29 thoughts on “News/Politics 3-11-23

  1. Let the sunlight in – it’s a great disinfectant!


    House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has agreed to a full public release of the security footage recorded at the U.S. Capitol during the events of Jan. 6, 2021.

    In an interview with Breitbart News that aired on Thursday, McCarthy discussed his decision to share the footage with Fox News host Tucker Carlson and said defendants who are facing charges after going to the Capitol on Jan. 6 should be able to see the footage for their own defense in court.

    When asked whether he would fully release the Capitol security footage to the public, the Republican House speaker responded in the affirmative before adding that the footage would first have to go through a security review.

    “We just want to make sure we go through them all, and it takes time,” he said.

    McCarthy’s assurance that he would pursue a broad public release of the security footage comes as a growing number of January 6 defendants have asked for their trials to be delayed so they can review the security footage.

    McCarthy told Breitbart he was making no personal judgment about what the security footage shows, but said that “to be fair in equal justice, if there’s any person that’s accused, they should be able to have a right to see the tapes to make their own defense.”

    McCarthy also pushed back on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) after the senator accused Carlson of downplaying the events of Jan. 6, 2021, and called for Fox News to stop Carlson from sharing additional footage.

    “I wish Chuck Schumer would read the Constitution,” McCarthy said. “The Democrats always go to censorship. … They want to use government as much as they can to censor people.”

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I doubt any Trump supporter can get a fair trial in DC after the January 6 committee circus. Defendants who request their cases be tried elsewhere should be able to do that. The vast majority of these cases are low level crimes anyway.

    January 6 is always Epiphany: an annual universal monument to the Divine gift, and a reminder of the carnal nature of man so desperately in need of redemption. An eye-opening day all the way around, and worthy to be both celebrated and meditated upon.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Sobering, for sure. Our paper is almost useless–and it won a Pulitzer in 2018, so people still think it’s a great paper. (The Pulitzer was for the fire coverage–which was helpful.)

    I take the paper for local news–particularly since an Adorable is a standout athlete.

    Never mentioned in our local paper. Instead, I have to read–or in my case–skip countless non-local sports gossip I couldn’t care less about.

    What reporters we have our young and liberal, and while they try hard, they have NO life experience or knowledge base even to ask questions.

    I’ve tried passing some suggestions on, but they don’t answer my emails.

    Years ago, when I was a cub reporter, several friends toured at the LA Times (one still works there, and the other, as far as I know, still works for the NBC bureau). They were asked about their majors. One was a history major, the other engineering.

    They got hired. “We can teach people to write, we can’t backfill four years of education.”

    What did they get as the years went by?

    Communications majors who know few facts and I even wonder about critical thinking skills.

    It’s a travesty.

    And we all suffer as a result. The fourth estate is dead.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. And remember how the industry has been decimated, newsrooms nearly emptied out, salaries slashed.

    It’s no longer a sustainable career, sadly. Young people come into the field and, if they’re smart, they leave in a couple years for a more reliable job that can support them and their families going forward and provide decent benefits, all the rest.

    News staffs are so depleted that they can’t cover nearly the things they once did. Reporters are pulled in all different directions by frantic editors who are also being pressured to do more, work more, for less, and faster.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Add to all this the political outrage culture that has blown up just about everything around it, or aspires to do so — a “rage virus” now sweeping through the nation, someone called it.

    It’s established a deep wedge that has divided families, friends and even church members.

    The nation finds itself in one horrible mess right now. I have no idea where this all leads but none of it looks positive right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You’re almost there DJ…..

    And who’s coverage and narratives are leading to this “rage virus?”

    The media. But your industry tends to not do self reflection and introspection.

    You list a lot of reasons why it’s bad, but your product as an industry wasn’t one of them. Yet ask viewers and readers and they’ll tell you your product leads to distrust and the dismissal of your reporting. We see the bias, how the media always comes down on one side.

    For every good reporter like you there are hundreds who suck at it.

