Wednesday, November 15, 2017

DON'T BREAK OUT THE CHAMPAGNE JUST YET !!

By Larry Pickering: Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.


A very hard working lady friend of mine cleaned hotel rooms for a living and had asked to excuse herself from cleaning rooms that had been occupied by male homosexuals. The hotel had acceded to her request as the rooms were unbearably disgusting. Fecal matter was strewn from the bath tub to chairs and walls and the bedding was discarded rather than washed. 
Now, I can only go by what she told me and there might be some exaggeration involved, but the hotel used a bunch of blokes in hazmat gear to clean the rooms up. 
The proposed Bill to deal with this Yes Vote might create a few problems; for instance, can that hotel refuse admission to homosexuals known to the management, and if so, on what grounds?
Can a taxi cab refuse to take certain fares like it does now for drunks? Can a restaurant refuse patrons? Can a football team refuse a player’s registration due to the concerns of other players? 
Of course religion will always be cited as a reason. So if religion is used as a basis for objection why shouldn’t polygamous Muslims also be discriminated against, including Indians who are also apt to marry underage girls?
The stupidity of the High Court in its decisions over “dual citizenship” could extend to rulings governing “same sex” rights that will fall within or without or on the border line of this proposed legislation.
The Gay Greens are already claiming victory, but it could be a phyrric one, as legal decisions combined with PC are a looming nightmare and will not be as plain sailing as the gay brigade trusts it will.
                                   Have either of you two seen my Mom?
And you can bet bakers who refuse to bake same sex wedding cakes on religious grounds will be targeted by the gays so as to set examples of those who should be punished on grounds of discrimination.
Countries that have adopted forms of gay marriage are now feeling the damaging effects of turning social mores on their head. Parental rights regarding children are at stake and the Canadian Supreme Court has already ruled against parents’ concerns over the outrageous “Safe Schools” programs that teachers sympathetic to the minority gay movement are conducting.
Tasmania’s Archbishop, Julian Porteous, (above) has already been hauled before the anti-discrimination board for distributing a pamphlet stating the church’s view that marriage was between a man and a woman.
In London, a private Jewish school faces closure after failing three State education authority ­instructions to teach girls aged three to 11, about LGBT issues including sexual orientation and gender reassignment.
                           Alan Joyce has rainbowed over our iconic airline logo
After gay marriage was passed by referendum in 2015 in Ireland, Parliament almost immediately repealed laws that provided exemptions allowing the refusal of people to abide by gay laws ­on “religious, educational or medical ­grounds”. 
                         Even the Greens say gay marriage is... "just the start".
It seems that discrimination will only have the approval of legislators if it is against the religious or straight community. Any discrimination by the gay lobby is already seen as fully justifiable, worthy and legal.
A gigantic wedge is about to be driven between gays and straights... a wedge that was not previously there. 
If gay people keep telling you this debate is only about, “whether two people who love each other can get married”, you can be certain they are lying. There is a reason why they wanted the Marriage Act trashed,
… because what the cashed-up Gays insist on now is entirely incompatible with our existing Marriage Act. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

An Avalanche Of Global Warming Alarmism Is About To Hit !


With the United Nations Climate Change Conference starting on Monday in Bonn, Germany, we need to brace ourselves for an avalanche of global warming alarmism. We’ll be told that extreme weather, sea level rise, and shrinking sea ice are all about to get much worse if we do not quickly phase out our use of fossil fuels.
What will make this session especially intense is that this year’s meeting is being presided over by Fiji, a government that has taken the climate change fears to extremes.
Conference president Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama calls for 
''an absolute dedication to meet the 1.5-degree target,” the most stringent goal suggested by the Paris Agreement. In support of Bainimarama’s position, the COP23/Fiji Website repeatedly cites the frightening forecasts of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), stating, for example, “The IPCC recently reported that temperatures will significantly increase in the Sahel and Southern African regions, rainfall will significantly decrease, and tropical storms will become more frequent and intense, with a projected 20 per cent increase in cyclone activity.”


