Monthly Archives: August 2015

Journalists Reporting Their Own Opinions

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In the preceding days we have been taking a look at some of the work of on-air and press or online journalists, analyzing their words, phrases, angles, and choice of facts. We continue today.

Comes now an article from USA Today via MSN. A “journalist” named Heidi Przybyla authored “Donald Trump not a textbook bully, psychologists say” in today’s online edition. Is Ms. Przybyla another axe-grinder? To borrow a phrase from the pompous Fox News anchors, “Take a look!”

Here is the opening sentence of Przybyla’s article:

“Donald Trump says he’s not a bully and, clinically, he may be right.”

Can you guess how Przybyla feels? Let’s break it down.

First, she notes Trump’s denial of the alleged allegation, that he’s a bully. I’m not sure who is alleging that he’s a bully, but okay. Second, she indicates she sought to source the answer to professional psychologists. Okay.  Third – and this is key – she observes that he (Trump) “may” be right.

Therefore, the psychologists she sought must be saying that Trump “may” be right in saying he is not a bully. Is that what they said? Here is the entirety of her fourth paragraph in the story:

“Americans may describe the billionaire businessman’s behavior in many ways, but psychologists and experts told USA TODAY that textbook bullying shouldn’t be one of them. The greater challenge, the bullying experts say, is explaining the reasons for Trump’s popularity in a culture that is supposed to frown on naked aggression.”

Let’s break down this paragraph. First, psychologists and experts didn’t say that maybe people should not describe Trump’s behavior as bullying, they said “shouldn’t”, period.  Second, notice how Przybyla qualified the term bullying by writing “textbook bullying”. Is there a difference between “bullying” and “textbook bullying”? Did the experts use the term “textbook bullying”? Perhaps they did and she did not quote them; yet one of the quotes Przybyla offers plainly says “bullying”. Take a look!

“Patti McDougall, associate professor of psychology at the University of Saskatchewan echoed that, saying ‘bullying does not happen when you’ve got two equals in a fight.”’

What is the intent behind Przybyla’s wording? Is it sinister? Is she grinding her own axe? We must consider the other evidence in her writing. Here’s the ninth paragraph. Tak a… okay, I have to stop using that. Take a gander!

“Trump has singled out Kelly, one of the nation’s most-watched cable news hosts, ever since she pointedly questioned him during a Fox News debate. He later insinuated she was menstruating at the time and, since then, he’s hurled insults at her, including retweeting a message on Twitter that called her a ‘bimbo.'”

Przybyla’s take is funny, because apparently it’s okay to ask candidates tough questions, but they are prohibited from firing back tough comments. So, first, Trump explained that he was not referring to menstruation, and others have backed him, indicating he was using an old phrase, “bleeding from the eyes” to indicate how angry or disturbed Megyn Kelly was. Now, Przybyla does not have to believe him, but she is, last I read, a senior political reporter. She is interpreting and overlaying her own opinion rather than reporting a fact. Be aware of her bias.

Second, several sources have said or suggested that Fox News’ female anchors are bimbos. Trump is not the first. Nobody seems to have raised a fuss before, especially the liberal elements of the media. And Fox News on air personality Gretchen Carlson has said, “So I developed thick skin from the bimbo comments then.” Shouldn’t all reporters do the same?

See the full article at: Gretchen Carlson on her new book.

Here’s is further evidence of Przybyla’s grossly compromised reporting from her eleventh paragraph:

“During Tuesday’s press conference, Trump told Ramos — described as the Walter Cronkite of Spanish-language television — to ‘go back to Univision’ after the reporter, who hadn’t been called on, attempted to confront Trump about his stance on immigration.”

Ah! Przybyla’s rhetorical abuses highlight themselves! Tell us, why did you feel the need to write that some described Ramos as the “Walter Cronkite of Spanish language television”? Was that supposed to exonerate him from his incivility? From his boorish breakup of the press Q & A? Why did you write “who hadn’t been called on”? Doesn’t the conference giver select reporters to ask him questions? Isn’t that par for the course? Were you trying to hide the fact that Trump had already selected someone else and Ramos butted in out of turn? Do you know that Trump would not have called on him at some point in the Q & A? Did you ask Ramos why he didn’t wait until his turn? In fact, why was Ramos there? Shouldn’t a field reporter have been there, a correspondent assigned to the candidate? Could it be that there was design to Ramos’ presence and his intrusion?

