Tag Archive: Gallup Organization


“In seeking truth you have to get both sides of a story.” – Walter Cronkite, CBS anchor from 1962-1981

When asked what sports historians would take away from his record (e.g., five home runs) performance in the 1977 World Series, Baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson paused and humbly proclaimed: “The magnitude of me.”

What about the “magnitude” of former CBS anchor Dan Rather?

The question is particularly relevant today as former CBS anchor Dan Rather is attempting a relevancy comeback at 86-years-old.

With his new book, “What Unites Us, Reflections on Patriotism,” Rather appears to be trying to escape the embarrassing details of his bitter 2005 termination … err resignation.

More to Almost DailyBrett’s point: Should Rather be seen as The Father of Affirmational Journalism?

Affirmational Journalism? Do these two words constitute an oxymoron?

Affirmational Journalism (e.g., Rather) is the mirror opposite of Informational Journalism (e.g., Cronkite).

Under the tenets of Informational Journalism, a news outlet will sift through the relevant facts and information – including both sides of every story — and deduce a logical conclusion for readers or viewers to decide.

Is there any wonder that Walter Cronkite was the most trusted man in America in 1972?

The esteem for American Journalism peaked in 1976 at 72 percent (e.g., Gallup survey), shortly after Woodward and Bernstein’s Pulitzer Prize reporting and the demise of the Nixon administration. The same poll revealed that public trust for the media plummeted for four decades to 32 percent in 2016.

What happened to the days when the vital First Amendment mission of the media was to inform and enlighten?

Enter Rather as the successor to Cronkite in the CBS anchor chair in 1981. Shortly thereafter, the seeds of today’s Affirmational Journalism were planted.

Certainly, there were outlets in 1972 and beyond that editorially represented the left (e.g., New York Times) and the right (e.g., Wall Street Journal), but the news pages of these publications were essentially straight.

Rather: Keynoting the GOP National Convention?

“(Rather) stepped on his own dick.” – Ronald Reagan, 1988

Two celebrated incidents involving Republican presidents (not Democratic) clearly demonstrated how Rather’s aim was to “affirm” preset narratives, not to totally “inform:”

  1. His rudeness against then Vice President George H.W. Bush in a cataclysmic 1988 live interview, which included Bush reminding the world that Rather stormed off his set one year before, when a U.S. Open tennis match ran too long.
  2. Rather’s ill-fated 2004 60 Minutes piece (e.g., Rathergate), confusing the fonts of an IBM Selectric with those offered by Microsoft. The forged 1972 document reportedly proved that President George W. Bush received special treatment as a member of the National Guard. Alas for Rather, the letter was written with a Microsoft font.

Microsoft was not founded until 1975 – three years later. Oops.

Dan Rather was exposed for his eagerness and glee to accept any “fact” that fit a preordained narrative about George W. Bush and his National Guard service. More importantly, he and his producer, Mary Mapes, were terminated at CBS for practicing Affirmational Journalism, which sought out tidbits (e.g., the forged letter) that affirmed and fit the story and excluding those (e.g., Microsoft font) that did not.

Rather’s mission was to “affirm” through selective reporting the predisposed reigning political philosophy of elites residing east of the Hudson and within the confines of the Beltway:

Democrat John Kerry was good; Republican George W. Bush needed to be excused from office.

Today, the list of affirmational elite media on the left is long: New York Times, Washington Post, NBC, CBS, CNN, and MSNBC. The list of affirmational media on the right is shorter: Fox News.

Whether these major media outlets reside on the left or the right, their mission is to affirm, sustain and enhance entrenched narratives that advance a chosen political philosophy.

Is Dan Rather solely responsible for this movement toward affirming, whether through interpretation or presenting, preordained narratives? No. There are others.

Is he the poster child for affirmational journalism and with it a record 32 percent low in national esteem for the media? Almost DailyBrett is making that assertion.

Affirmational Journalism Schools?

As a college assistant professor in a school of communication, the author of Almost DailyBrett worries that future journalists will be trained to seek facts and figures that fit a preconceived narrative, and ignore those inconvenient points that potentially contradict the “story.”

Are the ends of supporting an adopted political philosophy more important than the means of not presenting both sides of a story? If that is indeed the case and we are no longer informing the public about the positions of both sides, can we call this behavior Journalism?

