Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Olbermann & Mathews diminish Profession and even Woodrow Wilson

You have to admit if you thought that the liberal media was going to play fair, you know the so-called "fairness Doctrine" advocates than maybe the mothpieces of the Democratic Party ought actaully validate or in this case "vett" their commentary.

As Keith Olbermann , fired from Fox Network after being fired from ESPN and Chris Mathews take lead from the Daily Kos as what appears to be their only source and apparently the new research department of MSNBC they get caught playing their own version of hardball with the facts.

Make no mistake. The allegiances of Mathews and Olbermann are easily transparent. But to follow the daily Kos line of attack against Gov. Sarah Palin and the validity of her childs suffering from down syndrome actually being born to Mrs. Palins daughter and not her not only crosses the line but the two and MSNBC as a whole appear ready to advance other talking points by the daily Kos without any fact checking of their own.

Olbermann and Mathews inform its viewers that Sarah Palin was a member of the Alaskan Independence Party and actively sought the seccession of Alaska from the lower 48. The source that would prompt this prime time relevation would be the blog Daily Kos and of course they ran with it.

As it turnd out the Daily Kos, the blog that sponsored its conferecne in which the likes of Obama and Clinton attended in the Spring, in anattempt to smear Gov. Sarah Palin on the internet failed to inform MSNBC that its information was purely fictitious; okay completely made up.

Any apologies or retractions? Of course not, you see MSNBC is an opinion medium not a news medium. Its "The Place for Politics" alright, the place as they see it. Not only have they engaged in rumors and inuendo against Gov. Palin but have even gone after her 17 year old daughter Bristol.

Apparently they would like to "vett" Bristol Palin and her boyfriend more so than Barack Obama. They make no mention that Barack Obama backstory his he to was conceived out of wedlock and born in 1961 to an 18 year old. After 19 months on the campaign trail and that was not apparently news worthy enough to make any of the daily shows on MSNBC and yet all now they talk about is Palin's daughter determination to keep her child and somehow make that out to be sensational.

Later in the night the two discuss parts of Thompson's speech and reference his views regarding Barack Obama being the "most liberal and most inexperiencned nominee" in modern history responded with asking what Republicans would have thought about Woodrow Wilson's experience as solely a college professor from Princeton? Implication being he was th least experienced.

Well Keith and Chrsi if you studied up before you spoke you might have learned that Woodrow Wilson was Governor of New Jersey in 1910 before running for President. Governor. So Wilson had three years "Executive Experience" fellas and that still makes your guy Barack Obama the least experience nominee.

No fact checking, no "vetting" of the truth, just partisan off the cuff hacks against two incredible Americans.

MSNBC continues to not only embarrass the "news: division of NBC and diminish any faith people have in modern journalism but I wonder just how long Tom Brokov and Brian Williams can continue with the course of this network. These men have had respectable careers as true journalists and gentlman and their legacy at NBC is being tarnished by the networks new political hacks.


Anonymous said...

Is iot me or is the media simply giving Obama a great big pass on the experience thing.

How can being a community organizer be greater experience than being a mayor. Thye act like that South Side project had more people than her town of Wasilla. Organizing is not creating budgets and policies; organizing is activism.

And BTW, why is it no one wants to talk about Joe Bidens lack of experience in evrything else other than foriegn policy. Sure he has great credentials on that score, but how does Biden relate to the Southern states or out West. It would seem to be that his very liberal record would go against the core of those areas and no one seems to be talking about that.

And besides Biden was against the Alaskan pipeline in the 70's, the Gulf War, supported Iraq (which Obama claims was a mistake) and did not support the Surge.

Biden has experience all right no doubt, but he has been wrong more times than he has been right.

Anonymous said...

Everyone should just dump General Electric stock; wait based on performance I see many of you may have already!!!!!

Bill Garnett said...

Come on now. I think you protest too much. Why don’t you just admit that you have a political bias that riles you when a left leaning commentator misspeaks but somehow is oblivious to the “fair and balanced” commentators on FOX news.

Anonymous said...

Are telling me that you think MSNBC is "fair"? Give me a break.

Fox will give Barack Obama the opportunity tonight to answer real questions but whenever he is on MSNBC is always soft soft and softer balls.

Keith + Obama=2008

Bill Garnett said...

Well “anonymous”, I didn’t suggest that MSNBC was fair and balanced. I suggested that this post only indicated the bias of its author. I challenge you to tell me what TV news program you would pick as being the most neutral and have the best objective journalistic practice. I channel surf and am intelligent enough to form conclusions from a variety of media. BBC, CNN, FOX, PBS, NBC, ABC, CBS and a lot more. Being open-minded and willing to neutrally listen to a variety of points of view is, in my opinion, a mark of maturity and wisdom.

I know this blog allows and defends anonymous posters. But I’m suspicious of such who seem not to have the courage to stand openly behind their statements.

Anonymous said...

In fairness to your comment I to watch all the networks and evaluate on the basis of the fact they are supposed to be news organizations, however, I find most nothing more than entertainment networks. I favor CSPN actually.

