Tag Archives: Media

Just Saying: False Fish Feeding Frenzy!

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I have been trying my very best to not comment on current events.

I held my tongue when shrimpy little arrogant mask-wearing cowards in skinny jeans proclaimed themselves to be anti-fascists by becoming violent fascists.  I watched their personal attacks and extensive property destruction on lots of videos.

I did not comment on the “Don’t Shoot!” rallies, even though multiple eyewitnesses to the actual event testified, under oath, that it never happened. Nor, did I comment last week, when it was learned, during testimony to Congress by social media giants, that a Russian trolling group had actually used social media platforms to organize the “Don’t Shoot” protests with the sole purpose of causing civil unrest in our country. Why? Just because they could.  It would be laughable….if I were Russian.

Then, too, it was amazing to have Donna Brazile confirm what many of us already knew.  The Democratic party primaries were rigged against Bernie Sanders by Hillary Clinton. Ms. Brazile’s disclosure that she felt her life was in danger after the Seth Rich murder speaks volumes.

Naturally, it would get my goat to learn there are actually college students, and others in this country, that think free speech is only allowable if it doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings.  A worse indictment of a failed and biased educational system, I can’t imagine. Sometimes, I ponder when, if ever, these all-knowing, overly-sensitive college administrators and teachers are going to figure out that their success at limiting, and in some instances eradicating conservative colleagues, thought, opinion and discussion from college campuses has only been an self-deluding and self-defeating exercise in cutting off their noses to spite their faces.

It appears that there is an inability or unwillingness to teach critical thinking skills, or at least a lesson in the Karma of what goes around comes around regarding restricting the Constitutional right to free speech.  If you restrict or outlaw anyone’s right to free speech, someday, someone will restrict and outlaw yours.  We are either all going to be free, or eventually, no one will be free.

Normally, any or all of those things could have triggered one of my….just saying….opinion blogs. However, this morning the line is way too far behind some folks to ignore.

I woke up early this morning and logged onto my computer to try and learn more about the horrendous massacre in that small Texas church.  It angered me to learn that a mentally-ill, self-proclaimed atheist, with a history of domestic assault who should never had access to any fire arm had attacked the church of his in-laws causing the deaths of 26 innocent people, including many children…one only 18-months old.  My sympathy, heart and prayers go out to the affected families and that entire community.

Then….it happened! I lit up like a Christmas tree as my eyes fell upon an article about President Trump….feeding fish!  First of all, what a stupid event to report on. Especially on a day when our country is mourning the loss of so much innocent life. It was absolutely flabbergasting that with all of the chaos and trouble in our nation and world that several media outlets took the time and chose to make the call to, yet again, maliciously doctor a video just to make fun our president.

Of course, yet again, a person only had to watch the entire unedited video to learn that Japan’s Prime Minister had fed the fish the exact same way and amount as our president.  I have included a link to the unedited video of the fish feeding for anyone who is actually interested in the truth.

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2017/11/06/anti-trump-media-makes-up-fake-story-about-overfeeding-fish-at-japanese-koi-pond.html

The atrocity committed by the shooter in Texas is pure evil. The intentional manipulative lying and disgustingly childish bullying by the media is embarrassing and shameful. They remind me of a pack of mean junior high school girls. Maybe, junior high school mean-girls training has replaced ethics courses at our college journalism schools?  It would appear so…….just saying

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What Is On My Mind Today? Trivializing the Momentous and Complicating the Obvious

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Montana on fire

It seems to me that by now almost everyone in this country knows someone who has been personally impacted by Hurricane Harvey, will be hit by Hurricane Irma or is being affected by the horrendous fires devouring several of our nation’s western states.

These natural disasters have, are and will be affecting millions of our fellow countrymen and women.

So, what did I see first thing on the nightly news last evening and this morning.   Not hurricanes, not fires, not even North Korea and their latest nuclear missile, DACA…a program that effects less than a million people and that will not be ended for another six months.

Oh, I saw lots of people marching expressing their ire against President Trump…yet again.  Which made me wonder if I am the only person who is becoming totally numb to these protests?  Yes, I get it already,  Trump can do nothing right.  But, I’ll tell you, I am much less fearful of a leader in whom the media finds only fault, than in one that can do no wrong.  Just for the record though, under our Constitution, only Congress can make law, not this president or any other.

On the bright side at least these protesters are getting some exercise, however I think they could all benefit greatly from a reading of the children’s story, Peter the Wolf.  It is a Russian story so conspiracy theorists beware!

