REPUBLICANS MUST LISTEN TO
VOTERS, NOT THE MEDIA
By Jeff Crouere, July 13, 2022
As our nation
descends into a recession and Americans worry about how to pay their bills and
feed their families, leaders in the Republican Party have decided to keep quiet.
Their strategy is to let the political party in power, the Democrats,
Without question, Democrats have done a horrible job leading the nation. As the party in control of Congress and the White House, Democrats are responsible for the high inflation and gas prices that are wrecking the nation's economy.
President Joe Biden has been an unmitigated disaster. Arguably, he has also committed a variety of impeachable offenses. The list includes selling crude oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve to foreign nations, including our enemy, communist China. He also opened the southern border and allowed an invasion of millions of illegal aliens.
In withdrawing our military from Afghanistan, Biden not only left behind $85 billion in military equipment for the Taliban, a terrorist group, to use, but also abandoned innocent Americans behind enemy lines.
It is becoming evident that the president lied about his financial dealings with his corrupt son, Hunter. As vice president, he placed inappropriate pressure on the Ukrainian government to remove a prosecutor who was investigating the involvement of Hunter with the notorious oil and gas company Burisma.
His actions are undoubtedly much worse than anything President Donald Trump did in office. Trump was impeached twice and is undergoing another Democrat party effort to destroy him: the bogus "kangaroo court" show trial known as the January 6 commission.
Democrats showed no qualms about trying to annihilate President Trump using phony charges. In contrast, Republicans have tangible evidence to present regarding Biden, and, largely, there is silence from GOP officials. Each day, Republicans should be calling for the impeachment of Joe Biden.
It will not hurt them at the polls, for there is no affection for Biden among the American people. A new poll shows that his approval rating is only 30%, while an astounding 88% of Americans say the country is on the wrong track.
Republicans should also be demanding that the 79-year-old president submit to a mental competency test. Every day, Biden displays embarrassing gaffes, makes humiliating misstatements, and demonstrates his forgetfulness. It is a national security threat for our country to be led by a president who is mentally incompetent. Unfortunately, other than a handful of congressmen, most GOP leaders are silent on this critical issue.
Instead, many establishment Republicans were quite vocal about their support for the nation's first significant gun control legislation in decades. The bill passed with the support of 29 Republicans in Congress. It was accomplished because too many Republicans believed that the nation "had to do something" after the horrific school massacre in Uvalde, Texas. Yet it is never a smart idea to limit our Second Amendment rights in pursuit of nebulous gun control objectives that will never be achieved.
Many of these same establishment Republicans collaborated with President Biden to pass his pork-laden $1.2-trillion infrastructure bill, which will balloon the deficit while doing little to improve the poor road conditions throughout our nation.
The moderate wing of the GOP is very influential in Congress. In fact, if Republicans win control of Congress in the midterm elections this fall, two establishment Republicans will surely fill the leadership positions. In the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell is the clear favorite to be elected majority leader. In the House, Kevin McCarthy has the inside track to be elected speaker.
Both GOP leaders are cautious moderates who inspire no confidence from the Make America Great Again (MAGA) base of the party. Both expressed their anger with President Trump after the January 6 protests and wanted him removed from office.
On principal issues, there is a clear disconnect between the grassroots base of the Republican Party and the GOP leadership in Congress. These party leaders want members to be timid and not attract attention with bold positions on controversial topics.
At this point, the stakes are too high for reticence. As the nation's economy is collapsing, congressional Republicans should be opposing Biden and the Democrats at every opportunity and promoting an updated "Contract with America." Congrats to Florida's GOP senator Rick Scott for creating an 11-point plan of action, but all Republican Party candidates need to rally behind a set of conservative principles that will be a blueprint to rescue the country next year.
It is not enough just to criticize Biden and the Democrats for their horrific policies. Republicans must be initiative-taking and show voters they have policies to address the major problems facing the nation: the economy, inflation, food shortages, gasoline prices, and crime.
Republicans must take advantage of the Democrats' refusal to tackle the major concerns of the American people. While the American people are clearly worried about their finances and personal safety, Democrats are obsessed with climate change, the war in Ukraine, gun control, abortion, and the January 6 "insurrection."
The liberal media share the enthusiasm of the Democrats for their signature issues, but it is not registering with Americans who want action on their basic concerns. This neglect has created a massive opportunity for the Republican Party. Republicans must exploit this political divide this election.
Republicans must stop falling for the media trap to "work with" Democrats. They must show support for the "MAGA" principles that are resonating with the American people and have been articulated by President Trump throughout his political career.
Americans are tired of politicians who want to restrict their rights, grow the government, and send our tax dollars overseas while failing to address basic economic and security issues. While Biden and congressional leaders worry about the Ukrainian border, Americans are focused on our southern border.
Whether the issue is impeachment, Biden's mental incompetency, or the "MAGA" agenda, Republicans must be bold and convince Americans that, if entrusted with power, they will be depart from the usual political gamesmanship and actually do something constructive for the American people.
Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian, and his award-winning program, Ringside Politics, airs weekdays nationally on Real America's Voice TV Network, AmericasVoice.News from 6–7 A.M. C.T. and from 7–11 A.M. C.T. on WGSO 990-AM & Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, is the author of America's Last Chance, and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on Crouere.net. For more information, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reprinted with permission from the American Thinker: https://www.americanthinker.com
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THE MAFIA TACTIC THAT BROUGHT DOWN CNN
By Brian Cabana, May 30, 2022
Of late, the State appears to be
an analog to the mafia. For one piece of evidence, we can look to the
inclusion in its main repertoire of a mob tactic once used only sparingly:
the bust out.
A bust out is a mob tactic whereby a business owner becomes indebted or obliged to a mobster, who subsequently coerces the business owner to finance criminal operations on his company's credit. After multiple refinancing options and mortgages, the mafia burns down the overleveraged business and collects the insurance money.
The pre-eminent example of the State acting on its new modus operandi is CNN. With the arrival of the Zucker regime, the State attained effective control of the company and immediately initiated a credibility bust out on its brand, leveraging every ounce of its reputation to serve the various enterprises of the State, until the network became a laughingstock that was disowned even by stalwart Democrats and go-along-get-along suburban paper-pushers. Years of outright lying and transparent propaganda (Russiagate; the Covington kids farce; the Rittenhouse trial; and many, many others) obliterated the last pretense CNN could cling to for promoting itself as a "straight-shooting, down the line" news network.
Aside from the absurd magnificence of its downfall, what occurred with CNN was hardly anomalous; rather, it was merely a conspicuous example of an increasingly common State initiative whereby the State acquires control of a pre-existing institution and leverages its brand to serve its own ends.
Michael Lind, in a recent essay, chronicles in glorious detail how the State, through leveraged buyout campaigns coordinated primarily (though not exclusively) through an interlocked network of NGOs, acquires institutions that hold widespread brand recognition — CNN, National Review, the ACLU, the CDC and WHO, and so on — and repurposes their respective brands in the interests of the State. He writes, "[The] centralized and authoritarian control of American progressivism by major foundations and the nonprofits that they fund [i.e., the State] ... has made it impossible for there to be public intellectuals on the American center-left" (emphasis added). In the same essay, Lind refers to a similar "extinction level event," where "foundation-imposed groupthink triumphed on the right, consolidating Conservatism, Inc. and driving away those of us who sought to put the life of the mind above the life of the party."
