Just trust us

The journalist/Ron Leishman illustration

Faith in the American mainstream media has fallen to the lowest point in 20 years on the Edelman Trust Barometer tracking attitudes toward U.S. businesses and institutions, and it takes the Russians to do the plain talking as to why?

“Americans’ trust in mainstream media has never been lower – but journalists insist it’s the audience’s fault, not theirs,” headlined last week.

That pretty well sums things up in a nutshell.

RT, for those unfamiliar, is the government-funded Russian TV station formerly known as “Russia Today.” Think of it as PBS  Russian style.

Some have described it as a Russian propaganda outlet, but that doesn’t mean it is always inaccurate in its reporting.

“‘Fewer than half of Americans trust mainstream media, according to PR firm Edelman’s annual ‘trust barometer.’ But rather than attempt to repair the relationship, media outlets blame their audience’s poor ‘information hygiene,”’ RT reported.

That broad brush statement is not true of all media outlets. Some understand that trust is earned not given, and that it takes more to earn people’s trust than to claim to be “the most trusted source in news.”

Still, the groupthink blaming of readers is widespread among journalists. Too many  in the business believe readers should support journalists because they are the fountains of knowledge. Too many believe readers who question news judgment or coverage are fools.

And far too many journalists and former journalists, who seem not to understand that their behaviors reflect back on their former profession, these days prowl the sewer that is Twitter full of creatures mainly interested in poking a stick in the eye of those whose views are different from their own.

Here is one of them in journalism’s still-working class:

That is just one of the many Tweets on Klecka’s feed celebrating the election of President Joe Biden and bashing former President Donald Trump. Now granted, Klecka is primarily, though not solely, a sports reporter at the Peninsula Clarion in the small town of Kenai.

As a sports reporter, however, he should know better than many of his colleagues one of the greatest sins of journalism: fandom.

Fans make crappy journalists. Fans are emotionally invested in “their” team. Fans view the world through fan-colored glasses. Fans are subject to the fan bias that sees everything better than it really is when the team is winning and everything worse than it really is when the team is losing.

Journalists are supposed to avoid fandom because fans are largely incapable of reasoned judgment let alone that elusive thing called objectivity. Journalists are supposed to  be more like the people trying to maintain the fairness in sports: drug testers, league officials, referees, etc.

One of the key societal jobs of journalists is to throw the flag on those who violate the rules. The mainstream media did a commendable job of this as regards former President Donald Trump.

Unfortunately, journalists may have done too good of a job given how easy the task when dealing with a regularly delusional president.

Now, before Trump supporters reading this explode, let’s all recognize the difference between name calling and the use of a descriptive word to define ” the act of believing or making yourself believe something that is not true” as the Oxford Dictionary defines delusional.

Trump regularly, though not always, displayed a Trumpian vision of facts in direct conflict with reality. In his defense, he was not the first president to do so.

The nation witnessed former President Bill Clinton claiming “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” because of his belief “sexual relations” had something to do with “what the meaning of “is” is.”  And then there was former President George W. Bush declaring victory in the war in Iraq at a time when it was abundantly clear winning the peace in a country fractured by tribal divisions was going to be extremely difficult. And older Americans will well remember late President Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) convincing himself he could win the war in Vietnam and leading the country into one of the biggest disasters in its history.

Still, Trump took delusional to a whole new level and then baited the media when called on it, which led to the latter overplaying its watchdog role from the start of his term in office. There is little doubt but that this added to the split in the horribly divided country America is  today.

To go back to sports analogies, the mainstream media coverage of Trump’s lies was like a team of NLF referees deciding they were going to call a holding penalty on anything that looked like a hold on the part of Team A while largely ignoring Team B.

Serious fans of the National Football League know there’s hardly a play on which holding cannot be called on someone if the refs want to take things to the extreme.

The mainstream media took it to the extreme with Trump. As the Superbowl Champion of American politics, he certainly deserved a closer look than the other players in the game, but when the refs throw flag after flag at one team and almost wholly ignore the behavior of the other, well, the game starts to look unfair, if not rigged, to the fans of the team getting flagged on every play.

The partisan divide

The results of this are evident in the Edelman report. Its media release describes a “stunning 39-point gap in trust in media between Biden voters (57 percent) and Trump voters (18 percent); a 15-point drop among Trump supporters since November.”

That barely more than half of the Americans who voted for President Joe Biden trust the media is not exactly something to brag about. That 82 percent of Americans who voted for Trump distrust the media is a worrisome problem. And together the numbers become what the mainstream media should consider a nightmare.

Biden won 81.3 million votes in the last election. Thus the 43 percent of Biden voters who distrust the media total 35 million voters.

Trump drew 74.2 million votes. The 82 percent of Trump voters who distrust the media number 60.8 million. 

The combined total there is 95.8 million people or about 61.5 percent of the  155.5 million who voted in the last election. This is approaching a national supermajority of distrust in media, or it is already there, depending on whether you take the three-fifths definition or the two-thirds definition. 

Historians will no doubt one day pen lengthy tomes explaining how we got here. Politics surely played a part, but so did markets. When newspapers dominated the news in the country’s major cities decades ago, they brought a certain stability to the way readers viewed their sociopolitical environment. This was true whether the journalism those newspapers did was great, middling or bad.

A lot of it was middling. Some newspapers were boring as hell on a daily basis. As a writing exercise, it is fundamentally harder to craft an interesting story full of all those objective grays than a black-and-white tale of the struggle between good and evil.

Humanity evolved with stories of heroes and villains. After 200,000 years of this, we might well be genetically hardwired to favor narratives in the good guy-bad guy form, which is surely how many in this country today want see the world now even if they are part of a society that has changed radically in the last 75 years.

Bad today is far less bad than it was in 1946 in the wake of the revelations of the Holocaust in Germany, the war crimes of the Japanese across Asia, and our bombings of the major cities in those two countries, first with the fires of hell in Dresden and then the other worldly elimination of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with but two nuclear bombs.

That was bad then. Bad in America today is a society that isn’t perfect. Sadly, too, it will never be perfect because we all have slightly different ideas of what constitutes perfection. It’s why we regularly argue over the decisions made by referees in sports.

Fans of the Green Bay Packers are still angry that their team was somehow cheated out of the National Football Conference championship by a “bad” pass interference call Sunday, while fans of the game-winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers rejoice that the referees made the “right” call.

