American Elephants


We Had a Surprise Snowfall: Wet Sticky Snow by The Elephant's Child
February 7, 2017, 4:27 pm
Filed under: Blogging, Domestic Policy, Education, Energy, Humor | Tags: , ,

Great noisy plops on the roof as the snow falls out of the trees. Unfortunately it got our internet connection and I have been offline, sentenced to catch up on my reading, which is welcome, but frustrating. It’s somewhat appalling to realize how dependent I’ve become on the internet.



Michael Ramirez Captures the Media by The Elephant's Child

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For the Latest in Excellence, Follow Slate on Twitter by The Elephant's Child

Wandering around the internet, one sometimes comes across a piece, simple, yet saying far more than perhaps it’s author intended. It speaks to the profession of journalism, to the integrity of that profession, to claims of excellence and attention to detail, in the interest of communicating deep thoughts about the bureaucracy and the world in which it lives and operates.

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What more could one say. This is Slate, fabled magazine of the Left.



The Dutch Welcome Our New President in his Own Words! by The Elephant's Child

A humorous skit from the Netherlands. I hope the President actually sees this one. Great fun.

(thanks to Powerline)



The Embarrassing Press at Obama’s Last Press Conference by The Elephant's Child

We have mentioned the disgraceful partisanship of the Washington D.C. press before. The adoration is clearly shown in this mashup from President Obama’s final press conference. If you can’t maintain a skeptical point of view, you’re not doing journalism, but they apparently never learned that in journalism school. Elected politicians are supposed to do what they told us they intended to do. Presidents are imperfect, make mistakes, sometimes very big ones, and sometimes they turn out to be something other than what they claimed. If journalists don’t do their job, it makes it much harder for the rest of us who will probably never meet those politicians in person.



President Trump, The Press, The Profession of Journalism, and Sean Spicer. This is Going to be Fun! by The Elephant's Child

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There is a tentative war going on between the press and the new Trump administration. The Washington press corps has been remarkably partisan during the entire campaign season, and they never imagined a Trump presidency.

We have a new White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, beginning to set new rules for how White House press conferences are going to go. He didn’t call on the front row first, but gave the first question to the New York Post, seated toward the back. He called early on reporters from the Christian Broadcasting network, Fox, and Univision. He even announced four “Skype seats” for reporters not in the Washington area. This is very scary stuff for the Washington media.

He noted that the  press routinely publish corrections, and said the administration “should be afforded the same opportunity.”

Press behavior during this political campaign left a great deal to be desired. We had reporters publishing unverified leaks, giving their stories to the candidates for approval before publication, warning candidates of upcoming stories. And in one case, the New York Post noted “the complete collapse of American journalism as we know it.” “The shameful display of naked partisanship by the elite media is unlike anything seen in modern America,” wrote Michael Goodwin.

The largest broadcast networks — CBS, NBC and ABC — and major newspapers like the New York Times and Washington Post have jettisoned all pretense of fair play. Their fierce determination to keep Trump out of the Oval Office has no precedent. By torching its remaining credibility in service of Clinton, the mainstream media’s reputations will likely never recover, nor will the standards. No future producer, editor, reporter or anchor can be expected to meet a test of fairness when that standard has been trashed in such willful and blatant fashion.

“The University of Georgia does an Annual Survey of Journalism & Mass Communication Graduates which surveys J-School grads, their habits, salaries and the jobs they take.” They don’t read print media. Just one third had read a newspaper the day before taking the survey. That’s down from 81% in 1994. Three quarters read news off the internet and many watched TV. Almost all went on a social media website the day before taking the survey.

Which draws the automatic query: if they don’t read their own writing, why should they expect us to?

Newspaper ad revenue is way down. Ads are reaching fewer customers. Magazines with which I am familiar are thinner, with fewer ads. But for the most part I only see magazines at the hair salon or the doctor’s office.  Two local bookstores are closing. It’s not that people are reading less, they are reading online. More and more online sources are creating a subscription barrier, and there are more and more ways to avoid that wall. There is so much information available for free, that people are reluctant to pay. I don’t know where this is all going, but everything is fluid and changing.

I don’t know what journalism schools are teaching their students besides social justice, nor what their requirements are, but journalists seem remarkably lacking in the history department, and just general world knowledge—reflecting wide reading. Starting salaries are worse than for most other professions, and there are more and more clumsy errors that are not caught by editors.

Computers are changing the world. Our sources of information are changing. Social media is becoming more important than  we understand. Occupations are changing. We are always slow to understand the changes and how to adapt, and those who do understand and adapt quickly are probably the millionaires and billionaires of the future.

An article by Stefan Kanfer in City Journal last February mourned the decline of Time magazine and the shrinking readership of newspapers and magazines. He wrote:

Contemporary tendencies—from know-nothing reportage to grade inflation—can be corrected. But the blackboard is large, and the erasers grow fewer by the year. When once-formidable newspapers like the New York Times print regular, lengthy columns of misattributions and misinformation, and when a newsmagazine cannot identify the sex of an author, much less his/her significance, Americans can no longer depend on periodicals to set things straight. That job, ironically, has been ceded to the freewheeling and often irresponsible Internet. Thus by default the solution must come, as it did long ago, from diligent instruction—private, parochial, and public. It had better. For as Abraham Lincoln observed, “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” (A former Illinois congressman, Lincoln was the sixteenth president of the United States.)



What Were the Women’s Marches All About? by The Elephant's Child

The Women’s March, or Marches, were certainly the subject of Sunday’s news. Everybody was curious to know just what that was all about? It was clearly a  Far-Leftist screed, far more carefully planned than was understood. But what were they opposing?

The women who were marching were responding to a tape of a “locker-room” conversation that was recorded unbeknownst to Mr. Trump, in which he engaged in a remark about the tendency of women to be attracted to someone rich and famous: “They’ll do anything you want, even letting you grab them by their pussy parts.” That conversation, in 2005, was the entirety that the marchers were responding to. The signage was all about that.

There were some professionally printed signs from various sponsors like the Amplifier Foundation and the 56 “non-partisan” organizations that were listed as “partners” for the march that were funded by George Soros. (Mr, Soros does not fund things directly, he usually hides behind other groups)

Reading more carefully, it becomes clear that the women have no idea what Donald Trump advocates, or what he stands for.They didn’t listen to his inaugural speech and don’t know what he said. They know only that he defeated Hillary and it wasn’t fair because she won the popular vote. They clearly don’t know anything about the Electoral College except that it isn’t fair. What they seem to be interested in is having taxpayers fund their contraceptives and abortions, and preferably their sanitary needs as well. Good grief!

Madonna exclaimed about how angry she was (not about what it was about) and how she had thought about blowing up the White House, although as soon as she heard she would be investigated by the Secret Service, she started backtracking like mad.  As far as I can tell, though I haven’t seen transcripts of all the speeches, there is no one that has any understanding of actual issues at all. Do they have any understanding of why Hillary lost?

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What on earth does that mean? See how clever, she ran ‘each other’ all together. ‘Womanhood indeed.’

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Another. Could any of these messages be any more empty? The women I know are a lot smarter than this. No content, no substance.

Empty posters, purposeless march. But they had a good time. Guys wearing Trump hats had to clean up the mess they left behind.




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