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« June 2006 | Main | August 2006 »

Machine Gun Stickup

The lamestream media told you:
An armored car heist in Phoenix was committed using automatic weapons. An unknown amount of cash was stolen, and police are looking for the suspects. Not shots were fired during the robbery.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
Gun enthusiasts immediately suspected a rat when the media brazenly reported the use of automatic weapons in a crime. Machine guns typically cost $10,000 or more, are severely restricted by the FBI, individually recorded and tracked, and are the domain mainly of world-class collectors and specialists. They are more rare in street crime than cash in a congressman's freezer.

"No shots were fired" lead many to question why the phrase "automatic weapons" was even used. Authorities apparently gave the phrase to the reporter, who simply parroted what was said without any research or reporter curiosity. No charges have been filed against the reporter.

Several days later, the followup story claimed that automatic OR semiautomatic weapons MAY have been used, and suspects were in custody, increasing skepticism in those parts of the community that are awake.

Today (July 28), the headline says "Toy rifles aided three in heist," and Bosnia-Herzegovina natives were the apparent culprits. "Fake AK-47 assault rifles" were used in combination with pepper spray. I am not making this up.

According to the report, toy fakes can be scary sounding "assault rifles." The money has been recovered. No correction has been issued. The reporter is still at large.

Government Gambling Profitable

The lamestream media told you:
Congress is poised to stop Internet gambling because of the harm it does to the public, is growing rapidly, and because it is against laws already on the books.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
Mere days ago the AP was cheerleading Congress' interest in cracking down on the Internet, to halt harmful private gambling operations. Most of these are based overseas, which simultaneously deprives government of sorely needed taxes.

Now, the Gannett news chain's number two paper (the 500K circ. Arizona Republic) ran a front-page above-the-fold Sunday feature extolling the virtues of government-run gambling. (Gannett's number one paper, USA Today, did not carry a similar story.)

The stunning hypocrisy stared readers blatantly in the face, but was apparently unnoticed by the editors and reporters, judging from the article's content.

Headlined, "Gambling On A Sure Thing," the story featured a huge lottery ping-pong ball as the graphic, and ran numbers approving of the games, which critics have disparagingly labeled "a tax on stupid poor people."

According to the gushing sidebar, "Lottery By The Numbers," the state sold more than 21 million lottery tickets in just 10 days when it began; nearly $9 million in unclaimed prizes in 2005 alone is a fringe bonus that the state simply keeps; the take in the first year for the "Pick" game exceeded $86 million, and though only 14 states had their own gambling operations in place when Arizona started, 42 states run wonderful games today.

No constitutional authority for running gambling operations exists. I double checked.

"It's no wonder states want to run numbers and gaming ventures," says a gambling expert. "They pay out millions but take in billions, and the people, almost all of whom will be losers, give them the money willingly -- unlike taxation." Without providing exact figures, the Gannett story shows this one state's take is around $5 billion.

It's also no wonder they want to use their police power to shut down their competitors in the private sector, dashing hopes that the government is not just running another protection racket.

In a previous story, the Uninvited Ombudsman suggested government's main interest in the gambling issue was to take control of the world wide web. They do however seem to have a stake in gambling that goes beyond a mere interest in controlling the Internet, and I apologize for this oversight.

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Bloggers "Adopting" Journalists

The lamestream media told you:
News media employ ombudsmen, have trade associations, and ethics guidelines so they can effectively police themselves, to keep their reports fair and balanced, unbiased, free of spin, honest and accurate, and provide true news to the country. An informed electorate is a requirement for successfully running America.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
Bloggers are organizing an "adopt a journalist" program to track election coverage and point out abuses -- just in case any are found.

In a report received by The Uninvited Ombudsman:

"You write the story. Your editor checks it. Your copy editor checks it. The story runs. Then your 'watcher' reads it and writes a scathing critique on her Weblog. Welcome to the new workflow for prominent political reporters, as citizen bloggers and the Columbia Journalism Review's Campaign Desk Weblog have created another layer of oversight for the Fourth Estate.

The so-called 'watchblogs' are generally anonymous bloggers who have taken it upon themselves to read each report from a particular presidential campaign reporter and then critique it for factual errors or bias."

