There’s no hole on Earth deep enough for me to hide from the shame my former profession has brought me.

Other than a short stint in public relations, I spent 34 years as a newspaper reporter and editor. For the last 25 years of my career, I worked at a mid-size daily, where we did an admirable job covering the stories of the day: the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion, the fall of Communism, the start of the Gulf War, Bill Clinton’s Balkan conflicts and the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

On Sept. 11, 2001, we published our first edition, as usual, at 9 a.m. By 3:30 p.m. — hours after our shift normally ended — we put out our 11th and last edition of the day. Knowing that our readers depended on us for deeper coverage than TV or the young Internet could supply, we updated the paper constantly as developments occurred. I was as gut-punched as any other American after the towers fell, but it was the proudest day in my career.

That’s why I got into journalism. Not to “educate” readers. Not to push an angle. Not to weave a narrative. My goal was to tell people what was happening in their community, their state, the country and the world.

Unfortunately, I soon found out not all of my peers shared my intentions.

As far back as high school, my dream was to work for a newspaper. Well, I actually dreamed of becoming a bestselling author, but I realized early that I’d never be a productive writer unless I faced a hard deadline. And no deadlines are more rigid than at a newspaper, where the consequences are drastic if the presses don’t start on time.

I was already a journalism major when the Watergate break-in occurred in 1972 and was working at my hometown weekly when the burglary grew into the scandal that destroyed Richard Nixon’s presidency. Like most of my friends, I despised Nixon, but my loathing was based on reasons very different than theirs.

The Left had been after Nixon since the late 1940s, when he led the charge to take down Alger Hiss, the Democrats’ favorite Soviet spy. (Read your history, kids.) Meanwhile I was disgusted by Nixon’s first term, when he expanded Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society program instead of dismantling it, and dismayed that the uproar over the stupid break-in was tarring the conservative cause.

In any case, Watergate was a turning point in American journalism. Reporters traditionally have been left of center, but now the media was credited with tossing a president out of the White House. Such power! It’s no wonder lefties of all stripes descended on journalism schools like flies on a pile of manure.

Ever since, j-schools have been churning out a stream of Ahabs hoping to harpoon every Great White Republican Male Whale that crosses their paths. In collaboration with their Democrat allies, the mainstream media have devoted a good portion of their attention to undermining GOP leaders.

While it seemed like the media went off the rails when reporters, editors and TV news personalities became afflicted with Bush Derangement Syndrome in W’s second term, we hadn’t seen or heard anything yet.

Now comes Donald Trump. On a scale of 1 to 10, the media have been operating at 15 since the start of the presidential campaign when it comes to Trump. Since his surprise victory, reporters have trashed the principles they claim to hold dear in order in order to smear and pound a man they consider unfit for office.

All the so-called “news” stories based on unnamed sources, speculation and innuendo embarrass me to no end. Instead of destroying Trump, the media are acting like suicide bombers. Their credibility in the minds of half the nation’s people has been in shreds for years; now it’s on its way to the compost heap.

I know you hate the media, but this is bad for everyone. Without fair and honest reporting, the public will wallow in ignorance and rely on rumors and half-truths for information. Even worse is the political polarization that will only increase when conservatives and progressive depend on entirely separate news sources.

It’s hard to believe — and I have my own doubts — but the media crisis could be corrected. I operated in the belly of the beast for most of my career and emerged unscathed. As an editor, I made sure unbalanced and unfair stories were fixed before they appeared in print.

And I wasn’t alone. Believe it or not, other conservatives were in the newsroom, and even liberal editors would throw up their hands over articles that tilted too far to the left. Then again, we weren’t the New York Times or Washington Post; we were just a bunch of simple Midwesterners serving a working-class readership. Maybe the elite operations are beyond redemption.

In any case, if you still have a hometown paper, give it as much support as you can. If it’s on the wrong track editorially, gather some friends, meet with the boss and share your concerns. If you get a cold reception, the paper might be a lost cause and deserve your wrath. But you might be pleasantly surprised.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Now that Mitch Landrieu has removed four Confederate era monuments in New Orleans, supposedly we can expect two things as stated by the mayor himself:

  1. Crime will drop and the city will unify.
  2. New Orleans population will swell to pre-Katrina numbers.

Over the past few weeks Landrieu has used the city’s firefighters and police force to work, masked and in the dark of night, to remove these four landmarks which are now in an unsecured maintenance trash yard in NOLA.

