Bookshelf update: Sharyl Attkisson’s “Stonewalled”

June 4, 2015

Renaissance scholar astrologer

I’ve updated the “What I’m reading” widget to the right to reflect the latest item on the Public Secrets lectern, Sharyl Attkisson’s “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.”

book cover attkisson stonewalled

 

Attkisson is an award-winning investigative journalist who spent roughly 20 years with CBS before leaving in 2014. For her determined pursuit of the truth and information government and corporate officials would rather keep hidden, she’s been called a “bulldog,” a term she regards as a compliment. While Stonewalled deals with the scandals and evasions of the Obama administration and its allies, Attkisson has a reputation as a bipartisan bulldog — a pain in the tuchus to Democrats and Republicans, alike. This is what a good journalist should be.

I’m about half-way through Stonewalled and, so far, it’s been equal parts enjoyable, infuriating, and even frightening. Before discussing scandals such as Fast and Furious and the Obamacare rollout, as well as the almost equally scandalous supine attitude of mainstream journalism toward the administration, Attkisson opens with the story of her discovery that her work and personal computers, and her phone, had been hacked by a government agency during her investigation into the Benghazi massacre. Though she hasn’t yet identified in the book who she believes is responsible, I’ll note that she has filed suit against  the Department of Justice and the US Postal Service. Discovery, as they say should be interesting.

I’m reading her book in Kindle format; it’s also in soft (forthcoming) and hardcover. Regarding the Kindle edition, I’ve spotted just one lone typo and no formatting problems, which is very good for an e-book. Her writing style is straightforward, almost Hemingway-esque in its directness. If Ms. Attkisson reveals any ax to grind, it’s her firm belief that information paid for with taxpayer dollars belongs to the public, not the government.

I’ll post a review when I’ve finished.

PS: Why, yes. This is a shameless bit of shilling on my part. I like getting the occasional gift certificate that comes from people buying stuff via my link. Wouldn’t you?


(Video) Remember “Hands up, don’t shoot?” It was a lie, and the media ran with it

March 20, 2015

From the Media Research Center:

There are exceptions, but so much of the MSM is corrupt, but in their minds they don’t think of it as corruption, because they’re “fighting for justice,’ which is more important than the truth.

They don’t give a damn about the truth.


Liberal media bias in one eye-popping chart

December 4, 2014

The nonpartisan data analysis company Crowdpac decided to research the political leanings of various professions to see which were more liberal and which were more conservative. The results overall are interesting, and I recommend the article at Business Insider, but one chart showing the leanings of the newspaper and print MSM is just amazing:

Notice a trend?

Notice a trend?

(Larger version)

The X-axis shows how liberal or conservative a respondent is, while the Y-axis gives the number at each level. Not only does print journalism skew Left, but the vast majority of the industry’s liberal members fall into the three most-liberal grades.

And yet liberals scoff when we complain of “media bias.”

This is not a healthy situation, just as it wouldn’t be if the vast majority of journalists leaned Right. When news media is so skewed in one direction, it loses any sense of other perspectives or opinions on important issues, or even what qualifies as an “important issue.” And this limited perspective is transmitted to its audience, which winds up being under- or misinformed. Or they dismiss the MSM altogether, having realized thanks to alternative media that there is so much they aren’t being told, if not outright mislead about. And that isn’t healthy for the print media, as their crashing circulation numbers attest.

Mollie Hemingway* at The Federalist gives several examples of why people hate the media (including TV), beginning with the recent resignation under fire of Elizabeth Lauten, an obscure Republican congressional staffer who said some unkind things about the Obama daughters on Facebook. But she doesn’t stop there (there are oh so many examples to work with) and includes a rant from Florida’s Rick Wilson that’s worth quoting:

