Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Don's Tuesday Column

                      THE WAY I SEE IT   by Don Polson Red Bluff Daily News   5/09/2017
100 days of fame, blame and shame
The much ballyhooed “100 days” metric must first be put in context. It originated with F.D. Roosevelt’s first 100 days as president, wherein he beat his own drum to raise the confidence of America’s citizens suffering under the Great Depression. He campaigned and came into office promising bold experimentation and vigorous executive action for economic recovery.
In hindsight, little of his economic legislation and action achieved lasting effect—the Supreme Court threw out major pieces of his program for exceeding his constitutional powers. Orders and laws that FDR enacted extended the Great Depression by about 7 years; they undermined the real economy of workers, businesses and industry. Meg Sullivan confirmed the former in “FDR’s policies prolonged the Depression by 7 years, UCLA economists calculate,” (8/10/2004); Harold Cole and Lee Ohanian “blamed specific anti-competition and pro-labor measures that Roosevelt signed into law June 16, 1933.” Amity Schlaes documented the latter in “The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression.”
Roosevelt himself considered the “100 days” to refer to actual legislative days when Congress was in session. That would put the point at which Trump should be judged for his accomplishments somewhere in late summer or early fall. However, the press, Clinton and Obama can also be judged by the same standard that’s been applied to Trump.
Any reader interested in Trump’s accomplishments can go to an April 30 item, “Complete List of President Trump’s Major Accomplishment in First 100 Days,” posted at “http://donpolson.blogspot.com.” Jim Hoft (thegatewaypundit.com) noted: “US Markets at record highs,” US Debt decreased, “the US Manufacturing Index soared,” jobs and housing sales gained, illegal immigration decreased, increased NATO allied spending, and 66 executive orders and proclamations. Glenn Reynolds says Trump gets an A+ just for not being Hillary Clinton.
Chris Cox of the National Rifle Association wrote, “Donald Trump delivers 100 days of 2nd Amendment victories; For law-abiding gun owners, the president is keeping his promises.” By making Neil Gorsuch a Supreme Court Justice, Trump has assured all Americans of a majority that upholds the right to self-defense that our Founders enshrined in the Constitution. By making Jeff Sessions our Attorney General, “the Department of Justice will return to focusing on prosecuting violent criminals instead targeting law-abiding gun owners.
“In Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, Trump has appointed a man who is firmly committed to protecting hunting and shooting as priority uses on our public lands. In fact, Zinke repealed one of Barack Obama’s most egregious anti-gun policies on his first day on the job.”
One “accomplishment” of Trump’s tenure could be the diminishment of the political news media; however, that feat couldn’t have happened without willing and eager assistance from the media itself. The journalistic edifice is built on a foundation and paradigm that assumes its own impartial infallibility and Trump’s perpetual mendacity.
Do the people agree? Not according to polling by Emerson College (“Americans Trust Trump Administration More Than News Media in New Poll”) and Morning Consult (“Trump is More Trusted Than Political Media”). Brian Flood: In early February, the Emerson poll found that 49 percent of U.S. voters believe that the Trump administration is “truthful,” while only 39 percent feel that way about the news media. Worse, for the so-called “opposition party,” 53 percent of those surveyed described the media as “untruthful.” Morning Consult found similar leanings in their poll of 2000 Americans late in April: “Thirty-seven percent of Americans said they trusted Trump’s White House to tell the truth, while 29 percent opted for the media.” Both polls predictably found the Republicans on Trump’s side and the Democrats on the media’s side. However, Independents (whose votes made Trump president) gave Trump the higher marks.
Accordingly, the collective political news media are virtually drenched in shame during Donald Trump’s first 100 days as president. Even when covering non-Trump news, they fail to uphold basic standards of investigative journalism. “After months of post-election chest thumping about how they could not be cowed by the powerful, reporters have reacted with a mix of yawns and giggles” over felony charges filed in California against two activists from the Center for Medical Progress” (T. Becket Adams). CMS secretly recorded Planned Parenthood personnel discussing salvaging and distributing body parts scrounged from the remains of aborted fetuses.
Left unmentioned were the many contributions from Planned Parenthood to both State Attorney General Xavier Becerra and (now) U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, who launched the investigation when she served as the state attorney. Another glaring omission was the failure to report that “Harris’ office appears to have colluded in 2016 with Beth Parker, chief legal counsel for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, over the drafting of a bill that amended the state’s penal code to make [the act of revealing such secretly recorded discussions] illegal.” So, state prosecutors conspired to make it illegal after the fact—an “ex post facto” legal abuse.

I see much of the news media so consumed with malice and vitriol over Trump’s election that they’re no longer concerned that their motives are driving their formerly-objective reporting, analysis and the blameworthy pseudo-practice of “fact checking.” Back in February, the worst, most partisan “fact checker,” Politifact, attempted to find 5 errors in “President Trump’s Florida Rally.” John Hinderaker deconstructed Politifact’s analysis in “Trump 4, Politifact 1” and found that they “merely related the Democratic Party’s side of the story”; they then pronounced the Dem spin right and Trump wrong. Next week, Obama’s, Hillary’s and the Dem’s lousy 100 days.

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