WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Open Friday / Weekend Forum

So, which stories / issues are uppermost in your mind this weekend?

Delaware lawmakers have decided to reject the salary increase plan from the Delaware Compensation Commission. That would mean no salary increases for the state's judiciary, NOR for certain members of Governor Markell's Cabinet. (The compensation commission had not recommended any increases for the lawmakers themselves.) Doubtless, lawmakers are reacting to public sentiment in still austere times. But supporters of raises might say "penny wise, pound foolish", if the state is unable to hold onto some of its top judges or Cabinet members, and that - in turn - erodes Delaware's competitive position over the long haul.

Another Catholic school in the Diocese of Wilmington bites the dust at the end of the current academic year: If you frequently travel up and down Route 13 north of the New Castle County Airport in the month of June, you may recall the big Ferris Wheel from the annual Our Lady of Fatima June Fair, which represented the big annual fundraiser for the Our Lady of Fatima elementary school. Well, that school will close its doors (at least, as a Catholic school) come June. Predictable reasons: Declining enrollments, tough economic times, an older population in some of the surrounding neighborhood, plus an influx of families who couldn't pay the tuition. The infusion of students (mostly Hispanics) from the previously closed St. Paul's school provided a brief lifeline, but it wasn't enough. The opening of a state-of-the-art, multi-parish Catholic school - Christ the Teacher - along Route 40 in Glasgow arguably cannibalized the enrollments of older schools closer to the city. The handwriting had been on the chalkboard for some years.

This replicates a nationwide pattern of Catholic schools in cities and inner suburbs closing their doors, while enrollment surges in some of the outer suburbs.

(I am close to this situation, inasmuch as my wife teaches at OLF.)

From Politico: "President Obama's Jobs Council hit a notable milestone on Thursday: One year without an official meeting. The 26-member panel is also set to expire at the end of the month, unless Obama extends its tenure."

Politico further notes "simmering tension" between the corporate CEOs on the board and a pair of labor leaders, also members of The President's Council on Jobs & Competitiveness.

You'll recall Mitt Romney jumped on an earlier story during the summer campaign. Romney accused the President of neglecting the council and the always sensitive issue of job creation.

However, Politico reports members have gotten together through technological means, through a series of conference calls.

What do you make of the story of the confusing hoax engulfing Notre Dame football star Manti Te'o and his supposed 'dead girlfriend'? Can you make heads or tails of this? On another level, this is yet another example of the popular media focusing on the most picayune, utterly inconsequential stories. But, ordinary people are talking about this story at the water-cooler.

Robert Weintraub at COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW made, I thought, some great points:

"Clearly, the gullibility and laziness of the media have been exposed here. The unforgiving speed of the news cycle, the short staffs, and lack of proper fact-checking in most modern newsrooms, the lust for the 'buzz' story---all play into the fact that so many passed along Te'o's story without checking it thoroughly. You can see the thinking rise off the stories like steam. '(Fill in the respectable outlet of your choice) ran this story, so it must be true. I'll just add a few details so it seems different enough'."

Later, the key point:

"But this pigskin version of the 'big lie' exposes several weaknesses in the media. Perhaps the most troubling is the idea, apparently shared, if not encouraged, by Te'o himself, that merely winning, or even just being good, is not enough. There has to be more to it, some compelling backstory, for an athlete to break through the media morass and connect with the public.

It's the same thinking that brought us those overproduced, endlessly sappy Olympics profiles, wherein every hangnail ever suffered by an Olympian was blown up into the equivalent of the pillars of Hercules by NBC (which thankfully throttled back during the London Games). Reporters, editors, and producers are conditioned to dig deeper, to look for something more, to attract the eyeballs of people who don't really care about the final score in and of itself..."


"President Obama's mandate that most private companies provide health insurance plans that cover the cost of contraceptives has met with considerable headwinds in the legal system, where nine of the 14 Federal courts to rule so far have sided with employers who say the mandate violates their beliefs and infringes on their religious liberties.

