Watching awards shows on television is as big a treat as having a colonoscopy without anesthesia. Well, actually, it’s worse. I’ve never had a colonoscopy that lasted three hours.

It doesn’t matter if the host is affable and funny — Billy Crystal and Johnny Carson come to mind — or amazingly irritating like David Letterman. The shows are overstuffed extravaganzas that drain your body and rot your brain.

With an attitude like that, I couldn’t wait to skip Sunday’s Emmy Awards broadcast. I couldn’t stand watching three minutes of Stephen Colbert’s past and present TV shows. Why in God’s name would I want to spend three hours with him and the croaking chorus  of Trump haters sharing the stage?

Apparently you and many others felt the same, sending the Emmy ratings to new depths. It’s good to know so many good folks have the good sense to avoid political poison masquerading as entertainment (and so few conservatives are masochists).

Meanwhile, the entertainment establishment, pink to its left-wing core, is studying birds’ flight patterns and reading beasts’ entrails to discern why viewers of its awards programs are vanishing. You don’t have to be a seer to figure out that your numbers will be weak if you don’t mind driving away half your audience. But the movers, shakers and moguls of Hollywood don’t know anybody who doesn’t think about politics as they do, so they’re simply stumped.

Just as fan disgust with Colin Kaepernick isn’t the only reason why ratings have plummeted for NFL broadcasts, partisanship isn’t the only cause for the decline in interest for the Emmys and Oscars.

Thirty years ago, cable TV was a relatively small operation, so most Americans were still stuck with the three major networks: ABC, CBS and NBC. Even poorly rated shows had a dozen million viewers. The series finale for CBS’ MASH was seen by nearly 106 million people in 1983; that audience record stood until 106.5 million viewers watched New Orleans beat Indianapolis in the 2010 Superbowl.

Cable has grown like a monster since 1983 and created a bigger stir in recent years by offering original programming. Many new shows are low-budget reality programs, but some basic cable channels — FX, USA, AMC and SyFy — offer top-notch stuff that was once the purview of HBO and Showtime.

Of course, Netflix was a huge game changer when it threw big money into new programming and brought instant relevance to streaming video.

And therein lies a big problem for the Emmys — they’re elitist. Only a handful of this year’s nominees represented broadcast TV, and even fewer of them took home awards. The big winner, as usual lately, was HBO.

Just as people in showbiz don’t know anyone who supported Donald Trump, they don’t know anybody who doesn’t have cable TV. More importantly, they don’t know anybody who doesn’t have HBO or Netflix, where they presume the best stuff appears. As of the end of 2016, HBO only had about 49 million subscribers, and Lord knows how many of those are hotels, motels and other businesses.

As a result, a good portion of the American public has no skin in the Emmy game since the awards revolve around programs they don’t even have the ability to watch. I guess the entertainment bigwigs have written them off as deplorables.

Then, too, there’s more than one aspect of elitism in terms of the type of shows the nominators enjoy. I watch more than my share of TV, and I’m the kind of guy who won’t abide stupidity on my flat screen. Yet only a couple of my favorites — Better Call Saul, The Americans, Stranger Things — even had an Emmy nomination. Instead, the voters exhumed the long-dead corpse of Saturday Night Live and showered it with glory.

The same thing goes for the Oscars. But that’s another story.

The greatest unreported achievement of President Trump is that he’s knocked income inequality — the most divisive, yet silliest, issue in recent years — off the radar screen.

Spurred on by the thuggish Occupy mob, the predecessor of today’s even more thuggish Antifa gang, income inequality became the main obsession of Democrats and other elements of the Left in recent years. Throughout the 2016 campaign, the double “i” words were on all leftish lips. But then Trump became White House-bound, and “income inequality” vanished from the public forum even quicker than “The era of Big Government is over.”

You can’t blame the Dems for ginning up a brouhaha over income inequality. It’s the perfect weapon to wield when class warfare’s your game and dividing the country’s your aim.

The most important thing to know about income inequality is that it was never about helping the unfortunate poor. Most people mired in poverty are far too busy trying to simply survive to join protest movements. The spearhead of this egalitarian drive was forged from people of privilege whose social level was stages above the mere middle class.

