“In much the same way that neoconservatives accepted a realistic and limited role for the government, Obama tolerates a limited and realistic role for the market: its wealth is necessary for the continuation and expansion of the welfare state and social justice. While neoconservatism erred on the side of trusting the nongovernmental sphere — mediating institutions like markets, civil society, and the family — neosocialism gives the benefit of the doubt to government.”
Saturday, April 7th, 2012
Tom Blumer on how AP bias sneaks into everyday, vanilla reporting. This is serious because what passes as basic news can brainwash the semi-aware.
The Associated Press describes itself as “the essential global news network.”
It is indeed essential — to Barack Obama, and for the next seven months, his reelection campaign. Recent management actions and “news” coverage at the AP confirm that it is no longer pejorative to call the wire service the Administration’s Press, or even the Administration’s Propagandists.
How the AP conducts itself and reports the news is no arcane matter.
Many if not most Americans have no idea how often they meet up with AP content every day. Those top-of-hour two-minute syndicated radio broadcasts you hear on the way to and from work? There’s a good chance that at least half of its content was adapted from AP copy. The national and international stories in your newspaper’s print edition and at its web site? Most of it probably came from AP. The national TV networks? In terms of beat reporting, they’re mere shadows of their former selves, and liberally use content from AP — and, to a lesser extent, the New York Times, which is no longer even trying to be the “newspaper of record” it was in previous decades — as their starting point, and often their ending point. This in turn filters down to local TV newsrooms, which don’t have the resources to pay much direct attention to goings-on outside their city or state.
Organizationally, the AP is the oddest of entities, a “not-for-profit cooperative of news organizations … solely focused on finding, reporting and distributing news.” Its tax status gives it an obvious advantage over anyone who would dare try to launch a competitive enterprise of similar scope (gosh, is AP even exempt from sales tax on purchases of materials?). Although some dues-paying news outlets have become restless in the past few years, it is relatively insulated from the normal financial pressures businesses face.
The wire service’s journalists are represented by the News Media Guild, a militant subset of the Communications Workers of America. The AP became unionized in the wake of a 1937 Supreme Court decision. Dissenting justices in the 5-4 case contended that the First Amendment’s freedom of the press should keep news organizations free from all government interference in their operations — in this case, at the hands of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s ruthlessly aggressive National Labor Relations Board. They prophetically warned that allowing journalists to form unions would forever compromise the ability of a media outlet to “preserve its news service free from color, bias, or distortion.” Did it ever. The AP should be all about, and only about, who, what, where, when, why, and how — just the facts. Instead, the current trendy phrase at AP is “Journalism With Voice,” which at bottom means “more interpretation,” i.e., even more spin and bias.
Last year, in the midst of the mayhem in Wisconsin over Governor Scott Walker’s budget-repair legislation, supposedly objective AP reporters constantly insisted that Walker was “eliminating” and “stripping” public-sector collective-bargaining rights and that he was committing an “assault on the public employee unions.” A year ago, after GOP Congressman (more…)
Check out this animated map of the United States that shows current wind conditions.
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Germans have been living large for a long time.
Conservatives have long said that the German social welfare state was unsustainable. Liberals have long been intent on emulating it (Obama still is).
GERMANY is proposing to levy extra taxes on the young to pay for the costs of the country’s growing numbers of old people, under government plans for a ”demographic reserve” levy.
Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats have drafted proposals that, if law, would require all those over 25 to pay a proportion of their income to cushion Germany against a looming population crisis.
The German Chancellor’s ruling party is seeking extra sources of revenue to pay for soaring pensions and bills for social care costs as Germany’s ”baby boomer” generation ages amid a decline in the birth rate.
The proposals, to be adopted by Dr Merkel’s party cabinet after the Easter break, have not yet set a figure on the age tax but officials are considering a special levy of about 1 per cent of income.
So, in the land of so much plenty, the German fertility rate is 1.41 (it takes 2.1 to remain even).
