Mendacity and the Mainstream Media

February 17, 2012
By Ric Albano

Mendacity & the Mainstream MediaI’ve long professed that 2012 will be, by far, the ugliest year for honest debate and civility. Anyone who opposes the re-election of President Obama, will ultimately be factored down to being a “racist”, no matter what the apprehension he or she has with a second Obama term. And if the American people do vote for a new President in November, all this hate-spewing will only increase, with allegations of vote-stealing and “voter suppression” as well as a likely outbreak of violence. I mean, there’s a reason why the Mayans scheduled the end of time to fall smack dab in the middle of the post-election lame duck session. Still, with all this in mind, it has been an extraordinary week for lying. And it has been an even more revealing week when it comes to the willingness of the “mainstream media” to parrot whichever talking points they are fed by the Administration and the unwillingness by these same organizations to supress any and all stories which do not snugly fit into the agenda.

So what do you get when the economy is in the commode and swirling dangerously close to that funnel of no return? Why, you change the subject to ridiculous non-issues such as “availability” of contraception!

After the backlash against the Obama Administration for tossing aside the long-held “conscience clause” and mandating that religious organizations include FREE contraceptives and “morning after” pills with their insurance coverage, those master wordsmiths in the “most transparent administration in history” worked fast to process these mounds of chicken shit into chicken salad. In a masterful display of herding cats to all meow in the same direction, David Axelrod and the other genius-level alchemists of the billion dollar re-election campaign have got all these objective, “mainstream” watchdogs for the American people to repeatedly say that objecting, in any way, to a government mandate that contraceptives be offered for FREE is exactly synonymous to “limiting women’s ACCESS to contraception”.

So now, supposedly thoughtful and intelligent people in the mainstream media and beyond are actually saying with a straight face that keeping the status quo and not forcing NEW mandates on private institutions is the same as limiting women’s access to contraception?

Guttmacher InstituteThis same issue also brought out a completely false statistic this week, which was dutifully parroted time and again, “98% of Catholic women use contraception”. This statistical “fact” was based on a study done by The Guttmacher Institute in 2011, but when you look at the actual facts of the study you see what a totally dishonest statistic this actually is. (And hey, don’t take my word for it, check out all these facts for yourself in this PDF from Guttmacher).

First, they didn’t count any woman outside the age range of 15 to 44. Sure, this eliminates most (but not all) of the child-bearing years, but look back at the original quote – “98% of Catholic women use contraception”. So does one cease to be a Catholic or a woman outside this age range? (Gee, my mother is going to be disappointed!)

The Guttmacher study did not count any woman who was pregnant, had recently been pregnant, was actively trying to become pregnant, or was “indifferent” about the possibility of becoming pregnant. So to summarize so far, the study only considered women of prime child-bearing years but excluded any woman at any possible phase of actual child-bearing, even those indifferent to the possibility. Is this starting to sound a bit stacked to get a certain result? Well, there’s even more.

The study also did not count anyone who hadn’t had sex in the last three months. So if you happened to be a single woman who actually follows the doctrine of the Catholic church forbidding sex outside marriage (or, for that matter, a married woman who has just lost interest), you also cease to be a “Catholic woman” according to this study. Finally, the Guttmacher also took liberty with the term “contraception” itself. It didn’t just stick to the pharmaceuticals or other “products” of contraception, but also lumped in any and all “methods” of not fully completing the sexual act (without getting too graphic here – “not letting one slip past the goalie”, “pull and pray”, etc, etc).

So now when you really look at this study, it basically says that (while other women do not count) 98% of sexually active Catholic women who don’t want to be pregnant, take measures to not become pregnant. Wow, that is profound! In a related study, 98% of Catholic men who don’t want to be in a car accident use a steering wheel!

But this quote that “98% of Catholic women use contraception” was then stated as fact by mouthpieces of the Obama administration, repeated as fact by their political lemmings, and reported as fact all through the mainstream media this week. The same media that runs commercials claiming to be the “watchdogs” for the people, were so eager to push the propaganda of the most powerful, in this case to somehow justify an unconstitutional government mandate as being something from which “98% of Catholic women” would actually benefit. But when large numbers of people (and not just Catholics) stood and opposed this mandate, the whole conversation was somehow morphed to the opposition somehow wanting to “limit women’s access to contraception”. So now anything short of you and me and every other taxpayer picking up the tab is equivalent to “limiting access”. But, hey why stop there? Why not have a government mandate of in-home or in-hotel room delivery during those crucial times of passion? Wouldn’t that provide more “access”?

But this contraception crap is just one item in a week filled by shameful mendacities and bizzarre media choices of what to cover. Now, I’m not one who ever bought into the whole notion that media needs to be “fair and balanced” or “rock center”, as I feel I’m smart enough to process everything with a critical mind and consider which point of views may be injected into a media report. The primary way I judge whether a news organization is not worthy of my audience is not by what they cover an issue or even so much how they cover it, but by what they REFUSE to cover. FOX News is considered by many to be “right wing” and I look at their reporting through that lens from time to time. But I also know that they provided in-depth coverage of Abu Ghraib, the Downing Street Memo, and many other stories that were downright embarrassing to the Bush White House during that Administration. I just can’t say the same for the “mainstream media” when it comes to anything embarrassing to the Obama Administration or the left-wing agenda, from Acorn to Solyndra to “Fast and Furious”. This past week offered plenty of examples of new, substantive stories which have been largely ignored.