Although the broad scope of the President's health-care law survived Supreme Court scrutiny last year, the challenges to the contraception mandate remain major legal hurdles for the Obama Administration, and the deep skepticism shown by a number of judges makes it likely that the high court will be called upon to settle this dispute, too..."

London's DAILY MAIL picks up on an NPR interview:

"Organic supermarket chain Whole Foods is facing a backlash from many of its more liberal customers after founder and C.E.O. John Mackey compared Obamacare to 'fascism' in a radio interview Wednesday.

In an interview to promote his new book, Mackey was quizzed about an article he had written in The WALL STREET JOURNAL in 2009 that likened Obamacare to socialism.

'Technically speaking, it's more like fascism' Mackey told NPR. 'Socialism is where the government owns the means of production. In fascism, the government doesn't own the means of production but they do control it. And that's what's happening with our health-care program with these reforms'.

His remarks have sparked an outcry among Whole Foods' customers. The supermarket chain has a reputation as a mecca for fans of fresh vegetables and organic produce..."

Mackey eventually issued a statement expressing regret for his "poor word choice". But he remains critical of the President's health-care overhaul.


"Forget all the caterwauling about women (a bit of which, admittedly, came from me. The impending departures of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar leave President Obama's Cabinet with zero Hispanics, setting off nervous tremors among Latinos and underscoring the inch-deep Democratic bench in that demographic.

Even before the latest developments, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of 30 large groups, was concerned about the lack of Latino representation in the administration and told Obama so in a letter last November. The coalition sent the president another letter Wednesday, complete with 19 names for him to consider for his second-term Cabinet..."

Authorities in Ohio have arrested two men discovered to be conducting target practice in a neighborhood backyard with an AK-47 assault rifle and three additional firearms. Problem: They were all boozed up. Bullets catapulted into several homes in Montville, Ohio, some forty miles from Cleveland. Several frantic residents called 911.

Speaking of guns, New Jersey's Republican Governor (and U.D. grad) Chris Christie took aim at the N.R.A. (Sorry, I couldn't resist the pun!) Christie bashed the N.R.A.'s commercial castigating President Obama as an "elitist hypocrite" for sending his daughters to a school protected by armed guards. One problem: The elite Quaker Sidwell Elementary School's guards appear not to be armed. However, one assumes any Secret Service agents in the vicinity ARE armed.

At the time of this post, the Algerian hostage crisis remains fluid and confused. Together with Mali, all this underscores the Islamist challenge - and the ongoing battle for hearts and minds both in north and sub-Saharan Africa.


Posted at 2:34pm on January 18, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 3:06pm
The Manti T'eo story illustrates how the media just report whatever is spoonfed to them.

This story about the football player's fabricated girlfriend is inconsequential, but think about the consequences of other lies that are NOT investigated by the media. Bush 43 said that we had to invade Iraq before Iraq used nuclear weapons against us. Nobody in the media ---NOBODY ---questioned whether that was true and blindly went along with it.

An interesting parallel can be observed in the run-up to war with Iran, with the White House saying Iran is somehow a threat...and NOBODY in the media questioning whether that is true or not. Lies like this should be investigated by the media before lives are lost.

Allan Loudell
Fri, Jan 18, 2013 3:56pm
I am. I've done numerous interviews with people who warn against a military intervention in Iran!

Fri, Jan 18, 2013 4:26pm
Sorry to jump the thread here, but today as Allan was discussing with a professor from UD about young people's perception of the news bias, I was in a car of young people and WOW. Was it affirmative that they all agreed!!!

"That's a no-brainer." "Nailed That." " About time someone figured it out" were the immediate reaction, so I would have to agree; young people are smarter than their elders who still believe what they hear or see.

For example, I have noticed Breitbart actually being quoted here as a news source. So as those young adults pointed out, adult Americans are way behind the times. Furthermore, what your conversation did not cover, was that Al Jazeera, Guardian, Reuters, Bloomberg, and BBC are all respected as being far less propagandistic or manipulative, than were Google, Yahoo, CBS, ABC, NBC.

(Fox and MSNBC didn't even register as news organizations; they were lumped in where we would lump Breitbart or Air America).

