Washington Post

Masthead Masters

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The Washington Post recently unveiled their thought provoking new masthead.  See below.

masthead-post

It got us to thinking that there must have been quite a few selections considered before landing on Democracy Dies in the Dark.  Our crack team of reporters then made it their mission to scour the streets of DC to find the rejected mastheads. And by “scour” we mean dumpster diving behind WaPo’s headquarters.  Buried deeply beneath the  tear soaked We’re With Her t-shirts and the reams of used Saul Alinsky checklists, we found the following mother load of discarded mastheads.

masthead

 

 

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A tomb and a newspaper

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Easter

If you happen to take the Washington Post you’ll notice something so obviously missing in the Easter Sunday edition that you’ll doubt your calendar.  Not a single mention of Easter in this national newspaper except for a reference to it in the Metro Section in an article associated with foot washing.  It wasn’t worthy of the national news section, nor the international news section, nor the style section, nor sports, nor opinion.  One article in Metro.

Maybe their own calendar is broken.

Forcing an issue to be black and white

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Racism EverywhereFor some things there’s a benefit to seeing them as either black or white.  No gray means there’s little ambiguity; something either is or it isn’t.  The Sunday, January 10, 2016, edition of The Washington Post produced a piece by Donald Yee, a partner with a company that represents professional athletes.  In fact, Tom Brady is one of their clients.  The piece is titled, “The color of money in the NCAA” and paints a black and white picture that should have many shades of gray.   This is obvious to anyone who even causally reads the piece.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/01/08/college-sports-exploits-unpaid-black-athletes-but-they-could-force-a-change/

Yee points out the disparaging monetary gain between university administrators and college athletes.   Since administrators are mostly white and over half of college basketball and football players are black (64% and 57%, respectively as reported by Yee), his focus hones in on the black players and the white administrators.    That makes for a nice black-white issue so that any differences between athletes and administrators can now be conveniently lumped into the grossly oversimplified picture of injustice against black players.

“college sports exploits unpaid black players while white administrators get rich.”

Apparently The Washington Post will jump at anything that hints at racism by looking for issues related to skin color at every turn to further this narrative.  The article encapsulates the issue by stating “college sports exploits unpaid black players while white administrators get rich.”

What’s lost in this story are all of the other athletes.  Why are they different than the black athlete?  They get “paid” the exact same as the black players.  I feel for athletes of all colors, but let’s just lump them into the single category called athletes, without the race baiting.  It seems borderline racist for Yee to focus on the color of the athletes skin when athletes of all races share in the same compensation disparity.  All athletes should at the very least get a stipend; perhaps a set amount of money for each game.  If Yee wanted to have a stronger racist story, he should have focused the article on the administrators being mostly white in a heavily mixed race environment.  That’s likely a worthy cause but Yee only gives it a secondary thought.

Yee does point out an historical and uplifting turning point that opened up opportunities for black athletes in 1966.   Coach Don Haskins took Texas Western to the college basketball championship game with all black starters and beat the all white University of Kentucky powerhouse lead by coach Adolph Rupp.  The movie, Glory Road is an excellent sports movie that captures their championship drive and the extreme hardships along the way.

That game was black and white.

glory-road-poster

Can you spot what’s missing in this gun violence info-graphic?

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Courtesy of the Washington Post on Sunday December 13, 2015, we now have a “clear” picture of how bad the gun violence is in this country.  “50 years of mass shootings in the U.S.” screams the headline followed by an info-graphic that captures all of the well known tragic gun related shootings that we recall vividly or perhaps with just a hint of remembrance if you’re old enough.  But there are missing pieces to this carefully constructed puzzle.  In the fine print the Washington Post notes that this info-graphic:

“does not include gang killings, shootings that began as other crimes such as robberies, and killings that involved only the shooter’s family.” 

That seems like a wide swath of omitted data and makes the reader question the motives of such cherry picking journalism.  We’ll leave it up to you to determine why those tragic categories of violence shouldn’t be considered “mass shootings.”

Feel free to comment below.

Gun violence

Optimism on Thanksgiving? Compare the Washington Post and Washington Times

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The Thanksgiving 2015 editions of both the Washington Post and the Washington Times covered some of the same traditional territory that all national papers seem inclined to cover.  Two examples are Obama’s turkey pardoning and holiday traveling.  Beyond that though, there’s a glaring difference in the tone and content of each paper’s coverage of this uniquely American holiday.

Below are the Thanksgiving-related articles from 11/26/15.  A few more in the Times than the Post, which might not be startling.  But in addition to having more content, there’s a decidedly brighter tone to the Times’ articles as a whole.  Each Thanksgiving article listed in this table is highlighted in green if it had a positive, optimistic or heartwarming emphasis.  It’s clear at a glance that the Times provided its readers with words of encouragement far beyond those of the Post.  Also of note is the size difference in both papers; 54 pages vs 26.

In 54 pages the Post put a positive touch to only four of its articles related to Thanksgiving.  Over three times the number of articles in the Times were positive (13) in a paper that was less than half the size. 

Post Times Table

All of this may be of no interest, but clearly one paper lives by the motto that “bad news sells” and hence not much room left for positive and uplifting content.  If you want positive, you can always check out the Post’s  horoscopes.