And in the eyes of former player and coach Tony Dungy, now a NBC football analyst, both sides can easily justify their beliefs.

That anyone in America could take a similarly nuanced view of today’s battle between Republicans and Democrats is anathema to many in the mainstream media, not to mention to the warriors on either side of the country’s political divide.

The good Trump

From the beginning, some saw Trump as the good guy because he promised to “drain the swamp” in the nation’s capital. That a lot of Americans, especially rural Americans, feel disconnected from the country’s swamp-prowling overseers on the heavily populated coasts is obvious from the voting pattern of the recent election.

Trump support ran like a red river through the country’s midsection, and there were this time no Russian spooks to blame for it. Some Americans no doubt voted for Trump because they like to watch politics being played as circus entertainment, but there is little doubt that a good part of middle-America also saw Trump as their best option.

Lest anyone forget, Biden has spent his life in the swamp. He’s adapted to it. Trump wasn’t.

As a result, Trump also didn’t get much draining done. Transforming the massive federal bureaucracy to make it more efficient and citizen friendly was a task for which Trump was ill suited. Success there would require a truly Machiavellian president, and Trump was anything but Machiavellian.

Niccolo Machiavelli observed that a successful leader needed to be calculating, cunning and “seem to be very moral, even if he is not.”

No one would use any of those words to describe Trump. He is and was bombastic, combative, egotistic, aggressive and politically incorrect. Trump’s biggest accomplishment as President was to inflame a mainstream media which wants to be respected for its intelligence, its insight, and its general desire to to do “the right thing.”

A long-time political animal, Biden understood this. He convinced the mainstream he was the Democrat centrist who could beat the right-leaning President, though one might argue Biden was even more an entrenched operative of the wealthy, American ruling class than Trump.

“In early 1973, as Joe Biden was settling into his new job in Washington, DC, Ralph Nader published a deconstruction of what made the freshman Democratic senator’s state of Delaware, the most anodyne of states, so exceptional,” Tim Murphy wrote in Mother Jones in 2019. “The answer, ‘The Company State’ explained, had to do with the unique relationship between government and commerce: Delaware was less a democracy than a fiefdom, contorting its laws to meet the demands of its corporate lords.”

Chief among those lords are banking interests. Biden has spent most of his political career using “his influence to strengthen and protect”  their interests, Murphy added.

“He cast key votes that deregulated the banking industry, made it harder for individuals to escape their credit card debts and student loans, and protected his state’s status as a corporate bankruptcy hub,” Murphy wrote.

“Biden’s career in the Senate placed him on the wrong side of some of the biggest financial fights of his generation….”

That would be the “wrong side” as defined by Mother Jones, a left-leaning magazine and website.  Many, if not most, conservative capitalists might well consider Biden to have in the case of the banks been on the right side of some of the biggest fights of his generation, but that’s neither here nor there.

Biden still leaves Mother Jones a little nervous, but the magazine is celebrating Trump’s loss and now pondering what to do about the “one political party…committed to authoritarianism,” as writer Benjamin Carter Hett put it in a story last week in which he compared Republican supporters of Trump to Nazi party members in post-war Germany.

If Americans are truly worried about the rise of authoritarianism in this country, they should be more concerned about Biden, the president now in office, the president clearly more Machiavellian than Trump, and the president today operating in an environment trending toward the behavior of the infamous and long gone, Commie hunter from Wisconsin – Sen. Joe McCarthy – in the days of the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

Much of the media, let anyone forget, helped fuel the “Red Scare.” It was a dark time in America when many innocent Americans got caught up in the hunt for left-wing extremists. Now the government is firing up a hunt for right-wing extremists. 

American history paints a troubling picture of how these good intentions can spin out of control. You would think a freedom-loving media might be concerned, but…

Media extremism

Launched in San Francisco in 1976,  Mother Jones’ “socially conscious journalism” was made for the internet before there was an internet. The magazine was long considered outside the media mainstream, but the mainstream has crept closer and closer as the years have passed.

University researchers who studied the Twitter accounts of journalists four years ago concluded today’s mainstream journalists “are dominantly liberal and often fall far to the left of Americans. A full 78.1 percent of journalists are more liberal than the average Twitter user. Moreover, 66 percent are even more liberal than former President Obama, 62.3 percent are to the left of the median Senate Democrat (in the 114th Congress), and a full 14.5 percent are more liberal than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (one of the most liberal members of the House).”

The researchers, who published their work in Science Advances in April of last year, also reported that as of 2017, journalists were doing a good job of keeping their views out of the “news that they choose to cover.”

Whether that continued into the later years of the Trump administration is hard to say, but some noted journalists have questioned where the media has been going since 2017.

Former CBS chief foreign affairs correspondent Lara Logan caused a firestorm in 2019 when she suggested people needed to read conservative news sites to counter-balance the liberal biases of the mainstream media. 

And Glenn Greenwald very publicly quit the The Intercept, a left-leaning news outlet, last year, writing that “the same trends of repression, censorship and ideological homogeneity plaguing the national press generally have engulfed the media outlet I co-founded, culminating in censorship of my own articles.”

Greenwald’s insider reflections on the “repression, censorship and ideological homogeneity” common to groupthink and his decision to leave The Intercept are illustrative of a media growing less politically diverse and ever more insular.

It is a sad commentary on newsroom culture that ironically reflects the cliquish behavior the media has worried about elsewhere.

“Seeing conflicting opinions in your (social media) feed causes psychological discomfort, but not seeing them creates a warped reality,” NBC News headlined in 2019 above a story warning against just this sort of thing.

A comfortable clique, reporter Wendy Rose Gould wrote, causes people to:

  • Overestimate the prevalence of their perspective
  • Reduce their empathy for others.
  • And close their minds to intellectual dialogue and “true change….Openly discussing  – and more importantly hearing – each other on hot button issues is more likely to foster ideas and solutions that improve our world.”

Granted, the media was trending toward this pit of self-involved, navel gazing before social media. I went to work at the Anchorage Daily News in the early 1980s when everyone argued about everything all of the time. Over the decades that followed, the list of subjects about which discussion, let alone heated discussion, was considered acceptable steadily shrank.

I left the newspaper years ago, but know the people still in charge. They are decidedly not fans of the late Gen. George Patton’s idea that “if everyone is thinking alike, someone is not thinking.”

