Getting Your News Groove Back-Podcast 621

Social Media Rules

More of us get our news from social media these days. Problem is most of the ‘news’ on social media doesn’t adhere to standards. Might feel better informed, but it’s hard to tell the difference between writing to a standard and propaganda. In Getting Your News Groove Back-Podcast 621.

Internet Never Lies

People are in the habit of posting, sharing, liking and commenting on stories that support their point of view. People apparently believe anything published on the Internet that looks credible and comes from a site they visit often. We are floating on a sea of bad information.

Garbage In Garbage Out

News stories not written to standard assert things that turn out to be false. What’s worse, this kind of information poisons the discourse. Thoughts, insights and ideas based on bad information form into concrete assumptions and conclusions. Those conclusions drive people’s ideas about the world.

Propaganda and Manipulation

In Getting Your News Groove Back-Podcast 621 I’ll provide some examples of story-lines that have not been proven. Most of the time these stories reinforce the right versus left thinking that ruins friendships and family ties. It’s what makes social media so angry and vitriolic.

There are standards. When you know the standards you can determine whether a writer lives up to those standards. Without standards we’re susceptible to a steady stream of propaganda and manipulation. It’s up to us to learn the standards and choose what we post, share, like and comment on accordingly.

Context and Perspective

A steady diet of Social Media, 24 Hour Cable News and Talk Radio is like junk food for the mind. This ruins a person’s ability to discern whether assertions are true or just opinion. When all we do is read stuff online, watch You Tube videos and listen to cable news and talk radio we lose the context of major stories. We don’t get the details to be able to master the issues. Getting Your News Groove Back-Podcast 621  explains how to do that.

Getting Your News Groove Back-Podcast 621

Sponsored by X Government Cars 

 

 

Podcast 601-Nobody Knows Anything!

Talking Politics Is Work

It is difficult to contemplate or talk about politics. In Podcast 601-Nobody Knows Anything! a phrase attributed to screenwriter William Goldman is applied to American politics. The guy who wrote Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and All The President’s Men once said “Nobody Knows Anything”. Goldman was referring to Hollywood know-it-alls. In those days as today producers, professors and other so called experts wanted to make people think they knew the ‘formula’ for success in the movie business. The truth is making movies is almost always a gamble because no one knows what’s going to sell before the fact. Nobody Knows Anything.

Nobody Knows Anything And Our Politics

What goes for movies goes for American politics these days. Everyone has a voice. An audience. A constituency. Everyone wants to tell you what is happening. What to do about it and what will happen next. Everyone knows. Except no one really knows anything. From the highest of the high to the lowliest position on a small town board of education. Everyone has a voice they can’t wait to use but what they have to say is empty. In Podcast 601-Nobody Knows Anything!

Tell Your Audience What They Want To Hear

Social media. Local radio. The Internet. Protect your audience. Tell it what it wants to hear. Get accolades, speaking fees, book sales, click throughs and even election certificates. Commentariat. Bloggers and podcasters. Comedians. Subpar politicians and local political operators. All ply their political but noncontroversial wares to people only too willing to applaud when they hear what they want to hear.

It’s All About Power

For those in what is called the Deep Government where policies are implemented everything is theater. Everything is Pay Back. Get Back. It’s all about power and games. Using your constituency to get what you want. In office. Out of office. All part of the game in the puzzle palace we call government  in Washington DC or your state capitol.

The Fairness Doctrine

30 years ago a regulation called ‘The Fairness Doctrine‘ was rescinded by the FCC. The Fairness Doctrine simply required broadcast licensees to both present controversial issues and to do so in a manner that was, in the FCC’s view honest, equitable and balanced. 30 years ago there was no social media. There was no political talk.

Political talk was something you heard on Sunday mornings or read on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times. The news was something you heard at the top of the hour. With a technology and media revolution, political talk today isn’t just a virus. Political talk has become a cancer.

Political Saturation

Every political development is dissected, repurposed, rewritten, opinionated, worked over, subjected to satire and analysis. Today’s demons and today’s heroes. They’re only too happy to tell you what will happen tomorrow. The louder the cacophony grows the less we know. The solution isn’t some kind of new Fairness Doctrine. Maybe the cure is more of the disease. We’ll talk about it in Podcast 601-Nobody Knows Anything!

