Category Archives: Commentary

Right Should Back Efforts to Stop the Sinclair/Tribune Monster || Lifezette

Right Should Back Efforts to Stop the Sinclair/Tribune Monster

If the proposed merger goes through, it will create a media giant with access to 70 percent of American households

by Craig Shirley | Updated 30 Apr 2018 at 4:24 PM

Several weeks ago, a viral compilation of local news hosts hit the Internet. Smartly edited and a clear message, it showed local reporters from across the country repeating, verbatim, from a script. They were all owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, headquartered in Maryland.

Ironically, the topic was fake news, and like drones, these newscasters read – some with personality, some dry – about its dangers, about how they pride themselves in reporting facts. “This is extremely dangerous to our democracy,” they said one after the other.

So, too, is Sinclair.

Concentrated power and corporatism has made what should be a good cause – a representative of conservative media, which is sorely underrepresented – into the very thing they fear. Bloated, monopolistic, and dangerous. American conservatism has always been centered on a healthy disregard for all concentrations of power, beginning with the British Empire.

President Donald Trump, with his characteristic knack of being more provocateur than leader, had tweeted recently, “Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke.” Mr. President, while you may think so, there is a serious problem here beyond them being Not-CNN or Not-NBC. Just because they aren’t liberal, doesn’t make them safe.

Sinclair is set to merge with Tribune Media, with a $3.9 billion purchase. What reach they had prior would only expand, almost double. Bad move, as it has united both left and right media organizations against them.

Again, conservative media is lacking, so when people like Christopher Ruddy at Newsmax or Glenn Beck, or One America News in San Diego, or even former House Republican Majority Leader, Tom DeLay, you know there is trouble for the right. Civil war is especially bad for a rare breed like conservative media, but some wars are necessary.

Newsmax’s CEO Christopher Ruddy puts it simply: “It’s going to give them enormous reach — 70 percent of the country — and it’s going to dwarf anything else in scale that’s on cable news or any of the major TV networks right now. And it’s a danger to not only liberals but also to Republicans and conservatives.”

To boot, not only is such a concentration of corporate power dangerous for the American mind, it’s also dangerous to our very economic ideology. Capitalism guarantees fair competition. Where is that, when 70 percent of the media is under one man in Maryland?

Starter companies or the relatively unknown news outlets would suffer and be stomped on by the giant’s foot. Newsmax? Kiss it goodbye. One America News? Sayonara. These organizations provide genuine news precisely because they are not caught up under anything.

“Why are you saying this,” some defenders may say, “you admitted yourself that conservatives are fighting a losing battle against the liberal media. Do you want more liberals to control the media? Because that is what will happen!”

Response: Let’s play a game. Imagine, if you will, that the ideologies were switched. Let’s say Sinclair Broadcast Group didn’t come from Maryland, but from Silicon Valley. They’re liberal, not afraid of it, not going to change that. And here they are, taking up 70 percent of all available news. What would you say?

There’d be a conservative outcry. There’d be calls for investigations. This isn’t about ideology, it’s about fair competition. Would you really think it possible for other conservative channels to fairly compete against the behemoth?

French economist Frederic Bastiat, a champion of free-market economy who created the so-called “parable of the broken window” about opportunity costs, once noted, “Competition is merely the absence of oppression.” If Sinclair were to get its way, competition would drastically plummet, oppression rising in its ashes.

We want our local news to be local, not corporate and dictated from Washington and New York. If we get corporate news in the guise of local, then where, truly, is the local news?

Luckily, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) can still stop this merger and keep the limit on how many homes any one television network can reach. Before the acquisition is complete, it must be approved by both the FCC and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Newsmax, throwing itself in the ring, issued a petition to dismiss the merger. “Democracy demands access to a panoply of voices from a variety of viewpoints,” the outlet said in the petition. “If this transaction is approved, the FCC will allow a single entity to reach 72% of U.S. households, operate 233 local broadcast stations (78 more than the its nearest competitor), and broadcast in 108 local markets (including key markets like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Dallas).”

Conservatives, as well as Trump, have benefited tremendously from local media across Red State America by a diverse media not controlled by New York media mavens. Local television news still remains the way most voters get local news, and there is yet to emerge any serious Internet competition in these local markets.

The First Amendment guarantees freedom of the press. No one should dispute that. But Sinclair is going beyond a news organization and becoming something monstrous, too big for its own good. The public airwaves are limited, and Sinclair wants to be one of the dominant players as NBC, CBS, and ABC quickly follow suit by scooping up local TV stations.

