Is Media Bias An Even Bigger Problem Now?

One of the reasons my more pessimistic (and, as it turns out, realistic) friends cited for believing that Mitt Romney would lose is media bias. I dismissed this not so much because I don’t believe that media bias isn’t an issue, but because I thought that there were enough countervailing forces to push Romney over the hump. Whoops.

I’m still leery of citing media bias as a principle cause of Barack Obama’s victory because doing so would diminish the more serious issues, and there are no shortage of reasons explaining why Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney. That said, it’s clear that a compliant media helped. From Candy Crowley giving a big assist at the second debate, to media silence over Benghazi (which followed years of silence on Fast and Furious), to harping on every minor (and not so minor) GOP flub, it’s clear that conservatives have been swimming upstream against a media tide.

But Ronald Reagan dealt with a biased media, and he managed to defeat Jimmy Carter, and then went on to win an even bigger landslide against Walter Mondale. Moreover, Reagan accomplished that in an ere where the only major national news sources were left wing networks and a handful of national daily newspapers. Now there are institutions like Fox News, talk radio, and blogs and other alternative media outlets. Haven’t these leveled the playing field?

Well, the problem is there are left-wing new media outlets, and they are just as well-read and well-watched as the right-wing outlets. Sure Fox is the king of cable news, but the sum total of the other television and cable networks outdraws the Fox viewership. And while talk radio may be dominated by the right, the left has outpaced the right when it comes to electronic media.

More importantly, while right-wing alternative media outlets may draw some non-partisans, we have become a polarized country even when it comes to our sources of news information. David French linked to a very informative graph that shows how conservatives and liberals are simply digesting news in very different ways, and left-leaning sources are ones which are very influential in the broader culture. We may shake our heads in disgust over the fact that many young people actually rely on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart as a credible news source, but that doesn’t make it any less true. As French notes, so-called moderates tend to read or watch left-leaning sites and programs, thus the new right-wing media isn’t penetrating the core demographic of younger voters. As someone perhaps more tuned into pop culture sites than most in these parts, I can testify that there is a definite leftist tilt that certainly influences those who are otherwise not especially tuned into current events.

I would also argue that the 24/7 news cycle hasn’t redounded to the right’s advantage. Sure Rather, Cronkite, Jennings, Brokaw and others were heavily influential, but they were on for 30 minutes a day – 22 if you factor in commercials. If a conservative politician made a blunder, they could plaster it on the nightly news, but then it was largely forgotten for another 23 hours. Now that blunder will be tweeted and re-tweeted, blogged about, joked about by Colbert and Stewart, mentioned on “apolitical” humor and culture sites, and broadcast on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, and even Fox. There’s no place to hide. So while news outlets ignore the  president’s dithering while his ambassador was killed, everyone is sure to hear about “legitimate rapes” over and over again.

I maintain that there are bigger problems than media bias to overcome, but it is a larger problem than I had thought previously.

44 Responses to Is Media Bias An Even Bigger Problem Now?

  • Don’t forget the “educational” establishment either. The teachers and textbooks are in sync with the soundbites heard elsewhere. Leftists can’t run a country worth a hoot but agitprop is their game and they are pros at it

  • G K Chesterton, who had worked for George Cadbury’s “Cocoa Press,” which always faithfully reflected the proprietor’s political views, once remarked that the power of the press is to suppress.

    I do not know the American press well, but this certainly remains true in Europe: a speech in parliament by a right-wing politician may have a column devoted to it in the right-wing press, but simply not be reported at all in the left-wing papers. Reports of party and trades union conferences are the same; each paper may cover two or three speeches, but seldom the same two or three speeches. More generally, there is a wide difference between what the left-wing and right-wing press deem newsworthy (or of interest to their readers). This is noticeable in book and theatre reviews.

  • Speaking of Fox News, it is Murdoch owned. I recall that his papers in the UK which were behind Mrs Thatcher, changed sides during Major’s rule, endorsing Tony Blair who is perhaps the most effective liar we’ve seen in a long while.