It it the internet that is causing it. When I question "who then DO you believe?" they responded quickly with an unanimous response. "We believe in open source," followed by a chorus of affirmations.

Sayings like "you can never just trust one person; everything can be faked; everyone is hitting you with their angle." pretty well mirrored the professor's anecdotal evidence.

It appears that when you have millions of people interacting as they do on the web, that you get instant polls, similar to what we pay organizations to do for us...

Example. A link gets posted about Obama, with video. The right-wing attack-squads immediately pounce with ten negatives, then the next hundred-and-fifty positives pretty well flush out the truth...

For example right now the assault ban on the internet is 80% for, and 20% against. They are pretty skeptical when Fox inverts those figures, or NBC, CBS, ABC, waters them down... Their feeling is that NBC, CBS, ABC, are being too gentle because they don't want to upset their audience.

They are exactly correct. But I'd thought I share that event. Again, it is a random collection of young people and was not processed scientifically with controls.

Particularly since Allan does often interact with young people on the air at times, I think he would thoroughly enjoy pursuing this topic with high-school journalism students. Just a simple question: "How do you make up your mind what is true and what isn't"? It would be eye-opening for many of the older generation listening in to hear how smart they really are...

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Jan 18, 2013 5:41pm
Obamacare hitting legal hurdles: First link below is the head of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (Rev. Matthew Harrison) speaking to Congress about Obamacare requiring religious institutions to provide abortion - birth-control devices via health-care plans. He really hits the ball out of the ballpark. What I really like about this man of God is he'd rather not be there in DC, but back home preaching the Word of God.

Second link is him telling of a statement that he and a bunch of other religious folks (both Christian and non-Christian) have signed telling President Obama why Obamacare shouldn't be forcing religious institutions and individuals who own businesses to have to provide those things in their health-care packages.

Both are excellent.



Sat, Jan 19, 2013 7:22am

Following is a link to the greatest and most enduring TV news theme ever. Here's the full-length original studio recording in its purest form - no voice overs - just the music.


Sat, Jan 19, 2013 11:19am
Kavips: Those young people must have gotten their wisdom from MR. PIZZA!

Sat, Jan 19, 2013 11:27am
I must disagree with my Republican friend Governor Christie about the "elitist hypocrite" commercial. Actually, the NRA has treated Mr. Obama much more kindly than I have right here on this blog, and I applaud them for being the only people besides myself for having the guts to stand up to the tyranny that this dictator and his administration are all about. Too bad Republicans in Congress are afraid to speak the truth.

GO NRA!!!!

Sat, Jan 19, 2013 11:32am
Teatime: You asked why the average citizen needs to be armed with weapons that fire 100 rounds per minute. Hmmmmmmmm....
Could such weapons have stopped Janet Reno from sending federal agents in to a private home in Florida to illegally kidnap Elian Gonzalez and illegally send him back to Cuba?

Sat, Jan 19, 2013 1:06pm
Now before everybody gets all riled up and accuses me of being a redneck, let me be clear that I don't advocate everybody owning assault-weapons or shootin-up law enforcement. The point here is that the NRA and the Founders of this great country advocate citizens to be armed in order to draw a line in the sand between government and the people. For anybody who thinks Hitler/Stalin type tyranny can't happen here, the incident I described above, along with Ruby Ridge and Waco, prove otherwise. We've already had such tyranny on a smaller scale right here under our noses and during our lifetimes.
This also proves that if the left succeeds in its goal to totally disarm private citizens, then Waco will be an everyday occurrence.

Sat, Jan 19, 2013 6:30pm
Mr. Pizza. You seem to forget why we picked up Elian Gonzalez and you seem to forget the horrible, horrible people who were in Waco and at Ruby Ridge (the child rapes)... True, those two latter incidents could have been handled differently but we didn't posess the MOAB back then. That would have been the NRA way of dealing with the problem. Drop it, fill in the hole, and plant wheat over top. We do not need the NRA, any more than we need abolitionists to save the slaves.

We need responsible government, and the NRA is what gets in the way of that happening... They are today's Black Panthers.

