Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

Poll – How Much Do You Trust Mass Media?   1 comment

How much do you trust mass media (newspapers, television, radio) to report news fully, accurately and fairly?

  • Mostly
  • Partially
  • Rarely

 

Leave your comment below and feel free to explain your answer.

Posted January 24, 2018 by aurorawatcherak in Media, Uncategorized

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Dangers of Government Control   Leave a comment

We are a nation of 325 million people. We have a bit of control over the behavior of our 535 elected representatives in Congress, the president and the vice president. But there are seven unelected people who have life-and-death control over our economy and hence our lives — the seven governors of the Federal Reserve Board.

The Federal Reserve Board controls our money supply. Its governors are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate and serve 14-year staggered terms. They have the power to cripple an economy, as they did during the late 1920s and early 1930s.

Their inept monetary policy threw the economy into the Great Depression, during which real output in the United States fell nearly 30 percent and the unemployment rate soared as high as nearly 25 percent. The most often stated cause of the Great Depression is the October 1929 stock market crash. Little is further from the truth. The Great Depression was caused by a massive government failure led by the Federal Reserve’s rapid 25 percent contraction of the money supply.

The next government failure was the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, which increased U.S. tariffs by more than 50 percent. Those failures were compounded by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation. Leftists love to praise New Deal interventionist legislation. But FDR’s very own treasury secretary, Henry Morgenthau, saw the folly of the New Deal, writing: “We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. … We have never made good on our promises. … I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started … and an enormous debt to boot!”

The bottom line is that the Federal Reserve Board, the Smoot-Hawley tariffs and Roosevelt’s New Deal policies turned what would have been a two, three- or four-year sharp downturn into a 16-year affair.

Here’s my question never asked about the Federal Reserve Act of 1913: How much sense does it make for us to give seven unelected people life-and-death control over our economy and hence our lives?

While you’re pondering that question, consider another: Should we give the government, through the Federal Communications Commission, control over the internet?

During the Clinton administration, along with the help of a Republican-dominated Congress, the visionary 1996 Telecommunications Act declared it “the policy of the United States” that internet service providers and websites be “unfettered by Federal or State regulation.” The act sought “to promote competition and reduce regulation in order to secure lower prices and higher quality services for American telecommunications consumers and encourage the rapid deployment of new telecommunications technologies.”

In 2015, the Obama White House pressured the FCC to create the Open Internet Order, which has been branded by its advocates as net neutrality. This move overthrew the spirit of the Telecommunications Act. It represents creeping FCC jurisdiction, as its traditional areas of regulation — such as broadcast media and telecommunications — have been transformed by the internet, or at least diminished in importance.

Fortunately, it’s being challenged by the new FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, who has announced he will repeal the FCC’s heavy-handed 2015 internet regulations. The United States has been the world leader in the development of internet technology precisely because it has been relatively unfettered by federal and state regulation. The best thing that the U.S. Congress can do for internet entrepreneurs and internet consumers is to send the FCC out to pasture as it did with the Civil Aeronautics Board, which regulated the airline industry, and the Interstate Commerce Commission, which regulated the trucking industry. When we got rid of those regulatory agencies, we saw a greater number of competitors, and consumers paid lower prices. Giving the FCC the same medicine would allow our high-tech industry to maintain its world leadership position.

Source: Dangers of Government Control

Walter E. Williams is the John M. Olin distinguished professor of economics at George Mason University, and a nationally syndicated columnist. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page.

Copyright © 2017 Creators.com

Cheap Shots Not Funny   Leave a comment

I admire the French satirical magazine Charlie Bedo for its continued confrontation of cultural sacred cows. I’m not a regular subscriber because I don’t read French well enough to fully enjoy it, but I like their cartoons and a friend who is fluent sometimes forwards translated articles. Still, I think they went too far with this cover, which features the phrase “Dieu Existe! Il a noyé tous les néo-Nazis du Texas” as the caption.  When my friend sent me the cover and asked me what I thought, I didn’t even need his translation of the French to know that this was rude and insensitive. I know just enough French to know it said something about “God exists” and “neo-Nazis of Texas.”

The caption translates to “God Exists! He drowned all the neo-Nazis in Texas!”

Charlie Hebdo is not exactly known for kindness, tact, or any sort of respect, but this sinks pretty low even for a magazine that specializes in low.

Before I could think about what I would blog about it, people quickly to remind Hebdo that the world (including the United States) stood by the publication when their offices were attacked by Islamic terrorists and that the U.S. military did a pretty good job eliminating the Nazis during WWII.

