No, this is not about the Rev. Louis Farrakhan and his march in D.C. Instead, it’s about an article today (15 October) in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer entitled, “ 'Slave syndrome' may still affect black behavior.” The thesis of the professor appears in the early paragraphs:
“The troubling images of African Americans displaced by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans' impoverished neighborhoods didn't startle researcher Joy DeGruy-Leary. ‘All Katrina did was reveal what was already there. I wasn't confused, wasn't surprised,’ she said....
“DeGruy-Leary, an assistant professor in Portland State University's Graduate School of Social Work, will discuss her theory of the relationship between race, culture, poverty and history today at the third Seattle Race Conference and tonight in a separate talk. Her theory of "post-traumatic slave syndrome" concludes that African Americans needed to adapt to survive more than two centuries of slavery, and that those adaptations are reflected in their behaviors today.”
So a preacher, a comedian, and a scientist walk into a bar...
Okay, I'll spare you that joke, but all of the above comprised Harry Smith's theological roundtable in the second half hour of today's Early Show. The question for Jerry Falwell, Andy Borowitz, and Bill Nye "the Science Guy," was, "Is God mad at us," given all the natural disasters---tsunami, hurricanes, earthquakes, mudslides---that have beset the planet since last December.
It's an odd theological panel to have, and a relatively unserious segment given the makeup of the panel. If Smith's intent were to have a theological discussion, he'd have been better served by having perhaps a Catholic priest, Falwell, a Jewish rabbi, and an Islamic imam to showcase theological opinions from those four faiths. Instead the audience was served an odd mishmash of Falwell expounding on Christian doctrine, Bill Nye plugging global warming, and Andy Borowitz jokingly blaming Paris Hilton for flooding in the Northeast.
CBS reporter Kelly Cobiella’s reaction to flooding in the northeast United States was to call for federal aid. All she needed to do to understand that wasn’t a good idea was to watch her own news show.
Cobiella’s call came during the October 13 “Evening News,” which did a two-part segment on flooding in the northeast. Cobiella was in New Hampshire and Claire Duvall reported from New Jersey. Cobiella began the report and after surveying the New Hampshire flood damage she declared “There is a real need for federal help here.”
Duvall then followed up, interviewing Oakland, N.J., resident Ruth Brock. Brock lamented that flooding “has happened three times since April. Prior to that it was three times since 1955.”
The free weekly tabloid Washington City Paper recently started a new feature, Service Industry, its purpose, "rating D.C.'s houses of worship." Religious readers, however, may sense a bit of condescension, intended or not, in the notion of rating a church service much like it were a play, concert, or film, especially if the church rated by the City Paper's reviewer seems to give it bad marks for its conservative or traditional Christian theology.
This week's entry, "The Church in the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith Inc." in Anacostia garnered a poor 1.5 stars (out of a 5 possible). The reviewer gave high marks (4 stars) for "congregational fervor" but was non-plussed by the lack of "food for the body" after the service (0 stars) and was not too keen on Deacon Larry Mathis's anti-evolution sermon (1 star) nor the church's teachings forbidding female preachers.
The "mainstream" media today, in a stunning display of left-wing bias, engaged in a coordinated anti-war propaganda campaign designed to overshadow an attempt by President Bush on Thursday to rally America's troops. The effort was so gratuitously spiteful, partisan, and transparent that Joseph Goebbels himself would have applauded it.
In a video conference yesterday to members of the Army's 42nd Infantry Division based in Tikrit, the President did his best to boost the morale of U.S. fighting forces in Iraq, saying "We're never going to back down, we're never going to give in, we'll never accept anything less than total victory." This message was intentionally kicked to the curb by liberal journalists across the country and around the world this morning, when headlines began to appear stating that the teleconference had been "staged".
Here's a partial list of the stories I found on the internet today concerning the event.
For the media, Hurricane Katrina has been a story of zeroes – the more, the better. While reports before the hurricane’s landing incorrectly warned of tens of thousands of deaths, one prediction that has panned out is the gargantuan cost of the storm. Katrina wrought tens of billions of dollars in destruction and set in motion a $250-billion rebuilding effort.
While not as visible of a step, freeing the market of government intrusion is almost as important as the endless zeroes in the relief budget. One broadcaster who has given these new policies serious attention is CNN’s Lou Dobbs. Unfortunately, he disregards free market solutions on a regular basis. Even raising the minimum payments for credit cards is a “mindless” step engineered by “idiots at the U.S. Treasury Department.”
At today's White House Press Briefing, Helen Thomas wanted to know what a 'total victory' meant in Iraq. As Scott McClellan was answering the question to her dissatisfaction, she interrupted and tried to trip him up again. Scott, tired of her anti-War rhetoric, came right out and said she was against the War on Terror. Helen responded and said that the Middle East knows we invaded Iraq and ended her remarks with "I'm opposed to preemptive war". Thanks for being fair and balanced Helen.
Washington Post columnist Tina Brown today took the opportunity to mark the 80th birthday of Margaret Thatcher, Britain's first female prime minister, with a scathing attack on Harriet Miers.
In, "You've Come a Long Way, Ladies," Brown begins:
The healthiest aspect of the Harriet Miers nomination is that women haven't rallied to her cause. Ten years ago, there would have been a lot of reflexive solidarity about keeping the Sandra Day O'Connor spot on the Supreme Court from reverting to male type. But every female lawyer I've spoken with in the past week skips right past the sisterly support into a rant about Miers's meager qualifications or her abject obeisance to power. The good news is that for women, it seems, Miers's nomination is like the moment for blacks in Hollywood when it was suddenly okay to cast an African American actor as something other than a perfect hero. The Sidney Poitier phase is definitively over.
