Archive for August 13, 2010

One of the first principles of when you have something to hide is that sunlight tends to cause annoyance.

Nick Green is seriously annoyed:

Some believe you have a particular bias or agenda if you refuse to cover a story. Some people believe the fact that you decide to cover a story means you have some sort of bias.

In short, you can’t win either way.

So imagine my surprise today to find I’m the victim of an Andrew Beitbart wannabe, a blogger with a clear agenda of his own who has decided in his hypocrisy I have one of my own.

I had intended to leave comment there but as the page keeps erroring out I will post here something here instead.

Nick, you are a reporter who is paid to do this for a living, so perhaps you might be unaware of a few things, so allow me a mere blogger to educate you on a few things:

Robert Stacy McCain is a reporter who also blogs, he has been a reporter for a very long time. If you were familiar with his work you would know this. I on the other hand am a blogger who writes a few articles on occasion. If you want to call anyone an “Andrew Breitbart wannabe” it would be me not him. Oh an although he is a big boy Robert Stacy is a personal friend of mine so I take it ill if you wish to disparage him for telling the truth.

Oh and BTW “Andrew Breitbart Wanabee” is not a pejorative outside of your circle. He is successful, runs several sites with many writers working under him and manages to do that in the teeth of a media that hates him. Yeah I’d be Andrew Breitbart like a shot.

“Blogger” is not a pejorative term either, no matter how much you want it to be. Bloggers have been breaking stories that the Mainstream Media (that would be you) have ignored for the last decade. One prominent Example, John Edwards Story by Mickey Kaus, he was on it for a year when the rest of the media couldn’t care less. Bloggers with video camera have been covering stories that the MainStream media have ignored or spun for years. Another story that you guys never bothered to cover. The interesting procedures for verifying credit card donations by the Obama camp during the 2008 election.

What? You never heard of it? Neither did your readers because the MSM (that would be you) choose not to cover the story. The lawyers/bloggers did instead.

Yes Robert Stacy McCain is a conservative, I am a conservative, in fact I am a registered (gasp) republican! There is a long tradition of “partisian” journalism that has existed since day one of newspapers. Perhaps you missed that day in school or attended public schools. Either way I don’t keep my biases secret. People can choose to talk to me or not on that basis, and can judge my coverage of events such as the MayDay march in Boston accordingly, vs reporters who hold off the record lunches with the White house they are supposed to cover.

Now as to the e-mails, as Robert Stacy said there are occasions when people e-mail in anger but you must get a whole lot more e-mail than me. If I get an e-mail I don’t want I delete it. It’s real simple. I don’t have your experience but people you burn tend to no longer talk to you. When your primary job is to get people to talk to you, even if they don’t want to that would be “bad”.

Finally I actually should be grateful to you, thanks to your e-mail and torrid schedule I was not only able to get an excellent and popular post. But was able to score an interview with the candidate that you had no time for from 3000 miles away, get a second post and a column in the examiner out of it. Now I don’t know you as a person, you might be a nice guy and a hard worker, but if you want to keep dropping the ball on the Mattie Fein campaign, I’ll do what I can by phone to pick it up from the bay state.

…compares the two districts Ma-01 and Ca36 and their candidates Bill Gunn in Ma01 and Mattie Fein in CA36 and the respective coverage or lack thereof in the local papers in the communities they serve:

This year however there are some similarities. The economic slowdown is affecting the families of Southern California just as much as the workers of the Bay State and in both districts, indeed all over the country candidates are emerging to challenge the status quo.

In CA36 Republican Mattie Fein has taken up the mantle. In Ma01 Republican Bill Gunn is mounting the challenge. Their situations are similar.

But it is the differences that that tell the real story.

When local newspapers are less interested in reporting their local news then bloggers 3000 miles away you know you have a problem.

Stacy has a brief blub at the American Spectator and Ed Driscoll gives advice to A whopper jr Newsweek.

Doing the job the main stream media is is paid for but apparently chooses not to I spent 15 minutes talking with Republican Candidate for Ca-36 Mattie Fein:

On The Torrance Daily Breeze’s decision to not cover the campaign:

“I’m Concerned, this isn’t about looking for favorable coverage, it’s about looking for fair play. There are serious issues in the district and the voters deserve the issues on the table.”

The Irony of the Daily Breeze belittling her concerns over Harmon’s purchase of a Whopper Jr Newsweek while otherwise ignoring her campaign is not lost on her.

On Jane Harman Ducking her:

Jane Harman said she understood that the seat she has held for 16 years is not an entitlement but has ducked our attempts to debate her and avoided town hall meetings within our own district. We have also sent a letter to the Torrance Daily Breeze about sponsoring such debates, we have not received a reply.

