-December 9, 2013-
3:00 -- Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner sentenced, but media can't seem to determine his political affiliation. The Panthers' horrible showing in New Orleans, why leftists believe Obamacare will work, and why one progressive says Canada's death panels should be emulated.
4:00 --NC Secretary of Education June Atkinson says voucher money could go to "schools of terror" - when asked about a private Christian schools stance against gay marriage. Plus, NC Republicans say they'll try to get teachers a pay raise, Budget Director Art Pope responds to leftist picketings of his family's store. Meanwhile, Congressional leaders are in budget talks.
5:00 -- One in five Americans will be "rich" for some period in their lives. And would you rather have your dream job making $40,000 or the worst job - but making $150,000?
-December 10, 2013
3:00 -- President Obama shakes a communist's hand and poses for a "selfie" at the memorial for Nelson Mandela. Outrage ensues.
4:00 -- Mark Keller & Rick Phillips join us in studio to preview tomorrow night's Hometown Holiday Jam at the Orange Peel. Plus, Janet Casperson from Blue Ridge Bear Yogurt & Espresso tells about their "Joe for Joes" care package drive they're running. Stop by and donate to help send sweets & coffee to troops in Afghanistan.
5:00 -- More on the "Selfie seen around the world." Plus, NC DHHS software problems are completely different than the Obamacare website problems because ... well ... the GOP is in charge of the NC government while Democrats are in charge of the national failure.
-December 11, 2013
3:00 -- A former deputy with the Buncombe County Sheriff's office stabs a guy outside an Asheville bar and police arrest the guy who got stabbed.
4:00 -- Jake Frankel from the Mountain Xpress stops by to talk about the latest edition on news stands today. Plus, a sword-wielding robber, a fake sign language interpreter at Mandela's memorial, and a new world record low temperature of -135.8 degrees.
5:00 -- Fake or real? Which is better. Christmas trees, that is.
-December 12, 2013
-December 13, 2013
CORRECTION: The original version of this blog post speculated that Timothy Peck might be the author of the un-named articles in the Raleigh Digest as well as posts on Rep. Moffitt's campaign website. I have since learned that Mr. Peck is not the author of any of these articles. - Pete
Over the Thanksgiving holiday quite a commotion got kicked up in Asheville after the local paper arrived at peoples' homes with a 48-page insert called "The Raleigh Digest."
It features no ads inside presents a positive spin on all things concerning the Republican-controlled NC General Assembly.
After complaints from readers, the Asheville Citizen-Times published an apology, saying it should've labeled The Raleigh Digest as a "paid advertisement."
It somehow fell through the cracks.
Jason Sandford picked up the story at his Ashvegas blog. Sandford used to work at the AC-T, and noted how a lot of the printing and inserting work for the paper is now done in Greenville, SC.
End of story, right?
Because The Raleigh Digest is published by a company owned by Rep. Tim Moffitt (R-Buncombe). So, naturally, outrage has ensued.
WLOS took a look at the story:
The Raleigh Digest is published by a company called InTouchNC, which is owned by Republican State Representative Tim Moffitt. Moffitt says he doesn't write the articles, but he does pay the bills.
In the WLOS story, Moffitt says it's not paid political advertising, but is a competitor in the media marketplace.
I disagree with this assessment for two reasons.
First, the AC-T says it erred by not putting the "paid advertisement" label on the Raleigh Digest. So, obviously, one of the two parties in this endeavor believes it to be something the other does not.
Second, it seems to be supported by campaign contributions.
The Raleigh Digest is reportedly published by InTouch. This is the same company that the Raleigh News & Observer highlighted last Spring:
Moffitt said legislators would pay for the service through campaign accounts. But it wasn’t immediately clear how many legislators are paying the company for the sites.
But while I think it is political advertising, the burden to label it as such was on the AC-T before the paper allowed it to be inserted into the newspapers' distribution network.
As I stated on the Ashvegas blog:
The newspaper realizes no benefit by failing to put the disclaimer on the insert. If anything, they suffer more by NOT doing it. Look at the current public reaction.
But to conspiracy theorists, everything is evidence of the conspiracy – even a lack of evidence.
I suspect what is really at the core of the accusation is a belief that the average reader of the AC-T is stupid and won’t recognize a GOP hagiography unless it bears the disclaimer.
In many of the complaints over this I keep hearing, essentially: “Someone must tell the readers that everything in the Raleigh Digest is a lie!”
And I guess the disclaimer is supposed to do that.
Because, honestly, some folks are in massive hysterics over a very small matter.
The Moffitt-obsessed believe campaign finance violations occurred. I doubt it. Especially considering the new rules the General Assembly adopted this past session. However, I'm sure some enterprising Democrats will ask for an ethics inquiry. and maybe they'll find something.
Media publications derive whatever credibility they have based on the work they do and whether consumers find value in it. It appears some folks wanted a warning label applied to this publication to alert people that The Raleigh Digest is not a credible news outfit.
But I'm sure others would believe it is credible. Tim Moffitt sure thinks it is.
In politics, one's credibility is often closely tied to the ideology of the audience.
For example, is WLOS a credible outlet?
Or, more specifically, is the reporter who covered this story - Frank Kracher - credible? Kracher worked for the Obama campaign.
Should he disclose this association before reporting on any political story? Should he even cover politics for WLOS? Progressives would likely see him as more credible, given his experience. Conservatives would likely disagree.
Personally, I see The Raleigh Digest as nothing more than a newsletter - or a blog posting. I’ve seen them from candidates, organizations, and campaigns for a very long time.
Indeed, it’s very similar to a local elected official contributing and operating a blog. Oddly, there's not a lot of outrage over that.
No, this is not a parody OF the administration, it's a parody BY the administration that, inadvertantly, mocks the administration. Very meta.
The White House has turned the annual turkey pardoning ritual into an American Idol-esque contest.
Perhaps we could televise the final vote, put President Obama in a throne in an arena and have him give the final thumbs down for the doomed fowl.
Seriously, though, is this what our government should be doing? In a $3 trillion budget, the cost of this stupid spoof is minimal. But it's representative of hundreds of similiarly wasteful endeavors undertaken by a government that has lost sight of its legitimate function.
The stupidest part of this?
Both Popcorn and Caramel will be pardoned. Neither one of them will be slaughtered for the Thanksgiving Day feast. Not only is this bad news for un-named Turkey #3 in the queue, but it also means this contest has absolutely ZERO value.
It's not going to spare one turkey's life.
It's not going to do anything.
Come to think of it, perhaps this contest is the PERFECT symbol of government.
People get to vote on their favorite candidate - both of whom will be sent off to live the good life.
Folks cast their vote based on superficial qualities like the way the candidates sound and what is their favorite song.
But in the end, the choice is still between two turkeys.
Nobel winning economist Milton Friedman is joined by Thomas Sowell to debate socialist Frances Fox Piven and Peter Jay, former British Ambassador, about how equality of opportunity is not the same as equality of results, and how the greatest opportunities exist within free market capitalism.
He also rejects the kinard that a "society has concerns" and should, therefor, adopt policies and programs to address those concerns. Friedman replied, "Only people have concerns." And that there is a fundamental difference between relieving distress and providing equality of outcomes.
"I think there's all the difference in the world between a social or governmental system in which 90% of the people tax themselves to help 10% who are in distress - and a system in which 80% of the people in the middle try to tax the 10% at the top in order to help the 10% at the bottom." - Milton Friedman