June 2012

The New Canaan News in Connecticut announced last Friday that they had fired award-winning reporter Paresh Jha after it was discovered that he had fabricated sources and quotes in at least 25 stories he wrote in the last two years for the paper.

“We have found 25 stories written by Paresh Jha over the last year and a half that contain quotes from nonexistent sources,” David McCumber, editorial director of the Hearst Connecticut Media Group, said Friday.

McCumber said that Jha was exposed when editors attempted to fact check “unusually spelled names” and that when confronted Jha admitted to the fabrications.

He also apologized  to readers for the “gross violation of our standards.”

The paper is now checking the validity of every story Jha wrote in his 22 months at the News.

Jha isn’t the first reporter to have been caught fabricating sources or quotes, USA Today’s Jack Kelley comes to mind for having fabricated major stories he wrote for the paper while overseas.  And that was 8 years ago when the internet was still in its infancy, and didn’t serve as the repository of information as it does today.

While Jha deserves the bulk of the blame for lying to the News’ readers, the editors are also at fault for accepting his work at face value and not doing the necessary fact checking.

No wonder the public distrusts the media so much

Today was the final day of the Center for American Progress’ “Take Back the American Dream Conference” in Washington, D.C. and they capped it off by marching through the streets of D.C. to Crossroads GPS, the office of conservative mastermind Karl Rove so they could make a citizens arrest for trying to steal the election.

As I sat at the conference and looked around at the small audience, which I estimate couldn’t have been more than 100 people I wondered if the organizers would bring in reinforcements for the march and sure enough they did in the form of local union members.

The union members all wearing black t-shirts proclaiming “Our DC” was the dominant force for the march as they brought their SEIU labeled bullhorns and led the marches down Connecticut Avenue in Washington to Rove’s office.

While there were some anti-Rove chants during the march, it started off with the union’s “Our DC” chant which had nothing to do with Rove, but seems to be very common when the left needs to bulk up its troops and decides to mix up its message hoping know one will notice.

Thanks to the reinforcements the march was at least one-third larger than it would have been if it had just been the dream conference attendees and was probably more organized since the union was far more adept on conducting such an exercise.

The march also had the full cooperation of the D.C. police who blocked off the intersections of Connecticut, which for those that don’t know D.C. very well is a major thoroughfare to aid the cause.  Considering that this was a pretty small march or maybe 100-150 people at most, that was some gesture.  I doubt that had it been a march calling for Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation for example that it would have received the same level of support from the police.

My question is, did the union people even know who Karl Rove is?  I doubt it.

Left-wing groups along with organized labor have banded together to hold a three day conference in Washington D.C. starting today.

The conference called “Take Back the American Dream” takes a page from the very successful “defending the American Dream” conferences that conservative group Americans for Prosperity has been holding across the country for the last several years and helped energize the Tea Party movement that has so vexed the left.

From the conference website.

Two years ago, the corporate-backed Tea Party didn’t just win an election. It won the argument. Conservatives defined the agenda that we’ve had to fight against ever since.

This year, to save the nation, progressives must get back on offense and drive the agenda. We have to win not only in November … but also in December.

The first step to victory: Join us at the June 18-20 “Take Back the American Dream” conference.

At Take Back the American Dream, Van Jones, Paul Krugman, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Ai-jen Poo, Sandra Fluke, Gov. Howard Dean, Melissa Harris-Perry, Chris Hayes, Katrina vanden Heuvel and many more will share ideas and forge the strategy to make sure that the 99% is heard.

We’ll also have leading activists from Rebuild the Dream, MoveOn.org, Occupy, 99% Spring, labor unions, civil rights and women’s rights groups who know how to win on the ground.

It’s About November — and December

In November, we have to win the White House — and win a big progressive majority in Congress. It won’t be easy, but the American majority is coming together.

Then in December, watch out.

The extreme right is already promising to hold the country hostage once more over raising the debt ceiling in order to force a “grand bargain” — gut Social Security and Medicare, cripple everything from food stamps to food safety, and accept mass unemployment as a grotesque “new normal.”

How do we stop this? Drive the debate. Mobilize our grassroots army. Make us impossible to ignore.

We will demand a “jobs first” strategy for recovery.

We will send the bill to those on Wall Street whose excesses made the mess we’re cleaning up.

We won’t ask working people to sacrifice when they’ve already swallowed needless cuts. We will insist on sacrifice from the multinationals still gaming the system, and the military still spending almost as much as the rest of the world.

We need you to bring the vision. You will shape the plan. And all of us will get it done.

Join us at the June 18-20 Take Back the American Dream conference to make victory possible.

We are the 99%. If we organize, if we force the debate, we can win not only the election but the argument. Not only November, but December.

We can do this. We just need you.

Corporate-backed Tea Party?  Oh, they must mean the “evil” Koch brothers who heavily  fund AFP, but the conference doesn’t have any other “corporate” sponsors that I am aware of.  Other conservative groups help co-sponsor the event, but it pales in comparison to who is backing this left-wing conference.

The website lists MoveOn.org, SEIU, AFSCME, The Communication Workers of America and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union to name but a few showing the powerful alliances that have come together to combat the right.

If the left gets its way and they manage to help get President Obama re-elected, maintain control of the Senate and somehow manage to wrest control of Congress from the Republicans, they will get their dream back- A socialist dream.

We can’t let that happen.

MSDNC, I mean MSNBC struggled last night to deal with the aftermath of a shockingly easy victory for Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin, leading to the delusional claim by Lawrence O’Donnell that Obama actually came out a winner.

O’Donnell wasn’t the only host on MSNBC to try and paint the Wisconsin results as a positive outcome as labor shill Ed Schultz masquerading as a talk show host called it a “great night for democracy.”because of the heavy voter turnout.

Schultz was right, but not because of the heavy voter turnout, but because the voters showed that they understood that the recall election was manufactured by the Democrats and the Occupy Movement, along with a big helping hand from Schultz and not for a legitimate reason such as corruption.

I wonder if Chris Matthews got another thrill up his leg as he anticipated a big labor victory earlier in the evening?