FAUX News Picks Politics Over Hope For Haiti Broadcast

While major network channels, PBS, and the all-news channels devoted air-time on Friday night to the Hope For Haiti broadcast to raise funds for earthquake relief, FAUX News was playing politics.  While the responsible networks were reaching out to make a difference for those who suffer, FAUX News had Karl Rove bashing President Obama.  There is nothing left to add to what we have come to know about FAUX News, or those who call themselves conservatives.

There is no depth to which they can lower themselves that will shock us anymore.

Newspapers Are Front Line In Democracy

The state of journalism in general, and the role of newspapers in particular is a favorite topic of mine to read and think about.  Madison’s Mayor Dave Cieslewicz penned a post for his blog that I think is tone perfect on this matter.  I offer a portion of it below. 

I agree with Mayor Dave that blogs are not the professional objective news reporting source that best serves a democracy.  The morning newspaper that ferrets out corruption and investigates issues untouchable to the average blogger IS an essential component for how we are made aware of the world.  Bloggers can add icing  to the cake of those reported stories, but are in no shape to be able to find and report them on their own.  Enough said..lets read what Mayor Dave writes.

The real problem is that newsrooms are thinning out and with them the papers themselves, leaving a news void that gets filled with a mix of information and opinion, often found in blogs like this one, which can be hard for readers to sort out. Rath points out that professional journalism is a relatively recent phenomenon (if you count the last century or so as recent). And it’s true I suppose that democracy functioned ok without it. We found a way to elect Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln without a tradition of objective journalism at the time. And we found a way to elect Richard Nixon with it. Twice. But on the other hand, it was professional journalists that brought Nixon down by revealing his many transgressions. They weren’t partisans out to get him. They were just doing their jobs.

It would be best if the blogosphere was just another layer of information on top of a strong foundation of professionally reported and edited journalism delivered in print or on the web. To the extent that blogs become a primary news source, it might not mean the end of democracy, but it sure isn’t a good thing. Complete objectivity might be impossible, but those who strive for it play a valuable role in democracy.

Will There Be UW Creation Science Institute Too?

Hat Tip To Rolf.

How soon will the complaints start because there isn’t a UW Creation Science Institute? 

A new evolution institute at UW-Madison got final approval from a university committee Thursday.

The J.F. Crow Institute for the Study of Evolution will bring together 70 faculty members who study evolution in seven different schools and colleges.

While other universities have a department or graduate program for evolutionary biology, at UW-Madison, such scientists are scattered across campus, said David Baum, a botany professor.

The institute will have a starting budget of roughly $7,000 and will be housed administratively in the genetics department, which is in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

It is named for James F. Crow, a professor emeritus of genetics.

Senator Feingold Should Not Make Ben Bernanke Political Scapegoat

I was dismayed this morning when I heard Majority Leader Harry Reid and Wisconsin’s favorite Senator Russ Feingold both pull the verbal rug out from underneath Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.  While I understand that this is an election year, and there seems to be populist fever running amuck over banking policies and large financial institutions, I am befuddled how not allowing Bernanke another term at the Fed helps the national economy.

In fact it will hurt if Beranke is not confirmed.  If there is an unsettling turn-over at the Fed the markets will respond negatively and the economic forward motion, slow and awkward though it may be, will stutter and perhaps cease to be.

Therefore, I am not pleased for what I can only surmise is pure politics when those up for election this fall step in front of the Bernanke issue in hopes of derailing it. 

Is Ben Bernanke perfect and without some chinks in his armor when it comes to the economic woes of the past two years?  Of  course not.  But I think there is every reason to argue that it was Bernanke who also was at the helm to insure that the economy did not get even worse.  While many populists (I do not count myself as one) bemoan the idea that Bernanke helped save giant banks from collapse, they also  fail to recognize the potential harm that would have resulted for millions had such a thing happened.  While protecting the financial system may seem like it was designed only to help the ‘fat cats’ it should be noted by Feingold and others that protecting the major players also helps protect the whole economy.  While that may not fly as good rhetoric at the liberal bean curd dinners it does make sound sense for the rest of the nation.  (Yeah, I am bit upset by the news today.)

So enough with making Ben Bernanke a political football and a scapegoat for the fall elections.  The United States Senate should confirm Bernanke for a second term.