Lind's essay is perhaps the best overview of the mechanics of how the State, through its various proxies, the NGOs and foundations, acquires sundry "independent" institutions and strips away their core founding principles. The ACLU ceases to promote civil liberties; the AMA ceases to uphold medical standards; the AFL-CIO ceases to work effectively on behalf of labor. All of these institutions, as they fall in thrall to the State, inevitably shed their individual identities and become mere extensions of the State, whereupon they become identical with each other and incoherent within themselves, the incoherence gradually revealing itself as each institution invariably betrays its core mission in deference to the State's agenda in the most crucial junctures. Eventually, the missions and reputations of these institutions collapse into mere brands; their leaders become mascots; both exist merely so that their residual credibility can be laundered to the State so as to advance the State's current project until their credibility goes to zero and the bust out is complete.
Lately, the incoherence of these institutions has become so pronounced that it has acquired a brand of its own: The Current Thing. The term has become synonymous with a class of people (and institutions) so completely in thrall to the State that they have lost all personal integrity, not in the sense of abandoning their commitment to their deeply cherished principles or virtues (most people have none), but in the older, more literal sense of being disintegrated — i.e., losing all coherence and consistency as thinkers and actors. The right thing to do is always what the State is promoting at the current moment, even when radically incompatible with what the State promoted a day earlier. So one moment, every American is bound to stay home and Save Lives! The next moment, Americans are not only permitted but practically obliged to protest in large numbers against Racial Injustice! Protesting for any other cause, however, rendered one a depraved "freedumb person." But "freedom" recovers its status as a foundational moral value (and its traditional spelling) in the context of promoting Ukrainian Freedom! And so it goes.
While the Current Thing seems bizarre when confronted at a surface level, upon closer inspection, it is a predictable consequence of the State's strategy of institutional brand acquisition. The majority of people do not hold themselves accountable for the internal coherence of their moral propositions through dispassionate self-reflection; rather, they are held to account by the collective judgment of like-minded individuals and the institutions and organizations in which they collectively participate. Before its acquisition by the State, the ACLU, to take one example, would have reinforced the commitment of its contributors to the cause of civil liberties, independent (to a degree) of the prevailing partisan dynamics. Today, the ACLU is conspicuous even among captured institutions in its servile adherence to the Current Thing, and so brand loyalty to that organization merely leads to lockstep conformity among its acolytes to the State's program. Meanwhile, a true believer in civil liberties can affirm his convictions only by disavowing the ACLU.
While this might not seem like much of a hurdle, one needs to extrapolate this phenomenon to the panorama of mid-level American institutions, advocacy groups, unions, professional associations, political parties, and even churches. As these entities are gradually bought out by the State, they proceed to launder the residual institutional loyalties and commitments into an all-encompassing (though never explicitly professed) State Loyalty, whereupon they essentially herd all their acolytes simultaneously into the Current Thing, which, again, is nothing except whatever the State is pushing at any given moment.
What this amounts to is a bust out of the American Institutional Class in its entirety. As the State proceeds in its march through the institutions, one by one corrupting them all, we are left in a world where, to quote Chris Hedges, "doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy." All noble truths, but useless unless we simultaneously recall that in the process of debasing themselves and their professions, all these actors are devoted in their service to the State.
Reprinted with permission from the American Thinker: https://www.americanthinker.com
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NO PRIZE AWARDED
BECAUSE THE NOMINEES WERE WHITE MEN
By Don Surber, October 26, 2021 DonSurber@gmail.com
is too kind a word for this story because Scientific American now approves of
discrimination based on race and sex.
A great story fell into the publication's lap. The American Geophysical Union refused to award a prize for excellence in science because all five candidates were white males.
What kind of nonsense is that? Do the members of the prize committee eschew flight because the Wright Brothers were white males? Do they walk rather than drive a car, ride a bicycle, or ride a motorcycle because all of them were invented by white males? Ditto trains. Ditto telegraph. Ditto radio. Ditto TV.
Rather than take this committee to task, Scientific American praised the daffy decision to deny these men an honor they earned simply because of the color of their skin and their maleness.
The story was headlined, "Nominees for a Science Award Were All White Men—Nobody Won. A protest by a group of scientists has ignited spirited discussions about the persistent lack of diversity in such awards."
Five committee members were reviewing the nominees for the American Geophysical Union’s fellows program.
Helen Fricker, a glaciologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and one of the five committee members, noticed the nominees were all white men.
She said, "That was kind of a bit of a showstopper for me."
Fricker may as well hang up a sign: White men need not bother to apply.
She said, "One of the reasons I was put on the committee was because I’d been quite vocal about the year that I’d been a fellow, I was very much in the minority, and we needed to do better and get more women."
So the emphasis no longer is on good science but on race and sex. 19th century discrimination has returned in the 21st century. This time the targets are white males.
Its advocates do not realize two things. The white men they are punishing now did not discriminate against anyone. They were raised to oppose bigotry. Their reward is to be discriminated against. Lesson learned.
The other thing is that by engaging in discrimination now, women and "people of color" are making the case for past discrimination.
The Scientific American story was bizarre in other ways. It said, "The decision has triggered a spirited dialogue among AGU members and other earth scientists about the persistent lack of diversity in science awards — and how to address it.
"Within the AGU fellows program, it’s a pervasive issue. AGU selected a total of 59 fellows this year, and 45 of them are men. Additionally, 46 of the fellows are from the U.S., while only 13 are from other countries."'
It is the AMERICAN Geophysical Union. It seems to me, 13 foreigners is 13 too many.
These fellowships are important to one's employment and one's reputation.
Buried 25 paragraphs into the story was any reaction to this terrible decision to deny a scientist his due.
Raymond Bradley, director of the climate system research center at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, was displeased.
He said, "What the committee should have done is what they were tasked to do, which is to select from the nominations they received the best people and put them forward.
"At the same time they could recognize that there aren’t enough nominations being received from women and underrepresented groups, and they could shake up their members and say, 'Hey, come on, let’s nominate more people.'"
But the publication said, "Simply drumming up more nominations isn’t as simple a solution as it might sound, said Twila Moon, a scientist with the National Snow & Ice Data Center."
Moon said the pandemic hit women and minorities hardest. That's not quite true. Covid killed more men than women. And 52% of those with covid were white, while 59% of the covid deaths were among white people.
What got me to write this piece was this line in the story about why more women and more minority people were not nominated, "Writing nominations requires time and effort."
So the time and effort of white men does not matter to Scientific American.
That's good to know.
Discrimination is discrimination, and discrimination is wrong. This is not a payback because Bull Connor, Strom Thurmond, Bob Byrd, and all the rest are long gone.
