Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Just Some Thoughts... Checking My Sanity

I've done quite a bit of thinking during the recent periods of time I've spent away from the keyboard.

Amongst those thoughts has been the truth of the fact that I don't want to be an ideologue. I do not wish to attach a permanent and unbending "R" to my political ideas, because I believe it is that myopic perspective that hinders growth and real progress in America.

We all should be open to the ideas of those with whom we typically disagree, and we should always be respectful of others, even when they can not behave in the same manner towards us.

Anyone who has read the comments section here on this blog knows I make every effort to uphold this standard; I have had more than one left-leaning commenter here who was less than cordial, yet I've always made the effort to treat them in a way that I believe would make my parents proud.

With this in mind, I came home and watched about 30 minutes of coverage on MSNBC tonight, just to see what type of coverage they would offer.

With their bombastic, immature commentary by the people who are their pundits on a nightly basis, I'm in shock, but sadly not surprised.

This is the same network, mind you, that is praised by the left-leaners who inhabit blogs like Huffington Post and others. I wouldn't care too much about this, except that some people actually take what these "News Anchors" say, and take it seriously.

While the left may disagree with the opinions expressed by the likes of Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly, certainly they must see the truth in the fact that when Fox News covers news, they do so with Bret Baier, Chris Wallace, Shepherd Smith, and other hosts who are news anchors.

Fox News Channel then adds commentary from the pundits - the commentators, if you will. However, Fox News Channel would never allow Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity to anchor news coverage, and just tonight Bill O'Reilly has already made his appearance - as a guest commenter, not as an anchor.

None of what I have witnessed tonight will make me think any more about locking that "R" in place aside my political identity. Mind you, I said I am shocked, but not surprised. But it certainly does remind me to be very weary of anyone who is proud to attach a "D" next to their own politics, given the source from where it is possible that they gather their information.

And with that said... here's some fresh hot commentary from MSNBC, witnessed within the first 15-30 minutes I turned on the tube...

Chris Matthews, in discussing the Democrat Party's position through the evening?

"Alamo Stance."

And in discussion about the idea that Tea Party candidates like Christine O'Donnell won primaries:

"It's a joke, losing Mike Castle from the Republican Party. It's a joke."

Here, I must disagree. I'd rather know the face of my political opposition, than wonder who is my political opposition and if he exists within our own ranks.

About the Tea Party:

"The Tea Party has clearly been co-opted by the Republican Party."

Actually, this is nothing new - but on Election Night, to have this statement made by your "Anchors?"

Keith Olbermann, describing Rand Paul's margin at approximately 7:30pm EDT:

"Only a six percent plurality for Rand Paul"

Only six percent, mind you. Remember, Rand Paul is the guy MSNBC long ago declared a fringe lunatic, and these same people hosting tonight's election coverage as "news" have pounded the "Aqua-Buddha" theme repeatedly for weeks in an effort to disparage him.

Rachel Maddow:

"The Republicans are the ones who are purging, from the edge. There are plenty of moderate Democrats out there. It's a purge, from the right, and the same thing is not happening on the left."

You know... I see her point, and this fact actually makes me happy. It was stated last night on some show I watched, "That Tail is going to wag the Dog," when it comes to the Freshmen Tea Party candidates being the people who will likely tell the "establishment" what is up in Congress.

I believe that's a good thing. Washington needs to be shaken up. I would rather have a bunch of fresh faces elected every cycle than to have happen what we've witnessed over the past 20 or so years.

And back to Chris Matthews;

"If, growing up, your name was Richard Armey, would you say, 'Call me Dick'"

Very mature, Mr. Matthews. This is the prime-time, full-scale election coverage on the NBC cable news network, the very same that will not have itself compared to Fox News Channel, and you're making "Dick" jokes?

And they're blasting Christine O'Donnell, making fun of Rand Paul, calling Dr. Paul "A genius compared to O'Donnell."

And of course... everybody on the Right who wins tonight is a "Republican, Tea Party candidate."

It's gonna be a long, long night at the Cable version of the Peacock News Network.


King of New York Hacks said...

Spot on. I subscribe to some smart youtubers to get real unbiased information, can't take the MSM anymore. Nice post WOS.

Soloman said...