Then, to escape the mainstream media, as I do everyday, I went online to look at several different media outlets and saw this story about a 10-year-old girl and her donation of 167 pairs of her own shoes to hurricane victims in Texas.  I went to public school, so I did the math.  In my head. That is 16.7 pairs of shoes a year.  That’s a lot of shoes.  An impressive amount of shoes for any child to be sure.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think it is wonderful that this little girl is pitching in to help with storm relief.  It’s with her parents and the media I have issues.

How is this, in any way shape or form news!  Especially, for a national news outlet? What is the media’s news story prioritization process?  What must this process look like?

I can just picture their newsroom meeting.  The beast in charge summarizes, “Well on today’s docket we have two major hurricanes—Irma could be the biggest and deadliest ever; DACA is on a six-month hold in hopes that Congress will get its act together and do the right thing to give these folks some permanent peace of mind in law; the North Korean nuclear threat is increasing by the day; Montana is on fire; well, actually many of our nation’s western states are fighting out of control fires; oh, and this cute little girl in Georgia is giving away 167 pairs of shoes that she’ll never wear again or put on any of her future children to hurricane victims.”

There is quiet in the room. Only soft breathing, and the occasional slap to an overly inquisitive hand is heard, as the powers that be mull over their news story choices and mentally wrestle with the importance of their weighty decision.  Quickly, they individually conclude that the hand slapper just lost her promotion.  Eventually, their eyes light up as they realize which story is most important to the viewing public. Then, in unison they all jump to their feet and yell, “Go with the shoes!”

I must say about our media as General James L. Kemper said about General George Picket in the movie Gettysbury, “Well, I got to hand it to you, George. You sure got a talent for trivializing the momentous and complicating the obvious. You ever consider running for Congress?

….just saying

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/09/05/georgia-girl-10-donates-167-pairs-shoes-to-hurricane-harvey-victims.html

What Is On My Mind Today? I Just Don’t Believe It…

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There are some things in this world that I am never going to believe.

That there is no God.

That trying to follow the ten commandments would be a bad thing.

That Bible and science are contradictory.

That vaccines cause autism.

That essential oils are essential to anything except the plants from which they are extracted.

That homeopathic medicine is equal to modern medicine.

That what pharmaceutical companies charge for drugs isn’t larceny.

That social media has been good for humanity.

That video games are better for young people than going outside and playing.

That texting isn’t the kiss-off of personal communications.

That the United States is not a great nation.

That Russia looked at all the 2016 Presidential Race candidates and said, “Trump, now, he’s the pony I’d put my money on!

That Russia doesn’t always try to meddle in our elections.

That Congressional Republicans support the president.

That Speaker Paul Ryan’s Healthcare plan has anything to do with either health or care.

That repealing and replacing Obamacare would be better for the people who need affordable healthcare than fixing it. Especially, since Republican leadership tried to repeal it time after time, year after year and all the while no one in leadership saw fit to draft a humane, fiscally responsible, workable, passable alternative.

That there are not current democratic members of Congress, and in state legislatures, from south of the Mason-Dixon Line, who had ancestors that were confederates.

That historical statues are more of a threat to a person’s mental, emotional and physical health than what is viewed on television, in video games or at the movies.

That black on black violence is less news worthy than statue intimidation.

That the average person under the age of fifty could tell the difference between a statue of a Union or Confederate General if they were placed side by side.

That the democratic party has the best interests of minority groups in mind.

That it is ever a waste of time to vote.

That sexism doesn’t exist.

That there is such a thing as a “woman’s” brain.

That female genital mutilation is ever all right.

That female subjugation is ever all right.

That all cultures and ideas are of equal value.

That law’s weren’t meant to be followed and enforced.

That there are not bad laws.

That bad laws do not need to be repealed.

That peace can be found through violence and intimidation.

That the generations that passed civil rights laws and spent a lifetime teaching children and grandchildren not to be racist are now all of a sudden racist.

That racism doesn’t exist.

That only white people can be racist.

That all police officer’s are racist.

That Antifa is peaceful and law abiding.

That white supremacists are not a threat to minorities.

That the age of enlightenment is now.

That any higher education institution should receive federal funding if they support segregation of any kind including “safe zones.”

That any higher education institution should receive federal funding if they discriminate against any group…minority or majority.

That past generations should be known only by their faults.

That the people on earth now are just the smartest ever.

That freedom of speech is not under attack in our public squares, institutions and places of work.

That political correctness hasn’t gone off the rails.

That ideological social media censorship doesn’t exist.