In her defense, she could claim that she highlighted her opinions of Ramos’ and Kelly’s social stature to confirm what the psychologists were saying, that they are on equal footing with Trump and therefore cannot claim to be bullied. This remains a distinct possibility. I took it as her legitimization of what Ramos and Kelly were doing, of their standing and reputation, if you will. You decide. My conclusion follows.

For shame! Ms. Przybyla’s serpentine writing deserves an arched eyebrow and dismissal, the stamp of disapprobation for writing a piece about her own opinions and passing it off as news. Maybe she just envies the fact that Trump isn’t paying attention to her and her bombast.

What do you think? Do you think Ms. Przybyla supports or opposes Donald Trump?

For fairness’ sake, here is her full article. Take a… .

Heidi Przybyla’s opinion article.

Prayer for Alison and Adam at Day’s End

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My heart and prayers go out to the families and friends of Alison Parker and Adam Ward, the two Virginia journalists shot and killed in cold blood this morning.

May God comfort you all at this time and allow you to know they are in a better place; and in His mercy, may He bless you, Alison and Adam, with the peace, love, and joy you were robbed of, and so much more.

Rest in peace, in the name of Jesus, amen!

MSNBC Bozos Clown Around About Univision Anchor Ejection

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It is funny how some folks rail against Fox News’ bias, as if they were the only game in town. Just a few stations down (up) the TV guide lies MSNBC, most of whose hosts bear the same biases, albeit in a different direction.

I was watching the five o’clock news hour this Wednesday evening, usually hosted, I think, by Don Lemon. Instead, some fat black cat guested and kept tossing his opinion around. He and his two interviewees built each other up in their opinion that Donald Trump (Is there no escaping his presence!?) is anti-Latino because he booted Univision anchor Jorge Ramos from an Iowa Q & A and anti-woman because of his war of words with poor Megyn Kelly. Why they had a veritable Kick Trump Fest! They did declare that Trump is a bully for the way he treats the press.

Isn’t that laughable!? Donald Trump bullying those six- or seven-figure salaried big-time news reporters who claim they ask the “tough” questions! Guess they are not so tough after all!

You know what, just because you’ve labeled yourself a professional fact-finder doesn’t mean you get to be rude and must be taken out of turn because you think your question or your say is more important than anybody else’s. You don’t enjoy privilege. I know all you news anchors and reporters and talk show commentators would like to be the same as Chris Matthews, a slobbering, stuttering, stammering interrupter who stumbles over what any of his guests have to say like a drunk sotted with his own sense of self-importance. But we viewers don’t give you that privilege. It’s one you take for yourselves in spite of our disbelief at your rotten, information-muddying behavior.

Instead of letting us find out what Trump had to say, his philosophy, plan, and policy specifics, you got in the way, selfish Jorge Ramos, and made yourself the news! And guess what? I don’t care if three-quarters of Hispanics get their news from you or not. That doesn’t entitle you to be an assclown. Shut up, sit down, and wait your turn like everybody else.

And you bozos at MSNBC who are circling the wagons around Ramos’ rudeness, you look, well, bozoic! Other reporters did not act rudely. Other reporters didn’t try to talk even though someone else’s question was selected.

Furthermore, stop trying to shape my thoughts with your outlandish opinions and start reporting the facts. Don’t tell me Trump is anti-Latino or anti-woman. I’ll decide for myself!

The day I let some airhead anchor decide for me how to think is the day I drop off my intellect at the flea market. Ain’t happenin’ anytime soon.

Trump Ejects Rude Reporter; Megyn Kelly Still Hurting

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After turning off the O’Reilly Factor because Blathering Bill would not stop talking over and answering the questions he posed to his guests, I flipped on The Kelly File at the conclusion of NCIS, and there was Megyn spotlighting a Univision reporter getting kicked out of a Trump Q & A in Iowa. The Univision reporter, anchor Jorge Ramos, just like the rude talking heads at Fox, and at MSNBC for that matter, decided not to wait his turn but to speak over Trump and another reporter so he could “ask” his question.

More and more “reporters” aren’t asking questions, they are telling the people they are talking to what the deal is, instructing them in reality. That’s what Ramos was doing, arguing with Trump about immigration. Don’t call yourself a reporter if you want to push your position in a public forum. He wasn’t a reporter. He was just a partisan heckler who abused his press pass. He was an ass with a pass.

If anything, the rudeness of Univision’s Ramos spurs on the strong, negative feelings many Americans hold about illegal immigration and those who want to look the other way. What an assclown!