Also, last night I witnessed Keith Olbermann on MSNBC not provide commentary on the convention or McCain's speech but pick it apart and defend Obama. He did not put up one criticism of Obama, whether any inaccuracies or any kind of defense of Conservatives last week after his speech. The MSNBC concentrated so much on the historical significance of Obama and did nothing regarding VP palin being the first Republican VP selection.

Instead they demeaned her by way of making it a "political" move solely as if she was underserving and then attacked her on that line.

Where was the fact that a Biden selection is an outright admission to Barack Obama's lack of national security experience. His pick was never addressed from that view like it was against McCain. Obama has admitted he needs help with that arena and he was given a pass and then defend him and his experience as qualified to lead as Commander in Chief.

Since when is it their role to "defend" a candidate or better yet undermine another.

Alter of Freedom said...

In response to Mr. Garnett,

I stand by my view that MSNBC; and the NBC news organization displays an obvious position on issues and has an agenda in which they are setting forth and it happens to be that of a liberal one.

I think that the tale of the two conventions draws this reality rather plainly. In my opnion, with the death of Tim Russert NBC lost one of the last men in that organization willing to put journalistic integrity above partisan ideals. He was "fair" and Meet the Press was one aspect of the medium that you could go and listed matters of substance. The difference?

Mr. Russert would nail down the facts as his guests see them, challenge them respectfully with facts and then allow the viewers to make up their minds. Mr. Russert never felt the need to make his viewers minds up for them by his actions or his challenge.

Keith Olbermann is in no way even comparable to a Russert on any level and his body of work as a anchor demonstrates that. Exactly how many days has it been since victory in Iraq----every Countdown and then last night he passes judgement on a video honoring the those from 9/11 and states that he has never seen such a dispicable video for politcal purposes and yet his statement everynight at the close of his show is not supposed to be sarcastic rhetoric? His portrayal of Mrs. Palin after her speech and the flat out denial that it was history making and chose not to analize the speech but following her word simply rehash internet and blog rumors and reference investigations, allegations, all out which have nothing to do with analyzing the speech.

MSNBC has continually given the pass on issues that it choose to ignore in the arena that it sees unbeneficial to the bias. For example, why have they not invesitgated the relationship between Obama and Ayers at any level and have ignored that story in the same way they ignored the story of John Edwards the entire Primary even though they knew that other media were following leads on the story. And yet, they immediately send staff to investigate Mrs. Palin and her family and before even verifying rumors put them out before a large audience with no real authentic sources; ie Palin is a member of the AIP and even after the rumor was proven false Olbermann continued to put it out there as "these" allegations.
As soon as Palin was announced next to her picture on screen they lister her position, State, and "Currently Under Investigation" within fifteen minutes of the announcement, without even having any backstory at the time at all. These professional from Mathews to Brokov, whom I have always respected stated how none of them had any information on Palin before them as she was not on the short listers in which they had built background on for the announcement. In fact, Olbermann and Mathews had spent considerable time after the DNC going over what thye had built on Tim Pawlenty and believed he would be the selection.

I am not an apologist for Fox either. I watched some, like Neil Cavuto, but not O'Reilly so that point is misplaced. That said however, at least Hannity & Colmes as the balance between two hosts whereas Countdown and Hardball like to seemingly draw the lines that always divide people without a counter view; ie race, gender, class.

The old school at NBC is getting older and a few years whenh Tom Brokov retires and Brian Williams gest tired of the lack of journalisitc integrity he will eventually come around and leave that organization.

An organization that the only time they want to cover Veterans or military families is when it suits the agenda of the left, like those vets that are opposed to the War or those providing information about treatment at Walter Reed.

Did they cover the story of the Medal of Honor winner when his parents were presented with the medal by the President. No. THey made no mention nor did they show the ceremony on their medium. Why? It goes against the stance and position that underlines their role as they see it.

Its shameful.

James said...

Lest he forget (Bill) that you have always been critical of both sides.

Any one who reads the blog with any regularity knows this so he basically just responded with the traditional liberal talking point about bias; its like if your Republican you have to be a gun lover, pro-lifer and gay hater. They do it all the time.

Liberals put people in grouops and that is how they choose to identify them whereas as conservatives see people as individuals.

Bill Garnett said...

I generally agree with all you are saying. We, the TV audience, has allowed, partially due to the rapid increase in channels available, faux news programs that masquerade as neutral news - from FOX news to most programs on MSNBC. I miss Don Imus on MSNBC at 6 in the morning. I miss Tim Russert. And I even miss Walter Cronkite and Eric Sevareid and even John Cameron Swayze, just to admit how old I am.

But to state that cable news is now often biased is, to me, just stating the obvious. And to rail against the left leaning commentators while silent about the right leaning commentators, as I suggested in my first post on this matter, only discloses your bias.

I applaud your interest in the political process. We both know though that the vast majority could care less, have little knowledge of political realities, and hardly have any sense of civic participation. And thus the masses are ripe to be persuaded by the most simplistic and jingoistic appeals.

I don’t know how bad things have to get before people pay attention. I do know though that in the void of that attention the powerful, the well connected, and the special interests continue to feast at the public trough.

Bill Garnett said...


