Everybody hates the media!

THIS is what unites Republicans and Democrats?

Yeah. Big mistake, Americans!

If you’re “united” in hating the media, it translates to hating the 1st Amendment and, invariably, the Constitution itself.

Democrats are giving even more power to the Republicans to eliminate free speech—for everyone—by joining the Red Hats vilifying the media and trying to stop the free flow of information.

Take down or minimize the news media and we will no longer have the republic so many have worked so hard to preserve—and so many have died for.

Liberals are buying into the narrative there is a “main stream media” out to get us all.

Aim squarely at your own foot!

Liberals, don’t you see what the Republicans have started with Limbaugh and then Fox “news” to degrade confidence in reputable media? Are you just as stupid and gullible as the radical, extremist Republican Red Hat NUTJOBS?

I hope not. But it seems to be true.

Yes, the Liberals have jumped on the “I hate the media” wagon created by Republicans in the run up to taking over the government to “tear it all down.”

Not making America great!

Now, I can see why the Republicans hate the media: they want to destroy Democracy as we know it, in order to rebuild it—and “make America great AGAIN”—without the glare of newsprint, Klieg lighting and Canon lenses. Republicans think America totally sucks. It’s the most unpatriotic, unAmerican, unConstitutional position any party has ever promoted—in the entire history of the nation.

It does not escape me that, even with video tape of Republicans saying whatever it is they say, the Red Hats simply dismiss the truth.

And Republicans used to claim they were the real patriots. Now they’re the real enemy of Democracy itself (see my article “Memo To: All Journalists” to see how we got here).

What hath we wrought?

Liberals are making a yuge mistake in adopting the Republicans’ view of the media. By promoting and adapting to this message, the Liberals have joined the Republican party by de facto acceptance of media hatred.

It’s a single step away from one unified party with a common enemy—as told by a would-be dictator who is, in reality, building a wall to keep us all inside!

Oh, I know you think otherwise. But just look at you! You’ve allowed the Republican narrative of “bad media” to seep into your own philosophy.

That is your fault!

Liberals have lost their way. Not surprising given the complicated environment of politics today. I am, however, asking you to come back to Earth!

There’ no hope left for Republicans. Even us Constitutional Conservatives know this. Our only hope is for the Liberals to bail us all out—again! For a little refresher on what it means to be a Liberal, read my article on “How to be a REAL Conservative.”

I know, sounds kinda crazy! Trust me on this.

The media isn’t perfect.

My own experience and expertise comes from over forty years of being in “the mainstream media” (there’s your full disclosure; see my bio, above). I worked hard to maintain my lack of bias in my work (unlike on this blog) and I’m proud of the work that I did for all of those years.

Not once was I ever biased in my reporting. Believe it: that’s the job of a responsible reporter for a major network.

And, I can tell you, it’s not easy.

But, credit to where credit is due: I had the benefit of other news professionals helping to keep me on the tracks of honesty, integrity and truth.

That’s what real journalism is all about! Websites seldom have it. Blogs even less plausibly. Forget it from FoxNews.

Liberals have a new flavor of Kool-Aid.

And they’re drinking it up at an alarming rate. Consider this: Republicans have coined the term, “Mainstream Media.” Work this out in your head: is the mainstream of America stupid? Are the majority of Americans as dumb as a box of rocks?

Or are the vast majority of Americans thinking, honest, fair, reality-based and full of good ol’ common sense? There’s your answer! The mainstream media is all that—just like Americans, in general.

Know why? It’s because we are Americans, just like you. We work hard at our jobs, just like you. We want to do a good job, just like you. We want to earn your respect, just like you.

And we want to sleep at night.

Just. Like. You.

We make corrections—on ourselves.

Do you see the media correcting the mistakes that we make? Do you see the media making retractions? Do you see the media making updates?

Do you see the media trying to defend everyone else—especially those who don’t have a voice to defend themselves?

Really, who does that?

We’ll step into the line of fire to protect our sources. We’ll risk going to jail to do our job. We take a lot of verbal abuse, especially in the field. We get physically attacked. We get punched, slammed and shot at. And some of us die to report what’s going on, so you will know what our world is all about.

We don’t wear uniforms and we don’t carry rifles. Our only defense is a pen, some Press credentials …and sometimes, a gas mask (I’ve used all three).

We don’t have to do any of these thing but, we care about others and we care about the Constitution and this country—and that is the bottom line of journalists doing what we do.

But Liberals don’t trust us now.

Fine. You’re a Republican now.

We can deal with that. But, we’re also going to report on this (this is your first out-of-the-mainstream report, from a blog, no less).

The few Liberals who remain sane deserve to know that you have gone off the tracks—and drank the Republican Kool-Aid, becoming NUTJOBS in your own right.

So just keep it up, keep bashing the ones trying to Keep America Great and defending your right to a free press, your own freedom of speech and a Constitution that is perfect for true Democracy to thrive.

In the open—for all to see.

Slowly, some of us will just give up trying. The rest of us will fight for you—even though you hate us—until the very end. But yeah, just keep beating up on the media trying their human best to do the job the Founding Fathers told us we should do to keep America free.

And, oh, Republicans? Fuck YOU.

This is your brain on Trump!

Bad things are Comeying…

It’s Mueller Time!

With the revelation that a sitting President is, almost certainly, a felon, there is nothing but confusion about what Trump did, how he did it, and what’s going to be done about it, I feel as though I must caution you about listening to conjecture—to the point of conspiracy—and misinterpreting the process of how America works, i.e. the Constitutional ramifications of where we are right now and where we’re going to be in the near future.

There are many sides.

No, the sky is not falling …and our country will continue to be a country—the great country it was before Republicans tried to tear it down so they could make it great again.

But things are going to change—and the changes may be drastic, if not stunning.

Nevertheless, I’ve been astonished by what I’ve been reading in the media, the “alt-media” and, especially, on social media.

As a former member of what, today, has been labeled the “mainstream media,” I must side with facts and reason. I don’t believe in the newly-termed “alternative facts,” simply because facts are, well, facts!

The truth.

The Constitution is our Bible, so to speak. And it does not have a mechanism to have a “do over” for a questionable election! So, stop saying that! The Founders used the idea of an Electoral College to dampen any issues with the popular vote, once the individual states certified their polling results.

It was Alexander Hamilton who was concerned about the intelligence of the average American, which is why we have the college in the first place.

Unfortunately, this method also allows someone to “game the system” by using small areas of the country to overthrow the vast majority of the whole of the nation (see this article from Pew).

Who’s next?

What we do have, however, is a line of succession should a top executive fall into ill repute. But, what happens when a President, Vice President and Speaker of the House are all dirty with high crimes and misdemeanors? The line goes waaaaay down the list of possible replacements (even down to Ben Carson)!

Until the next election in 2020, we are stuck with this line.

The key here is, the Founders believed the country cannot be ruined within the time span of only four years. This is going to be the ultimate test of our Republic.

Will it take another four years—or longer—to repair the damage already done, along with additional damage inflicted to the nation before the Republicans are removed from power? Let’s hope the Founders were right, nothing is permanent and we can return America to sanity.

Twitter.

Twitter is awash with Republican denial on full throttle and conspiracy theorists with clear cut positioning, to what end, I have no clue. And these social media plot promoters even attack each other’s credibility! Some of them work as a team to promulgate their conspiracy theory over another’s.

Let’s take a look at just some of the players competing for your attention and your thinking

With Twitter “superstars” like Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior), Eric Garland (@ericgarland), Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch), Claude Taylor (@TrueFactsStated), John Schindler (@20committee), Yashar Ali (@Yashar) and others, some of whom purport to be part of U.S. Intelligence Community, the battle rages on as each pushes competing theories with what’s happening “behind the scenes” at the White House, with the Russians, the FBI, the intelligence community and other, far-reaching connections to Trump.

I have a tendency to shy away from these self-styled, amateur online “investigators” posing as “journalists” but, it’s difficult to resist them—for a good laugh. 

The “tell” is, often, if they are questioned, these internet warriors won’t answer, attack you for asking, issue responses unconnected with your question, post a questionable article from a questionable source, post an earlier tweet of theirs or give you the standard “look it up!”

Well, you know me; I have looked it up for myself and found just how insane they can be. What a waste of my time!

And while some of them might have some real facts, there’s a very good chance they are reaching questionable, if not completely loony, conclusions.

And that’s why they’re not in the media!

Another commonality among them: they all fault the media for “not getting it” or getting it wrong or getting it too late or outright blaming the media for where we are—as if voters matter none.

Reliable sources.

I instead rely on who I consider to be responsible sources to analyse for myself just “what the hell is going on.” And as I have warned in earlier articles, you shouldn’t get your news from Twitter! The above examples should be enough to convince you the farce—and the FakeNews—is strong on social media.

