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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

February
20
2006
4:26 am
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February
17
2006
6:59 pm
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http://www.grassfire.org/42/petition.asp?PID=10537800&NID=1

I signed it. Why not go and check it out to see if it fits your political views about securing our border as well? It will add your name to a petition to urge the President and our Congress to take more action to secure our borders.

February
16
2006
12:02 am
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The news is full of Dick Cheney accidentally shooting his hunting buddy. Just remember, it is still safer to go hunting with Dick Cheney than it is to accept a ride home with Ted Kennedy.

January
27
2006
4:30 pm
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Re: American Statesman story “DeLay appearance cost Fox $14,000“, 1/27/2006.

General thoughts:

Seems to me that someone (Chuck Lindell or the editors) just wanted to not only get DeLay’s name in the headlines but also to make sure the headline was damaging. The “damage” comes from the fact that it’s negative to both DeLay’s name (because his “appearance cost” someone a lot of money) and Fox (typical enemy of liberal news organizations, and bringing to light that they paid DeLay this seemingly enormous sum to appear). They call out sensational information that goes beyond it’s news value.

But I also know that I’m likely biased. I know I look for the next Statesman article to be biased. I assume before reading that it’s going to be overly liberal. So I try as hard as I can to be fair and open-minded despite my tendencies to suspect the leftward spin.

Specific beefs:

  • The two leading paragraphs (supposedly the key point of the article, right?) assert that Fox had an exclusive interview but didn’t tell everyone and their mother that it cost $14K to get that interview. My question is — How is that newsworthy? Did Barbara Walters disclose if they paid for the travel of Michael Jackson for an exclusive? Even this article says that “Sunday morning news shows routinely pay travel costs”, but is eager to point out the expensive jet Fox used to get DeLay there.
  • The caption of the photo also complains that “The cost of U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay’s trip wasn’t disclosed on the air by Fox.”. Give me a break! Is the cost of the trip newsworthy? Are they really hiding something? They make it sound like they were getting away with something by “not disclosing” it. Since when has any news story, interview or journalist disclosed what it took to get the interview?
  • For people who have a problem with the $14K for a chartered jet, I say this: It’s a cost of doing business, and if Fox thinks they can make more money by having an exclusive, and in order to get the exclusive they need to spend $14K to make it work with DeLay’s schedule, then what’s the problem? I’m sure Fox netted a ton more than that, so that just seems like simple economics to me. I actually wouldn’t have a problem if Fox went further and said “Tell you what, we’ll fly you here on a corporate jet and also pay you $25K to talk to us instead of someone else”. If DeLay is a hot commodity, economics dictate the value. If he sells papers, advertising, or makes money for Fox, isn’t it in Fox’s best interest to be as competitive as possible to get him to appear with them and no-one else?
  • The article even admits “There is no doubt that DeLay was the nation’s hottest news commodity last fall.” So why does the reporter fail to understand that hot news equals more advertising money, and that if another news organization could pay double to get the exclusive they probably would have jumped at it? They also admit that the name “Fox News Sunday” was quoted for weeks all over the place due to this specific interview, again supporting the idea that Fox got their money’s worth. Shoot, I bet Fox would pay this kind of money just out of spite to make sure the other news organizations had to pay their typesetters and journalists to put “Fox News Sunday” in their articles.

Summary

In general, although I’ve certainly seen worse, this article just leans a little too far left for me. The typical underpinnings of envy and distributing wealth (look how much money *this* person makes or look at the travel *that* person gets, and we don’t all get that, so he doesn’t deserve it… blahblahblah), the sensationalism without substance that in general paints a negative picture for the typical reader combined with the fact that it’s about a liberal enemy, and unnewsworthy scrutiny of 100% legal activities that I personally believe are a cornerstone of capitalism and one of the reasons America is so great.

