November 16, 2007

Anchoress’s Anecdotes Demonstrate Ongoing Negative Impact of Old Media Coverage

The Anchoress, a three-time Weblog Awards finalist and 2007 Catholic Blog Awards Winner (congratulations!) in the Best Political/Social Commentary category (scroll down at link to see it), delivered a cold but necessary shower earlier this evening to those of us who are tempted to exaggerate or overstate the impact New Media is having on most Americans.

I’ll bet that a lot of us can relay similar stories to the ones she referred to in her very perceptive post (“Good news leaks past the embargo on good news…”; links that contradict the Old Media-driven beliefs described and bolds/italics were included in her original):

Unfortunately, it is still true that until a new president is installed in the WH, preferably one with a D after the name, only the downsides are newsworthy, and that holds true in every subject. Every subject. My elderly family members are convinced that everything, everywhere, is going to hell, and they are fretful and terrified. They think everyone is out of work, the economy is in a recession, the war in Iraq is lost and there are no real terrorist threats – that’s just made-up stuff. They’re sure America is dying. They are sure the world is headed for famine. They are depressed and do not want to send out Christmas cards, because how can you do that when so much is bad in the world?

If you ask them to look around and wonder how people are buying tiny houses in Queens for a million dollars – while everyone is working, their neighbors are expanding their homes, new businesses are being constructed – if you point out that the the stores and restaurants are crowded – if you ask them how it is that France and Germany have elected America-friendly leaders who are making it a point to work with the unanimously hated President Bush…it does not compute; everything is bad. “All I know,” they say, “is what I hear, and it sounds like the world is going to come to an end soon, because how can it keep going? There is going to be a depression and nuclear war! The oceans are going to cover the whole coast! Everything is going to be lost! Little children are being allowed to get sick and die! Here! In America!” And of course, “everything about Iraq is bad. There is nothing good.”

All they know, you see, is what they hear.

Her identification of the elderly as being particularly vulnerable to Old Media’s selective reporting is important to grasp, as the elderly vote in greater numbers than other age groups.

Perhaps there should be an active campaign to promote fair-and-balanced Fox News, talk radio, and access to the expected-to-be-free online version of Wall Street Journal in retirement communities, assisted living centers, and nursing homes.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

‘Safe at Home’ — RIP, Joe Nuxhall

Filed under: General — Tom @ 3:08 pm

Nuxhall

Mark at Weapons of Mass Discussion has the definitive tribute, with links to others.

If you’re not from Greater Cincinnati or don’t follow sports, take the time to read up on Joe Nuxhall today. He was a special man whose community influence transcended sports and broadcasting.

I Finished Reading Hugh Hewitt’s Interview of Mitt Romney Just in Time …..

….. because, by the end, my computer had expanded to twice its normal size from all the powderpuff questions.

Okay, now that the laptop has calmed down, here’s a quick interview summary — Hewitt didn’t just throw softballs, he threw slo-pitch softballs:

  • “Mike Huckabee’s the flavor of the month. He surged up in Iowa. What are the differences between you and Governor Huckabee?”
  • “You spent a lot of time in Iowa. Does that movement in his (Huckabee’s) numbers concern you much?
  • “Rudy Giuliani today was attacking the health plan you helped put into place in Massachusetts, saying that you have abandoned the idea of doing mandates, and I’m quoting now, “I think he realized he made a mistake,” and he was referring to you. What’s your assessment of his assessment of your plan, Governor?”

(allows Romney to answer without even addressing mandates)

Those were the “tough” questions.

The rest were gimmes about war funding, the department of Defense, Robert Gates, Robert Redford, and Chicago’s Olympics bid. Nothing about abortion in Commonwealth Care, employer and citizen penalties for not signing on to Commonwealth Care, gay marriage acquiescence, Big Dig business-as-usual, etc., etc., etc.

Add Hugh Hewitt to the list of those letting Mitt Romney skate past the legitimate, specific items raised by Gregg Jackson (here and here). Jackson noted yesterday that Romney refuses to come onto his home state’s Pundit Review Radio, apparently to avoid answering non-softball questions.

Much more of this, and “Romnian” is going to enter the lexicon almost as quickly as “Clintonian” did in the early 1990s.

Original Hewitt design, sans “Mitt,” courtesy of Weapons of Mass Discussion.

SOBer Thoughts (111607)

Wizblog is correct that Peter Berkowitz’s column on what Bush Derangement is doing to people who engage in it is a must-read. The PC rot he refers to in another post is a contributing factor.

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Maggie Thurber covers “creative” city-county cost-shifting involving Toledo and Lucas County. Guess which direction costs are going?

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Smoke If You Got ‘em has a post on foreclosures that is a big deal, and which I will be following. Read the whole thing.

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Right on the Right is right — The Flight 93 Memorial design is a disgrace, and should be — no, must be — scrapped.

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A lot of folks covered the Columbus Dispatch’s expose of public school teacher abuse of students, and rightly so. The related post by Return of the Conservatives is here.