To make such dire forecasts, the IPCC relies on computerized models built on data and formulae to represent atmospheric conditions. Besides the fact that we lack a comprehensive ‘theory of climate,’ and so do not have valid formulae to properly represent how the atmosphere functions, we also lack the data to properly understand what weather was like over most of the planet even in the recent past. And, without a good understanding of past weather conditions, we have no way to know the history of its average condition—the climate. Meaningful forecasts of future climate change are therefore impossible.
An important data set used by the computer models cited by the IPCC is the ‘HadCRUT4’ global average temperature history for the past 167 years produced by the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, and the Hadley Centre, both based in the United Kingdom.
Until the 1960s, HadCRUT4 temperature data was collected using mercury thermometers located at weather stations situated mostly in the United States, Japan, the UK, and eastern Australia. Most of the rest of the planet had very few temperature sensing stations. And none of the Earth’s oceans, which cover 70% of the planet, had more than the occasional station separated from its neighbor by thousands of kilometers.
The data collected at weather stations in this sparse grid had, at best, an accuracy of +/-0.5 degrees Celsius, often times no better than +/-1 degree. Averaging such poor data in an attempt to determine global conditions cannot yield anything meaningful.
Modern weather station surface temperature data is now collected using precision thermocouples. But, starting in the 1970s, less and less ground surface temperature data was used for plots such as HadCRUT4. This was done initially because governments believed that satellite monitoring could take over from most of the ground surface data collection. But satellites did not show the warming forecast by computer models. So, bureaucrats closed most of the colder rural surface temperature sensing stations, thereby yielding the warming data desired for political purposes.
Today, there is virtually no data for approximately 85% of the Earth’s surface. Indeed, there are fewer weather stations in operation now than there were in 1960.
So, the HadCRUT4 and other surface temperature computations after about 1980 are meaningless. Combining this with the problems with the early data, and the fact that we have almost no long-term data above the surface, the conclusion is unavoidable: it is not possible to know how the Earth’s climate has varied over the past century and a half. The data is therefore useless for input to the computer models that form the basis of the IPCC’s conclusions.
The Way I See It in fact, there is insufficient data of any kind—temperature, land and sea ice, glaciers, sea level, extreme weather, ocean pH, etc.—to be able to determine how today’s climate differs from the past. So, the IPCC’s climate forecasts have no connection with the real world.
This will not stop Bainimarama and other conference leaders from citing the IPCC in support of their warnings of future climate catastrophe. No one should take them seriously.
NOTE:  This information comes from Dr. Tim Ball who is an environmental consultant and former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba. Also, Tom Harris is executive director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Antifa Activists are NO different from Neo-Nazis’


WASHINGTON, D.C., September 5, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — A former speechwriter for George W. Bush stated that so-called “anti-fascist” activists who attack peaceful demonstrators are “no different from neo-Nazis.”
Writing in the The Washington Post, Marc A. Thiessen (photo below)
 described how a group of black-clad “anti-fascists” attacked several people at a peaceful “No Marxism in America” rally last month in Berkeley, California. The rally’s organizer, Amber Cummings, a self-described “transsexual female who embraces diversity,” had specifically discouraged white supremacists from attending. Nevertheless, Antifa turned up to attack the anti-Marxists with boots, sticks, pepper spray, and homemade shields with “No Hate” scrawled on them.
Thiessen observed that Antifa’s violent actions showed that their definition of “fascist” includes not just “neo-Nazis” but anyone who opposes their “totalitarian worldview.” He cited an interview with Mark Bray, the newly notorious Antifa advocate/Dartmouth University lecturer. Bray had described contemporary anti-fascists as “predominantly communists, socialists and anarchists” who think physical violence is “both ethically justifiable and strategically effective”.
“In other words,” wrote Thiessen, “no different than neo-Nazis.”
By attacking peaceful anti-Marxist demonstrators in Berkeley, Antifa have shown themselves to be, in Thiessen’s opinion “violent advocates” of totalitarian communism.
Thiessen’s mother and maternal grandfather both fought in the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 as members of the Polish Home Army. Thiessen’s grandfather was killed by the Nazis’ German troops; Thiessen’s mother survived to witness the Stalinist terror. Since the United States defeated both Nazism and Communism, said Thiessen, Americans should be “repulsed” when Americans fly the flag of either “murderous ideology.”
Most Americans are disgusted by those who valorize Nazism, and rightly so. Unfortunately, Communism — whose victim count is even higher — is too often given a pass. Thiessen argued that it is the responsibility of both the left and the right to police their movements. Conservatives must condemn the racism of the alt-right, and liberals must distance themselves from Antifa.
For example, Conservative William F. Buckley, disavowed the John Birch Society. At Thiessen’s instigation, Democrat Nancy Pelosi issued a condemnation of  the Antifa violence in Berkeley.  
“Good for her,” Thiessen wrote. “So why haven’t more leading Democrats done the same? After Charlottesville, the media rightly demanded that President Trump and all Republicans condemn the neo-Nazis and the KKK. So where are the calls for Democrats to condemn Antifa — and the brutal public condemnation for those who fail to do so?”
The violent “anti-fascists” at Berkeley also menaced Ashton Whitty, a member of the Berkeley College Republicans, and her friends.
A hooded activist growled, “We’re real hungry for supremacists and there’s more of us.”  
“This entire day made me realize how dangerous it is to be conservative in Berkeley,” Whitty told Campus Reform reporters. “Because the reality is, it's not about just Antifa or BAMN nesting with us or taking pictures of us to mess with us … it’s no longer a game for them.”  
“If you are publically conservative, they will dox you, they will take pictures of you on campus. They will know who you are. If they find you, and have the chance to, they will probably kill you,” she warned.
The first group described as Antifa was the Antifaschistische Aktion formed July 10, 1932, by the Communist Party of Germany. They had the support of Comintern, an international communist organization that hoped to create an international Soviet republic. Comintern was dissolved by Joseph Stalin in 1943.
The more immediate ancestor of contemporary Antifa groups was “Anti-Racist Action,” which was active in Canada and the U.S. in the 1990s. Their goal was to find and disrupt gatherings of neo-Nazis and beat them up. Many of the ARA activists were white skinheads wearing “punk” outfits, rendering them visually indistinguishable from their targets.
Today, Antifa recruits through small meetings and on social media. Many dress in black and wear masks so they cannot be identified by police. According to Brian Levin, the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, Antifa activists are working to become more prominent in progressive movements.
“What they’re trying to do now is not only become prominent through violence at these high-profile rallies but also to reach out through small meetings and through social networking to cultivate disenfranchised progressives who heretofore were peaceful,” Levin told CNN.
The Way I See It.......these are born again Brown Shirts!  Neo-Nazi Filth !

