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Bashing the “Lamestream Media”

A good friend “shared” something on social media not too long ago that really made me roll my eyes. It was about the wanna-be terrorist “Shoe Bomber” Richard Reid. Just before Christmas in 2001, Reid, a Brit, got on an American Airlines plane from Paris to Florida, and while in-flight he tried to light a bomb in his shoe. Other passengers subdued him, and his airplane bombing fizzled. He’s now in prison in the U.S., serving a life sentence without parole.

Part of the posting that my friend copied (he didn’t write it, he just shared it) was this:

THIS IS INTERESTING!!!!!

Remember the guy who got on a plane with a bomb built into his shoe and tried to light it?

Did you know his trial is over?

Did you know he was sentenced?

Did you see/hear any of the judge’s comments on TV or Radio?

Didn’t think so.!!!

Everyone should hear what the judge had to say.

The judge’s comments were on the court record, of course — a “Joe Friday” lecture to the dorky terrorist (yeah: dorky! That’s his mug shot below).

Richard Reid MugshotBut I have to say, posts like this drive me nuts, because they’re talking like this happened this week. It didn’t. His sentencing was in January …of 2003 — more than ten years ago, not this week.

Of course the results of the trial were widely published in the media at the time — you can look it up. But how many refused to read about it or listen to stories about it because it was reported in the “Lamestream Media”?

The press is considered the Fourth branch of government, and rightly so. To proudly ignore it is to proudly proclaim oneself ignorant, and this is a prime example of what happens when one does ignore the media: amazement at what the judge said when it finally comes to people’s attention. This is not an example of the failure of the press, it’s an example of the failure to pay attention to important developments reported by the press. They are doing their jobs. The people who find this “news” after more than a decade are not.

The Judge’s Comments

This is the rest of the post — which I did not check to see if it is both accurate and complete. Note that the author sometimes left it unclear which words are his own, and which words were uttered by the judge, but I decided not to alter it, and just post it as written.

Ruling by Judge William Young, US District Court.

Prior to sentencing, the Judge asked the defendant if he had anything to say. His response: After admitting his guilt to the court for the record, Reid also admitted his ‘allegiance to Osama bin Laden, to Islam, and to the religion of Allah,’ defiantly stating, ‘I think I will not apologize for my actions,’ and told the court ‘I am at war with your country.’

Judge Young then delivered the statement quoted below:

January 30, 2003, United States vs. Reid.

Judge Young: ‘Mr. Richard C. Reid, hearken now to the sentence the Court imposes upon you.

On counts 1, 5 and 6 the Court sentences you to life in prison in the custody of the United States Attorney General. On counts 2, 3, 4 and 7, the Court sentences you to 20 years in prison on each count, the sentence on each count to run consecutively. (That’s 80 years.)

On count 8 the Court sentences you to the mandatory 30 years again, to be served consecutively to the 80 years just imposed. The Court imposes upon you for each of the eight counts a fine of $250,000 that’s an aggregate fine of $2 million. The Court accepts the government’s recommendation with respect to restitution and orders restitution in the amount of $298.17 to Andre Bousquet and $5,784 to American Airlines.

The Court imposes upon you an $800 special assessment. The Court imposes upon you five years supervised release simply because the law requires it. But the life sentences are real life sentences so I need go no further.

This is the sentence that is provided for by our statutes. It is a fair and just sentence. It is a righteous sentence.

Now, let me explain this to you. We are not afraid of you or any of your terrorist co-conspirators, Mr. Reid. We are Americans. We have been through the fire before. There is too much war talk here and I say that to everyone with the utmost respect. Here in this court, we deal with individuals as individuals and care for individuals as individuals. As human beings, we reach out for justice.

You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a soldier, gives you far too much stature. Whether the officers of government do it or your attorney does it, or if you think you are a soldier, you are not—– you are a terrorist. And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not meet with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists. We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.

So war talk is way out of line in this court. You are a big fellow. But you are not that big. You’re no warrior. I’ve known warriors. You are a terrorist. A species of criminal that is guilty of multiple attempted murders. In a very real sense, State Trooper Santiago had it right when you first were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and the TV crews were, and he said: ‘You’re no big deal.’