Ramos doesn’t represent Hispanics. That might be his audience, but as a journalist, he should be asking tough questions both ways. His job is to look out for American citizens. Clearly, he comes at the issue from only one angle.

So Kelly tries to pin the wrong on Trump. Lame, and shameless. Get over it, Megyn. Find something of substance to report.

I’m part Hispanic, and I don’t have a herd mentality. Hispanics in Latin American countries enforce tough immigration policies, so Hispanics here should not decry Americans for doing the same. It’s gross hypocrisy.

Trump vs. Kelly Redux, with Some Sour Ailes

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Donald Trump has launched a new twitter tirade against Fox News’ Megyn Kelly. The details are at CNN below:

CNN: New Trump tirade vs. Megyn Kelly

What’s interesting is that Fox News Boss Roger Ailes felt the need to counterattack Trump, a far cry from Kelly’s post-debate posture when she told her fellow moderators that she was a big girl and to let her handle him.

Clearly, that isn’t the case, and Ailes is worried that Trump’s words, particularly calling Kelly a “bimbo” in a re-tweet, could change the public’s perception of Kelly. While Trump’s design is to control how Fox News treats his candidacy, Kelly has a genuine perception problem, which is that she’s a journalist light on experience and depth, a lightweight promoted because of her looks and broadcast voice.

Frankly, I was stunned when Greta Van Susteren was removed to a pre-primtetime slot to make way for the fustian Kelly. Van Susteren deserves genuine journalistic props, but she lacks the broadcast voice and stunning female features that characterize the members of the Fox News team, evidence that supports the notion that Fox, indeed, wants news bimbos (would “news babes” be more politically correct, Roger?; I exclude Martha MacCallum from this criticism, though I confess bias).

And it is such hypocrisy for Ailes to stab at Trump when his two pitbulls, Hannity and O’Reilly, regularly demonize politicians and guests with whom they disagree, rudely talking over them so that they cannot make their points! I can’t even believe Hannity is Catholic with some of the things he says and the tone with which he says them!

So chill out, Fox. And grow up, Megyn. Take a page out of Martha MacCallum’s playbook. She’s tough and beautiful!

Joe Biden on the Horizon

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The political world is holding its breath to see if Vice President Joe Biden will enter the Democratic fray for president.

A Biden candidacy would signal his belief that Hillary Clinton is beatable, a nagging suspicion in the wake of her mishandling of questions about the placement of her state department email account and classified material on her own, private server.

While Clinton’s poll numbers remain higher than those of her Democratic and Republican opponents, they have dropped substantially. She holds less than 50 percent among Democratic voters while Bernie Sanders has leapt from single-digit performance to 29 percent in one poll.

Donald Trump, who once trailed Clinton by more than 30 points in a head-to-head match up, trails her by only 5 or 6 percentage points amid a downpour of largely positive press coverage. Trump’s aggressive plain-spokenness has won over voters tired of political bullstuff. Contrast that to Clinton, who’s faux political persona and coy denials barely mask her ornery nature. Rightly or wrongly, she’s coming off as titanically disingenuous and is turning off voters.

Several questions face Democrats. First, have they invested in a damaged or losing cause by virtually crowning Hillary before the primaries have been held? Does continued support for her constitute a gamble?

On the other hand, how would a Biden candidacy distinguish itself from Clinton’s? Are there enough substantial differences that Democrats would switch from Clinton to Biden, or would it be mostly dependent on the question of character? Would Democrats view Biden’s candidacy as a way to keep the competition and debate healthy, or would they see him as a spoiler to what some view as a chance to make history by the election of the first female president?

Biden is a candidate who would be able to trumpet louder than anyone on either side of the aisle his national political resume. Whether one agrees with his particular stands, Biden’s decades in the senate, including stints as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee and the Judiciary Committee, and his two terms as vice president, give him impeccable credentials.

The wild card for him might be Elizabeth Warren. Would she back Biden if he ran? Would she run on the ticket with him? Her presence could signal doom to Clinton’s candidacy, and she would be a step away from the White House, if she and Biden were elected. In fact, it would not be outside the realm of possibility, if Biden were to run and win, that he would serve one term and then step aside for Warren. At the end of a first term, Biden would be 78.

For some extra news on the possibility of a Biden run, see this article below. Beware! His decision could come quickly!

Biden leaning toward campaign, maybe with Warren.

 

Attacking Words and Phrases

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When a writer or speaker frames an issue, they outline the boundaries of its discussion, the limitations and the emphases on what can be said. While framing the issue can be helpful, particularly if one wants to examine different points of view, it can also exclude essentials while zeroing in on minor or even irrelevant details.

