Thursday, October 22, 2009

Out of the horse's mouth.

At 25 I am still a college student. Not full time, just taking the classes that I need and don't really like. After moving to North Carolina then to Texas, school was one of the last things on my mind. Then came a full time job with Girlstown, and I just didn't see the point of going back. But my boss and a few friends convinced me otherwise. Now, almost two full years later I am taking my last "catch up" class. (A good deal of my NY credits didn't transfer or didn't match up to what the school offered.) My last class that I am currently enrolled in is...Government...!!!...I saved, or put this class off till last just because...well, just because its government! I would much rather get a shot then have to read the pages that seem to drag and drag and drag, AND I hate getting shots! I freak as soon as the nurse walks in with just a clip board.
So this week I dragged my book out from under a pile of dirty clothes, jumped up and down on it, murmured something about how much I loathed it under my breath, and finally sat down to read it. The title of this weeks chapter, Mass Media: Setting the Political Agenda. Wonderful! I get to learn about how TV and newspapers shape our thoughts and only report what "they" want. For the most part that was true, just a bit more detailed. However, in my reading yesterday I stumbled upon something I found to be incredibly interesting. I even got a little excited about it and gleefully told Colin about it!
Some of you might be aware of the current accusations being strung about concerning Fox News. What I read yesterday will tie in beautifully with that. Here is what started it all, "The political values of the media are decidedly liberal and reformist." Also in the same paragraph was this, "Most Americans agree that media new coverage is biased and the bias is in a liberal direction." !!!!! Ok, that whole section was titled "Liberalism in the Newsroom". The next section went on to say that more then 60% of Hollywood describe themselves as liberal, and that "Hollywood is a major source of Democratic Party campaign funds.". However in the same text it also states that this figure does not mirror the American public. As a whole America is outnumbered by self-described conservatives, but because of the control that Hollywood has over most of our airwaves what we see and hear is generally being pushed in a liberal direction.
So now I am interested. I turn the page and see these two headlines: "Are the Media Biased?" and "Fox News: Fair and Balanced?". Hmmm...Lets see what this book has to say about the media being biased. "Nearly three out of four Americans (thats 74%) see a "fair amount" or "a great deal" of media bias in news coverage." Ok, interesting. Now the next sentence said that of those who see it as being biased, over twice as many see it being a liberal bias rather then a conservative bias. Even the liberals see a liberal bias in the media.
Now on to Fox News. The Fox News network was created by a man (Rupert Murdoch) who isn't even considered a conservative in his own views, but saw an unfilled market for conservative views on American TV. Thus Fox News was created. "We report, you decide." is the network's slogan. They feel that if their reporting appears to be conservative it is because "the country has become so accustomed to left-leaning media that a truly balanced network just seems conservative.". Oh how true... The last paragraph of this conflicting view over Fox News said this. "The bottom line, financially as well as politically, is that Fox News is now the most watched cable news network, even surpassing CNN. Whatever its flaws, Fox News has added diversity of views to American television.".
So is it any wonder why it has come under such attack lately? It could be that old saying, truth hurts.

The next chapter in my government book it titled "Political Parties: Organizing Politics". I wonder what goodies are in there??!!

My book is Politics in America, 7th edition, by Thomas Dye.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Back home...

Well, we made it home from an almost two week long vacation and boy did we have a good time! I think we must have put close to 1,000 miles on my grandfather's car driving around upstate New York. But I had so much to show Colin, seeing that it was his first real time there.
We started our trip in Austin at the Song of Solomon's Conference, and that was amazing! We were both given many new tools to put under our belt. I got the DVD set of it and that comes with an audio CD, so if anyone wants a copy of the CD that just let Colin or I know. While in Austin we also got to see some good friends and got the grand tour of their new home! It was very exciting!!
From Austin we headed to North Carolina to see my Mom, Dad, sister Cassie and my nephew Josh. It was a great few days spent with them. Colin got to see the great city of Raleigh and some of the NC back county, only because I got lost going to see my dad and Cassie...We almost were in VA!!!
We got to New York just in time. The leaves were absolutely perfect. It was a little colder then we both thought, thus the reason for putting so many miles on the car. Neither one of us really wanted to get out and stroll around. We were never dressed for it!
We (Colin) did take lots of pictures, and because there are so many, I just thought a few of my favorites would do.
Colin and me at 13th Lake
Just some of the colors...I love how the leaves reflect off the water. Perfect!

Colin's first time ever picking apples!

He said they were the best tasting apples he had ever had, only because he had picked them.

Growing up, it was sort of a family thing to go over to VT and see the snow geese, then go apple picking, then go to the old fort ruins at Crown Point and have lunch. We did go and see the geese (although they were hard to see due to the corn that was still standing in the field) and we did drive by the old fort and we did go apple picking.

Macintosh apples...35+ pounds for only $21.00!!

A view of the Adirondack Mts. from the Vermont side. (Colin's first time in VT)

This is Brant Lake, and the Brant Lake Church. These buildings have been on many post cards when the leaves look like this. My grandma use to go to this church, as did my mom and as did my sister and I when we were little. My grandfather (Poppy) still goes every Sunday. Lots of great memories there.
We had a great time and I loved showing Colin all around where I grew up. He was able to meet the rest of my family and of course they all loved him! We have already been asked to come back up this winter so Colin can experience his first snowmobile ride...Maybe next time we go back to NY it will be in the winter but it might not be this year.