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Why is Sarah Palin more newsworthy than (knowingly and preventable) poisoned children?


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The founder of Real Clear Politics claims that the site is conservative:

 

From wiki:

The web site was founded in 2000 by McIntyre, a former trader at the Chicago Board Options Exchange, and Bevan, a former advertising agency account executive.[4] Philosophy[edit]

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, McIntyre said, "We're trying to pull together the best political stories, op-eds, news analyses, editorials out there. The proliferation of content is enormous. Part of what we're trying to do is distill it in a clear, simple way for people who don't have hours to spend searching the Net".[12] He told the Chicago Sun-Times that RealClearPolitics strives to feature "serious intellectual pieces" and that they're "not looking for the over-the-top, vitriolic, red-meat craziness on either side".[13]

Patrick Stack of Time magazine has described the site's commentary section as "right-leaning".[14] The site has been described as being run by conservatives, and containing "opinion pieces from multiple media sources".[15] In 2009 RealClearPolitics was described as a weblog "in the conservative pantheon" by Richard Davis.[16][17]

In an interview with the conservative magazine Human Events, McIntyre described the philosophy behind the Web site as based on "freedom" and "common-sense values". Said Bevan, "We think debate on the issues is a very important thing. We post a variety of opinions". He further stated, "we have a frustration all conservatives have", which is "the bias in media against conservatives, religious conservatives, [and] Christian conservatives".[3]

In a 2001 article for Princeton Alumni Weekly, which noted that "The articles selected invariably demonstrate McIntyre and Bevan's political bent, about which they are unabashedly forthcoming." McIntyre said, "I'm not really a die-hard Republican because my interests are less on social issues, more on taxing and spending...But I definitely don't want the government telling me what to do with my property...Nevertheless, any political junkie—even a liberal—would enjoy our site because the topics we choose are current."[18]

RealClearPolitics was listed among conservative political weblogs in a 2005 conference paper on mapping the political blogosphere by Robert Ackland of the Australian Centre for Social Research.[19]

Wait...

 

So because a bunch of authors with their own bias (Stack and Davis among them) don't like what they see as biased in the other direction, that automatically makes it invalid? RCP is an aggregator and analyzer more than news generator, and it doesn't ignore sources or polls that are outside of the popular channels. That doesn't make it a propaganda machine by any stretch and it has reliable and consistent coverage.

 

WashPo, MSJ, the Economist, NPR - all fairly good and consistently high quality in their news rooms and editorials. They all have their own aims and goals but are solid sources nonetheless.

 

Read and consume whatever media you want. Just watch the criticisms of, say, Fox or MSNBC viewers if you're prefering partisanship of your particular flavor in less popular outlets like OrganizeDemocrats. That leaves almost no leg left to stand on in a debate of ideological fairness.

Edited by Arctic Mama
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I bet if the population of Flint was majority white, there would be more outrage, coverage, and action.   Wait, I take that back. If the majority population of Flint was white, this wouldn't have ha

I've seen much more about Flint this week than Palin.

I don't know where you get your news, but I've heard a lot of coverage about Flint.  

The only purpose in doing postmortems -- and it is a vital purpose-- is to learn specifically what happened so we don't make those specific mistakes somewhere else in the next round.   

 

I think another very important purpose is to ascertain whether anyone's actions rose to intentional or criminal negligence, as opposed to mistakes or gaps in the system. 

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The founder of Real Clear Politics claims that the site is conservative:

 

From wiki:

 

The web site was founded in 2000 by McIntyre, a former trader at the Chicago Board Options Exchange, and Bevan, a former advertising agency account executive.[4]

Philosophy[edit]

...

 

In an interview with the conservative magazine Human Events, McIntyre described the philosophy behind the Web site as based on "freedom" and "common-sense values". Said Bevan, "We think debate on the issues is a very important thing. We post a variety of opinions". He further stated, "we have a frustration all conservatives have", which is "the bias in media against conservatives, religious conservatives, [and] Christian conservatives".[3]

 

McIntyre and Bevan are the founders of RCP. They are being quoted by Human Events.

 

ETA: I messed up the multiquote, this is in response to Arctic Mama's post.

Edited by chiguirre
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re purpose of postmortems - Lessons Learned v. criminal/civil negligence findings

I think another very important purpose is to ascertain whether anyone's actions rose to intentional or criminal negligence, as opposed to mistakes or gaps in the system. 

 

In some cases this is (sigh) true.  I don't believe, at least based on what I've seen emerge thus far, Flint is one of those cases (thus far in my own head I am oversimplifying Fint into 1. an act of commission, to switch over to river water; 2. a second act of omission, to not treat the chloride as mandated; and 3. a far-too-slow response to very early household-level complaints about murky color/bad smell/rashes...  all of which are troubling, but based on what I've seen thus far, would I think fall into "mistakes" rather than "liable")... but you're certainly right, it can be true.

 

Unfortunately the CYA fear of civil negligence on fault can inhibit investigation of fact and, therefore, on solutions in the immediate term and lesson-learning going forward.  (Last week's BookAWeek thread made a little detour on "restorative" vs "transitional" justice, vs "healing."  Now your comment has me thinking more about these distinctions in a very different context... thank you...)

