For media defenders still claiming they are journalism professionals: Sheryl Attkisson helpfully lists 50 gross media mistakes in the Trump era. Mostly the kind of "mistakes" nobody really makes by mistake.
This is why the satirical site, The Babylon Bee, headlined a story, “Stopped Clock Named CNN's Most Accurate Reporter.” You see, it’s actually right twice a day. Also, it’s funny because it’s true.
As if sleazy lawyer Michael Avenatti didn’t have enough trouble with felony charges from federal prosecutors in both California and New York, now he’s under scrutiny in DC, as well. Avenatti, who once fancied himself as a Democratic Presidential contender (and some media outlets actually fell for that) set up a political action committee called the Fight PAC to help liberal candidates.
But FEC filings for August through December of 2018 show the PAC got $113,000 in donations and spent $101,000 on “operating expenditures” which were mostly Avenatti’s lavish expenses, such as food, beverages, transportation and five-star hotel rooms. It gave zero to help liberal candidates. Although, if you consider Avenatti to be a candidate, he did help himself quite liberally.
The good news for him is that if he likes free room and board, there might be a lot of that in his future.
To combat an outbreak of measles, Rockland County, New York, has issued a 30-day ban on unvaccinated children being allowed in public places. That includes malls, restaurants, schools and even churches. Oh, if only there were some simple way that we could protect our children from a resurgence of once nearly-eradicated diseases like measles!
Oh, wait: there IS! It’s called “vaccination.”
Let’s hope that if all the medical studies finding no connection between measles and autism (and even a new study showing that unvaccinated children were MORE likely to have autism) can’t convince parents to vaccinate their kids, making those kids stay home, locked up inside the house with their parents for a month, will do it.
Tuesday, a House attempt to override President Trump’s first veto failed. It didn’t reach the two-thirds threshold needed to block him from using an emergency declaration to shift funds from other things to build a wall or other barriers on the southern US border.
Trump expects opponents to run to a federal judge next to try to stop him, but he also expects to win that fight in the Supreme Court. I guess he’s no more tired of fighting than he is tired of winning.
As for claiming that there is no emergency, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen recently said we are on track to intercept 100,000 migrants crossing the border from Mexico just in March. She said, “The situation at our southern border has gone from a crisis to a national emergency to a near system-wide meltdown. I say this with the utmost sincerity and urgency: The system is breaking.”
I keep waiting in vain for a rational, realistic response from Congressional Democrats to what’s happening at the border. I’ll let you know if they manage to muster enough support for a two-thirds vote to override reality.
Tomorrow, President Trump will award his 8th Medal of Honor, America’s highest military award for bravery against an enemy. The medal will be awarded posthumously to Army Staff Sgt. Travis Atkins of Bozeman, Montana, for sacrificing his life to save three comrades from a blast from a suicide vest worn by an insurgent in Iraq.
Go to the link to read the full story. It should serve as a sobering lesson to anyone who tries to draw comparisons between US soldiers and the violent radicals they are fighting. It’s the other side that uses innocent people as human shields to save themselves. Our soldiers use themselves as human shields to save innocent people.
FROM LAURA AINSWORTH:
Dear Miss Mannerly:
I understand why you generally steer clear of talking about politics in your column, as all mention of politics, sadly, tends to lower the level of discourse among people who might (conceivably) get along otherwise. Still, I must beg your indulgence and ask a question that touches on politics.
Let me start by saying I would like my President to be polite, charming and well-mannered. That’s in addition to making good decisions, of course. But if I have to settle for one or the other, which seems to be the case here, I will take the good decisions every time. My fear is that, since so many people are swayed by charm, we will get another bad-news, “progressive” President based on appearance and not substance. My fear is not unreasonable, as this worked in favor of the man who became our previous President, and for his re-election.
