Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Media Bias

The Internet: Gutenberg Press 2.0

In a remarkable coalescence of time and circumstance, Michael Hart typed the Declaration of Independence into his computer on July 4th, 1971, Independence Day, and launched Project Gutenberg,

http://www.gutenberg.org/    Project Gutenberg

the world’s largest non-profit digital library available on the Internet.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/09/business/michael-hart-a-pioneer-of-e-books-dies-at-64.html?_r=3&pagewanted=2   the world’s largest digital library

On his way home from a fireworks display, Hart stopped in at a grocery store and was given a copy of the Declaration of Independence, printed on parchment. He typed the text into his computer, intending to send it as an email to his friends on Arpanet. A colleague persuaded him that his message would cause the system to crash and so Hart merely posted a note that the full text could be downloaded instead. And thus, according to the obituary noting his passing on September 6th, 2011 in the New York Times, “Project Gutenberg was born.”

http://www.gutenberg.org/   Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg, with more than 38,000 free eBooks available online, represents Hart’s goal to “encourage the creation and distribution of e-books to help break down the bars of ignorance and illiteracy.” Even in its infancy Hart saw the potential, according to the Times, of “overturning all established power structures.” (emphasis added)

It is doubtful that Hart in 1971 had any idea of how the growth of the Internet would impact the world, just as the son of a cloth merchant in the small German town of Mainz, Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Gutenberg   Gutenberg

would have any idea of how his invention of the moveable-type printing press in 1436 would impact his world. Not only is the Gutenberg press responsible for the printing revolution that spread across Europe and the world, it had enormous impact in the flowering of the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation and the Scientific Revolution. It was responsible for the formation of the basis for the modern market economy, the development and spread of the concept of national sovereignty, and the revolution leading to the Declaration of Independence and the establishment of the American republic.

Gutenberg’s first project was the printing of 180 copies of the Bible, each of which sold for much less than a handwritten Bible which could take a single scribe more than a year to complete. Within six years there were 1000 copies in print.

http://thedailybell.com/2645/Martin-Luther   there were 1000 copies in print

As his printing press was copied and spread throughout the continent,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_spread_of_the_printing_press   spread    through the continent

by the year 1500 one thousand printing presses were in operation and had already produced more than eight million books. By 1600 that number had grown more than twenty-fold to between 150 and 200 million. And the discovery and development of sea routes West (Christopher Columbus, 1492) and East (Vasco da Gama, 1498) greatly expanded the use of his printing press. By 1620 the impact of the Gutenberg press caused English philosopher Francis Bacon to remark that it “has changed the whole face and state of things throughout the world.” In America, Mark Twain wrote:

What the world is today, good and bad, it owes to Gutenberg. Everything can be traced to this source, but we are bound to bring him homage…for the bad that this colossal invention has brought about is overshadowed a thousand times by the good with which mankind has been favored.

The press enabled friends of Martin Luther to distribute copies of his “95 Theses” across Germany within two weeks, all across Europe within two months, and within the year into France, England and Italy.

The challenge of the Reformation to the existing establishment led to The Thirty Years’ War

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty_Years’_War   Thirty Years’ War

which ended with the signing of a series of peace treaties summarized as the Peace of Westphalia, establishing vital concepts now taken for granted: sovereignty of states, right to self-determination, equality between states and the principle of non-intervention of one state in the internal affairs of another.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westphalian_sovereignty  vital concepts

John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion was propelled by the Gutenberg miracle so that by 1560 the Scottish parliament had repudiated the Pope’s authority and approved in its stead the Protestant Confession of Faith. The Scottish Reformation reached America and influenced the American Revolution. Calvin’s influence was so great that Leopold von Ranke,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopold_von_Ranke  Leopold von Ranke

one of the profoundest scholars of the times, concluded that “John Calvin was the virtual founder of America.”

Thomas Paine’s pamphlet, Common Sense,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_(pamphlet)   Common Sense

rode not only the revolutionary discontent of the colonies but the increasingly common printing press to become, according to historian Gordon S. Wood, “the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era.” First published anonymously in January, 1776, the 48-page booklet sold 120,000 copies in its first three months, 500,000 in its first year, and went through twenty-five editions in its first year alone. George Trevelyan, author of History of the American Revolution, said,

It would be difficult to name any human composition which has had an effect at once so instant, so extended and so lasting…It was pirated, parodied and imitated, and translated into the language of every country where the new republic had well-wishers. It worked nothing short of miracles and turned Tories into Whigs.

And so, from the development of movable type in 1436 to the printing of the Gutenberg Bible in 1455, to the explosive duplication of Luther’s 95 Theses beginning in 1518, to the Scottish immigration to America in the 1600s, to the Peace of Westphalia in 1668, to the bursting forth of “Common Sense” in January 1776, to the Declaration of Independence, one can trace the impact that the Gutenberg Press had on political, social and religious institutions in just over three hundred years.

