Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Daily Northwestern Apologizes for Accuracy

Daily Northwestern Apologizes for Accuracy
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
November 13, 2019

If journalism has been dying a slow and painful death over the past couple decades, the student newspaper at Northwestern University just slammed the last nail into the coffin. Apparently the most egregious act The Daily Northwestern committed in recent days was to apologize for doing its job - and doing it well.

Former United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions delivered a speech on the Northwestern campus in Evanston, IL on Tuesday, November 5 at the behest of the College Republicans. Met by both students interested in hearing what Sessions had to say as well as those whose presence was only an attempt to prevent the speech from occurring, the student-run campus newspaper certainly had plenty about which to report. 

Amazingly, Northwestern University reporter Daisy Conant did just that - she reported what she saw and heard that evening. Sessions did, in fact, speak, at Lutkin Hall - “The Real Meaning of the Trump Agenda,” the title of his prepared remarks. Conant noted the content of Sessions’ speech, the vulgarities spewed at Sessions by the protesters attempting to gain access to Lutkin Hall, which had security to prevent any out of hand and illegal behavior. Conant did her job rather well in covering the event, compete with quotes from several students who attended Sessions’ speech and subsequent question and answer session.

Medill School of Journalism freshman Margaret Fleming attended the event with an open mind. “It’s hard because the people who I hold the same political views with are the ones protesting,” said Fleming. She added that a speaking event held by the College Democrats earlier in the semester did not produce the same belligerence and bellicosity. That is typically the case, as conservatives support the First Amendment, while far too many liberals and progressives are on record in a number of recent polls calling for the First Amendment to be rewritten limiting free speech - a dangerous road to travel.

After an accurate article appeared in The Daily Northwestern, complete with photographs of the event both inside and outside of Lutkin Hall, is when the snowflake brigade became apoplectic and outraged - not by any inaccuracies in the article, but because the article and photos were accurate. Apparently the truth hurts. So much so, the student newspaper actually apologized.

Apologized for what? For doing its job? For writing accurate copy? For publishing pictures depicting the events as they actually happened during the Sessions visit? This genuinely seems like the tail wagging the dog.

“Nothing is more important than ensuring that our fellow students feel safe… we failed to do that last week, and we could not be more sorry,” wrote the editors of the paper in their apology delivered from their knees. That is not the responsibility of a newspaper - protecting its subjects, instead the job is to reveal the actions and the words of those subjects - informing the greater public of events to which they themselves were not personally privy. The apology editorial called the Sessions visit a “traumatic event.” Who was traumatized? And how?

A myriad protesters objected to their pictures being in the newspaper; calling it an invasion of their privacy. Theirs was a public protest, where there is no expectation of privacy whatsoever. The protesters must bear responsibility for their own actions. Other protesters objected to reporters using the Northwestern student directory to contact them and interview them about the event and their role in it. That is the job of a reporter.

“Some protesters found photos posted to reporters’ Twitter accounts retraumatizing and invasive. Photos have been taken down,” continued the apology editorial. The paper continued its genuflecting apology for using the student directory “to obtain phone numbers for students, texted them to ask if they’d be willing to be interviewed. We recognize being contacted like this is an invasion of privacy, and we’ve spoken to those reporters - along with our entire staff - and about the correct way to reach out to students for stories.” 

Take the word of a veteran newspaper reporter/journalist: the way those Northwestern students tackled their task of garnering comments for their article was spot on. Nothing wrong with their methods. Not one student was forced to consent to an interview, nor are they required to do so at any time. Once again, and this must be stressed, with their contact information in the student directory, students in no way should have any level of an expectation of privacy.

The apology issued by the editors of The Daily Northwestern should never have been written or published.  If anything, the editors should have doubled-down and defended its reporters.This weak-kneed admission of guilt or some sense of seeking absolution from the student body had no place in theirs, or any other newspaper. If this is the direction of the future of “journalism,” may G-d help the United States. Readers will never again be able to trust what they read for the reporters may be protecting someone’s delicate sensibilities.

If reporters and journalists are going to be censored in what they can and cannot write and print based upon a level of hurt feelings, or whether or not their language is incendiary to even one potential reader, the profession cannot survive. Additionally, a petition signed by roughly 650 students condemning The Daily Northwestern, “for choosing to put our students in jeopardy.” How exactly did a newspaper article and photos of a public event put anyone in jeopardy?

Northwestern is not the only campus with a student body possessing a collective weak stomach for attempts at truthful reporting. Harvard’s Student Government Association took umbrage with, and condemned its own student newspaper, for simply attempting to elicit a comment from ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) on a story. Unbelievable, a reporter actually doing his or her due diligence. The condemnation came just for the attempt to contact. No endorsement of ICE appeared in the newspaper.

