Tag Archives: MSNBC

The White House Briefing Yesterday…

I listened to the briefing on the radio yesterday. It was quite an experience to say the least. Trump, who I frequently deride for his arrogant, condescending demeanor and poor wording of even the best meaning ideas, was somber and even toned. It seems he’s now paying attention to the predictions from the more pessimistic people on his advisory team.

He also did point out that we are seeing indications that the measures we are taking are indeed slowing down the virus some. We may also be looking at up to 250,000 dead here before this is all said and done. Worst case? Overly pessimistic? I’d like to think so, but it is hard to say for sure.

One thing I *DO* know for sure: With the release of the test kits that only take 15 minutes and a swab of the mouth, MANY more cases are going to be diagnosed. Some people will freak out over that rise in numbers also. Remember, the vast majority of people that get COVID-19 barely show any symptoms. If you want to look at ANY number related to this pandemic, look at the total number hospitalized. THAT will tell you how many serious cases are out there and how close any country is to having it’s health care system overwhelmed.

Remember also that testing and getting a handle on how many true carriers there are out there will help with better containment, give officials better data on how and where it’s spreading, AND allow for earlier treatment of people at risk, thus saving lives.

Getting back to the press conference and it’s fallout… Trump was overall much more congenial than usual with the media in general and a few political rivals. He had good things to say about California Governor Gavin Newsom, and thanked the media for generally being fair.

MEDIA BIAS & HATE:

Sadly a few reporters couldn’t resist attempts at gotcha questions. THAT is what’s getting all the attention on social media. A few also couldn’t resist the urge to mock the people that Trump had brought together from corporate America to help fight the virus.

Mike Lindell, CEO of “My Pillow” was singled out by Ali Velshi from MSNBC for example. What this hack commentator completely ignored is that the man voluntarily shut down his business and now has it making 10,000 masks a day to help protect people. He’s doing so at cost too! That total is also his starting totals as his company gets ramped up.

Likewise, Telecom company executives were there to talk about what they’re doing to keep phone and internet service up in a time of unprecedented demand. I know I’m dealing with slowdowns now.

Likewise, GM & Ford are stepping up to make ventilators and repair all the defective ones that were made in China and rotting in storage. 30% of the ones we’ve received from China in recent years have turned out to be defective and inoperative.

Most of the media, even most of MSNBC has been a good deal more even handed than this twit. Some of the response has really been sick and pathetic though. These folks need to go to the front of the line in my “I Want People Flogged” post yesterday.

We’re in the middle of a serious pandemic here. What will absolutely make the biggest difference is how people come together to combat it. If we all do as we’ve been asked, stick together, etc… this will probably end up looking like no more than a very bad flu season or the H1N1 epidemic of 2010.

All this divisive BS is only going to cause people to ignore guidelines, act up and prolong the virus. Never mind all the potential secondary fallout like it contributing to the hording and leading to civil unrest. It’s fine to say “I think this would work better instead”. No leader should be above reproach. In a time of crisis, there’s a constructive, CIVILIZED and intelligent way to do it though.

BE AFRAID OF THE SEVERE CRITICS:

I hope my readers are paying attention to the underlying messages from the critics out there. Not just critics of the US President, but other various leaders as well. Many of these people seem to be operating from a delusional state that a leader should be able to snap their fingers and instantly cure things. “The ONLY reason people are dying is because the Prime Minister or President wants them to”.

That kind of thinking is not only delusional, it’s infantile. It shows a level of grasp on reality equal to a 2 year old who has never had mommy and daddy say ‘No’ to them. No political leader has godlike powers (Thank God).

Almost as bad are the idiots that mock private business rising up to help with the situation. They want leaders to just mandate steps and it’s magically going to happen immediately. Essentially what they’re wanting… outright expecting is a government with complete dictatorial powers, and a willingness to use them freely. That kind of thinking should literally scare the shit out of anyone with common sense. To paraphrase an oft heard expression; “A government big enough and willing to give you anything instantly with the snap of it’s fingers, is big enough and more than willing to take away EVERYTHING with another snap”.

