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Paper Trails

Biased newspapers in trouble. Plus: Are all Republicans RINOs? What makes a priest? And more.

12.5.05

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JOURNALISM UNVEILED
Re: Paul Chesser's Entitled to Survival:

Well....yes. But Chesser doesn't deal with the biggest problem of most newspapers and that is that they don't tell their readers the truth. They have a narrative of reality and they either shape stories to that narrative -- Katrina being a classic case -- or they don't cover the event.

I am unable to say whether newspapers have gotten more biased or whether they have always been as biased as they are now and we only now -- with the Web -- have the means to see it. I suspect that newspapers that fill a real need -- like the Wall Street Journal -- will continue to flourish. We are actually getting more papers in New York City than we used to have, with the resuscitated New York Post and the new New York Sun. So we will be well served as the New York Times takes on more and more water.

Journalism has, with some notable exceptions, become a left-wing hotbed. And the left has a big, big problem -- its view of reality is false. Reality keeps crashing through, but the press goes on as if nothing had happened. Well one thing is going to happen -- people are going to stop reading it.

Whether we knew or not in the past, now we know when they are not telling us the truth. That is what has changed.
-- Greg Richards

Amen! The news media is self destructing! It isn't bloggers who are destroying them -- it is the access to the Internet which provides the ability to read the news from all over the United States and the world. The one thing I give bloggers credit for is providing links to documents in question, rather than just quoting as the news media does. That eliminates the ability to leave interpretation to a "journalist."

So the news media is interested in making a profit? How about that! Then I suggest they provide a better service. Oh and by the way, a Pulitzer Prize doesn't mean crap to ordinary citizens! It's very much like Hollywood patting itself on the back for their outrageous performances they call art.
-- Ruth Skidmore
Plymouth, California

Let me start out saying I am a squirrel rehabber, so you can see where this is going. The Houston Chronicle is so liberal I stopped taking it years ago, but recently they had a very nice special running for ten-week subscription, so I got in on it, just to use the paper for cage liners. I spend about an hour each morning on line catching up with what is going on in the world, then turn Fox News on.
-- Elaine Kyle

FOUND OUT
Re: Jed Babbin's What I Expect to Find:

First, I would like to wish Jed a safe trip to the war zone. Next, I would like to comment on certain matters bugging me and my fellow conservatives in the cold north here. Like Ken Shreve, I am tired of being the boogeyman for the RINOs in the Republican Party because we happen to base our principles on a higher authority than public opinion polls or the MSM. We are the ones who put Bush in office and most of those other liberal GOPers. We are the ones who are supporting the War on Terror consistently. What do we get for our loyalty? We get some person who is more concerned about public perception than what is right and the first ones they diss are the "right wingers" in the party. Well friends, it isn't us "right wingers" who have made a shambles of Bush's policies. It was the turncoat RINOs who put power above all else. I'm speaking of the Chafees, Snowes and yes, the McCains of this "party." If Bush was more consistent himself to his Christian principles and stopped trying to please the lefties more than his true supporters, his policies would be much easier to defend. If we had a Congressional majority that acted like the majority instead of a bunch of scared quislings, we would have a national consensus that would have presented a united front against our enemies in the present war. We would have a MSM that would be totally irrelevant in the national debate on policy and our warriors would be able to do their jobs without the added burden of fighting a PR war against an enemy more hostile to them than Islamic terrorists and that is the MSM, Hollywood wonkies, and weak-kneed RINOs. Support the troops? You [guys] need more support for your own backbones, those that have one.

Yes, there are a lot of us who are right of center, who would like to sit out the next election cycle and let the losers come back into power. However, we have 160,000 warriors in harm's way who will be hurt too much by that turn of events. However, once they are safe back home, you weak-kneed spineless dolts in the Republican Party just might find yourselves out to pasture because unlike Vietnam, we aren't going to let you get away with this. 'Nuff said.
-- Pete Chagnon

After America wins in Iraq, which it will, there will be a re-visitation of the reasons we lost when we could have won in Vietnam. Democrats and a liberal, helpful media will be clearly identified as those reasons. The fact that the media cannot be trusted to tell us the unbiased truth will seep into every American pore to the depth that the loss in Vietnam has. They are inseparable facts. No one believes the news anymore. It's not just the papers that are in trouble.
-- Allen Hurt

RINOS SWEEPING THE LAND
Re: George Neumayr's Kennedy Republicans:

Of course, ladies and gentlemen, you had to be blind, deaf, dumb and stupid not to see this coming. Ahhnold is as big a RINO as you will find, with the exception of the good senator from Arizona, John McCain. Oh, and maybe Lincoln Chafee and Olympia Snowe. And others.

