Friday, Nov. 11, New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger didn’t exactly admit that his newspaper had been unfair to Donald Trump during the presidential election – as one of his editors did during the election – but he did say in a letter to readers that The Times would “rededicate ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism. That is to report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor, striving always to understand and reflect all political perspectives …”

It’s an admission that his fair and honest newspaper was neither fair nor honest in covering the recent presidential election. The New York Times, as one of Hillary Clinton’s most powerful supporters, was a big loser in this election. You can bet that if Hillary Clinton had won, Sulzberger would have written a letter about how great their coverage had been.

From a journalistic standpoint, it wasn’t great. It was bush league. The coverage was extremely biased in favor of Hillary Clinton. Where, for instance, was the big New York Times expose on Hillary Clinton’s health? The Times knows that people do not completely lose control of their bodies and collapse because of a mild case of pneumonia. But it continued to report this obvious lie from her campaign as the truth.

A few minutes of watching videos proves that Donald Trump didn’t make fun of a reporter because of his disability. The Times could have cleared up this bit of misinformation, but chose not to.

It is too late for The Times to say that now that a man they have criticized and ridiculed for over a year is going to be president they are going to start being fair.

If Sulzberger actually wants anyone to believe his newspaper has changed its stripes, he needs to fire all the editors involved in the coverage of the presidential campaign, including, and most importantly, Executive Editor Dean Baquet, who reports directly to Sulzberger. None of this could have happened without approval from the top. Then Sulzberger needs to fire the reporters who did the unfair and biased reporting.

Finally, he would need to hire a mix of conservative, moderate and liberal editors and reporters to replace the people he had fired. A newsroom where the personal political beliefs range from liberal to ultra-liberal can’t hope to report fairly on conservatives.

Sulzberger isn’t doing any of that. What he is doing is trying to fool people that his zebra is a horse by painting it black.

I subscribed to The New York Times for decades. But since I can no longer trust its reporting to be accurate, I have stopped subscribing and freely admit that I really miss it. Having seen how they were covering the presidential election, I treat it like I treat the National Enquirer – interesting but not accurate.

It is a sad day for journalism, which is already under attack from all sides.

The Under the Hammer column in this newspaper started during the Clinton presidency (thankfully, the only Clinton presidency we are likely to have) because the mainstream media refused to print stories about all the scandals going on during the Clinton administration.

It has continued now for over 20 years because the mainstream media haven’t changed their stripes. They still report all the bad they can find out about conservatives and all the good about liberals.

Fortunately for all of us, there are other news sources out there. The problem is that no one else has the resources of The New York Times or The Washington Post and the other major dailies, where teams of reporters can be assigned for months on one issue.

Imagine if The New York Times had at any time in the past 10 years sent a team of reporters to investigate the Clinton Foundation. But it is never going to do that because the Clintons are on their team.

For Sulzberger to say that starting now The New York Times is going to be “fair” is like the alcoholic who says that he doesn’t have a drinking problem, and just to prove it he’s going to cut back. The alcoholic may cut back for a day or a week, but before long he’s going to be right back where he was, because first he has to admit that he has a problem.

The New York Times has to admit it has a problem or nothing is going to change.

*****

In 2009, months after President Barack Hussein Obama took office, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, not for what he had done but for what he was expected to do in office.

Consider what he has done and hasn’t done: He hasn’t closed down Guantanamo Detention Center. He has sent US troops to Iraq, Syria and various and sundry African countries. He has not withdrawn the US troops from Afghanistan, and his policies have caused the worst refugee crisis in decades with Syrians fleeing their country. He also signed an agreement with Iran that guarantees they will get nuclear weapons in 10 years and sent them $150 billion, that no doubt they have used to promote terrorism.

You have to wonder if the Nobel committee would like their award back?

*****

The news media is making a big deal out of Trump having his kids on his transition team. Who is he supposed to trust? His kids were a huge part of his campaign. They seem to be really accomplished and extremely good at their jobs.

Is there anyone alive who thinks that Bill Clinton would not be part of Hillary Clinton’s transition team if the country had made the huge mistake of electing her? I doubt if Chelsea would have been; she doesn’t seem to get politics.

