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

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Painful Truth About The Media

Imagine, if there were no weblogs to spread the truth about Barack Obama's past, how distorted and one-sided his biography would be today. The press is in the tank for this guy like no other candidate at any point in our history. And the bias is being noticed:
Media covering for Obama
By Tony Blankley, writing in the Washington Times

The mainstream media have gone over the line and are now straight out propagandists for the Obama campaign. While they have been liberal and blinkered in their worldview for decades, in 2007-08 for the first time, the major media are consciously covering for one candidate for president and consciously knifing the other. This is no longer journalism — it is simply propaganda. (The American left-wing version of the Volkischer Beobachter* cannot be far behind.) And as a result, we are less than seven weeks away from possibly electing a president who has not been thoroughly and even half way honestly presented to the country by our watchdogs — the press. (link)
Propagandists indeed. And, in moments of weakness, they admit it. Perhaps that's why journalists are today viewed by the public more unfavorably than politicians. No small feat. And it will get worse before it gets better.

* Der Stürmer would have been a better example.

Democrats Are Liars?

Who knew?

This startling revelation smacks the doorknobs at the Bristol Herald Courier upside the head this morning:
Which Is It, Biden?

Sen. Joe Biden, who visited Castlewood, Va., on Saturday for the United Mine Workers’ annual Fish Fry, was quick to remind supporters of his ties and friendship to coal.

Yet three days earlier, Biden told an environmental activist in Maumee, Ohio, “No coal plants here in America.”

U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., played an integral role in luring Obama here twice for stump speeches and reiterated on Saturday that “Sen. Obama’s a friend of coal.”

Imagine our surprise, then, when we got wind of a video that shows Biden reversing the Democratic ticket’s position on energy.

“We’re not supporting clean coal,” Biden says. “Guess what. China’s building two every week. Two dirty coal plants. And it’s polluting the United States. It’s causing people to die. … No coal plants here in America. Build them, if they’re going to build them over there [China], make ’em clean because they’re killing you.”

Perhaps Biden had a change of heart 72 hours later when he visited coal country. Or maybe he’s in the habit of telling various audiences what they want to hear. (link)

Maybe he did. And maybe he is. And maybe Ben & Jerry's will start using human breast milk in its ice cream. But I wouldn't take it to the bank (assuming the bank is still there).

But there's a more obvious explanation. Biden is a damn Democrat.

End of discussion.

We All Prepare In Different Ways

The Roanoke Times this morning provides a useful suggestion regarding the tsunami of presidential campaign ads that is coming our way:
Prepare for an onslaught of ads

The good news about Virginia's unusual status as a battleground state is that the commonwealth will get plenty of notice from the candidates.

The bad news is that Virginia is getting another kind of attention: Both campaigns and independent special interest groups are flooding Virginia's airways with 30-second ads, most consisting of simplifications, distortions or outright lies about the opposing side.

Virginia voters should brace themselves for the onslaught to continue over the next month and a half -- and they should make sure not to accept any ad by any candidate at face value.

Voters have a responsibility to try to wash away the mud and attempt to dig up the actual facts. There are several good places to do that.

FactCheck.org is a nonpartisan*, nonprofit operation run by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

So if you find an ad compelling and think it may help you make up your mind, do yourself -- and the nation -- a favor. Before you push the button on the voting machine, make sure you've checked the facts first. (link)
A good suggestion.

I have a better one. No, two. First, read this weblog and skip the inane ads all together. You'll learn all you need to know about the presidential contest from me, an unbiased source. Second, do what I do. On my satellite television dial, I'm tuned right now to channel 801. "Hits from the 1940's." All music, no video, 24 hours a day. Uninterrupted by commercials. It keeps one's sanity intact.

* Actually, Factcheck.org is under fire these days for getting its facts wrong, and for clearly being anti-gun and pro-Obama. More on that here.

Things I Don't Ever Want To Know

When I was in undergraduate school (a while back) and Paula and I were on a limited budget, we sought out a butcher shop down the street from our apartment, where we were able to buy "hamburger" at three pounds for a dollar. A great price, even then, and we gained a valuable lesson on all the neat things one can do with hamburger.

Funny thing was, I always had my suspicions about that "hamburger." When we fried it up, it turned a bright red. An odd red. A mysterious and intriguing red. Dog? Cat? Goat? Rat? I don't know to this day. But here's the thing: It tasted good. So I left well enough alone and enjoyed my 3 lbs.-for-a-dollar ... hamburger.

I was reminded of that story when I saw a photo in this morning's Roanoke Times that shows mouse turds that were found by health inspectors during a routine inspection on what looks like pancakes at the Roanoke City Market Building the other day.


Did we need to know that? Will pancakes ever taste the same? Had we all been eating mouse turds at the Market for lunch?

Were we the worse for it?

I remember that hamburger having a delicate flavor all its own, never replicated anywhere since. Who knows, maybe those mouse turd vendors at the Roanoke City Market Building were on to something.

Fighting Mad

It's good to see someone in the McCain campaign has fire in his belly. The following is the sort of take-no-prisoners assault that one expects to find coming from a partisan blogger, not from a stodgy, intractable, unwieldy presidential campaign. I like it:
A Partisan Paper of Record
John McCain.com

Today the New York Times launched its latest attack on this campaign in its capacity as an Obama advocacy organization. Let us be clear about what this story alleges: The New York Times charges that McCain-Palin 2008 campaign manager Rick Davis was paid by Freddie Mac until last month, contrary to previous reporting, as well as statements by this campaign and by Mr. Davis himself.

