Whatever Happened To Transparency?

Yesterday Hot Air reported that all of the cable networks except MSNBC will be banned from live coverage of the South Carolina state Democrat convention. Who made this deal, and why did they make it? C-Span is included in that ban.

The article reports:

Every political junkie in America knows that C-Span is the place to go when looking for coverage of anything political. This is particularly true during political conventions and other large partisan events. The cable channel’s live coverage is unsurpassed. Viewers don’t have to worry about partisan journalists or talking heads from standard cable news networks chiming in or interrupting coverage for commercial breaks. South Carolina Democrats have decided to give MSNBC, the most partisan liberal-leaning cable network, exclusive rights to live coverage. All the other networks, including C-Span, CNN, and Fox News Channel, are required to wait three hours after the convention ends to show their live footage.

The article explains how the coverage is supposed to be handled:

South Carolina is an early primary state. The Democrat state convention is a required stop for the presidential candidates. The cattle call, er, showcase of candidates give the state’s voters a leg up in hearing from all the candidates in person. MSNBC was chosen to “enhance the proceedings”, according to a party spokesman. Two MSNBC show hosts, Joy-Ann Reid, and the Rev. Al Sharpton will interview all of the candidates in attendance using a set specifically built for them to do so inside the convention hall. I doubt it is a coincidence that two black show hosts were chosen to do the interviews. The majority of South Carolina Democrat primary voters are African-American. This is important because South Carolina follows Iowa and New Hampshire as the third state to hold its primary vote. It is known as the First in the South. What better choice could MSNBC have made than to pick their two loudest race-baiters to interview the Democrat candidates? It’s all about putting on a good show, you see.

I suspect the MSNBC coverage will be a new dimension of slanted news. That is a serious disservice to the voters of South Carolina.

Observing The Double Standard

It’s always interesting to see how the press covers the occasional misdeeds of our political leaders. Recently, however, it has reached the point of absurdity. Jonah Goldberg posted an article at National Review Online today which showed some concrete examples of the double standard at work.

One of the recent examples is the attack on GOP House whip Steve Scalise because he spoke to a group of racists twelve years ago. No one seems to care what he said–so far I have seen no record of his comments–the uproar is because he addressed the group. Representative Scalise claims that he had no idea what the view of the group were (there was no ‘google’ then). But let’s look on the other side. The article points out:

Barack Obama was friends with a domestic terrorist, Bill Ayers. His spiritual mentor was a vitriolic racist, Jeremiah Wright. One of his administration’s closest advisers and allies is Al Sharpton, a man who has inspired enough racial violence to make a grand dragon’s white sheets turn green with envy.

Meanwhile, the Democratic party venerated the late senator Robert Byrd, a former Klansmen himself. He was one of 19 senators (all Democrats) to sign the Southern Manifesto opposing integration. One of his co-signers was William Fulbright, Bill Clinton’s mentor.

People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

There are other examples in the article:

Peaceful, law-abiding tea-party groups who cleaned up after their protests — and got legal permits for them — were signs of nascent fascism lurking in the American soul. Violent, anarchic, and illegal protests by Occupy Wall Street a few years ago or, more recently, in Ferguson, Mo., were proof that a new idealistic generation was renewing its commitment to idealism.

When rich conservatives give money to Republicans, it is a sign that the whole system has been corrupted by fat cats. When it is revealed that liberal billionaires and left-wing super PACs outspent conservative groups in 2014: crickets.

That is just the way the mainstream media sees and reports it. Remember this as we go into the 2016 election season. Don’t believe everything you hear.

The Creeping Bureaucracy Of Washington

Andrew McCarthy posted an article today at National Review Online about the recent events involving police that have gotten so much publicity. Mr. McCarthy’s theory is that Eric Holder has inserted himself into these events not because they are civil rights issues, but because he can use these events to exert federal power over local law enforcement.

The article reports:

Civil-rights investigations in Ferguson and Staten Island? No, what denizens of St. Louis and New York City ought to be worried about right now is . . . the crime wave overtaking Seattle.

If you don’t understand why, then you probably thought Obamacare was about covering the uninsured. Like its health-care “reform” campaign, the Obama Left’s civil-rights crusade is about control — central control of state law enforcement by Washington.

The deaths of Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York are each tragic in their own way. But in neither is there a federal civil-rights case to be had. To think otherwise, you have to be getting your advice from Al Sharpton — the huckster confidant of President Obama and Attorney General Holder.

