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Media trash

February 22, 2012

Last week was another typical week of journalistic malfeasance in the United States.  The seven days that ended February 19 with Al-Jazeera winning an American award for journalism, began February 13 with these words in Politico:

“Under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, big donors got private time with government officials in return for donations to the political parties—which were exempt from donation limits at the time. That system came to an end with the McCain-Feingold law in 2002, subjecting the national parties to limits on spending and donations.”

Politico, perhaps the sleaziest purveyor of liberal propaganda-masquerading-as-news on the Internet, artfully constructed a sentence that somehow conveys the message that what Obama is doing, using cabinet members and federal employees to campaign for his reelection, has always been done, even by George Bush.  But look closely.  Bush’s reelection was in 2004 and the practice in question was outlawed in 2002, so in fact the only two presidents to engage in this illegal and unethical practice are Clinton and Obama, both Democrats.  You can understand why Politico, always a loyal shill for the Democrat Party, felt obligated to muddy the waters.

Last week also saw:
1. The Heartland Institute story, wherein climate alarmists stole documents from a rightwing think tank, forged inflammatory information on one of the documents, and then mainstream newspapers like the New York Times happily published them without fact-checking their contents.  The thief has since confessed without taking responsibility for the forgery.
2. The Washington Post’s story about a tie between Obama and Romney for charitable giving when the numbers clearly show that Romney gives more.
3. A weird story on Slate that claims Virginia’s proposed requirement of ultrasounds before abortions necessitates vaginal insertion, which amounts to rape, though the law says nothing of the kind.
4. An Obama speech bragging about jobs at the South Carolina Boeing plant, a plant which his administration tried to close.  The mainstream media ignored the brazen dishonesty.
5. A story about the record number of journalists now working in the Obama administration, surreptitious support for Obama apparently being good training for open support.
Seven days, seven examples.  Obviously, most of the news sources upon which we rely for information are engaged full-time in lying to us.

The Founding Fathers were adamant about the need for an informed citizenry.  Thomas Jefferson, in his first inaugural address as president, on March 4, 1801, listed “the diffusion of information, and arraignment of all abuses at the bar of public reason” as one of the “essential principles of our government.”  Nine years later he reiterated the point in a letter:
“The information of the people at large can alone make them safe as they are the sole depositary of our political and religious freedom.”
If information is essential to the republic, then the republic is in trouble because honest news sources and objective educational institutions are few and far between.  We have the Internet (websites like this), we have talk radio, we have some honest charter schools and private colleges, and we used to have Fox News.

We used to have Fox News.

There is an accepted paradigm about the news business which is no longer true, if it ever was, and the public’s reliance upon that paradigm threatens the foundations of individual liberty.  The false paradigm goes like this: the mainstream media (MSM) is dominated by leftwing journalists offset by a few rightwing outliers like Fox News.  That paradigm is false, and anybody who relies upon Fox News for an alternative viewpoint is fooling themselves and learning nothing about the true state of the world.  It’s almost all leftwing news now and every day getting worse.

We can't even trust Fox to treat the biggest threat of our times, Islamic terrorism, objectively.  The second largest holder of shares in News Corp., the parent company of Fox News, is Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, the same man who funds radical Islamic madrassas around the world and the controversial ground zero mosque in New York.  So the odds that Islam’s threat to civilization will be properly covered by Fox News?  Slim to none.  Indeed, when Fox News covers the ground zero mosque, it never mentions that it has a conflict of interest because it is owned by the man financing the mosque.

If that’s not bad enough, Fox is busy realigning itself to the left, hiring liberals like Juan Williams from NPR (October 2010), John Roberts from CNN (January 2011), and lesbian progressive Sally Kohn from MSNBC (January 2012) while firing conservatives Glenn Beck (June 2011) and Andrew Napolitano (February 2012) who were hosting wildly popular shows.

The Daily Caller is running a series of articles exposing Media Matters for America (MMFA), a well-known scoundrel in this drama (part 1 of the series here), putting MMFA front and center over the past week by detailing their war on Fox News, exposing their enemies list, and tracing the illegal cooperation between MMFA, the White House, and mainstream news sources like MSNBC.  Suddenly people are questioning MMFA’s tax exempt status and funding sources and raison d'être, just like I did two months ago with a column titled “Media Matters sucks.”