Warmth is wonderful… it’s cold that kills !


It was ice, not global warming, that killed and entombed millions of mammoths and woolly rhinos in Siberia and Alaska.
It was unrelenting cold and then ice, not global warming, that forced the Vikings out of Greenland.
It was bitter winters, not heat waves, that finally defeated the armies of Napoleon and Hitler in Russia. George Washington’s army also suffered from an unusually bitter winter at Valley Forge in 1778, in the depths of the Little Ice Age.
Snowy blizzards periodically kill more cattle than heatwaves in Colorado, South Dakota and Texas.
When the Tambora volcano exploded in 1816 it spewed massive volumes of ash and “greenhouse” gases including carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. There was no global warming from the greenhouse gases, but the heat-blocking ash-filled atmosphere and a quiet sun caused “the year without a summer”. Failed crops and famine stalked Europe, Asia and America.
It is icebergs, not warm oceans, that sink ships like the Titanic, and spreading sea ice trapped “The Ship of Fools” in Antarctica.
Every major geological era has ended with massive volcanism on land and under the seas. Molten lava heats the seas and eruptions on land fill the atmosphere with dust which blocks incoming solar energy. There is rapid evaporation from the warm seas followed by rapid condensation in the cold dark atmosphere. This process dumps massive snowfalls which become ice sheets on land, starting a new ice age and bringing the extinction of many species.
The Way I See It.......it is lethal global cooling we need to fear, not life-sustaining global warming.

Friday, October 27, 2017

THE GAME IN SPAIN REMAINS MAINLY WITHOUT BLAME !


With robotic repetition, world leaders again utter, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to…”. “If it was not a lone wolf, then it was a small Islamic cell.” “He was radicalised on-line.” “We must remain vigilant, blah blah blah”, While these useless bastards remain safe in their palaces, white houses and Lodges, only their subjects remain at risk.