You are no big deal.

What your able counsel and what the equally able United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know how tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific. What was it that led you here to this courtroom today?

I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing? And, I have an answer for you. It may not satisfy you, but as I search this entire record, it comes as close to understanding as I know.

It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious. You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose. Here, in this society, the very wind carries freedom. It carries it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom, so that everyone can see, truly see, that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely. It is for freedom’s sake that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf, have filed appeals, will go on in their representation of you before other judges.

We Americans are all about freedom. Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties. Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we will bear any burden; pay any price, to preserve our freedoms. Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here. The day after tomorrow, it will be forgotten, but this, however, will long endure.

Here in this courtroom and courtrooms all across America , the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being done. The very President of the United States through his officers will have to come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be judged and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, to mold and shape and refine our sense of justice.

See that flag, Mr. Reid? That’s the flag of the United States of America. That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag stands for freedom. And it always will.

Mr. Custody Officer. Stand him down.

The online post concludes:

So, how much of this Judge’s comments did we hear on our TV sets? We need more judges like Judge Young. Pass this around. Everyone should and needs to hear what this fine judge had to say. Powerful words that strike home.

Please SEND this—-so that everyone has a chance to read it.

Those amazed that the trial is over are simply proving that they’re not paying attention — not doing their jobs as citizens. The only thing “amazing” is that it took them ten years to notice.

- - -

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27 Responses to Bashing the “Lamestream Media”

  1. Robert, Orlando August 23, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

    Really important news items are overwhelmed by the coverage of Kim K., LiLo, Beyonce, or whatever new idiot the American People waste their time following. You have to look for actual news. Some of my friends are surprised when I tell them I have to go to foreign media outlets to find substantial news of the world.

  2. Lynda, Renton WA August 23, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

    Is the real problem here the “lamestream media” or just those obliviots who have taken a long, long time to actually catch up on their reading?

    By the way, I think I found the term “obliviot” while a fan of yours all these years, Randy, and it is one I should use more often when dealing with e mail forwards this untimely.

    The hell of it is, I get WWAAAYYYYY late e mail forwards from both liberal AND conservative friends. What few seem to realize is that many of us DO read things as they happen, plus the judge’s commentary is part of the public record, which can be used to establish precedent in the courtroom. In this instance, the judge’s comments have been part of the public record for 10 years now.

    I do my share of bashing the “lamestream media” because I did study journalism for a while back in the 80s. I roll my eyes when I read news stories on just about every news site, and even some of the print media, because even some of the “most trusted names in journalism” seem to have forgotten the value of spell checking, proper grammar, or even fact checking.

    The big problem is, now EVERY, single, solitary thing in American life is politicized, even things that should not be — such as drinking enough fluids during hot summer months to prevent dehydration and heat exhaustion or heat stroke — is practically a dramatic touch point between conservatives and liberals.

    The country is terribly polarized between conservative and liberal, and each label is used as a mortal insult against the other. It doesn’t help that the “lamestream media” uses this to sell papers, or raise ad click revenue on websites.

  3. Phil, San Antonio, Texas, USA August 23, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

    I feel your pain, but you’ve got to remember that most of the people that post this crap were either too young to have been paying attention to the Mainstream Media in 2001 or hadn’t yet discovered the developing Internet. While that doesn’t excuse them from not using the tools now at their disposal to properly vet these stories, even those who were old enough to remember 2001 have a tendency to forward this type of junk without a second thought. In the words of Ron White, “You can’t fix stupid!”

    So true. So it’s doubly amazing that they’d tsk tsk “the media” for not covering something they paid no attention to, especially considering how many news outlets leave their archives up forever, and a simple search can find it. But they don’t think to look. -rc

  4. Mike, NC August 23, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

    I decided to check the quote, so I googled ‘Judge Young to Richard Ried’

    What was most interesting was except for a recently updated snopes.com article, all the responses were from the ‘lame stream’ media coverage from January 2003.

    The quote is accurate.