But, to be fair, the allies egging on the hordes against the 1 percent did have their grievances. Their rage was stoked by frustration — they’d never have that plush Manhattan apartment, Ivy League cred for their spawn or vacations in the south of France on an annual household income of only $250,000.

It just plain wasn’t fair that corporate CEOs, hedge fund managers and investment bankers could afford such trifles, while folks earning a quarter-million bucks a year who considered themselves middle-class stalwarts were shut out of the good life.

Similar outrage was evident each step down the line, as people who were financially well off howled over the status of those who had just bit more (and obviously didn’t serve it).

Complaining about income inequality was a game anyone could play except maybe Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett. It united the Democrats like no other issue.

The protesters who claimed to represent the 99 percent of American society constantly accused the 1 percent of greed. In actuality, the activists were guilty of envy, which is considered one of the Seven Deadly Sins because it can corrode the soul itself.

The foolishness of getting angry over someone else’s wealth came home to me as I was mowing my lawn in the summer of 1996. I was minding my own business when my neighbor motioned me over to the fence. After I turned off my mower, he launched into a 15-minute diatribe about Michael Jordan’s new contract.

It was, indeed, a monster of a deal that boosted His Airness’ salary from $3.85 million to an unprecedented $30 million — giving him more money than the combined salaries of entire NBA teams. I listened politely and nodded occasionally but wondered why he was so mad. After all, not a penny of Jordan’s pay was coming out of our pockets. Then it hit me: He was a Democrat.

When I got back my mowing, I couldn’t help but chuckle. My neighbor and his wife were both teachers whose combined pay was three times my annual salary — yet he was the one blowing his stack over a stranger’s good fortune.

Yes, income inequality, as an issue, has left the building, primarily because Democrats and the media are too busy raising a clamor over Trump, Russia and Melania’s stiletto heels. But while it’s gone, don’t expect a farewell tour.

It all boils down to envy, and that’s always in style for some people.

Remember the series of wistful articles the New York Times ran in 2008 to mark the 75th anniversary of the birth of Adolf Hitler’s Thousand Year Reich?

Me neither — because, of course, it never happened. But that’s not as crazy as it sounds considering the Times is running a series of stories under the banner of “Red Century” to mark the centennial of the Bolshevik Revolution.

In case you’ve forgotten, the advent of Soviet rule in Russia ushered in an age of Communist terror whose death tally makes Nazism’s toll almost inconsequential in comparison. But that hasn’t stopped the Times from publishing reverential pieces written by the progeny of Reds who were active at home and abroad.

I have limited toleration for sanctimonious crap, so I rarely click on a link to a Times story. Still, I’ve skimmed a couple of the Red Banner features just to see how much Commie propaganda the paper will allow.

Then I stumbled on one story that I had to read all the way through: ‘s “My Grandfather, the Secret Policeman,” which was published July 31. www.nytimes.com/2017/07/31/opinion/communism-policeman-jews-nazis.html  , a journalist whose work has appeared in The Atlantic, L.A. Review of Books and online, recounts the adventures of his Polish grandfather, Jakub, during and after World War II.

Himself the son of a Communist, Jakub established a name for himself as an anti-Nazi partisan during the war before joining the Polish secret police in 1945. Jakub was clearly a brave and clever man, and recounts his tale dispassionately. But while he doesn’t come out and praise Jakub’s cause, neither does he condemn it.

At the story’s end, seems to grapple with the realization that he hasn’t come to terms with his grandfather’s role in the grand scheme of history — nor given a full account of it.

“What does it mean to fight on the right side of the war, but the wrong side of history?” he writes.

“Depending on whom you ask today, my grandfather’s story is that of a partisan, a traitor, a hero or a spy. The revolution asked a terrible amount of those who served it. Those who resisted paid a similarly awful price. It left in its wake countless lives, like my grandfather’s, that cannot be compassed by a single line.”

Such a statement doesn’t make up for the many facts omitted from his story, starting with the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact signed on Aug. 23, 1939, which directly led to Hitler’s invasion of Poland on Sept. 1. A secret protocol of the treaty called for the partition of Poland, with Germany getting the western portion and the Soviets the east. The Soviets invaded on Sept. 17 to grab their half of the spoils.