However, in another department, it’s truly amazing to see the availability of some people discussing openly their knowledge and sharing expertise! Names like Lawrence Tribe (@tribelaw) the preeminent Constitutional expert, Alan Dershowitz (@AlanDersh) famed criminal attorney, Robert Reich (@RBReich) economist extraordinaire, Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) former U.S Attorney General for the New York District, Eric Schneiderman (@AGSchneiderman) the current New York State Attorney General, and Colonel Morris Davis (@ColMorrisDavis) the former Chief Prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay—all of them true patriots and “in the know.”

I follow all of these folks—and other reliable sources—happy to “listen in” on what they have to say. I also follow numerous real journalists and several members of Congress—for the vitamins, of course—along with some official sources like the FBI, NASA and the U.S. Central Command for military news, for example.

I highly recommend that you make well considered and prudent choices when using social media. The “nutjobs” are so very good at convincing tens of thousands of followers they have “inside” information that seldom pans out—or is so general, it’s like a fortune teller reading your palm!

After all, a broken clock tells the correct time twice a day….

The real media.

You’ve heard my admonitions on getting news and information from reliable and verified sources—which is why I subscribe to the reporting of the Associated Press, Reuters, BBC News and some others, through which I, myself, keep tabs on the world.

With the notable exception of FoxNews which, as I have repeatedly said, is not real news, I also monitor the major networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, MSNBC), those that have their own bureaus, for a veritable smorgasbord of information that can be trusted for the first draft of history.

Sadly, there are even some “journalists” that are featured on real media, espousing totally nutjob disinformation. And, without a doubt, there are even some folks that were in high positions who now shill for the alt-right, destroying any credibility they might have once had.

It’s difficult to believe there are thousands of famous people on the Russian payroll but, it sure seems like it! Every single day, I discover a new false narrative being pushed into the public discourse by someone you might think wouldn’t—or shouldn’t—be doing that.

The future.

If you’ve been reading my articles, you know that I am convinced there is a traitor in the Oval Office. And many, if not all, of his henchmen (and women!) are dirty as pigs! This cadre of contentious criminals, I believe, will be outed and outnumbered by the real Patriots in our government in the future. It’s not going to be pretty. But, it’s going to be pretty good when their treason is exposed and a lot of them will be sent to prison.

Don’t hold your breath anticipating anything to happen quickly!

This is certainly the biggest crime syndicate ever seen in the history of the United States. One that has infiltrated our government at the highest levels—and one that has, undoubtedly, tried to cover their tracks expertly, thinking they could actually get away with hijacking Democracy!

They won’t.

Those that are investigating, with the authority to do so, are going to ferret out the weasels and bring them to justice. The leader of today’s untouchables, former FBI Director and current special prosecutor, Robert Mueller, has assembled a dream team of investigators that, judging by their qualifications and previous prosecutions, is going to raze this unAmerican mafioso to the ground.

In the meantime, every last one of us has to have faith in our Constitution and those that have taken an oath to uphold and defend it—and are still true to their oaths.

What we have learned.

I believe it was Maya Angelou who said, “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them!” or something to that effect. The contemporary version of this would be “Real eyes, Realize, Real lies.” There is no question in my mind that little Donny Trump showed us from day one what he was all about.

And there were many learning experiences along the way as he campaigned for president.

So when we learned he bankrupted a casino and wasn’t an honest businessman in dozens if not hundreds or thousands of deals, why on earth didn’t anyone believe their own eyes? Oh, right, the “pivot”—and that little fact of President BLACK GUY being so “horrible!”

I think we’ve also learned that voting means something. And I also think there’s going to be a renaissance in politics; one where more people care than don’t care. And that’s a good thing, as Martha Stewart says. Just do me a favor, America… don’t ever vote for a Republican again. In any race. For any elected office. Anywhere.

Republicans, every last one of them who voted for little Donny, are complicit in this treason—and all because of their hatred for President Obama that was once not-so-well hidden but now mainstream and out of the closet.

Really America?

I tried as hard as I could to warn you about all of this going to happen. And I wasn’t alone, either! But, those wearing Chinese-made, foil-lined Red Hats were so determined to undo anything that BLACK President in our WHITE House that they threw their country—and themselves—under the bus.

The Freedom Bus, no less!

I’m not a violent man, if only because I’m a coward and don’t like to be hit, but I will admit I’ve had to restrain myself in public when I hear radical, extremist, Republican nutjobs complaining about the current state of the nation (under Trump!) or, almost comically, worried about losing their health insurance coverage under Trumpcare! I am, literally, considering carrying my Chicago Cubs baseball bat with me and smashing in a few skulls before it’s all over!

Bigly savings over going to a professional therapist, there.

The reckoning is nigh. Yes, the big bat, Robert Mueller is a-comeying! Don’t worry; the revelation revolution will be broadcast—in high definition! Buy lots of popcorn, bake an incredible chocolate cake and remember to pay your cable bill.

Because we’re all going to be edumacated in the American legal system, at its highest levels!

One thing is for sure, though: there are going to be the Red Hats who refuse to stop drinking the Republican Kool-Aid. Beware of them; they are dangerous! Find out who they are, where they are, and stay far away from them as they will lash out at you.

Protect your children from them. Protect yourself.

This is your brain on Trump!

Comedy?

Not really.

It’s not often a comedian can summarize the week’s news so accurately (and he’s definitely funnier than I am)! So, here is a recap of the craziest week—so far—in the Trump “Presidency:”

(TRT: 24:05)

This is your brain on Trump!

Reticent, Regretful, Redeemed?

In a pigs eye!

I am seeing, on Twitter, a whole slew of users saying—for the most part—”I voted for him and now I am so ashamed.” But to a man (or woman), the very next sentence is something like, “I didn’t know he was going to take away my [fill in life sustaining government benefit here].”

It’s astonishing this Flip Flop could be happening so quickly after Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States but, there it is—shortly after his first 100 days in the Oval Office.

There’s only one thing to say…

I can only think of the Zorro flick where Antonio Banderas’ brother character says, “That’s because you’re stupid.”

You see, these second thoughts aren’t from a patriotic corner. Nor are they from any personal responsibility to our nation—or even compassion for the less fortunate. No. These selfish anti-American, radical, extremist and racist Republican heathens are only suffering “buyer’s regret” because they, themselves, are going to lose something they wanted or needed to have!

They are disgusting.

Like all Republicans that bitch and moan about Federal spending, they’re only willing to allow it if it affects them: flooding, education, disaster relief …and the infamous “bridge to nowhere” or other necessary infrastructure.

Never mind about someone else’s children or grandparents—or even babies needing healthcare after they’re born. Republicans are just fine with taking something away from you as long as they get to keep theirs.

It’s complicated!

It’s not like the dreaded “Main Stream Media” (MSM) didn’t warn everyone about the kind of person Trump is—and it’s not like Trump himself didn’t tell you, at one time or another, what kind of trouble he would get all of us into.

Oh really? You only watch FoxNews wearing your foil-lined, Made-In-China, Red “MAGA” Hat? Well, you really screwed the pooch, didn’t you!

do hope that the readers of my blogs, this one and my previous AndThatsTheNews, understood what I’ve been telling you since he ascended down that Trump tower escalator just what a liar and a sham he really was!

Let’s see now, four million popular votes more than Trump; four million readers of mine? Could it be?

Nah.

The investigation by former FBI Chief Mueller has commenced. And it’s going to be a rocky road as some NUTJOBS hold on to the idea that their Christ is beyond the law—and beyond reproach.

This won’t turn out well for them, or their psyche. As more of them turn away from the Dark Side of the Farce, we’re going to see more of that Buyer’s Remorse—and they’ll be looking for “forgiveness” from the rest of us.

NOT gonna happen!

La quenta por favor (“Check, please”)

Despite calls from those beautifully sensitive Liberals whom I do admire, there is no way I’m not going to bash Republican heads together. You know: the ones who think they deserve a pass on being galactically stupid and being a total ass about what they’ve done to our Democracy being uninformed and, well, stupid!

After their “win,” the masses, at least online, became the antithesis of gracious and, sorry to say, it’s time for a little payback! Call it what you will but, my plan is to rip some new flesh from anyone who comes looking for some sympathy.

Yessiree, I be bad.

I’m so confident of my abilities to win this little battle, I don’t even mind telling you my nasty little plan ahead of time! So, you’ve been forewarned. Feel free to join me on Twitter—if you wanna have a little fun with the crazies!

This is your brain on Trump!

How To Get Local News Coverage

And who to contact in your local television newsroom…

I know you probably were expecting me to write about everything going on in the Comey firing, threatening Comey in a Tweet, sharing top secret Israeli intel with the Russians in an undocumented visit in the Oval Office, the constantly changing stories coming from the White House misrepresenting just about everything they do …and the big news that Trump tried to interfere with an FBI investigation.

Truly, the situation is way too fluid to piece together which, by the way, is exactly what Trump wants—in an effort to confound and confuse legislators, the media and the electorate. There is no doubt in my mind the Trump thinks he is the smartest guy in the room—or the world—but, I’ve dealt with really smart politicians who couldn’t stir my brain with their lies and this White House can’t hold a candle to those guys!

And I’m not alone here.