There is only one common thread in all ISIS attacks on Westerners, and that common thread is Islam. And until Islam is demonised and denigrated to where it is vilified by all decent religions and atheists alike there can be no solution to this vile,
stone-age cult only fools like George Brandis call a religion.
Western leaders are hiding behind the cloak of “freedom of religion” when there is no religion involved any more than a religion is involved with the KKK. They are both dangerous cults professing intense hatred, except the Left only targets the KKK despite that crosses are no longer burnt on front lawns and black slaves are no longer hung from the nearest tree.
Yet the continuing murders committed in the name of Islam are met with no more than the same old continuing platitudes and sympathy for “unradicalised” Muslims. There is no such thing as an unradicalised Muslim, there are only those who don’t own up to what they passionately believe in. Islam by its very nature is radical, and those who don’t adhere to its teachings cannot possibly be Muslims (and that's their law, not ours).
Across Europe, the US and here our leaders explain that Muslims must be cossetted in order for them to “dob in” their radical sons and daughters. What a load of camel shit! It’s high fives all round by all when infidels are murdered. And it’s high time our foolish agencies and lawmakers woke up, grasped the nettle, bit the bullet and faced an enemy that has declared war on us on a higher scale than has North Korea.
The only reason Muslims want a foothold in the West is to destroy it. Until we understand they are not here to enjoy our way of life, but to impose theirs, then we can never stop them killing us. Our leaders have no will to stop them. Their hideous PC culture, orchestrated from their unapproachable towers, is a far more important ambition.
Weak demonstrations of pain from a senator wearing a burka is met by an outburst from a dumb Left wing oaf like George Brandis who is duly applauded by all sides. What hope is there when a lone voice that calls for an earnest condemnation of
Islamic subjugation of women is criticised by all sides of Parliament and our failed media?
Business as usual when only a few hours later another Muslim ploughs through crowds of European holidaymakers in a truck. “But he was a lone wolf”? “He had been radicalised on his laptop”? “We must unradicalise this poor misguided soul”? “We must find him a meaningful job so his weak mind won’t stray”? 
WTF is wrong with our leaders? Can there be greater fools than Macron, Trudeau, Merkel, Turnbull, the lunatic Pope and their UN partners? 
For Christ’s sake we are at war with the devil and we are supplying him with the weapons to kill us with… and when he does, we feel obliged to pay for his counselling.
The Way I See It.......only Trump stands in the way of an Islamic victory but he is close to throwing his hands in the air and moving to Scotland in dismay that his own Party would prefer Islam has a victory than he.
If a Zika Kid’s rocket lands harmlessly within 50 mile of Guam it’s world war III, but thousands of Westerners are continuously being murdered in the name of Islam and we call for a fucking counsellor? 

EX-PM TONY ABBOTT ATTACKS GLOBAL WARMING SCARE !


Lecture Last Month by Tony Abbott at London Climate Meeting:


The lesson I’ve taken from being in government, and then out of it, is simply to speak my mind. The risk, when people know where you stand, is losing their support. The certainty, when people don’t know where you stand, is losing their respect.

Of course, we’re all nostalgic for the days when governments and oppositions could agree on the big issues; but pleading for bi-partisanship won’t create it. As my government showed on border protection policy, the only way to create a new consensus is to argue the case, to make a decision, and then to let the subsequent facts speak for themselves...

Beware the pronouncement, “the science is settled”. It’s the spirit of the Inquisition, the thought-police down the ages. Almost as bad is the claim that “99 per cent of scientists believe” as if scientific truth is determined by votes rather than facts... What the “science is settled” brigade want is to close down investigation by equating questioning with superstition...

Physics suggests, all other things being equal, that an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide would indeed warm the planet. Even so, the atmosphere is an almost infinitely complex mechanism that’s far from fully understood.

Palaeontology indicates that over millions of years there have been warmer periods and cooler periods that don’t correlate with carbon dioxide concentrations...

Prudence and respect for the planet would suggest taking care not lightly to increase carbon dioxide emissions; but the evidence suggests that other factors such as sun spot cycles and oscillations in the Earth’s orbit are at least as important for climate change as this trace gas – which, far from being pollution, is actually essential for life to exist.

Certainly, no big change has accompanied the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration over the past century from roughly 300 to roughly 400 parts per million or from 0.03 to 0.04 per cent.

Contrary to the breathless assertions that climate change is behind every weather event, in Australia, the floods are not bigger, the bushfires are not worse, the droughts are not deeper or longer, and the cyclones are not more severe than they were in the 1800s. Sometimes, they do more damage but that’s because there’s more to destroy, not because their intensity has increased. More than 100 years of photography at Manly Beach in my electorate does not suggest that sea levels have risen despite frequent reports from climate alarmists that this is imminent.

It may be that a tipping point will be reached soon and that the world might start to warm rapidly but so far reality has stubbornly refused to conform to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s computer modelling. Even the high-priests of climate change now seem to concede that there was a pause in warming between the 1990s and 2014...

The growing evidence that records have been adjusted, that the impact of urban heat islands has been downplayed, and that data sets have been slanted in order to fit the theory of dangerous anthropogenic global warming does not make it false; but it should produce much caution about basing drastic action upon it.

Then there’s the evidence that higher concentrations of carbon dioxide (which is a plant food after all) are actually greening the planet and helping to lift agricultural yields. In most countries, far more people die in cold snaps than in heat waves, so a gradual lift in global temperatures, especially if it’s accompanied by more prosperity and more capacity to adapt to change, might even be beneficial.

In what might be described as Ridley’s paradox, after the distinguished British commentator: at least so far, it’s climate change policy that’s doing harm; climate change itself is probably doing good; or at least, more good than harm.