They live for groupthink as do many news organizations across the country these days.

How this came to pass is hard to say. But American newsrooms that emerged from the Vietnam War-era questioning everything government did increasingly became the partners of government bureaucracies. Maybe it was in the nature of journalism awards. Newspapers invariably win them by spurring the government to act.

Trump’s prattling on about draining the swamp, no matter how well it resonated with Middle America, was by 2016 out of line with mainstream media views on how the world could be bettered by government doing ever more. The media were much more in line with former President Barack Obama’s aims of “change” via government action than Trump’s alligator hunting.

This is a bias now so deeply ingrained that it is doubtful many of todays’ younger reporters even think about it while increasingly operating in their insular bubble.

Dying diversity

When University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign journalism professors Nikki Usher and Yee Man Margaret Ng mined more than 134,000 Twitter posts from more than 2,000 Beltway journalists in 2018 to see what they were thinking, what the two researchers found were not just bubbles of groupthink, but microbubbles of groupthink.

“Our findings suggest even smaller, more insular communities of journalism that function as silos…with their own sets of concerns,” they reported in a 2020 paper published by Sage Journals’ Social Media + Society. “We know from existing research that these journalists are engaging in story ideas, joking around, and burnishing their own careers.

“They are doing so, however, within even smaller communities of like-minded journalists than have been previously considered. If journalists are talking to even smaller groups of journalists who share similar orientations, there is a real concern about the limitations of these epistemic communities in generating knowledge and information for the public….Newness is controlled and incorporated within these power domains, and critique that veers outside the norm of general banter or the emerging consensus may be disregarded.”

In breaking all of that down for a Urbana-Champaign university publication, Usher put it in much simpler terms:

 “Most of the time, what happens on Twitter does not reflect the real world. But in the case of political journalism and political elites, generally speaking, what happens on Twitter is reality.”

Though the work of Usher and Ng was limited to journalists working in the Capital Beltway surrounded by I-495, the ideological and agenda-shaping “echo chambers” and Twitter realities their paper describes are not limited to the Beltway.

These have come to both shape and police journo-think on a much broader scale across the country and probably more so now than last year when Usher warned that “political journalists in D.C. are people who use Twitter all day. And so the question is what does that do to how they think about the world.

“And generally, from this paper and a previous one I did on gender and Beltway journalism, it seems to me that it can make things worse.”

Couple a Twittering echo-chamber to the mind-altering influences of Trump Derangement Syndrome and filter it all through the eyes of big-ego actors who think themselves way smarter than the average American, and Usher’s “can” is certain to become a “does.”

As a result, you end up with stories like this:

This NBC version of history reflects the mainstream media truth of the moment: The Trump presidency was a horror, and the Biden presidency marks a return to normalcy.

In reality, the Trump administration was often a politically chaotic mess, but life in the country went on pretty comfortably anyway.

Despite disruptions caused by Trumps trade war with China, the U.S. economy grew steadily, the Dow Jones index climbed steadily upward, wages rose, and the unemployment and poverty rates hit record lows, according to the BBC, which certainly cannot be called a Trump fan.

These are simple facts, and these are things that truly matter to most Americans. These are among the reasons 48 percent of the country voted for the most unpresidential-acting president ever to occupy the White House.

The mainstream media’s inability to accept this is arguably the biggest reasons its credibility has crumbled. It has become as delusional as Trump.

BJ Campbell, a numbers-oriented engineer who started writing as a citizen journalist at a website called Handwaving Freakoutery, believes this was to be expected; and that it’s really largely about market forces in the Age of the Internet.

For a time, he linked up with an internet-only news site called Medium that is trying to become part of the new mainstream. He has now left that website.

“I suspect the article Medium chose to feature of mine, “The Surprisingly Solid Mathematical Case of the Tin Foil Hat Gun Prepper,” may have been the last non-lefty thing Medium ever put on their front page,” he wrote recently. “Everything they featured since, for several years, came from the rabbit hole we now call ‘Woke.’

“But if you’re not Woke, or are slowly realigning yourself to the group of “actively anti-wokes” along the new emergent political axis, why would you pay for a subscription to Medium? You wouldn’t. The traffic benefits of being on Medium slowly eroded for my publication because the echo chamber reading Medium tightened.

“And that’s almost assuredly what actually happened with Glen Greenwald at The Intercept. Greenwald’s editors at The Intercept censored one of his articles critical of Joe Biden. Greenwald railed against this censorship claiming ideological bias. And that ideological bias was probably a true thing, I don’t know. But the mechanics of modern media organizations, where they play to a tight bubble because tight bubbles get the most clicks, basically force editors to do this. From a monetary perspective, the editors were doing the right thing.”

One can only hope Campbell is wrong in his analysis because the future is not pretty if he is right. The often messy American democracy was created by a gang of flawed men, some of whom might today be called religious fanatics, who understood tolerance, even when it was difficult, was the glue that would hold together a free society and allow people to govern themselves rather than be governed by overseers.

Tolerance doesn’t mean you have to love your neighbor. It doesn’t even mean you have to like your neighbor. It simply means you have to find a way to live with your neighbor.

That was and is the essence of the mainstream. It’s what held the stream together.

Now it is fracturing into two streams – the woke and the anti-woke – each trying to dictate to the other how to behave.

Old-fashioned journalism could play a role in making the situation better or worse. The first step would involve breaking out of those bubbles, but as Usher and Ng observed, it is easier and more comfortable to follow the pack wherein “large groups of reporters cluster around a news site, engage in copycat reporting by using and sharing news information, and lazily refrain from confirming the data through independent sources.”

And if readers should happen to question this behavior, well, the response of many journalist is that it’s only because readers are stupid.

This attitude does not bode well for journalism. But worse, it does not bode well for the country.


61 replies »

  1. When they purposely crash our dollar soon, to push us into the New world Order aka the great reset, when people realize voter fraud was being done by our very own people, and our very own countries allies, not China or Russia, because the pro great reset countries needed America to be a participate in the new world order/great reset to make it fly, and the only way that was going to happen is with Obiden in there. Also don’t be too surprised, when you also realize the big Plandemic was orchestrated and played to the hilt by our allies, and other world leaders to set this all in to motion.