Nobody Knows Anything

The big talk radio guy speaking at your local political dinner doesn’t know anything. The guy who has the You Tube Channel or the Podcast? Nope. The local radio station talk show? Talk radio now depends on people calling in who don’t know anything to add to the conversation by two guys who don’t know anything either. Clearly the White House doesn’t know. The Pentagon doesn’t know. The people at your state capitol don’t know. The people behind the desk on the 24 hour news channel don’t know either.

Saturation Point

Open your mouth about a political issue on social media and you’re branded. We’re saturated with political talk and political partisanship. Our differences are encouraged by know it alls commanding increasingly misinformed tribes fed a steady diet of what they want to hear. A few sell ‘expertise’ on the US Constitution. Some are self appointed media experts. Many are the founders of popup political movements. Many more are simply political operators selling their wares to the highest bidder, behind the scenes. These are the new carpet baggers.

Hungry For Leadership

Those sold to us as heroes turn out to be pygmies and charlatans. We read their books. We cheer and believe in them. When they are destroyed we move on. In Podcast 601-Nobody Knows Anything I share with you my utter disgust with the political process in this country. You can forget the labels. They all suck. Republicans. Democrats. Socialists. Populists. Libertarians. It’s all noise. Memes. Rants. Photos. Guest Appearances. Stand Ups in front of the capitol. Everyone wants to be the next Juke Box Hero.

Republicans who claimed to be for freedom and less government continue to expand the scope and cost of government. Democrats who claimed to be for the little guy are increasingly associated with the rich and powerful. Both sides want to increase the surveillance state and curtail your freedoms. Are we reaching a tipping point?

In Podcast 601-Nobody Knows Anything!.

Sponsored by X Government Cars and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.

 

 

 

Podcast 587-Easy Talker

Decoding The New Year’s Media Nonsense

Key stories from the first week of 2017 provoked me to do a podcast type I call an ‘Easy Talker’. In Podcast 587-Easy Talker, I’m grabbing a few key stories and taking a little time with each before guests come over to the broadcast bunker for some hang out time.

Podcast 587-Easy Talker brings you up to date as the Republican Congress is sworn in. We’re back into a ‘news-rich’ environment. There is need for Decoding The New Year’s Media Nonsense. Media outlets are firing on headlines with little or no follow up. With all the talk recently about ‘fake news’ you would think the country’s biggest newspapers and broadcast outlets would put some effort into improving their approach to actually covering the news.

The Washington Post has retracted a story that reported the Russians hacked into Vermont’s power system. In fact the paper never talked to anyone to find out whether a ‘hack’ happened in the first place. Allegedly an employee’s computer had been infected with malware, supposedly put there by Russians, thus ‘infecting’ the power grid. Subsequent efforts to run down the story revealed that the computer in question may never have been infected with Malware to begin with.

As I post this podcast, we’re told US Intelligence Honcho Clapper is convinced ‘The Russians Intervened In The US Election’. Clapper promises to reveal all to President Elect Trump very soon. After the big reveal evidence will be released to the public. Of course if the CIA had released its evidence to the public when they released their “13 page report” (really was only about 2 pages of information about the alleged Russian Hack) then we would know. All media outlets now refer to the story as “The Russian Hack of The US Election” which is a lie. We have seen no direct evidence of a Russian Interference in the US Election. Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Just means we haven’t seen any direct evidence proving the allegation.

What’s to be done about poorly written and edited news stories? Do we need a law or commission? No one seems to understand this would contravene our rights to free speech. If people can’t understand they have to use multiple sources and look at source documents no law in the world will fix the problem. We are a poorly informed population drowning in a sea of dis-information. This podcast attempts to provide context and perspective. It isn’t always pleasurable to do so. People have told me they depend on The Bob Davis Podcasts for this kind of coverage. Ignorance does not mean stupidity. If someone is ignorant they can inform themselves.