But it took just three years from the start of the commercialization of the internet in 1995 (the year the first sale on Echo Bay – later to become EBay – was completed)

http://sixrevisions.com/resources/the-history-of-the-internet-in-a-nutshell/    first sale on Echo Bay

that the political power of the Internet as the “alternative media” began to be felt. Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff had been investigating the relationship between Monica Lewinsky

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewinsky_scandal#Denial_and_subsequent_admission    Monica Lewinsky

and then-President Bill Clinton for nearly a year, and his story was about to be published on Saturday morning, January 17th, 1998. After listening to one of the taped conversations between Lewinsky and a friend, Isikoff’s editors decided to spike the story. Matt Drudge of The Drudge Report,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Drudge_Report    The Drudge Report

an online news aggregator, learned of the decision to withhold the story, and ran his exposé with the headline: “Newsweek Kills Story on White House Intern: 23-Year-Old Sex Relationship with President,”

http://www.drudgereportarchives.com/data/2002/01/17/20020117_175502_ml.htm   ran his expose

which instantly, profoundly and permanently transformed the Internet into an alternative to the mainstream media. By Sunday morning, so many individuals were seeking more information from Drudge’s website that it couldn’t handle all the traffic.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/special_report/1998/clinton_scandal/50031.stm   couldn’t handle all the traffic.

According to BBC News, “This may be the first time that a story of such consequence developed on the Internet. Love him or hate him, Matt Drudge’s report on the Clinton scandal is the most visible sign to date of the changing nature of journalism.”

The Presidential campaign of 2008 is considered to be the first “Internet election”

http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2008/The-Internet-and-the-2008-Election.aspx   internet election

with candidates using the Internet to promote their positions. PewInternet noted that “a record-breaking 46% of Americans used the Internet, email or cell phone text messaging to get news about the campaign, share their views, and mobilize others…[and] 6% of Americans made political contributions online, compared with 2% who did that during the entire 2004 campaign.” One of those enjoying the Internet’s capability to raise campaign funds was Presidential candidate Ron Paul whose “money bomb” raised a record $4.3 million in a single day, followed by another $4.4 million raised just a few days later.

The Internet had a significant role in the retirement of Dan Rather from CBS in 2005. In 1988 Rather interviewed six former servicemen, each of whom had witnessed horrible acts during their time in Vietnam.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Rather    interviewed

Two of them said that they had killed civilians and each talked about the impact the war had on their personal lives, including periods of depression, unemployment, drug use, and homelessness. Unfortunately for Rather, authors B. G. Burkett and Glenna Whitley, in doing research for their book Stolen Valor

http://www.amazon.com/Stolen-Valor-Vietnam-Generation-History/dp/096670360X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1316710624&sr=1-1   Stolen Valor

obtained the service records of all six of those interviewed by Rather and discovered that only one of them had actually been stationed in Vietnam, and that he had only served as an equipment repairer. Bloggers on the Internet had a field day.

http://www.vvaw.org/veteran/article/?id=421    had a field day

And then in 2004 Rather reported on a series of memos he had obtained about President George W. Bush’s service with the Texas Air National Guard. The memos found their way onto the Internet and were declared by experts to be forgeries. The mainstream media reluctantly printed the story of the forgeries, forcing CBS initially to defend Rather’s report. Two weeks later CBS retracted the story. In 2005 Rather left CBS after being relegated to a corner office with few responsibilities.

The internet’s video-sharing website, YouTube, has more than one billion videos in its online library

http://thenewamerican.com/tech-mainmenu-30/computers/4458-the-power-of-the-internet    more than one billion

but none more damaging to the credibility of one of the establishment’s favorite institutions, The Federal Reserve System, than the confrontation between Congressman Alan Grayson and Fed spokesman Elizabeth Coleman. In five minutes and 26 seconds,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXlxBeAvsB8&feature=player_embedded   In five minutes and 26 seconds

on May 5th, 2009, Coleman stuttered and stammered and deflected and finally wilted under Grayson’s barrage of questions about the Fed’s off-book balance sheet activity. Her lack of preparation and inability to answer the simplest of questions has been viewed by more than four million people, doing irreparable damage to the prestige of the Fed. As noted by Anthony Wile

http://thedailybell.com/2024/Is-Anyone-Minding-the-Store-at-the-Federal-Reserve.html   noted by

“It is one of the single most astonishing moments (or minutes) ever manifested or preserved in this already amazing digital era.” Wile wrote:

During the questioning of Coleman, Grayson asks her over and over if there is a formal accounting available for the trillions in off-book balance sheet activity for the Fed. He asks patiently, and he repeats the question many times. Coleman stutters, makes statements that are obviously evasive and finally all but admits that she actually has no authority even to examine the Fed’s off-balance sheet activities. She admits this in a frazzled manner, but only after losing her way so badly that she has to ask Grayson to repeat the question (which he has already asked about ten times).