Also left out is what happened to Poland in the roughly 21 months of Soviet rule. Hundreds of thousands of Poles were deported to Kazakhstan, Siberia and other points east during the occupation. Even worse, more than 22,000 military officers, politicians, professors, priests and other civic leaders were executed in what is collectively known as the Katyn Forest massacres.

writes that the Nazis in 1939 captured his grandfather, then a Polish soldier, but he escaped and made his way to Minsk, the capital of Belarus. Curiously, he doesn’t explain why Jakub didn’t halt his flight in Soviet-occupied Poland instead of going hundreds of miles to the east. Maybe didn’t want to bring up all that awkward partition business and Nazi-Soviet hanky panky.

So says it depends on your perspective whether Jakub, a Soviet pawn, was “a partisan, a traitor, a hero or a spy.” Let me tell you about a couple of Poles whom I consider nothing but heroes.

My Dziadzia (grandfather) was barely out of boyhood when he came to America shortly after the turn of the 20th century. After World War I broke out, he attended a rally in Toronto featuring General Józef Haller, who called on Polish emigres to return to Europe and free their homeland. Stirred by emotion, Dziadzia signed up to join the Polish Legions on the spot.

From 1916 to 1918, Dziadzia fought against the Germans in France. The Polish Legions’ efforts alone may not have restored Poland as an independent country, but they played a part. Having done his job, Dziadzia returned to the United States and raised a family. He sent four sons, including my dad, to fight against Germany and Japan in World War II.

Meanwhile, the family he had left behind in eastern Poland didn’t fare as well as my and

I wish I could offer as many details about my grandfather as provides about his, but died when I was 4. All I recall are his smiles and kindness. While he passed on some stories to my dad, he didn’t like talking much about his cousins because it was too painful.

You could take the stories of my family and multiply them by thousands to get an idea of what happened in Poland during World War II. It’s too bad the New York Times will never run that story.

Update (DTG) Instalance, well done Mick, Welcome Instapundit readers, check out my 1st person coverage of events on the Boston common with video here.  See the data that proves the left’s “The south turned republican because of the civil rights act” meme false here and if you like what you’ve seen from Mick and want to support independent journalism please consider hitting DaTipJar to help me secure my next paycheck ($370 to go) by hitting DaTipJar below.




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Senator Rock? Hmm … could be. I Kid you not.

Political buffs are salivating over the possibility that Kid Rock will put his music career on hold next year for a run against Debbie Stabenow, one of the two Democrats representing Michigan in the Senate. The rock star has been happily stoking the grassroots fire by setting up a new website, www.kidrockforsenate.com.

Several polls have put Rock ahead of Stabenow, a die-hard liberal, although polls are meaningless 15 months before the election. Recent stories have downplayed his chances especially since he’ll probably have to use his real name, Robert Ritchie, on the ballot.

That shouldn’t be an issue — millions of campaign dollars will tip off the least informed voter that Ritchie is really Rock. If things get truly desperate, there’s nothing to stop him from legally changing his name to his stage handle.

What might stop the Rock juggernaut is a serious effort by a mainstream Republican polico. Several GOP veterans have hinted at taking a stab at Stabenow’s seat, and Bob Young, former chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court has declared his candidacy.

By most standards, Young would be a formidable candidate. A smart, rock-ribbed black conservative, he’s beloved by party regulars. But he’s 65 (Rock is 45), which is an advanced age to begin a new career. And despite his years of outstanding service on the state’s highest court, his name is about as recognizable as the local register of deeds. His best shot in the general election could be tricking people into thinking he’s Robert Young of “Father Knows Best” and “Marcus Welby” fame.

A potential problem for Rock is we have no idea where he stands on today’s issues, and probably neither does he. We know he’s vaguely conservative and isn’t afraid to associate with Republicans, which makes him a rarity among showbiz types. The only clue to his thoughts on his candidacy at his website is “The democrats (sic) are ‘shattin’ in their pantaloons’ right now… and rightfully so!”

One thing to keep in mind: Michigan politics is the strangest kettle of fish ever dragged out of the Great Lakes. I had an e-mail argument with a couple of National Review writers years ago after they insisted on calling on calling Michigan a Blue state. A state with a Republican governor (John Engler), Republican Legislature and Republican-dominated Supreme Court is hardly Blue, I contended. They replied that the state hadn’t voted for a GOP presidential nominee since Bush 41 in 1988. No consensus was reached.