    • Zip,the term “New World Order” is almost 100yrs old, and all this time,I thought G bush stumbled upon something new.Been waiting for the $ to crash since about ’99-’00.In the meantime I’ll plan on it not I guess.
      Elections?,almost 60 court cases thrown out or nullified, no proper evidence provided, seemed to be the most often reason sighted that I saw.
      Im still patiently waiting in line for my virus vac’s,so I can get my microchip and be a good satan worshipping pedofile,cannibal,like the rest of the 80% or so of the country.
      I hate it when I’m late or miss my cues,

      • Dave whoever told you no proper evidence provided lied to you . A case has to be heard in full so legal discovery can be done in full. Otherwise you cant legally get all the evidence. Dave im say this nice as possible. Don’t be a toady for msm and party politics. Research election cases very carefully yourself. Dig through every one . Start with 2020 election lawsuits related to election integrity ( or something similar) aprx 77 cases said almost nothing about lack of evidence. Any and all excuses were used to not look into the evidence in full . Stated reasons included- statutory basis , consolidated,moot , lacked timelyness, tbd,lack standing,laches,granted, injunctions ect . Just because a court dismisses or rules a certain way doesn’t proove anything especially if no trial is done . All it means is they don’t want to get involved. Period! Now certain cases did follow through and decide one way or other but that was rare . Please stop spreading misinformation. ( I know its not on purpose but it causes the same confusion) nobody really knows how much fraud their was because courts didn’t push tge envelope and assist with digging into evidence. The machines needed sequestered and examination. The people who examined what they could by external data , numbers and research on a few machines determined fraud as highly likely. Those were professional computer and math technicians. Are the correct? I don’t know but it serves a national disservice to pretend there was no evidence. Or it was investigated fully. It was not . Period. Cruzes effort for bipartisan review study was stymied by incompetent and horrible corrupt party politicians. Just gross . Its very important Americans recognize their was inadequate judicial review and next to no competant investigation. Always Remember Judges And politicians allowed slavery. What they say and decide matters little. Dig in deep for yourself. Do no accidentally lie to the public/ accidentally mislead when it’s possible to recognize the truth. Which is we don’t know. Period. Evidence pushes to fraud very likely, no one has presented proof of no fraud. Its all evidence of fraud that’s been seen . I hate to say it but by all accounts the president and his legal team were not fully adequate for task of protection of our elections . Barr was a bush and party man . He made no effort to fix / remove patriot act and directly assisted stopping trump from pardoning assange . Barr acted anti constitutional and was a traitor who should be prosecuted. He betrayed our nation. The rest of what you said was basically just distraction and muddy the waters.

      • Dave Mc

        You can play the go over off the deep end act to jokingly play off what has been happening for years, and what is about to happen. Meanwhile the people are so blinded to think the treasonist Republicans will save our country and constitution from the openly treasonist Democrats. Congress could put a stop to all this, and to the bypassing of constitutional congress executive orders, but they will not.

        See the people have a choice between two evils anymore.

        The Democrats, and some not so much republicans who want to lob us into the new world order/great reset of socialism. They are not even hiding their agenda and goals anymore. So this is Not deniable.

        Then you have the Republicans, who most of them will sit idly by and allow this to happen, which is treasonist in itself. However, it wouldn’t have mattered even if they would have won, because they might not of supported as big of a government as the Democrats do, or as big of a socialist agenda, but theirs still would of been too big of a government as well.

        You must of missed all the summits Dave, to where our allies are needing us to participate in their great reset to make it work. Ole Prince Charles is so giddy about it all, he can’t stop talking about it. They have even stated that the Covid is the best thing to have happened to make this all possible.

        As far as the courts throwing out the election cases, I refer you back to what I said earlier. “Voter fraud was supported by our very own people as well.”
        Yes, the New World Order term has been around for awhile now, that’s why they’ve renamed it the great reset, and Bush is a treasonist as well.

      • Zip,Im well versed in all the doom and gloom, but somehow we seem to keep on ticking, lots of ills, lots of warts, but somehow the republic still hasn’t been invaded by the blue helmets.
        At some point you have to take a measured look and come to the conclusion that our system works(despite what certainly looks like shaky odd,i’ll give you that).And understand that in fact,theres a reasonable chance that the sun is coming up tomorrow.Yah I know, theres an asteroid out there too….
        I’ll assume you live in Alaska,so youll perhaps be familiar with the fact that imo, we are hands down the greatest example of a failed socialist state.Overwhelming republican support, but very few want to support the state services.Always somebody else’s tab.But oh yah, give me my free $’s.
        Without state savings (nearly depleted)or more importantly Fed $’s, we’d roll up quicker than a measuring tape.Ted Stevens understood that in spades, he was part of the problem….

      • DPR,
        Well then stop whining about a lost election, build a case, raise $’s for representation.
        Im sure somebodies doing that very same thing (besides Trump $200 million defense fund).
        Do something….(good luck with that).
        Always has to be a boogy man,ever notice that about our species?

      • Dave Mc , first you dont see me whining about a lost election. We can do better than trump. You see me “whining” about possible stolen election and possibility similar actions through history. you have a really good point. Do something. Couple problems, the courts are basically refusing to examine the issue. Also Did you notice several activist DA s are ganging up to push for disbarment of lawyers who challenge the election results in full ? That’s chilling. Michigan- Has Governor Whitimer and A group of Das pushing to dis bar Powell and Lin wood . For bringing “ frivolous and defamatory lawsuits” who the heck has the right to judge a lawyer guilty for just questioning and requesting proof? Thsts part of their job. Now granted Lin wood went over the top maybe- maybe. Any way they are lawyers quality backgrounds . Also take note – Louie gohmert was a judge , lawyer, top law graduate and congress man . In his legal challenge Courts said he had no standing. Uhh thats bs. Now take cruz , hawley , goemez . They are all lawyers and top graduates of harvard law and other respected universities. Technically its hard to find more legally qualified men than them . They attempted to put reality into politics requesting a temporary political stay of action. Creating a bi partisan review and research panel with a middle of the road judge. Those qualified men were demonized , ostracized and Black listed just for considering and presenting a rational action/ approach. “ trying to over turn the election” ! Coup ! Traitors, accused of attempted murder ect . Activist and absent Judicial ,Black listing ,financial attack and retaliation lawsuits are order of day . Not to mention inaccurate rhetorical politics. I don’t think a resolution and redress of grievance will be made through legal means . I could be wrong though. I think the only real solution is education and a bi partisan effort by Americans to work for the greater good. Both in action and in intellectual. An effort by our brotherhood to put asside our verbal attacks and calmly examine all the facts then demand ,through vote higher quality politicians and a removal of money from politics in any form . Judicial reform, political reform. Im not sure who you were referring to boogy man as unless it is someone like soros who is corrupting the DA selection process with money. He owns them .

