Letters to the Editor

Media impact

March 31, 2008

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To the editor:

The media's relentless obsession with the remarks of Obama's pastor make me wonder how they decide whose remarks to fixate on.

There were Bush's alleged remarks made in the Oval Office in November 2005, "Stop throwing the Constitution in my face, it's just a goddamned piece of paper." These remarks were leaked to the press by three GOP politicos in attendance, who didn't want to be identified. Had the media pursued this as they do some things, the remarks probably would have been verified, or discredited. They have been neither verified nor discredited.

Alberto Gonzales, while still White House counsel, referred to the Constitution as an outdated document.

Barbara Bush, on "Good Morning America," March 18, 2003, while defending her son's administration's censorship of images of flag-draped coffins returning from Iraq, said, "Why should we hear about body bags and death : or, I mean, it's not relevant, so why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"

Barbara Bush on Larry King, Oct. 22, 2003, "You can criticize me, but don't criticize my daughters-in-law, and don't criticize my husband, or you're dead."

The media chooses who and what to deify and who and what to damn, thus deeply influencing our society.

Own your mind.

Julie Matchett,

Lawrence

Comments

standuporget 6 years, 12 months ago

rshrink - Since 99 % of the people who attend Sen. O's church are white, I don't quite understand in what way they must be viewed as racist Are you and Beatrice related?

kansas778 7 years ago

I'm sure it's all a conspiracy and has nothing to do with the fact that Jeremiah Wright's tantrums are highly entertaining and inflammatory, and make for good* TV and radio.

*good as in, likely to get high ratings

JASDEEP_SINDHU 7 years ago

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Richard Heckler 7 years ago

The issues are not grandma,pastors or sex. For some reason since the days of Reagan-Bush republicans have concerned themselves with others sex lives and others retirement homes. Why voters place that above a party with a history of Iran-Contra,Savings and Loan Scandal,Sub Prime Scandal,parties supporting a lying president/illegal occupation of another country,spying on americans at will,president lying about social security http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2005/0505orr.html and the killing or injury of at least 1,000,000 Iraq people is wayyy beyond me.

The issues it seems are: Bring all the troops home. The Iraq people know how to rebuild a country and run an oil business. Their oil is not our oil. 40,000 injured and/or disabled soldiers 4,000 dead USA soldiers 1,000,000 dead Iraq men,women & children Creating new industry that cannot be outsourced Cleaner Energy Sources National Health Insurance Dumping No Child Left Behind Restoring Rights of Americans that republicans took away Reining in the power of the President Restoring the EPA Acts that the republican wiped out Restoring the USDA to a credible agency that places consumers over special interest money * Voter Rights NOT special interest rights: Campaigns go too long,spend way too much money and do not necessarily provide the best available. It is up to us to stop the nonsense at the voting booths on the 2008 ballot. Not voting sends the wrong message and changes nothing. Lets's demand a new system and vote in Fair Vote America : http://www.fairvote.org/irv/ Demand a change on the 2008 ballot.

The big money candidates are more beholden than ever to corporate special interests due to the very long nature of campaigns. How do they have time to do the job they were elected to do? We need public financing of campaigns. Citizens cannot afford special interest money campaigns for it is the citizens that get left out. http://www.publicampaign.org/

Vote Obama!

kansas778 7 years ago

That's funny scenebooster, I don't get that impression at all. I see a media desperately trying to find something, anything to pin on bush. Abu Ghraib, Valerie Plame "outing" (LOL, that one still makes me laugh), gas prices, global warming, every single bad thing that happens to anyone, anywhere, at anytime in history are all Bush's fault somehow. They've even tried making things up like on CBS and the many fake stories about Bush and his National Guard service.

The problem is, Bush haters like you are suckers for the blame Bush mantra, so you believe every juicy word of anti-Bush propaganda. I don't find it surprising that you would bemoan the lack of coverage over all these manufactured scandals; after all, you actually believe them.