Michigan has had plenty of recent Republican governors — George Romney and William Milliken (1963-83), Engler (1991-2003) and Rick Snyder (2011-present) — but the party has had a difficult time sending someone to the Senate. Arthur Vandenberg won respect and an international reputation as a senator from 1928 to 1951, but the well has been awfully dry since then.

The only GOP senator is the past 39 years was Spencer Abraham, who had a single term before Stabenow bumped him off in November 2000.

Sometimes the party picked bad candidates. In 1970, at George Romney’s behest, party bosses picked his wife, Leonore, to run against two-term Senator Philip Hart. She was crushed, winning about one-third of the vote.

Sometimes the party made bad decisions. In 1984, astronaut Jack Lousma ran against first-term Senator Carl Levin. The early polls looked bad, so the GOP cut off funding for Lousma in August. Party leaders kicked themselves on election night after Lousma had collected 47% of the vote, giving Levin the stiffest challenge of his career.

So what will Republicans do in 2018: Select a bad candidate or make a stupid decision? At this point, anything is possible.

But one thing is certain if Kid Rock is in the race. It will be very, very interesting.

When Donald J. Trump won the presidency in November, I feared we were putting the Joker into the White House. Instead, we got Batman.

With Trump just days away from marking his first six months in office, count this onetime Never Trumper as a mostly solid supporter of our 45th president.

For me, the 18 months preceding the election were a tough slog through the miasma of Republican politics. As 2015 drew to a close, Trump wasn’t in my top 10 picks to be the GOP presidential candidate. Although I knew illegal immigration, his main issue, was a huge concern in many states, it wasn’t a big thing for me; Michigan has a bigger problem with losing population. And while John McCain is a horrible senator, I admire his heroism as a POW. I’ve rarely been angrier over politics than when Trump mocked McCain’s service.

To be honest, I’d never thought much about Trump. I don’t golf, gamble, visit expensive resorts or watch reality TV. On the other hand, I do follow the media so I was aware of his business successes, his marital shenanigans and his bankruptcies. When I did hear his political views, they usually parroted the liberal drivel of the day.

When he came out as a rightist a few years ago by resurrecting the Obama birther controversy, I considered his efforts counterproductive. Obama’s policies and administration were destructive to the fabric of America; diverting attention to a disproven rumor only reinforced public support for Obama.

As the presidential primary season got underway in 2015, I was dismayed when Trump floated atop the field and my favorites — Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Carly Fiorina and others (never, ever did I include Jeb!) — fell by the wayside. By the time it was clear that Trump was about to clinch the nomination, I was boning up on third-party candidates that I could support in November.

But then a funny thing happened: Trump announced a list of judges he would consider for the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death. Every single one sounded like an excellent choice. Knowing what kind of person Hillary would nominate to the court, I suddenly felt my opposition to Trump melt a bit.

During the course of the general campaign, Trump said some things that excited me and some that embarrassed me. But neither Hillary nor any of the third-party hopefuls were an option. I may not have trusted Trump to be a true conservative, but, thanks to his list, I thought he was more likely than anyone else to handle court appointments and other key issues.

At the start of November, polls showed Hillary ahead of Trump by about 4 points in Michigan. Realizing that Trump had a slim chance to carry the state, I called more than a dozen family members and friends and begged them to vote for him. I believe my efforts played a tiny role in Trump becoming the first GOP presidential nominee to win Michigan since 1988.

Since he entered the White House, I have been happy with Trump’s performance far more often than I’ve been disappointed. Neil Gorsuch’s appointment to the high court is his chief accomplishment, but the quality of his Cabinet selections is unparalleled. I haven’t seen such a collection of top-notch talent in Washington since the Reagan years.

I also love Trump’s relentless and wide-ranging war against costly regulations.

To me, “draining the swamp” means getting rid of the nameless leftists who have burrowed into the federal bureaucracy and wield unconstitutional power over almost all aspects of American life. As a president who thought himself above the political fray, George H.W. Bush paid little attention to bureaucrats — unlike Bill Clinton, who packed the agencies with hordes of allies. George W. Bush was so apolitical he tried to cover up the antics of the Clintonista vandals who pried the “W” from government keyboards in anger after Al Gore lost in 2000.

If Trump can get some conservatives into the civil service bureaucracy, I’ll be happy. It would be nearly as important as making an imprint on the federal judiciary.

But count me among the many who think Trump should think twice or thrice before tweeting. While I hate the media as much as he does (and applaud when he scores direct hits),  his Twitter feed too often takes attention away from achievements he makes on other fronts. Trump’s tweets also have fanned the spurious and scurrilous tales about Russian intervention in the 2016 election.

When Trump took office, my two main fears were that he would ignite a global trade war and cozy up to Vladimir. Neither seems likely now. Wiser heads have persuaded him that tussles over trade would cause a worldwide disaster, and Trump has dealt with Putin far more sternly than Barack Obama ever did.

We’re certainly not out of the woods yet, and nobody can foresee what will happen in the next 42 months. The media’s obsession with Russia hopefully will backfire eventually, and the Democrats’ love affair with the hard left could possibly push more moderates to the right political side.

Trump might not have come close to perfection in his first six months, but he’s done far better than I had any right to expect. If Congress gives him some victories and the economy picks up, I’ll be chanting “Four more years!” with plenty of comrades in 2020.

Both sides do it, say television’s talking heads.

In this era of radioactive polarization, it’s become a mantra among pundits that Republicans and Democrats are equally responsible for the atmosphere of political violence that hovers over America.

Never has a sausage factory produced a finer grade of baloney.

While many violent incidents have broken out since Donald J. Trump was elected in November, both parties aren’t instigators. Conservatives didn’t smash the windows, torch the police cars, terrorize campus speaker or beat demonstrators. Democrats — especially those from Bernie Sanders’ socialist branch of the party — can lay claim to those feats.

Conservatives were berated for highly publicized hate crimes against Muslims and other “protected classes” after the election, but most of the incidents turned out to be hoaxes. Naturally, reports that the hate crimes were fake got only a fraction of the attention the original accounts received.

Fortunately, conservative websites and talk radio hosts aren’t afraid to spread the truth about the leftists’ role in the political violence. Unfortunately, most Americans still get their news from the mainstream media, which point fingers at both sides when violence occurs (if they mention it at all). Even some Fox News commentators evoke the false equivalency.

Of course, this is not to say all Republicans and conservatives are angels. The party has its share of thieves, thugs, philanderers and con artists — but it generally punishes them when their crimes become known. Democrats, however, usually unite to protect offenders unless their sins are so awful the public can’t stomach them, as in Anthony Weiner’s case.

In a fascinating interview published in the July 1 edition of the Wall Street Journal, historian Allen Guelzo told James Taranto — the former force behind the WSJ’s Best of the Web online feature — the two parties have basic principles that they have mostly followed since the 1850s. (www.wsj.com/articles/divided-america-standsthen-and-now-1498851654)

Guelzo, director of the Civil War Era Studies program at Gettysburg College, said one longstanding difference between the parties is “Democrats love passion, Republicans love reason.” In other words, one party appeals to voters’ hearts, the other to their heads.

Another distinction he notes is the Democrats’ “political center” is “local,” while the Republicans’ is “national.”

Taranto writes, “(Guelzo’s) argument is that Republicans think of themselves as Americans first, whereas today Democratic localism takes the form of subnational identity politics.”

Ah, yes, identity politics — a hotpoint so ablaze in today’s society that it makes the sun seem frigid. So many people — women, racial minorities, gays, the transgendered, Muslims — simultaneously demand public acclaim and special status as victims of American bigotry. It’s gotten to the point where members of some special groups are getting scorched for implied disrespect to other groups.

There are plenty of cases that underline the difference between how Democrats and Republicans approach wrongdoing, but my favorite is the 1983 congressional page sex scandal involving Reps. Dan Crane and Gerry Studds.

Both were middle-aged men who had sex with 17-year-old congressional pages, and both were censured by the House of Representatives for misconduct. Their cases weren’t exactly the same, though: Crane’s affair was with a girl, while Studds’ was with a boy at a time when homosexual relations were a crime in many jurisdictions.

But what happened later was enlightening. Crane was defeated in his 1984 GOP primary and left politics, while Studds was not only returned to office but also went on to win re-election to five more terms. There could hardly be a bigger contrast between the Republican and Democrat voter base.

