Blogs I Follow – Sharyl Attkisson

I was made aware of her when she left CBS when her computer was hacked by the FBI/DOJ, and she wouldn’t stand for it. She currently is in mid-trial against them and I’m on her side. (Link here to her site)

Why I follow her is that she is actually independent in her views. Any post that have written that has the tag MSM shows my contempt for the press, their bias and lack of journalistic skills. They have become the propaganda tool for political parties. Note, I don’t excuse Fox News either because they have been on an island for their views, but still are not unbiased. The rest are fully ensconced on the left.

I also have been clear about my respect for those who write well. She is among them. She also has established an independent online show and podcast. Disclosure: I follow her blog and podcast.

I spent my career working with TV, Radio, print and online journalists. There are very few that I ended with any respect once they made their bias known.

Just to prove that she is a better writer than me, here is an excerpt from her book, Slanted.

The five-time Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter and New York Times bestselling author of Stonewalled and The Smear uncovers how partisan bias and gullibility are destroying American journalism.

The news as we once knew it no longer exists. It’s become a product molded and shaped to suit the narrative. Facts that don’t fit are omitted. Off-narrative people and views are controversialized or neatly deposited down the memory hole. Partisan pundits, analysts and anonymous sources fill news space leaving little room for facts. The line between opinion and fact has disappeared.

In Slanted, Sharyl Attkisson reveals with gripping detail the struggles inside newsrooms where journalism used to rule. For the first time, dozens of current and former top national news executives, producers and reporters give insider accounts, speaking with shocking candor about their industry’s devolution.

For those who understand how hard it is to write well, I encourage you to go to read her work. It is a breath of fresh air in the cesspool of what is journalism and the MSM are.

Blogs I follow and Why – Don Surber

Here is the link to his blog.

Now, why I follow him.

When I first started blogging in 2004, Glenn Reynolds or Instapundit was the the biggest game in town. I noticed that Don got a lot of attention by linking to him. I thought he was being contentious to gather a following, until I found out what he did for a living.

He was a reporter for a Newspaper in West Virginia, now retired. I won’t mention it because he’s said that he’s not all that fond of it.

What draws me to his writing is that it is good. It’s hard to write well. I can ramble on and take forever to make a point, but Surber gets to it with wit and pithiness that I admire.

I love his Highlights of the News and his commentary of it. I’ve read it for a long time now. He doesn’t pontificate, yet makes his point with the summary that he presents.

Hopefully, I’ll one day be able to get my style somewhere in the ballpark of Surber, but I doubt it.

I don’t expect him to mention or follow me. It doesn’t matter.

I was most happy for him when the greatest radio host of all time called him out last year. That is an accolade to take to your grave and I’m glad it happened to him.

Great Sayings – The Bias That People Have

People only see what they are prepared to see.  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

I’m not going to get political here because I think people should make up their own minds.  Most already have.  The problem with the MSM and Social Media is that you can confirm you bias, no matter what it is by going to what sources you feel comfortable to read.  That is your filter.

What I do think is that the actual smart people will have an open mind to both sides of any situation and look at the facts and ask questions.  We should challenge what is out there every time there is a “major issue” to see what the real answers are.

It takes time and you will have to have an open mind, but coming to the right conclusion instead of viewing a situation through the filter of what someone else says is the way to truth.

This is not easy.  What is easy is to fall back to your usual sources and just believe and regurgitate what is being said.

Take off the filter and evaluate like a detective.  Come to the right conclusion based on facts, not feelings or especially on what someone else said.

Great Sayings – How To Read The News (Or Don’t If You Don’t Have To)

“Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.”

-Douglas Adams

I worked with the press/media for 3+ decades.  I know they don’t write the correct story and at best it is partially true.  It is also biased one way or another depending on the publication.

It seems these days that all we get is bad news.  There is an old saying for news outlets, “If it bleeds it reads”.  There is also the sex sells and others that are the same.

It might be best to not look at the news very much right now, at least until the election is over.

My other piece of advice is to not just read (if you have to) things that confirm your bias.  It won’t really inform you although it could make you feel better than what you don’t agree with.

The MSM isn’t going to write anything good or unbiased right now.  If you know that going into it, you can treat it with the (dis)respect it deserves.  Also, don’t even pretend to get proper information from social media.  You’ll drive yourself and others crazy.

Great Sayings – Advertising vs. The News (both suck)

“Advertising is the modern substitute for argument; its function is to make the worse appear the better.”

-George Santayana

Over the years, we’ve found ways to skip ads.  We record shows and fast forward through them to watch what we want.

Lately, I’ve been skipping the news because I’m sick of the biased reporting, from either side of the story.

Advertising somehow makes having hemorrhoids, toe fungus, yellow teeth and bad breath seem better.  All of it at the cost of the fast speaker at the end telling you all of the things that will harm you when you use the cure they are selling.

