Federal civil rights case against George Zimmerman, race and racial politics

Federal civil rights case against George Zimmerman, race and racial politics could influence the 2014 and 2016 elections.

Think about the long term implications of what conservative blogger Hugh Hewitt said about President Barack Obama’s comments on the George Zimmerman acquittal for killing Trayvon Martin.

“Race may be the only issue . . . which puts the country in a pretty difficult place for the next three plus years.” LINK: http://www.hughhewitt.com/president-obamas-nixon-to-the-lincoln-memorial-moment/

The “Justice for Trayvon Martin” rallies, in 100 or more cities across the nation, inspired by MSNBC host Al Sharpton, and the related media coverage, arguably could lead to federal charges George Zimmerman for violating Trayvon Martin’s civil rights. What else would cool and temper the passions of protestors and media critics which have been stoked by Zimmerman’s acquittal of criminal charges in a Florida state court?

A federal  civil rights case against Zimmerman easily would keep the passions live and extend the media coverage cycle on race and racial politics through the 2014 mid-term elections.

And, it could be enough to get protestors and other folks supporting to turn out and vote, particularly in the 20 or more states which have adopted Stand Your Ground laws modeled after Florida’s law. LINK: http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/07/18/19522874-florida-had-first-stand-your-ground-law-other-states-followed-in-rapid-succession

Could those issues spill over to the 2016 Presidential Election?

Of course!

That’s what Hugh Hewitt apparently projects “for the next three plus years!”

Do you?

Trayvon Martin could have been . . . the demise of Stand Your Ground laws

At the White House Press Conference, President Barack Obama stunned the assembled press corps with his extended remarks about the Trayvon Martin case.

President Obama said that “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.” LINK: http://www.nationaljournal.com/whitehouse/president-obama-trayvon-martin-could-ve-been-me-35-years-ago-20130719

But, the President did more than talk about race relations and the need for more sensitivity by state and local officials to racial issues. He also took aim at the cultural impact of Stand Your Ground laws which authorize the use of deadly force instead of retreating in the face of a perceived threat. He suggested that the laws should be changed.

How can the President do that at the federal level?


Adopt policies through the Department of Homeland Security which come as close as legally possible to mandate a change in such laws by states and local jurisdictions as a condition for receiving the billions in DHS funding granted each year.

With the recent departure of DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, President Obama may have the opportunity to influence those policy changes. That would be through the appointment of New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly as the new DHS Secretary.

No doubt, Kelly’s appointment would be controversial because of the controversy about racial profiling by the NYPD. LINK: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/19/opinion/coates-raising-the-wrong-profile.html?_r=0

However, if Kelly is willing to buy into a policy strategy that would lead to the elimination or diminution of Stand Your Ground laws, he is probably one of the leading lawmen in the nation who could get the bi-partisan support need in the U. S. Senate to get confirmed.

How the GOP and conservative media blew it on the fiscal cliff crisis

We need to get this to the Fiscal Cliff! What ...

We need to get this to the Fiscal Cliff! What could go wrong? (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

The deal as it is on the fiscal cliff, approved by the Senate on January 1, 2013 and likely to be approved by the House, was inevitable.

A strategist with a keen sense of how to play into the momentum generated by mainstream media on major policy issues could see the deal coming and plan accordingly.

President Barack Obama deftly played into the momentum.

Republican politicians, commentators and other antagonists did not.

And, until the GOP and conservative commentators master the communications game of playing into mainstream media momentum instead of being critics of the intentions of Democrats and mainstream media, they will not be able to significantly influence major policy outcomes.

Typical of the angst of the GOP about the position of President Obama on the fiscal cliff crisis is the post by Joel B. Pollak, in breitbart.com entitled: “Media Must Share Blame for Fiscal Cliff Crisis,” in which he argued the following conservative position:

As Americans ponder how our politicians could have allowed “fiscal cliff” negotiations to drag on into the final day, it is clear that the mainstream media shares a significant part of the blame. There is no way that the impasse could have lasted this long if President Barack Obama felt a sense of responsibility to lead his government and his party–but instead he is able to enjoy the role of critic and spectator, thanks to media indulgence.