Some reflections on this entire ordeal:

The citizens of New Orleans never got to vote on this. A city council vote of 6-1 sealed the fate of the monuments.

Various local media polls in New Orleans showed a majority supported leaving the monuments in place. The monument opponents, however, were more vocal.

Mitch Landrieu credits former NOLA resident Wynton Marsalis with the impetus to remove the monuments. Marsalis, who lives in New York, penned an OpEd for the Times-Picayune in December 2015 in which he stated:

“When one surveys the accomplishments of our local heroes across time from Iberville and Bienville, to Andrew Jackson, from Mahalia Jackson, to Anne Rice and Fats Domino, from Wendell Pierce, to John Besh and Jonathan Batiste, what did Robert E. Lee do to merit his distinguished position? He fought for the enslavement of a people against our national army fighting for their freedom; killed more Americans than any opposing general in history; made no attempt to defend or protect this city; and even more absurdly, he never even set foot in Louisiana.”

The statement about Lee never setting foot in New Orleans is patently false as Robert E. Lee was stationed at Jackson Barracks and was in the city numerous times over several years.

Mitch Landrieu has displayed an astounding lack of transparency on the removal process. Landrieu promised the courts that qualified contractors would be used in removal. This was a lie. Landrieu used city firefighters to remove the monuments and live feeds of the removal of each monument was evidence enough of their ineptness and inexperience with removal of priceless works of public art as the statues twirled perilously at the end of straps rigged around them supported by bubble wrap and while removal cranes burned rubber trying to get closer to their targets and leaked hydraulic fluid everywhere.

In his victory speech last week, Landrieu claimed that the monuments caused a great exodus from the city:

“I will say this for the people that are interested in the costs. The cultural, economic, and spiritual loss to the city for having those statues up that have run people out of the city. The great migration that sent some of our best and brightest to place across the country that we don’t have the benefit of has been incredible.” said Landrieu.

It’s as if it never crossed his mind that high crime, pot-hole ridden streets, corrupt government, failing schools, no jobs, and high taxes might be a contributing factor to the problems in New Orleans.

In truth, Hurricane Katrina caused the population exodus and the city’s population has been on a steady climb back to pre-Katrina numbers ever since.

As we reflect over the travesty of the Landrieu administration, one has to consider his motives in all of this. There have been rumors of a job offer from Al Sharpton for Landrieu, there have been rumors of the mayor having national political ambitions, and there have been rumors of motivations in Landrieu’s personal life for removal of these monuments.

Water under the bridge.

What is left in the wake of all this is a once beautiful city now more racially divided than ever. A city that came together in unity after Hurricane Katrina that is now ripped and torn at the seams. A city with a crime rate that makes it the most dangerous city in the country.

As I have documented this story on this blog through the past months, it has been with the purpose to acknowledge that this can happen in any city in any state in the country. As a people we must find a way to live together and to reconcile ourselves with our differing opinions and perspectives. States all across the South are struggling with this Civil War monument issue – some choosing to protect their monuments and some not. Some choose to add other monuments to appease the opponents (they call it ”balancing the story” but it is appeasement). Some choose to add “interpretive plaques” that retell the story in a more politically correct light.

The ignorance of our society, and the willingness to too many to avoid the study of history, is where this emanates from. Had Mitch Landrieu done one iota of research, for example, he would have known that Robert E. Lee had been in New Orleans. That was never the point.

Landrieu’s point was to “correct history,” as he told TIME magazine.  Now that’s a monumental ego for you.

As for the crime issue, the city has 76 murders this year so far, well above the rate last year.  And on Saturday night, for example, with all four monuments now gone, the shootings and violence continue. Two men were shot in downtown New Orleans Saturday night and another stabbed with a screwdriver.

Thank goodness the city is unified now.

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

As of the moment I’m writing this post not knowing the final resolution to my situation with DaWife and Southwest Airlines is up in the air. After our 3rd (4th if you count Saturday’s abortive attempt) call and a bunch of tweets and IMs and the changing goalposts my left the house vowing that she would never fly with them again.

