Category Archives: Journalism

How Stupid?

Here’s the question: How stupid does one have to be to disqualify one’s self from employment as an anchor at CNN? The answer, apparently, is “pretty damn stupid,” as demonstrated by Carol Costello this morning during coverage of the D.C. Navy Yard shooting.

On the off chance that the powers that be at CNN think this does disqualify Costello, my dog Shasta is available as a replacement. I think her IQ would match up favorably with Costello, and she looks great on camera.
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Filed under Journalism, Media, Washington

Jay Carney Bitchslaps The White House Press Corps

 

Do you see my middle finger? That represents laziness. And my index finger represents sloth. Either that or I’m hexing you.

Jay Carney calls the White House press corps slothful and lazy. I generally loathe journalists and this makes even my blood boil. Really. I’m nearly speechless.

Note to the press corps: At this point, the Obama Administration is the boyfriend who treats you like crap in public because he knows you don’t have the gumption to leave. Try and have a little self-respect.

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Filed under 2012 Presidential Race, Barack Obama, Journalism

Leave It To The Times

Regardless of the fact that a mob of 500 baseball bat and crowbar wielding longshoremen stormed the port in Longview, Washington, took and held hostages, cut brake lines and dumped grain, the Seattle Times has chosen to illustrate the story with photos and captions depicting law enforcement as the aggressors and the longshoremen as peaceful protesters. One photo, depicting a protester standing on the tracks in front of a locomotive, is clearly intended to evoke memories of Tianamen Square or maybe Washington State’s liberal darling, Rachel Corrie.

To be fair, the Times news article covering the disturbance reported the facts much as I’ve recounted them here, relying on their bevy of low-information readers to skip all the nasty words and head straight to the photos.

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Filed under Journalism, Seattle Times

Keeping You Ignorant Since 2008

Just in case you haven’t thought about this lately, my friend, Jimmie, compiled a list of stories that the “journalists” of the Democrat-Media Complex couldn’t be bothered to report. It’s really rather shocking to see them all listed together, especially considering some of the stories they do cover as if they’re of some import. Today we find them breathlessly reporting that Sarah Palin’s staff watched Fox News during the 2008 election. Frankly, it frightens me that anyone would find this at all newsworthy. I mean, I wouldn’t be even a little shocked to find out that people in the Obama Administration watch MSNBC non-stop. Disheartened, maybe, or disgusted but not surprised.

What might the media be reporting on if Sarah Palin would just get out of their heads, you ask? Why, this.

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Filed under Journalism, Media, Politics

Anthony Weiner, Christian Martyr?

It’s truly astonishing how far the press will go to spin the #weinergate story in their beloved Weiner’s favor. In this one, Richard Cohen of the Washington Post likens being a Christian to being a pervert and suffering the consequences of your own actions to being fed to lions because of your religion.

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Filed under Hypocrisy, Journalism, Media, Politics

Barbara Walters Goes Off The Deep End

Barbara, you know I love you like a sister, but you're killing me here!

According to Barbara Walters, Sarah Palin’s bus tour of U.S. historic sites is as ethically questionable as Anthony Weiner’s digital indiscretions. You know it’s bad when Joy Behar feels compelled to defend Palin.

Oh, Barbara, how low you’ve fallen.

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Filed under Hypocrisy, Journalism, Media, Politics, Pop Culture

Calling Something Satire Doesn’t Magically Make It So

Do you like how I cleverly worked in a photo of Todd Palin? Oh, and look, there's li'l Trig up there, too!

Back in June of 2009 there was a dust up involving David Letterman and a questionable joke he made concerning Sarah Palin’s daughter, Willow. At the time, I thought I could be of help to Mr. Letterman by providing him with a few simple guidelines he could use to determine if his jokes were falling outside the bounds of propriety.

In light of Jack Stuef’s incredibly crass and callous Wonkette column* in “honor” of Trig Palin’s birthday, I considered updating the test for his benefit. Sadly, after careful thought, I decided that it probably wasn’t worth my time. Judging by this column, I’m guessing he doesn’t care what anyone thinks about what he says or does or what kind of person he is. He might care, though, about what people think of him as a writer.

This wasn’t the best piece of political satire I’ve ever read. <—Understatement.

In fact, when I read it the first time, I didn’t even realize it was supposed to be satire; it just seemed like a mean-spirited rambling attack-by-proxy on Sarah Palin. For me – and I think for most decent people – the piece was missing an important satirical element. You know…the humor. I feel safe saying that the vast majority of people don’t find it funny when a grown man verbally assaults a toddler…and a disabled toddler at that. And let me just say right here that if you found the piece humorous in any way, you should probably engage in some serious soul searching because there is something seriously wrong with your soul. Yes, Mr. Stuef, I’m talkin’ to you.

Something else was missing, too…a clearly elucidated point. I had to find out by reading elsewhere that the purpose of the column was to mock Palins “well-documented” use of li’l Trig as a political prop. Now I’ll grant that this prop angle was mentioned once in the column, but since none of the presumably supporting links and graphics actually supported that point, well, yeah. I missed it. Anyway, I’m not buying that Stuef really cares about Trig Palin at all, because what does this column do if not exploit Trig to make a political point?

(And since someone else brought it up, I’d love to have someone explain to me how Trig Palin is any more of a prop than Sasha and Malia Obama…say when their mother used them to promote her anti-obesity initiative?)

All in all, a poor outing for Mr. Stuef. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that if this is the best he can do, I hope he has a Plan B.

*I didn’t intend to link the Wonkette piece here; hey, they don’t deserve the traffic but I hear now that it’s been removed. Not to worry! Warner Todd Huston, writing at Red County, has reproduced it in its entirety. Good luck, Mr. Stuef, if you ever want to apply for a job that requires good judgment or common decency.