The media’s utter failure to hold President Obama to account was exemplified today on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition in a report by Steve Inskeep and Scott Horsley. After the hosts mocked Congress for having “left another crisis to the last minute,” they discussed, without criticism, how Obama “doesn’t sound that worried” about going over the cliff. Likewise, the New York Daily News wrote: “Congress created the fiscal cliff.”

READ MORE: LINK:  http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/12/31/Media-Must-Share-Blame-for-Fiscal-Cliff-Crisis

It was not, as Pollak argued, media indulgence.

It was classic media agenda setting.

There is a fundamental reality regarding the influence of mass media in setting the agenda and influencing the direction of major policy issues. It was expressed by Professor Maxwell McCombs, 40 years ago in a scholarly article published in 1972, essentially as follows:

In choosing and displaying news, editors, newsroom staff, and broadcasters play an important part in shaping political reality. Readers learn not only about a given issue, but also how much importance to attach to that issue from the amount of information in a news story and its position. * * * [T]he mass media may well determine the important issues—that is, the media may set the “agenda.”

IN OUR DAY, more than ever before, [politicians] go before the peo­ple through the mass media rather than in person. The informa­tion in the mass media becomes the only contact many have with politics. The pledges, promises, and rhetoric encapsulated in news stories, columns, and editorials constitute much of the information upon which a voting decision has to be made. Most of what people know comes to them “second” or “third” hand from the mass media or from other people.

READ MORE: “The Agenda Setting Function of Mass Media,” LINK: http://www.soc.unitn.it/sus/membri_del_dipartimento/pagine_personali/delgrosso/personali/articoli%5Cagendasettingtotal.htm

In the debate regarding the fiscal cliff crisis, mainstream media did not indulge any party, any politicians or any biases. It simply read the election results, and framed its content accordingly.

A majority of American voters reelected President Obama. In doing so, they accepted the President’s vision that in order to address the fiscal crisis, revenues had to be raised by increasing taxes on the wealthy.

Of course, the GOP opposed that vision, and opposed the President’s position on policy.

But, none of that was even remotely relevant to how mainstream media framed the issues and the talking points of the debate in its coverage, analysis and coverage of the fiscal cliff crisis. That content started the momentum, set the agenda and for all practical purposes influenced and even dictated the outcome.

Instead of attacking the President and the content of mainstream media coverage, conservative media should have directed its efforts to dissecting the issues and framing well written and persuasive content to cut into or slow down the momentum, and to give GOP politicians salient talking points that may have influenced policy outcomes instead of just making noise.

By spending time producing rhetoric instead of  salient content, conservative media did no more than to allow conservatives to be swept under the waves of mainstream media momentum, and to be shut down in the policy debate and the resulting fiscal cliff deal.

So for good of for naught, the deal on the fiscal cliff crises for all practical purposes is done.

On the fiscal cliff crisis, history will reflect that the GOP blew it, and that conservative media blew it.

Maybe the GOP will get its act together in enough time to make a difference in the policy debate on the next major policy issue and emerging fiscal crisis concerning the debt ceiling.


Election 2012 lessons for effective political media and campaign ads

Joe Biden und Barack Obama in Springfield, Ill...

Joe Biden and Barack Obama in Springfield, Illinois, right after Biden was formerly introduced by Obama as his running mate (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


There were significant lessons learned from Election 2012 for effective political media and campaign ads.


In the words of a winner, Jim Messina, manager of the Obama Biden campaign:

A decade ago, the average voter got most of their information from the  evening news, Messina said. Now, the average voter gets their news from 15  different sources, he said.

Like the individually targeted fundraising appeals, the Dashboard system also  allowed them to generate tailored voter appeals.

The campaign shifted some of its resources to online advertising, an arena  that provided more targets and a wealth of specific users.

“Television is still the dominant media, but I think online will catch up  very quickly,” Messina said. “I think it already is for young voters out there.  The next presidential, whoever has my job the next time, is going to have to  decide what percentage you spend online.”