Tomorrow is her day off and I suggested her to wait to see if Southwest airlines calls her to get things settled by 10 AM EST (they should have our number from my DM’s) If they don’t call, them my instruction is to book our trip if she can, if she can’t do the whole thing do just the flights using whatever credits she can.

As for me I’ll go to work and punch in at 10:30 PM. When this post goes up at 6 AM I’ll still be working but will leave at 7 AM go from there to the 8 AM mass and then get home around 9 AM and intend after being up 24 hours to crash. and when I wake up tomorrow afternoon she can tell me If there is a long post coming recommending an alternative choice to my readers or not.

After all everyone screws up sometime, that’s life, it’s how you handle a screwup or an upset customer that determines if one should take their custom elsewhere.


Speaking of Screwups those insisting on selling the line that the president to stumble all over himself and embarrass our nation in Saudi Arabia are having a very bad day as reality is getting in the way of that narrative:

If anyone was waiting for President Trump to trip over his own tongue and damage our international relationships they probably came away disappointed. While he came on stronger than his predecessor by a wide margin and took a few chances, this speech probably opened the door to more cooperation against radical Islamic terror right in their own back yard. (Whether anyone actually wants to walk through that door in any significant way is another question, but at least he made the invitation.)

I’m old enough to remember when the media uniformly predicted that President Donald Trump’s hard line against Islamic Terror was going to make diplomacy in the Arab world difficult if not impossible


It’s also worth noticing the tone of the speech, cue Obama Voter Ann Althouse:

3 things there that will recur throughout the speech: 1. He’s not going to tell them what to do, 2. We all have children and our children are the future, and 3. He knows something of what God thinks.

But here is the real Killer Analysis:

 

That seems like another implicit refutation of Idea #1, but it’s followed by this very strong statement of Idea #1:

America is prepared to stand with you — in pursuit of shared interests and common security. But the nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them. The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their countries, and for their children. It is a choice between two futures — and it is a choice America CANNOT make for you.

That sets up the strongest part of the speech, which sounds as though he’s yelling what to do at them:
A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists. Drive. Them. Out.

DRIVE THEM OUT of your places of worship.
DRIVE THEM OUT of your communities.
DRIVE THEM OUT of your holy land, and
DRIVE THEM OUT OF THIS EARTH.

“Drive them out” is an imperative, repeated, with brutal Trumpian emphasis, 5 times. And yet, it’s technically a choice: There’s that “if”: “A better future is only possible if…”

Trump gives a name to his approach: “Principled Realism”:

acknowledging the reality of Islamic Terror is not something the left is in favor of.



While the President’s speech is getting a lot of headlines there is another thing worth noting here that Don Surber has picked up on:

From Arab News:

US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka has taken Saudi Arabia by storm ever since she disembarked from Air Force One in Riyadh Saturday morning.

The hashtag #Trump’s_daughter, in Arabic, is the top trending hashtag in the country as Twitter fans heaped praise on the first daughter.

Ivanka, who is set to take part in roundtable discussions during the president’s first official visit abroad, wore a long navy dress as she arrived in Saudi Arabia as part of the US delegation.

Why is this a big deal?  Well both she and her husband are Jews

Rest assured they know her religion. And her participation in the talks gets noticed by Saudi women, as the official press (as well as Arab News) went all-in on praising Trump’s visit.

The respect given both President Trump’s daughter and his wife (not to mention President Trump himself) make the job of the MSM in destroying him all that much harder.



Incidentally take a look at this public gathering of Democrats with Nancy Pelosi

California – The classless Democrats gathered in Sacramento for a state convention on Saturday. CA Dem Chairman, John Burton held up his middle fingers while encouraging the crowd to scream ‘F*** Donald Trump!’ while House Minority leader, Nancy Pelosi laughed in the background.

And ask yourself if a gathering of Republicans including the highest ranking Republican in the House, ended with a crowd chanting “F*** Obama” and holding up their middle fingers if

1. There would be any other story in the news
2. The media would not be asking every single Republican member of congress to denounce the event and said leader
3. They would be united in calling for said leaders resignation after an abject apology.