You say:

“Liberals put people in groups and that is how they choose to identify themselves whereas conservatives see people as individuals.”

Isn’t the truth that we both are all individuals and we are all in groups? We truly are an interdependent species.

But here you go making an all encompassing absolute statement that again paints one side blue and one side red. I see myself both as an individual and as a member of a group – my family, my community, my workplace, my church, my state, my country, and even the group called the human species.

I believe it was Adlai Stevenson that talked about imagining two coordinates on a grid – time and space. He said we are individuals only at the origin, at 0,0 – and there we are focused entirely on ourselves and in the moment – that is the selfish place. He said as we focus further out in time and distance, that is, past ourselves in space to our family and community and to the world itself; and further out in time past the moment to next week, next year, and to the generations to come, that it is this focus out is time and space, this focus on the broadest concept of association as human beings and far out to future generations; that is the mark of goodness in men, of character, generosity of spirit, and of service in the tradition of our best religions.

James, I try to find a balance – both as an individual and as a member of society.

J. Scott said...

Bill Garnett point is a valid one, but I do not see "real" conservatives, whether they are in the media as pundits attacking anyone along the lines of Bill's groups; ie his family, church, workplace, etc unless the group has uniformly come out with a position. Liberals, however do not pratice this on balance.

Take Dominion Power for example. Raising Kaine and the leftist they are stage an all out assualt on the Virginia company earlier this summer. The basically did the same thing they have been doing to Sarah Palin on directed at the employees of the company and executives because in their view is counter to its climate change agenda. This issue was over the new Wise County plant.

Now I am sure there are plenty of conservative Democrats, independents and Republicans who work for the company. Are we to hold every employee responsible from the CEO right down to the mail clerk? Now thats targeting a group unfairly.

They constantly seek not only to group people but in doing so do nothing to move the debate forward. For example, the use exit polling data as wedge and break people in groups and classes for the purpose of politcial gain not analysis. On the one hand they tell us that if folks do not vote for Obama in "white" America its because they are racist but when 95% of African-Americans are supporting Obama the same analysis does not apply nor is it even mentioned in the conversation.

I am all for critical analysis but fair analysis.

Why is not anyone looking at Joe Biden record? There has been absolutely zero analysis of his record. Why is he given a pass on all the tax hikes he supported in the 80's, for not supporting term limits, balance busget amendements, for voting against the Alaskan pipeline, for supporting the bailout of business interests. Why does he get a pass on thirty years of votes, solely because he has so-called foriegn policy credentials?

This is the guy who in 2005 was asking for Iraq to be split into three provincial areas with a loosely held central government but with seperate provincial governments.

Where is the analysis of that record? I can tell you where. On the editing floor of MSNBC and other entrenched media outlets who "like" him because like them they have insider relationships.

This is exactly what needs to be changed in Washington. They want to scrutinize Sarah palin's record which is fair but act as if because America may be familiar with Joe Biden he slection does not warrant the same examination.

An unbiased media would have asked Barack Obama for exactly why it is Clinton was not on the short list and exactly why he chose Joe Biden and not the more qualified candidates like Bill Richardson?

I would like someone in the media to explain to me why it is they have not asked Obama why Richardson, the most qualified of either Primary to be VP, was simply dismissed and yet they want to examine why it is Palin got picked and not Pawlenty, Romney or Lieberman.

Bill Garnett said...

TO: J. Scott, you stated:

“They constantly seek not only to group people but in doing so do nothing to move the debate forward. For example, the use exit polling data as wedge and break people in groups and classes for the purpose of political gain not analysis. On the one hand they tell us that if folks do not vote for Obama in "white" America its because they are racist but when 95% of African-Americans are supporting Obama the same analysis does not apply nor is it even mentioned in the conversation.”

May I comment again on your style, your tone. Would you be more specific about whom you are referring to when you say “They”. And how do you really think the two campaigns use polling data differently? Are you aware of the political strategy and election tactics that Karl Rove has used? Or that in July John McCain elevated Karl Rove protégé Steve Schmidt to run his campaign?

I’m not happy with divisive politics regardless of who employs them. I want to know the specifics of policy and the qualifications of the candidate.

“Why is not anyone looking at Joe Biden record?” This is naive. I’m sure the Republican campaign is going through Biden’s life and record with a fine-tooth-comb. And any ambitious reporter (and reporters are ambitious) will also be looking for any story they can break. Having lived in Wilmington from 1969 to 1990 (with the exception of 2 ½ years in Chicago) I can tell you that Biden is very well regarded both in the northern part of the state that is largely Democratic and in the rural southern part of the state that is largely Republican. From everything I know and have heard about him during those years, I am confident that he has integrity, is authentic, and is tenacious without being petty and grudge holding. And he has a wealth of experience and knowledge in many important areas that I feel will well complement Obama.

James said...

And how then Bill Garnett is Mrs. Palin's story regarding her electorate any different? She appears to be as beloved as well?

I believe your own blog takes shots at Eric Cantor quite fredquently and yet he routinely polls extremely high in the 7th and wins handily in elections. Does the same apply to him then with regard to his record. Since his electorate embrace him he would get a pass as a VP candidate?