Well, we’re not confused and we can keep up with this highly questionable President and his underhanded methods in the attempted obfuscation of the truth. And when the Republicans find their backbone and begin, in earnest, to investigate “high crimes” taking place in the Oval Office, you can be sure I will add my own two cents to the debate. Until then, let’s take a look at how the news “works” and how to get your story noticed.

I was asked “Who writes the headlines on local news?”

In a serious conversation on Twitter, no less! Well, the answer to the headlines question is, the next newscast’s Producer—and, sometimes, the graphics person. The headline on the screen needs to be a “quick summary” of the story and it has to fit in the space available on the screen.

It occurred to me that most people don’t know who does what in your local newsroom. So, here’s a quick primer on “how it all works.” I write this in hopes that if you have a news story you want covered, you’ll have some insider knowledge of just who to pursue in getting your story on the air.

You can be sure that every politician, every Public Relations maven, every event promoter and every Press Release writer knows what I am going to impart to you here.

Who’s in charge of news?

It’s not who you would expect. You would think that you should call a reporter or maybe you should go to the very top and try to get through to the News Director. Both of these choices would, for the most part, be a waste of your time.

Although a reporter is expected to come up with a story idea on their own everyday, it must pass through several others before they would get a “thumbs up” to pursue it. It can be killed—or modified significantly—in any number of places, from a meeting or a manager to a newsroom budget (special equipment, travel expenses, uplink costs) or the technical resources the story would require (photogs, lighting kits, even a live truck or satellite time).

A News Director or Assistant News Director certainly does oversee their news operations but, their concerns are many—and most have more on their plate than the every-day-in-the-trenches kind of stuff such as choosing which stories make it on the air. No, deciding what you see on the news falls, mostly, on the shoulders of another key player in the newsroom….

The Assignments Editor.

The Assignments Editor is the guy (or gal) that monitors everything and decides what is and what is not “news.” And then, that Editor juggles the available resources to send the right coverage to the scene—and, typically, the angle of the story (what the story is) and how it’s going to be part of the lineup.

This job is the process of listening to police, fire and emergency services scanners, watching the hundreds of televisions on the wall of monitors set to the competition, line and satellite feeds and online feeds from various networks, and making “rounds”—regular and repeated calls to a never-ending call sheet that keeps the station in touch with dispatchers and desk sergeants of every police agency in the station’s ADI (viewing area)—all at the same time.

When the newsroom management goes home for the day, the top dog in the newsroom is the late newscast Assignments Editor. And it’s a rough job! The most difficult part is choosing which fire or shooting to go with—and what will look best on television. With finite resources (photogs, live trucks and time), the choices are often torn between the impossible and the possible.

Not everyone can be an Assignments Editor.

The successful Assignments Editor has a well rounded, real news background, an impeccable news sense, the ability to make super-quick decisions, an uber sense of organization and the stamina of a horse to keep up with and stay ahead of the sheer amount of input.

He or she must have the required skills to coordinate a newsroom staff and to foresee the amount of travel to, shooting at and returning from wherever the story is—along with the actual production time (writing, editing) for the finished product—not to mention the creativity of stringing seemingly unconnected events together into a workable product that the newscast Producer can use to do their job of putting the news on the air.

In larger markets, where the competition is fierce and the requirements of a union workforce adds constraints to the available workforce at any given moment, I don’t mind saying you really have to have your shit together!

The meeting.

There are two major meetings, one in the morning and one in the early afternoon to discuss a general game plan to the day’s news that we know about and to toss around ideas for stories that compliment those stories and to support the local angles for other stories of national or international import.

It is here where the management, reporters, photogs, writers and producers can add their input to the day’s coverage and where early assignments are made—all of which can change in an instant if “something big” happens.

A team effort.

Yes, it is a “newsteam” effort. But, the bottom line is, someone must be responsible for the overall coverage—either to praise or to blame—and that person is the Assignments Editor! The Editor is going to rearrange every thing on the spot (news) when all hell breaks loose. Not only that but, everyone is a human being, with good days and bad days.

And with the fact that the show must go on, on time, the responsibility of filling a newscast falls on the shoulders of the Assignments Editor to generate news that isn’t “spot news.” Yes, those “slow” news days require a pocket-full of ideas to use when fires don’t burn, airplanes don’t crash, meetings are cancelled and the sky doesn’t fall.

Assignment Editors constantly are looking for backups to back pocket. This, my friends, is your ticket into the newsroom if you have a story to tell! Good or bad, serious or cute, important or “human interest,” the most influential person actually making the news is your local Assignment Editor.

So, find out who they are and call them with a concise, fact-filled story idea. Best time to get a hold of them is right after one of the daily meetings. Unless your story is truly earth shattering, you’ll be considered as a side story or a time filler.

You’ll have to leave it up to them to decide what your story is and how important it is: it may wind up as B-roll (video only) or even just some copy with a graphic. It could wind up, though, as a package or a VO-SOT (video-only, sound-on-tape). But, your best bet is the person that decides what “news is.”

Here’s the kicker: call the top station in your market first. Don’t get frustrated if they say “no.” Be sure to give them your contact information! Then, move on to the second best and so on. I guarantee that if one station airs it, the others will call you the very next day (that’s why you make sure you give them a way to contact you)!

The more lead time you give, the better your chance of getting on the air. I can assure you, an Assignment Editor never forgets! I’ve backtracked to use stories that I had heard about weeks before. If it’s news, it will eventually get some attention! Especially after the impeachment is over!

This is your brain on Trump!

REAL Conservatives

And how to be one!

Okay, here I go with another sobering article for you. And let’s get this straight again: Republicans are not “Conservatives”—despite claiming they are!

Republicans are radical and extremists (not to mention somewhat vile and most definitely, liars).

REAL Conservatives don’t LIE!

And there’s Point ONE! Part of being a real Conservative is maintaining your loyalty to the truth—to everything around you, and more importantly, to yourself. Call it “self-realization,” if you want to. But, whatever you want to call it, dedicating yourself to the real versus the fake is paramount—for a real Conservative.

This is the primary reason Republicans have so much trouble in maintaining not only their intelligence but, their reasoning, as well.

FoxNews, for example, has capitalized on this Republican weakness—and they’ve targeted an audience that isn’t so strong with The Force. As Obi Wan Kenobi taught his Padawan how easy it is to manipulate those with weak minds, “these aren’t the facts you’re looking for.”

And did you know that, in a proper survey a couple of years ago, a majority of some 64% of all “Main Stream Media” journalists were …wait for it …Conservatives? Yeah, like me.

Not as easy as it sounds.

When I was a very young man and asked my very Conservative Grandmother what the difference is between “Liberal” and “Conservative,” I got the shock of my little life! The answer was—brace yourself—”Liberals” want to help everyone without considering the ramifications—or the inherent cost of doing so.

And since I knew nothing about “costs” as a child, I thought helping everyone sounded pretty good! After all, that’s what you teach children and that’s what I was taught to do: help others. My parents preached it, my church preached it, even politicians on the ol’ black and white Zenith TV of the time preached it!

So, let’s get down to helping people, was my prime directive.

Then, the bombshell.

Grandma went on to explain how important my decisions were to everyone around me—and personal responsibility was, instantly, instilled in my young brain! But it got worse, much worse, from there. She continued, “If you could save every starving child in every corner of the world, what would  you do?”

Didn’t think about that for a second!

proudly determined that I had the absolutely correct answer: “I would save every one of them, Grandma!” She smiled. And then came “that look” of concern, where I knew there was a little bit more to it than I had been privy to, previously.

The horror of coming to grips with the considerations of her admonition upset me—for a long time. It seems that, when you “save starving children,” they live! And that means, they must be cared for as they join our society—for a lifetime, if we’re all lucky.

Her singular point was that “Conservatives,” albeit appearing to be as cold-hearted as can be, take everything into account—and not just their own feelings.

Practicality applies.

A real Conservative knows that it is, indeed, the right thing to do. But, there are medicines, food, clothing, housing, an education and a future job, to name just a few, which are the requirements necessary for saving the kids I had been so determined to save—at any cost.

My reaction was one of terror: the responsibility of saving a starving child I didn’t know, somewhere else in the world, was immense!

So, why can’t we do that, Grandma?

“That’s a goal we must all work towards, Sweetheart. We can save as many as we can now, though.”

Thank God, Grandma wasn’t near as bad as I had momentarily thought! This may have been the “most adult” lesson I had ever experienced to that point. It was mind blowing. And it just had to be disseminated to all of the people in my life!

I remember horrifying everyone around me for several weeks as I repeated THE ultimate question: “If you could feed every starving child….” And then explaining “how it all works.”

I dutifully put all of my efforts into describing the whole concept, recently learned, to my leetle ten year old friends, many of whom had called me some of the worst things I’ve ever been called—to this very day—because their parents taught them to “Save the Children.”

In the grand scheme of things…

Well, we haven’t reached that Star Trek-inspired, all-needs-met perfect world yet. I hope we do someday. Because, that really would be a perfect world, in my view.

I mean, who the fuck doesn’t want to save children? Starving children.

