My monthly multi-topic visit with you starts with some comments on news media performance—too much of which fails to answer obvious questions and/or is tilted to the left.
On a recent day, I found examples—too many examples—of this kind of media performance in a single issue of The Omaha World-Herald and a single KETV newscast.
A good many of the newspaper examples could be blamed on sources other than The World-Herald, but not so for the Channel 7 malperformance which could be blamed on local staff, including a veteran news reader who said two convicted murderers “will spend the rest of their lives behind bars.”
I thought it was common knowledge that so-called “life sentences” very often prove to be less than life sentences.
UNO Has Two Campuses You See
The Channel 7 broadcast also spoke for several minutes about a student housing fire “on the UNO campus,”—not disclosing that it was not on the Dodge Street campus (which comes immediately to mind when the reference is simply to “the UNO campus”) but rather on the secondary campus, called the Ak-Sar-Ben or Scott campus, south of Elmwood Park.
The source of the fire was found to be a cigarette butt placed in a trashcan on a balcony outside one of the student housing units. I have not encountered in print or on a broadcast any answer to the obvious question: What effort has been made to identify and take action against the student who was smoking on the balcony, in clear violation of the rules forbidding smoking in the housing units or on the attached balconies?
An important unanswered question in another World-Herald story was this: Who would pay for the five “charter schools” which some parents are demanding?
There is also the unaddressed question of whether “charter schools” are an improvement over public schools.
Charter Schools Appeal Fading In Some Cities
Seventeen charter schools were recently closed in Columbus, Ohio, Kansas City abandoned publicly-financed charter schools and such schools are reportedly not doing well in Chicago, where the charter-school movement got its first nationally-spotlighted emphasis.
A number of examples of media malpractice carried in that single issue of The World-Herald were not the fault of the Omaha newspaper but of other news sources. For example:
A New York Times story carried this headline: “Children’s obesity rate plummeted 43%.”
All children? Exactly 43%? The answer obviously is “No.” How was the 43% figure determined? Obvious questions went unanswered in the New York Times story.
Keystone Pipeline Foes Use Natural Gas,
Gasoline? Tooth Fairy Doesn’t Bring Them.
I could cite other examples of media malpractice in a single newspaper issue, but let’s turn to another topic which was touched on in that same issue of The World-Herald:
A story reported continued opposition to the proposed Keystone Pipeline which would bring Canadian “tar sand” oil to this country for refining. There is much talk about the fear of leaks in the Keystone line.
Does Jane Kleeb, leader of BOLD Nebraska (isn’t that a clever name?) use gas to heat her home or use gasoline to drive a motor vehicle? If so, does she realize that natural gas and gasoline are delivered by pipelines? Pipelines which have a long history of safe operation.
Muslim Brotherhood Treated Sympathetically By Media?
Returning to another example of news media malperformance:
News reports from Egypt consistently depict the military government as having ousted a democratically-elected president supported by the Muslim Brotherhood.
The reports don’t mention that the ousted president had been elected with 51.3% of the vote and that in about a year he dissolved the elected parliament, opening the door to greater Muslim Brotherhood influence in the government.
So another example of Muslim performance (including the hatred between the Sunni and Shiite factions) which has helped keep the Middle East in violent turmoil for generations.
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‘Gay’ Mizzou Player A National Hero?
Too Much Publicity Hurts Gay Cause
Have you heard and read enough about the University of Missouri football player who is a homosexual? I have.
Why don’t “gays” understand that the best way to promote the fact that they are an increasingly acceptable part of society is to get on with their lives instead of spending so much time celebrating their sexual preference or at least talking so much about it?
“Gay Pride” parades and others celebrations are counterproductive, it seems to me, if the homosexual and lesbian communities want to be accepted simply as a part of society with different sexual tastes.
Is ‘ObamaCare’ Mess Curable?
When will ObamaCare advocates admit to the basic mistakes made not just in the signup deadlines but in their failure to educate the American people as to what ObamaCare is and does?
When also will they concede that ObamaCare eligibility standards will, unless changed, leave a good many Americans worse off in terms of the extent and cost of their medical care coverage?
It would be a hotly controversial step, but I find myself more and more inclined to join those who advocate repealing the badly-misnamed “Affordable Care Act” and replacing it with a more carefully-constructed and realistically-crafted improvement in the way Americans pay for their medical care.
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Closing Thought: Medical Caregivers, Heal Thyselves
While on the subject of healthcare and having referred earlier to a report on reduced obesity among children, let me share with you some advice which I have given some of my friends at the University of Nebraska Medical Center:
Some of the fattest people you will ever see are wheeled in or waddle in for care at the Medical Center where, ironically, a substantial percentage of staff members are very obviously overweight.
The old saying, “Physician, heal thyself” comes to mind. I suggested to some of my friends at the Medical Center that there ought to be an effort to trim some of the fat off of staff members. So far, no visible results from my efforts.
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