The people these virtue signaling bigots are punishing are men who dedicated their lives to science only to be blocked at the fellowship door by a woman screaming, "Diversity today, diversity tomorrow, diversity forever."
Reprinted with permission from Don Surber https://donsurber.blogspot.com/
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PUTIN GETS TWITTER TO TREAT HIS OPPONENTS LIKE
IT DID TRUMP
By Don Surber, May 26, 2021 https://donsurber.blogspot.com/
The New York Times
is boo-hooing that Putin is putting pressure on Twitter to ban his critics.
That complaint is rich. The NYT and the rest of the anti-American media pressed Twitter to ban President Donald John Trump and his supporters.
NYT sobbed, "Russia is increasingly pressuring Google, Twitter and Facebook to fall in line with Kremlin internet crackdown orders or risk restrictions inside the country, as more governments around the world challenge the companies’ principles on online freedom."
The companies oppose online freedom. If not, Google's YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook would not be censoring conservatives. They would adopt the old AOL chatroom policy of banning swear words but not ideas.
NYT sobbed, "Russia’s internet regulator, Roskomnadzor, recently ramped up its demands for the Silicon Valley companies to remove online content that it deems illegal or restore pro-Kremlin material that had been blocked. The warnings have come at least weekly since services from Facebook, Twitter and Google were used as tools for anti-Kremlin protests in January. If the companies do not comply, the regulator has said, they face fines or access to their products may be throttled."
Putin has a little more muscle than NYT and is a little more direct than the deep state in using his power.
NYT sobbed, "Russia’s campaign is part of a wave of actions by governments worldwide to test how far they can go to censor the web to maintain power and stifle dissent. On Monday, the police visited Twitter’s offices in New Delhi in a show of force. No employees were present, but India’s governing party has become increasingly upset with the perception that Twitter has sided with its critics during the coronavirus pandemic."
India is just doing what the American left did, only with warrants and the like. India claimed the opposition party was spreading disinformation.
Of course, this did start with Red China. The Maoists in America merely mimic their overlords in the Chinese Communist Party.
NYT sobbed, "That has changed as Russians have increasingly used the online platforms to speak out against Mr. Putin and to organize and share information. Russian officials, taking a cue from China’s Great Firewall, have pledged to build a 'sovereign internet,' a legal and technical system to block access to certain websites and fence off parts of the Russian internet from the rest of the world."
Far from Putin being a trailblazer in online censorship, he is a Johnny-Come-Lately, trailing even the USA.
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Reprinted with permission from the American Thinker: https://www.americanthinker.com
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MEDIA IS ANNEALING
VOTERS TO TRUMP
By Don Surber, September 13, 2017 http://donsurber.blogspot.com
summer, 91% of the news stories on ABC, CBS and NBC about President Trump were
negative, according to a study by the Media Research Council.
His job approval went from 44% on Memorial Day to 44% on Independence Day to 43% on Labor Day, as measured by Rasmussen.
Now if I were an advertiser and saw this, I would question why I am buying ads from these Bozos.
They huffed and puffed and could not blow the man down.
ABC, CBS, and NBC are so weak that combined they could not blow a candle out.
From News Busters:
Since Inauguration Day (January 20), Media Research Center analysts have reviewed every mention of President Trump and top administration officials on ABC’s World News Tonight, the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News, including weekends. As of August 31, coverage of the administration has totaled nearly 74 hours (4,418 minutes) of airtime, or about 39 percent of all evening news coverage.
For comparison purposes, coverage of the Obama administration in all of 2015 and 2016 totaled 59 hours (3,544 minutes), or roughly 10 percent of the available broadcast airtime. In other words, Trump has already received more coverage in his first 224 days in office than Obama received in his final two years as President.
They wasted all that
airtime trying to undermine his presidency, and guess what? They have made him
stronger. They have immunized him from scandal.
Just as they did last summer.
Remember the Billy Bush tape?
It would have brought down any other candidate.
But not Donald Trump because by the time the Hillary camp rolled it out, Trump supporters were used to the press blowing things out of proportion when it came to Trump.
You can cry wolf only so many times before people are more angry at you than they are the wolf.
From News Busters:
The networks’ aggression in covering Trump contrasts with their docile, often adoring coverage of President Obama. Both Presidents are, of course, highly controversial — the key difference is that Obama’s policies matched the liberal media’s preferences, while Trump’s agenda clearly clashes with the establishment media’s world view.
On Friday’s Morning Joe, MSNBC analyst Mark Halperin gave the game away when he admitted that Trump “will get good coverage, if he works with Democrats, for as far as the eye can see. It will produce more liberal policies, which a lot of people in the media like.” All Presidents deserve critical news coverage from time to time, but the relentlessly hostile coverage Trump has seen thus far is as much a reflection of the media’s ideological bias as anything else.
I don't think working with Democrats will get the networks to ease up on President Trump.
The realization that it is useless and only alienates the audience will.
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ZUCKER DOESN'T KNOW HIS DUMPSTER'S ON FIRE
By Don Surber, July 06, 2017 -- http://donsurber.blogspot.com
CNN is a Dumpster on
fire, but its boss is clueless.
Jeff Zucker’s background is broadcast TV, a world of sitcoms, dramas, and reality shows.
He fails to realize that what he saw as small mistakes – the Russian dossier story, the false preview of Comey’s testimony, and the retracted story about Scaramucci being investigated – were major problems. None of CNN’s competitors on TV had even one Fake News scandal that large. CNN had three.
CNN's problems are not with Trump’s supporters, who would still back Trump even if all three Fake News stories were true. No, CNN is losing the anti-Trump crowd. They see the mistakes as helping Trump, which they are.
But Zucker blunders forward.
“My job is to remind everyone that they need to stay focused doing their job. He’s trying to bully us, and we’re not going to let him intimidate us. You can’t lose your confidence and let that change the way you conduct yourselves,” Zucker told the New York Times on July 5 even as CNN’s credibility collapses all around him.
The Times story – “The Network Against the Leader of the Free World” – hints at the problems Zucker faced at Time-Warner, which AT&T is acquiring for, oh, $85 billion. New management might not like the tidal waves CNN is churning.
“Mr. Zucker, who was ousted as chief executive of NBCUniversal after that company merged with Comcast, declined to comment on the pending deal, except to say that the merger had not affected his journalistic or management choices. ‘It’s not something I think about,’ he said, adding that he had not discussed the proposed acquisition by AT&T with Jeffrey Bewkes, the chief executive of Time Warner,” Michael M. Grynbaum of the Times reported today.
CNN’s loss of credibility does not bother Zucker.
“Mr. Zucker noted that CNN’s total viewership among adults 25 to 54, a key advertising demographic, was the highest in the network’s history. And he said the network was on track to clear more than $1 billion in profit this year,” Grynbaum wrote.
But Fox News and MSNBC are well ahead of CNN as Trump – not Zucker’s mastery – brought viewers to cable news. For once, the quality of the cable news channels matches the ratings.
Reprinted with permission.