And how about starving American children?

love Liberals.

Liberals are the proof that mankind, itself, has heart and a soul. Liberals give me hope. And they’ve convinced me “we’re going to make it” as a species—if they maintain their position on saving people from, well, just about any injustice.

My only concern with the Liberal agenda, is that we can’t “do it all,” all at once. But, let’s keep moving in the right direction!

We. Need. Liberals.

And we need their forward-looking attitude if we’re going to have that ideal world—albeit not as fast as anyone would like! But, I’m not going to listen to the stupid arguments about not having a military or other moronic subjects of that ilk, where “if we just don’t spend money on defense” solves everything!

“NASA is another example,” I’ve been told …as they pulled out their smartphone, checking the weather from an orbiting satellite, while wearing textiles—also developed as a result of the space program.

If you’re “one of those” Liberals, just remember you wouldn’t have the freedom to even think the way you do if it weren’t for the battles already fought—and our warrior heroes, oh so many of whom that died—to afford you the right to have your opinions.

Of course, you wouldn’t have a computer or phone either!

I’m not “pro war” but, I also recognize that humans, in general, aren’t exactly cooperative with each other when there’s something to be gained by killing off the people you don’t agree with—or don’t like, for any ridiculously imbecilic juicy justification.

And the United States of America is a huge bulls eye for anyone threatened by truth, justice and freedom—no matter how imperfect ours is—at the moment. It’s unfortunate our weaponry has advanced to the point where great distance of targeting has been achieved and a “button” can replace the truly terrifying experience of killing the enemy or watching your fellow soldiers be killed on the battlefield but, that’s the way it is.

Maybe the old ways and a personal touch with the horrors of war would convince humankind not to do it! Still, it is what it is, and America requires a strong defense to survive.

And you know what? You can’t pay for all of this shit when you don’t collect taxes—especially from the people that can most afford them!

Do you understand, Sweetheart?

My grandmother had hope that you would.

hate Republicans.

Republicans that have the gall to say they have a handle on what it means to be a real Conservative. It absolutely makes me cringe when I hear them claiming they are like me—because I care, and they don’t. It’s all in Republican motivation.

And there’s no question about their motivations.

They aren’t interested in The People. And they aren’t interested in our country. What they are interested in, is power—and the money that goes with it.

It’s literally sickening.

No such thing as black and white!

There is only gray. Every “black guy” I’ve known personally is a shade of brown. I am beige, not white. And I’ve never met another human being that wasn’t a “work-in-progress” so, stuff your holier-than-thou selves in a place where the son don’t shine.

It’s exasperating when I come across some self-righteous Republican Fuck trying to convince me that they’re Conservative—when they are clearly not!

Just ask ol’ @captainken91.

Yes, the vast majority of Republicans are missing some gray matter—between their ears. And you know, there’s a reason my Twitter handle is @Republicants (since 2010). I love the intellect of my Liberal friends on Twitter (many are actually brilliant) and it actually scares me to see some, if not most, Republicants display their mental prowess online.

Remember when Grandma said, “We can save as many as we can?”

That’s key.

If you can do it, you FUCKING DO IT.

The Republicants’ list of “CAN’Ts” is mind boggling. I’d be typing all night long if I addressed them all, so I’ll mention just a few:

Planned Parenthood? Just the name “scares the bejesus out of every living ‘Christian’ soul” (yes, Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind). And although it’s been this way for many years, Planned Parenthood doesn’t use any of its government awards for abortion. Their primary purpose is healthcare.

Women—of all races and economics, Republicants and Democrat—rely on this organization for heathcare.

Baby healthcare, too!

Imagine the cognitive dissonance of Republicants being so concerned about a fetus in the womb—and not giving a flying fuck about the mother, pre-natal or a newborn, each of them needing medical care!

Abortion? I knew Henry Wade, the District Attorney of Dallas County. But, are you old enough to remember the violent Republicant protesters, mostly male, when they first started up at the Routh Street Clinic in Dallas, Texas, in the mid-1980’s? It was I who was the only reporter on the scene, for CBS News, until the rest of the outlets heard my reports.

Republicants invented violent protests.

Now, there is one thing I know and that is, no one really wants an abortion. It’s in their faces …and it’s undeniable. But, their reasons are theirs—and the law says what it says about that.

Mothers navigating this radical heart of hatred, into the building on a hot Texas morning, were abused—in possibly the most vile display I’ve ever seen from these repulsive Republicants. Oh, I did my job, because that’s what a network newsman does—no matter what—but this scene has affected me for my entire life.

Republicants be damned.

And why aren’t Republicants taking care of the children, the babies, that are already here? Uh, yeah.

Welfare, Food Stamps, Social Security and others? Some of us Americans  don’t have it as nice as President Fuckface or members of Congress. So, where are these “Christian Values” that Republicants scream about from their marble church steeples—when The People need some help?

A Senior, just yesterday, upon hearing the news that the Republicants were planning on cutting Social Security and his healthcare, made a run for a high balcony to escape this world. Yeah yeah, kudos to the police that stopped him but, Jesus Fucking Christ, why are the Republicants trying to scare the hell out of old people? Well? Is this their Death Panel idea in action?

It’s cruel, it’s irresponsible, and it’s unAmerican. Period.

And that Social Security money? You know, the money I paid into the system for all of my life? It’s mine. And, not surprisingly, I want it backSo, keep your grubby, grimy, Godless GOP fingers away from it!

And stop dipping into it to pay for things, off of the books!

Real Conservatives aren’t like Republicants.

And you certainly are not like usYou elected a game show host as President for Chrissakes and now, you had better start thinking about your country—even if he won’t.

The entire world is counting on you, and so are AmericansDon’t let The People down or you will have to answer to my Grandma—and she is on the acceptance panel in heaven! Think about that.

This is your brain on Trump!

Why Republicans SUCK!

Warning: Strong language…

And why Democrats are so wrong.

Okay, this is going to be some heady stuff. So, get yourself a cup of coffee or some tea or, hell, pour yourself something stronger!

I’ll wait.

You are about to enter “The Reality Zone.”

Prepare to have your mind blown.

Let’s start with the FACT that Republicans are NOT conservatives! They are radicals. And they are extremists. Nothing about them is “conservative.”

Oh they will swear up and down—and left and right—that they are but, you know as well as I that they have turned lying into an art form. Republican leaders, to whom they pledge their unwavering—and blind—loyalty are leading them into the deepest reaches of denial and self deception. They love it.

SAD!

This isn’t likely to change in the near or distant future either because, if they do change, they will have to admit they’ve been wrong and duped and unAmerican for a very long time!

The new orange.

President Fuckface is the biggest wolf in sheep’s clothing we have ever seen. Not only is he not a conservative, he’s not even a Republican!

As a lifelong Democrat, Trump infamously announced that if he didn’t get the GOP nomination, he would consider running as an independent—which would dilute the Republican vote. We could have had a Republican President that believed in their oath and the Constitution.

But no.

Individual states dismissed some real—and smart—Republicans to edge them out of the race. Trump convinced the GOP base about his “business prowess,” despite him being a RINO (Republican In Name Only).

I love the poorly educated.”—Trump, in Nevada

And even the Republican leadership knew the intelligence level of their electorate.

And they bought it.

Hook, line, sinker and friggin’ pole! Some Republicans suspected something was “up” with his business claims—giving rise to the “Never Trump” movement. And for a fleeting New York moment, they had some commitment to our Founding Father’s vision of American honor.

You know, an awful lot of honorable people have died for that Constitution.

But, relying on the nature of people to be forgiving—yes, even Republicans—Hair Trumpenfuhrer plowed ahead with a never-before-seen marketing extravaganza—including made-in-China Red Hats—and those who would have normally staid their ground gave in to the desire to simply win.

A win, no matter what, even at the cost of failing our most sacred tenants, which they claim to hold so dear.

After all, he told them he was a “winner.” And Republicans, knowing fully his history of supporting liberal views (including donations to Hillary Clinton) bought it. And bought into it Bigly.

The Democrats.

Fooled as well by the renaissance “high” from two terms of the nation’s first black President, Democrats overwhelmingly backed a tainted candidate seemingly bereft of intellect by some of her decisions—an astounding development for someone billed as being a brilliant individual.

But Hillary Clinton made huge (yuuge?) errors in handling the nation’s business while she was Secretary of State namely, those pesky email servers.

Add to that WAY too many infringements of reason—Benghazi security (even though it was the Republicans who wouldn’t grant the budget for increased protections some eight months earlier), earlier insults to coal mining blue collar workers and racial improprieties with blacks—and she was done before she ever started her campaign!

Despite these foibles and faux pas, and suffering as well from an independent challenger aiding with her credibility issues, Democrats also followed their flawed candidate—without question and without a clue.

What is wrong with you people?

It is these weaknesses, of candidates and parties, that were exploited by the unscrupulous Master of Misdirection, the Prince of Pee, the Donald.

Take these true problems of Hillary’s, add a bunch of unfounded charges, mix briskly with several liters of lies, and you have a certified con man standing right next to her, actually looking pretty good—even as he showed his ignorance and a questionable grasp on reality.

