Today’s Phrase for Latin Lovers

Rem ipsam dic, mitte male loqui.

Translation:
Speak out the whole truth boldly, but use no bad language. -- John Adams, 1775

------------------

Visit Prudy's Latin Lovers Store for textbooks, readers and fun Latin miscellany!

Support this site. Buy a book.*

@PruPaine Tweets

Ancient History

|Media

Media Malpractice: The Reality of Satire

Back in 2009, the satire website The Onion did a spoof on how the media avoided doing any negative story on Barack Obama. Ann Coulter tweeted a link to it yesterday (with no mention of it being three years old), and it just goes to show how the media has, if anything, grown more protective of him—especially in the wake of the AlQaeda murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens on 9/11 2012.

Media Having Trouble Finding Right Angle On Obama’s Double-Homicide

WASHINGTON—More than a week after President Barack Obama’s cold-blooded killing of a local couple, members of the American news media admitted Tuesday that they were still trying to find the best angle for covering the gruesome crime.

“I know there’s a story in there somewhere,” said Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, referring to Obama’s home invasion and execution-style slaying of Jeff and Sue Finowicz on Apr. 8. “Right now though, it’s probably best to just sit back and wait for more information to come in. After all, the only thing we know for sure is that our president senselessly murdered two unsuspecting Americans without emotion or hesitation.”

Added Meacham, “It’s not so cut and dried.”

Since the killings took place, reporters across the country have struggled to come up with an appropriate take on the ruthless crime, with some wondering whether it warrants front-page coverage, and others questioning its relevance in a fast-changing media landscape.

“What exactly is the news hook here?” asked Rick Kaplan, executive producer of the CBS Evening News. “Is this an upbeat human-interest story about a ‘day in the life’ of a bloodthirsty president who likes to kill people? Or is it more of an examination of how Obama’s unusual upbringing in Hawaii helped to shape the way he would one day viciously butcher two helpless citizens in their own home?”

“Or maybe the story is just that murder is cool now,” Kaplan continued. “I don’t know. There are a million different angles on this one.”

So far, the president’s double-homicide has not been covered by any major news outlets. The only two mentions of the heinous tragedy have been a 100-word blurb on the Associated Press wire and an obituary on page E7 of this week’s edition of the Lake County Examiner.

While Obama has expressed no remorse for the grisly murders—point-blank shootings with an unregistered .38-caliber revolver—many journalists said it would be irresponsible for the press to sensationalize the story.

“There’s been some debate around the office about whether we should report on this at all,” Washington Post seniorreporter Bill Tracy said while on assignment at a local dog show. “It’s enough of a tragedy without the press jumping in and pointing fingers or, worse, exploiting the violence. Plus, we need to be sensitive to the victims’ families at this time. Their loved ones were brutally, brutally murdered, after all.”

Click to read the rest of the scathing lampoon.

Since the media enjoy special protections, get unique access to people and places from which the hoi polloi are excluded, I’d suggest a professional oath of objectivity. But would that be the thing that would finally make them shape up and do their jobs properly? No. Our President, Congress and cabinet members take a loyalty oath to protect and defend the Constitution—the foremost priority of their jobs—and they often ignore that pledge, with no penalty. Oaths don’t seem to mean much anymore.

Plus the profession already has a code of ethics. Take a look at it. It is laughable (cry-able?) how few of the mainstream media political reporters actually abide by a tenth of these simple Society of Professional Journalists rules.

Sigh.

 

|Pop Culture | Prudence Potpourri

Looks Like I'm Not the Only One Not Watching

The Wall Street Journal’s “NBC Unable to Shake Slide in Ratings” says that NBC, which has been in fourth place for years, has continued to go downhill. The only network up in ratings for the same period as last year is…Fox. But FOX is hardly the conservative bastion that Fox News and Fox Business are. Instead, the FOX network has cornered the market on soft edgy. (The hard edgy is over at F/X.)

I may be conservative, but when kids aren’t around, I don’t mind edgy. However, I also don’t mind wholesome, clever, educational, inspiring, or any of the myriad other things television programming can be.

The strange thing is that the article doesn’t address any of the reasons why I no longer watch NBC. In hopes that the NBC/Comcast executives would actually read the comments, here’s what I had to say to them:

I quit watching NBC because of their politicization of their entertainment—taking their abhorrent messaging from MSNBC and inserting it into their “family viewing.” For instance, embedding their “Green Week” propaganda into the script of their dramas and sitcoms. How Orwellian.

On top of that, if their stars are known conservative bashers who make vile jokes about the right on SNL, at award shows and at other venues, does NBC really think I’m going to enjoy watching them for evening relaxation? (Hello Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, to name a few.)

This is all on top of the general decline of network TV that’s apparently ashamed to have any wholesomely written shows. Why must family shows have parents talking/joking about their sex lives? Is it that much of a challenge to write well without thinking about sex? Can our children have a few years of television viewing without that? Is it impossible to come up with a modern-day Ozzie and Harriet or Father Knows Best that tells engaging stories about trying to be a good person and a loving family? Look at society today. Isn’t it obvious that we could use some of these stories to model?

Perhaps if NBC—and other networks—actually hired some conservatives in their programming departments, they might provide some television for the half of the country they currently ignore. That would surely give them a boost in ratings.

Lastly, the final straw that caused us to give up on most television is the constant cancelling of television shows. We’ve been burned so many times, just getting into a show and then poof, it’s mysteriously gone. Why waste the effort to tune in when it’s more likely than not that the show won’t make it a whole season. But then if it does, we’ve missed out on all the early shows and it’s just too much effort to try to catch up now. Why not offer a guarantee that the show will air the full season?

Oh, and quit scheduling your good shows up against your competitors’ best shows. There are many evenings when there is nothing interesting, but a few hours a week, the shows would watch all air at the same time. That ends up being a good thing for us, in that we don’t have our lives devoted to television all night, every night, and can enjoy books, music, videos, and occasionally an on-demand airing of a show that was stupid enough to air when we couldn’t watch it, if we haven’t completely forgotten about it.

Oddly enough, if I’m in the mood for comedy and want to watch an NBC property, I don’t turn to Bravo or Style or A&E. Instead, I’ll watch MSNBC. Now that’s some pure comedy gold.

|Musical Interlude | Prudence Potpourri

Koch Brothers Attacked by Russian Folk Singers!

Subversive left-wing propaganda has been discovered:

“Democracy is for people, but not ALL people. So sit down, shut up and listen to us.”

MoveOn.org couldn’t have said it better themselves.