But do you think the media would be critical of Hillary Clinton for using Bill to help her set up the White House? No, the articles would be about what an advantage it is for Hillary Clinton to have Bill, with all his experience, helping her choose the best people. Then again it might be a little rough for the two of them to be together in the Oval Office, with the ghost of Monica Lewinsky under the desk.

But it seems to make good sense to me for Trump to be using his family members, since he knows all of their strengths and weaknesses.

I suppose the media want Trump to hire a bunch of Washington political hacks to help him decide who is going to be assisting him in running the country.

*****

It’s good news that Trump will appoint Reince Priebus chief of staff, although some Trump supporters don’t like it.

What this indicates is that Trump is going to run the country like he ran his business. In business, your rival for one project may be your partner on another. You fight hard to make each project successful, but when it’s over you move on to the next one.

Trump fought hard to get nominated and elected president. His next job is being president, which is entirely different. During the primary it made sense for Trump to attack the Republican establishment, which was lined up against him. But as soon as he won the nomination he needed to work with the Republican establishment, and he did.

*****

Every four years people complain about the Electoral College method of electing the president. The system was devised back when states were seen as much more sovereign than they are today, and the federal government was much weaker.

The federal government in the eyes of our founding fathers was never supposed to become the behemoth that it has become. The most powerful governments were to be the states. The federal government’s duties and powers are set out in the Constitution with the currently meaningless phrase in the 10th Amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

What has given the federal government so much additional power not delegated to it by the Constitution is money. And about one-third of the money it is spending every year is borrowed.

The federal government gets its additional powers from coercion. If states don’t do what the federal government orders then they don’t get funding. Nobody likes to be coerced.

Trump is enough of a maverick to start turning that clock back and he might just do it.

*****

I love to read the complaints by the Democrats of gerrymandered districts. For decades, when the Democrats controlled North Carolina, Republicans made the same complaints.

In North Carolina, Republicans had more votes statewide than Democrats in several elections but the Democrats still controlled the state House and state Senate.

Now the shoe is on the other foot. What people ignore is the fact that the Republicans won control of the state House and state Senate in districts gerrymandered by the Democrats. In fact, the Democrats brought it on themselves when they decided that a certain number of districts had to be minority majority. Since in North Carolina black voters are overwhelmingly registered as Democrats, to create minority-majority districts resulted in taking a large number of Democratic voters out of districts and placing a majority in one district.

This resulted in heavily Democratic districts that were minority majority and enough districts that Republicans could win to take the majority in both the state House and the state Senate. Then, when the Republicans got to redistrict, they increased the percentage of Democrats in the minority-majority districts and decreased the percentage of Democrats in Republican districts.

It seems now that minority-majority districts no longer favor the Democrats, some liberal judges have decided that the districts are unfair. So the Republicans have an order to create minority-majority districts, but are then accused of packing minorities into the districts, which is exactly what they have been told by the US Justice Department they have to do.

It’s worth noting that although the congressional elections were held after a special June 7 primary, the courts have never officially approved the districts. It is certainly possible, some say likely, that the federal court will rule that the districts for the 2016 election were also improperly drawn and must be redrawn before the 2018 elections.

It also seems likely that the courts will decide that the only people in the world responsible enough to draw fair districts are the courts themselves, which will spark yet another legal battle.

*****

For a news media already struggling for relevancy, the election of Donald Trump was a disaster. The mainstream media pundits were 100 percent wrong about the election. Newsweek actually printed and delivered “Madam President” issues. The retail outlets were not supposed to sell them before the election, but some did. Newsweek had to recall all 125,000 copies and then scramble to print a President Trump issue on Thursday.

It’s reminiscent of the famous “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline, which President Harry Truman triumphantly held up when he was declared the winner.

Even Americans who supported Trump overwhelmingly thought that Hillary Clinton was going to win because that is what every news outlet (with the notable exception of this one) was telling them. What it proves is that the mainstream media are completely out of touch with the American people and they are willing to manipulate the polls to indicate what they think is going to happen rather than what is really happening.

I saw several conservative analysts talk about why the polling was wrong before the race. They said that the pollsters were relying on the last two presidential elections to adjust their numbers. There is no doubt that raw polling data has to be adjusted, but anyone with a little sense should have realized that the black, heavily Democratic turnout was going to be down without a black candidate running for president.