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Porkopolis shows that the message of Ohio voters to presidential candidates is “What part of ‘illegal’ don’t you understand?”

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This One Oar post makes me think that the more the congressional majority forces reps like Zack Space and Charlie Wilson to vote for de-funding the Iraq War, the more vulnerable Space, Wilson, and other newbies who pretended to be moderates in 2006 will be in 2008.

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Nasty, Brutish & Short has an example of something you shouldn’t tell a judge , plus the “best” newswire story correction ever.

Couldn’t Help But Notice (111607)

After seeing this (HT Hot Air), I’m starting to wonder if the list of audience questions for Hillary Clinton that aren’t planted is shorter than the list of those that are.

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Saddam could have had nukes by 2007, says Scott at Flopping Aces. Yeah, easily.

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Benny Peiser has a great piece at BBC on globaloney and other doomsday-predicting, with a great term: neo-catastrophism.

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Yeah, this was tough to predict: “Hillary Clinton Takes Cash From Recipients of Husband’s Controversial Pardons” (HT Instapundit).

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Wow (“Dems: No More Transparency”). This congress really does want to see if they can bring their approval ratings down into single digits. William “Cold Cash” Jefferson is doing his part too, as he attempts to dodge convictions on bribery charges (bold is mine):

Jefferson has based a major portion of his defense on the vagueness of the current definition. He said that while he might have been paid to exert influence as a member of Congress — including writing letters, visiting foreign dignitaries, appearing before a federal agency on behalf of a business client — his actions didn’t amount to “official acts” within the meaning of the bribery law.

The freezer where he had $90,000 in cash stashed must not have been an “official” freezer.

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It’s official: Trying to do somehting charitable for soldiers overseas in Cambridge, Massachusetts is considered a pro-war action (HT Weasel Zippers via Instapundit).

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David Wessel, in a subscription-only column at the Wall Street Journal, on dealing constructively with foreclosures:

So the public-policy questions are: Who should be helped, and how?

Some folks should lose property if they can’t make payments: those who lied on applications or speculated by buying properties for investment (although tenants may deserve help). Temporarily cutting mortgage payments for those who never will be able to afford houses they bought is unwise and doomed to failure.

It’s the folks in the middle who need and deserve help from the industry and, if need be, the government: those who are making payments, would have refinanced easily if not for the housing bust and dysfunction of mortgage markets and can’t afford the reset payments.

Douglas Elmendorf, a Brookings Institution economist, argues that government “should encourage and subsidize refinancing” for households that can keep their homes “with a modest amount of help,” even though “many might not own homes today if risks had been recognized fully” when the mortgages were made.

I don’t disagree with any of that, or with exploring the idea of making bankruptcy laws a bit more lenient for people in situations where the mortgage loan balances are higher than the value of the home itself. What I do object to is treating everyone in the lending business as presumptive criminals, making getting into the lending business so difficult that you have to provide fingerprints (seriously) just to be in it, and imposing impossible-to-comply-with regulations on new loans that will keep all but the most golden of potential of borrowers on the sidelines. All of that will lead to industry consolidation, less competition, higher rates, and higher fees.

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Matt at RAB is right: Marc Dann owes Ohio Christians and all Ohioans of good will an apology for his “Jesus had it better on Good Friday” message to a staff member. That Governor “Preacher Ted” Strickland doesn’t seem to think so is unfortunately not surprising.

Positivity: Fiancee’s Gift Better Than Any Ring

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Queens, NY:

A medical milestone took place at North Shore-LIJ Hospital in New Hyde Park last Monday, when a St. Albans couple was involved in the first kidney transplant in Nassau or Queens County. Less then a week later surgeons dubbed the surgery a “gift of life and love”.

Jarena Bates, 23, didn’t have to wait the estimated seven-to-nine-year period for a donor thanks to her fiancé Tyehesian Johnson, 31. With a romantic twist of fate “Not only do they love each other and want to get married but they were a perfect match” said Chief Medical Officer Larry Smith with a light-hearted smile. According to the Director of Transplantation Ernesto Molmenti “This is the love story of the 21st century”.

There are an estimated 60,000 people in the United States – and 870 in Queens –eagerly awaiting the life changing news that a match has been found; 71-percent are African American.

More than half of the kidney transplant surgeries performed in New York involved residents from Nassau and Queens, according to statistics, making this medical miracle in our area a long time coming.

Bates was diagnosed with kidney disease eight years ago. A few months ago she found herself in the Emergency Department at LIJ where she received the devastating news that she was going into kidney failure. Without hesitation Johnson offered to be tested as a donor for this elective surgery.

“I was the second to be tested and knew that our search was over,” he said. But Bates was skeptical because she didn’t want to put him in jeopardy. “She is a very special person and deserved what she got” said Johnson “I feel great and I’m glad that we were able to go through this together.”

Go here for the rest of the story.