In fact, the allegation is demonstrably false. As has been previously reported, Mr. Davis separated from his consulting firm, Davis Manafort, in 2006. As has been previously reported, Mr. Davis has seen no income from Davis Manafort since 2006. Zero. Mr. Davis has received no salary or compensation since 2006. Mr. Davis has received no profit or partner distributions from that firm on any basis -- weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual -- since 2006. Again, zero. Neither has Mr. Davis received any equity in the firm based on profits derived since his financial separation from Davis Manafort in 2006.

Further, and missing from the Times' reporting, Mr. Davis has never -- never -- been a lobbyist for either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Mr. Davis has not served as a registered lobbyist since 2005.

Though these facts are a matter of public record, the New York Times, in what can only be explained as a willful disregard of the truth, failed to research this story or present any semblance of a fairminded treatment of the facts closely at hand. (link)

It appears that the Times, in an effort to paint McCain in a negative light again (is that the job of a "news" organization?), uses some really old information to make it seem that Rick Davis was on the take while working for McCain's presidential campaign. That's not the case.

A careful reading of the Times article, in fact, makes no such claims - directly. But there is an implicit message being crafted, starting with the article's headline: "Loan Titans Paid McCain Adviser Nearly $2 Million."

To be fair, the Times should have entitled the piece "Loan Titans Indirectly Paid Lobbyist Who Gave Up Lobbying And Was Later To Become a McCain Adviser Nearly $2 Million Several Years Ago."

But fairness has never been the NY Times's strong suit.

She's Just Not Fitting The Media's Template

While Democratic vice presidential contender Joe Biden produces a gaffe a day, the mainstream press is ignoring him and is instead obsessively seeking out - and "reporting" on - every misstep, whether real or conjured, that Sarah Palin might be making. (See a good example in this Washington Post article this morning that caught her "stumbling" in response to a question posed by Katie Couric. Stop the presses.).

Meanwhile, the boobs miss the real story, as the editorialists at Investor's Business Daily feel the need to point out:
Snarky Media Hide Palin Policy News

The press spent so much time sniping at Sarah Palin for her visits with global leaders that in the end it babbled about itself. What it missed was news on John McCain's foreign policy. Who are the real rubes?

Obama has never set foot in Latin America. He has yet to sit down with any Latin American leader in person, though he's made the offer to Venezuela's Chavez and Cuba's Castro brothers.

His running mate, Joe Biden, reaps hay for his foreign policy experience but has only managed to set foot in two Latin American countries during his 35 years on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Obama has yet to negotiate with a foreign government. Palin did so with Canada, our top energy supplier and largest trading partner, to create a 1,700-mile natural gas pipeline.

Palin's meetings with foreign heads of state in New York this week sent a stark message to the world's tyrants: If she and John McCain are elected to the highest office in the land, America will stand by the embattled nations it calls friends.

[Yet] outlets from AP to Newsday to even Fox News busied themselves hollering about access. They made themselves the story. Then they conjectured that these were "tutorials" and "burnishings of resumes" instead of messages to the world.

Obsessed with pink sofas and Alaska-shaped earrings, and on lookout for a mispronounced word, they complained that they got only a briefing, not a seat at the table. In the end, their braying only underlined their lack of interest in foreign affairs.

The self-absorbed media missed the real story about McCain and Palin's foreign intentions that the rest of the world is watching and reporting on. Who, again, are the real rubes? (link)

Journalists. Is it any wonder that they garner no respect?

The Power Of Mother Nature

Some great photos, along with a corresponding map, appear in this morning's New York Times that show the devastation that a series of hurricanes over time can wreak upon a barrier island in the Gulf.

I'm impressed enough to want to pack up and leave the mountains next time one comes up the coast.

Such fury. Such might. Such destruction.

This Should Surprise Nobody

Why does Nobel winner Al Gore come to mind?
Green idealists fail to make grade, says study
By David Adam, environment correspondent, The Guardian

People who believe they have the greenest lifestyles can be seen as some of the main culprits behind global warming, says a team of researchers, who claim that many ideas about sustainable living are a myth.

According to the researchers, people who regularly recycle rubbish and save energy at home are also the most likely to take frequent long-haul flights abroad. The carbon emissions from such flights can swamp the green savings made at home, the researchers claim.

Stewart Barr, of Exeter University, who led the research, said: "Green living is largely something of a myth. There is this middle class environmentalism where being green is part of the desired image. But another part of the desired image is to fly off skiing twice a year. And the carbon savings they make by not driving their kids to school will be obliterated by the pollution from their flights."

Some people even said they deserved such flights as a reward for their green efforts, he added. (link)
I may consume more than most, but at least I'm not a hypocrite about it. And my lifestyle is not put on display for the entire world to ridicule.

So where is Crazy Al these days?

Oh, yeah, doing what he does best. He's telling others to do what he won't do himself. But now he's telling them to violate the law and get arrested.

And Just In The Nick Of Time Too

Just before she had absolutely no one attending her "concerts" ...

Singer Bette Midler has told Sky News she is quitting touring - to help save the planet.

I thought she had retired long ago. Who knew.

What a Wonderful Video

"The strength of our nation is not only in its military, or economic power, but in our commitment to moral values, for the good of the world.

"Life, Faith, and Family.

"This election day, everything you hold scared will need your vote."

From CatholicVote.com:

Powerful stuff.