Hey King - long time no see, glad you checked in!

Also glad to hear you see my thoughts as rational. You're in the belly of the beast, of sorts... God Bless ya, man!

Anonymous said...

Hey... It's your long lost brother from Cleveburg. You know I'm no fan of Fox News (or rather Faux Snooze as I've heard it said from your foes on the left side of the aisle) but, to each side his/her own. You also know that I'm not on either side of this war within America. I sway left on some issues and I sway right on others. However, to watch any news channel at all is appalling to say the least. MSNBC, CNN, Fox... they are all equally bad. They are in it for their own good. These so-called "news" organizations preach to their own. It's like throwing chum to sharks. What, you think a shark is going to swim away and not take a bite. Yeah, right. Not in this lifetime or any other. But at the same time you have to step back and ask… Why are they in it for their own good? Because this is America, Damn it! Where we can all have our own opinion and share it on any platform we see fit. They just so happen to get paid millions to do it on television 24/7/365.

Here's the good news. Each and every one of us Americans has the right to their own opinions, points of view, beliefs, what have you. If your opinions, point of view, or beliefs leaned the other way you'd think exactly the same of Fox as you do of MSNBC. I know many that have the same view from each side. Now, I have a better idea. Turn it all off and vote from your own conscience. Not from what some idiot on TV tells you to do. Not because someone in your church tells you to. Not because anyone but you tells you to. You do it because you want to and because it's what you believe. It's YOUR RIGHT to do so as an American.

It's late and I may have wandered a bit but you get the idea. Sorry for butting in. Back to your regularly scheduled program…

- Jeff

Soloman said...

Hey, long lost.. Part 1 of 2.

good to hear from you. And please... you never "butt in," you simply present an opinion and a perspective, and it's always welcome here.

You're right to some degree, but you missed the larger point, I think.

As I walked into my home tonight, I stepped outside my political beliefs and made myself an objective observer of news broadcasts.

I first turned on MSNBC - simply to see - again, as an objective observer, what kind of coverage they were offering. They offer themselves as "News Hour" even when they are presenting opinion shows, but I figured on such an important night they might have a news anchor moderating the discussion.

As a bit of insight as to why I did this - MSNBC took a lot of heat for their behavior during the runup to Obama's election. This same group of pundits was their "anchor" team for the debates, as well as during the party Conventions, and they were scorned by NBC - the parent company - for their partisan behavior. They were taken off the anchor desk for the election.

Fox has certain people who anchor their news broadcasts - like I said in the post - not Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity, but others. Real journalists who provide facts without opinion, and those same people anchor major news situations such as elections.

Now here's the rub:

An entire network on cable - an outlet of a once very proud news agency (NBC) allows its opinion show hosts - their equivalents to Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity - to anchor what is supposed to be opinion-less, "Just the facts" news.

But as they present the "facts" they also throw jabs at the political party with whom they disagree. This was their history as I described before, and again tonight I witnessed the same.

Therein lies my concern, because there is an entire class of people - mostly young, almost entirely Democratic Party leaning, many who consider Jon Stewart to be real news - who consider Maddow and Olbermann to be real news anchors, when they're simply not.

They - Olbermann, Maddow, Matthews - are opinion show hosts - no different than Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck, just from the other side of the political aisle.

At that point, when you put all these points together and see the big picture of what MSNBC is presenting on Election Night, it stops being about an opinion and "vote your conscience" and becomes about mis-information and partisanship - the very thing about which (rightly or wrongly) Fox News Channel receives so much criticism on a daily basis.

During everyday broadcasts of Glenn Beck or Hannity, that type of behavior - the partisan jabbing - is expected; it's the norm, if you will. The same can be expected from everyday broadcasts of Olbermann's or Maddow's show. No problem. Again - my issue is with the coverage of fact-based news, and to some extent, the unfair criticism received by Fox News, simply because they present stories that the rest of the media will not cover and they have opinion shows from a political perspective that is not liberal.

Soloman said...

Part 2 of 2...

I do understand what you mean when you say "from your own conscience," and I do. Always and forever.

I don't need Fox, CNN, BBC, NPR, or MSNBC or anyone else (including Glenn Beck) to tell me what I think or how to feel. I got that handled, all by myself.