Inevitably, fair competition will be stomped down and simply be unable to survive. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

Congress, the FCC, and DOJ should stop the Sinclair deal and press for a free, fair and diverse press. We all win under those rules.

Craig Shirley is a New York Times best-selling author and presidential historian. He has written four books on President Ronald Reagan, along with his latest book, “Citizen Newt: The Making of a Reagan Conservative,” about the early career of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. He lectures frequently at the Reagan Library and is the Visiting Reagan Scholar at Eureka College in Illinois, the 40th president’s alma mater. He also wrote the critically acclaimed “December 1941.”




April 17, 2018

ALEXANDRIA, VA — Barbara Bush wasn’t called the Silver Fox for nothing. Beautiful, smart, elegant, tough, witty, this Mother of all Bushes brought charm and grace to the White House and everything she touched or whatever setting in which she he moved. Through her years as both wife and mother to Presidents of the United States, she stayed loyal and faithful to her family and to her country, bettering all she could through her actions and words.

Her legacy is secure. Her monuments are her marriage to President George H.W. Bush and her marvelous children.

The Bushes were born blood donors, welcoming all kindly, into their homes and their lives.

My wife Zorine and I mourn the passing of this very Great Lady.

RIP Barbara Pierce Bush.


The Entitled Kennedys || Townhall

The Entitled Kennedys

Craig Shirley
Posted: Apr 10, 2018

This column was co-authored by Scott Mauer.

By early 1969, Senator Edward “Ted” Kennedy had huge shoes to fill. He was the youngest brother of President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert Kennedy. Both had died in a span of five years from an assassin’s bullet for completely unrelated reasons. He was also the brother of Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Jr., who’d been a Navy flyer killed in action in 1944, over England. All died heroically for their country.

On Friday, July 18, 1969, Ted Kennedy’s reputation was forever marked, continuing a family curse. This time, though, it was not his death but that of another person, that emblazoned his name on the front pages. A little aftermidnight, Kennedy lost control of his car off Dike Bridge, on Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts. He and his 28-year old passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, plunged into the water. Ted managed to escape and to leave the crash . . . without reporting it for ten hours. He went back to his hotel and slept. “I had not given up hope all night long that, by some miracle,” he said later in a testimony, “Mary Jo would have escaped from the car.”  She did not. Mary Jo, whose body was recovered the next day, drowned that night in that car.

The incident rocked and besmirched the star crossed but heroic Kennedy legend. Teddy and Mary Jo had been at a party of RFK campaign workers called the “Boiler Room Girls” earlier that evening in Martha’s Vineyard.  The Vineyard was long known as the playground of the rich and famous. And entitled. Joan Kennedy was not at the party.

The day after, a teenage boy and his father who were visiting Long Island, got word of the tragedy. Having come from a family who were in love with all-things Kennedy, they were taken aback. A retired old fisherman who was renting out boats, looked to these two, and asked, “Have you heard about Kennedy, what he did?” Provocatively, this old salt remarked, “If we had done that, we would be in jail forever.” It tarnished any excitement about the Kennedys and any excitement the father and son had in anticipation of the moon landing, which was to occur only two days after the accident.

Kennedy pleaded guilty on July 25 to leaving the scene of a fatal accident, and was given a suspended sentence. Judge James Boyle remarked, Ted “has already been, and will continue to be punished far beyond anything this court can impose.”

Vapid words. A woman was dead. Ted’s life would go on. Entitled.

Ted’s wife, Joan, soon after suffered a miscarriage – her third – and placed the blame solely on Chappaquiddick and on Ted’s apparent and now-public infidelity. Fake satirical ads from National Lampoon magazine mocked him, with a photo of a half-submerged Volkswagen, the caption read “If Ted Kennedy drove a Volkswagen, he’d be President today.” Time magazine reported a joke already making the rounds: “Would you let [President Nixon] sell you a used car?” one Democrat asks another. “Yes,” he’d reply, “but I sure wouldn’t let that Teddy drive it.”

Joan Kennedy later descended into a sad state of alcoholism and she blamed Teddy for this as well. So many over the years became nothing more than the flotsam and jetsam on the beach of Kennedy ambition and entitlement.