    Part of the reason I didn’t check is I wanted to see how long it would take one of you to do so. The answer: about 45 minutes after this page posted. That’s pretty darned quick! -rc

  5. Kent, Washington August 23, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

    “The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here.” I seem to remember hearing of someone making a similar comment 150 years ago — four score and seven years after we became independent.

    I’d also like to note that part of the reason nobody knows about the judge’s comment (in addition to protecting alleged offenders’ constitutional rights per the 6th amendment) is that MSM (or as you aptly call it, Lamestream Media) is more focused on each city’s weekly murder, semi-monthly child rape, weekly drug bust, fluff that only three people in town care about, political reports that are heavily skewed to support the media outlet’s agenda agenda of monopolizing national power, weather that’s usually wrong, and sports statistics that are meaningless the next day. With so much “static” coming out of media outlets, it’s a wonder anybody noticed this judge’s comments at all.

    I sure wish the masses weren’t interested in the trivial crap, like celebrity “news” and sports scores, but they are. That’s why the media serves it up. The mistake so many make is assuming any of it is important. -rc

  6. Jacquelyn, New Orleans August 23, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

    I recall receiving this exact email — including the “Did you know his trial is over? Did you know he was sentenced?” bit — shortly after his sentencing. Then I received the same exact email a few more times over the years. It’s probable that most people have; after all, this email has likely been going around for more than 10 years. The fact that it’s still going around probably has more to do with the feel-good (to some people) self-righteousness of the judge’s speech than with any actual astonishment that the guy’s trial is finally over. The last time I received the email, which was only a couple of years ago, I forwarded it on just because it’s a good read. I left in the sensationalistic “Did you know his trial is over? Did you know he was sentenced?” parts just because I was too lazy to edit them out before resending. But by your logic, everyone who received it should have immediately judged me as being ignorant of current events and proudly disdainful of the “Lamestream Media” to the extent of rejecting ALL news sources. Really, Randy? Your reaction is disproportionate to the reality of chain emails for most people. Way too much emotional energy and indignation wasted on an old email that keeps kicking around cyberspace like a fading ghost.

    (Too long; didn’t read version: The email keeps kicking around because of the judge’s speech, not because people are actually ignorant that the bomber’s trial is over.)

    The first I’ve seen it was last month, and I get a lot of forwards and see a lot of online posts. Maybe it was written 10 years ago, though; hard to say unless we find accurately dated examples. In any case, it is still being posted as if it was new, clearly showing the amazement of people who didn’t say “Hey, wait a minute: this whole argument is specious.” If you didn’t, then fine: but don’t blame me for your laziness. And how, exactly, did you measure my “emotional energy”? Are you sure you measured it correctly? I doubt it! -rc

  7. Bill, Windsor CT August 23, 2013 at 10:44 pm #

    It would appear that the judge’s comments above are accurate and 99% complete, per Snopes.

    The 1% not included was (according to the CNN transcript referenced at the end of the Snopes article) was this final exchange:

    REID: That flag will be brought down on the Day of Judgment and you will see in front of your Lord and my Lord and then we will know. (Whereupon the defendant was removed from the courtroom.)

    YOUNG: We’ll recess. All rise.

    In the [near] words of the late Fred Rogers, “Correct as usual, King Randy.”

  8. Tom, Fairbanks AK August 23, 2013 at 10:44 pm #

    Well said, Randy. Thanks for standing up for staying informed and for clear thinking. That’s the only way our country will survive, with an informed and thoughtful electorate.

  9. Alain, France August 24, 2013 at 12:27 am #

    I wonder if your friend read this post and what he had to say about it.

    A good question! I actually posted the gist of this as a comment, and he thanked me for the thought-provocation. -rc

  10. Andrew, Canterbury, UK August 24, 2013 at 2:48 am #

    Many of these posts do the rounds on facebook, via the gullible, in order for the original sender to harvest ‘likes’, ‘shares’, and thus potential spam’n’scam victims.

    It’s not about the media (which, BTW, frequently does lose interest in stories); the “I’m shocked” tone is cynical and deliberate marketing to increase the chance of it being shared.

    I explain to people, and if they persist, I de-friend; let them talk to each other!