You made the most valid point yet though. " I am sure the Republican campaign is going through" Joe Bidens record. Exactly. The Republicans will have to use campaign resources to do so, while for some reason the media sees fit to use its resources in this instance on behalf of the Democrats as they focus on Gov. Palin. The media will be doing the Obama camp's bidding in this regard and yet there will be no stories about Biden you watch.

And his vetting? How was he vetted by Obama? How did he determine Biden was the right person? Why did Obama not select Hillary Clinton? Why are having these questions asked so out of bounds it seems for the media?

Did Joe Biden support the first Gulf War? Why/Why not? Did he support the 2005 Energy bill? Why/Why not? Did he support the surge? Why/Why not?Did he tell America that Barack Obama was encaple of leading or ready to be President? Yes/No? Really I am curious. Are these not very appropriate lines for any reporter or media agency to ask, and yet it seems it is only those who people perceive as having a bias that actually ask the questions. So its appropriate to have media partisanship?

Whether or not Biden is well regarded or not his record should be examined by the media in the same context as his opponents, but it is not.

If it were if you recall Joe Biden had is own "macacca" moment like George Allen, but you will never see it played on MSNBC or NBC. Why? Did he not insult Indian Americans when he was caught on videotape telling someone that you cannot go into a single 7/11 without seeing an Indian American working there. Check you tube out for that one.

Is that on the same footing as George Allen, which the left used to undermine his campaign in 2006, or is he simply given a pass because heck we know Joe and he is well regarded and he routinely comes on our morning shows.

For a media outlet not to report that video as pertinent to any and I stress any VP candidate is pure hypocricy Bill.

But since the media refuses to operate without double standards, I would expect a 527 to throw that one up about two weeks prior to the election. Seems to me there should be some obligation of the media to report matters equally and with journalistic integrity.

You mention Walter Cronkite, men of that stature and integrity have been lost on this generation of media.

Bill Garnett said...


I wonder if you are being honest with yourself. You seem to be grasping for straws, intent on finding any support whatsoever for a preconceived conclusion. Are you not guilty of not being objective?

Have you forgotten the firestorm Obama went through because of his pastor’s statements? Have you forgotten that the media picked up on the phasing of one sentence by Michele Obama and implied that she didn’t love her country?

This cheery picking of rare missteps taken out of context is hardly worthy of discussion. And it is used as incendiary by those who either fall prey to propagandists or who are propagandists themselves.

I’m sure you are sophisticated enough to know that much of the news today is controlled by media entrepreneurs that cater to market segments in a very fragmented market. This is taken advantage of by Rush Limbaugh and FOX news and less blatantly by MSNBC. Most of the audience is far too lazy to do their own due diligence. And many others are so steeped in their own agenda and blinded by their ideology that they are unable to see the forest for the trees.

I agree that most people in education, most people in the media, and most people in science are on the liberal side of the spectrum. Behaviorists study this. Psychologists study this phenomenon. And, bottom line, it appears that people who have the characteristic of being open minded and tolerant to new ideas are more likely to have a liberal bent than a conservative bent. But don’t take my word for this; there is plenty of available literature.

Being a political junkie, my inbox is full of the extreme chain mail that demonizes both sides. I don’t spread it. I have lots and lots of trash about McCain and Palin but I don’t spread it.

It’s an effort, but my intention is to weed through the crap and look for facts that make a difference. To try and see things in a larger picture. And to openly listen to as many points of view as possible. And then to act responsibly in my choices.

I, for one, would sure like to see more light than heat on these blogs. More intelligent debate and less churlish innuendo.

Alter of Freedom said...

Mr. Garnett,
In fairness to James I do not think he was talking about the "new" media that seems to be taking root. I see this as the "viral" media. These are probably the things that are filling up your inbox. I doubt you are receiving an email from say the news desk at Fox or MSNBC. Its more likely hacks with bad motives.

You know; Obama is a Muslim kind of crap!!!

Look, I am as conservative as the next guy and want open airwaves and even find some talk radio completely over the top. But I do not think shows like Rush advertise themselves as "news" or list things as "Breaking News" that are so obviously biased and are opinion based not news based.

In the order of ratings, we have witnessed a morphing of "news" with "entertainment" as referenced in a few posts here in the thread and I tend to agree. So far, I am not happy or confident in the outcome. I have little faith in Fox or MSNBC to deliver me unbiased information regardless of ones view. I find that very disturbing b/c local news is so weak.

We see news agencies reducing staff and cutting divisions like overseas desks in the print medium. We are entering a dangerous time I think in this regard. I am not against progress but at the expense of what; professional journalism?

I just think it used to be a lot easier. You had an anchor you had faith in to deliver you the news of th day and were able to learn the story and formulate your interpretation of the events as reported to you. Now, as witnessed in these Conventions all we get is mere judgement.

I actually listen to McCain's speech and then turned the TV off the news channels. I wanted to take the speech in for myself before being "told" what he said.

I long for the day when you never knew the ideology of the person anchoring and the true objective nature of the news of yesteryear. I also long for the time when we were respectful of fellow Americans, especially our President, regardless of ones personal view. That respect has been lost.

