Monthly Archives: October 2008

Joe Scarborough’s Domestic Terrorist Glass House

 

Joe Scarborough, for those of you who do not know, is the anchor of MSNBC’s morning television show “Morning Joe.” He is a former US Congressman, having represented the 1st district of the state of Florida in the House of Representatives, a fact he makes sure to insert into his program at least once a day (usually along the lines of “well, y’know, ‘Mika [MSNBC’s answer to Alan Colmes], when I was in office back in 1998, here’s how we did it…”).

Mr. Scarborough has gone a long way to furthering the concept that not only are Barack Obama and William Ayers any more than casual acquaintances who served together on a committee, but that William Ayers is STILL a terrorist (even though he performed one act, has paid his debt to society, and now tries to right that wrong by serving his community) and that Obama’s campaign “started in his living room.” And implying that Barack Obama, by that association, must be okay with terrorists. Mr. Scarborough, of all people, should know precisely why such misrepresentations are damaging to a career, and why members of the press should be called on those misrepresentations.

Just for fun, let’s use actual events from Mr. Scarborough’s life using the same spin he placed on the relationship between Sen. Obama and William Ayers.  Unlike Joe, I’ll actually follow up the sensationalism with facts and try to show why objectivity is necessary in reporting. Ready? Here we go:

I’ve recently received information that Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” has ties to domestic terrorists and religious extremists. Apparently, Mr. Scarborough helped Michael Griffin, a man who shot and killed a doctor at his clinic in full view of many innocent patients, to obtain an expensive attorney, then shielded Mr. Griffin’s family and downplayed the issue to the press. Of course, we don’t have all the details, so we probably shouldn’t be discussing this in depth, but doesn’t it speak to Mr. Scarborough’s character that he’s willing to protect a homicidal maniac who believes God told him to shoot doctors? Mr. Griffin is unrepentant about his crime.

While we’re on the subject of Mr. Scarborough’s character; what does it say that he left office just a few short months after being elected? That he essentially abandoned his constituency, pursued a divorce, divested himself of all the responsible positions he held, and then, amidst rumors of infidelity, one of his interns was found dead in his office?

28 year old Lori Klausutis, an intern in the congressman’s Florida office was found dead of a massive blow to the head by visitors to the congressman’s deserted office. Apparently, she’d been dead for some time, and Mr. Scarborough himself was in Washington at the time she was found.

Isn’t that salacious? Are you sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for the next juicy detail? Let’s compare that tell-all, celeb gossip style story to the actual facts.

Mr. Scarborough was a young civil law attorney when he was approached by Mr. Griffin’s family. He was unable to represent Michael Griffin, who was charged with (and eventually convicted of) shooting and killing a physician who performed abortions. The story can be found here (scroll down for story). Mr. Scarborough had a reputation for pro-life causes, and helped the family find an attorney for Michael and spoke with the press on their behalf pro bono (Most lawyers are required to do a certain number of pro bono hours).

Mr. Scarborough was elected to four terms in the House of Representatives. However, some months after his third re-election, he divorced his wife and retired from his seat, saying he wanted to spend more time with his children. The timing was considered dubious, as a clerk in his Florida Office, Lori Klausutis, 28, was found dead, and there had been rumors of infidelity. The matter was not considered sufficiently resolved by many, as there were questions about the head trauma Lori suffered which was (according to the coroner) caused by a coronary event, ending in her accidental death. Mr. Scarborough’s attitude toward the incident when speaking of it on Don Imus’ radio program sparked further internet furor.

There you have it. Two stories. The first (were it about any Democrat you’d care to name) would have Mr. Scarborough and any Republican howling for blood. The second was at least an attempt at objective reporting; something far too many at Fox News and Mr. Scarborough himself scoff off as “liberal media.”

Here’s what Mr. Scarborough, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and their slavish followers just don’t get: a story reported without bias (or with as little as possible) is necessary in journalism. The entire premise is to report the FACTS and allow people to make up their own minds. But for some reason, people want to be led. Joe Scarborough and reporters like him with their constant stream of innuendo and misinformation have killed journalistic integrity. Journalism is not about opinion. It’s about reporting the facts of the day’s events. And if Mr. Scarborough expects to consistently report his biased views as facts, perhaps he should be reminded of just what the press can do with a little skewed information.