 

 

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McIntyre and Bevan are the founders of RCP. They are being quoted by Human Events.

 

ETA: I messed up the multiquote, this is in response to Arctic Mama's post.

I know that. I was referring to the two previously cited individuals.

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I think another very important purpose is to ascertain whether anyone's actions rose to intentional or criminal negligence, as opposed to mistakes or gaps in the system. 

 

I'm completely willing to assume that the EMs of Flint did not intentionally poison the water. But when you've poisoned hundreds (maybe thousands) of children and probably caused a fatal outbreak of Legionnaires, it doesn't matter if you meant to do it or not. If you are the chief executive who appointed the negligent (criminally or not) perpetrators of the poisoning, you should own up to your failings and resign. If you are one of the EMs that participated in this debacle, and you're currently an EM somewhere else, you should resign. I'm glad the EPA regional administrator has already resigned. That's really the only decent course of action open to any of the guilty parties. 

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Arctic Mama, It only takes a moment of Googling to find out RCP leans conservative. I am always hoping to find something unbiased but I don't think it exists.

Everything has a bias. Absolutely everything. The way you get solid coverage is to know the bias, read, and check sources with a different bias to see where they overlap and differ. Then you compare their ideological preferences with those differences to see if someone is reporting something they're reading into the narrative as opposed to some new or unexplored facet of the case that is actually there (as opposed to an ideological bogeyman).

 

RCP is about as biased right as a NPR is biased left. That is to say, ideological preferences show in their structure and choice of coverage, not so much in the analysis and commentary therein, which tends to be very fair. Because of that their actual bias is fairly minimal in how it impacts their work, compared to, say, the NYT or WSJ editorial boards.

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I think another very important purpose is to ascertain whether anyone's actions rose to intentional or criminal negligence, as opposed to mistakes or gaps in the system. 

 

 

Yes.  This morning, on the Home Page of Fox, they had a link to  a video with the Mich AG.  But when I clicked on the link, it said that the event had terminated, so apparently it was a Live Feed and not a regular video. I would love to know if there will be any criminal charges against anyone involved  in this disaster.   If people end up dying (I sincerely hope that will not happen) someone could be charged with Manslaughter?

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   If people end up dying (I sincerely hope that will not happen) someone could be charged with Manslaughter?

It's very likely people died from Legionnaire's that they were exposed to in the Flint drinking water.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/01/25/can-we-blame-the-michigan-legionnaires-disease-outbreak-on-the-flint-water-crisis-2/

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On the 6 P.M. E.S.T. news they ran a story about what the Michigan AG apparently announced in that news conference, that I clicked too late to watch this morning. He has appointed a "Special Counsel" (is that the correct title?) to look into whether laws were broken and if so, who broke them. This could be an interesting development, but won't lead to the residents of Flint getting safe drinking water. 

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Wait...

 

So because a bunch of authors with their own bias (Stack and Davis among them) don't like what they see as biased in the other direction, that automatically makes it invalid? RCP is an aggregator and analyzer more than news generator, and it doesn't ignore sources or polls that are outside of the popular channels. That doesn't make it a propaganda machine by any stretch and it has reliable and consistent coverage.

 

WashPo, MSJ, the Economist, NPR - all fairly good and consistently high quality in their news rooms and editorials. They all have their own aims and goals but are solid sources nonetheless.

 

Read and consume whatever media you want. Just watch the criticisms of, say, Fox or MSNBC viewers if you're prefering partisanship of your particular flavor in less popular outlets like OrganizeDemocrats. That leaves almost no leg left to stand on in a debate of ideological fairness.

 

Did the poster say it was invalid as a source?

 

I appreciate the background information about potential political slant, but that same description also piqued my interest. These days, I am all for decent sources that aren't vitriolic even if it's someone who primarily aggregates information.

 

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Did I read it correctly that the ever-fabulous Pearl Jam is donating $300,000 to Flint?

I missed that. Now picturing which songs I would have used in that headline- Alive, Even Flow, quick interview with a student named Jeremy, Can't we find a Better Man to be in charge?

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Wouldn't this thread, most all of it, fall under politics? Does that only go one way here or what? If you are liberal and anti-Fox News, go at it. Otherwise, you need to shut it? Just asking because that seems to be the underlying message so often.

 

I watched an innocent and positive thread about Pastor Saeed get shut down. So this one is okay to go on?

Is Fox a political station or a news station? If it is a news station then it shouldn't be off limits. I think their motto is fair and balanced so I am not sure how bashing Fox news is any different than bashing any other form of information, literature, or entertainment.

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I think that Flint and Sebring are the tip of the iceberg. Hate to say it, but I believe many communities in the US are at high risk. Water quality and water resource safety has not been high on the political priority list for too many years, and falsifying data and testing samples is all too common.

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NPR and New York Times are liberal. My favorite place to go for news is Real Clear World or Real Clear Politics (diff tabs on same site). It gives a sampling of articles from different sources. It's fascinating to read the NYT take on a story vs Washington Times. It's helpful to read both sides to see which bits of data sway each side and also to try to get a clearer picture of what is going on.

That is what I read for basic news as a start, too...read both sides, it is hard, sadly, to find an unbiased middle anymore so at least you can read both sides and try to see where the data lead. I love the juxtaposition of their headlines, too:

 

X is evil next to X is the best thing since sliced bread.

Edited by ElizabethB
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Arctic Mama, It only takes a moment of Googling to find out RCP leans conservative. I am always hoping to find something unbiased but I don't think it exists.

They lean conservitive overall but have articles from both sides. Then, you find an issue you want to read more about, you can find other sources from both sides. Read them for a few days and see, they will link to both left and right articles for the bigger issues.

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This article shows what is happening as of 28 January 2016,  As someone was quoted saying, all levels of government screwed up.  This is very sad for the people of Flint.  I believe they are just beginning to look into what is required to solve this in Flint.  http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/01/28/michigan-gov-snyder-says-full-replacement-flints-lead-pipes-not-imminent.html?intcmp=hplnws

Edited by Lanny
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It would be interesting to hear the details on what it will take to rebuild the coatings on the pipes, as well as the timeline.

 

And how about the owner side... MI like every state, has programs in place to help owners with low incomes make the home safe from the impact of lead paint. Might some also need piping from street to home and interior pipng replaced? I cant see the home owner turning the tap on during the recoating process to ensure the street to home pipe is recoated, not with $140/mo water bills with low usage.

I cant even see buying water from the town at that price...but I have seen an article indicating that bottled water isnt available there in the stores at the quantities people need.

With the budget cuts that Michigan has experienced due to plummeting revenue (we've never really recovered from the 2008 mortgage/property fiasco - big loss of people, big loss of businesses), the help available for low income homeowners is quite limited and especially compared with the breadth of this disaster and the costs involved.

 

And no, there simply isn't enough bottled water available. This affects such a huge number of families.

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Someone mentioned university involvement in the Flint water disaster. Here is a nice link to an article about what U of MI Flint researchers and students are doing.

 

Our C, a second semester freshman, has been doing volunteer work but in his case it is handing out information packets and water. He is an English major, computer science minor so not qualified to be a part of the research project. However, he has a real heart for the people of Flint, for the children especially, and is willing to be "legs" whenever he can.

 

https://news.umflint.edu/2016/01/28/10668/

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I'd like to see some of the universities become involved in child development and early intervention, testing for learning difficulties, providing interventions and tracking the children of Flint long term (even if they move out of the area). Sometimes they can get research grants that would help with the expense of it all and their students could provide much needed services as part of their research, internship, student teaching, etc. requirements. 

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The FBI is now investigating the Flint MI water disaster. Here's the URL for a video (02 FEB 2016).  I don't see anything about Sarah Palin, but I see frequent stores about Flint MI water.

 

 http://video.foxnews.com/v/4734755232001/fbi-investigating-contamination-of-water-in-flint-michigan/?playlist_id=2114913880001&intcmp=hphz04#sp=show-clips

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Thanks, Lanny. Flint is sixty miles from us so the issue is pretty near and dear here.

 

Heads need to roll. However, it should be noted that when the skinny is finally discovered I fear that many more communities will find they need to go digging. When I look at the exponential rise in the number of students in this state in the last decade that are being diagnosed with all kinds of learning disabilities and neurogical symptoms, I have to wonder if it can not be accounted for by better and more readily available testing through the educational system. Just how many kids in Michigan are actually suffering from water, soil, air pollution/poisoning? I think that the powers that be may be very afraid of that number.

 

But hey, the corporations that cause it? No fear. They will likely continue along with nothing more than a tsk tsk and a slap on the wrist.

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FaithManor when the FBI investigates something, it usually has to do with Criminal activity. Where there is smoke, frequently there is fire.  That may get the attention of people who make decisions like those that were made in Flint. If there are consequences (prison time) for making bad decisions, those in positions to make decisions may think twice. That would be nice. The governments are immune from lawsuits generally, so probably in the end the Federal government is going to need to bail out the state of MI who will then bail out Flint.  I suspect that in MANY MANY states there are FAR TOO MANY children being diagnosed with learning disorders and behavior, who are actually completely within the "NORMAL" range, but that makes it easier for their teachers to control the classrooms.  The children that have been damaged are the true victims of this disaster.

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OP I don't know which TV news program(s) you watch, but tonight (03 FEB 2016) on Fox News Channel, at 620 P.M., E.S.T., they devoted several minutes to the water disaster in Flint.   There was a Congressional hearing in the House in DC today.  There was *nothing* during the 60 minutes I watched, about Sarah Palin.  There are other places (Fenton MO which has a water disaster caused by a Natural Disaster) in the USA that have problems, but probably not on the magnitude of Flint MI.  The entire issue would have been avoided had the water system spent USD $80 to 100 per day, on chemicals, to treat the water...  SAD

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