Mainstream journalism in America is on its death bed and Amelia Island’s Ken Timmerman was one of the first casualties when it was attacked from within.
Timmerman was an international reporter some 30 years ago when the media administered its first self-inflicted wound. He has publicly chronicled its demise ever since.
He was there at the beginning of the end in 1994 when he was unceremoniously fired by Time Magazine for his investigative reporting about the Clinton administration.
His credentials are impressive. The veteran reporter covered wars and political upheavals for major news organizations in the United States and around the world, including the New York Times, Newsweek, Reader’s Digest, CBS’s 60 Minutes, ABC News, Le Monde, L ’Express, Le Point, among others.
“That was when these organizations still tried to be “mainstream” and did not hold back, self-censor and lie to protect their political allies” says the former political liberal and 2006 Noble Prize nominee, whose new book “And the Rest is History: Tales of Hostages, Arms Dealers, Dirty Tricks, and Spies,” (Post Hill Press), will be released August 30. It’s his 12th book of nonfiction. The Book Loft, at 214 Centre Street in downtown Fernandina, has advance copies of the book and is featuring in its front window.
Time fired him when he uncovered secret information on the Clinton Administration’s clandestine transfer of defense manufacturing technology to China. Time rejected the story and as a result, he eventually made a political transition from a liberal Democrat to a conservative Republican.
“When I was fired by Time in 1994 for investigating a story that threatened President Bill Clinton and many senior officials in his administration I began to understand that the mainstream media was dead,” says Timmerman.
He was alerted to the scheme when sources in the AFL-CIO Machinists Union tipped him off to strange doings at the B-1 bomber plant in Columbus, Ohio, midnight visits by Chinese intelligence officers, and frustrated US Customs agents.
“As I investigated, encouraged by Time editors, I uncovered and documented a massive effort by China to buy sensitive military production gear from US weapons plants, seemingly with the benediction — or at least, a blind eye — from Clinton administration officials,” he relates.
Eventually, he and other reporters, put together a four-page story on the scheme that was scheduled to run in mid-July 1994. “After a Friday lunchtime staff meeting, the Washington, DC, editor, came into my cubicle. “You’ve pissed off people in the administration with your questions,” he said. He was fired on the spot and the story was spiked.
A year later the article ran under the title “China Shops” in the conservative American Spectator magazine.
“Three years after I was fired, the exporter, McDonnell Douglas, was indicted for export violations, and Sen. Fred Thomson and Rep. Christopher Cox launched massive investigations into the Clinton sell-off of sensitive US technology to Communist China that led to the creation of the US-China Security Commission, which continues to investigate Chinese misdeeds today.”
“A source at the Commerce Department later showed me the complaint that his predecessor, an assistant secretary, had faxed to the editor-in-chief of Time magazine the day before I was fired,” he says. “It was explicit and called for them to pull the story.”
Timmerman doesn’t pull punches detailing the media’s shift from neutral observer to its alliance with the Democrat party and the far left.
“Time’s editors showed in July 1994 that they believed their job was not to uncover the truth but to provide political cover to Democrats in Washington,” he relates. “It’s only gotten worse since then, but I believe this incident formally marks the end of the “mainstream media” as we once knew it.
As Timmerman points out media today are no more than cheerleading squads for the Democrat party and its progressive programs. They mimic the Democrat’s far left ideology in its attempts to define righteousness for all of us by advocating for the reallocation of citizens’ wealth according to party ideals and for regulating private economic behavior. They dictate to local communities how they should govern themselves by crusading for codes of “correct” speech and behavior, and so much more.
Recent media setbacks that activated a flashing “Cannot be resuscitated!” warning range from a revelation by former New York Times journalist Bari Weiss that she was instructed to “check with” Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer (NY) before running an op-ed from Republican Senator Tim Scott (SC) to the media’s complete silence about the southern border crisis and Hunter Biden’s laptop, cheerleading the unprecedented raid on President Trump’s Florida home and much more.
“Like many other countries in Europe and elsewhere, we now have a politicized media in the United States,” says Timmerman. “But unlike other countries, in all but a few cases our media refuses to acknowledge its ideological affiliation. So added to bias, you have hypocrisy.”
If you want to meet and hear Timmerman, he will be the guest speaker at the September 19, 5-7 p.m. “We The People” meeting, at Walkers Landing, 70 Marsh Road. Admission is $10. If you want to eat and drink, bring your own food and booze. To RSVP contact Deb Boelkes by September 15 at 904/310-9602 or Deb.Boelkes@BWRising.com
During Timmerman’s talk you’ll hear hair raising stories about his capture and beatings by Palestinian terrorists in Lebanon, his trips to Iraq prior to the Gulf War, interviews with arms dealers and his conversion from a liberal Democrat to conservative Republican.
Click the following to hear Timmerman talking with Newsmax TV’s John Bachman on the Salman Rushdie attack, Afghanistan, and the new book: https://youtu.be/hrOA5gnOuvc
(An abridged version of this commentary appears in Biz Pac Review (BPR) at https://www.bizpacreview.com/2022/08/18/last-rites-for-american-journalism-1274885/ )
“All the news that’s fit to print”…..as long as it’s approved by Democrats.