Sure, lots of people gripe that there’s no difference between the two parties and say America is ruled by Republicrats or Democans. And they’re partially right — compromise is usually the key for a democratic republic to function, so they often work against their constituents’ wishes.

Still, core differences remain, and they matter deeply. Which is why partisan battles are so bitter and why electoral outcomes — as Trump is proving — are so important.

***

May you enjoy a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Things are nutty in the Nutmeg State.

One of the bluest of blue states, Connecticut has more than its share of problems. According to Carol Platt Liebau, president of the Yankee Institute for Public Policy, the state is mired in an economic swamp and has the highest bonded debt per capita in America.

Mark J. Warshawsky of RealClear Policy notes Connecticut owns “one of the worst-funded state employee pension plans in the country,” whose assets cover less than a third of its liability — leaving a shortfall of nearly $22 billion.

And let’s not forget the capital city of Hartford, which could face bankruptcy now that insurance giant Aetna — a corporate denizen for more than 150 years — announced plans last month to move its headquarters out of Connecticut for a more tax-friendly home.

With all these problems on its plate, the state legislature had no choice but to recently approve the nation’s toughest hate crime law. The silly bill, which supersedes an earlier law,  passed the House and Senate unanimously, so Republicans share the blame with their Democrat comrades.

Now the very idea of hate crime laws is stupid. Laws are laws, and people who break them should pay the price. Imposing extra penalties on the perpetrators based on their biases conjures up images of Orwellian thought police. There’s little doubt the rise of hate crime legislation has promoted the fracturing of society, as alienated individuals join together to form “protected groups” so they can claim victim status.

Among the reasons lawmakers gave for beefing up the state hate crime law was the supposed wave of such offenses that washed across the country late last year and in early 2017. Left unsaid was that the increase coincided with the candidacy and subsequent election of President Donald Trump.

If you follow only the mainstream media, you might believe that thuggish bigots emboldened by Trump’s campaign ran amuck and terrorized racial minorities, Muslims and gays for the past year. But folks who pay attention to real news know that almost all of the headline-grabbing hate crimes were hoaxes designed to smear Trump supporters.

So common and widespread are the fake hate crimes that it’s impossible to list them here. (Fortunately, there’s a website, www.hatecrimehoaxes.com, that has a fairly complete rundown of falsely reported incidents.)

What’s especially egregious in Connecticut is that legislators cited threatening phone calls to Jewish community centers as one of the main reasons for stiffening the law. As news accounts revealed nearly three months ago, two men — neither of them conservative — were responsible for the vast bulk of the hate calls.

Juan Thompson, a former reporter and dedicated Trump foe, pleaded guilty June 13 to making more than a dozen phoned bomb threats that he tried to blame on an ex-girlfriend. The other suspect is a 19-year-old Israeli computer whiz accused of making more than 100 calls, whose motives are still unknown.

The new Connecticut law toughens the penalties for hate crimes. Offenses that once were misdemeanors become felonies, and what already were felonies carry enhanced fines and prison terms.

But one key point seems to be left out of the law: There doesn’t appear to be any penalty for miscreants who report fake hate crimes.

Legislators can cling to their fantasies that hate crime laws will bring peace and joy to the populace. But until hoaxers are punished as severely as haters, the laws themselves will be perpetrating injustice.

 

One of today’s great ironies is that the 24-hour news channels are usually at their worst when real news is breaking.

At best, the term “cable news” is a misnomer. Actual news coverage rarely exceeds 10% of a channel’s day. The rest of the time is devoted to opinions and arguments over current events. It takes a weak mind and strong stomach to view CNN or MSNBC for any length of time. Fox, of course, also has its limits.

But the inherent weakness of cable news was brought home — yet again — with Saturday’s coverage of the London terrorist attacks that left seven civilians dead and 48 wounded. The anchors knew something serious had happened, but they had no clue of its extent, let alone the motives behind the mayhem.

As a result, for hour after hour, TV screens were filled with stupefyingly boring video of parking emergency vehicles with lights flashing and of crowds milling aimlessly on the streets.

Meanwhile, the anchors, their voices dripping with concern, kept spewing the same meager set of facts over and over. Guest commentators, either on screen or on the phone, provided some backup, but they didn’t have any information to impart, either.

