Like the man says, all good things must come to an end. Like this man says, that’s true but it still sucks.
I just finished David Mindich’s 2005 book “Tuned Out“, the work that delves into the reasons why younger folks don’t watch the news or read newspapers any more, why that’s a danger to a democracy such as ours, and what to do about it. Mindich is a former CNN editor and I wish his stances in the book weren’t so accurately projected based on that 1 fact, but they generally are.
As I said, one of the primary subjects in the book is the matter of why young Americans are tuning out of the news. He brought up a number of reasons, most of which I agree with. The one that he gave the barest of mentions to, however, was the notion that the media is viewed as untrustworthy as regards conveying the news. This, I believe, is the real cause of the tune-out overall. It just happens to be that younger Americans have many more reasons than that, so the disconnect is more advanced. Mindich touched on it, yes, but only in throwing a few stones at CNN’s chief rival, Fox News. He brings up a study that purported to show that Fox News viewers were far more likely to believe that Saddam Hussein had a direct hand in the 9/11 attacks and, that view being dead wrong, he castigated Fox over their news reporting.
Given the Rathergate forged documents debacle, the TNR-Beauchamp fiction stories, and now the Media Matters fact-twisting that was dutifully carried by the likes of CNN themselves, I’d like to know if Mindich would like to amend his target list. He’s right about this, in general – the more news agencies skew their reporting to match their selected narrative the more people will see them as worse than irrelevant and the more they’ll look elsewhere for the news.
An intercontinental ballistic missile interceptor blasted out of an underground silo at Vandenberg Air Force Base shortly after 1:15 p.m., and tracked a target missile that had lifted off from the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska, the Boeing Co. said in a statement.
The Missile Defense Agency said initial results show the interceptor’s rocket motor system and kill vehicle performed as planned. Boeing said the warhead was tracked, intercepted and destroyed.
Brodhead, speaking at the university’s law school, said he regretted Duke’s “failure to reach out” in a “time of extraordinary peril” after a woman accused three players of raping at a March 2006 party thrown by the team.
“Given the complexities of this case, getting the communication right would never have been easy,” Brodhead said. “But the fact is that we did not get it right, causing the families to feel abandoned when they were most in need of support. This was a mistake. I take responsibility for it and I apologize for it.”
I think the families felt abandoned because the news media was trumpeting all comments coming out of Mike Nifong’s office about how their sons were guilty as sin and the only unified message coming out of Duke’s employee base was the letter from a few score of Duke’s professors joining in the condemnation. Sure, this was a complicated situation but getting the message right would have been as simple as issuing a press release immediately on the heels of that full-page ad these professors took out saying that they were being – in the opinion of the University’s official spokespeople – premature. The release could have said that and that these men were considered by the University as innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
Then there was that whole firing of the coach and canceling the lacrosse season. What message was supposed to be taken away from that by the families except that the University was abandoning them?
I’m glad the president is going on record that they screwed up but the right course of action was pretty obvious to anyone looking at it objectively and the University should have simply stated that it was waiting for the facts of the investigation while chiding anyone at Duke who wasn’t.
Power Line has this item that references both Mark Steyn’s column in the National Review and a story at The Vancouver Sun. The gist? Smoking is a public threat and no smoking is to be allowed on sidewalks, bus shelters, and even in taxis just passing through Vancouver. But hookah-parlors are OK since “houkah lounges provide an important cultural space for the city’s Muslims”.
I’d never be one to defend smoking, not in any degree. But to say that Muslim culture demands that one be allowed to smoke in public spaces but that western culture – a culture that’s been smoking stuff for centuries – can be freely denied this activity is placing Muslim culture in a superior position to those of the West. Not equal, but superior.
This is the direction Canadians want to go?
Via Power Line last week, I saw an interesting item in a post of theirs dealing with the military parade in Iran. I rather scanned through the pictures there and didn’t even take much notice of this image of some Iranian fighters performing a fly-by:
I didn’t take much notice because I missed the caption where the planes were identified as a “new”, domestically-produced Iranian fighter called a “Saegheh.” I thought they were American-designed and exported F-5 Tigers from the 1970′s:
These F-5′s are in “Aggressor Squadron” colors. They played the part of the bad guys for the Air Force’s training exercises. You also saw them in a lovely all-black with red star paint scheme in the move “Top Gun.”
