Wednesday, September 18, 2019

What passes for news these days

If there were ever any doubt that the mainstream media are no longer the watch dogs of government but the lap dogs of the left that doubt should have been obliterated by the latest New York Times hit piece on Justice Kavanaugh. I’ll spare you the details on the accusation, but the Times claimed Kavanaugh had exposed himself to a fellow student while at Yale. Turns out the woman he supposedly exposed himself to has no recollection of the incident. In other words, it didn’t happen, yet the Times reported it as if it did.

When President Trump refers to ‘fake news’ this is exactly what he’s talking about. Many in the journalistic community—and some who supposedly support Trump—say his ‘fake news’ mantra is dangerous to the underpinnings of our republic. What’s dangerous to the underpinnings of our republic is rumor and innuendo that’s passed off as solid news. When the president refers to fake news he’s not talking about all news. He’s talking about stories like the one the New York Times ran about Kavanaugh.

My first encounter with how the left-wing media operate was back in 1995. It was during the government shutdown when Newt Gingrich had just ascended to the speaker’s chair in the House of Representatives. At issue was a budget bill which would have slowed the growth of Medicare spending. The Democrats and their complicit media were telling the American people that the Republicans were trying to cut Medicare and give a tax cut to the wealthy. I had actually read the bill and knew that there were no cuts to Medicare.

I was broadcasting from the basement of the Capitol and had just finished my radio show. I went in search of the facilities, and as I was making my way back to my broadcast room I encountered a swarm of reporters surrounding a prominent Democrat. I waded through the reporters trying to get through the hallway. As I did I heard this Democrat say, “The Republicans want to cut Medicare and give a tax cut to their rich constituents.” I couldn’t just let that pass. I said, “Congressman, isn’t it true that the Republican plan actually increases spending for Medicare? It just doesn’t increase it as much as the Democrats want.” The lights of the news cameras turned on me. I then proceeded to tell him that I had been there all week and I’d yet to hear one media outlet report that, and I pressed him for an answer. He hemmed and hawed then made some excuse as to how he was late for a meeting and quickly dashed away.

I went back to the room where I was broadcasting and a reporter for NPR followed me in. She angrily demanded to know who I was, which I told her. She said I was not allowed to ask questions of a congressman. Seriously? I told her, “I was just a citizen walking through the halls of Congress, heard a congressman telling a lie, and called him on it. Instead of yelling at me why don’t you ask him the tough questions?” She turned on her heels and stormed out.

Later that day I was observing the debate in the press section of the Senate gallery. The head of the press office came over and informed me that my press credentials had been revoked.

The media are referred to as the Fourth Estate. They’re supposed to be the final check against government corruption and abuse. Supposed to be. They’re not always. Advocacy posing as news is not news. It’s propaganda.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show on SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Nashville is shielding violent criminals...and the news media are silent

It’s become a familiar refrain with me, but I too often have to say that media bias isn’t necessarily what they tell you. It’s what they don’t. Case in point is a recent story in Nashville. ICE agents attempt to apprehend a criminal illegal alien and he flees in a box truck, almost running over one of the agents as he does. Shots were fired by one of the ICE agents and the suspect was hit. He later turned himself in and was treated at an area hospital.

That, in and of itself, is a rather dramatic story. It got local coverage in Nashville, but inexplicably got virtually no coverage on the national news. It was what I was able to learn afterwards and what was not reported that was so disturbing.

ICE agents just before illegal flees in box truck
But let’s back up to the original story itself. This illegal alien, who allegedly tried to run over a federal agent, was called a ‘victim’ in a statement issue by Nashville Mayor David Briley. Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition called ICE a “rogue agency” that was “terrorizing and traumatizing the entire community.”

I knew ICE didn’t routinely arrest illegals who were just going to their jobs (although I think they should). They normally removed violent criminals from the country. I wanted to know what this particular illegal alien’s name was and what crimes he had committed. My staff and I were stonewalled at every turn. Nashville police referred us to ICE and wouldn’t tell us the suspect’s name nor would they reveal his crimes in Nashville. ICE referred us to the FBI since the FBI had taken over the case because a federal agent had been involved in a violent incident. The FBI wouldn’t return our inquiries.