  • I’m a lifelong reporter/editor and also a retired very conservative elected public official.

    Media bias had very little to do with Romney’s loss. Cultural changes had every thing to do with it. I’ve been addressing that on my blog, http://www.catholicfaithandfitness.com. There were two errors: tactical and cultural.

    On the tactical level, Romney’s failure to respond to the unrelenting attacks on his character over the summer was a serious, perhaps deadly, mistake. Former Sen. Alan Simpson’s line that “a charge unanswered is a charge admitted” is very true, and Romney didn’t answer those attacks immediately. (He probably couldn’t, because he didn’t have the money.) At any rate, long before the GOP convention Romney had been cemented in many voters minds as an evil person who delighted in shipping U.S. jobs overseas.

    A second tactical failure was not anticipating that the economy might get better during the campaign, which is what apparently happened.

    But the biggest factor was cultural. We’re in the midst of a cultural change and those who advocate for traditional values have done virtually nothing to address this. Just one example: An overwhelming percentage of younger voters think gay marriage is just fine and don’t understand why anyone would oppose it. How often, during this campaign, did you hear anyone offer a reasoned explanation of why gay marriage is a bad idea — and how to otherwise address the legitimate desire by gay people to be able to make the same (hopefully lifelong) commitment that straights can make?

    Finally, the U.S. Catholic bishops didn’t help on the culture front. Their response to the HHS Mandate was a narrow legalistic argument about religious liberty, based on the U.S. Constitution. But most Americans believe that religious liberty means to be able to go to whatever church you want on Sunday — or to no church at all. The concept that designing a health benefit plan for a hospital or a school can be an exercise in religious liberty is totally foreign to them.

    The Obama campaign simply ignored the Constitutional argument and said it was all about women’s health care, that contraception (for instance) was essential to women’s health. The bishops and other pro-life groups did not respond to that, and that’s a real shame because they have some powerful arguments on their side, beginning with the fact that the World Health Organization has said the pill is a Class I carcinogen, just like tobacco and asbestos.

    Media bias had nothing to do with these factors. Nor did it have anything to do with the fact that Republicans have systematically alienated many Hispanics in recent years with a send-them-all-back immigration policy. Hispanics are now a larger voting block than blacks, which made this approach particularly stupid.

    I’ve been addressing some of this on my blog, http://www.catholicfaithandfitness.com.

  • I don’t necessarily disagree with anything you wrote, Joel, although I would add that media bias does compound the cultural issues, especially when you’ve got the likes of Stewart, Colbert, Letterman and others influencing younger voters. But there are much deeper problems, as I said in the post. The media bias thing is less a post-mortem rationalization of the election results and more an expression of how it is more of a problem than I previously realized.

  • I think you are right, Joel. I think that the phenomenon of moderates gravitating to leftist media is a symptom. Most kids grow up in an environment that inculcates attitudes conducive to that and have done for decades. Even intelligent, “educated” coworkers of mine in their 30s and 40s are blissfully ignorant on a whole range of issues and are OK with that. They don’t care what a debt to GDP ratio is as long as they can live their comfortable consumerist lifestyles, and when I try to explain the connection I might as well be speaking in Mandarin. Some think of themselves as logical but logic for them is nothing at all more than “sounds appealing to me.” People feel and emote in Pavlovian fashion and mistake it for thought. No wonder they gravitate to politicians (and their media cheerleaders) who make their appeals on that level.

  • You’re talking about the Confirmation Bias Media. No one tunes into Fox News or MSNBC unless they’re prepared to agree with what they see. I made a comment about this earlier – the right wing new media used to be a counterweight to the mainstream media; now it’s a counterweight to the left wing new media. They’re places to rally like minds. And let’s be honest, fellow choir members: we’re preaching to each other on this site. That serves a purpose. But it also leads us to speak different languages and rely on different facts to shape (or confirm) our world view. There are some great writers and commenters on this site, but in general, the new media allow us to deepen rather than broaden ourselves.