December
30
2005
4:08 pm
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Ok, I had promised to give more examples of media bias that I happen across. I haven’t been very proactive about it, due to time and other things. I also haven’t been watching as much news. But this caught my eye…

Take a look at the photo that Reuters ran for the story of Cindy Sheehan’s Book Signing in Crawford, TX

Kind of makes you feel a couple of things… For one, the presence of the flag so bold and strong (on the “left” side wouldn’t you know, ha ha) would instill patriotic thoughts in anyone, don’t you think? Then you see Cindy at her signing table, with pen and items to sign, and it even looks like she’s talking to someone. The presence of feet doesn’t make you think anything other than — hey, someone’s there watching, and the photo angle only allows for showing one person anyway, and he’s way over on the right hand side of her “audience” so it’s probably full of people watching or waiting and besides, that beautiful flag is probably hiding a line of folks waiting to buy her book and get it signed.

Well then. Would it surprise you to learn that these photos were also taken? Do they give a different impression?

Other info about the event:

Quote :

Unlike then, when hundreds came from all over the country for major events at the two campsites named after Sheehan’s son, who was killed in Iraq, Sheehan found herself addressing a crowd of only about 100 Saturday afternoon. The large tent where supporters had erected a stage hung with the banner “Speak Truth to Power” was only partially full. In the morning Sheehan signed copies of her new book, being published this week, for an even smaller crowd.

and

Quote :

But in a statement today, Sheehan accused “right-wing” sites of “spreading a false story that nobody bought my book at Camp Casey on Saturday. That is not true, I sold all 100 copies and got writer’s cramp signing them. Photos were taken of me before the people got in line to have me sign the book. We made $2000 for the peace house.”

Hmm. A booksigning with just 100 copies? Of a 175-page paperback? Here’s my media spin alert machine talking, so forgive me here, but it seems that someone who attracted “thousands of people’ to Crawford to protest the Iraq War who only brings 100 copies of a book is looking to advertise something like “Cindy Sheehan Booksigning a massive sellout”. I bet we only learned about the 100 copies because it was *amazing* that they all sold.

Here are some other articles related to this:

Mother Sheehan’s Book Signing
Cindy book-signing a very ‘lonely affair’
AP defends pix of ‘lonely’ Cindy book-signing
Cindy Sheehan Claims Photos Falsely Implied Her Book Signing was a Flop
Snopes’ Book Drop

and the houseofbugs folks have it right when they said:

December
20
2005
10:30 pm
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You know, it will probably come to this. Shame.

December
14
2005
5:42 pm
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So, let me ask you. Does PR Watch’s “falsies awards” survey seem unbiased? Or centered around trying to decode spin in the media? Or interested at all in a fair view of events?

I guess I joined PR Watch because I believed their taglines and supposed goals. But it doesn’t take long to look at their news tidbits, articles, links, etc to realize they’re displaying and pushing their own agenda just as bad (or worse) than the people they “tell on,”

I mean, one of the nominations for a “Falsies award” was the following:

Quote :

In October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, many companies sold pink-ribbon products, benefiting from the “consumer good will and loyalty that their giving [to breast cancer charities] inspires,” wrote the New York Times. Breast Cancer Action, a San Francisco-based group, urged consumers to ask “critical questions before opening your wallet for these marketing campaigns: How much money goes to the cause? What is it supporting? How is it being raised? And will it truly affect the fight against breast cancer?”

I know nothing of the group they’re nominating, haven’t looked anything up, so I don’t know if they’re Nazi’s or Mother Teresa. But I find nothing “falsie” about their recommendation to ask where the money goes or how much money goes to the cause when buying a pink ribbon. That seems like common sense to me!

What’s even funnier (or sadder?) is that they nominate this other guy and make a big note that “Gannon resigned from Talon News, but reemerged shortly thereafter on his weblog, jeffgannon.com, where he billed himself “a voice of the new media” and asked supporters to send him money so he could keep writing.” but in a recent post they do the same — “Don’t forget to send an end of year donation to your favorite propaganda busters, the Center for Media and Democracy! We need your support to continue watchdogging the PR industry and promoting media literacy and citizen journalism through projects including the Weekly Spin, the PR Watch quarterly, and our on-line encyclopedia, SourceWatch.”