The whistle-blower website Wikileaks.org has proven the power of exposure as a disinfectant, especially in its leaking of the Kroll Report,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gideon_Moi    Kroll Report

an intelligence report commissioned by the Kenyan government in 2004. For political reasons the government sat on the report until Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, published the report on the Internet. Interviewed on TED TV by Chris Anderson, Assange said

http://thenewamerican.com/tech-mainmenu-30/computers/4458-the-power-of-the-internet    Interviewed by

This report…became a dead albatross around [the president’s] neck.

Anderson: And…word of the report leaked into Kenya, not from the official media, but indirectly [via the Internet]. And in your opinion, it actually shifted the election?

Assange: Yes. This became front page [news] and was then printed in all the surrounding countries of Kenya, in Tanzania and South Africa…

It ran for 20 nights straight on Kenya TV [and] shifted the vote by 10 percent…which changed the result of the election.

Anderson: So your leak really substantially changed the world?

Assange: Yes.

The Internet revolution is reaching into the highest levels of the education cartel which for years has required students to pay enormous sums for the privilege of attending prestigious schools to obtain a piece of paper that many are finding of questionable value in today’s marketplace. In 2001 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) started putting all of its courses’ lecture notes, videos and exams online where students could access them for free. In the ten years that followed nearly 100 million students have taken advantage of the opportunity. Recently, MIT introduced “MITx” which grants, for a small fee, a certificate of accomplishment to students proving their mastery of the subject. This innovation challenges at its very core the paradigm that only a wealthy few should have access to such learning. As Kevin Carey noted in The Chronicle of Higher Education,

http://chronicle.com/article/MIT-Mints-a-Valuable-New-Form/130410/  noted

“It is simply untenable [for traditional universities] to claim global leadership in educating a planet of seven billion people when you hoard your educational offerings for a few thousand fortunates living together on a small patch of land.”

The internet is also allowing citizens to stand up against corrupt politicians and police behaving badly. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) discovered how his attempts to keep people attending his town halls from taping them using cellphones failed miserably and led him to change his policy.

http://teapartyeconomist.com/2012/01/19/bonehead-congressman-who-confiscated-cell-phones-backs-off-too-late/  failed miserably

Said a chastened Chabot, “We will be modifying our policy to allow individual citizens to bring cameras to our town hall events…”

Simon Glik was walking by the Boston Common on October 1st, 2007 when he observed what he perceived to be an excessive use of force by three police officers in subduing a suspected drug offender. He used his cell phone to take pictures of the event and was arrested. He sued and courts ruled in his favor: “We conclude…that Glik was exercising clearly-established First Amendment rights in filming the officers in a public place, and that his clearly-established Fourth Amendment rights were violated by his arrest without probable cause.”

http://thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/10828-courts-and-dept-of-justice-agree-videotaping-police-is-ok  ruled in his favor

Last September the pro-life film “180” was released with expectations that it could change the abortion debate significantly. Producer Ray Comfort said that “knowledge is very, very powerful and when we have knowledge…it can change our whole perspective.” Comfort expressed the hope that the video would go viral. In the first 24 hours of its release on YouTube, there were 30,000 visits. By October 9th, there were 638,000 visits. As of February 15th, 2012, there have been more than 2,350,000 visits.

Attempts to pre-empt the Internet or to restrict it are failing. When Rupert Murdoch, owner of News Corporation, purchased MySpace for $580 million in July 2005, he intended on inserting Fox News political content into the site and thus help to redirect the political conversation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Space#Politics   inserting Fox News studio content

At the time, MySpace was the most popular social networking site in the United States, while Facebook, its primary competitor lagged behind. However, by April, 2008, Facebook surpassed MySpace based on monthly unique visitors, and Murdoch’s attempt to get political with his acquisition failed. With three-quarters of its workforce laid off, Murdoch sold what was left of the company in June 2011 for $35 million, taking a loss of half a billion dollars.

When it appeared that federal attempts to threaten the internet such as SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect Internet Privacy Act) were going to be enacted, users rebelled mightily and loudly. Millions of people signed online petitions, overloaded circuits with phone calls, and generally stood in the gap and said NO. As Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group said:

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9223531/Twitter_Facebook_fuel_SOPA_protests?taxonomyId=70  said

“This is huge. [Social networks] pretty much drove the mass objections and stopped this bill from becoming law. I think we are actually seeing the beginning of a huge change in the political process worldwide that [has] social networks at the core.”

Even before the cratering of those efforts to regulate and emasculate the internet, clever individuals had been hard at work developing “work-arounds,” just in case. A Firefox add-on called, appropriately “de-SOPA” allows searchers to get past any sites that might have been censored by using IP addresses instead of web addresses.

http://lifehacker.com/5869665/desopa-for-firefox-bypasses-sopa-dns-blocking  deSOPA

And if that doesn’t work, there’s Pirate Bay Dancing

http://boingboing.net/2011/11/30/mafiaafire-teams-latest-brow.html Pirate Bay Dancing

that also was developed in anticipation of such attempts at regulation.