Australia, for instance, has the world’s largest readily available supplies of coal, gas and uranium, yet thanks to a decade of policy based more on green ideology than common sense, we can’t be sure of keeping the lights on this summer; and, in the policy-induced shift from having the world’s lowest power prices to amongst the highest, our manufacturing industry has lost its one, big comparative economic advantage...

In July 2014, the Abbott government abolished the carbon tax, saving the average household about $500 a year. In early 2015, we reduced the Renewable Energy Target from 28 to 23 per cent. It wasn’t enough, but it was the best that we could get through the Senate. My cabinet always had some ministers focussed on jobs and cost of living; and others more concerned with emissions reduction, even though our contribution to global emissions was barely one per cent...

At last year’s election, the government chose not to campaign on power prices even though Labor was promising a 50 per cent Renewable Energy Target (requiring a $50 billion over-build of wind farms) and a 45 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030 (requiring a new carbon tax). After a net gain of 25 seats at the previous two elections, when we had campaigned on power prices, we had a net loss of 14 when we didn’t...

Hydro aside, renewable energy should properly be referred to as intermittent and unreliable power. When the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine, the power doesn’t flow. Wind and solar power are like sailing ships; cheaper than powered boats, to be sure, but we’ve stopped using sail for transport because it couldn’t be trusted to turn up on time.
Because the weather is unpredictable, you never really know when renewable power is going to work. Its marginal cost is low but so is its reliability, so in the absence of industrial scale batteries, it always needs matching capacity from dependable coal, gas, hydro, or nuclear energy. This should always have been obvious.

Also now apparent is the system instability and the perverse economics that subsidised renewables on a large scale have injected into our power supply... Having to turn coal fired power stations up or down as the wind changes makes them much less profitable even though coal remains by far the cheapest source of reliable power..

We have got ourselves into this mess because successive federal governments have tried to reduce emissions rather than to ensure reliable and affordable power; because, rather than give farmers a fairer return, state governments have given in to green lobbyists and banned or heavily restricted gas exploration and extraction; and because shareholder activists have scared power companies out of new investment in fossil fuel power generation, even though you can’t run a modern economy without it.

In the short term, to avoid blackouts, we have to get mothballed or under-utilised gas back into the system.

In the medium term, there must be – first – no subsidies, none, for new intermittent power (and a freeze on the RET should be no problem if renewables are as economic as the boosters claim); second, given the nervousness of private investors, there must be a government-built coal-fired power station to overcome political risk; third, the gas bans must go; and fourth, the ban on nuclear power must go too in case a dry country ever needs base load power with zero emissions.

Belatedly, the government is now suggesting that there might not be a new Clean Energy Target after all. There must not be – and the government still needs to deal with what’s yet to come under the existing target..

Even if reducing emissions really is necessary to save the planet, our effort, however Herculean, is barely-better-than-futile; because Australia’s total annual emissions are exceeded by just the annual increase in China’s..

Primitive people once killed goats to appease the volcano gods. We’re more sophisticated now but are still sacrificing our industries and our living standards to the climate gods to little more effect.

The Way I See It......the only rational choice is to put Australian jobs and Australia’s standard of living first; to get emissions down but only as far as we can without putting prices up. After two decades’ experience of the very modest reality of climate change but the increasingly dire consequences of the policy to deal with it, anything else would be a dereliction of duty as well as a political death wish.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Why the Media has Broken Down in the Age of Trump !

BY  Michael GOODWIN 
Journalist for the New York Post


I’ve been a journalist for a long time. Long enough to know that it wasn’t always like this. There was a time not so long ago when journalists were trusted and admired. We were generally seen as trying to report the news in a fair and straightforward manner. Today, all that has changed. For that, we can blame the 2016 election or, more accurately, how some news organizations chose to cover it. Among the many firsts, last year’s election gave us the gobsmacking revelation that most of the mainstream media puts both thumbs on the scale — that most of what you read, watch and listen to is distorted by intentional bias and hostility. I have never seen anything like it. Not even close.
It’s not exactly breaking news that most journalists lean left. I used to do that myself. I grew up at the New York Times, so I’m familiar with the species. For most of the media, bias grew out of the social revolution of the 1960s and ’70s. Fueled by the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements, the media jumped on the anti-authority bandwagon writ large. The deal was sealed with Watergate, when journalism was viewed as more trusted than government — and far more exciting and glamorous. Think Robert Redford in “All the President’s Men.” Ever since, young people became journalists because they wanted to be the next Woodward and Bernstein, (below) and find a Deep Throat, and bring down a president. Of course, most of them only wanted to bring down a Republican president. That’s because liberalism is baked into the journalism cake.
During the years I spent teaching at the Columbia University School of Journalism, I often found myself telling my students that the job of the reporter was “to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” I’m not even sure where I first heard that line, but it still captures the way most journalists think about what they do. Translate the first part of that compassionate-sounding idea into the daily decisions about what makes news, and it is easy to fall into the habit of thinking that every person afflicted by something is entitled to help. Or, as liberals like to say, “Government is what we do together.” From there, it’s a short drive to the conclusion that every problem has a government solution.
The rest of that journalistic ethos — “afflict the comfortable” — leads to the knee-jerk support of endless taxation. Somebody has to pay for that government intervention the media loves to demand. In the same vein, and for the same reason, the average reporter will support every conceivable regulation as a way to equalize conditions for the poor. He will also give sympathetic coverage to groups like Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter.

