Main Stream Media sucks!

Most of the people I talk with agree that the Main Stream Media has become universally bad. Alright, most describe it as useless.

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During the Sharp fire, for example. The media reported streets that were being evacuated, but never once bothered to look at a map while writing the text or reporting on the fire.

Instead of saying something simple like “The Mandatory evacuation area is all streets along East Canyon extending South of Orchard. These streets include Mt Mahogany, Slippery Elm, Buckthorn, and Mojave Scenic. Voluntary Evacuations extend North of Orchard to Lausanne Drive, The Portion of Chaumont East to Basel Dr and West to Orchard, and the portion of Summit Dr North to Easter Dr.”

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This would have made it very clear to the people of town what area was involved and the extent of the area. All It would have taken was a journalist looking at Google Maps. OR actually asking an information officer at the command post to point out the area. 

I suppose that the ability to construct a cogent sentence might have helped…

Instead what we got was a confused mess of street names and directions that mislead people far North of the Evacuation zones (Mandatory and Voluntary) to believe that fire was sweeping toward them and they were going to die! 

In other words… PANIC People PANIC NOW! 

The really sad part is that not only was the Medias’ coverage virtually useless to the local residents who were trying to comply with the orders, the coverage panicked people who have vacation or retirement homes throughout the town but who don’t live in the town. 

So in the midst of packing, and seeing to the elders who needed help evacuating, and securing the homes of neighbors on vacation and weekend residents, the full time residents were also answering the phones giving people the real un-panicked rational version that we got when we asked a hotshot crew or sheriff as they passed by.

A story, that was in fact far more calm and coherent.

Yes, we are probably going to order an evacuation. No we don’t think the homes are in all that much danger. We’re concerned that with the narrow streets, plus our moving heavy equipment up here that if the winds kick up & the fire spreads, we wouldn’t be able to get the residents and ourselves out without people getting hurt. There are simply too many variables for us to feel comfortable having the fire this close to occupied homes.

As always there were 1 or 2 people that stayed regardless of the mandatory nature of the evacuation request. 

Not once did the media say anything useful like “The evacuation is for your safety.” or ask the question of one of the people not evacuating “What is your plan if the fire should get below you, cutting off your only route of escape?”

The media failed to look at the human interest stories like the neighbors checking on the elderly and making sure that they weren’t forgotten or the residents of the town opening their homes to many of the evacuees.

Another angle of the story would have been to ask the fire and police what they thought of the residents orderly evacuation. This would have provided an opportunity for the Firefighters to speak about the importance of having an emergency plan. It would have allowed the police an opportunity to explain what their role is after an evacuation. For example that they stay and protect the empty neighborhoods.

I’m not a journalist but these are all useful points that could have been made instead of “FIRE OMG FIRE OMG FIRE PANIC!” 

It’s not just the fire, I use this as an example because it’s fresh in my mind and I have direct knowledge of it.

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You can see evidence of “Spin” and bad reporting or fact checking all the time. Compare the reporting of an event in Germany from a US news source and then read about the same event in a German news source. (Many German news sources have well written English versions.) 

Sometime the difference is startling. 

US Media: “Merkel SLAMS Greece over finances”

German Media: “Merkel spoke firmly with Greek officials about their financial plan”

I read those two sentences as very different. In reading the full article Merkel was annoyed with the vagueness of parts of a report the Greek banking officials presented, but she wasn’t pounding her shoe on the conference table.

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Not that Germans commonly do that, it’s more of a communist Russian thing. (If you don’t get it, look up Nikita Khruschev and the quote “We will bury you”.

Recently, we’ve seen too many examples to count of what my high school English and History teachers called “Yellow Journalism” around the issues of guns and gun control in America.

To the Wikipedia definition I would add a specific paragraph about media affecting national politics by “Spinning” reports which are full of confabulations then later conflating those same reports to control or influence public opinion.

Many people have become so fed up with the media in general that they’re not watching the news.

Some people have gone so far as to turn off their cable and satellite. Many more people no longer read the newspapers. These groups rely instead on the information that they obtain from Google News, and other online media sources.