Senator Kennedy refused to pick up the banner of his brother Robert’s fallen standard in 1968. He was reelected in the 1970 midterms, with 62 percent of the vote, nearly half a million more than Republican Josiah Spaulding. His political ambitions for president were briefly stalled – he shied from running in 1972, and specifically declined George McGovern’s request to be his running mate. He refused a 1976 presidential run, as well.  Instead, he chose to run for the 1980 Democratic nomination. A good decade had passed since the accident. The United States was in a midst of a horrid economic crisis, the worst since the Great Depression, with both inflation and stagnation – thus creating a new portmanteau, stagflation, a seemingly impossible combination. The Soviet Union was on the march and winning; oil prices were rising, and Iran held American embassy employees hostage. It was time, Kennedy thought, to move on from Chappaquiddick. There were other priorities on which to focus.

CBS’s Roger Mudd was one of the first to interview candidate Kennedy on November 4, 1979. Mudd was a Kennedy family friend but the entire hour-long interview of Ted was wordy and discursive. “Why do you want to be president?” Mudd asked. The response time could have been reduced by half if Kennedy had omitted the “ums” and “uhs” and pauses. This was supposed to be the easiest question of them all, and Ted fumbled it. When asked about Chappaquiddick, and whether anyone believed his side of the story, he responded just as poorly.“Oh, there’s, the problem is, from that night, I, I found the conduct, the behavior almost beyond belief myself. I mean that’s why it’s been, but I think that’s the way it was. Now I find that as I have stated that I have found the conduct that in, in that evening and in, in the, as a result of the accident of the, and the sense of loss, the sense of hope, and the, and the sense of tragedy, and the whole set of circumstances, that the behavior was inexplicable. So I find that those, those, types of questions as they apply to that, questions of my own soul, as well. But that happens to be the way it was.”

What? Great answer . . . It was a rambling mess and he had the audacity to portray himself as a victim. Entitlement struck again.

In January of 1980, the Washington Star and Reader’s Digest ran stories that disproved Kennedy’s side of the accident. There was no strong current, as the Senator claimed, that stopped him from trying to rescue Mary Jo. In fact, the tide was slowly moving in. Further, it was proven that Kennedy was driving erratically over a rickety one-way bridge, well over the speed limit, contradicting his testimony.

It was a ghost that kept haunting him. He tried to downplay it, using the tragedies of his brothers’ deaths to his advantage. “I’ve been under a lot of stress, too,” said one observer, interviewed by the media. “I’ve lost some family, too, but that doesn’t make me qualified to be president.” Still, it wouldn’t go away. President Jimmy Carter alluded to it early on, saying that he never “panicked in the crisis,” unlike his opponent. In late February, 1980, right before the New Hampshire primary, a high school student asked Teddy about Chappaquiddick, and again, Kennedy gave a tedious, non-answer.

The Democratic primaries, which might have gone to Teddy, went mostly for Carter in part because of the hostage crisis. Of course, Ted got Massachusetts by 65 percent; that was a no-brainer. Georgia went to native Jimmy Carter with nearly 90 percent. Those were the obvious bets. New Hampshire went to Carter, nearly 50 percent; Maine caucuses went to Carter, as did Iowa’s. So did Vermont, Alabama, Florida, Puerto Rico, Illinois, Kansas, Wisconsin, Louisiana and Texas. In total, Ted only won 12 primaries with 37 percent of the popular vote nationwide. This was against a failed presidency, and in a country in crisis. The entitled Kennedy could not beat that.

And yet there’s a contradiction here. Kennedy failed to become president – he failed to become a nominee for the president – yet he held office, until his death, as one of the longest-consecutive serving senators in United States history, nearly 50 years. He died at the age of 77, making this congressional run a majority of his life. Chappaquiddick could have genuinely been a mistake, a fatal tragedy that cost the life of a young woman; however the actions following are not in question.  Kennedy died in 2009, sodden, grotesquely overweight, an alcoholic celebrated by the scions of liberal society and buried in Arlington. He lies amidst the thousands of real heroes, many of whom saved women and did not leave them to die.

Some years ago, some in Hollywood tried to make a movie on Chappaquiddick based on the meticulously written book, Death at Chappaquiddick, by the estimable duo of Tom Tedrow and his son, Tom Tedrow, Jr. the entitled Kennedy family, still strong and influential, reached out and swatted it away. Blissfully, not this time. The story is finally being told.

Mary Jo Kopechne’s story has been lost amid the fable and ersatz of the celebrated Kennedys. She died because of Ted Kennedy’s incompetency and his cowardice. She died because he was entitled and thought he could get away with it.

And he did.


