TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Media’s Sensational Coverage Throws Gasoline On An Inferno

Robert F. Kennedy once said, “All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don’t. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity.”

I don’t have the date he made that statement, but it certainly does ring true today, in view of all recent events, both nationally and internationally.

The events happening around the world and now in this country are nothing new. What is new is our immediate notification of events, both good and bad, and the resulting commentary in social media.

Social media can be excused to a point because they express the view of individual citizens, who have freedom of speech and freedom to disagree with each other’s point of view.

The problem, as I see it, is that the news media — print, TV and radio — generally do not report the news in the long-respected the custom of real journalists and news people. Instead, they too often seek to try to make the news, one-upping each other in the process of doing so. In that process, facts do not weigh heavily in the final product.

How many headlines referred to Hillary Clinton’s “unlawful use” of her emails? Compare that with the number that refer to Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, former secretaries of state themselves, claiming any unlawful use on their part?

How many media types broadcast or wrote about the buzz that Clinton had theoretically committed crimes and that the FBI was going to throw her in jail?

How many media types carried those personal and highly unorthodox comments of the FBI director, who claimed she’d released classified information on her servers? Then answer this: How many followed up with the news that Powell and Rice may have done likewise?

After their headlines screamed about classified emails, how many of the same news outlets followed up the next day with the news that Hillary did NOT release any classified documents, after all? How many reported that the State Department pointed out that the FBI director had spoken in error … something that he, himself, later admitted.

My point is that the media, more than any individual or political party, are responsible for misinformation and sensationalizing. That’s a damned crime in and of itself.

Rice, Powell and Clinton served their country well. But the disgusting individuals, organizations and media — not just Fox News (the media arm of the Republican Party) — who fed us lies about Clinton’s dishonesty and criminal activity just couldn’t bring themselves to give the truth, once learned, the same attention they gave all the lies.

When you throw a certain star of reality TV — who is going to lose by the greatest margin of any presidential candidate in history — into the mix, you can see how he plays the media, which he really knows well, like a fiddle.

As the saying goes, he’s like a sex fiend running loose in a whorehouse with a credit card. He calls, he tweets, he emails … and the media cover him for free.

It’s not that Trump is so smart, though he’s awfully good at manipulation. He knows it, and the media seem too stupid to understand.

It will be interesting to see how the Democrats are treated as they roll out their candidates this week.

The Republican convention was a horror show of mistakes, with more speeches promoting hate, violence, bigotry and intimidation than RFK experienced in a lifetime.

Clumsy plagiarism by Trump’s wife, Melania, was the sensational crap the media covered. She said she wrote it herself, but I don’t believe that for one second. I think Dippy Donny wrote it for her and watched as she crumbled — and then I think they discovered a nonexistent staffer who said she wrote it and but somehow wasn’t fired. Now, if that story was true, Trump would not only have fired her … she’d have been put to sleep. He’s not a nice man, believe me.

God’s gift to the legal profession, Chris (tie a rope around my feet and watch me fly) Christie, was at his legal worst. As he himself is being contemplated as a defendant in his home state, there he is, leading a cheer about jailing Hillary. He should know better. But that’s why he wasn’t chosen as vice president and why he is at the end of his career.

The worst thing that the convention did was to allow the mother whose son was killed in Benghazi to speak of her devastating pain and hatred for Clinton. To allow a grieving mother to express her hatred in that way was inexcusable, especially considering the fact that the family of Ambassador Chris Stephens, who was also murdered, said repeatedly that there was nothing Hillary Clinton or anyone could have done under the circumstances as known then and as we know them now.

David Duke, another Trump endorser, is now running for the U.S. Senate in Louisiana. His claim to fame is his leadership of the KKK and also having the worst face-lift in the history of political makeovers. He endorsed Trump because they share the same values: I’ll let you ponder on that without further comment. He thought Trump’s acceptance speech (what I’d term an attack on American values of every type) was outstanding.

Scott Baio, a washed-up actor and TV personality noted for his use of the “c” word when describing women, was joined at the podium by another part-time actor and naughty underwear model with plenty of personal issues. Lord, the real GOP national figures not only boycotted Trump’s convention … he couldn’t even turn up any decent speakers outside of his family.

The Trump children were polished. As one would expect, they praised their father. Two sons who kill elephants, wild bulls and big cats for sport dim their own images. The gals did a great job, and they didn’t attack as the unrelated attack dogs did again and again. Instead, for the most part, they spoke well and from the heart.

