Posts Tagged ‘npr’

Salem, Wisconsin, October 11, 2020

By John Ruberry

Last week, in the 24th paragraph of a New York Times article about Joe Biden’s son Hunter’s tax problems and his emails, the Old Gray Lady sneaked in this line, “Those emails were obtained by The New York Times from a cache of files that appears to have come from a laptop abandoned by Biden in a Delaware repair shop,” the three authors of the story (why does the current media need to utilize multiple writers?) wrote. And they added, “The email and others in the cache were authenticated by people familiar with them and with the investigation.”

Flashback to October 2020. It was “October Surprise Time” again as a presidential election winded down. Yeah, I know what I wrote. With the over-reliance on early voting, drop-off ballot boxes, and ballot harvesting, Election Day is almost an afterthought, we now have Election Season. And the ’20 surprise was a shocker, as the New York Post revealed that it had obtained a copy of the hard drive of a MacBook Pro laptop computer that Hunter dropped off at the aforementioned repair shop and then apparently forgot about it, like an old suit left behind with a dry cleaner.

Besides embarrassing photos, emails discovered on the hard drive by the Post revealed what intelligent people with an open mind long suspected, that Hunter Biden was the head of an influence peddling ring that profited from the political career of his lifetime politician father. Or perhaps Joe Biden, “the Big Guy.” who might have been the recipient of 10 percent of a never-realized financial deal with a Chinese energy firm, was in charge, was the CEO of a Chicago-style political racketeering operation, a bit like this one.

Twitter, Facebook, and the mainstream media–Fox News was a major exception–immediately went on attack mode to block and suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story.

During his radio show on Friday, Dan Bongino said, “Hunter was working in Ukraine, his dad knew about it, his dad was the point man in Ukraine for the Obama administration. The corruption is back-breaking. There is no way Joe Biden would have won the last election if the media didn’t conspire to make that story–the Ukraine-Biden story and the laptop–go away.” He added, “They rigged the election through their censorship of the story.”

“Look at the polling data,” Bongino exclaimed. Let’s do just that. According to a Media Research Center post-election survey, of the voters Biden voters who weren’t aware of the Hunter Biden scandals, 16 percent of them would have changed their vote. Incumbent Donald J. Trump lost by less than one percent in these four battleground states: Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. If those states went to Trump, then he still would be president.

Although he had no experience in the energy industry and he does not speak Ukrainian, Hunter Biden served on the board of directors of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy firm, while his father was vice president.

Twitter was the worst offender in censoring the laptop story, blocking the posting of reports under the false belief that the laptop revelations were hacked, despite possessing no evidence that those suspicions were true. For nearly two weeks, as Americans daily voted for president, Twitter suspended the New York Post’s popular main Twitter feed.

Facebook, which funds fact-checkers at USA Today, PolitiFact, and LeadStories, suppressed the Hunter laptop story. “While I will intentionally not link to the New York Post,” FB spokesperson Andy Stone Tweeted at the time, “I want [sic] be clear that this story is eligible to be fact checked by Facebook’s third-party fact checking partners. In the meantime, we are reducing its distribution on our platform.” No such fact-checks every were done by FB’s favored fact-checkers.

During the final presidential debate, moderated by NBC’s Kirsten Welker, and also while being interviewed by 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl, Trump tried to initiate a discussion about the Hunter Biden laptop. Welker deflected, and Stahl replied to Trump about the scandal, “Can’t be verified.” Well, now it has been, Stahl, by the paper that publishes “all the news that’s fit to print,” the New York Times.

Where is your apology, Lesley?

Government-funded NPR also dismissed the Hunter Biden story. On Twitter in 2020, in response to a question on why NPR hadn’t covered the laptop scandal, NPR’s managing editor Terence Samuels, who apparently is the kind of arrogant SOB that Groucho Marx used to justifiably torment, replied, “We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions. And quite frankly, that’s where we ended up, this was … a politically driven event and we decided to treat it that way.”

In preparation for the writing of this story I endured one hour of CNN’s ludicrously misnamed Reliable Sources, hosted by a circus clown masquerading as a journalist, Brian Stelter. Much of today’s broadcast was dedicated to policing “misinformation” and “disinformation” by Russian media sources as the war in Ukraine continues. But Stelter and his sycophantic guests didn’t utter a peep about the New York Times update on the laptop. “So slowly and surely,” Stelter said at the end of today’s episode, “media criticism can improve media diets.” How ’bout starting with criticizing yourself, Stelter? His latest email newsletter, which I hear is very popular among liberal journalists, omitted mention of the Times’ revision on the Hunter MacBook.