I finally made contact with a government official in the know who asked to remain anonymous. I will tell you that this person is as close to this investigation as you can get and the information he gave me is beyond question. I was able to confirm that the information on the suspect’s identity we got through other investigative avenues was correct. The man’s name is Jose Fernando Andrade-Sanchez. He’s been living in the Antioch section of Nashville. He has a conviction of aggravated child abuse and another conviction of domestic violence. He’s a bad man, and ICE was trying to get another violent illegal alien criminal off the streets. Instead the government and the news media tried to keep that information from the public. My government source told me I was not the only one from the media to whom he had imparted that information, which meant I was just the only member of the media actually reporting it.

Now, if you’re doing a story on ICE trying to apprehend an illegal alien and it ends with the suspect being shot, isn’t an important part of the story why they were trying to arrest him? I would suggest it’s the most important part of the story, yet no news media outlet bothered to inform the public. This is a blatant attempt to not paint an illegal alien in a negative light, even though he deserved to be.

What’s more, Mayor Briley, fully knowing that this guy was a convicted child abuser, issued an executive order to ignore state law and forbid anyone in Metro Nashville government from working with ICE. Even when he issued the EO the news media still kept under wraps that he was blatantly protecting a violent criminal.

We all should be outraged over this, but it’s hard to outraged if you never even know.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show on SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Emotional support animals are out of control!

OK, so this emotional support animal business is getting ridiculous. I recently read a story about an emotional support horse on a flight from Chicago to Omaha. Yeah, it was a miniature horse, but a horse nonetheless. The horse is not nearly the nuttiest of emotional support animals.

A woman in Wisconsin was asked to leave a McDonald’s after entering with Jimmy, the emotional support kangaroo. There’s a teen who overcomes anxiety with a bearded dragon. Pigs seem to be very popular. A woman was tossed from a flight in 2014 because of her 80-pound emotional support pig. And we thought Arnold the Pig in the TV show Green Acres was for laughs.

Turkeys are also a popular emotional support animal. Several have been booted off flights in recent years. How about this one? An emotional support marmoset. One got loose at the Las Vegas airport. Probably won him in a card game.

Snakes, peacocks, ducks, chickens, and squirrels have all been passed off as emotional support animals. Even a goldfish. Is this a sign of the times? I’m afraid so, but it’s not the animals that tell the story. It’s their pathetic owners.

Don’t get me wrong. I get the whole emotional malady thing. We have depression and anxiety in our family. What we don’t have is someone with an emotional support goat. Ever heard the expression the inmates are running the asylum? That’s exactly what we have here. The nuttiest among us are demanding that the rest of us act like there’s nothing wrong with taking an animal with you everywhere you go.

Yes, I know there are truly those who need an animal at their side. Blind people need a seeing-eye dog. People who’ve lost limbs sometimes need animals to help them get around. Some soldiers with PTSD sometimes need an animal to keep them calm when they travel. For the rest of us there’s a stiff drink or a sleeping pill if we have trouble flying.

And there’s really never a reason to take your animal to the home improvement store. Contrary to what some polite customers may tell you, nobody wants to see your dog. They really don’t. Leave him at home. Or at least in the car. On second thought, someone will probably call the cops if they see your pooch in the car. I saw this first hand. A woman left her dog in the car long enough to come in and buy a cup of coffee. That was too long for the manager on duty. She followed the woman back to her car and read her the riot act. Yeah, I understand if you leave a dog in a hot car for an hour while you shop, although my mother did that to us and nobody thought twice about it. She didn’t even leave us a bowl of water.

We’ve turned into a society of pitiful little weenies. You think we could storm Normandy with this crowd? Probably have half the guys with a salt water allergies. At least all of this pandering used to be considered weird. Now you can’t say anything for fear of offending people. I’m sorry, it’s just weird. There. I’ve said it. And I don’t feel bad.

If you can’t leave the house without your pet sugar glider (that’s a tiny possum, by the way) then you probably don’t need to be leaving the house. If you do try to board a flight with a donkey then, for the love of all that’s holy, don’t expect the rest of us to think it’s completely normal.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show on SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast.