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‘Intellectual picket lines’ questionable

An attorney criticized Gladys Knight for crossing an “intellectual picket line” by singing the national anthem prior to the Super Bowl. His client, Colin Kaepernick, a former NFL quarterback, had used his fame for social justice issues and knelt during the national anthem.

Kaepernick has not played since 2016 and many folks from the entertainment industry have banded together to show their support. Entertainers who do not toe their line are subject to being ostracized and Knight, a musical icon for over five decades, is no exception.

Knight sang a perfect rendition of the national anthem that sent chills up my spine and tears to my eyes.

No one has criticized her until now. I want to know: Who gets to set these “intellectual picket lines?”

In my opinion, most of the news media and the entertainment industry have increasingly crossed an intellectual integrity line with their collective attempts to discredit and defame President Donald Trump and his supporters.

The media and entertainers have occasionally accomplished this via nuance. A nuance is a “subtle difference in meaning, expression or sound.” Some use nuances to take their arguments a shade further to prove or disprove a point. For example: President Trump claims fake news is the enemy of the people. Some in the media conveniently glossed over the “fake news” and ran with the story that the president said the “media is the enemy of the people.”

There is a huge difference between saying fake news is the enemy of the people and the media is the enemy of the people.

An example of fake news is when the president says hamburgers were piled a mile high and a news channel quickly convenes a panel of experts and uses mathematical formulas to prove the hamburgers were not piled a mile high. A rational person understood the president was using a metaphor to describe the myriad hamburgers for those hungry Clemson football players. Convening a panel and fact checking the height of individual hamburgers to ascertain how many would be needed for a mile is not only disingenuous but reveals a total lack of ethics and common sense.

Fake news also encompasses acts of omission. Before the complete story and video clips were examined, most of the media and the country appeared to be ready to lynch a 17-year-old student, wearing a MAGA (Make America Great Again) hat, for smirking in the face of Nathan Phillips, a 63-year-old American Indian who claimed to be a Vietnam combat veteran.

Had it been in their power, I believe the media would have awarded Phillips the Medal of Honor for his claimed combat heroism in Vietnam. The problem was he had never served overseas and his stateside reserve duty was dubious.

Some outlets apologized afterwards, but the damage had been irreversibly inflicted.

The media didn’t merely step over an intellectual integrity line for this one, they took a giant leap and kicked the book on journalism ethics over a steep cliff.

I wasn’t a Trump supporter until 2016. To be honest, I initially thought Trump was a plant by the Clintons to throw the election in Hillary’s favor had he been the Republican nominee. I was wrong.

My first choice for the Republican nominee was Dr. Ben Carson. Looking back, he may not have been able to withstand the media onslaught. After Carson withdrew, I supported Sen. Ted Cruz.

I didn’t like Trump then, probably because I did not know that much about him. However, since winning the presidency, Trump has done great things for our great country.

He continuously supports and honors the military and law enforcement. In my opinion, he has done more in two years than five of his predecessors did in the previous 32 years.

Fortunately, most Americans can see the truth through the multiagenda haze of fake news. According to the Media Research Center, the media reported negatively on President Trump 92 percent of the time. However, according to a recent Rasmussen poll, he is enjoying a 48 percent approval rating. At the same time during his first term, President Barack Obama, the media’s darling for eight years, had an approval rating of 46 percent.

No one should paint the entire media with the same broad brush when fake news is identified and isolated. I believe it is prevalent at the national, liberal-learning, dollar-chasing mega-publishing entities.

Most journalists and their editors, especially those in smaller towns, perform with due diligence and get it right first.

Congratulations, again, to Knight for a superb national anthem and for crossing that facetious intellectual picket line. I hope to see a repeat performance next year.

Dan Jennings is a retired Army captain and a retired BCPD lieutenant. He can be reached at bcpd267@cox.net.

Editor’s note: The Media Research Center, an organization devoted to exposing and combating liberal media bias, reported that in 2018 network television news programs reported negatively on President Trump. The Rasmussen Report polls likely voters in the United States; it’s presidential approval rating changes daily.

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