In the military we saluted the rank and not the man. I feel the same way about our Presidents. I think some of these folks need to heed that a bit as I find it blatantly disrespectful to have a daily segment entitled "busheeeed" like MSNBC. What does it say about an anchor or network that will never cover anything positive at all about a President or administration? Do I believe Bush has failed in quite a few areas? Yes. Do I believe he has done some rather great things as well? Yes. So why is it that a network, any network, see fit to only focus on negative swipes? Simple. Ratings.

One can call it the angry left or the crazy right, but they are fueled by something and that something is the "new" media. Why? MONEY. Both sides profit off of the division and they keep it rolling. Thats fine with me if you are at least honest about it in the process and do not pass of judgement or opinion as news.

Informing ten million viewers that the potential VP of the country may not be the mother of her special needs child and reporting it as "news" is dispicable without so much of a source and reporting that a VP selection is a "seccessionist" without verifying sources (and not simply using bloggers as a source either). Thats just shoddy journalism and beneath any network.

To the point about Rev. Wright and Obama, I agree with the notion that that issue was covered but it was covered for about nine months before any of the other organizations even addressed it. Very similarly as noted in the thread in the case of John Edwards. Its not like these organizations do not know whats going on with the other. Thats crazy. The problem is when one network reports news and the other feels compelled to act as a shield or defender. On both sides, I find that ridiculous as well.

James , in defense of Bill's blog. he attempts (though not very often these days so Bill get on it)to raise points on issues that go straight to the ehart of the matter regarding divisions that riple through our community. I do not think that his obsservations are highly critical but points out in the Cantor case the manner in which Cantor has legislated and if you support that fine but if you do not agree with those votes than should make yourself aware that that that is the Congressman's record. There is nothing wrong with that.

Bill Garnett said...

Having just watched a smorgasbord of Sunday news talking heads, I am moved to suggest that coverage of the upcoming election candidates and issues is far more balanced and far more informative than the discussion on this subject on this blog suggests.

Just one example. George Stephanopoulos who is clearly a liberal Democrat and was a senior advisor to the Clinton administration interview with Barack Obama. I challenge anyone who viewed that interview to say it wasn’t as hard-hitting and aggressive as any FOX interviewer would give.

And anyone looking for an intelligent worldview can be pleased to see the slant to a major Sunday time slot that Fareed Zakaria brings. His interview today with writer Rory Stewart was for me one of the most informative and clearly presented on the Iraq and Afghanistan situation that I have seen. And having lived in a middle class Riyadh neighborhood for six years, I agree that the possible outcomes in that area of the world is much more nuanced than our politicians suggest.

Even with the crescendo of the political conventions, less than one in ten Americans tuned in. This week I challenged the clerk and bagger at my local Kroger that I would give them a dollar if they could tell me who their Congressman is. Neither knew, and that has been my experience with this experiment for some years.

Admit it, we as a nation has abrogated our responsibility to govern ourselves and to take personal responsibility to be informed at any meaningful level much less to get involved. And we few who post back and forth on the net on such topics will only make a real difference when we can carry the conversation out to our communities.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I guess thats fine if you think most Americans are watching Sunday morning.

Sunday m,roning has alwasy been left to the exclusive anchors with the exception maybe of George who filled that slot after being on the other side and in campaigns like Clintons.

And thats the point. Amercians do not want to watch stuffy old anchors ask questions with their pals from inside the Beltway. They would much rather get it from the broken biased drive by media during the week or on the radio.

Not saying that thats right but thats the case. How many Americans at at church Sunday morning anyway by the way and never tune in to those. You think a guy working the line in Ohio or Michigan is gonna watch Sunday morning programming, of course not, they will either be at church or preparing to watch Sunday football. Thats reality.

The lineup on Sundays far exceeds that of the daily cable programs and the anchors are far more experienced and savvy.

As to folks not knowing their Congressman. That is easily solved by actually returning to having our students actually be required to take Government or Civics again and not lump it with "History" or "Social Studies". You want them to particpate in the process than create the opportunity to be engaged with the process by returning to things like the Pledge of Allegiance in our schools. And BTW actually having parents these days involved with their childrens experience enough to promote the idea that the history of this country and the sacrifices of those before them matter.

In truth most high school seniors probably could not pass the very test that we require new citizens to take to gain citizenship.

I think that pretty much tells you how failed the liberal institutions behind our schools are all dated and broken.

Bill Garnett said...

To anonymous person who obviously doesn't want his/her identity to be known even on a a blog with a small readership:

Amen, amen . . . . Whoa!!, liberal institutions broke our schools? I’m liberal and I strongly feel that high school graduate should be fully equipped to face adult life and to take responsibility for his/her decisions and to accept his/her civic responsibilities. Schools are ‘in loco parentis’ and should have the commensurate authority to bring appropriate discipline to the classroom. I support paying teachers commensurate with their peers in other professions and commensurate with their success in being exemplary teachers. I think tenure is an obsolete idea and that underperforming teachers need to be qualified or given a chance to have a new profession.

