Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The MSM Behind the Curtain

The Mainstream Media (called by some the Lamestream Media) in America are a disgrace. When they so obviously were in the game only to get Obama elected during the last presidential election, we hoped they’d climb out of the toilet long enough to dry off at some point in the ensuing four years. No such luck. They are lame, halt and blind. It’s a kind of dedicated blindness, often breathtaking in its dedication to keeping the Left’s socialist, big government agenda on the table. It tilts so far left that anything else slides right off…

Here are two recent examples.

The first story happened more or less during the Norwegian Nightmare we went through in the aftermath of the Berserker’s rampage through Oslo. I’d wanted to pay attention to this particular story because it had/has important predictive value for the electoral process in the U.S. It’s not a system I trust much anymore; in fact, I’ve been cynical about the fudgy voting system in large urban areas for years.

The second story is connected to the first in that it demonstrates further the lamestream’s dedication to silencing and shunning those whose policies don’t agree with theirs. “Jornolism” in this country hasn’t been practiced as a profession at least since the Nixon years, when the Washington Post witch hunts started. Suddenly, the questionable ethics of Woodward and Bernstein became the new cool way to do the news biz. It’s been like that ever since, only with ever fewer ethics and almost no attempt to hide their biases.

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So, on to the first story: the Wisconsin battle(s) for who shall lead the state. Will it be those elected to serve or will the schemes and tricks of the Alinsky playbook be the guide for how Wisconsin is to be governed?

The Wisconsin drama has been going on since last November when the citizens of that state elected — gasp! — a Republican governor and installed — gasp harder! — Republican majorities in the both houses of the state legislature.

Wisconsin, like many other states, is was going broke fast. One of the biggest problems is the out-of-control public sector unions, who will stop at nothing — including death threats to Governor Scott Walker. The main reason Walker was elected was to put a stopper in the hole where all the money went. In other words, it was his job to rein in the public sector unions in Wisconsin.

So Governor Walker proceeded to attempt that. He proposed that the much-abused collective bargaining power of the government unions be ended. This would restore autonomy to local school authorities. But rather than face a vote, most of the Democrat legislators fled the state for several weeks in an attempt to stop the vote. While they were gone, the unions bussed in lots of protestors, many of them from outside the state, filling Madison, the state capitol, with professional bullyboys who kept the fervor whipped up against the “fat cat GOP” who were only in the fight for their “friends with deep pockets”.

Of course, no one mentioned the hugely deep pockets of the unions who were determined to make Wisconsin a battleground. And they did just that. It was the kind of Sturm und Drang only the Left in this country is willing to produce.

Eventually, the bill passed anyway and now localities in the state have the ability to trim their budgets, and ironically, to retain more teachers than they would have been able to do had the unions continued to hold all the cards. But how did the MSM cover the story? Here’s a snip from ABC:

Walker, with his insistence that state employees be stripped of bargaining rights even after they agreed to concessions in pay and benefits, set off a national debate about unions and employees.

Walker’s so-called “insistence” about curbing the union’s power via limiting their collective bargaining dictates was actually part of his campaign promise to voters. And Wisconsin citizens weren’t duped by the unions’ brouhaha. They’d been watching their local taxes go up for years. They’d seen the quality of their schools go down. And they knew darn well the tactics of the unions in this fight. So even though a casual reader of ABC saw the headline, “Wisconsin Assembly Strips Collective Bargaining Rights and Gov. Scott Walker Promises to Sign Anti-Union Bill…”, no one in Wisconsin was fooled.

Here are some concrete results that flowed almost immediately from the passage of that bill the Dems fought so hard to defeat. Most of our readers wouldn’t know these places in Wisconsin, but all of us can see the immense and incredible savings realized just from the passage of that one law:

  • Ashland School District — saved $378,000 on health insurance;
  • Kimberly School District — saved $821,000 by dropping WEA Trust Insurance;
  • Edgerton School District — dropping WEA Trust, will save at least $500,000;
  • Baraboo School District — dropping WEA Trust to save $660,000;
  • Dodgeland School District — dropping WEA Trust, expecting to save $260,000
  • Elmbrook School District — changing health care provider, savings of $878,000;
  • Marshfield School District — saving $850,00 by dropping WEA Trust;
  • City of Sheboygan — Mayor Bob Ryan says collective bargaining reforms will provide enough savings to make up for the reduction in state aid;
  • Wauwatosa School District — tax levy decreasing, no programs will be cut, class sizes won’t increase, thanks to the reforms in collective bargaining;
  • Manitowoc — Laid-off city workers may get their jobs back due to the wage/benefit reforms contained in Walker’s budget. Changes to overtime rules saving the county $100,000;
  • Pittsville — will see a 9% decrease in the school portion of their property tax levy. “This is the first year we have not needed to short-term borrow,” stated Board President Strenn;
  • Appleton School District — will save $3.1 million just in health insurance costs due to being able to bid out the coverage and being able to drop WEA Trust;
  • Racine County — inmates can now be used to perform tasks such as landscaping, painting and shoveling sidewalks. Executive Ladwig states this is a win/win for the inmates and the county. It frees up county employees for other tasks, gives the inmates a sense of value, and helps the county maintain property that has been neglected.”

