Island Issues

News Leader’s Editorial Pages Are Following The Main Stream Media Wolf Pack

News Leader’s Editorial Pages Are Following The Main Stream Media Wolf Pack

After the 2016 presidential election the media went totally off the rails becoming an unhinged, censorious, accusatory mob.

And as the Trump Administration moves deeper into its second year they have become even more bitter and angry, with their current discourse displaying all the decorum of professional wrestling. While the right is attempting to make reasonable arguments the media and their Democrat Party allies are throwing food and smashing the furniture.

Conservatives are being banned and shouted down on college campuses, parodied in films and late night TV, harassed in movie theaters, refused service in restaurants, and physically attacked by left-wing, club wielding, masked groups ranging from Antifi to Black Lives Matter, among others. The media — suffering from a severe case of political Tourette’s syndrome — is cheering this frenzied lynch mob on.

Despite the fact that attackers of conservatives are urged to create mayhem by nut-cases like California Democratic Congressperson Maxine Waters and others of her ilk, the media is whining that Trump’s calling THEM out is dangerous. Really? The New York Times’ mentally bankrupt, snarky little columnist, Paul Krugman, suggested that Congress “get rid of ” Donald Trump the way the Roman Senate got rid of Caligula, i.e., by assassination. And Times Publisher A.G. Sulzberger says Trump’s anti-media rhetoric promotes violence, while he continues to print Krugman’s crap. Even worse, The Times recently hired bigot Sarah Jeong, to join its editorial board, despite her expressed hatred for white people, which she has plastered all over Twitter in unmistakable terms. And while the media is criticizing Trump Administration officials and their supporters for alleged “hate speech” they are falling all over themselves defending  and promoting comments by renowned and respected political scientists like Ashley Judd, Samantha Bee, Madonna, Chelsea Handler, Joy Behar, Robert De Niro, Rosie O’Donnell, Kathy Griffith, Melanie Wolfe, Jimmy Kimmel, among others.

Piling on is our local bi-weekly News-Leader that — with the lone exception of columnist Steve Nicklas — has a stable of paid and unpaid opinion writers that reads like the masthead in “Mad Magazine.”

Among the most rabid of the unpaid cast of left wing News-Leader scribblers is Ron “Get off my lawn you little bastards” Sapp, a semi-retired far left local high school doctrinarian and former Fernandina Beach City Commissioner and Mayor. This is a guy who wants everybody who hasn’t lived here since 1950 to pack up and  leave right now, and whose editorial tropes track the impotent rage of a six year old. Several months ago Sapp  penned a column saying he had nothing left to say because his efforts had no impact, and wrote that it was his last article. But somehow his codswallop continues to clutter the paper’s editorial pages. Like the country and western song lyrics say: “How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away.”

The most bizarre of this paper’s local misfit editorial and news contributors is Robert “Bullet Bob” Weintraub, a mentally unbalanced octogenarian, who when living next door to us, publically threatened on Facebook to shoot me and my wife, Linda, with his: “…loaded shotgun and rifle” because we placed a celebratory “Trump” yard sign in our lawn following the election. I’m not making this up. If a shotgun and rifle weren’t enough to get the job done, he added in the same Facebook post that he was going to buy handguns as well. As a kicker he called us anti-Semites. The police were called and paid this whack-job a visit. Soon thereafter this unhinged nut case packed up his arsenal and moved to terrorize folks in some other unsuspecting neighborhood. The News-Leader continues to print this loon’s twaddle and actually published a piece by this crackpot last May where he said: “…the government needs to get some control on guns.” Oh, really? For the first time ever I agree with Weintraub, as this dangerous lunatic is an example of why the federal government needs to crack down and run intensive background checks to prevent people suffering with mental illness — like him — from owning or acquiring any kind of gun. Since the News-Leader continues to print this dangerous crank’s drivel, I can only assume that Publisher Foy Maloy and his Editor Peg Davis agree with his insane positions, and I should probably duck for cover whenever I drive past the News-Leader‘s downtown Ash Street building.