The shift to online was even more dramatic between 2008 and 2012, Messina  said. On Election Day in 2008, the Obama campaign sent out one tweet on the  social networking site Twitter.

In 2012, the campaign not only had a Twitter team but also had a Facebook and  Tumblr, as well as additional online social media presence.

Read More: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/84103_Page2.html#ixzz2CsND38b0


As noted by David Zurawik, baltimoresun.com, the explosive growth and use of social media in Election 2012 was indeed staggering:

Tuesday night’s election generated a record-setting political conversation of 28.5 million social media comments, according to Bluefin Labs.

The previous high was 12.2 million social media comments made in connection with the second presidential debate, according to the Boston-based firm that specializes in social-media metrics.

The first debate drew 11.2 million comments

Read More: http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/tv/z-on-tv-blog/bal-social-media-comments-election-night-bluefin-20121107,0,2827252.story


The landscape for effective political media and campaign ads is ever changing.

It poses major challenges for candidates, political campaigns and their strategists in future elections.

Obama can do better at State Department than Susan Rice

Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the UN.

Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the UN. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)






That’s the conclusion of opinion writer Dana Milbank, washingtonpost.com, after pointing to specific instances of policy clashes and other flaps Ambassador Rice has had in her career. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dana-milbank-susan-rices-tarnished-resume/2012/11/16/55ec3382-3012-11e2-a30e-5ca76eeec857_story.html?hpid=z6

Those flaps probably would diminish the notion that some of the opposition to her is sexist and racist.

But, Robert Kagan, washingtonpost.com, makes the salient argument in her favor (quote):

It seems a big reach to suggest that Susan Rice, of all people, should be barred from another job in the Obama administration because of what happened in Benghazi.

With so many potential crises staring us in the face in 2013, the country doesn’t need a nasty fight over who said what when or a brutal confirmation battle that may result in a new secretary of state wounded from the start by a partisan Senate vote. It’s hard to see what national interest would be served by such a spectacle at a time when many around the world wonder whether the United States can get its act together.

READ MORE: “Scapegoating Susan Rice does U. S. no good,” LINK: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/robert-kagan-scapegoating-susan-rice-does-america-no-good/2012/11/16/dfc00224-300c-11e2-a30e-5ca76eeec857_story.html?tid=pm_opinions_pop

Kagan nails it.

With the impending fiscal cliff and other big problems challenging the nation, and in view of her qualifications for the appointment, Republicans need to fold the tent on opposing Ambassador Rice’s nomination for Secretary of State and move on.

Will conservative media seek to empower the individual American, whatever the color, gender or ethnicity?

One of the unexpected outcomes of President Barack Obama’s election victory, which was reasonably predictable, is that conservative media is in turmoil.

That level of divergence could imperil the effectiveness of conservative opinion during the next series of critical news cycles when media will influence public opinion and the shape of policies addressing the fiscal cliff.


POLTICO.COM  in a post by Dylan Byers surveys the divergent views of conservatives on how right leaning media cost the GOP the Presidential Election. READ MORE: “Media fight on the right over GOP,” LINK: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/83679.html


Whatever conservative media did or failed to do, Mike Huckabee has delivered the salient message conservatives need to dwell on going forward:

“Our problem isn’t the product, it’s the box we put it in. Our message should not be ‘tailored’ to a specific demographic group, but presented to empower the individual American, whatever the color, gender or ethnicity.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/83679_Page4.html#ixzz2BvucjiWM


Does conservative media have the will to lean forward?

Will conservative media adopt Mike Huckabee’s admonition, and seek  to empower the individual American, whatever the color, gender or ethnicity?

Media & Politics Weekend 09-29-12

MJB’S Online Weekend Politics Roundtable

10 Points & Questions for Comments

1. DAVID LETTERMANinsists he’s independent, wants Romney on show 

MJB: Is a talk host ever perceived to be independent?

2. PRESIDENTIAL DEBATESstrategists push Romney to deliver ‘knockout’

MJB: Is that daydreaming?

3. DAVID FRUM: can sanctions peacefully stop Iran from getting the bomb?

MJB: In our opinion: NO! What’s yours?