“Dropping the WEA Trust” means that these localities were now freed up to accept competitive bids for employee health insurance. No longer do they have to accept the expensive Union insurance terms. No longer must they foot huge medical insurance liabilities.

And instead of running a deficit in the billions, the state of Wisconsin suddenly has a modest surplus. The only factor they changed was the dictatorial powers of the unions’ profiteering at taxpayers’ expense.

Incidentally, the unions had the opportunity to reform the absolutes of their collective bargaining power and they refused. They were perfectly willing to see all those other employees — union members — get the heave-ho as long as the leadership retained collective bargaining power. And that is why the unions’ overreach is going to spell their eventual doom across the country. Wisconsin is just the first happy version of fiscal common sense, but it will be repeated. Except perhaps in California. For them, it may be too late. The union entrenchment in the legislature is too far gone.

Don’t think the Left was finished in Wisconsin, however. The next maneuver was to unseat State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser, a Republican who was scheduled for a retention vote. If you put his name in a Google Search you have drill down to the second page to find a version of the story that is not from the Left, i.e., anecdotes full of personal attacks. It was a Clarence Thomas déjà vu…shenanigans and subterfuge, but it didn’t work. Prosser retained his seat.

Punch drunk but still punching, the Left sailed on past that loss, the MSM puffing the winds into the Democrats’ sails. Now the Dems were determined to use the recall process to get rid of enough GOP senators to return the state legislature to Democrat control. They chose six losers — i.e., Republicans who’d won in state districts that Obama carried in his 2008 campaign. Given the wide MSM coverage on the recall vote, due in August, there were plenty of pundits sharing their wisdom on what level of victory the Democrats might amass.

The election was scheduled for August 9th, but on July 22nd, I lost track of Wisconsin’s dramas. Instead, the horror in Norway took over my thinking and the dirty-tricks Democrats from Wisconsin were overrun by their Norwegian cousins who were busy sending hate mail to Gates of Vienna. As time went on I became increasingly concerned about Fjordman. (Even now, I still get up every morning feeling a bit lighter because the police visit is over and done with.)

But by the time that worry was over, the riots in England had begun. Wisconsin receded even further as English readers sent information on the breadth of that flaming anarchy. And then there was Cameron’s lame speech to the House of Commons and his handy scapegoating of the EDL. The whole thing reminded me how much our own country was beginning to fall apart around the edges.

Which, in turn, at last brought me back to where I’d been before July 22nd. When I finally came up for breath, I knew the recall election in Wisconsin was over, but I couldn’t find any news about it. Not anywhere. I contacted Andrea Shea King for information. She is active in the Tea Party, and I knew she’d been in Wisconsin during the vote and could direct me to some sites and information.

The sites she suggested had the results I wanted. Four out of the six Republicans were returned to office, leaving a slim GOP majority in the legislature. But I still lacked any MSM sources, which was strange. It finally occurred to me to think from the Right for a change. I googled boldly, “Unions Lose Big in Wisconsin”. Bingo at The Washington Examiner:

An energized Democratic base was supposed to turn out yesterday [August 9th]. It was supposed to pry away from Republicans their total control of Wisconsin’s state legislature. Republicans had gone after the state’s public employee unions, and this was supposed to be an overreach that would cost them dearly in yesterday’s recall elections…

Every Republican I spoke to before the election expressed pessimism. The expectations were clearly in favor of a Democratic takeover…

[…]

In the end, the union-backed Democrats picked up only two state Senate seats in Wisconsin One of the seats was solidly Democratic, held by a Republican due to an apparent fluke of nature. The other was held by an alleged adulterer who had moved outside his district to live with his young mistress, and whose wife was supporting his recall.

As for the other four Republican incumbents the unions tried to recall, they [the Democrats] didn’t end up coming very close.

It hasn’t hurt that Walker’s reforms have dramatically helped school districts within the state save millions of dollars by abolishing the main Wisconsin teachers’ union’s insurance racket. Nor does it hurt that Wisconsin, under the business-friendly leadership of Walker and a Republican state legislature, created more than half of the jobs created in the United States during the month of June.