And now I see that local long-winded liberal Tony Crawford, has folks yawning their way through his opinion page attempts to persuade them that Trump is the anti-Christ and Armageddon is just around the corner. He’s one of the mainstream media’s biggest fans tossing verbal darts at the few broadcasters or reporters that stand up for the President and his administration. He follows blindly despite his most recent piece this past Wednesday headlined “We should never follow blindly.” A nice guy who  is trying to save us from our own backwardness and lead us lotus-like out of our insensitive ignorance while ignoring the left that is always cocked and ready to take to the streets, shouting opposition down, confronting, harassing, and punishing. I find his garish bias, hypocrisy and editorial impotence mildly amusing. Tony needs to cut back on the kale smoothies and go get a good old fashioned exorcism to drive out those deep state demons.

Too many of the  News-Leader‘s unedited Letters to the Editor’s correspondence are a Petri dish for psychologists studying deranged and incoherent thought while at the same time serving to embarrass relatives or anyone else associated with the frantic and unhinged local letter writers. Attention Editor Davis: You really need to start editing some of that stuff, particularly the ones written with crayons.

Recently one of the paper’s reporters, and a graduate of the “Close Cover Before Striking School of Journalism and Screen Door Repair”, with the fortunate name of Julia Roberts, joined the ranks of the “angry opinion page mob.”

In her July 18 piece headlined: “The threats to journalism” Ms. Roberts blamed the demise of many print newspapers on President Trump, who dares to fight back against what he calls “fake news.” Her argument is similar to a baseball coach explaining the rules to the opposing squad saying: “OK, my team is always at bat while your team stays on the field.”

Fighting back via Twitter or at public forums is not considered fair play by these snowflakes who consider themselves gatekeepers of what you and I should and shouldn’t be allowed to read, hear and see. “What’s the matter with you Trump? You’re supposed to sit there meekly like George W. Bush did while we pounded on him.” But Trump is not George W. Bush. He’s hitting back. He’s battling the left using their own tactics. And they don’t like it. Instead of Bush’s feather duster, Trump brought a knife to the fight to become America’s first wartime president in the Cultural War. And like those on the left, he can be equally ruthless, rude, crude and vulgar. He overdoes it with the Twitter stuff but I don’t see him slowing that down anytime soon.

Despite the country being awash in good news, Ms. Roberts whines about how bad things are, saying in her piece: “….mother’s can’t get health care for their kids, people are losing their jobs due to tariffs, schools are uninhabitable,” etc. Her whacky and hysterical opinion piece is reflective of the mainstream media’s demented, berserk rage, and paranoia, lamenting the Trump Administration. In her warped approach Ms. Roberts is saying: “Hey, you conservative bully, leave us alone or we’ll go out of business, starve, and our children will die uneducated due to lack of health care.”  She and Tony Crawford practically accused President Trump of everything from clubbing baby seals to death to plotting another Holocaust.

Not included in their arguments is the fact that the media have no interest in disguising their bias or educating themselves or their audiences about the most basic of facts and are nothing more than echo chambers for left-wing thought.

Ms. Roberts says that Trump’s tariffs on Canadian newsprint are a death knell for small local weeklies like the News-Leader and will send them down the tubes. It is, she says, one way the president is trying to shut up his critics. She doesn’t mention the fact that readers and advertisers have had it with finger-wagging, screaming liberals constantly leaping out at them from newspapers, TV screens, magazines, movies and college lecterns.

The left and its media allies are experiencing a vacuum of ideas and rationale thought, and paranoia has taken over. Ms. Roberts is a prime example. She writes like an angry child unable to mount a logical counterargument for a pre-dinner cookie. I’m surprised I didn’t read in her denouncement of Trump that: “The President is a poo-poo head.”