SHOW UNDERSTANDING AND COMPASSION:

Aside from opening your eyes to the hate out there, I have one other message:

Fight the bad examples with a good one of your own. Rise up and join the people clapping for health care workers. Do what you can to support others. Set aside the stupid and often false political divides. If you can volunteer to help somehow, do so. A good example out here is a group called Project Linus (named after the character from Peanuts). They sew together blankets and quilts, and provide them to various homeless groups and low income families. Many of them are now sewing cloth masks instead to help people. Everywhere you look, people are rising to the occasion in some way.

That includes businesses also. Everything from big companies like Ford, GM and My Pillow to local dry cleaners doing free cleaning for health care workers and first responders.

Be part of the solution, not the problem. Be the light you wish to see in others.

Beware Media Hysteria & Manipulation

It’s Tuesday! Time to take out the trash again. LOL

The coronavirus mess has done a lot to highlight media sensationalism and manipulation IF you’re paying attention and looking for facts. I’ve gone over the statistics in recent blog posts. This virus should be taken seriously. Sheltering in place and social distancing is a good idea. Is it the end of the world though? No.

If you paid attention to most media outlets, either we’re all going to die and it’s going to be worse than the Spanish Flu of 1918, OR we should all go out and lick shopping carts because it’s a hoax.

Ironic that the last proponent of “it’s all a fraud” that I heard was Rand Paul. He was on the radio a little under a week ago howling that it was all just an attack on civil liberties. No word on if he’s changed his tune since coming down with the virus. O_o

On the hysteria side, the best example I’ve seen was media sources quoting Emily Landon, MD, Executive Director Infection Prevention and Control, University of Chicago Medical Center in saying this was the Spanish Flu of 1918 all over again.

She (and the media quoting her) completely neglect to mention that the Spanish Flu killed somewhere between 17 and 50 million people. Some say as many as 100 million. She also fails to mention that the Spanish Flu was much more dangerous to younger people with stronger immune systems than COVID-19 is. There were also other secondary factors like areas still physically recovering from World War 1 getting hit extra hard.

As of today, we have 18,605 total deaths worldwide, 2091 just today. That’s enough to merit taking this seriously. It’s a FAR cry from 50 million people in a year though.

Here’s the thing with the shelter in place and other measures we’re all being advised to follow: If they work properly, it’s going to look like they were never needed, or at least were a big overreaction.

Stay calm, realize this will pass, and take anything the media EVER tells you with a grain of salt. Be skeptical. The media thrives on creating fear and anger.

So, let’s look at some of their more common tricks:

“Expert” Opinions:

The two examples above illustrate that the media will ALWAYS be able to find an “expert” to back up whatever opinion they have. Rand Paul and Emily Langston are both doctors, but have COMPLETELY opposite views on this mess. Why? Personal motivations.

Rand Paul was raised by his father to be a huge civil liberties guy. Normally we could use more of them too. Sometimes, common sense has to balance civil liberties with social good.

Emily Langston runs the Infectious Disease Center at the University of Chicago. A) the more noise she makes about this, the more money her center will get from the government and private donors. B) Given her role, she probably sees every new outbreak in terms of an absolute worst case scenario.

“Experts” almost always run off of motivated self interest before anything else. Another example from this pandemic is that it’s being reported that the CDC was actually downplaying how dangerous this outbreak was at the beginning. They supposedly got blindsided by it and didn’t want to look ignorant. I’ve only heard a few unconfirmed reports here, but if true it explains where the White House and others were getting bad info from.

Just hit a search engine if you want to see how many times the CDC has dropped the ball before. Anybody recall they were all for e-cigarettes as a healthy alternative to smoking when that first started?

Partial Truths:

Keep in mind that no matter how bad any media outlet spins a story, there’s always going to be just enough truth to avoid having to admit they bald faced lied. What do I mean?

OK, let’s say there’s a news story about some EVIL person swooping into the local store and buying up their entire inventory of toilet paper. The story takes on a whole different light if that “entire inventory” was the last package they had, doesn’t it? Technically they reported accurately BUT would they have given a true picture in that scenario? I’ve seen the media go this far in other cases to create ratings. I always ask what I’m NOT being told anymore.