Now there was a piece of news that I’ll bet hasn’t been reported very widely, so it bears repeating:

Wisconsin, under the business-friendly leadership of Walker and a Republican state legislature, created more than half of the jobs created in the United States during the month of June.

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It took me even longer to discover the actual reason for the dearth of MSM reports on this recall election. It wasn’t that the news cycle had moved on. The reality was that the MSM never bothered to cover the story. Let’s call a grand total of less than three minutes combined of national “coverage” by ABC, NBC, and CBS by its real name: a deliberate blackout:


These people have no shame. None. I suspect now that they refused to cover the Republican victory because it thoroughly discredits their efforts to demonize the Tea Party as consisting mostly of “white men who’ve been out of work for three years” (I really did see a blond anchorette say this on a TV news clip this week). Had the outcome of the vote in Wisconsin been different, you can bet the MSM would still be banging this drum. I’d have no trouble finding what would’ve been a 24/7 gloat.

As one reader told Lawrence Auster:
…Had all this happened a few years ago, the left would certainly have won in a “progressive” unionized state like Wisconsin. But the Tea Party matched them on the ground. It wasn’t the GOP establishment that saved the day. It was the Tea Party which got voters to go out and vote in off-season elections, more than matching the anger, money, and media driving the left. No wonder the media and the left are determined to destroy the Tea Party movement.

When I asked Andrea Shea King where the Tea Party money for the Wisconsin drive had come from, she said it was all small donations, and was from across the country. No big name givers at all. You can bet the Tea Party was outspent by an order of magnitude by the unions and the Democrats.

The unions and the MSM. What an unholy alliance.
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And now, the second story, which I happened upon last night as I was collecting the final pieces of the Wisconsin blackout material. This instance reinforces the now openly unethical behavior of our media.

The story concerns a so-called straw poll which took place last Saturday in Ames, Iowa. This is a Republican party preliminary sorting-out of possible primary candidates for next year’s presidential campaign. Both the process and outcome are tediously boring even for those who follow politics closely. The only people who care are the talking heads who make their living… talking.

In fact, it’s so uninteresting that you wouldn’t be reading about it, nor would I be bothering with it except for the little men behind the curtain. Again. Once more, its their participation which give the whole mess a kind of sleazy fascination.

Over at Politico, their “chief political consultant”, Roger Simon, has an intriguing tale about what when down in Iowa on Saturday. But before he can tell us about it, Mr. Simon has to distance himself properly from the protagonist in his tale. In this case, no self-respecting mainstream “consultant” could actually admit knowing Ron Paul’s political beliefs because… well, what would people say if he were to actually display any knowledge of the man. Would that mean he was — gasp! — a secret Ron Paul fan? Heaven forefend! But otherwise how could he have gained any understanding of Paul’s political philosophy?

Thus Mr. Simon begins by backing off right quick:

I admit I do not fully understand Ron Paul and his beliefs. But I do understand when a guy gets shafted, and Ron Paul just got shafted.

Phew. Safe. Now no one can think he’s with Crazy Paul, but they know the writer is a good guy because he’ll stick up for even him. Whadda guy.

Certified as a hero, he can continue:

On Saturday, the Ames Straw Poll was conducted in Iowa amid huge media interest and scrutiny. The results were enough to force one Republican candidate, Tim Pawlenty, out of the race, and catapult another, Michele Bachmann, into the “top tier.”

Yeah, I know your eyes are glazing already. Trust me, there’s a good video at the end.

There are so many “top tier” stories in the media today that I can barely count them, let alone read them all, and Bachmann is in all of them by virtue of her victory at Ames. The rest of the tier is made up of two candidates who skipped Ames, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.

[…]

Paul’s name was not mentioned in this piece nor in many others. A Wall Street Journal editorial Monday magnanimously granted Paul’s showing in the straw poll a parenthetical dismissal: “(Libertarian Ron Paul, who has no chance to win the nomination, finished a close second.)”

Mr. Simon points out the disingenuousness here (don’t forget Mr. Simon is a Democrat so he’s free to dissect this Republican in-fighting. He already knows who the Democrat candidate will be):

But “close” does not fully describe Paul’s second-place finish. Paul lost to Bachmann by nine-tenths of one percentage point, or 152 votes out of 16,892 cast.

If it had been an election, such a result would almost certainly have triggered a recount. It was not an election, however, and that is my point. Straw polls are supposed to tell us, like a straw tossed into the air, which way the wind is blowing.

And any fair assessment of Ames, therefore, would have said the winds of the Republican Party are blowing toward both Bachmann and Paul.