So, to recap, your view is: numerous crazy scandals involving the President of the United States and his staff that the complicit media glosses over time and time again. Compare to: when the manufactured scandal doesn't stick, the media drops it and moves to the next one. I know which one makes more sense, but I don't wear a tin-foil hat, so this opinion may be of limited use to you.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

"I don't find it surprising that you would bemoan the lack of coverage over all these manufactured scandals;"

It was BushCo that manufactured them.

trinity 7 years ago

fixate (fkst) v. fixated, fixating, fixates v.tr. 1. To make fixed, stable, or stationary. 2. To focus one's eyes or attention on: fixate a faint object. 3. To command the attention of exclusively or repeatedly; preoccupy obsessively: "TV and newspapers were fixated on high-technology as the solution to almost everything" Jay Walljasper. 4. Psychology a. To attach (oneself) to a person or thing in an immature or neurotic fashion. b. In classical psychoanalysis, to cause (the libido) to be arrested at an early stage of psychosexual development. v.intr. 1. To focus the eyes or attention. 2. Psychology a. To become attached to a person or thing in an immature or pathological way; form a fixation. b. To be arrested at an early stage of psychosexual development

'nuf said about marioni's attempt to teach grammar.

i like julie's concluding statement: "own your own mind".

cato_the_elder 7 years ago

To all of the tired, tedious "Bush lied" crowd: Given your apparent views on the subject of prevarication, may we assume that you do not support Senator Clinton?

Curtiss 7 years ago

Cato:

The problem isn't so much that Bush lies every time he opens his mouth. None of us here is so naive we believe any politician is totally honest.

However, following up on your goofy concept of supporting Clinton based on what Bush does, she's never killed four thousand Americans and hundreds of thousands of foreigners, turned the national treasury over to crooks, made America the most hated nation in the world, made American citizens the bad guys with no constitutional rights, or crashed the economy.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 7 years ago

Valerie Plame "outing" (LOL, that one still makes me laugh)

Treason is sooo funny. Thank goodness Bush wasn't president during WWII. We'd all be speaking German.

pisafromthewest 7 years ago

Curtiss (Anonymous) says:

"she's never killed four thousand Americans and hundreds of thousands of foreigners"

Well, she did all she could, after all - she did vote to authorize the invasion, after a very impassioned speech saying it was in America's best interests.

SpeedRacer 7 years ago

There once was a time when newspapers made or broke candidates; now, it is the instant reporting of network news. Anything which will trigger a headline is fair game. It is primarily the news stations (CNN and FOX are great at this) who make the stories. Rather than reporting on reactions or someone's slant on what is said or done, they make the action itself the headline then wait for the reactions to stoke their stories; and there are plenty of publicity seekers ready and willing to contribute their views. I think the racial issues in this campaign have been largely fabricated by the media. I don't need to be told what to think or believe.

ndmoderate 7 years ago

"Not intelligent life found on the J-W forum today."

Unintentional irony alert!

beatrice 7 years ago

vet: "If we elect Barack Hussein Obama, we'll be much closer to speaking Arabic in this country."And if John McCain gets elected, will we be writing in hieroglyphic? Thanks for reminding us of Obama's middle name. Here is a reminder for you -- John McCain supports Bush's war in Iraq and supports Bush's economic policies, which includes continuing the massive tax cuts given to the wealthiest of the wealthy while the country is spiraling into deficit. I think we should tell every racist who must point out Barrack's middle name (as if that is enough to keep him from being elected) that John McCain supports continuing the war in Iraq, for 100 years if necessary. Democrats and those opposed to the war in Iraq, it is time to point out what really matters in this coming election whenever we get the chance. Who cares about a name, when we have a candidate who fully supports Bush's agenda for America.

jonas 7 years ago

Vet4Freedom (Anonymous) says: "There is absolutely no proof that Bush said what the letter writer claims he said. Once again, the J-W has published a letter that contains a falsehood. Shame on Ann Gardner."Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, right?

jumpin_catfish 7 years ago

Did I hear Obama say vote no on Tuesday

staff04 7 years ago

"Conservatives, less educated voters and white evangelical Protestants are likelier to believe Obama is Muslim, as are people from the South, the Midwest and rural areas, the poll showed."http://www.ajc.com/highschool/content/news/stories/2008/03/28/Obama_MuslimMyth_0328.htmlYa don't say...Reminds me of an old Refreshments song...the chorus to which is something along the lines of, "And everybody knows, that the world is full of stupid people."Unfortunately, at a minimum, 10% of them think it is the other 90% who qualify.