The news tells you all the harm that is happening to you to make you feel worse.  So advertisements during the news hour is a recipe for depression or anger.

I hope all of this crap is just the result of it being an election year and will go away after November.  Unfortunately, since they’ve already gotten rid of Brian Williams, Bill O’Reilly, Matt Lauer, Katy Couric and the rest of the losers and the news still sucks it probably won’t.

I just don’t watch now and I feel better.  Tell me when it changes.

 

Great Sayings – Daniel Patrick Moynihan on Opinion vs. Facts

Everyone has both.  Some choose one over the other.  Most mesh the two together.

The difficulty in this day of being barraged by social media and a 24/7/365 news hype cycle is that you can choose to go with your bias and only see one side of any story.  This is dangerous regardless of which side you view it from.

Don’t believe the scare tactics of the money hustlers who rush people into a position like sheep herders trying to corral the flock into group think.  The tactic is shame for not subjugating yourself to the PC position of the day.

It takes courage to step out and stand for what is right, especially in the start of a crisis or an event in time. This requires critical thinking as to discovery of the real facts and applying the necessary logic to come to the right conclusion.  It also can take time.  The media and politicians will try to rush us into judgement based on opinion.

As they said in Watergate, follow the money and you’ll usually see through those who are self-serving.

Most of all, don’t be a sheep.  Think for yourselves and don’t take anything you read online as gospel, except for the Gospel.

Sooner or later, time exposes the truth.  Whether you want to believe it or not is now up to you.

Why Newspapers and The News Are Not Only A Dying Model, But Dead

“I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it.” – Thomas Jefferson

I don’t subscribe to the newspaper anymore, but I got one this morning.  I’m sure that it was a teaser to try to get me to subscribe.  Upon reading it, I realized I already knew everything in the paper except the local high school football scores from games after I went to bed.

A DYING MODEL

The subscription rates to newspapers are dying, not even a slow death.  Similarly, the evening news is also a dinosaur.  They report what we knew as much as a full day before.

I am on twitter and read blogs all day long.  I occasionally go to the news sites,  but as I discuss below, their bias (I hold both left and right guilty equally here) usually makes me fact check what I’m trying to find out which defeats the purpose of fact-finding, especially if it involves politics. That subject is pretty much unavoidable these days.

Nevertheless, I enjoy many other subjects which you could read about it on other blog entries if you have nothing better to do, and I find good information about them that is interesting and INSTANT.

I’m a boomer, although a technically savvy one having been in the IT industry all my life.  The Gen X,Y, millennials,  and whomever follows them demand even more instantaneous everything virtually dooming the news model of our prior generation.  Thank you Internet.

THE END OF THE BASTIONS OF NEWS

We have establish that we are now used to getting information instantaneously.  The other reason that the model is dying is that they are biased.  This is ok if you are a neo-con or a loony lefty, but for everyone else (the other 80% given 10% on the edges of left and right) we don’t trust them anymore.

Once, these two sources were the basis of our world and local information.  Besides being static rather than dynamic, they also have stopped being factual sources of information, rather they are partisan, with Fox on one side and CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, NYT, WAPO, LA TImes, Reuters, AP, HuffPo, Local News, Local Papers and most other news sources on the other side of issues.  All are positioned in a place that position the facts from a point of view.   Some of them blatantly lie.   Reporting was supposed to be the facts of the story that let the reader make up their mind on their position.

We’ve actually learned that the news has been biased for at least as long as there has been television, we just didn’t have the instant fact checking that the internet and the other sources have provided.

There is a joke from Bernie Goldberg that said if they had been reporting on Moses at Mt. Sinai, the headline would read “Moses get the 10 Commandments from God, and here are the two that we think are important to you”.

Walter Cronkite said that the Viet Nam war was lost during the time that we were winning.  LBJ said that if he’d lost Cronkite, he’d lost America.  We’ve since learned that the then “most trusted man in America” was also one of the most biased.

LIFE MOVES ON

Other things have died and we have lived and moved on.  Black and white TV, network only channels vs. cable TV and landline phones vs. mobile (cell for those in the US) phones.  Such is the fate of newspapers and TV network news.  Here is just one fact concerning the NYT declining rates.  I’m sure you could find somewhere that their subscriptions are increasing, but this would seem deceitful given the nature of digital delivery.

So am I disturbed by this trend?  Actually I didn’t even notice it until I saw the paper in my yard this morning.  I haven’t subscribed for news in many years (note: I get the Sunday paper for the coupons as long as they pay for the 1 day delivery – my sister calls me a tightwad but it leads to becoming this).

I get my news from the above stated sources and know more about what is going on than the anchors have time to present in their biases manner.

So as they say, life moves on.