Here’s a flashback for you.

“This is a classic example of the right-wing media machine,” Stelter said about the laptop on October 18, 2020. “Fox and Trump have this in common: They want you to stay mad and stay tuned.”

A former host of CNN’s Reliable Sources, Howard Kurtz, on Fox News Sunday this morning declared, “It is an absolute embarrassment that the way that the way media downplayed or ignored or mocked or minimized this story, the New York Times now says [Hunter] is under active federal investigation for possible tax violations or lobbying violations by [him]–and they’re still not covering it.”

After some complaining about those commments from fellow Fox News Sunday panelist Juan Williams, Kurtz shot back, “It was censorship.”

A free and fair election process allows open distribution of information. The mainstream media, Twitter, and Facebook, by suppressing and censoring coverage of the Hunter Biden laptop revelations, prevented a free and fair election.

John Ruberry, just John and not two others, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

By John Ruberry

Up until a few weeks ago the country trio Lady Antebellum barely registered on my radar. While I do enjoy country music my interest is mostly focused on the Americana genre. As for the country music you hear on most FM radio stations, most of it is formulaic garbage, mediocre pop tunes delivered with a drawl. And that is the type of drivel Lady Antebellum delivers. And it’s not just me who feels that way. In 2010–that year will come back soon in this story–a sub-headline on Slate named Lady Antebellum “the world’s dullest band.”

But their name caught my attention. Even before wokeness became a political movement I thought “Lady Antebellum” was an odd choice of a moniker, as it refers to what some Lost Cause of the Confederacy propagandists viewed as the good old days of the pre-Civil War South. On those infrequent occasions when word came up, until very recently, it referred to plantation manor homes, which of course were staffed by slaves and were financed by agricultural goods produced by slaves. Those good old says weren’t good at all.

According to the band they decided on Lady Antebellum after a photo shoot at one of those mansions.

But after the killing of George Floyd and the protests, some of them of violent, Lady Antebellum announced they were now Lady A.

But as you probably heard there is already a Lady A, Seattle blues artist Anita White, who has been using the name for decades. But she isn’t a superstar or even a star. When White spoke up–that should have been the coda of the new name for the artists-formerly-known-as-Lady Antebellum. Their wokeness compelled the name change. They are white and Anita White is black. Their wokeness should have compelled them to brainstorm for yet another name. Now the former Lady Antebellum is suing White to prevent her performing as Lady A.

There was briefly an informal co-existence agreement between the two Lady As after the group’s name change. But that’s not working out. If you type “Lady A” into the search box on iTunes and Spotify, it’s the new Lady A who appears, not the blue singer. The same result comes at at YouTube.

White now wants $10 million from the Lady A trio–with half going to Black Lives Matter and some charities. The ex-Lady Antebellum calls that demand “exorbitant.” The band has possessed the trademark for “Lady A” since 2010. While I’m not going to pretend, as a non-lawyer, to completely understand the legal side of this dispute, the law appears to favor the band.

Even if the law didn’t, the band has significant financial resources that White doesn’t. For her part, she told Entertainment Weekly that she offered a compromise, “I had suggested on the Zoom call [between the band and her] that they go by the Band Lady A, or Lady A the Band, and I could be Lady A the Artist, but they didn’t want to do that.”

There are a number of lessons in this story that exemplify why our society is so messed up.

There has not been heavy coverage of this suit outside of the entertainment media and Seattle news sources despite the race angle. Conservative websites have been reporting on this story. Now imagine if Lady A the Band were conservative Republicans. This battle would be the lead story on CNN and MSNBC. There would be a constant drumbeat of stories from them–and of course the New York Times and the rest of the legacy media, which of course takes its cue from the Times.

Lady A the Artist told Rolling Stone, “They claim to be allies and that they wanted to change their name out of the racist connotation, and then they sue a black woman for the new name.”

So here is more proof for you that the mainstream media is not interested so much in reporting the news but instead advancing their narrative that America is systemically racist–and conservative Republicans even more so.

Let’s talk common sense. Just because something is legal that doesn’t make it moral. Charles Dickens’ character Mr. Bumble phrased it best in Oliver Twist, “If the law supposes that, the law is a ass–a idiot.” Well maybe that’s an overreach, but there are three idiots in Band Lady A.

I support Peter Sagal’s idea. He hosts NPR’s quiz show Wait…Wait…Don’t Tell Me! “There is a simple solution to this problem, though,” he said. “Lady A the Band should just go by Lady A-Hole.”

That works for me.

I just typed “Lady A-Hole” into the iTunes search box. Nothing relevant comes up.