Are the current liberal media’s theatrics and lynch mob mentality pushing Independent and Republican voters closer to the Democrats and other socialist radicals? Apparently not. Trump’s base appears solid and he hasn’t suffered mass defections. In fact his overall approval ratings are increasing and are beyond what Barack Obama’s were at this point in his presidency. The Trump train is rolling on stronger than ever before, fueled by the tears and angst of the liberal media and the rest of their effete,  pathetic, impotent crowd like Ms. Roberts and Mr. Crawford that are alienating readers and encouraging local conservatives to show up at the polls.

The News-Leader has some solid news reporters and its news pages do a fine job of covering the local scene. Cindy Jackson, who not too long ago owned a downtown women’s clothing store, has transitioned well, expertly covering county politics, port issues and other complex subjects. Naturalist Pat Foster-Turley may be the best writer on the paper, vividly describing everything from snails and sea turtles to seashells and sharks in her weekly “Wild Ways” column. Sports Editor Beth Jones is responsible for massive scrapbook sales as her stories and photos of  local kids participating in various area competitive events keeps moms busy clipping and pasting. And Terry Lacoss’s very well done weekly outdoors column lets anglers know what’s biting and where. All’s well elsewhere on the paper except for the shrieking, spittle-flecked opinion pages, which are best read armed with a whip and a chair. Nassau County is majority conservative and if Publisher Maloy’s objective is to change that with his chaotic opinion pages, he’s living in an alternative universe.

Stories the media won’t cover in any depth, and have them banging their collective heads on the wall trying to come up with arguments to counter,  include a long list of Trump Administration accomplishments (Pay attention Ms. Roberts and Mr. Crawford) that include: a 4.1 percent GDP this past quarter; the destruction of the ISIS caliphate; a crackdown on illegal immigration; a generational low unemployment rate of 3.9 percent; the Labor Department reporting that wages and salaries rose 2.8% in the past 12 months, the largest single-year pay raise since September 2008; the lowest unemployment rates for blacks and Hispanics in American history; the abolishment of business-strangling, job-killing regulations; the kick starting of America’s energy sector making the U.S. the world’s largest oil producer and an exporter for the first time in more than 40 years; rebuilding the military; getting rid of the expensive and burdensome individual mandate for Obamacare; pulling out of the lopsided Iran deal; North Korea returning the remains of U.S. soldiers killed in the Korean War and halting nuclear and missile testing; NATO allies ponying up to start paying their fair share; moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem; Americans receiving bonuses and more money in their pay checks due to Trump’s tax cuts; a roaring U.S. economy; 2.2 million people who no longer need food stamps, an eight year low; the overhauling of the mismanaged Veterans Administration; the most robust stock market in history, and so much more.

Ms. Roberts and her liberal opinion page peers want to take the microphone away from anyone that leans right because that stuff is all craaaazy talk. They believe that everyone should get a house, a guaranteed income, free college, and a pony. Instead they should be reflecting on what Walt Kelly’s cartoon character, Pogo, said many years ago: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”


Do You Want Fries With That? There are two things I rarely do: One is not to venture into Jacksonville due to that city’s astronomical crime rate, while the other is to  avoid all fast food eateries due to the tastelessness of their assembly line product, the sterile boring monotony of their eateries, and indifferent service These decisions were confirmed last Saturday when a worst case scenario screamed at me from a Jacksonville Florida Times-Union headline: “Woman shot to death in McDonald’s drive-thru.”


Things I Wish I’d Said: “Through the years I’ve learned that if baseball was as complicated as sportswriters and sportscasters make it out to be, baseball players couldn’t play it.” — author and sportswriter Dan Jenkins.


