Media Responsibility Out The Window

Constitutional

A freelance journalist by the name of Ryan Schuessler said in a recent blog post that he was leaving Ferguson, Mo., and not returning. The reason? A feeling of shame at the behavior of the growing population of journalists there. Schuessler was sent there to do some work for Al Jazeera America (Don’t boo him for it. Freelance journalists go where the money is and are some of the hardest working individuals in the industry because they don’t have a guaranteed salary per se).

Some of the behaviors that outraged Schuessler include but are not limited to:

-Cameramen yelling at residents in public meetings for standing in way of their cameras

-Cameramen yelling at community leaders for stepping away from podium microphones to better talk to residents

-TV crews making small talk and laughing at the spot where Mike Brown was killed, as residents prayed, mourned

-A TV crew of a to-be-left-unnamed major cable network taking pieces out of a Ferguson business retaining wall to weigh down their tent

-Another major TV network renting out a gated parking lot for their one camera, not letting people in. Safely reporting the news on the other side of a tall fence.

Your ads will be inserted here by

Easy AdSense.

Please go to the plugin admin page to
Paste your ad code OR
Suppress this ad slot.

-Journalists making the story about them

-National news correspondents glossing over the context and depth of this story, focusing instead on the sexy images of tear gas, rubber bullets, etc.

-One reporter who, last night, said he came to Ferguson as a “networking opportunity.” He later asked me to take a picture of him with Anderson Cooper.

Journalists these days, from the local to the national level, get this sense of entitlement that they are somehow above us. Take, for example, this hilarious reminder of just where the rights of the common folk are compared to reporters:

Up until recently, I was a journalist. In many ways, I still am. I will always be a journalist at heart. I want the full story, I want the facts, and I want to make sure I know all sides to the story before I come to a conclusion. There was a time, in college, when I was taught responsible journalism. I was taught how to behave myself when covering a story. I was informed of ethical practice. I had to take a class entirely on the basics of reporting a story from start to finish.

Maybe some of these guys skipped all those bits in college. I dunno.

One of the many reasons there …read more    

Contra David Frum – Principled Libertarianism Is the Highest Level on the Philosophical Ladder

What A Great Society!

What A Great Society!

Image Credit: Political-Humor.org

I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.

Aristotle

The great mind, in a free land, is free from the law. Not in the spoiled-brat Nietzschean Ubermensch sense, but rather in the sense of the adult who sets his own limits, tends his own fences, knows his own capabilities and owns his own life. You only enjoy freedom if you are man enough to take care of it. The Great American lives at peace within the law yet simultaneously far above it both in spirit and in intellect. The Great American Libertarian is the greatest rebel of them all. He successfully achieves freedom through ongoing revolution against the baser urges of his fallen self.

This explains why the current state of The Libertine, oops, I mean Libertarian Party is such an ongoing American tragedy. Its tawdry descent into licentious auto-buggery despoils the higher good of ordered and principled liberty. If Lisa Kennedy Montgomery is the true spirit of the Establishment Libertarian,* pass the Right Guard – they smell like Teen Spirit.

“Let’s say Ron Paul is Nirvana,” said Kennedy, the television personality and former MTV host, by way of explaining the sort of politician who excites libertarians like herself. “Like, the coolest, most amazing thing to come along in years, and the songs are nebulous but somehow meaningful, and the lead singer kills himself to preserve the band’s legacy. “Then Rand Paul — he’s Pearl Jam. Comes from the same place, the songs are really catchy, can really pack the stadiums, though it’s not quite Nirvana. “Ted Cruz? He’s Stone Temple Pilots. Tries really hard to sound like Pearl Jam, never gonna sound like Nirvana. Really good voice, great staying power — but the whole is not greater than the sum of its parts.”

Given the vacuity of the chosen Libertarian Spokesbrat, it comes as no surprise that Establishmentarian GOP Hack, David Frum, burns the childish and vapid Libertarian Straw-man as a cynical method of settling internal GOP scores. Frum pontificates in the pages of The Atlantic.

Spoiler alert: Draper’s wrong, emphatically wrong. Young voters are not libertarian, nor even trending libertarian. Neither, for that matter, are older voters. The “libertarian moment” is not an event in …read more    

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Bilks Taxpayers out of Millions

Just over three years ago, subsequent to the Dodd-Frank financial “reform” bill passing, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau came into existence.

As Elizabeth Warren’s intellectual baby, it should be no surprise to conservatives that the CFPB is an exercise in the biggest kind of government.

However, in the third year of the CFPB’s existence, a bevy of stories have broken that underline that the bureau really might just be one of history’s greatest illustrations of how big government fails to deliver on its promises, wastes money, benefits not the most needy but rather an entrenched class of bureaucrats, and actually does harm to people historically less advantaged in society. It is, in fact, a case study of what not to do where government is concerned.

The CFPB’s mission is, as you might expect, is allegedly to protect consumers.

You could be forgiven for thinking that in light of this, the agency would do things like collect fees and penalties from financial institutions bilking consumers and put the money in the hands of the consumers who were harmed. Agree with the concept or not, it seems like a safe bet that that is how most would view the role of a consumer protection agency.

But it turns out that according to a June 2014 performance audit from the Government Accountability Office commissioned by Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), as of May of this year, the CFPB had collected more than $139 million in civil penalties but allocated a mere $31 million to harmed consumer compensation.

It turns out that despite having “developed and implemented a number of control activities for administering and monitoring the Civil Penalty Fund…CFPB did not document the factors the Fund Administrator considered in determining the allocation of funds for consumer education and financial literacy programs for the first allocation period.”
So, not only are they apparently doing a bad job of paying out money they are supposed to be putting back in the hands of those harmed – their “ward,” so to speak – they are also failing to keep track of how decisions about money spent via the Civil Penalty Fund are made altogether.

So, if the CFPB is not spending money compensating consumers where they were wronged by big, powerful financial firms, what are they doing with the money they take in? Well… they’re paying their own staff lots of money to sit around and do very little.

Via the <a class="colorbox" href="http://washingtonexaminer.com/fat-paychecks-for-cfpb-officials-hundreds-paid-more-than-fed-chairman-congressmen-supreme-court-justices/article/2533189" …read more