View image on Twitter

It pissed off Brad, who lived in Houston for about five years. He says the cover makes no sense. Houston is not a Republican city, the people of Texas most definitely are not neo-Nazis, and people of all races and creeds and colors were affected by the flooding and the storm. It comes off as a cheap shot at a community that is already suffering, and it’s pretty tasteless. If Hebdo is attacked again by folks angry over their slaying of sacred cows, they will have one less supporter and I don’t think I’m alone.

You have a right to free speech, but there are lines that just shouldn’t be crossed.

Posted September 25, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Media, Uncategorized

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Still Looking for Your Cheese?   1 comment

Image result for maze with cheeseThe Trump administration blocked some liberal media outlets from a press conference and the blocked ones are freaking out as if this has never happened before. Apparently, they’ve forgotten that the Obama administration routinely blocked access of some media outlets.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2013/10/10/cpj-report-on-obama-press/2960607/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2014/10/27/usa-todays-susan-page-obama-administration-most-dangerous-to-media-in-history/?utm_term=.3e230376f3aa

Note these articles are dated 2013 and 2014. The both center on the opacity — the lack of transparency — of the Obama administration.

Trump is incredibly transparent. Just read his tweets — though I wouldn’t believe everything he tweets. If you don’t feel him tweaking your strings, you’re really not that sensitive. Reporters from some media outlets don’t like that they are no longer the gatekeepers of information. They don’t get to manipulate the message and put their own spin on it and then claim that anyone else with another take on the message is not a legitimate news source.

The Trump administration has moved the liberal media’s cheese and they’re so busy protesting that it’s been moved that they don’t seem to be seeking where it might have gone.

May I make a suggestion? Try being balanced. Instead of presenting your opinions and the half of the facts you like and screeching about how the sky is falling, try presenting the entire story, leaving your opinion at the door and digging for some actual evidence rather than just dealing in half-truths.

I think if you did that for six months or a year, you might get your press passes back.

Posted February 25, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Media

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Who Moved the Liberal Media’s Cheese?   4 comments

This week, I get the distinct feeling that the American press needs to read the book Who Moved My Cheese? They clearly don’t know how to handle change.

In Spencer Johnson’s thin book, he tells the story of four characters who live in a maze: the mice Scurry and Sniff, and two ‘littlepeople’, Hem and Haw. All is going well because they have found a huge source of their favorite food, cheese. Hem and Haw have even moved their houses to be near it since it has become the center of their lives. They don’t notice that it is getting smaller, and are devastated when find the cheese is gone.

Image result for image of cheese in a maze

This is where the story splits in two. Scurry and Sniff quickly accept the loss of the cheese and go off into the maze in search of other sources. The littlepeople, because they have built their lives around the big cheese, feel they are the victim of some kind of fraud or theft. Rather than helping their situation, it feeds their victimhood and assures they go hungry. Meanwhile, the mice find more cheese.

The fable captures that moment after we have lost a job or a relationship and we believe it is the end of the world. All the good things were in the previous situation, and all the future holds is fear. Yet Johnson’s message is, instead of seeing change as the end of something, we must learn to see it as a beginning. To make himself accept reality, Haw writes this on the wall of the maze: “If you do not change, you can become extinct.”

The media appears to be playing the part of Hem and Haw before Haw recognizes his need to change. This particular president of the United States isn’t treating them with the respect Obama did. He is instead returning their intense disrespect of him right back at them. He’s not scheduling press conferences around their calendars, but around his own. He argues with them when they’re rude.

They act like this is a horrible situation and aver that it is a sign that Trump doesn’t know what he’s doing. Go back in history, however, and you will see that government and the press have frequently been at odds with each other. I was trained in journalism courses at college that we were supposed to have contention between us. The job of a political reporter is to hold politicians’ feet to the fire.

Conversely, government should be highly suspicious of the press because the press is not their friend. Our modern media seem to have gotten used to the “big cheese” of occasional press conferences where the President answered their questions as if they had a right to the answers. Their cheese has been moved.

They need to get over it. Just because Trump isn’t acting like Obama — who was rarely challenged by the press — doesn’t mean he’s evil or in crisis or incompetent. It simply means that he not bound by  the behavior of previous administrations.

Go look for new cheese. Learn new (or really old) ways of doing your job. Stop acting like the change in the air is the burning of the world. Change can be painful for those who fight it. Sometimes there are principles worth fighting for, but the methods of the modern presidential press conference is not one of them.

Posted February 18, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Media

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Western Media Credibility   Leave a comment

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2016/09/paul-craig-roberts/western-media-credibility/

By

PaulCraigRoberts.org

September 19, 2016

The latest from the Gallup Poll is that only 32% of Americans trust the print and TV media, to tell the truth. Republicans, 18 to 49-year-old Americans, and independents trust the media even less, with trust rates of 14%, 26%, and 30%.

