Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Ross & Stephanopoulos Reflect MSM UFO Journalism 101
ABC-TV's news reporter Brian Ross is not Satan. I say that because most of his investigative reporting appears solid. And George Stephanopoulos. . .is George.
Um, anyway, they really screwed up beyond reason last week when the duo, in quick-like-a-bunny response to shootings at the theater in Aurora, CO, jumped on the Internet like any high school journo student would and searched the name James Holmes -- and apparently, enthusiastically, inquired whether any similarly-named person happened to be a Tea Party member. For, hmm, some reason. Bias, perhaps?
Success! Ross and Stephanopoulos eagerly reported that the Tea Party did indeed have a member with the same name, and they, oh, SO openly speculated whether this person might be the Colorado mass murderer.
Trouble is, they had the wrong guy, and even though an insignificant on-air apology sauntered forth from these ABC-TV media stars the same morning, consequential damage blossomed. The Breitbart news agency had jumped on this foolishness right away and discovered the Tea Party Holmes was an older gentleman with no connection whatsoever to Holmes the alleged killer, and as the day progressed we heard that harassment, including death threats, directed toward the elder Holmes necessitated disconnecting his phone and he basically went into hiding from the nation's other crazies. This man may well end up with a little ABC/Disney cash over this matter. And should. Where were the editors? The fact-checkers? The caution?
One wonders, had the elder Holmes lost his life at the hands of a deranged ABC-TV viewer who took the initial speculation to heart -- would Mr. Ross and Mr. Stephanopoulos have been held accountable as co-conspirators?
The ABC-TV incident is unconscionable. It's juvenile journalism at best, politically agenda-driven and dangerous at worst. Shame on ABC-TV. I hardly thought these folks could sink lower than they do when inflicting shoddy UFO documentaries on its viewing audience. But then. . .
But then I thought, there seems something remotely familiar about the Brian & George incident, like a car accident we've driven by previously, over and over again. Seconds later, I saw the light: Brian and George had simply indulged in the same practice that journalists in all aspects of the mainstream media generally summon when UFOs are reported: They took a well-trampled path of least resistance. In this case, that worn path led to the media-despised Tea Party, an easy but undeserving target, probably held in media contempt particularly because its members dismiss Republican and Democrat party establishment dogma. TV news network dogma.
Similarly, UFO reports also tend to lead reporters down the shortcut rabbit hole, and that road usually requires, not a journey through the evidence, but instead a fast-track encounter with the nearest skeptical astronomer or local college science professor equipped to brand all UFO stories with negative comments, minus any personal involvement with any investigations whatsoever. A NAME is equal to the event, and because there's an assumption that UFOs are a myth, that's the direction of choice for skeptical reporters and their editors. Forget the facts -- it's the credentials or star-power, stupid. Locate a voice of authority and do it quickly, the truth can wait -- or more likely, truth will disappear forever, because nobody will care after the learned pronouncement, the skeptical or debunking verdict.
Ross and Stephanopoulos took the same approach, whether for ratings, immediacy, or for other reasons. One James Holmes, among maybe dozens of guys named James Holmes in Colorado, happened to be a (gasp!) Tea Party member, so wouldn't it just be marvelous for News at Eleven (and perhaps for a certain political persuasion) to spotlight the person immediately, and hope and pray later that he's The One? What's in a name? Everything, even if it's the wrong name.
Following the theater shootings, other media members performed a function not too far off from this -- as they galloped to the nearest psychologists to ask, "Why'd he do it?" All weekend I listened to these guys ad nauseam, offering their pro-fesh-un-al explanations. But who cares? What the journalists really wanted was to interview the shooter, but he was rather indisposed and unavailable. So instead they go to people with medical degrees who automatically become media psychics. A name and credentials will do whenever you can't access the truth before show time.
