ThinkProgress’s Intentionally Dishonest Headline

Muslim protester

I have said it before, and will undoubtedly have many more opportunities say it: If you can’t find fair and factual ways to discredit Donald Trump, you really shouldn’t be in the journalism profession. Walmart beckons.

Today’s disgrace is ThinkProgress. I know that progressive reporters have long accepted the anti-journalism ethics philosophy of their “by any means necessary” political heroes, but even by the dismal standards of recent years, Judd Legum and his editors really abandoned all respectability with this one. The headline:

Muslim Woman Gets Kicked Out Of Donald Trump Rally For Being Muslim

This isn’t even deceit. The headline is an outright lie. The woman, Rose Hamid, was warned as she entered a Trump campaign event in South Carolina that any demonstration or disruption would be met with ejection. Nevertheless, she and a companion, complete with message t-shirts and symbolic yellow stars protesting Trump’s position on Muslim immigrants, stood up in their seats behind the GOP frontrunner while he was speaking. As promised, they were escorted out.

Hamid was not kicked out “for being Muslim.” She was kicked out for violating the rules of a private event. She stood up as a protest. It wouldn’t matter if she  was dressed in Islamic garb, in a Franklin Pierce costume, or in Scout’s ham outfit from “To Kill A Mockingbird.” She was protesting. Out. That was the deal. The headline is deliberately false.

So was Legum’s first sentence, though it directly contradicted the headline: “A Muslim woman was kicked out of a Donald Trump rally on Friday night for no apparent reason.” Continue reading

An O. Henry Story Comes To Life

James Verone, a.k.a. " the Rosa Parks of health care," a.k.a. "Soapy"

The media thoroughly disgraced itself by hyping the stupid story of James Verone, an out-of-work 59-year-old man with health problems who robbed a bank in Gastonia, N.C., for $1,  and then  waited patiently for the cops to arrest him.“When you receive this a bank robbery will have been committed by me. This robbery is being committed by me for one dollar. I am of sound mind but not so much sound body,”read the note that Verone handed the bank clerk.

Verone grabbed his 15 minutes of fame with gusto, telling the local TV station that he became a thief out of sheer desperation. He needed health care, he said, and had no other way to get it than through the free care provided in jail. The problem with this is that he had plenty of better options than turning to intentionally unsuccessful crime. A hospital in Gastonia, Gaston Memorial Hospital, offers discounts up to 100% to low-income patients. There is also a free health clinic five miles from the bank Verone robbed, and more in nearby Charlotte. Or Verone could have received treatment from of the state-of-the-art medical facilities at the University of North Carolina, whose mandate is to provide “medically necessary health care to the citizens of North Carolina, regardless of their ability to pay.”

Naturally, few of the media reports, calculated to use this idiot’s stunt to shill for government-financed health care, bothered to report any of this. Continue reading