Monday, February 28, 2005
This Dog Won't Die. Conservative Writer Dismisses Facts, Tries to Compare Nader Reporter
Let's talk facts: Gannon got a press pass as Gannon, not under his real name. Gannon performs sex acts for other men for money, Gannon is not a journalist. A journalist is a person with training and expertise in the field of reporting. They know the difference between a fact and an opinion. The Nader journalist has the training and meets all the criteria of a bona fide journalist. He might ask bizarre, off-the-wall questions about the hemp industry, etc, but he just covers a different beat than the mainstream reporters. Gannon, on the other hand, launches his questions in a very partisan, denigrating way. What we journalists call a loaded question is what Gannon asked.
It is not a good comparison at all. The conservative right writers bring up the idea that liberals think sex is a private matter, but in this matter, dems bring up the fact that Gannon is homosexual. When Clinton got in trouble with an intern, a cigar, and the oval office, it was a private matter. Clinton lived in the White House, and the only person he needed to answer to is his wife. If Clinton had said he was against sex and tried to pass laws against it, the private story would then be relevant and a neccesity to prove hypocrisy.
Gannon, who is known to be a hardcore partyliner, is performing homosexual acts while he decries homosexuals and applauds traditional couples. His private life becomes relevant. You can't compare apples and oranges. And calling a person a journalist doesn't make it so. Anybody can write a column, but not everybody is a journalist - devoted to the truth, reporting facts, and leaving out editorializing except in editorials, like this column. Idjits, all of them! Sheesh!
Good Journalism Counts - Well-written article on the Ten Commandments Supreme Court Case
Here is a well-written article that explains the Religious Controversy case of the Ten Commandments monument in Houston. The article gives the history of the monument, the history of the case, and places the case into perspective. It also give you all the players in this controversy. I figure that I concentrate so much on bad journalism (after all, that is the primary purpose of this blog), that I thought I should point out a great journalistic piece for comparison. Besides, the case is big news, or it should be. Separation of Church and State is fundamental to our freedoms and should never be overlooked. My way of thinking is this: if you substituted the Koran in place of the bible in the monument, would people be outraged that the government allowed it on state property. The easiest way to tell if there is a separation of church and state issue is to replace God with Allah, or to replace the christian religious icon with a statue of Buddha - if it seems wrong, then the original is wrong. And if it is not wrong, then the state would have to allow religious icons of any other faith to co-exist with the christian symbology. The state should not endorse any religion. Period. I just don't have any faith in this current Supreme Court. The high court weaseled out of deciding the "under god" clause in the pledge by side-stepping with a procedural move. That is what will likely occur in this case.
How about a statue to Zoroaster or, even better, a Incan or Mayan God that worshipped by decapitating thousands of victims. Yeah, right!
Texas to Seize Estates of Deceased Medicaid Long-term Care Recipients
In case the new plan holds up to judicial scrutiny, people should take matters into their own hands. Give the heirs their inheritance while the Medicaid recipient is still alive and able to do so. Keep a life estate in the house, but clear out the estate. Consult a lawyer to find out how. Remember, this is just a blog and does not constitute legal advice. It is just my observations on this new law. The state giveth and the state taketh away - blessed be the state. Phui!
Bad Journalism - Bush's New Hampshire visit was in front of hand-picked audience.
Here is an editorial from Maine about the prez's recent visit to New hampshire to sell his Social Security Privitization plan. The writer states that it is bad journalism to not report that fact. The TV media, when contacted about why they did not report the fact of the partisan, hand-picked crowd, stated "everyone knew about it." I didn't, The Maine writer didn't, No one reported it in the mainstream news. Bad Journalism? Maybe sloppy journalism - either way that is why we need blogs and alternative modes of getting news and info. TV is just not good enough to cover all the info about any one story - unless it's a story about the pope! Then, they drone on and on and on and on and on ... ad infinitum (or ad nauseum).
Bloggers Given Credit in Exposing Gannon/White House Press Credentials Underbelly
Here is Avery Walker's column on the Gannon story. In it, Walker talks about how the regular media is criticizing bloggers because they don't have the proper credentials that a "real" journalist would have. They completely miss the point that the bloggers dug up the FACTS - thus exposing Gannon for what he really was - a GOP partisan placed there by the White House to further erode the credibility of the White House press corps.