The program sprang from leftists and Howard Dean supporters, but has spread. When NY Times reporter Jodi Wilgoren found out she had a blogger watching her (The Wilgoren Watch), she said, "You've got to be kidding me," and complained they might have an agenda, and we don't know their qualifications.

The SPJ Code of Ethics requires journalists to, "invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct" and "encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media."

NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen is afraid the blogs may do damage, and doesn't like the idea that they are anonymous (though not all are).

The Uninvited Ombudsman admits that this report made my day. Thanks to author Craig Cantoni for sending it. Craig's exceptional essays will be added soon to PageNine.org, and he can be reached at http://www.haalt.org

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China Greenhouse Contributions

The lamestream media told you:
America's addiction to gas guzzling SUV's is fueling the rapid warming of the Earth through emission of greenhouse gases. This has already lead to climate change, severe storms, the warmest summer on record and will eventually lead to the destruction of the planet and the end of life as we know it.

The only solution is to force Americans to drive small or hybrid cars, reduce emissions at every level regardless of deterioration our economy might suffer, and get used to living small in everything we do.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
A quick check of multiple web sources confirms that the communists in China burn between one to one-and-a-half BILLION TONS of coal per year, and will continue doing so until at least 2020, when they may want and be able to introduce equivalent amounts of imported oil and natural gas. China has nearly 20% of the world's known coal reserves, and communists traditionally have a dislike for the volatility of foreign energy markets.

The carbon dioxide generated by that coal is the equivalent, according to one televised estimate (Glenn Beck), of running three billion Ford Explorers 15,000 miles per year. The Uninvited Ombudsman tried but couldn't handle the math to convert energy-equivalent gallons to coal, and so cannot confirm that estimate, but invites you to try.

A billion tons of coal may be easier for Page Nine readers to visualize as two trillion pounds. Now THAT'S a lot of carbon dioxide.

The entire population of the United States -- including children below driving age and people who cannot afford a car (let alone a big one) -- is only 300 million. Lamestream sources failed to make any comparisons, perhaps because communist China's dictators are impervious to suggestions.

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Stem-Cell Research Booming

The lamestream media told you:
Congress finally passed urgent stem-cell legislation that scientists say has potential to cure every horrible disease plaguing humanity. President Bush vetoed the much needed bill the next day.

Critics say his strong moral and religious beliefs are interfering with logic and much needed advances in science, and will seek to override his veto, but observers say they don't have the votes for an override.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
Stem-cell research is not threatened at all by the President's action.

The only thing President Bush vetoed is spending even more money on stem-cell research than the federal government is already spending. Labs nationwide have been getting federal tax money for five years, to investigate this embryonic field.

The taxpayer-funded work is in direct competition with private firms that must raise their own capital in the race to develop lucrative new cures for various ailments.

Globally, a sprint for stem-cell cure-alls proceeds at lightning pace, meaning the President's veto will simply put federally funded leeches at a disadvantage to domestic and international competitors.

Privately, U.S. research firms were delighted at the veto which, though viewed by the lamestream media as a reactionary moralistic slap at science, merely leveled the playing field for profit-dependent drug makers and others who have few limitations on the work they can do. Government researchers labor under strict limits on what they're allowed to do, which the dead bill would not have changed.

Some observers believe communist China is in the front of the pack, since their use of aborted fetuses raises few concerns in a country that largely believes life starts at birth, not conception. South Korea and Great Britain have also made great strides in this nascent field.

Religious leaders who have led their followers to believe the veto will save lives and end ghoulish procedures have been completely misled by the lamestream media on the issues, the effect of the killed bill, the current state of domestic research, and global nature of the science.

The biggest effect of the veto is to save taxpayers significant sums of money, for programs not authorized by the Constitution anyway, though observers say that was probably not the President's primary motivation.

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al-Jazeera Coming Here

The lamestream media told you:
Terrorists claimed responsibility for another horrendous bloody atrocity by sending a tape recording to the al-Jazeera television network.

Usama bin Laden released his latest call for global holy war to Muslims worldwide, and praised those already killing innocent people, by sending a tape to the al-Jazeera television network.