Telex is another of many innovations designed to foil attempts to restrict the flow of truth by Internet. The developer’s software turns the Internet itself into an anti-censorship device. Software that is installed on a computer connects with the Internet service provider that has Telex stations attached to the wires carrying the digital traffic. “So,” says the developer, “if you’re in China, and you want access to a banned site like YouTube, you just type YouTube.com into your computer, and the Telex station will see that connection, and disguise it as something innocuous. You might be watching YouTube, but to a censor, it will just seem as if you’re visiting a harmless, non-blocked site.” If governments pursue Internet censorship, they will find that the free-market innovators have gotten there first, in plenty of time to make such efforts not only fruitless but obsolete.

Because of the Internet, false renditions of history are exposed. Half-truths are uncovered. Statist assumptions are questioned. George Orwell’s Memory Hole has been illuminated. History, it is said, is written by the survivors. With more than 300 million websites feeding the Internet and billions of people seeking the truth, when this history is written it will proclaim the free unhindered flow of information via the Internet as the victor. With this new information, the final choice lies, where it always has, in the hands of an informed electorate. Writing to William Charles Jarvis on September 28th, 1820, Thomas Jefferson said:

I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.

All that the Gutenberg press did then, and all that the Internet is doing now, is informing the peoples’ discretion. The rest is up to them.

 

 

 

 

 

Media Bias Evident in Coverage of Great Mills High School Shooting

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, March 21, 2018:  

Seal of Great Mills High School(Trademark of G...

Seal of Great Mills High School

Just hours after the shooting at Great Mills High School in Maryland that ended without significant blood being shed by innocents thanks to an armed school resource officer (SRO), Gadsen1805 commented regarding an AP story about the incident: “Good guy with a gun puts an end to a planned mass shooting … let’s see how much press this gets.”

A better question Gadsen1805 might have asked is “How is the mainstream media going to twist this to fit their anti-gun agenda?”

The shooting took place at

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Harvard Study Confirms Media Bias Against Trump

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, May 19, 2017:

NBC Nightly News broadcast

NBC Nightly News broadcast

Thomas Patterson, Harvard’s Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press, opened his study of “News Coverage of Donald Trump’s First 100 Days” by noting not only that President Trump was the topic of more than 40 percent of all news stories during his first 100 days (three times the amount of press coverage received by previous presidents), but also that the coverage he received “set … a new standard for unfavorable press coverage of a president.”

What’s surprising isn’t Patterson’s conclusion, which readers of The New American likely agree with, but the source:

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Mainstream Media’s Increasingly Blatant Liberal Bias May Backfire in Elections

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, September 19, 2016:  

FOX Business Network's Mix/Minus and IFB board

FOX Business Network’s Mix/Minus and IFB board

Just three days after Pew Research reported that nearly two-thirds of Americans think the news stories they read, hear, and watch are biased, along came Gallup with a similar conclusion.

Pew found that 63 percent of its respondents doubted the veracity and neutrality of the stories they get from the mainstream media, a full 10-percent decline just since 2007. Pew also reported that the mainstream media finds itself in increasing financial difficulty owing not only to increasing distrust by its readers but competition from Internet-based sources.

For instance, newspaper advertising dropped by

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The Mainstream Media Has Blown Its Cover

This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, September 19, 2016:  

FOX Business Network's control room screen

FOX Business Network’s control room screen

In its rush (some say panic) to denigrate and neutralize Donald Trump’s appeal in the presidential race, the liberal mainstream media’s bias has become so blatant that it may actually be turning off those it is trying to influence.

On September 11, Pew Research reported that

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Is Ben Carson’s Campaign “Over”?

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 9, 2015:  

Ben Wright of CNBC thinks Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson’s campaign is done, toast, over after several attacks leveled against him by the mainstream media, particularly calling into question Carson’s honesty regarding events in his book Gifted Hands. Calling one of the attacks a “devastating blow to Carson,” Wright asked, “The main question now is whether the revelation(s) will quickly drive Carson out of the race. And if it does, where will his cadre of supporters go?”

Wright claimed that

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Republican Debate: Rubio, Cruz, Trump Rocked; CNBC Got Mocked

This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, October 29, 2015:

John Harwood, one of the trio of CNBC moderators of the third Republican debate held Wednesday night in Boulder, Colorado, set in motion the evening’s tone and tenor with this condescending question of Donald Trump:

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2016 Race for White House Could Be Closer Than Some Predict

This article first appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, April 14, 2015: 

English: Nate Silver in Washington, D.C.