As the new Congress prepares some kind of action on the repeal of Obama’s Signature Affordable Care Act, now come stories warning of impending doom. Republicans ran on the promise of repealing ObamaCare. If the Republicans do not repeal the ACA regardless of whether they replace it, they will lose all credibility with their voters. On a side note, Republicans in Minnesota are preparing to spend 300 million dollars from the so called ‘rainy day fund’ to keep MNSURE going. These are the same people who trotted through tea party meetings all over the state selling themselves as ‘conservatives’. Proof positive, the best thing to do is to wait and watch what the politicians do and then punish them accordingly.

If you dispute the idea that the American Electorate is grossly ignorant, in Podcast 587-Easy Talker consider a Facebook post in which the writer wrote, “If you’ll notice when the economic numbers come out, they quietly revise them up”. It is fact that all economic numbers released from the government undergo normal revisions as new information comes in. Sometimes they are revised up. Sometimes they are revised down. This has been the case for many decades.

Along these lines, a story is circulating that upward revisions of November construction and manufacturing numbers mean Trump has had a positive effect on the economy. This is fake news from the right. Remember when so called ‘conservatives’ were furious over then President Elect Obama’s blaming of the 2008 crisis and subsequent recession on Bush? Suddenly now they’re giving credit to Trump for things that happened on Obama’s watch. And revisions at that!

With people getting their news in shards and memes from social media, and refusing to inform themselves completely on any issue they might be interested in, it’s no wonder the elites in Washington and in State Capitols continue to do exactly what they want. Sponsored by Hydrus Performance.

Podcast 580-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-56

Podcast 580-Bob Davis Podcasts Radio Show-56. Four mini podcast for your weekend. It’s time to move beyond talk about fake news and false narratives. Time to work on becoming better citizens. We have to get beyond reactions to get what is needed to create better political structures for the future. People have very high expectations about a Trump presidency. Whether you fear the future or can’t wait for it, the President-Elect’s cabinet nominations are moderate and establishment republicans. Trump’s ideas are philosophically all over the road. The new republican administration may end up being just as statist as a Hillary Clinton presidency. One example is Trump’s penchant for roads and bridges and airports. Given the establishment congress of republican moderates expecting a reduction in the cost and power of the federal government is too much to ask for. Fake News is still ‘in the news’. There were suggestions from the CIA at the end of last week that the Russians ‘could have’ been responsible for the Wikileaks hack. Still no proof though. That doesn’t stop the media from feeding into the Clinton camp narrative that Russia put Trump in the White House. It’s impossible to say what influenced voters in Ohio, Pennsyvania, North Carolina and Florida where Trump won by tight margins. None of these facts stop demands to ‘do something’ about ‘fake news’. FaceBook is caving and censorship is suddenly now a big topic. There have also been reports that Electors (members of the electoral college for 2016) have received death threats. What happens if Trump doesn’t have a majority of electors? What is the goal of people supporting the effort to influence the Electoral College? Have you driven around the country lately? If you had, you would know the United States does not have an ‘infrastructure’ problem. Building new airports, roads and bridges will not create enough new jobs to influence a 16 trillion dollar economy. Moreover, trade protection, cutting taxes on the middle class, increasing spending and government power including military spending is fraught with problems and probably won’t result in economic growth. Where does the money come from for these shiny objects? It has to be taxed or borrowed, sooner or later. For those who supported Trump because he ‘isn’t Hillary’, there are no guarantees he’ll be materially different from Clinton, when it comes to results. Sponsored by Brush Studio in the West End and Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul.[Powerpress]

