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Media Watch--Monitor Compounds Its Shame

Rather than acknowledge it was trying to gin up a story by having its reporter Ben Leubsdorf dishonor himself and his profession by making a mountain out of a mole hill last week, the Concord Monitor decided to double down with nothing less than a five column headline story on the same subject the next day.

For those unfamiliar with newspaper terminology, a five-column headline is normally reserved for major, major developments, somewhat short of Pearl Harbor or 9/11 of course, but a really big story...consider that there are only six columns across a Monitor page; that will indicate what a terrible decision it was by the paper to devote so much time to a follow-up to a comment nobody took seriously during Criminal Justice Committee deliberations of 16 bills last Tuesday.

"Rep apologizes for comments on abuse," the Monitor headline screamed at us on Feb. 28, 2013.  Apparently the paper had accomplished its goal of tabloid yellow journalism because that bastion of neutrality (sarcasm is the lowest form of wit!), the Huffington Post had picked up that story.

At the risk of adding fuel to the fire and being attacked by Leubsdorf and Company myself, the comment Mark Warden made was actually quite true.  Sad but true, certain women seem to enjoy falling into abusive relationships.  If you don't want to face that reality, maybe you should read Faye Resnick's book on the murdered Nicole Brown Simpson.  Any number of other books explore the syndrome of women (and undoubtedly a few men as well) who remain in situations because they are unable to escape from them.

Leubsdorf, a seemingly intelligent young man, and the Monitor, a seemingly respectable newspaper, could have explored the subject in detail, but clearly their goal was to spread fire, not light, to attack a libertarian Republican rather than really cover what the Criminal Justice Committee was doing that day.  To that extent, Leubsdorf and the Monitor are hereby indicted for exacerbating, not ameliorating, the problem of spousal battering.  Let the record indicate, I voted with the 16-4 majority in opposing the bill, but not because of the comment the Monitor chose to blow up into a major story; it simply was not the solution the bill's sponsors were seeking.

Not only did the Monitor double down on its shame, Union Leader reporter Gary Rayno, in a week in which dozens of more newsworthy options were out there, chose to highlight the non-story in his Sunday column.

When I brought this up at the Live Free or Die Alliance luncheon today, the speaker seemed to agree that the main stream media more and more frequently are failing to serve the public in a deliberate attempt to demonize and sensationalize.

I for one will never read anything Leubsdorf writes again with the same degree of trust; and the Monitor has moved not just one step but two steps closer to the gutter.

Clueless Clift--Eleanor Clift, one of the McLaughlin Group regulars (you know the one; she who constantly screams, "Let me talk!" as she attempts to filibuster the panel) proved just how clueless a big name at the national scene can be.  John McLaughlin decided to spend the final segment talking about how New Hampshire's entire Washington delegation if female; that would be a far bigger deal if we had ten rather than just two Congressmen.  Clift had to jump in with gobs of misinformation.  First she contended the New Hampshire House has 300 members (only 100 off but who's counting; after all, it was only nationwide TV, not some blog).  Then she one upped her ignorance by saying women have always dominated the New Hampshire House in terms of numbers.  Eleanor dearest, that has never been true nor is it true now.  Yes, Donna Sytek became Speaker in 1996 and Terie Norelli is the second female Speaker, but women have never come close to a majority in the NH House; it fact, I believe they've seldom got above 125 of 400 members, at least in the 17 years I've been here.  Ms. Clift needs to do her homework before she drives over the cliff again.

That Jedi Mind Meld--When Barack Obama, as part of his moaning and whining at last week's press conference, attempted to answer a question by saying he isn't capable of controlling people with a "jedi mind meld", I apparently wasn't  the only one who turned to the TV set pondering, "Isn't that Vulcan mind meld?  As in Mr. Spock, the Star Trek Vulcan?"  Guess which TV show picked up on the Obama sci/fi error.

It was one of the more off the wall offerings out there, but most likely most people didn't see it.  That's because it was that Greg Gutfeld extravaganza Red Eye which runs only at 3 a.m. Eastern time (no reruns; Fox is too busy rerunning O'Reilly).  When I was more an insomniac, I used to enjoy Red Eye, and it still serves a purpose.  It puts me to sleep these days (after all I've sworn off The Five for a New Years resolution, and Gutfeld usually has at least one of the Five with him). 

Still, give Red Eye credit for catching the Obama mind meld faux pas!  Bet you won't find that on CNN or MSNBC!

Vulcan mind meldSpock performs a mind meld on Dr. Simon Van Gelder

"Vulcan mind melds: utter foolishness. Anybody with an ounce of sense wouldn't share his brain with someone else; would you? I certainly wouldn't."  

The Vulcan mind meld was a telepathic link between two individuals, allowing for the exchange of thoughts, thus in essence allowing the participants to become one mind. (TNG: "Sarek") It was a psionic technique for "synaptic pattern displacement". Normally it was employed only by Vulcans. It was a deeply personal thing, part of the private life, and generally not used on aliens

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