    As Michelle said, the Fourth Estate is dead, and it was you guys (not you personally, your industry) that killed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. AJ, I agree to some degree, the industry hasn’t done much self-reflection as a whole. We’ve actually covered that ground in the past, however. (And while the media’s weakness is a big weak link in all that’s going on, there are numerous causes for why we find ourselves here in the nation as a whole.)

    I hate to pull rank, but those of us on the inside of the industry have witnessed it first-hand and have been discussing this amongst ourselves and colleagues (both who agree and disagree with us) for, oh, probably 20 years now.

    You’re looking from the outside so haven’t been privy to any of that, I realize, but this hasn’t been an issue that we haven’t “noticed” going on. Far from it. Those of us within the industry know these issues best and better than you ever can.

    The media has leaned left for some time (though gently when referring to the 1960s and the “Walter Cronkite” era, for example) — I’ve had discussions with reporter colleagues who can’t see that. These are good people, friends, but so often our own political perspectives can dictate what we see and don’t (or can’t) see — and that’s a danger in all areas and on all political “sides.” We should always check and re-check ourselves for that very human tendency, no matter what our vocation or calling is in our own lives.

    Michelle, you hit on some things accurately but I had to smile about the “young” and inexperienced rear. I’d say that all of us started out in journalism as young, inexperienced and being somewhat naive and unschooled in the craft. That’s not changed and won’t change.

    I think a big difference, in my observation, has been we had sounder training that current-day young journalists, the one journalism prof I know retired a couple years ago — we were trained the same, to hold an objective viewpoint high, to check our personal “politics” at the door when we came into the newsroom, to scrutinize and be especially careful when writing about politics, campaigns, elections. Check and double-check yourself.

    Today’s model leans much more toward a new journalistic concept — an advocacy model of news reporting. There’s some points to that — how should reporters have covered the rise of Hitler in Germany, for example.

    But too often with some of the recent political trends in the US it’s become an excuse to push the popular “theme of the day,” whether that’s Black Lives Matter or transgenderism.

    That’s why it’s been distressing to see more conservative outlets so violating what are basic journalistic principles. Fox finds itself in the midst of a scandal (deservedly so) that could wind up ruining them, it remains to be seen. I hope, instead, it will awaken and reform them.

    But I’m thinking they’ll lose some good, truthful, and principled reporters over it. And they should, if nothing is going to change.

    The opinion/entertainment folks will probably find ways to survive.

    The fall of the media in the US is a long and nuanced and not-easily “recapped” story told in political slogans or assumptions. The media also, of course, is part of the free market when it comes to its business side (and it is a business).

    How would you reform it from the outside? I doubt any of us wants to see government involvement. AJ, you speak sometimes as if there’s a quick, easy “big solution” to all of this. What is it? Because there really isn’t one, it’s been a long trail of so many factors that have come into play. You can rail against it all you want, but that’s not a solution.

    If this is to change, it will have to come from within the business and craft itself. Those are typically very slow turns.

    I think and hope journalism as we know it now will come around to a more reasonable platform again and I’m encouraged by newer (albeit small, pop-up) outlets that are trying to get traction by appealing to their commitment as “strictly” news, not opinion.

    It’s a craft that can be learned and practiced well, but with discipline and relying on journalists who are trained to do that, to not look through the sense of their own political preferences, as much as is humanly possible.

    And it will never be practiced perfectly because it’s practiced by flawed human beings. We believers should be the first to understand and accept that fact of life.

    People fail, politicians fail, leaders fail, journalists fail, institutions fail. Countries fail.

    We are also living in a rather angry environment, which is what I was alluding to before. I’ve witnessed first hand the late ’60s, the ’70s, and other tumultuous times. I’ve never witnessed anything like what’s going on in the US today.

    The fault? It lies in many places, though I always return to the reminder that God is sovereign and all of this is for a purpose (perhaps a purpose we may not like very much, but if you study Scripture you’ll see it over and over again). The journey we’re on and are witnessing is in the hands, completely of Someone we can’t vote for or against, though we humans keep trying via complaints and anger.