      • Dave mc , i read your links . They are a patchwork of supposition, conjecture and editing. No substance. ( no verifiable facts) do you really think someone was there recording all the words of a president and his advisers private conversations? Now thsts crazy unless it was fbi tapes. Makes lin wood look calm and collected. The writers conjecture sounds very made up with a sprinkle of truth as topping. Its a waste of your intellect to allow a fictional creation into your mind as a building block. It’s similar as if I pretended to know what biden thinks or says by listening to the whispers of a few people who caught a couple of his words then embellished. In the wisdom of never let the truth get in the way of a good story. So ,I suggest you utilize a more fact based source than some reporter trying to make a buck and meet number of word requirements and deadlines. Anyone can say anything. What are the verifiable facts ? Ask yourself that . The rest is some degree of fiction. A distraction. A lie . Misinformation or just plain entertaining stories to feed a readers emotion and hormones. Dont deal with or listen to lies . Its to easy to loose track of reality. Which is that trumps legal teams were moderately incompetent and there is proof of voting and legal misconduct surrounding the election. Was it enough to change the election? In a rational fair world all sides would say let’s research it carefully and hsve it reviewed by a court. Instead we have freakoutery and demonization of anyone who dares challenge the sacred results. A gaurenteed recipe for false knowledge.

  2. “Just trust us”….. and to think this clown who took his biological program to Wuhan, China when Obama put the ax to it gets over $1,000/day, 7 days a week funded by taxpayers…nice…
    Mr. Double Speek

    “Dr. Anthony Fauci revised his recommendation that Americans wear two masks to further protect themselves from the coronavirus.

    Fauci spoke about double masking in a video livestream interview with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) on Thursday.

    “There’s nothing wrong with that but there’s no data that indicates that that is going to make a difference,” Fauci said.

    Last Monday, Fauci said that wearing two masks “likely” made it safer, claiming that it only made “common sense” to have another layer of protection.”

  3. I’m out. This is my last post. I came here because it was *Alaska*. No more for me because it isn’t the Alaska that I know and more importantly it’s just a run of the mill incendiary right-wing codswallop site with little carbon copy trumpanzees hanging about nattering. Of course, medred ALWAYS ads a little bit of cover in order to cover his (in his head) journalistic bonafides. Does anyone ever ask why he isn’t employed any longer? I’ll tell you why: he’s unemployable. Adios.

    • Monk,

      You will be missed, you’ve always brought so much valuable insight and information to the comment section. Honestly, I find myself disagreeing with virtually everyone here except myself and you…when you make a point it always changes my mind because you always bring rational well thought out points. One thing I’ve valued here is the difference of opinions and that most of us can disagree without being disagreeable. I know, for myself at least, having a place where I can retreat to so I can share the exact same thoughts with the exact same people sure makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Which is, I’m sure, why you would prefer to surround yourself with people who think and say exactly what you think and say to reinforce your ideas ad nauseum. Good luck with your cancel culture revolution, I hope it’s everything you want and you find that cancelling everyone, including yourself, isn’t always the answer…even if your buddies say so.

  4. It’s really quite simple, so let’s keep it simple. There is no doubt 90%+ of journalists and editors are Democrats working in one huge echo chamber. You know this Craig. Look at the Left Wing Snake Den that is “What’s your Plan B?”Look at the comments and profiles of THOUSANDS of these folks over the past 4 years. It’s really quite remarkable, even in today’s ideological environment. Try posting something/anything even remotely neutral or centrist in tone and you are cancelled. The site has evolved into a joke. A job at Mother Jones? Sign me up! A job at The Federalist? Call for the exorcist!
    Look at the professors in our “best” J schools… Columbia, Missouri, Northwestern, Syracuse…
    And it certainly didn’t start with DJT. Look at the treatment of GWB; McCain and Romney when they were running. What happened was DJT followed 8 years of BHO. It was too big a shock for the system. All pretense of neutrality is now gone forever. Barri Weiss and Tom Cotton, just to name a couple, have proven that.
    It’s laughable. 90 percent of my colleagues at the old Anchorage Times (and I dearly love them all) were left wingers who loathed RR and GHWB. But 30-40 years ago they could still flourish at a right-leaning newspaper. No more. I dare say were the Times still around today, they could not stomach working there. Those days are gone. Just glad I was around then to enjoy them!
    Anyway, good piece Craig…

  5. Found this interesting that the frauds in the media will not share. DISASTER..
    If the world is to wean itself off fossil fuels and go Biden/AOC’s “carbon neutral Green New Deal” by 2050, here is what might possibly need to be done:

    To summarize: to get the world to zero emissions by 2050, our options are to build, commission, and bring on-line either:

    • One 2.1 gigawatt (GW, 109 watts) nuclear power plant each and every day until 2050, OR

    • 3,000 two-megawatt (MW, 106 watts) wind turbines each and every day until 2050 plus a 2.1 GW nuclear power plant every day and a half until 2050, assuming there’s not one turbine failure for any reason, OR

    • 96 square miles (250 square kilometres) of solar panels each and every day until 2050 plus a 2.1 GW nuclear power plant every day and a half until 2050, assuming not one of the panels fails or is destroyed by hail or wind.

    The calculations come courtesy of Willis Eschenbach at Watts Up With That? Feel free to check the math yourself.

    • Bryan,

      I had to look up what you wrote, (GW, 109 watts) and (MW, 106 watts) make no sense. What it should say is (GW, 10 to the power of 9) or a Gigawatt is equal to 1,000,000,000 watts and (MW, 10 to the power of 6) or a Megawatt is equal to 1,000,000 watts.