The pollsters, if they had wanted to be accurate, should have also considered the easily verifiable fact that people who hadn’t voted in years were coming to Trump rallies and said they planned to vote. The fact that the electorate for the Trump-Clinton race was going to be decidedly different than the Obama-Romney or the Obama-McCain race was obvious, but it was ignored by the pundits. I think it was ignored because if the pundits had admitted what was happening they would have come up with entirely different projections, and those were projections they didn’t like.

It would be interesting to see a poll of the mainstream media and find out what percentage of journalists for mainstream publications voted for Trump. I think it will be about the same as the number of members of the Democratic National Committee who voted for Trump. But national elections are not conducted in the Democratic Party hierarchy or in newsrooms.

One huge problem with the mainstream media is that it lacks any political diversity. Reporters and editors are uniformly liberal. The reporter writes a story from the liberal perspective and the liberal editor sees nothing wrong with it. The reporters and editors hang out with liberals, talk to liberals, and the input they receive – except for an occasional foray to, say, a Trump rally – is from liberals. Even at a Trump rally they hang out with each other and not the crowd. The reporters will make a foray into the crowd to find the most outrageously dressed Trump supporter they can and then interview him or her, ignoring the thousands of more normal looking people. Then they can write about how positively weird the Trump supporters are based on that interview.

*****

This election proved that it is time for Ohio Gov. John Kasich to retire from politics again. He refused to support the Republican Party’s nominee after he said on national television that he would. Fortunately for Trump, the voters of Ohio didn’t pay any more attention to their governor when it came time to cast their ballots than the people in the rest of the country.

Kasich had his feelings hurt by Trump during the primaries and he couldn’t buck up, admit defeat and move forward.

Hopefully, when his term is up, the voters of Ohio will decide they’ve had enough of him also.

*****

I hope all these anti-Trump protests makes people feel better. If they felt so strongly they should have worked harder for Hillary Clinton. She had trouble attracting people to her rallies, but now the streets are full of people opposed to Trump, who won’t take office for two months.

I remember when Obama was elected in 2008. I was disappointed because I didn’t agree with Obama’s policies and I didn’t think he had the experience to be a good president. When people asked me about Obama, I said, “I hope he is the best president we’ve ever had.” And it was sincere.

I’ve been endorsing candidates for 25 years. But regardless of whether I endorsed them or not, once they are elected I hope that they all will be great. Sometimes they are, and if they run for reelection I get a second chance to get it right.

When Obama was elected president, I knew that I was never going to agree with things like Obamacare. But I hoped that electing a black man as president would help ease the racial tensions in this country. I think Obama has done the opposite. I think he has fanned the flames of racial unrest every chance he has had. Race relations in the country appear to be much worse than when he was elected.

*****

From reading the news, it seems that it’s Trump’s fault every time an American makes a racist statement. I have news for the news media: People were making racist statements long before Trump was born and will be doing so long after he is dead. It’s crazy to blame Trump for the KKK. Again, the KKK was around before he was born and, sadly, will probably still be limping along after he’s dead.

It’s a horrible thing that somebody associated with the KKK says something nice about Trump according to the media. How is that his fault? If the media were the least bit fair they would point out that Hillary Clinton was friends with and repeatedly praised former Exalted Cyclops of the KKK Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia. By some twisted logic, according to the mainstream media it’s acceptable for a Democratic politician to have actually been a senior officer in the KKK, but if a Republican drives down the same street that some Klan member drove down it proves they are a racist.

The only newspaper in the country with a court injunction against the Klan using any portion of the newspaper for their own benefit is this one. No one else went to the time and expense to sue them. If other newspapers had followed our lead and sued the Klan, collectively we might have been able to sue it out of existence.

*****

People make such a big deal of Trump being a reality television star. Of course, that was just a little sideline he did for fun. What he did for real was build a multi-billion dollar company, which he owns.

But why not elect a reality television star as president? We elected an actor as president and he was one of our best. We elect football players, basketball players and baseball players to public office, and a Saturday Night Live comedian got elected to the Senate.

Both parties like to nominate celebrities because they already have name recognition and a fan base.

