Today, the commentary starts out with a two-question quiz. Which one of the four workers listed below does NOT fit with the rest? And which two are the most closely related?
- A. Investigative reporter
- B. News anchor
- C. Hollywood actor
- D. Newspaper columnist
I am guessing that most would say “actor” since the other three are all in the journalism profession. A reasonable answer, but if my correct answer was so obvious I would not have created the quiz.
In my class, the odd person out is the investigative reporter. None of the other three are required to dig for facts. Columnists mostly take the work of investigative reporters and offer analyses and opinions based on their beliefs and biases. My commentaries are no different. The most closely related are the Hollywood actor and the News anchor. Both are mostly script readers – and that comparison is the subject of this commentary.
At times, I think the anchors and hosts should be pitied rather than scorned. As script readers, they may be as victimized by the biased input of their producers as we are. Why else would CNN’s Chris Cuomo make a fool of himself by denying the existence of voter fraud? Who wrote that into his script?
Anchors do not write what they read off the teleprompters. Because their performance is so good, many may not realize that much of the verbiage is being read. I do not say this as a theory or an outside observer but has a person who has appeared on hundreds of newscasts. In the days when citizens were allowed on-air rebuttals, I also read from the script on the teleprompter, but the BIG difference was that I wrote the words. Anchors do not.
I will admit that anchors do ad lib – as do actors. The news folks often morph from an objective moderator to a partisan combatant. On these occasions, the anchors still do not meander too far from the preconceived storyline – the script, the narrative or the spin – created by the producer. It is the same when an actor ad libs. He or she does not break the theme of the scripted storyline.
The news you see on television is the work of the producers, who function more like movie directors. They choose the stories to be aired – or censor those not aired. They direct the writers. They select the panelists to provide juxtaposing arguments if they are honest and ethical, or they select only panelists who are prepared to follow their biased script of they are unethical.
Think of people like Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota on CNN and virtually every anchor at MSNBC. They go with what is put before them. Even when news anchors are on screen, producers are directing the script through earpieces or on mini screens. This is not to say that they do not share the bias.
The casting bias is most obvious on CNN and MSNBC. They create an artificial balance with hardcore never-Trump panelists who are mostly has-been Republicans and conservatives. Rather than presenting counterpoints, these folks sell out their party and their philosophy for face time on national television. Among the most egregious of the false flag political commentators are the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol, former Republican National Chairman Michael Steele, former Senator John McCain advisor Stephen Schmidt and one-time Rand Paul advisor Elise Jordan.
Conversely, FOX News has been objectively proven that they live up to their “fair and balanced” slogan. FOX covers more stories and is more likely to have real opposing views on major subjects. This is not a matter of partisan opinion, but studies that analyze the balance of negative and positive reports, the ratio of proponents and opponents, the time devoted to stories with a one-directional spin. While CNN claims to be “the most trusted name in news,” their ratings do not support that contention.
Of course, these script readers do not live 24/7 in the newsroom, so it is fair to see how their general experiences may impact on their professional conduct. To the extent that they follow the news from other sources, it is clear that they rely heavily on the New York Times and the Washington Post – two publications that are constantly represented in every discussion on CNN and MSNBC. The script readers are also part of the very liberal New York Democrat social scene in which they are reinforced by the echoes of their own broadcasts.
All of this is the east coast liberal bubble that we conservatives worry about and most Americans – who hold a very low opinion of the national news media — disdain. News is developed by inhabitants of the bubble, for habitants of the bubble.
One of the reasons the bumbling shallow Will Ferrell is so funny in the movie Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy is because – like all satire — there is a recognizable element of truth in the characterization.
Mayors play politics rather than solve problems
Several Democrat mayor-members of the United States Conference of Mayors have skipped a meeting with President Trump that was scheduled to discuss matters of transportation and infrastructure. Those placing politics over policy naturally include New York’s hardcore leftist Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel. Nothing new there. The excuse for skipping the meeting according to a statement by New Orleans Democrat Mayor Mitch Landrieu is that the leaders of our major cities – you know, the ones with crumbling infrastructure, crappy schools for minorities, busted budgets, high taxes, unsustainable pensions and the list goes on – had their feelings hurt because the Department of Justice is going to punish cities that violate federal laws by serving as safe havens (sanctuaries) for illegal aliens, including the criminal element.