A new dimension

I knew all of this about the media mindset going into the 2016 presidential campaign. But I was still shocked at what happened. This was not na├»ve liberalism run amok. This was a whole new approach to politics. No one in modern times had seen anything like it. As with grief, there were several stages. In the beginning, Donald Trump’s candidacy was treated as an outlandish publicity stunt, as though he wasn’t a serious candidate and should be treated as a circus act. But television executives quickly made a surprising discovery: The more they put Trump on the air, the higher their ratings climbed. Ratings are money. So news shows started devoting hours and hours simply to pointing the cameras at Trump and letting them run.
As his rallies grew, the coverage grew, which made for an odd dynamic. The candidate nobody in the media took seriously was attracting the most people to his events and getting the most news coverage. Newspapers got in on the game too. Trump, unlike most of his opponents, was always available to the press, and could be counted on to say something outrageous or controversial that made a headline. He made news by being a spectacle.
Despite the mockery of journalists and late-night comics, something extraordinary was happening. Trump was dominating a campaign none of the smart money thought he could win. And then, suddenly, he was winning. Only when the crowded Republican field began to thin and Trump kept racking up primary and caucus victories did the media’s tone grow more serious.
The two leading liberal newspapers were trying to top each other in their demonization of Trump and his supporters.
One study estimated that Trump had received so much free airtime that if he had had to buy it, the price would have been $2 billion. The realization that they had helped Trump’s rise seemed to make many executives, producers and journalists furious. By the time he secured the nomination and the general election rolled around, they were gunning for him. Only two people now had a chance to be president, and the overwhelming media consensus was that it could not be Donald Trump. They would make sure of that. The coverage of him grew so vicious and one-sided that last August, I wrote a column on the unprecedented bias. Under the headline “American journalism is collapsing before our eyes,” I wrote that the so-called cream of the media crop was “engaged in a naked display of partisanship” designed to bury Trump and elect Hillary Clinton.
The evidence was on the front page, the back page, the culture pages, even the sports pages. It was at the top of the broadcast and at the bottom of the broadcast. Day in, day out, in every media market in America, Trump was savaged like no other candidate in memory. We were watching the total collapse of standards, with fairness and balance tossed overboard. Every story was an opinion masquerading as news, and every opinion ran in the same direction — toward Clinton and away from Trump.
For the most part, I blame the New York Times and the Washington Post for causing this breakdown.
The two leading liberal newspapers were trying to top each other in their demonization of Trump and his supporters. They set the tone, and most of the rest of the media followed like lemmings.
On one level, tougher scrutiny of Trump was clearly defensible. He had a controversial career and lifestyle, and he was seeking the presidency as his first job in government. He also provided (and continues to provide) lots of fuel with some of his outrageous words and deeds. But from the beginning there was also a second element to the lopsided coverage. The New York Times has not endorsed a Republican for president since Dwight Eisenhower in 1956, meaning it would back a dead raccoon if it had a “D” after its name. Think of it — George McGovern over Richard Nixon? Jimmy Carter over Ronald Reagan? Walter Mondale over Reagan? Any Democrat would do. And the Washington Post, which only started making editorial endorsements in the 1970s, has never once endorsed a Republican for president.
But again, I want to emphasize that 2016 had those predictable elements plus a whole new dimension. This time, the papers dropped the pretense of fairness and jumped headlong into the tank for one candidate over the other. The Times media reporter began a story this way:
“If you’re a working journalist and you believe that Donald J. Trump is a demagogue playing to the nation’s worst racist and nationalist tendencies, that he cozies up to anti-American dictators and that he would be dangerous with control of the United States nuclear codes, how the heck are you supposed to cover him?”
I read that paragraph and I thought to myself, well, that’s actually an easy question. If you feel that way about Trump, normal journalistic ethics would dictate that you shouldn’t cover him. You cannot be fair. And you shouldn’t be covering Hillary Clinton either, because you’ve already decided who should be president. Go cover sports or entertainment. Yet the Times media reporter rationalized the obvious bias he had just acknowledged, citing the view that Clinton was “normal” and Trump was not.