This lack of readership, or viewership appears to cycle back upon itself causing ever more sensational headlines and a “News” media that is skewed far more toward entertainment than toward providing facts.

Which leads to more people turning away from the Main Stream Media in all it’s forms, leading to more sensational, salacious headlines in 72 point type.

I’ve often thought about the humorous aspects of a newspaper that kept increasing the headline type size until eventually they only had one letter per page and all meaning was lost. Oddly, it didn’t have to go that far for all meaning to be lost. All it took was a texting generation. (I hart u y u no hart me)

Reading about the LAUSD deployment of iPads in the schools, I cringe in anticipation of the reporting and writing style in a decade or so. I’ll be writing a blog about that soon.

Turning to the internet isn’t the best choice either… As I’ve written previously, any idiot can post something to a blog. Case in point… the blog you’re reading right now.

This blog is a purely entertainment, opinion driven, bit of writing. It’s not in any way a proper news source, thankfully it’s not widely read given some of the typos I’ve failed to notice.

Were I to write news articles I’d probably never see them published because they’d be pretty dry. The details of a water project only rarely become salacious, it usually takes a body being uncovered by a work crew. Even then, how you describe such a  discovery can be titillating or simply factual.

The same pressure to garner attention is present in internet news sources. It’s all driven by the same thing… Money.

Look at the side columns of a web page or the annoying floaters you see on almost any article you click on and it’s about advertising. And therefore about enticing the reader to remain on a web page long enough to see the ads.

This driving force hasn’t changed since the beginning of newspapers.

What has changed is the quality of the writing and reporting.

The change has not been for the better.

And in other news…

In another case of “I’m not going to be responsible for my actions” a man in Tennessee is suing Apple for his online porn addiction. I saw a news piece on this the other day and thought it was a joke… Apparently not!

Here is a link to the article in Time

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The short version is that this idiot, instead of accepting responsibility for his own actions. Has decided to tie up the courts time because he can’t keep his hands off his PeePee, or his eyeballs off the naughty websites via his internet connected device.

More properly he should blame Apple, his internet provider, and the porn sites themselves. My guess is that he was using his iPhone from Sprint or AT&T surfing porn all the time and has decided to blame Apple for his problem instead of just owning it.

But Apple is the richest most easily identifiable target, especially if you’re hoping for a big out of court settlement.

He says that Apple should install a content filter in it’s browser to block all internet porn. But says nothing of other browsers like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc. This leads me to believe that he’s after nothing more than a big settlement. Why hasn’t he named Microsoft in his suit, or the United States Government, or CERN for creating the technology that is responsible for fueling his addiction?

Porn sites ask if you’re 18, if the site is a pay site they use your credit card to verify it. 

This guys “Content Filter” is an impossible dream. The sites change URLs so often that even services specifically designed to locate and put these sites in a blacklist database can’t keep up. These services are 100% dedicated to the task 24/7 and still fail to catch all the sites.

The only way to effectively insure that someone acknowledges the “Dangers of internet porn” is to ship every device with a disabled browser. Then force the customer to go to the additional step of getting an unlock code.

Which by the way, wouldn’t have stopped this guy from engaging in his addiction. 

Do you know you’re going to be an alcoholic before you have your first drink?

By this guys logic all alcoholic beverage manufacturers should require that you sign a declaration of understanding that you might become addicted to their product. Imagine the fun that would be. Signing something every time you tried a new beer.

I’m hoping that this guy gets thrown in jail for contempt of court, and wasting the courts time.

I really need to check Twitter before I post

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Imagine my chagrin at posting a long delayed blog post only to fire up Twitter and see that Boston is once again a hotbed of activity.

1000 tweets between the time I went to bed and Now. Damn!

So we have one bombing suspect dead, the other bombing suspect on the run, and the main stream news media tying themselves in knots with hyperbole and few facts.

What a Week!

Pressure cookers?

For real?

I had to think about that one… Then I had the inevitable Aw Shit! moment as the physics and chemistry played out in simulation in my head. 

This does support my assertion that anything at all can be used to ill purpose. All it takes is the will to harm others.

I do hope that the perpetrator(s) is hunted down like a dog and served justice.