Half Quotes:

Another favorite tactic of the media. Politicians on both sides either benefit or suffer from the tactic’s use. It all depends on who is doing the reporting on whom. Reagan used to get misquoted by the media all the time regarding his proposed shutting down the Department of Education. They’d report that he wanted children to suffer. They ignored that what he actually proposed was sending the funding directly to the states instead, believing people closer to the issues knew better how to spend the money than bureaucrats in Washington DC.

Leaving Out Key Facts:

There’s no test kits and medical supplies!!! How often have you heard THAT exaggeration in the news? Well, they’re ALL manufactured in CHINA, right down to every antibiotic that’s sold in the US. Anybody see a problem here? Anybody hear that fact reported, or is it all blaming the government and evil corporations?

Manipulative and Misleading Language:

I’ll finish this up with this one last major tactic. The media, politicians, corporations and PR firms, and some of the more manipulative individuals out there all pull this trick. Manipulative language is everywhere

One story on MSN’s home page talked about how the number of deaths from COVID-19 *SOARED* in the US. It sounds so dramatic doesn’t it? Virus spreading everywhere, no one is safe! If you look at the numbers though, we’re at 600 deaths nationwide. In a population of 330 million, that’s a pretty damned small number.

Again, let’s follow the advice out there and keep that number small. Be kind to your fellow bloggers and human beings too. Even when you know the facts, this is still a kind of scary situation.

BOTTOM LINE:

Be skeptical of anything the media tells you. Displaying personal bias and social engineering are seen as good things in the media today. Strong negative emotions = strong ratings also. No single source is going to get it all correct. It’s not enough to go to a source with a similar outlook also. If you like CNN, you’re only going to get the same info at MSNBC. You have to go to TownHall.com or Fox. The same is true of you flip the coin. Fox and talk radio slant the truth also. I catch them regularly. You have to look at and fact check both sides to find the more complete truth in the middle.

And for the love of humanity, DO NOT get your news from late night comedians or social media! Talk about fountains of misinformation and hysteria…

Chris Mathews is Gone…

My first “Tuesday Trash” post following my blog reorganization.

Chris Mathews abruptly resigned, errr… “Retired” from MSNBC at the start of his “Hardball” show last night.

For the record, I never cared for Chris as a journalist. His “thrill up my leg” comment about Obama’s election is just one easy example of how biased he was. NONE THE LESS, as with Trump, I feel compelled to defend him here. Fundamental honesty and fairness demand it.

Mathews “retired”, briefly making some vague remarks about inappropriate comments. Most folks are saying they believe that publicly this has something to do with him flirting with a co-worker or some woman. I’m not up on the exact details.

If this IS the case, the fact that multiple female frequent guests to his show have jumped to his defense says ALOT. I’ve said in previous posts that I feel we’re losing something in this society when we can’t even compliment a person of the opposite sex on their looks, clothing, or casually flirt. I do STRONGLY differentiate flirting from sexual harassment as well. The difference SHOULD be common sense.

At the very least, “flirting” stops when the other party clearly says “Stop, not interested”. Somehow, we’ve gotten to the point that we have to protect people from the need to speak up. If you think about it, THAT only dis-empowers them. If you’re a feminist, the idea that you’re too weak to say “Sorry, not interested” should be repugnant.

All of this assumes the alleged flirting is even the issue.

Many people are also speculating that Chris Mathews was pushed into retirement over his criticism of Bernie Sanders, and anything else is just an excuse. This would NOT surprise me. MSNBC has been going more and more hard core socialist Left in it’s views.

That is all the more reason MSNBC needed somebody like Chris Mathews. I don’t think he’d give a person on the Right a fair shake to save his life. HOWEVER, he was more honest than most on his network about the pluses and minuses of various left-wing issues and people. He served as a balance to the extremists and kept the network better anchored with moderate liberals.

Now that’s gone. What’s worse is that IF it was a Bernie issue, we’re talking about a freedom of speech issue from an organization that no longer seems to realize it’s existence thrives on that same freedom.