Godot 7 years ago

Wright is now heralded as a hero. Reluctnat kudos to the Barack Obama machine (BOM) for the way it outed, then handled, then glorified, then made acceptable, the hateful speech of Jeremiah Wright.

Corey Williams 6 years, 12 months ago

And how long ago was this? Do you think that makes a difference?

maxcrabb 7 years ago

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremiah... Some quick facts I learned from just 2 minutes of reading:1- Jeremiah Wright is a Veteran, commended for serving as a U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman tending to Lyndon Johnson2- He has a Bachelors degree and two Masters degrees.Now, I won't even begin to pretend I know what it's like to be black, African American, or understand Afro-centricity, BUTSlavery was once a legal and institutionalized form of labor finally outlawed in 1865.100 years later, in 1965, the Voting Rights Act was passed.57 years later, a black man may actually become president.If it was all turned around, sixes were nines, and I was the minority, I would be screaming a hell of a lot louder than Jeremiah Wright.

maxcrabb 6 years, 12 months ago

My name really is Max Crabb. I don't have time to get on every story I comment on and continue a conversation. If you really have to "call me out" on something I say (which is never pointed towards any one commentator but a general reflection of my sentiments towards the story) then send me a message on Ljworld.com. They have my e-mail address for a reason. Otherwise, move on.

staff04 6 years, 12 months ago

Vet:Incompetent editors abound. They usually don't edit letters to the editor. All one needs to do is check out your own reference to snopes.com to know that this is commonplace. Not saying it is okay, just saying...get used to it. The Republican machine is as guilty as anyone for propagating lies.Barack Obama is Muslim, anyone?

jonas 6 years, 12 months ago

Vet4Freedom (Anonymous) says:"jonas:Yes, but note that I said proof, not evidence."I agree. I've always felt that the connection between proof and evidence was somewhat tenuous, at best.

Corey Williams 6 years, 12 months ago

From dictionary.com:proof: 1. evidence sufficient to establish a thing as true, or to produce belief in its truth.evidence: 1.that which tends to prove or disprove something; ground for belief; proof.

jonas 6 years, 12 months ago

Vet4Freedom (Anonymous) says:"jonas:Some believe that the two words mean exactly the same thing."I know! Crazy, isn't it? To think, for instance, that someone who actually take lack of evidence as proof enough to declare a statement a falsehood, or something like that. Some people.

jonas 6 years, 12 months ago

whoops.1st line. Someone who actuallychangesomeone would actually But c'mon, surely such a smart man could have figured that out on his own.

beatrice 6 years, 12 months ago

vet, you claim that your use of Barack Obama's middle name isn't based on racism. You even resent such an accusation. Okay then, let us imagine that you aren't a racist. Fine. Would you then please explain why are you using Obama's middle name with regularity, but not John McCain's? It is one thing to try to convince others who don't know you that you aren't a racist, but you really shouldn't try to lie to yourself. That is just sad.

RedwoodCoast 6 years, 12 months ago

Vet4Freedom isn't a racist. He's probably just an Islamophobe. Looks like the media made an impact on Vet.That is the only way I can make sense of the folks on this forum who repeatedly try to evoke the image of "evil-doers" (to use Bush's dumbed-down terminology) by using Obama's middle name pejoratively.