*****

If there was any doubt about how the media was going to cover Trump as president, we now know. The mainstream media are making it sound like he is going back on a campaign promise because he said that there were parts of Obamacare that he thought were worth keeping. Is the mainstream media so demented that they thought when Trump said he was going to repeal Obamacare that he meant he was going to outlaw health insurance?

If the mainstream media – which took a vicious blow when Trump was elected, despite everything the mainstream media could do to stop it – isn’t careful, it is going to lose the few people in the country that still think they can get accurate news from them.

The mainstream media have chosen to become a propaganda machine for the left. The fact that the majority of the country poked the media in the eye by electing Trump – someone who the mainstream media repeatedly said was not a viable candidate – is being ignored by the media. They are going to continue to unfairly go after Trump every chance they get. The problem is that Trump voters know that they can’t believe what they read or see on the news because, if they could, they would have never voted for Trump in the first place.

If Trump is successful, moderates are going to realize that they aren’t getting news from the news media anymore, and some liberals will recognize the unfairness of it all.

*****

Hillary Clinton may have lost the election but the Clinton political machine is still going strong. Hillary Clinton was walking her dogs in the woods and “happened” to come upon a woman walking with her children.

But it didn’t just happen; it was a photo op, similar to when Hillary and Bill danced on the beach in the Bahamas and it just happened that news photographers had been alerted to be ready.

Or like the little girl who ran past the Secret Service protection to give Hillary Clinton a hug shortly after she had been filmed collapsing when she was leaving the 9/11 memorial service. The Secret Service does not let random people run up to presidential candidates, not even children.

The Clintons still have Secret Service protection. Bill Clinton has it for life as a former president. Hillary Clinton has it because Obama approved it.

If Trump does nothing else, he needs to cancel Hillary Clinton’s Secret Service protection. She will be completely lost without it. People will actually be able to walk up and talk to her like she was just a normal human being.

*****

I can’t remember where I heard this, but it is an intriguing idea and I wish I had thought of it. The White House press corps has office space and a press briefing room where all of those White House press conferences are held and the adoring press corps throws fluff balls at Josh Earnest, and he fields them nicely. (It would make a good video to show on a split screen the last press conference while Obama is president and the first one when Trump is president. It will be like comparing teddy bears to grizzly bears.)

But there is a solution. The press are there as a courtesy. Trump could decide that he didn’t want a bunch of leftwing, ultraliberal, Trump-hating reporters in his house and throw them all out.

He could make the reporters stand outside the White House gates in the cold and rain, waiting to get in for a press conference, and then keep delaying the press conference.

Why be nice? Usually the idea is, you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours, but in this case it’s more, don’t dare turn your back or you’ll be stabbed by some reporter.

I think, considering the way the mainstream media covered the election, taking away their ultra expensive White House office space is only fair. I hope Trump does it. Hardly any news comes out of the press office at the White House anyway. It’s a feel good kind of thing, and with modern communications the reporters don’t need to be in the White House.

As a journalist I should be absolutely against it, but as a conservative I love the idea. I’ve covered city hall in Greensboro for 25 years and the city hasn’t given me an office. There are three seats at meetings reserved for the press, which is nice, but when I started covering meetings we didn’t have that.

*****

Months ago, when I started telling people I thought Trump would win, after they realized I was serious, they would ask me why I would think such an insane thing. I said, because he is used to winning.

Much has been made of Trump’s tweets. Here’s one way to look at them, considering that he did win despite his tweeting. The conventional wisdom is that Trump is an uncontrollable nutcase, who, when left alone with his phone, sends out all sorts of tweets that get him in trouble. But what if Trump is not a nutcase but was keeping himself in the headlines with tweets. He’d send out some that the media considered outrageous for a candidate, but then his poll numbers went up, not down. So he kept pushing the envelope until his tweets did cause his poll numbers to go down, and then he knew the limit.

I was told by his catcher (whose name escapes me at the moment) that Catfish Hunter, when he was pitching for the Yankees, would start every game by throwing over the outside corner, and then throw the ball an inch further out until it was called a ball. The catcher said that then Catfish knew where this umpire considered the corner to be and he did the same with the inside corner, high and low, until he knew exactly where this umpire considered the strike zone to be, and for the rest of the game that’s where he threw the ball when he needed a strike.