Nate Silver

For some, the 2016 presidential election is over: Hillary will win in a walk. Oddschecker.com website, which monitors 19 bookies, is unanimous: Hillary is heavily favored to win, with Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio coming in at very weak second and third places, respectively.

Paddy Power, Ireland’s largest bookmaker, agrees. Spokesman Rory Scott told Business Insider that

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Reaping the Whirlwind: the Colorado Model and Gun Control

On Monday, February 18th, the Democrat-controlled Colorado House of Representatives passed all four gun control bills over an out-numbered Republican minority’s noisy and occasionally emotional protests.

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Rasmussen Reports Reflect Romney Surge

Mitt Romney at Caster Concepts

Mitt Romney at Caster Concepts (Photo credit: davelawrence8)

Yesterday’s reports from Rasmussen was quite encouraging, if you’re a Romney/Republican fan and are concerned about the depth and breadth of the Romney surge that even the Downstream Media are now being forced to admit.

Here we go:

  1. Who won the debates? 49% say Romney, 41% say Obama.
  2. Arizona Senate: Flake, the Republican: 50%, Carmona, the Democrat: 44%
  3. Nevada Senate: Heller, the Republican: 50%, Berkley, the Democrat: 45%
  4. Swing state tracking: Romney: 50%, Obama: 47%
  5. North Dakota Governor’s race: Dalrymple, the Republican: 53%, Taylor, the Democrat: 39%
  6. Affluent suburbs are moving in Romney’s direction

And on Friday, Rasmussen is putting Wisconsin, a state that Obama won by 14% in 2008, as too close to call: Obama leads by 2%, within the margin of error. And the momentum for Romney continues to build.

The election could be a split decision, according to Rasmussen, with the popular vote going to Romney, but

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Thomas Sowell’s Musings

A FRAUD THROUGH AND THROUGH

(Photo credit: SS&SS)

When someone as bright, articulate and profound as Thomas Sowell offers his musings “on the passing scene,” I sit up and take notice. There’s bound to be something in there worth reading.

And so there is:

How are children supposed to learn to act like adults, when so much of what they see on television shows adults acting like children?

Example? Joe Biden:

The know-it-all smirks and condescending laughs of Vice President Joe Biden, when Congressman Paul Ryan was speaking during their debate, were a little much from an administration presiding over economic woes at home and disasters overseas — and being caught in lies about both. Like Barack Obama, Joe Biden has all the clever tricks of a politician and none of the wisdom of a statesman.

And this:

Whenever you hear people talking about “a living Constitution,” almost invariably they are people who are in the process of slowly killing it by “interpreting” its restrictions on government out of existence.

And this:

The question to be asked of people in the media, and that they should ask themselves, should be: “Is your first loyalty to your audience or to your ideology?” The same question should be asked of educators, especially those who see themselves as “agents of social change,” even though that is not the job description under which they have been hired and paid.

He saves the best for last:

If there is ever a Hall of Fame for confidence men, Charles Ponzi and Bernie Madoff will have to take a back seat to Barack Obama. Obama is the gold standard — or, perhaps more appropriately, the brass standard.

I was taught years ago a marketing principle that is finally causing Obama to crater: overexposure. The more you advertise a bad product, the faster it disappears from the shelf. Happily that’s not something Obama can fix. He has been exposed for what he is. I like to think I’ve helped a little in that exposure.

Cooked Up Jobs Numbers Omit California

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, one o...

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, one of California’s most famous landmarks. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John Ransom has an acerbic sense of humor and I thought you’d enjoy some tidbits from his rant on

The number of U.S. states reporting initial unemployment claims has dropped to a new low under Obama- and more importantly journalists have dropped to a new low as a result…

Only 49 of 50 states reported initial unemployment claims last week according to Labor Department economists. This has led to a predictable, yet wholly pathetic attempt by the media to say that unemployment claims have fallen to a new, four-year low even as it is suspected that the most populous state, California, didn’t report results.

The Washington Post accepted the initial report as fact, and delighted in the prospect that the economy was improving, just in time to

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The Passing of Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, former Publisher of the NYT

New York Times newspaper publisher Arthur Ochs...

New York Times newspaper publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. and Microsoft chairman Bill Gates introducing the Times Reader software at an American Society of News Editors (ASNE) conference in Seattle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The passing of the former publisher of The New York TimesArthur Ochs “Punch” Sulzberger, at age 86 on September 29 was noted by editors and publishers in the mainstream media in the most favorable terms. Associated Press President Gary Pruitt claimed that “Punch Sulzberger was a giant in the industry, a leader who fought to preserve the vital role of a free press in society and championed journalism executed at the highest level,” while his son, the Times’ current publisher gushed:

Punch, the old Marine captain who never backed down from a fight, was an absolutely fierce defender of the freedom of the press. His inspired leadership in landmark cases such as New York Times v. Sullivan and the Pentagon Papers helped to expand access to critical information and to prevent government censorship and intimidation.

