COMMENT NUMBER ONE
Whatever happened to the concept of the “loyal opposition” in America?
The notion of a loyal opposition essentially says that a person can be opposed to the actions of the government or ruling party of the day without being opposed to the U.S. Constitution or the democratic political system.
But today, the idea of a loyal opposition has been redefined to mean obstruct and resist.
Resist with physical violence against people with whom you don’t agree. Resist with violence against property. Obstruct and gridlock Congress. Resist by shutting down free speech. Resist by assassinating members of the party in power as we saw a few weeks ago when a Democrat left-wing nut job attacked several Republican lawmakers practicing on a baseball diamond, wounding Rep. Steve Scalise, a Capitol police officer, and two bystanders.
This is not what people like Thomas Jefferson had in mind when they hammered out our Constitution. While he and other founders argued that we should be reasonably tolerant of political speech, they stopped short of condoning the violent overthrow of our government or the vile and vicious attacks we see levied against our current president. It seems to me some Democrats and many others on the left would rather see the country fail than allow Donald Trump to succeed.
Like him or not, Donald Trump was elected to the office he holds by half of the country. He didn’t take it via a coup d’état. The vitriol directed at Donald Trump is unprecedented. I can’t think of a derogatory name he hasn’t been called. Then, there are the mainstream media which seem to have taken it upon themselves to destroy Trump and his presidency. Instead of their traditional role as responsible watchdogs of government, they are behaving more like rabid attack dogs.
That is not an opinion, it is based on a recent study by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy.
Its report said that coverage of Trump has been far more negative than that of Barack Obama, George W. Bush or Bill Clinton. The Harvard scholars analyzed the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and the main newscasts (not talk shows) of CBS, CNN, Fox, and NBC during Trump’s initial time in office. They found, to no one’s surprise, that Trump dominated news coverage in the first 100 days. And then they concluded that news coverage was solidly negative — 80 percent negative among those outlets studied, versus 20 percent positive.
The numbers for previous presidents: Barack Obama, 41 percent negative, 59 percent positive; George W. Bush, 57 percent negative, 43 percent positive; and Bill Clinton, 60 percent negative, 40 percent positive.
The coverage of some news organizations was so negative, according to the Harvard study, that it seems hard to argue that the coverage was anywhere near a neutral presentation of facts. Assessing the tone of news coverage, the Harvard researchers found that CNN’s Trump coverage was 93 percent negative, and 7 percent positive. The researchers found the same numbers for NBC.
Results for other media outlets were only slightly less negative. The Harvard team found that CBS coverage was 91 percent negative and 9 percent positive. New York Times coverage was 87 percent negative and 13 percent positive. Washington Post coverage was 83 percent negative and 17 percent positive. Wall Street Journal coverage was 70 percent negative and 30 percent positive. And Fox News coverage also leaned to the negative, but only slightly: 52 percent negative to 48 percent positive.
Loyal opposition? Fair & honest media? Hardly.
COMMENT NUMBER TWO
Okay. We have a president who tweets. Get over it. And accept the fact that Donald Trump is not your grandfather’s or your father’s president.
He is something unique. And that’s why half the country elected him.
I remember when Bill Clinton went on the Arsenio Hall Show in 1992 dressed as one of the sunglass-sporting Blues Brothers and played his saxophone. A lot of people thought that was demeaning to the office. I wasn’t one of them.
Of course what Clinton eventually did in the White House with a young intern named Monica Lewinski was, in my mind, a hell of a lot more demeaning to the office of President than playing the saxophone on TV or Donald Trump tweeting e-rockets at his opponents.
The latest of these Presidential tweets was a short video posted to his Twitter account Sunday in which he is portrayed wrestling and punching a figure whose head has been replaced by the logo for CNN.
Almost immediately some in the news media began whining and wringing their hands, charging that such displays could endanger the lives of reporters.
What? Are you kidding me?
What about a washed up potty-mouth comedienne holding the severed head of Donald Trump? What about a play in New York’s Central Park in which a man looking like Trump is assassinated by knife-wielding opponents on stage?
Oh. It’s only the American president. Who would ever see such displays as disrespectful or dangerous? Certainly not the left-leaning media.
When Donald Trump fights back against insults levied at him by sleazy talk show hosts and reporters with a discernable agenda to destroy him, he is portrayed by the media as despicable, sexist, racist, and behaving beneath the dignity of the office.
