Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Sunday, January 08, 2017
The false science of Journalism
Agenda Based Reporting
The false science of Journalism
By Stephen L. Wilmeth
continued to come down.
no sheets or buckets of battering rain, but the steady drone of drops on my hat
and slicker made me glad I had layered more clothes that morning. I was dry and
warm and enjoying the world around me. There had been no dazzling sunup because
of the heavy overcast, but mornings like this are rare in southern New Mexico. So seldom do
we see slow, steady rains that soak everything. It was reminiscent of California spring rains
when the air is so soft, cool but not cold, and absolutely no wind was blowing.
for the outside rider who would be coming down the fence line with cattle that
I would pick up and throw into my growing drive further north. Popalote was
watching, too. He was alert for scattered horses and was as interested as I was
in the eventual meeting.
He was not
legged up like he needed to be for this big work. I had been out of commission
and hadn’t ridden any horse for three months. The saddle I had thrown was the
first in all that time. Both of us, growing older partners, were not what we
had once been, but there we were savoring the rainy morning and gathering our
cow herd to start weaning calves.
From afar I
saw a hat flashing through the mesquites.
glimpses of the horse suggested it might be one of the cross bred horses B.J.
Kane, our ranch foreman, and his family ride. They are Percheron-quarter horse
crosses and they are surprisingly nimble, handy ladies. They can snap a rope.
When I got
closer, over the edge of the lip from a different direction came a cowboy
standing high in his stirrups in a long trot with his head swiveling looking
for cattle he had to know were there. I caught a glimpse of him and a big smile
appeared as he crashed off the canyon rim away from me.
BJ’s son, Caleb, so I knew it must be Jesse Bell’s son who had started with
another group of riders from the other side of the pasture. I sat there trying
to observe what he was up to and he reappeared now posting an extended trot off
the slope. I heard him engage the cattle he had seen, and, through the morning
mist, I heard the yip and the sing song hooey of a cowboy who was much older
than his age. He took that bunch of cattle with him as he hustled back to his assigned
corridor in the drive.
When I met
up with Caleb later, I learned the young puncher was indeed Jesse’s son. I
reminded Caleb we didn’t like to chouse our cattle quite like that and Caleb
admitted his friend was used to gathering horses (with the obvious, unstated
implication of doing it with speed). I didn’t get to see either of them again
until we had the drag end of the herd held up waiting for some remnants to come
in before we started the drive up the drainage to the headquarters. Over the
cerro, came the two little buckaroos driving a handful of cattle at the same
rate of speed I had previously observed. You hear them talking as they came. Without
pulling up, the little cowboy came right up and swung his horse to me in a side
pass and reached out with his hand.
he began. “My name is Pardner.”
hello back to you, son, and what was your name again?”
me, Pardner, sir.”
to make your acquaintance, Pardner,” was the response. “And, how old might you
Pardner, you take your place over there alongside Caleb on the wing and let’s
get this thing going. We have a long, wet drive ahead of us.”
mud we pushed the combined herd which had begun drifting northward before we
had even started. The rain continued and the whole affair became a surreal
scene from a century ago. Those two young boys gossiped and talked incessantly
as they kept their side of the drive generally intact. Another Kane family
friend off to my left called them out several times as they got too engrossed
in discussion and pinched the drive down by holding cattle up behind them.
Their much used wet, felt hats were held from covering their eyes by their
ears, and their cowboy gear offered as much protection as most of the rest of
thing could well have been out of a scene of John Wayne’s Cowboys when Clay O’Brien-Cooper’s character was about the same age
as Pardner. These were little boys but they weren’t just kids. These were bona
fide cowboys who could hold their own. They rode their mounts with skill and
authority without ever touching a saddle horn. They had learned to see and
observe. They were alert as only young senses can be.
Oh, if the
rest of the world could only understand the implications of our youth learning
to be productive by living and breathing in a real, structured, productive
world around them.
slow moving herd and through the rain and the mud, I enjoyed the ride like I
haven’t in years.
Pardner Bell is on the far right, next to Caleb Kane.
Agenda based reporting
newsprint reporter has been trying to talk to me about western issues.
I have had
some experience with her in the past, and I must admit she is a nice lady. I
even told her recently that if we had been school mates, we would have likely
been friends, but I no longer trust any news outlets or organizations that are
not neutral, fact based standard bearers. Her newspaper is similar to nearly
all others, owned under an umbrella of holdings, and driven by a standard
the small town Enid, Oklahoma based paper that endorsed
Rodham-Clinton because corporate gave the marching orders, this reporter’s
regional newspaper should be boycotted by long standing subscription holders. The
news they received was not only unfair, but glaringly inaccurate. The majority
of news outlets no longer have the capability of reporting fairly. The
methodology is to determine a subject line, contact a visible citizen involved,
and then confirm the evidence by calling the network of liberal collaborators
that contribute to the legitimacy factor. The story goes out safe in prevailing
context and acceptable to the corporate ownership and their relationship to the
left leaning national elites.
A case in
point involves the 40 ranches and 90 families impacted by the Organ Mountain
National Monument. There
was not a single article anywhere in prevailing news that described the plight
of those people or their businesses.They were never given the benefit of any doubt much less a personal
glimpse of the overwhelming uncertainty they faced.
never an unbiased account of their real concerns, but, the reality is, theirs
are immense public interest stories that remain untold. There are genuine
Pulitzer Prize story lines that never get told, but the science of journalism
has no mechanism to accommodate that. The practice is an urban based,
socialistic society of insulated operatives that have lost touch with America. If the
participants don’t start out of touch, they migrate to that condition because
of the environment in which they live and work.
The lady reporter
will likely never meet Pardner.
she will never see the immensity of his existence because she has no bearing of
the condition of his world. She could attempt to dress the part, but even nine
year old Pardner would immediately identify her esoterical misconceptions. She
can see him, but she can’t view him in the context of truth. It is the same for
every issue that divides urban with rural and mainstream with Main Street.
family never trusted mainstream. They don’t read newspapers. They do text and
read social media. They home school their children, pay cash for their
obligations, and can’t tell you who is playing in the collegiate national
championship game, but they do attend close knit churches, congregate and tell
stories, and coexist in a culture that does more for the good of mankind and
the natural world than can ever be imagined.
things constantly that the greater world would turn away from or demand others
to attend. They make tough decisions. They face dangers that are at once
frightening and exhilarating. Their story is seldom accurately told, but they
don’t really care. Only what can be controlled is what matters. Their message
to Main Street
Our trust is hard to earn.
Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “Read true local
… liberal driven news has done us no favor.”
When Wilmeth writes of cattle, horses and little cowboys, many of us can relate, but very few describe it the way he does. The Westerner and all our readers owe him a big Thank You for the weekly sojourns into this industry and its culture.