Preferably a justice befitting the crime.

I was surprised to see the Pakistani Al Qaeda denying any involvement. That seemed unusual to me since they love anything horrible happening to Americans, and often lay claim to things they couldn’t possibly have any connection to.

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Then theres Westboro Baptist Church claiming they will picket the funerals in Boston.

Uhhh, Westboro if I were you, I’d sit down and shut the hell up!

You really don’t want to piss off Boston and the rest of the country on this one!

Do you even have enough people to call yourself a church anymore? Oh right all you need is 3 gathered in his name.

Of course with Westboro I’ve always wondered whose name they gather in. They do seem to have a rather intimate knowledge of Hell and the people that are going there.  

Just Sayin…

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And then… Anonymous hacked Westboro’s Facebook page in response to Westboro claiming they’d picket funerals in Boston. 

You have to love it.


The talking heads on all the networks are another group that needs to sit down and shut the hell up.

Blathering on and on about stuff that is contradictory or just completely wrong is not journalism it’s gossip.

Anderson Cooper shamed himself on Wednesday standing in a parking lot with another CNN “personality” and some “expert“. While… a Hospital and Federal building were being evacuated just blocks away.

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The two CNN “Journalists” didn’t even break stride in their gossiping to take note of the potential news taking place behind them.

It was shameful.

The NBC reporter from LA was equally irresponsible and frankly annoying in his breathless reporting of the Boston federal building evacuation.

Someone needed to get that man a double dose of Valium.

I’d turned the TV off sometime on Monday and really haven’t been watching more than 15 minutes at a clip. More than that and I want to vomit, due to the piss poor reporting.


It amazes the hell out of me that Twitter is faster, and often more accurate in reporting news than any of the “Big News” organizations.

I guess 140 characters limits the hyperbole. (It sure as hell limits mine…)

YourAnonNews actually does a great job of getting all kinds of current events out on twitter. The irony that they may be affiliated with the infamous hacker group Anonymous isn’t lost on me.

It was YourAnonNews that was covering the Ricin mail that was sent to Sen. Roger Wicker and President Obama. YourAnonNews reporting was simple, to the point and amazingly accurate. Here’s the NPR report about the suspect

I’ve noticed that when YourAnonNews gets it wrong on Twitter, they send out corrections as fast as they sent out the original item. 

YourAnonNews is gaining my respect for simply saying “This Happened” With no further commentary or spin. 

Barack obama gun control ap 328


We managed to Piss off President Obama when the Senate blocked the gun control plan.

I caught just a snippet of the president berating the Senate and to some extent it felt like he was talking to a bunch of children (Which is when I turned the TV off).

The president claims that he has the public on his side. Really? I don’t think he’s got as much public support on gun control as he thinks he does.

Perhaps he should consider polling OUTSIDE Washington and the Democratic party.

I’m sure that more and more gun control laws will be floated but I strongly suspect they’ll meet the same fate. 

It’s not that people aren’t willing to discuss solving the problem… It’s that lots of people question the wisdom of making yet more laws that either won’t be enforced or can’t be enforced. 

And aren’t we still waiting for the whole Fast & Furious investigation and trials to wind up? Seems that we should clean up the problem inside DHS so that they can follow the law before we create new laws.

I personally didn’t like the Presidents tone. He lost, he shouldn’t be a sore loser.

Isn’t “don’t be sore losers”  what the republicans were told repeatedly in November? You know I’m a whats’ good for the goose is good for the gander kind of guy.


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It was YourAnonNews who first broke the news about the fertilizer plant explosion in TX. Here is the Fox Coverage. The other was USA Today and I wont subject you to the infinite ads.

My Twitter feed lit up about 2 hours before the mainstream media made their first reports about the TX explosion.

I’d be really depressed and angry if I watched all of this on the live repetitive loop.


A couple of weeks ago a friend sent me this blog article Why you should stop watching the news 

So I’ve been weaning myself off the 24 hour news cycle and taking control over what invades my life.

Twitter serves this purpose well. I see the 140 character descriptor and if it’s of interest I’ll open the link (if any) otherwise it’s like water flowing off my consciousness and out of my life.