So what has happened in Seattle that should have us all concerned?

The article reports:

Seattle is another of the big cities that has been targeted by the DOJ. It has been under a consent decree since the Justice Department targeted it in 2012 for a “pattern or practice” of violations, allegedly including “subjecting individuals to excessive force” — in particular, “using excessive force against persons of color,” and “escalating situations and using excessive force when arresting individuals for minor offenses.”

…Meanwhile, Seattle has been making announcements, too. It seems crime in the Emerald City has been skyrocketing since the Justice Department came in to, er, help. Homicides up 21 percent, car theft up 44 percent, aggravated assaults up 14 percent, and so on.

Welcome to Change: produced and directed by the Obama Justice Department and coming soon to a town near you.

Although I agree with Andrew McCarthy that what is happening in Ferguson and Staten Island is about control, I also think there is another purpose. One of the characteristics of the Obama Administration has been to create division between different groups of people. The ‘war on women’ was an attempt to create division among the sexes, the so-called ‘problem of income inequality’ was to create class warfare, and the focus on the two unfortunate deaths in law-enforcement situations undermines the authority of the police and can also be used to create racial division and tension. Unless Americans wake up and realize that they are being manipulated by a Chicago thug, we are in for a really ugly next two years.

What Are These People Smoking?

Today’s Daily Caller posted a story about comments made by Al Sharpton on NBC’s “Meet The Press” today. The Reverend Sharpton was responding to a question about a recent article in Politico Magazine describing him as a surrogate of President Obama regarding race relations.

The article reports:

“First of all, I’m not a surrogate,” he contended. “I have access to the White House in every era going back to Lincoln with Frederick Douglass. Presidents talk to those that were leading at that time.”

“Not comparing Marc Morial or Melanie Campbell and I to Frederick Douglass,” Sharpton added (though the “and I” was barely audible). “But that’s nothing unusual.”

“I went to Ferguson because the family, the grandfather called to ask me to come,” he said. “The White House called while I was there, talked to me, the head of the NAACP and others. So it’s not a surrogate, it is a customary, traditional role.”

Reverend Sharpton is no Frederick Douglass. Let’s talk a little bit about the Reverend Al Sharpton. He has done more to stir up strife between races than to quell it. Reverend Sharpton has a way of showing up in a difficult situation and throwing gasoline on whatever fire is raging. More than one of the situations Reverend Sharpton has been involved in included  information that was questionable at best at the time, and later proved false. Reverend Sharpton is not a man seeking peace and harmony between races, he makes a living by stirring up strife and claiming to be a peacemaker. If harmony between the races occurred, Reverend Sharpton would be out of the spotlight and out of a job. He is very aware of that.

Confusing Justice With Politics

Investor’s Business Daily posted an article today showing the timeline of the arrest and trial of George Zimmerman. I haven’t written a lot about the George Zimmerman case because I think it is being hyped and used as a racial wedge issue.

However, the timeline in the article is revealing:

Feb. 26, 2012: Zimmerman shoots Martin, claiming self-defense; later released after police questioning.

March 12: Sanford, Fla., police chief insists there’s not enough evidence to charge Zimmerman, but turns investigation over to the state attorney’s office for review after protests from civil-rights groups.

March 20: Attorney General Holder launches investigation of police handling of case. U.S. prosecutors meet with Martin’s parents and the Rev. Al Sharpton.

March 22: Al Sharpton holds rally, yelling: “We came for permanent justice. Arrest Zimmerman now!”

March 22: Florida Gov. Rick Scott puts Corey on case; Corey decides not to let grand jury review evidence.

March 23: In White House press conference, President Obama expresses sympathy for Martin parents: “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” He adds, “It’s absolutely imperative we investigate every aspect of this.”

March 24: New Black Panthers offer $10,000 bounty for “capture” of Zimmerman, threaten his family.

April 2: Holder meets Congressional Black Caucus, Sharpton and other black ministers in White House, pledges “swift action” in the Zimmerman case.

April 11: Holder speaks alongside Sharpton at his National Action Network convention in New York, where he threatens to charge authorities in Florida with “civil rights crime.” Zimmerman is taken into custody.

The shooting happened in late February. The media didn’t really care about this and the police chief saw no reason to press charges. If you read between the lines of the timeline, you can see the pressure brought to bear to turn this case into a media circus.

