James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist

  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association and a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media.

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Fake hair, white skin & tall tales

Posted by James McPherson on June 20, 2015

The headline above could refer to either Donald Trump, the latest passenger in the Republican clown car, or to serial liar and former Spokane NCAA president Rachel Dolezal, both of whom I commented on via Twitter and Facebook during the past week or so. Below are some of my tweets and Facebook posts from the period:

With Trump declaring his candidacy for president, I noted that I want to see his birth certificate because I don’t believe he’s from this planet. Also on the issue of politics, I commented on Jeb! Bush’s bad logo, and on the fact that President Obama had no objection to changing the name of Mt. McKinley to Denali. “Of course not; McKinley was a Republican,” I tweeted. “And Dinali means ‘Great One,’ so Obama can pretend it’s named for him.”

I commented on dumb complaints by Jerry Seinfeld and Bill O’Reilly about the supposed negative effects of “political correctness.” In a perhaps-related issue I shared a Psychology Today piece about how “Anti-intellectualism is killing America.”

Dolezal prompted widespread discussion about race  even before racist lunatic Dylann Roof killed nine people in a Charleston, S.C., church. The latest American massacre prompted the usual idiocy from the National Rifle Association, the expected cowardice of politicians, the typical dishonest of Fox News, and predictions from Jon Stewart and me that the long-term effect would be exactly zilch. As I noted on one post, “soul. ‪#‎Columbine‬ didn’t matter. ‪#‎VirginiaTech‬ didn’t matter. ‪#‎Aurora‬ didn’t matter. ‪#‎GabbyGiffords‬ didn’t matter. ‪#‎Newtown‬ didn’t matter. ‪#‎Charleston‬ won’t make a damn bit of difference, either.”

On a lighter note, there was one hero in the news this week: a cat named Tara that won a “Hero Dog Award.” I took it upon myself to come up with a quote for Tara: “Deep in my heart, I identify as a dog.”

I also commented on the fact that a woman’s picture will appear on the $10 bill, beginning in 2020. We don’t know which woman. We do know that she’ll be dead, which leaves out Sandra Day O’Conner, Hillary Clinton, Condi Rice and Caitlyn Jenner. I’m leaning toward favoring Eleanor Roosevelt, Sacajawea or Jeannette Rankin.

On the media front, I lamented the state of local journalism and the short-sighted critics who are helping kill it, and forwarded a tweet about the Charleston Post and Courier which put a stick-on advertisement for a gun store on its front page — directly over a huge banner headline stating, “Church attack kills 9.” I noted that the media coverage of the killer might encourage others, and criticized Howard Kurtz — who used to be a credible media critic but who has become just another pitifully biased Fox News shill.

I also shared an excellent Politico story about Bloomberg News. I’ve visited Bloomberg several times with students, who have chuckled over the fact that our hosts brag about the company’s “transparency” right after telling us that specific comments will be “off the record.”

OK, off to the lake for a few days escape from politics, media and home projects. Have a good week, everybody. Don’t shoot anyone.

21 Responses to “Fake hair, white skin & tall tales”

  1. gqbrielle said

    Good roundup. Have fun at the lake!

  2. Reuel said

    Nicely grouped. I have swore off 24/7 news again. I went back like addict and realized the world is a very screwed. So I bought some concrete blocks, mortar and concrete. No I am not becoming a prep-er. I torn down 1/3 of my old house last weekend and planned a building 12 ‘ by 20’ Game-room in its place. Going “old school” this time with a retro style and good old fashion pinball machines. Soda parlor. ETC. It seems this is the only real thing I can do and insure it will be what I want when I am finished. Unlike “Politics”. It will have of course a new school large flat screen TV with all news channels block. See I don’t need them, I got a smart phone that chirps anytime something important happens. Like President Obama used the “N” word or Republicans and Democrats disagree, a election is coming and let all divide the country to keep/or get themselves a cushy job running for the next term that comes up. Then we will have silly season next year when they will waste time presenting bills that they know have zero chance of passing to just go out on the trail and say one side has a war on something. None of them (Elected Officials) read it, but the bill is named and used over and over to rally up the troops that are the most low information voters than ever seen. See they know that and they know very few will believe anything on the other side, because they (Elected Officials) have divided us for their own interest. What is the Interests? rewarding their Bundle buddies and PAC it people. Is it not possible both sides are wrong and the lemmings on both sides are basically to busy with all the technical access we all have now. Ever notice the younger ones theses days, they Instant message the people they are sitting next to and it is usually a zero value conversation. We are so screwed, well not me, I will be playing pinball and practicing up on the first original job from the way back time where people talked to each other. “Conversation” person to person is so “Old School” Oh my first job was dishwasher/Soda Jerk”

    Have a nice 4th of July 🙂

  3. wmgates68 said

    Don Ameche is a dumb@ss.

