Saturday Open Thread: Koffler, One America, MOTUS, Oh My !

Lovely Fall Weekend in Virginia and trying not to let the Friday News Dumps ruining it. My other fav blogs, good people, recovering Dems ! Enjoy!

Love this Blog

….and this one

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Wrong, Wronger, Wrongest

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Marc Ambinder writes a mea non culpa:

Did the media get Ferguson wrong?

In August, after a Ferguson, Missouri police officer shot and killed a young, unarmed black man named Michael Brown, the reaction by local residents, civil rights activists, and the media instantly went nuclear. The DNA of our political and legal systems rest on principles of equality and color-blindness, and here was yet another example of a major genetic mutation that we’ve been unable to fix: young black men being murdered by the police because they’re young and black. Still. Even in 2014, this happened, at a time when adults are supposed to be racially enlightened.

Ferguson checked several boxes. The town was mostly black and its police department was mostly white. The basic story was black and white, too. Eyewitnesses saw officer Darren Wilson shoot his weapon, over and over, at Brown. They saw him shoot Brown in the back. They saw him shoot Brown after Brown had stumbled from the shock of the first thwack, thwack, thwack, bullets having shattered his arm.

Predictably, the police department closed ranks around its officer. They pointed out that Brown had stolen some beer from a local convenience store moments earlier. They hinted he had marijuana in his system. They tried to stomp out the credibility of a dead teenager because the optics looked so awful for them. The police’s instinctive defense backfired. The national media, especially cable news networks and enterprising liberal news websites, occupied Ferguson for days on end, looking for and finding evidence that the police were out of control, that racism was everywhere, and that Ferguson resembled forsaken third world cities where footage of confrontations between police and protestors was the norm.


That pretty much lays out the media’s preferred racial narrative, where black people are oppressed by the White Power Structure.

Let’s skip down to the fifth and sixth paragraphs:

Well — several months later, the official autopsy was found to be consistent with police accounts that the shooting came after Brown reached for the officer’s gun during an altercation. And two reporters for The Washington Post, including a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist whose reputation for holding powerful interests accountable is documented, write that “more than a half-dozen unnamed black witnesses have provided testimony to a St. Louis County grand jury that largely supports Wilson’s account of events on Aug. 9,” citing several sources who asked for anonymity. Forensic analysts who’ve read the autopsy largely support the conclusion that Brown had reached for Wilson’s gun.

A lot of evidence hasn’t been made public. The public is right to question the conclusion of government officials who might be sympathetic to the police. Still, at the very least, what we think we know about Ferguson is very likely not what actually happened.


This is what is known as “burying the lede” which is a journalista trick for hiding the truth in plain sight. They know that most people only skim the news, just reading headlines and the first couple paragraphs. Plus he writes those paragraphs in a way that obfuscates the real, incontrovertible fact that the media got Ferguson wrong.

Sneaky, sneaky.

Police militarization and an unequal justice system are real problems that deserve sustained scrutiny. These problems are more insidious than a rush to judgment against one particular officer, presumption of innocence be damned. So maybe the best thing to do would be to say, well, in this particular case, it turns out that the police officer might not have acted as wantonly as we thought. But it really doesn’t matter, because the response to the shooting called attention to police abuse and discrimination in a way that resonated across the world. They had tanks! They threatened to killed reporters! The truth here is less important than Truth.

For the news media, though, the “injustice is the story, not Darren Wilson” story won’t wash. Sometimes, what’s true is hard to discern. The media made Ferguson a national story. The media did so based on a particular set of facts and assumptions that they then broadcast to viewers who (because we are so instinctively partisan) were inclined to reject, or accept, the fact of a bad police shooting based solely on what they were told. Now, some reporters and analysts will try to skew the evidence rather than admit that they got it wrong. Many others will say that because there’s still so much we don’t know and haven’t read about the incident, it’s premature to conclude anything. Others will say that, regardless of whether Brown struggled for Wilson’s gun, firing nine shots at someone is never justified. Others will show pictures of tanks and tear gas, basically telling viewers that the reaction to the shooting by police was the real story all along, even more so than racism. The victim? Michael Brown? Eh.

The journey for racial justice rejects the notion that truth is an effect of power. It is based on the notion that truth transcends power. The media wants to be on the right side of history when it comes to race. Accepting truth wherever we find it, no matter how painful it is to our sensibilities, is even more important when fundamental issues of justice are at stake.


