Dropping pebbles of thought into our conservative echo-chamber

Posts tagged ‘media bias’

Tax Cut War Goes Beyond Obama’s Rhetoric

Friends, I am very tired.

Tired in the sense that I am sick of liberal crap enough to want to strangle every single last one of them.

President Bush signed tax cuts in 2001 and 2003

What set me over the edge (this time)?  Believe it or not, it is the subject of the “Bush Tax Cuts”.  I weary of this battle, which is perhaps exactly the way liberals want us all to feel.  But I am not weary in the sense that they had probably hoped.

Every year or two, we are drawn back into the same old debate that should have been settled nearly a decade ago.  It isn’t the debate itself that irritates me so much as the reason for having it.  I also grate at the so-called mainstream media, who portray the issue as “tax cuts for the rich” every year, instead of what it truly is; liberal Democrats pushing for tax hikes on a full-time basis.  What further annoys me is the new liberal strategy of declaring that we should all join together to pass the parts upon which we agree, and fight over our differences later.  Like every liberal position and talking point, it sounds great on a superficial level, but in translation it amounts to “give us everything we want and we’ll just sit back and ignore you later”.

The problem is this:  Every since the original legislation was passed, Democrats who vote for–or refrain from blocking a vote on–the bill will do so only on the condition that it never becomes permanent.  Their reason for doing this is far more maddening.  It isn’t because they truly believe that the legislation is bad, or they would never have voted for it in the first place.  The real reason is that liberals and their media lap-dogs believe that they have discovered a shiny, brand new way to deceive the American public.

Throughout their entire history, the Democrats have had the desire to raise taxes and expand government.  Thus, the term “tax and spend” has haunted them, especially during election years.  Unfortunately, early in George W. Bush’s first term, the Democrats found a way to remove that stigma from themselves, and the Republicans unwittingly abetted them.

Conservatives can make the argument every time that we are not actually debating tax cuts, and the failure to extend the Bush legislation would actually amount to a massive tax increase.  However, I fear that this argument is largely lost on the American public, who are more likely to see the battle every year as one being fought over tax cuts, like the media constantly tells them.

Now every year, instead of Democrats being correctly pilloried for their constant desire to increase taxes, they are free to portray themselves as champions of the poor and the middle class, while demonizing conservatives as being beholden to those evil rich.  It a cynical ploy on the instinctive human nature, to which all of us are susceptible, for people to envy those more successful than themselves;  Class warfare.

So, what do we do about it?

There are only three paths:

1.  Make the original legislation permanent

2.  Allow the tax cuts to expire completely

3.  Give the Democrats what they claim to want

The second one is off the table entirely.  It would be a public relations disaster for Republicans, but it would also be a disaster for the American public, which is far more important.  Still, the political implications are sad, because if it had been left to Democrats, none of these cuts would ever have existed, and it is only because of the Democrats that the legislation is at risk of expiring.  But the Republicans would be the ones blamed if such a thing were actually to come to pass.

The third option is off the table largely for the same reasons as the second.  While the Republicans are far less likely to face negative political consequences in this scenario, the damage to the American economy would still be devastating.  Even the most squishy Republicans would not allow this to happen, and, oddly enough, they would likely be joined by at least a few Democrats to prevent it, despite the rhetoric coming from the DNC and President Obama.

That leaves only the first option, but how do we make it happen?

I could do with seeing less of this guy.

Well, that’s the real trick, isn’t it?  Obviously, it could never happen with Obama in the White House, and so he must go.  It also could never happen with Harry Reid leading the Senate, and so conservatives must turn out in record numbers this year to take the Senate back from the Democrats.  Large as they may seem, these are not the biggest obstacles to the goal of making permanent the Bush legislation.

Even if we take back the Senate, we will almost certainly not be able to obtain a 60-vote majority.  Unfortunately, the Democrats that would be likely to join us in avoiding a massive tax hike on those evil rich people who run small businesses across the country would be just as likely to balk at the notion of making things permanent.  They’re not likely to easily let go of their pretty new political toy.  They would try to block any effort to take their toy away from them, even to the point of filibuster.

In order to get this done, we must make the notion of temporary extensions politically toxic in such a way as to prevent liberals from blocking a vote to make this legislation permanent.  That isn’t going to be easy, but I believe that it can be done.

We all know President Obama is only bringing up the matter of taxes to avoid having to address his horrible performance on the economy.  It’s just his latest in a long line of distractions.  The issue isn’t really on the table until after the elections, anyway–during the lame-duck session.