Some 50 million Arabs get their news from al-Jazeera, more than any other source. Muslim jihadis have indicated they joined the global struggle against Western civilization after watching al-Jazeera broadcasts.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
Accuracy In Media (AIM), the Washington, D.C.-based non-profit media watchdog, reports that an al-Jazeera reporter has been convicted in a Spanish court of being an al-Qaeda agent.

AIM could find no U.S. news outlets that mentioned the conviction.

The Spanish court found that the "reporter," Taysir Alouni, was involved in a terror cell that helped plan the 9/11 attacks. Al-Jazeera "expressed shock," that their man's seven-year prison conviction was upheld on appeal, according to the AIM report.

The American Newspaper Guild, a U.S. mainstream-media group, claims Alouni is innocent.

Page Nine readers should note that news reports from AIM are free on request. You can call them at 202-364-4401, or request the free, eye-opening, twice-monthly mailed newsletter by email at info@aim.org.

In the interests of full disclosure, the Uninvited Ombudsman reveals that he is on the Speaker's Bureau for AIM, and is available for engagements at your events.

Al-Jazeera plans to begin broadcasting in the United States, a fact promoted by numerous lamestream news outlets, often with pictures on page one. A charismatic, blue-eyed Texas ex-Marine has been selected as the lead anchor. I am not making this up.

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Muslims From Mexico

The lamestream media told you:
Nothing.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
Six Hezbollah Muslim terrorists were captured by the Border Patrol entering the United States across the Mexico border. FOX News made the report (July 17), but the lamestream media doesn't like FOX News, so they generally just dismiss their stories, and they ignored the report. Hey, maybe it's not true. Have a nice night's sleep.

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Mexico Exporting Criminals

The lamestream media told you:
Nothing.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
Citing reliable information from highly placed sources, a prominent Republican candidate for Governor of Arizona claimed, during a televised campaign debate on PBS, that Mexican officials are releasing criminals from prisons, transporting them to the U.S. border, and sending them across into the United States.

The wholesale dumping of Mexican criminals into the United States would be big news, if the lamestream media decided to followup on the claim, or at least report it. None apparently have.

Crime attributed to illegal aliens has skyrocketed in the desert state in recent years.

Mike Harris, a successful businessman running for the Republican nomination, made the claim, the only actually newsworthy element of the one-hour telecast. The rest of the debate revolved around typical platform items like lowering taxes, limiting government and banning tobacco. Those subjects were extensively covered in papers the next day.

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Criminals Aren't Victims (no. 1)

The lamestream media told you:
The tiny "Register & Bee" in Danville, Virginia, reports that a shooting victim has died.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
Luckily, the victim is fine. The man mistakenly identified as the victim was actually the criminal, shot and killed while invading an occupied home. The innocent victim of his felony assault was unharmed and is said to be doing well.

The headline, "Victim Identified in North Avenue Shooting," should have read, "Heroic Armed Homeowner Dispatches Perp During Dangerous Felony Invasion." Imagine the effect headlines like that would start having on crime.

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Criminals Aren't Victims (no. 2)

The lamestream media told you:
Virginia is on a roll, as "The Daily Press" in Newport News, Virginia, reports that, "Police Identify Shooting Victim."

"Police on Tuesday released the identity of a 32-year-old man fatally shot last week after a robbery and assault at Heritage Trace apartments, off Warwick Boulevard."

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
Fortunately, the victim was unharmed. Zovek Martinez of Hampton, was shot twice after he and two other men robbed a Williamsburg man, Newport News police spokesman Lou Thurston said.

After the assault, one of Martinez's accomplices pointed a gun toward the Williamsburg man, who then also pulled a handgun, Thurston said. The Williamsburg man opened fire, fatally wounding Martinez and apparently striking another robber, Michael Highsmith, 22, of Newport News, who made it to a hospital, where he was later arrested.

The headline should have read, "Mugger Killed During Attempted Murder; Second Criminal Wounded And In Custody Due To Heroic Armed Citizen." Imagine the effect headlines like that would start having on crime.

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About the Author

  • Freelance writer Alan Korwin is a founder and past president of the Arizona Book Publishing Association. With his wife Cheryl he operates Bloomfield Press, the largest producer and distributor of gun-law books in the country. Here writing as "The Uninvited Ombudsman," Alan covers the day's stories as they ought to read. Read more.

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