Drinking, Dining & Dancing: It’s starting to get crowed around Shave Bridge as the Eileen and Jeremy Seger owned Shucker’s Oyster Bar & Grill, at the southwest side of the bridge leading to the island opened its doors this week joining VFW Post 4351 and Down Under, under or almost under the bridge. The new bar and eatery features outdoor seating and a boat-shaped bar and oyster-roasting fire pit as well as a stage for performers. Inside also boasts a lengthy bar and ample table seating with generous views of the water. Prices are extremely competitive with a menu featuring mostly seafood. Some items that jumped out at me because they are priced lower than many area eateries are peel and eat shrimp, 1/2 pound for just $9.00 and a pound for $17.00 Raw and steamed oysters are a dozen raw or steamed at market priced. Wings are a very low $10 for 10, seafood gumbo, $4.00 for a cup and $6.00 for a bowl, two four-ounce crab cakes for $10.00 and a variety of salads ranging from $8.00 to $11.00. They do serve a burger and the one I saw the guy next to me bite into looked to be a handmade half pounder that came with choice of one of nine sides for just $9.00, one of the best burger prices anywhere. The blackened, grilled or fried catch of the day sandwich with a choice of side is $15.00 while an oyster or shrimp po’boy goes for $13.00. Entrees with two sides ranged from seared scallops ($20.00) and fish & chips ($10.00) to scallop & shrimp Alfredo pasta ($17.00) and local grilled, fried or blackened shrimp ($15), plus many more. The next time I’m there I’m getting the seafood platter for two that includes two crab cakes, 10 shrimp, six pieces of fish, six oysters, two hushpuppies, fries and coleslaw for $29.00. Blackened red snapper is featured for $27 and comes with crawfish in a cream sauce, vegetables and garlic bread. Happy hour times have yet to be set but I’m told they will be soon. The servers are prompt, courteous and fun. The hostess at the front is a delight to chat with. Parking is tight with some cars lining Wade Place Road when the lot is at capacity. Call ’em at 904/ 277-2580. Folks that love bagels will love Aloha Bagel & Deli at 432 South 8th Street, next to the Shady Ladies Art Gallery. If you like New York City bagels then you’ll love this place, which is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The most expensive item on the menu is a Nova Salad at $10.50 while the Lunch or “build-your-own sandwiches are just $8.50 and include Philly, Italian club, Rueben/Rachael, Cajun, chicken and tuna salad. Don’t want your sandwich on a bagel? Then the “build your own” choice offers marble rye, wheat or a white sub roll. For just $5.50 try an Eggel bagel, with an egg a choice of bacon, ham or sausage and a drink. The Nova Bagel with a choice of a variety of cream cheeses, salmon, capers, tomato and onion is $9.50 and the Elvis Bagel that comes with peanut butter and jelly is $5.50.  The bagel selections include: everything, poppy, sesame, multi-grain everything, cheddar, cinnamon raisin, blueberry, cranberry and plain.  Call ’em at 904/432-8934. For my birthday this past Wednesday, Linda treated me to dinner at Joe’s 2nd Street Bistro at 14 South 2nd Street downtown, where she ordered the daily special of blackened tilefish, a flaky mild and delicious choice. Thinking I would try something different, I didn’t and once again ordered the Bouillabaisse, the traditional Provençal fish stew originating from the port city of Marseille, that chef and owner Ricky Pigg does such an expert job of preparing. Ingredients include  clams, scallops, lobster, shrimp and fish in a delicious broth flavored with leeks, onion, fennel and garlic. It comes with two pieces of crispy bread for sopping in the broth. I’ve eaten this in Marseille and can honestly say Ricky’s is one of the best I’ve ever had. Some day maybe I’ll try something else on his menu, but can’t think of why unless it’s one of his “best in town” burgers for lunch.  Call ’em at 904/ 321-2558. After dinner we went next door to PJD’s Beer & Wine Garden, 12 South 2nd Street, and joined friends for beverages and hearty slices of lemon meringue birthday pie, a great way to top off a fun day.




Nomadi Costieri - 20. Aug, 2018 -

Don’t trifle with Tony Crawford’s insights (NewsLeader Viewpoint August 15, 2018). He appears to have a direct line to the Whitehouse. As he reported in his commentary, “… Trump talks everyday with Fox’s Sean Hannity… “. Those are real connections that can’t be dismissed, especially by us locals!

Donald Sims - 19. Aug, 2018 -

Dave, proud to share the same birth date with you! Loved your column.