And the policy in this country of funding education based on local property taxes is just wrong headed and obviously results in poor neighborhoods having poorer physical facilities, and that along with unmotivated students attracts often lack luster teachers – and those parents who can desert the neighborhood in favor of better school districts and property values, erode the tax base even more – and the cycle continues. Every child in America deserves a first class education and the opportunity to live up to his/her potential.

And as to the delicate matter of holding parents responsible – well no politician is willing to do that because the largest, by far, segment of the voters are obviously parents. But it is parents who establish values, and responsibility, and good manners, a love of learning, goal setting and most of the other traits that are generally agreed upon, on both sides of the political spectrum, as admirable citizen qualities. But parents are being held less and less accountable. Liberal institutions did not break our schools – absent parents broke our schools, as well as policies which historically denied equal access to education and which today economically denies equal access. And thus continues this self-defeating public education strategy.

And by the way, it was not legislation, so much as legislating from the bench that brought about desegregation – legislators lacking the courage to do the right thing (just as it was courts that defined the bedroom as private and no business of government, and it was courts that “legislated” that a black man can marry a white woman -- which would have been illegal in Virginia just a few decades ago due to the lack of courage of legislators to do the right thing).

We need legislators who, in the spirit of our forefathers, legislate out of facts, reasoned debate, wisdom, and courage – and not just to get reelected, appease some constituency, or because they put their religious views ahead of their civic responsibility (after all they place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution – not the other way around).

Alter of Freedom said...

To Bill Garnett-
Based on your view that legislators must "legislate out facts" I would be curious as to your position on my post today regarding Senator Biden.

If "absentee" parents are the root cause of such a broken system than why not move into the direction of charter schools. The City of Richmond is gridlocked on the issue of charter schools in face of the "facts". Charter schools have proven to be a great asset to communites like Baltimore and the District of Columbia. These successful charter schools provide the example by which the City should use to formualte a new direction.

It is not the parents of the City of Richmond who are at fault for much of the failing systems nationwide. Look at Detriot with 20% graduation rates----in my view that is the greatest domestic security threat in our nation. A failing educational system results on a class of people dependent, yes Bill, dependent upon government. And frankly, that is exactly just one one particular Party in this country wants. It s is their powerbase.

In my view the Teacher Union controlling the Detriot schools and other like it should be dissolved. They put the interests of the administrators and teachers unions along with the actual School Board beuracracy before the very students they are to be educating and then dump those students on our society and our welfare system.

The failure of the educational system begets a failure of the welfare state requiring more resources stretch over a longer period of time for these uneducated adults than if the money was thrown into a better, reformed system based on achievement by both teachers and students. parents in inner cities and across the nation that are doing the right thing by way of their family should have the choice to send their children to schools that perform, not ones that are in decline.

I do believe that parent have a responsibility, but also that the school systems bear much of the burden with regard to the inability to change with the times. We have seen so much innovation in technology and yet most school systems are unwilling to make the hard choices with regard to spending. Instead of spending funds on upgrading schools and curriculum, they instead flood the system with more back office adminstrators and not teachers on the front lines.

I say this because it strikes me as rather ridiculous that the City of Richmond has less students by half than Chesterfield and Henrico County and yet twice the number of beaurocrats and yet the system falls short in virtually all areas relative to other localities.

I make no apology for being a small blog if your intent was a knock. It is not my intent on making the blog an "online community".

I have other plans to fill that void in our Chesterfield community that are underway as we face the greatest challenges we have since we embarked on this irresponsible and mismanaged growth endeavor back in 1985.

Bill Garnett said...

I regret you saw the "small blog" mention as a slam - it wasn't, I highly respect the energy you put into your passion.

Second, you may find it odd, but I generally agree with you about education - even charter schools.

I also believe in unions, as often individual voices cannot stand up to power. But that does not mean that I favor teacher strikes, or teacher tenure. I expect teachers to be up to the task AND to be paid accordingly.

I do believe that it is morally wrong for parents to assume it is their right to indoctrinate their children, and dislike home schooling, and dislike religious schools. I don’t know the way around this. I know that parents in America fiercely guard their right to raise their children as they wish. However, I also know that far too many parents are incapable of giving a child a healthy and balanced upbringing and I think a child should be taught to be open minded, to find their own path, and to have the support of their parents realizing that they (their parents) are not cloning themselves or duplicating their ego as much as responsible for nurturing an independent human being.

Perhaps we can start by admitting that were we in the shoes of a small child raised in poverty in a slum neighborhood, we might not have the opportunity a similar child has raised in Woodlake. I would hope it is America’s promise that all children have the opportunity to rise to their potential. I also believe that our public education system needs to be completely rethought. Including looking at elimination of summer vacation, incorporating technology, experimenting with a range of teaching methods and school systems. And hiking the salaries to attract better qualified individuals into the profession.

Alter of Freedom said...


Monday, September 8th:

NBC news has announced that they will be replacing Keith Olbermann and Chris Mathews from the "anchor" position of political coverage which they had during the GOP Convention and moved them to "commentary".

Rational voices have been heard and the bias and this move to "bench" these men is virtually an admission to their left-leaning bias which has embarrassed the NBC news division.