The White House duly issued its statement commemorating Sulzberger:

Michelle and I were saddened today to hear about the passing of Arthur Sulzberger. Over the course of more than 30 years, Arthur helped transform the New York Times and secure its status as one of the most successful and respected newspapers in the world.

He was a firm believer in the importance of a free and independent press — one that isn’t afraid to seek the truth, hold those in power accountable, and tell the stories that need to be told. Arthur’s legacy lives on in the newspaper he loved and the journalists he inspired.

Arthur Ochs Sulzberger assumed the role of publisher in 1963 when the Times had a weekly circulation of 714,000 and $100 million in annual revenues. By 1992 its circulation had increased to 1,100,000 and its revenues (adjusted for inflation) had increased fourfold.

At present, the Times is suffering both financially and credibly. Its stock price has dropped from $55 a share in early 2000 to under

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Presidential Debate Questions from the Heritage Foundation

I couldn’t resist. The temptation to compare and contrast the Presidential Debate questions that Michelle Malkin posed to those offered by the Heritage Foundation is just too great.

7-Eleven: vote early, vote often. No photo ID ...

(Photo credit: TheDorkReport)

Without comment from me, here are their 10 questions:

  1. In 2008, then-candidate Obama said, “Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase.” In reality, President Obama’s signature health care law contains 18 new or increased taxes and penalties that will cost taxpayers $836.3 billion over the next 10 years, many of which fall heavily on the middle class…Should these tax increases be stopped to protect middle-class Americans from their damage? If yes, where would the money needed to help pay for Obamacare come from?
  2. Millions of baby boomers are starting to retire, and spending on Social Security and Medicare as these programs are currently structured is simply unsustainable.What is your plan to solve the looming entitlement program spending crisis?
  3. Medicare as we know it today is facing severe financing problems that are unsustainable and putting future generations’ Medicare benefits in jeopardy. Over the long term, Medicare has made $37 trillion worth of promises to seniors that it cannot keep and the hospital insurance trust fund will be empty by 2024. Worse, the President’s health care law will cut Medicare by $716 billion over the next 10 years to pay for new spending in Obamacare.As Medicare’s solvency hangs in the balance, what structural reforms, if any, are you willing to make to preserve Medicare for future generations?
  4. Everyone talks about shoring up our battered American Dream.How would you define the American Dream and what do you think are the most serious threats to it?
  5. The Health and Human Services Department recently rewrote the law governing welfare to weaken its work requirements. Meanwhile, the number of people relying on food stamps has doubled under the current Administration.Should all able-bodied recipients be required to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving aid in public housing, food stamps, and cash assistance?
  6. The federal government is currently spending much more than it has, and annual budget deficits over $1 trillion have become the norm.What is your plan to stem the tide of deficits and rising debt?
  7. One of the few bright spots in America’s economy has been energy production, particularly on state and private lands.  According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), energy production decreased 13 percent on federal lands in fiscal year (FY) 2011 when compared to FY 2010.What would you do to reverse course on energy production on federal lands?
  8. Congress—most notably the Senate, which hasn’t produced a budget in over three years—is sorely lacking in its basic responsibility of budgeting.What would you do to ensure the fundamental process of budgeting is restored?
  9. President Obama has previously stated that, in the most important 5 percent of cases before the courts, it matters more what is in a judge’s heart (what has come to be known as his empathy standard) than what the rule of law requires.Is this the correct standard by which to evaluate judicial nominees? If not, what standard would you apply?
  10. Former Attorney General of MexicoVictor Humberto Benítez Treviño estimated that approximately 300 Mexican citizens have been killed using Fast and Furious weapons in addition to U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.Should Eric Holder resign as Attorney General because of his failures related to Operation Fast and Furious, including his failure to properly supervise the operation? If not, why not?

Just for the record, I won’t be watching the “debate” tonight. I have other more important things to do.

Presidential Debate Questions from Michelle Malkin

God bless Michelle Malkin. I toyed with a few hard-ball questions for the Presidential Debate in a previous post. The temptation to do the same by Malkin was just too much. I don’t think the media, or Jim Lehrer (the moderator), will be calling either of us very soon.

American writer and blogger Michelle Malkin.

American writer and blogger Michelle Malkin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s Malkin:

We know the liberal media bias drill: Make the Republican candidate look like a scary extremist on social issues and a greedy capitalist pig on economic issues. Avoid the Democratic incumbent’s record of failure. Run out the clock. Thank you and good night.

Malkin wants them to talk about Fast and Furious, in light of Tuesday’s murder of another border patrol agent at the same spot where Brian Terry was shot two years ago. She gets a running start by reviewing the Fast and Furious scandal, and then quotes Homeland Security’s Inspector General which found that “violence has significantly increased against Border Patrol agents. Since 2007, assaults on agents have risen more than 35 percent, including 13 deaths.”