4. RACHEL MADDOWRomney campaign puts the ‘mess’ in messaging

MJB: How can Romney pivot out of the mess?

5. SUPREME COURT TERM:  focus shifts to civil, gay rights

MJB: Will Chief Justice Roberts save gay rights, affirmative action and voting rights?

6. GWEN IFILL:  five myths about presidential debates

MJB: Could Mitt Romney pull an upset-if so, how?

7. TOM FRIEDMAN: ” Voters will have to go with their gut about which guy [Obama or Romney] has the best gut feel for navigating this world.”

MJB: What does your gut say?

8. WESLEY PRUDEN: the great media slide continues

MJB: For political coverage, do you put more trust in the political content of blogs, social media and YouTube videos than you do in the political coverage by mainstream media?

9. LIFE: decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it!

MJB: Does Mitt Romney really want the Presidency, or is he afraid of it?

10. FAITH: most of us will get to that dreaded point in life when things become meaningless

MJB: Is the Presidential election meaningless to you?

Get into the conversations, and comment!!!

Related articles around the web

ELECTION 2012: Is Romney Getting Buried in “A Devastating Opinion Storm” Generated by YouTube Views of New Media?

Hugh Hewitt, a lawyer, blogger, political pundit and commentator is not convinced by polls showing that President Barack Obama is leading Governor Mitt Romney. In his popular Blog, Hewitt slammed the polls, and then exclaimed:

So with 40 days to go until the decision is in, that’s the playing field: A tied race, with enthusiasm on the GOP side but grim self-interest propping up a disconnected president while the world burns, the domestic economy crumbles, and elite media and select pollsters cheer the emperor they love and on whom they depend for treats.

Interesting. Frightening, but interesting.

LINK: http://www.hughhewitt.com/blog/g/bbda2e0c-ca90-43f2-8473-5458a8af7d69

But, in his best-selling book: BLOG-Understanding the Information Reformation That’s Changing Your Word, AMAZON.COM LINK: http://www.amazon.com/Blog-Understanding-Information-Reformation-Changing/dp/078521187X , in which he writes extensively about new media and the impact of blogging on the coverage of politics by mainstream media, Hewitt expresses a salient and powerful notion: “the impact of a devastating opinion storm generated by a blog swarm,” and how the generation of that opinion storm in new media can push or even trump mainstream political media coverage.

Can the aggregation of YouTube views have the same force as a blog swarm? In other words, are there certain trends in those views which can generate “a devastating opinion storm?”

The recently compilation of the YouTube viewing data of the  videonclips from the Presidential campaigns certainly suggest the possibility.

Charlie Warzel, adweek.com, writes as follows:

The 2012 conventions have been arguably the most important political moment thus far in the campaign and according to a study from the Pew center for excellence in journalism, Democrats enjoyed a hearty advantage in terms of exposure on platforms like YouTube. The results, which tracked total numbers of YouTube views from date of publish until September 24th, illustrate that Clint Eastwood’s empty chair performance well-overshadowed Mitt Romney’s big moment last August, pulling in 3.2 million views to Romney’s 1.05 million.

xx xx xx

[W]hat the numbers do help illustrate, however, is that the Romney camp has had serious difficulties capitalizing on a crucial moment of visibility for the candidate. YouTube may be one element of the vote, but as the views were compiled over a month, it is indicative of the limited exposure that Romney is generating online. In a time where the Republican nominee needs to familiarize as many voters with his ‘brand’ as he can, he seems to be falling short, digitally at least.

SOURCE: LINK: Read More: Click: http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/clint-rocks-mitt-democrats-dominate-youtube-convention-wars-144068


The Pew Research Center provided the following data:

The higher interest in Obama and the Democrats in social media is also reflected in the viewership of videos since the two conventions. For instance, through September 21, 2012, Obama’s acceptance speech on various YouTube channels has been viewed nearly five times as often as Romney’s (4.9 million to 1.1 million). And contrary to what some observers might speculate, Obama’s speech has also been viewed more than former President Bill Clinton’s address to the nation, though that speech, in various forms, has been viewed on YouTube nearly four times as often as Romney (3.9 million times to Romney’s 1.1 million). The same pattern can be seen in the numbers as they relate to the wives of the candidates. Michelle Obama’s speech has been viewed 3.2 million times, about five times as often as the one delivered by Ann Romney (563,000).

