People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Coming To The Defense Of The Roanoke Times

I was attracted to this local Roanoke story about political advertising and allegedly deceptive practices early on. It has taken an interesting twist:
Wishneff may sue over coverage
By Laurence Hammack, The Roanoke Times

The Roanoke councilman who made up the name listed as the sponsor of a campaign ad attacking his opponent said Thursday he plans to sue The Roanoke Times over its coverage of the controversy.

Brian Wishneff accused the newspaper of "trying to influence the election and trying to maim my character."

Two days after he was voted out of office, Wishneff held a news conference to complain that the newspaper rushed into print an Election Day story about ads that had run over the weekend questioning the credentials of his opponent, Court Rosen.

The article quoted an organizer of Citizens for Sensible Decisions, a political action committee linked to Wishneff, saying that someone with the group gave the newspaper's advertising department the false name of Joe Smith as the person who paid for the message.

Wishneff said the article did not include comments from him or others involved in the matter. "To me, it's Journalism 101 that you get both of the parties involved to verify" information before publishing a story, Wishneff said. (link)
A common tactic used by biased news people to slant the message they want to get across. And a common complaint issued by people who think they have been wronged by that process.

But was Wishneff wronged? You decide. Here's how the Times responds to that charge and how Wishneff reacts to the charge that he did indeed involve himself in that clearly deceptive ad:
The newspaper left three messages at Wishneff's business and on his cellphone the day before the story ran. Wishneff said he didn't return those calls because he was too busy campaigning.

Although the newspaper was unable to confirm just who made up the name for its first story, Wishneff admitted the next day that it was him. He came up with the Joe Smith alias not to mislead the public, he said, but out of frustration during an argument with an advertising sales representative over whether a name was required with the full-page ad, which ran for three days in The Roanoke Times.

Wishneff said the sales representative finally told him it would be OK for him to make up a name -- an accusation the newspaper has denied.
I watched him make this claim last night on the local TV news. To be kind, he did himself no favors. "Yeah, I did exactly what I am being accused of but they made me do it" isn't going to sway too many people.

Besides, this guy thinks he can sue a news outlet and win? Sorry. General Westmoreland he ain't.

Go back to the drawing board, pal. This dog won't hunt.

But I'll Not Be Defending This ...

... bit of moral relativism that the Roanoke Times is famous for. The twisted individuals in their editorial department still call upon the people of the commonwealth of Virginia to sanctify pedophilial relationships between filthy old men and defenseless little boys.

Well, no.

They in fact are still whining that we banned homosexual marriage - forever.

But their rationale applies.

Sound Familiar?

This from the New York Times ("Down and Out in Connecticut") is written about the state of Connecticut but it well applies to Southwest Virginia:

Over the last 20 years, Connecticut has lost a third of its manufacturing jobs, replacing them with lower paying service-sector jobs. Virtually no additional jobs have been created.

Connecticut’s schools are big underperformers. The gap between the educational performance of low-income and middle- and high-income pupils is the widest in the nation. Only one-third of poor and minority children in elementary schools meet the state’s goals for mastery of reading, writing and math.

The loss of manufacturing jobs, coupled with an achievement gap, is a recipe for perpetually worsening poverty. (link)

This was written about affluent Connecticut. Imagine what the author would have to say about our situation.

Sweet, Sweet Music

I have been waiting for this day for oh so long:

The Clintons’ Legacy (Is it That Time Already?)

Bill's legacy - besides the sexual harrassment mess that he got himself into (and the legal troubles that accrued from it) - is one of abject failure. His eight years in office were completely devoid of successes (except for the passage of a small handful of Republican initiatives). Historians will probably rank him just above Jimmy Carter in terms of performance (a critical indictment if there ever was one).

Hillary's legacy? Wife of a powerful politician. One who sought an office she was never qualified to attain or emotionally prepared to accept.

Goodbye. Good riddance. The dawn breaks. Finally.

Ah, The Memories He Leaves Behind

This man's recordings will be played for many years to come. What a voice he had. Eddy Arnold, dead at 89:
Country singer Eddy Arnold dies
The Associated Press

Nashville, Tenn. -- Eddy Arnold, whose mellow baritone on songs like "Make the World Go Away" made him one of the most successful country singers in history, died Thursday, days short of his 90th birthday.

Mr. Arnold died at a care facility near Nashville, said Don Cusic, a professor at Belmont University in Nashville and author of the biography "Eddy Arnold: I'll Hold You in My Heart."

Mr. Arnold's vocals on songs like the 1965 smash "Make the World Go Away," one of his many No. 1 country hits and a top 10 hit on the pop charts, helped country music reach a national audience. (link)
I can still hear him singing ... "Make the world go away. And get it off my shoulders ..."
Photo courtesy of Yahoo! Music.

Disappointing News

Iraqi officials have announced the capture of the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Now Abu Hamza al-Muhajer will get to vacation in Guantanamo.

Too bad he wasn't "martyred on the field of battle."

Your Government Spits In Your Face

This news is not unexpected. But it is also absolutely infuriating. From "Plow It Under" in today's Washington Post:
After weeks of wheeling and dealing, a House-Senate conference committee has finally produced a farm bill. And what an unlovely creation it is. The nearly $300 billion, five-year legislation brims with subsidies for everything from biofuels to historic-barn preservation. It includes a dubious sugar-to-ethanol program and billions of dollars for a permanent disaster relief fund that essentially pays farmers to grow crops on land too dry to sustain them. And it perpetuates the multibillion-dollar system of direct payments to corn, wheat, rice, cotton and soybean growers, with only minimal limitations on how much of this corporate welfare rich farmers can receive.

Congress began working on this legislation at a time of relatively stable food and energy prices. Those conditions no longer apply; many farmers, especially those who grow corn for ethanol, have profited mightily as a result. Yet farm-state legislators, cocooning with agribusiness lobbyists, continue to act as if federal taxpayers owe their constituents a helping hand.
Giving lavishly our hard-earned tax dollars to rich farmers in time of economic upheavel.

For the love of God.

Open Mouth. Insert Foot.

For a high-level political strategist in the Democratic Party, this guy doesn't seem to be all that sharp. The New York Times's Kate Phillips reports:

On Tuesday night, we mentioned the dustup between two Democratic pundits, Ms. [Donna] Brazile and Mr. [Paul] Begala, who engaged in a prime-time debate about the coalitions being built by Mr. Obama or Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Begala, a Clinton supporter, said the party could not win in November with just “eggheads and African-Americans,” that the party could not ignore white middle-class voters. (link)
"... eggheads and African-Americans."

I'll bet that went over real well with the ... African-Americans in his party.