The Mass Media Is a Mess

Recently, it occurred to me that liberals regard the federal government as a huge non-profit organization. It’s the same way that normal people look at the Red Cross or groups dedicated to eradicating dread diseases.

Those on the Left believe it’s up to the government to eliminate poverty by taking from the rich and giving to the poor. It’s known as the Robin Hood theory of economics.

Two questions leap to mind. The first is, why anyone would want to make the effort to become rich if his wealth is going to be confiscated through taxes and handed off to a mob of ne’er-do-wells? For the sake of the young and the stupid, I should explain that when the government does this sort of thing, it shouldn’t be regarded as charity, it’s coercion. It’s not compassion, it’s communism.

The second question is why, if liberals want to raise taxes on the wealthy in order to facilitate this redistribution, they themselves don’t simply make larger contributions to the IRS? Why don’t multi-millionaires like Soros, Kerry, Oprah, Schumer, Bloomberg, Spielberg, Buffet, Gates and the Clintons, pay more than the tax code requires, and why didn’t those scoundrels, Timothy Geithner and Charles Rangel, pay anything? For that matter, why doesn’t Joe Biden pay twice as much as he does? After all, he said paying taxes was a patriotic duty. Shouldn’t the Vice-President set us all an example by going above and beyond?

While we’re on the subject, why did the Obamas accept their IRS refund? They’re rolling in moolah, for crying out loud, and they don’t even order a pizza that we’re not paying for. And pizzas are the least of it. I just heard that Michelle and the kids, along with a cousin and Michelle’s mom, are all going off on an African safari that we’re financing. It’s supposed to be a learning experience for them, but what I’m learning about this crew is that they say all the right things and then turn around and do all the wrong ones. The country is in the throes of a financial collapse and this crowd is carrying on like the French royals just around the time that Dr. J.J. Guillotin was fine-tuning his clever invention.

Furthermore, if paying taxes is a virtue, why do all those liberals employ teams of CPAs and money managers to keep their tax liability to a minimum? And how the heck did Nancy Pelosi’s net worth increase between 2009 and 2010, by 62%, to $35.2 million?! Clearly, this woman knows something about economics that she’s not sharing with the rest of us.

An ongoing problem with liberals is that they invariably judge people and organizations by their stated good intentions. So it is that they defend an entity such as Planned Parenthood because it insists it is in the business of providing poor women with all manner of health care, including pre-natal, when everybody knows that it basically serves as the world’s biggest abortion mill.

Another group liberals adore is the U.N., a collection of thugs, creeps and freeloaders, that makes the Mafia, by comparison, look like a philanthropic society.

They are constantly defending public education, even though they send their own kids to private schools, and ballyhooing on behalf of the teachers unions because its members insist they’re devoted to the kids. But the fact remains that thousands of them played hooky and converged on Madison, Wisconsin, using phony medical excuses. Once there, they behaved very much like a lynch mob simply because the duly elected governor and legislature asked them to recognize that the gravy has to stop when the gravy train runs off the tracks.

I kept trying to picture one of these dedicated educators going back to the classroom and being asked by a fourth grader: “Well, how could they keep paying you guys all that money when everybody knows there is no money?”

Although all the candidates have behaved themselves very well during the early debates, although I suppose it could be argued that Tim Pawlenty behaved a little too well, they should all keep in mind that any insult they hurl at a primary opponent will likely wind up being used in an Obama attack ad in the general election. Loyalty to the party aside, aiding and abetting the enemy will definitely not enhance one’s own political future.

If I were Anthony Weiner, I would make it a point to avoid public functions for the next few years. The thing is, I recall a line with which an old comic regularly opened his act: “Good evening, ladies and genitals.” And, frankly, I don’t think, with Weiner in attendance, anyone, including his rabbi, could resist the temptation.

Speaking of lines, when it was reported to me a while back that Obama had talked about building a moat at the Mexican border and filling it with alligators, I swelled with pride. That had been a suggestion, after all, that I had made in an article back when Bush was still in office. But then, alas, I learned that Obama was merely making one of his infrequent jokes.