  4. Hasn’t Ameche been dead for a long time? I’m confused. Reuel, the room sounds cool — wish you were close enough that I could drop by and play some pinball and have a soda. I played quite a bit while I was in college (admittedly with beer, not soda), but not at all since. (Well, I tried in in an airport a couple of years ago, and sucked.) And I don’t do computer games (well, other than arguing with folks on anti-social media).
    We had a great camping trip; I read more than four books in five days, swam 2-4 times a day, napped a lot, and pretty much missed one of the most newsworthy weeks of recent years. We came back to record high temps (105 yesterday; many years we never hit 100 and July and August are supposed to be our “hot” months). I’ve been putting new flooring in the new/old manufactured home we just bought the past couple days (after being a deacon at church on Sunday morning and then at a funeral this morning). Then after some cleanup we’ll move into that place and work like dogs to get our current house ready to sell. (It was time to find a place without so many stairs.)
    Have either of you checked in on GI Joe and the boys lately?

  5. Reuel said

    Ah you finally understand how my mind works. Multiple random thoughts. Sometimes I solve a couple at the same time. So what is the total tally for Republicans running for President this week? Don’t care. Still think Hillary or any of the masses on the right could be taken out with a Independent. No not like the so call “Democratic Plant” that says he/she are independent when the Democrat is in need of help. I thought “The Donald” would do that. Glad he didn’t, well he still could. Hope not. Bernie Sanders is a Independent isn’t he? No he just went back to running as a Democrat for President. He is getting good numbers in New England. I would like to see Bill Gates for president “Independent that knows how to make some money off of changing windows” Oh well back to the boring Design Specification and Numbers. Peace out.

  6. melfamy said

    Don Ameche is a nom de plume for a blogger on Utah’s site, and Wm Gates has him pegged

  7. Ah, now I get it. That’s how long I’ve been out of touch w/the RNL boys. But doesn’t that description fit most of the folks there? Hope you’re all staying cooler than we are here — high 90’s to low 100s every day.

  8. Eric Voc said



    What Rachel Dolezal Left Behind

    Spokane already had a troubled racial history. Will this controversy hurt, or heal?

    By Sarah Simms


    Simms is a native of Spokane.

    We would have routed a Tweet, but her Feed is not up to date.

    She may want to get an intern to help her keep her Twitter Feed current.

  9. Eric Voc said


    Hope you and your family are well.

    We were doing some Civil War research when we came across the name of a Union Army General with your name who was born in Ohio.

    Here is the Link:

  10. Yes, James Birdseye McPherson was the highest-ranking officer killed in the Civil War. There are also two Pulitzer Prize-winning James McPhersons — one a Civil War historian, and one a short story writer and poet. Other James McPhersons include a sculptor of superheroes, an Australian Coast Guard officer, at least one murderer, and my father.
    All is well; hope you are. Thanks.

  11. Reuel said

    Wow Trump leads the percentage at RC politics average by. 4.2 % This is going to be a fun first debate. Oh by the way “Yes” John McCain is a hero. But he is a lousy elected official. That is how I would of say it.

  12. Eric Voc said


    Thanks, will keep in touch.

  13. melfamy said

    Ms. Dolezal is following in the footsteps of the followers of Jesus, who has been passing, in art and other media, anyway, as a caucasian for millenia

  14. Now that’s funny. Sorry for the absence, folks — I’m moving from one house to another, working to make one habitable and the other sellable while reminding myself of why I went back to school to avoid honest labor.

  15. d marks said


  16. wmgates68 said


  17. I see he ignored Reagan, and that the post gave Don a chance to demonstrate his racism. Also, since I was last there, I see that the photo has changed and that GI Joe has gone back to his old name. He changed a few years ago after I challenged him for hiding behind a pseudonym. Then he just hid behind bluster and biblical misinterpretation. 🙂

  18. wmgates68 said

    I gave him a chance but as you saw he wouldn’t take it. He also ignored my 2nd email. I don’t know how he or any of the others could have misinterpreted what I was saying. I don’t know how “Trump” comes across as an highly admired public figure. He makes it a point whenever someone of another race that’s highly admired (Mandela and MLKfor example), and their achievements are being celebrated, he comes with how that person is “no saint”. He also knows that the Ferguson movement (for the most part) isn’t about Michael Brown it’s about cops shooting first and asking questions later.

    Don? Well he’s not so versed on MLK so he should just stop talking. If he were, he’d know that violence is where MLK and Malcolm X differed. King was against violence as a solution after he traveled to India and spoke with Ghandi.

  19. […] « Fake hair, white skin & tall tales […]

  20. William, I’m amazed that you keep trying with that crew. 🙂

  21. wmgates68 said

    True…..I guess I like to ruffle them up a bit every now and then. I recall you and Melfamy used to do a good job at that also.

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