Democrats just wouldn’t believe such a slimy sham could be Pussygrabber-in-Chief—and stayed away from the polls in large numbers. They trusted in Republicans to do the right thing!

And Republicans, they couldn’t stop themselves from abandoning their morals and their scruples—in order mark up a win.

Women.

Republican women gave up their self respect, endorsed the worst of misogyny and crass behavior—and voted for Trump anyway! A female friend of mine calls them “dumb cunts.” I agree with her, despite the fact I am not allowed to use that word!

Republican cunts (whoops!) fell for the insincere pleadings of a man who promised to love them “this time” as a Republican. And since then, he’s been trying to stop healthcare for women.

Like any time an abuser abuses, women must walk out of the door.

But, they didn’t.

Instead, they threw the vote, hoping Trump was only a “little pregnant” and not accepting what their eyes told them was a two-timing media whore who would say anything to get to home plate, the Oval… Office.

Little did any Republicans, male or female, know what they were truly doing when they handed this small minded man the keys to America’s ferocious nuclear arsenal. Well, I’ve got news for you nutjobs: it’s YOUR sons and daughters Trump will be sending to the battlefield in a conventional war.

And it’s YOU who are going to lose everything you have should he order up a nuclear strike—which he is itching to do—disintegrating potentially millions of people and collapsing our economy with a single press of the red button.

No one wins a nuclear war.

And that BLACK man in the WHITE House, the Nemesis of Nuthood, with a healthcare plan—designed originally by Mitt Romney—fired up the GOP base with not a clue of what they would lose if it was really in the hands of a cold-hearted, profit-centered, cost-cutting corporate cock who thinks only he has the answers. “Corporations may be people, too” but, the United States of America is a government—and treating it like “a business” is not what the Constitution says.

PERIOD.

It’s “complicated.”

There is a reason he wouldn’t tell anyone about the fantastic, amazing, incredible, beautiful and wonderful plans he “has” to Make America Great Again. They simply didn’t exist! But Republicans, knowing everything else, chose to believe in him like a Christ. 

The thought that he was going to build a “great wall” and make another country pay for it was ludicrous and a really good indicator of insanity. Mexico even told us before the election that they “wouldn’t pay for a fucking wall,” just like the many people and companies Trump didn’t pay while running his business!

It’s not like Republicans didn’t know this: Trump told us repeatedly that’s what he did—and how smart he was to do it, along with paying little or no taxes! And now, guess who is really going to pay for that wall, if it’s actually built? What a surprise from the car salesman who assured us the transmission was just fine.

Anti-anti-Trump

Republicans’ hatred of everyone who refuse to drink from the same Kool-aid jug they do have an insatiable need to be constantly redirected to new targets—to maintain their break from reality—although there’s always a special place in their “hearts” for liberals, “libtards” in their parlance (because it’s okay to make fun of the disabled), and the “Main Stream Media,” which does not include FoxNews by any audience measurement (I’ve worked at local broadcast television stations with more viewers in a single city than all of the FoxNews “network”).

The outrage for a Democrat-controlled Congress quickly switched to President BLACK GUY on the very afternoon of his first inauguration. Hillary Clinton was the replacement target the moment she announced her candidacy. Bernie Sanders was in the cross hairs  for a short time (until Trump pointed out Bernie would be helpful to them; they didn’t know until then!). And now, their hatred is aimed towards anyone who questions “their” President.

It is an exercise in pure bigotry, if bigotry can be “pure.” Blacks, women, Jews, muslims, gays, Mexicans …the list is apparently endless.

They desperately need an enemy.

Again, ignorance of the Constitution has them demanding no one speaking their mind. Their efforts to silence… protesters, the media or anyone on social media is in full swing (I am so proud of some of the true patriots I see speaking their mind to both power and Trump’s minions on Twitter).

And the Republican proletariat regularly goes on the attack with the self-righteous in full blame mode—even as they wrestle with their own victory!

Even Trump can’t stop attacking his former competitors!

And now, with an alarming number of sexual predators being recently outed at FoxNews, the little cable channel—a relatively small group of news consumers watching cable news channels, when compared to a real broadcast channel—the spokes-network for the GOP has realigned its programming to feed its still angry base.

Why are they still so angry, and why aren’t they keeping their promise to unite the country? Ohh that Kool-aid is harder to beat than nicotine and, frankly, they like themselves that way! They think it makes them look tough, although only to each other, and they’re just fine with complete disregard of the Constitution’s intent of government serving ALL of The People!

Da, Comrade.

In a scandalous flip flop, Republicans are now aligned with and supportive of Russia! The GOP leaders are blocking any attempts to investigate evidence of collusion and other treasonous crimes that are showing up in verified data around the globe—another piece of the picture that is slowly exposing the Republicans as unAmerican, unPatriotic and anti-Constitutional.

They will burn in hell.

Imagine the amount of money we have wasted on the Cold War and armaments as the Republicans led the “Red Scare” for all of those years!

And now they want to cuddle with their comrades?

Ohh Republicans, FUCK YOU!

That’s Putin America First!

They are just absolutely corrupted by their desire to stay in power. The ONLY way to “Make America Great Again” is to run it into the ground, first. This, from the people who, as recently as four years ago, were calling those who weren’t wearing a flag pin unpatriotic!

Let me tell you where to stick your your pin—and your FAKE patriotism—now.

Rule of Law.

I do have confidence in our FBI, our clandestine services and our States’ Attorneys General in prosecuting, outside of the Congress, these high Republican crimes.

It’s going to take some time because all of the ducks must be corralled and all of the paperwork must be perfectly correct to facilitate a win and put a lot of Republicans in the gulag—until they die!

Hopefully.

Hang ’em high.

Some of them are going to wind up with a death sentence—for treason. I call for those Republicans to be hanged on the Capitol steps—in full HDTV—in line with their support of states killing to enforce US law. Then, and only then, we need to eliminate the immoral use of “Pro Life” tactics.

And you thought Nixon was bad!

Nixon was a beginner compared to our current Orange-in-Chief (I was there!). But the sanctity of the U.S. Constitution can be restored if we return to the lofty values of Democracy that established this “Shining City On A Hill.”

Yes, the changes are a-coming! And those that would disregard their oaths will suffer the consequences. The process will be long and arduous but, the reward will be Keeping America Great. And Frank Luntz will, most likely, be called upon once again to find what the next target of Republican outrage will be.

And that, my friends, is why Republicans will still SUCK! Bless their tiny little hearts.

This is your brain on Trump!

MEMO TO: ALL JOURNALISTS

These are extraordinary times.

Today, we live in an historic time where “the news” and the importance of reliable reporting may be paramount to our very survival. I say this, because there are no longer limited exchanges of information between governments, countries and, most of all, people.

Before “now,” there was only a smattering of news media sources, the general public relying solely on newspapers fed by two wire services (AP, UPI), short radio news broadcasts fed also by the same wire services along with audio from national networks, and evening network television newscasts with only 22 minutes of content—excluding commercials for Slinkys and cigarettes—and only from CBS and NBC, later joined by ABC and then NET (National Educational Television), the precursor of PBS.

First, some background.

Not too young to understand what was happening in the early 1960’s and already an experienced, working newsman in the 1970’s, I believe the times we live in today surpass the dangers we see today and the importance of news in the eras of Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy combined.

There is just nothing that compares to the inexorable perils we are facing today, especially given the examples I’ve mentioned previously. Trust me on this: I was there. I want to caution you, not scare you, because all of us need to maintain level heads and a reasonable response, as well as an awareness of reality, along with an intractable vigilance of the happenings in the world today. This is true—even more so—for those who are our leaders.

Leaders on whom we rely to keep us safe from enemies of the state and enemies of the truth.

Turns out he was a crook.

A President of the United States entangled in a crooks-and-liars story involving petty theft and the premise of a fixed General Election is nothing to dismiss. A complete embarrassment to the country I hold so dear, this Republican President, Nixon, was so egotistical, he surreptitiously bugged his own office in an effort to gain leverage over those that met with him in the Oval.

Then, using a network of underlings, he directed a cadre of common thugs to break into the Watergate Hotel offices of the opposition political party in an effort to glean their campaign plans before the upcoming election for his second term.

It didn’t work out.

They were caught! Proudly, the news media led the charge. Nevertheless, Nixon believed he could break the law, with impunity—and get away with it! He once famously said into the camera, “When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.” Though, in a way, he did get away it; with our chain-of-command succession, new President Gerald R. Ford, Nixon’s appointed Vice President, quickly pardoned this criminal—before he was ever charged and tried!

Instead of handcuffs and a small prison cell, “Tricky Dick” boarded a Marine helicopter and waved goodbye with a victory gesture—suckers!

Russian-American Face Off.

In the fall of 1962, a deadly global dilemma played out behind closed doors involving atomic bombs, two superpowers and a Banana Republic dictator—all coming together on a chilly October day after the Soviet Union (USSR) had secretly smuggled into and placed nuclear weapons on the Island of Cuba. The “Cuban Missile Crisis” was centered just 103 miles from the Florida coast as long-range missiles were placed in a position that threatened the entire planet with unimaginable destruction—and an horrific aftermath.

