Freedom of Sting

In Freedom!, Uncategorized on March 9, 2011 at 6:55 pm

After Shirley Sherrod and ACORN, yes, we can definitively answer, we (and especially The New York Times) have learned nothing.

Ummmm….update…not looking like the apologies for the apologies are coming anytime soon.  Looks like The Times has not looked at how extremely this tape was edited, nor have many readers.  Some readers brought up the excellent point that  Mr. Schiller’s opinions had nothing to do with NPR policy, and  Mr. Schiller even qualified all his remarks as being “without my NPR hat on”–ALL OF THEM.

James O’Keefe deserves some “muck-raking” (as his website claims to be) journalism turned on him.  Isn’t mis-representing who you are to an organization against some kind of law?  And stinging someone while lying about yourself…this is what we are teaching our kids to grow up to be?  Interesting that Mr. O’Keefe has once been arrested on felony charges for attempting to change the phone system in Sen Landrieu’s office…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_O%27Keefe

But distressing that the New York Times is apparently not vetting its sources, and relies on right-wing sources they hyperlink to, like blog “The Daily Caller,” and The Washington Examiner, both obviously highly tilted rightward, as the “primary” sources for the initial story.


Reader of  NYTimes Jonathan Cohen says it best:

Scarsdale, New York  March 8th, 2011   1:50 pm

A few questions:

Why is anything James O’Keefe made into a news story?

How come anything James O’Keefe releases is not held-up until full story and video’s come out?

How come James O’Keefe is not in jail or at the very least under investigation(s)?
And: How many other people, public and private, have said the very same thing about Tea Party? Why is it news?
Recommended by 169 Readers
If you watch the full 2-hour video (http://www.theprojectveritas.com/nprjudge), you see, once again, heavy and judicious (vicious) editing at work to make a man, Ronald Schiller, who, while busy lamenting the loss of the differentiation between fact and opinion in our society, is led into a trap of opinion and spin, which he tries to politely dodge, but inevitably gets pulled into.
The edited version makes implications that were not there–Mr. Schiller’s laughter did not indicate he had any clue that his interviewers’ website promoted a “return to Sharia law,”– among many.  It leaves out Mr. Schiller’s lengthy discourse on how he himself has been a lifelong, “proud” Republican, and how not just he, but other lifelong Republicans have ended up voting Democratic recently because the current Republican party is not the one he grew up with and recognizes–one that is for fiscal responsibility, and government staying out of people’s personal lives. (And indeed, just like with Clinton, in President Obama they have ended up with a a Republican president exceeding their wildest dreams).
The fake U.S. head of the Muslim Brotherhood then says on tape to Mr. Schiller, “See, as a black Muslim, I am truly and highly offended by the racism and the bigotry and the Islamaphobia that is coming out of the tea party, the teabaggers, whatever you call them. What is NPR doing, and what can we do to help to make sure this kind of situation can be curtailed and stopped?” Mr. Schiller had made NO remarks up until  that point about racism or the tea party.
Mr. Schiller immediately replies, “Well, I think NPR’s point of view, always, is to be an independent voice of reason and to report news, fairly, and so on..[then starts mentioning the Juan Williams scandal]…Our feeling is, that if a person expresses his or her opinion, which anyone is entitled to do in a free society, they are compromised as a journalist.  They can no longer fairly report.  And the question that we asked internally was, can Juan Williams, when he makes a statement like he made, can her report to the Muslim population, for example, and be believed? And the answer is, no, he lost all credibility, and that breaks your basic ethics as a journalist.  And, NPR is one of the few news organizations left that stands by that kind of code of ethics. And so much news…I sort of bristle at the idea that these other organizations call themselves news, because they really are opinion, and they don’t pretend to be other than that, except they call themselves news…NPR tries to avoid that at all costs…”
Indeed, they do.  But apparently it is simply not reasonable to have a society with even a tiny closet of reason, when we are only supposed to have 2 walk-in closets of “left” and “right”….we have to be sure to eliminate middle ground like public t.v.  and radio, under the guise of not supporting “leftist propaganda.”
Griot Walter Rhett helps transform the wound of daily politics with parables that transcend time and mortal flesh:
Just think, the man was cured and Jesus got into trouble for helping him out! What a God! People were mad at him for working a miracle, for using his supernatural skills. In restoring the man’s health with only a spoken word, he broke all kinds of religious laws and rites because his saving grace didn’t rest on the day proclaimed by religious authorities.

Such misguided condemnation by a mob towards Jesus’ healing is  what this feels like…Mr. Schiller was defending his commitment to truth and ethics, which ultimately lead to healing of broken spirits in our society, and his words were twisted out of his mouth to suppose he was spewing bigotry, racism, and disdain for “non-intellectuals.” A liberal arts college/education is not to be confused with being politically liberal, as some of the Republicans like to blur and intentionally confuse, was one of the points Mr. Schiller also implied.   He was wincing at the statements about Jewish people at the end, but he kept emphasizing NPR doesn’t take sides or express opinions.
Republicans are all around me, and many are my best friends, (especially because they don’t pontificate like Mr. Brooks!)….but, guess what?  They want clean air, clean water and hate traffic and wish there was an alternative. They are upset by the BP oil spill and sad dolphins are dying and are uncertain whether or not it is really safe to eat fish anymore, still…upset they might inadvertently start treating (or causing)  their cancer by drinking radioactive runoff water from hydro-fracking in the Pittsburgh, PA municipal water supply, while hoping it will be the right type of radiation for the chemoradiation they can’t afford…They are members of the National Guard and are the most warm-hearted, giving, chatty, friendly neighbors in the world.  They are heavily involved in animal rescue work, etc…. As Brook loves to say, not in so many words, people are complicated! (And, no matter how you vote, the corporations stay in power and get their way with us, and the environment).
But agendas are simple.  And to see one public institution after the next punched in the face, and, rather than fighting back, just giving up?  Really? Apologizing? Really?  Calling Social Security an entitlement? Damn right! IT’S OURS!  We paid for it! Don’t steal it from us!
The only spine in evidence in the U.S. is in Wisconsin…as the horrifically undemocratic warfare of the Republicans continues…will this stripping of public unions by last night’s illegal vote stand?  Or will a combination of legal appeals and massive protest restore their rights….will recalls be successful?  Or will the next election cycle somehow magically reverse the corporate will that was manifested in the 2010 elections, despite no obvious check to the unlimited flow of billions of anonymous campaign cash?
The best punctuation to this post is to go watch jasiri x’s “What if the Tea Party Were Black? ” on YouTube.    He takes every single tactic that has already been done by the Tea Party, he shows the Facebook page, the Fox clips, and asks, what if black people had done the same thing?  How long did the Black Panthers last in America, versus the Tea Party today?    What is freedom of speech…is it freedom of sting? Freedom of spin?   Will people give up talking because everything is twisted to accuse everyone of mean-spirited hypocrisy, of non-cooperation with the authorities?   Can anyone speak without looking like a hypocrite?   I would love to hear a conversation between Martin Luther King, Jr, and Congressman Peter King.   What if the Tea Party was black?  Would all of this look different?

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