Modal Trigger
New York Times executive editor Dean BaquetNew York Times

I found the whole concept appalling. What happened to fairness? What happened to standards? I’ll tell you what happened to them. The Times’ top editor, Dean Baquet, eliminated them. In an interview last October with the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, Baquet admitted that the piece by his media reporter had nailed his own thinking. Trump “challenged our language,” he said, and Trump “will have changed journalism.” Of the daily struggle for fairness, Baquet had this to say: “I think that Trump has ended that struggle. . . . We now say stuff. We fact check him. We write it more powerfully that [what he says is] false.”
Baquet was being too modest. Trump was challenging, sure, but it was Baquet who changed journalism. He’s the one who decided that the standards of fairness and nonpartisanship could be abandoned without consequence.
With that decision, Baquet also changed the basic news story formula. To the age-old elements of who, what, when, where and why, he added the reporter’s opinion. Now the floodgates were open, and virtually every so-called news article reflected a clear bias against Trump. Stories, photos, headlines, placement in the paper — all the tools that writers and editors have — were summoned to the battle. The goal was to pick the next president.
Thus began the spate of stories, which continues today, in which the Times routinely calls Trump a liar in its news pages and headlines. Again, the contrast with the past is striking. The Times never called Barack Obama a liar, despite such obvious opportunities as “you can keep your doctor” and “the Benghazi attack was caused by an internet video.” Indeed, the Times and the Washington Post, along with most of the White House press corps, spent eight years cheerleading the Obama administration, seeing not a smidgen of corruption or dishonesty. They have been tougher on Hillary Clinton during her long career. But they still never called her a liar, despite such doozies as “I set up my own computer server so I would only need one device,” “I turned over all the government emails,” and “I never sent or received classified emails.” All those were lies, but not to the national media. Only statements by Trump were fair game.
As we know now, most of the media totally missed Trump’s appeal to millions upon millions of Americans. The prejudice against him blinded those news organizations to what was happening in the country. Even more incredibly, I believe the bias and hostility directed at Trump backfired. The feeling that the election was, in part, a referendum on the media gave some voters an extra incentive to vote for Trump. A vote for him was a vote against the media and against Washington. Not incidentally, Trump used that sentiment to his advantage, often revving up his crowds with attacks on reporters. He still does.
If I haven’t made it clear, let me do so now. The behavior of much of the media, but especially the New York Times, was a disgrace. I don’t believe it ever will recover the public trust it squandered.
The Times’ previous reputation for having the highest standards was legitimate. Those standards were developed over decades to force reporters and editors to be fair and to gain public trust. The commitment to fairness made the New York Times the flagship of American journalism. But standards are like laws in the sense that they are designed to guide your behavior in good times and in bad. Consistent adherence to them was the source of the Times’ credibility. And eliminating them has made the paper less than ordinary. Its only standards now are double standards.


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Abe RosenthalAP

I say this with great sadness. I was blessed to grow up at the Times, getting a clerical job right out of college and working my way onto the reporting staff, where I worked for a decade. It was the formative experience of my career where I learned most of what I know about reporting and writing. Alas, it was a different newspaper then. Abe Rosenthal was the editor in those days, and long before we’d ever heard the phrase “zero tolerance,” that’s what Abe practiced toward conflicts of interest and reporters’ opinions. He set the rules and everybody knew it.
Here is a true story about how Abe Rosenthal resolved a conflict of interest. A young woman was hired by the Times from one of the Philadelphia newspapers. But soon after she arrived in New York, a story broke in Philly that she had had a romantic affair with a political figure she had covered, and that she had accepted a fur coat and other expensive gifts from him. When he saw the story, Abe called the woman into his office and asked her if it was true. When she said yes, he told her to clean out her desk — that she was finished at the Times and would never work there again. As word spread through the newsroom, some reporters took the woman’s side and rushed in to tell Abe that firing her was too harsh. He listened for about 30 seconds and said, in so many words, “I don’t care if you f–k an elephant on your personal time, but then you can’t cover the circus for the paper.” Case closed. The conflict-of-interest policy was clear, absolute, and unforgettable.
As for reporters’ opinions, Abe had a similar approach. He didn’t want them in the news pages. And if you put them in, he took them out. They belonged in the opinion pages only, which were managed separately. Abe said he knew reporters tended to lean left and would find ways to sneak their views into the stories. So he saw his job as steering the paper slightly to the right. “That way,” he said, “the paper would end up in the middle.” He was well known for this attitude, which he summed up as “keeping the paper straight.” He even said he wanted his epitaph to read, “He kept the paper straight.” Like most people, I thought this was a joke. But after I related all this in a column last year, his widow contacted me and said it wasn’t a joke — that, in fact, Abe’s tombstone reads, “He kept the paper straight.” She sent me a picture to prove it. I published that picture of his tombstone alongside a column where I excoriated the Times for its election coverage. Sadly, the Times’ high standards were buried with Abe Rosenthal.