    A good analogy is Yahoo versus Google. When you went looking for something on Yahoo, you’d find related topics, similar things, opposing views. When you search on Google, you’re looking for an exact match. We don’t run across things that might steer us in a new direction any more. There are debates within a community, but not between communities; further, a debate within a community is likely to end with the creation of two separate sub-communities.

    A couple of people so far have pointed out that the default position for “non-political” culture is liberal. Movies, late-night talk shows, newspapers, et cetera. That’s what’s striking. The New Evangelization and the New Atheism face off, but the central culture just continues on its secular way.

  • I have to disagree with Joel that this did not cost Romney the election. If a Republican had been office, Benghazi would have been plastered across the media. Shows for weeks would have been asking, “Can Generic Republican win with the Benghazi scandal at the top of the news?” Said Republican might have been able to survive, but I wouldn’t have bet on it.

    That is not to say that other things couldn’t have been decisive, such as culture, fundamentals, candidate quality and GOTV efforts. However, given that it was only a 2% margin, the totally-corrupt news media might have been decisive as well.

  • Media bias is there. The Obumbler campaign to demonize Romney was also a big part of it, but the most troubling trend is the way young people think.

    To young people, pop culture is their religion. Movies, TV shows, popular music…this is what defines what young people’s opinions. It does not help that education stinks, from grade school through the many worthless university degrees, but look at the direction of entertainment.

    I am 49. When I was a child, TV shows consisted of the likes of the Wonderful World of Disney, Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, Lassie, National Geographic, and the Six Million Dollar Man. Kids could watch those shows. The crime and detective shows of the day were nothing like CSI and Law & Order.

    TV and movies were somewhat respectful of religion in the 1950s and the first half of the 1960s. Through the 1970s & 1980s, they began to ignore religion, but were usually not critical of it. Today pop culture trashes religion. There is nothing on network prime time TV that I could let my son watch right now.

    The facial piercings, the tattoos that are everywhere, ear plugs, pants that hang down past the hips….if these people vote it will never be for anyone like Mitt Romney.

    Our American culture stinks. It elected Clinton twice and it elected Obumbler twice.

  • “if these people vote it will never be for anyone like Mitt Romney.”

    Oh, I don’t know about that. There was many a student protestor and hippie in 68 who was voting for Reagan in 80. Let’s see how we do in 14 and 16.

  • Mr. McClarey, thank you for being a voice of calm and reason.

    What I fear about today’s youth is that so many of them will never grow up. Pop culture used to be rather bland. Today it is rather disgusting.

  • Thank you for your kind words PF. I have lived through worse political defeats in my life than the current situation, and hopefully that has given me a bit of perspective.

    Much of popular culture is toxic PF, there is no denying that. However, I think most of the young will eventually get jobs, marry and have kids, and all of that tends to have a sobering impact on most people who go through it. I also take comfort from the fate of the old Soviet Union: materialism as a philosophy of life is a bleak dead end. We do the materialism much better of course than the old Soviet Union, but I think most young people will eventually tire of the hook up culture and spending time in Mom’s basement playing video games. That, and the disasters that await in the Obama second term will doubtless cause more voters to desert his standard, which happened after his first term, although not quite enough to win the election for Mr. Romney.

  • In thinking about and watching outlets for comparison the other day, it occurs to me that Left-leaning and Right-leaning outlets approach coverage from entirely different places.

    Foxnews, for example, covers the highest interest stories, whether good for the favored political position or not. They spin the daylights out of the stories to be sure but the cover them. The MSM slants the stories too but they choose not to cover them as well.

    This seems to me to be the crucial difference and it may explain my observation that the Right has a far greter grasp of interconnected events. The Right knows what happened, even if their views is skewed. The Left very often hasn’t heard the story and, so, signs off discordant information as fictional.

  • “but I think most young people will eventually tire of the hook up culture and spending time in Mom’s basement playing video games.”

    Problem is, Donald, many of these “kids” are playing video games in Mom’s basement well into adulthood. That’s the big difference between and when we were growing up. Whatever flaws my parents may have had, the understood that making living at home as a young an attractive option was not a good one. I couldn’t wait to get the hell out of the house. Which was a big reason why I joined the Navy right after high school.