Blah, blah, blah, blabbity-blah.

This is word fog:

The media made Ferguson a national story. The media did so based on a particular set of facts and assumptions that they then broadcast to viewers who (because we are so instinctively partisan) were inclined to reject, or accept, the fact of a bad police shooting based solely on what they were told. Now, some reporters and analysts will try to skew the evidence rather than admit that they got it wrong.


Let me clean that up for you:

The media made Ferguson a national story. The media did so based on a particular set of facts and assumptions that they then broadcast to viewers who (because we are so instinctively partisan) were inclined to reject, or accept, the fact of a bad police shooting based solely on what they were told. Now, some reporters and analysts will try to skew the evidence rather than admit that they got it wrong.


Here’s the clean and clear version:

The media got it wrong.


Was that so hard?

Fucking asshats.


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Posted in Media Zombies | Tagged | 54 Comments

Friday Open Thread

There was a school shooting this morning outside Seattle.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the students, teachers, staff, and families of Marysville-Pilchuck High School.

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DOJ: Only We Can Leak Information!

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From the Department of How Stupid Do They Think We Are:

Justice Department condemns Ferguson leaks as effort to sway opinion

With a grand jury decision looming on whether a white police officer should face charges in the killing of an unarmed black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Mo., the investigation has sprung a few leaks.

New details from the inquiry into Michael Brown’s Aug. 9 death — all provided by unidentified sources and which seem to support Officer Darren Wilson’s story of what happened that day — have emerged in St. Louis and national news outlets in recent days.

The U.S. Department of Justice condemned the leaks Wednesday as “irresponsible and highly troubling” and said, “There seems to be an inappropriate effort to influence public opinion about this case.”

[...]

The leaks seemed to create a fresh rupture in trust with black St. Louis-area officials and protesters, who said Wednesday that they were upset with what they saw as another breakdown in the justice system because information from the supposedly secret grand jury continued to appear in the media. The grand jury’s decision is expected in November.

“There is no way there should be reports from all these anonymous sources and these ‘leaks’ ….This is supposed to play out in the courts and the justice system, and not the media,” said Patricia Bynes, a committeewoman for Ferguson township, which includes the city of Ferguson, and a prominent voice in the protest movement. Quoting a popular chant, she added, “The whole damn system is guilty as hell.”

[...]

Benjamin Crump, the attorney for Brown’s family, said he was not surprised by the autopsy report’s details.

“Several independent witnesses indicated there was a brief altercation between Michael Brown and Officer Wilson at the patrol car,” Crump said in a statement. “What we want to know is why Officer Wilson shot Michael Brown multiple times and killed him even though he was more than 20 feet away from his patrol car; this is the crux of the matter!”

[...]

A Justice Department spokeswoman responded in a statement to the Los Angeles Times: “The department considers the selective release of information in this investigation to be irresponsible and highly troubling. Since the release of the convenience-store footage, there seems to be an inappropriate effort to influence public opinion about this case.”

The reference to the convenience-store footage alluded to a video released by Ferguson police on the same day they disclosed Wilson’s identity. The video showed Brown apparently intimidating a store clerk shortly before the shooting.

Chris King, managing editor of the St. Louis American, a newspaper for black audiences, said law enforcement officials had offered him the leaks, saying “they had been briefed on the evidence and it didn’t look good for Michael Brown supporters,” but he declined and decried “third-party hearsay” in an editorial for the paper.

“Tensions are so high that preparations for riots, if Wilson walks free, are discussed in sober terms in local and national media and on street corners,” the American said in its editorial. “The editors of these powerful publications have shown a lapse in judgment and ethics that is not only shameful, but actually dangerous. We declare a mistrial in the court of public opinion.”

The paper asked that Wilson be charged with second-degree murder and that his case be taken to trial.


When this story first broke we were told that a white cop shot and killed an unarmed black teenager who was either running away or standing there with his hands raised trying to surrender. Race pimps, rioters, Eric Holder and the national media immediately descended on Ferguson, Missouri. The officer involved had to leave the state when his name and address were publicly disclosed.

It was only after riots had started that the Ferguson police began to push back by releasing the convenience store video showing Michael “Gentle Giant” Brown committing a strong-arm robbery minutes before he was stopped by Officer Wilson. The usual suspects screamed in protest that the cops were trying to smear Brown.