Len - 19. Aug, 2018 -

Love reading your blog… but this last one has to be one of your best!
Keep the faith and pearls of wisdom flowing ??

Tony snowfake - 18. Aug, 2018 -

Dave, Thank you for your kind words. I will state for the record I hate kale and prefer Corona to smoothies. Yes it is an imported beer and I will continue to drink it until our President has his ties manufactured in America. I am sure you know his products have been made in over a dozen foreign country’s. I enjoyed your words and comments more than you know. The last time I laughed so hard was my last viewing of a Marx brothers movie. I need to point out however that I have to thank and credit you for my ability to write long winded articles. I have read you for years and you have taught me well, I strive to be as good as the master, and hope I never achieve that goal. I am honored you took the four quarters out of the piggy bank to buy the fish wrapping rag you used to work for and read my many words. The one thing I am sure you noticed was that my words are based on facts–those pesky little things that are actually the truth. When writing the facts I have found there is no need for the name calling, verbal abuse, or the use of thousands of adverbs to get to the bottom of any issue. The facts still remain the facts. To me it is not about being Democratic, or Republican, it is about the issues. One has to remember that for every left wing opinion, there is a right wing opinion. Either one can be right. That is where the facts come into play. You seem to lean slightly towards the right in your views and opinions and I respect that, but you also seem to forget history. Yes the economy is doing great. Trump is truly a blessed man to have come into this life inheriting his fathers fortune and to come into his Presidency inheriting the work the black guy and his snowflakes did to get the economy and the numbers from the basement to where they were on inauguration day. That must have been one of the reasons the crowds turned out in record numbers that January. Keep up the good work Dave and lets have a beer soon, I’ll buy. I would rather you spend your quarters on supporting and reading our local paper. Stay well my friend

Mary Pat Campbell - 18. Aug, 2018 -

I always enjoy your column. It helps me maintain my cynicism about politics and journalism. Hope you can do a column soon on the local elections, for newcomers to the Island.

Glen - 17. Aug, 2018 -

During the Obama administration, several colleagues and I, that worked in the government used to meet in an undisclosed location downtown DC. There we used to discuss the political events of the day. Of the many things we discussed were political tactics, many of which are very predictable. Items such as:

The loudest voices are usually losing the debate.

Politicians will always default to what worked last.

Accuse your adversary of doing exactly what you “are” doing.

During the last campaign what we were surprised to observe was, for the first time in our adult lives, a Republican was using the Democrats tactics against them. This was putting them in a unknown position to counter. Like, love or hate Trump, what he was doing to Hillary was classic tactics. He was operating well inside her decision cycle and she could not counter maneuver. She needed to staff her responses prior to execution, by then Trump had moved five steps past her. She was/is unable to counter move.

You, correctly pointed out that he goes on offense and will out maneuver his adversary. He is using their own tactics against his political adversaries, they are now on unknown turf. My personal thoughts are, much of what we are reading or watching is a result of this uncomfortable position the liberals find themselves in. To openly defend their position.

Coleman Langshaw - 17. Aug, 2018 -

Dave your latest rant is your best yet, and the retorts of your politically like-minded ilk is at a classic all-time high! No point in my having a battle of wits with unarmed opponents. BUT, I will say that I love being called an elitist by conservatives…after all, my opinions are apparently of elite value, especially when I hear the attempted insult as a retort to my educated and intelligent views, by self-professed deplorables. Its like calling me a smart ass, I love it! I’m apparently smart and it makes opponents so frustrated, and they can do no better than calling me an ass. By the way, I am making up campaign signs for the next electiom: CHUMP-PUTIN 2020, KEEP AMERICA SECOND RATE! Hurry, order now, they are going to sell like hot cakes at:

Tony Osbon - 17. Aug, 2018 -

To commenter George Clements –
Your snarkiness is underwhelming, as is your elitist valuation of Trump-voter education levels. Dream on, while the progressive damage of the Obama era is gradually erased.
From a proud deplorable.