  • Problem is, Donald, many of these “kids” are playing video games in Mom’s basement well into adulthood. That’s the big difference between and when we were growing up. Whatever flaws my parents may have had, the understood that making living at home as a young an attractive option was not a good one. I couldn’t wait to get the hell out of the house. Which was a big reason why I joined the Navy right after high school.

    C’mon Greg. You are treating suburban practices adhered to ca. 1975 as if they were universal norms over time, space, and social strata. The evolution of housing costs, the distribution of earnings over age cohorts, and the physical vigor of the parents all influence people’s propensity to live at home, as do shifts in the manner in which different generations tend to interact and the precise emotional dynamics and physical properties of given domestic situations. My grandmother lived at home until she was 29, and not because she was in the least puerile. A friend of mine married an Australian bloke in 1984 and spent a number of years living there. It was quite unremarkable in that time and place for bachelor sons to live with their mothers. As long as the young are earning a living best they can, share in household chores, contribute to the mortgage and maintenance expenses to their ability, and avoid assaulting moral norms or sensibilities (by being blotto in front of their mother or fornicating the bedrooms of her house), you can be laconic about their living arrangements. The U.S. Navy currently has about 350,000 personnel. That amounts to about 17% of a single male cohort. It is not a solution for aught but a few.

  • True Greg. One of my friends came home from high school graduation and found his dad outside with his bags packed. He had been something of a hell raiser in high school, and I think both he and his father were ready to no longer live under the same roof. His dad told him he would drive him wherever he wanted to go, and he chose the Air Force recruiting office.

    Prolonged adolescence is a problem, although I think as the economy worsens, and I very much fear it will, I think sponging off Mom or Dad or both will become a less viable option as the parents increasingly have a hard time making ends meet.

  • Greg, I was 17 when I enlisted in 1987. San Diego for Boot and A School. Tin Can out of Norfolk – America Battlegroup.

    My life has been greatly blessed. God sent me to the Navy because I was a mess… A whiney little turd of a prima dona, convinced that my petty angst was significant. I went to college 4 years later on the GI Bill.

    The Master Chief gave our welcome, saying “If you boys give my Navy the respect she deserves, She will give you more in return than you deserve.”

    He was right in every way. These kids need to put down the controllers and do something, anything with their lives. God gave me to the Navy for 4 years and that has made all the difference.

  • By way of example in our own time:

    1. Much of the domestic housing stock was constructed with larger households that we have in mind

    2. The young are weighed down with student loan debt. Not as severe a problem in 1975 and not much of a problem at all in 1950.

  • His dad told him he would drive him wherever he wanted to go, and he chose the Air Force recruiting office.

    That’s nice. My father was an Air Force veteran, and wanted me in ‘the Service’. There were a couple of impediments.

    I recently had a flip through an edition of the Statistical Abstract of the United States published in 1969 or 1970. They had some interesting statistics on military recruitment and service histories of various age cohorts. Military service was modal even for those too young to serve during the 2d World War. The service histories of the cohorts born during the years running from 1930 through 1938 are as follows:

    55% Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines
    9% National Guard or Reserves
    12% No service, NOS
    24% disqualified on various grounds, predominantly medical.

    The was simply not an option for a great many, for reasons they could do nothing about (including me). That was true when they were Hoovering up every young man in sight. It is even more true today.

    Prolonged adolescence is a problem, although I think as the economy worsens, and I very much fear it will, I think sponging off Mom or Dad or both will become a less viable option as the parents increasingly have a hard time making ends meet.

  • Again, one reason prolonged adolescence is a problem is the wretched hypertrophy of higher education and the rot of secondary education. That is a problem for those in late middle age to address. God forbid any vested interests be offended or any elected official have the least imagination.

  • “The was simply not an option for a great many, for reasons they could do nothing about (including me).”

