The 2012 Election Day in the USA may well become known as the day that Journalism died because no matter what happens the actual results will be the subject for an eternal debate. Brad Friedman, who is the leading spokesman for the critics of the unverifiable results produced by the electronic voting machines, has, in a preemptive move, been labeled as the voice for a conspiracy theory and thus all skeptical responses to the final counts will have been neutralized before they can be printed in the next day’s newspapers.
If Mitt Romney wins, there can and will be no criticism of the outcome. Any Progressive voice who dares to contradict the news will be trashed as a conspiracy theory lunatic by the conservative noise machine just as Friedman was.
If President Obama wins, the conservative propagandists will discredit his win without in the least way casting any doubt on the electronic voting machines.
Either way partisan gridlock will ignore any attempts to let fully fact checked journalism play the roll of umpire or referee. Then on one side or the other major segments of the American population will have serious doubts about the validity of the next President’s right to occupy the White House.
If Journalism per se is DOA, what then will columnists, who don’t want to be a cheerleader for either side, write about?
Lucy, the building in Margate, New Jersey, which resembles an elephant, apparently escaped major damage in Hurricane Sandy. That fact may not be of much importance to readers in Western Australia, but anybody who flocked to the Jersey Shore during their formative years, will be glad to know about Lucy’s good fortune. Folks who have never heard of this bit of unique American architecture, will probably appreciate the chance to click on a link that will produce a photo of the storm’s photogenic survivor.
The folks in France and Germany may possibly get some reliable journalism about the election, but will the people in Australia and Great Britain get unbiased reports in their national media which is controlled by Rupert Murdoch?
We could write a column that asks what happens to the personal belongings of people who lose their homes when banks foreclose. If the personal belongings and furniture are not moved, do the banks have a legal right to sell the items left behind? Are the people who buy those goods still known as shinnies or is the use of that word forbidden in the land that was built on the principle of freedom of speech?
In Berekley CA, the voters will decide about enacting a sit-lie law. According to information we received from a member of the city council, Berkeley has, in the past, enacted a sit-lie law and lost a sum of money when the ACLU took the municipality to court. Berkeley lost that past case and perhaps could become the target for some “those who forget the past” criticism if history repeats itself.
Has the national news media reported that California Governor Brown has stated that the California Highway Patrol may be used to supply some law enforcement services in the cash strapped cities that are struggling with smaller local police forces? Would using the California Highway Patrol that way be similar to sending members of nationally known baseball teams to substitute for the professional hockey players who have been locked out by the team owners? (Just asking.)
The debate in California over Prop 32 has us asking this question: If businessmen can not run ads which make fraudulent statements, why then can the people known as corporations run political ads which make fraudulent claims? If two political PACs run contradictory statements, wouldn’t one of those ads have to be making some false statements?
If Mitt Romney had been elected President in 2008, would FEMA already have been disbanded? If so, would America see the wisdom of cutting taxes for the billionaires while simultaneously dividing the job FEMA does among 50 different state levels of bureaucracy? What’s not to love about duplicating the miracle of the loaves and fishes using bureaucrats?
If Mitt had been elected President in 2008 would the government be sticking its nose into the management decisions of a Massachusetts pharmaceutical company or would a sincere apology to the victims’ families have already been issued and the matter dropped by now?
Has the Los Angeles county assessor finally raised bail money or is he still in jail? If so, why haven’t his campaign donors rushed to help him? Will his plight be used as leverage to put pressure on him to cooperate with Federal investigators in return for leniency?
San Francisco politicians are hinting that it might be nice if Superbowl L (what the hell is “L”?) is played in their fair city.
In a country where having a prominent political father was enough of a resume to make Al Gore, George W. Bush, and Mitt Romney qualified Presidential candidates, we were doing some prep work for a column that would ask if John Allen Cassady is a genuine Beatnik.
John Allen Cassady is named John because his mother had an affair with Jack Kerouac. He is named Allen because his mother had an affair with Allen Ginsberg. He is named Cassady because his father was Neal Cassady.
We were talking to Cassady at a recent event held at the Beat Museum in San Francisco and mentioned that we had read somewhere that Kerouac had met Hemingway at a party. A fellow who was listening to our conversation said: “Oh, that was in my book.” It turned out he was Gerald Nicosia, author of the Kerouac biography titled “Memory Babe.” He offered to sign a copy of his new book “One and Only: the Untold Story of ‘On the Road,’” which was for sale in the gift shop section of the Museum. We bought one, had him sign it, and then asked John Allen Cassady to sign it as “witness,” which he graciously did.
Nicosia’s Kerouac biography reported that the fact that the famous beatnik had met Hemingway at a party in the Greenwich Village section of New York City in the late forties had been supplied to him by Kerouac’s wife and he felt safe in putting that bit of hearsay evidence in the book. Kerouac fans can learn more about Gerald Nicosia at the <a href =http://www.millvalleylit.com/> Mill Valley Lit</a> website.
For recreational reading, we have been perusing “The Wolves are at the Door: the story of America’s Greatest Female Spy” by Judith L. Pearson and the title reminded us of some liberal pundits cynical assessment of Mitt Romney’s quest for the Presidency.
Some cynical California pundits are promoting the easy way out by urging “Vote ‘yes’ on all odd numbered ballot propositions and ‘no’ on the even numbered ones.”
[Note from the Photo Editor: If citizen journalists have limited access to Presidential candidates for getting photos, then you have to go with the photos you can get. If photo op access for citizen journalists is very limited; does that same principle also apply to the facts available for pundits to use in their assessments of the candidates? The photos are posted over at https://worldslaziestjournalist.wordpress.com%5D
John Quincy Adams said: “I can not ask of heaven success, even for my country, in a cause where she should be in the wrong.”
Now the disk jockey will play Hank Williams Jr.’s “I’ve got rights,” Nancy Sinatra’s “Boots,” and Jacob Dillon’s song “War is kind.” We have to go over to Frisco to see the art exhibition, by Wes Anderson, at the Spoke Art Gallery, titled “Bad Dads.” Have a “just following a family tradition” type week.