Category Archives: Media bias

Incarceration of Adult Males Caused Baltimore Riots?

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Consider this CNN article about the Baltimore neighborhood that was the scene of recent riots (h/t Zenway). The writer says, about an older man–a blue-collar worker–who once lived in the neighborhood:

He sat like a sentry, watching not just the games but the neighborhood as well.

I knew Mr. Shields’ routine because I was his neighbor. I grew up in the West Baltimore community that was rocked this week by protests over the death of a young black man in police custody.

It’s surreal to see your old neighborhood go up in flames as commentators try to explain the rage with various complex racial and legal theories. But when I returned to my home this week, the rage made sense to me. There were no more Mr. Shields — the older black men were gone.

I asked 28-year-old Zachary Lewis about the absence of older men. …

“There ain’t no more ‘Old Heads’ anymore, where you been? They got big numbers or they in pine boxes.” In street syntax, that meant long prison sentences or death.

As I walked through my old streets, it was filled with nothing but black young women, children and teenage boys. It was as if an alien spaceship had come in the night and spirited all the older black men away.

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Maya Angelou’s Words?

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Beginning as early as 2001, according to my research, perhaps even before, this quote by writer/illustrator Joan Walsh Anglund began to be falsely attributed to Maya Angelou:

A bird doesn’t sing because he has an answer–he sings because he has a song.

Barack Obama himself famously and falsely attributed Ms. Anglund’s words to Maya Angelou.

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A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.

The above quote was posted on Maya Angelou’s facebook page without attribution on November 23, 2013. That same year, she was interviewed and she repeated the quote, without attribution, as if those were her own words. An op-ed in the New York Times was too cute by half to claim that this was not a case of plagiarism:

… it doesn’t seem that Ms. Angelou, who died last year, claimed the words as her own.

“It doesn’t seem?” Well, I beg to differ. Things are not always as some would wish them to seem to be.

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Free Speech Rights for Some, but Not All?

These are Americans exercising their right to free speech, according to progressives and the media:

Outrage In Missouri Town After Police Shooting Of 18-Yr-Old Man

The Ferguson and the St. Louis County police departments, the MO Highway Patrol, the MO governor, virtually all the authorities in MO, as well as Barack Obama and Eric Holder, went out of their way to call these mobs “peaceful protesters” and to school law enforcement officers to take care not to infringe upon the First Amendment rights of these “protesters.”

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McCain’s Da Man! Takes On Code Pink.

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Just when you think you’re done with Senator John McCain because of his infuriating, RINO, “maverick” ways, he does something to redeem himself yet again. This time, he took on Code Pink “peaceful protesters” who disrupted a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

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Ferguson Irony

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Under ordinary circumstances, the mainstream media would be profuse with their mea culpas over this fiasco; but these are not ordinary times: [emphasis added to quotes]

One of the most frequently quoted and photographed Ferguson protesters was charged Saturday with setting fire to a Berkeley convenience store last week.

St. Louis County police arrested Joshua Williams, 19, of St. Louis, on Friday after several local media outlets and store surveillance captured images of him trying to set a pile of wood on fire outside the QuikTrip on North Hanley Road early Wednesday.

Williams confessed to setting fires at the store in a videotaped interview, according to court documents. …

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The Spiral of Silence and the Enforcers of Right Think

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In our last post, we learned that researchers have found that people tend to self-censor their speech, both in person and on social media, if they believe that their opinions are unpopular or in the minority. Researchers call this phenomenon the spiral of silence. The tendency to self-censor is one that others, particularly progressives, use to political advantage, when they seek to punish or destroy those with whom they disagree. Depending upon how politically incorrect their points of view are perceived to be by others, speakers quickly learn to self-censor their speech lest they find themselves singled out, investigated, and punished by the enforcers of right think. Let’s look at some recent examples of this type of punishment that goes far beyond ridicule or ostracism.

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The “Spiral of Silence”: Self-Censorship and Political Correctness

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Despite that it’s commonly believed that the Internet facilitates free speech, a new study indicates that on social media people tend to not speak out if they believe that their views are unpopular or if they perceive that they may be negatively criticized for expressing their heart-felt opinions. The authors explain that it’s long been known that people self-censor in face-to-face interactions:

A major insight into human behavior from pre-internet era studies of communication is the tendency of people not to speak up about policy issues in publicor among their family, friends, and work colleagueswhen they believe their own point of view is not widely shared. This tendency is called the spiral of silence.”

Some social media creators and supporters have hoped that social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter might produce different enough discussion venues that those with minority views might feel freer to express their opinions, thus broadening public discourse and adding new perspectives to everyday discussion of political issues.

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