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Yesterday was a bad day for Journalism

b52fc1ea81c221507536aafb47194ff9You know, eight years ago, I gave up on most media sources for news because of the god awful way Hillary Clinton was covered during the 2008 primary. The straw on the camel’s back in 2008 was Keith Olbermann’s clumsy and menacing suggestion that maybe someone take Hillary into a room and only one person come out (presumably not Hillary) to get her to drop her fruitless pursuit of the Democratic party’s nomination for president. That was it for me. I’d put up with Chris Matthews gossipy guy at the block party schtick and Andrea Mitchell’s robotic maliciousness. Olbermann was a bridge too far.

This year, I dipped my toe back in the media coverage of the presidential campaign by listening to CNN on TuneIn on my iPhone while I walked back and forth to the bus from work. Much of it was the same old “both sides do it” crap that I remembered last time Hillary ran. I figured that that is always going to be the noise in the signal and was looking for some indication that journalism was finally starting to get a clue and realize how important it is that they do the right thing this year.

Yesterday disabused me of that notion. It is a day that should live in infamy.

It started for me with Brianna Keiller aggressively questioning a Hillary surrogate, a Senator, over the “appearance of a conflict of interest” with respect to Hillary’s actions as Secretary of State and the Clinton Foundation.

Then I saw a similar confrontation on Twitter between Chuck Todd and a Clinton surrogate on the same topic where Todd was breathless about the shocking “optics” of the Clinton Foundation donors presuming to contact Hillary at the State Department.

I was starting to feel my blood pressure creep up and was going to pack it in for the night when a tweet showed up that Anderson Cooper was going to talk to Hillary in the next hour. Well, that got delayed for one reason or another and I fell asleep with CNN on again.

Early in the morning, I heard one of the CNN hosts talking to Nicholas Kristoff of the NYTimes. Now, I normally like Kristoff and you would think that he and Hillary share many of the same interests, especially when it comes to sex trafficking of women. You’d thing that the empathy that Kristoff displays in his writing on this topic could be extended to the good work that the Clinton Foundation does providing AIDS drugs for poor people around the world, some of whom might have been some of those girls sold into sexual slavery.

You would be wrong.

What I heard was Nick Kristoff dropping what can only be his “life cause” facade to talk about how baaaaad the AP’s irresponsible and inaccurate report on the chummy ties between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department looks for Hillary. The optics look bad even though he acknowledges that the actual facts show that nothing improper happened. Then he said something that makes me think that the media has completely lost the plot and is playing a very dangerous game.

He said that this issue came up in 2009 during Clinton’s confirmation hearings, which I remember well. I remember that Dick Cheney didn’t have to make such outrageous and impossible promises about Halliburton. I can’t remember anyone rigorously enforcing Bush’s blind trusts or making a big deal out of them. No, but I do remember Hillary getting grilled on the Clinton Foundation and watching her bend over backwards to accommodate the impossible standards of the Republicans.

But none of that mattered to Kristoff because Hillary should have known that the media was going to bring this up and make an international incident over anything having to do with the Clinton Foundation. She should have known that the media would be relentless and vicious about it. She should have known that the only reasonable thing to do would be to shut the foundation down back in 2009 so that there would be absolutely no appearances whatsover of impropriety no matter how many lives were being saved in Africa.

Nick evolved into whining about it like he was feeling put out having to feel guilty about it. She should have known they were going to be assholes.

It sounded to me like Hillary wore her skirts too short.

That’s it. I’m done. I can’t listen to this shit anymore. These “journalists” are not taking this seriously. They are letting personal feelings, high school personality culture and sexism drive their coverage this year. I can’t take anymore of it.

They should all be ashamed of themselves.

 

 

Sunday: Happy Father’s Day!

Round up your dad, or a reasonable facsimile, and treat him nicely today.  If my dad were still around, I’d take him to a baseball game.  I love to go to the local minor league team games and swill beer all afternoon.  At the Somerset Patriots park in Bound Brook, NJ, you can get Sam Adams or Bass Ale and kick back with a bag of peanuts to watch tubby suburbanites make complete fools of themselves between innings.  Loads of fun.

If I were in Pittsburgh, I’d be mourning the last day that Iron City Beer was produced in the city.  Iron City, pronounced Arn City, is moving to Latrobe, PA.  The company owes the water company some ridiculous amount of money and sold the facility to pay it off.  (So, THAT’S what explains its unique “flavor”.)  You’ll still be able to get Iron City during a Pirates game, if you really want to, (it’s like lutefisk.  Tradition)  but it won’t be authentic somehow.  But who knows, maybe Latrobe water will make it taste better.

Anyway, if baseball and beer are not your dad’s cup of tea and you don’t do ice-cream, maybe you’d rather spend some money on the world in your dad’s name.  We have two suggestions for you.

First up, you can check out the Clinton Foundation.   It’s doing work all over the world to address climate change, HIV/AIDS and sustainable development.  In the present financial environment, big donors are cutting back on their charitable giving (thank you Bernie Madoff).  The Clinton Foundation has done some really wonderful work and it would be a shame if money became the limiting reagent.  Maybe some of us small donors can step up and make up the difference.  If you donate today, you can send your dad an e-card to show him what a good thing you did with your allowance.

Second, check out The Confluence’s team page on Kiva.  Kiva is a microlending organization that assists small entreprenuers internationally and in the US.  You can lend in increments of $25.00.  That’s little more than a yuppie food stamp.  And your donations combined with others will add up very quickly.  When the loan is paid off, you can turn that money around and lend it out again.  It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Money’s tight during the summer, what with camps and stuff.  But I can cough up a few bucks for these organizations and feel pretty good about my Father’s Day.  If Daddy were still here, he’d say, “You’re alright, kid, I don’t care what they say.”


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