Why do I feel qualified to comment and write about these things? Because I can! Oh, yes - I do have proper credentials. I have a B.A. in Journalism and a Juris Doctorate to boot. I also served in many positions as a journalist including managing editor of a newspaper. But all that does not matter. Anyone today can sift through the internet jungle to get the kernals of fact lying about. It just takes a little skill and some plums.
From deep in the nether regions of the net, I'm Maybeso, gonzo journalist with an attitude! Thanks, Hunter S. Thompson.
The Other Side of the Gannon Story - From his GOP Supporters
Here is a slice of the Jeff Gannon, pseudo-journalist, story from the most partisan hate rag on the internet. I wrote about MichNews before, you know, the rag that calls itself "the most in-depth, conservative, honest news and commentary." You have to read this crap to really appreciate the lengths the hardcore right-wing rabble will go to to get their point across. Read this article, then read the article below called "White House Gives Press Pass..." to get a true contrast of the same story. Have fun, and don't forget your hip-waders - it gets really deep in there!
White House Gives Press Pass to Call Boy/Pseudo-Journalist - Insists No Wrong-Doing
Sunday, February 27, 2005
Dig This! Did you know Pennsylvania has a Town named "East Texas"?
A town in PA called East Texas! Who would'a thunk it? I might try to find out how it came to be. More later, perhaps.
And the Razzie goes to... Razzie Awards given out - Bush, Berry tie for most awards
Read the story - Catwoman and Berry given Razzies. Bush, Rumsfeld win for putting feet in mouths in archive footage and Moore's docuflim. The highlight was Halle Berry accepting her Razzie in person. Did you know there was a movie called "Catwoman"? Well, neither did anyone else - noone saw the film.
Bush, Putin Talks a Failure - Russia Signs Nuke Plant Deal Days Later
Mere days after the prez and Putin have their meeting Putin inks the deal to supply the nuclear fuel for Iran's nuclear facility without disclosing the details that assure the spent fuel rods will be returned to Russia. The fuel rods can be reprocessed for weapons grade plutonium if the Iran has the proper facilities and the know-how. In a related story, intelligence reports state Iran has the knowledge and the ability to extract the plutonium.
Putin has backed both Syria and Iran against the U.S. Putin also backed the the hardline candidate in the Ukraine, and has curtailed the free press in Russia. Put all the pieces together and what we have is a new Cold War. In just a few short years, Bush has managed to split the world apart more than it was. Bush said he could "see inside the soul" of Putin and they understand each other.The question is why Bush has chosen to go after Saddam and invade Iraq when clearly the trouble that has been building is from Iran, Syria, who are all backed by Russia. Bush says that he has no plans to use force agains any of these countries, yet they are clearly more dangerous to the U.S. and its allies than Iraq ever was.
Bush legacy - spurred a new Cold War - let's give it a new name. How about the Brushfire War. You know, little pockets of heat that could easily be put out if caught in time, but if not caught in time the little pockets of fire will join together causing an out-of-control firestorm that has to burn itself out. Do you feel safer now?
Clarification: I am not a Royalist. I just think they are funny!
Prince of Wales Wails about Public Mockery
I believe you should quit surrounding yourself with yesmen and get real. Good show, old chap! tally ho - and all that sort of rot!
Saturday, February 26, 2005
KPRC News reports on Religion, ESP, Demons?!?
Come, on folks! It is the 21st century, for crying out loud! Promoting belief in Demons, the paranormal, and overemphasizing god and religion is plain bad, bad, bad Journalism. If you cover one religion, then, in fairness, you have to cover all religions. It can't be done, folks! That is why good journalists only include god or religion in an news story only if it is material to understanding the story. For example: a story about a priest who is accused of molesting kids requires covering the church stance and the teachings of the church for context. But, talking about how holy a man is who might be considered for the papacy is just plain overkill - blatant promoting of slanted view on the religion and promoting their own belief in god.
