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Monday, March 19, 2018

Journalistic Integrity...and Other Myths

Friends, there are few subjects on which I am more passionate than the pure loathsomeness of the mainstream media.  The lack of balance and breadth in their coverage, the plain ignorance of many reporters and editors, and the blatant partisanship and runaway Trump-hatred is enough to drive any decent American batty...and quite a few have already succumbed.  Our excellent President has an approval rating in the 40s.  Russia's President Vladimir Putin has an approval rating closer to 80%.  What's the difference between them?  There are plenty, but from a public opinion standpoint the principal distinction is that Putin controls the Russian media, which fawns over him, while the American media works in overdrive to undermine our elected President.  One simply cannot discount how important this is, since constant toxic media coverage destroys confidence with spectacular effectiveness.  True, there are now alternative media outlets from which Americans can, and sometimes do, get high quality news and analysis, but most alternative media sources are even worse, and less professional, than the mainstream crowd.  Fake news flourishes in the alternative media, and the big networks, newspapers, and popular websites are, to a large degree, throwing journalistic standards out the window simply to stay competitive with the no-holds-barred muckrakers that dominate talk radio, social media, and other popular forums.  The point is this: our country's cynicism, quarrelsomeness, and self-hatred will never be healed until we obtain a more responsible press.  Bad and biased reporting is killing our democracy, I firmly believe, and time may be running out to reverse the downward spiral.  After all, we're already in a situation where most Americans assume the amorality of our political elite, and they take for granted that, if their chosen candidate didn't win an election, then his/her opponent must have cheated.  You simply can't sustain democratic institutions for long under these circumstances.  We need to change course! 

You can read all about it in my latest article:

Burying the Lead: The Media Ignores Trump's Victories

It's no secret that the mainstream media loathes President Trump. The coverage of the Trump administration has broken all records in terms of consistent, vitriolic negativity. (One study found that the coverage on the ABC, CBS, and NBC evening newscasts was critical 90% of the time.) This leads the media to devote ample column inches and airtime to arguably trivial smears, like the alleged Russian ties of low-level campaign aides and volunteers, the dirty laundry (real and imagined) of the President's family members, and unverifiable non-claims of past affairs made by professional strippers. Essentially, the media has long since been weaponized in the war on Trump.

The other side of this sordid coin, however, is the media's indifference to important, positive stories far more worthy of the public's attention. In particular, journalists eschew any mention of President Trump's successes and breakthroughs. The list of these political victories is a long one, although you won't read about them in the Post or the Times.

Lest we forget, the economy is booming. All indicators, including economic growth rates, unemployment rates, manufacturing growth, and stock market gains, are pointing to a level of dynamism unknown in the Obama years. The relaxation of bureaucratic regulations and the achievement of a historic tax reform package certainly have played a role in this economic renaissance. Whether President Trump deserves the credit for all of this good news is debatable, but the simple fact is that, if he were a Democrat, the media would be crediting him much more often than it is.

Recently, thanks to President Trump's unapologetically aggressive policy towards North Korea, including harsh rhetoric and biting sanctions, Kim Jong-un expressed a willingness to consider denuclearization, and the U.S. announced an upcoming summit between Kim and President Trump. Had President Obama achieved a diplomatic breakthrough of this magnitude, his (second) Nobel Peace Prize surely would have arrived by priority mail the very next day. Trump's hard-won progress, though, is ignored and slighted.

Likewise, the administration's successes in protecting U.S. technological and industrial preeminence, by preventing the foreign acquisition of critical American technology companies, and by shielding our steel and aluminum industries from unfair overseas competition, is ignored, or worse, undercut with wild speculation about possible retaliation. In both cases, Trump's actions have clear precedents in the moves of previous administrations, including that of Barack Obama, but the media always frames Trump's actions as entirely novel and abjectly foolish. The inconvenient truth is that real, tangible American jobs, and American workers, are safeguarded by these actions, but those stories are simply never told.

In yet another example of the media's selective coverage, the Trump administration's unprecedented success in reducing illegal immigration, which every administration since that of President Eisenhower has at least claimed that it wanted to achieve, is completely subsumed by the media's focus on anecdotal accounts of allegedly virtuous illegal immigrants facing deportation. The media could, of course, tell the story of the crimes committed by the many thousands of violent illegal immigrants who no longer prowl America's streets, thanks to President Trump. It won't, naturally. It literally can't, since any reporter who spoke of those crimes would be besieged with charges of “racism!”

The list of Trumpian achievements goes on: a stronger military, improved services for veterans and the firing of many incompetent VA employees, ISIS on its last legs, reams of useless regulations obliterated, an increasing realization among our allies that they must solve their own problems and provide and pay for their own defense, dozens of sterling conservatives appointed to our nation's courts, etc. And the media's attitude to these triumphs is invariably the same: denial, dismissal, obfuscation.

When it comes to all things Trump, the media is hopelessly blinkered. Unfortunately, their acidic commentary on the Trump presidency has had a cumulative effect on public attitudes, and it is almost certainly responsible for Trump's artificially low approval numbers, which make no sense given the basic strength of America itself.

Years ago, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared to his fellow Americans that they “had nothing to fear but fear itself.” What he meant is that perception is critically important, and it can even create, by its own power, new political realities. 

I would argue that the media, with its relentless and intentional efforts to undermine the Trump administration, is actually reducing confidence in America itself and its political institutions. The negativity has reached such a crescendo that the stability of our democracy is under threat.

President Trump has his faults, yes, but the irresponsibility and lack of professionalism in our media knows no bounds. It is time to turn off the mainstream media and start over. Alternatively, it is time to reconsider our libel laws in order to hold the worst journalists accountable for their fabrications.