RedwoodCoast 6 years, 12 months ago

By the way, who would have thought that words like alcohol, algebra, alkalai, alchemy, etc. were derived from Arabic words.

staff04 6 years, 12 months ago

I find it amusing that, as many times as I have posted it, no one wants to take credit for calling Obama a Muslim or admitting that it was a lie perpetuated by the conservative media.

beatrice 6 years, 12 months ago

vet, I didn't call you a name, rather, I identified your use of Senator Obama's middle name as a tact used by racists. The fact that you are trying to argue that you use it simply because you know it is b.s., which I'm sure you are aware. Have you ever regularly used a politician's middle name before? Ever? If not, why now? The reason I use the term "racist" is because you are using it as a typical conservative fear-mongering tactic to do your little part in scaring White America against voting for the Black guy with "that" middle name. Again, be honest to yourself on why you are using Obama's middle name at every turn, because others aren't buying your lies. We can see your true color, easy enough.By the way, McCain might as well just use "W." for his middle name, seeing as how closely his policies match George Bush's. John "W." McCain: More of the McSame

RedwoodCoast 6 years, 12 months ago

I would bet that Obama received his middle name from his Muslim father from Kenya. Vet, your argument makes absolutely no sense. Why do you insist on using his middle name pejoratively? And by the way, "S" isn't a middle name.

ndmoderate 6 years, 12 months ago

"vet, I didn't call you a name, rather, I identified your use of Senator Obama's middle name as a tact used by racists."Beatrice,Don't forget that "nonchalantly" bringing up Obama's middle name is also a tactic of right-wing nut job pundits and radio show hosts in a pathetic attempt to sow political fear in the brains of their listeners -- maybe some of those folks don't consider themselves racist, just partisan. Obama's a Democrat, so these water-carriers feel they need to use any and all low-down and despicable tactic to make him look less electable.Let's just call it "Subliminal Douchebaggery."

RedwoodCoast 6 years, 12 months ago

Vet: OK, so you're right about Truman. However,Beatrice:"vet, I didn't call you a name, rather, I identified your use of Senator Obama's middle name as a tact used by racists."Vet4Freedom:Odds are that Barack Hussein Obama received his middle name from his father. Do you believe a black man from Kenya is a racist?This made no sense then and it doesn't now. The "black man from Kenya" was likely a Muslim giving his son a Muslim middle name. It has abso-frickin-lutely nothing to do with the pejorative manner in which you use his middle name. Why you would even suggest that a criticism of your use of Hussein parallels any reason for his father giving him that name is just, well... a failed rhetorical backflip from a typical Islamophobe.

jonas 6 years, 12 months ago

By the way, pulling the grammarian =/= proving or refuting an argument. /late

Flap Doodle 6 years, 12 months ago

"There were Bush's alleged remarks made in the Oval Office in November 2005, "Stop throwing the Constitution in my face, it's just a goddamned piece of paper." These remarks were leaked to the press by three GOP politicos in attendance, who didn't want to be identified. Had the media pursued this as they do some things, the remarks probably would have been verified, or discredited. They have been neither verified nor discredited."Ah, capitolhilblue's big lie getting repeated once again. http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/pr...Here's what Doug Thompson has to say about his journalism: ". . . I wrote stories based on emails from sources I never met. I would meet self-proclaimed "important people" in out-of-the way bars, taking what they told me at face value. Washington is a breeding ground for phonies and wannabes. Too often I printed what they told me because I was so full of myself that I was sure it was true and did not require further verification.

jonas 6 years, 12 months ago

You're going to try and refute my argument that you can't effectively refute an argument simply by nitpicking about typos? By all means, if you thought that was an argument to be refuted, go ahead and try. Me, I'm just still amused that I got you to use the grammarian dodge in only three posts. I think. . . . that might be a record.

beatrice 6 years, 12 months ago

Okay, Vet, I'll back off the racist accusation for arguments sake. Let us imagine that you aren't a racist and I will take you at your word here that you admire a plethora of Muslims (as long as they are involved in sports, apparently). The reason you and other conservatives, including the editors and writers for The Nation magazine (a beacon of unbiased journalistic reporting, by the way), are invoking the name Hussein at every opportunity is because it is the same name of the executed former dictator of Iraq. I know that, you know that, and there is no other reason. If you fail to admit this, then at the very least you are a liar. So which is it vet, are you a racist, are your pants on fire, or is it both?

beatrice 6 years, 12 months ago

Oh, and I think John McCain's middle name is Nebakanezer. (Yes, I will admit to being ageist with that comment.)