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DC REPORTERS DO
NOT GET HOW GOVERNMENT WORKS
By Don Surber, May 01, 2017 http://donsurber.blogspot.com
The headline in the Hill was Fake News at its finest:
Trump did not clear Duterte invitation with State Department: report
Guys, that is not how it
works. That is not how any of this works.
The president of the United States does not need the permission of the State Department bureaucracy to set America's foreign policy.
The Department of State works for him.
That is right.
Civil Service protects employment only. It does not give the constitutional authority of the chief executive of the United States to the bureaucracy.
I thought President Trump made this clear when he called the president of Taiwan in November.
Nevertheless, the Hill persisted:
Trump did not clear Duterte invitation with State Department: report
President Trump invited controversial President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines to the White House without consulting the State Department, according to a new report from The New York Times.
The Times reported Sunday that both the National Security Council and the State Department were caught off guard by the announcement, which set off criticism from human rights groups.
“By essentially endorsing Duterte’s murderous war on drugs, Trump is now morally complicit in future killings,” John Sifton of Human Rights Watch told the Times.
Oh my gosh. Being a drug
lord is now a human right.
But I digress.
The Hill story shows how out of touch and ignorant of the Constitution journalists in Washington are.
How about this: Less time spent on self-congratulatory awards dinners featuring fourth-string comics, and more time brushing up on how the government works.
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BILL A BAD BET
'Television Consumer Freedom Act' isn't necessary
Posted by Bruce Edward Walker on May 23, 2013 http://www.mackinac.org
Imagine a world where you could have
anything you desired and could jettison those things you don’t. For example, I
recently purchased a CD box set of the band 10cc, and I could do without the
majority of songs recorded after Lol Crème and Kevin Godley departed the group.
Likewise, I’d love it if 1964’s “Beatles for Sale” didn’t include the song “Mr.
Moonlight,” which I humbly consider the nadir of the Fab Four’s entire body of
Now that I have those personal preferences off my chest, I should add that I can learn to live with owning yet another copy of 10cc’s “Dreadlock Holiday” that I’ll never listen to, and as well have found digital detours around the dreaded “Mr. Moonlight.” Crisis averted.
Not so for Sen. John McCain, however, who seems to feel it’s the duty of the federal government to ensure your local cable and satellite providers don’t bundle channels you watch with channels you avoid. On May 9, Sen. McCain introduced the “Television Consumer Freedom Act of 2013” (S.912), which would require multichannel video programming distributors to offer individual television channels on an “a la carte” basis.
Is the current system somewhat annoying? Sure, but, as Al Capone reputedly said, “Don’t make a federal case out of it.”
Sen. McCain apparently loses sleep at night because MVPDs sometimes require customers to pay for channels they don’t want in order to receive the ones they do want. Fair enough, but there are perfectly legitimate reasons for MVPDs to bundle channels. On this, more later.
But, even if there weren’t, current technologies already provide television viewers with enough a la carte options to choke a horse. In a May 17 blog post, Randolph May, president of the Maryland-based Free State Foundation and a telecommunications policy expert, declared: “In the history of humankind, consumers never have had so many choices for watching so much diverse video programming offered by so many video providers.”
Today, Netflix, with 29 million subscribers, is the nation’s largest subscription video service, with more subscribers than Comcast (22 million). In addition to the dominant provider Netflix, other major online video programming purveyors include Hulu, Amazon, iTunes, HBOGo, and Apple TV. Not to mention YouTube, which recently announced initiation of a subscription video service. And, of course, in addition to the traditional “television” screen, you can watch all this various video programming on laptops, notebooks, and smartphones.
We truly do live in the age of “TV Anytime, Everywhere.”
But what to make of the argument that consumers take it on the chin for MVPD channel bundling? According to John Stephenson, director of the Communications and Technology Task Force at the American Legislative Exchange Council, this, too, is misleading:
In 2003, the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that going from bundling to an a la carte model could cost video providers advertising revenues that would result in an increase in subscriber fees. Brent Skorup at the Mercatus Center explains why bundling works: “Bundling is efficient because in a high fixed-cost industry, like cable, cable channel bundles provide cost savings that outweigh the costs of providing ‘wasted’ channels consumers don’t watch.”
Even economic thinkers on
the left dispute the notion that an a la carte model is a solution. Matty
Yglesias at Slate notes that a la carte “starts with a fundamental
misunderstanding: the delusion that if your basic package contains plenty of
channels you never watch, you’re paying for many channels you don’t watch. It’s
understandable that people would think in those terms, but it’s wrong.”
May concurs: “[A] government-mandated a la carte regime would not necessarily lower prices for consumers and might well diminish, even substantially, the number of channels available, especially those appealing to minority or specialized tastes,” and adds:
With the unbundling of all channels, the costs for making available certain individual channels would rise as the audience size for particular channels is reduced. Some channels almost certainly never would get off the ground because, absent the opportunity to bundle them with already-popular channels, MVPDs would not risk incurring the costs of carrying a channel with little initial expected audience demand.
In other words, Sen.
McCain’s bill doesn’t acknowledge recent technologies that compete with
traditional MVPDs; won’t necessarily lower costs to consumers; and may limit
consumer options as well as present a barrier of entry for cable and satellite
startups. It’s the Television Consumer Freedom Act, not channel bundling, that
poses the real threat to ardent television viewers and the television industry
Permission to reprint this blog post in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided that the author (or authors) and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy are properly cited. Permission to reprint any comments below is granted only for those comments written by Mackinac Center policy staff.
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STEALING FREEDOM: DEMOCRAT 'MEDIA REFORM'
By Lance Fairchok , July 08, 2008
"Our massive strategy was to use the Fairness Doctrine to
challenge and harass right-wing broadcasters and hope the challenges would be so
costly to them that they would be inhibited and decide it was too expensive to
--Bill Ruder, Democratic campaign consultant and Assistant Secretary of Commerce, Kennedy Administration
The usual suspects will be doing the dirty work. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-NY) or Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) will likely resurrect the failed Media Act (Meaningful Expression of Democracy in America Act) intended to make political commentary unflattering to Democrats more difficult to deliver and easier to suppress through congressional oversight and, of course, litigation. They have been trying for years. The Media Ownership Reform Acts, H.R. 4069 & H.R. 3302, and H.R. 4710, the MEDIA Act, all tried to control ownership, force their definition of "diversity" and "localism" and reinstate the defunct "fairness doctrine" that was used until 1987 to suppress conservative broadcasters with tit-for-tat opposing view requirements. These became a prohibitive financial burden if a broadcast was challenged, so controversial topics were assiduously avoided and programming was lackluster and innocuous.
While challenges were filed from both sides of the political spectrum, the long-term effect was to discourage any meaningful discussion of issues by conservatives on the radio. Since the fairness doctrine repeal, Talk Radio has become a significant voice in today's media world, one the left wishes to silence. Luckily, attempts to reinstate "fairness" in recent years have not been successful, the legislative language was weak, and their justification a transparent exaggeration. The 2004 House Resolution 4710 (Media Act) was obviously not directed at CBS or NPR and it revealed an underlying pathology of the left; an inability to accept that conservative opinion is necessary within the national debate, it's very existence brings balance. However, balance is not really what they want.