In North Carolina, a federal agent from the Division of Child Development and Early Education seized an “improperly packed lunch” from a 4-year-old, pre-K student at an elementary school. The agent determined that the turkey and cheese sandwich the little girl’s mother packed was not nutritionally adequate and instead served her chicken nuggets from the cafeteria, which were then charged to the mother. This story is not just creepy on the surface, but contains an entire matrix of levels of “creepiness”. First, a federal agent sent to a local elementary school? I know, I know the country is sitting on all these mounds of extra cash right now and we need to find new and creative ways to spend it, but really? Next, actually opening up lunches brought from home and inspecting them! Kind of invasive. Then there’s the absolute worst act of “creepiness” – NOT keeping it between the adults. And this part is really telling of the actual agenda when you think it through. I mean, even if you agree with everything done up to the point of inspection and the agent opened up a lunch and found nothing but juju beans and fizzy pops, shouldn’t it first be brought up to the parents? You DO NOT confront a 4-year-old child and say this lunch that your MOTHER packed for you is not good enough. What the hell is that?

In any case, there is a lot with this North Carolina story that reasonable people┬ácan debate about. But not if you follow the mainstream media because they find this situation non-newsworthy or “unfit to print”. They only report on local schools when truly oppressive situations occur such as a benediction given at a commencement ceremony.

One more example of an unreported story from this past week. Actually, there are two stories intertwined but, of course, neither has been reported in mainstream media.

Pat Buchanan has had a long career in both politics and the media and had worked for MSNBC as a commentator for the past decade before resigning this past Thursday. Now in my opinion, Buchanan is pretty much a right-wing nut bag and I believe the left-wing network only had him on as a convenient caricature of how they viewed conservatives (as the network has long banned any thoughtful conservatives when several of their hosts were embarrassingly out-debated on live TV). Buchanan has written many books over the course of his tenure at MSNBC and most of these books were quite controversial. He looks at things through the lens of how trends in Europe and America effect “whites and Christians” in a topical, superficial way (like I said, he is a bit of a nut bag). But MSNBC never had a problem with Buchanan until he released his latest book in October, Suicide of a Superpower. All of a sudden, Buchanan was no longer featured as a commentator on any of the various shows on the network where he had regularly appeared. For months there have been rumours of a “blacklist” by the network and this was pretty much confirmed recently by MSNBC president Phil Griffin who said the subjects in Buchanan’s book “should not be part of the national dialogue”. Wow! I mean if you don’t like the guy, fire him, that’s one thing. But to keep him on staff for the sole purpose of silencing his message? Again, creepy.

Media MattersSo here we have an actual, 1950s-Hollywood-style blacklist situation (something that was the subject of about 750 “courageous” films over the decades), and what do we hear about it in the mainstream media? What? Anything?

But wait, there’s the other side of this story. Why exactly was Buchanan targeted now when he had written and said so many controversial things before? Well, it was because Media Matters had decided they wanted to target him now and they orchestrated the whole blacklist scheme. And this week we also found out what many of us had suspected for a long time – that MSNBC does practically everything that Media Matters instructs them to do.

On Monday, The Daily Caller did an extensive profile of Media Matters which had sources form inside the organization stating that MSNBC would report on their evening shows VERBATIM the content of press releases from Media Matters, usually put out that same day. The profile also summarized some of the public statements and proclamations to spend millions discrediting FOX News and the “right wing media” as well as internal memos on uncovering PERSONAL dirt on ideological enemies AND left-wing individuals who “stray” from the party line. One may say, “hey, this is America and we have a First Amendment and any private organization, no matter how seedy, can conduct themselves any way they wish”, and one would be correct. But Media Matters is actually a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) “media watchdog” and is mandated to work in a non-partisan fashion for the PUBLIC good. Media Matters prides itself on destroying people on the right and uses “victories” such as this latest against Buchanan as points to spearhead fundraising efforts.

Billionare George SorosNot that much fundraising is needed by Media Matters, as the organization is primarily funded by a single individual (through a maze of several “shell” organizations), billionaire George Soros. Soros made his money the old-fashioned way – by collapsing several currencies across Europe, enriching himself while sending millions of the “working-class” into bankruptcy or poverty. He’s part of the “1%” (probably more like 0.00001%)that it has become fashionable to rally against. But you will never hear a foul word spoken about Soros or any of his organizations from Media Matters, MSNBC, or any the other media sheep, which according to the Daily Caller includes several members of the print media. These all march in lock-step to the tune of the “watchdog” which is actually the Soros lap-dog.

But back to the main subject. You would think these breaking stories about how a tax-exempt organization, controlled by a single billionaire, which openly conducts campaigns of personal destruction, was literally feeding propaganda to a major news network and had one of their analysts of 10 years blacklisted would be something newsworthy? Forget about NBC, has anyone heard about any of this on ABC/CBS/CNN/NPR/New York Times/Washington Post/USA Today ???

I could go on and on about the unreported stories from just this week. Craggy, old, lilly white, Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid spoke of Latino-American Senator Marco Rubio – who may be the most brilliant politician anywhere in America, but that’s a different story. Reid stated that Rubio “did not stand for Latino values.” What? Can you imagine the media uproar if ANY white conservative said such anything about ANY liberal minority? I could go on but this article is way to long already.

There could probably be a weekly article on this subject alone but I just found this past week to be extraordinary in the attack on, twisiting of, misrepresenation, or suppression of the truth. Please, treat everything you hear (even from me) with a bit of skepticism and conduct your own research.

~
Ric Albano