Here are her questions (edited slightly):

Why has the Terry family been forced to file a federal lawsuit to obtain justice?

Why does Attorney General Eric Holder still have a job?

What exactly are you doing (or will you do) to ensure that Border Patrol agents are adequately armed and supported in their mission to defend American sovereignty?

Then Malkin takes on “transparency”:

[Mr. Obama, as President] you famously declared, “A democracy requires accountability, and accountability requires transparency.” Yet, the very first act of your administration was to violate your transparency pledge to allow full, public viewing of all legislation five days before you signed it…

You failed to televise health care negotiations as promised. You cut endless backroom deals protected from public scrutiny. In addition, your administration has routinely evaded disclosure law by meeting with lobbyists off the books at D.C.-area coffee houses and private townhouses, where Secret Service background checks and login routines are abandoned…

How, exactly, can you claim to have run the most transparent administration ever based on your actual record?

Next up: the auto bailout:

[Mr. Obama] your campaign touts the “success” of the government takeover of the auto industry as one of your proudest accomplishments. In 2010, you bragged that “American taxpayers are now positioned to recover more than my administration invested in GM, and that’s a good thing.”

Yet, your Treasury Department won’t take up GM’s recent offer to repurchase 200 million of the roughly 500 million shares the U.S. holds — because it would incur a $15 billion loss to taxpayers right before the election. GM still owes nearly $30 billion of the $50 billion it received, and its lending arm still owes nearly $15 billion of the more than $17 billion it received. Foreign workers and overseas plants have soaked up billions of American bailout tax dollars. But some 20,000 Delphi non-union workers saw their pensions eroded and health benefits disappear as part of the deal you cut with United Auto Workers.

How are Delphi workers, bondholders, car dealers and taxpayers better off now than they were before the Government Motors bailout given the actual record? If this is your proudest accomplishment, why on earth would reality-based voters want you back in the driver’s seat?

These are great questions. It’s too bad they’ll never be asked in public, especially by Lehrer who owes his career to the establishment mainstream media.

Presidential Debate Questions from Light from the Right

George Will – Debate questions for the presidential candidates

The spectacles we persist in dignifying as presidential “debates” — two-minute regurgitations of rehearsed responses — often subtract from the nation’s understanding. But beginning Wednesday, these less-than-Lincoln-Douglas episodes might be edifying if the candidates could be inveigled into plowing fresh ground.

George Will

George Will (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

Will has some suggestions for Presidential Debate questions for Obama and Romney. And so do I. Here is one from Will on the Supreme Court:

Do you rejectthe Kelo v. New London decision, in which the Supreme Court deferred to governments’ desire to seize private property and give it to wealthier private interests who would pay higher taxes?

I have a better one:

Do you support the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Obamacare on the basis that a tax – any tax – is ok as long as Congress intended it to be a tax?

Will has one on foreign policy:

On Oct. 7, we begin the 12th year of the war in Afghanistan, and 51 recent NATO fatalities have been at the hands of our supposed Afghan allies, causing U.S. commanders to indefinitely suspend many joint operations. Why are we staying there 27 more months?

I have a better one (or three):

Why are we there in the first place? What is your take on the War on Terror, which is a war against a strategy and not a war against an aggressor? And why didn’t Congress get involved in declaring war, as the Constitution demands?

Will has one on domestic policy:

Do you agree that a financial institution that is too big to fail is too big to exist? If not, why not? The biggest banks emerged from the Great Recession bigger. At the end of 2011, the five biggest (JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs) held more than $8.5 trillion in assets, which is 56 percent of the 2011 gross domestic product. Why should they not be broken up?

I have a better one:

Since the Federal Reserve is essentially a cartel designed from its beginning to protect big banks from the consequences of their own folly, why shouldn’t the Fed be abolished?

I won’t be holding my breath Wednesday night to see if any of mine make it.

Media Research Center Celebrates 25 Years of Exposing Media Bias

Cover of "Weapons of Mass Distortion: The...

Cover via Amazon

Twenty-five years ago this coming Monday, October 1, Brent Bozell founded the Media Research Center (MRC) with a little help from some friends, a little money, a black and white television set, and a leased computer. Today, one wouldn’t recognize his operation, with an annual budget of $10 million and 60 journalists seeking and finding media bias in every nook and cranny of the mainstream media’s world.

They’re finding much to write about. Bozell himself has written three books, including Weapons of Mass Distortion, and writes two weekly blog posts. His empire has grown to include the News Analysis Division dedicated to “documenting, exposing and neutralizing liberal media bias,” the Business & Media Institute working to advance “the culture of free enterprise in America,” the Culture and Media Institute which concentrates on “correcting misconceptions in the media about social conservatism and religious faith,” along with the Cybercast News Service—better known as CNSNews.com—concentrating on providing online news on current events “as it should be reported: accurate, balanced and unfiltered.”

