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Friday, October 9, 2009

Kevin Jennings and the MSM

In the last month or so, the MSM has totally missed several high profile stories. Now, the MSM misses all sorts of stories that then become high profile. So, there's nothing new there. The difference here was two fold. First, these two were especially high profile, the ACORN videos and the dismissal of Van Jones. Second, it appeared the mistake was so egregious that the MSM even saw their mistake.

What the article didn’t say — but what followers of Fox News and conservative commentators already knew — was that a video sting had caught Acorn workers counseling a bogus prostitute and pimp on how to set up a brothel staffed by under-age girls, avoid detection and cheat on taxes. The young woman in streetwalker’s clothes and her companion were actually undercover conservative activists with a hidden camera.

It was an intriguing story: employees of a controversial outfit, long criticized by Republicans as corrupt, appearing to engage in outrageous, if not illegal, behavior. An Acorn worker in Baltimore was shown telling the “prostitute” that she could describe herself to tax authorities as an “independent artist” and claim 15-year-old prostitutes, supposedly illegal immigrants, as dependents.

But for days, as more videos were posted and government authorities rushed to distance themselves from Acorn, The Times stood still. Its slow reflexes — closely following its slow response to a controversy that forced the resignation of Van Jones, a White House adviser — suggested that it has trouble dealing with stories arising from the polemical world of talk radio, cable television and partisan blogs.

The manner in which the MSM treated these two stories were summed up by Charlie Gibson infamously pronouncing that he hadn't heard about the ACORN tapes and Chuck Todd saying he thought there were important things to talk about than some unknown advisor, Jones.

What's remarkable is that both these stories occurred not but six weeks ago. That's because the MSM is again ignoring the Kevin Jennings story even though it has most of the very same characteristics as the prior two. The New York Times, which had a mea culpa from its own ombudsman after the previous two stories, has published exactly two stories about Jennings. One was an AP story, so really not theirs, and the other was only on their blog. (so not very read) Now, in the mea culpa, Hoyt says that he would actually put someone in charge of the so called non traditional media, the blogs, talk radio, and Fox News. Well, this story has been all over those three media types and still the New York Times hasn't figured out that there's a story here.

Kevin Jennings is the safe schools czar. He's openly gay. He's also been tied to several pieces of controversy. First, when Jennings was 24, and a school administrator, he was approached by a student who told him they were having a homosexual affair with an adult. Jennings counseled that student to wear a condom. Jennings defenders have pointed out the student was 16, legal age of consent, and that this incident happened more than two decades ago. Then, in a speech about a decade ago, Jennings praised Harry Hay as an inspiration. Hay was a supporter of NAMBLA, the organization that encourages gay adults to molest children. Hay was featured on the front page of NAMBLA's magazine on the month of his death. Defenders say that Hay's connection to NAMBLA is unclear and that Jennings didn't know about it. Of course, people don't just happen to connect themselves to a group that encourages the molestation of children. He didn't ally himself with NAMBLA because they had great cheesecake at their meetings. He did it because his own philosophical view aligns itself with theirs. Finally, Jennings supports teaching homosexuality to kids as young as kindergarten. I maybe missing a controversy or two AND the story is unfolding and so with each passing day a new controversy is discovered.

Remarkably, the same MSM that was utterly embarrassed by its silence over ACORN and Jones is remaining silent again. George Stephanopolous was on Hannity last night. Remarkably, Stephanopoulos didn't see a story here. Instead, he believes that Jennings has had a long and distinguished career in education. (by that standard so has Bill Ayers) He defended Jennings in the case of the 16 year old by saying that in fact the student was sixteen and thus of legal age. In fact, he defended Jennings in all the ways that folks have defended him.

Jennings is a radical pure and simple. You don't praise a supporter of NAMBLA by accident, even if you don't know they support them. Whether Jennings in fact knew that Hay supported NAMBLA is beside the point. Hay did support NAMBLA and that doesn't just happen. Hay is an even bigger radical than Jennings, and Jennings called him an inspiration. It's these sorts of dots that the MSM seems to miss each and every time. Is there more to come about Jennings? I'd bet huge money there is. It's rare that someone is attached to incidents of radicalism but that they are an anomaly. Much more likely is that incidents of radicalism mean that someone is a radical. That's what happened with Van Jones. We found out one thing, two things, three things, and eventually we found out that we would continue to find out things. That's what will happen with Jennings. Yet, the MSM continues to ignore it.

Worse yet, the MSM continues to ignore the larger point. This isn't the first radical tied to Obama. In fact, talk radio, Fox News and the blogs are going through them one at a time. This is just the most recent. After Jennings is fired, and he will be fired, the next one will come into focus and the next, and the next. This will go on because Obama has put a lot of radicals into his administration. That should surprise no one because Obama has aligned himself with radicals most of his career. Just as the MSM misses the Jennings story in the microcosm, they miss the larger story as well.

Of course, most shouldn't be surprised. What surprises me is that it's come so soon after such a public mea culpa. Where is Clark Hoyt? Does he not see that exactly what he talked about in his editorial is literally happening again a month later? The MSM will never learn, and frankly, it's to their detriment only. All three of these stories will get out and they have gotten out. Jennings will merely survive at his job another couple weeks more because of their lack of coverage. Ultimately, the MSM lack of coverage of the Jennings story simply reinforces what we already know that they are out of touch and don't report the news the public is interested in.


Anonymous said...

"they are out of touch and don't report the news the public is interested in."

And that pretty much sums up the Liberal Bias Media Theory: you think you speak for America the Inherently Conservative Country and that all they want to hear about is how terrible Barack Obama in particular and American Liberalism in general is.

In short, you think the media is liberally biased for no other reason than because its not conservatively biased.

As far as Jennings is concerned, I agree with Stephonopolus: Jenning's gayness doesn't bother me, and frankly neither does talking to children about homosexuality. I mean our nation's children are already running around calling each other gay maybe they should actually know what the heck they're talking about.

mike volpe said...

His being is irrelevant, his radicalism is what's relevant. If you think that kindergarteners should learn about any sexuality that's disturbing. That's not something that's acceptable to teach to any kids that age. They shouldn't be taught sexuality period. That's only one problem. His association with Hay is another problem. That he told someone sixteen to only wear protection when they told them of an affair with an adult is a third problem. Of course, we're only beginning to scrutinize.

I think that when there's a radical in the WH that's news. Period. That's not something conservatives care about. Everyone should care.