      The US currently has about 1.1 Terawatt (TW) or 10 to the power of 12 or 1,100,000,000,000 watts of capacity or available generation ability. To replace that current capacity level we would need 550,000,000 (five hundred and fifty million) 2 MW wind turbines. There are about 10,600 days between today and 2050. We would need to build about 52 2 MW wind turbine per day to replace that amount of capacity 52 x 2,000,000 (2 MW) x 10,600 days = 1,102,400,000,000 watts or 1.1 TW, assuming the capacity factor of wind was 100%…which it isn’t, so we might as well triple that the 156 wind turbines per day so we don’t have 2/3 of the nation in a blackout each and everyday. We would need to build about 525 2.1 GW nuke plants to replace the 1.1 TW capacity or one 2.1 GW nuke plant every 20 days. All of that assumes no growth in the electrical generation capacity between now and 2050, but something needs to power all the new electrical vehicles that will be coming online during the coming decades.

      There is currently about 8 TW of electrical capacity worldwide, the US makes up around 15-16% of that so everywhere else in the world will have to do the same as the US but they are responsible for 84-85% of the total current installed capacity, assuming no other countries install any new electrical generation or that any countries with limited electrical capabilities want to use low priced high energy content fuel sources.

      • I’m not disagreeing, just doing the math on what we in the US would need to do. If you run the numbers I just did out to the rest of the world it appears his numbers and mine would be fairly close.

      • Bryan,

        For reference there are currently less than 60,000 wind turbines of all sizes in commercial use, with most being much smaller than 2 MW, in the US.

      • Steve-O,
        Sure sounds like a whole lot of construction/manufacturing/maintenance/transportation jobs to me.
        You know,doing stuff with your hands, like this country used to do, before fast food/casual dining/and box stores and off shore manufacturing showed up enmasse.
        Dont like dirt under your fingernails? Looks like plenty of engineering/auto-cad/surveying etc., jobs as well.
        Going to need a whole lot of STEM focus,or we’ll just import them.Its really up to the future electorate..and more importantly, there parents.
        The Great Re-set…

      • Steve-O, we know this is all BS..we know this isn’t about “saving the planet”, whatever that means. We know it is all about elites fleecing the world through I phony regulations, price increases, along with increased tax streams.
        The rest keep the morons in check. Heard a guy the other day say ” I dont mind paying more to breath clean air”..sheesh.

      • Dave,

        It’s an impossibly high number of construction/manufacturing/maintenance/transportation/engineering/auto-cad/surveying etc., jobs. We have a major deficit in people wanting to do any of those jobs right now and getting to the number required to design, manufacture, transport, install, and maintain 156 wind turbines per day, every day, for 30 years means by the time we actually get to the number of people required we will need 10 times as many because we will be so far behind to power curve (pun intended) we will need to install 1,560 wind turbines per day. We simply do not have in the workforce in the pipeline necessary to do this.

        Now let’s talk about the amount of raw materials required, Pebble was just shutdown so there goes a vast source of material required for making all of these wind turbines…do you know how much copper a single 2 MW wind turbine requires? It’s about 4-5 tons. How about how much steel, concrete (a major greenhouse gas contributor in itself), aluminum, plastic, and other assorted raw materials? How will all of these raw materials be mined, manufactured, and transported…what energy source will be used to create all of these wind turbines? We know that they will not spontaneously create themselves. Add to all that, each wind turbine requires around 2 acres of land 550,000,000 wind turbines will take up about 1,100,000,000 of the 1,900,000,000 acres the US has. But that’s only if we build wind turbines that have a 100% capacity rate so more likely we will need to build around 1.5-2 wind turbines for each and every acre across this country. We will need a lot more roads to access all these wind turbines, more surveyors and miners and transporters…etc., etc., etc..

        We are already moving towards cleaner and renewable sources at an astronomic rate (see the transition of electric generation over the last 20 years). In the next decade electric vehicles are going to change the way we generate and consume electricity in ways that only 4-5 years ago many of those in the industry would or could not imagine. Having a goal is great, having realistic goals is something entirely different.

      • Steve-O,
        Old square head saying”Pull harder,it comes easier”.
        Lots of nattering naybobs thought the same of the CRNWRR,Hoover dam,Interstatehighways,TVA,moon shot,TAPS,boring under seattle(is that done yet!?),skipping a satellite safely off an asteroid millions of miles away.
        The list of cant do’s are endless,but we as a nation have tackled bigger things.
        We didnt do so well in the regime change/nation building thing.
        Lets try and solve things on our own shores,with a new impetus (one can hope).

      • Dave mc , use natural gas . Solved . No more naysayers and no more silly windmills. There – saved you trillions and reduced the ecological impact. Removed the potential embarrassment of over extension of our resources/ economy. Did you ever stop to think with biden or any similar leader our components would end up being made by his slave wage country/ benefactor- China. Not us citizens. Remember China Bidens . Big guy . Or Ukraine-“Well son of a gun he got fired” ( and hunters buddies didnt get investigated) can we say corruption? Lets get real and do what’s practical. Thats a primary reason our nation used to succeed. We were practical. If you start listening to space cadets like AOC who barely held a bartenders job and struggle to plan a personal budget you are going to fail . Its not about naysayers its about project planning. You or we have no leadership capable of pulling off your pipe dream . Now if The big guy taps Elon or a Ford type individual or even Jack Ma I would say you had a snowballs chance in heck . I can only imagine the ecological mess they would produce but at least the job would get done. Otherwise Dave get out of the clouds unless you can provide details. Every thing comes down to planning, logistics, ingenuity and resources. You dont have it . You are grasping. Resorting to names “naysayers” Dave im sorry Times changed.Its no longer a free nation where free and experienced men/ women will happily pull together. A drift towards corrupt trade policies and socialist social policies have destroyed our production capacity and our individual industriousness. You and your short sighted peers helped vote in corruption , incompetence and detached from reality leaders . Game is nearly over . We drifted to a fascist police state. Throwing everything our forefathers worked for into the gutter with the pigs . Now dave please explain your experience in project management and how it will all work out. If thats your job qualifications im sure you can fill us in quite fully, Detail by detail. At least endorse responsible concepts like . “ a feasibility study would be in order” (gag me with a spoon AOC and emperor Dementia Joe just dont have it in em. They don’t know squat about project management) . If you do then please elaborate.