Podcast 385

The Pope and The Media Circus. After a long trip home from the East Coast in the Mobile Podcast Command Unit, it’s time for a full stereo podcast from just outside the Broadcast Bunker, on the flat, by a real fire, back in Minnesota. Sometimes getting you ready for the coming week is a tall order, especially when it comes to the ‘borg’; the modern media machine. Will the new technology revolution – and it is coming – disrupt institutions that have existed for generations? Government, and religion, all seem to have become cloying media whores, looking to make one more lurid statement so they can get another story written for the Daily Beast, or get on CNN, or get some kind coverage for something…anything to stay relevant. Here comes the Pope all tarted up, to condemn capitalism and the ‘filth’ in the world. Of course the reaction is already classified as right wing or left wing, in tweets, on FaceBook and any number of shout-fests, roundtable gabs, and table pounding orations. If there is one takeaway from the recent trip through the American Southeastern Coast, including Washington DC, and from a trip earlier this spring to the West Coast, its seems like the people in this country are living their lives in spite of the constant chatter. Is it possible that our government and other institutions are becoming irrelevant, thus their leaders struggle more and more to be heard, by making one lurid statement after another? The media, and the politician, even when he is a ‘man of the cloth’ have become all one thing, feeding on each other, feathering their own nests and advancing no one else’s fortune but their own. All of them busting into our living rooms, cars and onto our phones with their incessant nonsense. Most of the time we spend our time just trying to get out of the way, hoping whatever international initiative, legislation or some nonsense laden bill sponsored by a publicity hungry politician doesn’t ruin our business, our town, our life or the lives of someone we love. Sometimes you find yourself wishing they would just shut up. You know, maybe we need a new holiday in America. How about Dead Air Day. All the stations go dark, all the politicians shut up, and all the media whores take a day off, including and especially the Pope. Oh wait! That would mean passing another law. Never mind! On the longest day of the year, and the shortest night. Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing of Saint Paul

Podcast 327

Right To Work. As Wisconsin’s Assembly considers Right To Work legislation amid controversy, Minnesota conservatives wonder what’s wrong with Republicans in the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes. The Washington Post this week ran a piece decrying the decay of the organizational power of unions in the Badger state since ACT10 was passed in 2011. The reader is left with the idea this isn’t such a bad thing for local and state budgets, or the employees of counties, towns and the state either. Was this the intent? 24 states have passed right to work legislation, and Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker made history with legislation limiting the power of government unions. A brief history of collective bargaining for government workers suggests why the democrats and the left are terrified by Walker. At least two of the landmark government acts establishing unions in the public sector were executive orders. Given President Obama’s precedent setting use of executive orders and executive memoranda, think what a President Walker might do with the existing executive orders dating back to Nixon, regarding Federal workers and collective bargaining arrangements. Wisconsin is the home of AFSCME, and was the first state to pass a law allowing its public workers to unionize. How things have changed. The reality is collective bargaining in state and local governments created a gordian knot that must be cut, if authorities want to be able to get control of their budgets. The state cannot offshore its work, or move to a right to work state in the south, to cut costs. As the media tries to cover right to work laws negatively it is inadvertently showing how governors in democrat and republican states are able to cut that knot and get control of their budgets. Now, Minnesotans want to know why what’s happening in Wisconsin isn’t happening in Minnesota. Minnesota Republicans seem content to play small ball; Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt is thrilled to act a peacemaker between warring democrat Governor Dayton and Senate Majority leader Bakk, and in the Senate, minority leader Nienow is thrilled to announce more spending for education than the Governor wants, which is saying something. Small Ball, indeed. Some might characterize it as small balls in fact. What should be advocated? What’s working in other states? Why are Minnesota’s Republicans unable to take a lesson from Wisconsin’s Republicans, who are having a better time of it. Sponsored by X Government Cars