With every fire story, wreck, murder, etc, the news team goes out of its way to get a clip of someone saying how their belief in god has sustained them through the crisis. They report on candlight vigils for dead high schoolers killed because they were out late at night, by themselves in a fast car and how good the kids were and isn't it a shame how they were cut down in their youth, but it was god's will, and their faith will see them through this time of tragedy. Whew.
Give me a respite from these overblown, local reporters! Just report the news. I don't need to know how their friends took it. I just need to know that it happened, what caused it, who it was, where it happened, and can it happen again. That is called NEWS REPORTING. It is not a tragedy, a crisis of faith, a terrible ordeal, or other subjective superlatives. It goes like this:
Two teenage boys were killed late Friday night when the car they were in was struck by a speeding truck at the intersection of S. Post Oak and Fuqua. Houston Police Officer I. L. Doughnaut stated that both boys were legally drunk, and were being cited for MInor in Possession, and the teen driver was cited for DWI and running a stop light. Two teenage girls were not injured in the collision, and the driver of the truck was treated for injuries at the scene. All the teens attend Dobie High School.
I would have gone on to mention the names of the teens last in the story unless they were somebody famous.
See. No mention of god, no demons, no ESP moments. Just the facts, ma'am! You can do it, I just know you can do it, KPRC!
Thursday, February 24, 2005
Follow-up on Royal Wedding: Queen snubs Charles, refuses to attend "low-key" wedding.
Off with her head! Or crown, at least.
News Orgs put spin on Bush, Putin Summit - says Common Ground Found - but not on Democracy.
What common ground? On nukes -yes, on securing nuke making material -yes. No common ground was found on democracy. It is amazing how quickly the prez caves in when a country has the means to retaliate against the U.S. We helped out Russia's fledgling democracy, but let Putin slide back into psuedo-dictatorship whgo openly supported the nondemocracy leaning party in the Ukraine. Shrub backed away from the Iran and North Korea nuke probs - a much greater threat than Iraq ever was. What about Lebanon and Syria? A man of firm moral resolve who has learned that there are worse things than sword rattling. Maybe he has learned to walk a measured path.
Nah! He just met other bullies who have big nukes and big friends.
Newspaper can give the finger to Gov't probes - under certain circumstances.
"Just say no" actually works. Amazing.
Thursday, February 17, 2005
Windsor Castle Not For Commoners - Prince's Wedding moved outside
The Queen lives in a public building and does not want every Tom, Dick and Charles able to get married in her official residence. That's what would happen if Charles were to marry Camella in the castle. The license to allow the event to occur would open the public building to commoners marriages for at least three months. - "Let them eat cake!" said one queen once said - and the peasants revolted: France. Who knows, maybe something will come from all of this. LMAO!
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
grammys?!?! hammys! lackluster performers reap undeserved awards
Live long enough and you, too, can get an award. Heck, even dead folks got awards this year at the Grammys. Ray Charles' last album is not anywhere close to his best work - he only received it because he DIED and had a big movie of his life. And Rod Stewart received an award for his American classics 3rd album - good production, but not a great performance. Let's just forget award shows - Show naked women instead, or at least MASH reruns. I'll get an iPod and just say no to bad awards shows.
Monday, February 14, 2005
Journalists jump on chatroom suicide story: Where's the Facts?
In today's world, journalists face the unrealistic task of being first with a story. The suicide chatroom heroine story all over the news is the latest bad example. These reporters have the same access to the same facts, but they choose to go with the "feel-good" story spin. The real story is: the dude was looking for sex, and using the same lines in chatrooms for at least five years. He has talked about sex and suicide for the same length of time. It was a chatroom that a lot of weird folks hang out in. He talked about beams to hang nude from in a multiple suicide after sex tableau: he lives in a mobile home without big beams to hang yourself and a few close strangers from. Few have asked what that heroine was doing in that particular chatroom. Another story has her considering joining the pseudo-suicide pact but for a woman who talked about offing her two small children, which made our heroine reconsider and contact the cops. This has got to be reported as "Woulda, coulda, shoulda" news. The cops are praising this chatroom lurker for what might have been an act to halt an almost crime that might have occurred if a lot of things would have been different in the entire story. Wackos on; Wackos off.