If de Blasio, Emmanuel, Landrieu and the other chief executives of failing cities were really interested in solving urban problems, they would be eager to meet with the President to express their opinions on transportation and infrastructure – and raise the sanctuary city issue if they like. But whether it is a sit-in on the floor of Congress, Wisconsin Democrats hiding in Illinois to shut off the business of the state legislature (Did you forget that one?) or shutting down the federal government for purely political reasons, Democrats seem to have a propensity to walk off the job and pout on the sidelines when there is serious business to be conducted.
Every one of these mayors have their hands out for federal money. “Discussing transportation and infrastructure” is a political euphemism for “how much money can we get out of Uncle Sam.” What, in God’s name, do these mayors gain for their cities by not showing up for work and kicking sand in the face of the guy who signs the federal checks?
Keep in mind that these city executives are mostly from the same political party that has been assuring Americans that they are all for stronger borders and legal immigration. Methinks their actions put the lie to their words.
Soaking Uncle Sam
According to a leaked White House memorandum, President Trump’s infrastructure plan sets aside one-half of $1 trillion as grant money for a broad range of urban infrastructure projects, including highways, water treatment, bridges and almost any other project a city or town may desire. These grants will fund 20 percent of the cost of the projects proposed by the states and cities.
This 20 percent provision has the progressive governors and mayors – who see Washington as the spender of the first resort – to squeal (appropriately) like pigs. The administration outline would require the states and cities to put up most of the money for their own unique projects. This, the governors and mayors bleat, might require them to raise taxes.
The progressives are playing the public for fools. Does not the federal money come from … taxes? It is more than just a matter of who raises the taxes. Money taxed and spent locally is three times more efficient than money taken by Uncle Sam and sent back to the states or cities. And since all of Uncle Sam’s money comes from taxes and borrowing, we the taxpayer are actually paying MORE to have Uncle Same pay for local streets and bridges than if we taxed locally. The more the federal government pays for things for states and cities, the greater the burden on the taxpayers.
Of course, governors and mayors love to get money from Uncle Sam and claim it “saves” the local taxpayers a lot of money. In fact, it cost all the local taxpayers MORE money to route the money through Washington. The more efficient and taxpayer friendly system is to have as little as possible paid for by the federal government.
This is worth repeating. Sending money to Washington just to be rerouted back to the states and cities costs us taxpayers a lot more than paying through local taxes.
Of course, governors and mayors take great pride in announcing grants from Uncle Sam, claiming they are saving the taxpayers money. At the same time, the politicians in Washington take bows for sending money back home. In this process, the taxpayers are getting fleeced big time. It is a shell game that has been making suckers of the taxpayers for generations.
In doling out so much money to the states and cities, Uncle Sam has his own dirty little secret. Rather than actually paying for all those rebates to states and cities with today’s tax money, Uncle Sam borrows forty percent of it, pushing off the burden on future taxpayers – our children. They are violating the concept of taxation without representation that was the cornerstone of our Declaration of Independence.
Certainly, Uncle Sam can cover the cost of building and maintaining the interstate highway system and the bridges that are part of that system. However … states should tax and pay for the state highway systems, and cities should tax and pay for local streets and bridges – along with most other infrastructure. Under such a system, we can reduce our federal taxes by $3 for every additional $1 taxed locally. States should ONLY pay for what cities cannot and Uncle Sam should ONLY pay for what states and cities cannot.
The big government progressives do not like this idea because it would drastically diminish the size and cost of the federal government – the foundation of their authoritarian principles.
Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and political issues. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, and he has served as a consultant to the White House under Presidents Nixon and Reagan. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress and lectured at Harvard University, Northwestern University, Florida Atlantic University, Knox College and Hope College. An award winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at email@example.com.