Tom Yankus - 17. Aug, 2018 -

Dropped the Times/Union and News Leader subscriptions back in February. The problem now is that I don’t have anything to put my coffee grounds in. Oh, well. Happy Birthday, Dave Boy!

Dave Lott - 17. Aug, 2018 -

Spot on David! I always get a chuckle out of the political commentators who will only begrudgingly give credit for a good economic indicator during Trump’s tenure but always follow up with either a statement that things can quickly change or that the trend started under Obama.
Will have to give Shucker’s a try when we are down in a couple of weeks. Always enjoy the reports of the foodie scene on the Island.

George Clements - 17. Aug, 2018 -

Dave —
Your column is so well-written, balanced and fair that if takes my breath away. Your use of so many defamatory and colorful adjectives and adverbs may have diluted your basic argument but it certainly appeals to the non-college educated Trump base. It’s just a matter of time before a syndicate invites you to share your well-reasoned thoughts on a national level.

Successful writers need to understand what motivates their target audience. You have done that to perfection. Congratulations.


Lawrence Piper - 17. Aug, 2018 -

Dave, well said! When I read Ms. Roberts opinion piece it reminded me of some salesperson telling you to “trust me”. I mean, when you gotta ask someone to trust you, something’s not right! On the left leaning columnist at the News Leader, I think Foy is a lot smarter than you’re giving him credit. He knows that stuff is going get us stirred up and to sell papers. I used to really enjoy Sunday mornings with my cup of coffee from Gate and the Times Union paper, but alas, I’ve finally given up the paper. It got to where I was skipping anything written by an AP “reporter”. And lastly, it used to pain me when George Bush wouldn’t stand up for himself. I mean, I liked the guy, but he wouldn’t fight back. Finally, a conservative president that fights back. Am I the only person that finds it ironic that when the left is getting their butts kicked, they want everyone to play nice?

Pat Keogh - 17. Aug, 2018 -

Beautifully written. We all recognize that expression that a politician “plays to his base”. It seems increasingly that that’s what the media does. They present the news in such a way as to play to their perceived base. It’s no surprise that the media is mostly populated by left leaning folks. Generally, they find the President so repulsive that they let it infect their news reporting. I have no issue with bias on the editorial page but it now seems to contaminate their news reporting. What surprises me most is the total lack of curiosity in the media about why their fellow citizens voted for and continue to support someone the press finds so reprehensible. If only Trump were nicer and more like say Justin Trudeau or Barack Obama. Well, he’s not and that’s in large part why so many Americans voted for him.

Christine Corso - 17. Aug, 2018 -

Thank you for an amusing review of our local newspaper’s peccadillos. Objective news reporting is virtually non-existent on all platforms. It is troubling when a “reporter” concurrently writes opinion pieces that are published in the same edition as their “news” articles. It is even more egregious that these same folks assume that their personal biases are not revealed to readers, or more importantly that their own reliance on single source national reporting has seeped into their mind set.

Joe Murphy - 17. Aug, 2018 -

Happy belated Birthday my young friend. The printed press ! tried to wrap an old cold dead mackerel in one of them News Leader papers , but Ole’ Mack jumped out and flew away.

PETER j EDGETTE - 17. Aug, 2018 -

Dave, once again enjoyed your observations. Realized yesterday, with the stock market big gain[08/17/2018],there was no mention of this on ABC,NBC,CBS, night news.

Jeff McDowell - 17. Aug, 2018 -

As much as it pains me to admit, your analysis of the political landscape in our beloved country is spot on. Journalists are now opinion makers, not reporters. Regarding President Trump, while I find his Twitterfests banal and often distasteful, I’m reminded of what FDRs Cordell Hull, F.D.R.’s Secretary of State said in response to a question by FDR…”Yes, but he’s our son of a bitch.” . See you on the ball field.

Sherry Scott - 17. Aug, 2018 -

Dave, you’ve hit the nail on the head and have done it with humor. Thanks for saying what many of us are thinking. I always enjoy your column.