Sat, Jan 19, 2013 7:01pm
And Mike... not supporting Obamacare because of abortion, is the same as not supporting George W. Bush because of the 9/11. Both are unrelated. Both happened, and there is no room for that objection to grow. I saw on Delaware Liberal that foes of abortion are now down to roughly 3 out of 10.

And since guns are a big topic these days, the NRA represents .5 of one percent of the American population.

Which brings up a big point. We all look back fondly on the days we grew up. They were before TV. A group getting a half or one percent acknowledgement was barely mentioned in the newspaper. Now with TV, anyone can get in your face. Be it the Westboro Baptist Church, Britney Spears, Conservative Media, or the NRA. They all get covered far more than their clout is worth. Most people misrepresent the coverage with their clout and think they are a force to be reckoned with. Yet their numbers are so small. More people believe that an alien body is in Roswell than support the 2nd Amendment through the NRA. We make alien believers into jokes, yet it is the NRA that is the real joke.

Not blaming the media (unless I am blaming myself) I believe the true issue is that a journalist feels he/she has to give both sides fairly. Example: If someone comments that global warming is heating up, today's journalist will have to find a opposite spokesperson who will say something different to show balance. In global warming, that trait has cost us dearly I'm afraid to say. We are too late to return to where we once were earth temperature wise. WE now have to worry about surviving new increased drastic changes, and now our choice is between whether we want to someday get back to one or two degrees higher by going all out as we did in WWII to survive, or settle for 4-5 degrees higher with less effort spent against it.

One of the best lines I once heard off-camera from a BBC reporter who was explaining the difference between British journalism and American journalism. This was during the Bush years. She said, "In America you show grace to both sides of the argument. In Britain we do as well, until we discover we are being fed "bunk" in the terms of figures or false science, and then, we exfoliate them of their cover, often ridiculing them off the face of the earth, then no matter what they say, we never pay attention to them again"

Flat out, that is not done in America. When Paul Ryan lies, newspapers feel they have to cover it up, hide it, and not discuss the terrible white lie in public. If people don't know already, they take Ryan's statement as true. I feel the press has a moral duty to qualify an alternate point of view as being unfounded, so when the listeners hear it, they have an idea it is being provided as is Breitbart, strictly for entertainment value. I have noticed the News Journal is debunking the Caesar Rodney Institute in their publications every time they mention him. That is a good trend to follow...

Back to abortion. Insurance companies are picking up the cost of reproductive services. Not religious institutions. Just like their parishioners have a choice to drive at the speed limit or higher, they can also choose whether to use contraception or not. It is out of the church's hands...

Mike from Delaware
Sat, Jan 19, 2013 8:01pm
Kavips said: "Back to abortion. Insurance companies are picking up the cost of reproductive services. Not religious institutions. Just like their parishioners have a choice to drive at the speed-limit or higher, they can also choose whether to use contraception or not. It is out of the churches hands..."

That is just smoke and mirrors. The insurance company never gives anything away for free, so even though they are offering abortion/birth-control services with no charge to the religious group, the cost is probably being charged in the monthly fees for coverage, or part of the deducible, etc. But you miss the bigger point.

A religious body, should be able to choose to NOT provide that sort of thing via its health-care plan. If folks want that sort of service in their health-care plan, then they should seek employment elsewhere. Whether they pay for it or not, abortion is murder to some religious groups, so they don't want anything to do with that at all. The government should NOT be trying force them to provide something of which is an immoral thing, in their beliefs, to do. Below is a link to the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) President Rev. Matthew Harrison, who makes a short statement to the Congress addressing this issue and says it far better than I.


Sun, Jan 20, 2013 2:48am
I'm calling you on that smoke and mirrors comment. Just because you pay a fee into a giant pot doesn't mean you are paying for something you don't agree with....

When you go to one of our grocery stores and buy your weekly groceries, do you get bent out-of-shape because maybe some of your money may go to buy anchovies, and you hate anchovies (you can tell I'm baiting Mr. Pizza to jump in, lol)

Well your money might, they have to buy anchovies and some of your money went into their bank account.... And what if you thought anchovies were a sin?

