Friday, June 22, 2012

"Who Authorized Fast and Furious?"

I like to get to the heart of the matter, so I will use this column to ask one question of  President Barack Obama, "Who authorized Fast and Furious?"

Since no answer will be given, I will rhetorically ask a couple legitimate follow-ups, "Why do you not have that answer by now?" "How do you not know?" "You're the President of the United States of America, shouldn't you know this by now?"

Follow-ups are always the best indication of when a journalist is serious, or when they are pandering. This president gets very few serious follow-up questions.

I've been to plenty of media scrums and press conferences where questions had to be shouted and I would have no problem shouting that question to the president at the end of every public appearance. "Who authorized Fast and Furious?" Ronald Reagan got questions shouted at him many times during public appearances, if Obama won't answer this question, I would make it obvious that the president is avoiding me.

Obama was asked this question by Univision's Jorge Ramos on March 22, 2011. "I did not authorize it, Eric Holder the Attorney General did not authorize. He has been very clear that our policy is to put gunrunners in jail, so what he's done is to assign an IG, an Inspector General to investigate exactly what happened here," said Obama. Ramos interrupts Dear Leader at that point and asks, "Who authorized it?" Obama's answer, "Well, we don't have all the facts, that's why the IG is in business....this is a pretty big goverment, the United State government, I've got a lot of moving parts."

Ya, I guess the government is too big to know who inside it would concoct a program to sell 2000 of the most dangerous hand-held weapons on the planet to known Mexican drug dealers, kidnappers and murderers.

It's been 15 months since Obama was first asked, "Who authorized Fast and Furious?" and we are still no closer to an answer today than we were then. In fact, thanks to Obama using executive privilege to keep vital documents secret, we are farther from an answer today.

As journalists we should unite on this. No other question should be asked of the president until he answers this one. No fluff interviews about Bo the dog or Michelle's diet requests. Brian Terry was killed more than 18 months ago and his family deserves to know the answer to this question, "Who authorized Fast and Furious?"

If the media won't demand answers from this president, who will?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Fast and Furious, Worse Than Watergate

If you want to see a liberal media members head explode, compare Fast and Furious to Watergate. If you want to see an entire newsroom freak-out say that Fast and Furious is worse than Watergate.

The Activist Old Media has spent this month celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Watergate. Make no doubt about it, they are celebrating. They worship at the alter of Woodward and Bernstein for two reasons. 1) They took down a Republican President, 2) The media broke the story. Nothing can replace this perfect storm in their minds. Those are also the reasons the media will not give Fast and Furious the respect it deserves.

With a Democrat in the White House and his reelection on the line, this is the absolute worst time for a scandal like this to blow-up. The story of Eric Holder and the contempt vote must go after a hot day in June, as it was treated by ABC World News Tonight. They are being dragged kicking and screaming to this story and will drop it as quickly as they can. Compare the coverage of Fast and Furious to the four years of coverage of the Valerie Plame leaking "scandal" from the Bush White House days that ended in flameout for the Democrats and their media friends. 

Also, since bloggers broke this story, the Activist Old Media cannot take ownership and create shrines to fellow "journalists." CBS says that Sharon Atkisson broke the story, but it was on the 'net before it went to the Net. Certainly, Atkisson has done a great job on this story, so good that she has been yelled at by Holders lackeys. She was the first network news reporter to do the story partly because the other networks have been historically absent on this story, until now. But, no network "broke" this story, as they claim. It's a brave new world out there on the internet, and the Activist Old Media is doing everything it can to ignore and diminish that fact. Blind by choice.

There are many elements that make Fast and Furious #WorseThanWatergate. Brian Terry's death and the deaths of 300+ Mexicans should be first on that list. Nobody died in Watergate. It was a botched burglary of Democrat campaign headquarters by Republican operatives. Then came the Richard Nixon cover-up. We have always been told the cover-up was worse (which it was) and it brought down a President. In Fast and Furious, both the operation and the attempted cover-up are scandalous.  Holder has already lied many times to Congress and now Barack Obama has become the first President to use Executive Privilege to keep secret his own documents that he claims he has never seen. The media can't see the historic relevance here because they don't want to see it. Blind by choice.

Concocting a scheme to put the most dangerous hand-held weapons on the planet in the hands of Mexican drug cartels should be enough to bury anybody and everybody responsible. Congress wants to see how far this scandal goes up the food chain and they have been blocked at nearly every turn. Oh, Holder has turned over some documents, but it is clear there is more out there that this administration is hiding, or why the Executive Privilege? I guess that part is hard for the Activist Old Media to figure out. They are busy popping the champagne corks on 40 year old Dom.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Ron Futrell Report

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Jobs Numbers, In Context

Context is one of the most important things a journalist can do.

There’s the old joke of a sportscaster giving out scores on the nightly news; 5 to 2, 7 to 0, 3 to 1. Without team names the numbers are useless, and the joke is funny when it comes to sports.

The Activist Old Media uses similar methods when it comes to the monthly unemployment numbers. They report the number of jobs that were “created” in a month, then fail to measure it against the number needed just to break even.

69,000 jobs created in May. In the graphic above CNN calls this the number of "jobs gained." What does that mean? Let’s add context. It takes at least 90,000 jobs created per month just for America to break even with job growth. That is the standard. As job growth is critical to this nations future, it’s important to know what the “break even” number is. Some have said the break even number is as high as 150,000 a month (New York Times number,) for the sake of argument, we'll take the lower number (don't say we don't give Obama a break.) Clearly 69,000 jobs were not "gained."

90,000 to break even with job growth is a number that every American should know when they are told employment figures, but few do. The media fails to provide that context.

Instead of saying 69,000 jobs were "gained" in May, it should be reported that, “overall the economy lost at least 21,000 jobs.” In every graphic produced by the media, and in every report by the media, that 90,000 number should be considered.

When you take the last three months into consideration the number overall is 40,000 jobs lost. 230,000 jobs “created” and 270,000 needed to break even. Even an old sports guy like me can do this math. This is a simple and easy way for people to understand this vital issue and it paints the pathetic picture that the Obama Administration and Activist Old Media apparently like to hide.

The Obama Administration often likes to tell how many jobs were “created” in a month and they will never, never subtract the 90,000 “break even” number. Okay, they are partisans, we can’t expect honesty from them. We should expect it from the media. Whenever Barack Obama touts his success at “creating” jobs, the math should be done, and don’t get me started on the “jobs saved” number, that is just a joke and anybody using it should be ridiculed. I believe Obama feels that as Dear Leader, he has “saved” all of our jobs. Without him…

The 8.2% unemployment figure is another issue, and there is more deception there. The Feds ignore people who have left the job market, and over the last three years they have reduced the number of jobs available, which makes the percentage lower than it actually is. Another column for another day.

I know the message consultants and management types would give us in newsrooms and it would be to keep the information simple and straight. So, there you have it, I have simplified the information for my friends in the media to help them better communicate with their viewers/readers/listeners. I charge you nothing for my consultation here, times are tough out there.