  11. Rune, Denmark August 24, 2013 at 3:43 am #

    “We Americans are all about freedom. Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties.”

    Clearly this is pre-9/11. Sadly Guantanamo and the PATRIOT act has destroyed that. It amazes me that US-citizens accept the loss of their freedom in the name of “war against terrorism” — the terrorists are winning, since you are yourself removing the freedom that they fight (Sadly the same tendency is seen in Europe).

    9/11 occurred in 2001; as noted on the page, this event occurred in 2003. But you are indeed correct that many are trying to trade freedom for rather elusive security. -rc

  12. Glenn, Austin August 24, 2013 at 3:57 am #

    It’s been ten years? Time flies, even if Mr. Reid no longer does. I remember hearing about this, but it sure doesn’t seem like it has been that long.

  13. Barbara - Fresno, CA August 24, 2013 at 9:14 am #

    Thanks for bringing this one up out of the vaults, Randy. I have only a vague recollection of this being in the news — idiot terrorist, shoe bomb — and no memory at all of the judge’s inspiring words. Proof, I suppose, that obliviocity (how’s THAT for a word?!?) is insidious and can sneak up on you. Thanks for an inspiring wake up call.

    It’s tough — impossible — to keep up with everything. Where critical thinking comes in is when someone says “Ain’t THIS amazing? Ain’t THIS a shame?!”, you think to yourself, “Wait: I know this didn’t happen yesterday. When DID it happen?” and go LOOK, rather than just buy in to the fake hysteria or, worse, spread it. -rc

  14. Eileen in San Jose August 24, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    I find it sad/funny/odd that the judge was forced by law to impose the fines. This guy, Reid, probably does not have two quarters to rub together and we, the working public, will be supplying his support until his last breath. Even his health care, which as he ages, will become more complex and expensive. How many working, tax-paying Americans do not have any health coverage for their families? This guy will receive care for whatever health problem pops up…cancer, heart/lung problems, even probably sexual dysfunction! I find this absolutely ludicrous and I resent the fact that my hard-earned tax money is used for this guy and many others like him. I’m not so sure that I’d want to live in a place where bad guys are summarily killed, but it sure sounds like the right thing for some of them.

  15. Bob, NC August 24, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    Glen wrote: “It’s been ten years? Time flies, even if Mr. Reid no longer does. I remember hearing about this, but it sure doesn’t seem like it has been that long.”

    So very sad for all of us that even though this jerk no longer flies, nor will he ever, his “legacy” lives on every time any of us fly. We must take our shoes off and be nearly strip-searched (whether physically or electronically) before stepping onto an airplane.

    Maybe they should let him out of prison, chain him to the scanning stations, and let him serve his time by untying our shoes, washing our feet, and putting our shoes back on for 16 hours a day, 7 days a week for the next 80 years. Cruel and unusual? More like a punishment that fits the crime. (Oh, yeah … and if anyone recognizes him and decides to add in a few kicks, they’re immune from prosecution.)

  16. Don in Ohio August 24, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

    The judge’s speech is a good combination of humorous, righteousness, truth, and a bit of arrogance.

    First, let me say that I tend to agree with the judge. I don’t understand why there is an attack on freedom in general, other than maybe it is an attack on the American influence in the affairs of other governments that perhaps we don’t have a right to be influencing.

    President Obama has made reference to the previously arrogant attitude we’ve shown as a nation (not as individuals, mind you) toward almost all other nations. It’s been like we’re the biggest kid on the block, and you have to listen to us, and copy our ways, and do what we tell you to do, or we’ll beat you up (take away our American money that shores up your economy).

    I like to TRY to look at the OTHER side of things, even if I don’t agree with that side.

    Here’s what I suspect is what the people we call terrorists think about their “war” against the USA.

    Please note that I DO NOT agree with this other side. I just think it’s helpful to understand where they MAY be “coming from” in their points of view. I am neither a conservative nor a liberal. Also please note that I could be wrong, and that not all terrorists are coming from the same point of view as other terrorists.

