Wednesday, April 23, 2014

NEVADA RANCHER: THE REAL STORY

The classic national media parachute story that has gotten misreported on too many counts has to be the ongoing saga of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy.

As you likely know, Bundy is claiming the federal Bureau of Land Management is unfairly evicting him from federal land upon which his cattle graze.

What few are noting, and Bundy somehow is forgetting, is that he has been grazing on the federal land for more than 20 years without paying grazing fees, the same fees his neighbors and many others pay to allow their animals to graze. He simply stopped in 1993 and is now being evicted.

But for some reason, much of this is ignored by national media, Fox News among them. They see Bundy as some kind of folk hero and do not seem to care that armed militia members have taken up defense positions on his land near Mesquite, NV. to block federal authorities.

Sean Hannity, who once ran away from me when I asked him a question at a radio conference, is chief among the biased media on Bundy. He recently sought to criticize Jon Stewart for pointing out Hannity's misrepresentation of the facts on Bundy, and did a poor job of it. 

If this was some tenant who was being evicted for not paying his rent, imagine the reaction if armed militia came to his door to oppose the local sheriff forcing his removal. No one would stand for that as a valid defense.

I pride myself on trying to see both sides of any story and appreciate when a good, solid legal dispute is being examined. But this falls short.

By all accounts there is no "other side" of this story, despite what Fox News seems to think in its defense of Bundy.

I spoke with local Nevada journalists last week and they all agreed the story is that Bundy is breaking the law. Any news outlet that reports otherwise is not doing its job.

Sadly, this seems to occur more often with a national press, and a conservative media, that either do a poor job of reporting because of laziness or a slanted job because of political bias.

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