Furthermore, half of millennials believe so-called “hate speech” should be criminalized and punishable. Let’s contemplate that chilling notion. Who will determine what hate speech is? If person A decides what person B says is hateful, should person B be hauled away and jailed with the possibility of losing one’s livelihood? And what happens the next day when person C decides what person A said is hateful. Will he or she end up sharing a cell with person B? Where does it end? The answer to hate speech is not less speech, but more speech.

In a most dangerous possibility, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), and one of the cast of thousands seeking the Democrat nomination for president, called “hate speech a threat to our democracy,” and has demanded that President Donald Trump be banned from Twitter and his account suspended. Regardless of who one supports for president in 2020 or any other year, that is a frightening notion coming from someone who wants to be president. People of all political persuasions must stand up and loudly shout NO to Harris. She attempted to cajole Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) to join her on a recent debate stage in calling for Trump’s suspension from Twitter, but Warren refused to take the bait. Harris’ idea is the true threat to our democracy.

“The freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by a despotic government.” - Thomas Jefferson

“Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” - Thomas Jefferson

“The philosophy of the classroom today, will be the government of tomorrow.” - Abraham Lincoln.

With the horrifying levels of indoctrination on college campuses, the safe spaces, the free speech zones, and the abject political correctness that, for one, will eventually destroy women’s sports as it is known today, a level headed individual not afraid to speak out for fear of retribution or a lost job is vital as this nation goes to the polls to elect a president in less than a year.

Couple the above and Lincoln’s genius with that of Ronald Reagan. “Freedom is never more than one generation from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Radical Public Defender Elected San Fran DA

Radical Public Defender Elected San Fran DA
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
November 12, 2019

That only 35 percent of the citizens of San Francisco wants to move out of the City by the Bay is either a testament to the stubbornness or the stupidity of the 65 percent willing to remain in a city thinking it will improve from the unmitigated, unsafe, disgraceful cesspool it has become in the last several decades.

Perhaps after the tenure of newly elected District Attorney Chesa Boudin (D) drives the city into a more precarious, deleterious state even more San Franciscans will flee leaving the city to the illegals protected by the powers that be that ensconced these denizens in a sanctuary city, and those too old to move.

An ultra-liberal former public defender, Boudin, 39, was born in New York City to Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert, members of the domestic terrorist group the Weather Underground. At 14 months old, Boudin’s parents went to prison - his mother for 22 years, and his father may very well remain in prison for the rest of his life. Boudin’s parents were imprisoned for the murder of two police officers and a security guard during the Brink’s robbery in Rockland County, NY in 1981. Boudin would be raised in Chicago by his adoptive parents Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers - the leaders of the Weather Underground and unrepentant domestic terrorists to this very day. Ayers founded the communist revolutionary group in 1969 and continues to aver that he wished the Weather Underground had been more destructive.

In terms of his radicalism, Boudin comes by it honestly, considering his biological and adoptive parents. Come January 8, 2020 when Boudin is sworn in as District Attorney, he will move from one side of the judicial aisle to the other where he will be responsible for prosecuting scofflaws. Yet, he already pledged to do just the opposite.

“We will not prosecute cases involving quality of life crimes. Crimes such as public camping, offering or soliciting sex, public urination, blocking a sidewalk, etc. should not and will not be prosecuted,” said Boudin. Part of etcetera includes, but is not limited to public defecation, protecting illegal aliens from deportation, thus unilaterally legalizing the aforementioned crimes.

So radical is Boudin, a one-time translator for Hugo Chavez, the late dictator of Venezuela, that the establishment Democrats had endorsed interim DA Suzy Loftus. Such endorsements included Governor Gavin Newsome, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and Senator Kamala Harris. The results of the election have Boudin winning in a squeaker, 50.8 percent to 49.2 percent - a margin of 2,825 votes out of more than 170,000 votes cast.

Some of the endorsements Boudin picked up include the League of Pissed Off Voters, Our Progressive Future, Our Revolution, Restorative Justice International, San Francisco Berniecrats, as well as the district attorneys from Chicago, Kim Foxx and Philadelphia, Larry Krasner both radicals in their own right. But Boudin’s biggest “get” was the endorsement from self-described Socialist candidate for president Bernie Sanders, who issued a public congratulatory message upon Boudin’s victory.

As if at all possible, San Francisco will spiral further and further into the abyss. If there was any question the inmates had been running the asylum, this election clinches it as law abiding citizens and families will be at greater risk. A once beautiful city, San Francisco will continue to be marred by anti-American illegal aliens, an anti-American Board of Supervisors, and a soon to be anti-law abiding citizen district attorney, masquerading as a “reformer.” Testing every rape kit and expanding mental health treatment are the most reasonable goals Boudin espouses. That said, Boudin’s opponent Loftus endorsed those two no-brainer issues as well.

As of January 8, the honest law abiding citizens of the city of San Francisco will be less safe and secure. The “broken windows” theory employed by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani went a long way to not only restoring the image of the Big Apple, but making legitimate strides in reducing crime, thus encouraging more tourism, and more people moving to New York City having the confidence of safety and security the people in the City by the Bay will neither understand or enjoy.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.