Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
Am I the only one who thinks the two recent suicides are strange? First Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich and a couple of weeks later his spokesman, Spence Jackson? After Schweich's death the local media could not stop talking or writing about it while with Jackson nothing much beyond the first report.
There has to be more to this story, it just doesn't feel right and where is P-D columnist Tony Messenger who within minutes of the Schweich suicide had written his story and was on every radio/tv news program for days. Now nothing from him.
Maybe it's as simple as reported, but it just doesn't add up and no one seems to be doing any looking.
John Stewart announced his retirement after 17 years of doing the Daily Show. 17 years! It hardly seems possible. But while watching Morning Joe on MSNBC this morning one of the panel said this: "It may be John is doing this as a favor to Brian Williams." To take the attention off Williams and his being suspended for exaggerating his experiences while reporting news. He gives his friend a break from being the center of none stop attention.
I highly doubt this is why Stewart decided to end his show's run.
I have to give you up, you've become impossible to read what with all the ads suddenly covering up stories, flashing words, sudden sounds from videos I never clicked on. I realize ads keep newspapers in business but really, someone needs to find a way to ad them to news sites without having them just overrun the story being read.
I just tried the Chicago Tribune site looking to see if they had any Super Bowl food stories. It was an impossible task. The one story I wanted to read was the Great Italian Beef hunt and I never could get it to stay still long enough to read. I won't be back.
The Trib is not alone, most newspapers and local tv news sites are the same. A total mess and not at all user friendly. And, local tv news reporters...Don't tell us to read more about your story at your website unless the story is actually on the website.
Early last evening I sat down on the couch with my iPad and began scrolling through my Twitter feed to see what was going on in the world. Little by little more and more Tweets appeared about a hostage situation in Australia. Following along, the facts as known were that someone had taken over a Lindt Cafe in Sydney holding at gunpoint everyone who had the bad luck to have been in there at the time. Some patrons were forced to stand at the front window with their hands up and holding an Islamic flag.
Now things looked really bad and the BBC, Australian news outlets, others in Europe were all blanketing their coverage with this story. So I flipped the tv to our American cable networks. Not one was broadcasting anything live, much less this story which had worldwide attention. CNN had dinosaur stories, MSNBC was airing who knows what, maybe prison or ghost stories, and Fox had a previously taped Megyn Kelly program.
What we learn from this is that our 24 hour news networks take Sunday off. Oddly, those reporters who work for those cable networks weren't tweeting about this story either for most of the night. Everyone was off. There was no evidence of "news as it happens" last night from American news outlets. Around 10 Greta van Susteren finally heard about Australia and Tweeted: "BREAKING NEWS : An armed gunman is holding up to 13 people hostage inside a cafe in one of Sydney's main business areas [Sky News Australia]".
The frustration many felt over the absence of US news last night was shown in reaction to Greta's tweet. The relies were of one voice: "Breaking news 5 hours ago". "That's not breaking any more, Greta. You just woke up?"
The response to other late to the story reporting by others brought similar replies. Twitter was the only place to find live time updates.
Now this morning American cable network on air people have the story and they've gone from no presence to reporting with opinion commentary. How on earth can people who were asleep or otherwise not paying this story any attention, wake up and have "opinions" on who and why this has happened?
I turned on Morning Joe (MSNBC) this morning and one of their people translated the words on the flag the hostages had to hold up and then said, "This is to Muslims what the Lord's Prayer is to Christians." Oh my gosh, you have to be kidding! This is what passes for factual reporting these days. Click.
Our journalist world is a punk poor one nowadays. No one is a reporter, everyone a commentator.
In an editorial yesterday, the Post Dispatch told readers they are turning off the comments to their online editorial page saying it is often taken over by trolls. It seems their opinion page gets comments which are vile, racist and nasty while all the P-D writers are attempting to do is have a civil conversation.
Ok. That's their right, but my experience in reading online commentary just about everywhere is that a commenter is a troll if they disagree with you. If you follow the Post on Facebook commenting will still be available.
What all this says to me is that for all our talk of freedom of speech and freedom of behavior is that it should only be allowed if we agree. I don't like the anti Christian stuff that shows up every year at this time, but gee, freedom of speech to be insulting to people of faith is ok. I also don't appreciate all the lewd and pornographic stuff that pops up publically either. But, gee, freedom of speech.
I'm also tired of the F word showing up, written, shouted, in every corner of our culture. But, freedom of speech.
I tend to believe the Post is pretty thin skinned when they see people angry about the paper's POV.
Downtown Clayton is filled with tv news trucks, the streets are filled with out of town reporters. For the past week or so the Ferguson story has become a media event kept alive by local and national reporters who just won't let this go.
This morning I saw a story relating the news that several national cable anchors have talked with officer Darren Wilson. "Just to feel him out about sitting down for and interview". This surprised me, I had the idea he was well hidden and not to be found.
Also, this strikes me as typical of reporters, but scary on some levels. Anderson Cooper of CNN said, ""I'd also like to interview the grand jury." Grand jury members are supposed to remain anonymous, both for the potential future trials, but for their own safey. It just figures that some news people will not stop until they find out where these people live and camp out on the front lawn.
I actually believe these out of town media people really want to see riots after whatever decision is made by the jury. Because of the media's agitating, way too many organizations, schools, businesses, local governments have gone over the top in preparing for the worst.
An Iowa woman who has operated a cash only Mexican restaurant recently learned that the IRS had siezed her checking account for no reason.
The agents did not accuse Ms. Hinders of money laundering or cheating on her taxes — in fact, she has not been charged with any crime. Instead, the money was seized solely because she had deposited less than $10,000 at a time, which they viewed as an attempt to avoid triggering a required government report.
“How can this happen?” Ms. Hinders said in a recent interview. “Who takes your money before they prove that you’ve done anything wrong with it?”
As it turns out she did nothing wrong but that didn't stop the IRS. Bob Woodward, former Washinton Post reporter and famous for his expose of the Watergate scandal has been all over various news outlets this weekend bemoaning the total lack of interest by jounalists in all the IRS overreach the past couple of years.
He said, "If I were young, I would take Carl Bernstein and move to Cincinnati where that IRS office is and set up headquarters and go talk to everyone."
Problem is no one in journalism cares about real jounalism or reporting anymore. They're content to be apolgists or stenographers and any lone wolf reporter who does not take things at face value are dismissed as Fox News types.
Here is one journalist who works in a way every reporter should: Sharyl Attkisson. She has been digging into stories of many stripes, not letting some spokesperson get away with a gloss over or worse, "nothing to see here" commentary.
Maybe we're coming into the age of real reporters being women, the men are either lazy or disinterested.
Post-Dispatch columnist, Bill McClellan, has a piece today relating the Illinois Congressional race between Ann Callis and Rodney Davis. Seems the national democrats have quietly pulled away from Callis believing her chances of winning are slim, "essentially out of reach for democrats".
Most of the column is a subtle/friendly promo for Ann Callis which he has a perfect right to do. While he does not diss Davis in any way, his support for Callis is quite evident and most likely he hopes Illinois voters will be persuaded.
If you're an Illinois voter this column will be interesting, but just once I'd like to see local republicans be portrayed in similar manner.
In an aside, this is the second day in a row a P-D online story comes up with the actual story blanked out. I don't believe it is our internet since every other site works fine.