The truth is they are just pissed off that once again the actual evidence doesn’t fit their racial narrative. If the leaked information was incriminating as to Officer Wilson they wouldn’t be concerned with swaying public opinion.


It's hard out there for a race pimp.

It’s hard out there for a race pimp.


Posted in How Stupid Do They Think We Are?, Today in Race Baiting | Tagged , | 105 Comments

BOHICA

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Bend over, here it comes again:

HENSARLING: GOP-CONTROLLED CONGRESS SHOULD MASSIVELY INCREASE GUEST-WORKER PERMITS FOR FOREIGNERS

If Republicans gain control of Congress, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) wants more guest-worker visas for high-tech and low-skilled workers in addition to a piecemeal immigration reform.

Hensarling, the House Financial Services Committee Chair whom the pro-amnesty Wall Street Journal touted as the “leading candidate to eventually succeed John Boehner as Speaker,” would “like to see immigration reform that allows more H-1B visas for high-tech workers and also creates a ‘vibrant guest-worker program’ for low-skill workers who want to come here to work in agriculture.” The Journal also noted that Hensarling “believes a good guest-worker program is a form of border security because it allows law enforcement to focus on catching criminals and terrorists: ‘Less hay to find the needles.'” He doesn’t think a “physical wall” is needed “over the entire length of the border.”

[...]

As Breitbart News has extensively documented, there is not a shortage of American workers in either the high-tech or low-skilled sectors. And everyone from Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to Vice President Joe Biden has recognized the importance of high-tech jobs for social mobility. For instance, Biden spoke about the importance of tech and IT jobs in providing “pathways” to the middle class for Americans trying to move up the economic ladder, which will be reduced if there are massive increases in guest-worker visas.”

And Ron Hira, an H-1B expert and public policy professor at Howard University, “has said tech jobs have traditionally provided ‘people who come from working-class backgrounds” a “way of getting into the middle class and the professional class,” and that will be “cut off” if Congress passes legislation to massively increase the number of guest-workers who are allowed into the U.S.

He said this even though there is a surplus of American high-tech workers, and companies like Microsoft have lobbied for massive increases in guest-worker visas while laying off 18,000 American workers.


One of the issues that has been very effective for GOP challengers in both the primaries and in the general election campaign has been opposition to illegal immigration and amnesty. Obama’s manufactured immigration crisis backfired, increasing calls for better border security.

This should be a no-brainer for Republicans. The GOP base and a majority of independents want immigration reform that will stop the constant flood of illegal immigrants across our southern border. Democrats see both short-term and long-term benefits for themselves in immigration “reform” that basically just legalizes every illegal immigrant already in the country.

So why does the GOP leadership keep trying to pass immigration reform that their own voters don’t want?

Whose side are they on?


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Posted in Illegal Immigration, Immigration Reform | Tagged , | 130 Comments

Ben Bradlee Died Yesterday – Journalism Died Years Ago

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From the Washington Post:

Mr. Bradlee called reporters “the best lie detectors,” and nothing mattered more to him than exposing the truth, even if it took a long time. In his own account, the Vietnam War and then Watergate marked a crisis of confidence in American society, brought on by leaders who did not level with the people. In the Pentagon Papers, excerpts of which he published despite government threats, Mr. Bradlee saw proof that the American people had not been told the truth about decisions made to escalate the war. Then came Watergate and his determination to find out what really happened. He was outraged at President Nixon’s behavior. Nixon “lied over and over again with intent to deceive the American public and thereby save his ass from the consequences of his crimes,” Mr. Bradlee wrote in his memoir. The newspaper won global recognition for coverage that led to the president’s resignation, but the lesson for journalists was in Mr. Bradlee’s fusion of doggedness, fearlessness and professionalism.


To the extent that the above passage was true, it is certainly not true anymore. When Bradlee ran WaPo reporters were not highly-paid celebrities. Journalism was a blue-collar job. Journalists didn’t socialize with politicians, and they didn’t alternate between getting paid to report the news and getting paid to spin it.

Journalism is dead. It is ironic that so many current faux-journalists were inspired by the investigative reporting of Watergate because if Watergate happened today they would be complicit in covering it up.


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Posted in Media, Media Zombies, RIP | Tagged , , | 121 Comments

Open Thread: World Series 2014 – Game #1 Edition

I think myiq was hinting earlier for some “pinch hitters” so here I am ! Just found the game on Fox and it’s already a wild first inning.

In other Sports news, Michael Sam cut from the Cowboys practice team.

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