Friday, September 21, 2007

Nothing personal, Jason

Here's what Robert Novak said about The National Journalism Center:

"To any follower of the media, it is obvious that sensationalism rather than facts dominates news coverage today. Some institutions, thankfully, are working against that trend. One of the most renowned is the National Journalism Center."

The National Journalism Center is a program offered by Young America's Foundation. The Foundation also offers other events and programs.

But that doesn't matter.

Jason, over at Life Of Jason, wrote Jack Murtha’s Refusal To Apologize Doesn’t Justify This Reporter. The only problem with that statement is that according to the video I watched at Jason's blog, Mattera is identified as being "OF Young America's Foundation" and at Young America's Foundation's website Mattera is identified as a Spokesman for YAF.

Neither in the video Jason at Life of Jason posted (from HotAir) nor the one at Young America's Foundation identify Mattera as a "reporter" for anyone. You see, while Young America's Foundation has a Journalism program, Mattera didn't identify himself as a journalist or as associated with the National Journalism Center and if he is, I found no evidence of it.

Young America's Foundation's mission is one of:

"...ensuring that increasing numbers of young Americans understand and are inspired by the ideas of individual freedom, a strong national defense, free enterprise, and traditional values."

Their website boasts:

"The Conservative Movement Starts Here."

Mattera, a young American, is apparently inspired by ideas of individual freedom (translate free speech) and when happening upon Murtha, or even ambushing Murtha if you're more comfortable calling it that, he asked Murtha "if he'd like to issue an apology," to two Lance Corporals whose charges were in the process of being dropped after Murtha had accused them of being cold blooded murderers. The Young America's Spokesman then made a statement:

"You accused them of murdering innocent civilians in cold blood, that's something that would come from Al Jazeera, sir, not a Congressman."

...and then Mattera looked at the camera and smiled! He smiled!

It's just my opinion but I think Young America's Foundation is doing a rather fine job of inspiring freedom among young conservatives. It's a matter of Mattera's opinion that Murtha's statement would be something that would come from Al Jazeera, not a Congressman and he's got a right to his opinion.

I didn't write this to come down on Jason at Life of Jason, I like Jason and find myself agreeing with him more often than not. When I pointed out that Mattera said "Al-Jazeera" rather than "Al-Qaeda," Jason corrected it but he said it made no difference to him. I think there's a bit of difference but that's just my opinion.

I do think Jason was off the mark on this one, however, and wanted to set the record straight. Not to "get" Jason, but to make the point that a spokesman for Young America's Foundation has the same right to his opinion as anyone else, heck, for that matter he'd have that right even if he was a reporter rather than a spokesman. It isn't like journalists with much more experience and credentials haven't made statements rather than ask questions at a press conference or when talking to an interviewee before.

As far as Murtha goes...did he or did he not make the statement that the two Lance Corporals were guilty of murdering innocent civilians in cold blood before they had had their day in court? All of a sudden he seemed concerned, in the video, about whether the trial was still "ongoing" or not. he certainly didn't want to issue a premature apology! But, he wasn't at all concerned about due process when he called them cold blooded murderers. That's simply a statement of truth, sometimes the truth hurts and Murtha will have to deal with the truth just like the rest of us. There ain't no elevator walls thick enough to protect him from that.


Jason said...

1. If he is not a journalist, then he's falsely representing himself as such with his behavior. Any reasonable person who saw that clip would answer yes when asked if that man is a reporter.

2. It does not matter between Al-Qaeda and Al-Jazeera as I explained in my blog which you chose not to include in your posting. The reason there is no different among the far right is that they promote Al-Jazeera as being sympathetic to terrorists like Al-Qaeda. That's an important point you did not bring up in your posting.

3. I never said he didn't have the right to his opinion. I said I disliked the tone in which he approached the issue. That's not the same as saying someone does not have a right to their opinion and it's really disingenuous for you to portray me in that light.

You may say you're not out to "get" me and I'll buy it at face value. However, you certainly left out a lot of relevant information.

Jacke M. said...


To point 1: People might assume he was a reporter but he didn't identify himself as a reporter. People's assumptions are not his responsibility.

To point 2: In your opinion the distinction between Al-Qaeda and Al-Jazeera doesn't matter and I DID mention you felt that way in my posting. Also, I provided a link both to your blog AND to the posting that I was referring to, surely you didn't expect me to repost the whole thing here? How can I do more than provide a hot link?

To point 3: I didn't state that you claimed he didn't have a right to an opinion, however, you had a problem with him issuing his opinion, albeit while thinking he was a reporter. You wrote:

"Why can’t someone from the right…when they have a legitimate point against a liberal Democrat…just make your point and let it go without dragging up the “just like Al-Jazeera” crap?"

I disagreed with you in your assessment of the, in my opinion, somewhat "green" young man and I wanted to address it. I tried to do so as diplomatically as I know how and, as noted, I provided the links to your blog AND the piece I was referencing and yet you accuse me of leaving out relevent information.

I'd like to think we could disagree without taking it personally. You are welcome to your opinion, I'm not looking or expecting to change it.

In fact, I was GREATLY offended by Murtha's accusation that these troops were "cold blooded murderers" at the time he made that statement.

There was absolutely NO excuse for his finding of guilt, if I remember correctly before any charges had even been filed! I was so angry about it that I cried over it bitterly. Because of the deep hurt I felt when Murtha condemned those men before due process had been served I simply can't feel sorry for him because Mattera said his remarks sounded more like Al-Jazeera than something a Congressman would say and to be honest, I think he made a fair point. Does that make me an extreme "right winger?"

What did you think about the fact that all of a sudden Murtha was concerned about whether the trial was still ongoing or not after not giving a flip about due process when he condemned them as guilty of murdering innocent civilians in cold blood? That is a question of more interest to me than whether this young man was politically correct or not, honestly, I was surprised to find you more concerned about Mattera's words than Murtha's, whose words you only cited to set up your argument that the young "reporter" shouldn't have used that tone or been politically incorrect.

The Libertarian Guy (tm) said...

Jason, Jackie... stop it. C'mon. Let's just agree that 1)it may have been impolitic of the YAF interviewer to do some of what he did, and 2) John Murtha can't keep playing that "I served, therefore I'm beyond derision or being questioned" card.

Jacke M. said...


How dare you make me get out my dictionary. I will have to attack you shortly. ;)

Otherwise, sounds fair to me. :)

Anonymous said...

one of my favorites words is
which is some sort of council of elders.

Jacke M. said...

Daggnabbit, STOP IT!

Gerontocracy: government by old men, a governing body consisting of old men.