Pew Research Chart

SOURCE: LINK: Read More: Click: http://www.journalism.org/commentary_backgrounder/how_social_and_traditional_media_differ_their_treatment_conventions_and_beyo



Related articles

ROMNEY: Was Mitt Romney’s “Meet The Press” interview a sign of defeat?

Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts,...

Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, US presidential candidate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One would think that Mitt Romney would take advantage of his “Meet The Press” interview on 09-09-12 to articulate a clear agenda loaded with specifics. That did not happen.

Instead, it appeared that Governor Romney was changing course midstream.

Look for yourself: NBC NEWS-MEET THE PRESS

MTP is the Sunday TV talk show which is a leader in public affairs media. When Presidential candidates appear on the show, people watch and listen. An MTP interview influences the opinions of millions of viewers. It can affect the outcome for the voting in the November 6, 2012 Presidential General Election.

Remarkably, Romney stated that Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention “elevated” the Convention. Is the implication that Clinton’s speech diminished the speechmaking at Republican National Convention?

Likewise, Romney expressed his dissatisfaction with sequestration, the policy initiative which triggers automatic reductions in defense spending beginning January 1st. When host David Gregory reminded Romney that sequestration had broad bi-partisan support, he was adamant when he reiterated his position that the policy was wrong, and that GOP members of Congress should not have supported it.

Romney even when so far as to say that there were parts of health care reform which he liked.

We are only 58 days away from Election 2012.

With these kinds of pronouncements, can Mitt Romney articulate a game changing agenda to assure a GOP victory?

Or, has he virtually conceded that Clinton’s Convention Speech was the agenda setting message for Election 2012, a concession which assures his likely defeat?

ROMNEY: Would an African American female running mate push Mitt Romney’s candidacy over the top?


Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney ...

Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann Romney (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Could Mitt Romney win the “race to the top” if he names an African American female to his ticket as vice president?

Jessika Morgan, in “Black Female GOP Possibilities May Exist for Romney Running Mate,” wrote the following:

Women are being considered as possible candidates to run with Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on the November ballot, the GOP candidate’s wife said July 5.

“We’ve been looking at that,” Ann Romney told CBS News in an interview. “There’s a lot of people Mitt is considering right now.”

She declined to say more about the list of possible vice president candidates to be paired with the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee, other than to note that, as the former Massachusetts governor’s wife, she has offered advice in the selection process and would “love that option” of a female running mate.

Among the Black Republican women who could be added to a list of women running mate possibilities are former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll.

Rice, the subject of speculation in June, rejected the idea. And while Carroll, a Navy veteran and the first woman elected to statewide office in Florida has been silent, political journalists see Carroll as a possible aid to a Romney candidacy.

SOURCE: AFRO AMERICAN NEWSPAPER LINK: http://www.afro.com/sections/news/afro_briefs/story.htm?storyid=75525

Could an African American running mate aid Romney’s candidacy?

What do you think?

Your comments are welcomed.

MORGAN FREEMAN: Obama is not the first black president?; well, you were not the first black actor to play president yourself!


Maybe Morgan Freeman was pandering for media attention and Internet clicks with his comment that President Barack Obama is not really America’s first African American or black President. According to Freeman, President Obama is America’s first mixed-race President. SOURCE: YAHOO’S MOVIES LINK: http://movies.yahoo.com/news/morgan-freeman-obama-not-americas-first-black-president-152604131.html

Freeman, of course, who is presumably African American himself, portrayed a president in “Deep Impact” the 1998 film release of Paramount and Dream Works. SOURCE: IMDb LINK: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120647/

The film was very profitable. It grossed $180 Million on a production budget of $75 Million. So everybody including Freeman made some pocket change from his fictitious portrayal of the President.