It might be different if they had articles on both “sides”… but there’s no mention of Jayson Blair, Dan Rather’s “spinmeistery” the lack of positive information being made public about the war in Iraq, or anything that makes me think they’re being fair at all.

December
8
2005
11:59 pm
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One day a florist goes to a barber for a haircut. After the cut he asked about his bill and the barber replies: “I’m sorry, I cannot accept money from you; I’m doing community service this week .” The florist is pleased and leaves the shop.

Next morning when the barber goes to open there is a thank you card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.

Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he goes to pay his bill the barber again replies: “I’m sorry, I cannot accept Money from you; I’m doing community service this week.”

The cop is happy and leaves the shop. Next morning when the barber goes to open up there is a thank you card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door.

Later a Republican comes in for a haircut, and when he goes to pay his bill the barber again replies: “I’m sorry, I cannot accept money from you; I’m doing community service this week.”

The Republican is very happy and leaves the shop. Next morning when the barber goes to open, there is a thank you card and a dozen different books such as “How to Improve Your Business” and “Becoming More
Successful.”

Then a Democrat comes in for a haircut, and when he goes to pay his bill the barber again replies: ” , I cannot accept money from you; I’m doing community service this week.”

The Democrat is very happy and leaves the shop. The next morning when the barber goes to open up, there are a dozen Democrats lined up waiting for a free haircut.

And that, my friends, illustrates the fundamental difference between left and right.

October
20
2005
6:45 pm
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I had promised to give more examples of blatant liberal spin in the media, and lo-and-behold, here it is.

http://www.statesman.com/metrostate/content/metro/stories/10/20delay.html

Here are my gripes:

  • The picture is clearly unflattering. I hate it when the media does this on either side.
  • The headline “DeLay could avoid public perp walk”, while technically accurate, insinuates something evil about DeLay
  • Same with the subheadline “New warrant allows him to be booked away”… makes it sound like he did something he’s not supposed to do.
  • The first paragraph ties together Delay’s alleged motive to not be in travis county and all of a sudden getting.
October
20
2005
1:57 am
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http://www.senate.gov actually makes it pretty easy to electronically contact your senator and tell them your preferences. I personally oppose governmental multilingualism — I do not want any language but English to be used as the official language of the government. I do not like seeing every sign, instruction booklet, menu and IRS form written in other languages by requirement. I do not want businesses to be forced to encourage the “lack of assimilation” going on in America by spending their hard-earned and over-taxed money to re-print signs and hire bilingual employees and cater to those who don’t want to learn how to be an American.

America speaks English. Period. To allow anything else (in an official manner of course) is to nourish a dependent attitude upon the immigrants. I favor immigration, and I favor preservation of various cultures, no matter what they are. I do not extend this immigration and preservation to include forced appeasement of integrating these cultures into our tax-funded activities.

Here’s the gist — President Clinton signed Executive Order 13166 and by doing so, made it mandatory for the federal government to provide certain services and programs in any language requested, on demand. I don’t think our tax money should be used to support this and prevent assimilation into English-based America.

There’s an amendment to the HUD appropriate bill in the Senate (Amendment #2088 to HR #3058\) that in effect overturns or in general severely limits this Executive Order. I find that to be a good thing. So I’m telling my Senators (Cornyn and Hutchison) that I want them to vote in approval of this amendment.

I encourage anyone reading this to figure out what you think, which side you’re on and tell your Senator. It’s the only way they can know what you think.

I’m ok with you disagreeing with me, but I’m even more ok if you tell your Senator. I care more that you contact your Senator than you agree with me. If you agree with me, then that’s just icing…

So go to http://www.senate.gov and pick your state and go to the contact form for that Senator. Alternatively, you can dial the Capital Hill switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for the Senator’s offices for your state.

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