Keith Olbermann was heard of camera during the GOP Convention coverage saying that Joe Scarbourough, a former GOP Congressman and anchor of Morning Joe on MSNBC needed a "shovel" as a result of his view that Sarah Palin would ignite the conservative base.

I commend NBC for taking the appropriate action here. I understand the new media dynamic but NBC News has had a long standing repuation with many of us and with the lose of Tim Russert this year and the network of MSNBC having to resort to placing Olbermann and Mathews in unbiased roles they proved an inability to remain so throughout the coverage.

Chris Mathews I have more respect for and I truly believe follows the political storyline where it takes him more often than not, but Keith Olbermann makes it up as he goes along and frankly his nothing more than a politcial hack and no different than Rachael Maddow, who if you have been paying attention gets her own show beginning this week at 9PM on MSNBC.

Birds of a feather as my grandma would always say; Birds of a feather.

Bill Garnett said...

I remember when Eric Sevareid gave commentary on CBS – I think editorial positions are fine as long as they are presented in context.

Why do you rail so much about the liberal side and seem to take little offense to far right commentators?

And are you really that impressed with McCain’s choice for vice president?

Alter of Freedom said...

First and foremost I am impressed with the selection from the standpoint of strategy.

Its funny we rail against "politicians" for being "political". The choice of Palin was certainly a political choice just as the choice for Biden. And her lies the difference.

When the selection for Biden was made it was put into the context that his national security and foriegn relations experience credentials made it a very appropriate choice and so it was characeterized by all networks. There was not a level of "it was the political thing to do" by many in the media when in fact that is exactly what it was. Obama needed to shore up credentials on that level because he knew that he was lacking in the area; there nothing wrong with that and is actually a smart thing to do. However, for the pundits not to concede this is ridiculous; they feel that it would be an admission of something anyone who really floows these things already knows; Obama was beaten badly in PA and Biden would nail down the eastern PA vote and thus the 21 electoral votes as well as provide the credentials.

In short, it was a political selection. Not picking Clinton was more of a personal one than a political one and yet that is a dead issue now. No focus on why she was not selected and yet McCain has to endure the criticisms by the same folks for not selecting Romney or Pawlenty or even the ridiculous choice in Liebermann. Tha was a faint by Rick Davis that suceeded in my view and would never happen, nor would have Ridge.


Both men will be in the McCain cabinent and McCain at the convention provided each the opportunity to address the GOP to make that an easier task when the time comes. Afterall, Lieberman's days in the Dem caucus are over. It also made conservatives even more grateful when he made the move to Palin in that once the word broke that he may go the way of Lieberman/Ridge and then went Palin it appeared as though he was moving in favor of them by selecting Palin; again a political selection.

In the end, we know why McCain chose Palin, but can we say the same really about the Biden pick and if it was solely for the credentials of national security is that good enough? I just feel that the media if going to dig into the rationale for McCain should equally do so for Obama and they have not. Until George, and mind you he skillfully allowed Obama to correct himself on his faith Sunday, its been 19 months with very little in terms of hard questioning "directly" by reputable journalists in my opinion. I understand we will get a little more from the O'Reilly interview this evening and Olbermann has his time tonight as well, but again I do not see these as reputable journalists.

After the Olbermann interview lets see if he is held to an equal standard in terms of the interview. I make no bones I disagree with just about everything that comes out of his mouth, but I have no problem with NBC making the move to make him a "commentator" because that should be his role. His days of "anchoring" should be over as he failed to display the calm, objective and professional temperment that that role demands.

I miss the days of Ted Kopel but I guess we still have Discovery Channel to get a dose of him every now and then. I also like Charlie Rose. BTW Sarah Palin gave an interview to Charlie Rose late last year that was fantastic. I know MSNBC likes to act as if Sarah Palin has no backatory interviews to reference as part of the criticism they levy at her, and yet one of the best comes from CNBC where Mario Bartellemo(sp) had a great energy related story from Alaska where she sat down with Palin. I guess its inconvenient for them to actually referecne people to these interviews like Rose and such or is at an attempt to bascially reinforce the idea that the GOP is making about the "elite" media.

She has not sat down with the insiders so the interviews with Rose, CNBC, Fox, and the Alaskan news outlets do not count as being "reputable". Its either that or the fact that those interviews revealed nothing they could throw in the aresenal against the GOP.

I believe Charles Gibson will get the first crack at her now that Oprah (surprise) will not be scheduling Palin for her show before the election. Thats her right to be sure, but I think in terms of woman issues thats very unfortunate. The skeptic in me feels that had Clinton been chosen as a VP, she would have been front and center on Oprah.

Back to your point though, when people are performing the "anchor" role and not the "commentary" one the standard in my view is very different. When these folks have there own soapboxes like Countdown, O'Reilly, Hannity & Colmes, Hardball the standard is very different than when you are providing coverage of a convention or politics from a journalistic perspective like Brokaw, Russert, Williams etc.

Lets see , will I watch Greta, O'Reilly, Countdown, Hannity or my man Lou Dobbs tonight and his Independent Convention.

Bill Garnett said...

