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Bruce La Rue: Sins of omission

By Bruce La Rue

Several events in recent months have grabbed the attention of a nation seemingly divided between those of us who are news-weary and those who cannot get enough.

The Trump haters tune in to their news sources, breathlessly awaiting the bombshell that will finally bring about the downfall of an American president. Right-wingers tune in to Fox News and conservative talk radio eagerly awaiting the bombshell that Hillary Clinton has finally been indicted for at least one of the myriad felonies she has allegedly committed.

Speaking of the Clintons, a friendly reminder: Impeachment does not mean removal, a nettlesome fact omitted by most news outlets. In fact, were it not for the 22nd amendment, Bill Clinton would likely still be president.

My concern is not so much with the gravity of the events as it is with the manner of reporting. Serious consumers of news must work a little harder to see the complete picture in what has become a paint-by-numbers profession.

The worst transgressions involve not what is said or written but what reporters choose to leave out, and why.

A confrontation in Washington involving a group of high school kids, a group called Black Hebrew Israelites, and one Nathan Phillips is a sad reminder of the troubled condition of our society and the way it is reported. The young schoolboys were vilified based on a snippet of a video, the entirety of which tells quite a different story. Mr. Phillips stated that he was only trying to defuse a tense and potentially violent situation.

Sounds good, but instead of getting in the grille of one of the Black Hebrew Israelites, he opted for a 16-year-old schoolboy. Why? My guess is he did not want to see his few remaining teeth bouncing off the concrete like Tic Tacs.

I thought the Black Hebrew Israelites came across as a bit quarrelsome, yet the focus of the story became young Mr. Sandmann’s facial expression (which I still think was nothing more sinister than a nervous smile), diverting our attention from the inappropriateness of Mr. Phillips’ invasion of personal space and the somewhat unrefined behavior of the chaps representing the Black Hebrew Israelites.

In the ongoing efforts by most of us to change hearts and minds, striving for a more racially harmonious society, I fear the impressions left by Mr. Phillips and the Black Hebrew Israelites will be long-lasting and profoundly negative, at least for the young men from Covington.

Thanks, guys, for setting race relations back 10,000 years while illustrating the difference between purposeful demonstration and angry, bitter venting.

The Bible tells us the wages of sin is death. For The Washington Post, the wages of this sin of omission starts at $250 million, likely to be negotiated down to a quiet settlement.

Then, there was the invasion of the polar bears. The account on “NBC Evening News” showed footage of a caravan of cute, cuddly, omnivorous flesh-rippers making a proper nuisance of themselves somewhere in Russia. The report did not mention the town, or even a region, which could be attributed to time constraints.

However, the editors were able to carve out some precious time for a spokesperson from the World Wildlife Fund, who dutifully and predictably blamed the event on climate change.

The disinclination to disclose the general locale raised suspicions, sending me to my Replogle World Series globe, and then to the internet. My hunch was right. The populated area is Belushya Guba, the main settlement of Novaya Zemlya, a Russian archipelago separating the Barents Sea from the Kara Sea.

The key component here is the Barents Sea. Folks familiar with the man-made global warming hustle are either grinning or cringing, depending on which side of the pitch they defend. My old Replogle globe shows the directions of ocean currents, as well as relative temperature. Warm currents are denoted by dotted lines; cold currents are represented by solid lines.

One can literally search the globe and find only one warm-water current that flows beyond the Arctic Circle: The North Atlantic Current. This remarkably unique phenomenon pushes relatively warm water past the British Isles, then splits westward toward Iceland, northward past Scandinavia before turning eastward into the Barents Sea, making it a popular research destination for the thinning-ice-above-the-Arctic-Circle wing of the man-made climate change cabal.

A scanning of back issues of National Geographic and Nature will yield plenty of text and beautiful photographs depicting disappearing ice, many of them focused on areas in and around the Barents Sea. If any of those articles omit the fact that the geographical area of their research is fed by a naturally occurring warm-water current, that is irresponsible journalism, and their conclusions cannot be taken seriously as objective in nature.

The point is, the manner in which our news is presented has changed, and we consumers must be willing to work a little harder, dig a little deeper, and sift through the dross of modern omissive journalism if we are to glean a few nuggets of truth.

Bruce La Rue lives in Mount Ulla.



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