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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 1/12/16

Meet the Impotent Press

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"You have to be really careful with the press -- not all of them, because I know some great reporters. But I'm going to start naming names because it really is incredible how dishonest the press is."

-Donald Trump

In a poll released last year, 16% of Americans said that there was no "solid evidence that the average temperature on earth has been getting warmer over the past four decades". It is very important to note that they were not passing judgement on the cause of this warming, they were denying the fact "that Earth has warmed since 1880...with the 20 warmest years having occurred since 1981 and with all 10 of the warmest years occurring in the past 12 years." A large amount of blame for this ignorance falls on our media which covers this subject by pretending that it is debatable, sitting two people side-by-side, creating the appearance that they have equal weight. If, instead of this false equivalence, they held "a statistically representative climate change debate" that had 97 scientists debating three climate change deniers, the American public might have a greater understanding of how science works.

It has yet to be proven how much the hot air coming from Donald Trump's presidential campaign will increase the rate of global warming. His increasingly outrageous statements have continuously kept him in the spotlight allowing him to brag that he has "spent nothing" on his campaign and that he "can't advertise because [he's] getting so much coverage." He keeps the reporters who cover him in line with a mixture of public ridicule at his rallies and threats to cut off access. The press reacts by allowing him to confuse biased reporting with doing the job of asking hard questions of the person who seeks be the leader of the free world. Nowhere was this more obvious than on Trump's appearance on Meet the Press:

DONALD TRUMP: Going all the way. If I don't win, I don't win. But, you know, maybe that can happen. But I'm leading every poll, big--

CHUCK TODD: Will you accept the idea that you might lose Iowa? You could lose it.

On Sunday, Todd's own network released its own poll showing that Ted Cruz is up by 4% in Iowa. This is likely within the margin of error and, therefore, represents a tie. It is certainly not a "big" lead by Trump. Todd ignores Trump's misstatement of the facts and sets the tone for the interview.

In answer to Todd's question "how do you know someone is a Muslim?", there was this exchange:

DONALD TRUMP: Hey, look, this has become a very big factor over the last week-and-a-half, two weeks, since I made my announcement that we have to see what the hell is going on. In the meantime, the other night, you have a cop shot in Philadelphia with a gun put to his head. And you know the chants and the rantings and the ravings.

Now, you're looking at Cologne, Germany. You take a look at Cologne, Germany -- having riots --

CHUCK TODD: How do you do it, though? I get it. Or do you just say, "You know what? You do it geographically. You don't even do it a religious test--"

Trump was correct in asserting that there were riots in Germany. However, Todd failed to point out that the people rioting were not Muslims but "far-right [and] anti-Islam", "some of whom bore tattoos with far-right symbols such as a skull in a German soldier's helmet". If Trump was implying that we are facing similar rioting and that we should, therefore, banish these types from our shores, he should consider the fact that this group calls itself the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West.

DONALD TRUMP: Certain people come in. If they're business people, if they're proven. But we have to find out what the problem is. Now, we can be politically correct and never discuss it. But we can't let that happen to our country.

CHUCK TODD:Let me get some news of the week. China. Clearly, its economy-- they're having a problem. They're having a crisis there. You have railed that China is beating America. And yet--

The proper followup to this statement should have been that Trump's first television advertisement calls "for a temporary shutdown of Muslims entering the United States". The word "certain" is not included before the word "Muslims" in this statement. It is also left unclear why Trump considers business people less dangerous than orphans or members of our military. If he asked people who lost their homes during the housing crisis or homeowners who have been chased from their homes by the Porter Ranch gas leak, they might tell him that business people have had a more negative effect on their lives than ISIS. On a side note, "businessmen" would have been a less politically correct term.

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Carl Petersen is a parent, an advocate for students with special education needs, an elected member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council, a member of the LAUSD's CAC, and was a Green Party candidate in LAUSD's District 2 School Board race. During the campaign, the Network for Public Education (NPE) Action endorsed him, and Dr. Diane Ravitch called him a " (more...)

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