Thursday, February 10, 2005
Day After Condoleeza says 'Don't Worry, N. Korea, we won't attack you', N.Korea Announces has Nukes
We attack, invade and occupy Iraq on false intell of Nuke program, yet N. Korea says it has Nukes, and we say we won't attack them. Hello?!?! Is this thing on? Is anybody home in your head, Condy? Scared of a little country called China? Heh, I bet! Different rules for for countries right next door to big, powerful neighbors. Sure makes us look like two-faced bullies. Bush says he wants to spread democracy and make the world safe from terrorists, yet there is effectively no difference between Iraq and N. Korea, except China is a scary country that abuts the dictatorship. China has lots and lots of WMDs. China has billions of people (cannon fodder). China is our biggest trading partner. China has been given special trade recognition status. Does anybody else see what is wrong with our reasons for unilaterally invading Iraq? Sound foreign policy is repeatable for the same scenarios - unlike this very bad precedent. Bush, Cheney and Condy need to take a Logic course. I'd pay the tuition to any Texas Community College correspondence course for each of them. It's the best offer they'll get!
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Media lawyers seek to get Jackson Case out of Closet
Attorneys for the press are trying to get the gagg order lifted from the Michael Jackson trial. The gag order making secret the evidence in the trial was placed by the judge who claimed the vast amount of attention and media coverage would make a fair trial impossible if the evidence was known to the public. How's that, again? The reason our trials are required to be public is so that secret evidence cannot be used against a person charged with a crime. The gag order flies in the face of sound constitutional law. Sheesh! The evidence has to come out at some time. Once it is offered into evidence in open court it becomes a matter of public record. If it doesn't in this case, you can bet something fishy is going on - and it won't be for the protection of the boy accuser. How odd. Speaking of odd - the odds are that jackson will not be convicted of anything, including possession of child pornography. I guess MJ will beat it.
Bush Seeks to pay off "Allies", Poles to the Tune of $400 Million
The Allied coalition Is wanting money for their service in Iraq. The prez has asked congress to pay. So, let's get this straight - Bush has touted how much his vast coalition of allied forces are behind his war, and the valuable contribution they have made to his war effort. He has stated many times that we are not carrying the financial & physical burden alone. It looks as though Poland and other small countries who contributed about 6,000 troops to the Iraq war really contributed them with the promise of pay and no warfare. The kicker to this is Poland plans to reduce its forces in Iraq to 1,600. I always thought if you pay for troops other than your own you were buying mercenaries. What a bad deal! Mercenaries fight battles - the Polish led forces are garrison troops. Once again, the U.S. carries the burden and pay the price - in money and lives. What a way to run a war!
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
Private School attracts the Wrath of the Glods
Hey! Grand Jury says it okay to tell lawyer jokes -
In the strange world of law, a man was arrested for telling lawyer jokes outside a courthouse, so the papers would have you believe. If you read all the stories you can see what really happened. Kash and Lanzisera are founders of Americans for Legal Reform, a group that uses confrontational tactics to urge greater public access to the courts. They have been at it for years, and one of their tactics is to stand outside on the courthouse steps and yell stupid lawyer jokes at the lawyers. The one they used was "how can you tell a lawyer is lying? - His mouth is moving." What the two men were really arrested for was disorderly conduct or being abusive and causing a disturbance. A little free speech goes overboard. I think these guys should be forced to get new material; the jokes they tell are stale. They should be entertaining. Maybe they could tapdance as they told old lawyer jokes. Free speech 1 - Lawyers 0.
If you have a GOOD lawyer joke, please post it in a comment to this article - after all, I am a lawyer and I like GOOD jokes.
Condoleeza tells Europe to get over it
History doesn't forget - it chronicles.
My original definition of zenophobia: the fear enlightenment
Janet Jackson parody ad pulled by hippocritical Fox
'breast' ad of Super Bowl
Corporate Censorship is alive and well in the U.S. In a move to appease the NFL, Fox network execs pulled the second ad spot of Godaddy.com even though execs had already approved the ad more than two weeks earlier. The ad ran as schedule in the 1st half of the superbowl, but NFL officials, after viewing the commercial, told or asked Fox to pull it from the roster. Fox caved like a $25 hooker holding out on her pimp. I saw the ad - it was a parody, folks, about overreaction. It was designed to get attention - which it did. It was bought and paid for by Godaddy.com, and it should have been run. A contract is a contract. the dotcom can get its money back, plus damages, but the damage done by way of the chilling effect to the U.S. is uncompensatible. Between the hardcore religious fanatics, the Bush administration, and the F.C.C, the chilling effect predicted as a result of the fines assessed last year is getting colder. I need some less mundane and more entertaining network TV. Jeez, Kids see a lot more just watching Victoria Secret ads on regular prime time than the Godaddy.com chick showed. Let's face it; the most remembered ad of recent superbowls is the Doritos chick. Take a kid to a Hillary Duff film and it's more racy than ad in question. Sheesh! These companies and America as a whole need to grow a set of balls. I am mad as hell over all this prudish tomfoolery. In fact, I am so mad I am typing this while showing my right breast. Too bad I'm a guy!
Saturday, February 05, 2005
Hillary leans right in bid for White House
In her bid for President, Hillary seems to be leaning more to the right. She has stated that more tolerance needs to been extended toward anti-abortion groups. She has also endorsed prayer, enhanced her reliance on faith, and endorsed Condoleeza Rice for secretary of state. After the last two presidential elections, Ms Clinton evidently feels she needs to become a republican to be elected as a democrat. What a world! What a World!
Play on Words on Protest Sign Incite Cops to Cite Citizen.
Okay, I was a little late in reporting this story. There's just so many stories to go through, and so little time . This story was reported On Jan. 9 by the Daily Herald. The words that landed the protestor in deep doodoo were, "The War is Bushit". Police issued a citation for using obscene words in public. What a load of crap! The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that speech of this kind, in this context, is protected speech under the First Amendment. Creeping into society is a cancer called "Patriot's Fever": its symptoms include relegating anything said against Bush or his administration as "unamerican". The city ordinance cops claimed the citizen violated is outmoded in this MTV world, and, in this case, the worng law to use. Bushit is not a word. And, if you read it as "Shit", Shit is not obscene - dead bodies killed in war is obscene. Shit is feces is crap and is a result of bodily functions. Doodoo is okay - crap is okay. We hear those words all the time on network TV sitcoms. Shit is just another fecal word for crap - like this citation - crap!
Colorado Professor a Victim of Rabid Republicans? Perhaps.
Bigtime Media kills story on Bush Bulge-gate because "too close to election"?
Read this story and accompanying links, you get a whole other take from what the regular media said about the bulge in the Prez's jacket during the Presidential Debates. A prominent JPL scientist tried to prove it was so, but regular media chose to interview the president's tailor about the bulge. How many tailors do you know would state in a national forum he was a bad tailor? Come, on! It just doesn't happen in the real world. Only in political America. I think the story should have been less about whether the prez cheated in the debates (of course, he cheated - he's Shrub!), but was there an agreement between major media to not publish harmful stories close to the election? That would be a worthy news story, eh, Woodward?
Yet a Third paid-off Spin Doctor Discovered. Keeps Column on Faith and Ethics.
"And three makes a trend," ran the Salon.com story.Religion columnist Michael McManus took $10,000 from the Department of Health and Human Services to meet with leaders organizing Healthy Marriage Initiatives. He and his wife also received more than $48,000 in federal grants for their nonprofit organization, Marriage Savers. He now joins Armstrong Williams and Maggie Gallagher as people paid by the administration who spin the right story for the Bush administration. This religion expert even wrote a column praising President Bush for his strong stance last week when the prez said the practice of paying columnists would stop. Then it was revealed about McManus's own indiscretions. The editorial board for the Vacaville, Ca. The Reporter.com said they needed to educate McManus on Journalistic ethics because he wasn't a trained Journalist. Come on, Folks! He is a self-claimed religion and ethics expert whose column is published in the Religion and Ethics Section of The Reporter.com. It is not ethical to accept money from folks you praise without disclosure. And it violates many tenets of most religions. His column should be dropped. Period. Instead, the ed board said it was different than the first two, in that he wasn't specifically told what to write about.