MRC has over 300,000 subscribers to its six electronic newsletters which include a bi-weekly compilation of some of the more outrageous quotes from members of the liberal media, a summary of mistakes and deliberate misinformation published in the New York Times, along with publishing relevant and timely events that the mainstream media has missed altogether.

One newsletter, NewsBusters, delights in finding faux pas, rampant silliness, and deliberate distortions and then publishing them. For instance, the worst bias in 2012 (so far!) includes Newsweek magazine that sees Barack Obama as “grotesquely underappreciated” and a former CNN correspondent who charged Republicans with trying to

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New York Times Editor Blasts the New York Times!

English: The New York Times building in New Yo...

The New York Times building in New York, NY across from the Port Authority. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In his final column as Public Editor of the New York Times, Arthur S. Brisbane concluded that “the paper’s many departments…share a kind of political and cultural progressivism…that virtually bleeds through the fabric of The Times.” But it’s certainly not because of any conspiracy, just a meeting of like minds in promoting a worldview that editors and writers share: urbane, worldly, and flexible. Wrote Brisbane:

I…noted two years ago that I had taken up the public editor duties believing “there is no conspiracy” and that The Times’ output was too vast and complex to be dictated by any Wizard of Oz-like individual or cabal.

I still believe that, but also see that the hive on Eighth Avenue is powerfully shaped by a culture of like minds—a phenomenon, I believe, that is more easily recognized from without than from within…

As a result, developments like the Occupy movement and gay marriage seem almost to erupt in The Times, over loved and undermanaged, more like causes than news subjects.

Brisbane was the fourth public editor to take on the task of handling complaints about the Times’ reporting on various issues and then writing about them every couple of weeks. He is a self-proclaimed Democrat with all the proper liberal credentials: stints at the Kansas City Star and the Washington Post, and the requisite degree from Harvard.

When he arrived on the scene he viewed his role as that of coroner, called in to do autopsies on “flawed new articles that drew complaints.” And there were plenty. So many, in fact, that The Times’ “believability rating” at Pew Research Center continues to

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What Media Bias?

Brent Bozell: Skipping Over the Shooting at FRC

Imagine a volunteer for the Family Research Council marching into some gay group’s headquarters with a gun, and after shouting his opposition to the homosexual agenda, open[s] fire and wound[s] a guard before being subdued. Never mind evening news. This would be breaking news! And for days there would be seemingly endless coverage of continued conservative hatred.

Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Dist...

Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You know from the moment you see it where this article from Brent Bozell is going: the media only reports what it, in its slanted and biased worldview, is worth reporting.

The shooter in Aurora called forth—and still does—endless reams of coverage and the predictable responses about the need for gun control. The Sikh shooting added to the fray and raised the noise to nearly unbearable levels.

But the Family Research Council shooting? Please. As Bozell notes:

Another hate crime, but this time against, perhaps, the pre-eminent pro-family organization in America. CBS gave the story 20 seconds. NBC spent 17 seconds.

The incident didn’t have any of the media’s checkpoints: the attacker was queer—oops, sorry, “gay,”—the group is conservative, its agenda is highly regarded in favorable light by a majority of the American people, the guard was armed (oh no!) and was able to stop the attack and the attacker before things got really ugly. You get the idea. There was nothing there to hang their collective (I use that word deliberately) hats on. So they ignored it.

Instead, they went on about their business of emphasizing things that fit:

One can easily imagine how the national media elite justify their decision to spike the story: No one was killed or in danger of dying. There are dozens of shootings a day in the D.C. area; this is just one more. We have more important things to cover.

Both CBS and NBC spent more than two minutes promoting team Obama’s “DREAM Act” amnesty for students. NBC devoted two minutes and 45 seconds to a Chelsea Clinton story on orphaned baby elephants in Africa.

Just another example of media bias, as if another one is needed.

Planning for Military Action Against the Tea Party

U.S. Army soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Divisi...

U.S. Army soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division wearing ACH helmets in the M81 Woodland pattern (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kevin Benson, a retired U.S. Army colonel with a strong background in military tactics and a degree from the U.S. Military Academy (West Point) and Jennifer Weber, an associate professor of history at the University of Kansas, have just developed a scenario whereby U.S. military forces quashed a “tea party” insurrection in South Carolina in the year 2016.

The article, appearing in Small Wars Journal and subtitled “Scenario 2016,” purported to question the military’s readiness to put down such an insurrection if it were to occur. By creating the “story” of such an insurrection, the authors were able to suggest how military forces would handle certain legal restrictions, limitations, and the media. Their conclusion was that, given the state of technology and the likelihood of such action generating public outcry and additional civilian resistance, the operation to put down the insurrection would be challenging but, in the end, successful.

The warning to those inclined to use force against the federal government was clear: 

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2020 Bob Adelmann