I am also smart enough to see through the hyperbole offered by pundits on both sides.

I listen to what they offer.

Then I use Google and find the truth behind the overhyped story, that has "been brought to you by" E-Diets, Lexus, The Wall Street Journal or Goldline, "with news on the half-hour." (insert laughter here - I'm a funny guy!)

However, within some of the hyperbole provided by some names I know you don't like (again, I'll mention Glenn Beck), the truth about much of what is happening behind the scenes in American politics would not be out there for us to investigate and discover - for ourselves.

I feel the same about Olbermann and Maddow. If you pay attention and find the information behind the name-calling, some of what they are discussing is valuable information that We the People should pay attention to, especially those of us who vote. An uninformed electorate is dangerous, and an informed electorate will save our nation from disaster.

That goes for people left and right, young and old - educated in Ivy league schools, or High school drop-outs.

Glenn Beck - that name I know you disagree with so strongly - always asks his audience not to take his word for anything - but to do their own research and to verify and come to their own conclusions.

Sounds just like what you've suggested to me, does it not? Food for thought...

Anyway - I could go off on a Glenn Beck rant, but that's not the topic here. The topic is simply the fact that on this night, there is a level of professionalism expected of any network that calls itself news. And on this night, Fox has offered it an MSNBC has not, and for the sake of NBC News and its legacy, that's too bad.

Peace.. go #48...

Anonymous said...

I will always "butt in" because this is a place that I really don't want to be on a regular - or even irregular - basis. Interesting comments. But here's where I was coming from. No matter how you want to see things you are, by your current state of mind, going to see things from a very Republican point of view. For that very reason you see Fox the way you see it. I see them all the way that you see MSNBC. They are all idiots. Hired guns paid to preach to their own choir. There's really not much else to say about it. I do all of my own research and will absolutely never listen to any of the "news" people for this kind of info. News channels should all be about "news" and not politics. News channels are for weather and to see who shot who today. Not for the general spewing of opinion. Fox, MSNBC, and CNN are all equal in how much they spread their propaganda like a virus to infect us all. The comment I made in my previous post about throwing chum to sharks is dead on and cannot be denied by any of the networks. Whether from what you, of Fox, call their anchors or from their opinion show hosts. As long as you have your own set of opinions you will watch what you want to watch and listen to whom you want to listen. I think we should all step back and ignore them all. Before the news channels arrived to tell us all what they think the population had more values. More morals. Stronger belief systems. People went to work and talked about things. they went to church and learned about things. They had barbecues and talked about things. The early part of the previous century was spot on with how politics should be. Right up until the point where television started to come into the picture. Television was good for a few years. Then America went back to war and the news organizations became more and more involved and more entrenched in our homes. Television brought them right into our living rooms. Television, as radio was before it, came along as a form of entertainment. I guess in a way the news organizations have been sucked into the entertainment sector all on their own. Maybe they all belong on television. Who knows.
I do not like Glenn Beck or any of the other names on Fox. Equally, I do not like Olbermann or any of the other names on MSNBC. Same goes for CNN. Does anyone still watch CNN? All of the money paid to these people should be put into bettering our schools, or feeding people with less fortunate circumstances, or used to assist those in need of serious medical assistance. To share an opinion should not be a paid position. It should be something you do for free in your spare time. Unless… you are an entertainer which is what all of these people are. Plain and simple. They are here to consume time that people have because we all appear to have nothing better to do. Myself included. However, I choose to be entertained by Friday Night Lights, Parenthood, Castle, and a few other television programs that interest me.
So, with all that said, Enjoy your day. Hope it's a good one. I'm hoping for a better one here. One where people in my family's community can find a way to overcome another failed school levy. A levy that was last passed nearly 10 years ago for operating costs. The cost to keep schools open, to pay teachers, to pay for bussing, to pay for athletic programs, and to pay for arts programs. Operating costs that, like every other cost to people and businesses alike, have gone up significantly over the past decade. Our community is largely populated by people that have already been educated (or maybe not after last night's election results) but don't see any reason to properly educate those that are the future of this country. Our children. My children. It's a sad day for our community. Teachers will be cut. Classes will grow larger. Arts will be cut. Athletics will be pay-to-play. :(
Take care… Go #29!!!