The only group that can produce a majority that still trusts the media are Democrats with a 51% trust rate in print and TV reporting. The next highest trust rate is Americans over 50 years of age with a trust rate of 38 percent.

The conclusion is that old people who are Democrats are the only remaining group that barely trusts the media. This mistaken trust is due to their enculturation. For older Democrats belief in government takes the place of Republican belief in evangelical Christianity. Older Democrats are firm believers that it was a government under the leadership of President Franklin D. Roosevelt that saved America from the Great Depression. As the print and TV media in the 21st century are firmly aligned with the government, the trust in government spills over into trust of the media that is serving the government. As the generation of Democrats enculturated with this mythology die off, Democratic trust rates will plummet toward Republican levels.

The Rest of the Article

Posted September 20, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in Media, Uncategorized

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Trump Media   1 comment

This is 4th in a series.

So has Fox essentially endorsed Trump as my friend claims? Umm, no, but kind of yes.

Fox News commentators clearly do not like Donald Trump, but … given his accusation of bias in their coverage of him, they appear to have gone overboard to counter the claim. A quick read of the online front page shows a lot of Trump-centric reporting. Within those articles you find hints that the reporters are puzzled by Trump’s ascendancy, but I found very little evidence that they think a Trump presidency is a good idea.

Just to reiterate – Trump is not a conservative on pretty much any issue. I will not be voting for him. If he were the only candidate of any party on the ballot, I would write someone in.

But he is newsworthy, especially now that he is winning primaries. I do think that some of the reason he’s winning those primaries is the media coverage of him. There’s a lot to be said for name-recognition. He’s the primary (not meant as a pun) reason that I plan to vote in the Alaska Presidential Preference Poll next week. I have to change my party affiliation to do it. I’ll be a Republican for two hours like I was back in 2012. I plan to vote against him, if for no other reason than to help show that Alaska isn’t as insane as New Hampshire. I will be so disappointed with my fellow Alaskans if I am proven wrong.

In analyzing the news coverage from CNN, Fox and PBS, I have to say I see a lot of media manipulation from CNN and PBS. They don’t like Trump, but they sure want to make it seem that Trump is acceptable to the broad spectrum of conservatives (not necessarily Republicans) in this country. He is not. When we talk among ourselves, we keep asking the same question — “What the hell is wrong with the voters of … (name that GOP primary state)?” CONSERVATIVES are not the ones voting for Trump. So why does he keep winning GOP primaries?

Firs, the GOP has not the American conservative party. It represents business interests which are, by and large, moderate progressives. They want money from the government to help them advance their commercial interests. The struggle in the GOP right now is that the business interests thought that they could woe political, fiscal and social conservatives into the party and that we would vote without thinking, but the Internet has made us all more informed these days and those political, fiscal and social conservatives are becoming very dissatisfied with the GOP. Many actual conservatives stayed home for the 2012 election because they didn’t want to vote from Romney and they couldn’t vote for Obama. For whatever reason, they have not elected to vote 3rd party … yet. I think that time is coming.

So, others are voting for Trump, mostly in a wave of populism by voters who don’t ordinarily vote in GOP primaries. These are the people who might be considered moderate, who have little interest in actual politics, but they saw their health insurance costs increase by 25-40% with Obamacare and they see their college-graduate offspring unable to find jobs commensurate with their education and they are angry and want change. They see Trump as a change agent — regardless of whether they would actually want the change he would bring about. They aren’t sophisticated voters who study the issues before they go to the polls. They are voting emotionally.

Moreover, at the risk of making a provocative statement that I might have to defend — it seems almost as if the coverage of the latest Trump moment acts as campaigning for him. Is it possible that the liberal press prefers Trump to be the GOP nominee because then the Democrats can pretty much nominate anyone they want and be assured of a win?

I don’t know. I don’t really care much anymore. I’m probably voting Libertarian in the general. I think if the GOP nominates Trump, the GOP won’t be around to nominate anyone in 2020. They’re the Whigs circa 1856, about to slide into the dustbin of history. But hey, don’t worry. I suspect the Democratic Party is not far behind them. Especially if they nominate Bernie Sanders, they don’t have a long time left. Whether the nation just decides it needs new political parties (or none, please!) or there simply isn’t a nation in the 2020s will be an interesting thing to observe … from a state that has natural resources that can be sold on the open market so that the federal government isn’t all that necessary for our survival. Remember, we’re $19.3 trillion in debt and President Obama wants Congress to pass a budget that would add more than $9 trillion to that debt over the next 10 years. The prediction that there might not be a nation to elect a president becomes more and more believable with every year that passes.

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