And, presumably, this is what Freeman and his handlers were seeking by having him take a swipe at President Obama. Afterall, every click counts!

Thankfully, Freeman was not the first African American actor to portray the President. That credit goes to Sammy Davis, Jr. in the 1933 release of  “Rufus Jones for President.” SOURCE: WIKI LINK: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_president_in_popular_culture_(United_States) A number of other actors also preceded Freeman in the role.

So Mr. Freeman, while your sop about President Obama borders on nonsense, at least it made us do some work and dig up some pop culture and history.

75 years after

Cover of "Deep Impact (Special Collector'...

Cover via Amazon

a black president emanated from the mind of a creative film writer, fiction became reality. America did indeed elect its first black president.

SUPREME COURT: more than 9 justices needed, and other reforms to get more justice


We find that we are in agreement with Jonathan Turley, a scholar and constitutional law professor at George Washington University, that America urgently needs more than 9 justices on the Supreme Court so that it functions more as a judicial body than another political branch of the federal government.

Professor Turley’s opinion article may be read at this LINK: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-fate-of-health-care-shouldnt-come-down-to-9-justices-try-19/2012/06/22/gJQAv0gpvV_story.html?hpid=z2s

Using Professor Turley’s scholarship as a guide, our recommendations are the following.

1. Increase the number of Justices from 9 to 13.

As noted by Professor Turley, the current number of Justices was commensurate with the number of federal judicial circuits which existed in 1869. That was 9 circuits.

There are now 12 regional circuits and an additional Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

So following  the 1869 precedent, the number of Justices should be increased from 9 to 13.

2. The manner for selecting Justices needs major reform.

In order to accommodate the requirement of having a judicial body that serves as the supreme court of the land, but also to meet the ever changing landscape of the political order of the nation, we recommend a structural change in the manner for selecting Justices.

Currently, the President appoints Justices with the advice and consent of the U. S. Senate. Justices serve for life.

That process should be changed so that at the beginning of his or her term of office, the President assigns one Court of Appeals judge from each of the federal appellate circuits to serve on the Supreme Court for the 4 year presidential term of office.

In order to neutralize the possible politicization of the Supreme Court, there should be a requirement that 7 of the assigned justices shall be members of the President’s political party, and the remaining 6 justices shall be members of the other party or independents.

In addition, under the reformed selection process, the President would choose one of the assigned judges as the Chief Justice.

This reformed selection process is the reverse of what happened in years past when Supreme Court justices rode the circuits, and served alternately as both Supreme Court Justices and appellate circuit court judges.

3. Increasing the number of Justices from 9 to 13, and reforming the selection process of the Justices as we have recommended, would improve considerably the administration of justice by the nation’s highest court, and the perception of justice by the public.

What are your views?


ROMNEY vs. OBAMA 2012: Carter would be “comfortable” with Romney as President? WOW!

4 U.S. Presidents. Former President Jimmy Cart...

4 U.S. Presidents. Former President Jimmy Carter (right), walks with, from left, George H.W. Bush (far left), George W. Bush (second from left) and Bill Clinton (center) during the dedication of the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and Park in Little Rock, Arkansas, November 18, 2004 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




We need to wait to find out whether President Carter misspoke.


Because if he did not, then President Barack Obama could be in real trouble in Election 2012.


OBAMA 2012: bitch slapped by the Secret Service!-or a lot to do over nothing?

President Barack Obama addresses United States...

President Barack Obama addresses United States Secret Service Uniformed Division officers before a group photo at the South Portico of the White House, April 4, 2011. (Office White House Photo by Pete Souza) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


It’s hard to believe that the sexual misadventures of some Secret Service agents, and perhaps some soldiers, on President Barack Obama’s advance team in Columbia, is drawing so much news coverage and online chatter.


According to The Washington Post:

The charges are triggering scrutiny of the culture of the Secret Service — where married agents have been heard to joke during aircraft takeoff that their motto is “wheels up, rings off” — and raising new questions at both the agency and the Pentagon about institutional oversight at the highest levels of the president’s security apparatus.