But the time to start our drum beat is still NOW.  We need to use the opening he provided us to hammer the point home, over and over, that the uncertainty caused by the constant debate over this legislation is having an extremely negative effect on our economy.  This has the virtue of being true.  I believe it will resonate, and should be repeated as often as possible.

Assuming we do take back the White House and the Senate, we must aggressively take this battle to the Democrats during the lame-duck session of Congress.  We must demand that these cuts finally be made permanent, and refuse to budge.  If the Democrats still won’t give in, then we should threaten to let the entire legislation expire, and inform the American public that we will reinstate it once our newly elected representatives are seated.  That would still be time enough to prevent a tax hike from effecting the American people in April.

My friends, it is time to reverse the roles here.  It is time for us to put the Democrats in the position that they should rightfully hold; that of being in favor of raising taxes on everyone.  We must put them on the defensive.

Do Republicans have the strength of will to act this aggressively?

I honestly do not know.

But they are our only chance to take this fight to the Democrat’s doorstep.

The Real Reason ABC Should Fire Brian Ross

If you’re reading this article, I’m sure that you’ve heard at least some of the story.  Late last Thursday/early Friday, amidst the frantic reporting on the Aurora shootings, Brian Ross of ABC implicated an innocent man on the air, guilty of having a similar name as the shooter…  and most guilty of having dared to join the Tea Party of Colorado:

George Stephanopoulos:  I want to go to Brian Ross here, because Brian you’ve been looking at…  investigating the background of Jim Holmes here and you’ve found something that might be significant.

Brian Ross:  There is a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado, uh, page, uh, on the Colorado Tea Party site, as well, talking about him joining the Tea Party, uh, last year.  Now we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes, but it’s Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado.

George Stephanopoulos:  Well, okay, we’ll keep looking at that.  Brian Ross, thank you very much.

Now, bear in mind that Brian Ross is ABC’s Chief Investigative Reporter.  He’s not exactly a new hire at the network.  Many people are calling for Ross’ firing for implicating an innocent man and putting his life in jeopardy, as the hispanic Holmes (the shooter was white) received so many death threats from insane ABC viewers that he had to disconnect his phone and is still in genuine fear for his life.  But that is not likely to be enough for ABC.  The fact that their Chief Investigative Reporter’s first thought was to start skimming through local Tea Party web sites is proof enough of their extreme bias.  They simply will not care if they endanger the life of some random Tea Party member that they view as violent and extremist, anyway.

But the rabbit hole goes deeper:

One of ABC’s producers contacted the shooter’s mother in the dead of night and asked her name, and if she was the mother of a James Holmes.  She replied “Yes, you have the right person”.  She hadn’t even heard of the shooting yet, and the ABC producer knew it.  She was clearly referring to herself, telling the producer he had reached the correct person.  However, ABC reported that when asked about the shooter, his mother responded “Yes, you have the right person”, and portrayed it as if the mother knew that her son would be prone to such an act as the Aurora massacre.  Now, certainly this is not *quite* as offensive to us in the Tea Party as placing an innocent man’s life, one of our own, in danger… but it may be to ABC.

First, let’s recap the journalistic malpractice of Brian Ross and the “investigative” reporting of ABC:

1:  Brian Ross decides that flipping through some local Tea Party websites is appropriate and constitutes investigation, obviously hoping for a connection, and jumps to the air with the first possible connection he finds, without actually bothering to confirm if he has the right man.  This despite the fact that all of the man’s contact information was listed on his Tea Party page.  ABC did not try to contact him, and to my knowledge, still hasn’t…  not even to apologize.

2: The man’s life is put in extreme danger by ABC viewers who were likely highly emotional in the immediate aftermath of a tragic massacre.  The innocent man receives so many death threats that he has to disconnect his phone and live with the fear that the same crazies who obtained his phone number had obtained his address, as well…  putting his family in grave danger.

3:  It takes hours for Ross to issue any sort of retraction, and even then it is only a short burst on the air and *gasp*…  He TWEETED about it…  ONCE!  Gee, what a stand-up guy you are, Brian Ross!

But none of these things are mortal journalistic sins in the eyes of ABC, and the last I saw, ABC still has Ross covering the Aurora tragedy for the network.  Any outfit with an ounce of integrity would have already suspended Ross, and he would be well on his way to being fired.  Obviously the things that I listed won’t be enough for ABC.

What might be enough is the misrepresentation of the call to the mother and her response.