No, he just took a $10,000 bribe called "expense money" to meet with a group sponsored by a cabinet department. It don't cost $10,000 to go anywhere in the world, Bub! Plus receiving federal grant money to promote family values that you already promote is just plain payola. It is dishonest, unethical and not in accord with the religious tenets of the man himself.It reminds me of the reason I dislike lumping ethics and religion together. The two are not the same. And why doesn't some of these Editorial boards get their act together and ask questions about why the Department of health is involved in Right-wing, religious based Marriage groups in the first place. What about Separation of Church and State? These and other problems can be laid at the feet of the Bush Administration, but nobody is willing to have their money and political ties cut. Ethical, my ass! Religious, Balim's Ass!
Thursday, February 03, 2005
Followup Story: Legislator files bill to kill Houston's freeway towing rules
Gonzales Confirmed Despite Pro-torture Stance.
Bad Journalism strikes again - headline writing not accurate
Newsbug.net: Paris Hilton Cleared of Shoplifting Charge
There's no excuse for bad headlines! Paris Hilton was NOT cleared of shoplifting charges. The D.A. just did not charge her with the crime citing lack of evidence. The only ways you can be cleared of charges is to be found not guilty in court or the D.A. dismissing for the suspect having been arrested wrongfully. In this case, the homemade porn heiress was captured on video taking the video and leaving the store. So, the headline should read something like this: D.A. fails to charge Paris Hilton in Shoplifting Case. The headline should always reflect the story accurately. The other problem with the Paris hilton story, in general, is the question of how is there a lack of evidence. Could it be the rich get off where the poor get charged? I have had many clients who were charged with similar crimes with much less evidence. This does not come as a shock to poor people. CARPE DIEM LUXOR (Seize the day, if you're rich).
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
Mayor mandated Safe Clear Tow Program - A Deadly Decision
Houston Mayor Bill White initiated a freeway tow system to keep the clogged highways of Houston from being more clogged. Here's how it works: If a car breaks down on designated freeways, within six minutes a wrecker will arrive and tow the vehicle off the road. It does not matter that the car is in the emergency break-down lane or on the side of the road; your car will be towed. Police say if your car breaks down you should stay with your vehicle until help arrives. The problem is - what if you don't know that or you are not from Houston and are just passing through? This man who died is of the generation who does not wait for help to arrive. He could fix the problem himself. He was returning with gas for his van when he spotted his vehicle being towed. He dropped the gas can and tried to rush over several lanes of traffic to stop the tow. He was hit and killed by cars on the road. He was 77 years old and in good enough shape to drive, get across all those lanes of traffic, and return with gas. He tried to do the right thing, but was killed by a very flawed system that is, at best, poorly thought out, and at worst, unconstitutional. My father-in-law would have done the same thing. The story made my wife cry, and that is not allowed. City Council should take into account all of those people who pass through their city who have no voice. Their laws affect more than Houston residents. Bad law is bad law - change it.
Lack of Journalism classes/education leads students to dismiss 1st Amendment Value
This type of attitude is exactly what this blog is about. Read the story and you will understand. I feel this is wholly a problem of this Administration in that they denigrate the press, relegating the media to subhuman status, and using the media only to spin the stories the White House way. Have you ever watched one of this prez's press conference? He acts like he is doing a favor by allowing them to even ask a question. He does not allow follow up questions, and he likes to cut them down. Shrub is and always will be a boor, but the press folk must learn to buck this man and his systematic media bashing. We must also restore Journalism back to the education system. Spend money on education - not sports. Even in universities, Journalism classes and departments have been cut to the bone or outright eliminated. Nearby Texas A & M University has cut funding and classes for Journalism so much that it is doubtful one could even say they have a Journalism department. The same thing is happening at my alma mater, Sam Houston State University. If the colleges and the federal administration don't respect Journalism and the 1st Amendment , why should this crop of students respect them.Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and those men who founded our system of government are likely shooting the bird at all these idiots from their graves. I join them in that salute!