I suppose lesser media stars than Brian and George would be on the unemployment line by now, but one thing's for sure: When you perpetrate this kind of nonsense and backyard gossip on a TV audience as representatives of a news organization , you cheapen the operation and help drive TV network news further into irrelevancy and, demonstrably, lower ratings. Internet news providers, whose very existence TV news divisions traditionally once discounted, should be eternally grateful. TV sponsors, on the other hand, should
YOU KNOW, ROBERT, BASICALLY ALL PEOPLE LOVE PEACE, AND IF WE COULD JUST CLAMP DOWN ON THIS GUN ISSUE. . .Oh, what a load of crap. Look at us! We destroy everything in our path -- ourselves, animals, natural beauty and precious resources. Who are we? We are landfills piled high with soiled diapers, graveyards littered with faded memories, oceans infused with countless poisons, and eternally we are chaos in the making. That's what we are, the sum total. Yeah, the love aspect is nice, but in human history even the concept of love is a fairly recent addition.
Hey, NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg -- you want more gun control? Excellent! Start by disarming all your bodyguards and have 'em walk you down city streets, holding flowers in their hands, expressing love and kindness to every thug-in-waiting.
We can only imagine the horrors inflicted in the Aurora movie theater. I wonder if victims felt as helpless as the National Guardsmen and Border Patrol agents whose lethal weaponry gets left behind by order of the Obama Administration?
The Virginia Tech massacre -- 32 dead. Columbine's infamous little monsters, Harris and Klebold. The well-armed killers, usually the sole owners of mental pathology which no invented gun laws could repair, are always sure beyond a reasonable doubt of potential victims unaware and minus armaments. Such terror is conducted by people with personal agendas or mental journeys whose wanderings we can only imagine. What do you do? The only reasonable option is to make it easier for law-abiding citizens to arm themselves and carry protection on the streets. And in the theaters. Yes, sad and daring, but necessary. The police cannot be everywhere. Unfortunately, folks with political agendas, yet devoid of skeletal structures under their skin, are about to loudly distort our right to personal protection as they always do, unwilling simply to place the blame where it belongs -- on crazy. What would they do, hire thousands of social workers to knock on doors and inspect homes and apartments once a week?
"The Joker" who conducted mayhem in Colorado -- say, wasn't he a Ph.D. candidate? Apparently, higher education kills, and as a clear danger to society I think serious consideration should be given to banning education. Guns don't kill people, learning kills people.
Watch out. As we heard while the Obama Administration began wrapping its clutches around the government -- never let a (good?) crisis go to waste.
Which reminds me. . .isn't Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her boss stubbornly intent upon signing on with some United Nations gun resolution in a few days, something that our U.S. Senate would actually have to vote down in order to once again (sigh. . .) keep the damned corrupt U.N. thugs out of our business? I know it's ever so trite to bring up the Second Amendment anymore, but. . .
THANK YOU REP. MICHELE BACHMANN -- AND APOLOGIZE FOR NOTHING: Her concerns regarding radical Islam, its influence in the United States and its avowed intention to destroy both Israel and convert the West via the Muslim Brotherhood's methodical calculations are valid, disturbing and urgent. Those who take the time to listen to Muslims who escape Sharia law and realize its dangers here at home realize the importance of your questions, and I condemn Senator McCain, Speaker Boehner and other public officials who can't or won't publicly confirm the dark Islamic dangers facing this country. Violent Islamic extremism are three magic words to remember because they equal murder, the systematic destruction of souls and lives to reach an agenda which has no room for the U.S. Constitution or other non-Islamic forms of government. Remember, Muslim prayer rugs and extremist literature have already been found at the southern border, so there's no doubt about who enters the country with the usual gangs of, in the company of and with the assistance of illegal/criminal immigrants. If these words sound like a rant from a crank -- how come the U.S. military, FBI, CIA and other vital agencies are reported to be stripping all references to radical Islam from training sessions and handbooks, as if it doesn't even exist? Probably for the same reason that our Prez invites Muslim Brotherhood members into the White House and enlists their assistance. Unindicted co-conspirators named by our own Feds occupy the Muslim Brotherhood, we are told, and authorities on the subject often mention the organization C.A.I.R., one of many Islamic proponent organizations in the U.S. whose leaders exert tremendous political influence (what kind?).