Joe McCarthy Is Alive and Well and Reincarnated As A Representative From Minnesota

Representative Michele Bachmann allowed her mouth to run away with her good sense this last weekend. On Chris Matthews’ MSNBC show Hardball this past Friday, Rep. Bachmann called on the fourth estate to investigate members of Congress for “anti-American views.”

Let that sink in for a minute. Now wiki Joe McCarthy or McCarthy era if you’re not already familiar. Go ahead, we’ll wait for you.

…… lalalallalalalalaaaaaalalalaaaaa…oh! Hi! Back? Scared? Yeah, me, too.

This is the reason it is so very dangerous for Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin to NOT correct their supporters… hell, why it’s dangerous for Sen. McCain to not correct his RUNNING MATE!…. when shouts of “Terrorist!” and “Kill him!” and “Who is he really? are heard at his rallies. When the anonymous members of crowds feel safe to say such things in public without reprisal, it escalates. People feel comfortable asserting such things, even when they’re either not true or wildly dangerous.

A United States Representative actually endorsing a return to a time in which people were jailed, ruined publicly, forced to move their entire lives…not by a burden of proof, but rumor, innuendo and guilt by association.

Rep. Bachmann’s irresponsible comments both terrified and angered me more than I can say. How DARE this woman define what is and is not American with such a narrow scope? How dare she imply that anyone supporting Sen. Obama is un-American? I am embarrassed. I am saddened. I am shamed that anyone with such ignorance of one of the darkest chapters of our political history has been elected to represent a constituency in our national government. And I am deeply worried for my country; a place I love so much that I dedicated four years of my life to defending it so that we can all exercise our rights.

There is no place… no city, no town, no burg… “less American” than any other place. We ALL love our country. We are all proud of our country. We all want a better place for our children. To imply otherwise is no more than reinforcing the trench that was dug 8 years ago and has not been healed since.

I strongly encourage everyone reading to sign the petition to censure Rep. Bachmann.

“So What if He’s Muslim?”

So I was on the couch yesterday morning watching Meet the Press (in what must have been the first time in a month the darling man and I have been able to relax together for more than 20 minutes at a time), and retired Gen. Colin Powell made the point I have been trying without success to make ever since this whole “Obama’s a Muslim!” thing started. He calmly, unabashedly and with great conviction said “it doesn’t matter.”

You can catch the full interview on MSNBC here. His exact words were as follows:

Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim; he’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian.

But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer’s no, that’s not America.

Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president?

Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, “He’s a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists.” This is not the way we should be doing it in America.

I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery, and she had her head on the headstone of her son’s grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards — Purple Heart, Bronze Star — showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death. He was 20 years old.

And then, at the very top of the headstone, it didn’t have a Christian cross; it didn’t have the Star of David; it had crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he can go serve his country, and he gave his life.

Thank you, Gen. Powell, for so eloquently explaining what really matters. It isn’t whether a candidate is Muslim, Christian, Atheist, Zoroastrian… it matters that they are an American. That they love and want to help our country, and that their policy stances are ones we wish to embrace. That is ALL that we should look for in any candidate.

I am aware there are those who will say “But if he’s Muslim, it will spill over into how he looks at things!” Could be, yes. My atheism certainly influences my line of thinking. What matters is, will the candidate attempt to instill religious influence in government? So far, only one in my lifetime has done so, and with disastrous results.

I will say, I find it vastly amusing that those railing for a “Christian nation” are so outraged at the thought of any other religion being involved in politics. Suddenly “it would infringe on my civil liberties!” has become a rallying cry for those who loathe what they think the ACLU stands for.

I applaud Gen. Powell for his statement, and sincerely hope that at least a few will consider his words and recognize that they are a plea of tolerance and wisdom, not a partisan attempt to sway.

 

We Now Resume our Previous Transmission.

As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been away for a while. I do apologize. “Real life” (for wont of a better word) intruded. For those of you thinking “I gotta get me one of them….” Well….there are parts that are quite nice, but I’d just as soon be here, railing away.

So without further ado….let’s get to it!