RedwoodCoast 6 years, 12 months ago

Vet, you're in denial. Muhammad Ali and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are American heroes. What was Muhammed Ali's real name, anyway? Besides, these folks were around doing their things long before the era of Islamic terrorism solidified. It was also long before the media began making an impact on people who (like many Kansans) have never even met a Muslim. All they know about them is what they've read, seen on TV, or heard Bill/Sean/Rush say, which is not behooving in the least. I increasingly get the feeling that you are setting up straw men left and right.

beatrice 6 years, 12 months ago

oops, wrong magazine. I really was thinking of something else. You got me there. But that still doesn't get you off the hook for having your pants on fire.

jonas 6 years, 12 months ago

"Your original argument was "By the way, pulling the grammarian =/= proving or refuting an argument." That is not necessarily true."How is that not necessarily true? They're basically the same statement.

jonas 6 years, 12 months ago

Okay, so you're sticking on the difference between a typing error and a grammar error, then?

beatrice 6 years, 12 months ago

So you're hanging from a telephone wire then?Vet, we all know that the only reason conservatives who are afraid of the actual issues are routinely using Obama's middle name is because it just so happens to be the same name of the executed dictator of Iraq. It is intended to scare White America against voting for "that" type of person. If you continue to say that isn't the reason you and others are doing it, then you are a liar and we know it. Period. At least be man enough to admit it.

RedwoodCoast 6 years, 12 months ago

Maybe I had a point. Vet isn't addressing my post. By the way, Vet, remember who King George III was? If I started calling George Bush "George" in direct allusion to George III, this makes about as much sense as you using Obama's middle name to try and provoke some sort of Pavlovian response (with some conspiracy theories thrown in).

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 12 months ago

It should be clear by now that Senator Obama must be very good. The kind of things that the press attempts to make issues out of are laughable when compared to the last 7 1/2 years of Bush/Cheney. Since Senator O has recently raised $40 million and has excited another 1/4 million to become voters, apparently, a lot of people are not agreeing with some of the comments above. Since 99 % of the people who attend Sen. O's church are white, I don't quite understand in what way they must be viewed as racist. Also, since it is a mission type of church, which means that they are primarily devoted to organizing and providing aid to the poor, elderly and disabled, again, I am not seeing where the church can be considered to be such a horrible place for a Senator to attend. Sounds like they have the Christian concept down pat. And as some of the conservs are putting down lawyers, don't forget that most of them that are wealthy, are Republicans. But as long as they are screwing over middle and lower economic people, I guess they are to be respected.

jonas 6 years, 12 months ago

"Vet isn't addressing my post."Assuming that Vet is who everybody thinks he is (and it sure seems that way to me) then you're going to have to get used to it.

standuporget 6 years, 12 months ago

Here you go rshrink from Trinity's web siteWe are a congregation which is Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian... Our roots in the Black religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting and permanent. We are an African people, and remain "true to our native land," the mother continent, the cradle of civilization. God has superintended our pilgrimage through the days of slavery, the days of segregation, and the long night of racism. It is God who gives us the strength and courage to continuously address injustice as a people, and as a congregation. We constantly affirm our trust in God through cultural expression of a Black worship service and ministries which address the Black Community.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 12 months ago

To: Standup or Sit down, whicheverMaybe you all just need to go to the church and see for yourself. I think that is what it will take, otherwise it also seems that if someone has to have a reason to believe something, then they will despite what the actual facts are. You want and your favorite news program wants you to believe bad things and stay a pod person, so I guess that is what will happen. And yes, I imagine Beatrice and I are related in some way. Unfortunately, also standup-non-comic, you and I are also.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 12 months ago

