Big League Politics’ Neil W. McCabe was featured Friday on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s “The Investigators,” program about journalism in the Age of Trump, where he talked about #fakenews, the mainstream media and the tendency of reporters to keep secrets instead of telling them.
“I think people ought to be concerned if people in the government are going after Facebook over #fakenews,” McCabe said to the show’s host Diane Swain. “You don’t want some bureaucrat deciding what #fakenews is—you want a competing media outlet to go after it.”
McCabe said the solution is the marketplace of ideas.
“Chevrolet and Ford watch each other, so nobody can get away with too much, so that is the antidote to so-called #fakenews,” he said.
McCabe joined Big League Politics as a national political reporter after covering Capitol Hill for Breitbart News. In addition to other journalist positions, such as the DC Bureau chief of One America News Network and staff reporter for The Pilot, Boston’s Catholic paper, he deployed to Iraq for 15 months as a combat historian.
“The truth is that reporters keep more secrets than they ever tell,” he said. “Reporters are actually the ones who hold secrets back from people, because they want to protect relationships, or they don’t think the readers or the audience can handle it.”
“What we’re trying to do is we are saying: ‘We don’t have those relationships and so we’re looking to tell the truth as it is.”
Watch the interview here:
Swain asked McCabe what Canadians should know about the American political coverage, which she said was not as contentious or harsh as it is in the United States.
“People tell me: ‘Why can’t we go back to the 1970s when everyone in Washington got along,” he said.
“Well, in the 1970s, the Democrats railroaded out of the White House a president, who won 49 states,” he said. “I would say, there is always going to be that polarization, that divisiveness.”
In America, politics gets polarized because the White House and the presidency are winner-take-all, he said. “Whereas in a parliamentary system, you can sort of fiddle in the middle.”
Canadians have to understand that the American media is a free-for-all, he said.
“It’s that clash of ideas, but it’s also competing elites, there’s regionalism, I mean, this a big country of 300 million people and it’s all smashing together all the time,” he said.
Despite the vibrancy of the marketplace of ideas, there is an establishment in the United States that controls the government bureaucracy, the media, the universities and the corporate boardrooms, he said.
“They want to hold onto the power that they have.”
“The big media outlets, like the CNNs, The New York Times, The Washington Post, they put out that narrative that carries the day, and that narrative is usually the establishment narrative and it doesn’t always reflect what going on,” he said.
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Harvard Law School Planning Conference to Smear and Silence Homeschoolers
It seems doubtful the conference will feature parents’ rights advocates.
Harvard Law School is planning a conference on the topic of homeschooling, with speakers and content of the tenative June summit suggesting the event will be very negative towards the practice.
The Homeschooling Summit: Problems, Politics, and Prospects for Reform is planned for June 18-19th. The conference listing states that a focus of the conference will be to “discuss child rights in connection with homeschooling in the United States.”
Further investigation of the conference’s premise suggests it’s outright hostile to the notion of homeschooling entirely. One event scheduled for the second day of the conference is entitled “Concerns with Homeschooling.”
The Home School Legal Defense Association questioned what seemed to be the outright hostility to homeschooling that will be part of the event, pointing out the concerning public statements of some of the educators participating in the summit.
The pro-homeschooling rights group highlighted the anti-homeschooling track records of the event’s speakers.
Some, such as College of William and Mary law professor James Dwyer, have fundamentally questioned the rights of parents to homeschool their children. Dwyer has argued in law review article that “the claim that parents should have child-rearing rights—rather than simply being permitted to perform parental duties and to make certain decisions on a child’s behalf in accordance with the child’s rights—is inconsistent with principles deeply embedded in our law and morality.”
It almost seems anachronistic that the fixings of elite cultural liberalism are maintaining themselves in the midst of the national Chinese coronavirus epidemic, an event that has actually forced the American public and policy makers to focus on things that matter. This anti-homeschooling summit might end up being cancelled because of the coronavirus epidemic. But it any case, Harvard Law’s academic elites seem intent to question the rights of homeschoolers either way.
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