Soloman said...

So much to say.. part 1 of 2 - again. You'd think I'd learn to shorten it up a bit? not..

I appreciate your reply to my comment, and will likely return to discuss some of your points tomorrow, but today I’m backing off politics a bit. I'm tired, and I'm going to tune it down early tonight after a late night of politics last night.

Sort of, anyway – I am going to throw one quick, easy, and common sense post up there in a few.

I’m going to offer a thought… from a thoughtful man; a man who was in a very similar political position some 16 years ago.

This man expressed tonight what I believe really needs to be the tone of the entire nation, as he discussed the changes in leadership about to take place in DC politics.

Check it if you’d like. No worries if you don't - I know it's not all your bag.

What I rail about when I rant on my blog, however, ultimately affects things like your school levy. Because when government won't stop spending on the wrong things, at all levels, it can not help people in need with the important things it really should be helping with - at any level.

Food for thought.

So to a totally different topic, here’s a though for you - Go #29, agreed. And even, yes even coming from me – go #11.

Go all three, as well as you can, and let these three races be the most exciting we have seen in the history of NASCAR. The sport needs it.
Regardless the winner, I’m hoping for three great races, and I’m hopeful that all three have a chance to win the championship right down to the very last restart at Homestead.

Sure I’m pulling most for Jimmie, but even I, the #48 fan, don’t really want him to pull away from Harvick and Hamlin somehow and end up almost locked as the champ as they enter Homestead.

That’s the one thing about his championships that I understand some fans have not enjoyed... you know what I mean.

I know people who otherwise are not Jimmie fans, people like you, for example, can have and probably do have appreciation for the scale of history team #48’s run has been.

Yet even I see, as much as anything else right now, the lack of a real competition The Chase has seemingly turned out to be, and the importance of a real competitive and dramatic battle for this year’s Cup.

Soloman said...

And the second act - hope you enjoyed your intermission...

The Chase format seems to have created something not good for the sport. Perhaps this has coincidentally happened at the same time - and because of, in part – an incredible run of skill and good fortune by one particular team.

Certainly we can’t blame the #48 team for this, and the team deserves no less consideration as champions than any other team, from any other era. Under the rules provided by the sanctioning body, they have won an unprecedented 4-in-a-row, and essentially all have been runaway margins. They’ve been dominant.

This year, this same team has shown weaknesses. The pit crew has been quite off the mark during this Chase, lagging well behind the stops of their competitors. The seemingly invincible pit crew and garage have been shown as vulnerable.

Actually, it’s the driver who has stepped up and become that extra special factor on team #48 this year. There’s no doubt Jimmie’s driving, in and of itself, has saved a couple of races this year, especially during The Chase.

So what I’m getting at is that if Jimmie loses, that’s okay. It has to happen sometime.

At the same time, I think a hotly contested #48 championship will absolutely solidify his place as one of the best ever, because this year he’s really had to prove his own skills, and that it’s not just Chad, the pit crew, and the engine tuners back in Charlotte.

And if Team #48 does win again this year, it looks like nobody will be able to say it was boring, because at least to date this has been the best chase on record.

I’m sure you remember how Kurt Busch won The Cup in 2004. He beat second place Team #48 by 8 points, and Jeff Gordon's third place team #24 by 16 points, in a race during which both Jimmie and Jeff had the championship won. Remember when he lost his right front on lap 93?

I hated watching my favorite 2 drivers – both of them, same season, same race - lose to that (back then) very loud-mouthed punk… but it was amazingly dramatic, and there’s no doubt Busch and his team deserved to win.

I hope this year we see that kind of drama – right down to the wire. Regardless the victor, wouldn’t that be awesome?

Amusing Bunni said...

Sol, you are always very nice and polite. The lefties, as a rule, are rude, and don't listen to reason. I don't even bother debating them, I have no patience.

The MSNBC bunch are a bunch of whiney babies, and very rude, childish, crass, etc. That nit wits can get on national TV says alot about the dumbing down of America and why bo was elected in the lst place.

I don't have cable, which is probably just as well, I have so much to do and keep up with. I watch FOX online and they are the best!

Great post, and glad you're back too.