There are some of us who yearn for the better days of a free-and-fair media.  The Fourth Estate can potentially come back; just the same way Rather is trying to revive his tarnished reputation.

Can the media return to the days of Informational Journalism? Or is Affirmational Journalism here to stay, contributing to and hardening our divided society for years to come?

Maybe if the media moves to adopt the model of Walter Cronkite — not Dan Rather — we will all be better off as an American society.

We can only hope.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2017/12/12/this-has-to-be-unacceptable-dan-rather-on-media-attacks-and-politics-in-america-under-trump/?utm_term=.6cdffc95176a&wpisrc=nl_opinions&wpmm=1

http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=82268&page=3

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2017/05/21/has-the-media-reached-the-point-that-it-can-never-cover-trump-fairly/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2017/07/22/from-affirming-back-to-informing/

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Walter-Cronkite

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Mapes

Many in academia and elsewhere lament economic inequality.

In fact, these same individuals are known to call for “social justice.”

The redistribution devil is in the details. Tax the rich s’il vous plait?

Wish it was just that easy.

Maybe we should all look in the mirror instead?

mirror

 

Three of the Biggest Factors for Economic Inequality

There are at least three major determinants, one potentially leading to another, when it comes to monetary disparity

1. Graduating from a real college or university

2. Securing admission to the best anti-poverty program of all: A well-paying private sector job with customary benefits

3. Investing in high-growth stocks and/or mutual funds

Come to think of it, these three contribute mightily to the gap between the haves and the have-nots.

According to Pew Research and reported by Andrew Kelly in his “Let’s Clarify The ‘College is Worth It’ Conversation” for Forbes, the disparity between those with bonified college degrees (e.g., BA or BS) and those with only as associate’s degree or worse, just a high school degree, has never been greater.

The record spread between those with bachelor’s degrees and those with associate’s is $15,500 annually, and $17,500 between the college grads and high school grads. The gap becomes staggering when multiplied over an anticipated 40-year career (that makes the big assumption that the AA or HS grad is still working – and not involuntarily put out to pasture — four decades later).

Without any further appreciation of the gap between the college graduate and her or his associates or high school peers, the 40-year disparity is $620,000 and $700,000 respectively. That’s big-time dinero even in this somewhat inflationary economy.

Certainly there is no guarantee that a bachelor’s degree leads to a moderate-to-high five-figure job, let alone to a six-figure position. In fact, many employers are now requiring master’s degrees or another two years of schooling. One point is certain; a bachelor’s degree is a ticket to compete for white-collar positions, something that an associate’s degree or high school diploma in virtually all cases does not provide.gradsandduck

And with the tough-to-attain, even-with-a-bachelor’s degree white-collar job, comes in most cases a salary, medical-dental-vision benefits and maybe participation in a company ESPP (Employee Stock Purchase Plan) or stock option program. Contemplate that we are not just talking about a salary, but discretionary resources that most likely will vault way above the present rate of inflation.

Investing Discretionary Income

Someone living paycheck-to-paycheck or worse sinking further into debt cannot conceive of discretionary income. They are just trying to make ends meet. Way-too-many Americans have nothing saved for retirement, and are one catastrophic event away from personal bankruptcy.

For those with bachelor’s degrees or above from reputable colleges and universities (sorry University of Phoenix; buying a degree doesn’t count), they can compete for well-paying private sector positions with benefits. They have resources to invest, and invest they do.

According to the Gallup Organization, 87 percent of upper-income Americans — those making $75,000 or more annually — own stocks, as do 83 percent of postgraduates and 73 percent of college graduates.

And what is a common-characteristic of “upper-income Americans”? A bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degree. And which group commands the lion’s share of those who purchase equities and participate in our bull markets? Graduates and postgraduates.gender6

Are students being taught the tenets of capitalism at our leading colleges and universities? Maybe or maybe not. Are they figuring out that buying low and selling high with discretionary income is a proven way to build wealth? That appears to be the case.

Should they be required to redistribute the fruits of their long-hours in the classroom and their accomplishments at the workplace, thus reducing the amount they can invest in entrepreneurs?

There may be a professor or two, who thinks that is a swell idea.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/akelly/2014/05/31/lets-clarify-the-college-is-worth-it-conversation/

http://www.icifactbook.org/fb_ch6.html

http://money.cnn.com/2013/05/09/investing/american-stock-ownership/

http://www.gallup.com/poll/147206/Stock-Market-Investments-Lowest-1999.aspx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_inequality

Celebrate, Not Just Tolerate

“Go where you are celebrated, not merely tolerated.” – Paul F. Davis, motivational speaker and life coach.