That theater arts majors know how the run the world and what’s best for everyone.

That mainstream media strives to report news factually and without bias.

That truth is not close to being declared officially dead.

That everything is relative and there are no longer any absolutes.

That our society suffers from an excess of personal responsibility.

That our society suffers from an excess of self-determination.

That our society suffers from an excess of humility.

That anyone who has been married to Bill Clinton could honestly be creeped out by any man in shoe leather.

That diet Coke tastes as good as regular Coke.

That margarine tastes like butter.

That Elvis is still alive.

That if the people supporting Kaepernick don’t watch NFL football and those offended by players not standing for the national anthem continue to boycott the NFL, that it would be wise to buy advertising time during the games.

And, what set me off today….

That anyone wants to see Amy Schumer or any other member of the Schumer family naked.

Just saying….

 

Just Saying: Soft Christians, Politicians and the Media…If they aren’t just the limit!

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I have had the worst writer’s block since my Uncle Mrywin died in December.  Last week my cousin Chris Schneider sent me a few old family photos I had never seen before. I have looked and looked at them. She is right, I look very much like my grandmother when she was young.

The relationship I had with my Grandmother Esther was a very special one.  She was a special person…a soft Christian.

You may not have met many of those.  They aren’t showy and are often found in the very back pews in most churches.  They don’t attend worship services to be seen, socialize or sing. Sunday was the day God set aside for them to worship and rest.  It was a time to humbly meet with their maker in his house to repent for wrongdoings, seek forgiveness, express gratitude for blessings, partake of the sacrament of Holy Communion and assess the needs of other members of their faith family.

Soft Christians were also quiet Christians. They knew their bibles and loved their Lord, but would not dream of ever shouting out a hallelujah in public for fear of being mistaken for a biblical Pharisee. Prayer was private, on your knees and between you and God. To be moved by the Spirit meant seeing human hurt and need and doing something about it. Faith was action. They would stealthily go about life doing good whenever and wherever possible, not needing or taking credit for their good deeds.

These folks would never have stood for anyone teaching a biblical falsehood. They took very seriously God’s admonishment,”that it would be better to have a mill stone tied around your neck and be drowned that to ever teach one of his little ones to error.” While there was still right and wrong, they believed that everyone, including themselves, had fallen short in the eyes of God and had no cause to boast. The, “judge not, less you be judged” was taken every bit as seriously as the drowning thing.

Oh sure, some people would label these folks as meek pushovers. Now there would be a mistake!  Mistaking mercy for weakness is always a mistake. Soft Christians are some of the strongest people that you are ever likely to meet. During their lifetimes this imperfect world forced them down onto their knees many times.  Too broken and weak to rise again on their own, they sought strength to persevere from a loving God and felt Jesus lighten their burden. They serve God, because they know God.

The grace of God they experienced during those hard times honed their character. They are the ones who have developed the patience of a saint; learned that a kind word can turn away wrath; chosen to turn the other cheek when wronged; forgiven when it was hard and bestowed undeserving mercy.

Day after day these humble, at times invisible, folks do their best to share the love of their savior Jesus Christ with a world that rejects, mocks and tries to humiliate them and Him. Determined to set a good example, these faithful followers of Christ understand that actions speak louder than words.  It is what you do, not what you say.  True leadership is by example.

When I was writing all of those history lessons on leadership, disguised as letters to a grandson on this blog, I deliberately chose examples of good and bad leaders.  All of these men and women had great oratory and leadership skills.  However, it was not their learned leadership lessons or excellent communication skills that made them heroes or villains, it was their moral values or lack there of.  The historical record provides many examples of famous leaders whose epitaphs should read, “what goes around, comes around.”

As a child when I had been the target of someone utilizing less than moral leadership by example skills that ended in unfairness, physical or emotional hurt, my grandmother would often comfort me.  Then, under her breath she’d crossly mutter, “Well, if they aren’t just the limit!”

That is how I feel about our nation’s politicians and media.  I think they could all greatly benefit from a good old-fashioned dose of Grandma Esther’s moral lessons.

Such as:
…truth will out (liars eventually get caught)
…cheaters never prosper (be honest)
…well, if that isn’t the pot calling the kettle black (don’t be a hypocrite)
…a kind word can turn away wrath (deescalate)
…leave it go (compromise)
…turn the other cheek (refuse to sink to their level)
…forgive them (forgiveness is good for them and for you)
…move on (accepting that there are things you can change and things you cannot)
…show a little mercy once in a while (everyone makes mistakes so be kind)
…there but by the grace of God go I (have empathy)
…no good deed ever goes unpunished  (do good anyway)
…pretty is as pretty does (manners and social skills count)

Soft Christians, like my grandmother, knew that violence begets violence and hate begets more hate and that no good can ever come from that.  I cannot count the number of times I was told that two wrongs can never make a right.  It never has and it never will ….just saying.