    Let’s look first at the Palestinians, who were granted land by the UN several decades ago. Also, Israel was granted the same thing by the UN. Israel expanded their territory during the three day war, contrary to what was given them by the UN for their resettlement.

    The Palestinians only want their own independent nation. They already exist, they just want official recognition and boundaries for a place that they can call their home, which is what probably everyone wants.

    Now, consider that Israel and the Palestinians have been at a low-level war for quite some time over this whole thing. Israel has a real army. The Palestinians have practically nothing, so their side of the war has to be fought on a small scale using what we would refer to as terrorism, and terrorism it is, but not from their point of view. For them, it’s their only way to fight a war, much like the French Resistance during WWII. From the German’s point of view at that time, the French Resistance were a bunch of terrorists. That puts a different perspective on things, I believe.

    Back during the fight for US independence from Britain, there were loyal Brits who did what they could for the mother country. Benedict Arnold was a traitor from the patriots for US independence, but certainly a loyalist from England’s point of view.

    What I’m trying to point out is that, in international conflicts of any kind, who is “right” depends on which side you are on.

    Also, if the Palestinians had a full army, aircraft, tanks, etc., and were fighting the war with all that military power behind them, they wouldn’t be called terrorists. But what they’re doing is all they can do to fight back, and also to garner international attention to their cause. It would be a peaceful cause if Israel would just steel the matter with them. But it seems that there are some on both sides that prefer war to settling the issue, and it might not ever be settled. So the Palestinians will continue to use small attacks on Israel to fight back, and Israel will fight back killing many more than were killed by the Palestinian attacks. It may never end.

    Depending on the point of view held, it could be said that the US had engaged in terrorism. It’s well known (or suspected in some cases) that the US has engaged in supplanting foreign governments. Take the coup in Iran when the US installed the Shah to power. It only cost them about $100,000 at the time to buy the support they needed to accomplish this.

    Also consider that there are claims that the US has been behind some assassinations of foreign government officials. This may not be true, or may be true but unprovable, but I can see where a “simple” assassination could be an expedient way of achieving the removal of a ruler that the US didn’t like. This could be looked to as acts of terrorism by those on the “other side” of the equation.

    Sure, this fellow was guilty of trying to take innocent lives, and this is never really justifiable. Even wars, it has been said, aren’t justifiable. But we will continue to have wars, and acts of terrorism, as long as people hold strongly different views that can’t be smoothed over.

    I’m sure that many will miss the point here and claim that I am justifying terrorism. Far from it. I just thought it would be a good intellectual exercise to try to understand how the “other side” thinks. Understanding that could be the first step to a reconciliation between the various parties. Even the US realizes that this is an essential element of winning the “war on terrorism,” that is, to have discussions with the other side and try to work out a satisfactory solution for both sides.

    The US has recently overthrown two countries in the past decade or so, and put the country in a serious financial situation as a result of the huge debt accrued to do it, and this was mainly because of a handful of individuals in those countries, not because of the common man in the streets in those countries. Some people in Iran, when interviewed by a US reporter, told the reporter that they had no issues with Americans. It was their governments that had issues with one another.

    People generally don’t want war. Some in government may choose war over settling things in a different way, but most people would rather avoid it. We sacrifice our children to the god of war and what do we get back from it? We have more wars. Those making the calls to war aren’t the ones who have to go to war. It’s not something that it, nor could it ever be put up to a popular vote as to whether to go to war or not. Some wars seem to have to be fought. Some don’t. And time is often of the essence when declaring war. Letting the common people decide whether to go to war or not wastes time, and it also puts the potential enemy on notice, which could be a major mistake.

    Hopefully, this helps some to see that there is another side, and that, from their point of view, their cause is justified. It might not seem like a war from our side, but it is from theirs, and it is also considered by them to be a noble cause, one worth dying for. Are there things that you would really be willing to give up your life for? Most would, if they are being honest, say no to that question. Many would give up their most cherished principles just to avoid being shot in the head. Consider that, for just a moment, and maybe it will be possible to have at least some understanding of the “other side.”