The question by the way answers itself.


The media will not cover that story for the same reason why the Democrats won’t tell their base the truth about the accusations on Trump, because they’re too invested in a myth:

Key Democratic officials are clearly worried about the expectations that have been purposely stoked and are now trying to tamp them down. Many of them have tried to signal that the beliefs the base has been led to adopt have no basis in reason or evidence.

The latest official to throw cold water on the MSNBC-led circus is President Obama’s former acting CIA chief Michael Morell. What makes him particularly notable in this context is that Morell was one of Clinton’s most vocal CIA surrogates. In August, he not only endorsed Clinton in the pages of the New York Times but also became the first high official to explicitly accuse Trump of disloyalty, claiming, “In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”

But on Wednesday night, Morell appeared at an intelligence community forum to “cast doubt” on “allegations that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.” “On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire at all,” he said, adding, “There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark. And there’s a lot of people looking for it.”

The problem is selling this myth is a source of short term profit and as long as that is true it will continue to go on


I found this plea from Chris Cillizza of at CNN comical

Weiner’s plea agreement brings a close to the latest chapter in his increasingly appalling conduct in the years since he was forced to resign from Congress in June 2011 after a series of sexually explicit texts with women not his wife — at the time top Hillary Clinton official Huma Abedin — were discovered.
Over the intervening six years, Weiner attempted a political comeback by seeking the Democratic nomination in the New York mayor’s race in 2013 but was, again, brought low by his increasingly cavalier decisions to share explicit photos of himself with women he met via social media sites. In January 2016, Weiner began one such exchange with a 15-year-old girl. Which brings us to his plea deal Friday.

Those are the facts. Now, can we please agree to just stop talking about Weiner?Hey, it makes sense.  If I was totally invested in all Trump Hate all the time I wouldn’t want anyone talking about former leading Democrat and Clinton insider married to a Hillary Clinton’s closest aide who had classified material on his laptop making plays for minor children either.

I understand.  Hey if I was part of a media in general and a network in particular fully invested in the Trump evil , GOP evil meme the last thing I’d want to remind the public is that the Husband of Hillary Clinton’s closest aide who had classified material on his computer was using it to make sexual advances toward underage girls.

And unlike the Trump stuff there is actual evidence of it.


When Barack Obama spoke at Notre Dame faithful Catholics were rightly outraged at the idea of a man so diametrically opposed to the faith (and who would end up actively persecuting it as President,see Little Sisters of the Poor Lawsuit) but they did not disrupt his speech or student’s graduation ceremony.

When faced with Vice President Mike Pence, a devout Christian who embraces faith,  leftists in the student body did not have the same degree of class

A group of Notre Dame students walked out at the start of Vice President Pence’s commencement speech Sunday. The protest had been planned in advance so the walkout was not a surprise. What may have been a surprise was how few students actually decided to join the walkout. 

I’d say I pity these special snowflakes when they reach the real world, but that would be a lie.


I’m not a big basketball guy (loved to play it in my youth but never enjoyed watching it as much) but I found myself watching Cleveland destroy the Celtics in game one and was amazed at how bad they made the #1 seed in the East look and they made them look even worse in game two.

That brought to mind a pair of thoughts: This must be what it was like in the 50’s in Baseball and in the 60’s in Basketball when everybody knew it was just a question of who the Yankees or Celtics would face and if either would be lucky enough to beat them.

It also confirmed what I’ve said before, the regular season means very little as long as you make the playoffs. If Cleveland wanted to they could have started their scrubs for the last two weeks to make their bench stronger and rest their stars and I still think they’d be 10-0 as of this writing.


In a season that has been the worst send off I’ve seen for a Doctor since the Sylvester McCoy (who likely didn’t know the series was done) This week’s Doctor Who was a gem and a half that you should not miss and ironically the most memorable moment had nothing to do with the welcome return of Michelle Gomez, but eitehr way you should watch it. Incidentally punctuated by one of the funniest moments I’ve ever seen on the show. The clip follows but you have to hit more to see it as it has Major spoilers Continue reading “Ten Thoughts Under My Fedora: Southwest & DaWife, Trump in Saudi Arabia and a Pope in the TARDIS”