Michael Shear, Lauren Ashburn, Craig Crawford and Howard Kurtz on how trivial items have captured headlines in the final days of the campaign.
Another child was killed recently because reporters don't want to communicte like a teacher.
Her name was Tamryn Klapheke and she died of malnutrition and dehydration. The chemical burns on body from lying on a mattress that was soaked with urine may be the only reason why her death was interesting to the Associated Press. The state of Texas is conducting an investigation into the behavior of a case worker and several supervisors from Child Protective Services. Tamryn's mother had been accused of child abuse and the case worker was supposed to monitor her "parenting skills." But the case worker hadn't seen the child in ten months when the monitoring was ended without a final visit to confirm that Tamryn and her two sisters were not being abused. The case worker and the other agency employees are suspected of hiding the evidence for their inadequate care. However, no one should criticize the case worker for her behavior because the local agency was severely understaffed. In fact, the entire agency was understaffed throughout the entire state of Texas. So the case worker can only be accused of failing to do what was impossible to do. But Governor Perry and the state legislature should not be criticized for not providing enough money for protecting vulnerable children because politicians are controlled by incentives that they can not change. They must support both more tax cuts and more subsidies for the most powerful special interest groups or they will be replaced in the next election by smarter politicians. Children are just to week of a special interest group to deserve a tax increase.. And the public should not be criticized for not protecting vulnerable children by voting for their self interest. One man, one vote is a wonderful principle and a lousy incentive for becoming an informed voter. In my informal surveys of friends and drinking buddies, I have never met anyone who knew anything about our state's programs for children before a disaster happen. And I assume that the voters of Texas are just as ignorant as the voters of Nebraska and every other state. So we the people could not have prevented Tamryn's death. Only the news media has the power to change the incentives that affect both politicians and voters. But reporters don't want to. They prefer to entertain their customers by writing the first draft of history instead of periodically educating voters by writing the second draft of history. And this judgment applies to Howard Kurtz and the reporters on CNN. Everyone in the news media is more interested in investigating disasters instead preventing them
I was pleased when in his introduction Howard Kurtz brought up the subject of Libya, hoping that it would lead to a lenghthy discussion. Unfortunately, his panelists seemed all too willing to gloss over it. Lauren Ashburn in particular spoke about Americans wanting "dessert", referring to the "binders of women" nonsense again. (Will it ever end?) It's disturbing to see such an important event as the death of four of our people and the burning of the embassy largely ignored by the media in favor of "dessert." It is incredible to me that this could be overlooked in an election year, since this incident seems to show a horrifying lack of judgment, a callous disregard for the welfare of the victims, and a deplorable lack of communication, not to mention the deception of the American people. Libya was known to be an unstable country. Earlier attacks had been attempted. The British and the Red Cross had pulled out. Does the President not get daily briefings from the CIA and other officials? It seems inconceivable that the topic of security could not have come up, and if it didn't, I would think the President might have asked someone how Chris Stephens felt about the situation there. I can't help feel the media has fallen way down on the job by not asking the right questions of government officials instead of just accepting lame excuses.
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