Eventually, I can see myself not bothering with TV at all.

Think about it. The “News” as it’s called is really a concentrated loop of bad crap that lasts about 18 minutes. It’s interspersed with commercials that in one way or another make you feel bad about yourself. 

You need a new car – the subtext is that you’re not stylish or wealthy enough.

You need this or that drug – Reminding you that you’re mortal, aging, and perhaps not enjoying your life as much as you could or should because your health is failing.

Be happy buy more crap – as if we all don’t have enough useless crap in our lives.

I’m enjoying the control I’ve been exercising. I’m also feeling a lot better about a lot of things.

Perhaps the brightest spot in this week has been my phone interview and apparently doing well at a friends company. Perhaps there will be some of my own news to tell in the near future.

Have a good day, and remember You’re in control you don’t have to be victimized by TV. It is your servant not the other way around.

Cudos to SendGrid for doing the right thing… Or When Stupid is a crime

Or I could have called this… When Twitter is a weapon.

On Sunday 3/17/2013 a lady attending PyCon in Santa Clara overheard a couple of developers engaging in some sophomoric joking where they were trading sexual innuendos about poorly named devices.

Instead of doing the simple thing like turning around and letting these guys know they were out of line she photographed & tweeted their picture out into the twitterverse.

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Her action caused the two developers to be removed from the convention, one of the guys lost his job and ultimately so did she. This Article is pretty brutal about how they report it.

There is so much that is wrong in this scenario.

This woman had options:

She could have done the human thing and asked the guys to cool it, explaining that they were being offensive.

She could have moved, thereby taking responsibility for her own feelings. (I’m not saying that she should have been required to move, but she could have removed herself from the annoyance.)

She chose to be passive aggressive, snap a photo of the guys (without their knowledge / consent or modeling release) then broadcast that photo to a presumably wide public audience captioned with something identifying them as pigs. Saying essentially HELP ME THEY’RE SEXUALLY HARASSING ME! 

We’ve all sat through sexual harassment training. As I’ve sat through those classes I’ve often thought that the Harassment brush was just a little too broad and biased against men. Women have far greater latitude in what they can say to men and we men have to take it.

I’ve been asked in the workplace if I was circumcised, and how big my dick was by crude Women. I’ve also listened to endless gay jokes and disparaging remarks, from men.

Hell, I’ve been present in rooms where the evil of the WHITE man was being discussed and the suggested solution was that all the white people should be punished. Yeah racism isn’t solely the domain of white people. Racists come in all colors shapes and sizes.

So WHAT?

Next! I simply exited the area when the conversation turned to stuff I didn’t want or need to hear.

I’ve watched woman after woman end good mens careers with the corporate Nuclear weapon of “Harassment” it’s not a new phenomena. I’ve also seen men laughed out of an HR department when they decided to report a woman that was harassing them.

I remember laughing my ass off several years ago when after considerable publicity a female sports reporter was allowed in the locker rooms of male professional teams.

She was then offended by naked men walking around in the locker room. I thought it was a joke, but quickly it escalated into something more. After gaining access to the male locker rooms, she decided that the men should be clothed when she was there. The insanity came to a halt when the teams simply stopped talking to her.

I remember thinking, “Lady that’s why we built locker rooms. Guys would be just as happy changing clothes and showering outside. We created the space so that women and children wouldn’t be offended.”

At the time a number of male sports reported speculated about gaining access to female locker rooms but that was considered creepy.

This situation is also about our collective thin skin, and our psychotic enforcement of  Politically Correct standards on steroids.

You can reasonably expect to be offended by something anytime you’re out in public.

For that matter you can expect to be offended by the crap that passes for entertainment on TV, not to mention the commercials. KIAs booming hip hop commercials come to mind. The Kardashians, uhh hello???

It’s the kid with his pants hanging down his butt.

Or the morbidly obese guy sweating like Niagara Falls in front of you at a fast food joint ordering 2 mega cheese burgers super size fries and a gallon cup of diet coke.

It’s the plumber proudly showing off a hairy plumbers crack.