Podcast 317

Scary Scott Walker. A year away from the first 2016 presidential primary and more than a year from the start of the 2016 presidential campaign, the so called mainstream media – which really doesn’t reflect mainstream America – is terrified of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. This week, the Washington Post conducted an ‘investigation’ of Walker’s college years. The paper discovered the future governor didn’t like French class, campaigned for class president, wore a suit on campus and was kinda geeky. The big mystery? Why did Scott Walker leave college in his senior year? Was it because he did not have enough credits to graduate anyway? Did something happen? Funny, do you remember any big investigation of why Apple’s founder and muse Steve Jobs dropped out of Stanford? What about Bill Gates. What deep dark secret drove these men? Will we ever know? How can any man or woman without a college degree become president of the United States of America? Let’s see, William McKinley withdrew, William Henry Harrison withdrew, Harry Truman withdrew, and gosh so did Scott Walker! Should the president have a college degree? While the smartest man ever to hold the office – Barack Obama – has a degree and spent a fair amount of his formative years enfolded in the warm embrace of academia, some might submit he has not been helped by those smarts on the policy front, since his presidency is pretty much a disaster, even with all those degrees on the wall. Oddly enough, Governor Walker is in good company. Abe Lincoln dropped out after a year and taught himself well enough to get a law degree, Andrew Jackson was homeschooled and became an attorney with no formal education, Coco Chanel never went to college, advertising maestro David Olgilvy was kicked out of Oxford, Henry Ford did not attend college, nor did John D. Rockefeller. Michael Dell, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were all drop outs. Is college a good thing? Absolutely. It refines, teaches people to write well, exposes them to other cultures and ideas they might not have experienced otherwise, and gives them training to become officers, teachers, managers, scientists. That these are good things is not argued. That such an experience is necessary to be the President of the US is. Scott Walker terrifies the democrat AND moderate republican because he has won 2 elections, one recall election, and a bruising fight with the most potent force in American politics; Unions. Specifically, unions representing public workers. The mighty left wing Wurlitzer is just getting warmed up as it ‘investigates’ Walker, asks whether someone who does not have a college degree can actually be president, and lionizes the ‘legendary’ capabilities of union sponsored political pressure groups that opposed Walker (and lost … 3 times.) Will the Governor surprise everyone in 2016? We Shall See. Sponsored by Complete Basement Systems

Podcast 266

Rolling Stone’s Debacle. This weekend Rolling Stone Magazine admitted it did not properly fact-check a story about an alleged gang rape on the campus of the University of Virginia. So now we have a clear example of media bias in action and it goes way beyond fact checking. The editors liked the story, so they never pushed the reporter to interview the accused, or confirm the stories of the friends of the woman who claimed she was gang raped at a frat party. So, it took the Washington Post to go down to UVA and run down the particulars in the story. As this was going on, Rolling Stone defended its reporter, and anyone who questioned the woman’s story was pilloried. What did the Washington Post uncover? The discrepancies are so numerous, Rolling Stone had to issue an apology this weekend. ‘Narrative journalism’, combined with bias and shoddy editing is the order of the day in most of today’s news shops. Now the media, UVA, Fraternities, the alleged perpetrators, the victim, not to mention real cases of rape have all been thrown into question as the result of an editor and reporter, and magazine that did not do their job. And what can we say about the media? Charlatans, hustlers, think tank spokespersons, operatives are booked as guests on all the major news shows, round table shout fests, and empty suits abound. An informed populace/electorate is the one necessary ingredient for democracy, and we do not have it. America is being so poorly served by its so called media, its no wonder people cannot reason, don’t know the facts, scream and yell at each other, throw labels onto each other that are meaningless, and are deeply confused about how any process works, because they are uninformed. Who’s fault is it? What can be done about it? Have we reached the stage where the rule of the mob has become a reality? Unfortunately, it sure looks like it. Meanwhile, Mary Landrieu has lost her bid for a fourth term in the US Senate representing Louisiana, giving the GOP one more seat in the Senate, and an historic majority in the House. Wait until after January 7th for the fireworks to start when the 117th Congress is sworn in. The President has acid reflux, as does the rest of the country due to his policies. The media ballyhooed the latest unemployment numbers, but once you look under the hood, they don’t look so good. Surprise! We have yet to produce one month with over 375,000 new jobs, which is what the country needs to fully recover. It never ceases to amaze what the media thinks is ‘good’ versus what is factually needed. Sponsored by Baklund R&D. (Correction: I keep referring to the current congress as “the 116th Congress” in this podcast, and the next as the “117th Congress”. Getting a little ahead of myself; The current Congress is the 113th, and the incoming congress is the 114th.)

