiana coast illustrates the growing risk for oil companies as they drill ever deeper into the earth's crust to satisfy domestic and international demand for fuel.

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Nothing to be Proud Of

The stereotype of the Catholic church as haven for perverts has no basis in fact:

Since the mid-1980s, insurance companies have offered sexual misconduct coverage as a rider on liability insurance, and their own studies indicate that Catholic churches are not higher risk than other congregations. Insurance companies that cover all denominations, such as Guide One Center for Risk Management, which has more than 40,000 church clients, does not charge Catholic churches higher premiums. "We don't see vast difference in the incidence rate between one denomination and another," says Sarah Buckley, assistant vice president of corporate communications. "It's pretty even across the denominations." It's been that way for decades.

Every group has a share of abusers. Catholics are not an exception, neither worse nor better than anyone else. They are a big group, so the raw numbers may lead to more frequent headlines. The Church of the SubGenius for example, with maybe 10,000 members, just will not include that many pederasts or yield many headlines about abuse.

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To Injure No Man, But Bless the Left

I was a subscriber to the daily Christian Science Monitor. After a couple of trials, I judged their reporting to be from a neutral viewpoint. Religion appeared in every issue, but did not color the news. The coverage, although U.S.-centered was truly global. And the lighter features were usually interesting (they had great, brief film reviews).

My full-time subscription began around the time the world was preparing to invade Iraq in 2003. I let it lapse after a couple of years because I wasn’t finding the time to read all the coverage they packed into a daily paper. I still followed the website regularly (it’s offered in NRR’s news rack).

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Tune In for This Exclusive Report

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A Thought Regarding Haiti

Whatever the reports from mainstream media, remember that at best they are telling only part of the truth. My intimate knowledge around Hurricane Katrina, the collapse of the I-35W bridge, and countless minor events revealed that reporters get confused, lazy and often just make things up.

This maxim should be applied to the coverage coming out of Haiti: The news is not what is happening, it is just what the media is telling you.

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Compliments to One Big Media Outlet

Roger Simon (founder of righty Pajamas Media) discovers why I offer Al-Jazeera in the NRR news rack:

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Is This Bias?

The Associated Press reports gives this headline to today’s release of State employment statistics:

July unemployment dips in 17 states, rises in 26

Unemployment is up in over half the States, but AP puts that after the comma, in a position of reduced importance. The ordinary reader will walk away with a notion that unemployment has dipped.

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Pangloss Sees the Rising Sun

Late last night CNN interrupted its regular drone with a breaking story: Japan Emerges from Recession. They played it up a like an airplane crash or celebrity arrest. They even had to rouse a financial correspondent from sleep to get up-to-the-minute commentary over the phone. Faintly optimistic-sounding news about a government statistic from a foreign economy has become sensational.

Although credit was given to the Japanese government’s stimulus spending, the reporter failed to grasp the (in)significance of figures showing Japan’s domestic demand had continued shrinking. The reported growth was entirely from exports. If anybody’s stimulus is responsible, it must be the Chinese. They’re the only big player still growing demand.

Despite persistent efforts of politicians and pseudo-news organizations like CNN to proclaim the economy has “turned a corner” and is “getting back on track” (someday I’ll have to rant about vapid economic metaphors), the US stock market reacted to this phenomenal news by dropping 186 points (2%).

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Nimby Neighbor Rails Against Trains

Progressive Rail, a Lakeville-based shortline railroad, made the news this week:

The neighborhood off Kenwood Trail has become a parking lot for trains, bringing with it more problems than residents would like.

Pam Steinhagen has enough anger to fill a train tanker. She says since last November, the cars have been parked here and have created an eyesore on rails. Not only that, Steinhagen says she's worried about kids who've turned the cars into a playground.

So Steinhagen has organized a neighborhood petition and contacted the city and the company that owns the cars' progressive rail.

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