Maybe Aaron Sorkin Was Right in The Newsroom

Nov 10, 2016 by

I’ve seen Aaron Sorkin’s letter to his daughters about Donald Trump’s victory on Tuesday night. Maybe he should go back and binge watch his HBO TV series, The Newsroom this weekend and remember what all he had to say in it.

Here’s a few sobering thoughts about the news business that should be considered after Donald Trump’s “surprising victory” in spite of the efforts of the news media to collude against him:

–Maybe we don’t need to have news 24/7 on cable channels. Perhaps needing to fill all hours of the day with advertising and something new to say isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. It certainly isn’t easy work to come up with NEWS, so we get mindless, unintelligent babble from hacks with agendas to fill up the space, to say the things that the network wants said, not news.

–Maybe Aaron Sorkin got it right in his HBO series “The Newsroom,” one that was despised by the mainstream news media who scoffed at his call for a return to genuine journalism where the facts are what drive stories, where double- and even triple-source verification is practiced, and where tough questions are asked of those who come on TV shows, not where professional hacks get offered cream puff softballs where they can speculate or drive their own agendas. At the end of the pilot Charlie Skinner, the news director of the fictitious news channel in the series says, “You know how we used to report the news? We just decided to.”

–Maybe there needs to be less reliance on social media in the news business and the pursuit of factual information. Maybe instead of relying so much on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook, news agencies should go back to paying JOURNALISTS to gather information. Maybe the model of not paying those who actually went to journalism school and relying on what you can get for free isn’t working out so well after all. Who knew….

–Maybe temporary heads of a political party shouldn’t be a regular contributor, paid or otherwise, unless all ties have been severed. Maybe there should even be a length of time between when a person left a paid position with a political party, campaign, or lobbying group–you know, like a person leaving government can’t come back the next day as a lobbyist. Donna Brazille comes to mind.

–Maybe someone should really weigh the value of the integrity of political polling in this day and age now that most people don’t have landlines and many, many people hang up when they get called, and we step back and do a hard, harsh look at the practice of exit polling as was done after the 2001 debacle in Florida.

–Maybe news agencies should give less credence to claims that “The Russians illegally broke into our servers,” and actually look at the value of the information that’s being presented as fact and then ask for someone who is denying the integrity of a hacked email to produce the original material, unaltered.

–Maybe when a guest ponders “what am I going to tell my children?” the answer is that not everyone in real life gets a trophy just for playing and sometimes there are victories and sometimes there are defeats in life. It’s a good lesson for all children to learn, no matter how old they are.

–Maybe the news business needs to get off the focus group bandwagon and start presenting news to Americans so that the American populace, whom the East Coast elite view as too stupid to make a fair and balanced decision, are allowed to do just that–because they did in this election cycle in spite of all the efforts of the MSM to influence the election.

–Maybe just because you’re good at singing or acting in Hollywood you don’t have the street cred to tell the rest of for whom to vote.

–Maybe news reporting should once again be focused on the facts, not the bent agenda of the editorial department, the publisher, or advertisers.

–Maybe, and just maybe, it’s NOT the job of journalists to decide how Americans should vote. Maybe it’s actually the job of the electorate to decide. (I know, that’s a frightening thought for so many in the news business.)

–Maybe the American people aren’t as stupid as the NE elite think–that maybe jobs, the economy; the ever increasing costs of health care–the rising costs of Obamacare premiums–ones that were promised to stay low; terroristic threats to our country; gay-marriage; maybe those things actually matter to Americans and aren’t something to be dismissed openly by the NE elite.

I’m certain, fairly certain, little is going to change in the news business as a result of Tuesday. Instead of trying to see that things need to change in this industry, there will continue to be the perception that Americans–the ones who voted and turned the map red, that the red voters are the ones who need to change.

The fact is we all need to change. There has to be a coming together as a country. We can not continue to stake out our positions on polar extremes and have the pendulum swing back and forth every eight years and expect for things to improve. The anger over the past eight years came out Tuesday and those who kept calling someone racist, bigot, sexist, and all that other crap got knocked back, though probably not for long.

But wouldn’t it be great if out of all of this, the news media “just decided to” report the news?

 

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America: Egypt is calling, are we listening?

Jan 31, 2011 by

A very real, inspiring story of revolution and the human spirit is taking place daily in our world right now that can have long-term and incredible consequences and effects however it unravels.

Egyptian citizens are in their seventh day now of passionate, angry protests over the actions of their government.  Many have been killed in the protests.  Hundreds have been wounded by gunfire, fighting, etc.   President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt reorganized his government on Monday in the wake of all the upheaval.  That’s not likely to quell the spirits of the people who have lived under his dictatorish hands for 30 years.  They want him gone.  In the works is a March of Millions.  You think they aren’t focused?

Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

WAKE UP AMERICA

But the real story, if you’re listening here, is what happens when people have had enough of the government they’re living under and take it unto themselves to do something about it.

Indeed, 224 years ago yesterday, Jan. 30, 1787, Thomas Jefferson penned, “I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.”