Beware the Washington morons who continue to labor under the dangerous illusion that we can get along with everybody, even those who would cut our throats, whether the means be political action, legislative changes, agenda-ridden kindness or the knife itself, because we are (I proudly submit) the infidels.
PENN STATE GOES DOWN: I don't care about college or professional sports. If watching people spit, fart, grab their crotches, scratch their butts and sneer on some field turns you on, well, good for you. I know athletics are important for the young because it teaches them many things, especially (we hope) to be tough, because the world awaiting them is filled with pain and lies to be fought incessantly. As for the professional sports folks and sometimes just plain thugs out there, acting like national heroes and earning big money and drawing in spectators who pay outrageously high prices to see them in action -- I don't get it. So who cares what I think?
But, okeeeeee -- so Joe Paterno's statue was toppled faster than Saddam's and the biggies in sports jurisdiction have ruled. The legal multi-million dollar Penn State shakedown proceeds ("for the children," which translates to "for the child abuse cottage industry") and innocent members of the collegiate sports dynasty must suffer along with everybody else because this is America and that's what we do, damn it, we punish everybody. Now, let's do this: Gather up all those psychologists still waiting to be consulted for their opinions about the "Dark Knight massacre" and ask them this question: Aren't sexual incidents involving adults and children so prevalent throughout recorded history that one would almost have to consider this as normal behavior?
There is risk in the world and everybody cannot be made safe and wrapped in sterile protective fabric -- because that's exactly the kind of stagnant pool of existence we end up with. Yes, there are risks, danger, injuries and death. When was there not?
Yes, there are monsters and monstrous events in the world, and I think we can say with certainty right now that the same pain is being perpetrated on young boys in institutions and numerous other venues all across the country, and will continue to be long after the current outrage blows over into some other issue of social and news-at-eleven concern. What bothers me is, why does society suddenly smack itself on the head (like in those TV commercials for V-8) and ask, why is this happening?! Truth be told, it's always been there, right in front of everybody. There's nothing new to see here. I do worry about the growth of the child abuse cottage industry because, like other bureaucracies, things start out innocently enough, dedicated to all the necessary maneuvers, but then a giant grows and rights are suppressed or terminated that have little to do with the cottage industry itself, which ends up employing tons of do-gooders who ultimately become our own worst enemy.
We've explored this issue a little in the past, but from everything I've read over the years, and in regard especially to other countries (lowering the age of consent, for example), one is led to a very uncomfortable and intriguing conclusion. Can human sexual behavior not appear normal and horrible at the same time? Aside from obvious instances of outright rape, mutually beneficial man/boy relationships apparently exist, and our society, in particular, never confronts this issue, preferring instead to address the absurd and damaging encounters. I'm drawing from memory because I've no access to the Internet as I write this, but I recall a book entitled The Man Without a Face, later made into a movie starring Mel Gibson, and the book itself supposedly includes an intimate man/boy relationship, integral to the story -- though by the time the movie script emerged and production concluded, pretty much all references to that relationship were long gone, as we might expect in our fantasy society, bent upon eternally scrubbing and converting facts into preferences of convenience.
The theme is "out there" in hushed conversation, nobody publicly wants to address that side of the coin -- and, again, may I drive home the fact that there's nothing new to see here?
Unfortunately, under our increasingly "nanny" style government, some prefer and enforce neat little explanations about "predatory" behavior. I know I'm entering some very dangerous waters here, but as I get older I become increasingly frustrated with a society which wears blinders of choice and reflexive politics of opportunity, and, by George, you'll go to jail, prison or receive banishment to some island of perverts if you drift from the accepted or contrived harmonic frequency. I don't know that you can go to hell anymore, because I suspect that hell is all filled up with priests by now.
But trust me, we are all predators, and neither sex nor gun violence even begin to address that issue. Let's see, hmm, have I left anything unsaid today? Oh, right -- have a nice day.