Friday, March 30, 2012

Obama's budget, hypocrisy and 'out of the mouths of babes'

As regular readers of my blog know, hypocrisy and double standards are things I abhor.  Sadly, there are too many examples of these two things in the political and media world.

President Barack Obama's budget was recently introduced to Congress and, for the second time received not a single vote.

Despite both Obama and the media blaming the Republican-controlled House of Representatives for the failure, no Democrat cast a 'yes' vote.  And, again, this was the second time his budget got no votes.

Can you imagine the indignant claims of incompetence from the other side of the political aisle if this had been a Republican president who couldn't get even one vote from his own party for his budget?!?

Could you imagine what the media would be doing? 

Every newscast and the top and bottom of every hour would be proclaiming that, for the second time, the Republican President had failed in his budget.  There would be a line of people waiting to issue statements, go on talk shows and shout to the world that any president incapable of getting even one vote from his own party for his budget needed to go.

But we have a biased media who are clearly rooting for Obama, so you hear nothing ... or a mimicking of the spin from the White House.

To me, the issue isn't just the abysmal failure of the President (that's well-documented for anyone who cares to look at his record with an eye to the Constitution), it's the double standard of allowing/condoning/excusing something from your own party while protesting/criticizing/objecting when it is done by your opponent.

Don't get me wrong, Republicans do it, too.  It's human nature, I suppose, but it's wrong and we should all object.

Additionally, it's the media bias.  I don't mind - and, in fact, greatly appreciate - liberal and conservative opinions.  A respectful and fact-based (rather than emotional) discussion of a point from opposite perspectives is educational and allows all of us to learn and understand an issue more completely - even when the result is an agreement to disagree.

But today's media claims to be objective when they are not. 

The left criticizes people like Rush Limbaugh as an example of media bias.  But Limbaugh isn't a newscaster.  He's a talk radio host and makes no qualms about his conservative bias.  I would never use Ed Schultz as an example of media bias for the same reason - he's a talk show host.  But when the bias comes from Katie Couric or in the news sections of your local paper, that's hypocrisy because that is where it's supposed to be not just the facts, but a complete and fair/accurate reporting of both sides of the issue.

There is hope, though, which leads me to the second portion of my headline 'out of the mouths of babes.'

My friend Jason is 14 years old.  He's a tennis aficionado, as his brand new business cards explain.  At the age of two, he informed his mother (and anyone else who would listen) that he wanted to take tennis lessons.  She made him wait until he was five, thinking the interest would quickly turn to something else (or multiple other things) by then.  But on his fifth birthday, he asked if he could finally start tennis lessons.  And he did.

I'm definitely biased, but not so much as to be able to recognized that he is truly skilled in this sport.  And he loves it.  I believe he's even ranked in the boys - 14 & under group.

Jason is not just a good tennis player, he's also a good person, both on and off the court.  He's a stickler for the rules and  exhibits a true Corinthian spirit in his chosen sport.  (Corinthian - someone who plays sport with the highest possible principles, way exceeding normal sportsmanship.)

He recently decided to start a tennis blog, writing about the sport he loves.  JJ's Tennis View is well written and Jason has a good - and unique - perspective on the sport.  He recently predicted an upset in a women's match, and was correct (something he was especially proud of, being 13 at the time, because no one else did).

Jason and his mom are going to her home town of Charleston for spring break where he will be attending the Family Circle Cup.  He plans to write about the matches, but, being 14, wants to support one of his favorite players, get his t-shirt signed by others and generally be a kid.  Good for him!

His mom researched media credentials for him, thinking that might give him better access to the players for his blog.  He would definitely qualify under the guidelines issued by the Family Circle Cup - but Jason declined.

Now why, you might wonder, would a tennis fan like Jason decline special access to his favorite players?

I just thought it would be unprofessional if I was jumping up and down with signs and shirts for players as a media worker. There's already enough media bias!!!

But if a 14-year-old can understand this, why can't the main stream media?


Mmatters said...

I would suggest that they understand, Maggie.

They just don't care.

Tom Blumer

Maggie Thurber said...

Sadly, Tom, I think you're right.

SGNellett said...

"A respectful and fact-based (rather than emotional) discussion of a point from opposite perspectives is educational and allows all of us to learn and understand an issue"

Sadly, this is not possible with liberals, as they tend to find facts offensive. Also, nearly all their positions are based on emotional knee jerk reactions rather than objective thought and reasoning.

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