Currently Browsing: Eyes on the Media

Mark Twain and Donald Trump.

Mark Twain once quipped that one should “never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.”

That sentiment was later expanded to read “never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel and paper by the ton.”

Twain’s point was that in a world where newspapers controlled what the public read, understood and discussed, a person doesn’t want to get into a fight where their voice is much smaller and not nearly as loud as that of newspapers.

Certainly, that advice seems to have been heeded by people, including politicians during the golden age of radio and through the age of television where basically three networks controlled what people saw and heard as news.

It is therefore puzzling somewhat that President Donald Trump would begin a war – or maybe it is better said that he responded to a war launched by the media – with the media itself.

A. F. Branco’s cartoon below illustrates the fight somewhat.

(courtesy A.F. Branco at Comically Incorrect.)

It would seem that there is no way that Trump can win this war with the media. In addition, we have read on other blogs and from other people that even trying to fight such a war is beneath the “dignity of the Office of the President.”

A decade ago, we may have agreed with the assessment that it is better to make nice with the media than pick a fight with them.

But with Al Gore’s invention of the internet, a shift has occurred. People no longer are getting their news strictly from newspapers and the networks. Blogs and other online outlets have millions of readers and perhaps even more important, millions of eyes watching out for newsworthy items and writing about them. Social media – for better or worse – has become a source of information as well.

The result is that trust in the traditional media is at an historic low.

In fact, trust in the media is lower than Trump’s approval rating (which ironically the mainstream media continues to label as “horrible,” “abysmal,” etc.)

Americans’ trust and confidence in the mass media “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly” has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history, with 32% saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media. This is down eight percentage points from last year. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Trump’s approval rating according to the same source is 46%)

This follows a report by Joe Scarborough saying that a major newspaper admitted they were in the tank for Hillary Clinton:

The Sound You Just Heard Was Us Screaming In Anger.

Felx Cross was a 61 year old, beloved teacher at the Williamsburg Charter High School in Williamsburg, New York.

We use the past tense for Mr. Cross because on July 6, 2013, the Spanish teacher was run over by a New York Police Department van driven by Officer Paula Medrano. After being struck, Cross was taken to Bellevue Hospital where he died that night.

A local camera recorded the accident.

Cross was walking in the crosswalk, with the light when he was struck by Medrano.

What happened after this?

Nothing. Not one daggone thing.

A Spanish teacher who was hit and killed by a marked police van in Williamsburg had the right of way — but the plainclothes cop driving the vehicle is not likely to be charged, sources said.

“It was a tragic, unfortunate accident,” a police source told The Post.

Felix Coss, 61, had the pedestrian signal as he finished crossing Broadway at Hooper Street at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, sources said.

The veteran female officer was making a left-hand turn from Hooper Street to Broadway and failed to see the Coss, a teacher at the Beginning with Children Charter School, a source said. Coss was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

No criminality and no traffic-law violations are suspected, police said.

Witnesses say that Medrano was on her cell phone at the time of the accident.

NYPD’s Internal Affairs Unit subpoenaed Medrano’s phone records because Medrano refused to hand over the cell phone:

A livery car driver, who saw the accident from across the street but would not give his name for fear of the police, said he saw the officer talking on her phone at the time of the accident.

“She had her phone up to her ear,” said the man who would only give his name as Elvis. “She didn’t yield. She didn’t see him until she hit him.”

Elvis said he saw Medrano get out of the car with a worried expression and start apologizing.

Investigators asked for her phone immediately after the accident but Medrano refused to hand it over, telling them that they would have to subpoena her for the records, police sources said.

News outlets and bloggers have asked for the records and other information now that the investigation is closed. The NYPD, however, have refused to allow the public to view the records:

The Bill Of Rights Is Not Part Of The Constitution?

(image courtesy of ESPN)

(image courtesy of ESPN)

Doug Gottlieb is a reporter and radio talk show host for CBS Sports.

After 24 year old Lakeisha Holloway drove her car up on a Las Vegas sidewalk killing one and injuring 37 others, Gottlieb decided to address the situation on Twitter. Apparently confused and perhaps thinking that Holloway used a gun to injure her victims as opposed to a 2000 pound vehicle, Gottlieb tweeted out:

Gottlieb tweet


Gotlieb originally went to the University of Notre Dame on a basketball scholarship and after some legal issues there, he transferred to Golden West College and then to Oklahoma State where he thrived and graduated.