(2) There is a substantial governmental interest in conditioning the award or renewal of a broadcast license on the requirement that the licensee ensure the widest possible dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic sources by presenting a reasonable opportunity for the discussion of conflicting views on issues of public importance.
(3) Since the removal of the Fairness Doctrine standard in 1987, we have seen a polarization in America due to the dissemination of false and misleading information and the growing proliferation of highly partisan news outlets.
Conservative radio, to which a sizable minority of adult Americans listens to on any given day, infuriatingly exposes leftist schemes and is harshly critical of their agenda. Translated, "highly partisan" means "not in agreement with us." Just enough information gets through the stranglehold on the rest of the media that Democrats' dominance is not assured. Rush Limbaugh, in particular, puts them into a rage, as he is so effective at turning over the leftist stones to reveal the ugly ideological vermin underneath.
In a softball 2004 interview with the publicly funded leftist anti-American Bill Moyer of PBS, congressperson Slaughter revealed her prejudices while selling media reform to the socialist home team.
BILL MOYERS: Well, you know some serious people, including some liberals have said that one reason Rush Limbaugh has succeeded is because he is good entertainment.
LOUISE SLAUGHTER: Exactly. He doesn't make any pretense of being a news person or even telling you the truth. He says he's an entertainer.
BILL MOYERS: And you're saying that kind of discourse is dominating America right now.
LOUISE SLAUGHTER: Dominating America and a waste of good broadcast time and a waste of our airwaves.
BILL MOYERS: Not to the people who agree with him.
LOUISE SLAUGHTER: Well, they don't hear anything else. Why would they disagree with him?
"Dominating America" is, of course, nonsense; most people still get their news from mainstream broadcast and print, which is overwhelmingly liberal, leftist and biased. The statement reveals just how important a show like Limbaugh's is. If it were not effective, they would not care.
What Democrat socialists cannot win in an honest debate, they try to steal by removing their opponent's access to the public view, by suppressing discussion and by inserting propaganda. Their starting assumptions are simple: conservatives are liars, their beliefs are false, their criticisms are unfounded and they need to be controlled "in the public interest." They also believe that Americans are stupid. Rep. Slaughter's double talk in the interview continued along that vein.
BILL MOYERS: What does your bill before Congress propose?
LOUISE SLAUGHTER: So far, it just reinstates [the fairness doctrine.] But you know, I've been giving some thought to it this week. I will in no way do anything to hurt the first amendment. I'd die for it. I certainly don't want to do anything about censorship or anything. I simply want equal time. As simple as we can make it is that we simply want to reinstate it. That people have an opportunity to give them an opposing view, that you can't own a radio station in the United States that simply gives one side all day long.
BILL MOYERS: So you're primarily concerned about radio?
LOUISE SLAUGHTER: No. I'm concerned about television as well. But radio is probably where we're going to get the biggest problems in trying to get this done, because people have the radio on all day. They listen to it. And I think that says a lot. I think we can see that reflected in what people are thinking and feeling today.
BILL MOYERS: You know people say well, "Yes, it is in principle true that the government, the people passed to the television and radio companies the right to use the airwaves, the public spectrum." But cable's a different baby altogether. Cable is unregulated.
LOUISE SLAUGHTER: Right.
BILL MOYERS: Are you proposing the fairness doctrine for Fox News or MSNBC?
LOUISE SLAUGHTER: You bet.
I'll bet not. MSNBC will be fine under any new Fairness laws, as long as it tows the Democrat line. In the battle for America's mind, the socialist and radical left never rest. They know that whoever controls the information citizens see and hear has enormous influence on how they vote. In the tradition of those who care for party and power more than country, they work diligently to undermine the basic freedoms that guarantee dissenting voices are heard. They disguise their intentions under buzz words like "fairness" and "democratic expression" to appeal to the public's sense of fair play, all while funneling millions of dollars into false front "bi-partisan" think tanks and media "watchdog groups" designed to mislead millions with push-polls, straw-man studies, and outright disinformation. Organizations like the Center for American Progress, Media Matters, the Open Society Institute and dozens like them are intended to desensitize the public, to steadily chip away at the foundations of specific constitutional rights, those that do not mesh well with leftist progressive, socialist and communitarian dogma.
BILL MOYERS: You're saying that your fairness doctrine would simply mean that if a radio station or television station offers one position, like Rush Limbaugh, on a bill or a campaign of President or an election, they should also have people who disagree with Rush Limbaugh?
LOUISE SLAUGHTER: Absolutely. They should not be putting their own bias and their own feelings out on their radio station because they think they own it. It has to be done as a public trust and in the public interest.
BILL MOYERS: But the first amendment guarantees the right of free press.
LOUISE SLAUGHTER: If they owned the airwaves, then I'd probably have no complaint. But they don't. It belongs to us. Part of our democracy. It's part of the ability that we have to contact our citizens. It's a way that we want our children to grow up with some understanding of what this country is about and what it's based on and what their choices are.
Rep. Slaughter's words are a rhetorical sleight of hand. She sets up the interview with the common leftist theme of "us versus them," painting the unspoken conservative "them" not as participants, but exploiters. She tries to make the bitter pill of media control taste sweet. "It belongs to us," she says. Who is "us" specifically? Are we to suppose that by the congresswoman's definition conservatives are not really citizens? Are they not Americans with an opposing view that also understand what this country is "about?" This is a clear "disenfranchisement" of a large number of Americans, to use their own slogan against them. For all their endless complaining about political polarization, Democrats readily contribute to it.
A week or so ago, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi stated she supported the return of the Fairness Doctrine. Now that the Democrats have conservative talk radio in their sights again, new proposals will be more carefully crafted, full of convoluted language in an attempt to hide the substance of the legislation in long pages of distracters and patriotic phrasing. Who will define the "public trust" and the "public interest?" It is apparent the leftists in congress bet they will. If they succeed, media reform will inevitably morph from an attack on talk radio to an assault on cable, to new print "standards," and to broadcast "guidelines." It is all about control and the totalitarian instincts the socialist left gravitates to, they cannot help it, it is in their bones. This is not a slippery slope, it is a roller coaster ride to censorship and if the left defines the rules, the freedom of speech we enjoy now will be a thing of the past, buried in regulation, litigation and outright intimidation.
Page Reprinted with permission from the American Thinker: http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/07/stealing_freedom_democrat_medi.html
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IS THE MEDIA BURYING AN AMAZING OIL BREAKTHROUGH?
Joe Kovacs of WorldNetDaily (WND) reported on April 16, 2008, that one of the potentially biggest energy breakthroughs in history is getting virtually no coverage. Despite a WND story in March introducing a new technique where altered bacteria "rapidly digest" everything from grass clippings and wood chips, turning them into hydrocarbons for fuels such as gasoline and diesel. If done on a large scale, it could provide billions of barrels of renewable oil every year.
The pioneer of the process, agricultural researcher J.C. Bell, the CEO of
Bell Bio-Energy, Inc. is surprised at the lack of attention from the national
media. While the story of Bell's bacterial discovery has already been
published in two Georgia newspapers – the Tifton Gazette and the Macon Telegraph
– neither report was picked up by the Associated Press, despite those papers
being members of the news cooperative.