[…]

I am far from a Libertarian. I believe big government is swell as long as it does big things to help the common good. But after Ames, it was as if Paul had been sentenced to the Phantom Zone.

Bachmann appeared on five Sunday shows following Ames. Paul appeared on none…

And I don’t disagree that some of his beliefs — legalizing heroin, the right of states to secede — are strikingly peculiar (though he has been elected to a congressional district in Texas 12 times). But if Bachmann’s victory at Ames was good enough to gain her enormous publicity and top-tier status, why was Paul’s virtual tie good enough only to relegate him to being ignored?

Here’s where Mr. Simon gets real:

So I asked Paul Monday if the media blackout disturbed him,

“It did disturb me, but it was not a total surprise,” he replied. “The result at Ames was significant; it might well have propelled us to the top tier. The media cannot change that.”

Though the media can, of course, change that since we get to determine who the top tier is.

He admits it! The media can and does determine outcomes. Or it tries darn hard to do so. Didn’t work for them in Wisconsin, did it? Later on in the interview he will walk that revelation back a bit, to explain that the media really just ignores the nobodies like Ron Paul and Ralph Nader. The hubris is stunning!

Ron Paul is quite open about his situation:

“It is hard for them to accept,” Paul said of his showing at Ames. “I had one interview scheduled for this morning, a national program, but they canceled. It is shocking to be told nobody wants you.”

[…]

“Well, yes I can get discouraged and dispirited,” Paul told me. “We came so very close. To come that close to winning, it shows my views are very mainstream. And if we are worth our salt and our message is sound and we tell it honestly, we will do well.”

Though possibly no one will notice.

So sayeth Mr. Simon. In other words, no media person may deign to notice. But if the Tea Party gets behind Ron Paul, that media hubristic ignorance won’t matter. Psst — Mr. Simon: Madison, Wisconsin. Check it out.

As I said at the top of this story(the link is here), even though the topic is M.E.G.O. (My Eyes Glaze Over) material — that is, a very preliminary ‘straw’ poll — this report is worth reading just to get a good look at the prevailing MSM attitude. Politico is a website, but it’s definitely done with that quintessential MSM spirit and mentality. Needless to say, had it been a story about Democrat candidates, the honesty would’ve gone missing.

For a final ‘analysis’ of the Ron Paul Media Treatment, here’s another surprising view from the Left. I wonder if they feel this freedom to be frank because they think their guy, Obama, has the election nailed, so why not have some fun?


Unless something quite unusual transpires between now and the presidential campaign next year, we won’t be covering any American political news. If you want to glimpse how truly trivial it is, just take a look at the stories here.
See why we don’t bother?

By the way, this casual dismissal of Ron Paul is a major mistake by the GOP, a party long known for making major tactical blunders. They proved this when they nominated their last presidential candidate. Unless they wake up in time to see that the game is changing deeply, Congressman Paul may split them from gullet to git-go. And if he brings the Tea Party with him, the election will be wide open, no matter how often President Obama sneers in his general direction.

Maybe someone could dig up those old clips of the last Republican vote-splitter. You know, the one who cost George H.W. Bush his second term. If they run those films on Oldie but Goody Nights at the RNC, would it have any effect?

Just askin’.

12 comments:

scherado said...

"...we hoped they’d climb out of the toilet long enough to dry off at some point in the ensuing four years. ..."

The U.S. of A.'s Representative Democracy does NOT have a healthy Press, which, we all know, is essential to the proper functioning of it. I have no expectation that anything will change until the dis-functional elements are cured or removed. The latter solution is quite messy. Who has an idea for a clean solution? I have not heard it, but I'm not, personally, prepared to affect the latter.

filthykafir said...

Excellent article, Dymphna. Once more, you have brought your A+ insight and prodigious writing talent to an important topic.

I followed the Wisconsin recall (left-directed revolt against the voters?) via the website, Legal Insurrection, which kept the issue in the public's attention, but mostly just reported the raw numbers -- vote counts, etc. -- and did not provide much commentary. I appreciate that you have filled in what LI did not.

Ivan said...

Good thing Paul won't win, because he's an Israel hater who would likely enable the jihad.

Dymphna said...

@Ivan--

Paul's loss or victory was not the point of this essay. Nor is his anti-Semitism.

The point of this essay is the mendacity of the MSM, uisng their coverup of Paul as ONE example.

Please attend to the TOPIC. You may post off-topic comments in the news feed. Thus, if Paul's anti-Semitism makes you anxious, put it over there. NOT here.

Thank you.

Whiskey said...

Dymphna -- The Media in this case was right to ignore Paul because he's a marginal figure who "stuffed" the Ames Straw poll.