“We are embarrassed,” Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters in a briefing at the Pentagon. “We let the boss down, because nobody is talking about what went down in Colombia other than this incident.”


Our Take

Ok, but so what-because as The Washington Post also reported:

Prostitution, legal and regulated, is a booming business in the Caribbean tourist hub of Cartagena, a city of about 1 million inhabitants that is famous for its Spanish colonial heart and a modern stretch of Miami-style high-rises. As a byproduct of its lure of cruise ships and conventioneers, Cartagena draws prostitutes from both the city’s poor and upper-class echelons — as well as from different cities around the country.


It’s legal! It’s regulated! But, it’s national or even international news?

Hell, a killing does not even get this much attention!!!

Please folks, give us a break, and a rest.

Let’s find, discover or if need be, make up, a real story, and move on!!!



CBS News reports that the Secret Service has revoked the security clearances of the agents accused in the sex scandal. SOURCE: See VIDEO Clip, Sidebar.

FOX News: Brit Hume trashes Rick Santorum’s unnecessary social controversies; tags them as ‘political malpractice’

, U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania.

Image via Wikipedia


Brit Hume’s smackdown of Rick Santorum‘s social issues agenda is tantamount to the political death penalty in GOP politics. Santorum is done.


RELATED: Santorum Explains Why JFK’s Speech On Religion & Politics Makes Him Want To ‘Throw Up’

Hume noted that his recent comments on contraception were something of a shock, and politically inexpedient. “To many Americans… that seems peculiar,” he noted, adding that many Americans did not see how pre-natal care was something to fight against.



Hume is one of the most influential political commentators among conservatives. Hume’s critique of Santorum means that there is no mainstream conservative support for Santorum.

Santorum is now effectively out of the race for the GOP Presidential nomination.




POLITICAL MEDIA: Calling the definitive political balls and strikes and influencing the public’s opinion in this emerging and developing era of new media

The Lead

Our conversation centers on the realities and dynamics of news, coverage and commentary in politics, and the influence of political media on the public’s opinion in this era of new media.


This article was inspired by a piece on Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry, the newly minted weekend host on MSNBC, and her clear frustration with how the media covers politics.

During her Sunday show, Harris-Perry discussed what she called “a dirty little secret” that those who cover “horse-race politics” like to keep under wraps. “We are suffering from premature speculation,” Harris-Perry said.

The 2012 Republican primary race has taken many sharp twists and turns. Harris-Perry showed headlines from leading news organizations that reflected the Republican primary’s constant change of course. Headlines read “Herman Cain, Frontrunner,” to “Another Poll Confirms Trump As Republican Frontrunner,” to “Ingraham: Perry Should Drop Out.”

“Headlines like these…expose the media for its secret wish to skip the foreplay and get right to the main event,” Harris-Perry said. “And it’s all left me very frustrated.”

SOURCE: Melissa Harris-Perry: The Media Suffers From ‘Premature Speculation’ (VIDEO) HUFFINGTON POST

Our Take

Mainstream media is doing its job as best it can in this new area of media the dynamics of which are changing nearly every news cycle of the week because of the impact of digital technology, blogging and the 24 hour news cycle.

There was a time when the media took the lead in shaping policy and influencing the public’s opinion. Thus, for example, when some of the giants of the media such as David Brinkley or Mike Wallace or Tom Brokaw aired a story and articulated a viewpoint, that view had some shelf life. It influenced the coverage of political news for several weeks, and over time influenced opinions, policy decisions and outcomes in political contests.

But, the good old days of political media and its influence in shaping public opinion are gone.

Today, a Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry can air a scholarly commentary on an important issue of public policy or a significant development in politics, and within minutes it can be shredded, and then lost forever in the court of public opinion. An attack can be mounted in minutes by bloggers; disseminated worldwide on the Internet within a few more minutes, and by the time of the talk shows on radio, TV and the Internet within hours on the same morning, afternoon and evening of the news cycle, be distorted and discredited.

So, Dr. Harris-Perry, we understand your frustration. But, the playing field and dynamics of political media have changed dramatically.