A cure for all social ills from the Washington Post

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Thanks to the latest Washington Post Arts and Style section (Sunday 11/22/15), there’s a sure fire way to treat all social ills that occur within our racist, sexist, climate denier and islamaphobic America. We’ve conveniently hit the high spots below so you can quickly determine which books are for you based on your unhinged inner turmoil that either needs to be corrected if you’re a racist, sexist, etc. or enhanced if you don’t feel guilty enough. In some cases we’ve included snippets of their mini-summaries, let’s call them micro-summaries, so you can target your own individual needs.

This is just a subset of the many books the Washington Post highlighted covering a wide range of topics. We don’t doubt that many of those we’ve listed deserves high praise. But as a collection it’s an overwhelming showcase of a liberal agenda.

Arms: The Culture and Credo of Guns “…gun owners, along with their culture and rhetoric, ‘have grown more radical’ leaving ‘anyone who breaks ranks’ as a ‘traitor to the cause.’”

Stoned: A Doctor’s Case for Medical Marijuana

Application for Release from the Dream “…the voice is witheringly clear-sighted about contemporary American life. The poems address large-scale topics – financial inequities, consumerism – …”

The Emperor of Water Clocks “A rich, multilayered book that combines threads of fable, literature, music and cultural references… Other poems – about tensions in the street after Ferguson and President Obama reading works of Derek Walcott … ground readers in the present.”

ISIS: The State of Terror “It paints a picture of the Islamic State … but does not portray ISIS as ‘an existential threat to any Western country.’”

Give us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America “…the struggle to pass the Voting Rights Act … and the ongoing effort to strip the act of its power.”

March: Book Two “This twinning assault on the senses drives home the toll of the sacrifices that should inform today’s protesters, from Black Lives Matter to the University of Missouri.”

The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle

Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America “It’s no secret that America has a problem with black-on-black violence but what Leovy understands is why.”

Purity “Pip accepts an internship with a rogue Web site in the jungles of Bolivia that exposes the nasty secrets of corporations and nations.”

Welcome to Braggsville “D’aron and three friends travel back to Braggsville and stage a mock lynching, “a performance intervention.”

Between the World and Me “… is a riveting meditation on the state of race in America that has arrive at a tumultuous moment in the nation’s history of racial strife.”

Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination that Changed America

Negroland “… is not about raw racism … it is about subtleties and nuances, presumptions and slights that chip away at one’s humanity and take a mental toll.”

The Nuns of Sant’Ambrogio: The True Story of Convent in Scandal “Sister Maria Luisa was intelligent, charismatic and beautiful. She was also a rapist, embezzler, murderer – and, when her crimes came to light in 1858, a serious threat to the Vatican.”

The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science is Still a Boys’ Club

The Pentagon’s Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America’s Top-Secret Military Research Agency “… sometimes uneasy exploration of DARPA, the high-tech incubator responsible for … the research behind harsh interrogation techniques …”

The Dying Grass: A Novel of the Nez Perce War “… an American tragedy with all the unforgiving climates of our nation.”

Town, a Civil Rights Battle

Golden Age “… the story of the transformation of white middle America … how they witness the imminent destruction of the planet.”

The Unfortunates “… a brilliant social satire of life among the 1 percent of the 1 percent.” “A trenchant vision of American aristocracy.”

Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruther Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World

What Media Bias? Finding the left leaning slant is easier than you think.

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We’d like to tell you that we read the Washington Post so you don’t have to but that may commit us to suffering that we can’t tolerate for too many days straight. For today though, we’re taking that bullet. The Tuesday, November 17, 2015 Post is a great example of bias in the media getting passed off as journalism … and we didn’t even have to get past page one.

First, the article Suspected Recruiter, Organizer by Anthony Faiola and Souad Mekhennet describes a January 2, 2015 raid in Verviers, Belgium where…

“Homegrown terrorist were plotting to gun down police officers, and they discussed their plans by phone with a superior in Athens.”

I don’t think “homegrown” means what they think it means. The article later identifies Abdelhamid Abaaoud as the superior and that he had slipped through the hands of authorities in Athens, Greece. Abaaoud, as you may now know, is the suspected mastermind behind the Paris attacks. So an article about the Paris attacks, is linked to Belgium where recruits are guided from Athens. Apparently “home” means they could be from anywhere on earth. And here we thought a homegrown terrorist was someone without broad support who locally masterminds his or her own evil plans. I guess it makes liberals feel all fuzzy inside with the “homegrown” label. Of course that feeling of fuzz may just be mold. But alas, we can be comforted knowing that the “JV” team that attacked Paris isn’t from Mars. Now that’d be something to worry about.

Our second example today is the “The Islamic State Strategy” by Craig Whitlock and Ellen Nakashima also appearing on the front page.  The article states that the devastating attacks on Paris and Russia mean that …

“the Islamic State has embraced what appears to be an irrational strategy…”

What?! Say it isn’t so … irrational terrorists?! No one could have predicted that! Well, by all means President Obama is faultless in his faulty war on terror, especially since these terrorists are irrational.  Not fair terrorists! Stick to the playbook. We put flower stems in our own automatic weapon barrels and then you’re supposed to join us for baked ham on Thanksgiving.

One last item, also on the front page, are photos of people observing the moment of silence. Wonder why the President isn’t pictured?  Probably because he entered the G20 conference late, while the other leaders participated in the moment of silence.

So there you have it, our suffering today only lasted through the top half of the first page.