Repugnant Rosenwald, Repulsive Post, Ignorant Hillary || Lifezette

Repugnant Rosenwald, Repulsive Post, Ignorant Hillary

Democrats and bigotry go back to the days of secession and the KKK, but this Washington Post editor paints Ronald Reagan as racist

by Craig Shirley and Scott Mauer | Updated 13 Feb 2018 at 11:15 AM

There was once a time when earning a doctorate was considered the highest honor, one in which you are considered the expert in your field and you virtually have an imprimatur for all things related. No more.

Brian Rosenwald is a senior fellow in the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is an editor for The Washington Post’s new section “Made by History,” dedicated to historical events that have shaped the United States. It’s a noble idea but, like all things Washington Post, has quickly descended into left-wing lies and bile. Surprise.

Rosenwald is also the liberal author of several op-eds in The Post, mostly relating to the Republican Party. “After Charlottesville, Republicans must grapple with their history on race,” he wrote last August. No mention of the Democratic Party’s long association with slavery, Jim Crow, and racism.

This year, he wrote another piece smearing Republicans: “Republicans aren’t hypocrites. They just have flawed principles.” The piece is littered with condescending attitudes and elitist points. “And that, more than hypocrisy, is the real problem facing Republicans — they have principles; those principles just don’t work,” he wrote.

You can almost hear him say “You just don’t understand …” to anyone who may offer a different point of view from his ivory tower. The problem here, it isn’t we who don’t understand. It’s him.

In his earlier piece, he falsely wrote that President Ronald Reagan launched his 1980 campaign at the Neshoba County Fair, close by where three civil rights workers were murdered by racists 14 years earlier.

Hillary Clinton, in her recent book, “What Happened,” lied similarly. The implication is not subtle. Reagan somehow was soft on racism. Hillary long has had only a casual relationship with the truth or reality but, now we know, so does Rosenwald.

A couple of things are going on here: First, this is not true. Reagan did not launch his fall campaign in Mississippi, but in Liberty State Park, New Jersey, on Labor Day. He was surrounded by ethnic Americans, and the towering Statue of Liberty behind him offered a symbolism of hope, renewal, and the American dream.

Reagan made note of this as well: “They came to make America work. They didn’t ask what this country could do for them but what they could do to make this — this refuge, the greatest home of freedom in history.” Factually, to say Reagan started his campaign at the Neshoba County Fair is wrong and deliberately wrong. Typical left-wing smear.

Point of fact, Michael Dukakis campaigned at the Neshoba County Fair in 1988. Hence, Dukakis was a racist, right?

But what about Jimmy Carter’s 1980 campaign? Unlike Clinton or Rosenwald, who are deliberately ignorant about Reagan, Jimmy Carter, in reality, launched his fall 1980 campaign in Tuscumbia, Alabama, at a Labor Day picnic, which the Los Angeles Times reported was the “national headquarters of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.”

The national headquarters for the Knights of the KKK was, in fact, just down the road in Pulaski, Tennessee, but only 50 miles away. There at his kickoff, Carter wheeled up the old “Seggie,” George Wallace, another Democrat, who’d been confined to a wheelchair. Carter’s daughter, Amy, kissed Wallace on the cheek. Wallace was the only Democrat on the stage that day, singled out by Carter for praise.

Carter told the crowd, “We southerners believe in the nobility of courage on the battlefield.” Meanwhile, 60 Klansmen marched there in front of Carter in robes with the Confederate battle flag. We could leave it there to let readers draw the false notion that Carter was receiving their endorsement (like the false smear against Reagan) and, while he did not, he did defend the Confederate battle flag.

Reagan attacked Carter for choosing Tuscumbia, but incredibly, Carter, his fellow Democrats, and the national media chose to attack Reagan for criticizing Carter’s choice for launching his fall campaign.

But you’ll be hard-pressed to see people label Carter as a racist. In fact, it is never reported that Carter had kind comments about the Confederate battle flag or the racist Democrat George Wallace.

In fact, let’s flip this around: Some Republicans may have a problem with racists, but so did and do the Democrats and far more, too. Let’s not even touch the Civil War, in which Southern Democrats seceded from the Union for the sole purpose of keeping slavery.

But lynching? The GOP had anti-lynching planks in its platform for years. The Democrats? Not until much later, to placate Southern racists. By the way, the Democratic Party’s KKK’s favorite target for lynching besides blacks was — Republicans.

More recently, however …

How about 1964? The Civil Rights Act, after much controversy and bickering, finally went to the House of Representatives for a vote. Eighty percent of the GOP Representatives — in total 136 — voted yes to the act.

On the other hand, Democratic representatives who voted no made up 37 percent, nearly 100 votes against. It was similar in the Senate, as proportionally the Republican Party overwhelmingly voted yes for the measure, while Democrats half-heartedly cheered it.