This, after Soviet Premier, Nikita Khrushchev, had already spooked every American with the launch, a few years earlier, of something very new and concerning—a satellite (Sputnik 1)—representing the specter of death raining down from high above the earth. I can clearly remember my mother being terrified of an orbiting, simple radio transmitter sending out a regular tone indicating its position in the heavens.

These were troubling times for The People on earth.

Deception, denials, lies and not-so-secret secrets.

It was the responsibility of the news media to relay honest—and correct—information to the masses about the goings-on during these frightening events. And, for the most part, there was a concerted and conservative effort made to tell the public what was truly happening in their backyards.

Oh the government of the United States tried to control the narrative of these events, even by lying to the press about what was happening, but it was up to journalists to shape the messages of truth delivered to us. From “unnamed sources” spilling the beans to vetted and verified claims by people who tried their very best to lead everyone astray, the whole picture of what was really happening had to be pieced together by journalistic expertise, careful writing and a dedication to the truth.

Only afterwords did we learn how close we came—in both a widespread nuclear exchange and of Nixon’s demise—to seeing the end of civilization, as we know it, or the destruction of our Republic from a common criminal cloistered in the White House.

And then came “the cable.”

With the stringing of coaxial cable across America, a new form of news coverage was born: the 24 hour a day news cycle. The problems it presented, not the least of which was filling all of that time, was clearly a technical challenge and one of editorial choices.

As the requirements of getting stories on the air in a timely manner were met, news organizations struggled with the new time frame—once dictated by developing camera film and writing using typewriters—the news was now being rushed into production and sent to air using technologies that were completely forgiving of our human error.

The honorable editor’s profession of responsible review and reliable accounting of facts was under siege by the clock—more so than any previous deadline had presented to writers of history’s first draft.

We lost something there.

Instead of measured, carefully considered editing, we turned on the satellite feed, plugged it into the cable and out it went—only to be “paneled” by talking heads, in real-time, after the fact. The viewing audience was left on their own during the live feed. And, if they were still around after the raw video had concluded, they were subjected to personal commentary by a panel of not-so-expert experts.

My friends, we failed them. And then, it got worse.

All hail the internet!

The journalistic filter of real journalism the majority of folks relied upon was gone, for the most part. And, suddenly, anyone with a modem connection could generate “news” and, later, “FakeNews.” A relative few would still be reading newspapers to connect the dots and the daily network and local newscasts remained but, the reality of competition had, now, two new ingredients in the mix: 24/7 cable news and internet-based who-knows-what.

Added to this mélange was the introduction of a Facebook wall and a Twitter feed! This recipe for disaster was baked into the dissemination of real news—and journalistic integrity has suffered greatly. This hasn’t gone unnoticed, or unaddressed, by the public. Indeed, the media has been a new focal point of mistrust, even outrage, lately. Taking advantage of this critical condition are political parties and agenda-centric organizations, as well.

No, Tweet YOU!

A President of the United States, sitting on a gold-plated toilet, can now communicate directly to his “followers” without the watchful eyes of expert editors with expertise in parsing the real from the unreal. It may please his base that absolutely hates the media, but it removes from the equation journalists’ questions about his motivations and his accountability to the public discourse.

And there are now questions about the misuse of government accounts versus personal accounts that remain in flux.

The perceptions the audience have of media bias or even malfeasance are more than evident. We must recognize this is the new environs in which the news is consumed, used and manipulated by those who are hardly acting in the public’s interest. Denying this reality will be the death knell of our industry.

Believe me—or suffer the consequences!

Today’s news consumer.

The audience is aching for truth and clarity. They aren’t getting their fill of it. And, without a journalistic approach that the average American does not possess, they are truly confused by conflicting facts and figures—some of them “alt-facts”—requiring another new type of service: fact checking!

To use a meme, they’re “mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore.” At least, not for long. Do not fret. This “problem” can be rectified. You may not think so, so allow me to solve the problem, right here on another off-the-chain information source: the blog.

This way to the egress.

First and foremost, today’s journalists must re-dedicate themselves to the three things we’ve always done in the past: attribute, attribute and attribute. I don’t care if you prefer “said” or “says,” and neither will consumers but, source everything. And source it accurately.

“The President said,” “Congress has passed,” “The police report,” and “Scientists conclude,” are far superior to The President believes, Congress is considering, police think and scientists are working on….

And if it takes a little longer to get stories on the air, by all means, LET the work take a little longer—to get it right! PUSH BACK against your editor if they are amateurs. TEACH THEM how to do news! It’s entirely possible that you know more than they do (it’s how you move to a bigger market and then a network).

Be GOOD!

CHOOSE your words carefully. LEAVE the commentary to the talking heads (stick to facts). DON’T convict anyone in your stories, unless they’ve been actually convicted. DON’T shame victims! RESPECT the people to whom you are shoving a microphone in their face! Take the time to THANK THEM for talking with you! BE NICE to PIO’s; they are people, too (DON’T fuck me on this if I happen to get them next!).

And Jesus H. Christ, fellow newsers, DON’T get your information from Twitter or Facebook—unless it’s an official source (police, hospitals, etc…).

Trust me on this, also: your readers, listeners and viewers will thank you—for being a journalist.

A REAL journalist.

And news mangers? Let’s be honest. NO ONE in the audience gives a shit who got the story first! THAT is your ego talking to yourself in the mirror! You are being unprofessional and reckless with your reputation and your newsroom’s reputation if you are playing some incredibly stupid marketing game of who’s first—instead of concentrating on doing real news that’s accurate and factual.

Just because everything digital is instant doesn’t mean YOU have to be instant! Any craftsman of ANY profession will tell you that quality… takes… time. Think on that for more than a second. After all, there’s ANOTHER cast or edition coming up shortly. The public will see it so, cool your jets, man!

What they really want.

By the time the consumer sees your “exclusive,” it will no longer be so damn exclusive—every other outlet will have it. Worrying about getting it FIRST is spinning your wheels and is truly an audience disservice focused more on your own promotion, instead of reporting.

News reporting. You know, journalism?

The average human being is suffering greatly from “Distraction Overload.” Distractions are everywhere, in every thing. DON’T be part of that pie. Be the REAL thing: information. You know, “news you can [actually] use.”

Sourced. Attributed. Accurate. Reliable. Facts.

And speaking of distraction, for Christ’s sake, get rid of screen graphics for the sake of graphics! LOSE THE CRAWL—and the countdowns to some meaningless event no one gives a flying fuck about (really, isn’t that the job of the promo production department?)! Just who convinced you to include these incomplete, misspelled and always out of date crawls: the Chyron company!?

PFFFT.

I mean it, news management. STOP being morons! The audience is watching (with apologies to Tom Holman)!

I could just KILL media consultants who begin their sentences with “Research shows….” They are NOT journalists. They don’t know shit about news! They’re just marketing hacks and, quite frankly, they are trying to justify their existence and their paycheck. I once was told that consultants take your watch and then tell you what time it is!

Fellow newsers, YOU are a human being! Use YOUR humanity as your guide as to what is right and what is wrong. And stick to what YOU know is NEWS. Pass everything you write past your grandmother in your head, if you have to (worked for me!). But, toss out the thinking of people who couldn’t care less about integrity, responsibility, truth, fact and the accurate dissemination of verified information.

As a matter of fact, toss them out—of a window if no one is looking!

How to be a GOOD journalist.

My mentor, ABC’s Bill Beutel, once gave me the three rules of being a GOOD journalist (see my bio at “About the Author,” top of the page—after you’ve read this article!). Save your J-school tuition money, kids! Do these three things and you will ALWAYS succeed at being at the top of the news-food-chain (WRITE THESE DOWN!):

1. Get the FACTS.

2. UNDERSTAND the story, yourself.

3. Report ONLY the facts.

Sounds simple, I know. But, it’s harder than you may think at first!

“Getting the facts” requires a razor’s edge on paying attention. And paying really close attention is very difficult in practice, because you are surrounded by people trying to write their OWN story with YOU as their scribe. Don’t let them intimidate you or lead you astray or fill your head with worthless information that does not pertain to the story you came to get.

My teacher, Beutel, also the teacher of Peter Jennings of ABC’s “World News Tonight,” explained that even famous and well-seasoned journalists are often guilty of forgetting step TWO—understanding what the story is about, yourself—which can and WILL obfuscate the meaning of what is being reported!

Armed with the facts and the understanding of their meaning, you will have everything you need to be a journalist! The writing will almost take care of itself if you perfect steps one and two! And I’m not kidding. These rules I have used for my entire career—and they have always served me well. Reporting ONLY the facts is not only the RIGHT way to be a good journalist, it also builds credibility.

Credibility in you AND in your newsroom.

And that, my friends, is what the audience is craving. It’s especially important right now—and I guarantee, you will benefit from the dedication to these three axioms, ten-fold or more.