Republican media operative Rick Wilson went on a beautiful rant last night about this embarrassing Lauten debacle. You can read the whole thing here. This is edited down but he wrote, “Reporters and media folks wondering, ‘Why don’t people trust us?’… The last couple weeks should be clarifying for you… But the endless, agenda-driven games are repellent to readers/viewers. Your sins are of omission and commission both… You used to be able to claim news judgement and ignore stories you hated. You still do, but now people see it, and you loathe it… So you’ll do one piece on Gruber, then pretend you dug in hard. But god forbid a staffer dings the Obama kids. Then you flood the zone… You pick and choose when to provide context… I love pros in the business. Love them. And most of you ARE pros. Most of you DO work stories, look for interesting angles… But you tolerate (and your editors tolerate) a lot of outrageous, absurdly bad practices. Gruber? Unforgivable… the frustration Americans feel about media isn’t getting any less acute, and some introspection might go a long way…”

This speaks to a media driven by an agenda, one formed by a self-reinforcing ideological monoculture — the fabled “echo chamber.” But the health of the Republic depends on an honest news media that contains a wide range of viewpoints, one that makes intellectual diversity a higher priority than that of skin color or gender.

Maybe it’s time for an “affirmative action of the mind?”

*hat-tip for the chart and BI article, by the way.


(Video) #Benghazi Rep. Gowdy asks some darned fine questions

May 8, 2014

 

"Star rising?"

“Star rising?”

It was recently announced that Congressman Trey Gowdy (R -SC), a former state and federal prosecutor, would  be heading up the forthcoming House Select Committee on the Benghazi massacre. Quite a few of us have been cheering his selection, because, since the massacre, he has shown himself to be a master of the issues at stake and a dogged questioner, unlike most of the so-called press.

And speaking of the press, and courtesy of my blog-buddy ST and Kat McKinley, here’s video of Rep. Gowdy posing some questions to the press. Consider this an appetizer for the main course to come:

Let’s hope, for the sake of an honest media, that at least some in the audience were red-faced at receiving this needed lesson.

Bring on the hearings. smiley popcorn


CNN’s dumbest news question, evar

March 20, 2014

Phineas Fahrquar:

And yet CNN wonders why its ratings are in the tank…

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

And we thought this one was bad:  CNN talking empty head (Feyerick) asks Bill Nye if approaching Meteor was a result of global warming….

OK that set the stage, what could be dumber than that? Now study the picture below, and ask yourself, what’s wrong with this picture? Note the plane, a Boeing 777.

black_holes_777_CNN

And here is what was said: 

View original 117 more words


The anti-Southern bigotry of @NPR

March 6, 2014
Chattanooga VW workers, per MSNBC

A handful of Southern Democrats, per NPR

Jonah Goldberg listened to an NPR story about the defeat in the Senate of radical Leftist lawyer Debo Adegbile to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Per NPR, a “handful of Southern Democrats” (1) voted with the Republicans to defeat Adegbile. Here’s the roster:

  • Chris Coons (Del.)
  • Bob Casey (Pa.)
  • Mark Pryor (Ark.)
  • Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.)
  • Joe Manchin (W.V.)
  • Joe Donnelly (Ind.)
  • John Walsh (Mont.)
  • Harry Reid (NV)

Apparently I’m not as knowledgeable about US History as I thought; I completely missed Pennsylvania and Indiana joining the Confederacy, and I didn’t realize the South butted up against Canada.

NPR: “National Public Reactionaries.”

Footnote:
(1) Hint to the Morning Edition producers —  Jim Crow ended a long time ago.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Great Moments in Journalism: “No, really?” division

December 27, 2013
No way!!

The deuce you say!!

horrific crime occurs in Chicago:

An 18-year-old man was charged with first-degree murder Thursday after police found a decapitated man early Christmas morning in the Hermosa neighborhood on the Northwest Side.

Officers responding to a homicide call found the decapitated 41-year-old man about 2 a.m. Wednesday inside a basement apartment in the 2500 block of North Kildare Avenue, police said.

And the local CBS station makes sure to nail down the crucial details:

The man was dead at the scene, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. He was identified as 41-year-old Silvestre Diaz-Hernandez and lived at the apartment.

Good thing they pointed that out; otherwise, I’d have never drawn that conclusion from the word “decapitated.” I can only imagine the look on the ME’s face when asked “And what is the victim’s condition?”

via ST on Facebook


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