Bulletin: Last Saturday, the Miami Herald reported a $300,000 award of attorneys’ fees against one of Trump’s shady companies for screwing over a paint company. Trump stuck them with an unpaid bill of $30,000, which hurt the small contractor. And the beat goes on.

As I close out my R convention comments, I still haven’t been able to find copies of Trump’s tax returns. Oh, that’s right. He won’t release them.

I’ll be talking about the Democratic convention in my next column if the Extra doesn’t fire me. I can tell you from the start — the vice presidential choice of Sen. Tim Kaine and his first roll-out with Hillary Clinton display just what RFK was talking about: Class, and a vision for the country — building on what already is a great America.

You know that will be an easy one for me to write about because of the absence of hate, racism, bigotry and name-calling. Whatever will they talk about?

*  *  *

And speaking of substance: Someone has to take away the checkbook away from the three Fargo commissioners who overrode the common sense of the two Tony’s, Gehrig and Grindberg.

The two TGs (hey, I like that term!) did not want to spend a gazillion dollars to lure FedEx from Grand Forks when it already announced it was coming to Fargo with or without tax incentives. The commission’s action to award them hundreds of thousands anyway made no sense. If it wants to spend just for the purpose of spending (which is what it did here), there are a lot of charities that could have put that money to good use. Or it could have been spent as intended — to fill a need that would enhance our community. The majority spent like they were emulating Trump’s style but with taxpayer money.

The stupidity-of-the-week award goes to those folks who were seen buying gasoline right next door to the Bison Turf as it was burning to the ground. Perhaps it didn’t occur to them that filling a vehicle with gasoline right next door to a blazing inferno does not for good sense make.

Until next week — amen.

7 thoughts on “TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Media’s Sensational Coverage Throws Gasoline On An Inferno”

  • Judge Thomas A. Davies (retired) July 28, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    I have concluded it is best not to reply to uninformed people suffering from mental illness.

  • Jean Schmith July 29, 2016 at 12:45 am

    Tom, you now have me hooked on these articles for several reasons. Not only are they always well-researched and informative, but you have a story-telling style (ala Bill Clinton and Barack Obama) that most of us can only envy. Of course it helps that I totally agree with your thinking–and like you I am embarrassed for those easily-duped people who have been mesmerized by Donald Trump’s hollow rhetoric. Amazing how he brings out the worst in some people, isn’t it? Now everyone who wanted to shout hate-speech from the rooftops can do so in a chorus of other bigots, racists, and homophobes, surrounded by the safety-in-numbers cloak that is always the refuge of cowards. Yes, it’s now officially popular to hate. Isn’t that just wonderful? Thank you for standing against that, Tom. It takes courage.
    Jean M.

    1. Judge Thomas A. Davies (retired) July 29, 2016 at 9:02 am

      Thank you for your kind words little sister. Family support is important to me but when it’s not there I can live with it. Thanks for being so understanding and for that great letter you wrote to the Forum that has our area and FB buzzing.

  • schmithj July 29, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Tom–this is better than instant messaging! The older we get, the more we realize kindness, compassion, and love are all that really matter. Sometimes it’s very very hard to remember that. If that lesson hasn’t been learned by the time we’re looking 90% in the rear view mirror and perhaps 10% at the road ahead (well, 80 and 20 in my case 🙂 ) it will probably never be learned. On the other hand, hope springs eternal! We should probably all be living with “I forgive you” on our lips, in hopes that at the hour of our death it will have some meaning when we say “please forgive me.” I THOUGHT I’D END ON A HIGH NOTE! Keep writing, Tom. I need some stimulation for my brain other than Donald’s insane ranting that is heard on every street corner and ignored by people of any wit whatsoever.

  • Judge Thomas A. Davies (retired) July 29, 2016 at 9:35 am

    Thanks again, no wonder you are hands down my favorite sister 🙂

  • Jean Schmith July 29, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Tom, someone is posting put-downs and foolishness and signing your sister Jody’s name to it. You should probably alert her to this fact so she can put a stop to it.

  • Jean Schmith August 3, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    Tom, I was wondering if you’d do a little research on Trump’s mental health and let us know if he’s as batshit crazy as he appears. (Can you say batshit on this site?)


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