Do I dare refer you again to Bill Clinton and Monica? Dignity, indeed.
Not long after the Trump vs. CNN wrestling tweet the Committee to Protect Journalists, which ordinarily spends its time working to safeguard journalists in countries where reporters are jailed, tortured and murdered (a noble goal), issued a statement saying it is concerned that Trump’s reproaches of news organizations may have dire consequences.
“Targeting individual journalists or media outlets, on or off-line, creates a chilling effect and fosters an environment where further harassment, or even physical attack, is deemed acceptable,” Courtney Radsch, the advocacy director for the Committee, wrote in a statement Sunday, adding that Trump’s comments may embolden “autocratic leaders around the world.”
Oh, please. I don’t think despots who hate and fear a free press have been waiting for Donald Trump to show them the way to crush and massacre members of the news media.
Reporters and talk show hosts in this country seem very willing to dish it out but they clearly can’t take it. God forbid that one of their targets (i.e. President Trump) should have the audacity to defend himself.
It is discouraging and disheartening that so many reporters today behave like wimps when somebody (read Donald Trump) criticizes and chides them for what is undoubtedly unfair coverage (Please refer to Comment Number One).
Here’s an idea. Put on your big boy and big girl pants, suck it up, and go out and do your damned job. Stop complaining, whining, and belly-aching, and try covering our duly elected president fairly and unbiasedly.
Who knows? You might actually like behaving honorably and responsibly for a change.
COMMENT NUMBER THREE
I will relinquish the remainder of my blog today to Retired U. S. Marine Col. Jeffery Powers, who wrote to the commissioner of the National Football League during the height of the players protesting the U.S. flag and the National Anthem. I thought this letter was especially relevant given our nation’s celebration of Independence Day.
Dear Commissioner Roger Goodell,
I’ve been a season pass holder at Yankee Stadium, Yale Bowl and Giants Stadium.
I missed the ’90-’91 season because I was with a battalion of Marines in Desert Storm. 14 of my brave Marines returned home with the American Flag draped across their lifeless bodies. My last conversation with one of them, Sgt. Garrett Mongrella was about how our Giants were going to the Super Bowl. He never got to see it.
Now I watch multi-millionaire athletes who never did anything in their lives but play a game, disrespect what brave Americans fought and died for. They are essentially spitting in the faces and on the graves of real men, men who have done something for this country beside playing with a ball and believing they’re something special! They’re not! My Marines and Soldiers were!
You are complicit in this! You’ll fine players for large and small infractions, but you lack the moral courage and respect for our nation and the fallen to put an immediate stop to this. Yes, I know, it’s their 1st Amendment right to behave in such a despicable manner.
What would happen if they came out and disrespected you or the refs publicly?
I observed a player getting a personal foul for twerking in the end zone after scoring. I guess that’s much worse than disrespecting the flag and our National Anthem. Hmmmmm, isn’t it his 1st Amendment right to express himself like an idiot in the end zone?
Why is taunting not allowed yet taunting America is OK? You fine players for wearing 9-11 commemorative shoes yet you allow scum on the sidelines to sit, kneel or pump their pathetic fist in the air. They are so deprived with their multi-million dollar contracts for playing a freaking game!
You condone it all by your refusal to act. You’re just as wrong and disgusting as these good-for-nothings are. I hope Americans boycott any sponsor who supports that rabble you call the NFL. I hope they turn off the TV when any team that allowed this disrespect to occur, without consequence, on the sidelines. I applaud those who have not.
Legends and heroes do NOT wear shoulder pads. They wear body armor and carry rifles.
They make minimum wage and spend months and years away from their families. They don’t do it for an hour on Sunday. They do it 24/7 often with lead, not footballs, coming in their direction. They watch their brothers carted off in pieces not on a gurney to get their knee iced. They don’t even have ice! Many don’t have legs or arms.
Some wear blue and risk their lives daily on the streets of America. They wear fire helmets and go upstairs into the fire rather than down to safety. On 9-11, hundreds vanished. They are the heroes.
I hope that your high paid protesting pretty boys and you look in that mirror when you shave tomorrow and see what you really are, legends in your own minds. You need to hit the road and take those worms with you!
Time to change the channel.
AMEN TO THAT COLONEL! AND A BIG HOO-RAH FROM A U.S. ARMY VETERAN.