The gang member flashing signs at an opposing gang in front of a crowd of kids, daring someone in the opposing gang to shoot him, thoughtless of the collateral damage.

It’s the past middle aged woman whose been around the block once too often, braless dressed like a teenage slut.

And it’s the teenager dressed like a slut being upset because people treat her badly.

It’s the Middle Eastern guy screaming and shaking his fist at a veiled woman in a mall, as she shrinks away.

It’s the profane, the obscene, the morally ambiguous.

It’s the self centered dumbasses more interested in texting while they’re driving or walking expecting you to move out of their way because they can’t be bothered to pay attention to someone as lowly as you.

It’s signs with messages you find offensive. Do I need to see salacious advertising for the latest “Falling Star” from Hollywood?

How about booming music with lyrics talking about killing whitie or slappin dat ho ’cause she don’t suck you right.

It’s the gas pump TVs screaming at you while you’re just trying to put gas in your car. while you’re thinking, “why am I paying 4.80 a gallon to be forced to hear this shit?”

In short it’s all the things that we each find offensive, yet put up with and ignore.

These things we take no action about because after all it’s about freedom of expression. Well, freedom… and the undercurrent of fear of getting involved. 

But two men, having a laugh at bawdy innuendo at a convention in public who happen to be in earshot of a woman… and the shit hits the fan.

I think that SendGrid did the right thing firing this woman, I also think they should apologize to the developers who were removed from the conference and they should pay the developers companies for the lost conference fees.

Moreover, I think this should serve as a call to arms.

The time for draconian Politically Correct enforcement is past. it’s time for some of us to grow thicker skins, and stop trying to see offense in every situation.

It’s also time to stop denigrating being Male.

Face it men are different. Aside from our cocks and balls. We think differently and look at the world differently. As a result our jokes and what we find funny will be reflective of those differences. 

It’s time to let men be men.

Ladies, believe it or not, if you simply ask us to play nice… We will.

Well DUh!!!

I caught this article this morning while sorting out some issues with my Backups.

Yes that old bug a boo is back but I think I’ve been able to collect enough information that I can probably manage it until Apple gets off their collective behinds and correct the problem. (That’s another story)

The Title “Rocky start to second term raises questions about Obama approach” practically caused my brain to reboot!.

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You’re telling me that the highly educated liberal Democrats in this country couldn’t figure out that this was a likely scenario? This is a surprise?

Of course the President is going to have the same problems that he had for the past four years! He hasn’t changed and neither has the general make-up of Congress.

This is exactly the scenario I and most other thinking, rational people foresaw. It’s no longer about Democrats or Republicans.

Its about moving the country forward, shoring up our economy, getting our unemployed and under employed back to work, and making sure that the American People get good value for their tax dollars.

Obama was supposed to be a four year President. He was supposed to be the Jimmy Carter of this generation. He was supposed to prove yet again that Intellectual snobbery and alienation from the average American doesn’t work in the Presidency and then he was supposed to be voted out in favor of a much more pragmatic President.

I’m not sure the Republican candidates actually fit that bill but at least there would have been some cooperation between a Republican president and a largely Republican Congress.

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But… well a monkey wrench got tossed into the works and here we are.

I voted for Obama in 2008. I really did hope that he would cause change and provide more transparency into the government.

I didn’t vote for Obama in 2012.

I find it interesting that CNN who had been so venomous toward President Bush.

Who then spun poetic stories singing the virtues of Senator Obama, then practically fell over themselves spinning nothing but positive stories about President Obama is now being s tad critical.

I wonder if this is the beginning of the end…

Will the news media now turn on the President? Are we about to see the Media devour the shining light of Hope and Change?

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It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I wonder if the news media will be as harsh and critical of President Obama in his last term in office as they were of President Bush.

The article points out that the sequestration was an Obama administration suggestion. It also points out that the American people are getting a bit tired of the President engaging in the partisan “Blame Game”.

I know I’m tired of hearing the excuses. I want someone to take responsibility and take action.

I don’t see the President doing either anytime in the near future. 

Have you noticed lately that President Obama seems to be pointing fingers when he’s speaking?

Guess it gets to be a habit when you’re constantly blaming someone else for something.