Even the chairman of the House Rules Committee, Democrat Rep. Howard Smith, wanted to stop it before it reached anywhere, and the proposal resulted in a 14-hour-long filibuster by racist Democrat Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia.

Decades earlier, Democratic hero and 13-year President Franklin Roosevelt, in the name of national security, imprisoned hundreds of thousands of American citizens of Japanese descent, locking them in internment camps.

It was only under Reagan that reparations were paid. He signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, giving each Japanese-American $20,000. FDR also snubbed Jesse Owens in the 1933 Berlin Olympics after he won four gold medals, becoming the most successful athlete there.

He was never invited to the White House. In 1936, Owens actually said, “Hitler didn’t snub me — it was our president who snubbed me. The president didn’t even send me a telegram.” That says something about Owens’ impression of our president.

We can go on and on. Truman used racial slurs against Jews, African-Americans, and Chinese in his diaries, using terms that even the 1940s would have considered hardcore.

Bill and Hillary Clinton came from Arkansas, so it’s without surprise that campaign slogans and friends had more … white-only attitudes. “SONS of the NEW SOUTH,” read a Clinton-Gore campaign button, with the nominees’ faces superimposed over confederate uniforms and the Stars and Bars of the Confederacy. Byrd was also a longtime friend of the Clintons’, with Hillary calling him “my friend and mentor.”

Yet it is Reagan who is falsely accused of being a racist.

Reagan had a clear and unbroken philosophy based on the unbroken expansion of human freedom. He was a child of the Enlightenment, which is why he quoted Thoreau, Emerson, Jefferson and Paine so often.

Thus, Reagan’s first goal was to reignite Americans belief in themselves. Coupled with this were tax cuts and rearming America. He knew a happy people were a productive people, so his first goal was the restoration of American morale, coupled with the tools of tax cuts, but at the top was national defense.

To Reagan, they all worked together to achieve a higher moral plane. Balanced budgets came last. They were important but the others were more important.  He knew if we lost to the Soviets, a good economy and good national mood were all academic. It was the American people who were the priority.

Related: Trump Is Not the Only President Who Promised to Drain the Swamp

But Reagan’s American conservatism was a consistent and complete philosophy. President Donald Trump, while doing some very good conservative things, is a populist and populism is not a philosophy but a reaction to “the other guy” controlling bigness.

It can’t be understated how influential the Reagan Revolution was to the GOP, both in the 1980s and even today. Politicians are rated according to “What would Reagan do?” It’s a sort of grand philosophy that holds a party together.

So when people like Hillary Clinton or Brian Rosenwald say Republicans are “unprincipled” for whatever reasons, perhaps a look at what the Democratic Party did, is doing, and will continue to do is in order.

Regarding liberals like Clinton and Rosenwald, they are liberals beyond knowledge and beyond help.

Craig Shirley is a New York Times best-selling author and presidential historian. He has written four books on President Ronald Reagan, along with his latest book, “Citizen Newt: The Making of a Reagan Conservative,” about the early career of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. He lectures frequently at the Reagan Library and is the Visiting Reagan Scholar at Eureka College in Illinois, the 40th president’s alma mater. He also wrote the critically acclaimed “December 1941.” Scott Mauer is a research assistant for Craig Shirley.

Statement of Reagan Biographer Craig Shirley on Dr. Ronny Jackson

For Immediate Release
January 17, 2018

Statement of Reagan Biographer Craig Shirley

Trump White House physician “wrong” about Reagan

 Washington, D.C. – White House doctor Ronny Jackson may be an expert in the medical field, but he gets failing grades for his history. In an interview with the White House press corps yesterday, Dr. Jackson falsely said President Ronald Reagan may have had “some evidence of cognitive impairment toward the end of his presidency.” This is unprofessional, pseudo-historical, wrong, and a flat out lie. As a doctor, he of all people should know not to examine, diagnose, or assume anyone’s physical or mental health from afar. He was not President Reagan’s doctor, and every one of Reagan’s attending medical professionals attested to his mental vigor through his eight years in office.

There is an informal term of the ethics manual of the American Psychiatric Association called the “Goldwater Rule,” named after Barry Goldwater. This section of the manual states, “It is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.”

Perhaps there should be an update to it, called the Reagan Rule: It is unethical to assume, based on a lack of evidence and a lack of knowledge of the individual, to diagnose or assume any physical or mental impairment of someone you never knew or met or treated.