I was also prepared to accept that they were F-20 Tigersharks, an evolution of the F-5 design. Although that’s unlikely considering the F-20 was never ordered by any potential buyer. Looks like this, though:
The F-20 program was cancelled in the 1990′s due to the lack of orders. The airframe was already at the limits of its expansion capability back then and the design hasn’t gotten any better since. While it’s a capable aircraft, it’s certainly not in the league of modern US designs such as the F-15/16/18 and not even in the same discussion as the F-22 Raptor.
This isn’t the first time the Iranians have touted their military’s technology and I’m sure it won’t be the last. One thing’s certain: I wouldn’t want to be an Iranian pilot at the controls of one of these new planes going head-to-head with an American pilot in a shooting war. It’d be a short fight.
The Washington Post has their headline story today on the matter of the 6 nuclear warheads that made an unscheduled trip from North Dakota to Louisiana last week. No one should be taking this issue in anything but a serious manner and whatever deficiencies lead to this weapons being treated as unarmed cruise missiles should be corrected, and I mean yesterday. The entire process, from initiation to weapon load should be audited and every single airman involved re-educated on proper procedure as though they’d never been through the course. It shouldn’t have happened and we should make damn certain it doesn’t happen again.
All of that said, I have to say that I’m coming away from the story with the impression that the reporter is 1) outraged 2) of the opinion that such events can (or are) happening every single day and 3) clearly wants to get the impression across that our military is so broken down and untrustworthy with these weapons that we ought to just decommission them all.
The weapons, the planes, and the people, to be frank.
Before anyone starts really getting carried away, let’s just recall that this was 1 incident over the course of literally decades of getting it right. No, I’m not saying that it’s nothing to worry about at all – re-read my 1st paragraph immediately if that’s what crossed your mind – but I’m also not going to sit still while this 1 incident is used to suggest that the entire Air Force consists of lazy idiots. Or broken down gear on the verge of catastrophic failure. Why would I say that? Let’s go to the story:
The daily routine for many of Minot’s crews is a cycle of scheduled maintenance for the base’s 35 aging B-52H Stratofortress bombers — mammoth, eight-engine workhorses, the newest of which left the assembly line more than 45 years ago.
Emphasis mine. What possible significance to this story is a comment like this one? If it’s relevant, then the implication is that this situation would be better or worse is only the aircraft the weapons had been loaded upon had been a newer design or had rolled off the assembly line last year. I can’t imagine an argument that would justify such a thought; this incident’s seriousness is changed not one iota by the aircraft type involved.
Taken alone, this is a nitpick – one tiny detail of the story. But it’s just an example of piling-on by the author and the editors. The overall “feel” of the story is one of alarmed, fearful worry and an unstated implication that the Air Force is bumbling. I think this incident may have been serious enough to report but it’s not an indictment of an entire branch of the military.
Know what I’d like to see as a follow-up story? How about an investigation into how leaks pertaining to the movements of this nation’s most powerful weapons are happening and going unpunished?
The Blogometer (thanks to Instapundit for pointing this out) has a roundup of the leftosphere’s reactions to the Senate vote this week comdemning the MoveOn smear ad that used a juvenile name-bending technique on General Petraeus. To say they’re not happy is an understatement. One of the Left’s leading lights, Matt Stoller, demonstrates quite clearly who’s on the venomously intolerant side of things:
“We already know that Republicans are a gang of psychotic criminals.”
Do we, now? Does that include my Mom, Matt? Or my brother-law? How about my friends and fellow members of my church who donate all manner of time to helping people out – regardless of their political affiliations?
The Left’s burning, acidic hatred of George Bush is what drives them to blindness on any matter whatsoever these days and their repeated inability to rationally convince people to come to their way of thinking makes them issue statements like this. I’m sure it plays well when talking to fellow blinder-wearing haters of all things Bush but all it does to the rest of us is show that there’s absolutely no use to even discussing things with people this far gone.
Fred Thompson’s take on the return of HillaryCare is so on target I can’t say anything to improve it. Go have a look and be informed.
Hat tip: Patrick Ruffini at Hugh Hewitt’s place.
Power Line has the scoop via a National Review article that 61% of Americans have a favorable opinion of General Petraeus. I guess that MoveOn ad actually doesn’t reflect the attitude of the American public after all.