Faint Gleams of Light

A couple of things I noticed yesterday. Firstly this, about the HUD residential smoking ban announced a few days back.

The Nanny State Shames Poor Smokers in Their Homes

Prohibition 3.0 won’t be any more successful than its predecessors…

We are flabbergasted. The desire to promote healthier living choices is understandable. Infringing upon what adults do in the privacy of their own homes is not.

Nothing very remarkable there? Just another voice crying in the wilderness? But maybe not, given what Audrey Silk had to say about it:

Best of all? This paper is owned by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner (married to Ivanka), who is currently serving on Trump’s transition team. So, as the prayerful saying goes… “from this paper to ‘God’s’ ear.”

I think that what she means is that observer.com is owned by Kushner. I don’t know whether it’s an actual newspaper, not a news site. But if Kushner’s paper is attacking the HUD smoking ban, it could mean that Kushner doesn’t like it, and it could also mean that he may well have told The Donald as much. Whether Trump will do anything about it is open to question. But it’s a faint gleam of light.

The second piece, again on the HUD residential smoking ban, is from the Daily Caller.

Ban The Smoking Ban

So, Obama, the first black Caesar of the empire has “ordered” a ban on smoking in all public housing. Another victory for Washington, the crass capital of the world. I’m sure all the bureaucrats will cheer as this is their prosperity, their gain, their product of their officious little minds…

Nothing very remarkable about that either, except that the Daily Caller is a US right wing news site that I only really started paying any attention to in recent months for its positive coverage of Trump’s campaign. So maybe that’s another voice from the Trump camp speaking up against this very nasty ban.

And one of the slightly dispiriting things about the right wing websites is that, although they are often highly sceptical about issues like global warming, there’s usually dead silence about smoking bans. Alex Jones’ Infowars never mentions smoking bans. Neither does Breitbart. Nor do talk show hosts like Michael Savage or Mark Levin or Rush Limbaugh (even though it seems Limbaugh smokes cigars).

And of course the mainstream media never mention smoking bans either. Or if they do ever discuss smoking, it’s almost always from an extreme one-sided antismoking perspective.

Which is one reason why I pay very little attention to the MSM any more. Their antismoking bias is as obvious as their global warming alarmism or, more recently, their anti-Trump hysteria.

It’s perhaps the loss of readers and viewers like me that seems now to have resulted in a general decline in the influence of the MSM. In the UK the MSM were mostly pro-Remain, anti-Brexit. And in the USA they were pro-Clinton, anti-Trump. But they failed to deliver. Perhaps because readers like me have gone to Breitbart and Drudge and Infowars and Daily Caller instead.

I sometimes wonder why the MSM have been losing credibility and readership, while the new websites have been gaining them. One reason may be that the MSM is made up of large organisations with editors and producers and all the rest of it – while the new websites seem to be those of individual people. When you visit Rush Limbaugh, you find out what he thinks. Same with Mark Levin. Or Michael Savage. Or Alex Jones. They’re all carried by recognisable individual personalities. And the corporate MSM is generally pretty low on individual personalities.

I think that people maybe like to hear what other people think. Other people with their own foibles and personal concerns. Not just spouting the party line on smoking, global warming, or whatever, as agreed in some editorial board meeting in the New York Times.

I think genuine individual people are always interesting, even if you don’t agree with them. And perhaps they’re even interesting because you don’t agree with them.

And after all, isn’t Donald Trump as (in)famous for his tweets as anything else that’s written about him. That way, people get to hear what he himself thinks. Trump is very much one of the new individuals, saying what he thinks, unmediated by editors or reporters, that have emerged in the new media.

Anyway, that’s one possible explanation for the decline of the corporate MSM, and the rise of the individualistic new media. And it’s slightly encouraging that protests against smoking bans seem to be beginning to emerge from this new media.


About Frank Davis

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14 Responses to Faint Gleams of Light

  1. wobbler2012 says:

    You’re absolutely right about Alex Jones Frank. I have been listening to him on and off for the best part of 15 years. I think he does smoke on and off but I do find it strange that he doesn’t speak out against the anti-smoking zealots.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I’ve only been listening to Alex Jones for about 6 months, on and off. I find him a bit over the top, to be honest. The Infowars universe is always in crisis, with something terrible about to happen. They said that the globalists were going to steal the election from Donald Trump. And if they didn’t steal it, they’d assassinate him. The latest is that the government want to close them down. There’s a steady succession of these crises to keep the dramatic tension going, and everyone on the edge of their seats. But it’s also great fun, if you take it all with a large pinch of salt like I do.

      One reason why I tend to think that smoking might not be viewed positively is that the site plugs a lot of health products. Vitamins and so on. Which everyone on the show actually swears that they take. And Alex Jones claims to work out. It’s all a bit too “healthy” to allow anyone to do anything as unhealthy as smoke killer cigarettes.

  2. Clicky says:

  3. slugbop007 says:

    Don’t know if John Glenn smoked, but he did fly lots of planes and traveled in rocket ships.


  4. O/T Germany has voted. The Word Of The Year 2016 is ‘Post Factual’ ! We live in an age where the facts no longer matter.
    I admit when i had that in the German TV evening news this evening I *snorked* a ‘so what is new?! We smokers have know for a fact that the facts don’t matter since at least 2007!’ We’ve been living in Post Factual Land for years now.

  5. waltc says:

    Speaking of “fake news”– everything to do with secondhand smoke (and now perhaps with vaping).

  6. mikef317 says:

    The Observer article states that “smoking is still legal.” Not in bars, restaurants, workplaces, and now homes, outdoor spaces, etc., etc.

    Note the opening paragraph: “Smoking is not healthy. There is no debate about its danger to the smoker and very little uncertainty about the impact of secondhand smoke on those exposed to it on a regular basis. The greatest concern is the impact on children susceptible to asthma.”

    With “friends” like this, who needs enemies?

  7. audreysilk says:

    To clarify, The Observer was indeed a respected weekly print newspaper for a very long time and very popular in the borough of Manhattan. Only within the last few months (I believe) it folded its paper edition and only remains as a digital paper.

    And to answer mikef317, of course those concessions are frustrating but when the middle and end point of an editorial is to disparage the anti-smoker extremism then, no, they are far from “with friends like this…” How many others have you counted that have had the courage to come right out and say “It may be the most far-reaching, intrusive and over-reaching executive order of the entire Obama administration”? As long as their other statements are as strong as this then it does us no good to make the perfect the enemy of the good.

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