Mattie Fein Ca 36 in my Fedora Photo Robert Stacy McCain

On the Issues in the District:

Jobs is the issue, people are concerned about their jobs and the job situation of their families and friends. We have also heard from Democrats who have expressed concern about Harmon’s rough relationship with the speaker and its effects on the district

On how she has been received:

We are very excited by the response we have gotten at events from the voters. Democrats, Republicans and undeclared voters are in the district are ready for change

Shades of Ma-01. A democratic district with an incumbent who has held office for nearly two decades and a dynamic candidate (Bill Gunn) shaking things up. The difference? The local papers don’t leave the coverage of the race to bloggers 3000 miles away.

Update: Photo added courtesy of Robert Stacy McCain. How bad is it when my fedora has more of a presence in a California congressional race than the local paper?

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time you will see that on occasion I will describe a person who choose the world or rejects the faith and write something like this…

You can do XYZ for the rest of your life…

After that you’re on your own.

I readily admit that it is a bit of snark and it is in fact intended to make a person pause at their own mortality. I am going to die, you are going to die, my wife, my children and any grandchildren I have are all going to die and not a single one of us know when.

Each one of us has a finite amount of time to become one of the few who are chosen instead of the many who are called. The nature of God rejects compulsion. We must choose to follow him and remain faithful of our own free will. As the parable of the wages teaches us it is not when we make that choice that matters but That we make the choice.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. Going out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard, and I will give you what is just.’ So they went off. (And) he went out again around noon, and around three o’clock, and did likewise. Going out about five o’clock, he found others standing around, and said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day? They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’ When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Summon the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and ending with the first.’

When those who had started about five o’clock came, each received the usual daily wage. So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more, but each of them also got the usual wage. And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’

He said to one of them in reply, ‘My friend, I am not cheating you. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? (or) am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?’ Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.” Matt 20:1-16

During life many chances are given by God to do right, to follow him, to choose the narrow path, but as one gets closer to death and damnation the urgency of eternal truth becomes greater. We are creatures of both flesh and spirit, as we near the end of our amphibious life that spirit or soul within us becomes more acute as it’s final fate is being decided. That is the opportunity that God gives, that final push that last peek that anguished cry of a father trying to convince their rebellious child to make the right choice. It is the point when the enemy deploys pride, fear and distraction to keep us from accepting it.

This is why to the Athiest a sickness like cancer is a dangerous thing and why Damon Linker’s column reeks of fear. Not of Chris Hitchens impending death, but of his possible redemption:

Any such conversion, if it happened, would be the product of a brain consumed by cancer and a body wracked by pain. It should not be taken seriously, in other words, as a genuine expression of the beliefs and desires of the man known as Christopher Hitchens. It should instead be dismissed as the deluded ramblings of someone driven out of his right mind by suffering and disease. And the statements of a man in such a state tell us nothing worth knowing, either about him or about God.

Ah the comfort of denial, the attempt to explain away the actual nature of death, the fear that if Hitchens actually choose the narrow path than one might have to abandon the accolades of the world one sees for a reward one cannot.

C. S. Lewis pegged this perfectly in ScrewTape 5:

Consider too what undesirable deaths occur in wartime. Men are killed in places where they knew they might be killed and to which they go, if they are at all of the Enemy’s party, prepared. How much better for us if all humans died in costly nursing homes amid doctors who lie, nurses who lie, friends who lie, as we have trained them, promising life to the dying, encouraging the belief that sickness excuses every indulgence, and even, if our workers know their job, withholding all suggestion of a priest lest it should betray to the sick man his true condition! And how disastrous for us is the continual remembrance of death which war enforces. One of our best weapons, contented worldliness, is rendered useless. In wartime not even a human can believe that he is going to live forever.

Alas for poor Linker, Hitchens is too honest to discount the likelihood of his own death and even worse, too brave to deny a truth once he believes it. The question is: Will he believe it in time?

That is the greatest contradiction here. Those friends like Linker need Hitchens to remain firm in his unbelief for the sake of their own. It is their shaky faith and comfortable worldview that is in danger. Meanwhile those who pray for his conversion have nothing to gain but Hitchens salvation, and that if achieved belongs to him, not to them. It will not place any believer one step closer to the gates of St. Peter. In point of fact if they trumpet it with pride, it might actually retard their progress. On the other hand, his conversion could divert many others off the road of disbelief. The enemy knows this and will fight with all possible strength against that eventuality.

Who will win? I don’t know. I’m hoping and praying for the best.