Thursday, February 7, 2013

Shep Smith Must Go

I just suffered through an hour of Shepherd Smith on the tube, while sucking down a bourbon and coke, and looking at Chesapeake Bay news for something mildly amusing.  Given the number of truly significant news that could have been cast in a "fair and balanced" manner today, what I actually saw was truly disappointing.

In a long segment on the ongoing saga of the mass murders in California being carried out by an ex-cop, he mentioned that suspect, Christopher Dorner, had issued a "manifesto" "mentioning" such people as Piers Morgan and Anderson Cooper.  He also mentioned how people in the manifesto were being protected; leaving the the impression that Dorner was after Morgan and Cooper.  Instead; his manifesto was full of praise for left wing people and programs, and threatening to people in his past, and people with conservative ideals:
  • Dorner’s statements in support of gun control (“Who in there right mind needs a fucking silencer!!! who needs a freaking SBR AR15? No one”),
  • his attack on President Barack Obama’s critics (“You question his birth certificate, his educational and professional accomplishments, and his judeo-christian beliefs”),
  • his adoration of First Lady Michelle Obama’s hair (“I love your new bangs, Mrs. Obama”),
  • his admiration for Joe Biden (“I’ve always been a fan of yours and consider you one of the few genuine and charismatic politicians”),
  • his support for Hillary Clinton (“You’ll make one hell of a president in 2016″),
  • his fondness for former President Bill Clinton (“He was always my favorite president”),
  • his confidence in San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro (“He’s [good people] and I have faith and confidence in him”),
  • his love of MSNBC and CNN (“Chris Matthews, Joe Scarborough, Pat Harvey, Brian Williams, Soledad Obrien, Wolf Blitzer, Meredith Viera, Tavis Smiley, and Anderson Cooper, keep up the great work and follow Cronkite’s lead”),
  • his criticism of the National Rifle Association (“Wayne LaPierre, President of the NRA, you’re a vile and inhumane piece of shit”) ,
  • and his hatred of George Zimmerman (“Too bad Trayvon didn’t smash your skull completely open, Zim”).

Next, he dealt with Panetta's testimony on Capital Hill today on Benghazi, without mentioning this little tidbit:

Panetta said that Obama left operational details, including knowledge of what resources were available to help the Americans under seize, "up to us." In fact, Panetta says that the night of 9/11, he did not communicate with a single person at the White House. The attack resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Panetta said that, save their 5 o'clock prescheduled meeting with the president the day of September 11, Obama did not call or communicate in anyway with the defense secretary that day. There were no calls about the what was going on in Benghazi. He never called to check-in.
Think I'm kidding?  Eh, no worries; they were dead men walking and Obama had an important fund raiser to attend (hat tip to Althouse).

Then there was the matter of the Family Research Council shooter last summer; an incident that (fortunately) ended with only a wounded security guard, who nevertheless, subdued the would be mass murderer:
After a Floyd Corkins shot a security guard at the Family Research Council (FRC) last summer, the organization claimed it was targeted because the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) listed it as a "hate group."

The shooter has now revealed that he indeed used that SPLC map to find his target. And CNN has not only promoted this list of "hate groups" in the past, but after the shooting it re-affirmed the FRC's place on the list as "hate spewing hate."

As Paul Bedard of The Washington Examiner reported, the shooter "told the FBI that he wanted to kill anti-gay targets and went to the law center's website for ideas."

Only 20 hours after the shooting, CNN cited a 13 year-old FRC pamphlet to support the SPLC's label of them as a "hate group." Anchor Zoraida Sambolin passionately insisted: "But it is spewing hate, isn't it? It is spewing hate. So it's hate spewing hate."
As near as I heard, this was not mentioned at all.  And SPLC was one of the groups blaming Sarah Palin's "crosshair" maps in the Gabby Giffords et al shooting in Tucson, Ariz.

And this has Ace is on a roll...
So where are the calls for SPLC to take down its Kill Map?

There hasn't been a single call from the media. The Kill Map remains up.

The calculation on the part of the media is simple: the SPLC's speech contains value and hence we'll just have to accept that the occasional hateful lunatic might be incensed by it and kill someone.

That -- those murders, those losses of human life -- are just a cost we'll have to pay. Free speech is too important to be restricted due to such concerns.

Yes, in this case, free speech outweighs the value of human life.

Now, consider conservative political messaging. Suddenly, in the media's eyes, the costs which could flow from incitement are not worth it.

Why? Simple: Conservative speech is valueless, or, at least, of relatively low value compare to liberal speech. While the potential of inspiring murder is not sufficient to suggest that liberal speech be controlled and moderated, that same concern is plenty sufficient to require that conservative speech be controlled and moderated.
We expect such neglect from NBC, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, PBS, and NPR.  But Fox? The much maligned hyper-conservative network? We deserve better.

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