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Filed under Journalism

Mere Coincidence Or Something More?

Dori Monson wonders if it’s merely a coincidence that the accident report from Bill Gates, Sr.’s, August hit and run accident wasn’t made public until the day after the election.

That got me thinking so…I headed over to the local news rag, the Seattle Times, to check out their coverage, which was notably – but not surprisingly – missing in action until the story was broken by another news outlet, KIRO-TV.

What makes this story so interesting is that Mr. Gates the Elder was the public face for I-1098, the latest attempt to establish an income tax beachhead in Washington State. One wonders whether the press would have been so forgiving if it had been Tim Eyman involved in a hit and run in the weeks leading up to the election.

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Filed under Seattle Times, Washington

Words Weekly Wrap-Up; 10/24/10 through 10/30/10

When Racism Isn’t Racist At All

Jobs Americans Won’t Do: Campaigning For Patty Murray

Well. This Was Unexpected.

Random Rants, Seattle Times Edition

Charlie Sheen: Proving Yet Again That Having It All Doesn’t Necessarily Mean All That Much

Too Good Not To Share

A Midterm Blowout

Man’s Best Friend, But Still

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Filed under Dino Rossi, Journalism, Patty Murray, Pop Culture, Words Wrap-Up

Random Rants, Seattle Times Edition

Joni Balter

Not many people are as self-satisfied and self-important as Joni Balter. She’s recently penned two op-eds, not on any topic with relevance to the real issues facing voters in this election, but something even more important; the race for newspaper endorsements. And of course by this vital yardstick, Dino Rossi may as well concede the race now.

I’m not even sure why this was stretched out to to pieces; they’re nearly identical. From the first piece, published on 10/14:

People ask editorial writers from time to time about newspaper endorsements — how much do they really change voters’ minds? In local races, such as school boards or city councils or county councils, they matter a ton. In statewide contests, like the U.S. Senate contest, endorsements always have an impact but it is harder to measure because there is so much other inpurt. Have you turned on your TV lately?

My take on endorsements in contests of this magnitude is they, especially if they are plural and there are a fair number of them, become part of the narrative and momentum of an election.

And from the second, published on 10/25:

Newpaper readers and media critics often ask how much weight newspaper endorsements carry in an election as big and fiery hot as the current U.S. Senate race in Washington state.

Such endorsements count quite a bit in races for school boards or city councils or county councils. In a bigger statewide race such as the contest between Democratic incumbent Patty Murray and Republican Dino Rossi, the impact of a single endorsement is less clear, because there is so much other input. Indeed, the television has become a Halloween-scary place.

My own sense of it is a grouping of endorsements, several in a row, can be quite powerful. And the advantage, therefore, goes to Murray.

Honestly, did Balter just forget what she wrote or was she so enamored of her own cleverness she just had to repeat herself?¬†And which is it: do people ask this question of vital importance “from time to time” or “often?” Honestly, it’s never occurred to me to wonder. My assumption has always been that newspaper endorsements are handed out to advance the agendas of the various editorial boards.

But here’s the money quote, pulled from the second piece:

For all the blather about how tired everybody supposedly is of Murray, it seems newspaper editorial writers and publishers, who really know the work and impact of this senator, are not ready to throw out a talented public servant like Murray.

So here’s the deal.

Not only is making endorsements inherently self-important; not only does Balter choose to write about how important these endorsements are – Twice! In less than two weeks! – she takes it a step further by implying that editorial boards are far more qualified to judge the candidates because they’re so much better informed than their readers. And probably just smarter, too.

Not Present and Accounted For

Of course, she may have a point about the Times’ readers being ill-informed. If you were relying on the Times to keep you informed of news in the WA-01 contest between James Watkins and Jay Inslee, you’d be, well, ill-informed as well as completely unaware that the two debated on October 18th.

You’d also be unaware that the Watkins campaign had been desperately trying to get Inslee to agree to a debate since August, and that when he finally did agree, he set a date, time and place nearly guaranteed to ensure minimal press coverage (and it appears he was successful; none of the local television stations covered the debate and when last I checked, only the Kitsap Sun had given the debate any coverage).

You would, however, know that the gubernatorial candidates in Rhode Island will be debating tonight.

Apparently the Times is aware that fact that face time with Inslee doesn’t always endear him to his constituents. So as Balter bashes Times subscribers as ill-informed, the news department makes sure they stay that way. Sweet.

Endorsement Brain Twister

Try and wrap your head around this.

Back in June, Ryan Blethen announced that the Times would be taking “a new, hard look at elections and government” and added, “The editorial page will also explain to readers and lawmakers why government needs to be reset. We will examine the need for fiscal responsibility on the local, state and national level.”

Given that, a trip through the Times’ endorsements on the federal level is likely to leave the reader confused. Their list of endorsed candidates includes all the incumbents – Democrats Inslee, Larsen and Smith in the House and Murray in the Senate – plus Democrat Suzan DelBene in the 8th District running against incumbent Dave Reichert and Democrat Denny Heck in the 3rd District, running against Jaime Herrera for Brian Baird’s open seat.*

In other words, a full slate of Democrats. The party that did this to the federal budget deficit.

I wonder how the Times editorial board imagines that returning proven big spenders to Washington, along with some newcomers who are just as likely to vote for ever higher taxes and more spending will “reset government?” It’s a conundrum.

*As far as I can tell, the Times made no endorsements in the 6th and 7th Districts, seats currently held by Norm Dicks and Jim McDermott, respectively, but I could have missed them. Of course, Baghdad Jim probably needs no endorsement running, as he is, in the Soviet of Seattle.

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Filed under Dino Rossi, Journalism, Media, Patty Murray, Washington