When conservatives attack the media, it’s generally regarding leftwing bias. But, recently, there arose a situation in which we also got to see examples of their overall incompetence and callousness.

It seems that a report went out that 30 bodies of dead children had been discovered buried on an isolated farm in Texas. Before you could say, “Check the source,” everyone was running with the horrific story.

I will confess that my initial reaction was skepticism. That’s probably because that’s always my initial reaction. But it’s also because I recalled an amusing story that was being passed around last year. The way it went, there was a guy who was serving time in prison for a bank robbery in which the money had never been recovered. Knowing that his mail and phone calls were being monitored by the FBI, the convict called his father, a poor farmer, and let him know that the loot was buried somewhere on the south 40. By the end of the week, the FBI hadn’t uncovered a plugged nickel, but the old man’s acreage was all plowed up and ready for Spring planting.

In this case, however, when the smoke had cleared and the tip to the cops was found to have come from a self-professed psychic, just about every news organization from CNN to Fox had egg on its face.

But perhaps the most telling remark came from a spokeswoman from Reuter’s who said — and she might as well have been speaking for all of the MSM — “I just had a sickening feeling when we discovered it was a hoax.”

Wouldn’t you have thought that a more appropriate comment would have been, “It was certainly embarrassing to be caught with our pants down, but thank God it was just a hoax and there weren’t 30 children dead and buried on that farm”?

And just in case you were wondering, the psychic in this case wasn’t, as rumor had it, Dick Morris.

Still, perhaps I’m asking the impossible of the news media. After all, this is the very same industry that dedicated all of its resources, up to and including the NY Times and the Washington Post asking its readers to sift through years worth of Sarah Palin’s official email, in the hope of finding something with which to ridicule a woman who’s had the unmitigated gall to be a mayor, a governor, a vice-presidential candidate, a Christian and, perhaps worst of all, give birth to a handicapped baby.

Just where the hell does Sarah Palin get off being a role model of courage, competence and decency?

And let’s face it — if it weren’t for the constant media scrutiny, this woman might actually get away with it!


©2011 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? Write Burt!
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Author Bio:

Burt Prelutsky, a very nice person once you get to know him, has been a humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine. As a freelancer, he has written for the New York Times, Washington Times, TV Guide, Modern Maturity, Emmy, Holiday, American Film, and Sports Illustrated. For television, he has written for Dragnet, McMillan & Wife, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Bob Newhart, Family Ties, Dr. Quinn and Diagnosis Murder. In addition, he has written a batch of terrific TV movies. View Burt’s IMDB profile. Talk about being well-rounded, he plays tennis and poker... and rarely cheats at either. He lives in the San Fernando Valley, where he takes his marching orders from a wife named Yvonne and a dog named Angel.
Author website: http://www.burtprelutsky.com/
  • http://BurtPrelutsky.com Burt Prelutsky

    John in MA: Why does it disturb you that I attacked the media on more than one front? I apologize if I lost you on the turn, but I expect my readers to keep up. I notice that a lot of other columnists don’t expect much from their readers, which is why so many of them spend 600 words repeating their first four or five sentences.

    Regards, Burt

  • JDO

    One would think, just by using common sense, that 30 children missing and presumed dead all at the same time (or, at least, in a time period similar enough to be buried at the same time) would’ve been the top story here in Texas for quite a while before the psychic’s phone call. Certainly the authorities had to investigate the claim, but didn’t ANYone even think about what would’ve had to lead up to it?

  • John In MA

    Wow! This article is a bit of a mess, too. You’ve mixed many motivations for the media into one narrative. That they chase Palin so relentlessly is driven from ideology. That they are so easily led astray with premature and inaccurate reporting is not often driven by ideology, but may at times (witness Dan Rather). There is nothing that gets today’s “news” organizations and individual reporters more excited than to use the words “exclusive”, and “here first”. This obsession is much more powerful than the desire to be accurate, or reputable, or even honest in some cases.

    Perhaps the decision-makers on the business side rationalize it by considering that as long as they all fail together, there isn’t a clear winner or loser attributed to such unprofessional behavior.