-December 2, 2013-
3:00 -- Is it unethical for Rep. Tim Moffitt to publish a newspaper outling all the great things his Republican Party passed in the NC Legislature?
4:00 -- Americans don't trust each other any more. Why? Plus Art Pope and William Barber exchange words.
5:00 -- Kevin King joins us to talk about his grassroots organizing work on college campuses. Plus, Milton Friedman debates Frances Fox Piven.
-December 3, 2013
3:00 -- Pete offers NC Democratic candidate recruiters the opportunity to come on the show. They chicken out.
4:00 -- The rise of the administrative state and why budget battles will be the focal point now.
5:00 -- The Hobby Lobby lawsuit over the Affordable Care Act, plus should chimpanzees get legal "personhood" status.
-December 4, 2013
3:00 -- A coup on the Mecklenburg County Commission might make it easier for South Asheville to de-annex from the city. Plus, a Hindu guy is mad at a local brewer for naming a beer Shiva.
4:00 -- Jake Frankel from Mountain Xpress joins us to talk about the latest edition on news stands. Plus, Buncombe County Commissioners say they want to reduce the carbon footprint by 80%.
5:00 -- Kurth Schlichter, columnist at Townhall, says liberals have to lie. Plus, human cheese.
-December 5, 2013
-December 6, 2013
As I described on the show yesterday, the Raleigh-based political media is outraged at the recent hiring decisions in the NC Department of Health and Human Services.
Leftists are stunned that people who believe in limiting the size and scope of government are now running government services. In their minds, it is impossible that a conservative, Tea Partier, or libertarian could do such a thing, because Leftists sincerely believe that these folks want NO government.
It's a false belief, of course, but it is powerful among the Left. They seem to think that the only people who can run government are people who want to grow government. (Which should frighten all liberty-loving people.)
Hence, the outrage over people coming into GovCo with a background that includes Tea Party activism.
I'll give media folks the benefit of the doubt and assume they're not making blanket judgements about Tea Partiers' intelligence. However, there does seem to be a bit of an implication that mere mention of "Tea Party" in a resume should disqualify someone for a position in state government.
(Asheville Tea Party protest)
The latest hire to get the media colonoscopy (as Brant Clifton at the Daily Haymaker called it) is Margaret "Mardy" Peal. While I agree that it's appropriate to examine a government hire, it seems some lines are getting sort of blurry for media folks.
For example, WRAL's piece is pretty amazing in that the reporters plumb court records from Peal's divorce proceeding. The valuable information we get is where she sent her kids to school. Why is this relevant to her taking a job as a senior planner at DHHS?
Then there's WTVD which headlined its story: "Anti-abortion activist hired for North Carolina health job."
I'm sure WTVD has similarly labeled every pro-choice activist hire.
Records show Peal recently served on the board of the anti-abortion Carolina Pregnancy Center, a group that emphasizes Christian scripture and encourages abstinence. She was also an early organizer for the conservative Eastern North Carolina Tea Party and gave $1,250 to the 2012 campaign of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.
The 42-year-old Peal holds a master's degree in health education from East Carolina University, where she worked as a lecturer for three years in the 1990s before becoming a stay-at-home mom.
Wouldn't it make more sense to examine Peal's work in health education, rather than her involvement in a local Tea Party? If political activism is a disqualification, does this apply to progressive organizations, too?
Are there any members of the NAACP working for NC government? How about Planned Parenthood? The NRA?
The News & Observer headlined its story: "DHHS hires McCrory donor for $95,000 senior position" - as if her donation was the reason she got the job.
But Governor Pat McCrory told reporters yesterday he doesn't even know Peal. But the headline is designed to grab a person's attention. Most will never read the follow-up story the next day, especially when the headline isn't as big or outrageous.
(Gov. Pat McCrory)
During that "sit down" with reporters yesterday, the Governor expressed concern at the level of scrutiny Peal had received.
Here's how Mark Binker reported the news conference for WRAL:
Asked if he was concerned about the scrutiny DHHS has faced, McCrory said it was that scrutiny itself that is the problem.
"I do want to say one concern I have right now, and I will say I read the article today, one concern I have in the future for all the future hires that my cabinet secretaries have to make is that is – I'm extremely concerned at the deep –" McCrory said, pausing.
He then re-started his thought.
"I'm very concerned in hiring future people who want to come into state government for a temporary amount of time, the intrusion into their personal life by people, political operatives and others, that will distract people from wanting to be engaged in public service for a year or two," he said. "That's my one concern about what I read this morning."
The salary, recent raises and other information about how much public employees made are public records, as are the contracts given to contract employees.
Do you see what Binker did?
The Governor is clearly describing concern about the intrusion into the personal life of a job candidate. But Binker's reply after the quote (and, make no mistake, it IS a reply) is an explanation that salary information is public record.
McCrory has often said that many people in the news media have very thin skins. I read Binker's reply as proof of exactly that. It's almost like an "Oh yeah? Well, it's all public record!" excuse.
But, more importantly, Peal's salary is not what McCrory was talking about. He was talking about the disclosure of personal information that really has nothing to do with the hiring.
This is how the narrative gets shaped by media ideologues. The fact he didn't know Peal is irrelevant and his concerns about the personal information is twisted into an argument about disclosure of public salaries.
Also, it is commonly accepted journalistic practice "clean up" quotes for stories for clarity and brevity. As long as the reporter doesn't change the meaning or edit important words from a quote, it's standard practice to delete unnecessary words or verbal crutch phrases. A good example is the elimination of words like "you know," "um," or "uh." Generally, you try to use only the best, most accurate quote.
But Binker didn't do that here, either. He leaves the entire quote verbatim, even though the first half of the quote isn't really necessary. He could've incorporated any part of it into the preceding text. Instead, I'm forced to read along as McCrory collects his thoughts.
I'm not exactly sure why Binker chose to leave it all in, but I suspect it has something to do with trying to cast McCrory as stumbling for an answer. There's really no other reason I can think of.
It is quite obvious that the media and Democrats (but I repeat myself) want DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos to be fired or to resign.
Yesterday our on-air discussion prompted this Twitter hypothesis from an Ashevillian:
@PeteKaliner Misogyny for few reasons. 1. reporting her staying home with kids. people have done that n the past as a way to put down women.— (I'm No) Angel (@no_status_quo) September 18, 2013
@PeteKaliner She was just a "homemaker", she has no real experience. An idea feminism fought to overcome.— (I'm No) Angel (@no_status_quo) September 18, 2013
@PeteKaliner Feminists should be running to this woman's rescue, defending her, etc. I've only heard crickets from the liberals though.— (I'm No) Angel (@no_status_quo) September 18, 2013
@PeteKaliner Also, since when is helping women in their pregnancy anti-woman? I am adamantly pro-choice & I'm fine w/ abortion alternatives— (I'm No) Angel (@no_status_quo) September 18, 2013
@PeteKaliner Have we heard much about male appointees' family, where their kids went to school, if they took time off work 4 kids, etc? nope— (I'm No) Angel (@no_status_quo) September 18, 2013
@PeteKaliner Liberals are such hypocrites. Blatant, unashamed, power-hungry, hypocrites.— (I'm No) Angel (@no_status_quo) September 18, 2013
So, what do you think?
Are liberals being hypocrites on this issue?
Is all this attention to the DHHS hires appropriate or has it gone too far?
Is this hiring saga hurting the Governor, politically?