“How’s The Leg?”

Chris Matthews once gushed over an Obama speech saying a “thrill had gone up his leg.”

Dan Joseph from MRCTV asked Matthews about his leg prior to the Republican Presidential Debate on Wednesday.

Matthews was not amused.

Clearly this was an ambush and a set up, but Matthews has never shied away from situations where he is doing the ambushing. The reaction when the tables are turned is both typical and somewhat disturbing.

If Matthews had ambushed someone and been told to “go to hell,” that sound clip would have played over the air time and time again.

We bet that Matthews won’t play this on his show at all.

Teacher Reassigned For Fake Musket in Class. Reporters Show They Are Clueless.

History-Book-and-Musket-ROH A middle school teacher in Kissimmee, has been reassigned after she brought in a fake Revolutionary War era musket to show to her students. According to Local 6, WKMG:

Local 6 has learned the toy musket was used during the history teacher’s lesson on the American Revolutionary War. The eighth-grade teacher, identified as Gema Evans, used the prop last week. But this week, students came forward with concerns. The Osceola County School District said several complained that they were frightened by the replica.


Students were frightened by a toy gun? One that couldn’t fire?

What has happened here?

Kids today seemed to be bored by history. So when the teacher brings in a non-harmful (much less non-lethal) replica so students can touch, see, and feel the type of weapon that fired “the shot heard ’round the world,” the type of weapon used at Lexington and Concord after Paul Revere’s (in)famous ride, and the weapon that was used at Yorktown, she gets “re-assigned” for bringing history to life?

Who are the idiots running the schools these days?

Nevermind. We know.

They are the people that produce someone like Sheli Muniz whose report on this incident was broadcast on WKMG:

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There is so many things wrong with Muniz’s report (as well as the statements made by the news anchors) that it is hard to know where to begin.

Eyes On The Road.

An effective ad from Volkswagon on texting while driving.

Sometimes good ads aren’t about selling things, but rather reminding people you want them around to sell to.

Well done, Bugmeisters.

CNN Anchor Makes Major Mistake.

Carol Costello anchors the 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. (ET) edition of CNN Newsroom each weekday. She is based in the network’s world headquarters in Atlanta. Costello previously contributed to The Situation Room and anchored CNN Daybreak, the network’s former early morning news program.

Costello has interviewed four former U.S. presidents, President Jimmy Carter, President Ronald Reagan, President George H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton and has covered four presidential inaugurations.

Costello was a part of CNN’s Peabody Award winning coverage of the Gulf Oil Spill, the 2008 presidential election and Hurricane Katrina. During her time with CNN, she has also reported on the last Space Shuttle launch, the Ohio midterm elections, the shooting at Virginia Tech, the tsunami disaster in South Asia, the Russian school hostage crisis and Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne.

Costello’s work has been honored numerous times, including a 1991 Emmy Award for a special on crack and cocaine, a UPI award, several Associated Press awards and an Emmy nomination in 1993.

Costello joined CNN in October 2001 from WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C., where she’d worked five years as an anchor and investigative reporter. Before that, she spent three years at WBAL-TV in Baltimore as an anchor and co-anchor. She began her career as a weekend anchor and reporter for WAKR-TV in Akron, Ohio, then moved to WBNS-TV in Columbus, Ohio, to work as the station’s principal weeknight anchor.

Costello earned a degree in journalism from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.

With all that experience, awards and a college degree, did Costello really think that the First Lady of the United States – the President’s wife – signs bills into law?

We are often forgiving of people who, when speaking extemporaneously screw something up. It is easy to do. Yet this seems to be read from a tele-prompter which makes things worse as someone would not only have had to write it, but approve the script.

We want to be helpful to the people at CNN that missed this.

Oh Al.

We realize that trying to speak “off the cuff” is difficult. Tongues get tied and it is very easy to sound somewhat ridiculous.

Which is why we are willing to give Al Sharpton somewhat of a pass on this collection of him butchering words and names. After all, Al is speaking off extemporaneously and things happen.

(Okay, he is reading from a teleprompter and his mispronunciation of words could be fixed by redoing the segment, but we are trying to be kind to Al.)

Side note: if anyone can figure out what “Why was traffic problems email sent?” let us know.

(h/t to the Free Beacon)

Blind Squirrels, Fire, And Getty Images.