Looking to the future

Which brings us to the crucial questions. Can the American media be fixed? And is there anything that we as individuals can do to make a difference? The short answer to the first question is, “No, it can’t be fixed.” The 2016 election was the media’s Humpty Dumpty moment. It fell off the wall, shattered into a million pieces, and can’t be put back together again. In case there is any doubt, 2017 is confirming that the standards are still dead. The orgy of visceral Trump-bashing continues unabated.
But the future of journalism isn’t all gloom and doom. In fact, if we accept the new reality of widespread bias and seize the potential it offers, there is room for optimism. Consider this: The election showed the country is roughly divided 50-50 between people who will vote for a Democrat and people who will vote for a Republican. But our national media is more like 80-20 in favor of Democrats. While the media should, in theory, broadly reflect the public, it doesn’t. Too much of the media acts like a special interest group. Detached from the greater good, it exists to promote its own interest and the political party with which it is aligned.
Ronald Reagan’s optimism is often expressed in a story that is surely apocryphal, but irresistible. He is said to have come across a barn full of horse manure and remarked cheerfully that there must be a pony in it somewhere. I suggest we look at the media landscape in a similar fashion. The mismatch between the mainstream media and the public’s sensibilities means there is a vast untapped market for news and views that are not now represented. To realize that potential, we only need three ingredients, and we already have them: first, free speech; second, capitalism and free markets; and the third ingredient is you, the consumers of news.
Free speech is under assault, most obviously on many college campuses, but also in the news media, which presents a conformist view to its audience and gets a politically segregated audience in return. Look at the letters section in the New York Times — virtually every reader who writes in agrees with the opinions of the paper. This isn’t a miracle; it’s a bubble. Liberals used to love to say, “I don’t agree with your opinion, but I would fight to the death for your right to express it.” You don’t hear that anymore from the Left. Now they want to shut you up if you don’t agree. And they are having some success.
An expanded media landscape that better reflects the diversity of public preferences would, in time, help create a more level political and cultural arena.
But there is a countervailing force. Look at what happened this winter when the Left organized boycotts of department stores that carried Ivanka Trump’s clothing and jewelry. Nordstrom folded like a cheap suit, but Trump’s supporters rallied on social media and Ivanka’s company had its best month ever. This is the model I have in mind for the media. It is similar to Rupert Murdoch (who owns the New York Post) thought there was an untapped market for a more fair and balanced news channel, and he recruited the late Roger Ailes to start it more than 20 years ago. Ailes found a niche market, all right .....that's how FOX News got started!
Incredible advances in technology are also on the side of free speech. The explosion of choices makes it almost impossible to silence all dissent and gain a monopoly, though certainly Facebook and Google are trying.
As for the necessity of preserving capitalism, look around the world. Nations without economic liberty usually have little or no dissent. That’s not a coincidence. In this, I’m reminded of an enduring image from the Occupy Wall Street movement. That movement was a pestilence, egged on by President Obama and others who view other people’s wealth as a crime against the common good. This attitude was on vivid display as the protesters held up their iPhones to demand the end of capitalism. As I wrote at the time, did they believe Steve Jobs made each and every Apple product one at a time in his garage? Did they not have a clue about how capital markets make life better for more people than any other system known to man? They had no clue. And neither do many government officials, who think they can kill the golden goose and still get golden eggs.
Which brings me to the third necessary ingredient in determining where we go from here. It’s you. I urge you to support the media you like. As the great writer and thinker Midge Decter once put it, “You have to join the side you’re on.” It’s no secret that newspapers and magazines are losing readers and money and shedding staff. Some of them are good newspapers. Some of them are good magazines. There are also many wonderful, thoughtful, small publications and websites that exist on a shoestring. Don’t let them die. Subscribe or contribute to those you enjoy. Give subscriptions to friends. Put your money where your heart and mind are. An expanded media landscape that better reflects the diversity of public preferences would, in time, help create a more level political and cultural arena. That would be a great thing. So again I urge you: Join the side you’re on.