Mark Tapscott

Latest from Mark Tapscott

Not long after he was elected in 1980, President Reagan was confronted by a militant public employees union that put the nation's commercial air travel in jeopardy by striking.

Reagan responded by giving the striking members of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) 48 hours to return to work or be fired. When the smoke cleared two days later, more than 11,000 of the striker were handed pink slips.

Pick at random an urban planner, environmental activist or mainstream media journalist, then ask him or her what is the most significant cause of suburban sprawl and odds are excellent that the answer will include the automobile.

Two weeks of vociferous criticism from homosexual activists not only succeeded in backing Ford away from its recent decision to restrict advertising some of its products from gay publications but forced the automaker into expanding such marketing efforts and all but begging for forgiveness for being politically incorrect on the issue.

The cave could not be more complete, according to this description in The New York Times:

If the question posed by the title of this post seems a little macabre, it nevertheless must be asked, thanks to either the FBI or Joel Hinrichs, Sr., father of the University of Oklahoma student who blew himself up just outside the school's football stadium during the OU-Kansas State game Oct. 1.

Here's why:

It may not get much play in the MSM, but the Catalogue for Philanthropy's latest National Generosity Index finds a clear majority of the most generous states are in the Bible Belt where evangelical Christianity is strongest and household income is lowest. The least generous states are mostly in areas in which evangelicals are least common, but household incomes are highest.

The latest Audit Bureau of Circulation reports continuing declines virtually across the board in the number of daily newspaper readers. Notable among the losers in the top 20 dailies is The Washington Post with a 4.1 percent drop. Other big losers include The Boston Globe at 8.25 percent and The San Francisco Chronicle at a whopping 16.58 percent.

Go here for Editor & Publisher's full report.

Closing meetings of public bodies is and should be anathema to journalists and all others who care about the public's right to know and the First Amendment's guarantee of a free press, but journalists hardly uttered a peep when Democrats closed the Senate this week.

Normally, journalists are out front in battles to force politicians and bureaucrats at the local and state levels to open their meetings to reporters and members of the public.

So why the silence among the nation's journalists about Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, forcing the U.S. Senate to kick reporters and spectators out, bolt the doors and dim the lights for a closed session Nov. 1 on prosecuting government officials for leaking information about war and peace to ... journalists?

Actually, silence is not quite accurate. Two professional journalist organizations took strong stands condemning the closed session. The first of those stands came within hours after the Senate's closed session when Lucy Dalglish, Executive Director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, condemned Senate Democrats, observing that "the best way to combat secrecy and obfuscation is not more secrecy."

You can read Dalglish's full statement here.

After reading the RCFP statement, I asked the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters & Editors and Radio and Television News Directors Association if they planned to say anything about the closed session.

I've been reading all of the pro and con commentary in the Blogosphere and the MSM from fellow members of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy and, while I sympathize mainly with those who believe Bush has missed an historic opportunity by not nominating a Brown, McConnell or Luttig, it appears to me most everybody is missing the fundamental point.

University of Oklahoma President David Boren seems determined to have everybody believe Joel Henry Hinrichs III was merely a disturbed young man who decided to commit suicide by blowing himself up within 100 yards of a stadium containing 84,000 screaming fans of Sooner football.

Federal District Court Judge Richard J. Leon ruled Tuesday that the privacy rights of illegal aliens convicted here of crimes, including the most serious felonies, are more important than the public's right to know data needed to assess how the government is complying with the law that requires such aliens to be escorted out of the country upon their release from jail.

The ruling is in the case of CEI Washington Bureau Inc. v United States of America Department of Justice, Civ. No. 03-2651 (RJL).

Chuck Simmins takes a bit of time off from his labors in chronicling private sector support for Hurricane Relief efforts to take a U.S. Census Bureau data-based look at poverty in America under presidents Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and Bush II.

Simmins finds, among much else, that wage parity between men and women has never been greater than it is now under Bush II. Neither Simmins nor I can recall seeing a news release from the National Organization for Women noting that fact and giving Bush credit.

Editor & Publisher reports on a cozy little deal made by The Washington Post and The New York Times in which the two MSM giants let each other know in advance what their most important product - the Front Page - will be, every day.

What would you do if you opened up your morning newspaper or turned on the local television news and found grisly photos of one of your parents, or a brother, sister, uncle, cousin or a close personal friend? You would be outraged. And rightfully so.

But some of my colleagues in the mainstream media claim they can’t report properly the terrible aftermath of Hurricane Katrina unless the Federal Emergency Management Agency allows them to photograph dead bodies up close and personal.