Lately, our current President has been saying negative things about someone who has been dead for months. Some of it I'm sure is absolutely justified, but it still doesn’t go over very well and would be better left unsaid. This deceased person was a unique combination of Vietnam POW and bullying son-of-a-gun who, admittedly, had said and done some things that were terribly damaging to the President. But he is dead now and can’t defend himself, and I have to wonder if our President’s response, months later, is appropriate.
Putting it rather bluntly, Miss Mannerly, could you please try to use any influence you may have to shut the President up? I wrote to my favorite commentator, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, to ask him the very same thing –- in fact, my original letter appeared on the “reader comments” page, where he or someone on his staff would surely see it –- but I thought it couldn’t hurt to ask you to step in as well. The President’s rants will haunt the next election, along with many other things he has said without thinking or explaining. Is there anything that you and/or anyone else can do?
First, as a note of reassurance, Miss Mannerly wishes to observe that among the current crop of candidates challenging the President, there is not one person whom she finds charming in the least. It would be unkind to say this to their faces, but if we’re going to be honest amongst ourselves, isn’t it true? Miss Mannerly would not want to be seated next to any one of them at a dinner party, particularly the older gentleman who likes to get too familiar with the ladies and the very tall man in flannel who gesticulates wildly, asks for dirt between courses, and insists on jumping up onto tabletops. Besides horrifying the hosts, that’s the quickest way to ruin a beautiful place setting.
Worse, they would all be talking about nothing but politics at dinner, which can be quite tedious and maddening as you know. Being politicians, they would only pretend to listen, and they would also be asking for money.
Actually, the President can be quite a charming man. This often comes through in live video that the media can’t avoid airing. I think he can be quite funny as well. He presents himself quite sincerely, and that is rare and refreshing in the world of politics.
Still, Miss Mannerly shares your concern, while recognizing that for over two years –- his entire time in office –- the President has been frustrated by a very real “witch hunt.” Still, he needs to focus. It’s not as if he didn’t have enough topics at his fingertips; he should be focusing on those instead of heaping disrespect on someone who has died. Such comments are jarring, inappropriate, and distracting from the important issues at hand. Miss Mannerly does not know how to make him more aware of this; perhaps someone on his staff will see this column and try to make an impression on him.
CNN president Jeff Zucker still refuses to admit that to most of the public, CNN’s motto is no longer “This...is CNN” but “What...is fact-checking?” The network that gave us a ‘round-the-clock hysteria fest over “Russian collusion” (not to mention trying to turn Michael Avenatti into a TV star) apparently thinks it had no obligation to find out if any of the outrageous things they were saying about the President of the United States being a Russian mole were true.
Zucker wrote in an email, “We are not investigators. We are journalists, and our role is to report the facts as we know them, which is exactly what we did.”
I hate to break this to him, but the first job of a journalist is to investigate, so that they may find out what the facts are before reporting them. Simply repeating whatever rumors some unnamed source tells you doesn’t make you a “journalist,” it makes you the town gossip with a TV studio.
And what good are “the facts as we know them,” if the “facts” that you know are false, which means they aren’t facts at all? That’s like the currently-popular nonsense phrase, “You must share your truth.” If it’s actually the truth, then it’s not just “your” truth, it’s THE truth. If it’s only true to you, then it’s not the truth, it’s just your opinion.
Hey, I freely admit that I write and voice my opinions every day. But I don’t claim to be a news network or a journalist. I am a commentator. Still, I try to base my opinions on real facts that are actually true. In that sense, maybe I am more of a journalist or a news network than CNN is these days.
In the meantime, the White House took the offensive by sending to the media a list of some of the outrageous and outrageously wrong things various “experts” said on their outlets and questioning whether they think these people deserve to be booked again, given their record. But to be fair, they are called “talking heads,” not “talking brains.”
Even if the news networks stubbornly refuse to acknowledge their madness, that doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t have some fun with it by filling out our “March Madness” news source brackets. See how you would rank which news outlet went the most bat-poop mad over the Mueller investigation and the Russian collusion delusion. The winner gets a trophy and a year's supply of Prozac.