 

 

Being a Press Secretary is a tough job…just saying

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Patricia Turgeon…Press Secretary and Assistant Communications Director

I have been watching the relationship between Sean Spicer and the press with interest.  As a former press secretary to a high profile elected official, who was a polarizing political figure, I can clearly state that being a press secretary is a tough job.

I rarely talk about anything that I did while employed by either Republicans or Democrats at the Minnesota State Capitol. While watching Sean Spicer’s press briefing regarding the false report of the removal of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King bust from the oval office and the dispute regarding inauguration crowd numbers, I caught myself literally shaking my head. Boy, did that bring back memories.

I worked in communication for the Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State during the Coleman-Franken and Emmer-Dayton recounts.  I was there for the marriage amendments and several election cycles.  I was the lone republican on the communication’s team in a democrat office.

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie (Democrat) best described my role and gave me one of the nicest compliments of my life all at the same time.  He and I are both avid readers of history–especially  Civil War history.  One day he heard about a Civil War tour of the Capitol and enthusiastically invited me to go with him.  Through the tunnels we raced.

The tour guide explained that during the Civil War a person had to be a certain height to enter military service. Sadly, I bemoaned that I couldn’t have served, because I was too short. Secretary Ritchie’s eyes just danced as he smiled at me from ear to ear and exclaimed, “Oh, Pat, they’d have taken you…you’re a fighter!”

I definitely presented my view on a variety of issues while working in that office.  When asked for input, I can only remember losing an argument regarding press relations once. That incident did not involve the Secretary.

A reporter had called me to ask for information.  He had been following an issue and it was his story.  I told him that the information he was seeking was not yet available.  At that second, it was a truthful answer.  No sooner had I hung up the phone, than my supervisor walked into my office with a press announcement she had drafted regarding that very decision.  I vehemently argued that the reporter should be given a call before the press announcement was released.  He deserved that and it would be the right thing to do.  I was over-ruled and with the supervisor standing over me, I sent out the press release.

Within minutes my phone rang with an very angry reporter yelling at me.  His comments were unkind, personal and very terse.  During his tirade,  I told him several times that he had every right to be upset, but he was too hot to listen. I was trying to tell him, while the supervisor was staring at me, that I agreed with him. The whole time I was being dressed down by the report, the supervisor stood in my office smirking at me.  When the phone call ended, the person said that was to bad that I got told off.

When you work for other people, are not in charge and you need that job to put your child through college, sometimes you do what you are told knowing that it is not what you would do. Nobody likes to have their personal ethics compromised to keep a job. When that happens to a press secretary, it can be in front of the whole world.

My work as a press secretary taught me several things:

1. Grow a very thick skin. Let criticism run off of your back like rainwater.  Learn to recognize the difference between the war and a fight. Take the long view to win the war and learn to just let somethings go.

2. Stay out front. Remain focused on your strategy and message.  Do not get distracted by your opponents darts and arrows.  In war and politics victory belongs to those with the best offense. Even the best defense can only end in a siege.  .

3.  Be smarter than the dog. If a dog bites you once its the dog’s fault, if the dog bites you a second time it is your fault for not being smarter than the dog.  Do not do your adversary’s work for them.  An example of this would be saying that there are different facts.  No, facts are facts. The discussion is about the accurate presentation of fact and the difference between spin (opinion) and fact.

4.  If you are going bear hunting don’t bring bird shot, come loaded for bear.  When you are going to correct anyone have the quantifiable data with you and present it in a concise, easy to understand, impossible to dispute manner.

5. Keep it positive.  I have written well over a hundred press releases and any message can be delivered using positive or negative words.  Use positive.

6. Words matter–connotation and denotation.

7.  Reporters have a job to do.  By its very nature the relationship between a press secretary and the press is going to be adversarial.  Create good working relationships, be accessible and whenever possible help them.

8. Excellence is its own reward.  It is hard to make an argument against excellence.

I have never spoken to that reporter about his call. Nor to anyone else about it. I let it go.  I did and still do wish that he would have calmed down that day and heard what I was saying to  him.  That, I fought for you, I lost, you had every right to be angry and I am sorry that you were treated that way.  That person was and still is a great reporter…just saying.