(Maybe if I wrote better titles, JPAttitude would attract as many readers as the Daily Caller.)

There’s a war taking place over control of information and wealthy radical-left villains like George Soros, using hired knaves like MMFA and willing government bureaucrats, have Fox News retreating in panic.  Rupert Murdoch is the founder, Chairman, and CEO of News Corp., and for the last eight months he’s been answering legal summons and enduring investigations by British authorities for hacking and bribery charges leveled against his newspapers.  Already there have been calls for his resignation, and speculation that he might end up in prison.

If Murdoch in prison sounds unlikely, you’ve forgotten Conrad Black, the man who was Rupert Murdoch before Rupert Murdoch... the man who sits rotting in a Florida prison because left-wingers and their lapdog bureaucrats came after him ten years ago.

You can read the complete story of Conrad Black’s legal martyrdom in his book A Matter of Principle.  Leftwing corporate watchdogs and mercenary U.S. prosecutors hounded, oppressed, and persecuted him with scurrilous charges ultimately proven baseless until finally they destroyed his entire publishing empire.  Billions of dollars worth of shareholder value simply vanished—hundreds of millions of it belonging to him but most of it belonging to ordinary investors who lost everything—while petty tyrants like lead investigator Richard Breeden (former Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission), who leeched a weekly salary of $100,000 for years while he led the persecution, sucked the lifeblood out of Black’s various companies.  In the end, Lord Black was found guilty of one dubious fraud count which supposedly gained him $285,000 and for which he paid restitution of $32 million, a guilty verdict which the Supreme Court ruled was inspired by incorrect instructions to the jury by the trial judge... who nevertheless refused to grant him a retrial.  There was also a guilty verdict on a ludicrous and picayune obstruction of justice charge for removing personal effects from his office in Canada after he was asked to remove them by the bureaucrats who evicted him.

(Warning: if you do read A Matter of Principle, you will lose all faith in the American justice system.)

Conrad Black’s real crime, you see—many people don’t understand this—was promulgating a conservative and pro-USA viewpoint in his various newspapers, which enraged the George Soros-type lefties accustomed to monopolizing the world’s news.  When Black bought The Daily Telegraph, the United Kingdom’s most important newspaper, in 1986, and arrested its slow drift to the left, his goose was cooked.  The left had to destroy him and they eventually did.

Black and Murdoch used to be rivals, two powerful monarchs of news and information bashing each other over the head in circulation wars between The Daily Telegraph and Murdoch’s London-based The Times, and ten years ago the charges against Black seemed inconsequential, more of an irritant than a serious threat... even less serious than the charges against Murdoch today.  But when unlimited governmental resources are used as weapons against one man, nobody is rich enough to be immune.  Murdoch is no safer than Black was.

Murdoch’s real crime, you see—many people don’t understand this—is that his Fox broadcasting subsidiary promulgated a conservative viewpoint in an industry where the left was accustomed to monopoly.

If most people don’t see the parallels between Murdoch’s position now and Conrad Black’s position ten years ago, you better believe Murdoch sees them.  That’s why Fox is desperately retreating to the left.  He saw what happened to his archrival and he’s scrambling to pacify the leftist thugs before they destroy him, too.

Not only is the UK investigating Murdoch, the Obama administration has initiated its own investigation using political-attack-dog Eric Holder’s Justice Department and anybody who thinks Murdoch hasn’t imagined himself in a Florida prison bunk sharing a cell with Conrad Black...

Thing is, 82-year-old men don’t sleep well on bunk beds so if hiring communist lesbians for Fox News (he now has two of them) will keep him out of prison, Murdoch will hire dozens of them and to hell with integrity in broadcasting.

This is what the criminalization of political thought looks like—people afraid to report the truth, journalists operating as arms of the government, and outliers like Conrad Black and Rupert Murdoch either falling into line or being crushed.

And day after day of Politico/New York Times/Washington Post/MSNBC trash.

From Reno, Nevada, USA       

February 23, 2012 - Wow! A lot of food for thought... I have been toying with paying to watch Glenn Beck TV every evening at 5 p.m. EST... as an alternative to Fox News. - Mary, Florida

February 23, 2012 - You're damn right it's getting worse. Take a look at this: Democrats buying Philadelphia newspapers. Forget about "influencing" the news. Now they'll just own the news. - I.F., Pittsburgh

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