Go for it.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

…about appearances of bias:

Conan: Finally, several of you wrote during yesterday’s show about PP, about the conflict over what percentage of the agency’s clients receive abortions. We’ve asked NPR’s heal policy correspondent Julie Rovner to join us again. Julie, always nice to have with you us.… And we heard two figures from opposing sides yesterday, 3% and 10%, who’s right?

Rovner: Well, the conflict is really that PP keeps its statistics according to the percent of those services that are provided, not according to how many people get what. So it turns out that there are – that indeed, abortions are 3% of the services provided, although – and that was what, I think, Sarah Stoesz from PP kind of misspoke when she said it was 3% of patients who come in get abortions.

It is actually a little bit closer to the 10% that Marjorie Dannenfesler suggested, because there are about 3 million patients who come in. There are about 300,000 abortions provided.

The hook, just 24 hours earlier they promoted the very same 3% figure. Quite a coincidence, or as Jill Stanek puts it:

Perhaps James O’Keefe’s release yesterday of damaging investigative videos against National Public Radio (read more here, here, and here) had nothing to do with it.

Or perhaps a desperate NPR is suddenly trying to appear more fair and balanced in the face of potentially losing $90 million in taxpayer funding.

Yup I can’t see why we would think that NPR is in damage control mode.

I guess when you are fighting for limited federal dollars, some alliances are just too expensive to worry about.

Update: Dropped an “e” in Jill’s name, corrected

I couple of days ago I saw this post from a Chinese site concerning Charlie Sheen. It from a Chinese view concerning Sheen actions in terms of parental fealty (that is respect for one’s parents and family name) Sicilians are very big into this so the article interested me. The author talked about how media influences behavior:

How many young people have been led astray by Sheen’s boasts about his substance abuse and freewheeling sex life? And that was when he was in character on national television, as a randy bachelor in Two and a Half Men.

The author then talked about the difference between how such a situation would be handled in a Chinese culture rather than an American one.

Take Edison Chen, who humbly apologized and slipped away to Canada. Or Li Gang’s father, who wept as he sought forgiveness on his son’s behalf.

The fact that Sheen continues to embarrass himself unabated, becoming even a hero to many, points to the vast differences in cultures.

Now there is a lot of talk about how TV really doesn’t have an influence and it doesn’t really matter. It is to those people that I direct the next line:

He ignored his own father’s advice to keep quiet, who was once the president of the US. emphasis mine Sheen is a disgrace, unfilial to his father and his fatherland.

You are likely laughing right now. Look at this guy who doesn’t know the difference between West Wing and reality, what a maroon. Consider how many years West Wing was on, how many people who don’t pay attention to this kind of thing, or lived overseas with no other point of reference actually believed what they saw?

Which brings us to NPR.

One of the things that makes institutional bias the “media template” so insidious is the effect of a false background message on people who do not pay attention to what is going on. True or false it becomes what “everybody knows”.

When a person or a group has an acknowledged bias (For example I am unapologetic conservative Catholic) those biases are out there and people can make an informed decision on what to believe or not. When you have a large company supported by tax dollars feeding biases such as shown in the NPR videos you are simply providing propaganda to a particular side, and to those who are either not paying attention regularly or to those listening overseas it becomes what “everybody knows”.

I don’t think this is a bug, I think NPR considers this a feature. How many people have a false impression of the Tea Party, a position that would be moot if they attended a meeting or two?

And that is why government funding doesn’t belong, if people or groups want to give their money to support a point of view that’s one thing, its a free country. To use public funds, particularly when we have a deficit, to do so that’s another.

Update:
Fealty was misspelled in the Chinese article and I copied that misspelling, corrected.

Update 2:
The damage control keeps up first Ron Schiller, then Vivian Schiller now Ron again

Aspen Institute communications director Jim Spiegelman says in an e-mail: “Ron Schiller has informed us that, in light of the controversy surrounding his recent statements, he does not feel that it’s in the best interests of the Aspen Institute for him to come work here.”

That half minute news story keeps getting longer doesn’t it?

The NPR executive caught on video bashing the Tea Party and saying that NPR didn’t need federal funding will not be heading to the Aspen Institute. Ron Schiller had been scheduled to start his new position as director of the Aspen Institute Arts Program and Harman-Eisner Artist-in-Residence April 1, according to a glowing press release distributed last week.

But now Aspen Institute communications director Jim Spiegelman says that Schiller will not be working there.

Rush is now reporting that Ron Schiller is claiming his statements do not reflect the views of NPR or his own. Say WHAT?