Information is the lifeblood of democracy, and, sad to say, our country has never been so ill-informed.

Dr. Nicholas L. Waddy is an Associate Professor of History at SUNY Alfred and blogs at:

You can also find the article here, on the TownHall website:

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Defeating Climate Change with the Nuclear Option

Friends, I've written before about how leftists are now supporting lawsuits against energy companies to punish them for "causing" climate change.  The theory is that they should be held liable for anticipated damages that climate change will create in the future.  This is a mighty weak legal argument on any number of levels, but in my latest article I roll out what I consider to be a very intriguing counterargument.  Could environmentalists themselves be held responsible for climate change, based on their vehement and irrational opposition to nuclear power, which, if it had been allowed to reach its full potential, could have drastically reduced overall carbon emissions?  Consider the case of France, which produces 75% of its electricity via nuclear power, and which as a result posts very low per capita carbon emissions, and exports electricity to neighboring countries that eschew icky nuclear plants.  The key takeaway is this: if you want rational, balanced solutions to our need for energy, and our need to protect the environment, environmentalists are the last people who you should look to...  Their track record is poor, to say the least, and their predictive powers are miserable.

Read more about it in TownHall:

P.S. For those of you who are thinking about Chernobyl or Fukushima, consider the fact that, despite these alarming incidents, nuclear power, mainly by reducing pollution, has already saved millions of lives.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Lamb to the Slaughter?

Friends, there's a big election coming up tomorrow: a special election to decide whether Republicans will hold onto the seat in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional district.  Some polls give a slight edge to the Democrat, Conor Lamb, over the Republican, Rick Saccone, despite the fact that the district favored Trump over Clinton by 20 points.  The Democrats have put a maximum effort into stealing the seat, in the hope that they can feed the narrative of a cresting "blue wave" in 2018.  For those keeping score, there have already been four special elections for the House of Representatives since Nov. 2016, and Republicans have won every one.  In most cases, Democrats convinced themselves they could compete, only to come up short.  Now, we all know that lefties don't lack for ego, so let's not give them anything to crow about, eh?  My prediction is that Saccone will win, and Democrats will congratulate themselves for getting close.  How did they make it competitive?  Their candidate, Conor Lamb, is young and, according to endless fawning news reports, handsome.  He's also done everything in his power to avoid connecting himself to liberalism, Nancy Pelosi, or Trump-hatred, despite the fact that he's a member of the party which espouses all three.  If he wins, it will be a triumph of dissimulation, but...I doubt he can win.  Time will tell.

Meanwhile, here's a fun story: Emperor Cuomo is sweating bullets, because his campaign for the Democratic nomination for Governor of New York may not be the usual coronation.  He might be challenged from the (loony) left.  Let's hope this is a storyline that repeats itself a lot between now and November.  There's a good chance that many electable Democrats will be picked off by angry Bolshevists.  Wouldn't that be great?

In other good news, President Trump is wisely backing away from his bone-headed proposal to raise the age for buying some firearms from 18 to 21.  Unfortunately, legislation to that effect passed in the great state of Florida.  We must hope it gets overturned by the courts.

Lastly, just a little more good news: President Trump has blocked the sale of Qualcomm, a very important U.S. telecommunications company, to a foreign firm.  He has done so to protect U.S. national security, although, as I've written, even as a U.S. company Qualcomm is a menace, and further measures are needed to protect our national edge in high tech R&D and manufacturing.  Nonetheless, Trump has done more in a year to safeguard our technological preeminence than most Presidents do in one or two terms.  Bravo!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Death and Taxes

Friends, if you're anything like me, you're relieved that Republicans managed to pass a massive tax reform bill (and tax cut) late in 2017.  Nonetheless, you also realize that much work remains to be done if we are to make our tax system, well, great, or even good.  Read more about it in my latest article, which discusses the need for further tax reform:

Thursday, March 1, 2018

WaddyIsRight Reports, You Decide

Friends, there are some interesting developments in the battle for America's soul.  First, the harpy you see above, who is Libby Schaaf, Mayor of Oakland, California, may be in hot water -- the hotter, the better!  The Department of Justice is looking into whether she can be charged with obstruction of justice.  Over the weekend, you see, she warned the good people of Oakland that ICE was about to conduct raids to apprehend criminal illegal aliens.  (Naturally, she would want to protect these model non-citizens from Trumpian tyranny.)  It's about time one of these lawless Democrats was held responsible for his or her criminal conduct!  I look forward to seeing her marched away in cuffs ASAP.  Read more about it here:

Next, it seems that the Senate, along with the House, is disinclined to act rashly to curtail Americans' 2nd Amendment rights.  Good!  Sometimes, the deliberate, cautious nature of the legislative process is a positive thing.  That's certainly what our Founding Fathers believed.  Public policy should be made thoughtfully, not off-the-cuff and in reaction to raw emotion.  The gun control crowd is trying its hardest to whip up people's fears, so I'm glad to see our elected representatives are responding with some backbone.

Lastly, the real story of how Nikolas Cruz was able to threaten his teachers, neighbors, and classmates with impunity is starting to come out.  It wasn't the NRA that made it possible for Cruz to acquire firearms -- it was the bleeding heart, soft-on-crime policies of the Obama administration.  This story has been brought to you already on this blog, but now it's beginning to go mainstream.  About time!

Keep your eyes peeled for further developments on all three fronts.  Above all, let's hold Democrats and liberals accountable!  They're masters at the art of deflection.  That's why we need to trumpet the facts every chance we get.