    As believers, our primary prayer and focus, as always, is on that trust in God, that he is “doing something” with all of this, as hard and difficult as it is.

    And that this not divide and disrupt the church and the body of believers. We should know and always remind ourselves, and each other (as we’re prone to forget), where our true hope and confidence lie. It’s not in the next election, thankfully. It’s not in the Democrats or the Republicans or some random third party (thankfully, again, on all counts).

    Rather than complaining endlessly, even ranting here and there (and I can do that well, believe me, but try not to) ….

    Pray for the nation, pray for the media, pray for our leaders. Pray that God will have mercy and will turn this distressing time around before something worse befalls us. That’s the focus we’re called to have and to practice.

    Apologies that this was long.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Our papers used to require 5 years experience on a daily before reporters could be hired. That’s gone by the wayside, though many of our young new reporters now have Master’s degrees.

    We also now have a stress on multicultural hiring — not bad in itself, journalism has always been largely a “white” trade; but what comes with that (maybe especially in the current political and social environment) tends also to be encouraging folks to see (and report) things through their own particular experiences and life viewpoints. Again, not wrong in itself, but in how one covers a story it shouldn’t be the primary lens through which something is strictly and always viewed.

    Training and disciplining oneself to listen, observe and to understand multiple “sides” should never be lost among real journalists.


  9. This week on our Fox local news one of the older reporters was in discussion with a younger one about all the student loans the younger has to pay off. There had been mention of how inflation has so increased such loans. I felt compassion for that young one.

    Today my pastor was speaking for a moment on how no one should be promoting a candidate or political party more than promoting Jesus. Christians are to be about Jesus as number one priority. I appreciate his approach and reminder.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Media on both sides of the political spectrum err in focusing on their own side’s views and perspectives, and rarely presenting the other side fairly, such as ignoring stories or parts of stories that do not go along with their or their customers’ (because that’s what readers/viewers really are) views. Articles from “the other side” that fill in those stories are often dismissed because of their source, so many people end up in the echo chamber of far-right or far-left media.


  11. AJ – Did you see my comment from Friday evening (I think it was) about that video clip supposedly showing a couple Antifa guys? The fuller video showed that they were a comedian and his cameraman getting ready to do a comedy bit, not Antifa.


  12. Years ago, Cyrus was Controller for a newspaper in Connecticut that was bought out by a large conglomerate. Over a couple of years, the conglomerate gobbled up the newspapers in just about all of the surrounding cities. Their goal was to own all of the papers in CT. Cyrus was made Controller for all of them as the conglomerate slashed budgets, laid off personnel, and sold off assets. They cut personnel to the point that there were no reporters for some cities. They just duplicated content, so of course, already dwindling ad revenue shrank even more. Cyrus slowed the cuts down as much as he could in the year or so that he was Controller for them, but they were destroyers really, so he got out as quickly as he could.

    I’m afraid this type of consolidation in the media is widespread. And I seriously doubt that budgets for reporters has ever returned to what it was before the consolidations and the digital age emerged. This may have made journalism more of a calling or a missionary work than an occupation, so to speak. And that might explain DJ’s observation of the ” new journalistic concept — an advocacy model of news reporting”. Perhaps the objective truth model is only possible if there is widespread belief that there is Truth. When that falls away, journalism naturally loses it’s credibility, I think. Then all are seen as advocates to some degree. And are.

    It’s good to remind ourselves and each other that God is always in control and prayer is always in order—sometimes it’s the best one can do.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Debra, that sounds like our company, we’re owned by a hedge fund that’s now created the 2nd largest newspaper chain in the nation. All of our properties have been sold off, raises effectively canceled, 401K matches done away with, layoffs periodically. It’s a horrible situation. If I were a new reporter now there’s no way I’d plan to stay in the field.