In short, the news crews were in an impossible situation. It’s like taking members of the Royal Shakespeare Company, throwing them onto the Second City stage and demanding they perform first-rate improv.

One way cable channels can avoid such embarrassments is by showing some discretion. Someone should have the guts to make the call when apparent terrorist attacks don’t deserve wall-to-wall coverage.

For openers, Saturday’s attacks didn’t happen in Boston, Detroit or Houston. There’s an ocean between America and London, so an atrocity there is no sign of terror activity here. Also to be considered  — at the risk of sounding callous — is the small number of casualties. Seven dead and 48 injured are a serious matter, but bus accidents in the U.S. that have had bigger tolls barely get mentioned on the national news.

For instance, the July 16, 2016, truck attack in Nice, France, was worthy of every moment of attention. Not only was the toll staggeringly high with 86 dead and 434 wounded, but it also was the debut of a new terrorist tactic. The truck smashing into crowds has been copied many times since.

It’s understandable why the channels stuck with their no-news coverage of London. Their audiences are not constant, so new viewers were always turning in to learn about ongoing developments.

But there should have been some breaks for real news while the crews waited for authorities to provide important information about the attacks.

Until that information was forthcoming, the channels would have served their audiences just as well if they had offered a screen saver with a news crawler at the bottom giving all the known facts. It would have saved everyone a lot of grief.

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.

“Crime by Migrants in Germany Increase.” The headline on the story, buried deep within the Wall Street Journal, was so innocuous it might as well have said, “Nothing to See Here, Folks — Please Move Along.”

Despite the mild headline, however, the article by Ruth Brenner was filled with statistics that spun a tale of terror.

From 2015 to 2016, crimes committed by refugees and other migrants to Germany soared by 52.7%, a figure sure to attract attention. Except it didn’t. I saw a few references to the stats on conservative websites, but not even the crickets chirped in the mainstream media.

The pure numbers are just as startling: Migrants were charged with 114,238 crimes in 2015 and 174,438 last year. Meanwhile, crimes committed by German citizens plummeted by 3.4% in the same period. Despite the drop in misconduct by natives, the country’s overall crime rate was up by 0.7 percent.

To put it into perspective, Germany’s tiny immigrant population was responsible for more than 12% of the country’s crimes. Germany has long welcomed refugees, but the inflow turned into a flood when more than a million migrants from the Middle East and Africa arrived in 2015-16.

The article didn’t break out the severity of the crimes committed in the two years, but it noted that violent crimes by citizens rose by 1% and those by migrants nearly doubled.

The story said Christian Pfeiffer, a criminologist and former justice minister, blamed the increase in migrants’ offenses on “the high number of young males traveling alone, a group that generally is responsible for the majority of crimes regardless of nationality.”

Missing from this account was a key word: Muslim, even though the overwhelming majority of migrants were followers of Islam. I’m sure Germany’s crime stats would’ve gotten a lot more publicity if the misbehaving migrants had been Pentecostals, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists or Zoroastrians.

For years, the primary commandment of the MSM has been “Thou shalt not speak ill of Islam,” which is in keeping with its unending claims that Islam is the religion of peace. While most Muslims are good and peaceful people, Islam itself was born in war. Of all the world’s faiths, only the “religion of peace” established itself through military conquests in Asia, Africa and Europe.

Germany’s miscreant Muslims may not derail Angela Merkel’s bid for another term as chancellor, but they should be a concern for every other Western government that’s supposed to protect its citizens and culture.

It’s no wonder the media ignored the German crime report and accounts of similar lawbreaking and militant activity elsewhere. The story would not only break the MSM’s primary commandment but also — more urgently — undermine efforts to thwart President Trump’s limited ban on Muslim immigrants.

Terrorism is a justifiable reason to scrutinize potential newcomers to America, but let’s not forget outright thuggery is a threat, too.

UPDATE: Merlin — the Maine coon cat who was the bliss and the bane of me and Mrs. Mick for the past 14 years — passed away peacefully on Friday, four weeks to the day after he was diagnosed with lymphoma. We met his every wish in his final weeks, and he never showed any sign of discomfort, let alone pain. He will be missed.