Monday, December 13, 2010

PoliticalAgenda Disqualifies Journalism

Monday, Dec. 13, 2010

♦ The Obama administration thinks Julian Assange has a political agenda, and "that, among other things, disqualifies him as being considered a journalist." Stop and ponder that, I dare you. As blogger Captain Fogg explains, "You'd expect gasps and guffaws and whispered comments like 'What about Fox?' but I didn't hear any."
Here, lemme 'splain this to the Obama crowd: The people who wrote the US Bill of Rights never read any objective journalism. They wrote the First Amendment, enshrining freedom of the press as an absolute, when every newspaper in the country was openly pushing a political agenda — some left, some right, some just plain wacky. "Objective journalism" — reporting the facts of the news, while trying not to let the reporter or publisher's perspective color the report — was a concept that hadn't been invented yet (see: Henry J. Raymond).
I'm not aboard when so many people seem to elevate the founding fathers to sainthood. They were humans, not gods, and they got a lot wrong. But from everything I've read about the revolutionary era, the constitutional convention, the federalist papers, etc, I'm pretty sure that if the founding fathers were exhumed one by one and somehow brought back to life, once the concept of the internet had been explained to them, most of them would love Julian Assange.
They'd love Assange as much as present-day American politicians like Barack Obama and John Boehner hate him, and for pretty much the same reason — like the founding fathers, Assange doesn't like tyranny.

♦ 42 members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus have sent a letter complaining that President Obama hasn't mentioned God often enough. Ideally, I don't think the President, any President, should mention God in any public statement, but the real takeaway here, at least for me, is that no matter how cynical and disgusted I am, it can always get worse. I mean, did you even know there's a "Congressional Prayer Caucus"?

♦ "This White House is pathologically afraid of political combat. It’s so afraid of poisoning the political well, when actually, nobody cares about the damn political well. People don’t care about political discourse; they just want results. You can turn off the TV or close the newspaper, but you can’t turn off your economic situation."

♦ One of President Obama's few good ideas to actually be enacted, the "high speed" rail upgrade, has been scuttled, at least here in my home state of Wisconsin. Which means, no weekend jaunts from Madison to Chicago or the Twin Cities in my daydreams. Sigh.
The stupidity here is almost unfathomable. That money — a billion bucks plus — will now go to states with less cro magnon leadership. And a Spanish rail-car manufacturing firm was already setting up a factory in Milwaukee, bringing more than a hundred jobs right off the bat — I'm sure they'll announce that they're closing shop within a few days or weeks.

♦ If there's anyone out there who had any doubt that President Obama's sell-out on taxes for millionaires and billionaires is absolutely the wrong thing to do, here's some bonus evidence: Former President Clinton thinks it's a great move.

♦ Here's a nice, quick debunking of some leading Republican lies and liars about history.

♦ It wasn't EasyDNS that pulled the plug on, it was an utterly unrelated entity called EveryDNS. You've no doubt heard the story of how media giants Gawker and Financial Times got that fact dead wrong in their early coverage, and flat-out refused to run a correction, which has made life hellish for the folks at EasyDNS.
If it's news to you, the recent wrap-up at EasyDNS is a long but very interesting read. And the central bad guy is again Gawker, the same scumbag website that paid big bucks to run a sexist "scoop" about Christine O'Donnell's romantic life.

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