    I remember Britt Hume (one of the good, old-school veteran journalists still at Fox as an occasional commentator) said that Fox was formed in the hopes that it would help reform sites like CNN, to show them the news they were missing.

    Instead, he said, it only caused them to push further left — then other partisan sites began popping up, like MSNBC and others.

    And we were off and running, with the “silo” journalism we have today.

    It all infected the mainstream sites as well. While most working journalists tend to lean left, the training was so ingrained that they knew and strove to follow those company policies. No bumper stickers on your car, no talk of politics in the newsroom, no volunteering or attending rallies even in your “off” time.

    I have been around long enough to see those walls come down, sadly, as editors and publishers began to be influenced by the advocacy model of journalists that now prevails.

    (Though our strict — but good — company policy is still in place, even more important now in the age of reporters being on social media.)

    Liked by 2 people

  14. *”properties sold off” refer to physical locations. Our old two-story news headquarters now houses medical offices — where I now go to see a knee surgeon.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I had read that many journalists (especially those on TV) also have degrees in law. And a quick online check shows many universities do offer dual degrees in Journalism and Law. Our legal system promotes an adversarial conflict resolution, not a search for truth or objectivity. That may be part of our national journalism problem too. Just a thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. (An old Linotype machine, probably from the ’20s, that used to sit in our lobby now sits in a corner on the ground floor of the medical building; sold that off, too, but at least it’s still on display somewhere.)

    Liked by 3 people

  17. A few of our reporters have also gone to law school (but that’s not an easy career either right now). Some move on, some still work for us.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I agree with you, DJ. Back in the Dark Ages, we were taught if you can not explain both sides of the story with respect, you’re not ready to write the story yet.

    But that was long ago and not under the supreme 24/7 news cycle.

    Bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. As M points out, the tech revolution and 24-hour news cycle has been a huge factor in all of this. 😦

    As with so many “good” inventions or advancements, flawed human beings WILL find a way to also abuse and misuse it. And sometimes, too, it all just takes off all on its own in a direction we could not have predicted.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. And M @4:43: ~ if you can not explain both sides of the story with respect, you’re not ready to write the story yet. ~

    That’s a good measure to use.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I get very tired of the left-leaning slant of our so-called local paper. Most of the articles are not local. The cartoon of the day is always against conservatives, as are almost 100% of any opinion pieces and the so-called news articles. I get the paper solely to be able to read the local ads, activities and the few articles about local news and people. I am often tempted to just cancel my subscription like I know so many others have done. I especially get disgusted when I see the same article printed twice in the same paper. Sometimes the article is cut in half. Recently there was one that set the whole theme of the article and then abruptly ended. Sometimes I see the same article in the next day’s paper or the one after that. OTOH, I do think we are blessed to have a local paper at all. I am grateful for those reporters doing what they can.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. “most of the article are not local”

    Sigh. I believe Debra mentioned that the outlet Cyrus was doing controller work for no longer had enough reporters to cover all of their cities.

    We’re sadly in the same situation and have had to rely more and more on wire copy. We hate that.

    But we’re stretched so thin, it’s just a reality. We also had a full copy desk once upon a time, our stories were probably edited at least twice by different editors. Not now. Those safety nets are gone, in many cases. More salaries the owners stay they can’t (or won’t) pay anymore.

    We used to have reporters covering every city council meeting, school board meeting (we have numerous cities just in our coastal section of papers).

    No more.

    And we’re really sorry about that. But it’s the new reality, and, yes, sadly local papers are completely vanishing altogether at a rapid pace.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. As an aside, it was his local paper that first raised flags — during the campaign — about the ethical irregularities surrounding George Santos. Not enough folks saw it, sadly.

    When the story broke in more national media, a few of those outlets noticed that, said, oh, look, the local paper already did something back before the election …

    Local papers, if they have enough staff to do the job, are often in the best position to catch some of these scoundrels before they can go much further and cause even more public damage.

    Liked by 1 person

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