“The Times swiftly denied these allegations, telling the New York Post that ‘New York Times Opinion never seeks outside approval or consultation whether to publish guest opinion essays,’ ” reports my Tampa pal and American Spectator writer Larry Thornberry.
“Perhaps,” Larry adds, “but stand by for a staff sxxt-storm if any op-ed strays from progressive orthodoxy. He cites the Senator Tom Cotton Send in the Troops piece, which cost the op-ed page editor his job after Times reporters pitched a tantrum.”
Senator Cotton is not an acceptable person to voice an opinion in the NY Times but they published an op-ed once from the Taliban, and that was OK.
And Even More! Jack Knocke, head of the newly formed Nassau County branch of County Citizens Defending Freedom USA (CCDF-Nassau) is offering free admission to the new documentary film Selection Code by famed international journalist Lara Logan.
“This movie details the facts about manipulation of election machines,” Knocke says. “You will be shocked by what you see in it. Then you will be treated to the backstory by Lara Logan and other speakers (Matt Thayer, Seth Keshe, and more) who will share the details.”
Tickets are free and the film will be shown in the First Baptist Church sanctuary, 1600 South 8th Street, Thursday September 1 from 5-8 pm. Click here to order tickets: https://ccdf-usa-nassaufl.ticketleap.com/selection-code–movie-premier-and-analysis–main-event/
Jack told me the CCDF is also conducting a fund-raising BYOB cruise this coming Wednesday, August 24 featuring local singers Hupp & Ray. Sign up by clicking here: Sign up for the CCDF-NASSAU River Cruise on August 24th.
Meanwhile Back At The Ranch: Dr. Gerald Decker, keen observer and analyst of all things strange going on at Fernandina Beach’s city hall, offered a quick summary of why city taxes are increasing while the population stays relatively steady.
Dr. Decker, says some budgetary items just don’t add up, and he should know as he boasts a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Chicago.
He says there are two issues that drive the excessive rise in property taxes, which are:
- Massive growth in city staff, and
- Pile of Impact Fees just sitting there.
Following are statistics compiled by the mathematically disposed observer and former member of the city’s Marina Advisory Board.
City staff headcount is now the highest it has ever been—272 personnel. The last time staff levels were this high was in 2010, peaking at 247. In recent years the headcount has been slightly over 200, falling below 200 in 2015 and 2016. Interestingly, during the pandemic, when everything essentially stopped, headcount actually leapfrogged well above 220.
Personnel whose salaries are paid using taxes is also at a historic high—183, up 23 from 2010, mostly in parks and recreation. During the 2010-2022 timeframe only one (unused and unequipped) park has been built on Simmons Road.
Now city population has, indeed, increased by some 1900, or 16%, during the last decade, so some reasonable increase in city personnel is warranted—but the magnitude actually working on our behalf does seem a bit much. What new services or facilities or governance has been implemented to justify that?
The second issue is the stagnant use of impact fees.
These fees are collected to provide new services and facilities required because of population growth. As we have seen, our population increase over the last decade is 16%. During the same period Nassau County grew at a 28% rate, with continued rapid growth at 3% per year—and is predicted by the Florida Bureau of Economic and Business Research to be the seventh fastest growing county in Florida.
The city seems a bit stagnant when compared to our home county. The uproar that accompanies any proposed new development in the city, and the overly expensive building fees being assessed, effectively discourage new construction—the city has a decidedly anti-development image.
But—the city has collected and sits on millions of dollars of impact fees. Since these fees are to support population growth (i.e., new development) and new development is seemingly discouraged, how can these funds ever be put to their intended use?
This is becoming a real problem, as the law requires that unused fees must be returned to those who paid them. Now that seems downright foolish—collect money, sit on it, then return it.
So, the challenge facing city government is serious—since you collected this money a proper way must be found to use it for the public good—time is passing, and something must be done.
“Finally, concludes Dr. Decker, “is this city commission, or the next one elected in November, up to handling these two most important issues?”
Citizens should contact their elected commissioners – all five of them – and tell them to start doing what they were elected to do – take the lead, not follow, advises Dr. Decker in conclusion.
Those commissioners that are confused and befuddled may want to pay close attention to Commissioner Bradley Bean, the one Commissioner in my opinion who appears to know what’s best for the folks that elected him and the future of Fernandina Beach.
Things I Wish I’d Said: “Joe Biden has turned our country into the college bar that doesn’t check IDs.” — Fox News host Jimmy Failla on the millions of illegal aliens pouring in across the southern border.
Speaking Of Elections: As a reminder, City Commissioner and Mayor Mike “Left Coast” Lednovich is running again for the Fernandina Beach City Commission. In case you’ve never seen him, he’s pictured here proudly supporting the violent Marxist Black Lives Matter organization about 20 months ago while that vile group was busy burning, looting, rioting and shooting and administering beatings to bystanders in major cities throughput the country. Mayor “Left Coast” Lednovich, a California transplant, confirmed that the photo sent to me by a local resident, is him, but says that the red clown nose was photoshopped. So, pretend you don’t see it.
Overheard at PJD’s Beer & Wine Garden: “My email password has been hacked again. This is the fourth time I’ve had to rename the dog.”