Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

Following Up On Inanities

One of the most frustrating aspects of media coverage of important issues made artificially complicated is that the most inane pronouncements go unchallenged when they should be rightly ridiculed because the moderator may not have the time, knowledge, or inclination to call out the preavicator.

Some recent video examples….

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Self Preservation Through Distraction

Tom Byrne is a former chairman of the state Democratic Party, a former chairman of the NJ State Investment Council, and the son of a former governor who in a Star Ledger guest column took some swipes at Murphy’s Land of Illusion.

Are we really that less attractive than most states? Yes. Both our income taxes and property taxes are punishing. Those who argue that we get good value for our tax dollars are mistaken in many places.

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We need to come up with about $150 billion more to pay pensions that we have promised to public employees.

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Politicians are not doing the hard-working middle-class families that they claim to be helping any favors by not dealing with New Jersey’s structural mess, including benefits reform. The temptation is to continue shuffling the deck three card monte style in the hopes of making it through another day. They talk about selling or leveraging state assets in order to solve the $150 billion pension mess. That is akin to burning the furniture to heat the house. Plus there is not enough furniture. Better to cut the nonsense and play it straight.

I, and probably most of you, need no convincing of the fiscal crisis that New Jersey stumbled into. There is some comfort in seeing it spelled out accurately but that is tempered by a lack of focus on the obvious solutions which the vehicles we have for change ignore for their own benefit. For example, would:

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Teaching Students How to Scout Out Truthful News Sources

Yes there is a youtube with that title published on February 4, 2019 with this explanatory blurb:

Steve Adubato goes on-location to the 2018 NJEA Convention to talk to Steve Beatty, Secretary-Treasurer, New Jersey Education Association, about Chapter 78, the public employee pension fund and the importance of teaching kids how to identify truthful news sources.

The referenced youtube is below but, first, a quick clip providing some context on those “truthful news sources”.

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Credentialed Reporting

Slow news day so let’s look at the media.

David Wildstein is a blogger who everyone has settled on as the mastermind of Bridgegate. He now runs a blog that covers New Jersey and apparently just became a credentialed reporter, which some other credentialed reporters here are taking umbrage with:
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Wildstein has his own issues with the media (specifically the Star Ledger which these days is editorializing for antitrust exemptions to goose profits) and he points out the hypocrisy.

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Pension News Explodes

There will be a Frontline episode tomorrow on the “role of state governments and Wall Street in driving America’s public pensions into a multi-trillion-dollar hole” concentrating on  Kentucky and examining “the broader consequences for teachers, police, firefighters and other public employees everywhere.” Here is the trailer:
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Though not a big fan of Wall Street money managers, they are minor players in the pension crisis. If anything, the outsized returns they provided allowed many zombie plans (like New Jersey’s) to appear healthier than they actually were. It was, in no particular order, politicians, unions, actuaries, government regulators, the mainstream media, and participants themselves to the extent they trusted the aforementioned that bear far more blame for bankrupting so many pensions.

The City Journal got much closer to the truth:

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Pretty Low in NJ

John Reitmeyer of njspotlight hit it on the head during this week’s Reporters Roundtable program that otherwise examined in painful detail the Murphy campaign being a safe-haven for rapists and Menendez being accused by someone associated with the FBI* of vacationing in the Dominican Republic primarily for the underage prostitutes.
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I would only note:

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Four Issues of Free Speech

I had blogs set to go on some news of the day – two of which are getting massive media coverage while the other two barely return a blip on bing searches – but decided to conflate the four since they are somewhat related on one issue and I have only brief comments on each.

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