Podcast 245

Election Eve. The first of two podcast over the next 24 hours to get you up to speed on the spin, sandbagging and screeching in the final hours of the 2014 election cycle. Podcast 246 will take an in depth look at the polls and will be ready for Tuesday morning. Podcast 245 is in a little more relaxed setting, and calls attention to some of the things people are writing and saying the polls say, which have no basis. Meanwhile, the next two days are the most difficult for the punditry and the media as campaigns wind down, few new polls are released, and we wait for the votes to be counted. Some people are already sick of the election coverage, especially if you have been watching the news channels (mainly because the incessant political advertising is driving people over the edge), yet others are just starting to pay attention. Most of the polls at this late hour are all within their statistical margin of error, and therefore not conclusive about which candidates and parties have the edge or momentum. While there are one or two notable exceptions, the networks and pundits drive ahead with story lines and claims that the Republicans will take the Senate. While the GOP will gain Senate seats, whether they gain a majority is an open question. Stories this weekend about the Democrats predicting big wins for the Republicans, may actually be an effort to galvanize Democrat supporters to vote, especially when they come from The New York Times, and the Washington Post. In Minnesota, where the races are tightening to within less than ten points in the Gubernatorial Race (and more ominously a tie in the Northeastern part of the state, which is very unusual), and ten points in the Senate race, the Star Tribune runs a story about Senator Franken’s Net Neutrality cause, with little mention of opponent Mike McFadden, on a day in which the two candidates debated. The truth? This may turn out to be one of the most unusual, and therefore historic races in US Political history. The reason? Almost no one can predict what restive voters will actually end up doing. Election returns and final results may be delayed well into the night, and until January 6th at the latest, if run off elections are called for, or if recounts are demanded in close races. Another interesting development is the sudden appearance of pundits either blaming the President (from right and left) for the democrat problems, or making excuses for him. While the President has raised a lot of money for Democrat candidates, many campaign managers feel it was a mistake for some candidates not to distance themselves from the President, earlier and more loudly. And now the sudden predictions of how the White House will become interested in negotiation and compromise. While that is a possibility, President Obama may dig in his heels, and try to rally progressives for a future Elizabeth Warren presidential run. For all the talk about how the President is surrounded by bumblers, it seems like his obstinance, resistance to debate and diversity of opinion, postponing decisions or making outright mistakes can only be blamed on him. How President Obama deals with a Republican House and a newly Republican Senate (which is by no means guaranteed) will be the biggest political story of 2015. Sponsored by X Government Cars and Depotstar

Podcast 225

Superstition. Stevie Wonder wasn’t singing about your great grandmother, was he? We’re told we live in a complicated modern society, yet some of us believe things that can only be described as fantasy; superstition. While updating subscribers on the key stories for the week ahead, a question comes up? How does belief in conspiracy theory, apocalyptic theory and other fantasies detract from being able to make decisions based on fact, how do these modern-day superstitions effect rational problem solving? Especially since more and more adherents to these theories appear to be on the political ‘right’, which believes itself to be rational, as opposed to the ‘irrational’ and ’emotional’ left. We start with Ebola, and the rapidly spreading idea – usually through social media – ebola is a ‘weaponized virus’ being used to ‘scare’ the American people, or it is being brought over the border by illegals tasked specifically to infect Americans. This week features a full moon lunar eclipse. This is the second in a series of lunar ‘blood moon’ eclipses some say herald the apocalypse. (The other two are in 2015 so don’t worry, you don’t have long to wait.) Why are these eclipses called ‘blood’ moon eclipses? What’s special about this one? Did you know it’s Enterovirus Season? No, there aren’t any decorations for ‘Enterovirus Season’, or any special celebrations, but now adults are getting sick from the virus labeled ‘Enterovirus D68’, which is thought responsible for the deaths of at least one child, and paralysis in others. Enterovirus is a ‘common cold’ like virus, but apparently D68 packs a punch. A government that can’t provide security to its president, protect the borders or its embassies, collect taxes, or figure out how to solve the most vexing current problems is somehow managing a vast conspiracy to kill US Citizens? Finally, yet more fantasy coverage about the Republicans chances of winning the senate and gaining more seats in congress than they did in 1946. Admittedly always possible, but considering the democrat ground game in 2014 might sober up Republicans who believe this kind of hokum from the mainstream media. Or is it hokum? We’ll find out on November 4th around midnight. For Republicans, the question is, what are you doing to make this fantasy a reality? Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul, and Depot Star