I think Trump was doing the same thing with his tweets and statements. He was finding out where the strike zone was, and it certainly wasn’t anywhere close to where the political pundits said it was because he wasn’t worried about getting the votes of the political pundits.

Most politicians these days are so worried about getting blasted by the mainstream media that they aren’t looking for the corners. They keep the ball right over the center of the plate.

Of course, to believe that scenario you have to believe that Trump didn’t get elected by accident, but was elected because he started his campaign with a plan to win and then adjusted the campaign as needed.

Or you can believe, if you want, that Trump will be the next president simply because he accidentally stumbled into it. Personally, I don’t think it’s possible to run a winning presidential campaign by accident.

*****

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Tuesday’s stunning defeat of Hillary Clinton was the last the American public ever saw of this power couple? It would be great, but it isn’t likely.

It is likely that President Obama will pardon Clinton and her staff of any wrongdoing regarding the emails. But there are also investigations underway of the Clinton Foundation, which appears to be a foundation in name only.

It’s going to be tough for the Clintons to raise money for the foundation like they have in the past. But the foundation is worth billions, so they really don’t need to. They can pay themselves $10 million each a year and continue to have the foundation pay for their expensive travel habits. They don’t have enough time left on earth to burn through all that money.

Since Hillary Clinton will now never be president, it isn’t likely anyone is going to pay Bill Clinton $750,000 for a speech. And Hillary Clinton is going to find her friends on Wall Street won’t return her calls, much less pay her $250,000 for an hour of boring drivel while she is propped up behind a podium.

What would be even better is if the investigation of the Clinton Foundation goes forward and, at the very least, it loses its accreditation as a foundation. What other foundation doesn’t do charity work, provide scholarships or do much of anything for anyone except provide largess for its founders and their friends?

What other foundation pays the expenses for the wedding of one of its board members or pays board members to go out and campaign? According to leaked emails, the Clinton Foundation picked up some of the cost of Chelsea Clinton’s wedding and also paid Chelsea Clinton to go out and campaign for her mother.

*****

Remember back before Nov. 8, when the most learned political pundits in the country were telling anyone who would listen that Trump had brought about the end of the Republican Party? That the party founded by Abraham Lincoln (and I know it wasn’t, but evidently they don’t) was no longer going to exist?

Trump had brought such division to the party that his crushing defeat at the hands of Hillary Clinton was going to lead to Democratic majorities in the House and the Senate. After that the Republican Party would fight amongst themselves until not one man or woman was left standing.

It turns out they were almost entirely right, except they got the party wrong. If you look at the election results map, it’s red with some blue highlights. Hillary Clinton went down in defeat, proving that it’s a lot tougher to fool Main Street then it is Wall Street.

All those yahoos, rednecks, Hoosiers, hicks, hillbillies and such were paying attention and they knew that despite what the Democrats told them about the economy they had less money in their pockets than they did when the Democrats won the White House. The deplorables realized that a huge pile of that money that they thought they deserved was in the pockets of the people that Hillary Clinton would hang out with – the high rollers on Wall Street.

Hillary Clinton’s listening tour, where she listened, or at least sat at a table with her supporters long enough for photographs to be taken, didn’t fool the men and women who work for a living.

The Democrats lost the White House, and because of Obama’s policies had already lost the House and the Senate.

Now they can all get together and blame each other for nominating such a flawed candidate that she couldn’t even beat Trump.

They will ignore the fact that Trump started out by steamrolling the best the Republican Party had to throw at him. The truth, which they will never admit, is that Trump in 2016 was going to beat any Republican or Democratic politician they could find, because Trump went over the heads of the political elite and talked to the people who vote.

Hillary Clinton talked at the hundreds who the Democratic Party managed to corral into attending one of her rallies. Trump talked with the thousands who came to his rallies.

One thing the mainstream media most often ignored is that at a Trump rally, when Trump went off on some otherwise inexplicable tangent, he was often responding to what was being shouted at him from the crowd. He didn’t ignore people and continue on with his prepared remarks; he talked to them about what they wanted to talk about.

 

Parisian Promenade at Bicentennial Garden