    I had a friend whose father served as a fighter pilot in World War II. He wanted to stay in the Army Air Corps after the War but he was told his eyesight was too bad. During the Korean War he was recalled to active duty by the Air Force flying fighter jets. After the war he was promptly tossed out again on the grounds of bad eyesight!

  • Excuse me, but so what? What would your friend’s father have done had the Air Force recruiters told him he did not qualify? He could have tossed him out on the street, I suppose, but that is a strange way of dealing with your 18 year old son (as opposed to a 21 year old son who misbehaves chronically and cannot keep a job).

    Macroeconomic problems are what they are and do constrain the options of the young. Also, all decisions are made prospectively. The young have to make decisions with the past they have, not the past you think they ought to have (really, we all do). It just does not do to go about assuming they are operating in bad faith (“sponging”) and that with a little toughlove everything will work out well. Some of them might benefit from being dealt with severely and some of them not.

  • By the way, G-Veg, The video game enthusiasts I know best are ages 30, 30, and 52. All are married. All are employed in occupations requiring considerable technical skill. One has post adolescent children in their early and middle 20s. The other two have a newborn. One of the fellows killed along side Ambassador Stevens was a video game enthusiast. (It is a hobby I do not cotton to myself).

  • “Excuse me, but so what? What would your friend’s father have done had the Air Force recruiters told him he did not qualify?”

    My friend would have found a job Art, as countless generations of young men before him found jobs. It probably would have been a lowly job but in time he would have worked his way into better jobs. I had a job washing dishes at night, and scrubbing the kitchen floor once a week, all while I was going through High School and at a $1.50 an hour I saved $3,000 dollars for college. Sheesh, today we make the simplest things complicated.

  • “All are married. All are employed in occupations requiring considerable technical skill.”

    I play games virtually every night Art. The problem is not the games but that too many of the young do that or similar activities instead of obtaining full time employment and sponge off their parents while doing so.

  • Art Deco, Your responses seen visceral. If I offended, I am sorry.

    My point was only this: military service is, for many, a safe place to come of age. I do ot think my experience is unusual and I commend it to those who lack the resources and/or the wherewithal to move out and on there own after high school.

    With regards to my slight at Gamers… It is a subjet to which I have not given much thought. My reference is the use of steriotype with no evidence of the validity of tt steriotype. I therefore beg that I should be permitted to take it back.

  • My friend would have found a job Art, as countless generations of young men before him found jobs. It probably would have been a lowly job but in time he would have worked his way into better jobs. I had a job washing dishes at night, and scrubbing the kitchen floor once a week, all while I was going through High School and at a $1.50 an hour I saved $3,000 dollars for college. Sheesh, today we make the simplest things complicated.

    Then what is the point of his father making a show of tossing him out of the house on the day he completes high school? A youngster finding work, setting aside the funds for a security deposit, finding a roommate, &c. is a banal story; it occurs routinely then as now, though a somewhat higher percentage than was once the case attend one or another sort of tertiary institution (as often as not a community college) full time or fitfully. A middle aged man packing his son’s bags the third week of June and preparing to dump him at a bus station (or on the side of the road) is…atypical. That’s why you told the story.

    There is nothing complicated about it, I did not assert there was anything complicated about it, and you know it. We have, however, acquired some chronic problems with the labor market in recent years which have a more severe impact on younger workers. That is too bad. Some of the young are punks and some are just having problems in living. There were punks back in 1975 as well. Youth unemployment was less severe but then again, crime was more severe. Take your pick. I do not see in the social statistics that behavior of youth has deteriorated to such a degree that it justifies pompous or gaseous admonitions from third parties.

    G-Veg, there is nothing visceral about my response. I just have very little patience with people substituting the issue of their imagination for social reality. The young could improve in various ways. Big deal. I was around in 1975 and in 1987 and have no recollection of these can-do youth who can teach today’s young a thing or two. I just remember people getting by and the usual run of shabby characters along with them. It is not always thus. I do not think any set of young adult cohorts compares well with my parents’ contemporaries. My parents contemporaries are now octogenarians. Most I know are not particularly opinionated about their grand-children.