  17. Piet Strydom, Atlanta, GA August 26, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

    Don from Ohio, If only more Americans would think like you. I have been here now for 4 years, from South Africa, where we have learned the hard way to look at the other side as well. (Or at least some of us have.)

    America “promotes democracy” through war generally only where it suits their financial interest. There were huge oil gains from Iraq, there were claims of rare earth mineral gains in Afghanistan. But there are no interventions in Zimbabwe, or Myanmar, or any of a few other hot spots around the world.

    And the rest of the world sees this, and America is fast becoming a very unpopular country.

    But there are also much more immediate concerns — because of the ill advised invasion of Iraq, it is now that much more difficult for America to intervene in Syria, where it really is necessary.

  18. Ken, UK August 26, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    I would pay good money to know what that judge thinks of what our government is now calling “freedom”.

    Reid was a terrorist (and thankfully an inept one). However, the government has taken the ‘terrorist’ label, and applied it with gusto to anyone it didn’t agree with, or wanted to squelch.

    I did my 4 years of military service, proud to be an American.

    Now I’m ashamed that whistleblowers have to go to RUSSIA to escape being called by the powers that be (pre-trial, mind) a ‘terrorist’. To have world-wide diplomacy stepped on. To have international agreements broken willy-nilly. To have so thoroughly undermined the ability of the rest of the world to trust in the internet that the impact on US high-tech companies (where America is supposed to be strongest, right?) will be felt for decades.

    And worst of all: to spit upon the constitution that Americans have held dear, for the ability to say that we’re now “safe”.

    I imagine that judge cries himself to sleep at night knowing that our country has been taken away from us.

    I for one feel much less safe than before 2001. I guess that’s our modern “progress”.

  19. michael. CT August 28, 2013 at 10:35 am #

    While i agree people should check facts before beliveing an email, the lamestream media is still only interested in whatever the democratic psrty wants.

    Just look at zimmerman vs martin.

    They tried so hard to make us belive it was white vs black. When they found out zimmerman was hispanic, he became white hispanic. The same media calls whites racist if they call an illegal hispanic an illegal. How can hispanics be white and whites be racist against them? They would only show themartin photo that makes him look 12 and 5′ 100lbs. Go look at the photos SNOPES has. Martin looks like a normal 17 year old. And big enough to beat zimmerman in a fight.

    NBC admitted to altering the 911 call to make it sound racial.

    Now, the lamestream media wants us to belive stand your ground laws allowed zimmerman to get away with murder even though thst law was not used by zimmerman because it did not apply to him.

    Lets look at gun control. In CT a crazy man shot up a school in sandy hook. The police said he changed magazines many times and abandoned the AR 15 during the shooting, but when obama lies and says one 30 round magazine was used and the AR 15 killed everyone,so we must ban them, where is the media? Standing next to the president saying “yes,that is rightn ban them

    Assault rifles were heavily regulated by gun control acts in 1934 and 1968. No new assault rifles can be made for civilians since a gun control act of 1986. But the lamestream media still tells us anybody can buy an assault rifle at walmart.

    I agree, the media should be part of the government, like a peacekeeping force or a mediator. But they are the propaganda arm of the democrat party.

    And, they cant spell or understand grammar.

    Who, what,where, when and why has become who wrote this, what did they write, where did they write it ,togo, when did they write it, on the school bus,and why would they write something that read like a picasso painting.

    I will stick with you and SNOPES, and keep bashing lamestream media, thank you.

    So, per your definition, Fox News is part of the “lamestream media”. OK. Also, you might want to be a little more careful when complaining about spelling and grammar. -rc

  20. Jim in Tennessee August 28, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    Reading your ThisIsTrue comment on this, saying that people make themselves ignorant by not listening to the news, and that the reporters are ‘just doing their jobs’, well, of course, I have to somewhat disagree with this statement. The reporters are not doing their job as the job was originally intended, and that being impartial and objective. 99 times out of 100, the news is pushing, or hiding, and agenda. Usually, from my experience, the agenda is to inflame the public on a subject, and oft it is to spin the facts in a very divisive manner. Instead of leading the reader or watcher to the conclusion, they should just report it and let us come to our own deduction, or derision, if you will.