WND contacted the bureau chief at the AP's Atlanta office, who said, "I can't give you an answer as to why, because this is the first I've heard of it. We'll look into it and see what's going on."
Reporter Jana Cone, who documented Bell's claims for the Tifton paper, was also at a loss to explain why the AP neither picked up the story nor assigned its own writer.
"I have no explanation except people don't think it's possible," Cone said. "All of our stuff is available to them, and they pick up stories as they wish. If what [Bell] says is a fact, it could be absolutely huge."
Bell maintains with just 2 billion tons of biomass, his process can produce 5 billion barrels of oil each year naturally, with no negative impact on the environment.
"That's 5 billion barrels of oil that can be produced from just trash," he said.
Despite the national media's silence, Bell is moving forward with plans to make his process a reality.
"It's not even theory anymore," he told WND. "Now we're just engineering. We are within a very few days of announcing the location of our first pilot plant."
The process of converting biomass into energy is not in dispute scientifically.
"Yes it can be done, but you have to do it economically," said Dr. Art Robinson, a research professor of chemistry at the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine who publishes the Access to Energy newsletter. "These other ways [of producing energy] work; the only question is if they're competitive in price. Any hydrocarbon under pressure and temperature can turn into oil."
Robinson added, "We only have two competitive ways of making energy at low
costs: hydrocarbons [oil, gas, coal and methane clathrate] and nuclear, and both
are demonized to the point that our country is in trouble."
For the third straight day today, oil prices settled at a record high, gushing to a record $115.07 a barrel at one point. Gasoline prices have also been surging along with crude. AAA reports gasoline prices hit a new record of $3.399, up more than a penny from the previous day's price of $3.386.
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WHAT THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA WON'T TELL YOU
The Assyrian International News Agency had an article on Jan. 6, 2006 about the failure of US media outlets to report a major terrorist plot against the US because it tends to support President Bush's use of NSA domestic surveillance.
Italian authorities recently announced that they used wiretaps to uncover a conspiracy by 3 Algerians operating out of Italy. The plan to conduct major attacks inside the US was widely reported elsewhere across the world. Italian Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu said the planned attacks would have targeted stadiums, malls and railway stations hoping to exceed the devastation caused by 9/11.
The Italians stepped up their internal surveillance after the July terrorist bombings in London, and on domestic wiretaps picked up phone conversations by Algerian Yamine Bouhrama that discussed attacks in Italy and abroad. He and Achour Rabah and Tartaq Sami, believed to be Bouhrama's chief aides, were arrested in a major coup for Italian anti-terror forces.
Accuracy in Media noted that while the story was widely reported from Europe to China, it was largely ignored in the US. There was an Associated Press version of the story which failed to disclosed that the men planned to target the US or that the evidence against the suspects was gathered via a wiretapping surveillance operation.
Only one American newspaper, the Philadelphia Inquirer, is know to have published the story the AP distributed. It ran on page A-6 under the headline "Italy Charges 3 Algerians." There was no mention of the plot to target the US or the use of domestic wiretaps in breaking up the plot.
Cliff Kincaid, editor of Accuracy in Media Report, noted that the media is busy attacking President Bush on the NSA intercepts and that reminding Americans that there are terrorists who really are planning to kill us, helps support his arguments.
Since the Democrats and media critics are trying their best to make the NSA story an impeachable offense, and consistently refer to the program as "spying on Americans," this story helps support the argument that President Bush makes that it is a program designed to uncover al Qaeda operations on American soil.
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A WAY WITH WORDS
In a press conference on evacuation plans for New Orleans in the event Hurricane Rita moves north, Mayor Ray Nagin was displaced at the podium by Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, who took over when reporters started to badger Nagin. Here are a few excerpts from Gen. Honoré's remarks:
Honoré: Mr. Mayor, let's go back, because I can see right now, they're setting this up... There are buses [at the convention center]. Is that clear to you? Buses parked. There are 4,000 troops there. People come, they get on a bus, they get on a truck, they move on. Is that clear?
Female reporter: Where do they move on...
Honoré: That's not your business.
Male reporter: But General, that didn't work the first time...
Honoré: Wait a minute. It didn't work the first time? This ain't the first time. Okay?... Let's get a little trust here, because you're starting to act like this is your problem. You are carrying the message, okay?
Male reporter: We were told that Berman Stadium...would be another staging area...
Honoré: Again, the current place, I just told you one time, is the convention center... Let's not confuse the questions with the answers... You're asking last storm questions for people who are concerned about the future storm. Don't get stuck on stupid, reporters. We are moving forward. And don't confuse the people please. You are part of the public message. So help us get the message straight.
Male reporter: Why [will the convention center work] this time, though, not last time...
Honoré: You are stuck on stupid. I'm not going to answer that question. We are going to deal with Rita. Rita is happening now... We can have a conversation on the side about the past, in a couple of months.
Every Republican in the nation, starting with President Bush, should take a lesson from Honoré. Next time a reporter asks a stupid question (anytime their lips are moving), just reply, "You are stuck on stupid!"
The Federalist Patriot, Sep. 23, 2005.
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THE MISSING EXPLOSIVES
After all of the publicity the Main Stream Media gave to the missing explosives in Iraq before the election, they seem to have missed the reporting of Patrick Cockburn in Baghdad which appeared in the Dec. 1, 2004 The Independent, on-line edition from England.
As American forces were closing in on Bafhdad, senior members of Saddam Hussein's government devised a plan to send suicide bombers in vehicles packed with devastating high-energy explosives that were under UN safeguards.
In a letter to Saddam from Dr. Naji Sabri, the Iraqi Foreign Minister, suggests removal of the HMX from the underground bunkers where it was kept under seal by the International Atomic Energy Agency, and giving it to suicide bombers. This letter was sent on April 4, 2003 as tanks were advancing on Baghdad.
Concerned that civilians were co-operating with the American, Sabri suggested that the best way of preventing US troops getting too close to Iraqi civilians was "to target their vehicle checkpoints with suicide operations by civilian vehicles in order to make the savage Americans realize that their contact with Iraqi civilians is as dangerous as facing them on the battlefield."
There is no proof that Saddam acted on the suggestion, but there were a number of suicide bomb attacks on US checkpoints at the time. American soldiers now open fire on any car coming towards them that they deem suspicious.
The letter, marked "confidential and immediate" was given to The Independent by Hoshyar Zebari, the Iraqi Foreign Minister, in Baghdad on November 30, 2004. He said it was found in the ministry's archives. There is no reason to doubt its authenticity.
Dr. Sabri fled Iraq and lives in Doha, Qatar.
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LABOR HAS ITS OWN PROBLEMS
In an ignored story, a plea bargain was struck by a partner at a major accounting and auditing firm in August. As Joel Mowbray reported on August 28, 2002, in National Review Online, the accountant acknowledged that he, like members of Arthur Anderson, obstructed justice in an attempt to thwart a federal investigation. The plea-bargaining partner admits he helped hatch the accounting devices used to hide the dirty dealings.