It all leads me to sit and ponder the question, "What the hell is wrong with the Republicans?" This is supposed to be the ruling political party and yet they kow-tow to the Dummycrats at every turn. To quote Ann Coulter from her most recent article: "I don't know what Republicans imagine they're getting out of all this love they keep throwing at the Democrats." And of course, the GOP refused to support Ohio Congresswoman Jean Schmidt after her pointed comment to senile-dementia patient and part-time Rep. John Murtha about how "cowards cut and run, Marines never do," which led to her vilification by the Dums.
-- Jim Bjaloncik
Stow, Ohio

DAILY CHRISTMAS
Re: Lisa Fabrizio's The Ghosts of Christmas Presence:

Founding father Benjamin Franklin was asked why so many people celebrate Christmas. His reply, "It's easier for them to celebrate his birthday than it is to keep his commandments."

John 15:10: If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.

Insert the negative: If you do not keep My commandments, you will not abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.

Is there a command for Christmas? No. We are to spend every day acknowledging his death, burial, and resurrection. When man adds to or takes away from the scriptures, trouble ensues…
-- Kevin. W
Morgantown, West Virginia

ID READING
Re: Tom Bethell's Politically Incorrect Science:

Just want to put in my two-cent's-worth on the debate of evolution vs. intelligent design. To properly appreciate the immensity of the history of our planet and the evolution of the species which have and do populate it, read a very interesting albeit fictional book by Stephen Baxter entitled Evolution. Be forewarned; it is hardback with 564 pages of rather small print and there is now a paperback edition with 672 pages quite a bit cheaper on Amazon.com. But it covers 2000 million years of the earth's history, and I particularly found its explanation of the virtual extinction of the dinosaurs of interest.

Oh yes, I guarantee you will never watch a monkey throwing excrement in quite the same way as you now do.
-- Bob Johnson
Bedford, Texas

AIDS BENEFIT
Re: Rick Skeean's letter (under "Off Track") in Reader Mail's Cross Borders and Tom Bethell's Politically Incorrect Science:

Rick Skeean wrote, in reply to Tom Bethell's article: "My major beef though, is Mr. Bethell's allusion to his apparent opinion that AIDS is not caused by HIV."

Perhaps I misinterpreted Bethell's point, or maybe Mr. Skeen and did, that African AIDS is a diagnosis often made in the absence of HIV. In other words, an unfortunate African who is diagnosed with AIDS is left to die, because there is no cure, thus preserving precious health care resources -- the fruits of socialized medicine.

Also in the article, Tom Bethell writes of the musings of Ray Kurzweil, Bill Joy and Stephen W. Hawking, that perhaps in the future, computers will be so advanced that they'll take on consciousness. Maybe these guys have explained Intelligent Design. Maybe we were designed by a superior race of beings. Instead of working in silicon, the medium of their art was molecular. Turning on our creators, our forefather brutes slaughtered them off and now we grope in the darkness for our origins. Even the materialists at the University of Kansas' Religious Studies department could be comfortable with this theory of Intelligent Design.
-- Dan Martin
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

VATICAN BARKS, SANS BITE
Re: Patrick O'Hannigan's Fighting Tendencies:

I have bitten my tongue -- and counted to 10 -- yet I cannot help but respond to Patrick O'Hannigan's valiant, but incomplete, effort to describe the recent Vatican protocol dealing with the ordination of homosexual -- I refuse to use the buzzword, "gay" -- priests.