    While I agree that impartiality and objectivity are great ideals, the news media certainly was not “originally” “intended” to be so — and if you want to argue that, then state by whom. The media has always had an agenda, whether it was to promote American independence or fealty to the King, or (as is well documented) to push the fledgling U.S. into the Spanish-American War so that William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer could sell more newspapers, which propaganda directly led to the term “yellow journalism.” It is therefore our duty as citizens to ensure we do not get locked into one point of media view (usually the one we “agree with”) and instead seek different points of view so we indeed can come to our own conclusions. But to simply dismiss the entire media establishment as “lamestream” so that we don’t get exposed to other points of view will, as you indicate, lead to an ill- (and mis-) informed public, as was so well demonstrated by the example on this page, among many, many others we see online day after day. -rc

  21. Don in Ohio August 28, 2013 at 8:45 pm #

    I agree with Jim in Tennessee. If you do web searches with Google (and many other search engines) for news, the engine “adapts” to what it thinks you want to see. This means that if you lean far to the left, that you will see news articles and web sites promoting the far left viewpoint. If you lean to the far right, it serves you up news and web sites that agree with your viewpoint.

    As far as I know, you can’t disable that customization, nor can you set it to neutral. It’s part of the personal information that they store about you and use to “enhance your Google experience”.

    What you can do is use a search engine like http://www.duckduckgo.com. Sure, it has a funny name, but they go out of their way to give you the privacy that you want (assuming that you want that). This means that you get “unflavored,” neutral results in your searches.

    http://dontbubble.us/

    As Jim in Tennessee said, news organizations have an agenda. If you don’t believe that, check out the different spins on the news at Fox News and MSNBC. They are diametrically opposed.

  22. Jim in Tennessee August 28, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

    …the news media certainly was not “originally” “intended” to be so — and if you want to argue that, then state by whom.

    Well, this is one example:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journalistic_objectivity

    As well, I think it was also in the great old movie about the newspaper business, can’t remember the name, but I’m sure most of you have seen it. Paraphrasing the line, a reporter worth his salt is absolutely impartial.

    Further food for thought, and I think this should be a big issue, but back in the day, tolerance was in the back of everybody’s mind, and tolerance is what made this country great. Now, it seems the media is doing everything in their power to remove tolerance, at any and all levels. We can’t tolerate blacks, we can’t tolerate whites, we can’t tolerate Hispanics, we can’t tolerate arabs, we can’t tolerate liberals, we can’t tolerate republicans, we can’t tolerate celebrities who don’t dress ‘properly’ or in the latest fashion, we can’t tolerate the food in our schools, and the list goes on and on and on.

    We’ve had intolerance shoved down our throats for so long that now there is nothing in the world that can make us happy. We need to get back to tolerance.

    The Wikipedia article (which has been flagged “This article needs additional citations for verification.” since January 2012) talks about the concept of journalistic objectivity, but doesn’t constitute evidence of an “original” “intention” by the country’s founding fathers that they be objective. Indeed, that article notes, “The term objectivity was not applied to journalistic work until the 20th century.”

    As I said, objectivity in journalism is a terrific ideal, but to say something has changed in our history needs backup citations. Neither Wikipedia nor that great old movie (Citizen Kane, perhaps?) existed when this country was originally formed.

    Now, as for your opinion on tolerance, and how we’ve lost it, I totally agree! That is surely one of the significant factors in making our society cranky, rude, and nasty, if not regressing socially. We need more cooperation and understanding, not less. -rc

  23. Bill, Windsor August 29, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    I also agree with Jim in Tennessee about tolerance – it just doesn’t seem to exist on any level. Oh — wait — the word lives on in “Zero Tolerance” (something on which you’ve commented once or twice, Randy…).

    If you need another sign of lack of tolerance, listen to the news (any network) and try to find a case of someone being “upset”, or “annoyed”, or “disturbed” by or with something. Nowadays, those aren’t strong enough. Anyone who has a beef with anything is now “outraged”. If I never hear “outraged” again, it will be a hundred times too late.