Why..?  Because that news was picked up on the wire, and several other networks, trusting in ABC, repeated that information with ABC’s purposefully misleading slant intact.  ABC doesn’t care if its reputation with the Tea Party is damaged.  Clearly they don’t like us very much.  They don’t care if they put our fellow member’s life in danger.  They won’t lose any sleep.  But the other networks with egg on their face because of ABC are not likely to take them at their word again so quickly.  I highly doubt that any network will call them out publicly; they would lose credibility themselves by admitting that they allowed ABC to mislead them.  But almost certainly there will be some hot discussions behind the scenes, and some policy changes at the other alphabet and cable networks designed to insulate themselves from ABC’s recklessness.

Brian Ross caused ABC to lose face with everyone in the Tea Party, and anyone humane enough to see how wrong it was to link an innocent man to a senseless slaughter, especially while emotions were still running so high.  But the standards of “investigation” set by Brian Ross and his production team has led to ABC losing face with all of the other networks, as well.

ABC would be foolish to keep Ross in such a prominent position, if they retain him at all.

Obama’s Mute Button and MSNBC

President Obama tells supporters in Florida to hit the mute button.

“Conservatives seek to expose liberals, while liberals seek to silence conservatives.”

I don’t know who first said it.  Hell, maybe I did.  But, either way, I have been saying that phrase for as long as I can remember.  To me, it has always exemplified a crucial difference between the liberal and conservative philosophies.  We conservatives believe that liberal doctrine wilts under the light of scrutiny, while they seem to be terrified that the tenets which conservatives value will resonate with people.  That is why I was unsurprised by President Barack Obama’s recent remarks in Florida:

“Just press the mute button. That’s the good thing about the remote. Or you can use the DVR, and just fast-forward.”

Clearly he does not want anyone, especially not his current supporters, to hear what we have to say.  But he isn’t the only one…

The lap-dog media and Obama’s most sycophantic supporters are also mortified by the notion of conservative ideals being heard, lest they gain traction among the general populace.  Liberals constantly decry “Faux News” and talk radio, and even, ironically, the internet, not because these things are sources of disinformation, but because they are largely successful at breaking the liberal stranglehold on the information that gets disseminated by the public at large.

Before cable TV and the internet became staples of American life, liberals were content to silence conservative voices with the so-called “fairness doctrine”.  This misnamed doctrine required those who held a broadcast license and aired views on any controversial position to give airtime to contrasting positions, regardless of the station owner’s profit considerations.  Since liberal ideology has never found a voice in talk radio, and their shows have been unprofitable, and even costly, to station owners, the fairness doctrine squelched would-be popular conservative shows that were able to turn a profit because station owners were unwilling to risk airing them if they would also be forced to air the liberal contrast at a net loss.  The landscape changed when Reagan’s FCC eliminated vital parts of the fairness doctrine in 1987.  The move gave rise to hosts like Rush Limbaugh, a popular liberal boogeyman, and many others, but it also saw the rise of liberals warning all of us not to listen.

Since that time, liberals have largely had to forfeit the notion that they can completely eliminate conservative voices.  Sure, they have tried to silence us with boycotts, and they still tell people not to listen, but they’ve moved on to another approach; trying to compete.  One of their obvious first attempts was the disastrous “Air America”.  The radical left-wing radio network was never profitable, and never attracted many listeners, but it was just a start.

The real threat is MSNBC.

I know that many of you will laugh at that notion, but hear me out.  MSNBC doesn’t attract many viewers, but it does attract enough to keep its head above water.  Their hosts get exposed on a daily basis for fraudulent reporting.  They’re the butt of jokes, not just by conservatives, but by others in the industry.  But journalistic integrity, respect, and even profit has never been their motive.

The true goal of MSNBC is to re-position the publicly perceived news spectrum, once again placing the old-guard media in the center.

Whatever anyone might say about Fox News, they have more liberal hosts and commentators on a regular basis than there are conservatives on all of the other networks combined.  Thus, Fox is indeed the most “Fair and Balanced” among the networks, despite the fact that Fox commentary shows are almost universally biased toward conservative viewpoints.

MSNBC is often portrayed as the liberal alternative to Fox News.  This is the perpetuated lie.  ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and CNN are all already every bit as liberal as Fox News is conservative.  MSNBC might as well be placed on the dial next to Al Gore’s Current TV.

Their main goal is to further marginalize and silence conservative viewpoints, not by convincing the people that their views are correct, but simply by existing.

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