Now the grandkids without siblings will be taxed to pay for their parents’ lack of fertility.
Like all pyramid schemes, the first in reap the rewards, the last are suckers.
As I sit here, it has not yet been determined what actually took place in Sanford, Florida, and whether George Zimmerman will be arrested and tried for shooting Trayvon Martin. Except for Mr. Zimmerman and his friends and family, that will be of little concern. What really matters is that America’s leading racists, Barack Obama, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and the Black Panthers, have all had the opportunity to showboat and to show their true colors.
For good measure, as radio talk show host Dennis Prager pointed out, for the first time in its history, the New York Times identified someone, in this case Zimmerman, as “a white Hispanic.” After all, it wouldn’t be front page news if a Hispanic had shot a black or vice versa, or, as is more typical, a black had killed a white. Only by emphasizing that Zimmerman’s father was white, while ignoring the fact that his mother was Peruvian, could the Times turn this unfortunate incident into the only kind of hate crime they really care about, one in which a white man can be portrayed as evil incarnate.
Barack Obama, just as he did when there was the incident in Cambridge, Massachusetts a few years ago, immediately jumped to a racially-based conclusion. Just as Professor Henry Gates had to be right and Sgt. James Crowley and the entire Cambridge Police Department had to be wrong before anyone actually knew the facts of the matter, we had Obama solemnly intoning, “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin.” Well, I suppose he would unless, Mother Nature being the naughty pixy she sometimes is, he came out looking like your Caucasian mother.
Just in terms of public relations, wouldn’t it have been a good idea for Obama to have spoken a few well-chosen words after the 13-year-old white kid, Allen Coon, in Kansas City, was recently doused in gasoline and set on fire while the two black teenagers hollered, “You get what you deserve, white boy!”?
Isn‘t it odd that neither Sharpton nor Jackson thought it was worth their time to fly off to Kansas City and admonish the black community to shape up, and to urge the KCPD to arrest those young sadists and send them away for a long stretch? Instead, we had Al Sharpton leading a demonstration, during which he said, and I quote, “Don’t talk to us like we stupid. Don’t talk to us like we ignit.” He garnered loud cheers from a crowd of black Floridians, who clearly speak his language, even if nobody else does. He went on to say, “We love our children like you love yours.” Well, not exactly, Reverend Al. Not when three out of four black babies are born to unmarried women.
In a related matter, people seem to be in a big rush to try, convict and execute, Sgt. Robert Bales for murdering 17 Afghans, while in the meantime, Major Hasan, who massacred 14 Americans at Fort Hood in 2009, continues to await trial nearly three years after his bloody rampage, committed in the name of Allah.
In this country, it would appear, a hate crime is simply one for which a white heterosexual is responsible, never one in which he or she is the victim.
Speaking of the racist-in-chief, Barack Obama, when he’s not chastising white policemen, actually has the gall to travel around the country to promote his energy policy. Like Sharpton, who only addresses the choir, Obama makes certain that when he describes his policy as “all of the above,” nobody in his throng ever asks him why, in that case, he has declared war on the coal industry and shut down drilling for oil both offshore and on federal land.
Why does he lower the hammer on the Keystone pipeline and its 20,000 jobs, while at the same time throwing billions of our tax dollars at green energy, an industry responsible for a mere 2.4% of the jobs in America? And why does he keep insisting that we only have 22 billion barrels of oil in reserve when the government’s own geological experts put the figure at one trillion barrels? I mean, it’s one thing to employ guesswork when it comes to handicapping a basketball tournament, but quite another matter when you use a crystal ball when estimating oil reserves and miss by 978,000,000,000 barrels!
Finally, a while back, when asked to give himself an overall grade, Obama, while trying to look modest, gave himself a B+. Recently, when asked to do the same, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu gave himself an A-.
What I want to know is where were these easy graders when I was in school?