The late pope, John Paul II, was quoted as saying that a man (or woman) should be judged not only by what he does, but also by what he fails to do. The failure of the past pope to respond to the "lavender mafia's" baleful influence in Catholic seminaries is beyond cavil, but the issue is so intertwined with the reality of Catholic life that it has become necessary, nay, mandatory, to deal with it. Mr. O'Hannigan's approach is to evaluate those who wish to criticize, delay, and/or squash such a program of action. Andrew Sullivan, William Saletan, et al., are to be found in great abundance in the mainstream media. The real issue here is who cares what they think? But there are other issues as well.

The operative questions, simply put, are these: does the Catholic Church, which calls homosexuality "objectively disordered," wish to have candidates for the priesthood who are so inclined? If the answer is "no," then is the recent papal proclamation sufficient to deal with that problem? As a traditional Catholic, I happen to believe that the proclamation will do precious little to resolve the issue. To begin with, the "prudential judgment" selection criterion affords seminary officials the ability to admit homosexually inclined candidates, because the subjective criteria can be easily manipulated. Second, if you accept past Church teaching, then for the first time in Church history, past acts, including sodomy, will not be considered an impediment, per se, to the road to ordination. This is a recipe for future disaster and simply boggles the mind - at least mine. But there is a still further problem, about which I've written before in these pages: the likelihood of enforcement of the decree.

For nearly fifteen years, "Ex Corde Ecclesia" (From the Heart of the Church), John Paul's decree about teaching Catholic doctrine at Catholic colleges (emphasis mine) has been ignored by the more than 250 bishops in these United States, with results that can only be described as scandalous. If the past in prologue, it is likely that the recent papal "pronunciamento" will be shelved in a similar fashion by the overwhelming majority of U.S. bishops, again with disastrous results. A future history of the Church will point to these bishops as failing to serve their flock, for which they will be judged not by what they did, but by what they did not do.
-- Vincent Chiarello
Reston, Virginia

A HISTORY OF ACTIVISM
Re: Lawrence Henry's The Stories We Get Told:

"The Stories We Get Told" author Lawrence Henry gets it very wrong.

It is likely that David Parker did not move to Lexington in order to push his religious views onto the public schools. However, David Parker and his wife Tonia are not just parents; they are activists against same-sex families. Mr. Parker has spoken at rallies around New England against same-sex unions and advocating parental notification of any discussion of same-sex families that occur in the public schools.

Mr. Parker does support changing the public schools to accommodate his and others religious beliefs that gays are sinners and that gay families and their children should not be recognized on an equal footing with other family constructs. Mr. Parker is peaceful and articulate, but does have an agenda. He was active far before April '05 in advocating against same-sex families. Parker is very active in Lexington politics advocating replacing the school board with those that are more inclined to restrict recognition of gay families.

Mr. Parker's rallies in Lexington are attended by a handful of Lexington residents and a majority of activists from outside Lexington. The primary organizer of the rally was the anti-gay activist, Brian Camenker out of Newton, Mass. The so-called "counter demonstration" Mr. Henry speaks of was a rally in support of the schools and takes the opposite view of Parker, i.e., that all families are welcome in Lexington. The participants in support of the schools had hundreds of town residents, few if any participated from outside of Lexington. Mr. Parker's supporters numbered fewer than 50. There were no "nasty confrontations" whatsoever at the event from either side.

Mr. Parker was arrested not for his viewpoint, but because he would not leave the school grounds, i.e., for trespassing. He was there over two hours after the school had closed! The Massachusetts notification law that Mr. Henry writes about does not apply to discussions of family constructs. Mr. Henry is way off base here.

So, Mr. Henry, you need to do your homework, not just piece things together from blogs.
-- Mathew Niebhur

TURNOFF
Re: James Bowman's review of Syriana:

Just wanted to give a heads-up that A&E had a "special" on Syriana earlier. Seemed to contain the usual left-wing dogma about USA oil consumption (25% of the world -- a bad thing, of course), the Big Oil Companies' profits ($32.5B -- a very bad thing), and other items. Perhaps you'll be able to check it out yourself. I had to turn it off after approx 15 minutes -- I couldn't take it anymore.
-- Dana Stahl
Sandusky, Ohio

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