Why the media silence? Could it be because the accountant, Frank Massey, a partner with Thomas Havey, LLP, pleaded guilty to charges that he had helped union bosses and the Ironworkers Union shield over $1.5 million from disclosure on annual reporting forms to the department of Labor?
Massey was a "specialist in labor union financial and government reporting" with over 700 unions (including the AFL-CIO) as clients. Another accountant is his firm, Alfred S. Garappolo pleaded guilty in June to helping conceal the embezzlement of payroll checks from a training fund of the Ironworkers.
Court documents disclosed the history of corruption and fraud surrounding the Ironworkers Union and its president, Jake West.
After West took control of the Union in 1989, the Havey firm pursued the business. West told Havey (which did his personal tax returns for free starting that year), that if he were elected president that August, Havey would perform the union's annual audits. West won the vote and Havey won the contract.
Together with the union's lawyer, Victor Van Bourg, the founding member of the leading labor-law firm in the country, who died in 1999, Massey and the union officials, schemes were developed which compare to Enron and Arthur Anderson.
Union bosses expenses for drinking, dining, golfing and "other entertainment" (allegedly including prostitution) were called either "Office and Administrative Expenses" or "Education and Publicity", eliminating the requirement to itemize them. From 1992-1998 the union's top brass accumulated $460,000 in bills at just one restaurant, a place called the Prime Rib in Washington, DC. There was over $1 million for food, booze, and country-club golf outings for a favored few. This was in addition to the $25,000 the same officials received every year, per person to cover out-of-pocket expenses.
When subpoenas started flying in 1998, Massey deleted some damning evidence and doctored the rest. The actions were comparable to those of Anderson.
Meanwhile, Democrats are trying to stop Bush administration plans to require greater disclosure of how union dues of rank-and-file workers are spent by their leadership. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)l recently offered an amendment to an appropriations bill -- which has already passed out of committee -- that would prevent the Department of Labor from upgrading outdated, loophole-ridden reporting requirements. Why didn't this story get any play from the mainstream, liberal, media? Could it be that it doesn't help Democrats politically?
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MEDIA GET IT WRONG AGAIN
Richard S. Lindzen, one of the 11 scientists who prepared the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) review of global warming, wrote on June 11, 2001, in the Wall Street Journal that while the media declared that the report represented a decision that global warming is real, getting worse, and due to man, this is simply untrue.
The primary conclusion was that despite some knowledge and agreement, the science is by no means settled. They are quite confident (1) that global mean temperature is about 0.5 Celsius higher than it was a century ago; (2) that atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide have risen over the past two centuries; and (3) that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas whose increase is likely to warm the earth (one of many, the most important being water vapor and clouds).
They are not in a position to confidently attribute past climate to carbon dioxide or to forecast what the climate will be in the future. The climate is always changing; change is the norm. Two centuries ago, much of the Northern Hemisphere was emerging from a little ice age. In the Middle Ages, the same region was in a warm period. Thirty years ago, they were concerned with global cooling.
While they do not know what relation exists between global climate changes and the various factors which could affect it, they do know that a doubling of carbon dioxide by itself would produce only a modest temperature increase of one degree Celsius.
When asked to review the work of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC), the NAS panel essentially concluded that the IPCC's Summary for Policymakers does not provide suitable guidance for the US government. There is a vast amount of uncertainty in the science, far more than the advocates of the Kyoto Treaty would like to acknowledge, and the NAS report has not ended the debate, nor was it intended to.
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HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE E-MAILS?
In a remarkably under-reported story (except in The Washington Times which carried stories on March 9 and 10, 2000 -- and which continues to follow the story) it has been disclosed that the White House had secreted over 100,000 e-mails which were subject to subpoena.
The e-mails covered the period of time from August 1996 to November 1998 and involve campaign finance abuses, Monica Lewinsky, "Chinagate" and "Filegate." They were routed from 500 White House computers to a special computer which was not connected to the rest of the system. Therefore, when the employees made searches for documents in response to subpoenas from Congress, the Senate, the Independent Counsel or other litigation, they would not show up.
The presence of these e-mails and thousands of pages of missing telephone records covering the period of time from January 1992 through December 1998 were first reported in December of 1998 and January 1999 by Insight Magazine. Once the story broke, the White House launched a major cover-up called "Project X."
The matter came to light again in litigation filed by Judicial Watch dealing with the 900 files of Republicans which ended up in the hands of White House operatives. A former White House computer operations manager, Sheryl Hall, prepared an affidavit acknowledging that this project was a part of the White House Data Base project known as "WHODB." When she refused to misuse government property, she was relieved of her job. However, prior to that, the existence of the e-mails had been discovered by employees of Northrop-Grumman who worked at the White House under a long-term computer contract.
When they determined that some of the e-mails were being routed to a different computer, not a part of the regular system, five have testified that they were threatened by Laura Crabtree, White House customer-support branch chief. They were told the matter was "extremely sensitive," warned them not to tell anyone about it without explicit authorization and said that the consequences would be a "jail cell." One of the employees decided not to tell her boss about the problem and was threatened with firing for insubordination. She ultimately told the company's program manager that she would "rather be insubordinate than go to jail."
This information is now in the hands of US District Judge Royce Lamberth of Washington, DC who has had other rancorous dealings with the administration and has held two Cabinet Secretaries in contempt of court. He has ordered the White House to secure these e-mails and make certain they do not disappear. Rep. Dan Burton (R-Indiana), chairman of the House Government Reform Committee has been following these developments closely. The Washington Times reported on March 16, that Rep. Burton has requested Judge Lamberth ensure the security of the records since his committee is eager to subpoena the documents as well.
Mrs. Hall said the cover-up was part if an effort to delay the investigations into 2001, after President Clinton leaves office. She also said the White House plans to get rid of computer-tapes archives and the contents of computer hard drives of departing White House staffers. In telling Judicial Watch of her conversations with one of the Northrop-Grumman employees familiar with the contents of the e-mails, Hall said: "I was told by this contractor that if the contents of these e-mails became known, that there would be different outcomes to these scandals, as the e-mails were incriminating and could cause people to go to jail."
On March 17, 2000 late in the day, after the main news cycle, the White House admitted to a second e-mail error affecting e-mail sent to the White House between November 1998 and May 1999, The Washington Weekly reported on March 20. A third e-mail error was also acknowledged which affected e-mails in Al Gore's office.
On April 28, 2000, Judicial Watch released a Press Release indicating that Judge Lamberth had required the White House to come back with a new time table for producing the e-mails, rejecting the 170 day estimate previously given. He did not rule out the possibility of holding the White House in contempt or allowing further questioning into the failure to produce the subpoenaed records.
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MEDIA DOWNPLAYS CONVICTION
When Maria Hsia (pronounced "Shaw") was convicted on five felony counts of causing false statements to be filed with the Federal Election Commission, Associated Press reported it the same day, March 2, 2000.