The article also cites some interesting omissions in the April 11 arrest affidavit. Although the affidavit included the fact that that Martin’s mother identified the voice on the 911 tape screaming for help as her son, it left out the fact that Martin’s father said that the voice was not his son. It also left out the fact that several people identified the voice screaming for help as George Zimmerman. Medical information about injuries to George Zimmerman was left out as well as evidence of grass stains on his back.

The article further reports:

But it conveniently failed to mention a toxicology report finding traces of marijuana in Martin’s blood and urine — which would have corroborated Zimmerman’s remark to a 911 dispatcher that Martin acted like he was “on drugs.” Police had trained Zimmerman to spot non-residents acting suspiciously in his townhouse complex, which had been the target of a rash of break-ins.

The lead detective in the case, Chris Serino, said he felt pressure to charge Zimmerman with murder, even though he said there was no evidence to support it.

I have no idea why the Obama Administration would choose to make such a big deal out of this case. All they have succeeded in doing is dividing Americans against each other along racial lines. Nothing constructive will come from the publicity given this case or of the threats made by racial activists of riots if they are not satisfied with the verdict.

Hopefully, those seeking to use this case for their own political purposes will not be successful.

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Unfortunate, But Necessary

Newsbusters is reporting tonight that the producer who created the altered recording of George Zimmerman’s 911 call has been fired. The network is refusing to name the producer, but has fired him.

The article reports:

The editing of the segment was initially noticed by NewsBusters, an arm of the Media Research Center, a conservative media monitoring group. On March 31, NBC told The Washington Post that it would investigate. […]

The people with direct knowledge of the firing characterized the misleading edit as a mistake, not a purposeful act.

I have no way of knowing whether the editing was done on purpose or whether it was accidental. I do know that it painted Mr. Zimmerman as a racist when there was no actual evidence to support that charge. Because of the way the tape was edited, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and other professional racial complainers got involved in something that was totally the result of editing a tape in a way that was thoroughly misleading. Thank God for the fact that NewsBusters caught on to what was done and spoke up.

This story is another example of why we need the Internet. All media needs to be held accountable (even the Internet). Generally it is the Internet that holds the mainstream media accountable, but I am sure there are examples of the reverse.

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Has Anyone Bothered To Check The Facts ?

The killing of Trayvon Martin has brought all sorts of people with all sorts of political and ideological persuasions out of the woodwork. There are rumors and pictures flying–some accurate and some not so accurate. According to the Los Angeles Times, the New Black Panther Party has offered $10,000 for the citizen’s arrest of George Zimmerman. There have also been death threats against Mr. Zimmerman and charges that he was not arrested due to political connections. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have gotten involved. Have any of the people screaming bothered to check the facts? This is the kind of rhetoric that results in lynchings–it needs to stop.

A local Florida reporter has taken the time to clear up some of the misstatements and misinformation that is out there. Rene Stutzman at the Orlando Sentinal has done some investigating and dispels some of the rumors that have been circulating.

1. There is a rumor that the county Medical Examiner refused to release Trayvon Martin’s body to his family for three days. That is simply not true–the coroner released the body to the funeral home after 39 hours–the funeral home did not pick up the body for another 24 hours.

2. Rumor has it that the Sanford police did not collect George Zimmerman’s clothing as evidence. That is also not true–clothing from both men was collected to be examined as evidence.

3. One story says that George Zimmerman was not arrested because he has a relative on the police force. First of all, he has no relative on the force. Second of all, Florida Statute 776.032 expressly prohibits police from arresting someone who had a reasonable fear of imminent death or great bodily harm. Legally, the police could not have arrested him.

It is a tragedy that Trayvon Martin is dead, but we need to be careful not to make him an angel in death when there are some real questions as to what kind of a person he was in life.

ABC News reported yesterday:

Family attorney Benjamin Crump told ABC News that Martin had been slapped with a 10 day school suspension after a bag with suspected marijuana was found in his backpack.

Last year Martin was suspended for spraying graffiti on school grounds. The Miami Herald reported that the school guard who stopped him searched his backpack and found 12 items of women’s jewelry and a flathead screw driver that the guard believed to be a “burglary implement.” But Martin was never charged or specifically disciplined for the incident.

It is a shame that Trayvon Martin is dead, but that death has nothing to do with racism–it seems to have more to do with being in the wrong place at the wrong time and some very bad decisions made very quickly by both parties involved. I am not sure George Zimmerman should be charged with anything. Evidence suggests that he was pretty badly roughed up when police interviewed him. Hopefully, the hysteria will die down soon enough for the truth to come out.

 

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