In the media every silver lining is obscured by a cloud
By Michael R. Shannon
web posted March 11, 2013
I've about decided that reading three newspapers a day, plus conservative websites may be bad for my emotional health. Normally the day starts with the Washington Examiner, a fine tabloid with a conservative editorial page. I like the Examiner even though the paper is evidently unaware the county where I live — Prince William — exists, as the paper's Northern Virginia coverage does not extend south of Fairfax County.
So I turn to a story by Matt Connolly that makes me optimistic regarding the nation's future. The headline reads, "Poverty rates plummet for D.C. Asians, Hispanics." Now that is good news! In spite of a sluggish Obama economy, the American Dream is still available for those willing to work. Upward mobility is still possible. What's more, less poverty means less need for big government welfare programs, which is always appealing to a small government conservative like myself.
According to Connolly, new census data shows "the percentage of D.C. Hispanics under the poverty line dropped from 20.5 percent in the 2000 census to 14 percent in the 2007 – 2011 average." And in Maryland's Prince George's County the rate "dropped from 14.1 percent to 11.7 percent" in spite of the fact the overall Hispanic population more than doubled in that time period. In Fairfax County, VA and Montgomery County, MD the rate remained "relatively stagnant" but did not get appreciably worse.
Even better, "poverty rates for Asians…dropped across the board" plunging from 22.8 percent to 14 percent. More good news, even though the ingrates aren't voting for Republicans — the people who keep your taxes low and try to grow the economy.
But then I made the mistake of turning to the Washington Post and there I see a headline that complains, "Poverty rates higher for blacks and Hispanics than whites and Asians." Damn, The Man is still keeping the pigmented people down! So much for my misplaced optimism.
Naturally I want to see where reporter Carol Morello came by this depressing evidence of conservative inhumanity to man. (After all it has to be our fault, since we are not in favor of Obama phones, Sandra Fluke's rubbers and no–work–required welfare.) But wait, the data came from the exact same census report that Connolly persuaded me was packed with good news!
Instead of congratulating Asians for pulling themselves out of poverty, Morello implies they are now in league with The Man and it looks suspiciously like these calculator jockeys have forgotten all about minority solidarity and are trying to pass for white.
In fact, Morello says absolutely nothing about the reduction in poverty rates that Connolly found so newsworthy, and instead focuses on nationwide poverty rates and then singles out that noted economic basket case D.C.'s Ward 8 for black poverty numbers. Statistically this is like complaining about mortality rates in a mortuary.
So why is Morello such a Debbie Downer? American leftists and their cheerleaders in the mainstream media have a pigment problem: There's a black man in the White House.
It's becoming increasing difficult to condemn America as a hopelessly racist society when there is this black guy jetting around the country on Air Force One. Since the Marines are saluting him, he can't be passed off as the butler. And how does one complain about institutional racism when a black guy is in charge of the institution? And how can Virginia be a bigot benighted outpost of the Confederacy when Obama carried the state twice?
A favorite media ploy is to pick and choose your statistics, which is the path Morello has chosen. Focusing on persistent black poverty in the abstract implies there is no upward mobility for blacks unless government steps in to make the situation "fair." Yet black poverty is often a self–inflicted wound as black Prince George's Councilman Mel Franklin points out in the WaPost "Root" section.
Franklin writes, "In short, no program, either government or nonprofit, can replace the void created by the absence of a good father in a household.
"Annually, as you probably know, over 70 percent of births in the black community nationwide are out of wedlock. Study after study demonstrates (and our common sense tells us) the dramatic effect that this collapse in our family structure has had on education, the economy and criminal justice outcomes for youth, especially the absence of a good father in his son's household."
Pointing out the harm black men and women do when they choose to bear children in the absence of marriage is not blaming the victim. You can criticize a suicide whether it's physical or fiscal. And I compliment Councilman Franklin for pointing out the obvious. But I also note he was not quoted in Morello's story.
Implying personal responsibility is not method of creating demand for more government. Leftists believe individuals are at the mercy of forces beyond their control, like a termite in a tidal wave, and the only source of help is government. And since leftists dominate the media, you get stories like Morello's.
Which is why I only read the WaPost after I've been inoculated by the Examiner and the Washington Times. I suggest my conservative readers do likewise.
Michael R. Shannon is a public relations and advertising consultant with corporate, government and political experience around the globe. He is a dynamic and entertaining keynote speaker. He can be reached at mandate.mmpr (at) gmail.com.