Life is Not Fair

Hot News Flash
by baldilocks

Lebron James and Hunter Biden are rich and I am not.

And I have a raging case of writer’s block so go read this.

When Houston Rockets’ general manager Daryl Morey tweeted, “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong,” Communist China called a foul. Down came the tweet and Chinese state television axed two NBA exhibition games. NBA boss Adam Silver promptly announced, “We have great respect for the history and culture of China and hope sports and the NBA can be used as a unifying force to bridge cultural divides and bring people together.” Silver also barred NBA players then in China from speaking to the media.

For observers far and wide, particularly in embattled Hong Kong, it was a clear exhibition of China’s totalitarianism and a clear case of the NBA cowardly caving to China’s Communist dictatorship.

In the political, entertainment, and even the sports commentariat, many made that charge, but Golden State Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr said he had no comment on the “really bizarre international story,” and “a lot of us don’t know what to make of it.” It was a strange response for someone with firsthand knowledge of oppression and violence.

An NBA champion as a player and coach, Steve Kerr is the son of Malcolm Kerr, whose parents Stanley and Elsa arrived in the Middle East in 1919 to join relief efforts that followed the Armenian genocide. As Ailene Voisin of the Sacramento Bee recalled, in the early 1980s Malcolm Kerr left UCLA to become president of the American University of Beirut, “despite increasing political instability within the region.” Then, in 1984, Malcolm Kerr “was shot to death by terrorists outside his office.”

As a writer for ESPN noted, “two Islamic terrorists ambushed Malcolm outside his university office and shot him in the back of the head for the crime of being an American.” When the Islamic terrorists gunned down his father, Steve was only 18 and a freshman at the University of Arizona. Kerr wept through a moment of silence for his father prior to tipoff against archrival Arizona State.

Four years later, as Kerr and his teammates warmed up before a game with that same school, a group of 10-15 people began chanting “PLO! PLO!” The group also chanted, “Your father’s history” and “Why don’t you join the Marines and go back to Beirut?” As Kerr told Tracy Dodds of the Los Angeles Times, it was “pretty disgusting. It’s hard to believe that people would do that.”

Lots of previously unbelievable things are happening these days.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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Fake news and me

One of my daughter’s colleagues recently asked me if I worked as a journalist.

“No,” I replied. “Neither am I a mass murderer.”

It wasn’t exactly like Peter denying Christ three times. But I am no longer proud of the job I did for more than 20 years and have taught students to do for nearly 25 years.

Although I have had a variety of difficulties with the mainstream media in recent years, I hadn’t jumped completely on the fake news bandwagon until the Ukrainian phone call and impeachment. The media in American have become so shrill–a partisan press without a purpose other than to attack Trump. That doesn’t apply to all reporters and editors, but I think it applies to a significant number, particularly among the media elite.

As a result, journalism has fallen on hard times in the eyes of the public. It’s been a long time since journalists have been held in high esteem, but many people looked to the news media to provide some insight into the issues of the day.

Every morning, I start my day by reading several websites, including The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. I’ll usually check CNN and Fox News and may listen to the radio talk shows for 30 minutes or so.

I don’t read many opinion pieces because I find the analysis wanting, particularly from DaTimes and DaPost. It seems like all they want to do launch a new screed against Donald Trump.

Over the past decade or so, I have been advocating a change in how news organizations go about their business. The old standards of fairness, balance, objectivity, and a few others have been long gone from what I see.

In my view, the tenets should emphasize accuracy, transparency, and professionalism.

Transparency is one that sticks in the craw of most journalists. I want their political views, campaign contributions, past history of advocacy, and even tax records available to readers and viewers—much of which reporters and editors ask of politicians.

Michael Schudson, the noted analyst of journalism, wrote recently in The Columbia Journalism Review, that the issues transcend the current battle between the press and Trump.

“[T]he old days of ritually objective news reporting (he said/she said) are not gone but have been reduced in importance from the 1970s on, as mainstream outlets have increasingly emphasized analysis in news coverage—not quite so much ‘who, what, when, where’ as ‘why.’ There has been a profound cultural shift in journalism during this period. The limitations of straitjacketed objectivity came to be understood and journalism began to embrace the necessity of interpretation, as both quantitative studies and journalists’ recollections attest,” Schudson wrote.

“News organizations should have to explain themselves—to communicate the difference between the news department and the editorial page (more than a quarter of Americans do not understand the distinction); to show how they gather their news; to clarify why they sometimes cannot divulge their sources,” he added.

I hope journalists will listen to Schudson because I have failed in my mission to convince my former and current colleagues.

Whatever the case, I am no longer proud to call myself a journalist. I don’t think I am alone.

The Only Question that Matters in Election 2020

After watching this video I have the following question for the left that insists that Trump is beyond the pale and must be replaced.

What assurance do we have that things worse than this…

…will be faced by Conservatives in general and Trump supporters in particular if you are granted power?