Given the way of American life and politics today, it’s hard to believe that 200-plus years ago, the same dynamics were playing out in America.   But in those days, obviously, there wasn’t 24/7 satellite news.  There wasn’t the Internet.  There wasn’t Twitter.  It’s unlikely that news of an event like this in Egypt would have even reached the shores of America at this point.

So in the midst of all the hype about Super Bowl XLV this coming Sunday, or the latest winter storm that’s beginning to trek across the country, it’s time to watch this fascinating, real life drama unfold.  Will democracy win out?  Will the will of a people be brought about?  Will Mubarik hang on to power?  Or will this all come crashing down in a way that leads to another Iranian type government, hostile toward the US?  Come Sunday afternoon, will it really matter which team won the Super Bowl this year in comparison to what took place in Egypt at the same time?  Seriously?

The Donald

All this is going on.  Donald Trump over on Newsmax said the turmoil in Egypt and other Middle East countries could raise the price of a barrel of oil as high as $200, but also could lead to the end of OPEC, which could lead to the dramatic lowering of the cost of oil.   Either way, Trump called the situation in the Middle East a “Tinderbox.”

“If you look at oil right now, it’s soon going to be $100 a barrel. Far too high. It’s set by OPEC. I think OPEC would explode with the Middle East and that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world,” Newsmax.com reported.

The American Revolution

If only there had been cable news and Internet in 1776.   We’ve read some of the accounts, read poems like Paul Revere’s Ride, which largely didn’t happen the way it’s purported in the poem.  But that won’t happen in Egypt.  Yes, the government there proved it can shut down the Internet–an equally disturbing revelation–but they’re not able to stop the photo images that are being flashed around the world.  There’s an incredible human story being told.  Are you listening?  Are you watching?  Or are you more worried about what party you’re going to between Dallas and Fort Worth in the next six days?

And what of our own American government’s leadership.  Instead of taking a stand, we’re sitting on the fence waiting to see which way the political wind winds up blowing.  Such is our form of leadership today.  Sad.

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The Human Saga of the Egyptian Revolution of 2011

Jan 31, 2011 by

Editor’s Note: We do not normally repost articles from Mr. Claxton’s personal website, but this one has such far reaching business, political, public relations and economic impacts, we thought it was appropriate.

A very real, inspiring story of revolution and the human spirit is taking place daily in our world right now that can have long-term and incredible consequences and effects however it unravels.

Egyptian citizens are in their seventh day now of passionate, angry protests over the actions of their government.  Many have been killed in the protests.  Hundreds have been wounded by gunfire, fighting, etc.   President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt reorganized his government on Monday in the wake of all the upheaval.  That’s not likely to quell the spirits of the people who have lived under his dictatorish hands for 30 years.  They want him gone.  In the works is a March of Millions.  You think they aren’t focused?

WAKE UP AMERICA

But the real story, if you’re listening here, is what happens when people have had enough of the government they’re living under and take it unto themselves to do something about it.

Indeed, 224 years ago yesterday, Jan. 30, 1787, Thomas Jefferson penned, “I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government.”

Given the way of American life and politics today, it’s hard to believe that 200-plus years ago, the same dynamics were playing out in America.   But in those days, obviously, there wasn’t 24/7 satellite news.  There wasn’t the Internet.  There wasn’t Twitter.  It’s unlikely that news of an event like this in Egypt would have even reached the shores of America at this point.

So in the midst of all the hype about Super Bowl XLV this coming Sunday, or the latest winter storm that’s beginning to trek across the country, it’s time to watch this fascinating, real life drama unfold.  Will democracy win out?  Will the will of a people be brought about?  Will Mubarik hang on to power?  Or will this all come crashing down in a way that leads to another Iranian type government, hostile toward the US?  Come Sunday afternoon, will it really matter which team won the Super Bowl this year in comparison to what took place in Egypt at the same time?  Seriously?

The Donald

All this is going on.  Donald Trump over on Newsmax said the turmoil in Egypt and other Middle East countries could raise the price of a barrel of oil as high as $200, but also could lead to the end of OPEC, which could lead to the dramatic lowering of the cost of oil.   Either way, Trump called the situation in the Middle East a “Tinderbox.”

“If you look at oil right now, it’s soon going to be $100 a barrel. Far too high. It’s set by OPEC. I think OPEC would explode with the Middle East and that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world,” Newsmax.com reported.

The American Revolution

If only there had been cable news and Internet in 1776.   We’ve read some of the accounts, read poems like Paul Revere’s Ride, which largely didn’t happen the way it’s purported in the poem.  But that won’t happen in Egypt.  Yes, the government there proved it can shut down the Internet–an equally disturbing revelation–but they’re not able to stop the photo images that are being flashed around the world.  There’s an incredible human story being told.  Are you listening?  Are you watching?  Or are you more worried about what party you’re going to between Dallas and Fort Worth in the next six days?

And what of our own American government’s leadership.  Instead of taking a stand, we’re sitting on the fence waiting to see which way the political wind winds up blowing.  Such is our form of leadership today.  Sad.

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