The Trump card.

“President Trump.” Damn, he’s nasty! And unpredictable. And a PRACTICED liar. Can we blame the television industry itself for creating this monster? MmmmmCOULD BE! No matter what else he is, I can tell you, he is not only a master of disaster, he is THE master of diversion and distraction.

He revels in throwing journalists off the trail of truth, in pushing his version of perception and actively confusing, on purpose, everyone around him—thinking he is either accomplished or entertaining. Neither is true for a President of the United States behaving in this manner.

Eventually, he may come to grips with this new promotion vehicle he has found for his businesses and realize he is an important part in our nation’s history.

But, don’t bet on it.

We are entering a frightening time where our “leader” would rather play to the crowd, his crowd, for popularity rather than consider the ramifications of his actions and the responsibilities of his office, to us and to the country. So, be vigilant. And let’s stay on him like STINK on SHIT, in the effort at least, to monitor his questionable decision-making and his motivations in making a country that is ALREADY great into something else.

So far, I personally don’t see anything he is doing that would remotely arrive at greatness.

He seems to be getting his jollys from wielding the tremendous power of U.S. weaponry. It tickles him to sidestep the Constitution and to disregard both tradition and law. Although life is NOT a television show, he doesn’t seem to know this! And, most likely, the rest of the world does not have a clue as to what a reality show is on American television.

For them, reality is a HELLUVA lot more difficult than gold plated toilets and limousines.

It’s bloody and it’s DEADLY.

To Trump, the world is his circus and he’s Ringmaster-in-Chief. What he doesn’t realize, however, is that SOMETIMES, the lions and tigers KILL their handlers. And the elephants’ rage occasionally reaches the CHILDREN in the audience.

Since he doesn’t have regard for our laws and our Constitution—because he believes everything is negotiable—the country and, maybe, the entire planet is in jeopardy. Journalists NEED to hold his feet to the fire and also need to avoid blinking; he’s just WAITING for that moment when we do.

And just a note to newbies and part-timers: DON’T listen to the people that tell you the news is being “controlled” by anyone ELSE. In truth, it’s YOU who controls the news, right there from your little cubicle! Yes, my young Padawan, I’ve been witness to THOUSANDS of important news stories originating from someone JUST. LIKE. YOU!

And, like all of us who are now a little gray (okay, really gray), we ALL started in YOUR chair. Go ahead, check it: I stuck a food truck sammich in your upholstery many years ago (yup, THAT is what you’ve been smelling all this time!).

With his feet to the fire, Trump’s HANDS are a different matter. With what I am seeing from reliable sources (NOT the Brian Stetler kind), they may be soon in handcuffs. Oh yeah, the curtain IS coming down on this reality show! ANY story along these lines are going to be a good GET. Trump’s time in office may be shorter than Nixon’s second term as a result.

Our real concern should be of him going nuclear—and not the Senate version of it—before he is hauled off to the gulag. If we’re lucky, everything will be okay. A 24//7 webcam in his cell would keep him on television.

And a Pay-Per-View special would be, most likely, very popular, at least with the minority of voters that made him the Chief Executive. My suggestion for the host? Arnold Schwarzenegger, of course!

Now, that’s television!

This is your brain on Trump!

Oh great, just great.

So now, Trump is a war criminal!

I hardly know where to start. With the unprovoked attack on another country—without declaring war and without Congressional approval—Hair Trumpenfuhrer has lobbed 59 missiles into Syria, doing little damage, if any, to an airbase President Bashar Assad used to drop deadly sarin gas on his unsuspecting countrymen, women, children and babies.

The damage?

A few planes, a fuel depot, some hangers, a handful of Syrian troops, and nearby civilians, men, women, children and babies! Did Trump render the airfield unusable? Nope. He chose not to destroy the runways there!

The runways. At an airbase!

Reports this morning show planes using those runways, the day after, to take off and bomb the nearby hills in Homs.

The usual suspects.

Those who have always disliked—or hated—Assad gave rave reviews to Trump’s foray into limited destruction, spending $100 Million in smart bombs in an attempt to detract from an investigation into his treasonous collusion with Russia in fixing a U.S. Presidential election through high-tech—and highly targeted—propaganda.

The treason issue is now relegated to lesser prominence in the headlines—at least for a little while. I am certain we will see it rise to where it should be again, once the media’s fascination with the three B’s (“If it burns, bleeds or blows up, it’s news!”) has subsided.

Those Republican cocks.

Oh, they are relishing this moment of unparalleled, unConstitutional—and just plain immoral—flexing of military muscle.

“Seeee?” they say, how Obama did nothing about Syria’s chemical weapons—and how their guy is a “man of action?” Well, Mr. Obama did two things that are infinitely more responsible than their little Dick in Chief. Obama pursued support—and approval—from Republicans in Congress to go into attack mode in Syria, twice!

Republicans said “no,” twice, because they had committed to being uncooperative and obstructive since Obama’s first day of his first term.

The Red Hats deny this, even to this day.

Talk about delusional!

And although Trump is required to report to Congress about his Syrian dalliance within 48 hours of his ineffectual attack on a target not threatening the security of the United States, I will bet he will fail, again, to live up to his Oath of Office. As a matter of fact, we learn today from Ambassador Nikki Haley that Trump has more attacks planned (she has said this to the United Nations).

News to Congress too!

Second, President Obama tried to, diplomatically, remove chemical weaponry from Assad’s grimy little fingers. I remember truckloads of deadly chemistry being removed (under the questionably watchful eye of the Russians) but, surprise, apparently not all of them were removed. Or, they were and then returned to Assad by Russia on the down low.

Hey Red Hats, did you vote for the USA to become the world’s police force? How about nation building? This is your fault—and you continue to support this loon? You, too, are complicit.

We need integrity.

Either way, the Constitutional way of doing things rules supreme here. And when it doesn’t, it’s illegal. It’s also unAmerican, unchecked, unbelievable and just plain wrong! May I remind you that without the rule of law, we are just as bad as Assad or any other self-important, out-of-control, unDemocratic and irresponsible dictatorship anywhere else on the planet.

In a prophetic statement during the last Super Bowl, Trump saying the U.S. is not entirely without blame for atrocities in the world has become a self-fulfilling one.

You can bet your banana Republic on that.

So, what then?

It’s been widely reported that whenever Obama was presented with military plans to take action, his response was always a solid, “So, what then?” It’s a sign of thoughtful and responsible consideration of the ramifications of what the world’s largest, most prepared and most advanced military and a superpower can do to people! And, for that matter, the reputation of the United States of America.

Republicans don’t seem to care about reputation.

Not any more!

Oh, ISIS and other terror organizations will have a field day with this. Contrary to Republican beliefs that we can do no wrong “when our cause is just,” it is they who are wrong. So very wrong. Our Constitution is our Bible and our union will be damned if we do not follow it, religiously.

I am hoping it isn’t already true.

Trump has defied international law regarding the rules of engagement, defied our most revered Founding Father’s ground rules and ignored his pledge to “protect, preserve and defend” the Constitution of the United States.

This is not “America First.”

This is “Trump First.” And it’s sickening that the rest of us are being dragged into his delusions about Presidential powers—and what they mean for us all. What’s even more concerning, is that our military—who do have boots on the ground in Syria, some 1,400 of them—are now more than just convenient targets of revenge from who-knows-who.

Trump has laid their very existence on this earth open to retribution without the support (the backup) our fighting men and women need —and deserve—to defend themselves from an angry, organized and overwhelming counter attack.

Possibly, one mounted by Russian forces in another proxy war between old adversaries that have just been itching to duke it out, again! This is far more than irresponsible; it’s undeniably insane.

I pray for them and will continue to do so even more so.

Russia has announced it has abandoned the open communications military channel between it and us that is used to share force positions in an attempt to avoid “friendly” confrontations. Now, only the Moscow-Washington hotline remains. If you didn’t see that, you know now how dangerous the situation has become.

[UPDATE: Two days later, the Russian military agreed to reopen those communications channels “in the interest of safety.”]

The telegraph.

I was furious when George W. Bush announced on national television the time and place of the attack on Iraqi forces during the Kuwait operation. Telling the enemy when you are going to attack?

Again, insane.

Sun Tzu is doing a heavenly face palm as we speak. And although Trump swore—like he did taking his Oath of Office—that he wouldn’t tell the enemy when we’re coming, he did telegraph his plan.

Oh, not to us! He didn’t tell Congress, he didn’t tell the American People. Who Trump did tell, however, was everyone else! Unbelievably, he told the Russians before the strike (Syria’s ally who, no doubt, passed the information along to Assad); he told Great Britain, Germany, Israel, Saudi Arabia and several others.

What the fuck? I am furious again!

Support for the wrong reasons.

Hey, I am not in favor of chemical warfare. I’m not in favor of dead babies. But, I am not in favor of the USA sticking our nose into a “civil” war, either. I am not siding with or Syria or Russia or Iran or the absolute positive effect this attack will have on terrorist recruitment around the globe.