  • C-Veg, I went through boot camp at San Diego from Febto April of 1985. Went to BT A-School in Great Lakes. Spent two and a half years on the Dubuque, reported onboard the day it arrived in it’s new homeport in Sasebo, Japan. Then spent another two and a half years on a tin can USS Robison (DDG-12).

    Although I didn’t think it at the time, the Navy gave me more in return. I landed a decent job working for the Navy after I got out. Got to see a lot of the world…maybe a little more than I should have.

  • In the rural area where I live three-generation households are and always have been the norm. Virtually all my own forebears were born, lived and died in the same house.

    It is very common to find men farming in partnership with their sons – sons who have never left home and the same thing is true of many small local businesses.

  • “Then what is the point of his father making a show of tossing him out of the house on the day he completes high school?”

    Perhaps Art that now he was a man and needed to find his own way in the World? What a revolutionary concept in today’s World thirty-seven years later!

  • Art Deco – I very much agree with you that characterizations of whole generations is a losing proposition. My generation are supposedly the selfish Reagan generation – consumed with greed. We grew upr at the end of the ColdWar, after the tumultous Sixties and Early Seventies. Are we thus? Or, asked a better way, is a large enough percentage thus that we can be lumped together that way?

    I suppose there are experiences that shape a generation. The Greatest Generation and those who lived through the Great Depression came of age during a time of great trial. Experience had to leave its mark. But, did that make them great? By what measure?

    My children are virtually blind to race. That isn’t my doing. The world they are geowing up in is intolerant of racism and, so, they don’t know a single Polish joke and wouldn’t have any context for it if they heard one. My Grandfather, a poor North Carolina farmer, was not overtly racist but he had a clear understanding that God did not intend the races to mingle. He literally had a farm on the opposite side of the tracks from a black neighborhood. (“Neighborhood” in rural NC usually meant houses stretching up the road without cross streets.). He got his sodas and such from a little store with some “nicer nigra folks” and, when my cousins and I worked on his farm during the summers, he had no problem sitting on the store’s porch, shooting the shit with blacks… But there was a caveat, they stayed on their side of the tracks.

    Was his generation the Greatest Generation? Depends on the measure. He was my grandfather though and, thoguh very human and deeply flawed, I remember him fondly.

    Your father’s generation is highly esteemed in your eyes and that is as it should be because we are supposed to look fondly back at our families. But I suspect you are talking about the person, not the generation.

    With regards to the generation of workers entering the workforce now, I get more than a little agitated as management training courses on how to handle their differences. I don’t see it on the ground. One new hire will fit well with our team and give it all they have. Another will sit on their ass and wait for direct instruction for everything. Same generation, different people.

    I try to take everyone where I find them, hence my embarrassment at applying the steriotype of the “Gamer” to the discussion. I agree with you but I wouldn’t carve out a special place in your argument for the “Greatest Generation.” I would just acknowledge that your father was a great man.

  • You are evading the question. If the Air Force gambit failed, what was plan B? Somehow, I think leaving your kid at a bus station with no legal address is not a conduit to improving his chances of actually finding work (which was proportionately more plentiful in 1975 than is the case today).

    And you all keep ignoring the 80% of youngsters who actually are employed. It is a reasonable supposition that the unemployed population differs from the remainder on average, and in ways that indicate they are more problematic. However, you did not see a trebling of youth unemployment rates in the last six years due to a sudden outbreak of laziness, any more than that was the case in the far more rugged society of 1930.

  • “You are evading the question.”

    I’ve answered the question Art and you didn’t like the answer. My friend was able bodied and of more than normal intelligence. He would have found no difficulty finding employment so long as he was willing to, what is that quaint four letter word?, work.

  • Greg – USS Ainsworth, FF-1090, Sonar Technician.