To Standup:Here is a large portion of an article written in the Houston Chronicle, yes an actual journalist who actually investigated and didn't get their news from Cheney, Billo, Rush or anyone of that ilk. While the neighborhood is black and therefore draws black people to that particular church, the larger church to which that church belongs is extremely white. But here is more of the story than you and your kind are telling:"Trinity is a predominantly black congregation in a mainline, mostly white denomination - the United Church of Christ. Its 8,000 members include politicians, doctors, lawyers and other leaders on Chicago's South Side.The rapper Common, the former director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, the former director of the state Department of Professional Regulation, and at least one state representative are members of the church. Oprah Winfrey has attended services there.The church offers a long list of services - housing and employment programs, scholarships, a ministry to people with HIV/AIDS - that mesh well with Obama's political philosophy."It's his deep faith in God and his desire to be an agent of change in the world. That's kind of the Trinity mantra," said the Rev. Michael Pfleger, a priest at a South Side Roman Catholic church.Obama eventually joined Trinity and was baptized there. Wright performed his wedding ceremony and baptized Obama's two daughters. Years later, he took the theme of Wright's sermon as the title for a book, The Audacity of Hope.Most Americans know Wright only from video excerpts of sermons in which he says God should damn the United States for its racism, accuses the government of spreading AIDS and suggests the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were retribution for the country's past wrongs. Obama's long connection with Wright has raised doubts among some voters about Obama's beliefs and judgment."

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 12 months ago

"His Democratic rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton, said she would have left the church if it had been her pastor saying such things. Obama denounced the most inflammatory of Wright's comments, which he said he didn't know about until recently. But he acknowledges, without providing any detail, hearing Wright make other controversial remarks.Obama argues it would be wrong for people to judge Wright solely on a handful of remarks. He has tried to place Wright's comments in the context of anger from a black man who came of age in a time of segregation and civil rights turmoil.In his first book, Dreams from My Father, Obama described the impact of working closely with South Side churches as a community organizer in the late 1980s. A religious skeptic, he was moved by their devotion and by the support that churches provided their members.Friends urged Obama to consider joining a church, often mentioning Trinity. Mike Kruglik, a co-worker at the time, said joining helped Obama connect to the local pastors who were vital to his organizing efforts and that Trinity, where many professionals were doing community work, was a logical choice."

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 12 months ago

The last two posts above are actual examples of journalism. They are not designed to brainwash. They give actual facts and let the reader then make up their mind. There is a growing shortage of this kind of thing and an unfortunate increase in junk news, with junk facts, where people will be attempting to manipulate you into thinking something which serves the purpose of the people who can afford to put this crap out, like Rupert Murdoch.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 12 months ago

To Standup:Two things you don't understand: (1) Likely, you didn't live through the civil rights era, when many if not most white Americans hated black people. There was fighting and killing going on. It was hard times in America and many people said a lot of terrible things. Hillary knows about that and hasn't said anything about it. (2) Churches used to be more centered on community service, at least some of them. Pastors are fallible human beings as we have seen, but when an organization is devoted to charity, that part keeps going, no matter who the pastor is. Charity is not based in one person, especially in churches where most of the membership is there because of the charitable activities. Hillary knows this too. Remember, "It takes a Village." Yet Hillary isn't saying anything about this now. What is the meaning of that?

standuporget 6 years, 12 months ago

rshrink, what i posted wasn't from a news site it was from Trinity United's web site. I'm Catholic I'm Black and I grew up in the 60's and 70's. Unlike Beatrice you did not call me a racist or talk about my momma or try to speak for me without knowing any thing about me so maybe you aren't related. The Church Obama went to and the Church you're talking about are two different things.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 12 months ago

Perhaps you didn't read the post above which is from the Houston Chronicle by a reporter who reported on "the church" that Obama attends. If you grew up during the time you mention, then you should know about what was going on at that time. I grew up during the 50's and 60's, so I do know about what I am speaking. I was a young adult when Martin Luther King was killed and I know how people in Wichita reacted to that and it was not good.

Bob Hechlor 6 years, 12 months ago

I didn't read anything in your post about the church that differs from what I said and it is the same as what the reporter said. So, I guess I am not getting your point.

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