That is a ridiculous economic argument, as I just very ably demonstrated.

As for abortion being murder, it has solely to do when you decide life begins. You have to agree on a definition of life to do that. You have to agree what you are going to include in that category of life, before you even do that......

Abortion is an opinion issue... Scientifically when you kill a butterfly, you are killing one of God's creatures far, far more complex and intrinsically developed (see Allan's descriptions on his hobby blog on the other side of the main page), than a zygote of ten cells that is too small to even be seen. Again, it is opinion, and with any opinion, the majority wins. Right now "opinion falls 81 to 29 in favor of a woman's right to choose.

Mike from Delaware
Sun, Jan 20, 2013 1:14pm
Kavips said: "Right now opinion falls 81 to 29 in favor of a woman's right to choose."

Not when it comes to faith. Our Constitution guarantees our freedom of religious faith/beliefs. So if YOUR church wishes to provide abortion, birth control, and allow homosexual marriage, THAT is your church's right, just as it is MY church's right to say NO to providing abortion (baby murder) or allowing homosexual marriage (my church isn't against birth control). Neither should be forced to go against its beliefs. So if a person chooses to work for one of my church's schools or hospitals then they won't be able to get those specific benefits from the health-care package. If that is important to them, then they should seek employment elsewhere.

Many Catholic school teachers may not agree with the Catholic Church on those issues, but we've seen the news stories of teachers being fired for speaking out in public against those beliefs (This happens in the industrial world too - see how long you stay an employee by going public in a public forum against some issue that's important to your company [bashing your company's stand on the environment for example]). So a Catholic school-teacher cannot teach her students that it's OK to use a condom or get an abortion, or practice a homosexual lifestyle. IF he/she can't abide by the teachings of the Catholic Church when instructing their students than he/she better get a job elsewhere, because sooner or later they're going to get caught teaching wrong doctrine and then fired.

So in terms of religious faith and belief, public opinion doesn't matter. No one is forced to attend any church (no state religions) or work for a religious institution. Obama and the DEMS are wrong on this issue.

Sun, Jan 20, 2013 10:50pm
I'm picking the Ravens to win the Super Bowl 30-22.

Sun, Jan 20, 2013 11:22pm
Sorry to jump the thread but I was looking for the podcast for Rick Jensen's show featuring Alan Levin, discussing the port of Wilmington. Can it be made available?

Mike from Delaware
Mon, Jan 21, 2013 8:25am
I'm with you Mrpizza,I want to Ravens to win the Super Bowl. Delighted New England and Atlanta aren't in the Super Bowl.

Mon, Jan 21, 2013 10:59am
Such predictions depend on no injuries, but seeing how the Ravens shut out the Patriots in their second half, and how the Giants only won at the last minute by two batted-down balls in the last minute, and acknowledging that the Patriots are probably stronger than Atlanta, I would agree that the Ravens should win. I think your score is too close, and will go with a 28-14 prediction.

Mon, Jan 21, 2013 11:34am
Happy MLKjr day to all! Hopefully on this day people will remember this amazing man, what he stood for and the dream he had for his children.

"I have a dream, that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today!"~MLKjr

We need more men like men of faith like Dr. MLKjr, Gandhi, and Bishop TuTu...

Mon, Jan 21, 2013 12:55pm
Kavips: I'll take all the better predictions I can get. I based my close score on the way the 49ers came back from a deficit to barely edge out the Falcons, but either way a win is a win.

Mike from Delaware
Mon, Jan 21, 2013 1:05pm
EarlGrey: well said.

Mon, Jan 21, 2013 2:43pm
Kavips: I must agree with you that we need responsible government. However, before we can have that, we must elect a responsible president and a Republican majority to the senate.
Until then, all bets are off.

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Jan 22, 2013 8:18am
For those who like Wonder Bread from Hostess bakers, here is some possible good news.


Mike from Delaware
Tue, Jan 22, 2013 8:22am
An interesting story about how Kosher inspection of food in China.


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