However, the three network evening news shows did not do a great job of reporting on the conviction, according to Jim Nicholson of the RNC. Peter Jennings on ABC spent 19 seconds on the story, Dan Rather of CBS gave the story 23 seconds, and Tom Brokaw of NBC did not mention a word.
It could not be that the networks devoted such little space to the story because Hsia was the bag lady for Al Gore who laundered $109,000 in reimbursed donations at the Hsi Lai ("She Lie") Buddhist Temple in Los Angeles, could it? This is the same lady who was identified by the Senate Government Affairs Committee as "an agent of the Chinese government."
Because of the whitewash, Nicholson sent out an "Activist Alert" giving the phone numbers and e-mail addresses of the network bigwigs and suggested, on March 6, 2000, that contact be made with these people to express dismay on the lack of coverage. By that afternoon, the networks disconnected their anchors' e-mail accounts and Peter Jennings' secretary hung up on callers. Rather's secretary routed the calls instantly to the CBS operator without instructions or comment. Brokaw's secretary at least had the courtesy to take down a message even though his network had by-passed the story.
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CONVICTION GETS NO COVERAGE
"One might think a trial of a major union official, caught in a fraud and embezzlement scheme that has ties to the president's chief fund-raiser, would make Page 1 headlines in every major newspaper in the country and be a top story of CNN, CBS, NBC ABC -- the works," Christopher Ruddy noted in a December 6, 1999 article on NewsMax.com.
William H. Hamilton, Jr., former political director of the Teamsters Union, was convicted on Nov. 19, 1999 in federal court of scheming to funnel $885,000 from the union to the campaign treasury of then-Teamsters boss, Ron Carey. Hamilton and friends donated nearly $1 million to liberal groups who supported the Clinton-Gore re-election effort and they, in turn gave $200,000 to Carey's campaign.
During the trial, Richard Sullivan, former finance director of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) testified that Terence McAuliffe (who was going to back the Clinton mansion purchase to the tune of $1.3 million) called him frequently requesting that he locate a wealthy Democrat to donate to Carey's campaign. Sullivan said he was told that the DNC would get a large donation from the Teamsters in return.
McAuliffe is now one of Al Gore's chief fund raisers. While he has not been charged with anything, there is some question as to whether additional charges will come from the Hamilton trial.
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CENTRAL MICHIGAN DOESN'T SHARE LISTS
On July 21, 1999 the following question was sent to Central Michigan University by e-mail.
The response received is reprinted in its entirety.
Tom Hunt, Director CMU Public Radio
Statement regarding sharing of donor lists with other entities
Recently it was disclosed that some public stations made their donor lists available to others. I’m sure many listeners are wondering if this has happened to them as CMU Public Radio donors. The answer is, quite simply, no.
In 1978, when we had our first on-air fundraiser, we made the decision that anyone contributing to CMU Public Radio deserves privacy. It was our policy then, and continues to be our policy today that we DO NOT sell, trade, or share our donor list with anyone for any reason.
When you make your contribution, you place your trust in us to use your money wisely as we acquire, produce and broadcast programming. You also trust us to treat personal information with respect and discretion.
We have not violated that trust, and we never will.
Thank you for your past and continued support.
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ANOTHER STUDY YOU NEVER HEARD OF
Last March 11, the Associated Press reported on the largest study ever to research the relationship between PCBs and cancer in humans. The biologist, Renate Kimbrough who, over 20 years ago, found the first link between PCBs and liver cancer in laboratory rats, found no evidence that work exposure to the toxins causes cancer in humans.
In a study of more than 7,000 former employees of two General Electric plants (which was published in the March issue of The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine) in which the medical histories of employees for an average of 31 years were compared with national and regional averages, nothing was found.
To their surprise, workers who were exposed to PCBs had a lower rate of cancer deaths than the national average despite having high levels of the chemical in their blood. While 353 workers died of cancer over the period of the study, a statistically similar sample of people would have 400 deaths due to cancer.
Environmentalists question the results of the report because it was funded by GE. However, since the study only concerned itself with death rates and did not take into account the health of survivors, Kimbrough defended the report. It was compiled largely from government statistics and reviewed by a committee of independent scientists. Mortality rates can't be manipulated, she said, "It's like counting beans."
(Ed. note: While the EPA relied on the evidence linking PCBs to cancer in laboratory rats to force multi-million dollar cleanups on the theory that the result would be the same in humans, it is interesting to note that in all of the cancer research performed on tobacco products, they have not been able to produce cancer in laboratory rats. . . .)
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WHERE IS BONIOR NOW?
In the April, 1999 issue of The American Spectator (TAS), Byron York authored an interesting article on the clearing of Newt Gingrich by the IRS. He did a media search which showed over 10,000 references to the Gingrich ethics fight at its most heated moments. When the IRS completely cleared Newt, only a few more than 100 references to the report appeared, none on the evening newscasts of CBS, NBC and ABC.
For those of you who were unable to find information on the 74-page report which concluded that Gingrich acted completely within the law in the college course "Renewing American Civilization," the article is very informative.
Remember that Michigan's own, David Bonior, loudly proclaimed that: "Anyone who has engaged in seven years of tax fraud to further his own personal and political benefits is not deserving of the speakership" He claimed "Mr. Gingrich has engaged in a pattern of tax fraud, lied, and cover-ups in paving his road to the second highest office in the land."
The IRS did what Mr. Bonior and the news reporters did not do. They reviewed the course -- in detail. According to TAS, "After examining each lecture and the course reading list, IRS investigators concluded the course was not political. 'The overwhelming number of positions advocated in the course were very broad in nature and often more applicable to individual behavior or behavioral changes in in society as a whole than to any "political" action,' investigators wrote."
When asked for comment on the clearing of Mr. Gingrich, Mr. Bonior did not return five calls from TAS. Neither he nor any of the Democrats who loudly denounced and vilified Newt have admitted that Gingrich was right and they were wrong.
What a surprise.
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NO SUCH THING AS NETWORK MEDIA BIAS?
The May 10, 1999 issue of Investor's Business Daily (IBD) looked at the way the TV networks have reported on China scandals compared to the newspapers which have been breaking the stories.
When the Los Angeles Times dropped the bombshell about campaign funds to the Clinton-Gore campaign from the Red Chinese military intelligence chief, the big three, ABC, CBS and NBC, blacked out the story on their morning and evening news shows.
Analysts at the two major partisan media watchdogs - the conservative Media Research Center and the liberal Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting - are scratching their heads over the dearth of TV coverage, according to IBD.
IBD requested the nonpartison Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) to audit nightly newscasts back to March 6, the day The New York Times first broke the story on Red spying at Los Alamos National Lab, and learned that the big three together have aired an average of just half of one story a night on the Chinese espionage scandal or 31 total segments.
In contrast, the networks did 20 stories a night (699 total) on Kosovo since the bombing started on March 24 and 24 stories a night (73 total) on the Colorado shootings in the 3 days after the tragedy.
The article compares the sparse coverage given the Chinese spy scandals to the coverage given to scandals in Republican administrations. It seems clear that the worse the story for Democrats, the less coverage the networks give.
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