    The key thing that I got from the Navy was a better understanding if the direct relationship between what I did and how things went. On-board, everything that you do privately is immediately known widely and is magnified. Every screwup comes around againa and again and it forces an awareness that your actions are intimately connected to others’ wellbeing. For example, on thes second midnight watch of the second day across the Med, I broke the coffee pot. It wasn’t my fault – in the sense that the ship took a roll and it smashed against a bulkhead – but breakingit meant that my section had to go to the Mess Decks to get coffee. 37 men irritated at you for nearly 3 weeks because their coffee tastes like shit and is cold before they can get back to their station gets your attention I can tell you. (The lines were barely tightened in Naples before I sprinted off to find a new coffee pot.)

    The military isn’t for everyone and I’m not advocating for a draft but it has got to be better than being unemployed or underemployed, living with one’s folks because you have to rather than because you want to, waiting for adulthood to start. It seems to me from the outside, for I haven’t personally experienced it, that lingering childhood is bad for people because they lose precious time and development takes an hiatus. That can’t be a good thing and, while I was wrong to use the stereotype, I don’t think I’m wrong in saying that young people in that place would be better to get up and out than to stay there.

  • I love you, Mac.

    Media lies won’t save lost youth and assorted others that will suffer the end of the republic.

    Add public school indoctrination and progressive propaganda disguised as college/university “scholarship”, and the sordid, cesspool culture to media propaganda to tote the sum causes of their impending doom.

    “Let’s see how we do in 14 and 16.”

    You’re an optimist. What of anything that we hold dear will survive into 2014 or 2016?

    Pray for the best. Prepare for the worst.

  • “What of anything that we hold dear will survive into 2014 or 2016?”

    The Faith, my family, my country and TAC! What else could I reasonably ask for?

  • Mac,

    Your “Faith, family and TAC”: Yes.

    Your “country”: Maybe.

  • Ah, the US will always remain for me T.Shaw, no matter what the fools and villains currently in power do.

  • I’ve answered the question Art and you didn’t like the answer.

    No, your answer is sanctimonious and and fundamentally non-responsive. You are assuming the young in question are indifferent to employment, and, indubitably, some are. In the circumstances we face, most are experiencing elongated periods between jobs because of sclerosis in the labor market. It is the situation, although they may have more trouble coping than do others due to personal failings which would not have been decisive in better circumstances. Many live at home because of a large overhang of student loan debt. Some of them play video games in their spare time, some do not. Some might be candidates for military service, most not.

    The young today are less likely to be criminal and less likely to be welfare dependent than was the case 37 years ago. They are more likely to have elongated periods of unemployment, unsustainable debt, and to adhere to corrupt and shabby notions with regard to sex and family life. As for the last, they are farther down a slope the society as a whole started rolling down around about 1958. As for the debt, they did not build our wretched educational system, they have just had to navigate within it. As for the first, the younger cohorts were not the ones who slashed mortgage lenders underwriting standards or bid up the price of real estate to ludicrous levels. They just have to navigate through the detritus of that.

    The old always have something to teach the young. They usually cannot, in our own time, point to their own youth for positive examples.

  • “No, your answer is sanctimonious and and fundamentally non-responsive.”

    No my answer was factually correct and not to your liking. Even in this pig of an economy the fast food places around here are always seeking new workers and there is a reason for that. Too many people simply do not believe they have to work at jobs they think are beneath them, and too many of the parents of these individuals subsidize this attitude.

  • The conversation in this thread is now far removed from the subject matter of the post. I would kindly ask that folks move on.

  • Your father’s generation is highly esteemed in your eyes and that is as it should be because we are supposed to look fondly back at our families. But I suspect you are talking about the person, not the generation.

    Nope, I am talking about the run of men and women in his social circle at each stage of his life and the medians and means of behavior you can observe through examining social statistics. About him and him and me, some other time.

  • As far as every screw up being magnified aboard ship is something I know only all too well. I had my share of screwups during my days in the fleet and paid dearly for them. I wasn’t much of a coffee drinker in my Navy days. I’m more of one know. But my recollection was that if the lifer juice DIDN’T taste like crap somehting was wrong.

    Oh, and one last thing C-Veg, there are only two types of sailors Snipes and Passengers!

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