We're being ill-served by the media. Despite the oft-repeated chest-thumping that "Democracy Dies in Darkness," or "Speaking Truth to Power," the majority of the mainstream media is suffering from both Trump Derangement Syndrome—the inclination to take any claim which puts Donald Trump in a bad light as automatically true—and simply lazy reporting.
That was the basis of my 90 minute talk with radio host Dave Congalton yesterday on his Hometown Radio show. You can listen to the audio here:
Dave was nice enough to let me take a couple of whacks at San Luis Obispo Tribune editor Joe Tarica's recent appearance on his show. For some reference, you can refer to this post on the Rep. Salud Carbajal stenography. The other article that I mention is this one on Cal Poly's Men's Basketball team.
The latter article contains not a single quote from anyone in any way involved in the program. Coach Joe Callero isn't quoted. Neither are any of the players, including senior Donovan Fields and returning sophomore wing Mark Crowe. There is also no indication that the reporter sought to talk to the coach or players and was denied.
Alternatively, the reporter also did not talk to ESPN Radio 1280's play-by-play guy who does all the Mustang games.
Yet, in his earlier appearance, Tarica insisted that when they do their reporting, they get both sides of the story. As I noted in my radio appearance, these aren't my standards, these are Tarica's—I'm just holding him to them.
Last Thursday evening, BuzzFeed reporters Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier published a report claiming that President Trump had directed his lawyer, Michael Cohen to lie to the special counsel's office. The story immediately became the talk of numerous cable news commentary shows despite the fact that no other news organization was able to independently verify the account—and it wasn't for lack of trying.
Nearly 24 hours later the special counsel's office released an extraordinary statement disputing the BuzzFeed report. For the record, Leopold was the reporter back in 2006 who made the claim that President George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove was going to be indicted. How the man still has a job in an industry which claims to have truthfulness standards is unclear.
Long story short, a Native American activist got in the face of a high school kid wearing a MAGA hat and then went to the Washington Post and lied about what happened. I encourage everyone to read Reason magazine's Robby Soave's coverage here and here to get an accurate take on the story. Most importantly, you should watch this entire nearly two hour video of everything leading up to the altercation.
One of the callers last night asked me if I had any proof apart from claims that families of students had made that there were threats of violence being made over the misleading video. I confessed that I'd seen statements and screenshots of text messages that students had claimed to receive, but nothing from authorities. This morning, the Post reported that classes at the school today have been cancelled.
The all-male college preparatory school was closed Tuesday because of security concerns, according to a local Fox News affiliate, which cited a letter from the principal, Robert Rowe. “After meeting with local authorities, we have made the decision to cancel school and be closed on Tuesday, January 22, in order to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff,” the letter stated.
Local officials say they are investigating threats of violence against the school and individual students. Kenton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders said he cannot say anything more about the nature of the threats and did not answer questions about who investigators believe were behind them or who were targeted.
I think it's safe to say that the claims were valid and my cynical view of too many of my fellow Americans was vindicated.
This was originally what Dave and I had agreed to talk about, and it was because I genuinely see this as another place we're being ill-served by the media. I follow the news rather closely and amid this government shutdown, I understand that the Democratic Party doesn't want to spend once cent building more wall on the southern border. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called the wall "immoral." However, it's unclear whether only more wall is immoral or whether existing wall is too immoral and should be pulled down.
Several Democrats, including ones running for the presidency, have called for abolishing Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. How would what you replace it with be different, if you were to replace it at all?
This is something that the media hasn't really been asking Democrats. They let Democrats decry the status quo. They let them criticize the system while not acknowledging that not too long ago they had the power to fix it without GOP interference when Barack Obama was president and Democrats held both houses of Congress and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.
I haven't read, heard, or seen any elected Democrat lay out exactly what needs to be done on the Southern border as these migrant caravans make their way north from South and Central America and what our broader immigration system should look like. Instead they do the "Orange Man Bad" chant and insist Trump cave without getting anything from the Democrats. That's not how it's worked before, that's not how it should work now.