      • DPR,
        Please forgive my absent minded,but unintended callousness.
        You must still be grieving,come sit here by the fire,i shall make room.
        We’ll make ‘smores and drink this half flaggon of Brother Monks famous East Hill mulberry wine.That he left in his haste to fly from this wretched place.
        Then we’ll sing old hymns about The Republic,before the dark times…

      • Dave Mc , that was awesome! I will join you anytime! Perhaps we could then make a plan to improve this place. ( i like the picture you drew it sounds like an approach I could understand)

      • Dave,

        I’m not sure what CRNWRR is, but the rest of your list amount to math problems that while hard were possible and/or probable. If you can show the math on how it’s possible to reach this goal in 30 years I’d be all onboard, it’s a helluva challenge.

        Now pass the mulberry wine!

      • Steve-O,
        CRNWRR=Copper River Northwest Railway,if you want to understand the impossible, under sometimes impossible conditions and impossible deadlines.Theres a book I believe the author is Lone E Jansen,”Copper Spike”.I read it in high school,great history.
        One of the worlds most quickly forgotten engineering and construction feats of its time.But they seemed to do big things in those days.And ughm yah,probably before the Corp of Engineers time.
        Deadlines at times are mere projections,sometimes they move based on reality.
        Without a storage solution or hydrogen fuel cells, renewables will never completely remove high btu fossil fuel, but they could certainly diminish the need.
        Heres an interesting thought, how much does it cost to keep a carrier task force on station patrolling the Gulf of Oman region?
        What if we didn’t need that carrier group anymore?or perhaps they could make East for the Indian Ocean.Thats all part of the hidden cost of crude oil.

      • Dave,

        Thanks for spelling that acronym out, it wasn’t ringing any bells. Respectfully a couple small railways through the wilds of Alaska in no way compares to replacing all of the world’s (or even just the United States) fossil fuel energy production, no matter how difficult building those railways might have been.

        If we want to get out of the middle east and stop policing their waters it sure seems like shutting down domestic energy production is the wrong way to go about that, and yet this current administration seems hell bent on doing just that.

      • Steve O-,
        Fair enough,one question though?
        Are we net importers or self sufficient in crude production.And do we really want to use all our own oil first?
        Keep in mind estimates of recoverable crude vary with price.
        Higher price sounds great,especially for a one trick pony like the state.
        But competing technologies put a cap on the high end.
        Sorta like the price of salmon….
        And thats what we’re up against,more of the same policy since the end of WW2,
        Or a shift in mindset ,technology and investment.The longer it takes,the cheaper alternatives become through progress.The price of solar is a perfect example.
        A bit off topic,but not.
        The majors generally make cap investments with long lead times and projections,but yet not one thru out a low ball bid on ANWR.
        It took decades for NPRA to open up,but Conoco (and a few sm wildcatters)were right there johnny on the spot.
        The majors could have easily waited out a democratic admin,and even there potential successor.But yet chose not to move east of PT Thompson.

      • Dave,

        Good question(s)…might have been more than one in there.

        We’ve been a net importer for decades, until the last few years that is… I suspect that will change quickly with the new administration, and we will be headed back towards being a net importer.

        Do we want to leave all our oil in the ground forever, or monetize it at some point? We are certainly advancing to a point where will have more left in the ground than we will use (the old peak oil understanding has been shown to be obsolete) so why should we pay more for the other guys when we have enough in our own backyard? Or like you say, why should we have a carrier in Oman when we don’t need to?

        I could be wrong, but if I remember correctly when a few wells were drilled in ANWR some people had access to that information and others didn’t…maybe there is some tribal knowledge at play? Or what with all the recent oil discoveries in easier climates (political, financial, and technical) the majors have had enough with the whims and threats of dealing with all the hassles involved in extracting oil from our ground?

    • Biden couldn’t fill a small parking lot..remember his silly “stay in your car and honk your horn” rally and only 2 dozen people showed? Compared to the 10’s of thousands for Trump. Embarrassing for Dementia Joe, but expected..ole man needs to step aside and retire from his life of corruption.

  6. The most troubling aspect of the last election is the alignment between the DNC and social media. It wasn’t honest or fair. Which is why about half the country is seething about a total news blackout for weeks before the election on anything derogatory on Biden.
    I don’t know how this play out. The Left now possesses superior weaponry and I don’t see them unilaterally disarming. And I don’t see how the non-Leftists achieve parity. Like to be wrong, but my guess is pressure will grow v. reduce. Not good.

    • Erak,
      Not sure where you’ve been the last 4 yrs,but the last president pretty much dictated policy by way of Twitter.
      International,regional,and national policy,even the firing and dismissal of agency heads were often done by way of his social media accounts.Like trump,bidens record and actions of the last 40 yrs are out there easy to find.
      The right had no interest in finding out who there man was,his track record, personality,nothing.
      All “fake news”
      The religious right practically washed his feet and threw down rose petals in his path, all for the idea that he would deliver them judges(which he did).
      As ring master he played them like guitar strings, and turned anything resembling the press into the enemy.It was vitally important to his constant disinformation program to keep them suspect.

      PT Barnum:”Theres a sucker born every minute”

      • Dave Mc, maybe because Trump wrapped himself in the flag instead of burning it in our streets, maybe because Trump offered numerous times to stop the ANTIFA/BLM rioting that was killing and wounding thousands of cops for 9months while Harris was setting up bail funds for the terrorists..Maybe because Trump built a wall while Biden/Harris advocate open borders, maybe because we like cheap gas compared to Biden’s $5/gallon..Maybe because we respect the military while Obama/Biden loathed them. Maybe because Trump liked the cops and didn’t want to defund them like Biden/Harris or continue Obama’s War on Cops, maybe because Trump had the lowest female, black, and hispanic unemployment instead of a life on welfare, maybe because Trump didn’t fill his cabinet with anti-American Socialists and commies – litterally. Maybe because Trump made us energy independent while Team Biden did away with that with a flick of a pen..
        I mean, it goes on and on if you chose to get informed with something other than CNN propaganda..

      • Bryan,time to power up a reserve brain cell or two,buckaroo.
        google up how much ACTUAL new wall has been built.Something like 42 miles, the border is almost 2k long,Im still waiting for that Mexican check(and trumps tax returns he promised on the trail in 2016) the US treasury can use it,$ 7trillion in new spending last year thanks to your guy and the clueless right in congress.
        “Killing and wounding thousands of cops for 9 months”‘,can you provide a reasonable link?
        Ill make another batch of popcorn, still waiting on your Biden Dossier that Rudy brought back from his meeting with the Russian plant.