I could find only two very short Charlie Rose interviews of Sarah Palin on the Internet. Her composure and communication skills in these two instances were impressive. And I prefer that side of her in contrast to her campaign style, which I find to be troublesome, and an insult to my intelligence.

However, in the scheme of things I see little in these short interviews that would give her the opportunity to detail her position on any main issue. And I see little here that could be referenced by the “liberal” press whether they wanted to or not.

And I don’t think any reasonable and informed Republican can say with a straight face that she is among the top most qualified individuals that were considered for that position. I agree that this smacks of Karl Rove type political calculus. You may try and do a “back at ‘cha” and say the same about Joe Biden, but that is a weak argument, in my opinion.

James said...

I not exactly sure about the previous comment concerning Joseph Biden (D) because like most liberals making arguements I fail to see an actual arguement being made for Biden in the text.

It is evident by previous comments that the electorate mus simply just accept what the Beltway Boys say about Biden and we are all just supposed to just follow and get in line. Afterall, Alter they know best. Just ask them.

The big insult here is not at the voters. On balance Gov. Palin (R) is as if not more qualified than many previous Vice Presidential selections but the responses smacks of the very ignorance that runs rampant throughout the media and that the position of Governor is only a suitbale qualification if its placed in the context of a State like California, Texas, New York, or some other big media market State. Afterall, the job is more difficult in their minds and yet the jobs are in fact exactly the same with the virtually the same responsibilities.

If when demonstrated the facts regarding previous Presidents, those with left leaning lenses argue Governor Palin is not qualified or less qualified than a Joseph Biden. No matter how many Bill Clintons, Jimmy Carters, Ronald Reagans or george Bush's you trump they don't get it because Alter they chose not to. They have convinced themselves that the politics are more important and consistancy is rather inconvenient eventhough Barack Obama (D) own record is lean at best. None of these people had any or have any in Obama's case real national security experience or foriegn relations experience and the arguement made lately by the left about passports is rather humorous.

Loosey Goosey as my daughter likes to say often with the facts on Barack Obama's record as well by the left is not supported by the facts. Obama was placed on the Homeland Security and European Affairs committees in the Senate in January of 2007 after the election cycle of 2006 when Democrast made the pickups in the Congress. Four months or so later Obama begins his campaign for President. Hardly a record of experience. The arguement is baseless and the longer the left stays entrenched with it they remain off message and will continue to loss points in the polls.

It's as if they are trying to have a battle over who more intellectual, well-traveled, and more elite. Its a misguided level of attack.

That said, I would like to have the left make the arguement for Joseph Biden in the context of Hillary Clinton. Biden may be well respected in foriegn relations but I wonder why it is that seems to be the only area the Democrats stress. If he is to be an informed intellectual on national security and is to really focus on that area does that not merely just undermine the arguements made by the left against Dick Cheney? Dugh!!
And why is it then cannot John McCain control his policy on national security since he has as much as Biden and allow Governor Palin to get a grasp of the our nations Energy policy?

I agree with the comments here that the admission of Biden's role would open up Barack Obama to the real experience issue but so what. Obama has a change message that is supposed to be more than just Iraq or our nations standing in the world.

Personally, our economy, our energy policy, our education policy and our heathcare policy fgar exceed any desire I have or most Amercians for bettering our "standing" in the world. That is entirely a liberal precept.

The fact of the matter is Barack Obama does himself the greatest harm by campaigning against Governor Palin, which is truly an admission of sorts, and saying she is from "Wassilly" when he knows its Wasilla, AK and states that she is making stuff up and trying to convince America by being something she is not. Can you say "off message"!

By engaging in such strategy, the Obama campaign through the surrogates and pundits open themselves up yet again to the fact that Barack Obama has "remade" himself since winning the Primary. He has moved right or to the center on every issue since defeating Clinton. Every issue.

Exactly who is it who has been re-inventing himself for the Gneral Election in the Fall?

Its Barack (we can't say) Obama.

Jack R. said...

I am happy to see the NBC news section made the move to bench Keith Olbermann.

I was surprised tonight to hear both Olbermann and Maddow being highly critical of McCain's or Palin's remarks regarding the bailout of Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae but stating that they did not know what they were talking about in terms of taxpayers. They implied that taxpayers have not been on the hook for these institutions before the bailout and that Palin needed to book up before making statements.

Well, it appeasr as though that Olbermann and Maddow in an attempt to cast whatever bias they have failed to mention to the audience that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are not 100% private or public but at government sanctioned GSE, which in fact allows various aspects of their business to actually be covered by the government, ie the Treasury credit lines, which in fact are covered by way of governmental funding at the expense of tax payers.

We actually covered this during my MBA years and it is very complex but fact is the GSE are partly covered through the government and thus tax payers.

Maybe Olbermann and Maddow were thinking of Sallie Mae which no longer has GSE status.

Either they or their young producers over MSNBC probably do not understand the complexities of the GSE (government sponsored enterprise) but in dealing with real economics I doubt they would.

Alter of Freedom said...

Have to admit I am not all that knowledgeable concerning Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in terms of the realtionship between the private/public dynamic.

I appreciate the perspective.

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