The above mentioned countries—and France—have come out in support of Trump’s tactics today because they reckon this is a step in the right direction of dethroning a dictator. They are dead wrong. And they don’t have a Constitution, at least, not our Constitution. They don’t have the duty of its restraints—and the liability of stupidity by a former game show host.

Civilian casualties.

War is hell, for certain. But, Trump killed more civilians in his Syrian gambit than Syrian soldiers. By a ratio of 40:60 percent! That’s what happens when you think you know more than “all the Generals, combined” because you were sent to a military school when you were a kid!

Bone spurs. I am doing a face palm myself!

My calculator figures Trump spent $25 Million for each dead Syrian combatant. Jesus H. Christ! That could have paid for eight golf outings in Mar-A-Lago!

Kidding aside, the cost of civilian collaterals is impossible to “calculate.”

Again, what then?

Our next ravaging of reason is beyond my comprehension. As Trump has repeatedly proven—and bragged of—being a “shoot from the hip kinda guy,” the consequences of his continued dementia and dereliction of duty is more than frightening.

Using his FakeNews plan book—from whence he appears to make all of his decisions—we are on the precipice of another small pickle with North Korea where, shooting from the hip would have irreparable repercussions. Because he thinks we can use a nuclear option as easily as the Senate changes 230 years of history, we may be on the verge of eviscerating an entire country in one, extreme millisecond of unspeakable power.

It will be excruciatingly more damaging than just shit hitting the fan.

Be very afraid.

This international war criminal shouldn’t be allowed to own a gun, much less hold the nuclear codes of America’s nuclear arsenal. Even the Republicans know this, although they would be hard-pressed to admit it. But, admit it indirectly they have: they are considering—at this very moment—outlawing a “first strike” by a President, utilizing nuclear weapons, without Congressional approval.

If it passes, there is no expectation Hair Trumpenfuhrer will sign such a limitation of his newly found love for the blitzkrieg of his beloved mentor. And, what of it, anyway? He’s already shown he has no regard whatsoever for Constitutional oversight, nor does he think twice about the resulting entanglements of his naive actions.

Already accused.

For all intents and purposes, Trump has already been accused of treason. There is no greater wrong in the country, since Benedict Arnold almost caused this land to remain under the British flag. And it’s up to the Republicans—for they are the majority in the House—to determine the next steps, the paperwork, the formal filing of impeachment and the trial of a man who is a TV star in search of better ratings—no matter what the cost.

I do not hold much hope for Republicans to put country over party, to put reason over rationality, to put Constitution and Congress over conniving and crazy. They may prove me wrong—and I would welcome that. But, they are just as intoxicated with power at least as much as Trump is. And inebriated people are prone to saying “watch this!” …just before they hurt themselves and, sometimes, others around them.

Let’s keep our young, fighting men and women warriors in our hearts. And let’s say some prayers for the Republicans to find their compass, and their morals—all of a sudden. They are surely out of practice.

As for Trump, he’s a lost cause. Unfortunately, it’s entirely possible that we may be as well.

This is your brain on Trump!

The Russia Connection

It’s real.

The simple fact of the matter is, the Russian Connection to the Trump Presidency is real. There are so many reports of graft, money laundering, computer hacking, felony contact and many many more, I would suppose the FBI really doesn’t need any more evidence to make their conclusion.

But, I am happy that they aren’t stopping their investigation—because I am sure they are going to find much more on which to act. And there’s more every single day.

Believe it.

It’s not surprising that Trump’s minions—his voters—are finding it difficult to accept they were duped, swindled, fooled, conned, even lied to …because that would be against human nature to think that you are part of the deception.

But, they fell for it.

No, the natural tendency would be to hold on to your convictions that you were “doing good” for the country.

Except, they weren’t! And man, is that ever hard to admit to yourself!

Bigly.

Among the tricks the Putin government used was the tremendous power of automated computer bots to sway Americans’ opinions by using carefully crafted positive “news stories” about Trump himself and derogatory ones about Hillary Clinton.

These “stories” were truly FakeNews.

They were expertly timed and placed in a coordinated assault on Democracy itself—and The People, the vast majority of them Republicans, believing they were getting real news, went for it hook, line and sinker.

Again, the Trump minions are not entirely to blame for buying that piece of paper: the techniques used to convince right-wing Americans to vote for the guy who could “shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue” while he “grabbed their pussy” were considerably more than just feeble attempts to influence voters. The highly skilled and experienced methods of the former Russian KGB operative, Comrade Putin, were in full swing.

And unless you have been trained as a spy—or possibly a journalist—it would have been extremely difficult to even recognize what was happening, especially in real time. Not that the signs weren’t there.

They were!

Almost everyone missed them because they were just unbelievable!tried to warn my readers on this very subject in my earlier blog, AndThatsTheNews™.

I must have failed you to make my point more forcefully. I am sorry about that—even though I could not have foreseen everything that was about to happen.

But, please, listen to me now.

A rose is a rose.

Even though this particular rose had a very foul smell, the words, claims and actions of the Red-Hat guy claiming he could “fix” America—alone—the smoke he fanned obscured the truth about candidate Trump.

And the widespread hatred from Republicans of Clinton added to the ambiance of the moment, too.

But, that same smoke Trump so adeptly manipulated is now showing that there is some heat—and, I suspect, a raging fire will be discovered by our Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Yes, the same FBI the Republicans believed was “on to something” when those Clinton emails were in their sights!

Lock her up!

Of course, the hatred of the Clintons the GOP has harbored for decades didn’t exactly exonerate Hillary from being suspect from the git go in her attempt to become the first female President.

Now, you know from reading this blog that I absolutely cannot stand Hillary. So, don’t be a dunce and think I’ve changed my mind, simply because I’m pointing out the obvious! I did a write-in vote for Kasich.

I digress.

But, now, many Republicans feel that same FBI is somehow being treasonous themselves in following the trail of clues indicating treason by their television hero, the Master of Disaster, one President Donald F. Trump (not a typo!).

There are few solutions.

No matter what evidence is discovered, there are going to be “Red Hat holdouts” simply not believing the Great Gatsby of the Republicans could be such a criminal. Many of them are serving in the United States’ House of Representatives. And that is where, Constitutionally, a vote to impeach a sitting President must be initiated.

Hello 2018!

We are entering a phase of difficult, if not impossible, legalities the nation has never before been presented.

A time where this kind of problem has no Constitutional solution—if the House refuses to address the issue of a compromised Presidential election, a Chief Executive complicit in an adversary’s interference and an administration determined to fight tooth and nail using anything and everything they can to discredit the investigation, the media reporting on the FBI’s progress and the process itself!

Should the facts of the case survive the scrutiny of our best lawmen and women at the FBI, our only hope is the turnover of the House in the 2018 Mid Term elections. And, even when faced with undeniable truths, the Republicans I am certain, will disregard any and all laws to remain in control of Congress.

I dare say the Trump Administration will find some old, obscure powers that allows them to stop the election from even happening (martial law, emergency measures, war powers, Patriot Act provisions?): the real possibility of a coup d’état—without a single shot being fired.

BUY A GUN NOW.

Yes, “The Revolutionary War 2.0” could be, literally, just around the corner. Fellow Constitutional Conservatives, All-American Progressives and yes, you too, Freedom-Loving Democrats …anyone who is not a Red Hat Minion, this may be the right time to truly unite, be a real Patriot and come to the aid of your country!

“Please, treat all firearms with respect! Keep them safe from others—especially children—out of reach from unauthorized use, clean and ready to use, and, by all means, get some help with training so you don’t shoot yourself, your significant other or the dog. Guns are serious and must be treated as deadly—because that is their purpose.”—Me (Marksman from Texas)

This literal battle may be another defining point in the History of the United States of America. In the true spirit of the 2nd Amendment, an armed populace may be the only thing standing between The People and a failed Republic run by a egomaniac wearing a Red Hat and a tie that’s way too long.

I still believe.

I still believe in the honor of our military men and women—including our National Guard troops (a President can call on them to do just about anything). But, if there is one thing any soldier understands, it’s force and firepower. In the exact same way a nuclear deterrent works, a heavily armed population would give pause to anyone who is determined to carry out orders from a deranged Commander-in-Chief.

And let’s remember that while we could be defending ourselves against Enemies: Domestic, there could still be opportunist Enemies: Foreign that might have some ideas about actually invading our shores while we are in total disarray!

Don’t forget about Putin.

It’s like a fucking “B” movie.

The Art Of War (Sun Tzu) teaches that attacks from unexpected foes is always a possibility. Do not disregard this advice from the Grand Master of war. The “Surprise Attack” is a well-known and incredibly successful strategy that has worked time and time again over thousands of years!

After all, we all just experienced a yuge Surprise in November, unlike anything ever before seen in American elections. And that “attack” may only be a pre-cursor to what may be heading our way in the future!

So, be at least a Boy Scout and “Be Prepared.”

Hopefully, this will never come to pass and we can put a 24/7 webcam in Trump’s prison cell to keep the “show” going for as long as he’s alive!

This is your brain on Trump!