Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Left Controls What You Read, See and Hear

* I suspect my friends on the left would dispute the title of this post, or, in the alternative, think it is a good thing. If you hold one of those positions I would urge you to read on.

* Most Americans would undoubtedly believe that the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA)is a positive check on abusive government power, giving the public access to previously undisclosed government action. Yet, the 3/21/14 Investor's Business Daily reports that the Center for Effective Government gives about 1/2 of federal agencies the grade of "F" for compliance with the FOIA. So why have we not heard more complaints from the mainstream media about their reduced access? The IBD also reported that Michelle Obama banned the press from her recent China trip, which happened to be at taxpayer expense. The IBD further reported that the US fell to 46th place in the rankings for press freedom. Where is the outcry?

* One does not do well to speak out against Obama. Remember how Dr. Ben Carson was audited by the IRS for the first time in his life, after criticizing the ACA at the National Prayer Breakfast? Or how about the attacks on Bob Woodward for daring to criticize Obama? Not to mention the mistreatment of the Tea Parties during the last election. And the 3/21/14 IBD article quotes a Baltimore Sun reporter, David Zurawik, about how he was treated for his criticisms of Obama. Said Zurawik: "I have been comparing Obama to Nixon in his disdain for the First Amendment and a free press since 2009, and mainly all I got was attacked - often from long-time colleagues in the media who couldn't believe the object of their political affection could have such contempt for them." (Were the attacks on Zurawik any different than the attacks on this writer by the two attorneys as discussed in my last post?) The mainstream media aids and abets in Obama's attack - on them!

* Sharyl Attkisson was, until recently, an investigative reporter at CBS. She recently told Bill O'Reilly: "As I felt we were beginning to scratch the surface (on Benghazi)...interest was largely lost on the part of the people that decide what goes on the news." Today on Fox, Attkisson said this: "There is pressure coming to bear on journalists for just doing their job in ways that have never come to bear before." Never before Obama - at least not during her career. Anybody remember Obama promising us the most "transparent" presidency ever? Just don't try to cross him. Nixon? Apparently small time compared to Obama. Part of the reason for that, of course, is the media grilled Nixon, and willfully ignores the sins of Obama.

* Attkisson went on to say, with regards to the tensions between the White House and the press, that the White House has been "particularly aggressive under the Obama Administration, and it's a campaign that's very well organized and it's designed to have sort of a chilling effect, and to some degree has been somewhat successful in getting broadcast producers who don't really want to deal with the headache of it." Imagine if Ben Bradlee of the Washington Post did not want to deal with the "headache" of Watergate, then being investigated by reporters Woodward and Bernstein.

* American universities are no better at assuring an open discussion of issues. Brandeis University had invited Ayaan Hirsi Ali to receive an honorary degree at this year's commencement ceremonies. Following protests by faculty, students and others, Brandeis uninvited Ms. Ali. Ms. Ali was born a Muslim in Somalia. She is now an outspoken critic of Islam, and a vocal proponent of the rights of women and girls. Had she been allowed to speak, she would have mentioned "...that violence against women is also increasing. In Saudi Arabia, there has been a noticeable rise in the practice of female genital mutilation. In Egypt, 99% of women report being sexually harassed and up to 80 sexual assaults occur in a single day...In Iraq, a law is being proposed that lowers to nine the legal age at which a girl can be forced into marriage. That same law would give a husband the right to deny his wife permission to leave the house." (Quote from an article in the 4/11/14 Wall Street Journal by Ms. Ali discussing what she would have said at Brandeis.)

* Ordinarily, such a speech defending the rights of women and girls would be welcome at any college campus in this country - unless you happen to be criticizing anything Muslim. As this writer has previously noted, every favored left-wing group (whether it be women, blacks, Hispanic or others) falls by the wayside when held up against anything Islamic.

* And speaking of Islam, the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University thought it was important to put out a media guide entitled: "Islam for Journalists: A Primer on Covering Muslim Communities in the U.S." What? The mainstream media isn't sufficiently politically correct - they need a guide to make sure that they remain "pure," at least with regards to Islam. The guide tells journalists that "It is inaccurate to use the term (jihad) simply as a synonym for violence." Jihad is a "struggle for G-d." So how come we always hear about that struggle in connection with violent attacks, mostly on civilians? (Quotes from the 4/10/14 IBD.) According to the IBD, the guide tells journalists that Hamas opposes jihad (I suppose they mean the violent kind, but seriously?). The guide also says that "in the Quran, men and women are equal," and that "men are instructed to support their wives in all respects." I think we can agree that Ms. Ali would differ. I guess the Muslim countries of the world need no longer concern themselves with getting the UN to pass a resolution banning criticism of Islam worldwide (something they have been attempting to get passed). It looks like the West is happy to voluntarily forgo any and all criticism of Islam.

* The press, of course, just cannot tolerate political speech. As with the Citizens United case, they are upset by the Supreme Court decision in McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission. The Court struck down the $123,200. contribution limit for a single election cycle. ($48,600. for federal candidates and $74,600. for other political committees.) Said John Roberts for the majority (it was a 5-4 decision): "There is no right more basic in our democracy than the right to participate in electing our leaders." (The limits on contributing to any single candidate remain in effect.) The New York Times saw it differently, saying the decision was "...less about free speech than about giving those few people with the most money the loudest voice in politics." Ironic, is it not, that the NY Times does not equate "voice" with "speech." In any event, the Times does not mean it. All they are really concerned about is limiting conservative speech. Otherwise, they might complain about unions vast donations to Democrat candidates. Or the Open Society Foundation (George Soros' group) giving $58 million to left wing groups in 2011. Or that Soros gave over $10 billion over the last 30 years. That's $333 million per year. (Contribution figures from the 4/3/14 IBD.)

* Complained the NY Times: "Thanks to Wednesday's decision (in McCutcheon), the interests of the very few wealthiest Americans - which differ significantly from those of most Americans - will now get even more outsize consideration by legislators." So, remind me again, exactly who was going to all those $35,000. a plate dinners held by Obama during the last 6 or 7 years? I certainly was not attending those dinners; nor was anyone that I know. I guess it was a bunch of wealthy Americans whose interests differ from mine. Why wasn't that a problem for the NY Times?