Blind-Squirrel-Finds-a-Nut-small We like the image to the left. It was suggested by a friend made the comment of “once in awhile a blind squirrel finds a nut” and then was turned into that image by our graphics guy. The image is a compilation of 4 different images and because it is a “new” work, it is protected by copyright laws. Not all people respect those rights and so when we search for the image on the internet, it has been used by over 800 different sites without a single attribution to us.


A friend from a now defunct blog asked for an image on the Constitution. He was writing a post claiming that some people were looking to “burn the Constitution into ashes.” The result was this:


That image too have been popular and other than the original blog, no one has given our graphics department attribution when they use the image.

Most of the time we don’t care. (Well, we care a little because it takes the work that is done here and adds to other blogs or in some cases, online newspapers.) We did find an image of ours from the “Satellite Beach” series that we do for posts on meetings and all things Satellite Beach that was being used by a local realtor. He was upset when we wrote him and asked that he either remove the image or attribute it to us. When he initially refused, we told him we would be contacting his hosting company with a demand letter to take it down.

Our point is that while we aren’t angry that others use the images that are created here, we think it is reasonable to say where the image came from. That’s what we do. If we use an image that we don’t modify or composite into something else, we say where we got it.

Which brings us to Getty Images. In case you aren’t aware, Getty Images is a company that takes a lot of pictures at specialized events.

“Of Course He Has The Right To Say Whatever We Tell Him Is Correct.”

Rick Reilly is a sports writer for ESPN and ESPN the Magazine. While we respect Reilly’s writing in the sports realm, he has taken a venture into commenting on the Ron Brown issue in a May 6, 2012 column in which he calls for the long time Nebraska football assistant coach to quit because of Brown’s long held religious views on homosexuality.

You read that right. A journalist who allegedly believes in freedom of speech thinks a person should quit their job because their speech doesn’t agree with what the journalist holds.

If you aren’t aware of the controversy, Ron Brown has been coaching at the University of Nebraska for over 22 years. He has won numerous awards on his coaching ability. He also helped found the Christian ministry group “Freed Men,” which helps teach men to live within the framework of a Biblical lifestyle God has laid out for them.

However, last month Brown appeared in front of an Omaha City Council meeting to speak against a proposed ordinance that would extend “anti-discrimination” protection to gays. That appearance set off the firestorm which now includes Reilly’s column.

Reilly finds a young man by the name of Brett Major who says at the age of eleven, he came to hear Brown speak and ended up becoming a Christian.

“He came and spoke to a youth group I was in,” says Major, now 24. “I think I was 11. He was such a dynamic speaker. And he was a Nebraska football coach. We idolized anybody that had anything to do with Nebraska football. I just sat there and went, ‘Wow. He’s cool and he’s Nebraska football and he believes in God.’ And that’s all it took for me.”

At the frenzied peak of his speech, peppered with Huskers football stories, Brown called any listeners who were ready to devote their lives to Christ to come stand with him and join his “team.” Brett Major came forward. Ron Brown took him by the hand.

“That was a milestone for me,” Major says. “I decided I wanted to live a Christian life from that moment on.”

To Majors, that “Christian life” – a life Reilly describes as being “devout” – includes being gay.

There is a certain irony that is lost on Reilly when he uses Majors who plainly states the reason he went to hear Brown was because Brown is associated with the Nebraska football program. Yet later in the article Reilly condemns Brown for his association with the university.

Brown, 55, speaks out often about Christ and against homosexuality, which is his First Amendment right. But Ron Brown wouldn’t get one-tenth of these offers to speak if he weren’t a Huskers coach. He’s an in-state celebrity. He admits he uses Huskers football as a platform to get his message out. His personal opinions can’t be separated from his job. There are three paragraphs in the Nebraska media guide about his Christian work.

Don’t you just love the hypocrisy here? Majors is the poster child for Reilly’s column to bash Brown and his association with the University of Nebraska. Would Majors be the same person he is now without hearing Brown at the age of 11? Majors says he wouldn’t. Yet while propping Majors up on pedestal, Reilly denigrates Brown for what Majors says allows him to be there.

Let’s be clear here. The Bible is consistent in its condemnation of homosexuality in both the Old and New Testaments. Yet Rielly tries to play the part of a theologian in quoting a pastor and Major himself.

First, the pastor:

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