Friday, September 25, 2015

For Shame Scott Pelley, For Shame Erik Kirschbaum, For Shame New York Times

We have a warped sensibility when it comes to news reporting and commentary and I am not talking about some right wing or leftist news organization. I am referring to CBS News with Scott Pelley and the Op-Ed page of The New York Times as exemplified by an article submitted by Erik Kirschbaum.

On Thursday Pelley went ga-ga over Pope Francis. He devoted nearly half his broadcast to the pontiff's day in Washington, DC, and arrival in New York City. Now, I, too, am captivated by the prelate's visit. You don't have to be Catholic to appreciate the extraordinary humanity exuded by Francis and the courage he displayed in standing before many congressmen and senators who, even if they are Catholic, clearly do not agree with his positions on climate change, aid to the indigent, the need for diplomacy rather than confrontation, the end to the death penalty and acceptance of immigrants.

Pelley was obviously enthused by the papal visit, seemingly recognizing his newscast was tilted toward the bishop of Rome. He noted there were some other major stories to report and cut away from the pageantry to update viewers on two vehicle accidents that killed four people in Seattle and two in Houston. But the deaths of more than 700 Muslims in a human stampede outside Mecca in Saudi Arabia? Not a single word! Not a single word on a tragedy that also injured more than 700! Are the lives of six dead in America more important than 700 who died in minutes as they innocently tried to fulfill one of the sacred rituals of their faith?

I kept waiting for Pelley to mention the tragedy. Nothing. Not a word. For shame. For shame.

Earlier in the day I got around to reading an Op-Ed piece from Wednesday's Times. Erik  Kirschbaum noted that Americans of German descent comprise the largest national ethnic group in the country yet they rarely pronounce their heritage. He explained that reticence in historical terms, spending nine paragraphs describing how the fear of being challenged for dual loyalty during the first world war led many German-Americans to change their names or otherwise deny or subsume their teutonic background.

As for the impact of Nazi Germany and the Bund movement that was sympathetic to Hitler as possible causes of German-American antipathy to their fatherland Kirschbaum provided a mere six lines of mention. Are you kidding?

Okay, I can excuse Kirschbaum as he was trying to advance an argument. But I wonder how The Times could ignore the obvious downplay of one of the most traumatic periods in recorded civilization when a heretofore culture considered to be educated and civilized turned barbaric and inhumane. How could The Times run such an obviously incomplete commentary? For shame. For shame.

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