Davis also said: “If you don’t feel it, flee from it.”

pauldavis

Aren’t these quotes diametrically opposed to the legendary: “Winners never quit, quitters never win”?

The answer is affirmative, but so what? Life is simply too short.

As the stubborn economic downturn moves from year-seven into year-eight, there remains a tremendous amount of emphasis on the officially unemployed, 10.9 million; underemployed. 7.7 million (e.g., part-time jobs with no benefits); and to those who simply gave up the fight to find a job, 762,000.

That’s nearly 20 million Americans, if you are scoring at home.

There are millions more who are literally trapped in lousy jobs (a large percentage of 43.8 percent of the nation that make up the total working population). Some of these workers are in dead-end positions. Some are under the thumb of authoritative bossholes. And even more may be sent packing in the next reduction in force (RIF), downsizing, rightsizing, duplication-elimination exercise, restructuring or whatever pleasant term you want to attach to the elimination of jobs.

edelmantrust

There is also the question whether employers, who have taken their employees for granted and/or treated them miserably, fully understand the consequences of their totalitarian behavior. For example, the Edelman Trust Barometer once again in 2013 revealed the public is more inclined to trust businesses, patronize their stores and purchase their products that have a track record of treating their employees well.

Quiz: What is one of the first things that come into mind when you think of Walmart? Low prices? How about the widespread perception that the retail giant is less than generous with its 2.2 million employees or associates in Bentonville-ese.

walmartemployees

The $474.8 billion world’s largest publicly traded company (NYSE: WMT) has even sponsored a food drive asking its associates to assist other less-fortunate associates make ends meet for the holidays. Talk about a public relations disaster. How do you make lemonade out of lemons on this one?

Almost DailyBrett opined repeatedly that all recessions/downturns/economic funks eventually come to an end. The Laws of Economics with their cyclical natures simply do not go away.

What does this mean for today’s employer despots? It means that “retention” will someday (it’s coming, trust me) become a scary word. Think of the start of the Indy 500 with the pace car heading off the track and the green flag flying as their free-at-last, Oh God their-free-at-last employees head for the exits to the siren call of the recruiter cherry pickers.

These employees will indeed go where they are celebrated or at least where they believe they will be celebrated.

The hardest questions to answer in this discussion are how much longer will it be before the coming economic upswing? Even tougher to answer is whether a barely tolerated underutilized and underappreciated contributor should just wait for better days or should she or he seek out right now that opportunity to be celebrated?

Clearly, there are hundreds of thousands who are not “feeling it” when it comes to their present state of affairs. Should they flee?

The easy answer is, “yes,” but sometimes pulling off that feat in the face of kids in school, spouse with a job in town, underwater mortgage, not enough other opportunities make fleeing risky and problematic. Keep in mind if one stays and is laid off, change is at hand whether wanted or not.

As a Type A personality, who is perpetually proactive, I believe in always being prepared, keeping on the lookout for opportunities to be celebrated, and more importantly to be respected. Think of it another way: No Guts, No Glory.

eagle

We have discussed before the wisdom of an up-to-date resume, a complete LinkedIn profile that sells your story, and a digital network of former superiors, subordinates, and present colleagues, partners and friends who are ready and willing to help.

There is also the need to Google (corporate verb) yourself and appreciate what others are potentially reading about you, and conceivably what is being said and illustrated by people around the world who coincidentally share your name.

This is the time to take every step conceivable to protect your reputation and to manage the most important brand on the planet: Your personal brand.

As you come to the end of 2013 and look toward 2014, you don’t have to put up with bad behavior. You deserve the best that life has to offer. You are only here once. Go out and be celebrated before it is too late.

http://followpics.net/if-you-dont-feel-it-flee-from-it-go-where-you-are-celebrated-not-merely-tolerated/

http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/126432-if-you-don-t-feel-it-flee-from-it-go-where

http://www.paulfdavis.com/

http://www.gallup.com/poll/125639/gallup-daily-workforce.aspx

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

http://www.edelman.com/insights/intellectual-property/trust-2013/

http://www.edelman.com/post/earning-consumer-trust/

http://business.time.com/2013/11/18/walmart-seeks-food-donations-to-help-needy-employees/

 

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