Last week Time Magazine’s cover story was called The Battle Over Gay Teens and I wrote an article discussing the bias from the writer of the article and also cited examples of where content was intentionally ignored.
Today I read an article found on The Patriot News website called Gays Win Support On Campus and the article mentions, as its main support, the Time magazine article from last week.
Spending federal money without raising taxes? Broadcasters have been incredulous at the thought, especially since Hurricane Katrina hit – so much so that 59 percent of their tax-related stories have suggested tax hikes. Reporters turned to everyone from Bill Clinton to the man on the street to fellow journalists to make the case for taxation.
A typical question from a network reporter showed annoyance at the president’s tax policy and implied that anything but raising taxes is irresponsible, sounding something like this: “The last thing in the world that George W. Bush wants to do is raise taxes, but the amount of money that we’re talking about here, we’re talking about many, many, many tens of billions of dollars. Can that be done without raising taxes?” That was ABC’s Ted Koppel following Bush’s address to the nation on September 15.
Journalists made sure the audience didn’t forget several things – namely, that Americans are paying for military operations in Iraq and that the United States has a deficit. As the Free Market Projecthas shown reporters frequently refer to deficits as if they are inherently bad, though they are actually a small percentage of a multitrillion-dollar economy and should not inspire panic.
CBSNews.com's blog, Public Eye, has a post today on their Early Show viewer demographics, broken down by half-hour block. They show that two-thirds of the audience are women throughout all four half-hour blocks of the show, but that the first half-hour is younger and has more male viewership.
As such, CBSNews officials admit, they tend to stick the hard news in the first half hour, with features dominating the later half hour blocks, but feel they still leave enough hard news scraps to go around in the news briefings in the other half hours:
The first hour is geared more towards the transitional audience, and the second hour includes programming designed for people who are sticking around.
That doesn't mean people who stay at home only want soft features, says Katie Boyle, a senior producer with the CBS "Early Show." She points out that the "Early Show" runs newsblocks on the hour and half-hour, and says that there is a mix of stories so the same topics aren't covered over and over. "In a two hour morning show you want some variety," she says. And the fact that the proportion of women is slightly higher in the second half of the program, she adds, doesn't mean they don't care about hard news. "Women are watching morning television, period, at the beginning and at the end, when there's hard news and soft features," she says. "They want it all."
On Tuesday's Today, Matt Lauer interviewed President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush at a house building zone for those who were affected by Katrina to live in, in which the President is contributing too. Lauer immediately accused Bush of using this as a photo-op situation.
Lauer continues the interview by asking President Bush why we are "making" Louisiana residents pay back the money they are borrowing for Katrina relief efforts, yet are not making the citizens pay back the money we spent in Iraq. Matt obviously has not learned the difference between asking to borrow and giving.
Sharyn Alfonsi did a story on “The CBS Evening News” tonight that brought me to tears. Now, I don’t know whether the intention was to stoke anti-war sentiment, or just to show how children at Fort Benning, Georgia are coping with their parents being deployed to Iraq.
Frankly, I don’t care, for this was an absolutely heartrending segment that I think all Americans regardless of political leaning should watch.
The dead tree news media is suffering these days and their readership is aging. This is not a sign of good things to come for the newspaper industry (from the Star Tribune):
Newspaper readership is down. Fewer young people are picking them up, and the average age of a newspaper reader is now 55, according to a Carnegie Corporation study. Many papers have been losing circulation at alarming rates across all age groups.
Newspaper profits and the stock prices of the companies that own them were also down during the first half of 2005. The biggest newspapers are cutting staffs, closing foreign bureaus and taking other steps to meet their owners' profit goals.
Most of these dire trends are nothing new. Deep thinkers have prophesied for years that newspapers are on a glide path to irrelevance or extinction.
Now with David Brancaccio on PBS last Friday was a special treat for conservative taxpayers. Brancaccio conducted a fawning interview with Kurt Vonnegut, a novelist who spent most of his time either attacking the Bush administration or more generally whining about life.
After a half-hour of failing to challenge Vonnegut's nuttier statements, Brancaccio gushingly declared: "Well, I think it's easy to notice that some moments with you Mr. Vonnegut add up to I think a magic moment. Thank you very much."
Yesterday I blogged about Jim Lehrer's disconnect on Friday's NewsHour in labeling conservatives disaffected with Harriet Miers with his tamely describing Justice David Souter as a member of the "so-called, quote, liberal wing" of the Court.
On Monday, Lehrer applied both liberal and conservative labels when describing a political stalemate that's been wrenching Germany for a few weeks now:
No matter how much she gets for her state, it’s never enough.
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) was unhappy last Friday night. After sparring with Senate Republicans, including her counterpart from Louisiana, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), she didn’t get what she wanted – $15 billion in hurricane-related loans to her state without any strings attached.
Now, don’t get me wrong, she did get some money -- $750 million to be exact. But the recipients are going to have to pay it back, and that’s not what Landrieu wanted. She felt that given everything Louisianans have gone through, these loans should have been totally forgivable, meaning that if the recipients didn’t want to reimburse America’s taxpayers, they didn’t have to.