Paul has no real organization, money, polls poorly in Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina in all the data I've seen (finishing around #6 or so) and did poorly last time.

Paul has very enthusiastic supporters, who can show up in very small venues and make noise, but has consistently failed to either build a grass roots organization and momentum among Republican Primary Voters, or raise money (for professional consultants, ads, precinct walkers, and the like).

Ron Paul is analogous to say, a cult TV show which generates tons of internet comment, but gets far fewer viewers than a network show like American Idol.

Paul's views on immigration, national defense and spending, Israel, and social conservatism are directly opposite most Republican Primary Voters, so his marginal appeal is no surprise.

Here the Media was quite correct. Paul has about as much chance at being either the nominee or a VP pick as I do. His extreme libertarianism and Gold Standard stuff generate a tiny core of very enthusiastic backers, but compared to Bachman the darling of the Tea Party he's an afterthought in either number of followers or money raised.

Whiskey said...

Let me also add that if memory serves, Ron Paul won the Ames Straw poll or came in second, a strong finish there regardless, and was nearly last in Iowa in the Primary. Doing quite poorly in all the other states as well.

So again, as much as it pains me to defend media coverage in general, in this one they got it right. The mechanics of the Straw Poll (basically like an Oscar Campaign, intensity wins) make it very non-predictive of actual Candidate Primary Strength.

I stand corrected on my previous comment, if you click the link to Wikipedia, you can see that Paul finished fifth in 2007. Other top finishers have included in various years: Sam Brownback (#3 in 2007), Steve Forbes, Phil Gramm, Pat Buchanon, and Pat Robertson. There is good reason not to read much into these straw polls, they are not much predictive. In 1979 George Bush won the straw poll but Reagan won the nomination.

Call Me Mom said...

Very well said Dymphna.

I wish I had known you were looking for info. I was in Madison visiting my Mom when the results from the first recall elections were coming in. I would have blogged about it, but I simply didn't have much time last week.
Please feel free to ask me for WI news(should there be any) in the future and I'll do my best to get it for you.

Vicki McKenna is a conservative reporter/talkshow host in Madison who was sent death threats during the protests. She generally has very good and current coverage of things in Madison. I think she is on WTMJ 620AM.

I am a bit closer to Packerland when I am not visiting family(AKA Green Bay). If I am unavailable, The Maritime Sentry is also up in my neck of the woods. There is a link to their blog on the sidebar of mine.

You have been such a great resource for me. I would be happy to return the favor.

Lawrence said...

Fortunately, the LSM doesn't have total control of the news here in The States. Semblance of free-speech sill exists in other less-mainstream media sources. And as long as our alternative sources remain free, the LSM will continue as the source of their own Lameness.

Thom Jefferson said...

I have to admit I am a Paulite... When I still lived in Chicago I worked for his campaign in '88.

I seriously don't know where some people are getting the information that he is in anyway anti-semetic, maybe from the MSM.

To all of the readers in the UK that would like to see the video on GOV; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EY5Ofcxjs0

Dymphna said...

Paul was running in 1988??

The man deserves a medal just because of his fortitude.


@ Whiskey--

My point was never the predictive value of the straw polls which are inherently B.O.R.I.N.G.

However, the media have a responsibility to report the truth of these unimportant polls and they did not do that. They failed. Again.

They could've said what you said, i.e., qualifying his second place finish with all the material you provide but STILL REPORT HIS SECOND PLACE, less-than-a-percentage-point win.

If they continue in this vein and Paul plays the Underdog card, ppl will throng to his side, crazy or no. It's a stupid move, but they (MSM) really do think they control the outcome. And they're getting more overt about their opinions.

Did you see the cover up the MSM did on a Senator Durbin interview? Sweet.

Thom Jefferson said...

Dymphna,

Dr. Ron Paul was the Libertarian Party candidate in 1988. I used to be a member of the party when I left the USMC.

Since then sold the Harley and moved to the UK, really got fed up with the politics. Still love my country hate the government.

Funny thing is in the UK now it seems I jumped out of the pan and into the fire. But, at least I get to go to Amsterdam and have a few beers with Sag now and again.

Hey Sag all the best from Tower Hamlets mate...

Dymphna said...

@TJ--

The whole world is frying pan or fire. There is no place to run anymore. Bambie just signed another executive order, this time bringing rural areas under the thumb of draconian regulations. The plan is to have at least half of the continental U.S. land mass under some form of govt control. And no more family farms -- no one will be able to follow the very expensive regulations and still run his family farm.

We don't need gun control. We need bureaucrat control. It's Max Weber and Kafka doing a soft shoe routine...