      • Oh and another thing Dave, girls wear dresses..not boys. I mean, good LORD!!! And Dems call that “normal”. Sheesh.

        Once again, it was Democrats who fought and obstructed every mile of America’s fence along the border to keep drug mules and illegals out.

        Source Leftist rag Wash. Post: Trump has promised to build at least 500 miles of new fencing by early next year, and his administration has completed about 110 miles so far.

      • Jeff, the goal of $7 gas isn’t to help oil companies. It is to squeeze people into electric vehicles while cheering child slave labor in the cobalt mines.. Some Euro countries have outlawed gas and diseal engines by 2030.
        These whackos would love nothing more than to shutdown any and all oil/gas production in Alaska. A pipeline? Nah, we.cant have that.. What I love is how the media spins “China is the leader in going green”. China runs the highest # of coal-fired plants in the world while increasing their number annually. They could careless about these leftist enviro loons. They only care.about feeding the beast. Maybe these “journalists” Craig mentions can dig into who in Congress is on the Chinese take or sleeps or works with Chinese spies. How about universities paid by the Chinese?

      • 63% of USA electricity is generated by fossil fuels. Oil companies don’t care how you burn our oil-just that you burn it.
        Restrictions on new drilling will drive up the price of oil which is good for Alaska where there are many existing permits on fed land and lots of resources on state land.

      • Trump did weaponize Twitter, which massively disrupted the status quo MSM and enabled Trump to beat HRC – doing so spending a lot less money. This time SM shut down anything derogatory on Biden, of which there is plenty.

      • Jeff,

        The 63% number you reference is closer to 61%, and that 2% difference is a huge number. Also the fossil fuels being used to generate the 61% of electricity generated in the US is from natural gas and coal, not oil. Since about 2007 the use of coal to generate electricity has dropped by half while natural gas and some renewables have offset that decline of coal production. Oil isn’t burned in great quantities to generate electricity.

      • Jeff,

        Those numbers are from 2019 and don’t take into account what has happened in the last year, here’ a report from May 2020. “Power companies already have closed five coal boilers at three separate plants this year. They have plans to close an additional 28 boilers by year’s end, E&E News’ review shows. Collectively, those 33 units emitted 511 million tons of carbon between 2009 and 2019, or roughly what 100 million cars would emit in a year. The 48 coal boilers retired last year emitted 672 million tons over that period.”

        While Alaska has a wealth of natural gas we have virtually zero means of bringing that gas to market, in fact the lone gas exporter has recently been permitted to import gas. We will be importing gas into the state that has a wealth of gas.

        There is absolutely no reason to “assume as we move away from power[ing] cars with gasoline, we will move towards power[ing] power plants with oil.” In fact we should assume the minimal amount of power generated by oil will continue to decrease further, especially if oil prices climb making it less economic for power generation.

      • Steve if oil prices rise we win-oil is a limited resource
        even in Alaska so the higher the price the better Alaska is severed.

      • Jeff,

        I agree, higher oil prices are good for the state government budget, for our overall economy, and especially for our private sector jobs.

      • Jeff , I think what steves trying to say is if everything goes green then demand for oil goes down which destroys Alaskas economic model . So in other words we are fckd unless we get on the ball and open new economic foundation points. Steves thinking ahead beyond a price in oil rise over next 4 years which may or may not occur because we have a worldwide glut of oil available. With many many desperate dictators , putin types and third world countries willing to sell at bottom dollar to keep their archaic power structures in control. Alaska must do whatever it takes to broaden our economy and buisness wise ,play where the ball will be not where it has been. Oil is where the balll was unless trump types come back to power. Which won’t happen because the corrupt democrats or really the corrupt congress is owned by “visionarys” who are going to flood our nation with democrat voting people/ immigrants, fix into election law -not requiring proof of existence thus voter fraud and create high taxes and higher inflation ,currency debasement and tighten investment laws which will destroy the ability of anyone trying to climb the financial ladder and challenge the corrupt status qoa. Words and thoughts will mean what elites declare that particular day . Thus no more middle class or fairly rich people that have had life experiences to strengthen their grasp on the factual aspect of how life works when building yourself up and taking charge. Our real leaders will no longer exist and an elite group will be developed and solidified using the rest of us as workers or just above poverty peasants. ( we will all have good entertainment and will properly toe the line or face death for promoting wrong think ,inciting insurrection, or conspiracy- god forbid we make any plans to fight back as thats clearly conspiracy. All elites will be exempt from commoners laws because they have more important things to deal with. So in short steve is right. Alaska leaders need to poop or get off the pott . We are out of time.

      • There are so many uses for oil than energy production. The day will come when we’ll slap our foreheads
        and say “I can’t believe we used to burn black gold.”

  7. The notoriously left wing news source Vice News had a three part special on Q’anon. At one point after the election they were filming a group of Boden supporters on one side and a group of Trump supporters on the other with the police in between. The obviously left leaning “reporter” said something along the lines of this is how it is in American now one group on one side, one on the other, and the police and media in the middle playing peace keeper. I laughed out loud at the lack of self awareness of a Vice News reporter claiming to be in the middle and being a peace keeper as they throw gasoline on the flames.

  8. MR. Medred , thank you for shedding light on a complex situation. I learned a lot and gained perspective. You obviously put significant research and mental discipline into forming this very intelligent article. Best article ive read for many years from any source! You have done a great service to our nation with your bright flashlight!

  9. Please dont confuse “journalists” with propagandists. Another problem is the younger generation gets their “news” spoon fed from heavily censored Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and FB. Basically, what we end up with is a bag full of dumb rocks.

  10. The 50% who trust the media are the leftists. Perhaps the most obvious and egregious example of how one sided the media has become, is the banning of factual information, prior to the election, that would have put Biden in a bad light….

  11. Ah, yet another example of a verbose idiot trying to justify his “intelligence” with even more ping pong ball verbosity. A befuddled old crook who has blurted out braggadociously on numerous occasions the Freudian truth of his obvious crimes, and you think that is a “return to normalcy”? I guess it is. You are right, we are all idiots and you’re the smart one. All the doctors, lawyers, scientists, highly skilled laborers, and amazing people of all kinds that supported, and still support, Trump, are just a bunch of morons. But you, hiker-man, are the smart one. All the blather in the world won’t cover up the arrogance of people like you. Meaningless words.

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