A case in point is the recent attempt to shape the immigration debate according to the alleged offensiveness of the term “anchor babies”. Those who disfavor the enforcement of our immigration laws and the deportation of illegal aliens want to shine the spotlight on “offensive language” by the current scrum of presidential candidates or the detractors of their own position.

The nascent effort to declare “anchor babies” offensive and insulting, thereby to declare unfit for office those who use it, came to light during recent press questioning of Republican presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Jeb Bush, and later others.

Though I live in a state that has witnessed a huge influx of people from south of the border, I had never heard the term “anchor babies”, much less understood it to be offensive.

An anchor baby is the child of a pregnant illegal alien whose birth on U.S. soil will allow the woman and her family to “anchor” themselves to the country they have entered illegally, i.e., stay. It bypasses the established path for citizenship in place for decades, if not more than a hundred years, as well as the procedure for allowing aliens to reside legally in our country for a set period of time.

I suppose the word police who have declared use of “anchor babies” illegal, so to speak, are the same people who decry use of the term “illegal alien”, even though it is correct. An illegal alien is a citizen from another country who has entered the United States and is staying here in disobedience to the laws of this country. As such, the illegal alien often makes use of public resources without paying taxes, resources which are funded by lawful citizens and residents who are paying taxes.

The brouhaha is kind of funny because for years we have spoken about mail order brides preying on American men just so they can obtain residency or citizenship then, after an appropriate period, divorcing the American, taking his money, and living the high life in the U.S. instead of the impoverishment or diminishment of the country from which they came. Ulterior motives to obtain citizenship or residency should come as no surprise.

The effort to call illegal aliens undocumented workers, or something similar, is inaccurate and silly but allows the pretense of civility or dignity. A person is either here legally or illegally. I’m not sure what it would mean to be documented or undocumented. Are my children undocumented until they get their learner’s permits? Is it enough if I can produce their birth certificates? But what if an illegal alien can produce his or her foreign birth certificate or, better, his or her driver’s license from the country of origin? Are they then documented and, if so, has the question of their legal presence in the U.S. been resolved on that account?

Obviously not.

It’s not about illegal aliens being documented or not; it’s about them being here lawfully in the U.S.A. The word police fiddle with words and phrases to muddy the issue and stifle free expression. They are inaccurate, and their inaccuracy is bred by their dishonesty.

So how did some reporters determine that use of the term anchor babies was wrong? Who told them that? And why did that become an issue for them? The indignation is contrived.

It’s funny to hear Hillary Clinton puff herself up and wax moralistic and judgmental of those who use the term anchor babies. When she was asked a direct question about whether she “wiped” her private server, she coyly feigned ignorance and replied, “What, with a cloth or something?”

I am registered NPA – no party affiliation – but it shocks me that Democrats aren’t flying to Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, or even Joe Biden. How can they tolerate such disdain for the common man’s intellect!? Superficially, it appears her disdain is directed at the reporter. While reporters don’t always ask the right questions (see above), in this case most people want to know whether she wiped the server, if for no other reason than to put the issue to rest. So Clinton is really disdaining them and keeping the issue alive. One is right to suspect that she is at least doing something she believes is illicit, if not illegal.

In the end, complaints about candidates using the term anchor babies boil down to both an ad hominem attack and a straw man fallacy. Attacking the phrase creates a straw man that diverts attention from the fact that illegal immigrants have swarmed across our borders and are eating up our resources. It also represents an attack on a speaker’s character for its use. While perhaps not every couple has sought to have their baby on U.S. soil for the gambit of averting the consequences and responsibility of their illegal acts, at least some have. Those who try to liken anchor babies to the derogation “niggers” have misfired. Nigger was used deliberately throughout our prejudiced history to belittle a person solely because of his or her skin color. That was and is wrong. Anchor babies reflects a deliberate choice, an act with intent that masks the crime of illegal entry and stay in this country. It is using one’s own children to cover a crime. It’s like a convict complaining about being called a criminal. He is one.

All that said, there is one legitimate argument for a measured response to illegal immigration: the fact that private businesses quietly aided and abetted it for decades for their own financial gain, and the government turned a blind eye to help those agribusinesses. Together, they sabotaged American citizens and foisted this economic burden on them. They should pay a price for that, and even illegal immigrants, the good ones, deserve a chance to rectify their situations in a way that satisfies the law. By now too many immigrant children have grown up in America. To them, this is their country.