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MSM

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

Big Media and Barry’s Birth

Truth is revealed by both what is said and what is not said. Neo-neocon offers a non-conspiratorial reason for following Barry’s birth certificate controversy:

This furtiveness on Obama’s part ties into his secrecy about other aspects of his life. I’m referring most particularly to his school records, from Occidental and Columbia and Harvard Law. These, we know he could release. This failure of his leads inexorably to the perception that the man is hiding something, although we don’t know exactly what or exactly why.

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Same to Rather, Couric and that little dog Blitzer, too

TJIC’s opinion on Cronkite is indistinguishable from my own:

I never got the veneration that some people feel for news anchors.

They’re stuffed shirts, selected for and paid for their ability to project an air of portentiousness and seriousness while they read crappy fourth-rate, low-depth, low-bandwidth news aloud to an audience of admiring monkeys.

Why, exactly, should I care that another one of these hair-gelled used-car-salesmen has passed on?

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Media Misinterprets Fed

The Federal Open Market Committee has issued its anticipated statement on interests rates, the money supply, and the overall economy. Here’s the Associated Press version (which I also heard on the radio):

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday said the recession is easing, but that the economy likely will remain weak and keep a lid on inflation.

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Two Points Missed

1) Re: Guantanamo Terrorist Transfers

The media chatter seems focused on the inconveniences and perceived threats to US communities should the detainees be transferred to US prisons. No, they’re not going to escape and become some kind of TV action series bad guy fugitives. And, no, they’re not going to be able to command terrorist activities from within SuperMax confinement. As prisoners, they would represent no credible threat.

If they were brought onto US territory, however, their legal status changes. They would get the full benefit of legal rights and due process. And since they’re being held without charge and on sketchy evidence, US law would compel their release.

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Stamping Out Hunger for $25/Hr

Pretty much every media outlet ran a story about yesterday’s national food drive. Letter carriers were lauded for their work collecting donations to food shelves. But were the letter carriers being charitable? Or were they just doing their job?

A brief search of the net offered no evidence that postal workers were doing anything for free. Sure, they carried some extra weight, but should that count as “charity”?

Since they’re in uniform, in addition to all their pay and benefits, the public was also covering any additional risks the workers faced. Strained back from too many cans? Not charity, but a gateway to a compensation claim.

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Historicizing Current Events

Big Media doesn’t always lie. Despite the transformation from “reporting” to “journalism”, fabricating people and events is still frowned upon. More insidious that outright lies—which can be crushed by genuine reporting and investigation—are lazy half-truths.

Media faces seem to look only as far and as long as needed to satisfy their preconceptions. Hurricane Katrina was a Federal Government (Bush) failure. As long as you focus on the 50,000 safe-but-whining people at the Superdome while quickly skipping past the 7,000 people rescued from imminent death by the Coast Guard.

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Spinning Unemployment

The current President has changed his tune. He is not longer Tokyo Rose, threatening us with an economic catastrophe. Now, although it may get worse, Obama is confident that the US economy will recover. It’s almost like he took a trip on the Negative Railroad and noticed 140 million Americans still hard at work.

From what I’ve seen, Big Media has followed Barry’s lead. They’re now more apt to look past the still-rising unemployment rate and the 663,000 jobs lost in March. The figures are in scale with January and February, but apparently now it isn’t the end of the world.

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Heckuva Job, Timmy

Last night CBS aired an interview with the current President. I thought Barry looked he thought he actually understood the issues he was asked about. At least one of us is convinced President Klink can distinguish his ass from a hole in the ground.

And the interviewer seemed troubled, almost reluctant, to ask questions about difficult issues. That reluctance may have been out of sympathy for his President. Or, it may have been pity, as Barry continued to demonstrate he is overmatched by his job. This exchange is an example:

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The Power of Imagination

Citigroup, one of the huge banks being bailed out by taxpayers, was at the top of the headlines again this week:

Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit said his bank is having the best quarter since 2007, when it last posted a profit. The shares rose 38 percent and helped spur gains for finance company stocks. “I am most encouraged with the strength of our business so far in 2009,” Pandit wrote in an internal memorandum obtained today by Bloomberg. “We are profitable through the first two months of 2009 and are having our best quarter-to-date performance since the third quarter of 2007.”

Last week the pundits and news anchors quipped that Citi’s share price, which had dropped below $1, was less than an ATM fee. This week’s positive report from the Citi CEO was cited as cause for Tuesday’s major rally in the broader markets.

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Stem Cell Misperceptions

I’ve long been annoyed by lazy perceptions about stem cell research. Rhetoric and reporting tend to leave out important details. There are vital distinctions between embryonic cells and other stem cells. Taxpayer-funded research must be held to different standards than private research. Neo-neocon confronts the misperceptions in light of current events:

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It Really is The Great State

Remember during the campaign how Sarah Palin was always referring to “the Great State of Alaska”? I think nearly everyone heard that like an air-headed cheerleader at a pep rally waving her poms and yelling, “Yay! for Alaska! It's so great! Give me an A…”.

She wasn’t being a cheerleader any more than Governor Pawlenty when he talks about Minnesota’s lakes. Or when Governor Doyle mentions Wisconsin’s fine cheese.

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Joe the Reporter

I heard it from Anderson Cooper, in full sneer, on CNN. I join Michelle Malkin’s opinion:

If a community organizer can be president and a Saturday Night Live comedian can be a U.S. senator, why can’t a plumber be a reporter?

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143 Million Americans Defy Headlines by Going to Work

Today the US Department of Labor released December’s unemployment statistics. Everyone was expecting bad news. Well, there was news. But “bad” is a judgement, not a fact, and the headlines reflect those Chicken Little expectations.

Carnage continues with 524,000 jobs lost in Dec.
Unemployment rate rises to 7.2%, the highest in 16 years

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McPalin, OBiden, and Earmarks

Following are excerpts from the StarTribune's comment section on an Associated Press story titled McCain equates earmarks with corruption even though Palin is seeking earmarks herself.

First, a bit of AP’s reporting for context:

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