To be credible, informative and sustainable in today’s environment as a political analyst and commentator, you and others in the media will have to call the balls and strikes well before you step up to the plate, and well before you would have done so before the evolution of digital technology.

“And, that’s the way it is.”

IOWA: winner, losers

LEAD (Revised)

This is MJB’s call of the winner, there only can be one, and losers, the also rans, in the Iowa Primary for Tuesday, January 3, 2012:

1. Newt Gingrich

2. Rick Santorum

3. Herman Cain

4. Rick Perry

5. John Huntsman

6. Mitt Romney

7. Michelle Bachmann

8. Ron Paul


What do you think?

Do you think it’s between Romney and Paul as the polls and commentators have suggested?

Hint: the polls and the commentators could be wrong!

Will the outcomes in Iowa set the stage for the wins and losses in upcoming primaries?

CAIN: ain’t no more Herman Cain for political media to beat on


Herman Cain has suspended his campaign.

By devoting extensive coverage seeking to humiliate Cain and to derail his candidacy, mainstream political media lost its way. It utterly failed  its fundamental role in American presidential politics to stay focused, and to adequately inform the American people about the issues of national concern on the business and affairs of the country, the presidency, and the Presidential candidates in the GOP race for the Republican nomination.

Media (Quote):

After Herman Cain suspended his presidential campaign, other Republican presidential hopefuls praised him for energizing conservative voters and wished him well.

Source:  Danny Yadron, “Former Rivals Praise Herman Cain,” WSJ WASHINGTON WIRE BLOG


Please take a moment and reflect.

If you wish to comment, that would be appreciated. But if not, please just take a moment and think.

Set aside the fact that Herman Cain is a Republican, that he is black and that he is conservative. Just reflect that up to now, he was a candidate in America for the GOP nomination to run for President in Election 2012.

Whether you agreed or disagreed with his philosophy, viewpoints and politics; whether you would have voted for him or not; Herman had every right as an American citizen to enter upon the playing field; to compete in the game of Presidential politics with Mitt, Rick, Newt, Jon, Michelle and Ron and whoever else seeking to run for President; and, to engage in conversations about the business and affairs of the nation.

This is still the United States of America.

Every qualified man and woman still has an unfettered right under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, to enter the race; to say whatever he or she wants to say; and, to do of course within reason whatever he or she wants to do to run for office; get his or her message out to the voters and seek the wins needed in the upcoming primary elections for GOP candidates who want to secure the nomination of the Republican Party, and run against Barack Obama in Election 2012 for President of the United States of America.

Whether Herman had $10 in the bank, or $10 Million, that was his fundamental right. And, it was taken from him.


Not by the well-informed decision-making of voters at the ballot box.

But, essentially by the personal decisions of reporters, analysts, commentators, contributors, writers, editors and others in political media hot to trot about generating a torrent of media coverage concerning sex stories from three unhappy and unimportant women in the business and affairs of the nation anxious to tell their alleged stories from years gone by, but could never adequately explain why they wanted to tell their stories in the first place.

Who really cares, and in reality what difference should it have made to the state of the union and the presidency, what happened 14 years ago to the former National Restaurant Association staff employee who settled her claim, got paid, got another job, made another sexual harassment complaint and at least until one month ago was moving on with her life and career?

Who really cares, and in reality what difference should it have made to the state of the union and the presidency, what happened to the former applicant for a job at the NRA who did nothing and said nothing for all these years about an alleged sexual assault which took place 13 years ago?

Who really cares, and in reality what difference should it have made to the state of the union and the presidency, what allegedly has happening for 13 years  with a consenting women who allegedly was involved a love affair?

Mainstream political media should have been disciplined and stayed focused on the issues affecting the state of the union by keeping Americans informed about those issues and the positions of the GOP candidates on those issues. Just about every media outlet in the nation, however, got off mission,  went rogue, and wasted tons of ink and air time on what amounted to tabloid trivia.

It was mainstream political media coverage in prime time, to use the words of Ron Paul from another context: “beneath the office of the presidency.”

That’s our take, what’s yours?