  24. Alice, Mich. August 30, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    “…doubly amazing that they’d tsk tsk ‘the media’ for not covering something they paid no attention to…”

    Oh, yes. That is true.

    We saw this during the last presidential election. Certain ‘news’ reportage on TV stations had been ignoring polls which did not favor their desired outcome. They made up their own delusional polls by taking the unfavorable numbers and simply changing them rather than conducting their own polls.

    After the election was won (and lost), the media and the polls were loudly blamed, both for not making people read and believe their reports quite hard enough, and also for CAUSING the very situations the media were reporting.

    That’s kind of silly, isn’t it? …the idea that the lamestream media is so powerful that when they report a fact, their mere reportage actually causes that fact to become reality. Wow.

    Thanks, Randy, for finding this and posting it. I’d remembered the trial, but never saw the judge’s remarks. Very instructive.

  25. Jeffrey from Nevada August 31, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    I tend to be skeptical of mass media in general. When reading news stories where I have personal knowledge of the events, I usually find several factual errors in the story. They may be on minor points, but it makes me question their reporting skills.

    It only gets worse when news stories get passed around second or third-hand via emails, Twitter, Facebook sharing, or other mass broadcasting methods. Stories with questionable sources or murky origins should be treated with a great deal of skepticism.

    Even then it sometimes isn’t enough. The whole business of those (funny, offensive, or both depending on your point of view) Asiana pilot names a few months back were broadcast after confirmation from an NTSB intern.

  26. Richard in Santa Rosa, CA September 27, 2013 at 11:55 pm #

    The lame stream press is not doing its job. One interesting example is that you’re not hearing that the former chief counsel of the World Bank was fired for reporting corruption at the highest levels.

    She subsequently noted that PLoS One in 2011 reveals that the US main stream press operates as a single conglomerate due to shared members of their boards of directors. This means that unwanted stories and points of view are virtually completely suppressed.

    Her name is Karen Hudes and the story is reported more in other countries, including in English in Great Britain, and in blogs and even on CoastToCoastAM, but not in the Washington Post or the New York Times nor on main stream TV.

    At least Assange and Snowden get some (biased) coverage as the NSA makes all the preparations to make this a complete police state at any moment. You may recall that J. Edgar Hoover retained his position at the FBI by blackmailing presidents and others. And he was only using dirt dug up by an FBI with a tiny fraction of the capabilities now available to many contract agents such as Snowden. Who knows how many blackmail victims there are now?

    But we also need to know the Hudes story and the facts about the incredible power of the central players among the forty thousand multinational corporations. PLoS One is on line, but I doubt that the Wall Street Journal bothered to mention it.

    I guess I’m saying the lame stream press deserves both contempt and ridicule as much as do those citizens who don’t bother to find out even what it does report.

    There’s little in the press about her because Hudes was fired in 2007, not recently. Even if it was “illegal” (and it was at least unethical), how many Americans even know what the World Bank is? How long do you think they’re going to pay attention to something like this? The answer, of course, is “One hell of a lot less than five years!” It’s certainly not “lame” for the media to have moved on, even if the issue is important.

    Wikipedia notes “PLOS ONE is an open access peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the Public Library of Science since 2006. It covers primary research from any discipline within science and medicine.” -rc

  27. Paul -- NJ September 29, 2013 at 4:37 am #

    I’m coming late to this party, but haven’t noticed any comments about the following:

    The online post concludes:

    So, how much of this Judge’s comments did we hear on our TV sets? We need more judges like Judge Young. Pass this around. Everyone should and needs to hear what this fine judge had to say. Powerful words that strike home.

    Please SEND this—-so that everyone has a chance to read it.

    Even if this had just happened recently, how much can we expect to actually hear/read about unless we go looking for a source with the full text of what was said? Newspapers are limited on space, and unless it’s a “News Magazine” type show, TV/radio news is limited on the time it can devote to a single story. We’ll get the basic facts about a story, and that’s about it.

    You did, in part, hit the nail on the head: one simply has to go looking for it if they’re interested in more depth in a news story. And what percentage does? Is that the media’s fault, or the public’s? Because if the public demands more, the media will provide it. I see little demand. -rc

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